Research Ethics Committees (RECs) are frequently a focus of complaints from researchers, but evidence about the operation and decisions of RECs tends to be anecdotal. We conducted a systematic study to identify and compare the ethical issues raised in 54 letters to researchers about the same 18 applications submitted to three RECs over one year. The most common type of ethical trouble identified in REC letters related to informed consent, followed by scientific design and conduct, care and protection of research (...) participants, confidentiality, recruitment and documentation. Community considerations were least frequently raised. There was evidence of variability in the ethical troubles identified and the remedies recommended. This analysis suggests that some principles may be more institutionalized than others, and offers some evidence of inconsistency between RECs. Inconsistency is often treated as evidence of incompetence and caprice, but a more sophisticated understanding of the role of RECs and their functioning is required. (shrink)
The recent interest in wisdom in professional health care practice is explored in this article. Key features of wisdom are identified via consideration of certain classical, ancient and modern sources. Common themes are discussed in terms of their contribution to ‘clinical wisdom’ itself and this is reviewed against the nature of contemporary nursing education. The distinctive features of wisdom (recognition of contextual factors, the place of the person and timeliness) may enable their significance for practice to be promoted in more (...) coherent ways in nursing education. Wisdom as practical knowledge (phronesis) is offered as a complementary perspective within the educational preparation and practice of students of nursing. Certain limitations within contemporary UK nursing education are identified that may inhibit development of clinical wisdom. These are: the modularization of programmes in higher education institutions, the division of pastoral and academic support and the relationship between theory and practice. (shrink)
Truth, Trust and Medicine investigates the notion of trust and honesty in medicine, and questions whether honesty and openness are of equal importance in maintaining the trust necessary in doctor-patient relationships. Jackson begins with the premise that those in the medical profession have a basic duty to be worthy of the trust their patients place in them. Yet questions of the ethics of withholding information and consent and covert surveillance in care units persist. This book boldly addresses these questions (...) which disturb our very modern notions of a patient's autonomy, self-determination and informed consent. (shrink)
Easwaran has given a definition of transferability and argued that, under this definition, randomized arguments are not transferable. I show that certain aspects of his definition are not suitable for addressing the underlying question of whether or not there is an epistemic distinction between randomized and deductive arguments. Furthermore, I demonstrate that for any suitable definition, randomized arguments are in fact transferable.
We consider evidence for ritualized behavior in the sporting domain, noting that such behavior appears commonplace both before a competitive encounter and as part of pre-performance routines. The specific times when ritualized behaviors are displayed support the supposition that they provide temporary relief from pre-competition anxiety and act as thought suppressors in the moments preceding skill execution. (Published Online February 8 2007).
The reputations of scientists among their contemporaries depend not only on accomplishment, but also on interactions affected by influence and personality. The historical lore of most fields of scientific endeavor preserve these reputations, often through the identification of founders, innovators, and prolific workers whose contributions are considered fundamental to progress in the field. Historians frequently rely on the historical lore of scientists to guide their studies of the development of ideas, exhibiting justifiable caution in reassessing reputations in the light of (...) current knowledge. However, the transmission of historical lore can obscure the relative importance of accomplishment, influence and personality in shaping contemporary reputations, leaving the historian to either accept reputations at face value or attempt to reconstruct the context in which they were created. The science of taxonomy, because of its rules of priority, leaves a relatively accurate record of historical accomplishment through the persistence of taxa in catalogues and faunal guides. These records allow the modern historian an unbiased means to assess the relative accomplishments of historical figures and therefore a means to critically reassess reputations independent of personality and influence. In the historical lore of North American ichthyology, Louis Agassiz at Harvard and Spencer Baird at the Smithsonian emerge as central figures in the early development of the field during the mid-1800s, contributing not only through the quality and quantity of their science, but also through their roles as institutional leaders and mentors to workers who followed. Charles Girard, originally a student of Agassiz's and later a coworker with Baird, receives little notice in the history of ichthyology, and his reputation is that of a minor player in the initial description of the North American fish fauna, and one whose work appears to have been flawed or even careless when compared to his contemporaries. However, a review of both contemporary and modern taxonomic works reveals that Girard's productivity far exceeded that of either Agassiz or Baird. Furthermore, an examination of the tendency of Girard and his contemporaries to introduce synonymous names into the literature, which might reflect careless or uncritical work, suggests that Girard was among the more accomplished workers of his era, including Agassiz and Baird. Girard's low ranking in the folklore of North American ichthyology, therefore, can not be attributed to discernible shortcomings in his scientific work, but rather to a public and private campaign of criticism waged by Agassiz after Girard's departure from Harvard. While Agassiz's dispute with Girard stemmed from their personal interactions, he expressed them as criticisms of Girard's work, and thus helped shape Girard's scientific reputation as it has been transmitted through the lore of ichthyology. This case study reveals how scientific reputation may not always rest on accomplishment, but can be influenced by personal interactions obscured by time but nonetheless important to history. (shrink)
In 1911, Drs John Freeman and Leonard Noon published an account of a novel treatment for hay fever. Their method of desensitisation consisted of injecting increasing doses of an extract of pollen subcutaneously until the hypersensitivity reaction was diminished or abolished. Over subsequent decades, desensitisation established itself as the cornerstone of clinical allergy in both England and the United States, at least until the advent of novel pharmaceutical agents in the 1950s and 1960s. Although British allergists such as Noon and (...) Freeman were aware of conceptual developments within European immunology and pathology (such as the identification of anaphylaxis by Richet and Portier or von Pirquet's coining of the term allergy), their approach to hay fever was driven by more immediate pragmatic, and indeed financial, considerations. Freeman's immersion in the problems of hay fever and asthma and his pioneering use of allergen desensitisation or immunotherapy were shaped by his adherence to the convictions and bacteriological practices of his principal at St Mary's Hospital, Almroth Wright, and by the drive to produce commercial vaccines which would help to subsidise the experimental and therapeutic work at St Mary's. The aim of this paper is to explore early twentieth-century approaches to hay fever and other allergic diseases by tracing the intellectual and institutional origins of clinical allergy in Britain. (shrink)
One strategy for blocking Chalmers's overall case against physicalism has been to deny his claim that showing that phenomenal properties are in some sense physical requires an a priori entailment of the phenomenal truths from the physical ones. Here I avoid this well-trodden ground and argue instead that an a priori entailment of the phenomenal truths from the physical ones does not require an analysis in the Jackson/Chalmers sense. This is to sever the dualist's link between conceptual analysis and (...) a priori entailment by showing that the lack of the former does not imply the absence of the latter. Moreover, given the role of the argument from conceptual analysis in Chalmers's overall case for dualism, undermining that argument effectively undermines that case as a whole in a way that, I'll argue, undermining the conceivability arguments as stand-alone arguments does not. (shrink)
In [Laurence, Margolis 2003] the authors try - within their polemics against F.Jackson’s views in [Jackson 1998] - to decide the question whether concepts are a priori (in their formulation “to be defined a priori”). Their discussion suffers - as a number of similar articles - from a typical drawback: some problem whose solution requires an exact notion of concept is handled as if the latter were quite clear. The consequence of this ‘conceptual laxity’ is that a) the (...) topic of the discussion is not very clear (what does the phrase ‘concepts must be defined a priori’ mean?); b) the relevance of the Quinean criticism of the “second dogma of empiricism”, i.e., of Quine’s claim that “science sometimes overturns our most cherished beliefs” and therefore there is no sharp boundary between analytic and synthetic is uncritically accepted; c) no distinction is made between the question whether the relation between an expression and its meaning is a priori and the question whether the relation between a concept and the object identified by the concept is a priori. The present article intends to elucidate and then to answer the questions that can be asked when we say something like “concepts are a priori ”. (shrink)
