An active ethically conscious consumer has been acclaimed as the new hero and hope for an ethically improved capitalism. Through consumers’ “voting” at the checkout, corporations are supposed to be held accountable for their conduct. In the literature on political consumerism, this has mainly been approached as political participation and governance. In this article, we do a critical review of this literature. We do so by questioning the existence of what we call a “generic active consumer model.” At the core (...) of this position, there is a belief that the active consumer is a universal entity, available across nations and time. Instead we call for an approach that takes accord of the ways consumers and consumer roles are framed in interactive processes in markets, governance structures, and everyday life. Consumers in different countries assess their responsibilities and their powers as consumers differently due to different institutionalizations within distinctive contexts. We also must take into account how the inertia of ordinary consumption and the moral complexities of everyday life restrict the adoption of an active consumerist role. Hence, the debate on political consumerism should make for a more realistic notion of ethical consumer-sovereignty and its role in improving the workings of capitalism. In our view, these findings have severe implications for understanding both theories of political consumption and the dynamics of political consumption per se. (shrink)
A classical moral defense of profit seeking as the social responsibility of business in a competitive market is examined. That defense rests on claims about the directness of relationships between (a) profit seeking activity and standards of living and (b) standards of living and the quality of life. Responses to the classical argument tend to raise doubts about the directness of the first relationship. This essay challenges the directness of the second relationship, argues that the classical argument is invalid, and (...) claims that an alternative description of the social responsibility of business is entailed by the classical premisses. (shrink)
Donald Davidson's explanation of first-person authority turns on an ingenious account of speakers' knowledge of meaning. It nonetheless suffers from a structural defect and yields, at best, expressive know-how for speakers. I argue that an expressivist strand already latent in Davidson's paratactic treatment of the semantics of belief attribution can be exploited to repair the defect, and so to yield a plausible account of first-person authority.
I argue that indirect quotation in the first person simple present tense (self-quotation) provides a class of infallible assertions. The defense of this conclusion examines the joint descriptive and constitutive functions of performative utterances and argues that a parallel treatment of belief ascription is in order. The parallel account yields a class of infallible belief ascriptions that makes no appeal to privileged modes of access. Confronting a dilemma formulated by Crispin Wright for theories of self-knowledge gives an epistemological setting for (...) the account of infallible belief ascription. (shrink)
In Sāṃkhya similes are an important means to communicate basic philosophical teachings. In the texts similes are frequently used, especially in the Sāṃkhya passages in the Mahābhārata, in the Sāṃkhyakārikā and in the Sāṃkhyasūtra. This paper compares the similes in these three texts and analyses changes in the philosophy as revealed in the similes. A comparison of the similes of Sāṃkhya texts produced over more than one thousand years reveals changes in the emphasis in this philosophical system. The purpose of (...) the similes in the Sāṃkhya passages of the Mahābhārata is to produce an intuitive understanding of the separateness of puruṣa and prakṛti. The similes are designed to lead the listener to understand this basic dualism. In the Sāṃkhyakārikā the most difficult issues are the relationship between prakṛti and puruṣa and the idea of prakṛti working for the salvation of puruṣa. One whole chapter of the Sāṃkhyasūtra is devoted to similes. (shrink)
In Spheres of Justice, Michael Walzer articulates an approach to distributive ethics based on complex equality that is closely attentive to the specific ways particular communities value goods. A renewed interest in place and geography among practitioners and theoreticians is giving rise to questions that are beyond the scope of Walzer's system and reveal abstractions at the geographic level that undercut his overall approach. This internal inconsistency weakens, but does not ultimately discount, Walzer's overall system of distributive ethics. When calibrated (...) to allow for geographic particularity, Walzer's approach becomes even more useful to critique a range of contemporary development movements. (shrink)
