As many struggle to find meaning at the end of philosophy, Jean-Luc Nancy's writing has enlightened many philosophical debates around the questions of community, the political, and freedom. Situatuing his work in an explicitly contemporary context--the collapse of communism, the Gulf War, the former Yugoslavia--Nancy has forced us to rethink nothing less than what "doing" philosophy entails. On Jean-Juc Nancy provides fascinating insights into one of the most contemporary philosophers writing today. The full range of Nancy's work as a philosopher (...) of the contemporary is considered, allowing us to see his engagement with Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Bataille and Derrida. Issues of violence and power, finitude, east and west, the meaning of "Europe", and the crisis of the global community are all approached through Nancy's work. (shrink)
Why do people read novels, go to the theater, or listen to beautiful music? Do we seek out aesthetic experiences simply because we enjoy them--or is there another, deeper, reason we spend our leisure time viewing or experiencing works of art? Aesthetics, the first short introduction to the contemporary philosophy of aesthetics, examines not just the nature of the aesthetic experience, but the definition of art, and its moral and intrinsic value in our lives. Anne Sheppard divides her work (...) into two parts: In the first, she summarizes the major theories defining art and beauty; in the second, she explores the nature of aesthetic evaluation and appreciation. As Sheppard explains, there are three main approaches to defining art, all focused on what art objects share. One proposes that all art imitates something in life, another that it expresses something (such as anger or ecstasy), still another suggests that all art has formal qualities. There is also a fourth which offers that all art shares the quality of beauty. In the second part, which concentrates on literary art, Sheppard explores such philosophic topics as critical judgment, meaning and truth in literature, and the relationship between art and morals. She raises such questions as whether there is one correct interpretation of a work of art and whether art has a moral effect on its audience and, citing specific examples, explores the views that have been put forth. A wide-ranging, intriguing book, which assumes no formal knowledge on the part of its readers, Aesthetics opens the door to a greater understanding and appreciation of art. (shrink)
This paper draws attention to the Symposium's concern with epideictic rhetoric. It argues that in the Symposium, as in the Gorgias and the Phaedrus, a contrast is drawn between true and false rhetoric. The paper also discusses the dialogue's relationship to drama. Whereas both epideictic rhetoric and drama were directed to a mass audience, the speeches in the Symposium are delivered to a small, select group. The discussion focuses on the style of the speeches delivered by Aristophanes, Agathon, Socrates and (...) Alcibiades. Aristophanes speaks in the simple style of comedy, fable and folktale, also used by Protagoras in Plato's Protagoras. Agathon speaks in the high-flown style of Gorgias. Socrates' speech is a miniature Platonic dialogue, and both Alcibiades' speech and Socrates' speech may be compared to satyr play. The paper concludes with a suggestion that the claim at 223D, that the same person should be able to write both comedy and tragedy, refers to style as well as subject-matter. (shrink)
Over half of the world's population (3 billon people) now lives in urban environments. The combination of people, industry, and commerce enmeshed in environments over-determined by plans, designs, and configurations that continue to emphasize ease, efficiency, and spatial sprawl over ecological constraints and sustainability help to make urban environments the primary contributors to multiple types of ecological degradation. With this in mind, urban environments demand greater sustained theoretical and practical attention than has been and is the norm under status quo (...) approaches to urbanism that pay little regard to ecological constraints and under traditional models of environmentalism informed by an anti-urban bias. Fortunately, an emerging form of urban environmentalism exists that recognizes the central ecological role of urban environments. This emerging form of urban environmentalism also recognizes urban environments to be the places where environmental problems are often most severe and where environmental solutions are in most need of immediate implementation. The upshot of this dual recognition is that it is accompanied by a growing dual awareness of urban environmental problems and solutions. In this paper I argue that despite this dual recognition and awareness, a paradoxical form of inaction is the norm when it comes to implementing urban environmental solutions. I explain why this is the case by outlining what I call the paradox of urban environmentalism. I explain why the paradox should be considered one of the most significant problems of this new environmental century as well as that frame which opens the door to a new sense of what is possible in urban environments. In the process of considering what is possible, I arrive at some preliminary conclusions about a possible methodological role philosophers can play in helping to address this paradoxical inaction in the hopes of bringing about more sustainable urban environments. (shrink)
The nectar is in the journey, |3dotnld| ultimate goals may be illusory, nay, most likely are but a gossamer wing. Day by day, however, human life triumphs in its ineluctable capacity to hang in and make things better. Not perfect, simply better." John McDermott, Streams of Experience I investigate one manner in which classical American pragmatism might be utilized by theorists and practitioners interested in addressing urban environmental problems. Despite the widespread adoption of the sustainability moniker within the environmental movement, (...) evidence suggests that progress toward implementing urban environmental sustain ability proposals has been minimal. To address this inaction, I undertake an analysis of the philosophy of progress guiding efforts to transition urban environments toward sustainability. I argue that one of the reasons so little has been accomplished in terms of implementing existing urban environmental sustainability proposals is that a disproportionate emphasis has been placed on values that stem from economic-centered indicators of progress. I argue that the value of progress ought to be less about how much of a certain type of economic growth sustainability proposals ultimately can generate for urban environments and more about ensuring that continual incremental societal progress takes place. (shrink)
A recent review of research on ‘School Engagement’ calls for clarification of the concept of engagement due to its potential for addressing problems of student apathy and low achievement. This paper responds to the request for clarification, points out some ‘distinctions’ and ‘connexions’ between engagement and some polarizing issues in the literature of philosophy of education, and cautions educators about ignoring the ‘educational’ aspects of engagement.
A wealth of research suggests the importance of classroom discussion of controversial issues for adequately preparing students for participation in democratic life. Teachers, and the larger public, however, still shy away from such discussion. Much of the current research seeking to remedy this state of affairs focuses exclusively on developing knowledge and skills. While important, this ignores significant ways in which students? beliefs about the concept or nature of controversy itself might affect such discussions and potentially, the sort of citizen (...) that educators are fostering. We argue that examining the concept of ?controversy? is central to conducting such discussions and propose a framework of four crucial virtues or habits of mind that can be developed through such an examination. We illustrate how these four habits of mind are essential for establishing classroom ?counterpublics? that aim to develop more justice-oriented democratic citizens. (shrink)
This article examines how business students route themselves through the process of cognitive moral development (CMD) to arrive at a more autonomous level of CMD when there is an impetus to do so. In this study, two groups were given Rest’s Defining Issues Test; half the test 1 week and half three weeks later. In between, one group viewed a film of Milgram’s obedience study as a stimulus towards a more autonomous level of CMD. The results of the analysis indicate (...) that viewing the Milgram study produced a positive response regarding subjects’ level of autonomous CMD. However, the response was not uniform across the subject pool. Females showed a greater consistent significant positive response to viewing Milgram while male subjects varied their response contingent upon their functional area of study. While subjects’ functional area of study alone made little difference in the results, when taken in conjunction with gender, significant differences were found between groups. Thus, researchers should take care when investigating differences between subjects’ area of study since gender differences may be present even within an apparently homogenous population-like business students. (shrink)