In its many interwoven traditions, continental philosophy has a distinctive focus on what escapes the concept—experience, change, agency, responsibility, the future, the Other. The challenges that face us in the future are many: reaffirming and renewing what has already been thought and needs repeating, responding to emergent questions. None could be more urgent than the question of the animal and the fate of the planet. Addressing each of these requires that we suspend our normal conceptual assurances and think anew.
This paper proposes a retributive argument against punishment, where punishment is understood as going beyond condemnation or censure, and requiring hard treatment. The argument sets out to show that punishment cannot be justified. The argument does not target any particular attempts to justify punishment, retributive or otherwise. Clearly, however, if it succeeds, all such attempts fail. No argument for punishment is immune from the argument against punishment proposed here. The argument does not purport to be an argument only against retributive (...) justifications of punishment, and so leave open the possibility of a sound non-retributive justification of punishment. Punishment cannot be justified, the paper argues, because it cannot be demonstrated that any punishment, no matter how minimal, is not a disproportionate retributive response to criminal wrongdoing. If we are to hold onto proportionality—that is, proportionality as setting a limit to morally permissible punishment—then punishment is morally impermissible. The argument is a retributive argument against punishment insofar as a just retributive response to wrongdoing must be proportionate to the wrongdoing. The argument, that is, is concerned with proportionality as a retributive requirement. The argument against punishment is set out on the basis of a familiar version of the ‘anchoring problem’, according to which it is the problem of determining the most severe punishment to anchor or ground the punishment scale. To meet the possible criticism that we have chosen a version of the anchoring problem particularly favourable to our argument, various alternative statements of the anchoring problem are considered. Considering such statements also provides a more rounded view of the anchoring problem. One such alternative holds that the punishment scale must be anchored not just in the most severe punishment, but in the least severe punishment as well. Other alternatives hold that it is necessary and sufficient to anchor the punishment scale in any two punishments, neither of which needs to be the most or least severe punishment. A further suggestion is that one anchoring point anywhere along the punishment scale is sufficient, because it is possible to ‘project’ from such a point, so as to determine the correlative punishments for all other crimes, and so derive a complete punishment scale. Finally, the suggestion is considered that one can approach the issue of a punishment scale ‘holistically’, denying any distinction between anchoring and derived (or ‘projected’) punishments. (shrink)
The following text provides a conceptual and theoretical introduction to a collection of essays written by members of the multidisciplinary network of scholars, artists and cultural producers named ‘Poetics of Resistance’, which seeks to analyse and encourage discussion of the relationships between creativity, culture and political resistance, in the context of neoliberal globalization. The introduction also provides a critical glossary of a set of loosely interlinking keywords, following Raymond Williams, that mark points of encounter and departure between the approaches of (...) the various authors (not to be confused with the list of keywords used to index each article). Rather than presenting a completed research project, this issue serves as a basis for continuing collaborative research and dialogue in the field, and invites readers to join in the ongoing debate. The contributors to this issue are Paulina Aroch Fugellie, Burghard Baltrusch, Arturo Casas, María do Cebreiro Rábade Villar, Roberto Echavarren, Marcos Giadas Conde, Cornelia Gräbner, Nathalia Jabur, Thomas Muhr and David Wood. (shrink)
Punishment involves deliberating harming individuals. How, then, if at all, is it to be justified? This, the first of three papers on the philosophy of punishment (see also 'Punishment: Nonconsequentialism' and 'Punishment: The Future'), examines attempts to justify the practice or institution according to its consequences. One claim is that punishment reduces crime, and hence the resulting harms. Another is that punishment functions to rehabilitate offenders. A third claim is that punishment (or some forms of punishment) can serve to make (...) restitution to victims, and a fourth is that it can strengthen social values. The paper examines these claims, and finally considers pluralist theories which combine retributive and harm-reductive or utilitarian considerations. (Retributive theories are examined in their own right in 'Punishment: Nonconsequentialism'.). (shrink)
