Contingencies of the early nuclear arms race Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-23 DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9495-z Authors S. S. Schweber, Department of the History of Science, Harvard University, Science Center 371, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA Alex Wellerstein, Department of the History of Science, Harvard University, Science Center 371, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA Ethan Pollock, Department of History, Box N, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA Barton J. Bernstein, History Department, Building 200, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-2024, USA Michael (...) D. Gordin, History Department, 305 Dickinson Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796. (shrink)
Theodor W. Adorno is best known for his contributions to aesthetics and social theory. Critics have always complained about the lack of a practical, political or ethical dimension to Adorno's philosophy. In this highly original contribution to the literature on Adorno, J. M. Bernstein offers the first attempt in any language to provide an account of the ethical theory latent in Adorno's writings. Bernstein relates Adorno's ethics to major trends in contemporary moral philosophy. He analyses the full range (...) of Adorno's major works, with a special focus on Dialectic of Enlightenment, Minima Moralia and Negative Dialectics. In developing his account Bernstein lays particular stress on Adorno's contention that the event of Auschwitz demands a new categorical imperative. This book will be widely acknowledged as the standard work on Adorno's ethics and as such will interest professionals and students of philosophy, political theory, sociology, history of ideas, art history and music. (shrink)
This volume brings together major works by German thinkers, writing just prior to and after Kant, who were enormously influential in this crucial period of aesthetics. These texts include the first translation into English of Schiller's Kallias Letters and Moritz's On the Artistic Imitation of the Beautiful, together with new translations of some of Hölderlin's most important theoretical writings and works by Hamann, Lessing, Novalis and Schlegel. In a philosophical introduction J. M. Bernstein traces the development of aesthetics from (...) its still rationalist and mimetic construction in Lessing, through the optimistic construal of art and/or beauty as the appearance of human freedom in the work of Schiller, to Hölderlin's darker vision of art as the memory of a lost unity, and the variations of that theme - of an impossible striving after the lost ideal - which are found in the work of Schlegel and Novalis. (shrink)
In this fresh and powerfully argued book, Mark Bernstein identifies the qualities that make an entity deserving of moral consideration. It is frequently assumed that only (normal) human beings count. Bernstein argues instead for "experientialism"--the view that having conscious experiences is necessary and sufficient for moral standing. He demonstrates that this position requires us to include many non-human animals in our moral realm, but not to the extent that many deep ecologists champion.
Living in the Borderland addresses the evolution of Western consciousness and describes the emergence of the 'Borderland,' a spectrum of reality that is beyond the rational yet is palpable to an increasing number of individuals. Building on Jungian theory, Jerome Bernstein argues that a greater openness to transrational reality experienced by Borderland personalities allows new possibilities for understanding and healing confounding clinical and developmental enigmas. In three sections, this book charts the evolution of Western consciousness, examines the psychological and (...) clinical implications and looks at how the new Borderland consciousness bridges the mind-body divide. It challenges the standard clinical model, which views normality as an absence of pathology and equates normality with the rational, and abnormality with the transrational. Jerome Bernstein describes how psychotherapy itself often contributes to the alienation of many Borderland personalities by misdiagnosing the difference between the pathological and the sacred and uses case studies to illustrate the potential such misdiagnoses have for causing serious psychic and emotional damage to the patient. This challenge to the orthodoxies and complacencies of Western medicine's concept of pathology will interest Jungian Analysts, Psychoanalysts, Psychotherapists and Psychiatrists. (shrink)
In his review of Getting Even: Revenge as a Form of Justice (Open Court: Chicago. 1999). Michael Davis challenges the view put forward in the book that revenge is personal retributive punishment. Davis also claims that “the purpose Barton seeks to achieve under the banner of ‘victims rights’ has no more to do with punishment than with revenge.” In my response, I argue that Davis’s views and conclusions are based partly on a misreading of Getting Even, and partly on (...) mistaken assumptions about the nature of victim rights, justice, punishment, and revenge. (shrink)
Jurgen Habermas' construction of a critical social theory of society grounded in communicative reason is one of the very few real philosophical inventions of recent times that demands and repays extended engagement. In this elaborate and sympathetic study which places Habermas' project in the context of critical theory as a whole past and future, J. M. Bernstein argues that despite its undoubted achievements, it contributes to the very problems of ethical dislocation and meaninglessness it aims to diagnose and remedy. (...)Bernstein further argues that the precise character of the failures of Habermas' program demonstrate the necessity for a return to the first generation critical theory of Adorno. Reading across nearly the whole range of Habermas' corpus, Recovering Ethical Life traces the development of the theory of communicative reason from its inception in Knowledge and Human Interests through its elaboration in The Theory of Communicative Action and into its defense against postmodernism in The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity . In separate chapters Habermas' readings of Freud, Durkheim amd Mead, Adorno and Foucault, Castoriadis and Taylor are critically examined. The focus of Bernstein's analyses, however, is always problem centered and thematic rather than textual psychoanalytic theory as an account of self knowledge, the competing claims of ethical identity and moral reason, the place of judgment in practical reason, and the debate between philosophies of language based communities versus those oriented towards world-disclosure. Critical theory is unique among current philosophies in engaging with the problems of social injustice and nihilism by siding with an abstract moral reason that forfeits the processes of intersubjective recognition it intended to salvage. Even in the fine grain of Habermas' account of performative contradictions and the theory of discourses of application, Bernstein perceives a squandering of the resources of an ethical life in need of transfiguration. (shrink)
Perhaps the greatest impediment to a viable libertarianism is the provision of a satisfactory explanation of how actions that are undetermined by an agent''s character can still be under the control of, or up to, the agent. The luck problem has been most assiduously examined by Robert Kane who supplies a detailed account of how this problem can be resolved. Although Kane''s theory is innovative, insightful, and more resourceful than most of his critics believe, it ultimately cannot account for the (...) type of control that moral responsibility and (ultimate) agency legitimately require. (shrink)
It is the persistence of social suffering in a world in which it could be eliminated that for Adorno is the source of the need for critical reflection, for philosophy. Philosophy continues and gains its cultural place because an as yet unbridgeable abyss separates the social potential for the relief of unnecessary human suffering and its emphatic continuance. Philosophy now is the culturally bound repository for the systematic acknowledgement and articulation of the meaning of the expanse of human suffering within (...) technologically advanced societies that are already committed to liberal ideals of freedom and equality. (shrink)
I present and develop the view that omissions are de re possibilities of actual events. Omissions do not literally fail to occur; rather, they possibly occur. An omission is a tripartite metaphysical entity composed of an actual event, a possible event, and a contextually specified counterpart relation between them. This view resolves ontological, causal, and semantic puzzles about omissions, and also accounts for important data about moral responsibility for outcomes resulting from omissions.
