It is controversial whether masses (what mass nouns refer to) exist. But on the assumption that they do, here are two uncontroversial facts about them: first, they satisfy a fusion principle which takes any set of masses of kind K and yields a mass fusion of kind K; secondly, a mass must have all and only the same parts at every time at which it exists. These two theses are usually built into the concept 'mass'. I argue that the latter (...) follows from the former. This shows that the concept 'mass' is unified, not gerrymandered. Moreover, since my arguments show that any entity which follows a certain fusion principle is also mereologically constant, and since these two properties are sufficient for being a mass, my arguments make it easier to argue that there are masses. (shrink)
In his new paper, “Eligibility and Inscrutability,” J. R. G. Williams presents a surprising new challenge to David Lewis’ theory of interpretation. Although Williams frames this challenge primarily as a response to Lewis’ criticisms of Putnam’s model-theoretic argument, the challenge itself goes to the heart of Lewis’ own account of interpretation. Further, and leaving Lewis’ project aside for a moment, Williams’ argument highlights some important—and some fairly general—points concerning the relationship between model theory and semantic determinacy.
This paper begins with an examination of Amelie Rorty’s claim that although “emotions cannot be rational in the narrow sense of being logically derived from accepted premises, they can be deemed rational . . . as ‘appropriately formed to serve our thriving.’” This is the background against which (i) I develop a notion of ‘emotional holism’ based on the aetiology of emotion in infantile phantasy; and (ii) introduce a dark corollary about the likelihood that our emotions do not, on the (...) whole, match the myths we use to describe them to ourselves. The paper has five sections: (1) The Rationality of Kinds of Emotion and the Argument Against the Rationality of Particular Emotions; (2) Alternative Views of the Rationality of Emotions; (3) Is EmotionaI Behavior RationaI?; (4) Do Particular Emotions Generally Serve Our Thriving?; and (5) Are There Emotions Not Worth Having?: EmotionaI Holism and Manipulating One’s Emotional Repertoire. (shrink)
Abstract In earlier work, I have argued that self-referential assertions of the form ‘this assertion is improper’ are paradoxical for the truth account of assertion. In this paper, I argue that such assertions are also paradoxical, though in a different way, for the knowledge account of assertion. Content Type Journal Article Category Original Paper Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s10670-012-9360-0 Authors Charlie Pelling, Birkbeck, University of London, London, UK Journal Erkenntnis Online ISSN 1572-8420 Print ISSN 0165-0106.
"In 'I Don't Know, Just Wait: Remembering Remarriage in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind', William Day shows how Kaufman's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind should be considered part of the film genre known as remarriage comedy; but he also shows how Kaufman contributes something new to the genre. Day addresses, in particular, how the conversation that is the condition for reunion involves discovering 'what it means to have memories together as a way of learning how to be together'. (...) One of the most innovative aspects of Kaufman's filmic representation of such a conversation is its effect on the audience: how the narrative structure 'replicates for the viewer the felt contingency of memory that we attribute' to the characters we see onscreen - a couple contending with the interrelated experiences of remarriage and remembering." --David LaRocca, Introduction to The Philosophy of Charlie Kaufman, 12. (shrink)
This book explores how the practice of art, in particular of avant-garde art, keeps our relation to time, history and even our own humanity open. Examining key moments in the history of both technology and art from the beginnings of industrialisation to today, Charlie Gere explores both the making and purpose of art and how much further it can travel from the human body.
According to the epistemic theory of hallucination, the fundamental psychological nature of a hallucinatory experience is constituted by its being ‘introspectively indiscriminable’, in some sense, from a veridical experience of a corresponding type. How is the notion of introspective indiscriminability to which the epistemic theory appeals best construed? Following M. G. F. Martin, the standard assumption is that the notion should be construed in terms of negative epistemics: in particular, it is assumed that the notion should be explained in terms (...) of the impossibility that a hallucinator might possess a certain type of knowledge on a certain basis. I argue that the standard assumption is mistaken. I argue that the relevant notion of introspective indiscriminability is better construed in terms of positive epistemics: in particular, I argue that the notion is better explained by reference to the fact that it would be rational for a hallucinator positively to make a certain type of judgement, were that judgement made on a certain basis. (shrink)
Charlie Pelling presents an impropriety paradox for the truth account of assertion. After solving his paradox I show that it is a version of the liar paradox. I then show that for any account of truth there is a strengthened liar-like paradox, and that for any solution to the strengthened liar paradox, there is a parallel solution to each of these "new" paradoxes.
