Prolonged solitary confinement has become a widespread and standard practice in U.S. prisons—even though it consistently drives healthy prisoners insane, makes the mentally ill sicker, and, according to the testimony of prisoners, threatens to reduce life to a living death. In this profoundly important and original book, Lisa Guenther examines the death-in-life experience of solitary confinement in America from the early nineteenth century to today’s supermax prisons. Documenting how solitary confinement undermines prisoners’ sense of identity and their ability to understand (...) the world, Guenther demonstrates the real effects of forcibly isolating a person for weeks, months, or years. -/- Drawing on the testimony of prisoners and the work of philosophers and social activists from Edmund Husserl and Maurice Merleau-Ponty to Frantz Fanon and Angela Davis, the author defines solitary confinement as a kind of social death. It argues that isolation exposes the relational structure of being by showing what happens when that structure is abused—when prisoners are deprived of the concrete relations with others on which our existence as sense-making creatures depends. Solitary confinement is beyond a form of racial or political violence; it is an assault on being. (shrink)
: 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.
The Gift of the Other brings together a philosophical analysis of time, embodiment, and ethical responsibility with a feminist critique of the way women’s reproductive capacity has been theorized and represented in Western culture. Author Lisa Guenther develops the ethical and temporal implications of understanding birth as the gift of the Other, a gift which makes existence possible, and already orients this existence toward a radical responsibility for Others. Through an engagement with the work of Levinas, Beauvoir, Arendt, Irigaray, and (...) Kristeva, the author outlines an ethics of maternity based on the givenness of existence and a feminist politics of motherhood which critiques the exploitation of maternal generosity. (shrink)
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)
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)
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)
: 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.
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)
Prisoners involved in the Attica rebellion and in the recent Georgia prison strike have protested their dehumanizing treatment as animals and as slaves. Their critique is crucial for tracing the connections between slavery, abolition, the racialization of crime, and the reinscription of racialized slavery within the US prison system. I argue that, in addition to the dehumanization of prisoners, inmates are further de-animalized when they are held in conditions of intensive confinement such as prolonged solitude or chronic overcrowding. To be (...) de-animalized is to be treated not as a living being who is sustained by its mutual relations with other living and nonliving beings, but rather as a thing to be warehoused and/or exchanged for a profit. The violence of de-animalization affects both human and nonhuman animals held in control prisons, factory farms, laboratories and other sites of intensive confinement. In order to make the connections between these sites, and to develop forms of solidarity appropriate to our shared animality, we need a post-humanist critique of intensive confinement that breaks with the logic of opposition between human and animal, and articulates our constitutive relationality as (inter)corporeal beings. (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 recent years, comparisons between abortion and slavery have become increasingly common in American pro-life politics. Some have compared the struggle to extinguish abortion rights to the struggle to end slavery. Others have claimed that Roe v Wade is the Dred Scott of our time. Still others have argued that abortion is worse than slavery; it is a form of genocide. This paper tracks the abortion = slavery meme from Ronald Reagan to the current personhood movement, drawing on work by (...) Orlando Patterson, Hortense Spillers, and Saidiya Hartman to develop a discourse of reproductive justice that grapples with the wounded kinship of slavery and racism. (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)
Irigaray's early work seeks to multiply possibilities for women's self-expression by recovering a sexual difference in which male and female are neither the same nor opposites, but irreducibly different modes of embodiment. In her more recent work, however, Irigaray has emphasized the duality of the sexes at the expense of multiplicity, enshrining the heterosexual couple as the model of sexual ethics. Alison Stone's recent revision of Irigaray supplements her account of sexual duality with a theory of bodily multiplicity derived from (...) Butler, Nietzsche, and certain German Romantics; but to the extent that Stone maintains the primacy of sexual duality, her revision fails to address the claims of multiplicity on their own terms. In this paper, I interpret a passage from Marcel Proust's novel, Sodom and Gomorrah, in order to develop an alternative theory of sexual difference in which sexual duality is affirmed in relation to a third, unsexed but sexual force which multiplies the possibilities for sexual pleasure beyond heterosexual coupling. Proust's emphasis on sexed ``parts'' rather than sexed morphologies is generative of maximally diverse combinations, all of which are equally natural and equally enhanced through artifice. (shrink)
