David Harvey : On peut difficilement imaginer vérification plus spectaculaire de ce que tu prédis depuis très longtemps dans tes théories que l’actuelle crise du système financier mondial. Y a-t-il des aspects de la crise qui t’ont surpris ?Giovanni Arrighi : Ma prédiction était très simple. Dans The Long Twentieth Century, je qualifiais de crise annonciatrice d’un régime d’accumulation le début de la financiarisation et je faisais remarquer qu’après un certain temps – en général environ un demi-siècle – la (...) crise terminale suivait. L’hypothèse fondamentale est que toutes ces expansions financières ne pouvaient pas tenir parce qu’elles amenaient à la spéculation plus de capital qu’il n’était possible d’en gérer – en d’autres termes, ces expansions financières avaient tendance à créer des bulles de différentes sortes. Je prévoyais que cette expansion financière mènerait à une crise terminale parce que, aujourd’hui comme dans le passé, les bulles ne peuvent pas tenir. (shrink)
In this paper we want to examine how the mutual understanding of speakers is reached during a conversation through collaborative processes, and what role is played by abductive inference (in the Peircean sense) in these processes. We do this by bringing together contributions coming from a variety of disciplines, such as logic, philosophy of language and psychology. When speakers are engaged in a conversation, they refer to a supposed common ground: every participant ascribes to the others some knowledge, belief, opinion (...) etc. on which to rely in order to reach mutual understanding. As the conversation unfolds, this common ground is continually corrected and reshaped by the interchanges. An abductive reasoning takes place, in a collaborative setting, in order to build new possible theories about the common ground. In reconstructing this process through the use of a working example, we argue that the integration of a collaborative perspective within the Peircean theory of abduction can help to solve some of the drawbacks that the critics of the latter have outlined, for example its permissivity and non generativity. (shrink)
The efforts of the European Commission to create a European Research Area in the field of biotechnology are accompanied by a growing demand for an ethical discourse. Cultural differences between the European Union's member states create a vital need to improve bioethical information structures in Europe so as to foster European bioethics discourses and to cope with ethical pluralism. Responding to the need for an increased European contribution to the international discussion on ethics in medicine and biotechnology, some of Europe's (...) leading bioethics institutions have joined forces to establish the international network EURETHNET . 18 partners from nine European countries agreed to develop an information network and knowledge base in the field of ethics in medicine and biotechnology. This short communication displays the aims, scope and realisation of the network. (shrink)
: This paper deals with Claudia Card's important contributions to a theory of evil that steps out from traditional models of thinking about this problem (theodicies, metaphysical theories, etc.). Instead, our author seeks to explore important elements from other theorists (such as Kant and Nietzsche) in order to build up her ideas of what she calls the "atrocity paradigm." This critical essay focuses mainly in the spaces where Card's conclusions need to rethink the limits and constraints of her theory.
In The Atrocity Paradigm, Claudia Card suggests we forgiveness as a potentially valuable exercise of a victim's moral powers. Yet Card never makes explicit just what 'moral powers' are, or how to understand their grounding or scope. I draw out unacknowledged implications of her framework: namely, that others than the primary victim may forgive, and -- conversely -- that some victims may find themselves morally dis-empowered. Furthermore, talk of "moral powers" allows us to appropriately acknowledge the value of refusals (...) to forgive and the issue of "forgivable" evils, in ways that talk of forgiveness as a duty or virtue cannot. (shrink)
: I briefly reprise a few themes of my bookMoral Understandingsin order to address some questions about responsibility and justification. I argue for a thoroughly situated and naturalized view of moral justification that warns us not to take moral universalism too easily at face value. I also argue for the significance of reports of experience, among other kinds of empirical evidence, in testing the habitability of moral forms of life.
This paper draws on Claudia Card’s discussions of moral luck to consider the complicated moral life of people—described as pessimists—who accept the heavy knowledge of the predictability of the bad moral luck of oppression. The potential threat to ethics posed by this knowledge can be overcome by the pessimist whose resistance to oppression, even in the absence of hope, expresses a sense of still having a ‘‘claim’’ on flourishing despite its unattainability under oppression.
