The determinative issue in applying the insanity defense is whether the defendant experienced a legally relevant functional impairment at the time of the offense. Categorical exclusion of personality disorders from the definition of mental disease is clinically and morally arbitrary because it may lead to unfair conviction of a defendant with a personality disorder who actually experienced severe, legally relevant impairments at the time of the crime. There is no need to consider such a drastic approach in most states and (...) in the federal courts, where the sole test of insanity is whether the defendant was “unable to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct at the time of the offense.” This is because the only symptoms that are legally relevant in such jurisdictions are those that impair reality-testing and thereby affect the person's capacity to understand the nature and consequences of her actions. However, if the test of insanity includes a “volitional prong” (inability to control one's behavior), some way must be found to limit the scope of the defense to the core cases (involving psychotic conditions) to which it has traditionally been applied, and to prevent a shift toward a deterministic account of criminal conduct — i.e., “people can't help being who they are and doing what they do.” The best way of accomplishing this is to limit the definition of mental disease to severe disorders characterized by gross disturbances of the person's capacity to understand reality. (shrink)
Tomasello et al. propose that shared intentionality is a uniquely human ability. In light of this, we discuss several cultural behaviors that seem to result from a motivation to share experiences with others, suggest evidence for coordination and collaboration among chimpanzees, and cite recent findings that counter the argument that the predominance of emulation in chimpanzees reflects a deficit in intention reading.
Obtaining informed consent has typically become a stylized ritual of presenting and signing a form, in which physicians are acting defensively and patients lack control over the content and flow of information. This leaves patients at risk both for being under-informed relative to their decisional needs and of receiving more information than they need or desire. By personalizing the process of seeking and receiving information and allowing patients to specify their desire for information in a prospective manner, we aim to (...) shift genuine control over the informational process to patients. A new paradigm of Information on Demand, such as we suggest, would also enhance legal certainty, achieve greater congruence between the information patients want and the information they receive, and promote more meaningful patient-physician interactions, a desirable outcome that has been difficult to achieve by other means. (shrink)
Bonnie Steinbock argues that Peter Singer has made an important contribution to remind us that animals deserve very special consideration, but that he fails to make a compelling case against "speciesism.".
Suppose that a school restricts student expression critical of homosexual conduct yet allows or actively supports student expression that promotes acceptance and tolerance of gays and lesbians. Can such a policy be justified if the anti-gay speech disrupts the educational environment of the school while the pro-gay speech does not? Or does the differential treatment of anti-gay and pro-gay speech constitute unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination because it distorts the marketplace of ideas within the school? Can viewpoint discrimination ever be justified on (...) the ground that anti-gay speech invades the rights of others under Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 393 U.S. 503 (1969)? These were among the questions debated by Judges Reinhardt and Kozinski in the Ninth Circuit's now-vacated panel opinion in Harper v. Poway Unified School District, 445 F.3d 1166 (9th Cir. 2006), but their significance to the law of student speech is quite general. Courts are increasingly becoming concerned with the question of whether Tinker allows viewpoint-based restrictions of student speech, but so far jurists have not reached agreement on this question or even on the simpler question of what counts as viewpoint discrimination. This article attempts to clarify the emerging debate about the permissibility of viewpoint discrimination under Tinker and proposes modifications to the Tinker framework that would enable courts to deal more fruitfully with charges that school officials have imposed viewpoint-based restrictions on student speech. I argue that we should think of viewpoint discrimination as purposeful restriction of expression on the basis of governmental disagreement with the message. Tinker must be understood to bar purposeful viewpoint discrimination, but the conclusion that a school speech restriction constitutes purposeful viewpoint discrimination will come at the end rather than at the beginning of constitutional analysis. A school will never announce that it has restricted student speech on the basis of disagreement with the message; instead, it will claim that it has regulated speech to prevent harm. And this is something that schools (and the state more generally) may sometimes do - at least with sufficient justification. Tinker obviously contemplates the regulation of speech where necessary to prevent two specific sorts of harms - disruption to the school's mission and violations of the rights of other students - and so must require courts to distinguish between school speech restrictions based on impermissible ideological purposes and those based on the permissible purposes of preventing disruptions or violations of student rights. Tinker's substantial disruption test, I contend, should primarily be understood as a mechanism for helping courts to smoke out these impermissible purposes. (shrink)
Article responds to the criticism of speciesism that it is somehow less immoral than other -isms by showing that this is a mistake resting on an inadequate taxonomy of the various -isms. Criticizes argument by Bonnie Steinbock that preference to your own species is not immoral by comparison with racism of comparable level.
