In a paper published in this journal we proposed a method for resolving disputed land claims between two parties (Steiner and Wolff: 2003). In essence the proposal is to hold an auction between the disputants in which the land is given to the higher bidder, but the receipts of the auction to the under-bidder. We claimed that under such circumstances both parties can walk away happy: the higher bidder happy to pay the price bid for the land; the under-bidder (...) happier to have the receipts of the auction when the alternative is to pay for the land at a higher price. (shrink)
Professor Steiner addresses the debate between deconstructionism - the 'anarchic' tendency to suppose that 'there are no rational or falsifiable decision-procedures as between a multitude of differing interpretations' of literature - and the established tradition of liberal criticism, which interprets by consensus, by common sense, and by 'a robust and fertile pragmatism'. He argues that if the acts of reading and of aesthetic judgement are to become responsible again to the vital mystery of literature and the arts they must (...) transcend the merely linguistic and pragmatic, and that the first move in this process is one towards the ethical, towards a 'courtesy of heart, not decorous or civil, but inward and moral'. The second, and radical, move is one towards the theological implications of the concepts of meaning and of understanding; it is these, Professor Steiner maintains, which much of modern aesthetics and epistemology have sought to conceal. (shrink)
Surveying a wide range of cultural controversies, from the Mapplethorpe affair to Salman Rushdie's death sentence, from canon-revision in the academy to the scandals that have surrounded Anthony Blunt, Martin Heidegger, and Paul de Man, Wendy Steiner shows that the fear and outrage they inspired are the result of dangerous misunderstanding about the relationship between art and life. "Stimulating. . . . A splendid rebuttal of those on the left and right who think that the pleasures induced by art (...) are trivial or dangerous. . . . One of the most powerful defenses of the potentiality of art."--Andrew Delbanco, New York Times Book Review "A concise and . . . readable account of recent contretemps that have galvanized the debate over the role and purposes of art. . . . [Steiner] writes passionately about what she believes in."--Michiko Kakutani, New York Times "This is one of the few works of cultural criticism that is actually intelligible to the nonspecialist reader. . . . Steiner's perspective is fresh and her perceptions invariably shrewd, far-ranging, and reasonable. A welcome association of sense and sensibility."-- Kirkus Reviews, starred review "Steiner has succeeded so well in [the] task she has undertaken. The Scandal of Pleasure is itself characterized by many of the qualities Steiner demans of art, among them, complexity, tolerance and the pleasures of unfettered thought."--Eleanor Heartly, Art in America "Steiner . . . provides the best and clearest short presentation of each of [the] debates."--Alexander Nehamas, Boston Book Review "Steiner has done a fine job as a historian/reporter and as a writer of sophisticated, very clear, cultural criticism. Her reportage alone would be enough to make this a distinguished book."--Mark Edmundson, Lingua Franca. (shrink)
With characteristic lucidity and style, Steiner makes Heidegger's immensely difficult body of work accessible to the general reader. In a new introduction, Steiner addresses language and philosophy and the rise of Nazism. "It would be hard to imagine a better introduction to the work of philosopher Martin Heidegger."--George Kateb, The New Republic.
This memorandum was prepared by Daniel Steiner, General Counsel to Harvard University on behalf of the President's Office and distributed to the faculty in October, 1980. It reviews recent Harvard policy with regard to patents and technology transfer. Spurred by recombinant DNA research, at Harvard and elsewhere, benefits and pitfalls of the University's participation as a minor shareholder in a company engaged in research and development are identified. The author notes that The memorandum has benefited from numerous discussions with (...) members of the faculty and administration and in particular from the comments of President (Derek) Bok and Dean (Henry) Rosovsky. (shrink)
I shall formulate and motivate a left-libertarian theory of justice. Like the more familiar rightlibertarianism, it holds that agents initially fully own themselves. Unlike right-libertarianism, it holds that natural resources belong to everyone in some egalitarian manner. Left-libertarianism is, I claim, a plausible version of liberal egalitarianism because it is suitably sensitive to considerations of liberty, security, and equality.