The context of international health research involving human subjects, and this should appear obvious, is the human community. As such, basic questions of how human beings should be treated by other human beings, particularly in situations of unequal power – e.g., in the form of control, choice, or opportunity – lay at the foundations of related ethical discourse when ethics are discussed at all. I trace a narrative that follows upon a recent revision process of international guidelines for biomedical research (...) involving human subjects. I focus in particular upon the issue of a standard of care. In the second section, I draw upon philosophers John Rawls, Claudia Card, and Allen Buchanan to discuss concerns regarding the 'least advantaged members of society' in the context of global inequality. The paper includes reflections upon pedagogy in courses focused upon international health research involving human subjects. (shrink)
What distinguishes evils from ordinary wrongs? Is hatred a necessarily evil? Are some evils unforgivable? Are there evils we should tolerate? What can make evils hard to recognize? Are evils inevitable? How can we best respond to and live with evils? Claudia Card offers a secular theory of evil that responds to these questions and more. Evils, according to her theory, have two fundamental components. One component is reasonably foreseeable intolerable harm -- harm that makes a life indecent and (...) impossible or that makes a death indecent. The other component is culpable wrongdoing. Atrocities, such as genocides, slavery, war rape, torture, and severe child abuse, are Card's paradigms because in them these key elements are writ large. Atrocities deserve more attention than secular philosophers have so far paid them. They are distinguished from ordinary wrongs not by the psychological states of evildoers but by the seriousness of the harm that is done. Evildoers need not be sadistic:they may simply be negligent or unscrupulous in pursuing their goals. Card's theory represents a compromise between classic utilitarian and stoic alternatives (including Kant's theory of radical evil). Utilitarians tend to reduce evils to their harms; Stoics tend to reduce evils to the wickedness of perpetrators: Card accepts neither reduction. She also responds to Nietzsche's challenges about the worth of the concept of evil, and she uses her theory to argue that evils are more important than merely unjust inequalities. She applies the theory in explorations of war rape and violence against intimates. She also takes up what Primo Levi called "the gray zone", where victims become complicit in perpetrating on others evils that threaten to engulf themselves. While most past accounts of evil have focused on perpetrators, Card begins instead from the position of the victims, but then considers more generally how to respond to -- and live with -- evils, as victims, as perpetrators, and as those who have become both. (shrink)
Michael Quante, Menschenwürde und personale Autonomie. Demokratische Werte im Kontext der Lebenswissenschaften Content Type Journal Article Pages 601-603 DOI 10.1007/s10677-011-9278-7 Authors Claudia Wiesemann, Department of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, University Medical Center Göttingen, Humboldtallee 36, 37073 Göttingen, Germany Journal Ethical Theory and Moral Practice Online ISSN 1572-8447 Print ISSN 1386-2820 Journal Volume Volume 14 Journal Issue Volume 14, Number 5.
How should feminist philosophers regard the inequalities that structure the lives of women? Some of these inequalities are trivial and others are not; together they form a framework of unequal treatment that shapes women’s lives. This paper asks what priority we should give inequalities that affect women; it critically analyzes Claudia Card’s view that feminists ought to give evils priority. Sometimes ending gender-based inequalities is the best route to eliminating gender-based evil.
