David Sloan Wilson has recently revived the idea of a group mind as an application of group selectionist thinking to cognition. Central to my discussion of this idea is the distinction between the claim that groups have a psychology and what I call the social manifestation thesis-a thesis about the psychology of individuals. Contemporary work on this topic has confused these two theses. My discussion also points to research questions and issues that Wilson's work raises, as well as (...) their connection to externalist conceptions of the mind familiar since the work of Putnam and Burge. (shrink)
George Wilson has recently defended Kripke's well-known interpretation of Wittgenstein against the criticisms of John McDowell. Wilson claims that these criticisms rest on misunderstandings of Kripke and that, when correctly understood, Kripke's interpretation stands up to them well. In particular, Wilson defends Kripke's Wittgenstein against the charge of "non-factualism" about meaning. However, Wilson has not appreciated the full significance of McDowell's criticism. I use a brief exploration of Kripke's analogy between Wittgenstein and Hume to put this (...) significance in sharp relief. It emerges that McDowell's response to Kripke's Wittgenstein account of meaning is in important respects analogous to Kant's response to Hume's account of causality, particularly Kant's complaint that Hume reduced the objective necessity of the causal nexus to a merely subjective necessity. In the same way Kripke's Wittgenstein reduces the objective normative force of meanings to a "quasi-subjective," community-relative status. (shrink)
Shriver and Allen (this volume, this journal; hereafter S&A) make three unconnected criticisms of my views concerning phenomenal consciousness and the question of animal consciousness. First, they claim that my dispositional higher-order thought theory of consciousness has much greater significance for ethics than I recognize. Second, they claim that, in the course of attempting to motivate that theory, I have presented inadequate criticisms of first-order theories (according to which phenomenal consciousness may well be rampant in the animal world). And (...) third, they claim that my argument that the question of animal consciousness might not matter a great deal for comparative psychology may prove too much, showing that such consciousness is genuinely epiphenomenal in ourselves, and undermining some of my own evolutionary arguments in support of higher-order theories. I shall focus mostly on the second and third criticisms. But I begin with a few remarks about the first. (shrink)
The Unfinished Revolution compares the post-Second World War histories of the American and British gay and lesbian movements with an eye toward understanding how distinct political institutional environments affect the development, strategies, goals, and outcomes of a social movement. Stephen M. Engel utilizes an electic mix of source materials ranging from the theories of Mancur Olson and Michel Foucault to Supreme Court rulings and film and television dialogue. The two case study chapters function as brief historical sketches to elucidate further (...) the conclusions on theory and whilst being politically-oriented, they also examine gay influence and expansion into mainstream popular culture. The book also includes an appendix that surveys and assesses the analytical potential of five critical understandings of social movements: the classical approach, rational choice, resource mobilization, new social movement theories, and political opportunity structures. It will be of value to academics and students of sociology, political science, and history. (shrink)
An important and original new contribution to lesbian and gay studies, We Are Everywhere brings together the key primary sources relating to the politics of homosexuality. Presenting political, historical, legal, literary, and psychological documents which trace the evolution of the lesbian and gay movement, it includes documents as diverse as organization pamphlets, essays, polemics, speeches, newspaper and journal articles, and academic papers. We Are Everywhere includes writings from the beginnings of the gay and lesbian movement in the 19th century by (...) Karl Ulrichs, Magnus Hirschfeld, and John Addington Symonds; legal and government studies concerning rights of gay and lesbian citizens; articles from the early US liberation movement publications such as Mattachine Review , The Ladder and ONE ; documents from the first days of the AIDS epidemic to current activism; statements and writings from the movements within "the movement" (bisexuals, S/M, conservatives); and finally, a look at the future of lesbian and gay politics. Together the documents allow readers to examine a diverse set of issues: the concept of gay love before "homosexuality," the development of political movements based on homosexual identity, the history of government persecution of homosexuality, the impact of feminism on the modern lesbian and gay rights movement, and the emergence of queer theory. (shrink)
Collectively, Atkins examines their pursuit of sexual justice, the ideologies of manhood they challenged, the different types of gay spaces they created (geographic, architectural, online), and political obstacles they have encountered.
