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Much Ado about Nothing?

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Abstract

Now that the time has come to make an overall assessment of 2010, it can be said that no new elements have emerged to contradict what Ernesto Galli Della Loggia, a commentator who cannot be suspected of preconceived hostility toward the center-right, had written in the middle of the year: on the one hand, we cannot yet speak of a final crisis for Silvio Berlusconi or of the end of Berlusconism, but on the other hand the country can hold up a list of “results that are, to say the least, unsatisfying.”

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... But so conceived this space is a mere being of reason, a 4AT 3 477; CSMK 3 202; AT 5 273; CSMK 363. 5The definitive treatments of this tradition are Duhem (1987) and Grant (1981). Des Chene (1996) also provides an insightful discussion, giving particular attention to Descartes. ...
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Descartes Intinity Space vs. Time
... But so conceived this space is a mere being of reason, a 4AT 3 477; CSMK 3 202; AT 5 273; CSMK 363. 5The definitive treatments of this tradition are Duhem (1987) and Grant (1981). Des Chene (1996) also provides an insightful discussion, giving particular attention to Descartes. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
In two rarely discussed passages – from unpublished notes on the Principles of Philosophy and a 1647 letter to Chanut – Descartes argues that the question of the infinite (or indefinite) extension of space is importantly different from the infinity of time. In both passages, he is anxious to block the application of his well-known argument for the indefinite extension of space to time, in order to avoid the theologically problematic implication that the world has no beginning. Descartes concedes that we always imagine an earlier time in which God might have created the world if he had wanted, but insists that this imaginary earlier existence of the world is not connected to its actual duration in the way that the indefinite extension of space is connected to the actual extension of the world. This paper considers whether Descartes’s metaphysics can sustain this asymmetrical attitude towards infinite space vs. time. I first consider Descartes’s relation to the ‘imaginary’ space/time tradition that extended from the late scholastics through Gassendi and More. I next examine carefully Descartes’s main argument for the indefinite extension of space and explain why it does not apply to time. Most crucially, since duration is merely conceptually distinct from enduring substance, the end or beginning of the world entails the end or beginning of real (as opposed to imaginary or abstract) time. In contrast, extension does not depend on any enduring substance besides itself.
Article
L’article se propose de montrer avec le nom d’Otto Von Guericke que, contrairement à la lecture heideggérienne de l’histoire de la philosophie, la métaphysique n’a jamais cessé de penser l’être en tant qu’être. En fait, elle a sondé l’être et la différence ontologique avec beaucoup plus d’acuité et de profondeur que l’heideggerianisme. L’intention revient à montrer l’actualité de la métaphysique et de ses concepts lorsque l’on évoque la problématique de l’ontologie fondamentale. Avant d’être un physicien reconnu en son temps, Von Guericke était un métaphysicien. Ce sont ses préoccupations métaphysiques qui l’ont amené sur la voie de l’expérimentation physique, et non l’inverse.
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This article explores the significance of the local elections of May 2012 for the general direction of change in Italian politics. The forces of the centre-right were deserted en masse but without those of the centre-left effectively capitalising on the discontent, which was, instead, expressed by the spectacular advance of the ‘non-party’, the almost completely novel Five-Star Movement. As the last major contest on the political agenda before the next general election due in no more than a year, the May outcome revealed just how difficult it was likely to be for either of the two coalitions to obtain a clear victory on that occasion. The article discusses the extent and the nature of these difficulties – deriving from voters' clear rejection of ‘politics as usual’ – by analysing the run-up, the campaign, the outcome and the aftermath of the May elections.
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