: This paper responds to the sense of "crisis" or "trouble" that dominates contemporary feminist debate about the categories of sex and gender. It argues that this perception of crisis has emerged from a fundamental confusion of theoretical and political issues concerning the implications of the sex/gender debate for political representation and agency. It explores the sense in which this confusion is manifest in a debate between Seyla Benhabib and Judith Butler.
David Webster explores the notion of desire as found in the Buddhist Pali Canon. Beginning by addressing the idea of a 'paradox of desire', whereby we must desire to end desire, the varieties of desire that are articulated in the Pali texts are examined. A range of views of desire, as found in Western thought are presented as well as Hindu and Jain approaches. An exploration of the concept of ditthi (view or opinion) is also provided, exploring the way (...) in which 'holding views' can be seen as analogous to the process of desiring. Other subjects investigated include the mind-body relationship, the range of Pali terms for desire, and desire's positive spiritual value. A comparative exploration of the various approaches completes the work. (shrink)
John Webster provides a major scholarly analysis, the first in any language, of the final sections of the Church Dogmatics. He focuses on the theme of human agency in Barth's late ethics and doctrine of baptism, placing the discussion in the context of an interpretation of the Dogmatics as an intrinsically ethical dogmatics. The first two chapters survey the themes of agency, covenant and human reality in the Dogmatics as a whole; later chapters give a thorough analysis of Church (...) Dogmatics IV/4 and the posthumously published text The Christian Life. A final chapter examines the significance of Barth's work for contemporary accounts of moral selfhood. The book is important not only for a detailed analysis of a neglected part of Barth's oeuvre, but also because it casts into question much of what has hitherto been written about Barth's ethical dogmatics. (shrink)
Chalmers (The Conscious Mind, Oxford Unversity Press, Oxford 1996) has argued for a form of property dualism on the basis of the concept of a zombie (which is physically identical to normals), and the concept of the inverted spectrum. He asserts that these concepts show that the facts about consciousness, such as experience or qualia, are really further facts about our world, over and above the physical facts. He claims that they are the hard part of the mind-body issue. He (...) also claims that consciousness is a fundamental feature of the world like mass, charge, etc. He says that consciousness does not logically supervene on the physical and all current attempts to assert an identity between consciousness and the physical are just as non-reductive as his dualism. They are simply correlations and are part of the problem of the explanatory gap. In this paper, three examples of strong identities between a sensation or a quale and a physiological process are presented, which overcome these problems. They explain the identity in an a priori manner and they show that consciousness or sensations (Q) logically supervene on the physical (P), in that it is logically impossible to have P and not to have Q. In each case, the sensation was predicted and entailed by the physical. The inverted spectrum problem for consciousness is overcome and explained by a striking asymmetry in colour space. It is concluded that as some physical properties realize some sensations or qualia that human zombies are not metaphysically possible and the explanatory gap is bridged in these cases. Thus, the hard problem is overcome in these instances. (shrink)
How is the burden of proof to be distributed among individuals who are involved in resolving a particular issue? Under what conditions should the burden of proof be distributed unevenly? We distinguish attitudinal from dialectical burdens and argue that these questions should be answered differently, depending on which is in play. One has an attitudinal burden with respect to some proposition when one is required to possess sufficient evidence for it. One has a dialectical burden with respect to some proposition (...) when one is required to provide supporting arguments for it as part of a deliberative process. We show that the attitudinal burden with respect to certain propositions is unevenly distributed in some deliberative contexts, but in all of these contexts, establishing the degree of support for the proposition is merely a means to some other deliberative end, such as action guidance, or persuasion. By contrast, uneven distributions of the dialectical burden regularly further the aims of deliberation, even in contexts where the quest for truth is the sole deliberative aim, rather than merely a means to some different deliberative end. We argue that our distinction between these two burdens resolves puzzles about unevenness that have been raised in the literature. (shrink)
It is fairly common in metaethical discussions to find authors moving directly from observations about the semantic properties of words like ‘good’, ‘right’, and ‘ought’ to substantive conclusions about the nature of moral judgments, moral reasons, moral properties, or moral concepts. We consider the most promising justifications for this common practice and find them wanting. And we identify a number of obstacles that would need to be overcome by anyone who wished to defend the central role in metaethical inquiry that (...) is currently assigned to semantics. (shrink)
