One of the most radical dimensions of Davis’s critique of American democracy is her exposure of the vestiges of slavery that remain in the contemporary criminal justice system. I discuss this aspect of her critical project, its roots in Du Bois’s critique of Black Reconstruction, and the way that it informs her prison abolitionism and her two-pronged program for the formation of a genuine “abolition democracy.” I conclude by reflecting upon Davis’s reticence about abolition as a constructive enterprise and assessing (...) some of the challenges faced by the contemporary abolitionist movement. (shrink)
A common argument against explanatory reductionism is that higher‐level explanations are sometimes or always preferable because they are more general than reductive explanations. Here I challenge two basic assumptions that are needed for that argument to succeed. It cannot be assumed that higher‐level explanations are more general than their lower‐level alternatives or that higher‐level explanations are general in the right way to be explanatory. I suggest a novel form of pluralism regarding levels of explanation, according to which explanations at different (...) levels are preferable in different circumstances because they offer different types of generality, which are appropriate in different circumstances of explanation. *Received July 2009; revised September 2009. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Oklahoma State University, 246 Murray Hall, Stillwater, OK 74078; e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
Sex and sensibility: The role of social selection Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9464-6 Authors Erika L. Milam, Department of History, University of Maryland, 2115 Francis Scott Key Hall, College Park, MD 20742, USA Roberta L. Millstein, Department of Philosophy, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA Angela Potochnik, Department of Philosophy, University of Cincinnati, P.O. Box 210374, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA Joan E. Roughgarden, Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5020, USA Journal Metascience (...) Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796. (shrink)
What is form? Why does form matter? In this imaginative and ambitious study, Angela Leighton assesses not only the legacy of Victorian aestheticism, and its richly resourceful keyword, 'form', but also the very nature of the literary. She shows how writers, for two centuries and more, have returned to the idea of form as something which contains the secret of art itself. She tracks the development of the word from the Romantics to contemporary poets, and offers close readings of, (...) among others, Tennyson, Pater, Woolf, Yeats, Stevens, and Plath, to show how form has provided the single most important way of accounting for the movements of literary language itself. She investigates, for instance, the old debate of form and content, of form as music or sound-shape, as the ghostly dynamic and dynamics of a text, as well as its long association with the aestheticist principle of being 'for nothing'. In a wide-ranging and inventive argument, she suggests that form is the key to the pleasure of the literary text, and that that pleasure is part of what literary criticism itself needs to answer and convey. (shrink)
This paper focuses on a specific aspect of political imaginaries: political myth. What are political myths? What role do they play within today's commoditized political imaginaries? What are the conditions for setting up a critique of them? We will address these questions, by putting forward a theory of political myth which situates itself between psycho analysis and political philosophy, in line with the tradition of critical theory that many still associate with the name of the Frankfurt School. We will first (...) discuss the notion of political myth by illustrating the contribution of both disciplines to its understanding and then, through a discussion of the notion of social unconscious, we will apply this analysis to a contemporary example of political myth, that of a clash of civilizations. Content Type Journal Article Pages 94-112 Authors Chiara Bottici, Department of Philosophy, New School for Social Research, New York Angela Kühner, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Germany Journal Critical Horizons: A Journal of Philosophy & Social Theory Online ISSN 1568-5160 Print ISSN 1440-9917 Journal Volume Volume 13 Journal Issue Volume 13, Number 1 / 2012. (shrink)
Integrative Feminisms presents a unique discussion of feminist radicalism in North America in the context of feminism's global development since the 1960s. Across divergent agendas, Angela Miles illuminates the transformative power she argues is common to apparently diverse radical, eco-, Black, socialist, lesbian and "third world" feminists. Drawing on interviews with activists, historical and documentary research, and her own participation, she provides powerful analysis of concentric feminisms in a transnational context. The book shows how transformative practices have led these (...) various feminisms in their own ways to refuse industrial/patriarchal categories, and how they have sustained their own projects against great odds. Skating the edge of controversy, Miles argues that the charges of political naivete, utopianism and essentialism levelled against these integrative feminisms are reductionist denials of the most progressive aspects of North American feminism, aspects central to the rapidly developing feminisms in the "third world." Within this original framework the author takes on the issues of pornography, prostitution, identity politics, postmodern feminism, and censorship, all of which continue to be hotly debated among feminists, the media and the courts. (shrink)
This paper overviews the current status of debates on tracking representationalism, the view that phenomenal consciousness is a matter of tracking features of one's environment in a certain way. We overview the main arguments for the view and the main objections and challenges it faces. We close with a discussion of alternative versions of representationalism that might overcome the shortcomings of tracking representationalism.