This collection contains twenty-one thought-provoking essays on the controversies surrounding the moral and legal distinctions between euthanasia and "letting die." Since public awareness of this issue has increased this second edition includes nine entirely new essays which bring the treatment of the subject up-to-date. The urgency of this issue can be gauged in recent developments such as the legalization of physician-assisted suicide in the Netherlands, "how-to" manuals topping the bestseller charts in the United States, and the many headlines devoted to (...) Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who has assisted dozens of patients to die. The essays address the range of questions involved in this issue pertaining especially to the fields of medical ethics, public policymaking, and social philosophy. The discussions consider the decisions facing medical and public policymakers, how those decisions will affect the elderly and terminally ill, and the medical and legal ramifications for patients in a permanently vegetative state, as well as issues of parent/infant rights. The book is divided into two sections. The first, "Euthanasia and the Termination of Life-Prolonging Treatment" includes an examination of the 1976 Karen Quinlan Supreme Court decision and selections from the 1990 Supreme Court decision in the case of Nancy Cruzan. Featured are articles by law professor George Fletcher and philosophers Michael Tooley, James Rachels, and Bonnie Steinbock, with new articles by Rachels, and Thomas Sullivan. The second section, "Philosophical Considerations," probes more deeply into the theoretical issues raised by the killing/letting die controversy, illustrating exceptionally well the dispute between two rival theories of ethics, consequentialism and deontology. It also includes a corpus of the standard thought on the debate by Jonathan Bennet, Daniel Dinello, Jeffrie Murphy, John Harris, Philipa Foot, Richard Trammell, and N. Ann Davis, and adds articles new to this edition by Bennett, Foot, Warren Quinn, Jeff McMahan, and Judith Lichtenberg. (shrink)
The most frequent criticism of the target article is the lack of clear separability of human speech data relative to neuroethological data. A rationalization for this difference was sought in the tinkered nature of such new adaptations as human speech. Basic theoretical premises were defended, and new data were presented to support a claim that speakers maintain a low-noise relationship between F2 transition onset and offset frequencies for stops in pre-vocalic positions through articulatory choices. It remains a viable and testable (...) hypothesis that the phenomenon described by the locus equation is a functional adaptation of production mechanisms to processing preferences of the auditory system. (shrink)
Alvin Plantinga has argued that evolutionary naturalism (the idea that God does not tinker with evolution) undermines its own rationality. Natural selection is concerned with survival and reproduction, and false beliefs conjoined with complementary motivational drives could serve the same aims as true beliefs. Thus, argues Plantinga, if we believe we evolved naturally, we should not think our beliefs are, on average, likely to be true, including our beliefs in evolution and naturalism. I argue herein that our cognitive faculties (...) are less reliable than we often take them to be, that it is theism which has difficulty explaining the nature of our cognition, that much of our knowledge is not passed through biological evolution but learned and transferred through culture, and that the unreliability of our cognition helps explain the usefulness of science. (shrink)
In these two important lectures, distinguished political philosopher Seyla Benhabib argues that since the UN Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, we have entered a phase of global civil society which is governed by cosmopolitan norms of universal justice--norms which are difficult for some to accept as legitimate since they are sometimes in conflict with democratic ideals. In her first lecture, Benhabib argues that this tension can never be fully resolved, but it can be mitigated through the renegotiation of the (...) dual commitments to human rights and sovereign self-determination. Her second lecture develops this idea in detail, with special reference to recent developments in Europe (for example, the banning of Muslim head scarves in France). The EU has seen the replacement of the traditional unitary model of citizenship with a new model that disaggregates the components of traditional citizenship, making it possible to be a citizen of multiple entities at the same time. The volume also contains a substantive introduction by Robert Post, the volume editor, and contributions by Bonnie Honig (Northwestern University), Will Kymlicka (Queens University), and Jeremy Waldron (Columbia School of Law). (shrink)
