This paper looks at the state of research on churchstate relations in post-communist Romania in order to provide an outline of the most important questions which need to be addressed in the coming years. The article consists of two parts. First, a survey of academic studies published over the past two decades on the relationship between the country’s churches and state after 1990. Secondly, a breakdown of pressing churchstate issues today, accompanied by short discussions of existing studies (...) and suggestions as to what future research should probe into. (shrink)
This study aims at chronicling current aspects and transformations in the relationship between the Jehovah's Witnesses religious minority and the Romanian state (1989-2010), focusing on this religious group's changing official status. Considering both previous contributions and debates on the relations between state and religion, and the distinction between the concepts of denomination versus sect, the present work analyzes the key issues of the long-lasting conflict between the state and this particular religious minority, as well as the factors (...) influencing these relations in Post-Communist Romania. It will be argued that the latest improvements concerning the recognition of religious freedom (Jehovah's Witnesses were officially recognized as a religious denomination in 2003) owes less to internal factors than to an external influence, namely the pressure exerted by the international community at the time of Romania's accession to both NATO and the EU. Furthermore, the study concludes that the evolution of the relation between the state and the Jehovah's Witnesses has influenced the background on which this relation has evolved, as well as the internal evolution of the religious minority. (shrink)
Some Romanian feminist scholars argue that welfare policies of post-communist states are deeply unjust to women and preclude them from reaching economic autonomy. The upshot of this argument is that liberal economic policy would advance feminist goals better than the welfare state. How should we read this dissonance between Western and some Eastern feminist scholarship concerning distributive justice? I identify the problem of dependency at the core of a possible debate about feminism and welfare. Worries about how decades (...) of communism have shaped citizenry feed feminists' suspicion of the welfare state and fears of paternalist policies. I criticize the arguments in favour of neoliberal policies and I suggest a crucial distinction between legitimate, universal forms of human dependency and dependencies that result from particular social arrangements. (shrink)
This article argues the main following points. (1) Communism was fatefully dependent upon the action or inaction of its top leaders because of the vulnerability of the hyper-centralized power and hyper-centralized defense of the ruling class and the ruling party. No one was really able to seriously predict the historical contingencies such as Gorbachev and Yeltsin that played a decisive role. The most that social scientists and analysts could safely claim was that communism had become unsuccessful and problematical to such (...) an extent that force alone could maintain it. However, given the overall history of communism, who could have anticipated that such force would not be used. (2) The United States is toiling now in an overwhelmingly difficult and dangerous transition, not only from a ‘superpower’ to ‘merely’ a big power, but from a totalistic and laissez-faire capitalism to a limited and state-regulated capitalism. It is the most efficacious way of production and primary distribution. However, unless capitalism, national and global, becomes regulated and combined with some kind of socialism (solidarism) that is yet to be established, global crises will keep recurring. The best chance for enlightened socialist (solidaristic) humanism lies in secondary distribution based on equality and justice as its fundamental principles. (3) The very term ‘superpower’ suggests a kind of superhuman, almost divine power. The United States does not have such power because (among other things) apocalyptic weapons are at the disposal of some considerably weaker states (in every other respect). (4) The possibility of the self-destruction of humankind has become the over-determination of all other over-determinations in history. It follows that auto-apocalypse must be separated from the categorical and epochal dichotomy between modernity/ modernism and postmodernity/postmodernism and given an absolute priority, both theoretical and practical. This break should be characterized as post-postmodernity and reflection upon it as post-postmodernism. We are in vital need of a total anti-apocalyptic turnaround in overall thought, sensitivity, activity and organization. Unfortunately, it can now safely be predicted that more and more states and societies, even those founded on (internal) freedoms and desirous to maintain them, will become transformed into states and societies focused on the struggle for survival in the face of auto-apocalyptic threats. I believe that confronted more and more with such threats liberalism will actually, and later probably also explicitly, yield the place of the fundamental operative (unlike declarative) view of the world, ideology, imagology, and principle of social organization — to humankind existentialism. We have entered an existentialist ‘end of history’ instead of the proclaimed liberalistic ‘end of history’. (shrink)
