26 found
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  1. Longing, Dread and Care: Spengler’s Account of the Existential Structure of Human Experience.Gregory Morgan Swer - 2020 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 51 (1):71-87.
    In The Decline of the West Spengler puts forward a type of philosophical anthropology, an account of the structures of human experiential consciousness and a method of “physiognomic” analysis, which I argue has dimensions that can be understood as akin to existential phenomenology. Humanity, for Spengler, is witness to the creative flux of “Becoming” and constructs a world of phenomena bounded by death, underpinned by the two prime feelings of dread and longing and structured by the two forms of Destiny (...)
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  2. Oswald Spengler and Martin Heidegger on Modern Science, Metaphysics, and Mathematics.Gregory Morgan Swer - 2017 - Idealistic Studies 47 (1 & 2):1-22.
    This paper argues that Oswald Spengler has an innovative philosophical position on the nature and interrelation of mathematics and science. It further argues that his position in many ways parallels that of Martin Heidegger. Both held that an appreciation of the mathematical nature of contemporary science was critical to a proper appreciation of science, technology and modernity. Both also held that the fundamental feature of modern science is its mathematical nature, and that the mathematical operates as a projection that establishes (...)
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  3. Technology and the End of Western Civilisation: Spengler’s and Heidegger’s Histories of Life/Being.Gregory Morgan Swer - 2019 - Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology 19 (1):1-10.
    Spengler’s work is typically represented as speculative philosophy of history. However, I argue that there is good reason to consider much of his thought as preoccupied with existential and phenomenological questions about the nature and ends of human existence, rather than with history per se. In this paper I consider Spengler’s work in comparison with Heidegger’s history of Being and analysis of technological modernity. I argue that Spengler’s considerable proximity to much of Heidegger’s thought compels us to reconsider the nature (...)
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  4.  85
    A Manifesto for Messy Philosophy of Technology: The History and Future of an Academic Field.Gregory Morgan Swer & Jean Du Toit - 2020 - Teorie Vědy / Theory of Science 42 (2):231-252.
    Philosophy of technology was not initially considered a consolidated field of inquiry. However, under the influence of sociology and pragmatist philosophy, something resembling a consensus has emerged in a field previously marked by a lack of agreement amongst its practitioners. This has given the field a greater sense of structure and yielded interesting research. However, the loss of the earlier “messy” state has resulted in a limitation of the field’s scope and methodology that precludes an encompassing view of the problematic (...)
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  5.  67
    ‘Blessed are the breadmakers...’: Sociophobia, digital society and the enduring relevance of technological determinism.Gregory Morgan Swer - 2023 - South African Journal of Philosophy 42 (4):315-327.
    Technological determinism, as a position on the nature and effects of technology/technologies can be divided into optimistic and critical forms. The optimistic variety, of which contemporary cyber-utopianism is an instance, holds that the development of technology shapes or at least facilitates ameliorative alterations in society. The critical variety, on the other hand, tends to problematise or condemn the positive narrative of technological impact on human existence. Whilst the optimistic form still retains some academic credibility, especially concerning digital technologies, the critical (...)
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  6. Nature, Gender and Technology: The Ontological Foundations of Shiva’s Ecofeminist Philosophy.Gregory Morgan Swer - 2020 - Comparative and Continental Philosophy 12 (2):1-14.
    This paper addresses the generally neglected topic of Vandana Shiva’s ontology. It is argued that there is a significant ontological component to Shiva’s ecofeminist philosophy and that this ontology underpins her ecological and feminist views. Shiva’s ontology provides a standpoint from which she can critique dichotomous ontologies of domination and oppression, and from which she can identify life-sustaining modes of existence. It is argued that this ontology is implicit in most of her works and is best grasped through the analysis (...)
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  7. Homo Touristicus, or the Jargon of Authenticity 2.0.Gregory Morgan Swer - 2019 - South African Journal of Philosophy 38 (2):210-218.