This paper assesses the claim that an agonistic model of democracy could foster greater accommodation of citizens' social, cultural and ethical differences than mainstream liberal theories. I address arguments in favor of agonistic conceptions of politics by a diverse group of democratic theorists, ranging from republican theorists - Hannah Arendt and Benjamin Barber - to postmodern democrats concerned with questions of identity and difference, such as William Connolly and Bonnie Honig. Neither Arendt's democratic agonism nor Barber's republican-inflected account of (...) strong democracy purports to include citizens' group-based cultural identities, and so cannot further the claim that agonistic politics is more inclusive of cultural and social differences. Postmodern agonistic democrats such as Connolly and Honig rely upon Arendt's account of the relationship between agonism and pluralism, and wrongly assume that her view of politics is compatible with formal respect and recognition for citizens' cultural group identities. While agonistic democracy helpfully directs us to attend to the importance of moral and political disagreement, I argue that the stronger claim that an agonistic model of democracy could more readily include culturally diverse citizens is simply unfounded. By contrast, recent liberal variants of agonistic democracy that conceive of legal and political institutions as tools for recognizing and mediating citizens' moral and cultural differences may suggest ways to deepen our democratic practices in plural societies. Key Words: agonism agonistic democracy Hannah Arendt citizenship cultural minorities pluralism republican theory. (shrink)
Hans Kelsen's efforts in the areas of legal philosophy and legal theory are considered by many scholars of law to be the most influential thinking of this century. This volume makes available some of the best work extant on Kelsen's theory, including papers newly translated into English. The book covers such topics as competing philosophical positions on the nature of law, legal validity, legal powers, and the unity of municipal and international law. It also throws much light on Kelsen's intellectual (...) milieu--as well as his intellectual debts. (shrink)
Demonstrative noun phrases (e.g. this; that guy over there ) are intimately connected to the context of use in that their reference is determined by demonstrations and/or the speaker's intentions. The semantics of demonstratives therefore has important implications not only for theories of reference, but for questions about how information from the context interacts with formal semantics. First treated by Kaplan as directly referential , demonstratives have recently been analyzed as quantifiers by King, and the choice between these two approaches (...) is a matter of ongoing controversy. Meanwhile, linguists and psychologists working from a variety of perspectives have gathered a wealth of data on the form, meaning, and use of demonstratives in many languages. Demonstratives thus provide a fruitful topic for graduate study for two reasons. On the one hand, they serve as an entry point to foundational issues in reference and the semantics–pragmatics interface. On the other hand, they are an especially promising starting point for interdisciplinary research, which brings the results of linguistics and related fields to bear on the philosophy of language. Author Recommends Kaplan, David. 'Demonstratives.' 1977. Themes from Kaplan . Ed. J. Almong, J. Perry, and H. Wettstein. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1989. 481–563. The seminal work on the semantics of demonstratives and indexicals, such as I, here , and now . Kaplan introduces a distinction between content (which maps from possible circumstances to extensions) and character (which maps from possible contexts to contents). He argues that demonstratives and indexicals are directly referential : given a possible context, their character fixes their extension. Kaplan, David. 'Afterthoughts.' Themes from Kaplan . Ed. J. Almong, J. Perry, and H. Wettstein. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1989. 565–614. An elaboration on the theory developed in 'Demonstratives.' Kaplan considers the connection between direct reference and rigid designation; raises the issue of whether demonstratives depend on demonstrations or speaker intentions; and discusses implications of the analysis for formal semantics and for epistemology. King, Jeffrey C. Complex Demonstratives . Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001. In perhaps the most influential challenge to date to the direct reference theory of demonstratives, King argues that complex demonstratives (i.e. demonstrative determiners with nominal complements) are best analyzed as quantifiers. Braun, David. 