Fags, Hags and Queer Sisters is a provocative account of the importance of women and cross-gender identification in "gay" male culture. It offers a range of cultural readings from Tennessee William's classic A Streetcar Named Desire and Forster's 'gay' novel Maurice through Pulp Fiction , queer lifestyle magazines, Roseanne , slash fan fiction, and Jarman's Edward II to Almodovar's camp classic Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Theoretically sophisticated, yet passionate, accessible and opinionated, Fags, Hags and Queer Sisters (...) takes issue with many of the sacred cows of contemporary gay politics, and offers a number of new concepts in lesbian and gay theory. (shrink)
The last five years have witnessed the birth of a vibrant new group of young scholars who are writing about queer law, politics, and policy--topics which are no longer treated as of interest only to lesbians and gay men, but which now garner the attention of political theorists of all stripes. Playing With Fire --the first scholarly collection on queer politics by US political theorists--opens the intersection of lesbian and gay studies and political theory to a wide audience. It covers (...) a wide range of issues, including: the theory of queer identities; the contrasts among ethnic, racial, and sexual identities; the debate between liberals and communitarians; the right to privacy; and the meaning of equal citizenship. Contributors: Gordon Babst, Lisa Bower, Cynthia Burack, Judith Butler, Paisley Currah, Morris Kaplan, Gary Lehring, Shane Phelan, Anne Marie Smith, Angelia Wilson, and Stacey Young. (shrink)
[Allen W. Wood] Kant's moral philosophy is grounded on the dignity of humanity as its sole fundamental value, and involves the claim that human beings are to be regarded as the ultimate end of nature. It might be thought that a theory of this kind would be incapable of grounding any conception of our relation to other living things or to the natural world which would value nonhuman creatures or respect humanity's natural environment. This paper criticizes Kant's argumentative strategy (...) for dealing with our duties in regard to animals, but defends both his theory and most of his conclusions on these topics. /// [Onora O'Neill] Kant's ethics, like others, has unavoidable anthropocentric starting points: only humans, or other 'rational natures', can hold obligations. Seemingly this should not make speciesist conclusions unavoidable: might not rational natures have obligations to the non-rational? However, Kant's argument for the unconditional value of rational natures cannot readily be extended to show that all non-human animals have unconditional value, or rights. Nevertheless Kant's speciesism is not thoroughgoing. He does not view non-rational animals as mere items for use. He allows for indirect duties 'with regard to' them which afford welfare but not rights, and can allow for indirect duties 'with regard to' abstract and dispersed aspects of nature, such as biodiversity, species and habitats. (shrink)
This volume, honoring the renowned historian of science, Allen G Debus, explores ideas of science - `experiences of nature' - from within a historiographical tradition that Debus has done much to define. As his work shows, the sciences do not develop exclusively as a result of a progressive and inexorable logic of discovery. A wide variety of extra-scientific factors, deriving from changing intellectual contexts and differing social millieus, play crucial roles in the overall development of scientific thought. These essays (...) represent case studies in a broad range of scientific settings - from sixteenth-century astronomy and medicine, through nineteenth-century biology and mathematics, to the social sciences in the twentieth-century - that show the impact of both social settings and the cross-fertilization of ideas on the formation of science. Aimed at a general audience interested in the history of science, this book closes with Debus's personal perspective on the development of the field. Audience: This book will appeal especially to historians of science, of chemistry, and of medicine. (shrink)
College students implicitly judge interracial sex and gay sex to be morally wrong Some moral intuitions arise from psychological processes that are not fully accessible to consciousness. For instance, most people disapprove of consensual adult incest between siblings, but are unable to articulate why—they just feel that it is wrong (Haidt, 2001). More generally, there is evidence for at least two sources of moral judgment: explicit conscious reasoning and tacit intuitions, which are motivated by emotional responses (Greene et al., 2001) (...) and learned associations (Greenwald & Banaji, 1995). (shrink)
: Gay marriage highlights a contradiction in American national identity: if gay marriage is supported, the normative status of the heterosexual nuclear family is undermined, while if not, the civil rights of homosexuals are undermined. This essay discusses the feminist dilemma of whether to support gay marriage to promote these individual civil rights or whether to critique marriage as a part of the patriarchal system that oppresses women.
In their book Unto Others, Sober and Wilson argue that various evolutionary considerations (based on the logic of natural selection) lend support to the truth of psychological altruism. However, recently, Stephen Stich has raised a number of challenges to their reasoning: in particular, he claims that three out of the four evolutionary arguments they give are internally unconvincing, and that the one that is initially plausible fails to take into account recent findings from cognitive science and thus leaves open (...) a number of egoistic responses. These challenges make it necessary to reassess the plausibility of Sober & Wilson’s evolutionary account—which is what I aim to do in this paper. In particular, I try to show that, as a matter of fact, Sober & Wilson’s case remains compelling, as some of Stich’s concerns rest on a confusion, and those that do not are not sufficiently strong to establish all the conclusions he is after. The upshot is that no reason has been given to abandon the view that evolutionary theory has advanced the debate surrounding psychological altruism. (shrink)
In what follows, I critique the interpretation that Sober and Wilson offer of their group selection model in Unto Others. Sober and Wilson mistakenly claim that their model operates as an example of Simpson's paradox and defend an interpretation of their model according to which groups are operated upon by natural selection. In the place of their interpretation, I offer one that parallels the mathematical calculation of the model's outcome and does not depend on the postulation of a (...) force of group selection or a value for group fitness. (shrink)
In their marvelous book, Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior, Sober and Wilson identify two distinct problems of altruism.’ The problem of Evolutionary Altruism (EA) “is to show how behaviors that benefit others at the expense of self can evolve;” (17) group selection is the key to the solution of this problem. The problem of Psychological Altruism (PA) is to determine whether people “have altruistic desires that are psychologically ultimate.” (201) After carefully considering the arguments of (...) both psychologists and philosophers, Sober and Wilson render the verdict “not proven.” But just in the nick of time, evolutionary biology rides to the rescue; it succeeds where psychology and philosophy fail in vindicating our good nature. In this paper, I will discuss Sober and Wilson’s treatment of PA. (shrink)
Abstract: This essay explores recent trends and major issues related to gay and lesbian philosophy in ethics (including issues concerning the morality of homosexuality, the natural function of sex, and outing and coming out); religion (covering past and present debates about the status of homosexuality and how biblical and qur'anic passages have been interpreted by both sides of the debate); the law (especially a discussion of the debates surrounding sodomy laws, same-sex marriage and its impact on transsexuals, and whether the (...) law should be used to enforce morality); scientific research into the origins of homosexuality (including discussion of arguments against such research); and metaphysics (especially the question of whether homosexuality is socially constructed during particular times and in particular cultures, or whether sexual orientation is an essential trait cutting across times and cultures). (shrink)
Sober and Wilson have propose a cluster of arguments for the conclusion that “natural selection is unlikely to have given us purely egoistic motives” and thus that psychological altruism is true. I maintain that none of these arguments is convincing. However, the most powerful of their arguments raises deep issues about what egoists and altruists are claiming and about the assumptions they make concerning the cognitive architecture underlying human motivation.
