: Drawing on Adriana Cavarero's account of natality, Guenther argues that Martin Heidegger overlooks the distinct ontological and ethical significance of birth as a limit that orients one toward an other who resists appropriation, even while handing down a heritage of possibilities that one can—and must—make one's own. Guenther calls this structure of natality Being-from-others, modifying Heidegger's language of inheritance to suggest an ethical understanding of existence as the gift of the other.
Shame is notoriously ambivalent. On one hand, it operates as a mechanism of normalization and social exclusion, installing or reinforcing patterns of silence and invisibility; on the other hand, the capacity for shame may be indispensible for ethical life insofar as it attests to the subject’s constitutive relationality and its openness to the provocation of others. Sartre, Levinas and Beauvoir each offer phenomenological analyses of shame in which its basic structure emerges as a feeling of being exposed to others and (...) bound to one’s own identity. For Sartre, shame is an ontological provocation, constitutive of subjectivity as a being-for-Others. For Levinas, ontological shame takes the form of an inability to escape one’s own relation to being; this predicament is altered by the ethical provocation of an Other who puts my freedom in question and commands me to justify myself. For Beauvoir, shame is an effect of oppression, both for the woman whose embodied existence is marked as shameful, and for the beneficiary of colonial domination who feels ashamed of her privilege. For each thinker, shame articulates the temporality of social life in both its promise and its danger. (shrink)
: Emmanuel Levinas compares ethical responsibility to a maternal body who bears the Other in the same without assimilation. In explicating this trope, he refers to a biblical passage in which Moses is like a "wet nurse" bearing Others whom he has "neither conceived nor given birth to" (Num. 11:12). A close reading of this passage raises questions about ethics, maternity, and sexual difference, for both the concept of ethical substitution and the material practice of mothering.
While Merleau-Ponty does not theorize sexual difference at any great length, his concepts of the flesh and the institution of a sense suggest hitherto undeveloped possibilities for articulating sexual difference beyond the male?female binary. For Merleau-Ponty, flesh is a ?pregnancy of possibilities? which gives rise to masculine and feminine forms through a process of mutual divergence and encroachment. Both sexes bear ?the possible of the other,? and neither represents the first or generic form of the human; each sex bears the (...) possibility of the other. By approaching sexual difference in terms of intersubjectively distributed possibilities rather than interlocking forms or types, we may grasp sexual difference in terms of both a developmental process in which bodies become sexed (and sometimes re-sexed) over time, and in terms of a social-historical process in which patterns of relation and exchange between sexed bodies shift over time, altering the very sense of sexual difference. (shrink)
Psychiatrist Stuart Grassian has proposed the term “SHU syndrome” to name the cluster of cognitive, perceptual and affective symptoms that commonly arise for inmates held in the Special Housing Units (SHU) of supermax prisons. In this paper, I analyze the harm of solitary confinement from a phenomenological perspective by drawing on Husserl’s account of the essential relation between consciousness, the experience of an alter ego and the sense of a real, Objective world. While Husserl’s prioritization of transcendental subjectivity over transcendental (...) intersubjectivity underestimates the degree to which first-person consciousness is constitutively intertwined with the embodied consciousness of others, Husserl’s phenomenology nevertheless provides a fruitful starting-point for a philosophical engagement with the psychiatric research on solitary confinement. (shrink)
In ‘L'Animal que donc je suis’, Derrida analyzes the paradoxical use of discourses on shame and original sin to justify the human domination of other animals. In the absence of any absolute criterion for distinguishing between humans and other animals, human faultiness becomes a sign of our exclusive capacity for self-consciousness, freedom and awareness of mortality. While Derrida's argument is compelling, he neglects to explore the connection between the human domination of animals and the male domination of women. Throughout ‘L'Animal’, (...) Derrida equivocates between ‘man’ and ‘humanity,’ and between the biblical figures of Ish and Adam. In so doing, he repeats a gesture that he himself has insightfully criticized in other philosophers, such as Levinas. By articulating the distinctions that Derrida elides, I suggest a way of reading Genesis which avoids this difficulty, but also continues Derrida's project. (shrink)
In Remnants of Auschwitz , Giorgio Agamben argues that the hidden structure of subjectivity is shame. In shame, I am consigned to something that cannot be assumed, such that the very thing that makes me a subject also forces me to witness my own desubjectification. Agamben’s ontological account of shame is problematic insofar as it forecloses collective responsibility and collapses the distinction between shame and humiliation. By recontextualizing three of Agamben’s sources – Primo Levi, Robert Antelme and Maurice Blanchot – (...) I develop an alternative account of shame as the structure of intersubjectivity , and of a collective responsibility that is more fundamental than the subject itself. On this basis, I sketch the preliminary outline of a biopolitics of resistance rooted in the ethics of alterity. The intuition driving this approach is that life is never bare ; even in situations of extreme affliction there remains a relation to alterity which provides a starting point for resistance. (shrink)
Marion has criticized Levinas for failing to account for the individuation of the Other, thus leaving the face of the Other abstract, neutral and anonymous. I defend Levinas against this critique by distinguishing between the individuation of the subject through hypostasis and the singularization of self and Other through ethical response. An analysis of the instant in Levinas’s early and late work shows that it is possible to speak of a “nameless singularity” which does not collapse into neutrality or abstraction, (...) but rather explains the sense in which anyone is responsible for any Other who happens to come along. (shrink)
Commonly it is supposed that there is an inclusive "or" and an exclusive "or". However, doubts have been raised about this standard interpretation of "or". But, as far as I know, these doubts have never been elaborated. In this article I shall develope a critique of the standard interpretation. It is argued that the distinction between the inclusive and the exclusive understanding of sentences of the form "p or q" can be explained by making use of the inclusive "or" alone. (...) This critique of the traditional point of view will be carried out by determining the sense in which the word "or" and sentences of the form "p or q" are used. Finally I shall discuss some special uses of "or" which are particularly challenging for the main thesis of this article. (shrink)
An alternative account of the locus equation phenomenon based on recent theories of speech movement planning is provided. It is similar to Sussman et al.'s account in positing that our productions are tuned to satisfy auditory constraints. It differs by suggesting that the locus equation effect may be an epiphenomenon of a planning process that satisfies simpler auditory constraints.