'Complex Demonstratives and Their Singular Contents.' Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (2008): 57–99. This recent Kaplanian analysis of complex demonstratives shows the 'state of the art' of direct reference approaches and responds to some of the objections to such approaches raised by King. Elbourne, Paul. 'Demonstratives as Individual Concepts.' Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (2008): 409–466. The most recent analysis of demonstratives as individual concepts, contrasting with both the direct reference and quantificational approaches. Fillmore, Charles. Lectures on Deixis . Stanford, CA: CSLI, 1997. In this collection of lectures, originally delivered in 1971, Fillmore considers demonstratives and indexical expressions in many languages to describe the types of information about the context (e.g. locations in space, time, and discourse) that are encoded in natural language. Gundel, Jeanette K., Nancy Hedberg, and Ron Zacharski. 'Cognitive Status and the Form of Referring Expressions in Discourse.' Language 69 (1993): 274–307. Perhaps the most detailed pragmatic alternative to formal semantic theories of demonstratives and other referring expressions. The authors argue that demonstratives are best described as imposing a condition of use in which the referent of the demonstrative has a certain level of salience for the interlocutors. Online Materials http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/indexicals/ Indexicals (David Braun) http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/reference/ Reference (Marga Reimer) http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rigid-designators/ Rigid designators (Joseph LaPorte) http://philpapers.org/browse/indexicals-and-demonstratives/ Online bibliography of papers on indexicals and demonstratives Sample Syllabus The following syllabus can be used in entirety for a survey course on demonstratives; in addition, each of the three units is self-contained and can be used alone. Unit 1: Demonstratives and Indexicality Week 1: Indexicals 1. Kaplan, Demonstratives 2. Kaplan, Afterthoughts Week 2: Issues for Indexical Reference 1. Reimer, Marga. 'Do Demonstrations Have Semantic Significance?' Analysis 51 (1991): 177–83. 2. Bach, Kent. 'Intentions and Demonstrations.' Analysis 52 (1992): 140–46. 3. Nunberg, Geoffrey. 'Indexicality and Deixis.' Linguistics and Philosophy 16.1 (1993): 1–43. Week 3: Optional detour: Monsters 1. Schlenker, Philippe. 'A Plea for Monsters.' Linguistics and Philosophy 26 (2003): 29-120. Week 4: Demonstratives as Quantifiers 1. King. Complex Demonstratives , chapters 1–3. Week 5: Indexical and Non-Indexical Demonstratives 1. Braun, David. 'Complex Demonstratives and Their Singular Contents.' Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (2008): 57–99. Optional additional reading 2. Roberts, Craige. 'Demonstratives as Definites.' Information Sharing . Ed. Kees van Deemter and Roger Kibble. Stanford, CA: CSLI Press, 2002. 3. Wolter, Lynsey. 'That's That: The Semantics and Pragmatics of Demonstrative Noun Phrases.' Diss. University of California, Santa Cruz, 2006, chapters 2–3. 4. Elbourne, Paul. 'Demonstratives as Individual Concepts.' Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (2008): 409–66. Unit 2: Demonstratives, Proximity, Salience Week 6: Demonstratives and Proximity 1. Fillmore, Charles. 'Deixis I.' in Lectures on Deixis . Stanford, CA: CSLI, 1997. 59–76. 2. Fillmore, Charles. 'Deixis II.' in Lectures on Deixis . Stanford, CA: CSLI, 1997. 103–26. Optional additional reading 3. Prince, Ellen. 'On the Inferencing of Indefinite- this NPs.' Elements of Discourse Understanding . Ed. Aravind K. Joshi, Bonnie L. Weber, and Ivan A. Sag. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981. 231–50. Week 7: Demonstratives and Salience 1. Gundel, Jeanette K., Nancy Hedberg, and Ron Zacharski. 'Cognitive Status and the Form of Referring Expressions in Discourse.' Language 69 (1993): 274–307. Optional additional reading 2. Brown-Schmidt, Sarah, Donna K. Byron, and Michael K. Tanenhaus. 'Beyond Salience: Interpretation of Personal and Demonstrative Pronouns.' Journal of Memory and Language 53 (2005): 292–313. Note: readers new to psycholinguistics should concentrate on the Introduction. Unit 3: Demonstratives and Copular Sentences Week 8: Background on the Typology of Copular Sentences 1. Higgins, F. Roger. 'The Pseudo-Cleft Construction in English.' Diss. MIT, 1973, chapter 5. Week 9: Demonstratives in Copular Sentences 1. Mikkelsen, Line. 'Specifying Who: On the Structure, Meaning, and Use of Specificational Copular Clauses.' Diss. University of California, Santa Cruz, 2004, chapter 8.2 (Truncated Clefts). 2. Heller, Daphna and Lynsey Wolter. ' That is Rosa : Identificational Sentences as Intensional Predication.' Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 12 . Ed. Atle Grønn. Oslo: Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages, University of Oslo, 2008. Week 10: Demonstratives, Copular Sentences, Modals 1. Birner, Betty J., Jeffrey P. Kaplan, and Gregory Ward. 'Functional Compositionality and the Interaction of Discourse Constraints.' Language 83 (2007): 317–43. Focus Questions 1. Which of the following expressions are indexicals? Which are demonstratives? Why? (a) a pencil (b) the pencil (c) this pencil (d) Mary Smith (e) Mary's pencil (f ) my pencil (g) we (h) you (i) here (j) there (k) now (l) then 2. Do demonstratives ever interact with scope-taking operators to give rise to two or more truth-conditionally distinct readings? If so, under what circumstances? 3. (a) If demonstratives (sometimes or always) interact with scope-taking operators to give rise to two or more truth-conditionally distinct readings, to what extent can a direct reference theory of demonstratives be maintained? (b) If demonstratives never interact with scope-taking operators to give rise to two or more truth-conditionally distinct readings, to what extent can a quantificational theory of demonstratives be maintained? 4. What kind of thing is a demonstration? Is it a pointing gesture? An indication of the speaker's focus of attention? Something more abstract? 5. What information do English demonstratives convey about proximity? What is 'proximity'– physical closeness to the speaker, or something more abstract? What is the status of this information: is it entailed, presupposed, or something else? 6. Do demonstratives that are accompanied by a physical gesture of demonstration have the same semantic value as anaphoric demonstratives, such as that in (a)? Why or why not? (a) John made a peanut butter sandwich and ate it quickly. Next he took an apple from the fridge. He ate that more slowly. (shrink)
If there is collective scientific knowledge, then at least some scientific groups have beliefs over and above the personal beliefs of their members. Gilbert's plural-subjects theory makes precise the notion of ‘over and above’ here. Some philosophers have used plural-subjects theory to argue that philosophical, historical and sociological studies of science should take account of collective beliefs of scientific groups. Their claims rest on the premise that our best explanations of scientific change include these collective beliefs. I argue that Gilbert's (...) account of collective scientific belief does not provide a better explanation of scientific change than a non-collective alternative. A different defence of collective scientific belief and knowledge is needed. (shrink)
It is somewhat misleading to think of the Franciscans as forming a “school” in ethics, since there was a fair bit of diversity among Franciscans. Nonetheless, one can identify certain characteristic tendencies of Franciscan moral thought, and certain “celebrity” Franciscans whose views in ethics and moral psychology are particularly noteworthy. I shall first offer an overview of the general character of Franciscan moral thought in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries and then turn to a more detailed examination of (...) the thought of John Duns Scotus (1265/66-1308) and William Ockham (c. 1288-1347) on three central matters of debate: the nature of the virtues, the relationship between intellect and will, and the relationship between moral requirements and the divine will. (shrink)
In the final chapter of their book A Subject With No Object, John Burgess and Gideon Rosen raise the question of the value of the nominalistic reconstructions of mathematics that have been put forward in recent years, asking specifically what this body of work is good for. The authors conclude that these reconstructions are all inferior to current versions of mathematics (or science) and make no advances in science. This paper investigates the reasoning that led to such a negative appraisal, (...) and it produces a rebuttal to this reasoning. I am grateful to the following mathematicians who were kind enough to provide me with their thoughts about nonstandard analysis: Martin Davis, Laura Chihara, Ted Chihara, Steve Galovich, Bonnie Gold, and especially Roger Simons, whose comments about an earlier version of this paper were very helpful. Thanks also go to two referees for their useful suggestions and criticisms of an earlier version of this paper. (shrink)