I defend the claim that physicalism is not committed to the view that non-phenomenal macrophysical truths are a priori entailed by the conjunction of microphysical truths (P), basic indexical facts (I), and a 'that's all' claim (T). I do so by showing that Chalmers and Jackson's most popular and influential argument in support of the claim that PIT ⊃ M is a priori, where 'M' stands for any ordinary, non-phenomenal, macroscopic truth, falls short of establishing its conclusion. My objection (...) to Chalmers and Jackson's argument takes the form of a nested dilemma. Let 'Conceptual Competence Principle (CCP)' stand for the following claim: for any complete microphysical description D of a world w, a subject who is in possession of and competent with a macrophysical concept C is capable of determining a priori the extension of C. Either Jackson and Chalmers accept CCP or not. If the latter, then they cannot demonstrate that the conditional PIT ⊃ M is a priori. If the former, then they have a choice: they can either cite reasons that support the principle or argue that the principle should be taken for granted since it is entailed by the very notion of conceptual competence. But both alternatives are problematic. In regard to the first horn of this latter dilemma, I show not only that there are no good reasons to support the principle, but that there are also reasons to reject it. In regard to the second horn, I show that it cannot be the case that CCP is part of the very notion of conceptual competence. The conceptual capacity expressed by CCP requires that certain bridge principles or conditionals, which link the microphysical level to the macroscopic level, are either implicitly or explicitly given to the subject. But, as I argue, Chalmers and Jackson have no way of accounting for these bridge principles or conditionals in a manner that does not trivialize their position. (shrink)
Introduction, by R. A. Markus.--St. Augustine and Christian Platonism, by A. H. Armstrong.--Action and contemplation, by F. R. J. O'Connell.--St. Augustine on signs, by R. A. Markus.--The theory of signs in St. Augustine's De doctrina Christiana, by B. D. Jackson.--Si fallor, sum, by G. B. Matthews.--Augustine on speaking from memory, by G. B. Matthews.--The inner man, by G. B. Matthews.--On Augustine's concept of a person, by A. C. Lloyd.--Augustine on foreknowledge and free will, by W. L. Rowe.--Augustine on free (...) will and predestination, by J. M. Rist.--Time and contingency in St. Augustine, by R. Jordan.--Empiricism and Augustine's problems about time, by H. M. Lacey.--Political society, by P. R. L. Brown.--The development of Augustine's ideas on society before the Donatist controversy, by F. E. Cranz.--De Civitate Dei, XV, 2, and Augustine's idea of the Christian society, by F. E. Cranz.--Chronological table.--Note on further reading (p. -423). (shrink)
Philosophy is an exciting and accessible subject, and this engaging text acquaints students with the core problems of philosophy and the many ways in which they are and have been answered. Introducing Philosophy: A Text with Integrated Readings, Eighth Edition, insists both that philosophy is very much alive today and that it is deeply rooted in the past. Accordingly, it combines substantial original sources from significant works in the history of philosophy and current philosophy with detailed commentary and explanation that (...) help to clarify the readings. The selections range from the oldest known fragments to cutting-edge essays in feminism, multiculturalism, and cognitive science. At the end of each chapter is a summary, a list of review questions, a glossary, and a bibliography with suggestions for further reading. Important philosophical terms are carefully introduced in the text and also summarized at the end of each chapter, and brief biographies of the philosophers are provided at the end of the book. New to the Eighth Edition: Addressing the needs of a new generation of students, Robert C. Solomon has included for the first time more than 300 study and review questions. Appearing throughout the text and at the end of each chapter, these questions require immediate feedback from students. They encourage students to articulate the central ideas of what they have just read, instead of just "passing through" on the way to the next reading . New selections expand and update the chapters on religion, knowledge, mind and body, freedom, ethics, justice, and beauty. The selections include work by Charles Hartshorne, Cory Juhl, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre, Sextus Empiricus, Edmund L. Gettier, David Braddon-Mitchell and Frank Jackson, Colin McGinn, Daniel Dennett, Harry Frankfurt, Gilbert Harman, Emma Goldman, and Arthur C. Danto. A companion website at www.oup.com/us/solomon8e features 300 study and review questions (100 multiple-choice, 100 true-or-false, and 100 fill-in-the-blank), discussion questions, chapter overviews and summaries, topical links, suggestions for further reading, and PowerPoint lecture aids. (shrink)
Critical Heuristics of Social Planning has been recognised as the seminal work on critical systems thinking. Ulrich offers a new approach both to practical philosophy (which has until now remained rather unpractical) and to systems thinking (which has reduced the systems idea to a tool of merely instrumental, rather than practical, reason). Critical systems heuristics (CSH), as the approach is now generally called, provides planners, practitioners and policy makers with a conceptual tool for practising practical reason. It will enable them (...) to identify and discuss systematically the value implications of policies, plans, problem definitions, or program evaluations. In addition, the book offers the most thorough-going introduction available today to the espistemological foundations of critical systems thinking, including a practicable model of cogent argumentation on disputed value implications of designs. A must for practitioners and scholars who are interested in a self-critical and practicable understanding of the widespread call for holistic or systems thinking! "Critical Heuristics will be recognised as a very important book in the emerging systems discipline and will hold a significant position for many years to come". Peter B. Checkland, University of Lancaster, England. "An outstanding contribution to an adequate philosophical and heuristic framework for critical social inquiry and design". C. West Churchman, University of California, Berkeley, USA. "The book fills a major gap in the literature on the systems tradition". Michael C. Jackson, University of Hull, England. "Drawing on a profound knowledge of both Anglo-American systems theory and German practical philosophy, this book belongs to the best studies I have seen on the normative foundations of planning and systems design." Horst Steinmann, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. "Mandatory for libraries in the field of planning". John Friedmann, University of California, Los Angeles, USA. (shrink)
continent. 1.3 (2011): 158-170. The Fragment as a Unit of Prose Composition: An Introduction —Ben Segal The fragment, the note, the idea, the aphorism even: there are many names and as many uses for such small shards of free-floating text. Typically fragments are less works than gestures, arrows pointing in the direction a person might research, meditate on or develop. Unlike paragraphs or sentences, they do not flow directly from and into their bordering text. Instead they are independent, defined by (...) their singularity, by the white space that encases them on a page – even when they are cobbled together and marshaled into service as the contents of a book. Still, though not exceedingly common, books of fragments (or notes or what-have-yous) do exist. However they are labeled, the very aloofness of disconnected micro-texts allows them certain privileges and possibilities that a writer can employ and exploit. In such instances, the book of fragments may, almost paradoxically, gain a coherence as a singular work, all the more satisfying for its fractures. Two such books are Maggie Nelson's Bluets and Evan Lavender-Smith's From Old Notebooks . In this mini-feature, continent. is pleased to present a series of excerpts from each of these books, a selection of 'outtakes' – fragments that did not make it into the final manuscripts – from each, and short interviews with both Nelson and Lavender-Smith about the fragment as a literary device. Notes on the interviews: 1) Since this feature includes excerpts and outtakes from both Bluets and From Old Notebooks , I chose to ask both Nelson and Lavender-Smith similar questions about working with the fragment as the building-block of a larger work. This means that the questions are, for the most part, more concerned with things like form than about specific passages from the books. 2) In both interviews, I ask a question that cites The Literary Absolute . It should be noted that TLA is concerned with the fragment as developed and understood in the context of the Jena Romantics (the Schlegel brothers, Novalis, etc.), not necessarily the fragment in general. Maggie Nelson Interview: 1. "Bluet" conjures a constellation of similar words. These include Blue, Bullet, and the flower to which the word actually refers. I'm wondering if this range is intentional and if there's anything I'm leaving out. Or, more simply, can you talk a little about the title? I first got interested in the word BLUETS via the painter Joan Mitchell, about whom I’d written earlier in my book on women and the New York School. LES BLUETS is the name of one of my very favorites of all her paintings; she painted it the year I was born. Later the poet Jimmy Schuyler wrote a lovely prose poem about this painting, which I also adored, and which I’ve also written about. So the word had been in my mind for some time, as had her amazing painting (which is in several panels, so also in parts—i.e. in dialogue with questions of parts/wholes). While it was in progress, I always called BLUETS “The Blue Book.” But I knew I always wanted an eventual title that referred, however obliquely, to the book’s form. In this case, the form is notably PLURAL, as is BLUETS, which seemed right. Also, I have always pronounced BLUETS “bluettes,” which is kind of a personal joke about feminization. Like, “majorettes,” etc. It’s a joke because I think the book has a lot to do with the robustness of being a female human, so I found irony in the diminutive nature of the suffix. I also liked the fact that the word means a kind of flower, as it allowed each proposition, or whatever you might call each numbered section, to be thought of as a single flower in a bouquet. This sounds cheesy here, but I think I talk about this idea in a less cheesy way in the book itself, near the end, when I’m ruminating on its composition, and its surprising (to me) slimness, or “anemia.” 