While feminist aestheticians have long interrogated gendered, raced, and classed hierarchies in the arts, feminist philosophers still don’t talk much about popular music. Even though Angela Davis and bell hooks have seriously engaged popular music, they are often situated on the margins of philosophy. It is my contention that feminist aesthetics has a lot to offer to the study of popular music, and the case of popular music points feminist aesthetics to some of its own limitations and unasked questions. (...) This essay addresses the paucity of work in feminist philosophy and popular music by (1) applying insights from other areas of feminist aesthetics (the role of gender in the art/craft distinction, concepts of genius and creativity, notions of active spectatorship, etc.) to questions of popular music, and (2) thereby using feminist aesthetics – specifically, Julia Kristea’s notion of female genius and the genius spectator – to critique itself. (shrink)
It is a live possibility that certain of our experiences reliably misrepresent the world around us. I argue that tracking theories of mental representation (e.g. those of Dretske, Fodor, and Millikan) have difficulty allowing for this possibility, and that this is a major consideration against them.
Recently, a number of philosophers have begun to question the commonly held view that choice or voluntary control is a precondition of moral responsibility. According to these philosophers, what really matters in determining a person’s responsibility for some thing is whether that thing can be seen as indicative or expressive of her judgments, values, or normative commitments. Such accounts might therefore be understood as updated versions of what Susan Wolf has called “real self views,” insofar as they attempt to ground (...) an agent’s responsibility for her actions and attitudes in the fact (when it is a fact) that they express who she is as a moral agent. As such, they seem to be open to some of the same objections Wolf originally raised to such accounts, and in particular to the objection that they cannot license the sorts of robust moral assessments involved in our current practices of moral responsibility. My aim in this paper is to try to respond to this challenge, by clarifying the kind of robust moral assessments I take to be licensed by (at least some) non-volitional accounts of responsibility and by explaining why these assessments do not in general require the agent to have voluntary control over everything for which she is held responsible. I also argue that the limited applicability of the distinction between “bad agents” and “blameworthy agents” on these accounts is in fact a mark in their favor. (shrink)
In this paper, we consider three arguments for the irrelevance of the doctrine of double effect in end-of-life decision making. The third argument is our own and, to that extent, we seek to defend it. The first argument is that end-of-life decisions do not in fact shorten lives and that therefore there is no need for the doctrine in justification of these decisions. We reject this argument; some end-of-life decisions clearly shorten lives. The second is that the doctrine of double (...) effect is not recognized in UK law (and similar jurisdictions); therefore, clinicians cannot use it as the basis for justification of their decisions. Against this we suggest that while the doctrine might have dubious legal grounds, it could be of relevance in some ways, e.g. in marking the boundary between acceptable and unacceptable practice in relation to the clinician's duty to relieve pain and suffering. The third is that the doctrine is irrelevant because it requires there to be a bad effect that needs justification. This is not the case in end-of-life care for patients diagnosed as dying. Here, bringing about a satisfactory dying process for a patient is a good effect, not a bad one. What matters is that patients die without pain and suffering. This marks a crucial departure from the double-effect doctrine; if the patient's death is not a bad effect then the doctrine is clearly irrelevant. A diagnosis of dying allows clinicians to focus on good dying and not to worry about whether their intervention affects the time of death. For a patient diagnosed as dying, time of death is rarely important. In our conclusion we suggest that acceptance of our argument might be problematic for opponents of physician-assisted death. We suggest one way in which these opponents might argue for a distinction between such practice and palliative care; this relies on the double-effect doctrine's distinction between foresight and intention. (shrink)
A number of philosophers have recently argued that we should interpret the debate over moral responsibility as a debate over the conditions under which it would be “fair” to blame a person for her attitudes or conduct. What is distinctive about these accounts is that they begin with the stance of the moral judge, rather than that of the agent who is judged, and make attributions of responsibility dependent upon whether it would be fair or appropriate for a moral judge (...) to react to the agent in various (negative) ways. This is problematic, I argue, because our intuitions about whether and when it would be fair to react negatively to another are sensitive to a host of considerations that appear to have little or nothing to do with an agent’s responsibility or culpability for her attitudes or behavior. If this is correct, then theories which make attributions of responsibility dependent upon the appropriateness of our reactions as moral judges will turn out to be fundamentally misguided. (shrink)
This dissertation argues that mental representation is identical to phenomenal consciousness, and everything else that appears to be both mental and a matter of representation is not genuine mental representation, but either in some way derived from mental representation, or a case of non-mental representation.