Aquinas’s admirers, reacting against Donald Davidson’s criticisms of hirn, commonly argue (a) that the will does play a role in Aquinas’s account of incontinence, and (b) that his explanation of incontinent action turns on the weakness of the will. The first part of this paper argues that they are correct about (a) but wholly mistaken about (b). Aquinas rarely even mentions the weakness of the will, and he neverinvokes it to explain why someone acts counter to her own better judgment. (...) In his view, such a person has the capacity for self-control but fails to exercise it. The second part of the paper considers Gary Watson’s account of incontinence, including and especially his objections to analyzing it as the failure to exercise one’s capacity for self-control. Here I argue that Aquinas’s account better serves the purposesof moral discourse and that it should not be expected to provide the kind of causal explanation Watson seeks. (shrink)
 In twelve quite demanding chapters, outstanding scholars provide an overall view of the key issues of Scotus’s philosophical thought. To this a very concise introduction is added, concerning the life and works of John Duns (very good, especially the survey of works and the information on critical editions etc.). Throughout the book, I find the information clear and the difficult topics well explained. Moreover, the volume gives a quick entrance to the vast literature. Among the topics discussed are: ‘Metaphysics’ (...) (Peter King), ‘Universals and Individuation’ (Timothy Noone), ‘Modal Theory’ (Calvin Normore), ‘Natural Theology’ (James Ross & Todd Bates), ‘Philosophy of Mind’ (Richard Cross), ‘Cognition’ (Robert Pasnau), ‘Moral Dispositions’ (Bonnie Kent). What strikes the eye is the absence of important theological subjects: Trinity, Christology, sin and grace, to name a few. Since the cover text promises that ‘the essays in this volume systematically survey the full range of Scotus’ thought’, this omission is remarkable. It stems, I guess, from the strict philosophical scope of the series of the Cambridge Companions, but such a limitation should have been recognised explicitly: this companion provides, in fact, an introduction to John Duns’s philosophy—i.e., philosophy in our modern sense. Of course, this separation of philosophical from theological thought is not from Scotus. Most of his innovative ‘philosophical’ ideas are developed in a profoundly theological context! (shrink)
Is it wrong to bring children who will have serious diseases and disabilities into the world? In particular, is it unfair to them? The notion that existence itself can be an injury is the basis for a recent new tort known as "wrongful life" (Steinbock, 1986). This paper considers Feinberg's theory of harm as the basis for a claim of wrongful life, and concludes that rarely can the stringent conditions imposed by his analysis be met. Another basis for maintaining that (...) it is morally wrong to have children under extremely adverse conditions is suggested: a principle of parental responsibility. We also argue that having children under such conditions may be unfair to the children, even if they have not been (in Feinberg's sense) harmed. Finally, we consider when conditions are sufficiently awful that having children might be viewed as incompatible with being a good parent and unfair to the child. (shrink)
I characterize Wimsatt’s approach to philosophy of science as philosophy for science and then briefly consider a theme emerging from his work that informs just one of the many current developments in philosophy of biology that he inspired: scaffolding as a problem of mechanistic explanation for functionalists.
Womens Liberation and the Sublime is a passionate report on the state of feminist thinking and practice after the linguistic turn. A critical assessment of masculinist notions of the sublime in modern and postmodern accounts grounds the author's positive and constructive recuperation of sublime experience in a feminist voice.
This paper discusses archaeological, historical, and contemporary ethnographic evidence for the use of the San Pedro cactus in northern Peru as a vehicle for traveling between worlds and for imparting the “vista” (magical sight) necessary for shamanic healers to divine the cause of their patients' ailments. Using iconographic, ethnohistorical, and ethnographic evidence for the uninterrupted use of this sacred plant as a means of access to the Divine and as a tool for healing, it describes the relationship between San Pedro, (...) ancestor worship, water/fertility cults and also the common symbolic associations between San Pedro and wind-spirits. It closes by suggesting that the more than 2000 year time-depth of using this plant as a means for accessing the realms of Spirit and as a tool for healing should serve to challenge the unfortunate tendency in the contemporary United States to consider this plant as a “recreational drug.”. (shrink)
The Depue & Collins model is intended to explain a normal human personality trait: extraversion. In contrast, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is generally considered to be a type of psychopathology not found in so-called normals; however, the clinical and neurobiological research done on ADHD seems to amplify and support Depue & Collins's model.