2. I know you've thought (and taught) about the fragment as a mode of writing. I'm wondering how your study of the form influences the way you use it. While writing a book, I’m influenced by things the same way I would imagine most writers are: I look for what I want to steal, then I steal it, and make my own weird stew of the goods. Often while writing I’d re-read the books by Barthes written in fragments— A Lover’s Discourse , Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes —and see what he gained from an alphabetical, somewhat random organization, and what he couldn’t do that way. I mostly read Wittgenstein, and watched how he used numbered sections to think sequentially, and to jump, in turn. I read Shonagon’s The Pillow Book , and tried to keep a pillow book about blue for some time. (It didn’t last long, as an exercise, but some of the entries made it into BLUETS.) I re-read Haneke’s Sorrow Beyond Dreams , which finally dissolves into fragments, after a fairly strong chronological narrative has taken him so far. In the course I taught on the fragment, which was somewhat after the fact of writing BLUETS, but conceived in relation to it, we studied a kind of taxonomy of fragments: the decayed fragment (Sappho); the contemporary fragment (text messages, twitter, blog posts, etc.); the modernist fragment (T.S. Eliot; fragment as mark of psychological disintegration); Freud’s fragment (dreams, slips, etc. as thruways to the unconscious; the sampled or plagiarized fragment; fragment as waste, excess, or garbage; the footnote; fragment as frame (Degas, Manet); life narrative as fragment: we can’t see the whole until we’re dead, and then we can’t see it (pathos); fragment as psychological terror (castration, King’s head); fragment as fetish, or as “organ-logic,” as pornography; fragment as metonym & synecdoche; fragment as that which is preserved, or that which remains; fragment as the unfinished or the abandoned; and so on and so forth. I think, in the back of my mind, I was aware of all these categories while writing BLUETS, and put them each into play as needed while writing. The book seems to me hyper-aware of the fragment as fetish, as catastrophe, as leftover, as sample or citation, as memory, and so on. Many of the anecdotes in the book (such as about the decay of blue objects I’ve collected, or my memory of a particularly acute shade of blue, or the recountings of dreams) perform these concepts quite directly. 3. In The Literary Absolute , Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe and Jean-Luc Nancy write that "each fragment stands for itself and for that from which it has been detached."(44) They go on to explain that the fragment is both "sub-work" (in the obvious sense of being only a small piece of the Work), but also "super-work", as it stands, complete in itself, outside the work and calls up the plural potentiality of the work. What do you make of this idea and how do you understand the relation of the fragment to the Work as a whole? I like the idea of the “super-work,” the fragment that indicates the whole it has been excised from. However, on a concrete level, I don’t think that’s really true of BLUETS. Some of the propositions are very much in dialogue with the ones that have come before it, acting as rebuffs, or conclusions, or swerves. To detect their motion, one has to already be in the car. Often they are as short as: “ Disavowal , says the silence,” or “As if we could scrape the color off the iris and still see,” or “In any case, I am no longer counting the days.” These don’t make much sense outside of their context. Although, now that I’ve isolated just these few, I can see that they might gesture to the whole—but I think you’d have to know what the whole was, for the exercise to feel full. I am interested, however, in the notion of collecting, of a collection—and how to know when to stop, when you’ve amassed enough. While writing BLUETS, I thought of Joseph Cornell as the ultimate teacher in this respect: he collected enormous amounts of junk, he “hunted” for treasures all over the city, but each box or collage or even film has a certain minimalism, each feels as if it’s been distilled to become exactly as specific as it should be. In other words, the composition emanates from the piles of junk left in its wake, but it in itself becomes perfect. It may be unfashionable, but I’m interested in this sense of perfection. 3b. Fragments collected together become a whole that gestures to dozens of other, potential wholes. How, if at all, do you think about your book in relation to the preservation of potentiality? I have to admit, I don’t entirely understand this question. Preservation of potentiality—that’s what I don’t quite understand. I will say this, though: writing a book, especially a book of this kind (i.e. I’d wanted to write a book on the color blue for my whole life), has a certain pain in it—the pain of manifestation. Every word that gets set down, every decision made—form, content, sentence structure, image—begins to define a work that previously was a kind of infinitely indeterminate mental cloud, or beautifully diffuse physical sensation. As the book comes into being, I’m often thinking, “this is it? this is all it’s going to be?” For me, I think it’s this feeling, rather than that of not having anything to say, or a terror of the blank page, that can bring a sort of writer’s block. Think of Lily Briscoe at the end of Woolf’s To the Lighthouse —after her long reverie, she eventually must make the mark on the canvas. She brings the brush down, then sighs: “There, I have had my vision.” To have made the mark, to have manifested the vision, brings with it a certain satisfaction, a certain euphoria and relief—but also a brand of pathos. Of all the possible books, you wrote this book. Of all the possible brush strokes, you made this one. How very strange! The good news is, you’re usually so tired when you finish a book that you don’t care anymore—you’re just happy it’s finished, and that you can move on. And if you’re lucky, you may eventually marvel at the specificity of the result, feel the magic and largesse in its specificity, in its singularity. I feel this way about BLUETS. 4. Can you talk a little about the way traditional prose standbys like character and narrative develop out of distinct and disconnected fragments? I feel like this definitely happens in Bluets as well as other texts that use a similar approach. BLUETS always had a specific set of dramatic personae, and also a sort of narrative arc. It begins by saying, “Suppose I were to begin,” which places the whole book, at least for me, in the realm of the novelistic, or at least the speculative. That freedom was important to me while writing. I have a lot of issues, for lack of a better word, with narrative, but I also have no problem with trying to structure a work so that it acts as a page-turner. I wanted there to be a lot of momentum in this book, as well as plenty of opportunities for eddying out into cul-de-sacs. That was the tension—how to make some chains of propositions that pull you forward, and then allow for some to bring you so far afield that you might find yourself wondering, “why are we talking about this here?” before remembering how you got there, and why it might matter. While some of the fragments may seem disconnected or distinct, the truth is that they each had to fall into one the book’s major categories, which included love, language, sex, divinity, alcohol, pain, death, and problems of veracity/perception. If I truly couldn’t tether an anecdote or factoid to the thread, it eventually had to go. I also spaced out the distinct threads fairly methodically, and had the characters reappear at a fairly regular rate. There’s even a kind of “where are they now?” section at the end, announced by my injured friend’s letter to her friends, in which she tells them how her spinal cord injury has affected her life, and how she feels today. I’m sure one could write a book of very disconnected fragments that didn’t so overtly weave into a whole—I’ve read many of them—but it’s also true that the mind will always work overtime to put disparate things together; the Surrealists mined that tendency for all it was worth. I think that’s a cool approach, to let the reader make the connections, but it’s important to me as a writer to make sure that the connections, when made, actually point toward what I want to be pointing at, rather than just reflecting the human brain’s capacity to make a bridge. 5. To what extent does how you label your texts matter? What is the difference between notes, fragments, bluets, and aphorisms? Basically, is taxonomy important? Taxonomy, hmm. At some point I was very compelled by issues of taxonomy, but over the years I’ve grown less interested in the question, as the notion of the “hybrid” or the “cross-genre” seems to have become its own kind of jargon or pitch. I got very excited some time ago when I was trying to subtitle my book JANE, and I came across Brian Evenson’s book DARK PROPERTY: AN AFFLICTION. I thought—of course! A book can be a CONDITION rather than a GENRE. So I subtitled JANE “A Murder,” with this concept in mind. My most recent book, THE ART OF CRUELTY, I subtitled “a reckoning,” using the same logic. This has been one means of skirting the whole genre issue. On the other hand, I don’t really like it when people called BLUETS “notes” or “aphorisms,” or “fragments,” because it’s not really any of those things. Aphoristic philosophy—which was one of this book’s inspirations—is not made up of just aphorisms per se. There may be great aphorisms to be found in Nietzsche or Wittgenstein, for example, but neither is writing a series of one-liners. Their projects are bigger than that. They are in dialogue with argumentation as much as with impression. Likewise, I don’t really see BLUETS as poetry. I mean, I don’t care if someone wants to call it that—if they do, it happily expands the notion of poetry—but I’ve written enough poetry to have a lot of respect for its particular tools, which include the line break, and forms of logic unavailable to prose. BLUETS thinks in prose; it is written in prose. It sometimes thinks in images, and sometimes in sound, but essentially it is about sentences, and about trains of prose logic and their limits. But if someone wants to call it poetry, I wouldn’t go to the mat about it. 6. Are there other texts (of or about fragments) that you'd like to recommend? Texts about fragments to recommend: Here are the ones that come immediately to mind: The Notebooks of Joseph Joubert , Anne Carson’s If Not, Winter , Stevie Smith, “The Person from Porlock,” the poetry of Lorine Niedecker, Lucille Clifton, and Paul Celan, Tom Phillips’s A Humument , Ann Lauterbach’s essay on “the whole fragment,” Linda Nochlin, The Body in Pieces , Mary Ann Caws, The Surrealist Look , Heather McHugh, Poetry and Partiality . And the drawings of David Shrigley 7. And finally, is there anything you wish I would have asked? Please ask/answer if so. No, I’m happy with these questions!! The Beginning of Bluets (An Excerpt) 1. Suppose I were to begin by saying that I had fallen in love with a color. Suppose I were to speak this as though it were a confession; suppose I shredded my napkins as we spoke. It began slowly. An appreciation, an affinity. Then, one day, it became more serious. Then (looking into an empty teacup, its bottom stained with thin brown excrement coiled into the shape of a sea horse) it became somehow personal. 2. And so I fell in love with a color – in this case, the color blue – as if falling under a spell, a spell I fought to stay under and get out from under, in turns. 