Much recent research has sought to uncover the neural basis of moral judgment. However, it has remained unclear whether "moral judgments" are sufficiently homogenous to be studied scientifically as a unified category. We tested this assumption by using fMRI to examine the neural correlates of moral judgments within three moral areas: (physical) harm, dishonesty, and (sexual) disgust. We found that the judgment ofmoral wrongness was subserved by distinct neural systems for each of the different moral areas and that these differences (...) were much more robust than differences in wrongness judgments within a moral area. Dishonest, disgusting, and harmful moral transgression recruited networks of brain regions associated with mentalizing, affective processing, and action understanding, respectively. Dorsal medial pFC was the only region activated by all scenarios judged to be morally wrong in comparison with neutral scenarios. However, this region was also activated by dishonest and harmful scenarios judged not to be morally wrong, suggestive of a domain-general role that is neither peculiar to nor predictive of moral decisions. These results suggest that moral judgment is not a wholly unified faculty in the human brain, but rather, instantiated in dissociable neural systems that are engaged differentially depending on the type of transgression being judged. (shrink)
Stereotypical images of Appalachians abound in entertainment media. When CBS proposed transplanting a poor Appalachian family to California for a reality television show titled The Real Beverly Hillbillies, Appalachians and advocacy groups were outraged. This article explores ethical issues raised by stereotypical portrayals of Appalachians and potential harm from those stereotypes as well as the reality from which they emerged. Using the theories of Levinas, Kant, and Aristotle, we then examine the ethics of stereotyping Appalachians and other subcultures in entertainment (...) media. Finally, we propose a decision tree to aid producers of entertainment media in creating ethical portrayals of fictional characters and real people. (shrink)
In his recent book, In Praise of Blame, George Sher argues (among other things) that a bad act can reflect negatively on a person if that act results in an appropriate way from that person's "character," and defends a novel "two-tiered" account of what it is to blame someone. In these brief comments, I raise some questions and doubts about each of these aspects of his rich and thought-provoking account.
Locke’s theory of consciousness is often appropriated as a forerunner of present-day Higher-Order Perception (HOP) theories, but not much is said about it beyond that. We offer an interpretation of Locke’s account of consciousness that portrays it as crucially different from current-day HOP theory, both in detail and in spirit. In this paper, it is argued that there are good historical and philosophical reasons to attribute to Locke the view not that conscious states are accompanied by higher-order perceptions, but rather (...) that conscious states constitute perceptions of themselves. (shrink)
A collection of new essays on causation in the period from Galileo to Lady Mary Shepherd (roughly 1600-1850). Contributors: David Wootton, Tad Schmaltz, William Eaton and Robert Higgerson, Eric Schliesser, Pauline Phemister, Timothy Stanton, Peter Millican, Constantine Sandis, Boris Hennig, Angela Breitenbach, Stathis Psillos, and Martha Brandt Bolton.