Over the past few decades, there has been increasing interest in left-libertarianism, which holds (roughly) that agents fully own themselves and that natural resources (land, minerals, air, etc.) belong to everyone in some egalitarian sense. Left-libertarianism agrees with the more familiar right-libertarianism about self-ownership, but radically disagrees with it about the power to acquire ownership of natural resources. Merely being the first person to claim, discover, or mix labor with an unappropriated natural resource does not—left-libertarianism insists—generate a full private property (...) right in that natural resource. (shrink)
Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics, Wittgenstein, despite his official 'mathematical nonrevisionism', slips into attempting to refute Gödel's theorem. Actually, Wittgenstein could have used Gödel's theorem to good effect, to support his view that proof, and even truth, are 'family resemblance' concepts. The reason that Wittgenstein did not see all this is that Gödel's theorem had become an icon of mathematical realism, and he was blinded by his own ideology. The essay is a reply to Juliet Floyd's work on Gödel: (...) what she says Wittgenstein said, I say he should have said, but didn't (couldn't). (shrink)
Justice and Libertarianism The term ‘justice’ is commonly used in several different ways. Sometimes it designates the moral permissibility of political structures (such as legal systems). Sometimes it designates moral fairness (as opposed to efficiency or other considerations that are relevant to moral permissibility). Sometimes it designates legitimacy in the sense of it being morally impermissible for others to interfere forcibly with the act or omission (e.g., my failing to go to dinner with my mother may be wrong but nonetheless (...) legitimate). Finally, sometimes it designates what we owe each other in the sense of respecting everyone’s rights. Of course, these notions are closely related. What we owe each other may, but need not, be partly based on issues of fairness. Legitimacy and permissibility of political structures are largely, but perhaps not entirely, determined by what rights of non-interference individuals have. Nonetheless, these are distinct notions and we shall focus only on what we owe each other. Justice as what we owe each other is not concerned with impersonal duties (duties owed to no one, i.e., that do not correspond to anyone’s rights). If there are impersonal duties, then something can be just but nonetheless morally impermissible. For brevity, we shall often write of actions being permissible or agents having a moral liberty, but this should always be understood in the interpersonal sense of violating no one’s rights. Libertarianism is sometimes advocated as a derivative set of rules (e.g., derived from rule utilitarian or contractarian doctrines). Here, however, we reserve the term for the natural rights doctrine that agents initially fully own themselves. Agents are full self-owners just in case they own themselves in precisely the same way that they can fully own inanimate objects. Stated slightly differently, full self-owners own themselves in the same way that a full chattel-slaveowner owns a slave. Throughout, we are concerned with moral ownership and not legal ownership.. (shrink)
In a recent review essay of a two volume anthology on left-libertarianism (edited by two of us), Barbara Fried has insightfully laid out most of the core issues that confront left-libertarianism. We are each left-libertarians, and we would like to take this opportunity to address some of the general issues that she raises. We shall focus, as Fried does much of the time, on the question of whether left-libertarianism is a well-defined and distinct alternative to existing forms of liberal egalitarianism. (...) More specifically, we shall address the following fundamental issues raised by Fried (and others): (1) Does the notion self-ownership have any determinate content? (2) What is the relation between self-ownership and world ownership? (3) How is left-libertarianism different from other forms of liberal egalitarianism (e.g., those of Rawls and Dworkin)? (shrink)
During the course of about ten years, Wittgenstein revised some of his most basic views in philosophy of mathematics, for example that a mathematical theorem can have only one proof. This essay argues that these changes are rooted in his growing belief that mathematical theorems are ‘internally’ connected to their canonical applications, i.e. , that mathematical theorems are ‘hardened’ empirical regularities, upon which the former are supervenient. The central role Wittgenstein increasingly assigns to empirical regularities had profound implications for all (...) of his later philosophy; some of these implications (particularly to rule following) are addressed in the essay. (shrink)
Discussions of the applicability of mathematics in the natural sciences have been flawed by failure to realize that there are multiple senses in which mathematics can be ‘applied’ and, correspondingly, multiple problems that stem from the applicability of mathematics. I discuss semantic, metaphysical, descriptive, and and epistemological problems of mathematical applicability, dwelling on Frege's contribution to the solution of the first two types. As for the remaining problems, I discuss the contributions of Hartry Field and Eugene Wigner. Finally, I argue (...) that there are epistemological problems concerning the applicability of mathematics that nobody in the philosophical community has yet confronted, though the problems are well known to physicists. (shrink)
Edited by leading contributors to the literature, Freedom: An Anthology is the most complete anthology on social, political and economic freedom ever compiled. Offers a broad guide to the vast literature on social, political and economic freedom. Contains selections from the best scholarship of recent decades as well as classic writings from Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and Kant among others. General and sectional introductions help to orient the reader. Compiled and edited by three important contributors to the field.
The term “social cognition” can be construed in different ways. On the one hand, it can refer to the cognitive faculties involved in social activities, defined simply as situations where two or more individuals interact. On this view, social systems would consist of interactions between autonomous individuals; these interactions form higher-level autonomous domains not reducible to individual actions. A contrasting, alternative view is based on a much stronger theoretical definition of a truly social domain, which is always defined by a (...) set of structural norms; moreover, these social structures are not only a set of constraints, but actually constitute the possibility of enacting worlds that would just not exist without them. This view emphasises the heteronomy of individuals who abide by norms that are impersonal, culturally inherited and to a large extent independent of the individuals. Human beings are socialised through and through; consequently, all human cognition is social cognition. The article argues for this second position. Finally, it appears that fully blown autonomy actually requires heteronomy. It is the acceptance of the constraints of social structures that enables individuals to enter new realms of common meaningfulness. The emergence of social life marks a crucial step in the evolution of cognition; so that at some evolutionary point human cognition cannot but be social cognition. (shrink)
This essay challenges the coherence of arguments brought in support of prohibiting the sale of human body parts. Considerations of neither social utility nor individual rights nor avoidance of exploitation seem sufficient to ground such a prohibition. Indeed, they may be sufficient to invalidate it.