3. Well, and what of it? A voluntary delusion, you might say. That each blue object could be a kind of burning bush, a secret code meant for a single agent, an X on a map too diffuse ever to be unfolded in entirety but that contains the knowable universe. How could all the shreds of blue garbage bags stuck in brambles, or the bright blue tarps flapping over ever shanty and fish stand in the world, be, in essence, the fingerprints of God? I will try to explain this. 4. I admit that I may have been lonely. I know that loneliness can produce bolts of hot pain, a pain which, if it stays hot enough for long enough, can begin to stimulate, or to provoke – take your pick – an apprehension of the divine. ( This ought to arouse our suspicions. ) 5. But first, let us consider a sort of case in reverse. In 1867, after a long bout of solitude, the French poet Stéphane Mallarmé wrote to his friend Henri Cazalis: “These last months have been terrifying. My Thought has thought itself through and reached a Pure Idea. What the rest of me has suffered during that long agony, is indescribable.” Mallarmé described this agony as a battle that took place on God's “boney wing.” “I struggled with that creature of ancient and evil plumage – God – whom I fortunately defeated and threw to earth,” he told Cazalis with exhausted satisfaction. Eventually Mallarmé began replacing “le ciel” with “l'Azur” in his poems, in an effort to rinse references to the sky of religious connotations. “Fortunately,” he wrote Cazalis, “I am quite dead now.” 6. The half-circle of blinding turquoise ocean is this love's primal scene. That this blue exists makes my life a remarkable one, just to have seen it. To have seen such beautiful things. To find oneself placed in their midst. Choiceless. I returned there yesterday and stood again upon the mountain. 7. But what kind of love is it, really? Don't fool yourself and call it sublimity. Admit that you have stood in front of a little pile of ultramarine pigment in a glass cup at a museum and felt stinging desire. But to do what? Liberate it? Purchase it? Ingest it? There is so little blue food in nature – in fact blue in the wild tends to mark food to avoid (mold, poisonous berries) – that culinary advisers generally recommend against blue light, blue paint, and blue plates when and where serving food. But while the color may sap appetite in the most literal sense, it feeds it in others. You might want to reach out and disturb the pile of pigment, for example, first staining your fingers with it, then staining the world. You might want to dilute it and swim in it, you might want to rouge your nipples with it, you might want to paint a virgins robe with it. But you still wouldn't be accessing the blue of it. Not exactly. 8. Do not, however, make the mistake of thinking that all desire is yearning. “We love to contemplate blue, not because it advances to us, but because it draws us after it,” wrote Goethe, and perhaps he is right. But I am not interested in longing to live in a world in which I already live. I don't want to yearn for blue things, and God forbid, for any “blueness.” Above all, I want to stop missing you. 9. So please do not write to tell me about any more beautiful blue things. To be fair, this book will not tell you about any, either. It will not say, Isn't X beautiful? Such demands are murderous to beauty. 10. The most I want to do is show you the end of my index finger. Its muteness. Bluets that did not make the final version of Bluets We think of a glowing chunk of sapphire, for instance, or a pane of Chartres stained glass, as luminous, and God knows they are. But such luminosity doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with clarity . To call something a false idol is to elevate it to the company of deities, even if one eventually casts it down (cf. Milton giving Lucifer the best speeches). For the truth is that I have never really understood what love and will have to do with each other. Following the blue, as if tracking a trail of decomposing crumbs left in the woods by a benevolent or absentminded stranger, is, at times, the best I can do. Joan Mitchell: so beautiful and athletic when young; so craggy and indomitable as she aged—in both cases, without vanity —like my Swedish grandparents, whom I barely knew, but whom I remember as being tan and fair at the same time, prematurely decimated by morning vodka with OJ and an endless boil of cigarettes. Do not think, however, that this is a scrapbook in which blue is the star and I its delirious fan. For it is a mistake to think of blue as separate from us. It is the bulge of the carotid against the bracket of your skin. It is the matrix of veins that enlaces your heart. At one point during this period, Klein—no stranger to grandiosity—“signed the sky.” He also arranged performances at which he dipped naked women from head to toe in IKB blue, rolled an enormous canvas out on the floor, and instructed the women to drag each other around on top of it while a string quartet played nearby. He called the women “human paintbrushes.” In both cases, I have arguably been nothing more than a child of illusion. Beethoven felt differently. “Can you lend me the Theory of Colours for a few weeks?” he wrote to a friend in 1820. “It is an important work. His last things are insipid.” There would seem to be a lesson here, but I am not prepared to describe it. “They feel as though if you fell into them you would be trapped and unable to breathe, choked and suffocated by the powdery pigment,” wrote Berger of Klein’s IKB monochromes. At times I look forward to this ravaging, if only because it represents all that I am supposed to fear, and because, if one manages to live long enough, it seems something of an inevitability, and looking forward to an inevitability seems at least an approximation of spiritual wisdom. In the far-off blue places, one finds oneself face to face with one’s stupidity. The cradle of it. It is a tremendous relief. Instead of sputtering forth a gargle, a howl, or an assertoric proposition, one can remain silent, stupefied. It is as if one’s tongue had been sewn, at long last, into its den. For one does not just seek oblivion. One can also find it. Sometimes one can even purchase it. Of the oblivion seekers themselves, Eberhardt says simply: “They are people who like their pleasure.” Caravaggio is a serious painter. He does not use blue. Neither does Goya, nor Velasquez. They are tenebrists , not denizens of the carnival. The blues of Picasso and Matisse, even in their most melancholy applications, do not strike me as altogether serious. The blues of Joseph Cornell, Hiroshige, Fra Angelico, and Cézanne, on the other hand, strike me as quite serious. The blue of Vermeer is simply too painful to discuss here. Let us leave the woman in blue alone with her letter. Let us leave her transfixed, standing on the bright edge of the earth, about to fall. In the Middle Ages, it was commonly thought that the most powerful mordant was a drunk man’s piss: yet another instance in which alcohol fastens the blue. But one can, I think, feel similarly bound, without the spirit. And when Cornell made Rose Hobart , he had to snip away 57½ minutes of the original film in order to showcase the object of his desire. Love, too, can sometimes be a condensery . On the other hand, speaking through the voice of the Egyptian god Thamus, Socrates comes down fairly forcefully for poison : “This discovery of yours [i.e. writing] will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves. The specific which you have discovered is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth.” But what has a soul to do with memory? I admit that here I run out of ideas; I must again consult the Encyclopedia. “Much of our moral life depends on the peculiar ways in which we are embedded in time.” This has the aura of truth, but really it takes us no further. For what has morality to do with memory, or with a soul? Instead of a roving dialogue unfolding under the shade of a plane tree, this is more like a coarse talk show taking place in a hall of mirrors: no guests, one host. To do: make a list of people who seem to have found some dignity in their loneliness, and consult it when I feel constitutionally incapable of abiding my own. “Frequent tears have run the colours from my life” (Elizabeth Barrett Browning). Does it follow, in spiritual matters, that one’s doubt is surrounded by a plateau of certainty? “Whosoever unceasingly strives upward, him can we save,” wrote Goethe. But who is to say that faith isn’t the abyss, and doubt the surrounding peaks? For while we may have learned the names for these things, articulation is still a form of accommodation. We stutter to each other in a sort of shorthand, at times carving out shapely analogies. But we cannot be sure that we are talking about the same things, or that we are employing the same code. —But now you are talking as if you were drowning, your lungs swollen with expired air. Why not just give up the dive? In which case you could start swimming along the surface: a cold spot here, a warm patch there. Same pond. Remember: the knights pure enough to enter the presence of the Holy Grail never return. It is only those who have been “incompletely transformed” who come back to tell the tale. And some seekers don’t come back from the wilderness as shamans, but rather as brain-damaged vegetables whose musculature now resembles gelatin. Remember this if someone appears in a field of chollas, hands you a loincloth and a tab of pure blotter acid with one hand, and keeps the other out of sight. We might here note that Andy Warhol was also, for a time, riveted by blue pussy. His blue pussy was a beatific cat, gazing upward from the last page of his 1954 book of watercolors, 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy , looking as if he were happily anticipating “pussy heaven,” as Warhol elsewhere termed the feline afterlife. Perhaps, then, the mistake is to look for a vividness, or a sweetness, apart from illusion. In which case we waste much precious time warding off the specter of the mirage . In such moments, death itself may appear a light-hearted occurrence. Evan Lavender-Smith Interview: 1) Do you consider From Old Notebooks (FON) to be a kind of constraint writing? I guess it would have been more of a constraint if you'd only culled things from your notes instead of writing pieces specifically for/relating to FON. I certainly think that the book shares something important with constraint writing, as I think it does with conceptual writing, although I don't know that it fits neatly into either of these categories. Perhaps it's a kind of faux-constraint or -conceptual writing. The book's primary constraint—only things written in notebooks are allowed —sort of collapses under the weight of its own self-reflexivity; as you say, the entries become about the book itself, which I think ends up undermining or subjugating the austerity we associate with a more typical constraint-based writing. I suppose there's also a secondary constraint associated with the structure of the book and the ordering of the entries, this zany process whereby I classified entries according to a number (1 through 12, I think) referencing subject/theme, then deleted all of the entries leaving only their reference numbers, then arranged the numbers in something resembling sonata form, then plugged all the entries back into their placeholders. But that's a very secret, Roussel-type constraint, one that perhaps does not do much to create a noticeable intensity of constraint. And also I ended up making many revisions to the order of the entries that broke with the output of my secret formula. So yes, I think something like "sham constraint" writing is probably a more appropriate designation. 