There is an argument that has recently been deployed in favor of thinking that the mind is mostly (or even exclusively) composed of cognitive modules; an argument that draws from some ideas and concepts of evolutionary and of developmental biology. In a nutshell, the argument concludes that a mind that is massively composed of cognitive mechanisms that are cognitively modular (henceforth, c-modular) is more evolvable than a mind that is not c-modular (or that is scarcely c-modular), since a cognitive mechanism (...) that is c-modular is likely to be biologically modular (henceforth, b-modular), and b-modular characters are more evolvable (e.g., Sperber 2002, Carruthers 2005). In evolutionary biology, the evolvability of a character in an organism is understood as the “organism’s capacity to facilitate the generation of non-lethal selectable phenotypic variation from random mutation” with respect to that character. Here I will argue that the notion of cognitive modularity needed to make this argument plausible will have to be understood in terms of the biological notion of variational independence; that is, it will have to be understood in such a way that a cognitive feature is c-modular only if few or no other morphological changes (cognitive and not) are significantly correlated with variations of that feature arising in members of the relevant population. I will also argue that all –except for (possibly) one—of the connotations contained in a cluster of notions of cognitive modularity widely accepted in some of the mainstream currents of thought in classical cognitive science, are simply irrelevant to the argument. In order to argue for this, I will have to examine the question as to whether there are any strong theoretical connections between (1) those connotations and (2) notions of modularity accepted in biology, specially in evolutionary and in developmental biology, that are thought to be most relevant to arguments to the effect that biological modularity enhances evolvability. (shrink)
: The concept of a war on terrorism creates havoc with attempts to apply rules of war. For "terrorism" is not an agent. Nor is it clear what relationship to terrorism agents must have in order to be legitimate targets. Nor is it clear what kinds of terrorism count. Would a war on terrorism in the home be a justifiable response to domestic battering? If not, do similar objections apply to a war on public terrorism?
Jennifer Saul has argued that the speech acts approach to pornography, where pornography has the illocutionary force of subordinating women, is undermined by that very approach: if pornographic works are speech acts, they must be utterances in contexts; and if we take contexts seriously, it follows that only some pornographic viewings subordinate women. In an effort to defend the speech acts approach, Claudia Bianchi argues that Saul focuses on the wrong context to fix pornography’s illocutionary force. In response, I (...) defend Saul arguing that Bianchi doesn’t show Saul has focused on the wrong context. (shrink)
: Social death, central to the evil of genocide (whether the genocide is homicidal or primarily cultural), distinguishes genocide from other mass murders. Loss of social vitality is loss of identity and thereby of meaning for one's existence. Seeing social death at the center of genocide takes our focus off body counts and loss of individual talents, directing us instead to mourn losses of relationships that create community and give meaning to the development of talents.
In the last twenty years, recorded messages and written notes have become a significant test and an intriguing puzzle for the semantics of indexical expressions (see Smith 1989, Predelli 1996, 1998a,1998b, 2002, Corazza et al. 2002, Romdenh-Romluc 2002). In particular, the intention-based approach proposed by Stefano Predelli has proven to bear interesting relations to several major questions in philosophy of language. In a recent paper (Saul 2006), Jennifer Saul draws on the literature on indexicals and recorded messages in order to (...) criticize Rae Langton's claim that works of pornography can be understood as illocutionary acts – in particular acts of subordinating women or acts of silencing women. Saul argues that it does not make sense to understand works of pornography as speech acts, because only utterances in contexts can be speech acts. More precisely, works of pornography such as a film may be seen as recordings that can be used in many different contexts – exactly like a written note or an answering machine message. According to Saul, bringing contexts into the picture undermines Langton's radical thesis – which must be reformulated in much weaker terms. In this paper, I accept Saul's claim that only utterances in contexts can be speech acts, and that therefore only works of pornography in contexts may be seen as illocutionary acts of silencing women. I will, nonetheless, show that Saul's reformulation doesn't undermine Langton's thesis. To this aim, I will use the distinction Predelli proposes in order to account for the semantic behaviour of indexical expressions in recorded messages – namely the distinction between context of utterance and context of interpretation. (shrink)
Polysemy is a term used in semantic and lexical analysis to describe a word with multiple meanings. Although such words present few difficulties in everyday communication, they do pose near-intractable problems for linguists and lexicographers. The contributors in this volume consider the implications of these problems for linguistic theory and how they may be addressed in computational linguistics.