The Global Fund is a mechanism for the global application of the Left Libertarian conception of distributive justice. As a form of luck egalitarianism, this conception confers upon each person an entitlement to an equal share of all natural resource values, since natural resources - broadly, geographical sites - are objects for the production of which no person is responsible. Owners of these sites, i.e. states, are liable to a 100% Global Fund tax on their unimproved value: that is, their (...) gross market value minus the value of the improvements added to them by human effort. It is argued that the revenue yielded by this tax would be correspondingly reduced by a further tax on the use of natural resources. (shrink)
RÉSUMÉ: Cet article part des réflexions sur l'économie politique que Michel Foucault a présentées lors de ses cours au Collège de France dans les années 1977-1979 pour mettre en évidence l'originalité de sa réflexion sur le marché, entendu comme dispositif social de gouvernement des individus en vue d'assurer la sécurité des populations. Dans la deuxième partie, l'article propose un rapprochement de cette réflexion foucaldienne sur l'économie et celle de Max Weber en montrant que les techniques de soí développées par Foucault (...) sont des «méthodiques» et des formes de conduites de vie proches de cellesque Weber a étudiées, notamment dans ses travaux de sociologie de la religion. L'ensemble permet de dégager les pistes d'une histoire, encore inachevée, du comportement économique entendu comme une forme d'ascèse.ABSTRACT: This article deals with Michel Foucault's 1977-79 lectures on political economy. In the first part, we highlight his views on the market, which is equated to a social device instrumental in governing individuals so that they are induced to allow the ruler to reach his goal, which is providing security to the population. In the second part, we consider together Foucault's and Weber's views on the economy, since Foucault's concept of technique of the self is similar to Weber's concept of life conduct, which is central in his sociology of religion. This opens the way to a history of the modern economic behaviour considered as a form of ascetism. (shrink)
Philippe Van Parijs has argued that, in a globalizing economy, acquiring a second language, additional to one's native language, is more necessary for some persons than others and that this asymmetric bilingualism is a form of injustice which should be rectified by a more equitable global sharing of the costs of second-language acquisition. This article responds by suggesting that (1) since native languages have geographic locations, and (2) since locations with less globally useful native languages thereby sustain lowered living (...) costs, then (3) the costs which persons incur, in acquiring a second, more globally useful language, may already be offset by the lower costs they incur by virtue of their living in a location with a less globally useful native language. Hence, theories of justice (such as Van Parijs's) that require the egalitarian redistribution of locational values would impose, rather than remedy, an injustice by redistributing second-language-acquisition costs. Key Words: distributive justice global redistribution linguistic assets locational values Philippe Van Parijs. (shrink)
Jean-Guillaume-César-Alexandre-Hippolyte de Colins (1783-1859), a Belgian baron who lived mainly in Paris, sought to develop a position—rational socialism—intermediate between the extremes of full capitalism (with only private property) and full communism (with only collective property). All persons fully own themselves and the artifactual wealth that they produce, and they are entitled to an equal share of the natural resources and of the assets inherited from previous generations. Gifts and bequests are to be subject to heavy taxation (although at less than (...) 100% of their value, for efficiency reasons). Natural resources are subject to a rent-tax. A warning about the following reading: Colins writes in many places as if he held that an unrestricted right to make gifts and bequests is both necessary for efficient social functioning and required by justice. His ultimate view, however, is that efficient social functioning requires only some kind of weak (partially restricted) right to make gifts and bequest, and that justice does not require any such right. More specifically, he holds that justice requires that gifts and bequests be taxed as much as compatible with efficient social functioning. (shrink)
Léon Walras (1834-1910), a French-born economist working in Switzerland, was one of the founders of mathematical economics (and of marginal utility theory and equilibrium analysis in particular). He here defends self-ownership and collective ownership of the rent from natural resources.
Volterra's (1926) equations for competition and predator-prey interactions are modified by introduction of root terms. A critical comparison with the original equations shows that the dynamic properties of the systems remain essentially alike, while the modification allows for explicit solution of the differential equations. Detailed solutions and numerical examples are given.