Marx: Later Political Writings brings together new translations of Marx's most important texts in political philosophy written after 1848. Marx challenged poitical theory to its very fundamentals, as his works do not follow traditional models for exploring politics theoretically. In his introduction, Terrell Carver situates Marx in a politics of democratic constitutionalism and revolutionary communism. The works are presented here complete, according to the first editions or the earliest manuscript state, and include the Manifesto of the Communist Party, (...) the Preface of 1859 to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, The Civil War in France, and the little-known Notes on Adolph Wagner. More than most political theorists, Marx made contemporary politics the focus for his theoretical work. He created a distinctive kind of political theory, and this volume makes it accessible today. (shrink)
The essay reconstructs the political discourses of Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek, concerning communism and its actuality for the contemporary debate. Both philosophers have a main role in the global philosophical scene in which they maintain different but partially complementary positions. Except for some philosophical divergences, they both affirm the necessity to reopen a theoretical effort, which could eventually develop an idea of communism and communist practices able to face new challenges imposed by capitalistic globalization. Badiou intends to spread (...) the idea of communism through a theoretical and political procedure called "ideation", which should create new militants and followers to the communist revolutionary event. According to this view the State remains the main enemy to this possibility. Žižek, on the contrary, seems to look with favour on the Lacanian dynamic of denegation which could recreate the necessary conditions for the repetition of the communist revolution; which, this time, instead of ending up in tragedy or in farce, should produce a sort of enlightened new statism. (shrink)
ExcerptPost-Communist Trends in Italy, 1968–1989 According to Paul Berman, the events of 1989 were a consequence and, in some ways, an “achievement” of the protest movement of 1968; or they at least expressed the most deeply felt aspirations of a generation of “utopians.”1 It is not my intention here to examine and discuss Berman's thesis in detail, but rather to highlight its originality and look for any possible historical or conceptual connections between the events of 1968 and those of (...) 1989. The Italian case seems to lend itself particularly well to such a comparison. From the beginning…. (shrink)
(1996). The contribution of communist states to the proscription of racist speech. The European Legacy: Vol. 1, Fourth International Conference of the International Society for the study of European Ideas, pp. 801-811.
From the perspective of meta-analysis done in a qualitative structure, the study puts forward an inventory of the communist regime studies in the following ways: 1. The re-evaluation of the social ideology-propaganda-practice relationship of the equality between sexes in the communist regime. 2. The contextualization and the evolution of the social representations of a woman's role. 3. The effects of some political decisions, which can count as aggressiveness of a state towards its citizens (770/1966 Decree).
This attempt to reveal several aspects of language power begins with the integralism promoted by Eugen Coseriu, who presents in his work the creative force of language. The author constructs a parallel between the structure of the communist society and the parithetic order of language. Thus, the force of an idiom is going to be exposed, and the preferred example is going to be the recent and painful history of the political life of Southeastern Europe, especially that of the (...) former Yugoslav republic. The author intends to demonstrate that linguistic idioms may eventually become extremely powerful, especially in certain historical circumstances. This conclusion in itself is judged to be interesting enough to move readers to be more attentive toward the power of language, from the perspective of finding the particular tradition that claims the existence, at the beginning of human language, of one unique (original) language. (shrink)
Soon after December 1989, the Romanian political power and the Romanian Orthodox Church have established that they had common interests regarding the preservation of several elements of the old leadership structures. A radical severance with the past has never been accomplished, for, a certain fear for a complete unbalance and of an uncontrollable evolution of the State’s institutions and of the Church’s hierarchy became manifest at that time. Thus, the Orthodox Church and the leading political post-communist party have (...) made a series of mutual good turns, with a view to maintaining the status-quo. At the same time, the political leadership manifested occult trends in order to control the Orthodox Church and to monopolize its huge sphere of influence for political purposes, since the State had no interest in the existence of a very strong and independent Church. This article shortly analyzes some of these cases. (shrink)
By challenging the state and corporate prerogatives to distinguish between “good” and “bad” development, social movements by and in support of inhabitants of Rosia Montana (Transylvania) are subverting prevailing perceptions about Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)’s liberal path of development illustrating its injustice in several ways that will be detailed in this article under the heading “inhibitions of political economy” or Balkanism. The significance of the “Save Rosia Montana” movement for post-communism is that it invites post-communist subjects to (...) reflect and revise their perception about issues such as communism, capitalism and development and to raise questions of global significance about the fragile edifice of justice within the neo-liberal capitalist economy. However, r esistance to injustice (and implicitly affirmations of other senses of justice) is an ambiguous discursive practice through which Rosieni make sense as well as partake their sense of Rosia Montana. The movement brings about a public dispute which may be compared with a differend : (in Lyotard’s words), a conflict that cannot be confined to the rules of “cognitive phrases,” of truth and falsehood. This article argues that while post-communist events of “subjectification” are unstable and thus, are to be viewed aesthetically, this same ambiguous multiplication of political subjectivity may facilitate the creation of social spaces for imagining alternative possibilities of development. (shrink)