The American administrative state is a feature of the new liberalism that is largely irreconcilable with the old, founding-era liberalism. At its core, the administrative state, with its delegation of legislative power to the bureaucracy, combination of functions within bureaucratic agencies, and weakening of presidential control over administration undercuts the separation-of-powers principle that is the base of the founders' Constitution. The animating idea behind the features of the administrative state is the separation of politics and administration, which was championed by (...) James Landis, the New-Deal architect of the administrative state for President Franklin Roosevelt. The idea of separating politics and administration, and the faith such a separation requires in the objectivity of administrators, did not originate with Landis or the New Deal but, instead, with the Progressives who had come a generation earlier. Both Woodrow Wilson and Frank Goodnow were pioneers in advocating the separation of politics and administration, and made it the centerpiece of their broad arguments for constitutional reform. (shrink)
The second word in the subtitle of this article is crucial. For there can be no doubt but that the possibility of sociobiology below the human level has already been abundantly realized in, for instance, the main body of E. O. Wilson's enormous and encyclopedic treatise Sociobiology: The New Synthesis. What may more reasonably be doubted, and what is in fact questioned here, is whether, as Wilson and others hope and believe, there is much room, or indeed any, (...) for a sociobiology of our own notoriously wayward and idiosyncratic species. In proposing this particular project Wilson and his colleagues have seen themselves as promoting a climactic conquest for evolutionary biology. For surely, they seem to have thought, now, more than a century after Darwin, it is high time and past time to launch the final assault upon the last citadel. But, as we shall proceed to argue, there are reasonsreasons which were available at least in outline even to Darwin himselfwhy the ideas which have been so triumphantly successful in explaining The Origin of Species cannot properly be applied to what is in truth a fundamentally different task. They cannot, that is to say, properly be transferred to explain developments either within or out of the particular problem species of which the author of that book, along with both all the authors and all the readers of all other books, have been themselves members. (shrink)
Richard Mohr emphasizes the importance of dispelling false beliefs about lesbians and gay men, and establishing legislation that protects the rights of sexual minorities. He argues that homophobic policies originate in the belief that gay men and lesbians are categorically less morally valuable than others, rather than deserving of unequal treatment because of their behaviors or actions. In response, I show that homophobic panic over lesbian or gay sex acts is actually quite influential, and argue that Mohr fails to take (...) account of the political and philosophical significance of sexual freedom, and the inextricability of sexual being and sexual doing. (shrink)
George Wilson has defended the thesis that even impersonal third-person fictional narratives should be taken to contain fictional narrations and have fictional narrators. This, he argues, is necessary if we are to explain how readers can take themselves, in their imaginative engagement with fictions, to have knowledge of the things they are imagining. I argue that there is at least one class of impersonal third-person fictional narratives—thought experiments—to which Wilson’s model fails to apply, and that this reveals more (...) general problems with his argument. I further argue that there is no good reason to think that Wilson’s account applies more restrictedly to those impersonal third-person fictional narratives that feature in standard works of literary fiction. (shrink)
In the political arena, lesbian and gay issues have been contested typically on grounds of human rights, but with variable success. Using a moral developmental framework, the purpose of this study was to explore preferences for different types of moral arguments when thinking about moral dilemmas around lesbian and gay issues. The analysis presented here comprised data collected from 545 students at UK universities who completed a questionnaire, part of which comprised a moral dilemma task. Findings of the study showed (...) that respondents do not apply moral reasoning consistently, and do not (clearly) favour human rights reasoning when thinking about lesbian and gay issues. Respondents tended to favour reasoning supporting existing social structures and frameworks, therefore this study highlights the importance of structural change in effecting widespread attitude change in relation to lesbian and gay rights issues. The implications of the findings for moral education are also discussed. (shrink)
In "The pitfalls of heritability," a review of Edward O. Wilson’s Consilience Times Literary Supplement, Feb 12, 1999, p33], Jerry Hirsch claims to have convicted Wilson of a "confusion about genetic similarity and difference." In his book, Wilson claims that if we assume that "a mere one thousand genes out of the fifty to a hundred thousand genes in the human genome were to exist in two forms in the population," the probability of any two humans--excluding identical (...) siblings--having the same genotype is vanishingly small. Hirsch points out that a single genotype can be produced in more than one way, thus increasing the likelihood of a single genotype recurring in the human population. Hirsch’s point is fair enough as far it goes, but it does not go nearly far enough. Hirsch has failed to carry out all the relevant calculations needed to determine the probability of two humans having the same genotype. In the realm of Vast numbers ("Very much greater than ASTronomical"--Dennett, 1995, p109), increased likelihood in and of itself tells us nothing. Here, then, are some of the relevant calculations. (shrink)
Allen Carlson and Sheila Lintott (eds): Nature, Aesthetics, and Environmentalism: From Beauty to Duty Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10806-010-9258-2 Authors Nathaniel Barrett, Institute for the Biocultural Study of Religion 1711 Massachusetts Ave NW #308 Washington DC 20036 USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
