This essay returns to the Azande tribe of Africa, discussed by Polanyi (in Personal Knowledge) and others, in order to rethink the issues of rationality and irrationality and of essentialism and relativism, and to consider what these issues mean in our actual lives as daily we make epistemological and moral judgements.
Alison Stone offers a feminist defence of the idea that sexual difference is natural, providing a new interpretation of the later philosophy of Luce Irigaray. She defends Irigaray's unique form of essentialism and her rethinking of the relationship between nature and culture, showing how Irigaray's ideas can be reconciled with Judith Butler's performative conception of gender, through rethinking sexual difference in relation to German Romantic philosophies of nature. This is the first sustained attempt to connect feminist conceptions of embodiment (...) to German idealist and Romantic accounts of nature. Not merely an interpretation of Irigaray, this book also presents an original feminist perspective on nature and the body. It will encourage debate on the relations between sexual difference, essentialism, and embodiment. (shrink)
In this book Alison Stone develops a feminist approach to maternal subjectivity. Stone argues that in the West the self has often been understood in opposition to the maternal body, so that one must separate oneself from the mother and maternal care-givers on whom one depended in childhood to become a self or, in modernity, an autonomous subject. These assumptions make it difficult to be a mother and a subject, an autonomous creator of meaning. Insofar as mothers nonetheless (...) strive to regain their subjectivity when their motherhood seems to have compromised it, theirs cannot be the usual kind of subjectivity premised on separation from the maternal body. Mothers are subjects of a new kind, who generate meanings and acquire agency from their position of re-immersion in the realm of maternal body relations, of bodily intimacy and dependency. Thus Stone interprets maternal subjectivity as a specific form of subjectivity that is continuous with the maternal body. Stone analyzes this form of subjectivity in terms of how the mother typically reproduces with her child her history of bodily relations with her own mother, leading to a distinctive maternal and cyclical form of lived time. (shrink)
In this essay, James Scott Johnston claims that a dispute over moral teleology lies at the basis of the debate between John Dewey and Robert M. Hutchins. This debate has very often been cast in terms of perennialism, classicism, or realism versus progressivism, experimentalism, or pragmatism. Unfortunately, casting the debate in these terms threatens to leave the reader with the impression that Dewey and Hutchins were simply talking past each other, that one was wrongheaded while the other correct, or (...) that they held incommensurable ideological standpoints. Such an understanding obscures a deeper conflict that divided these two men and overlooks the depth of the differences in their moral outlooks. Johnston argues that both thinkers knew very well what morally significant principles and practices were at stake in the debate and, further, that this awareness, rather than the question of which foundation for education was better for students, informed their responses to one another. (shrink)
The idea of the inner is central to our conception of a person and is at the heart of all interaction. But how should we understand this concept, and what do we mean when we wonder what is going on inside our heads? This accessible and non-technical guide to Wittgenstein provides insight into his work in this area and on the problem of the inner. Using Wittgenstein's recently published writings on the philosophy of psychology, together with unpublished material, Paul (...) class='Hi'>Johnston presents a thorough account of a subject that was central to Wittgenstein's later work. He shows that Wittgenstein's arguments involve a radical re-thinking of our understanding of the inner and present a challenge to contemporary views which has yet to be fully appreciated or understood. Wittgenstein demonstrates how a Wittgensteinian approach can dissolve age-old problems about the nature of consciousness and the relationship between the mind, the body, and the soul. The resulting picture of the inner, with its stress on the crucial role of language, sheds light on the direction of Wittgenstein's work and presents a stimulating and controversial alternative to more fashionable positions on the subject. (shrink)
The Contradictions of Modern Moral Philosophy is a highly original and radical critique of contemporary moral theory. Johnston skillfully demonstrates how much of recent moral philosophy runs aground on the issue of whether we can make correct moral judgements. His analysis begins with an insightful discussion of the divisions within moral philosophy. On one hand many philosophers deny that it is possible to make correct judgements on other peoples actions; on the other, they remain preoccupied with distinguishing between what (...) is "right" and "wrong". Paul Johnston shows how much recent moral philosophy consists of unsuccessful attempts to eliminate this contradiction. (shrink)
Revisiting the history of relativity Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9466-4 Authors Lewis Pyenson, Department of History, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5242, USA Sean F. Johnston, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Glasgow, Rutherford-McCowan Building, Dumfries, Glasgow, Scotland G2 0RB, UK Alberto A. Martínez, Department of History, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station B7000, Austin, TX 78712-0220, USA Richard Staley, Department of the History of Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 226 Bradley Memorial Building, 1225 Linden Drive, Madison, (...) WI 53706-1528, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796 Journal Volume Volume 20 Journal Issue Volume 20, Number 1. (shrink)
All research has limitations, for example, from paradigm, concept, theory, tradition, and discipline. In this article Lynda Stone describes three exemplars that are variations on limitation and are “extraordinary” in that they change what constitutes future research in each domain. Malcolm Gladwell's present day study of outliers makes a statistical term into a sociological concept. Carlo Ginzburg's study of a sixteenth-century miller who challenges Church doctrine initiates the field of microhistory. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari's philosophy of the rhizome (...) offers a poststructuralist study of the doing of philosophy and the form of philosophical text. Although Gladwell's study is the only one specifically on the topic of outliers, the other two investigations are outliers as well. Overall the three studies demonstrate what can be revealed and learned when limitation is transgressed. This is an important lesson for educational research—wherein heretofore unimagined societal possibility and reform of education might result. (shrink)
What is the proper relation between the scientific worldview and other parts or aspects of human knowledge and experience? Can any science aim at "complete coverage" of the world, and if it does, will it undermine--in principle or by tendency--other attempts to describe or understand the world? Should morality, theology and other areas resist or be protected from scientific treatment? Questions of this sort have been of pressing philosophical concern since antiquity. The Proper Ambition of Science presents ten particular case (...) studies written by prominent philosophers, looking at how this problem has been approached from the ancient world right up to the present day. Contributors: Bob Sharples, M.W.F. Stone, G.A.J. Rogers, J.R. Milton, Aaron Ridley, Christopher Hookway, Dermot Moran, Thomas E. Uebel, David Papineau, and Nancy Cartwright. (shrink)
Reply to Dan Robins’s Review Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11712-012-9275-0 Authors Ian Johnston, GPO Box 811, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia 7001 Journal Dao Online ISSN 1569-7274 Print ISSN 1540-3009.