This commentary focuses on the importance of auditory object processing for producing and comprehending human language, the relative lack of development of this capability in nonhuman primates, and the consequent need for hominid neurobiological evolution to enhance this capability in making the transition from protosign to protospeech to language.
The four sections of this article are reactions to a few interconnected problems that Mario Bunge addresses in his The Sociology-Philosophy Connection , which can be seen as a continuation and summary of his two recent major volumes Finding Philosophy in Social Science and Social Science under Debate: A Philosophical Perspective . Bunges contribution to the philosophy of the social sciences has been sufficiently acclaimed. (See in particular two special issues of this journal dedicated to his social philosophy: "Systems (...) and Mechanisms. A Symposium on Mario Bunges Philosophy of Social Science," Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34, nos. 2 and 3.) The author discusses therefore only those solutions in Bunges book that seem most problematic, namely, Bunges proposal to expel charlatans from universities; his treatment of social laws; his notions of mechanisms, "mechanismic explanation," and systemism; and his reading of Poppers social philosophy. Key Words: theory laws mechanism explanation Popper. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: I. METAPHYSICS -- 1. How Do Realism, Materialism, and Dialectics Fare in Contemporary Science? (1973) -- 2. New Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous (1954) -- 3. Energy: Between Physics and Metaphysics (2000) -- 4. The Revival of Causality (1982) -- 5. Emergence and the Mind (1977) -- 6 SCIENTIFIC REALISM -- 6. The Status of Concepts (1981) -- 7. Popper's Unworldly World 3 (1981) --II. METHODOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE -- 8. On Method in (...) the Philosophy of Science (1973) -- 9. Induction in Science (1963) -- 10. The GST Challenge to the Classical Philosophies of Science (1977) -- 11. The Power and Limits of Reduction (1991) -- 12. Thinking in Metaphors (1999) --III. PHILOSOPHY OF MATHEMATICS -- 13. Moderate Mathematical Fictionism (1997) -- 14. The Gap between Mathematics and Reality (1994) -- 15. Two Faces and Three Masks of Probability (1988) --IV. PHILOSOPHY OF PHYSICS -- 16. Physical Relativity and Philosophy (1979) -- 17. Hidden Variables, Separability, and Realism (1995) -- 18. Schrodinger's Cat Is Dead (1999) --V. PHILOSOPHY OF PSYCHOLOGY -- 19. From Mindless Neuroscience and Brainless Psychology to Neuropsychology (1985) -- 20. Explaining Creativity (1993) -- VI. PHILOSOPHY OF SOCIAL SCIENCE -- 21. Analytic Philosophy of Society and Social Science: -- The Systemic Approach as an Alternative to Holism and Individualism (1988) -- 22. Rational Choice Theory: A Critical Look at Its Foundations (1995) -- 23. Realism and Antirealism in Social Science (1993) --VII. PHILOSOPHY OF TECHNOLOGY -- 24. The Nature of Applied Science and Technology (1988) -- 25. The Technology-Science-Philosophy Triangle in Its Social Context (1999) -- 26. The Technologies in Philosophy (1999) --VIII. MORAL PHILOSOPHY -- 27. A New Look at Moral Realism (1993) -- 28. Rights Imply Duties (1999) --IX. SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY -- 29. Morality Is the Basis of Legal and Political Legitimacy (1992) -- 30. Technoholodemocracy: An Alternative to -- Capitalism and Socialism (1994) -- Bibliography -- Index of Names -- Index of Subjects. (shrink)
Bunge (2000) distinguishes two main methodological approaches of holism and individualism, and associates with them policy prescriptions of centralism and laissez-faire. He identifies systemism as a superior approach to both the study and management of society. The present paper, seeking to correct and develop this line of thought, suggests a more complex relation between policy and methodology. There are two possible methodological underpinnings for laissez-faire: while writers such as Friedman and Lucas fit Bunge’s pattern, more sophisticated advocates of laissez-faire, such (...) as Smith and Hayek, base their policy prescription in a methodology quite divergent from the individualism Bunge describes. (shrink)
Professor Bunge makes the distinction between the logical concept of existence and the ontological one. I agree with him and in this paper I am formalizing his existence predicate into the powerful language of type theory.I am also proving the logical equivalence of this for mulation with a briefer one, which says that to exist conceptually is the same as to be a conceptual object. Accordingly, from this point on I investigate what conceptual objects are. I reach the conclusion that (...) it is better to study a restricted area each time, where existence could even be assigned in different degrees. For instance, in set theory -like in Animal Farm of Orwell every set exists but so me “exist more” than others. Of course, in relating degrees of existence to degrees of definability I am not following Bunge. (shrink)