Deficits in brain white matter have been a main focus of recent neuroimaging studies on stuttering. However, no prior study has examined brain connectivity on the global level of the cerebral cortex in persons who stutter (PWS). In the current study, we analyzed the results from probabilistic tractography between regions comprising the cortical speech network. An anatomical parcellation scheme was used to define 28 speech production-related ROIs in each hemisphere. We used network-based statistic (NBS) and graph theory to analyze the (...) connectivity patterns obtained from tractography. At the network level, the probabilistic corticocortical connectivity from the PWS group were significantly weaker that from persons with fluent speech (PFS). NBS analysis revealed significant components in the bilateral speech networks with negative correlations with stuttering severity. To facilitate comparison with previous studies, we also performed tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) and regional fractional anisotropy (FA) averaging. Results from tractography, TBSS and regional FA averaging jointly highlight the importance of several regions in the left peri-Rolandic sensorimotor and premotor areas, most notably the left ventral premotor cortex and middle primary motor cortex, in the neuroanatomical basis of stuttering. (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.
In his 1934 essay, “Reflections on the Philosophy of Hitlerism,” Levinas raises important questions about the subject’s relation to nature and to history. His account of the ethical significance of paternity, maternity, and fraternity in texts such as Totality and Infinity and Otherwise Than Being suggest powerful new ways to understand the meaning of kinship, beyond the abstractions of Western liberalism. How does this analysis of race and kinship translate into the context of the Transatlantic slave trade, which not only (...) stole Africans from their families and communities, but also imposed upon them a single “fictive” kinship relation to the master? What if the problem of racialization is not only a matter of being “chained” to one’s identity through (presumed) blood ties, but also being violently separated from one’s kin? What does it mean for the concepts of ethical and political fraternity if the only father recognized by law and society as legitimate is the slave master? Or if the bodies of slave women are exploited, not only for productive labor, but also for the reproductive labor that makes more slaves for the master? If kinship is a way of making sense of the relation between past, present and future generations, then what does a radical disruption of existing kinship relations, and the imposition of one fictive, absolute and unilateral kinship relation, do to the social meaning of time and of history in a particular community? In this paper, I reflect on the significance of fecundity and kinship in the context of US slavery, both in order in order to situate my analysis in the particular history of my own present community, and as a way of demonstrating the significance of a more determinate social analysis for Levinas’ ethics of singularity and politics of universal justice. (shrink)
In Otherwise than Being, Levinas writes that the alterity of the Other escapes “le flair animal,” or the animal’s sense of smell. This paper puts pressure on the strong human-animal distinction that Levinas makes by considering the possibility that, while non-human animals may not respond to the alterity of the Other in the way that Levinas describes as responsibility, animal sensibility plays a key role in a relation to Others that Levinas does not discuss at length: friendship. This approach to (...) friendship addresses a gap in Levinas’ work between the absolute Other for whom I am responsible and the “brother” who is my political equal. (shrink)
"In her essay "Choosing the Margin," bell hooks draws attention to the way uncritical celebrations of difference and otherness often act as an alibi for progressive politics. The recent proliferation of discourses on alterity, particularly with the growth of Levinas studies, makes hooks's critique all the more relevant for ethical and political theory today. To what extent has this emphasis on alterity affected the dynamics of philosophical and political life? Does it fall into the trap that hooks identifies here as (...) a mask with which privileged subjects present themselves as critical thinkers, while failing to listen to the diverse voices of concrete others gathered under the rubric of "the Other"? It is one thing to affirm one's infinite responsibility for the Other, and quite another thing to make good on that responsibility in specific contexts, especially in a political landscape where some faces are more visible than others, and some voices more likely to be heard. Unless we can flesh out Levinas's ethical project with a political project of resisting oppression, his ethics risks a level of abstraction that covers over its own blind spots. And unless we can distinguish rigorously between otherness as a sign of political exclusion and otherness as a source of ethical command, we risk repeating the conflation of certain others with a position of weakness and victimhood, where "we" can feel responsible for "them" without having to listen to anyone but ourselves.". (shrink)
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.