Machine generated contents note: Introduction Jonathan Floyd and Marc Stears; 1. Rescuing political theory from the tyranny of history Paul Kelly; 2. From contextualism, to mentalism, to behaviourism Jonathan Floyd; 3. Contingency and judgement in history of political philosophy Bruce Haddock; 4. Political philosophy and the dead hand of its history Gordon Graham; 5. Politics, political theory, and its history Iain Hampsher-Monk; 6. Constraint, freedom, and exemplar Melissa Lane; 7. History and reality Andrew Sabl; 8. The new realism Bonnie (...) Honig and Marc Stears; Afterword Jonathan Floyd. (shrink)
: The lies about the reasons for the U.S. war against Iraq provoked no mass public outcry in the United States against the war. What is the process of justification for this war, a process that seems to need no reasons? Mann argues that the process of justification is not a process of rational deliberation but one of aesthetic self-constitution, of rebuilding a masculine national identity. Included is a feminist reading of the National Defense University document Shock and Awe.
In recent years a growing number of democratic theorists have proposed ways to increase citizen engagement, while channeling those democratic energies in positive directions and away from systematic marginalization, exclusion and intolerance. One novel answer is provided by a strain of democratic theory known as agonistic pluralism, which valorizes adversarial engagement and recognizes the marginalizing tendencies implicit in drives to consensus and stability. However, the divergences between competing variants of agonistic pluralism remain largely underdeveloped or unrecognized. In this article, I (...) address this shortcoming, examining these strains of agonism around the constraints placed upon democratic discourse. I argue that the ‘associative agonism’ of theorists such as Bonnie Honig and William Connolly offers the best means for cultivating virtues necessary to revitalize a contentious democratic politics which also fosters receptivity to pluralism and difference. (shrink)
Some photographs, more than mere representations, are ethical commands, calling us to respond to human suffering. Photos of Abu Graib, like iconic photos of Vietnam, called us to a posture of care, and confronted us with ourselves, with our national domination, and with how we represent ourselves to the world. This article, drawing on Kittay (1999), Butler (2004), and Levinas (1961, 1974, 1985), attempts to untangle the relation among care, domination, and representation. Implications for philosophers and journalists are suggested.
1. Rescher 1964 — henceforth HR — proposes a way of reasoning from a set of hypotheses which may include both some of our beliefs and also hypotheses contradicting those beliefs. The aim of this paper is to point out what I take to be a fault in Rescher’s proposal, and to suggest a modification of it, using a nonclassical logic, which avoids that fault. The paper neither attacks nor defends the broader aspects of Rescher’s proposal, but merely assumes that (...) it is at least prima facie worthwhile and therefore worthy of amendment; consequently, I shall try to tinker as little as possible. In particular, the use of a nonclassical logic which I propose does not replace any use by HR of classical logic — in those places where Rescher is classical, I shall be classical, too. (Instead, the amendment introduces a nonclassical logic at a point where HR uses no logic at all.). (shrink)
Let’s look at Wikipedia itself, which is misunderstood constantly as “self-organizing and selfcorrecting.” In fact there is a strict hierarchy of levels of editorship. Also, “high-quality articles tend to experience entropic degradation … as various Wiki-workers … tinker with them” (423). Most Wiki-work is Sisyphean fight against constant vandalism, and most articles never converge on any stable form.