My objective in this paper is to address a handful of issues that typically get raised in discussions of philosophical anarchism. Some of these issues arise in discussions among partisans of anarchism, and some are more likely to be raised in efforts to defend the state against its opponents. My hope is to focus the argument in such a way as to make clearer the main issues that are at stake from the point of view of at least one (...) version of philosophical anarchism. (shrink)
The abolition of the state is a central element in Marx’s vision of human emancipation. However, at a later stage of his intellectual development Marx seems to have retreated from this idea. Marx’s theory should be defined as the primacy of labor: labor, or instrumental productive activity, brings about, as its unintended, as-if-natural results, different social relations, including the state. At the core of communism, as first envisaged by Marx, is the abolition of labor and its unintended social (...) results . However, Marx did not hold to the idea of abolition of labor in his later writings. If labor cannot be abolished, the social relations that have developed as its unintended results, notably the state, cannot be abolished either. Any revival of the conception of abolition of the state should be connected to a revival of the conception of abolition of labor, as a regulative idea, based on modern, computer technology. (shrink)
The thesis examines the thought of Thomas More and Gerrard Winstanley, emphasizing the concern of both theorists with the prevailing moral depravity of human nature attributable to the Fall of Man, and their proposals for the amendment of men's conduct by institutional means, especially by the establishment of a communist society. The thesis opens with a conceptual exploration of 'utopianism' and 'millenarianism' before discussing the particular forms of these concepts employed by More and Winstanley. The introductory section also includes (...) an investigation of the context which constituted the background to the ideas of More and Winstanley. More's theology, his conception of human nature, and his view of contemporary civil society are examined in detail. It is argued that the conclusions More derived from this aspect of his thought formed his basic conception of the situation to which the institutional amendments outlined in Utopia were directed. These proposals, regarding communism, the state, family and community life, education, religion, and ethics, are discussed. It is argued that Utopia constitutes More's model of a society designed to facilitate the salvation of man. Winstanley's appreciation of man's nature, prevailing condition, and potential for spiritual regeneration, are outlined. The development of Winstanley's thought, and the impression his active involvement with the Diggers made upon him, is described. It is argued that Winstanley renounced millenarianism and ultimately assumed utopian social theory as a medium for the articulation of his proposals for the restoration of man to spiritual regeneracy on earth. The institutional aspects of this scheme, regarding communism, the state, patriarchalism, labour, and education, which he outlined in The Law of Freedom, are evaluated. The thesis concludes, with a brief comparative analysis before setting the ideas of More and Winstanley'in the context of the changing worldview, appreciation of man's potential and progress, and the emphasis upon aspiration, which evolved in the early modern period. (shrink)
This article deals with the relations in the triangle state–society–business in modern Russia. It is shown against Russian historical background, that the absolutist state in this country could never be identified with the society and these relations were shaped under its strong domination. The ethics of rule-following characteristic for market economy in general did not develop in Russia. The breakdown of communist Russia and market reforms proceeding since 1992 did not change this situation significantly. The period of (...) political alliance between big business and government was followed by restoration of state dominance in somewhat modified forms. Both periods were characterized by corruption, which contrary to Putin’s slogans, increases in Russia. In the article I show the evolution of Putin administration’s policy which changed from emphasizing and improving legal institutions to selective use of legal norms depending on personal loyalty. Main forms of state exploitation of Russian business are described. The conclusion is that Russian experience of balancing state and market should be called negative. (shrink)
Based on qualitative analysis of the Soviet press and official state documents, this article argues that the Communist Party was, counter intuitively, an agent of capitalist dispositions in the Soviet Union during 1970s-1980s. Understanding the spirit of capitalism not simply as an ascetic ethos but in broader terms of the cult of individualism, I demonstrate that the Soviet party-state promoted ideas and values of individuality, self-expression, and pleasure seeking in the areas of work and consumption. By broadening (...) our conception of the spirit of capitalism, tracing the formation of capitalist dispositions as well as institutions, and showing that the culture of capitalism can come from within the old regime, I further the agenda of neoclassical sociology of studying varieties of origins, paths, and destinations of modern capitalisms. (shrink)