Based on the technique of pressure blinding of the eye, two types of after-image (AI) were identified. A physicalist or mind/brain identity explanation was established for a negative a AI produced by moderately intense stimuli. These AI's were shown to be located in the neurons of the retina. An illusory AI of double a grating's spatial frequency was also produced in the same structure and was both prevented from being established and abolished after establishment by pressure blinding, thus showing that (...) the location was not more central. The illusory AI was predicted from the known non-linearity in the retina and this is the first case of a clear cut type-type identity of a sensation and a neural process. Some implications for the concepts of the explanatory gap between neurology and consciousness and multiple neural realizations of conscious states and topic neutrality are discussed. (shrink)
Introduction: Facts and values -- Challenge and response -- Sentience, sense, and suffering -- Husbandry and welfare on the farm : assessment and assurance -- Animals for food : industrialised farming, pigs, and poultry -- Animals for food : cattle and other ruminants -- Animals for food : handling, transport, and slaughter -- Animals, science, and biotechnology -- Animals for sport -- Animals for pets -- Limping towards Eden : stepping stones.
Russell (1912) and others have argued that the real nature of colour is transparentto us in colour vision. It's nature is fully revealed to us and no further knowledgeis theoretically possible. This is the doctrine of revelation. Two-dimensionalFourier analyses of coloured checkerboards have shown that apparently simple,monadic, colours can be based on quite different physical mechanisms. Experimentswith the McCollough effect on different types of checkerboards have shown thatidentical colours can have energy at the quite different orientations of Fourierharmonic components but (...) no energy at the edges of the checkerboards, thusrefuting revelation. It is concluded that this effect is not explained by a superveniencedispositional account of colour as proposed by McGinn (1996). It was argued that theMcCollough effect in checkerboards was an example of a local mind/body reduction(Kim 1993), by which the different characteristics of identical colours falsifies revelation. This reduction being based on both physical and neurological mechanisms led to a clear explanation of the perceive phenomenal effects and thus laid a small bridge over the explanatory gap. (shrink)
There have been a number of criticisms, based on visual processes, of the Australian view that colour is an objective property of the world. These criticisms have led to subjective theories about colour. These visual processes (metamers, retinex theory, opponent processes, simultaneous contrast, colour constancy, subjective colours) have been examined and it is suggested that they do not carry their supposed critical weight against an objective theory. In particular, it is argued that metamers don''t occur in nature and primate colour (...) vision evolved without metamers. Thus normal colour vision occurs without the problem of metamers. This argument, in conjunction with evidence against the critical roles of opponent processes and retinex theory in colour vision, is taken to suggest that colour can be given a photon energy/wavelengthrealism explanation. This proposal allows an account of the many microstructural bases of colour generation put forward by Nassau (1983). It is argued that neither disjunctive realism or reflectance realism are adequate objective explanations of colour. (shrink)
John Dewey has been portrayed as a sort of villain in Rosenow's (1997) article which appeared in this journal, apparently because he was unfairly opposed to God and to religion, and also because he deliberately usurped religious language to 'camouflage' his secular ideas. By drawing mainly upon similar sources but with some important additions, I wish to challenge the four major concerns raised in Rosenow's article and in doing so aim to offer an alternative interpretation. It is understood here that (...) Dewey's approach to religion was not so much religious as it was 'spiritual' and while developing and changing throughout his writings, his ideas on spirituality nevertheless were thoroughly entwined with his other views, especially those dealing with education, science and democracy. (shrink)
Realist philosophies of science posit a dialectical relation between theoretical, explanatory knowledge and practical, including taxonomic knowledge. This paper examines the dialectic between the theory of descent and empirical, Linnaean taxonomy which is based on a logic of traditional classes. It considers the arguments of David Hull to the effect that many of the practical problems of empirical classification can be resolved by means of an ontology based upon the theory of descent in which species taxa are regarded as individuals (...) rather than as classes or natural kinds.Contra Hull, it is argued that this view is, at best, only partially consistent with taxonomic practice and that it cannot sustain experimental practice which presupposes that species taxa be regarded as natural kinds. An outline is given of a possible alternative dialectic between a field theory of morphogenesis and a rational systematics involving a logic of relations. (shrink)