2) FON is very often self-reflective, often feels as if it is struggling to pin itself down. I'm wondering if the form (disjointed notes) allows for that kind of reflection to creep in repeatedly without weighing down the whole book. Does the ability to ask a question and then immediately head off in a totally different direction free you to be self-doubting without wallowing? Does this question make sense? Maybe I should ask more generally what kinds of content does this form afford that more traditionally structured work might not? I am hopeful that the self-reflexivity is less cloying in this book than I find it to be in other highly self-reflexive texts on account of what you mention, the ability of the book to veer off in another direction nearly every time an instance of explicit self-reflexivity occurs. I would say this is also the case with respect to the book's many instances of pathos and sentiment or even bathos and sentimentality: whenever the book broaches sentimentality in an entry, it is followed by another entry about something totally different, which can serve to undercut the sentiment of the previous entry. And this is probably also the case with the book's movement toward and immediately away from entries/fragments dealing with specific literary or philosophical texts/authors with which some readers may be unfamiliar, insofar as one entry might concern Kant's transcendental idealism and the next entry the color of my infant son's poo. The book is quite contrapuntal, in this respect, which is one of the things that original structuring scheme was meant to effect. As to alternative or unusual kinds of content afforded by the book's form, I'd like to think they are many, but I have always been most excited by what I perceive to be the book's presentation of a kind of form-becoming-content, this process by which the reader is engaged with form as he might otherwise be with character, or with setting, or with plot—part of what's driving the reading experience may be the reader's sense of an evolving form, a form that begins somewhat expositionally, that becomes somewhat conflicted and tense, and that finally achieves a kind of resolution. But, from another perspective, the book's form remains exactly the same from the first to the last page. My reading of the book would posit or project a kind of talk-to/talk-back relationship between form and content; each is strongly influencing our vision of the other, and perhaps, over the course of the book, they become difficult to distinguish. 3) In The Literary Absolute , Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe and Jean-Luc Nancy write that "each fragment stands for itself and for that from which it has been detached."(44) They go on to explain that the fragment is both "sub-work" (in the obvious sense of being only a small piece of the Work), but also "super-work", as it stands, complete in itself, outside the work and calls up the plural potentiality of the work. What do you make of this idea and how do you understand the relation of the fragment to the Work as a whole? I like this idea, but I may have some reservations about generalizing it too far beyond Nancy and Lacoue-Labarthe's intended historical context. In my book, there are perhaps some entries/fragments that possess a sort of immanent intensity—entries seemingly able to "speak for themselves," so to speak—but there are also very many that do not. I think that the book itself would argue—in fact, I believe it explicitly does so—against this notion that any one of its constituent parts could be removed from the whole and still remain "meaningful" or "true." I imagine the parts of the whole, in this book, not as cogs in relation to some whole mechanics or machine, say, but instead as mechanical movement itself; perhaps the most important thing about any given entry is not what it says so much as the fact that it begins and ends. The book seems to me to be always moving forward in time and space; once a fragment has happened, the book is done with it; there's no turning back, no looking over the shoulder. There's an entry somewhere that goes something like "This book is nothing more than the trash can of my imagination," a potential interpretative model that has become something of a guiding light in my understanding of the book's form: the entries/fragments do certainly accrue, as trash accrues, but we don't necessarily feel compelled to go picking through this heap of trash. 3b) Fragments collected together become a whole that gestures to dozens of other, potential wholes. How, if at all, do you think about your book in relation to the preservation of potentiality? Of course I think about this mostly in relation to the fragments/entries concerning specific potential works, the entries that begin "Story about" or "Novel about," etc. As I continue to work to see many of the ideas in the book realized, even today—and as I will likely continue to do for a long time—I remain in a sort of dialogue with the book. So I find myself still writing the book, in some sense, even though the book is already written. One of my favorite things about From Old Notebooks is how it opens its own amorphous and evolving prefatory engagement with my future writing. I believe the book references the claim of some critics that Ulysses was written in such a way to make it appear as if it were presaged by passages in the New Testament, just as some have claimed that passages in the New Testament were written to create the appearance of having been forecasted by passages in the Old Testament (I believe there is a specific poetic figure denoting this kind of retroactive foreshadowing that I'm now failing to recall). I've always really loved that idea and perhaps still hold out hope that my future writing will serve to indirectly modify From Old Notebooks in these types of sly and tricky ways. Also, in relation to the above-mentioned trash-can model as one of many such potential models for the book's form, there's a way in which the book regularly returns to a reading of itself, always trying to understand how it is working and always coming up with new strategies for its own analysis. So it seems to me, with respect to the preservation of potentiality, that the book is also intent on preserving its own "infinite hermeneutics" (or at least an illusion thereof). 4) Can you talk a little about the way traditional prose standbys like character and narrative develop out of distinct and disconnected fragments? I feel like this definitely happens in FON as well as other texts that use a similar approach. I think it's important to address the burden placed on the reader vis-à-vis development when considering narratological staples like character and plot in relation to highly fragmented narratives. In my own reading experience of books in which neat narrative progression is supplanted by a fragmentary or elliptical progression, the reader oftentimes must begin committing to processes of projection and transference in order to eke out that amount of development she would require of narrative. I especially like this possibility for two reasons. The first is that in the absence of stable or "full" development, we may feel inclined, as readers, to fill in the blanks with manifestations of our own, consciousness-specific desire for coherence, which can create a sort of personalized Möbius strip out of reading and writing, artistic creation and reception becoming tangled, distinctions and distances between these categories becoming blurred. The second, which may follow from the first for the more theoretically inclined reader, is that this process may serve to expose our own prejudices about what narrative is supposed to do or achieve, thereby leading us to an anxious readerly condition in which we are forced to confront the poverty of our own understanding regarding the first principles of narrative art. These two effects—1) tangling the reading/writing experience, and 2) forcing the reader's reconsideration of artistic rule—are, to my thinking, among the most powerful effects available to writing. 5) To what extent does how you label your texts matter? What is the difference between notes , fragments , thoughts , and aphorisms ? Basically, is taxonomy important? Supplementary question: In FON , there is a passage: "Why am I so averse to classifying FON as poetry-because poetry doesn't sell." If you want, this might be a good place to talk about genre classifications as well. This answer will surely seem coy or naïve to some people, but the fact is that my own tedious and protracted grappling with the strictures and arbitrariness of generic classification has finally given way to a vision of an imaginative writing largely unfettered by those academic or commercial or cultural pressures which have served to delimit the typological boundaries of art and language. That seems to be a goal for me, anyway, to work to maintain a position of restless and relentless searching in relation to form, and to resist, as best I can, pressures associated with the commodification or canonization of language and form. Of course that position is itself probably overdetermined by pressures both within and beyond my comprehension—e.g. it is very reactionary; very Modernist, in a sense—and it also strikes me to be of a piece with a rather antiquated and distasteful image of artistic creation and the "author-function," but nonetheless it's what I seem to prefer. 6) Are there other texts (of or about fragments) that you'd like to recommend? Here are some things I've recently read and enjoyed in which I felt the fragment was the text's dominant or near-dominant mode of engagement with narrative/poetic/philosophical development and progression. Mean Free Path , Ben Lerner Bluets , Maggie Nelson Varieties of Disturbance , Lydia Davis Notes from a Bottle Found on the Beach at Carmel , Evan S. Connell AVA , Carole Maso Reader's Block , David Markson Deepstep Come Shining , C.D. Wright The Passion According to G.H . by Clarice Lispector The Crab Nebula , Éric Chevillard The Book of Questions , Edmond Jabès Monsieur Teste , Paul Valéry Mourning Diary , Roland Barthes The Arcades Project , Walter Benjamin Philosophical Investigations , Ludwig Wittgenstein "Diapsalmata," from Either/Or , Søren Kierkegaard Unfortunately, I haven't read much theory discussing the fragment as a narratological device, although I did enjoy the Nancy and Lacoue-Labarthe book you mention above. 