In a paper published in this journal we proposed a method for resolving disputed land claims between two parties (Steiner and Wolff: 2003). In essence the proposal is to hold an auction between the disputants in which the land is given to the higher bidder, but the receipts of the auction to the under-bidder. We claimed that under such circumstances both parties can walk away happy: the higher bidder happy to pay the price bid for the land; the under-bidder (...) happier to have the receipts of the auction when the alternative is to pay for the land at a higher price. (shrink)
Professor Steiner addresses the debate between deconstructionism - the 'anarchic' tendency to suppose that 'there are no rational or falsifiable decision-procedures as between a multitude of differing interpretations' of literature - and the established tradition of liberal criticism, which interprets by consensus, by common sense, and by 'a robust and fertile pragmatism'. He argues that if the acts of reading and of aesthetic judgement are to become responsible again to the vital mystery of literature and the arts they must (...) transcend the merely linguistic and pragmatic, and that the first move in this process is one towards the ethical, towards a 'courtesy of heart, not decorous or civil, but inward and moral'. The second, and radical, move is one towards the theological implications of the concepts of meaning and of understanding; it is these, Professor Steiner maintains, which much of modern aesthetics and epistemology have sought to conceal. (shrink)
Surveying a wide range of cultural controversies, from the Mapplethorpe affair to Salman Rushdie's death sentence, from canon-revision in the academy to the scandals that have surrounded Anthony Blunt, Martin Heidegger, and Paul de Man, Wendy Steiner shows that the fear and outrage they inspired are the result of dangerous misunderstanding about the relationship between art and life. "Stimulating. . . . A splendid rebuttal of those on the left and right who think that the pleasures induced by art (...) are trivial or dangerous. . . . One of the most powerful defenses of the potentiality of art."--Andrew Delbanco, New York Times Book Review "A concise and . . . readable account of recent contretemps that have galvanized the debate over the role and purposes of art. . . . [Steiner] writes passionately about what she believes in."--Michiko Kakutani, New York Times "This is one of the few works of cultural criticism that is actually intelligible to the nonspecialist reader. . . . Steiner's perspective is fresh and her perceptions invariably shrewd, far-ranging, and reasonable. A welcome association of sense and sensibility."-- Kirkus Reviews, starred review "Steiner has succeeded so well in [the] task she has undertaken. The Scandal of Pleasure is itself characterized by many of the qualities Steiner demans of art, among them, complexity, tolerance and the pleasures of unfettered thought."--Eleanor Heartly, Art in America "Steiner . . . provides the best and clearest short presentation of each of [the] debates."--Alexander Nehamas, Boston Book Review "Steiner has done a fine job as a historian/reporter and as a writer of sophisticated, very clear, cultural criticism. Her reportage alone would be enough to make this a distinguished book."--Mark Edmundson, Lingua Franca. (shrink)
With characteristic lucidity and style, Steiner makes Heidegger's immensely difficult body of work accessible to the general reader. In a new introduction, Steiner addresses language and philosophy and the rise of Nazism. "It would be hard to imagine a better introduction to the work of philosopher Martin Heidegger."--George Kateb, The New Republic.