The interesting question, therefore, is this: why have we seldom heard about the destabilizing consequences of Central government policy in the pre-1949 Chinese countryside? Surely one reason has to do with the fact that the well-known models put forth by Western historians to comprehend modern Chinese history and politics by and large left out the interest of the Central government. Up until the time Theda Skocpol published States and Social Revolutions there were, generally speaking, three such models. In the first (...) of these models, the Central government was said to have been a “state blown apart” by military separatism. Advocates of a second model acknowledged that Chiang Kai-shek led the Central government to defeat most of the aristocratic warlord armies of the 1927–30 period, but nonetheless portrayed the center as lacking the bureaucratic machinery necessary to penetrate the vast rural interior and halt the devolution of state power. According to Philip Kuhn, William Wei, and Philip C. C. Huang, this devolutionary process played into the hands of entrenched local elites who were against state building, or who, as Prasenjit Duara has brilliantly shown, acted as brokers to alter Central government claims in order to serve their own interests. Yet a third model was sketched out in the insightful historical studies of Lloyd E. Eastman. According to Eastman, the Republican center was real enough, but the plans of its policymakers to create economic wealth and expand their controls over rural society were confounded by factional infighting and cut short by the Japanese invasion of China in 1937.To be sure, each of the preceding models has enriched our understanding of the relation of the Republican polity to rural society within a given time frame and in a given place. William Wei's study, which shows that Chiang Kai-shek's Central government was more or less compelled to compromise with local strongmen in order to pacify Jiangxi province in the mid-1930s, is but one convincing example of the warlord devolution of state power thesis. Thus Wei strikes a familiar Skocpolian note — that of a Republican state permeated by rival social interests — when he concludes that “the inescapable irony of it all was that by restoring the rural elite to power, the Guomindang had actually undermined its long-sought goal of placing the countryside fully under Central government control.”By way of contrast, the formation of collective protest among the peasant salt producers of North China cannot be explained by merely evoking one of the well-established models of the Republican polity. That the Central government and its political interest is missing in most scholarly accounts of the coming of the Chinese Revolution is not surprising, for as Bruce Cumings wisely has pointed out, scholars of agrarian political systems have not developed a sufficient understanding of what prompts rural people to rebel largely because they seldom “know what the politics of particular state structures are.” I suspect that the precepts of the past, in combination with the current preoccupations with social history, have blinded us to the larger questions about the Republican state and its role in inciting rural disorder. Yet by following Tilly, and by exploring the macrohistory of the Republican state, we can see that there was a Central government, and that Chiang Kai-shek, T. V. Song, H. H. Kong, and other state makers made up the core of a ruling national clique bent on developing a political economy that would serve its own political interest. Having grasped this piece of the puzzle, we are in a better position to comprehend the political origins of collective protest in the countryside. Clearly, the Chiang Kai-shek center did have a major interest in salt revenue, and just as clearly the grievances and gatherings of the country people were linked to the revenue demands of the reconditioned gabelle. The emergence of popular collective action thus can be explained by the fact that China's country people could not adapt their lives to the Central government attempt to establish a political economy based on state monopoly and state-organized violence.Clearly, also, the Central government under Chiang Kai-shek did attempt to build its own state apparatus - its army, police forces, and bureaucracy — by developing new sources of revenue. By detailing the Republican state interest in taxing, or taking over, trade in rural products such as timber, salt, and coal we can begin to explore the process whereby the center reached deep into the countryside, and thereby advance our understanding of the progress made by the state in imposing its claims in the face of competition from provincial warlord regimes, county level actors, and village society. Few if any of the authors of the well-established models of the Republican polity have in fact looked systematically at the Central government quest for one specific type of revenue, or traced the development and extension of state revenue machinery within a given region, province, or county - let alone a village - over the long duree of modern Chinese history. My challenge to Skocpol, and the literature upon which her thesis is based, rests on just such a research strategy, that is, on evidence that the Central government was expanding its control over salt trade and over revenue from salt taxes in the North China interior during the Nationalist decade, 1927–37. By surveying the politics of salt, we have seen that the Central government Ministry of Finance was making some measure of progress in overcoming warlord controls, overriding the objections of local elites, and obliterating the