Many writers have held that in his later work, David Lewis adopted a theory of predicate meaning such that the meaning of a predicate is the most natural property that is (mostly) consistent with the way the predicate is used. That orthodox interpretation is shared by both supporters and critics of Lewis's theory of meaning, but it has recently been strongly criticised by Wolfgang Schwarz. In this paper, I accept many of Schwarze's criticisms of the orthodox interpretation, and add some (...) more. But I also argue that the orthodox interpretation has a grain of truth in it, and seeing that helps us appreciate the strength of Lewis's late theory of meaning. References T. Bays. The Problem with Charlie: Some Remarks on Putnam, Lewis and Williams. Philosophical Review 116:401–425, 2007. http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/00318108-2007-003 J. Hawthorne. Craziness and Metasemantics. Philosophical Review 116:427–440, 2007. http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/00318108-2007-004 R. Holton. David Lewis's Philosophy of Language. Mind and Language 18:286-295, 2003. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-0017.00228 D. Lewis. Convention: A Philosophical Study. Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1969. D. Lewis. Radical Interpretation. Synthese 27:331–344, 1974. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00484599 D. Lewis. Languages and Language. In Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 7:3–35. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1975. D. Lewis. Attitudes De Dicto and De Se. Philosophical Review 88: 513–543, 1979. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2184843 D. Lewis. Mad Pain and Martian Pain. In Ned Block, editor, Readings in the Philosophy of Psychology, pages 216-232. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1980. D. Lewis. New Work for a Theory of Universals. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61: 343–377, 1983. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00048408312341131 D. Lewis. Putnam's Paradox. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62: 221-236, 1984. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00048408412340013 D. Lewis. On the Plurality of Worlds. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1986. D. Lewis. Meaning without Use: Reply to Hawthorne. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 70: 106-110, 1992. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00048408112340093 D. Lewis.. Reduction of Mind. In Samuel Guttenplan, editor, A Companion to the Philosophy of Mind, pages 412–431. Oxford: Blackwell, 1994. Reprinted in Lewis 1999. References to reprint. D. Lewis. Papers in Metaphysics and Epistemology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511625343 W. Schwarz. Lewisian Meaning without Naturalness. Unpublished manuscript, 2006. W. Schwarz. David Lewis: Metaphysik und Analyse. Paderborn: Mentis-Verlag, 2009. T. Sider. Criteria of Personal Identity and the Limits of Conceptual Analysis. Philosophical Perspectives 15: 189–209, 2001a. T. Sider. Four-Dimensionalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001b. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019924443X.001.0001 T. Sider. Writing the Book of the World. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. PMCid:3539916 R. Stalnaker. Lewis on Intentionality. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82: 199–212, 2004. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/713659796 B. Weatherson. What Good Are Counterexamples?. Philosophical Studies 115: 1-31, 2003. http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1024961917413 B. Weatherson. Vagueness as Indeterminacy. In Richard Dietz and Sebastiano Moruzzi, editors, Cuts and Clouds: Vaguenesss, its Nature and its Logic, pages 77–90. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570386.003.0005 J. R. G. Williams. Eligibility and Inscrutability. Philosophical Review 116: 361-399, 2007. http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/00318108-2007-002. (shrink)
Theories of children's developing understanding of mind tend to emphasize either individualistic processes of theory formation, maturation, or introspection, or the process of enculturation. However, such theories must be able to account for the accumulating evidence of the role of social interaction in the development of social understanding. We propose an alternative account, according to which the development of children's social understanding occurs within triadic interaction involving the child's experience of the world as well as communicative interaction with others about (...) their experience and beliefs (Chapman 1991; 1999). It is through such triadic interaction that children gradually construct knowledge of the world as well as knowledge of other people. We contend that the extent and nature of the social interaction children experience will influence the development of children's social understanding. Increased opportunity to engage in cooperative social interaction and exposure to talk about mental states should facilitate the development of social understanding. We review evidence suggesting that children's understanding of mind develops gradually in the context of social interaction. Therefore, we need a theory of development in this area that accords a fundamental role to social interaction, yet does not assume that children simply adopt socially available knowledge but rather that children construct an understanding of mind within social interaction. Key Words: language; Piaget; social interaction; theories of mind; Vygotsky; Wittgenstein. (shrink)