This paper aims to offer an evaluation of Australia's National Framework for Values Education in terms of its educative value. The criteria to be employed in this evaluation shall be drawn primarily from the works of UNESCO and John Dewey. In addition to a re-evaluation of values, consideration will also be given to how individual learners are being prepared to participate democratically in the quest for world peace. It will therefore be necessary to determine whether the Australian framework promotes the (...) potential for democratic participation through inquiry or whether through schooling its overtly nationalistic agenda actually stifles the capacity of persons to participate in a pursuit for global understandings and world peace. (shrink)
Amongst the many aims of education, surely the pursuit of global peace must be one of the most significant. The mandate of UNESCO is to pursue world peace through education by primarily promoting collaboration. The sort of collaboration that UNESCO endorses involves democratic dialogue, where various persons from differing backgrounds can come together, listen, negotiate and discuss possible ways in which peace might be pursued. While this sort of democratic dialogue with its associated free intellectual inquiry is more readily acceptable (...) for issues dealing with problems in the realm of physical nature, it is not so easily tolerated in the realm of ethics and values. Indeed inquiry into the realm of ethics by Kierkegaard has been described by Levinas to be a form of violence. Similarly John Dewey's work has been included in a list of the ten most harmful books by some conservatives in the United States because he promoted inquiry into morals and religion. Dewey argued against the assumption that there are two-realms—one physical and one moral. He and Kierkegaard both encouraged democratic inquiry into ethics, which is the sort of collaboration recognised by UNESCO as being necessary if we are to pursue world peace. Yet such investigations can be considered by some to be violent and harmful. It is argued here that pursuing inquiries into ethics and aims of education, while appearing to challenge the status quo, should not be construed as being violent but rather should be understood as democratic and educative. (shrink)
The simulations of Steels & Belpaeme (S&B) suggest that communication could lead to color categories that are closely shared within a language and potentially diverge across languages. We argue that this is opposite of the patterns that are actually observed in empirical studies of color naming. Focal color choices more often exhibit strong concordance across languages while also showing pronounced variability within any language.
This article looks at recent developments that have had an impact upon the way in which the ethical content of research is judged. It then goes on to look in some detail at the guidance offered to social science researchers in the Economic and Social Science Research Council's new Research Ethics Framework.
In the previous four papers in this series, individual versus structural or contextual factors have informed various understandings of moral distress. In this final paper, we summarize some of the key tensions raised in previous papers and use these tensions as springboards to identify directions for action among practitioners, educators, researchers, policymakers and others. In particular, we recognize the need to more explicitly politicize the concept of moral distress in order to understand how such distress arises from competing values within (...) power dynamics across multiple interrelated contexts from interpersonal to international. We propose that the same socio-political values that tend to individualize and blame people for poor health without regard for social conditions in which health inequities proliferate, hold responsible, individualize and even blame health care providers for the problem of moral distress. Grounded in a critical theoretical perspective of context, definitions of moral distress are re-examined and refined. Finally, recommendations for action that emerge from a re-conceptualized understanding of moral distress are provided. (shrink)
Theory-building is a continual, collective enterprise in which success is judged by logical consistency and successful explanation and prediction of specified empirical facts from a minimal set of assumptions. We describe some new attempts to develop Interactionist ideas on how communicated opinions from others can affect face-to-face interaction patterns and definitions of a social situation, including identities of the interactants. Our attempts take the form of developing theoretical models of how others' evaluative opinions are incorporated into existing performance expectations. We (...) show how model-building depends on existing theoretical ideas and empirical evidence. The description illustrates some ways in which contemporary sociological theory develops. (shrink)