This article analyses the influence of Hinduism on Ecosophy T. Arne Naess in several of his environmental writings quotes verse 6.29 of the Bhagavadgit?, a Hindu sacred text. The verse is understood to illustrate the close relationship between the ideas of oneness of all living beings, non?injury and self?realization. The article compares the interpretations of the verse of some of the most important Hindu commentators on the Bhagavadgit? with the environmentalist interpretation. There is no agreement in the history of the (...) Hindu tradition on the meaning of the verse. The interpretation of Ecosophy T contrasts sharply with the interpretations of the Hindu monastic traditions but has similarities with the twentieth?century social activist interpretations of Mohandas K. Gandhi and S. Radhakrishnan. In Ecosophy T aspects of this social activist version of Hinduism have been creatively reinterpreted in the context of contemporary environmentalism. (shrink)
It is a common mistake, especially, perhaps, among students of the religions and philosophies of India, to assume that the word prakti, best known as the ultimate material principle in the Sākhya and Yoga systems of religious thought, the material cause of the world in Hindu theologies and, as such, an epithet of the goddesses in Hinduism, always refers to an ultimate principle. Even in Sākhya and Yoga texts the word prakti is used in various ways. Prakti does not always (...) refer to the ultimate principle. Translators often leave the word prakti untranslated and mislead the reader to assume that the ultimate principle is referred to, when it is not. This article discusses the use of prakti in the Sākhya-Yoga texts the Yogastra and the Vyāsabhāya and criticises some translation practices. (shrink)
It is a common mistake, especially, perhaps, among students of the religions and philosophies of India, to assume that the word prak?ti, best known as the ultimate material principle in the S??khya and Yoga systems of religious thought, the material cause of the world in Hindu theologies and, as such, an epithet of the goddesses in Hinduism, always refers to an ultimate principle. Even in S??khya and Yoga texts the word prak?ti is used in various ways. Prak?ti does not always (...) refer to the ultimate principle. Translators often leave the word prak?ti untranslated and mislead the reader to assume that the ultimate principle is referred to, when it is not. This article discusses the use of prak?ti in the S??khya-Yoga texts the Yogas?tra and the Vy?sabh??ya and criticises some translation practices. (shrink)
The principle of non-injury toward all living beings (ahimsā) in India was originally a rule restraining human interaction with the natural environment. I compare two discourses on the relationship between humans and the natural environment in ancient India: the discourse of the priestly sacrificial cult and the discourse of the renunciants. In the sacrificial cult, all living beings were conceptualized as food. The renunciants opposed this conception and favored the ethics of non-injury toward all beings (plants, animals, etc.), which meant (...) that no living being should be food for another. The first represented an ethics modeled on the power that the eater has over the eaten while the second attempted to overturn this food chain ethics. The ethics of non-injury ascribed ultimate value to every individual living being. As a critique of the individualistic ethics of noninjury, a holistic ethics was developed that prescribed the unselfish performance of one’s duties for the sake of the functioning of the natural system. Vegetarianismbecame a popular adaptation of the ethics of non-injury. These dramatic changes in ethics in ancient India are suggestive for the possibility of dramatic changes in environmental ethics today. (shrink)
This paper uses a two-dimensional version of a standard common consequence experiment to test the intransitivity explanation of Allais-paradox-type violations of expected utility theory. We compare the common consequence effect of two choice problems differing only with respect to whether alternatives are statistically correlated or independent. We framed the experiment so that intransitive preferences could explain violating behavior when alternatives are independent, but not when they are correlated. We found the same pattern of violation in the two cases. This is (...) evidence against intransitivity as an explanation of the Allais Paradox. The question whether violations of expected utility are mainly due to intransitivity or to violation of independence is important since it is exactly on this issue the main new decision theories differ. (shrink)