The historical techniques of theodor gomperz, Friedrich jodl, Wilhelm jerusalem, And rudolf eisler are described. All four excelled at expositing and comparing widely divergent doctrines. Gomperz and jerusalem discussed how social practices influenced doctrines. Eisler was perhaps the most encyclopedic historian of philosophy ever. Johnston's book "the austrian mind" (berkeley, 1971) relates the four philosophers to seventy other austrian thinkers.
Originally published in 1972, Should Trees Have Standing? was a rallying point for the then burgeoning environmental movement, launching a worldwide debate on the basic nature of legal rights that reached the U.S. Supreme Court. Now, in the 35th anniversary edition of this remarkably influential book, Christopher D. Stone updates his original thesis and explores the impact his ideas have had on the courts, the academy, and society as a whole. At the heart of the book is an eminently (...) sensible, legally sound, and compelling argument that the environment should be granted legal rights. For the new edition, Stone explores a variety of recent cases and current events--and related topics such as climate change and protecting the oceans--providing a thoughtful survey of the past and an insightful glimpse at the future of the environmental movement. This enduring work continues to serve as the definitive statement as to why trees, oceans, animals, and the environment as a whole should be bestowed with legal rights, so that the voiceless elements in nature are protected for future generations. (shrink)
Like dreaming, hallucination has been a formative trope for modern philosophy. The vivid, often tragic, breakdown in the mind’s apparent capacity to disclose reality has long served to support a paradoxical philosophical picture of sensory experience. This picture, which of late has shaped the paradigmatic empirical understanding the senses, displays sensory acts as already complete without the external world; complete in that the direct objects even of veridical sensory acts do not transcend what we could anyway hallucinate. Hallucination is thus (...) the mother of Representationalism, which insists that it is mental intermediaries that make other.. (shrink)
I argue that being wide awake is an epistemic virtue which enables me to recognize immediately that I'm wide awake. Also I argue that dreams are imaginings and that the wide awake mind can immediately discern the difference between imaginings and vivid sense experience. Descartes need only pinch himself.
This paper argues that there are no people. If identity isn't what matters in survival, psychological connectedness isn't what matters either. Further, fissioning cases do not support the claim that connectedness is what matters. I consider Peter Unger's view that what matters is a continuous physical realization of a core psychology. I conclude that if identity isn't what matters in survival, nothing matters. This conclusion is deployed to argue that there are no people. Objections to Eliminativism are considered, especially that (...) morality cannot survive the loss of persons. (shrink)
Contextualists offer "high-low standards" practical cases to show that a variety of knowledge standards are in play in different ordinary contexts. These cases show nothing of the sort, I maintain. However Keith DeRose gives an ingenious argument that standards for knowledge do go up in high-stakes cases. According to the knowledge account of assertion (Kn), only knowledge warrants assertion. Kn combined with the context sensitivity of assertability yields contextualism about knowledge. But is Kn correct? I offer a rival account of (...) warranted assertion and argue that it beats Kn as a response to the "knowledge" version of Moore's Paradox. (shrink)
Advance directives typically have two defects. First, most advance directives fail to enable people to effectively avoid unwanted medical intervention. Second, most of them have the potential of ending your life in ways you never intended, years before you had to die.
The commonplace view about metaphorical interpretation is that it can be characterized in traditional semantic and pragmatic terms, thereby assimilating metaphor to other familiar uses of language. We will reject this view, and propose in its place the view that, though metaphors can issue in distinctive cognitive and discourse effects, they do so without issuing in metaphorical meaning and truth, and so, without metaphorical communication. Our inspiration derives from Donald Davidson’s critical arguments against metaphorical meaning and Richard Rorty’s exploration of (...) the diverse uses of language. But unlike these authors we ground our discussion squarely in distinctions about causal mechanisms in cooperative activity developed by H.P. Grice and others. (shrink)