Mindfulness can be understood as the mental ability to focus on the direct and immediate perception or monitoring of the present moment with a state of open and nonjudgmental awareness. Descriptions of mindfulness and methods for cultivating it originated in eastern spiritual traditions. These suggest that mindfulness can be developed through meditation practice to increase positive qualities such as awareness, insight, wisdom, and compassion. In this article we focus on the relationships between mindfulness, with associated meditation practices, and the cognitive (...) neuroscience of attention and awareness. Mindful awareness is related to distributed attention, phenomenal consciousness, and momentary self-awareness, as characterized by recent findings in cognitive psychology and neuroscience as well as in influential consciousness models. Finally, we outline an integrated neurocognitive model of mindfulness, attention, and awareness, with a key role of prefrontal cortex. (shrink)
In “Control, Responsibility, and Moral Assessment” Angela Smith defends her nonvoluntarist theory of moral responsibility against the charge that any such view is shallow because it cannot capture the depth of judgments of responsibility. Only voluntarist positions can do this since only voluntarist positions allow for control. I argue that Smith is able to deflect the voluntarists’ criticism, but only with further resources. As a voluntarist, I also concede that Smith’s thesis has force, and I close with a compromise (...) position, one that allows for direct moral responsibility for the nonvoluntary, but also incorporates a reasonable control condition. (shrink)
I argue that a certain type of naturalist should not accept a prominent version of the no‐miracles argument (NMA). First, scientists (usually) do not accept explanations whose explanans‐statements neither generate novel predictions nor unify apparently disparate established claims. Second, scientific realism (as it appears in the NMA) is an explanans that makes no new predictions and fails to unify disparate established claims. Third, many proponents of the NMA explicitly adopt a naturalism that forbids philosophy of science from using any methods (...) not employed by science itself. Therefore, such naturalistic philosophers of science should not accept the version of scientific realism that appears in the NMA. *Received April 2007; revised November 2008. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, 300 Pulteney Street, Geneva, NY 14456; e‐mail: gfrost‐email@example.com. (shrink)
An historically important conception of the unity of science is explanatory reductionism, according to which the unity of science is achieved by explaining all laws of science in terms of their connection to microphysical law. There is, however, a separate tradition that advocates the unity of science. According to that tradition, the unity of science consists of the coordination of diverse fields of science, none of which is taken to have privileged epistemic status. This alternate conception has roots in Otto (...) Neurath’s notion of unified science. In this paper, I develop a version of the coordination approach to unity that is inspired by Neurath’s views. The resulting conception of the unity of science achieves aims similar to those of explanatory reductionism, but does so in a radically different way. As a result, it is immune to the criticisms facing explanatory reductionism. This conception of unity is also importantly different from the view that science is disunified, and I conclude by demonstrating how it accords better with scientific practice than do conceptions of the disunity of science. (shrink)
Moods and emotions are sometimes thought to be counterexamples to intentionalism, the view that a mental state's phenomenal features are exhausted by its representational features. The problem is that moods and emotions are accompanied by phenomenal experiences that do not seem to be adequately accounted for by any of their plausibly represented contents. This paper develops and defends an intentionalist view of the phenomenal character of moods and emotions on which (1) emotions and some moods represent intentional objects as having (...) sui generis affective properties, which happen to be uninstantiated, and (2) at least some moods represent affective properties not bound to any objects. (shrink)
There is an alleged tension between undue inducement and exploitation in research trials. This paper considers claims that increasing the benefits to research subjects enrolled in international, externally-sponsored clinical trials should be avoided on the grounds that it may result in the undue inducement of research subjects. This article contributes to the debate about exploitation versus undue inducement by introducing an analysis of the available empirical research into research participants' motivations and the influence of payments on research subjects' behaviour and (...) risk assessment. Admittedly, the available research in this field is limited, but the research that has been conducted suggests that financial rewards do not distort research subjects' behaviour or blind them to the risks involved with research. Therefore, I conclude that research sponsors should