A prominent argument for moral realism notes that we are inclined to accept realism in science because scientific inquiry supports a robust set of critical practices—error, improvement, explanation, and the like. It then argues that because morality displays a comparable set of critical practices, a claim to moral realism is just as warranted as a claim to scientific realism. But the argument is only as strong as its central analogy—and here there is trouble. If the analogy between the critical practices (...) of science and morality is loosely interpreted, the argument does not support moral realism—for paradigmatically constructivist discourses like fashion display the relevant critical practices just as well. So if the argument is to have force, the realist must say more about why the critical practices of morality are sufficiently like those of science to warrant realism. But this cannot be done—moral inquiry differs from scientific inquiry in too many important ways. So the analogy with the critical practices of science fails to vindicate moral realism. But there are further lessons: in looking closely at the critical practices of our moral discourse—and in comparing them to the critical practices of science and fashion—we gain insight into what is distinctive about morality objectivity and moral metaphysics. (shrink)
Can one gain testimonial knowledge from unsafe testimony? It might seem not, on the grounds that if a piece of testimony is unsafe, then any belief based on it in such a way as to make the belief genuinely testimonial is bound itself to be unsafe: the lack of safety must transmit from the testimony to the testimonial belief. If in addition we accept that knowledge requires safety, the result seems to be that one cannot gain testimonial knowledge from unsafe (...) testimony. In a pair of recent papers, however, Sanford Goldberg has challenged this apparently plausible line of thought. Goldberg presents two examples intended to show that a testimonial belief can be safe, even if the testimony on which it is based is unsafe: the lack of safety need not transmit from the testimony to the testimonial belief. In this paper, I question whether Goldberg’s examples really do show that one can gain safe testimonial belief from unsafe testimony. The problem, I explain, is that both examples appear (for different reasons) to be open to objection. Nevertheless, I argue that although Goldberg’s examples do not establish his conclusion, the conclusion itself is true: one can gain safe testimonial belief from unsafe testimony. I base my argument on an example which differs in structure from Goldberg’s examples, and I argue that due to this difference, my example avoids the problems which Goldberg’s examples face. (shrink)
– Dispositional Realism is the view according to which some denizens of reality – i.e., dispositions – are properties, that may exist in the natural world and have an irreducible modal character. Among Dispositional Realists, Charlie Martin, Ullin Place and George Molnar most notably argued that the modal character of dispositions should be understood in terms of their intentionality. Other Dispositional Realists, most notably Stephen Mumford, challenged this understanding of the modal character of dispositions. In this paper, I (...) defend a fresh version of the intentional understanding of dispositions. I start by distinguishing two questions about properties, respectively addressing their identity conditions and their individuation conditions. I, then, define categorical and dispositional properties in terms of their qualitative character, and examine their identity and individuation conditions. I conclude that the attribution of intentions is a conceptual tool: it was introduced in order to help specifying the conditions of individuation of a disposition; however, such attribution does not affect the identity of a disposition. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that those who accept the conceptualist view in the philosophy of perception should reject the traditional view that colour indiscriminability is non-transitive. I start by outlining the general strategy that conceptualists have adopted in response to the familiar ‘fineness of grain’ objection, and I show why a commitment to what I call the indiscriminability claim seems to form a natural part of this strategy. I then show how together, the indiscriminability claim and the non-transitivity claim (...) –the claim that colour indiscriminability is non-transitive –entail a further, suspicious-looking claim that I call the problematic claim. My argument then splits into two parts. In the first part, I show why the conceptualist does indeed need to reject the problematic claim. Given that this claim is jointly entailed by the indiscriminability claim and the non-transitivity claim, the conceptualist is then left with a straight choice: reject the indiscriminability claim, or reject the non-transitivity claim. In the second part, I then explain why the conceptualist should choose the latter option. (shrink)