This memorandum was prepared by Daniel Steiner, General Counsel to Harvard University on behalf of the President's Office and distributed to the faculty in October, 1980. It reviews recent Harvard policy with regard to patents and technology transfer. Spurred by recombinant DNA research, at Harvard and elsewhere, benefits and pitfalls of the University's participation as a minor shareholder in a company engaged in research and development are identified. The author notes that “The memorandum has benefited from numerous discussions with (...) members of the faculty and administration and in particular from the comments of President (Derek) Bok and Dean (Henry) Rosovsky.”. (shrink)
Dr Hillel Steiner in this reply to Elizabeth Telfer takes each of her arguments for different arrangements of a health service and examines them--'four positions which can be located on a linear ideological spectrum'--and adds a fifth which could have the effect of 'turning the alleged linear spectrum into a circle'. Underlying both Elizabeth Telfer's article and Dr Steiner's reply, the base is inescapably a 'political' one, but cannot be abandoned in favour of purely philosophical concepts. Whatever the (...) attitude of mind of the reader of these two papers to the provision of a health service, the stimulus to more careful assessments of our own National Health Service and its problems can only be good. (shrink)
Over the past few decades, there has been increasing interest in left-libertarianism, which holds (roughly) that agents fully own themselves and that natural resources (land, minerals, air, etc.) belong to everyone in some egalitarian sense. Left-libertarianism agrees with the more familiar right-libertarianism about self-ownership, but radically disagrees with it about the power to acquire ownership of natural resources. Merely being the first person to claim, discover, or mix labor with an unappropriated natural resource does not—left-libertarianism insists—generate a full private property (...) right in that natural resource. (shrink)
Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics, Wittgenstein, despite his official 'mathematical nonrevisionism', slips into attempting to refute Gödel's theorem. Actually, Wittgenstein could have used Gödel's theorem to good effect, to support his view that proof, and even truth, are 'family resemblance' concepts. The reason that Wittgenstein did not see all this is that Gödel's theorem had become an icon of mathematical realism, and he was blinded by his own ideology. The essay is a reply to Juliet Floyd's work on Gödel: (...) what she says Wittgenstein said, I say he should have said, but didn't (couldn't). (shrink)
I shall formulate and motivate a left-libertarian theory of justice. Like the more familiar rightlibertarianism, it holds that agents initially fully own themselves. Unlike right-libertarianism, it holds that natural resources belong to everyone in some egalitarian manner. Left-libertarianism is, I claim, a plausible version of liberal egalitarianism because it is suitably sensitive to considerations of liberty, security, and equality.
Justice and Libertarianism The term ‘justice’ is commonly used in several different ways. Sometimes it designates the moral permissibility of political structures (such as legal systems). Sometimes it designates moral fairness (as opposed to efficiency or other considerations that are relevant to moral permissibility). Sometimes it designates legitimacy in the sense of it being morally impermissible for others to interfere forcibly with the act or omission (e.g., my failing to go to dinner with my mother may be wrong but nonetheless (...) legitimate). Finally, sometimes it designates what we owe each other in the sense of respecting everyone’s rights. Of course, these notions are closely related. What we owe each other may, but need not, be partly based on issues of fairness. Legitimacy and permissibility of political structures are largely, but perhaps not entirely, determined by what rights of non-interference individuals have. Nonetheless, these are distinct notions and we shall focus only on what we owe each other. Justice as what we owe each other is not concerned with impersonal duties (duties owed to no one, i.e., that do not correspond to anyone’s rights). If there are impersonal duties, then something can be just but nonetheless morally impermissible. For brevity, we shall often write of actions being permissible or agents having a moral liberty, but this should always be understood in the interpersonal sense of violating no one’s rights. Libertarianism is sometimes advocated as a derivative set of rules (e.g., derived from rule utilitarian or contractarian doctrines). Here, however, we reserve the term for the natural rights doctrine that agents initially fully own themselves. Agents are full self-owners just in case they own themselves in precisely the same way that they can fully own inanimate objects. Stated slightly differently, full self-owners own themselves in the same way that a full chattel-slaveowner owns a slave. Throughout, we are concerned with moral ownership and not legal ownership.. (shrink)
During the course of about ten years, Wittgenstein revised some of his most basic views in philosophy of mathematics, for example that a mathematical theorem can have only one proof. This essay argues that these changes are rooted in his growing belief that mathematical theorems are ‘internally’ connected to their canonical applications, i.e. , that mathematical theorems are ‘hardened’ empirical regularities, upon which the former are supervenient. The central role Wittgenstein increasingly assigns to empirical regularities had profound implications for all (...) of his later philosophy; some of these implications (particularly to rule following) are addressed in the essay. (shrink)