7) And finally, is there anything you wish I would have asked? Please ask/answer if so. I should say that From Old Notebooks is currently out of print, as I, perhaps bullheadedly, insisted that the publisher remove the book from their catalog when I discovered that they'd been implementing a pay-to-publish scheme, which, given the revelation of its specific details, I felt to be manipulative and unethical. There are many used copies floating around, though, and I am hopeful that the book will be reprinted someday. From Old Notebooks Excerpts NB: The first excerpt covers the first few pages of the book. The second covers pages 16 and 17. These excerpts show how FON develops from a series of ideas for texts to a more varied series of notes that further reveal the character, preoccupations, and desires of the writer. Excerpt 1: Short story about a church on the ocean floor. Congregation in scuba gear. Memoir in which narrator struggles to describe her childhood – offering two or more contrary accounts of the same event – having been raised by divorced parents with unresolved anger toward each other such that discrepancies between parents' accounts of each other's involvement in her childhood have damaged narrator's memory beyond repair. Academic essay entitled “ Cute Title: Serious Subtitle : On the Preponderance of Precious Subtitling in Academic Essays.” Novel in chapters, each chapter spanning one year, 1977 – 2006. In lieu of chapter number, photograph of Tom Cruise's face from that year. Story about a garbage man who cannot fathom how anyone might be content living a life not wholly dedicated to being a garbage man. Excerpt 2 Something entitled “From Old Notebooks,” simply a transcription of entries from these notebooks. Story involving a couple whose divorce proceedings center upon the allocation of the books contained in the family library. Living off-campus on the outskirts of a city where I knew no one, in a studio apartment the size of a large walk-in closet, I would occupy myself in the evenings with and obsessive study of the shadows of my hands against the wall as I faux-conducted piano concertos; and later, after having taken three Ambien, intimate conversations with bits of magma crawling across the carpet that had detached from the glowing wires on my electric space heater. That same year, in a fit of manic loneliness, I invited a raccoon into my apartment with a trail of cracker crumbs. Do not let Jackson and Sofia live off-campus as undergraduates. Cached auto-complete entry options that appear when I type the letter e into the search field in the toolbar of my internet browser: evan lavender-smith “evan lavender-smith” “evan lavender smith” evan + “lavender-smith” evan + “lavender smith” evan + lavender + smith The letter f: fear of death Contemporary authors who construct a thick barrier between themselves and their readers such that authorial vulnerability is revealed negatively, i.e., via the construction of the barrier. If Team USA had a mascot, it would be God. Character who refers to Wellbutrin as his muse. “I hope to one day storm out on Terry Gross during an interview because I am that kind of eccentric famous author.” ----------------- Notes that were cut from From Old Notebooks Short story about literary executors sifting through the Gmail account of a recently deceased author. It would better suit me to drive a hybrid hearse. First line of a story: "The M.F.A. in creative writing was the degree Shontiqua had her sights set on . " Story/mock-essay: conflation of the obnoxious languages of U.S.A. patriotism and M.F.A. workshops. The flag at half-mast because the market’s way down today. Awakened from dream . . . saw figure in arrangement of stars . . . closed eyes . . . dream changed. . . . The smile is perhaps the human equivalent to the dog's wagging tail, with an important caveat: the human can fake a smile. Can a man fake an erection? To do philosophy, Back then I was doing some philosophy —what a ridiculoususage. It is thanks to the proud philosopher who, attempting to justify his existence, humbles himself to a position of activity. The greatest act of fraud on the part of philosophy is that it attempts to exist outside of time , the word of the philosopher presented to us as the Word. This is what Derrida means to criticize when he praises Nietzsche's pluralism, or Levi-Strauss's mythopoetics: Philosophy cannot pretend to be above or beyond the form of the book. The question of being flashes through us , mind and body. The corporealization of the question of being. Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must—write? The proliferation of M.F.A. programs in creative writing has given rise to the whirlpool of conservatism which is contemporary American literature. Surely it's no coincidence that I began From Old Notebooks shortly after I stopped seeing my therapist. Somewhere I read Edmund Wilson refer to Beckett's late style as terminal . I understand why he would say so, but I would prefer to reserve that term for David Markson's late style. Random House settles out of court to pay $2.35 million in genre-damages made by James Frey against his readers. What if the publisher of F.O.N. markets the book as a novel , and it later comes to light that the book was in fact a memoir . . . ? That the problem of death has been outmoded is the grand illusion of philosophy after Heidegger. The modern philosopher says, "Death is not my problem. Being is my problem." The modern philosopher might call death an adolescent problem , and being an adult problem . But what he fails to recognize is that the concept of being is merely an abstraction of the concept of death. (He forgets that being is incidental to non-being, and that the latter is only conceivable by way of analogy to death .) The modern philosopher wants to pretend that death is irrelevant to his project, but it is the impetus for his project. Surely the reason I lash out against it is that I am jealous of poetry. Surely contemporary poetry does not deserve my wrath . Someone could read the book with an almanac in hand and point to certain entries which suggest the concurrence of public events (e.g., terror, war, football), thereby assigning dates to those entries. As if. Do people auction their personal diaries on eBay? I might consider auctioning these notebooks if the book is ever published, in keeping with the spirit of the book, that is, the spirit of facile self-disclosure. The poem is dead. Long live the poem! The ending of F.O.N. might contain the beginning of the next book—a sequel entitled Work-In-Progress . F.O.N. might blurinto W.I.P. The point of physical distinction between the two books would be arbitrary. Work-In-Progress would be written in the same form as F.O.N., but it would be also written in an entirely different form, as the (conception of the) form of the book "F.O.N. + W.I.P." is an evolving (conception of) form, a (conception of) form that is always becominganother (conception of) form. No matter how much I want to force From Old Notebooks to become something called Work-In-Progress , I won't be able to: any contrived becoming of that sort would represent a violence on the form of the book. I'm going to have to take a leap at some point, though, a leap out of the book, like a leap from a burning building. “The Voidhood of the Void; or, An Archaeology of Nothing.” Rather than enact the high drama of self-reflexivity, the new writing will accept self-reflexivity as status quo —metafiction's birthday is passed, no need to keep celebrating—in the tradition of the documentary film, the reality TV show, and the internet blog. Such a writing must, by definition, be genreless, or make the question of genre irrelevant: hence, the post-generic . Perhaps my next novel will be a one-page poem. (shrink)
In a now famous thought experiment, Frank jackson asked us t0 imagine an omniscient scientist, Mary, who is coniincd in a black-and-white room and then released into the world 0f color (jackson 1982; jackson 1986; cf. Braddon—Mitch<-:11 and Jackson 1996). Assuming that she is omniscicnt in respect of all physical facts—roughiy, all the facts available to physics and all the facts that they in turn Hx or determine-physicalism would suggest that there is no new fact Mary (...) can discover after emancipation; physicalism holds that all facts are physical in the relevant sense (for a fuller statement scc Pettit 1993; jackson 1998). Yet we cannot help but feel that coming out of that room would be an occasion of dramatic enlightenment and, in particular, an occasion for learning facts to do with how red or yellow or blue 100ks or, as it is usually said, with what it is like t0 sec red or yellow or blue. Many in the black-and—whit<—: room knew all the physical facts about the world, where these may be taken to include three sorts of color facts: objcctual facts, as to what surface colors different objects have, assuming as I shall do throughout—that colors are properties of objects; intentional facts, as to which colors different objects 0r apparent objects are represented as having in the subjc-:ct’s experience, rightly or wrongly; and nonintentional facts, about what such color experiences are like in their effects on subiccts—wh<—:ther they are comforting, or arousing, or whatever. But, according to the argument, Mary didn’t know how any color looks or, equivalently, what color experience is like in itself, not just in its effects O1'1 subjects. This particular nonintentional fact about the quality of color c-zxpc-2ri<—:ncc-—this phenomenal fact, as it is often describcd—she did not.. (shrink)
From his return to Cambridge in 1929 to his death in 1951, Ludwig Wittgenstein, who published only one work in his lifetime, influenced philosophy almost exclusively through teaching and discussion. These lecture notes, therefore, are an important record of the development of Wittgenstein's thought; they indicate the interests he maintained in his later years and signal what he considered the salient features of his thinking. Further, the notes from an enlightening addition to his posthumously published writings. P. T. Geach, A. (...) C. Jackson, and K. J. Shah kept meticulous notes from the last formal course that Wittgenstein taught at Cambridge. In order to reconstruct as accurately as possible the words of Wittgenstein, this volume compiles all three sets of notes with no attempt to conflate or edit them beyond rendering them into lucid English. Topics covered by the notes in this volume include the private language argument, the grammar of sensation statements, certainty and experimentation in psychology, and, in general, the same set of concerns as are to be found in his Last Writings and Remarks on the Philosophy of Psychology . The source material provided in these lecture notes is vital to Wittgenstein scholarship. (shrink)