where ‘aa’ is a plural term, and ‘F’ a plural predicate. Following George Boolos (1984) and others, many philosophers and logicians also think that plural expressions should be analysed as not introducing any new ontological commitments to some sort of ‘plural entities’, but rather as involving a new form of reference to objects to which we are already committed (for an overview and further details, see Linnebo 2004). For instance, the plural term ‘aa’ refers to Alice, Bob and Charlie (...) simultaneously, and the plural predicate ‘F’ is true of some things just in case these things cooperate. A natural question that arises is whether the step from the singular to the plural can be iterated. Are there terms that stand to ordinary plural terms the way ordinary plural terms stand to singular terms? Let’s call such terms superplural. A superplural term would thus, loosely speaking, refer to several ‘pluralities’ at once, much as an ordinary plural term refers to several objects at once.1 Further, let’s call a predicate superplural if it can be predicated of superplural terms. It is reasonably straightforward to devise a formal logic of superplural terms, superplural predicates, and even superplural quantifiers (see Rayo 2006). But does this formal logic reflect any features of natural languages? In particular, does ordinary English contain superplural terms and predicates? The purpose of this article is to address these questions. We examine some earlier arguments for the existence of superplural expressions in English and find them to be either.. (shrink)
The need to distinguish between logical and extra-logical varieties of inference, entailment, validity, and consistency has played a prominent role in meta-ethical debates between expressivists and descriptivists. But, to date, the importance that matters of logical form play in these distinctions has been overlooked. That’s a mistake given the foundational place that logical form plays in our understanding of the difference between the logical and the extra-logical. This essay argues that descriptivists are better positioned than their expressivist rivals to provide (...) the needed account of logical form, and so better able to capture the needed distinctions. This finding is significant for several reasons: First, it provides a new argument against expressivism. Second, it reveals that descriptivists can make use of this new argument only if they are willing to take a controversial—but plausible—stand on claims about the nature and foundations of logic. (shrink)
This paper is an extended version of "Valuing from life's perspective." In this paper, with the aim of explaining Nietzsche's view, I illustrate one way of making sense of a theoretical entity (called "Life"), which has values and a perspective. Then I turn to Nietzsche's perspectivism, with the hope of explaining why Life's perspective should be in any way privileged. Finally, I explain how trying to live from Life's perspective would force us to change our values - and, in particular, (...) disown the values we have placed in truth (at least for its own sake) and traditional morality. (shrink)
According to the conceptualist view in the philosophy of perception, we possess concepts for all the objects, properties, and relations which feature in our experiences. Richard Heck has recently argued that the phenomenon of illusory experience provides us with conclusive reasons to reject this view. In this paper, I examine Heck’s argument, I explain why I think that Bill Brewer’s conceptualist response to it is ineffective, and I then outline an alternative conceptualist response which I myself endorse. My argument turns (...) on the fact that both Heck, in constructing his objection to conceptualism, and Brewer, in responding to it, miss a crucial distinction between perceptual demonstrative concepts of objects, on the one hand, and perceptual demonstrative concepts of properties, on the other. (shrink)
I respond to the separate commentaries by Jacob Berger, Charlie Pelling, and David Pereplyotchik on my paper, “Color-Consciousness Conceptualism.” I resist Berger’s suggestion that mental colors ever enter consciousness without accompaniment by deployments of concepts of their extra-mental counterparts. I express concerns about Pelling’s proposal that a more uniform conceptualist treatment of phenomenal sorites can be gained by a simple appeal to the partial overlap of the extensions of some concepts. I question the relevance to perceptual consciousness of the (...) arguments for demonstrative concepts that Pereplyotchik attacks. (shrink)
Leni Riefenstahl meets Charlie Chaplin : aesthetics of the Third Reich -- Artphilosophical themes -- Dead Kennedys and Black Flags : artpolitics of punk -- Prehistory of political aesthetics -- Red, gold, black, and green : black nationalist aesthetics -- Arthistorical themes -- Political power and transcendental geometry : Republican classicism in early America.
Nietzsche launches powerful critiques of traditional moral values on the basis of “life's perspectives and objectives.” But what does this mean? Several recent commentators have tried to provide an explanation by ascribing to Nietzsche a will-to-power metaphysic, but there are solid reasons for thinking that Nietzsche did not intend to provide any comprehensive metaphysical system. This paper explains “life's perspectives” by showing how to construct a theoretical entity (“Life”) that has a perspective and can do the philosophical work Nietzsche requires. (...) Moreover, it shows why employing such a construct, as a heuristic, does not lead to ascribing a robust metaphysical system to Nietzsche. (shrink)
Charlie Dunbar Broad is one of the most important philosophers of this century. I know that this may sound like a very irresponsible -- even whimsical -- thing to say; so I better make a strong case for this assertion. Right away, philosophers who share other sympathies may start listing more famous philosophers as prima facie evidence against my apparently rash opinion.