structures of everyday peasant resistance.What does all of this suggest about the “weakness” of the Nanjing Central government? When Central government fiscal policy is placed firmly in the context of evolving state power, the Chiang Kai-shek center appears less anemic than is usually assumed - at least in this one issue area. To make this case, we need not deny that a condition of multiple sovereignty persisted in Republican China, or that Chiang Kaishek's Republic was not fully effective in its attempted expansion. But neither should we neglect the fact that the Chiang Kai-shek center was attempting to build a state in China, and that its state strengthening policies misfired and triggered collective protest. Such ill-conceived policies, along with the popular resistance to police efforts to enforce them, combined to place a major constraint on the state-building experiment.Thus, the fiscal claims of the Republican Central government itself combined with microlevel factors to produce this particular episode of collective protest. Gabelle-based income was one of the main pillars of Central government revenue from Yuan Shikai to Chiang Kai-shek. The center's attempt to transform China's long-established system of salt tax collection into a big profitable business was of course undertaken to pay off war indemnities and foreign debts and to underwrite state development. The problem was that progress in this sphere came at the expense of thousands upon thousands of village dwellers who shared an interest in the old earth salt economies of inland China. Understandably, the revved-up revenue collection machinery of the Central government's Salt Bureau - specifically the efforts of its tax police to seize the earth salt produced in peasant villages, which historically had been opposed to the official monopoly - drew the country people into confrontations and clashes with the agents of the state. Hence at the heart of this little known story is the resistance of China's salt land villages to a system of bureaucratic police controls supportive of the expansion of central state power. Of course for a more searchingly nuanced and complex explanation, we could factor in warlord politics, local elite inputs, and the factional intrigues of the Chiang Kaishek clique, but the important point is that the problem facing the country people was systemic, that is, the state-making process itself.Finally, the spirit of this episode of collective protest was not anti-capitalist. Rather, China's country people turned to collective action in order to preserve their longstanding rights to produce for the free market. The struggles of the peasant salt makers thus underscore the prevalence of the deeply structured market forces of which G. William Skinner has written, and remind us that rural protest sometimes took the form of a broad popular statement against state market controls. At the lower rungs of the rural marketing hierarchy, the peasant salt producers joined other pro-market groups, including local merchants and lower gentry, to prevent the Central government police from subordinating their communities to the state drive for revenue. Whether the Republican state was on the verge of winning this war on the popular market before World War II remains to be seen. But one point is clear: Central government interference in the popular market prerogatives produced a cast of angry characters who gained experience in organizing collective actions that transcended village politics, and their actions attracted the attention of Chinese Communist Party cadres who also were suffering from the repression of the protostate. (shrink)
Alien Politics retrieves from the writings of Marx an original theory of the state which remains viable and relevant today. Paul Thomas traces the process by which Marx's theory of the state as the instrument of the capitalist ruling class became transformed into communist dogma under the auspices of Lenin and other "official" Marxist stalwarts. He argues that Marx's writings still have something to teach us and should not be pulled down with the monoliths and mausoleums of (...) communism. The book continues the work of "Western Marxist" thinkers such as Antonio Gramsci and Nicos Poulantzas who came to understand the modern state in terms different from the rightly-discredited "ruling class" theory of the state associated with Leninism. Such Western Marxist theorists--more careful and nuanced readers of Marx than their powerfully-placed antagonists--helped formulate a theory of what Thomas calls "alien politics." The theory of alien politics, originally elaborated by Marx in his early critiques of Hegel and the Young Hegelians, diverges from ruling class state theory because it counterposes the state against civil society rather than treating it as an epiphenomenon of civil society. Unlike ruling class theory, alien politics retains considerable relevance as a critique of state forms that still exist in the West as well as those that have collapsed in the East. This topical and groundbreaking book re-interprets Marx and demonstrates how his ideas remain critical for political theorists, social scientists and anyone interested in the modern state. (shrink)