    Abstract This paper argues that the concept of authenticity has evolved since the time of Adorno’s critique in The Jargon of Authenticity, and that an analysis of tourism offers a way of grasping the altered status of the concept of authenticity and its current ideological function in the contemporary capitalist system. It is suggested that authenticity no longer refers to an existential state, but instead to a purchased experiential moment. This paper traces the alterations in the understanding of existential authenticity (...)
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  8. The Virtual Fourfold: Reading Heidegger’s Fourfold through O’Shiel’s Phenomenology of the Virtual.Jean Du Toit & Gregory Morgan Swer - 2023 - Inscriptions 6 (2):68-77.
    Daniel O’Shiel recently identified four categories of virtuality, which he terms “real virtualities”, that are perpetually present in human perception. These virtual horizons (Self, World, Others, and Values) continuously structure our experience without themselves being directly experienced. This essay argues that O’Shiel’s four categories of the virtual correspond strongly to the concept of the Fourfold found in the writings of the later Heidegger, and that Heidegger’s Fourfold can be fruitfully understood as a phenomenological framework of the virtual.
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  9. The Road to Necropolis: Technics and Death in the Philosophy of Lewis Mumford.Gregory Morgan Swer - 2003 - History of the Human Sciences 16 (4):39-59.
    The purpose of this article is to explore the close link between technology and death in the philosophical writings of Lewis Mumford. Mumford famously argued that throughout the history of western civilization we find intertwined two competing forms of technics; the democratic biotechnic form and the authoritarian monotechnic form. The former technics were said to be strongly compatible with an organic form of life while the latter were said to be allied to a mechanical power complex. What is perhaps less (...)
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  10. Science Fiction: Science, Vaihinger and Spengler's Fictionalist Philosophy of Science.Gregory Morgan Swer - 2021 - In David Engels, Gerd Morgenthaler & Max Otte (eds.), Oswald Spengler in an Age of Globalisation. Berlin/Lüdinghausen: Manuscriptum. pp. 197-225.
    Oswald Spengler is best known as a philosopher of history. However, one can trace in volume one of his The Decline of the West a sustained consideration of philosophical issues pertaining to the nature and practice of science that I suggest can be considered to be a philosophy of science. Not only has Spengler’s philosophy of science been largely overlooked, so too has its peculiar fictionalist character. By elaborating on the fictionalist character of Spengler’s scientific views I shall consider his (...)
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  11. Timely Meditations?: Oswald Spengler’s Philosophy of History Reconsidered.Gregory Morgan Swer - 2018 - Prolegomena: Časopis Za Filozofiju 17 (2):137-154.
    This paper argues that the recent renewal of interest in the philosophy of Oswald Spengler, particularly concerning its warnings of the imminent demise of Western Civilisation, is misplaced. Arguments concerning the accuracy of his predictions or cultural analysis have overlooked the necessity of evaluating the coherence of the philosophical system that Spengler used to generate and justify his speculative declarations. Such an evaluation indicates a number of apparent contradictions at the heart of Spengler’s historical model. The attempt to resolve these (...)
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  12. Virtual Limitations of the Flesh: Merleau-Ponty and the Phenomenology of Technological Determinism.Gregory Morgan Swer & Jean Du Toit - 2021 - Phenomenology and Mind 20:20-31.
    The debate between instrumentalist and technological determinist positions on the nature of technology characterised the early history of the philosophy of technology. In recent years however technological determinism has ceased to be viewed as a credible philosophical position within the field. This paper uses Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology to reconsider the technological determinist outlook in phenomenological terms as an experiential response to the encounter with the phenomenon of modern technology. Recasting the instrumentalist-determinist debate in a phenomenological manner enables one to reconcile the (...)
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  13. Spengler Among the Philosophers.Gregory Morgan Swer - 2023 - Philosophical Journal of Conflict and Violence 7 (1):VI-X.
    The introduction to the second of a two-part special issue on Oswald Spengler. This section explores his philosophical reception by his Weimar contemporaries and presents new analyses of the philosophical features of his thought.