“Blessed are the forgetful, for they get the better even of their blunders.” (Nietzsche, quoted by Mary in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) Charlie Kaufman’s (Being John Malkovich, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Adapta- tion) script for Director Michel Gondry’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (April, 2004) is the latest Kate Winslet (Clementine) and Jim Carrey (Joel) movie. This comic tragedy raises questions about the role of medicine by considering the prospect of memory deletion. Characters utilize this (...) technology to forget that they have ever met somebody, usually because the grief of those memories is too much to bear. However, to say this is a movie about medicine and its role in society would be an overstatement. The ethical issues presented by the film are not quite as overt as, say Extreme Measures (Michael Apted, 1996) and, as such, it offers a wider range of interpretations on the rights and wrongs of human modification through medical technologies. Indeed, it stretches the debate on what might be considered the proper domain of medicine. Like all the best examples, it develops a narrative where technology is presented as a seamless part of human relationships, thus subverting the technological character of the decision. (shrink)
This essay recounts recent psychiatric literature about the probable causes of Nietzsche's collapse, endorsing the conclusion that it was not syphilis. The essay then explores the role of madness in Nietzsche's philosophy, and also explores to what extent some sort of madness - whether psychological or philosophical - influenced his later philosophy.
What's the world made of? Donuts! and Beer! -- Protagoras, Gorgias, Captain Kirk, and Denny Crane -- Socrates : The Sergeant Schultz of Ancient Greece -- Plato is the new American Idol -- Aristotle loves Lucy -- Charlie Harper's Non-Epicurean lifestyle -- St. Augustine's Highway to Heaven -- Scully shaves Mulder with Ockham's Razor -- Larry Hagman dreams of Descartes -- Locke versus Hobbes, or The Brady Bunch takes on Survivor -- Can or can't Kant like vampires? -- Reading (...) Hegel in Outer Space -- John Stuart Mill and the Utilitarian Heroism of Dexter Morgan -- Karl Marx and Adam Smith, meet Alex P. Keaton -- Dr. Gregory House and the Nietzschean Superman -- Don Draper, George Costanza and the non-meaning of life -- Jersey Shore's 'The Situation': The Randian Ideal man with a tan? -- Earl Hickey meets Karma in My name is Earl -- Lost but not least. (shrink)
We explore three types of criticisms of our theory on the development of children's social understanding. We reject suggestions that we offer nothing new to traditional theories of development or recent “social” accounts of “theory of mind.” Second, we take the point that there are grounds for improving our account of dyadic interaction in infancy but reject claims that we have not sufficiently accounted for how we incorporate the notions of criteria and structure into the theory. Third, we accept that (...) the epistemic triangle, as defined, would benefit from an affective dimension and such a formulation could be used to describe the dynamic of developmental change from infancy to beyond early childhood. We still feel that the combination of Wittgenstein, Vygotsky, and Piaget remains as an antidote to the flaws in current “theories of mind” approaches to social understanding. (shrink)
The photographer and reformer Jacob Riis once wrote, “I have seen an armful of daisies keep the peace of a block better than a policeman and his club.” Riis was not alone in his belief that beauty could tame urban chaos, but are aesthetic experiences always a social good? Could aesthetics also inspire violent crime, working-class unrest, and racial murder? To answer these questions, Russ Castronovo turns to those who debated claims that art could democratize culture—civic reformers, anarchists, novelists, civil (...) rights activists, and college professors—to reveal that beauty provides unexpected occasions for radical, even revolutionary, political thinking. B eautiful Democracy explores the intersection of beauty and violence by examining university lectures and course materials on aesthetics from a century ago along with riots, acts of domestic terrorism, magic lantern exhibitions, and other public spectacles. Philosophical aesthetics, realist novels, urban photography, and black periodicals, Castronovo argues, inspired and instigated all sorts of collective social endeavors, from the progressive nature of tenement reform to the horrors of lynching. Discussing Jane Addams, W.E.B. Du Bois, Charlie Chaplin, William Dean Howells, and Riis as aesthetic theorists in the company of Kant and Schiller, Beautiful Democracy ultimately suggests that the distance separating academic thinking and popular wisdom about social transformation is narrower than we generally suppose. (shrink)