Abstract This paper analyses the uses of the word ?nature? (in P?li pakati, Sanskrit prakrti) in the P?li scripture. In the P?li scripture pakati is never used as a concept of nature considered as a unity or an entity, or as a material cause, as in the S?mkhya and Yoga, but it describes acts which are considered natural, regular and usual. The article tries to answer three questions. 1. What is the meaning of the term pakati in the P?li scripture? (...) 2. What is the relation between the term pakati in the P?li scripture and the Sanskrit term prakrti in general and as a technical term in the S?mkhya and Yoga schools, in the Medical schools and in the Jain scriptures? 3. What view of nature does analysis of the term reveal? (shrink)
In the last decade a great amount of literature that elaborates on Leibniz’ cultural and philosophical openness has emerged. It is therefore odd that there has not been made any direct comments on Chung-Ying Cheng interesting analyses of Leibniz’s writings on Chinese philosophy (Cheng 2000, 2002). By giving a critical review of Cheng’s work on this topic, it is the aim of this paper to integrate some problems of Sino-western philosophical encounters into the Leibniz scholarship of today. In the course (...) of analyzing Cheng’s arguments the paper points to some problems in his approach to Leibnizian philosophy and its “encounter” with Chinese classics. After challenging Cheng’s reading of Leibniz and suggesting alternative interpretations, the paper discusses whether thisunderstanding of Leibniz could designate a positive approach to Sino‐western philosophical exchange. Central to this, the question is raised whether or not it can be shown that Leibniz remained open to rethink his own philosophy in the light of his meeting with Chinese philosophy. While the paper agrees with Cheng in the judgement that Leibniz did not arrive at a complete understanding of the Chinese classic Yijing, it claims that Cheng’s analysis contradicts some of Leibniz’s other writings on China as well as Leibniz’s general ambition of supporting global philosophical exchange. (shrink)
This collection of essays by 13 well-known contributors departs from a conventional analysis of the state that universalizes and standardizes what the state is, does, and means. The contributors engage state and stateness as it is encountered in everyday life, ranging from village and urban life to big dams, war, torture, hospital treatment, cinema attendance, and art exhibitions. The essays locate the state in time, space, and circumstance so that it is contingent and evocative rather than definitive and authoritative. The (...) study discusses formative discourses on the state, what we may think or say about the state, and what images are evoked by its various manifestations through social and cultural forms. This volume begins with a non-essentialist perspective on state formation, and concludes with an account of how the state is experienced in the post-9/11 world scenario, in India and South Asia, the US, Europe, including the former Soviet Union, and the Far East. The contributors include James C. Scott, Arundhati Roy, Sudipta Kaviraj, Lloyd I. Rudolph, Philip Oldenburg, and Paul R. Brass. (shrink)
I explore Lacan’s theory of the subject by responding to two well-known criticisms of it, found in Borch-Jacobsen’s Lacan and Lacoue-Labarthe and Nancy’s The Title of the Letter. I argue that the relation of the subject to language is an important part of Lacan’s theory, but his conception of the subject cannot be reduced to language, as the critiques allege. The real must be included in the picture too. I then discuss the situation of Lacan’s subject between language and (...) the real, and conclude with a contrast of Lacan’s subversion of the subject to a Derridean paleonymic approach. (shrink)
In this paper I argue, first, that the most influential (and perhaps only acceptable) account of the epistemology of self-knowledge, developed and defended at great length in Wright (1989b) and (1989c) (among other places), leaves unanswered a question about the psychology of self-knowledge; second, that without an answer to this question about the psychology of self-knowledge, the epistemic account cannot be considered acceptable; and third, that neither Wright's own answer, nor an interpretation-based answer (based on a proposal from Jacobsen (...) (1997)), will suffice as an acceptable answer to the psychological question. My general ambition is thus to establish that more work is needed if we are to have a full account of self-knowledge in both its epistemological and psychological aspects. I conclude by suggesting how my thesis bears on those who aim to provide an empirical account of the cognition involved in self-knowledge. (shrink)
I present an argument that negation is a problem for proof-theoretic semantics: it's meaning cannot be defined by rules of inference, and that's particularly problematic for Dummett's and Prawitz' Justification of Deduction. I won the Jacobsen Essay Price of the University of London for this essay a few years ago.
