Conventional wisdom and commonsense morality tend to take the integrity of persons for granted. But for people in systematically unjust societies, self-respect and human dignity may prove to be impossible dreams.Susan Babbitt explores the implications of this insight, arguing that in the face of systemic injustice, individual and social rationality may require the transformation rather than the realization of deep-seated aims, interests, and values. In particular, under such conditions, she argues, the cultivation and ongoing exercise of moral imagination is (...) necessary to discover and defend a more humane social vision. Impossible Dreams is one of those rare books that fruitfully combines discourses that were previously largely separate: feminist and antiracist political theory, analytic ethics and philosophy of mind, and a wide range of non-philosophical literature on the lives of oppressed peoples around the world. It is both an object lesson in reaching across academic barriers and a demonstration of how the best of feminist philosophy can be in conversation with the best of “mainstream” philosophy—as well as affect the lives of real people. (shrink)
In discussing Drucilla Cornell's remarks about Toni Morrison's Beloved, I consider epistemological questions raised by the acquiring of understanding of racism, particularly the deep-rooted racism embodied in social norms and values. I suggest that questions about understanding racism are, in part, questions about personal and political identities and that questions about personal and political identities are often, importantly, epistemological questions.
Do foreign direct investment (FDI) and international business ventures promote positive social and economic development in emerging nations? This question will always prove contentious. First, the impacts differ according to context. Second, the social consequences and spillover effects of knowledge diffusion and technology-sharing may be limited and hard to measure. Third, contributions to enhancing social responsibility and improving living standards in host countries are delayed in effect, causally complex, and also hard to measure. Outcomes often critically depend on collaboration of (...) governments, international institutions, the business world, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Research in this area is challenging and requires interdisciplinary collaboration between economists, financial experts, sociologists, ethicists, and other specialists. This paper explores: (1) the evidence to support the proposition that FDI and international business improve social conditions in less-developed countries, and: (2) how these improvements are linked to strategies of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and ethical business practice. The paper draws insights from development, FDI, poverty alleviation, and bottom-of-the-pyramid (BOP) literature. Applications are demonstrated using examples from poverty-stricken areas of Sub-Saharan Africa. The paper attempts not only to argue theoretically but also to provide practical evidence. The approach is simultaneously descriptive, analytical, and prescriptive in order to address a wide audience. It also highlights issues and trends for further academic research and presents the viewpoint that some limitations lie in the nature of ethics frameworks widely referenced in business and that these often fail to consider the compatibility of ethical constructs with relevant incentives. In this vein, we explore the application of Homann’s framework for advantage and incentive-based ethics. (shrink)
: In this paper, I argue that stories about difference do not promote critical self and social understanding; rather, on the contrary, it is the way we understand ourselves that makes some stories relevantly different. I discuss the uncritical reception of a story about homosexuality in Cuba, urging attention to generalizations explaining judgments of importance. I suggest that some stories from the South will never be relevant to discussions about human flourishing until we critically examine ideas about freedom and democracy, (...) and their role in national identity, explaining the significance we give, or not, to such stories. (shrink)
: In this essay, I suggest that significant insights of recent feminist philosophy lead, among other things, to the thought that it is not always better to choose than to be compelled to do what one might have done otherwise. However, few feminists, if any, would defend such a suggestion. I ask why it is difficult to consider certain ideas that, while challenging in theory, are, nonetheless, rather unproblematic in practice. I suggest that some questions are not pursued seriously enough (...) by philosophers, because certain popular liberal conceptions of individuality and freedom are taken too much for granted. (shrink)
I understand humanism to be the meta-ethical view that there exist discoverable (nonmoral) truths about the human condition, that is, about what it means to be human. We might think that as long as I believe I am realizing my unique human potential, I cannot be reasonably contradicted. Yet when we consider systemic oppression, this is unlikely. Systemic oppression makes dehumanizing conditions and treatment seem reasonable. In this paper, I consider the nature of understanding—drawing in particular upon recent defenses of (...) realism in the philosophy of science—and argue that humanism makes sense if we recognize more thoroughly the role of cause and effect in practical deliberation. By this I mean the cause-and-effect relation between mind and body and between minds, bodies, and the world. Three philosophical sources—Marxism, Buddhism and Christianity—show what this might mean, as I indicate in the second half of the paper. (shrink)
The specific mechanisms whereby Pavlovian conditioning leads to adaptive behavior need to be elaborated. There is no evidence that it is via reduction in the “destabilizing effect that time lags have on feedback control” (Domjan et al. 2000, sect. 3.3). The adaptive value of Pavlovian conditioning goes well beyond the regulation of social behavior.