prioritise the prevention of exploitation in international research by providing greater benefits to research participants. (edited). (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Chronology; Introduction John M. Najemy; 1. Niccol- Machiavelli: a portrait James B. Atkinson; 2. Machiavelli in the Chancery Robert Black; 3. Machiavelli, Piero Soderini, and the Republic of 1494-1512 Roslyn Pesman; 4. Machiavelli and the Medici Humfrey Butters; 5. Machiavelli's Prince in the epic tradition Wayne A. Rebhorn; 6. Society, class, and state in Machiavelli's Discourses on Livy John M. Najemy; 7. Machiavelli's military project and the Art of War Mikael Hörnqvist; 8. Machiavelli's History of Florence (...) Anna Maria Cabrini; 9. Machiavelli and Rome: the Republic as ideal and as history J. G. A. Pocock; 10. Philosophy and religion in Machiavelli Alison Brown; 11. Rhetoric and ethics in Machiavelli Virginia Cox; 12. Machiavelli and poetry Albert Russell Ascoli and Angela Matilde Capodivacca; 13. Comedian, tragedian: Machiavelli and traditions of Renaissance theatre Ronald Martinez; 14. Machiavelli and gender Barbara Spackman; 15. Machiavelli's afterlife and reputation to the eighteenth century Victoria Kahn; 16. Machiavelli in political thought from the Age of Revolutions to the present Je;re;mie Barthas; Index. (shrink)
In 2004 Emanuel et al. published an influential account of exploitation in international research, which has become known as the 'fair benefits account'. In this paper I argue that the thin definition of fairness presented by Emanuel et al, and subsequently endorsed by Gbadegesin and Wendler, does not provide a notion of fairness that is adequately robust to support a fair benefits account of exploitation. The authors present a procedural notion of fairness – the fair distribution of the benefits of (...) research is to be determined on a case-by-case basis by the parties involved in each study. The fairness of the distribution of benefits is not assessed against an independent normative standard. Emanuel et al.'s account of fairness provides a framework for objecting only to transactions that occur without the fully informed consent of the weaker party. As a result, a debate about exploitation collapses into a debate about consent. This is problematic because, as the proponents of the fair benefits framework acknowledge, neither the trial participants' consent nor the host community's consent preclude exploitation. Attempts to stipulate normative standards of fairness to protect research subjects in developing countries have been controversial and divisive, and it is therefore understandable that bioethicists would be tempted to develop accounts of exploitation that are independent of such prescriptive principles. I conclude, however, that the utility of the fair benefits model of exploitation as a policy tool will ultimately depend on whether a substantive principle of fairness can be developed to underpin it. (shrink)
The fate of optimality modeling is typically linked to that of adaptationism: the two are thought to stand or fall together (Gould and Lewontin, Proc Relig Soc Lond 205:581–598, 1979; Orzack and Sober, Am Nat 143(3):361–380, 1994). I argue here that this is mistaken. The debate over adaptationism has tended to focus on one particular use of optimality models, which I refer to here as their strong use. The strong use of an optimality model involves the claim that selection is (...) the only important influence on the evolutionary outcome in question and is thus linked to adaptationism. However, biologists seldom intend this strong use of optimality models. One common alternative that I term the weak use simply involves the claim that an optimality model accurately represents the role of selection in bringing about the outcome. This and other weaker uses of optimality models insulate the optimality approach from criticisms of adaptationism, and they account for the prominence of optimality modeling (broadly construed) in population biology. The centrality of these uses of optimality models ensures a continuing role for the optimality approach, regardless of the fate of adaptationism. (shrink)
This paper provides preliminary insights into the process of sense-making and developing meaning with regard to corporate social responsibility (CSR) within 18 Dutch companies. It is based upon a research project carried out within the framework of the Dutch National Research Programme on CSR. The paper questions how change agents promoting CSR within these companies made sense of the meaning of CSR. How did they use language (and other instruments) to stimulate and underpin the contextual essence of CSR? Why did (...) they do that in this particular way? What were the consequences of this approach for shaping the process of CSR in their company? Did their efforts contribute to a new way of thinking and acting or was it merely putting old wine in new barrels? A preliminary conclusion is that change agents use above all linguistic artefacts (words and notions) and carry out practical projects while constructing meaning. Still, the meaning of meaning itself remains highly intangible, situational and personality related. (shrink)