: Although the exclusion of LGBTs from the rites and rights of marriage is arbitrary and unjust, the legal institution of marriage is itself so riddled with injustice that it would be better to create alternative forms of durable intimate partnership that do not invoke the power of the state. Card's essay develops a case for this position, taking up an injustice sufficiently serious to constitute an evil: the sheltering of domestic violence.
It has been claimed that most of the world’s preventable suffering and death are caused not by terrorism but by poverty. That claim, if true, could be hard to substantiate. For most terrorism is not publicly recognized as such, and it is far commoner than paradigms of the usual suspects suggest. Everyday lives under oppressive regimes, in racist environments, and of women, children, and elders everywhere who suffer violence in their homes offer instances of terrorisms that seldom capture public attention. (...) Or so this essay argues, through exploring two models of terrorism and the points of view highlighted by each. (shrink)
This essay argues that current advocacy of lesbian and gay rights to legal marriage and parenthood insufficiently criticizes both marriage and motherhood as they are currently practiced and structured by Northern legal institutions. Instead we would do better not to let the State define our intimate unions and parenting would be improved if the power presently concentrated in the hands of one or two guardians were diluted and distributed through an appropriately concerned community.
In "Demonstratives" Kaplan claims that the occurrence of a demonstrative must be supplemented by an act of demonstration, like a pointing (a feature of the objective context). Conversely in "After-thoughts" Kaplan argues that the occurrence of a demonstrative must be supplemented by a directing intention (a feature of the intentional con-text). I present the two theories in competition and try to identify the constraints an intention must satisfy in order to have semantic rele-vance. My claim is that the analysis of (...) demonstrative reference pro-vides a reliable test for our intuitions on the relation between objective and intentional context. I argue that the speaker's intentions can play a semantic role only if they satisfy an Availability Constraint: an inten-tion must be made available or communicated to the addressee, and for that purpose the speaker can exploit any feature of the objective con-text. This thesis implies the reconciliation between "Demonstratives" and "Afterthoughts". (shrink)
Ethical behavior — the conscious attempt to act in accordance with an individually-owned morality — is the product of an advanced stage of the maturing process. Three models of ethical growth derived from research in human development are applied to issues of business ethics.
Contextualism is a view about meaning, semantic content and truth-conditions, bearing significant consequences for the characterisation of explicit and implicit content, the decoding/inferring distinction and the semantics/pragmatics interface. According to the traditional perspective in semantics (called "literalism" or "semantic minimalism"), it is possible to attribute truth-conditions to a sentence independently of any context of utterance, i.e. in virtue of its meaning alone. We must then distinguish between the proposition literally expressed by a sentence ("what is said" by the sentence, its (...) literal truth-conditions) and the implicit meaning of the sentence ("what is implicated" by a speaker uttering the sentence). Over the past forty years, however, an increasing number of linguists and philosophers have begun to underline the phenomenon of semantic underdetermination: the encoded meaning of the sentence employed by a speaker underdetermines the proposition explicitly expressed by an utterance of that sentence. According to the extreme version of this perspective – labelled "radical contextualism" - no sentence of a natural language expresses a complete proposition, or has fixed truth-conditions, even when unambiguous and devoid of indexicals. A sentence expresses a proposition only when completed and enriched with pragmatic constituents that do not correspond to any syntactic element of the sentence and yet are part of its semantic interpretation. More broadly, "contextualism" may be used to refer to a family of views which includes moderate contextualism (also called "indexicalism"), radical contextualism and non-indexical contextualism – and which contrasts with semantic minimalism. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to suggest that a necessary condition of autonomy has not been sufficiently recognized in the literature: the capacity to critically reflect on one’s practical attitudes (desires, preferences, values, etc.) in the light of new experiences . It will be argued that most prominent accounts of autonomy—ahistorical as well as history-sensitive—have either altogether failed to recognize this condition or at least failed to give an explicit account of it.
