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2014-11-07
THINKING GENDER 2015, UCLA Center for the Study of Women
Call for presentations: Power, Contested Knowledge, and Feminist Practices

How have feminist approaches altered the existing understanding of scientific knowledge and practices? Celebrating the 25th Annual Graduate Student Research Conference at the UCLA Center for the Study of Women, Thinking Gender 2015 invites submissions for individual papers, pre-constituted panels, and posters on topics that focus on the participation and/or contribution of marginalized individuals or groups who have been historically excluded from knowledge production. We welcome papers and posters—across all disciplines and historical periods—that engage with the concept of the body as a contested site intersecting with gender, race, sexuality, and identity and how it is related to certain agencies in particular contexts. We invite scholarship engaging the following topics or others related to the conference theme of "Power, Contested Knowledge, and Fe ... (read more)

2014-10-22
Dear all, can anyone suggest me source material on anti-essentialism discussed from a socialist feminist perspective. I am trying to develop a framework incorporating anti-essentialist, socialist feminist approaches.  

2014-10-19
I want to draw a distinction between a "nation" (or other group) in terms of the individuals that make it up  and that "nation" (or other group) as a unified body. The former is entirely made up of reductive qualities; it has properties just in case the individuals have the property.  So the British nation loves tea, the Korean nation loves Kimchee and the German nation loves sausages etc.  The "unified body" has emergent qualities; sovereignty, a foreign policy, institutions, a seat at the United Nations etc.
It seems to me that the first "nation" can have some properties, in virtue of it's members having those properties that conflict with similar emergent properties of the second "nation".  For example Germany's actions in World War 1 were, at least thought to be, in the interest of Germany.  But that would appear to be "Germany" in the second sense of "nation". It doesn't seem to have advanced or even be aimed at advancing the individuals that made up the nation. 

That's two paragraphs ... (read more)
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2014-08-18

So I'm currently writing my thesis, which Andy Clark is supervising, and all seems to be going well, but I was just wondering if people had any critical thoughts on the topic. My current abstract is below:


In The Extended Mind (1998, p18), Clark and Chalmers wrote that ‘‘As with any reconception of ourselves, [the extended mind] will have significant consequences. There are obvious consequences for philosophical views of the mind and for the methodology of research in cognitive science, but there will also be effects in the moral and social domains. It may be, for example, that interfering with someone’s environment will have the same moral significance as interfering with their person.’ (my italics). Little has been done to explore the consequences in these so-called moral and social domains. Problematically, the Extended Mind literature tends to focus on the role of the immediate environment on cognition, typically demonstrating the crucial role ... (read more)

Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/8658 Reply

2014-06-26
Any disagreement, agreement, argument or any evaluation would do. Need a help from you all to write a critical review for this article.

2014-05-30

It has recently occurred to me that the advocate of the Kantian Wille may, in significant measure, be victim of a kind of phenomenological illusion.  

We imagine the Kantian going serially down her list of desires -- "passive" matters of fact about what her experiences and behavior reveal to be her preferences -- and saying of each, "I could forebear that, if necessary.  So none of them, not one, is really me.  Me, my autonomous Wille, is distinct from every one of those desires."  A similar mistake led Newton to the postulation of Absolute Space; viz., relative effects are hypostatized into an independent existence.  What enables one to deny identity with any particular desire X is one's background awareness of all the other desires that are not X, whose cumulative preponderance overwhelms any particular desire.

Of course, the "background" cumulative awareness of all of one's desires is indeed separate from any particular desire, so in that sense there is indeed a Wille.  But it is not ... (read more)
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2014-05-18
(1) That sentient life will one day come to an end is no solace for those sentients existing and suffering today.

(2) Whether it is better to have been or not to have been is a Cartesian koan I can ponder concrerning myself, but not one I have a right to decide concerning another sentient that is or has been; all the less right have I to create or support the creation of another sentient, out of nothing.

(3) Pain and pleasure are incommensurable; only pain is pertinent to moral musings like these: No number of orgasms (for me) compensates for one fallen sparrow; and, again, the sparrow’s pains or solaces are not for me to weigh -- for the sparrow.

(4) Christianity is particularly self-righteous and presumptuous on such questions, always ready to sanction temporal risk and suffering for the bodies of others for the salvation of their immaterial, immortal souls, sub specie aeternitatis.


Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/8166 Reply

2014-03-20
Abstract:

This article points out: “The combination of men and women in families is irrational.” Men and women are two different “species.” They only require sexual activities from each other, which are considered the less time-consuming activities during their lives. Sex must be treated as an enemy of marriage, due to its inferior and treacherous nature, and should not be included in marriage. Men and women should not live together in a family, since this institution must be understood as a permanent place for all family members and is expected to have a solid structure. The traditional family model is the result of men‟s enslavement of women and the exaggeration of the role of sex. This model creates an overwhelming advantage for men in selecting partners, proposing marriage, and other family activities. This article indicates: (i) The prominent family models existing between the group-marriage period and now are sex-based family models. (ii) Technical and social conditions nowadays r ... (read more)

2014-02-10
    The general (perhaps only the Western) view is that there is little to no contribution to ancient political thought from Asia. In recent scholarships, Indian and Chinese scholars have argued that Kautilya's Arthashastra (some include Manu’s Laws) and Confucius' Analects have much to contribute to ancient political thought and even contemporary relevance, and have reconstructed them so.

    Besides Confucianism and Hinduism, does Buddhism or the Buddha have anything to say about socio-political organization? Some have asserted that the Buddha was a political realist, i.e. even though he favored some kind of a tribal democratic republic (as shown in how the sangha is structured), a colossal socio-political transformation was taking place in Northern India during his time, where powerful monarchical systems were emerging, and the Buddha made his attempts to influence its development in a certain direction (The Pali Canon, Digha Nikaya presents some evidences to this).

     ... (read more)

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2013-12-21
Essentially, we'll never truly be able to distinguish between "right" and "wrong" actions. At any given time in history, however, philosophers, theologians, and politicians will claim to have discovered the best way to evaluate human actions and establish the most righteous code of conduct. But it's never that easy. Life is far too messy and complicated for there to be anything like a universal morality or an absolutist ethics. The Golden Rule is great (the idea that you should treat others as you would like them to treat you),
For example, should the few be spared to save the many? Who has more moral worth: a human baby or a full-grown great ape? 

At best, we can only say that morality is normative, while acknowledging that our sense of right and wrong will change over time.

Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/7960 Reply

2013-09-20
Hey Philosophers!

I was wounding, what are the major distinctions between disputes about the concepts used in ethics to disputes about concepts in the sciences (i.e. the definition of a 'species')?

Also what do you make of LukeProg's solution to conceptual disputes as presented n this post at lesswrong (http://lesswrong.com/lw/5u2/pluralistic_moral_reductionism/) I don't know if such an approach could work in the sciences although it might work in ethics.

Looking forward to your responses :)
Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/7916 Reply

2013-09-12
Hi Jack,

Nice paper!. However, if I may, I wasn't convinced by your response to objection five. The objection, I take it, is that the intuitions you are marshaling about incoherence derive from a non-moral standpoint, that is, they are intuitions that arise when one is doing metaethics and not when one is actually moralizing.  And it seems undeniable that Moore paradoxical sentences are straightforwardly bizarre when uttered by persons in the context of actual moralizing (just imagine actually having the relevant conversation). At the outset of your paper, you correctly note that expressivism is a theory about actual moralizing, so it seems like this is one objection to which you should be very sensitive.  You respond:

This is not really a rejection of C3, but a rejection of C1, since it admits that it is not always the case that affective or conative attitudes are expressed by moral assertions. If non-cognitive mental states are only sometimes expressed by moral assertions, then the clai ... (read more)

Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/7909 Reply

2013-06-11
Hi Matt,

This is a very interesting paper.  I am in agreement with the basic premise, namely, that we should be suspicious of moral intuitions which are highly contingent or "flippable".  However, I have one or two questions about the argument.

In one section, you're dealing with the problem of "typing" mechanisms.  The point, as I understand it, is to show that your argument defeats demandingness intuitions but does not defeat other moral intuitions (such as those concerning the wrongness of slavery).  You say:

Given these considerations, how generally should we type the testimonial process behind my moral belief that slavery is wrong? The reliability of (say) my mother’s anti-racist moral testimony in the actual world should not necessarily be impugned by the unreliability of her moral testimony were she a racist bigot, for her epistemic situation (i.e., her foundational moral beliefs) in the latter case would be radically mistaken. The two types of testimonial processes, then, are plausibl ... (read more)

Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/7812 Reply

2013-06-11
Hi Professor Demetriou,

I've just read the draft of your paper, and I really enjoyed it, especially the bits where you complicate the somewhat simplistic just-so cultural-evolutionary story provided by Ross and Nisbett.  One rarely sees such deep engagement with actual anthropological data in moral-philosophical papers about disagreement, and I think your reflections here are a valuable contribution to this literature.