John Cook Wilson (1849–1915) was Wykeham Professor of Logic at New College, Oxford and the founder of ‘Oxford Realism’, a philosophical movement that flourished at Oxford during the first decades of the 20th century. Although trained as a classicist and a mathematician, his most important contribution was to the theory of knowledge, where he argued that knowledge is factive and not definable in terms of belief, and he criticized ‘hybrid’ and ‘externalist’ accounts. He also argued for direct realism in (...) perception, criticizing both empiricism and idealism, and argued for a moderate nominalist view of universals as being in rebus and only ‘apprehended’ by their particulars. His influence helped swaying Oxford away from idealism and, through figures such as H. A. Prichard, Gilbert Ryle, or J. L. Austin, his ideas were also to some extent at the origin of ‘moral intuitionism’ and ‘ordinary language philosophy’ which defined much of Oxford philosophy until the second half of the twentieth-century. Nevertheless, his name and legacy were all but forgotten for generations after World War II. Still, his views on knowledge are with us today, being in part at work in the writings of philosophers as diverse as John McDowell, Charles Travis, and Timothy Williamson. (shrink)
This paper presents a brief response to Robert A. Wilson's critical discussion of Promiscuous Realism . I argue that although convergence on a unique conception of species cannot be ruled out, the evidence against such an outcome is stronger than Wilson allows. In addition, given the failure of biological science to come up with a unique and privileged set of biological kinds, the relevance of the various overlapping kinds of ordinary language to the metaphysics of biological kinds is (...) greater than Wilson admits. (shrink)
Diagrams make it possible to present scientific facts in more abstract and generalized form. While some detail is lost, simplified and accessible knowledge is gained. E. B. Wilson's work in cytology provides a case study of changing uses of diagrams and accompanying abstraction. In his early work, Wilson presented his data in photographs, which he saw as coming closest to “fact.” As he gained confidence in his interpretations, and as he sought to provide a generalized textbook account of (...) cell development, he relied on increasingly abstract diagrams. In addition, he came to see that highly abstract and even schematic drawings could provide more than pictures directly from life. (shrink)
This paper presents a brief response to Robert A. Wilson's critical discussion of Promiscuous Realism . I argue that, although convergence on a unique conception of species cannot be ruled out, the evidence against such an outcome is stronger than Wilson allows. In addition, given the failure of biological science to come up with a unique and privileged set of biological kinds, the relevance of the various overlapping kinds of ordinary language to the metaphysics of biological kinds is (...) greater than Wilson admits. (shrink)
"My work has had nothing to do with gay liberation," Michel Foucault reportedly told an admirer in 1975. And indeed there is scarcely more than a passing mention of homosexuality in Foucault's scholarly writings. So why has Foucault, who died of AIDS in 1984, become a powerful source of both personal and political inspiration to an entire generation of gay activists? And why have his political philosophy and his personal life recently come under such withering, normalizing scrutiny by commentators as (...) diverse as Camille Paglia, Richard Mohr, Bruce Bawer, Roger Kimball, and biographer James Miller? David M. Halperin's Saint Foucault is an uncompromising and impassioned defense of the late French philosopher and historian as a galvanizing thinker whose career as a theorist and activist will continue to serve as a model for other gay intellectuals, activists, and scholars. A close reading of both Foucault and the increasing attacks on his life and work, it explains why straight liberals so often find in Foucault only counsels of despair on the subject of politics, whereas gay activists look to him not only for intellectual inspiration but also for a compelling example of political resistance. Halperin rescues Foucault from the endless nature-versus-nurture debate over the origins of homosexuality ("On this question I have absolutely nothing to say," Foucault himself once remarked) and argues that Foucault's decision to treat sexuality not as a biological or psychological drive but as an effect of discourse, as the product of modern systems of knowledge and power, represents a crucial political breakthrough for lesbians and gay men. Halperin explains how Foucault's radical vision of homosexuality as a strategic opportunity for self-transformation anticipated the new anti-assimilationist, anti-essentialist brand of sexual identity politics practiced by contemporary direct-action groups such as ACT UP. Halperin also offers the first synthetic account of Foucault's thinking about gay sex and the future of the lesbian and gay movement, as well as an up-to-the-minute summary of the most recent work in queer theory. "Where there is power, there is resistance," Michel Foucault wrote in The History of Sexuality, Volume I. Erudite, biting, and surprisingly moving, Saint Foucault represents Halperin's own resistance to what he views as the blatant and systematic misrepresentation of a crucial intellectual figure, a misrepresentation he sees as dramatic evidence of the continuing personal, professional, and scholarly vulnerability of all gay activists and intellectuals in the age of AIDS. (shrink)
This book offers a lively and unorthodox analysis of Nietzsche by examining a neglected aspect of his scholarly personality--his sense of humor. While often thought of as ponderous and melancholy, the Nietzsche of Higgins's study is a surprisingly subtle and light-hearted writer. She presents a close reading of The Gay Science to show how the numerous literary risks that Nietzsche takes reveal humor to be central to his project. Higgins argues that his use of humor is intended to dislodge readers (...) from their usual, somber detachment and to incite imaginative thinking. (shrink)
This paper argues that two of my critics (Cowie and Wilson) have become fixated on Fodor’s notion of modularity, both to their own detriment and to the detriment of their understanding of Carruthers, 2006. The paper then focuses on the supposed inadequacies of the latter’s explanations of both content flexibility and human uniqueness, alleged by Machery and Cowie respectively.