Discussions of the applicability of mathematics in the natural sciences have been flawed by failure to realize that there are multiple senses in which mathematics can be ‘applied’ and, correspondingly, multiple problems that stem from the applicability of mathematics. I discuss semantic, metaphysical, descriptive, and and epistemological problems of mathematical applicability, dwelling on Frege's contribution to the solution of the first two types. As for the remaining problems, I discuss the contributions of Hartry Field and Eugene Wigner. Finally, I argue (...) that there are epistemological problems concerning the applicability of mathematics that nobody in the philosophical community has yet confronted, though the problems are well known to physicists. (shrink)
In a recent review essay of a two volume anthology on left-libertarianism (edited by two of us), Barbara Fried has insightfully laid out most of the core issues that confront left-libertarianism. We are each left-libertarians, and we would like to take this opportunity to address some of the general issues that she raises. We shall focus, as Fried does much of the time, on the question of whether left-libertarianism is a well-defined and distinct alternative to existing forms of liberal egalitarianism. (...) More specifically, we shall address the following fundamental issues raised by Fried (and others): (1) Does the notion self-ownership have any determinate content? (2) What is the relation between self-ownership and world ownership? (3) How is left-libertarianism different from other forms of liberal egalitarianism (e.g., those of Rawls and Dworkin)? (shrink)
The first part of the essay describes how mathematics, in particular mathematical concepts, are applicable to nature. mathematical constructs have turned out to correspond to physical reality. this correlation between the world and mathematical concepts, it is argued, is a true phenomenon. the second part of this essay argues that the applicability of mathematics to nature is mysterious, in that not only is there no known explanation for the correlation between mathematics and physical reality, but there is a good reason (...) to except no such correlation. it is argued that there is a subjective element in the decision as to what constitutes a mathematical concept. a number of purported solutions to the mystery of the applicability of mathematics to nature are discarded, until we are left with eugene wigner's thesis that we are here confronted with a "miracle that we neither understand nor deserve.". (shrink)
Edited by leading contributors to the literature, Freedom: An Anthology is the most complete anthology on social, political and economic freedom ever compiled. Offers a broad guide to the vast literature on social, political and economic freedom. Contains selections from the best scholarship of recent decades as well as classic writings from Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and Kant among others. General and sectional introductions help to orient the reader. Compiled and edited by three important contributors to the field.
The term “social cognition” can be construed in different ways. On the one hand, it can refer to the cognitive faculties involved in social activities, defined simply as situations where two or more individuals interact. On this view, social systems would consist of interactions between autonomous individuals; these interactions form higher-level autonomous domains not reducible to individual actions. A contrasting, alternative view is based on a much stronger theoretical definition of a truly social domain, which is always defined by a (...) set of structural norms; moreover, these social structures are not only a set of constraints, but actually constitute the possibility of enacting worlds that would just not exist without them. This view emphasises the heteronomy of individuals who abide by norms that are impersonal, culturally inherited and to a large extent independent of the individuals. Human beings are socialised through and through; consequently, all human cognition is social cognition. The article argues for this second position. Finally, it appears that fully blown autonomy actually requires heteronomy. It is the acceptance of the constraints of social structures that enables individuals to enter new realms of common meaningfulness. The emergence of social life marks a crucial step in the evolution of cognition; so that at some evolutionary point human cognition cannot but be social cognition. (shrink)
This essay challenges the coherence of arguments brought in support of prohibiting the sale of human body parts. Considerations of neither social utility nor individual rights nor avoidance of exploitation seem sufficient to ground such a prohibition. Indeed, they may be sufficient to invalidate it.
RÉSUMÉ: Cet article part des réflexions sur l'économie politique que Michel Foucault a présentées lors de ses cours au Collège de France dans les années 1977-1979 pour mettre en évidence l'originalité de sa réflexion sur le marché, entendu comme dispositif social de gouvernement des individus en vue d'assurer la sécurité des populations. Dans la deuxième partie, l'article propose un rapprochement de cette réflexion foucaldienne sur l'économie et celle de Max Weber en montrant que les techniques de soí développées par Foucault (...) sont des «méthodiques» et des formes de conduites de vie proches de cellesque Weber a étudiées, notamment dans ses travaux de sociologie de la religion. L'ensemble permet de dégager les pistes d'une histoire, encore inachevée, du comportement économique entendu comme une forme d'ascèse.ABSTRACT: This article deals with Michel Foucault's 1977-79 lectures on political economy. In the first part, we highlight his views on the market, which is equated to a social device instrumental in governing individuals so that they are induced to allow the ruler to reach his goal, which is providing security to the population. In the second part, we consider together Foucault's and Weber's views on the economy, since Foucault's concept of technique of the self is similar to Weber's concept of life conduct, which is central in his sociology of religion. This opens the way to a history of the modern economic behaviour considered as a form of ascetism. (shrink)