Torture is like slavery (and unlike murder and genocide) in that it is not inconceivable that torture might be justifiable. But the circumstances that would make it tolerable are unrealistic in philosophically interesting ways. It is unrealistic to think we can predict when torture will be effective and containable; unwarranted to suppose that humane alternatives are impossible; disastrous to remove motivations to create alternatives; unacceptable to be satisfied with available evidence regarding suspectsâ identity, knowledge of critical detail, ability to recall (...) it, or reasons for not providing it. Most importantly, the costs of even successful interrogational torture would negate the gains sought. Or so this essay argues. (shrink)
Moral behaviour, based on social norms, is commonly regarded as a hallmark of humans. Hitherto, humans are perceived to be the only species possessing social norms and to engage in moral behaviour. There is anecdotal evidence suggesting their presence in chimpanzees, but systematic studies are lacking. Here, we examine the evolution of human social norms and their underlying psychological mechanisms. For this, we distinguish between conventions, cultural social norms and universal social norms. We aim at exploring whether chimpanzees possess evolutionary (...) precursors of universal social norms seen in humans. Chimpanzees exhibit important preconditions for their presence and enforcement: tolerant societies, well-developed social-cognitive skills and empathetic competence. Here, we develop a theoretical framework for recognizing different functional levels of social norms and distinguish them from mere statistical behavioural regularities. Quasi social norms are found where animals behave functionally moral without having moral emotions. In proto social norms, moral emotions might be present but cannot be collectivized due to the absence of a uniquely human psychological trait, i.e. shared intentionality. Human social norms, whether they are universal or cultural, involve moral emotions and are collectivized. We will discuss behaviours in chimpanzees that represent potential evolutionary precursors of human universal social norms, with special focus on social interactions involving infants. We argue that chimpanzee infants occupy a special status within their communities and propose that tolerance towards them might represent a proto social norm. Finally, we discuss possible ways to test this theoretical framework. (shrink)
In my paper, I present two competing perspectives on the foundational problem (as opposed to the descriptive problem) of quantifier domain restriction: the objective perspective on context (OPC) and the intentional perspective on context (IPC). According to OPC, the relevant domain for a quantified sentence is determined by objective facts of the context of utterance. In contrast, according to IPC, we must consider certain features of the speaker’s intention in order to determine the proposition expressed. My goal is to offer (...) a plausible and fair reconstruction of IPC. Drawing a parallel between quantifier domain restriction and standard cases of context dependence as indexicality, I argue that the speaker’s intentions can play a semantic role only if they satisfy an Availability Constraint: an intention must be made available or communicated to the addressee, and for that purpose the speaker can exploit any feature of the objective context (words, gestures, relevance or uniqueness of either the quantificational domain or of the referent in the context of utterance). An intention satisfying the Availability Constraint must be something that a hearer in normal circumstances is able to work out by relying on the physical surroundings of the utterance situation, on utterances exchanged during the previous conversation, and on background knowledge shared by speaker and addressee. (shrink)
In this paper I expose and criticise the distinction between pure indexicals and demonstratives, held by David Kaplan and John Perry. I oppose the context of material production of the utterance to the “intended context” (the context of interpretation, i.e. the context the speaker indicates as semantically relevant): this opposition introduces an intentional feature into the interpretation of pure indexicals. As far as the indexical I is concerned, I maintain that we must distinguish between the material producer of the utterance (...) containing I and the “intended agent of the context” - i.e. the individual designated by the material producer as the responsible for the utterance. (shrink)
In this book review, I assess the merits of the book as a whole (it's good!) while focusing in particular on chapters by Claudia Card, Patrick Frierson, Robert Louden, Pablo Muchnik, Jeanine Grenberg, and Allen Wood.