Feminism, the Family, and the Politics of the Closet is about placing sexual orientation politics within feminist theorizing. It is also about defining the central political issues confronting lesbians and gay men. The book brings the study of lesbians from the margins of feminist theory to the center by critiquing the analytic frameworks employed within feminist theory that renders invisible lesbians' difference from heterosexual women. This book also outlines the basic features of lesbian and gay subordination by exploring the differences (...) between heterosexual dominance and gender and race relations. Throughout, Calhoun aims to re-center lesbian and gay politics away from concerns with sexual regulations and toward concern with the displacement of gays and lesbians from the public sphere of visible citizenship and from the private sphere of romance, marriage, and family. (shrink)
This article provides the theoretical resources to resolve a number of conundrums in the work of William Julius Wilson and John Ogbu. Contrary to what Wilson's and Ogbu's work sometimes imply, inner-city blacks are not enmeshed in a "culture of poverty," but rather are generally committed to mainstream values and their normative expectations. Activities that deviate from these values derive from the cognitive expectations inner-city blacks have formed in the face of their restricted legitimate opportunity structures. These expectations, (...) which suggest that educational and occupational success are improbable for inner-city residents, are accurate. If their opportunities were to improve, their cognitive expectations would change and most would be committed to taking advantage of these new opportunities. The differences that separate the inner-city poor from whites center on cultural symbols, which help constitute their identity, sometimes in opposition to the white majority. Most deficiencies in performance among blacks stem not from these cultural attributes, but from the way they are processed in white-dominated organizations. Given a majority commitment to equal opportunity and a majority belief that blacks actually have equal opportunity, many conclude from their performance that blacks are in some sense inferior. This "new racism" overdetermines the performance of blacks. (shrink)
In my Responses, I take up the various definitional and justificatory challenges that Anita Allen, Anthony Appiah and Bill Lawson raise to my defense of affirmative action and I try to build bridges and remove the apparent disagreements between our views. In the process, I have found a way to replace race-based affirmative action with a non-race-based program which retains all the benefits that a race-based program can provide and secures additional benefits as well.
Evaluation of the contribution that Allen Carlson’s environmental aesthetics can make to environmental protection shows that Carlson’s positive aesthetics, his focus on the functionality of human environments for their proper aesthetic appreciation, and his integration of ethical concern with aesthetic appreciation all provide fruitful, though not unproblematic, avenues for an aesthetic defense of theenvironment.
Francis Allen, The Borderland of Criminal Justice: Essays in Law and Criminology Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1964 Francis Allen, The Crimes of Politics: Political Dimensions of Criminal Justice Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1974 Francis Allen, Law, Intellect, and Education Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1979 Francis Allen, The Decline of the Rehabilitative Ideal: Penal Policy and Social Purpose New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981.
John Wilson's attempts to identify the key ''components'' of morality have been a familiar part of the moral education landscape for many years. His work, however, has probably not had as much influence on researchers and teachers as might have been expected, and an examination of possible reasons for this may help us to appraise some of the strengths and weaknesses of his approach.
A constantly reworked theme in the work of John Wilson is that of some identity or overlap of (psycho) therapeutic concerns with those of more conventional learning and education: (some) instances of therapy are held to coincide with (some) instances of education à propos the alleviation of what he generally calls ''fantasies''. In an early celebrated article, Wilson casts certain aspects of education as such in this therapeutic role, but in later work it is philosophical education which is (...) credited with this function. The present appreciation of Wilson's treatment of these crucial issues, however, warns against the potentially problematic consequences of any such blurring of distinctions between education and therapy (or agent and patient). The paper also argues that Wilson's rather colonial deployment of the term ''fantasy'' may militate against the recognition of legitimate value diversity. (shrink)
Despite a paucity of psychological research exploring the interface between lesbian and gay issues and human rights, a human rights framework has been widely adopted in debates to gain equality for lesbians and gay men. Given this prominence within political discourse of human rights as a framework for the promotion of positive social change for lesbians and gay men, the aim of this study was to explore the extent to which rights?based arguments are employed when talking about lesbian and gay (...) issues in a social context. An analysis of six focus group discussions with students showed that when lesbian and gay issues are discussed, rights?based reasoning is employed intermittently, and in relation to certain issues more so than others. The implications of these findings for moral education aimed at promoting positive social change for lesbians and gay men are discussed. (shrink)
I claim that explanations of human behaviour by Edward O. Wilsonand Charles Lumsden are constituted by a religiously functioningmetaphysics: emergent materialism. The constitutive effects areidentified using six criteria, beginning with a metaphorical re-description of dissimilarities between levels of organization interms of the lower level, and consist of conceptual andexplanatory reductions (CER). Wilson and Lumsden practice CER,even though CER is not required by emergent materialism. Theypreconceive this practice by a re-description which conflates thelevels of organization and explain failure of CER (...) in terms oftechnical, not ontological or epistemological reasons. Iinterpret these three practices as a reaction of Wilson againsthis early Christian religious beliefs. Statements by Wilsonindicate this reaction ultimately constitutes his explanations ofsocial, moral and religious behaviour.Tested knowledge about matter at the lower level functions as ametaphysical belief when applied to the higher level becausethere it is untested. I offer twelve criteria for the diagnosisof religious functions of this metaphysical materialism, five ofwhich are satisfied. I show that the constitutive effects of thismaterialism in sociobiology are due to its religious functions,are beneficial for science and do not destroy its public nature. (shrink)
Allen Orr wrote an extended critical review (over 6000 words) of my book No Free Lunch for the Boston Review this summer (http://bostonreview.mit.edu/BR27.3/orr.html). The Boston Review subsequently contacted me and asked for a 1000 word response. I wrote a response of that length focusing on what I took to be the fundamental flaw in Orr's review (and indeed in Darwinian thinking generally, namely, conflating the realistically possible with the merely conceivable). What I didn't know (though I should have expected (...) it) is that Orr would have the last word and that the Boston Review would give him 1000 words to reply to my response (see the exchange in the current issue at http://bostonreview.mit.edu/BR27.5/exchange.html). (shrink)
This paper provides a description and evaluation of the main features of John Wilson's approach to moral education. In the first section we analyse the central elements of his approach under eight headings, and in the second, we outline a number of areas of difficulty and lines of criticism relating to his claims, arguments and conclusions. Our aim is twofold: to invite recognition of the extensiveness, distinctiveness, ambition and importance of Wilson's contribution to moral education, and to facilitate (...) a judicious appraisal of this contribution. (shrink)
Applied mathematics often operates by way of shakily rationalizedexpedients that can neither be understood in a deductive-nomological nor in an anti-realist setting.Rather do these complexities, so a recent paper of Mark Wilson argues, indicate some element in ourmathematical descriptions that is alien to the physical world. In this vein the mathematical opportunistopenly seeks or engineers appropriate conditions for mathematics to get hold on a given problem.Honest mathematical optimists, instead, try to liberalize mathematical ontology so as to include all physicalsolutions. (...) Following John von Neumann, the present paper argues that the axiomatization of a scientifictheory can be performed in a rather opportunistic fashion, such that optimism and opportunism appear as twomodes of a single strategy whose relative weight is determined by the status of the field to beinvestigated. Wilson's promising approach may thus be reformulated so as to avoid precarious talk about a physicalworld that is void of mathematical structure. This also makes the appraisal of the axiomatic method inapplied matthematics less dependent upon foundationalist issues. (shrink)
John Wilson thinks that virtue theory does not provide a satisfactory basis on which to develop an account of moral education. In this paper I evaluate some aspects of Wilson's account of moral education from the vantage point of someone whose sense of these things has been shaped by the Aristotelian tradition. In so doing I attempt to defend virtue theory from the criticism Wilson makes of it.