The value of optimality modeling has long been a source of contention amongst population biologists. Here I present a view of the optimality approach as at once playing a crucial explanatory role and yet also depending on external sources of confirmation. Optimality models are not alone in facing this tension between their explanatory value and their dependence on other approaches; I suspect that the scenario is quite common in science. This investigation of the optimality approach thus serves as a case (...) study, on the basis of which I suggest that there is a widely felt tension in science between explanatory independence and broad epistemic inter dependence, and that this tension influences scientific methodology. (shrink)
: The question which this paper examines is that of the correct scope of the claim that extra-linguistic factors (such as gender and social status) can block the proper workings of natural language. The claim that this is possible has been put forward under the apt label of silencing in the context of Austinian speech act theory. The ‘silencing’ label is apt insofar as when one's ability to exploit the inherent dynamic of language is ‘blocked’ by one's gender or social (...) status then one might justly be said to be silenced. The notion that factors independent of any person's linguistic competence might block her ability to exploit the inherent dynamic of language is of considerable social as well as theoretical significance. I shall defend the claim that factors independent of a person's linguistic competence can indeed block her ability to do things with words but I will show that the cases that have been previously considered to be cases of illocutionary failure are instances of rhetic or locutionary act failure instead. I shall refine the silencing claim as previously advanced in the debate in at least one fundamental respect. I also show that considering the metaphysics of speech acts clarifies many of the issues previously appearing as thorny bones of contention between those who hold that the only notion of silencing that is coherent is that of physically preventing someone from speaking or writing and those who hold the opposite sort of claim sketched above. (shrink)
Plato's thinking on courage, manliness and heroism is both profound and central to his work, but these areas of his thought remain underexplored. This book examines his developing critique of the notions and embodiments of manliness prevalent in his culture (particularly those in Homer), and his attempt to redefine such notions in accordance with his ethical, psychological and metaphysical principles. It further seeks to locate the discussion within the framework of Plato's general approach to ethics.
The optimality approach to modeling natural selection has been criticized by many biologists and philosophers of biology. For instance, Lewontin (1979) argues that the optimality approach is a shortcut that will be replaced by models incorporating genetic information, if and when such models become available. In contrast, I think that optimality models have a permanent role in evolutionary study. I base my argument for this claim on what I think it takes to best explain an event. In certain contexts, optimality (...) and game-theoretic models best explain some central types of evolutionary phenomena. ‡Thanks to Michael Friedman, Helen Longino, Michael Weisberg, and especially Elliott Sober for comments on earlier drafts of this paper. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-2155; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
The word stigma comes from ancient Greece, and was initially used in reference to signs or symbols physically cut into or burned onto the bodies of those deemed to be of an inferior status. It was a marking of one's tarnished and flawed character. Today, stigma is more often attached to one's social standing, personality traits, or psychological makeup. "People are no longer physically branded; instead they are societally labeled—as poor, as criminal, homosexual, mentally ill, and so on. These labels (...) influence public perceptions and behavior and lead to devaluation and denigration of those who are so labeled" (Wahl 1999, 11–12).The modern usage of the term stigma and contemporary focus on the concept as a topic of .. (shrink)
Putting the ‘empiricism’ in ‘logical empiricism’: the director’s cut Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9444-x Authors Greg Frost-Arnold, Department of Philosophy, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY 14456, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
In 1987, a young woman named Angela Carder, pregnant and dying from cancer, was ordered by a court of law to undergo a cesarean delivery against her and her family’s wishes. She and her baby both died. Three years later, an appeals court took an extraordinary stand: it vacated the order that ended their lives and upheld pregnant women’s rights to informed consent and bodily integrity. The “unkindest cut of all,”1 it seemed, had been condemned by the courts.2 Yet (...) shortly before the twenty-year anniversary of this landmark case, the same rights were stripped from another young pregnant woman. In January of this year, oral arguments were heard in the case of Samantha Burton. She had been twenty-five weeks .. (shrink)