Metaethics is a perennially popular subject, but one that can be challenging to study and teach. As it consists in an array of questions about ethics, it is really a mix of (at least) applied metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language, and mind. The seminal texts therefore arise out of, and often assume competence with, a variety of different literatures. It can be taught thematically, but this sample syllabus offers a dialectical approach, focused on metaphysical debate over moral realism, which spans (...) the century of debate launched and framed by G. E. Moore's Principia Ethica. The territory and literature are, however, vast. So, this syllabus is highly selective. A thorough metaethics course might also include more topical examination of moral supervenience, moral motivation, moral epistemology, and the rational authority of morality. Authors Recommend: Alexander Miller, An Introduction to Contemporary Metaethics (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2003). This is one of the few clear, accessible, and comprehensive surveys of the subject, written by someone sympathetic with moral naturalism. David Brink, Moral Realism and the Foundations of Ethics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989). Brink rehabilitates naturalism about moral facts by employing a causal semantics and natural kinds model of moral thought and discourse. Michael Smith, The Moral Problem (Oxford: Blackwell, 1994). Smith's book frames the debate as driven by a tension between the objectivity of morality and its practical role, offering a solution in terms of a response-dependent account of practical rationality. Gilbert Harman and Judith Jarvis Thomson, Moral Relativism & Moral Objectivity (Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1996). Harman argues against the objectivity of moral value, while Thomson defends it. Each then responds to the other. Frank Jackson, From Metaphysics to Ethics (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998). Jackson argues that reductive conceptual analysis is possible in ethics, offering a unique naturalistic account of moral properties and facts. Mark Timmons, Morality without Foundations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999). Timmons distinguishes moral cognitivism from moral realism, interpreting moral judgments as beliefs that have cognitive content but do not describe moral reality. He also provides a particularly illuminating discussion of nonanalytic naturalism. Philippa Foot, Natural Goodness (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2001). A Neo-Aristotelian perspective: moral facts are natural facts about the proper functioning of human beings. Russ Shafer-Landau, Moral Realism: A Defence (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2003). In this recent defense of a Moorean, nonnaturalist position, Shafer-Landau engages rival positions in a remarkably thorough manner. Terence Cuneo, The Normative Web (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2007). Cuneo argues for a robust version of moral realism, developing a parity argument based on the similarities between epistemic and moral facts. Mark Schroeder, Slaves of the Passions (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2007). Schroeder defends a reductive form of naturalism in the tradition of Hume, identifying moral and normative facts with natural facts about agents' desires. Online Materials: PEA Soup: http://peasoup.typepad.com A blog devoted to philosophy, ethics, and academia. Its contributors include many active and prominent metaethicists, who regularly post about the moral realism and naturalism debates. Metaethics Bibliography: http://www.lenmanethicsbibliography.group.shef.ac.uk/Bib.htm Maintained by James Lenman, professor of philosophy at the University of Sheffield, this online resource provides a selective list of published research in metaethics. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: http://plato.stanford.edu See especially the entries under 'metaethics'. Sample Syllabus: Topics for Lecture & Discussion Note: unless indicated otherwise, all the readings are found in R. Shafer-Landau and T. Cuneo, eds., Foundations of Ethics: An Anthology (Malden: Blackwell, 2007). (FE) Week 1: Realism I (Classic Nonnaturalism) G. E. Moore, Principia Ethica, 2nd ed. (FE ch. 35). W. K. Frankena, 'The Naturalistic Fallacy,'Mind 48 (1939): 464–77. S. Finlay, 'Four Faces of Moral Realism', Philosophy Compass 2/6 (2007): 820–49 [DOI: [DOI link]]. Week 2: Antirealism I (Classic Expressivism) A. J. Ayer, 'Critique of Ethics and Theology' (1952) (FE ch. 3). C. Stevenson, 'The Nature of Ethical Disagreement' (1963) (FE ch. 28). Week 3: Antirealism II (Error Theory) J. L. Mackie, 'The Subjectivity of Values' (1977) (FE ch. 1). R. Joyce, Excerpt from The Myth of Morality (2001) (FE ch. 2). Week 4: Realism II (Nonanalytic Naturalism) R. Boyd, 'How to be a Moral Realist' (1988) (FE ch. 13). P. Railton, 'Moral Realism' (1986) (FE ch. 14). T. Horgan and M. Timmons, 'New Wave Moral Realism Meets Moral Twin Earth' (1991) (FE ch. 38). Week 5: Antirealism III (Contemporary Expressivism) A. Gibbard, 'The Reasons of a Living Being' (2002) (FE ch. 6). S. Blackburn, 'How To Be an Ethical Anti-Realist' (1993) (FE ch. 4). T. Horgan and M. Timmons, 'Nondescriptivist Cognitivism' (2000) (FE ch. 5). W. Sinnott-Armstrong, 'Expressivism and Embedding' (2000) (FE ch. 37). Week 6: Realism III (Sensibility Theory) J. McDowell, 'Values and Secondary Qualities' (1985) (FE ch. 11). D. Wiggins, 'A Sensible Subjectivism' (1991) (FE ch. 12). Week 7: Realism IV (Subjectivism) & Antirealism IV (Constructivism) R. Firth, 'Ethical Absolutism and the Ideal Observer' (1952) (FE ch. 9). G. Harman, 'Moral Relativism Defended' (1975) (FE ch. 7). C. Korsgaard, 'The Authority of Reflection' (1996) (FE ch. 8). Week 8: Realism V (Contemporary Nonnaturalism) R. Shafer-Landau, 'Ethics as Philosophy' (2006) (FE ch. 16). T. M. Scanlon, What We Owe to Each Other (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998), ch. 1. T, Cuneo, 'Recent Faces of Moral Nonnaturalism', Philosophy Compass 2/6 (2007): 850–79 [DOI: [DOI link]]. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Contributors ix -- Foreword by Douglas A. Boyd andJoseph D. Straubhaar xiii -- Preface byMariaHenson xv -- Acknowledgments xvii -- Part I. Introduction 1 -- Chapter 1. Journalism as a Mission: Ethics and Purpose -- from an International Perspective -- by Joseph B. Atkins 3 -- Chapter 2. Chaos and Order: Sacrificing the Individual for the -- Sake of Social Harmony -- by John C. Merrill 17 -- Part II. In the United States and Latin America (...) 37 -- Chapter 3. Ways of a Muckraker -- by Jerry Mitchell 39 -- Chapter 4. A Sinister Zone of Likeness: Journalists as Heroes and -- Villains in the U.S. South and in Central and Eastern -- Europe -- by Joseph B. Atkins 45 -- Chapter 5. From Collusion to Independence: The Press, The Ruling -- Party, and Democratization in Mexico -- byMichaelSnodgrass 55 -- Chapter 6. The Outspoken Journalist Is an Expression, a Symbol -- of Colombia -- by Stephen E Jackson 69 -- Part III. In Europe 77 -- Chapter 7. The Stranger: Minorities and Their Treatment -- in the German Media -- by Georg Ruhrmann 79 -- Chapter 8. Between State Control and the Bottom Line: -- Journalism and Journalism Ethics in Hungary -- by Ildiko Kaposi and Eva Vajda 91 -- Chapter 9. SITA: Slovakia's First Independent News Service and -- Its Battles with the Huey Long of the Danube -- byPavol Mudry 101 -- Chapter 10. Holding Politicians' Feet to the Fire in Slovenia -- by Bernard Nezmah 111 -- Part IV. In the Middle East and Africa 121 -- Chapter 11. Lebanese Television: Caught Between the -- Government and the Private Sector -- by Nabil Dajani 123 -- Chapter 12. Press Freedom and the Crisis of Ethical Journalism -- in Southern Africa -- by Regina Jere-Malanda 143 -- Chapter 13. Nigerian Press Ethics and the Politics of Pluralism -- by Minabere Ibelema 153 -- Part V. In South and East Asia 169 -- Chapter 14. The Indian Press: Covering an Enigma -- byJayanti Ram-Chandran 171 -- Chapter 15. Palace Intrigue in Katmandu and the Press in Nepal -- byAkhilesh Upadhyay 181 -- Chapter 16. The Press in Japan: Job Security versus -- Journalistic Mission -- by Takehiko Nomura 187 -- Part VI. Three Journalists and Their Missions 201 -- Chapter 17. A Journey in Journalism: From Idealism -- to Bankruptcy -- by Neil White III 203 -- Chapter 18. Reclaiming Responsibility: A Journalist and Artist -- in the Catholic Worker Movement -- by Chuck Trapkus 211 -- Chapter 19. Ryszard Kapuscinski: The Empathetic Existentialist -- by Joseph B. Atkins and Bernard Nezmah 217 -- Postscript The White Rose: On the Martyrdom of Student Pamphleteers in -- Nazi Germany and Their Legacy -- by Joseph B. Atkins 227 -- References 233 -- Index 243. (shrink)
Do facts about water have a priori, transparent, reductive explanations in terms of microphysics? Ned Block and Robert Stalnaker argue that they do not (B&S, 1999). David Chalmers and Frank Jackson argue that they do (C&J, 2001).
It is widely recognised that Australia has produced a number of prominent physicalists, such as D. M. Armstrong, U. T. Place and J. J. C. Smart. It is sometimes forgotten, however, that Australia has also produced a number of prominent dualists. This entry introduces the views of three Australian dualists: Keith Campbell, Frank Jackson and David Chalmers. Their positions differ uniquely from those of traditional dualists because their endorsement of dualism is based on their sympathy with a naturalistic, materialistic (...) worldview rather than with a supernaturalistic, spiritual worldview. (shrink)
S. Adams, W. Ambrose, A. Andretta, H. Becker, R. Camerlo, C. Champetier, J.P.R. Christensen, D.E. Cohen, A. Connes. C. Dellacherie, R. Dougherty, R.H. Farrell, F. Feldman, A. Furman, D. Gaboriau, S. Gao, V. Ya. Golodets, P. Hahn, P. de la Harpe, G. Hjorth, S. Jackson, S. Kahane, A.S. Kechris, A. Louveau,, R. Lyons, P.-A. Meyer, C.C. Moore, M.G. Nadkarni, C. Nebbia, A.L.T. Patterson, U. Krengel, A.J. Kuntz, J.-P. Serre, S.D. Sinel'shchikov, T. Slaman, Solecki, R. Spatzier, J. Steel, D. Sullivan, (...) S. Thomas, A. Valette, V.S. Varadarajan, B. Velickovic, B. Weiss, J.D.M. Wright, R.J. Zimmer. (shrink)
Intended for introductory classes focusing on philosophy of mind, 'Theories of Mind' includes readings from primary sources, edited to suit the needs of the beginner. Selections focus on vivid examples and counterexamples, and give instructors concerned with assigning accessible primary source material a foundation for more advanced studies in philosophy. Selections from David Armstrong, Ned Block, David Chalmers, Patricia Churchland, Paul Churchland, Andy Clark, Daniel C. Dennett, René Descartes, Jerry A. Fodor, Keith Gunderson, Frank Jackson, David Lewis, Barbara Montero, (...) Thomas Nagel, Gilbert Ryle, John Searle, J. J. C. Smart, and Alan M. Turing are included. (shrink)
Questions about truth and questions about reality are intimately connected. One can ask whether reality includes numbers by asking ‘Are there numbers?’ But one can also ask what (arguably) amounts to the very same question by asking ‘Is the sentence “There are numbers” true?’ Such ‘semantic ascent’ makes it seem that the nature of reality can be investigated by investigating our true sentences. This line of thought was very much taken for granted in twentieth century philosophy, but it is now (...) beginning to be called into question. Just how much can we learn about the nature of reality by investigating our true sentences? Does, for example, the truth of ‘There is a prime number between ten and twenty’ mean that prime numbers exist? Does the truth of ‘Eating people is wrong’ mean that moral properties exist? Does the truth of 'Spiders give me the creeps' mean that the creeps exists? In From Truth to Reality, Heather Dyke brings together some of the foremost metaphysicians to examine approaches to truth, reality, and the connections between the two. This collection features new and previously unpublished material by JC Beall, Mark Colyvan, Michael Devitt, John Heil, Frank Jackson, Fred Kroon, D. H. Mellor, Luca Moretti, Alan Musgrave, Robert Nola, J. J. C. Smart, Paul Snowdon, and Daniel Stoljar. (shrink)