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  14. Arguments with Fictional Philosophers: Spengler's Kant and the conceptual foundations of Spengler's early philosophy of history.Gregory Morgan Swer - 2023 - History of the Human Sciences 36 (3/4):242–259.
    Most commentators on Spengler's philosophy tend to focus on the details of his cyclical theory of world-history, according to which history should be understood in terms of the rise and fall of great cultures. I argue that Spengler's philosophy of history is itself an expression of his primary concern with philosophical analysis of the structures of human consciousness, and that an awareness of Spengler's account of the existential structures of subjective consciousness enables one to grasp the reasoning behind some of (...)
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  15. Culture Industry 2.0: Africa, Global South, World.Ewa Maria Latecka, Jean Du Toit, Mark Amiradakis & Gregory Morgan Swer - 2023 - Acta Academica 55 (2):1-8.
    It has been the better part of a century since the appearance of Dialectic of Enlightenment, and the technologies of mass communication that Adorno and Horkheimer placed at the centre of their analysis of mass culture have altered beyond recognition, and with them the culture itself. And this in turn raises the question of the continuing relevance of the ‘culture industry’ concept. Does the contemporary culture industry still operate along the same lines that Adorno and Horkheimer charted or has it (...)
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  16. Towards a Phenomenology of Dark Tourist Experiences.Gregory Morgan Swer - 2023 - In Marie-Élise Zovko & John Dillon (eds.), Tourism and Culture in Philosophical Perspective. Springer Verlag. pp. 153-166.
    Dark Tourism represents the intersection of reflections on mortality with the commodification and consumption of death as a tourist experience. It is a complex and contested concept that has been approached from a variety of theoretical standpoints. In this paper, I suggest that a phenomenological analysis of the experiences of those who engage in dark tourism can provide a means of approaching the subject that can both accommodate the diversity of experiences sought by the dark tourist, and deepen our understanding (...)
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  17. On Laws of History, and Other Faustian Fictions: A Fictionalist Interpretation of Spengler's The Decline of the West.Gregory Morgan Swer - 2023 - Philosophical Journal of Conflict and Violence 7 (1):116-139.
    Most interpretations of Oswald Spengler’s _The Decline of the West_ offer a relativist or positivist reading of his philosophy of history, with the latter being the most common. This paper argues that any positivist account of Spengler’s philosophy of history is untenable, and that only a relativist interpretation is plausible. It differs from standard arguments for the relativist interpretation by arguing that Spengler’s philosophy be understood as a form of fictionalism. However, rather than dismissing the positivistic elements of his philosophy (...)
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  18. The Seeds of Violence: Ecofeminism, Technology, and Ecofeminist Philosophy of Technology.Gregory Morgan Swer - 2019 - In Janina Loh & Mark Coeckelbergh (ed.), Feminist Philosophy of Technology (Volume 2 - Techno:Phil - Aktuelle Herausforderungen der Technikphilosophie). pp. 247-264.
    Ecofeminist philosophy is a development of feminist philosophy that addresses the intersection of sexism and environmental issues. Coined by Francoise d’Eaubonne, the term “ecofeminism” refers to a diverse collection of feminist thought that shares the conviction that the present environmental crisis is due not solely to the anthropomorphic nature of dominant conceptualisations of human-nature relations, with their emphasis on notion of mastery and control, but also to their androcentric nature. Technology features frequently in ecofeminist writings, in analyses of technocracy (Birkeland (...)
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  19. The Decline of Western Science: Defending Spengler’s Account of the End of Science - Within Reason.Gregory Morgan Swer - 2019 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 50 (4):545-560.
    Haack classifies Spengler’s views on the end of science as what she terms annihilationist in that he forecasts the absolute termination of scientific activity as opposed to its completion or culmination. She also argues that in addition to his externalist argument that Western science, as cultural product, cannot survive the demise of Western Culture, Spengler also puts forward an internalist argument that science, regardless of the imminent demise of Western Culture, is in terminal decline as evidenced by its diminishing returns. (...)