ABSTRACT: What explains first-person authority? What explains the presumption that an utterance is true when it is a sincere intelligible determinate first-person singular simple present-tense ascription of intentional state? According to Rockney Jacobsen, self-ascriptions each enjoy a presumption of truth because they are systematically reliable. They are systematically reliable because they are typically both truth-assessable and expressive. Such self-ascriptions, if sincere, are certain to be true. This article presents a defence and a critique of Jacobsen's theory. It is (...) argued that the purported prevalence of expressive self-ascriptions is at best contingent. This contingency cannot explain why self-ascriptions are necessarily authoritative.RÉSUMÉ: Comment expliquer l'autorité de la première personne? Comment expliquer la présomption qu'un énoncé est vrai lorsque c'est une attribution d'un état intentionnel, sincère et intelligible, à la première personne du singulier de l'indicatif présent. Selon Rockney Jacobsen, les auto-attributions jouissent d'une présomption de vérité parce qu'elles sont systématiquement fiables. Elles sont systématiquement fiables parce qu'elles ont pour caractéristique d'être à la fois expressives et évaluables en termes de vérité. Si de telles auto-attributions sont sincères, elles sont certainement vraies. Cet article présente une défense et une critique de la théorie deJacobsen. L'auteur soutient que la prétendue prévalence des auto-attributions expressives est au mieux contingente. Cette contingence ne peut pas expliquer pourquoi il est nécessaire que les auto-attributions fassent autorité. (shrink)
Speculations After Freud confronts the dilemmas of contemporary psychoanalysis by bringing together some of the most influential and best known writers on psychoanalysis and culture. These advocates and critics of psychoanalysis, both institutional and theoretical, reveal the powerful role psychoanalytic speculation plays in all areas of culture. Psychoanalysis has played a pivotal role in challenging the modernist notions of rationality and selfhood. It offers an alternative means of examining how identity is engendered, yet its identity has come into question because (...) of multiple claims to its possession. This volume addresses the dilemmas that afflict contemporary psychoanalysis, transforms the terms in which psychoanalysis has to be seen and shows the portents in store as we enter a post-analytic age. Contributors: Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen, Cornelius Castoriadis, James Hillman, Sarah Kofman, David Farrell Krell, Julia Kristeva, Alphonso Lingis, Nicholas Rand, William Richardson, Charles E. Scott, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Maria Torok. (shrink)
After distinguishing two senses of 'analysis', the author claims that the purpose of Moore's analytical (meta-ethical) program in Principia Ethica was to serve as an indispensable tool for avoiding false judgments in substantial ethics and for establishing true ones. It is shown that Moore's analyses and assumptions are not normatively neutral in that, (1) he disagreed with other philosophers about the extension (as well as the intension) of moral terms, (2) he disagreed in extension with 'common-sense' morality. Finally, an attempt (...) is made to show that Moore's moral methodology, in which his analytical distinctions play the crucial part, is meant to be of practical value for everybody in their moral decisions. (shrink)
Empowerment and user participation represents an ideal of power with a strong position in the health sector. In this article we use text analysis to investigate notions of power in a program plan for health workers focusing on empowerment. Issues addressed include: How are relationships of power between users and helpers described in the program plan? Which notions of user participation are embedded in the plan? The analysis is based on Foucault’s idea that power which is made subject to attempts (...) of redistribution will re-emerge in other forms. How this happens, and with what consequences, is our analytical concern. The analysis is contrasted with ‘snapshots’ from everyday life in a nursing home. The program plan communicates empowerment as a democracy-building instrument that the users need. It is a tool for providing expert assistance to the user’s self-help. User participation is made into a tool which is external to the user him-/herself. Furthermore, the analysis shows that the plan’s image of empowerment presupposes an ‘élite user’ able to articulate personal needs and desires. This is not very applicable to the most vulnerable user groups, who thereby may end up in an even weaker position. By way of conclusion, we argue that an exchange of undesirable dominating paternalism for a desirable empowerment will not abolish power, but may result in more covert and subtle forms of power that are less open to criticism. The paper offers insights that will facilitate reflections on the premises for practising empowerment-oriented health care. (shrink)
Introduction: Myth and reality, by H. and H.A. Frankfort.--Egypt: The nature of the universe. The function of the state. The values of life. By J.A. Wilson.--Mesopotamia: The cosmos of the state. The function of the state. The good life. By T. Jacobsen. Conclusion: The emancipation of thought from myth, by H. and H.A. Frankfort.
Introduction: Myth and reality, by H. and H. A. Frankfort.--Egypt: The nature of the universe. The function of the state. The values of life. By J. A. Wilson.--Mesopotamia: The cosmos as a state. The function of the state. The good life. By Thorkild Jacobsen.--The Hebrews: God. Man. Man in the world. Nation, society, and politics. By W. A. Irwin. Conclusion: The emancipation of thought from myth, by H. and H. A. Frankfort.
We generalize the concept of Nash equilibrium in mixed strategies for strategic form games to allow for ambiguity in the players' expectations. In contrast to other contributions, we model ambiguity by means of so-called lower probability measures or belief functions, which makes it possible to distinguish between a player's assessment of ambiguity and his attitude towards ambiguity. We also generalize the concept of trembling hand perfect equilibrium. Finally, we demonstrate that for certain attitudes towards ambiguity it is possible to explain (...) cooperation in the one-shot Prisoner's Dilemma in a way that is in accordance with some recent experimental findings. (shrink)