Allen Orr reviewed my book No Free Lunch in the Summer 2002 issue of the Boston Review . Orr's review is available at http://bostonreview.mit.edu/BR27.3/orr.html. The response below is at the request of the Boston Review and will be appearing in a subsequent issue.
This paper asks whether it would be better not to talk about morality in schools. The issue is raised through a consideration of changes in public discourse and especially in educational discourse, where categories such as ''personal, social and health education'' and ''citizenship education'' are more salient than ''moral education''. Drawing on John Wilson's arguments, the paper considers claims for the indispensability of the concept of morality. It is argued that such claims, in Wilson's own writings, are applied (...) to both an ''individual'' and a ''social'' conception of morality. Contrary to Wilson, the paper argues that the ''wisest strategy'' for public education is to take the social conception of ''morality in the narrow sense'' as a central focus. (shrink)
Through interviews with lesbian and gay journalists in Texas, the authors consider ethical decision making surrounding the phenomenon of outing. Outing is defined as the unauthorized mediated identification of gay and lesbian public figures who are not public about their sexual identih. This article discusses theoretical issues of ethics as they relate to the phenomenon of outing and applies that framework to the analysis of the interviews and a forum. The research found that in individual interviews journalists were more likely (...) to discuss outing as it related to their personal lives and their identification with the lesbian and gay community. However, when brought together in a group, these same journalists tended to discuss outing as it applies to journalistic norms. This article concludes with a suggestion for research on the intersection between outing and AIDS. (shrink)
Nylan, Michael, and Thomas Wilson, Lives of Confucius: Civilization’s Greatest Sage Through the Ages Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11712-012-9273-2 Authors Jim Peterman, Department of Philosophy, Sewanee: The University of the South, 735 University Avenue, Sewanee, TN 37375, USA Journal Dao Online ISSN 1569-7274 Print ISSN 1540-3009.
I am grateful to Richard Allen, Angela Curran and Trevor Ponech for their interesting objections to and questions about the claims defended in my book. I first discuss Ponech, who raises the most general issue, concerning my account of what cinema is; next, respond to Curran, who examines my basic claim about the importance of medium-specific considerations; and then reply to Allen, who addresses the more specific question of the role of identification in eliciting emotions in cinema.
In a recent paper in BJES, JohnWilson (2002) examines the question of the desirability of education and argues that the enterprise can only be justified if it is thought to be necessary 'as a means of salvation'. Here I expose a number of flaws in Wilson's argument and defend a rather more prosaic justificatory strategy.
Abstract John Wilson's work as moral educator is summarized and evaluated. His rationalist humanistic approach is based on a componential characterization of the morally educated person. Such a person consistently manifests a unity of reflection, feeling, belief, and acting under the logically structured rubrics of PHIL, EMP, GIG and KRAT, and exemplifying the formal features of ?moral opinion?. The rationale and conceptual status of the components is discussed, as is the view that the concept of education entails that teachers (...) be moral educators. This involves cultivating autonomous rationality with respect to the unconscious, motivation, day?to?day moral decision?making, and the emotions; in the latter case there are extensive applications in religious education. Finally, certain weaknesses and pre?eminent strengths of Wilson's position are indicated, and comparisons briefly made with the views of McPhail, Peters, Frankena and Kohlberg. (shrink)
In this paper I appraise John Wilson's ideal of (erotic) love between equals. Although I allow that the ideal is intriguing, one that leads to good conversation (in bed and out of it), in the end it is one I cannot endorse. My assessment of Wilson's ideal focuses on queries about who can count as equals and who takes responsibility for whose unruly sexual desires. I also note a particular moral peril associated with his ideal of intimacy. I (...) find this peril in Wilson's suspicion of appeals to self-respect and integrity as grounds for refusing to meet sexual demands. (shrink)
This study is an analysis of 186 psychologists' attitudes on what constitutes ethical practice when counseling clients who present with a range of concerns related to their experience of same-sex attraction and behavior. Three different groups of psychologists were surveyed: generalists, specialists in gay and lesbian issues, and religiously affiliated psychologists. Participants also rated the effectiveness of several professional experiences in providing education, direction, sanctions, or support to regulate the practice of counseling nonheterosexual clients. Significant group differences were found regarding (...) what is considered best, acceptable, and unacceptable practice with clients presenting with same-sex attraction issues. Significant differences were also found among the three groups in what respondents rated as effective elements of their clinical experience. Keywords: gay, lesbian, religion, survey. (shrink)
The American Progressive Movement argued for both a democratization of the political process and deference to expert administrators. Relying on the work of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, the article endeavors to explore this tension and make some preliminary suggestions as to how it might be reconciledinto a single democratic theory. Both Roosevelt and Wilson criticize the principles of the original Constitution for being insufficiently democratic and overly suspicious of the popular will, and they want to make public (...) opinion a more direct force in national politics. Yet both are also suspicious of politics and its potential for corruption by and thus look for ways of empowering expert administrative agencies and insulating them from political influence. Wilson seems to understand the potential conflict between these two aims more than Roosevelt does, although both look to a popularized presidency as a means of reconciling consent and expertise. (shrink)