The basic conclusion of the analysis of this article is that for a combination of economic and political reasons, a capitalist road to communism is implausible, and for political reasons a socialist road is more likely to succeed than the mixed road. The pure capitalist road is impossible because capital flight would immediately undermine the economic base of the communism-inducing universal grant proposal, and because even if this problem were solved, the political use of disinvestment would make the system unreproducible. (...) The mixed road, combining elements of capitalist and socialist property relations, is economically feasible, but would be politically precarious. Only in a socialist society would the political conditions for a stable growth of the universal grants be secure enough to make movement along the road to communism likely.This general conclusion is based on what is a largely unargued assumption present thoughout this article, namely that socialism itself is unambiguously compatible with the emergence and development of communism- that collective ownership of the means of production by workers is compatible with a gradual growth in the “realm of freedom,” in the predominance of distribution according to need. Following VP, I acted as if the only issue were the extent to which capitalism might also be so compatible, and if not, the extent to which certain aspects of capitalism might be compatible in what I have called the mixed road.The assumption that socialism is compatible with the growth of communism rests on two more basic claims: first, that eliminating capitalist property relations does not necessarily produce authoritarian-bureaucratic forms of the state and politics, and, second, that in democratic socialism productivity will continue to increase (for without increasing productivity, expanding the sphere of distribution according to need becomes very problematic). While I will not attempt to defend them here, I believe both of these claims to be true. If either of these assumptions is false, however, then the only feasible road to communism, no matter how precarious it might be politically, may be the quasicapitalist/quasi-socialist mixed road described above, a road that combines elements of substantial state control over investments with capitalist economic rationality. (shrink)
The present article is devoted to the problem which is debated actively to-day, namely whether Greek poleis and the Roman Republic were early states or they represented a specific type of stateless societies. In particular, Moshe Berent examines this problem by the example of Athens in his contribution to this volume. He arrives at the conclusion that Athens was a stateless society. However, I am of the opinion that this conclusion is wrong: and I believe that Athens and Rome were (...) early states. Therefore the present article is in many respects a direct discussion with Berent (as well as with other supporters of this idea). (shrink)
Intuitively it has seemed to many that our concepts "conscious state" and "conscious creature" are sharp rather than vague, that they can have no borderline cases. On the other hand, many who take conscious states to be identical to, or realized by, complex physical states are committed to the vagueness of those concepts. In the paper I argue that "conscious state" and "conscious creature" are sharp by presenting four necessary conditions for conceiving borderline cases in general, and showing (...) that some of those conditions cannot be met with "conscious state." I conclude that "conscious state" is sharp, and the conclusion is then extended to "conscious creature." The paper ends with a brief discussion of some implications. (shrink)
In the philosophical literature on mental states, the paradigmatic examples of mental states are beliefs, desires, intentions, and phenomenal states such as being in pain. The corresponding list in the psychological literature on mental state attribution includes one further member: the state of knowledge. This article examines the reasons why developmental, comparative and social psychologists have classified knowledge as a mental state, while most recent philosophers--with the notable exception of Timothy Williamson-- have not. The disagreement is traced (...) back to a difference in how each side understands the relationship between the concepts of knowledge and belief, concepts which are understood in both disciplines to be closely linked. Psychologists and philosophers other than Williamson have generally have disagreed about which of the pair is prior and which is derivative. The rival claims of priority are examined both in the light of philosophical arguments by Williamson and others, and in the light of empirical work on mental state attribution. (shrink)
Hilary Putnam has argued that computational functionalism cannot serve as a foundation for the study of the mind, as every ordinary open physical system implements every finite-state automaton. I argue that Putnam's argument fails, but that it points out the need for a better understanding of the bridge between the theory of computation and the theory of physical systems: the relation of implementation. It also raises questions about the class of automata that can serve as a basis for understanding (...) the mind. I develop an account of implementation, linked to an appropriate class of automata, such that the requirement that a system implement a given automaton places a very strong constraint on the system. This clears the way for computation to play a central role in the analysis of mind. (shrink)
It is argued that Nozick's experience machine thought experiment does not pose a particular difficulty for mental state theories of well-being. While the example shows that we value many things beyond our mental states, this simply reflects the fact that we value more than our own well-being. Nor is a mental state theorist forced to make the dubious claim that we maintain these other values simply as a means to desirable mental states. Valuing more than our mental states (...) is compatible with maintaining that the impact of such values upon our well-being lies in their impact upon our mental lives. (shrink)
In ANARCY, STATE AND UTOPIA Robert Nozick says that the fundamental question of political philosophy, one that precedes questions about how the state should be organized, is whether there should be any state at all. In the first part of his book he attempts to justify the state. We argue that he is not successful.