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  20. How Technology drives the History of the Green Revolution.Gregory Morgan Swer - 2021 - Capitalism Nature Socialism 32 (4):73-90.
    This paper argues that histories of the Green Revolution are often underpinned by commitments to theoretical models of technology and science which shape the parameters of such narratives in politically normative ways. This paper explores the accounts of the Green Revolution in India given by Vandana Shiva and Govindan Parayil and demonstrates the ways in which these accounts are influenced by their models of technology and science. It is argued that Shiva and Parayil represent key theoretical positions in technological theory, (...)
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  21. From Virtual to Embodied Extremism: An Existential Phenomenological account of Extremist Echo Chambers through Ortega y Gasset and Merleau-Ponty.Gregory Morgan Swer & Jean du Toit - 2022 - Acta Academica 54 (3):208-228.
    This paper explores the existential motivation for the formation of extremist echo chambers through a phenomenological analysis. We advance two claims. Firstly, following Ortega y Gasset, that virtuality is a constant framework for experience. And secondly, following Merleau-Ponty, that there is persistent embodiment in online spaces. On this account virtuality is a permanent feature of embodiment, existing prior to technological intervention while at the same time being modifiable by technological artefacts. Understanding virtuality in this way allows us to analyse the (...)
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  22. Stumbling over The Decline of the West.Gregory Morgan Swer - 2022 - Philosophical Journal of Conflict and Violence 6 (2):II-IV.
    The introduction to the first of a two-part special issue on Oswald Spengler. This section explores his international influence both in his own time and in the present day.
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  23. Right now: Contemporary forms of far-right populism and fascism in the Global South.Ewa Latecka, Jean Du Toit & Gregory Morgan Swer - 2022 - Acta Academica 54 (3):1-11.
    Recent years have seen the global emergence of populist political formations, leading certain scholars to term our present age the “age of populism” and some politicians, such as Hungary’s current prime minister Viktor Orbán, to proclaim that “the era of liberal democracy is over”. Contemporary forms of populism are characterized by ‘us’ (often ‘the people’ in an ethnic or communal sense) versus ‘them’ (usually liberal elites, the establishment, minorities, or immigrants) forms of binary thinking. For some, the rise of contemporary (...)
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  24. Pandemic Politics - An Introduction.Ewa Latecka, Jean Du Toit & Gregory Morgan Swer - 2021 - Acta Academica 53 (2):1-11.
    The outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020 and the various measures taken subsequently, either by individual countries or by government and nongovernment bodies with a global reach, have had a profound effect on human lives on a number of levels, be it social, economic, legal, or political. The scramble to respond to the threat posed by the rapid spread of the virus has, in many cases, led to a suspension of ordinary politics whilst at the same time throwing into sharp (...)
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  25. Gender, Nature and the Oblivion of Being: the outlines of a Heideggerian-ecofeminist philosophy.Gregory Morgan Swer - 2008 - The Trumpeter Journal of Ecosophy 24 (3):102-135.
    This paper outlines the fundamental aspects of a Heideggerian-ecofeminist philosophy. It aims to be suggestive rather than definitive regarding the form and function of such a philosophy and will, consequently, be somewhat partial and incomplete. It is intended to highlight the enormous potential of such a hybrid philosophy. To this end it will provide a brief account of the philosophy of the later Heidegger, with particular emphasis on his analysis of technology and his account of the Greek concept of truth (...)
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  26.  64
    Contested identities - Critical Conceptualisations of the Human.Ewa Maria Latecka, Jean Du Toit & Gregory Morgan Swer - 2020 - Acta Academica 52 (2):1-13.
    This special issue of Acta Academica contains a collection of papers on the topic of Contested Identities, presented during the 3rd Annual Conference of the South African Society for Critical Theory, held at the University of KwaZulu/Natal, South Africa.
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