Law and morals in the Hebrew Scriptures, Plato, and Aristotle, by M. R. Konvitz.--The ethics of the Pharisees, by L. Finkelstein.--Doubts about justice, by W. Kaufmann.--Law and disorder: Some reflections on the political philosophy of Edmond Cahn, by D. D. Williams.--Ethics and business, by P. Sporn.--Mission and opportunity: religion in a pluralistic culture, by R. Niebuhr.--Reflections on over-population, by C. Merrill.--Ethical issues in psychotherapy, by N. W. Ackerman.--Drama: a mirror of conflict, by E. M. Jackson.--Toward a new cultural federalism, (...) by E. Warren. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Acknowledgements -- Preface; A.McRobbie -- Notes on Contributors -- Introduction; C.Scharff & R.Gill -- PART I: SEXUAL SUBJECTIVITY AND THE MAKEOVER PARADIGM -- Pregnant Beauty: Maternal Femininities under Neoliberalism; I.Tyler -- The Right to Be Beautiful: Postfeminist Identity and Consumer Beauty Advertising; M.M.Lazar -- Spicing It Up: Sexual Entrepreneurs and The Sex Inspectors; L.Harvey & R.Gill -- '(M)Other-in-Chief: Michelle Obama and the Ideal of Republican Womanhood'; L.Guerrero -- Scourging the Abject Body: Ten Years Younger and (...) Fragmented Femininity under Neoliberalism; E.Tincknell -- PART II: NEGOTIATING POSTFEMINIST MEDIA CULTURE -- Are You Sexy, Flirty, Or A Slut? Exploring 'Sexualisation' and How Teen Girls Perform/Negotiate Digital Sexual Identity on Social Networking Sites; J.Ringrose -- 'Feminism? That's So Seventies': Girls and Young Women Discuss Femininity and Feminism in America's Next Top Model; A.L.Press -- Media 'Sluts': 'Tween' Girls' Negotiations of Postfeminist Sexual Subjectivities in Popular Culture; S.Jackson & T.Vares -- Is 'the Missy' a New Femininity?; J.Kim -- PART III: TEXTUAL COMPLICATIONS -- Of Displaced Desires: Interrogating 'New' Sexualities abd 'New' Spaces in Indian Diasporic Cinema; B.Bose -- Notes on Some Scandals: The Politics of Shame in Vers le Sud; S.Wearing -- The Limits of Cross-Cultural Analogy: Muslim Veiling and 'Western' Fashion and Beauty Practices; C.Pedwell -- PART IV: NEW FEMININITIES: AGENCY AND/AS MAKING DO -- Through the Looking Glass? Sexual Agency and Subjectification Online; F.Attwood -- Reckoning with Prostitutes: Performing Thai Femininity; J.Haritaworn -- Migrant Women Challenging Stereotypical Views on Femininities and Family; U.Erel -- Negotiating Sexual Citizenship: Lesbians and Reproductive Health Care; R.Ryan-Flood -- PART V: NEW FEMINISMS, NEW CHALLENGES -- The New German Feminisms: Of Wetlands and Alpha-Girls; C.Scharff -- The Contradictions of Successful Femininity: Third-Wave Feminism, Postfeminism and 'New' Femininities; S.Budgeon -- Skater Girlhood: Resignifying Femininity, Resignifying Feminism; D.H.Currie, D.M.Kelly & S.Pomerantz -- Will These Emergencies Never End? Some First Thoughts about the Impact of Economic and Security Crises on Everyday Life; G.Bhattacharyya -- Index. (shrink)
T. C. Boyle’s A Friend of the Earth (2001), tells the story of Tyrone Tierwater, a one time monkeywrencher and environmental avenger for “E. F.!” (Earth Forever!) who we first meet in 2025 in his mid-seventies. Tierwater is now working for a character based on Michael Jackson, who in his semi-retirement has employed the elder eco-warrior to help save some of the last remnants of a few dying species – warthogs, peccaries, hyenas, jackals, lions and what is likely the (...) last Patagoninan fox. The not too distant environmental future painted by Boyle is a disaster. Global warming has finally caught up to us with a vengeance and even the secure shores of the U.S. are wracked by unmitigated cycles of flooding and drought seriously degrading most semblances of life as we know it. To be sure, though, people, and some versions of progress, go on. While most affordable food and drink is limited to some combination of catfish and sake (very little else having survived decades of disastrous weather and a series of crop blights), and there are constant threats of new strains of life-threatening and highly contagious diseases, suburban development continues and new humans come into existence with the promise, at least in the developed world, of longer life spans. But Boyle does not give us anything like the overly optimistic views expressed by some conservative columnists who dismiss the need for global climate treaties; this is not an environmental future that is only felt with difficulty in the underdeveloped south requiring simpler economic readjustments for Americans without a substantial shift in lifestyle. The world.. (shrink)
The ethics of the Egyptian religion, by S. A. B. Mercer.--The ethics of Confucianism, by H. P. Beach.--The ethics of the Babylonian and Assyrian religion, by G. A. Barton.--The history of Hindu ethics, by E. W. Hopkins.--The ethics of Zoroastrianism, by A. V. W. Jackson.--Early Hebrew ethics, by L. B. Paton.--The ethics of the Hebrew prophets - from Amos to the Deuteronomic reformation, by L. B. Paton.--The ethics of the Greek religion, by P. Shorey.--The ethics of the Gospels, by (...) E. F. Scott.--The ethics of the Pauline epistles, by C. H. Dodd.--Moslem ethics, by J. C. Archer.--The moral values of religion, by E. H. Sneath. (shrink)
The mind cannot be an object. An object can be conceived only as that which may possibly become an object to something else. Now what can the mind become an object to? Not to me for I am it and not to something else. Not to something else without again being denuded of consciousness.And how could we descend into the depths of our nervous system to ascertain what is the nature of the psychical correlative of the physiological bottom? If we (...) could, we could only describe that correlative psychical in terms of object-consciousness, which would be a pseudo description of it.John Hughlings-Jackson.If Charles Scott Sherrington (1857-1952) was the most philosophically aware neurophysiologist of the late 19th to early 20th .. (shrink)
Frank Jackson argued, in an astronomically frequently cited paper on 'Epiphenomenal qualia'[Jackson 1982 that materialism must be mistaken. His argument is called the knowledge argument. Over the years since he published that paper, he gradually came to the conviction that the conclusion of the knowledge argument must be mistaken. Yet he long remained totally unconvinced by any of the very numerous published attempts to explain where his knowledge argument had gone astray. Eventually, Jackson did publish a (...) diagnosis of the reasons why, he now thinks, his knowledge argument against materialism fails to prove the falsity of materialism [Jackson 2005. He argues that you can block the knowledge argument against materialism - but only if you tie yourself to a dubious doctrine called representationalism. We argue that the knowledge argument fails as a refutation of either representational or nonrepresentational materialism. It does, however, furnish both materialists and dualists with a successful argument for the existence of distinctively first-person modes of acquaintance with mental states. Jackson's argument does not refute materialism: but it does bring to the surface significant features of thought and experience, which many dualists have sensed, and most materialists have missed. (shrink)
Sydney Shoemaker notes that my "avoidance of the standard philosophical terminology for discussing such matters" often creates problems for me; philosophers have a hard time figuring out what I am saying and what I am denying. My refusal to play ball with my colleagues is deliberate, of course, since I view the standard philosophical terminology as worse than useless--a major obstacle to progress since it consists of so many errors trapped in the seductively lucid amber of tradition: "obvious truths" that (...) are simply false, broken-backed distinctions, and other cognitive illusions. I want to shift the perspective of philosophy of mind, and for that task using the standard terminology would be counterproductive. Fortunately, the inevitable communication-difficulties my policy provokes are forced into the open by occasions such as this constructive confrontation, permitting me to clarify my shocking message. I am grateful to Shoemaker, and to Michael Tye, Frank Jackson and David Rosenthal, for their vigorous and sympathetic reactions to my book. (shrink)
The following is a transcript of what might very well have been five telephone conversations between Michael Jordan and former Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson. The conversations took place in early March 1995, just before the announcement of MJ’s comeback after a year spent pursuing baseball.
The following is a transcript of what might very well have been five telephone conversa- tions between Michael Jordan and former Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson in early March 1995, just before the announcement of MJ’s comeback after a year spent pursu- ing a baseball career.
There is increasing interest in farmers’ organizations as an effective approach to farmer participatory research (FPR). Using data from an empirical study of farmers’ research groups (FRGs) in Uganda, this paper examines the patterns of participation in groups and answers questions such as: Who participates? What types of participation? How does participation occur? What are the factors determining participation? Results show that there is no single type of participation, but rather that FPR is a dynamic process with types of participation (...) varying at different stages of the process. Farmers’ participation does not follow the normal adoption curve. Rather, it is characterized by high participation at the initial stages, followed by dramatic decrease and dropping-out, and slow increases toward the end. There is usually significantly higher participation among male farmers at the beginning of the process. However, as FRGs evolve, the proportion of men decreases sharply while the relative proportion of women continues to increase until it dominates the group. The findings do not support the common assumption that groups usually exclude women and the poor. On the contrary, we argue that FRGs are an effective mechanism to provide women and the poor with opportunities to participate in research. However, to be effective, this requires moving beyond head counting to promote more proactive gender and equity perspectives for amplifying the benefits of agricultural research to those who tend to be marginalized or excluded by mainstream development initiatives. This will be critical for making agricultural research more client-oriented and demand-driven. (shrink)