A companion to 'Punishment: Consequentialism' and 'Punishment: Nonconsequentialism', which examine attempts to justify punishment as a state institution, this paper considers possible alternatives to punishment. On the assumption that there are two elements to punishment, an element of condemnation and of hard treatment, the paper considers, first, the alternative of condemnation without hard treatment, and secondly, of hard treatment without condemnation. The paper then looks ahead to possible developments in thinking and theorising about punishment.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a dramatically expanding area of activity for managers and academics. Consumer demand for responsibly produced and fair trade goods is swelling, resulting in increased demands for CSR activity and information. Assets under professional management and invested with a social responsibility focus have also grown dramatically over the last 10 years. Investors choosing social responsibility investment strategies require access to information not provided through traditional financial statements and analyses. At the same time, a group of mainstream (...) institutional investors has encouraged a movement to incorporate environmental, social, and governance information into equity analysis, and multi-stakeholder groups have supported enhanced business reporting on these issues. The majority of research in this area has been performed on European and Australian firms. We expand on this literature by exploring the CSR disclosure practices of a size-and industry-stratified sample of 50 publicly traded U. S. firms, performing a content analysis on the complete identifiable public information portfolio provided by these firms during 2004. CSR activity was disclosed by most firms in the sample, and was included in nearly half of public disclosures made during that year by the sample firms. Areas of particular emphasis are community matters, health and safety, diversity and human resources (HR) matters, and environmental programs. The primary venues of disclosure are mass media releases such as corporate websites and press releases, followed closely by disclosures contained in mandatory filings. Consistent with prior research, we identify industry effects in terms of content, emphasis, and reporting format choices. Unlike prior research, we can offer only mixed evidence on the existence of a size effect. The disclosure frequency and emphasis is significantly different for the largest one-fifth of the firms, but no identifiable trends are present within the rest of the sample. There are, however, identifiable size effects with respect to reporting format choice. Use of websites is positively related to firm size, while the use of mandatory filings is negatively related to firm size. Finally, and also consistent with prior literature, we document a generally self-laudatory tone in the content of CSR disclosures for the sample firms. (shrink)
Recent years have featured a spate of regulatory action pertaining to the development and/or disclosure of corporate governance structures in response to financial scandals resulting in part from governance failures. During the same period, corporate governance activists and institutional investors increasingly have called for increased voluntary governance disclosure. Despite this attention, there have been relatively few comprehensive studies of governance disclosure practices and response to the regulation. In this study, we examine a sample of 50 U.S. firms and their public (...) disclosure packages from 2004. We find a high degree of variability in the presentation and reporting format choices for many elements of the governance structure. This variability includes several items for which disclosure is mandated by regulators or legislative action. In particular, smaller firms offer fewer disclosures pertaining to independence, board selection procedures, and oversight of management (including whistleblowing procedures). There are also trends associated with board characteristics: boards that are less independent offer fewer disclosures of independence and management oversight matters. Moreover, large firms provide more disclosures of independence standards, board selection procedures, audit committee matters, management control systems, other committee matters, and whistleblowing procedures but do not appear to have a strictly superior information environment when compared to smaller firms. The findings raise questions about compliance with regulatory requirements and the degree to which conflicts of interest between managers and directors are being controlled. While there have been notable improvements in the information environment of governance disclosures, there remain structural issues that may possess negative ramifications for stakeholders. (shrink)
Derrida insists that we understand the 'to-come' not as a real future 'down the road', but rather as a universal structure of immanence. But such a structure is no substitute for the hard work of taking responsibility for what are often entirely predictable and preventable disasters (9/11, the Iraq war, Katrina, global warming). Otherwise "the future can only be anticipated in the form of an absolute danger". Derrida devotes much attention to proposing, imagining, hoping for a 'future' in which im-possible (...) possibilities are being realized. It is important to steer clear of the utopian black hole, the thought (or shape of desire) that the future would need to bring a future perfection or completion. The future may well exhibit a universal structure of immanence. But what is equally disturbing is not our inability to expect the unexpected, but the failure of our institutions to prevent the all-too-predictable. (shrink)