In this article, I argue that if one closely follows Hobbes' line of reasoning in Leviathan, in particular his distinction between the second and the third law of nature, and the logic of his contractarian theory, then Hobbes' state of nature is best translated into the language of game theory by an assurance game, and not by a one-shot or iterated prisoner's dilemma game, nor by an assurance dilemma game. Further, I support Hobbes' conclusion that the sovereign must always (...) punish the Foole, and even exclude her from the cooperative framework or take her life, if she defects once society is established, which is best expressed in the language of game theory by a grim strategy. That is, compared to existing game-theoretic interpretations of Hobbes, I argue that the sovereign plays a grim strategy with the citizens once society is established, and not the individuals with one another in the state of nature. (shrink)
The first full-length study in English of Hegel's political philosophy. In order to present an overall view of the development of Hegel's political thinking the author has drawn on Hegel's philosophical works, his political tracts and his personal correspondence. Professor Avineri shows that although Hegel is primarily thought of as a philosopher of the state, he was much concerned with social problems and his concept of the state must be understood in this context.
In this article, I consider whether the advance directive of a person in minimally conscious state ought to be adhered to when its prescriptions conflict with her current wishes. I argue that an advance directive can have moral significance after its issuer has succumbed to minimally conscious state. I also defend the view that the patient can still have a significant degree of autonomy. Consequently, I conclude that her advance directive ought not to be applied. Then I briefly (...) assess whether considerations pertaining to respecting the patient's autonomy could still require obedience to the desire expressed in her advance directive and arrive at a negative answer. (shrink)
One of the most significant political philosophers of the twentieth century, Carl Schmitt is a deeply controversial figure who has been labeled both Nazi sympathizer and modern-day Thomas Hobbes. First published in 1938, The Leviathan in the State Theory of Thomas Hobbes used the Enlightenment philosopher’s enduring symbol of the protective Leviathan to address the nature of modern statehood. A work that predicted the demise of the Third Reich and that still holds relevance in today’s security-obsessed society, this volume (...) will be essential reading for students and scholars of political science. “Carl Schmitt is surely the most controversial German political and legal philosopher of this century. . . . We deal with Schmitt, against all odds, because history stubbornly persists in proving many of his tenets right.”— Perspectives on Political Science “[A] significant contribution. . . . The relation between Hobbes and Schmitt is one of the most important questions surrounding Schmitt: it includes a distinct, though occasionally vacillating, personal identification as well as an association of ideas.”— Telos. (shrink)
I argue that the many worlds explanation of quantum computation is not licensed by, and in fact is conceptually inferior to, the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics from which it is derived. I argue that the many worlds explanation of quantum computation is incompatible with the recently developed cluster state model of quantum computation. Based on these considerations I conclude that we should reject the many worlds explanation of quantum computation.