: In this essay, Riggs demonstrates how heterosexism shapes foster-care assessment practices in Australia. Through an examination of lesbian and gay foster-care applicants' assessment reports and with a focus on the heteronormative assumptions contained within them, Riggs demonstrates that foster-care public policy and research on lesbian and gay parenting both promote the idea that lesbian and gay parents are always already "just like" heterosexual parents. To counter this idea of "sameness," Riggs proposes an approach to both assessing and researching lesbian (...) and gay parents that privileges the specific experiences of lesbians and gay men and resists the heterosexualization of lesbian and gay families by focusing on some potentially radical differences shaping lesbian and gay lives. (shrink)
This paper criticizes Kent Wilson's (`Circular Arguments', 1988) arguments against the analysis of the fallacy of begging the question in epistemic terms and against the division of the fallacy into equivalence and dependency types. It is argued that Wilson does not succeed in showing that the epistemic attitude to the fallacy analysis should be given up. Further, it is argued that Wilson's arguments against the division of the fallacy into two types can be overcome by altering the (...) accounts he criticizes (David Sanford (1971, 1984, 1988) and John Biro (1977, 1984)): fallacy analysis should concentrate on externalized arguments, but this does not mean that either the epistemic attitude or the dependency conception should be given up. (shrink)
The essence of the argument in this article is threefold: that empirical questions about laws governing human activity do not have definitive answers; that certain conceptual questions do, and when they do they have important practical implications; but that many conceptual questions do not have definitive answers either. The argument is pursued by reference to Wilson's views on the nature and importance of philosophy, and to moral education by way of example. The conclusion drawn is that empirical research into (...) education as such, and other specifically human activities, is misconceived. The reason that we still debate such questions as ''Can virtue be taught?'' is that they have no answer, but that does not mean that any view can equally well be adopted or that anything goes in every specific case. A better or worse understanding, a more or less efficacious response, can still be reached in particular cases. Such understanding is achieved through philosophy and the study of the humanities. (shrink)
Wilson's comments on The Market Experience are deficient for at least three reasons. First, his lack of knowledge regarding subjective well?being deprives him of an adequate frame of reference from which to evaluate my work. Second, he fails to appreciate that a theory may legitimately draw upon more than one explanatory factor. Third, Wilson apparently did not read the entire book.
Critics’ praise of Woody Allen as an artist is increasing. No other comedian includes within his humour so many references to God. Philosophers interested in contemporary culture should take Allen’s comedy seriously. Accepting Albert Camus’s vision of reality, Allen has been artistically handling the absurdity of reality by use of humour. Through comedies, Allen’s films deal with important questions. His finest film may contain an argument for God.
The October 1987 issue of CONVIVIUM (No. 25, pp. 48 54) contains an article by R.T. Allen entitled "Polanyi and Truth" (hereafter "PT"), in which the author claims to "take up the challenge posed by Mr. S. Palmquist's 'A Kantian Critique of Polanyi's "Post Critical Philosophy"' (CONVIVIUM No. 24, March 1987 [pp. 1 11])." In that article (hereafter "KCP") I intended to "use Kant's philosophy as a sounding board to help pinpoint some unfortunate misunderstandings contained in PK" ("KCP" 2). (...) I presupposed, for the purpose of that rather modest task, an interpretation of Kant's philosophy which I had developed in full elsewhere. In deference to any readers who questioned or failed to understand this interpretation as summarized in "KCP", I referred in the footnotes to seven of the articles I have written in its defense (see "KCP" 10 11). (shrink)
The famous Allen's interval relations constraint propagation algorithm was intended for linear time. Its 13 primitive relations define all the possible mutual locations of two intervals on the time-axis. In this paper an application of the algorithm for non-linear time is suggested. First, a new primitive relation is added. It is called excludes since an occurrence of one event in a certain course of events excludes an occurrence of the other event in this course. Next, new composition rules for (...) relations between intervals are presented: some of the old rules are extended by the relation excludes, and entirely new ones are formulated for composing the relation excludes with the other relations. Four different composition tables are considered. The choice of a composition table depends on whether time is branching or not, and whether intervals can contain non-collinear subintervals or not. (shrink)
Rose's accomplishment in combining ontological unity with epistemological diversity contrasts it with Wilson's failure in overemphasizing the former and not appreciating the latter. This commentary cites the two most authoritative discussions of the inapplicability of heritability to human data, corrects several historical errors or inaccuracies in genetics, and criticizes the characterizations of Jacques Loeb and Robert Plomin.
Wilson argued that since for continuants such as people a predicate and a time determine a place, natural language *can* specify just, e,.g. "a is dyspeptic at t" leaving the location of a's dyspepsia unstated. From this he concludes that language *must* leave the location unstated. I query the transition from *may* to *must*.