Here I develop an interpretation of Descartes' theory of ideas which differs from the standard reading in that it incorporates a distinction between what an idea appears to represent and what it represents. I argue that this interpretation not only finds support in the texts but also is required to explain a large number of assertions in Descartes which would otherwise appear irremediably obscure or problematic. For example, in my interpretation it is not puzzling that Descartes responds to Arnauld's difficulty (...) concerning the notion of material falsity by drawing a distinction between that to which an idea conforms (that of which the idea truly is) and that to which it refers. Furthermore, my interpretation also explains how Descartes can intelligibly reject the view that saying that something is clear and distinct is equivalent to saying that it is obvious. Finally, I argue that my interpretation allows Descartes' view that we have some sort of internal access to the objects actually represented by an idea. (shrink)
: Margaret Walker's Moral Understandings offers an "expressive-collaborative," culturally situated, practice-based picture of morality, critical of a "theoretical-juridical" picture in most prefeminist moral philosophy since Henry Sidgwick. This essay compares her approach to ethics with that of John Rawls, another exemplar of the "theoretical-juridical" model, and asks how Walker's approach would apply to several ethical issues, including interaction with (other) animals, social reform and revolution, and basic human rights.
Semantic theory in linguistics cannot retain its traditional purity, free of pragmatic contextual considerations. Agreement with the preceding claim, generally shared by this volume's contributors, provides the setting for a presentation of various provocative approaches toward a precise definition of pragmatics along with a reconciliation of pragmatics with semantics. Here is a collection of leading-edge work that examines the semantics/pragmatics dispute in terms of phenomena such as indexicals, proper names, conventional and conversational implicatures, procedural meaning, and semantic underdetermination. Examples show (...) how these phenomena reach from the linguistic realm to the fields of psychology, philosophy, literature, and anthropology. (shrink)
In this article I posit translation as philosophical operation that disrupts commonsense meaning and understanding. By defamiliarising language, translation can arrest thinking about a text in a way that assumes the language is understood. In recent work I have grappled with the phrase 'ways of knowing', which, for linguistic and conceptual reasons, confuses discussions about epistemological diversity. I here expand this inquiry by considering languages in which more than one equivalent exists for the English verb 'to know'. French, for example, (...) has both savoir and connaître , and German has wissen and kennen . This interlinguistic translation thus allows for a reconsideration of the inquiry into the phrase 'ways of knowing': do problems arise with 'ways of knowing-in-the sense-of connaître ', or with 'ways of knowing-in-the-sense-of savoir ', or both? Displacement is, more generally speaking, a method used by philosophers. Shifting the concept or phenomenon under consideration into a different context or discursive register allows one to defamiliarise it and see it in terms of something else. Through translation, whether interlinguistic or interdiscursive, philosophers ask what questions and understandings become possible when we see A in terms of B. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Notes on Contributors.1. Introduction: Hatred of Democracy... and of the Public Role of Education? (Maarten Simons and Jan Masschelein).2. The Public Role of Teaching: To Keep the Door Closed (Goele Cornelissen).3. Learner, Student, Speaker: Why It Matters How We Call Those We Teach (Gert Biesta).4. Ignorance and Translation, 'Artifacts' for Practices of Equality (Marc Derycke).5. Democratic Education: An (im)possibility That Yet Remains to Come (Daniel Friedrich, Bryn Jaastad and Thomas S. Popkewitz)6. Governmental, Political and Pedagogic Subjectivation: (...) Foucault with Rancière (Maarten Simons and Jan Masschelein).7. The Immigrant Has No Proper Name: The Disease of Consensual Democracy Within the Myth of Schooling (Carl Anders Safstrom).8. Queer Politics in Schools: A Rancièrean Reading (Claudia W. Ruitenberg).9. Paulo Freire's Last Laugh: Rethinking Critical Pedagogy's Funny Bone Through Jacques Rancière ( Tyson Edward Lewis).10. Settling no Conflict in the Public Place: Truth in Education, and in Rancièrean Scholarship (Charles Bingham).11. The Hatred of Public Schooling: The School as the Mark of Democracy (Jan Masschelein and Maarten Simons).12. Endgame: Reading, Writing, Talking (and Perhaps Thinking) in a Faculty of Education (Jorge Larrosa). (shrink)