The prospect of dealing with a rapidly and inexorably bleeding patient fills most medical practitioners with alarm. When that patient is a Jehovah's Witness, the knowledge that a blood transfusion is likely to be refused turns that alarm into a state of acute anxiety and conflict. This state is further heightened when the patient is young and otherwise healthy--a situation found particularly in obstetric practice with the occurrence of ante- and post-partum haemorrhage, and ectopic pregnancy. In the last 25 years (...) in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, there has been one maternal death in which the refusal to accept a blood transfusion has been considered to be an avoidable factor. In this article I have attempted to identify the magnitude of the problem in obstetric practice and have sought to clarify the moral and legal aspects. (shrink)
Drew M. Dalton: Longing for the other: Levinas and metaphysical desire Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-8 DOI 10.1007/s11007-012-9216-y Authors Christopher Yates, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, USA Journal Continental Philosophy Review Online ISSN 1573-1103 Print ISSN 1387-2842.
Drew Khlentozos’ Naturalistic Realism and the Antirealist Challenge is a meticulous introduction and roadmap to the core arguments of the contemporary realism/antirealism debate. It has several features that I especially admire. The book is carefully argued and for the most part clearly written. Rare among recent writers in Anglo-American philosophy, Khlentzos is a charitable reader of his opponents and earnestly endeavors to present their views as clearly and generously as possible. This generosity and thoroughness are also the book’s main (...) fault, as it is long (weighing in 408 pages) and sometimes plodding. In a few cases Khlentzos’ charity is overly generous. This seems to me to be the case, for example, with some of his contortions on behalf of Dummett, not least of which being a lengthy chapter on how intuitionism drives Dummett’s antirealism that probably should have been an appendix. But these are drawbacks that we can all live with—especially for the purpose of graduate teaching, for which this monograph is well suited. Naturalistic Realism and the Antirealist Challenge begins (Section I) by setting out the realist/anti-realist debate. Khlentzos argues that the kinds of metaphysical realists who have been quickest to shrug off semantic arguments against realism are particularly susceptible to those arguments. Specifically, naturalistic realists—among whom Khlentzos counts himself—cannot dismiss critiques like those from Dummett and Putnam merely by observing that realism is a metaphysical rather than semantic or epistemic doctrine. The trouble is, “If the world is as resolutely mind-independent as the realist makes out, then there is a problem about how we get to know about it in the first place” (4). Khlentzos calls this the representation problem, saying. (shrink)
Procuramos apresentar a via em direção ao sagrado trilhada por Dora Ferreira da Silva, poetisa brasileira contemporânea, partindo de uma aproximação aos mitos gregos e chegando à mística cristã para expressar sua experiência do sagrado. A busca de Dora é um dos aspectos da meditação sobre o sagrado que marcou as indagações da "Escola de Sao Paulo", grupo de poetas, escritores, artistas e filósofos que se caracterizou por uma interpretação crítica do mundo e da cultura atuais. We try (...) to present the way to the sacred tried by Dora Ferreira da Silva, Brazilian contemporary poetess. She begins his search by an approach to the Greek mythology and she arrives at the Christian mysticism to express the experience of the Holy. Dora's search is an aspect of the research about the sacred that characterizes the "School of São Paulo", group of poets, philosophers, artists that lives at São Paulo, Brazil, and that is characterized by your critical interpretation of the world and the contemporary culture. (shrink)