Recent progress in neurosciences has improved our understanding of chronic disorders of consciousness. One example of this advancement is the emergence of the new diagnostic category of minimally conscious state (MCS). The central characteristic of MCS is impaired consciousness. Though the phenomenon now referred to as MCS pre-existed its inclusion in diagnostic classifications, the current medical ethical concepts mainly apply to patients with normal consciousness and to non-conscious patients. Accordingly, how we morally should stand with persons in minimally conscious (...)state remains unclear. In this paper, I examine whether the notion of human dignity could provide us with guidance with the moral difficulties MCS gives rise to. More precisely, I focus on the question of whether we are justified in holding that persons in minimally conscious state possess human dignity. (shrink)
In the United States, the decision of whether to withdraw or continue to provide artificial nutrition and hydration (ANH) for patients in a permanent vegetative state (PVS) is placed largely in the hands of surrogate decision-makers, such as spouses and immediate family members. This practice would seem to be consistent with a strong national emphasis on autonomy and patient-centered healthcare. When there is ambiguity as to the patient's advanced wishes, the presumption has been that decisions should weigh in favor (...) of maintaining life, and therefore, that it is the withdrawal rather than the continuation of ANH that requires particular justification. I will argue that this default position should be reversed. Instead, I will argue that the burden of justification lies with those who would continue artificial nutrition and hydration (ANH), and in the absence of knowledge as to the patient's advanced wishes, it is better to discontinue ANH. In particular, I will argue that among patients in PVS, there is not a compelling interest in being kept alive; that in general, we commit a worse violation of autonomy by continuing ANH when the patient's wishes are unknown; and that more likely than not, the maintenance of ANH as a bridge to a theoretical future time of recovery goes against the best interests of the patient. (shrink)
Very few—if any—will doubt Hobbes's aversion to the state of nature and sympathy for civil society. On the other hand, it is not quite news that it would be inaccurate to claim that Hobbes rejected the state of nature entirely. Indeed, he embraced or at the very least tolerated the state of nature at the international level in order to escape from the individual state of nature. Hobbes's recommended exchange of an individual state of nature (...) for an international one does seem to have a smack of contradiction, arguably first noted by Rousseau. There is yet another charge of contradiction lurking around Hobbes's account of the state of nature. Hobbes's political thought would still reflect an ambivalent attitude towards a third instantiation of the state of nature, i.e. civil war. This is one of the main reasons why the political allegiance of Thomas Hobbes has been an issue ever since the publication of De Cive at the very least. This paper deals with Hobbes's differential treatment of the original and the international states of nature and discusses the source of Hobbes's somewhat ambivalent attitude towards civil war. It is here argued that Hobbes can fairly hold his ground vis-à-vis Rousseau's criticism, in spite of the normative resemblance between the international state of nature and the initial state of nature, and that Hobbes ambivalent attitude of attraction and repulsion towards civil war is actually due not so much to opportunism on his part as to the normative autonomy he has granted to the state of nature. (shrink)
We argue that the causal account offered by analytic functionalism provides the best account of the folk psychological theory of mind, and that people ordinarily define mental states relative to the causal roles these states occupy in relation to environmental impingements, external behaviors, and other mental states. We present new empirical evidence, as well as review several key studies on mental state ascription to diverse types of entities such as robots, cyborgs, corporations and God, and explain how this evidence (...) supports a functional account. We also respond to two challenges to this view based on the embodiment hypothesis, or the claim that physical realizers matter over and above functional role, and qualia. In both cases we conclude that research to date best supports a functional account of ordinary mental state concepts. (shrink)
This article considers concrete manifestations of the politogenesis multilinearity and the variation of its forms; it analyzes the main causes that determined the politogenetic pathway of a given society. The respective factors include the polity's size, its ecological and social environment. The politogenesis should be never reduced to the only one evolutionary pathway leading to the statehood. The early state formation was only one of many versions of development of complex late archaic social systems. The author designates various complex (...) non-state political systems as early state analogues. The early state analogue posed a real alternative to the state for a rather long period of time, whereas in many ecologically marginal regions they could compete quite seriously with the state sometimes until recently. Thus, it was only in the final count that the state became the leading form of political organization of complex societies. The very pathways to statehood had a few versions. One may group them into two main types: ‘vertical’ and ‘horizontal’. Within the ‘vertical’ model the state formation took place in a direct way, i.e. directly from small pre-state polities to primitive statehood. Within the ‘horizontal’ model we first ob-serve the formation of early state analogues that were quite com-parable to the state as regards their complexity, whereas later those analogues were transformed into states . (shrink)