Environmentalism finds itself facing problems and aporiae which deconstruction helps us address. But equally, environmental concerns can embolden deconstruction to embrace a strategic materialism – the essential interruptibility of every idealization. Moreover, deconstruction’s critique of presence opens us to the strange temporalities of environmentalism: needing to act before we have proof, and for the benefit of future humans. The history of the earth is a singular sequence, ideographic – concrete, not rule governed, and not to be repeated. French ‘anti-humanism’ is (...) not eco-fascism, but precisely adapted to our current situation, where the privilege of the human as a well-meaning but toxic terrestrial, is questioned. I argue for the renewed privilege of the human if the new human embodies a proper respect for otherness and for difference. Why not extend Derrida’s democracy-to-come to the (imaginary) parliament of the living? Derrida agreed that environmental destruction needed to be on any short list of the plagues of the new world order. Deconstruction as econstruction helps us address some of the complexities it throws up. (shrink)
Thinking at the limit -- The return of experience -- The voyage of reason -- Heidegger and the challenge of repetition -- Heidegger's reading of Hegel's Phenomenology of spirit -- Heidegger after Derrida -- The actualization of philosophy : Heidegger and Adorno -- Much obliged -- Comment ne pas manger : deconstruction and humanism -- The performative imperative : reflections on Heidegger's Contributions to philosophy (from eventuation).
What is eco-phenomenology? This paper argues that eco-phenomenology, in which are folded both an ecological phenomenology and a phenomenological ecology, offers us a way of developing a middle ground between phenomenology and naturalism, between intentionality and causality. Our grasp of Nature is significantly altered by thinking through four strands of time's plexity - the invisibility of time, the celebration of finitude, the coordination of rhythms, and the interruption and breakdown of temporal horizons. It is also transformed by a meditation on (...) the role of boundaries in constituting the varieties of thinghood. Eco-phenomenology takes up in a tentative and exploratory way the traditional phenomenological claim to be able to legislate for the sciences, or at least to think across the boundaries that seem to divide them. In this way, it opens up and develops an access to Nature and the natural, one which is independent both of the conceptuality of the natural sciences and of traditional metaphysics. (shrink)
Written from the point of view of a campaigner against economic globalisation, this paper looks at the recent Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) and the campaign against it which eventually led to its demise. It looks at the nature of the diverse coalition of interests opposed to the MAI, and in particular their use of e-mail and the Internet, and argues that the success of this campaign has lessons beyond the immediate victory over the forces promoting the MAI. It is (...) argued that the emergence of anti-globalisation action also contains the seeds of new grassroots forms of ethical social organisation, based in specific but interconnected localities, a cosmopolitan interlocalism, and that this in itself remains a key feature in the short- and long-term success of such action. (shrink)
On Paul Ricoeur examines the later work of Paul Ricoeur, particularly his major work, Time and Narrative. The essays in this volume, including three pieces by Ricoeur, consider Time and Narrative, extending and developing the debate it has inspired. Time and Narrative is the finest example of contemporary philosophical hermeneutics and is one of the most significant works of philosophy published in the late twentieth century. Paul Ricoeur's study of the intertwining of time and narrative proposes and examines the possibility (...) that narrative could remedy a fatal deficiency in any purely phenomenological approach. He analyzed both literary and historical writing, from Proust to Braudel, as well as key figures in the history of philosophy: Aristotle, Augustine, Kant, Hegel, Husserl, and Heidegger. His own recognition of his limited success in expunging aporia opens onto the positive discovery of the importance of narrative identity, on which Ricoeur writeshere. An essential companion to Time and Narrative, this collection also provides an excellent introduction to Ricoeur's later work and to contemporary works in philosophical hermeneutics. It will be of major interest to philosophers, literary theorists, and historians. (shrink)
This book brings together the most interesting and far-reaching responses to the work of Levinas in three key areas: contemporary feminism, psychotherapy and Levinas's relation to other philosophers. This title available in eBook format. Click here for more information . Visit our eBookstore at: www.ebookstore.tandf.co.uk.