However, I have a question about the "pluralism" that is on offer, which is "a view urging the moral correctness of  multiple and mutually irreducible comprehensive ethical  outlooks , each suited to  its own dimension  of social life ."  A familiar worry emerges here, which is that you are covertly drawing on a kind of monism which serves to make each of the competing moral systems appear attractive.  The trouble begins with the word "suited": what does it mean to say that a moral outlook is "suited" t ... (read more)
Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/7811 Reply

2013-06-11
This was a solid paper guys I really must commend you for the excellent work. With that said, I do agree with you about Raz's arguments. They seemed to possess little to no substance whatsoever and his argument of self-interest towards the end seemed to be more of a forfeiture of his premise than anything else. I will at least credit him for attempting to untangle the knots in this complex field we call moral philosophy but I had some major objections while reading. Please do correct me if I speak ignorantly or from a misinformed position.

1. Raz says to be moral is to see value in others and one's self. This value is derived from the virtue of being a person. Are we to take it that the recognition of this value disregards how we cultivate that value through action which subsequently has consequences? If I see value in someone, but still decide to take away their life because I perceive myself to be more valuable, am I moral or not.

2. A refutation of point 1 would be that to see value ... (read more)
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2013-01-11
In the article "Towards Perpetual Peace" Kant articulates several articles that would lead us to a state of peace. The third of the definitive articles is the article: Cosmopolitan Right shall be limited to Conditions of Universal Hospitality.

Kant states that "hospitality means the right of a stranger not to be treated with hostility when he arrives on someone else's territory"(PP).However, at the beginning of the part on the Three Definitive Principles of a Perpetual Peace, Kant argues that any one who is not under a civil constitution can be treated as a stranger, because his/her unlawful status is a "permanent threat" to me (PP). These two claims seem to contradict each other.

According to me there are two possibilities:

1) The right of a stranger only applies to strangers who are under a civil constitution, i.e. citizens of a state. This, however, already qualifies the stranger, and the stranger ceases to be a total stranger. In the treatment of the third article, Kant however does q ... (read more)

Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/7482 Reply

2013-01-11
For past some decades,  ’inquiries under rubric of informal justice’ have taken significant amount of space and time.  People have been talking much on it, and professors and professionals of law are engaged in discourse, planning activities and educating people. Many things have been told about it. There are enthusiasm and scepticism both looming large. Some people present it as an alternative to formal system and others as complimenting. However, the philosophical digging of the idea seems less and the ‘risk or danger of informal justice system’ being used not for sake of justice of needy but for subjective satisfaction of academics and vested interest of those seeing popularize themselves  is evident. Let us look it from the perspective of ‘anthropology of law’—a system of justice is a means of satisfying ‘psychological satisfaction’ of individual. According to this theory, the tendency of using ‘right’  as claim in absolute term would be soften by ‘having no cha ... (read more)

2012-11-20
For those that are interested, I've written up a response at philosophyetc.net that defends consequentialism from some of the interesting objections that Stratton-Lake raises in this paper.

2012-11-12
I am delighted that someone of Kitcher's ability has tackled the meta-ethical implications of understanding morality as an evolutionary adaptation. Further, Christine Clavien has advanced that good cause by providing an inspiringly insightful and clear review of important implications of his work. 

However, the science of the matter actually supports a much stronger hypothesis than Kitcher's "morality evolved to overcome altruism failures".That stronger hypothesis may have different meta-ethical implications.

Relevant criteria for scientific truth regarding morality as an evolutionary adaptation Include explanatory power for descriptive facts and puzzles, no contradiction with known facts, simplicity, and integration with the rest of science. By these criteria, a superior hypothesis can be stated as "morality overcomes a universal cooperation-exploitation dilemma by motivating or advocating altruistic cooperation strategies". That is, morality is composed of assemblies of biolog ... (read more)

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