The principle of gratuitous suffering -- The value of humans and the value of animals -- The holocaust of factory farming -- Hunting -- Animal experimentation -- The law and animals -- Women and animals.
The practical problem of assuaging the opponents of animal research may be solved without formally addressing (or resolving) the underlying ethical questions of the debate. Specifically, a peaceful boycott of the "fruits" of animal research may lead to a wider cessation of such research, than, say, vocal or even violent protest. To assist those who might wish to participate in such a boycott- and, moreover, to critically inform them of the implications of their actions-1 offer a modest proposal: the use (...) of an "animal research advance directive", a form which enumerates precisely which "fruits of research" are declined. (shrink)
Recent developments in the field of neurosurgery, specifically those dealing with the modification of mood and affect as part of psychiatric disease, have led some researchers to discuss the ethical implications of surgery to alter personality and personal identity. As knowledge and technology advance, discussions of surgery to alter undesirable traits, or possibly the enhancement of normal traits, will play an increasingly larger role in the ethical literature. So far, identity and enhancement have yet to be explored in a neurosurgical (...) context, despite the fact that 1) neurological disease and treatment both potentially alter identity, and 2) that neurosurgeons will likely be the purveyors of future enhancement implantable technology. Here, we use interviews with neurosurgical patients to shed light on the ethical issues and challenges that surround identity and enhancement in neurosurgery. The results provide insight into how patients approach their identity prior to potentially identity-altering procedures and what future ethical challenges lay ahead for clinicians and researchers in the field of neurotherapeutics. (shrink)
This paper focuses on two key issues in Nicholas Wolterstorff's Justice: Rights and Wrongs . It argues that Wolterstorff's theistic grounding of inherent rights is not successful. It also argues that Wolterstorff does not provide adequate criteria for determining what exactly these natural inherent rights are or criteria that can help us to evaluate competing and contradictory claims about these rights. However, most of Wolterstorff's book is not concerned with the theistic grounding of inherent rights. Instead, it is devoted to (...) a detailed and rigorous articulation of the meaning and defense of a theory of justice as consisting of inherent rights and with showing why this theory of justice is superior to the alternative right order theories that Wolterstorff criticizes. The paper concludes that these accomplishments are not diminished even if Wolterstorff has failed to provide us with a satisfactory theistic grounding of his theory. (shrink)
A thought that we all entertain at some time or other is that the course of our lives might have been very different from the way they in fact have been, with the consequence that we might have been rather different sorts of persons than we actually are. A less common, but prima facie intelligible thought is that we might never have existed at all, though someone rather like us did. Arguably, any plausible theory of personal identity should be able (...) to accommodate both possibilities. Certain currently popular Reductionist theories of personal identity, however, seem to be deficient in precisely this respect. This paper explores some Reductionist responses to that challenge. (shrink)
This superb, exemplary account of Immanuel Kant’s legal and political philosophy is essential reading not only for Kant scholars, but also for political philosophers and philosophers of law. Lucidly reasoned and written with crystalline clarity, the book is both accessible to non-specialists and a pleasure to read. Ripstein reveals the coherent, systematic structure of thought in Kant’s obscurely written Doctrine of Right, and goes beyond illumination to defense and development of Kant’s conception of equal freedom. In the course of doing (...) all of this, he not only presents Kant in historical context, but also brings to light important differences between Kant’s views and those of other political philosophers and .. (shrink)
A problem closely related to the perennial free will question is whether autonomy of persons can be reconciled with socialization. If this latter compatibilism can be established, It would have great bearing on the more general issue of freedom being reconcilable with determinism. In several recent articles robert young has tried to demonstrate the consistency of autonomy with socialization, But the author argues that he has failed to notice the depth and global nature of the socialization critic's position, And as (...) such fails in his attempt. As a result, There are no beneficial consequences reaped for the free will problem. (shrink)
I argue that the specter haunting multiculturalism is incommensurability. In many discussions of multiculturalism there is a ‘picture’ that holds us captive — a picture of cultures, religious or ethnic groups that are self-contained and are radically incommensurable with each other. I explore and critique this concept of incommensurability. I trace the idea of incommensurability back to the discussion by Thomas Kuhn — and especially to the ways in which his views were received. Drawing on Gadamer’s understanding of hermeneutics, I (...) argue that the very idea of radical incommensurability is incoherent. This does not entail an abstract universalism but rather sensitivity to the ways in which all languages and cultures are in principle open to the real possibility of enlarging one’s vision and mutually understanding. (shrink)