This paper develops the thesis that personal identity is neither to be taken in terms of an unchanging self-sufficient ‘substance’ nor in terms of selfhood ‘without substance,’ i.e. as fluctuating processes of pure relationality and subject-less activity. Instead, identity is taken as self-transformation that is bound to particular embodied individuals and surpasses them as individuated entities. The paper is structured in three parts. Part I describes the experiential givenness of conflicts that support our sense of self-transformation. While the first part (...) develops an inter-subjective topography of emotional movements, the second part pays attention to their temporal dimension. We work with conflicts and get transformed by them also in the way we remember them. Part II focuses on the process of self-understanding that accompanies conflicts and their metamorphosis in memory. Part III compares and discusses different models of a ‘relational ontology’ of the person, which question the idea that we are defined only by how we define ourselves—just as they question the idea that one’s identity is independent of how one relates to one’s having changed. (shrink)
Martha Nussbaum's work has been characterized by a sustained critique of Stoic ethics, insofar as that ethics denies the validity and importance of our valuing things that elude our control. This essay explores the idea that the very possibility of morality, understood as social or interpersonal ethics, presupposes that we do value such things. If my argument is right, Stoic ethics is unable to recognize the validity of morality (so understood) but can at most acknowledge duties to oneself. A further (...) implication is that moral luck, so far from undermining morality as some have held, is presupposed by the very possibility of morality. (shrink)
The article draws from a personal clinical experience of two suicides, not far removed from each other in time. The first patient was a 33-year-old intellectual suffering from depression with narcissistic traits but no psychotic elements, while the second patient was a 21-year-old student with a manifest psychotic episode behind him and with characteristics of post-psychotic depression at the time of suicide. The two suicides had very different impacts on the therapist: the first left open some “space” for reflection, communication, (...) and working-through, while the second closed such a “space,” leaving only a tiny door to the existential roots of human beings and suffering. The therapist was able to find some “shelter” by talking to supervisors, colleagues, and friends in the first case; in the second, the only possible “shelter” was glimpsed in the philosophy of groundlessness (Ungrund) of the Russian existentialist Nicolai Berdyaev. The personal experiences of the therapist, along with some theoretical interpretations of the after-effects of both suicides, are presented using a psychodynamic and existential–phenomenological understanding of the therapeutic relationship with a psychotic and a non-psychotic patient. The main dilemmas exposed by a patient’s suicide, especially if the patient suffers from psychosis, are difficult to deal with in the usual clinical settings and call for resources beyond it. The authors propose that these can be found in philosophical and theological insights. (shrink)
This essay considers the tensions informing Nietzsche's reflection on intertwined issues of nature, art, sexuality, and the feminine. Through the figure of Dionysus, Nietzsche articulates a suggestive understanding of generation as the upsurge of nature in its transformative movement. The juxtaposition of Luce Irigaray's elaboration of the Dionysian calls for an interrogation of Nietzsche's work regarding (1) the sublimation of nature into art and of sexuality or sensuality into artistic drives, (2) the oblivion of sexual difference in the coupling of (...) Apollo and Dionysus, and (3) the disappearance of love from the scene of creativity and procreation and, concomitantly, the emphasis on suffering and dismemberment. (shrink)
The Kantian notion of ‘affection’ is indeed problematic and obscure. In so far as the subject is finite and does not create the object of knowledge, the latter must always be somehow given. The passive faculty of sensibility makes it possible for the object to appear. But this receptive character of the subject correlates to some affection. Something affects us, and our sensibility receives this affection under the pure forms of space and time. The question that immediately arises is what (...) performs the action of affecting. And any answer, in the theoretical framework of the transcendental idealism, is always troubling. If we say that the thing in itself affects us, we are speaking about something that is not cognoscible. If we say that the object performs the action of affecting, we are considering that the sensation that is involved in every experience is, at the same time, a result of an affection produced by the object of experience. (shrink)
It is possible to raise and solve philosophical problems with no very clear idea of what philosophy is, what it is trying to do, and how it can best do it; but no great progress can be made until these questions have been asked and some answer to them given ( Collingwood, 2005 , p. 1).