Corporate environmental performance (CEP) has been of fundamental interest in scholarly research during the last few decades. However, there is a great deal of disagreement pertaining to the definition, conceptualization, and adequate measurement of CEP. Our study addresses these issues and provides a methodologically rigorous and comprehensive examination of content validity and construct validity. By integrating the available literature on CEP, we derive a parsimonious definition and theoretically sound framework of the focal construct. Drawing on non-aggregated and publicly available data (...) for a sample of 706 firm-years, we test the construct validity of this framework by means of factor analysis. Our results provide evidence for the multidimensional nature of the focal construct. By contrasting our findings with existing measurement approaches in empirical research, we emphasize several deficiencies with regard to the inferences and conclusions yielded in prior research. Future empirical and practically oriented studies can build on our findings and thus provide more stringent results. (shrink)
Briceño-Iragorrys story-telling is found throughout the Trujillan and Meridanian press during the first decades of the XX Century. Between 1915 and 1920 we find Ariel and the Rehabilitador de Trujillo, and Albores, Veinte años, Tic-Tac, Alquimia and Ecos Andinos de Merida. They were proba..
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)
In this paper, I present and discuss critically the main elements of Mario Bunge’s philosophy of mathematics. In particular, I explore how mathematical knowledge is accounted for in Bunge’s systemic emergent materialism.To Mario, with gratitude.
La obra editada por Mario López, Carlos Eduardo Martínez y Óscar Useche constituye una aproximación al conocimiento de los procesos de construcción de paz desarrollados por distintas comunidades en el planeta y de los abordajes teóricos sobre el tema centrados en las nuevas formas de convivencia que surgen gracias a la fuerza de lo comunitario. Se trata de una compilación de dieciséis artículos elaborados por investigadores provenientes de enfoques diversos quienes presentan una reflexión so..
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)
This study seeks to analyze the presence of the eroticism and seduction in two relevant novels by Mario Vargas Llosa: Elogio de la madrastra and Los cuadernos de don Rigoberto. For such goal it will be kept in mind theoretical approaches to those conceptions, which will be appropriate to consolidate personal visions applied to the analysis of those mentioned works. In the conception proposed by Georges Bataille about the eroticism the condition of the carnal desire it is assumed as (...) fundamental axis of human being’s realizations. Jean Baudrillard’s contributions on the seduction takes the erotic thing, like a genesic force, to the elaboration of the artifices of the appearance with all its power about the essence that makes easier the approach among the fellow who seduces and that one seduced. (shrink)
El artículo demuestra las huellas que existen en los Diálogos de Casiciaco de los comentariuos paulinos de Mario Victorino, particularmente en la exposición de la doctrina trinitaria, así como en la formulación de la fe cristiana.
El artículo aborda la cuestión del influjo de los escritos de Mario Victorino en la reflexión trinitaria agustiniana, particularmente en los Diálogos de Casiciaco, en De fide et symbolo y en De Trinitate.
Tal como se señala en el prólogo, redactado por el colombiano Carlos Eduardo Martínez Hincapié, la obra que a continuación reseñamos se ha atrevido a hurgar en los últimos episodios de la humanidad, para presentarnos uno de aquellos fenómenos que aún no logran aparecer como categorías de análisis e interpretación al interior de las ciencias sociales. Es de este modo que, y dada la advertencia anterior, nos encontramos con la propuesta del filósofo e historiador español Mario López Martínez, s..