Social scientists using one or another concept of process have paid little attention to underlying issues of methodology and explanation. Commonly, the concept used is a loose one. When it is not, there often are other problems, such as errors of reification and of assuming that events sometimes connected in a sequence are invariably thus connected. While it may be useful to retain the term " process" for some sequences of intelligibly connected actions and events, causal explanation must be (...) sought with respect to the events constituting processes rather than with respect to processes regarded as unitary entities. (shrink)
For more than 100 years, anthropologists have collected ethnographic research among communities who assert that the spirits, animal allies, and other entities of the unseen world are “really real,” yet we have historically contextualized this information under the umbrella of cultural relativism rather than taking the veracity of these claims seriously. In the last decade, some anthropologists claim that our discipline has finally undergone an ontological turn, which opens a door for anthropologists to finally take claims of nonhuman sentience seriously (...) under the umbrella of ontological, rather than cultural, relativism. This paper takes issue with ontological relativism as just one more frame for explaining away the stories of other-than-human consciousness that ethnographers report and suggests that there is an urgent need to consider the relevance, rather than the relativism, of other-than-human consciousness. It looks to Michael Harner's work as a welcome alternative to ontological relativism and encourages opening our minds to a reconsideration of what is “really real.”. (shrink)
Involvement of industry in academic research is widespread and associated with favorable outcomes for industry. The objective of this study was to review empirical data on the attitudes of researchers toward industry involvement and financial ties in research. A review of the literature for quantitative data from surveys on the attitudes of researchers to financial ties in research, reported in English, resulted in the 17 studies included. Review of these studies revealed that investigators are concerned about the impact of financial (...) ties on choice of research topic, research conduct and publication, but this concern is less among investigators already involved with industry. Researchers approve of industry collaboration and financial ties when the ties are indirectly related to the research, disclosure is upfront, and results and ideas are freely publicized. However, their trust in disclosure as a way to manage conflicts may reveal a lack of awareness of the actual impact of financial incentives on themselves and other researchers. (shrink)
Ecofeminist political philosophy is an area of intellectual inquiry that examines the political status of that which we call “nature” using the insights, theoretical tools, and ethical commitments of ecological feminisms and other liberatory theories such as critical race theory, queer theory, postcolonial theory, environmental philosophy, and feminism. Ecofeminist political philosophy is concerned with questions regarding the possibilities opened by the recognition of agency and subjectivity for the more-than-human world; and it asks how we can respond politically to the more-than-human (...) world on mutual, dialogical terms. Such philosophy insists that a gendered and liberatory analysis is needed to adequately address the environmental dilemma of how to include nonhuman nature as co-interlocutor in the green public sphere. It also asks critical questions of “traditional” philosophies that exclude the more-than-human world from ethico-political consideration. These themes run throughout the work of three contemporary environmental feminist theorists who compellingly examine the entanglements between concepts and categories of gender, nature, and the political: specifically, the work of ecofeminist philosopher Val Plumwood, radical democratic theorist Catriona Sandilands, and feminist phenomenologist and philosopher of place Bonnie Mann. Karen Warren’s quilt metaphor shows how such ecofeminist political philosophy fits into the larger tapestry of ecofeminism. (shrink)
: For many of us, entry into motherhood involves an ambiguous visibility and intelligibility, where our acceptance into mainstream spaces as mothers entails a loss of lesbian difference. Mann explores this loss using the work of two philosophers of lesbian difference, Monique Wittig and Judith Butler. She argues that the figure of the lesbian mother is deployed on a broad cultural scale to reinvigorate and renaturalize the myth of the happy, natural, heterosexual mother.
Contemporary philosophers who are concerned with the following three philosophical issues can learn much from Scotus: (1) the defense of agent-causal accounts of the will; (2) the search for common ground between ancient and Kantian ethics: and (3) the co-existence of free will and the capacity for sin in heaven.1) Free Will and Agent Causation: According to Scotus, the will moves itself to act, but does not cause itself. Human actions are done for reasons determinedby the agent; they are not (...) reducible to events (which are themselves necessitated by prior events).2) Reconciling Ancient and Kantian Ethics: Like Kant, Scotus thinks that creatures cannot be morally responsible for their actions if happiness is their solemotivation for choosing whatever they choose; Scotus distinguishes between motivations and ends, although less sharply than Kant does. For Scotus, thedesire for happiness includes the desire for self-perfection; thus happiness for Scotus is never reducible to hedonism, nor is happiness our sole motivation.Our freedom lies in the will’s ability to love good things according to the value they have in themselves, not according to the value that they have for us.3) Is Heaven a Problem? A familiar explanation of the problem of evil is that evil is permitted because free will is required for moral goodness; without free willthere would be no moral evil, but neither would there be any moral goodness, so the world is better than it would be if God had chosen not to create freecreatures. But if free will is such a great good, then we must retain the capacity to sin in heaven, or else heavenly existence is inferior to earthly existence.And, if we do retain the capacity to sin in heaven, then heaven is not essentially devoid of evil. Scotus would respond to this problem by stating that love, notfreedom, is the greatest good. Thus, his account of heaven is consistent with what it means to love God above all, for his own sake, and without the motivationof happiness or any other benefit. (shrink)