Epistemic relationism in the theory of assertion is the view that an assertion's epistemic propriety depends purely on the relation between the asserter and the proposition asserted. Many accounts of assertion are relationist in this sense, including the familiar knowledge, belief, and justification accounts. A notable feature of such accounts is that they give no direct importance to the role of hearer: as far as such accounts are concerned, we need make no mention of hearers in characterising an assertion's propriety (...) conditions. This paper develops an account which rejects relationism, by giving central importance to the role of hearer. The paper introduces the knowledge provision account, according to which an assertion that p is proper only if it is fit to give a hearer knowledge that p. The paper aims to show: (i) that we can understand this account in a way which does not leave it open to obvious counterexamples, (ii) that it does not reduce to any familiar relationist account, and (iii) that it carries certain advantages over familiar relationist accounts. (shrink)
My first meeting with Kenneth I nada was in 1964, when I passed through Hawai‘i, on my way back from India, at the invitation of Charlie Moore, Editor of Philosophy East and West and Director of that summer’s East-West Philosophers’ Conference. Acting for Moore, who was ill at the time of my arrival, Ken, a member of the UH Philosophy faculty, was kind enough to take me on a tour of the UH-Manoa campus; he did so with considerable good (...) will. I subsequently joined the department in 1967 and appreciated very much having Ken as a colleague. Although he left the University of Hawai‘i after ten years to join the faculty at the State University of New York in Buffalo in 1969, we had subsequent occasion to meet at .. (shrink)
Charlie Croker, a self-made real estate tycoon, ex-Georgia Tech football star, horseback rider, quail-hunter, snakecatcher, and good old boy from Baker county Georgia, is the protagonist in Tom Wolfeâ€™s latest novel, the deliciously provocative A Man in Full (New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1998). Â In this article I examine the evolving conception of manhood in Wolfeâ€™s novel. Â Two different models of manliness will be delineated and compared. The first modelâ€”represented by Charlie Crokerâ€”gradually weakens and is replaced (...) by the second modelâ€”represented by Conrad Hensley. My aim is to show how Stoicism serves to critique the first model and articulate the second. Â Stoicism, I argue, provides the deliverance of both Hensley and his convert Croker, while at the same time transforming the conception of manliness explored in A Man in Full. (shrink)
"A tramp, a gentleman, a poet, a dreamer, a lonely fellow, always hopeful of romance and adventure." Charlie Chaplin Freud, in a letter to Max Schiller (25 Mar. 1931), writes of an occasion in which Charlie Chaplin came to Vienna. In his account, Freud cavalierly offers great insight into the person behind the actor, even though he has never met Chaplin. Just recently . . . Charlie Chaplin was in Vienna; I almost caught sight of him, but (...) it was too cold for him, and he left in a hurry. He is undoubtedly a great artist—although he always plays one and the same part, the weak, poor, helpless, clumsy boy for whom life turns out all right in the end. Now do you think he has to forget his own self in .. (shrink)
Late in their architectural career, Alison and Peter Smithson designed an eighty-square-foot, indoor-outdoor space for a man and his cat. The Smithsons described this modest space in methodological and phenomenal terms, noting that the addition to Axel Bruchhäuser’s Hexenhaus could be read “as an exemplar of a method by which a small physical change—a layering-over of air adhered to an existing fabric—can bring about a delicate tuning of persons with place.” The Hexenhaus’ tuning elements—second skin, tree screen, and double-acting mesh—create (...) a “treillage’d space” that supplants mediation, reframes attunement, and elicits an active weaving of person, place, and phenomena. This paper seeks to understand what the architects meant by “tuning” and in the process to outline operations for spatial weaving. (shrink)
If sociology is about society must it not also be about morality? In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the identification between sociology and morality was clear cut; Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Spencer, and Veblen all dealt with moral issues and one might argue that they saw themselves as engaged in a moral vocation. Now, one might argue that the connections between sociology and moral currents have become more tenuous. Moral Culture examines what it means to be moral in contemporary social (...) and cultural life. Author Keith Tester takes the highly original and revealing step of exploring how violence today, and throughout history, affects the relatively safe and secure people who live in the west and who tend to know horror only through television and cinema screens. The book raises questions about the meaning and significance of massacres in the Balkans, Rwanda and, rather more historically, the Holocaust, and the slaughter of Vietnamese peasants by American soldiers in My Lai. It also discusses how Adolf Eichmann and the men of Charlie Company might be different from or similar to us. It answers questions about whether this is a time of moral decay or more seriously, the collapse of moral Civilization. Sociologists often claim that they make a virtue of being relevant and objective, but few have attacked these issues with the urgency and originality that Keith Tester displays in this work. Each chapter provides a historically aware account of a moral problem making it especially relevant reading for students of cultural studies, sociology, political science, and moral philosophy. (shrink)