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Eli I. Lichtenstein
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  1.  39
    (Mis)Understanding Scientific Disagreement: Success Versus Pursuit-Worthiness in Theory Choice.Eli I. Lichtenstein - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.
    Scientists often diverge widely when choosing between research programs. This can seem to be rooted in disagreements about which of several theories, competing to address shared questions or phenomena, is currently the most epistemically or explanatorily valuable—i.e. most successful. But many such cases are actually more directly rooted in differing judgments of pursuit-worthiness, concerning which theory will be best down the line, or which addresses the most significant data or questions. Using case studies from 16th-century astronomy and 20th-century geology and (...)
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  2.  99
    Nietzsche Contra Sublimation.Eli I. Lichtenstein - 2020 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 58 (4):755-778.
    Many commentators have claimed that Nietzsche views the “sublimation” (Sublimierung) of drives as a positive achievement. Against this tradition, I argue that, on the dominant if not universal Nietzschean use of Sublimierung and its cognates, sublimation is just a broad psychological analogue of the traditional (al)chemical process: the “vaporization” of drives into a finer or lighter state, figuratively if not literally. This can yield ennobling elevation, or purity in a positive sense—the intensified “sublimate” of an unrefined original sample. But it (...)
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  3. Sensory Force, Sublime Impact, and Beautiful Form.Eli I. Lichtenstein - 2019 - British Journal of Aesthetics 59 (4):449-464.
    Can a basic sensory property like a bare colour or tone be beautiful? Some, like Kant, say no. But Heidegger suggests, plausibly, that colours ‘glow’ and tones ‘sing’ in artworks. These claims can be productively synthesized: ‘glowing’ colours are not beautiful; but they are sensory forces—not mere ‘matter’, contra Kant—with real aesthetic impact. To the extent that it inheres in sensible properties, beauty is plausibly restricted to structures of sensory force. Kant correspondingly misrepresents the relation of beautiful wholes to their (...)
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  4. The Passions and Disinterest: From Kantian Free Play to Creative Determination by Power, Via Schiller and Nietzsche.Eli I. Lichtenstein - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6:249-279.
    I argue that Nietzsche’s criticism of the Kantian theory of disinterested pleasure in beauty reflects his own commitment to claims that closely resemble certain Kantian aesthetic principles, specifically as reinterpreted by Schiller. I show that Schiller takes the experience of beauty to be disinterested both (1) insofar as it involves impassioned ‘play’ rather than desire-driven ‘work’, and (2) insofar as it involves rational-sensuous (‘aesthetic’) play rather than mere physical play. In figures like Nietzsche, Schiller’s generic notion of play—which is itself (...)
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