John Wilson has recently criticized the ?Kohlbergian? view that at certain stages of their development, children are unable to understand moral reasoning of certain kinds. He argues that understanding a reason is chiefly a matter of knowing a rule and its application, and that in the case of moral reasons, the relevant rules and concepts can be mastered by almost any child. It will be argued here that Wilson fails to cast doubt on the Kohlbergian view, because his (...) account of what it is to understand a reason is inadequate. (shrink)
Nietzsche wrote The Gay Science, which he later described as 'perhaps my most personal book', when he was at the height of his intellectual powers, and the reader will find in it an extensive and sophisticated treatment of the philosophical themes and views which were most central to Nietzsche's own thought and which have been most influential on later thinkers. These include the death of God, the problem of nihilism, the role of truth, falsity and the will-to-truth in human life, (...) the doctrine of the eternal recurrence, and the question of the proper attitude to adopt toward human suffering and toward human achievement. This volume presents the work in a new translation by Josefine Nauckhoff, with an introduction by Bernard Williams that elucidates the work's main themes and discusses their continuing philosophical importance. (shrink)
Nietzsche called The Gay Science "the most personal of all my books." It was here that he first proclaimed the death of God -- to which a large part of the book is devoted -- and his doctrine of the eternal recurrence. Walter Kaufmann's commentary, with its many quotations from previously untranslated letters, brings to life Nietzsche as a human being and illuminates his philosophy. The book contains some of Nietzsche's most sustained discussions of art and morality, knowledge and truth, (...) the intellectual conscience and the origin of logic. Most of the book was written just before Thus Spoke Zarathustra, the last part five years later, after Beyond Good and Evil. We encounter Zarathustra in these pages as well as many of Nietzsche's most interesting philosophical ideas and the largest collection of his own poetry that he himself ever published. Walter Kaufmann's English versions of Nietzsche represent one of the major translation enterprises of our time. He is the first philosopher to have translated Nietzsche's major works, and never before has a single translator given us so much of Nietzsche. (shrink)
In many ways, the struggle for gay and lesbian rights has come of age, and mainstream politics in the USA shows signs of embracing the votes and monetary contributions of organized gay and lesbian constituents. But the author warns that a movement for sexual liberation pays too high a price when it mimics a conservative language of “family values.” Since the framework of “family” language is implicated in structures of heteronormativity and patriarchy, sexual liberation that plays the “family language” game (...) will be drawn into a narrowing politics of nondiscrimination. Furthermore, argues the author, the right to marry cannot be considered a human right, since it is always bound to local statutes and custom. Therefore, gay and lesbian liberation that seeks truly universalizable principles will do better to not ensnare its struggle in “family values.”. (shrink)
Philosophers on Education provides the most comprehensive history of philosphers' views and impacts on the direction of education, from Plato to Dewey. As Amelie Oksenberg Rorty explains in describing a history of education, we are essentially describing and gaining the clearest understanding of the issues that presently concern and divide us. Philosophical reflection on education has usually been directed to the education of rulers, to those who are presumed to preserve and transmit--or to redirect and transform--the culture of sociey, its (...) knowledge and values. Every historical era is marked by a struggle among claimants to that power. It is only late in the history of liberal democracies that educational policy was formulated for and directed toward autonomous individuals who structure their own lives. The contributors to this collection recognize that history remains actively embedded and expressed in society's beliefs and practices, and that the study of the history of philosophy mandates reflection on its implications for education. The all new essays are written by some of the finest contemporary philosophers: Elizabeth Anderson, Annette C. Baier, Frederick B. Beiser, Eva T. H. Brann, M.F. Burnyeat, William Galston, Daniel Garber, Peter Gay, Alvin I. Goldman, Moshe Halbertal, Tova Hartman Halbertal, Simon Harrison, Barbara Herman, Genevieve Lloyd, Alasdair MacIntyre, Richard W. Miller, Roy P. Mottahedeh, Adam Phillips, Philip L. Quinn, C.D.C. Reeve, Patrick Riley, Amelie Oksenberg Rorty, Emma Rothschild, Alan Ryan, Richard Schacht, Josef Stern, Richard Tuck, Thomas E. Uebel, Jeremy Waldron, Allen Wood, Paul Woodruff, Jean S. Yolton, John W. Yolton, Zhang LoShan (pseudonym). (shrink)
Science and Homosexualities is the first anthology by historians of science to examine European and American scientific research on sexual orientation since the coining of the word "homosexual" almost 150 years ago. This collection is particularly timely given the enormous scientific and popular interest in biological studies of homosexuality, and the importance given such studies in current legal, legislative and cultural debates concerning gay civil rights. However, scientific and popular literature discussing the biology of sexual orientation have been short-sighted in (...) representing it as objective, new scientific work. This volume demonstrates that the quest for the biological "cause" of homosexuality and other sexualities is as old as the term itself. These essays explore the active role experimental subjects played in shaping scientific theories of homosexuality and cultural perceptions of sexuality and sexual identity. Finally this anthology studies the way in which this doctor-patient interaction shaped not only scientific theories of homosexuality, but also cultural perceptions and self-identities as well. Contributors include: Garland E. Allen, Erin G. Carlston, Julian Carter, Alice D. Dreger, Anne Fausto-Sterling, Margaret Gibson, Stephanie Kenen, Hubert Kennedy, Harry Oosterhuis, James Steakley, Richard Pillard, Jennifer Terry. (shrink)
: Although the exclusion of LGBTs from the rites and rights of marriage is arbitrary and unjust, the legal institution of marriage is itself so riddled with injustice that it would be better to create alternative forms of durable intimate partnership that do not invoke the power of the state. Card's essay develops a case for this position, taking up an injustice sufficiently serious to constitute an evil: the sheltering of domestic violence.