The prevailing normative model of contemporary journalism, drawn primarily from a liberal enlightenment tradition emphasizing universal notions of rights, contributes to what many perceive as a crisis in contemporary journalism; at the least, Kantian models are too "thin" to provide an adequate ethical standard. We consider the extent to which an ethic of care, reconceived to address weaknesses identified in recent scholarly critiques, provides journalists with an alternative framework for moral decision making. We use the concept of unequal ethical pull (...) to rework caring and to promote caring for distant others because caring that remains at the personal level is inadequate as a moral value. We conclude by noting that public journalism and our retooled ethic of care share several important ideals. We suggest a program of mutually beneficial exploration, one that might help today's journalists cultivate the virtue of care as they work toward justice. (shrink)
This paper postulates that the proper function of tort law is to provide protection from, and redress of, non-consensual invasions of individual rights of person and property. It then proceeds to analyze and criticize, in that context, several theories of the law of unintentional torts including traditional English negligence law and the models of Posner, Fletcher and Epstein. That analysis proceeds in terms of the answers of each theory to a uniform set of questions which must be answered by any (...) theory of the law of unintentional harms. The paper concludes that none of the theories examined is rights-based or, indeed, consistent with the existence of individual rights of person and property.The paper goes on to elucidate a theory of liability which is rights-based. That theory turns out to be variant of traditional English negligence law in which reasonable foreseeability of harm to legally recognized rights or interests is the sole criterion of liability, the burden of precautions on the agent of the harm being explicitly excluded from consideration. (shrink)
Individual and institutional conflict of interests in biomedical research have becomes matters of increasing concern in recent years. In the United States, the growth in relationships — sponsored research agreements, consultancies, memberships on boards, licensing agreements, and equity ownership — between for-profit corporations and research universities and their scientists has made the problem of conflicts, particularly financial conflicts, more acute. Conflicts can interfere with or compromise important principles and obligations of researchers and their institutions, e.g., adherence to accepted research norms, (...) duty of care to patients, and open exchange of information. Disclosure is a key component of a successful conflict policy. Commitments which conflict with a faculty member's primary obligations to teaching, research, administrative responsibilities, or patient care also need attention. Institutional conflict of interests present different problems, some of which are discussed in an analysis of an actual problem posed by two proposed clinical trials. (shrink)
J’analyse dans cet article la notion d’Arrière-plan teile qu’elle a été développée par John Searle en philosophie de I’esprit depuis une vingtaine d’années. Cette notion désigne, largement, I’ensemble des capacités mentales non-représentationnelles au moyen desquelles les représentations mentales peuvent avoir un contenu sémantique déterminé et être appliquées. Je tente de montrer que, bienqu’originale et pertinente, cette notion, telle qu’elle est caractérisée par Searle, est tout à fait insuffisante pour remplir ses desseins descriptifs et explicatifs. Je m’efforce alors de penser I’Arrière-plan (...) dans une perspective externaliste et à partir d’un point de vue (minimalement) représentationnaliste.This article analyzes the notion ofbackground capacities as developed by John Searle during the last twenty years in philosophy of mind. Broadly construed, this notion designates non-representational mental capacities as the means by which mental representations are given a precise semantic content and thus are able to be expressed. Though novel and relevant, I intend to show that, according to Searle’s description, this notion proves inadequate to attain its descriptive and explicative goals. I go on to regard background capacities in aperspective both externalist and (minimally) representationalist. (shrink)
The compelling ethical legacy of Clifford Christians's and his profound commitment to moral action is enriched by his engagement with universal proto-norms, values that order all human relationships and institutions and so bypass the divisiveness of appeals to individual rights, cultural practices, or national prerogatives. According to Christians, the primal sacredness of life establishes mutual respect as a basis for ethics and thus constitutes the premier proto-norm; our obligation to sustain one another defines human existence. Entailed by the sacredness of (...) life are other basic ethical values, such as truth, human dignity, and non-violence. This essay considers whether generating all ethics from such universals has downsides and whether the ethics derived from this “primordial generality” produces the maximal ethics required by a complex, modern world. (shrink)
François Huet (1814-1869), a French philosopher, sought to reconcile the principles of Christianity with those of socialism. He argues that each person is entitled to the wealth he/she produces and to an equal share of the wealth from natural resources and from artifacts inherited from previous generations. Unlike Colins, Huet holds that agents have the right to give and bequeath wealth that they have created, but no such right with respect to wealth they inherited or received as a gift. (This (...) view was later endorsed and modified by Rignano.). (shrink)
Through much of his career, Descartes seems confident that he will be able to place medicine on a solid metaphysical foundation and perhaps even succeed in prolonging human life indefinitely. And yet Descartes never develops medicine as a systematic discipline. His failure to do so is inextricably bound up with his increasing focus on the substantial union of mind and body and his increasing awareness of the ultimate irreducibility of the world of sensory phenomena to clear and distinct insight. To (...) the end, Descartes’s thought exhibits an irreducible tension between mind-body dualism, with its denigration of embodied experience, and a vague anticipation of the limits of dualism and the need to develop a unified conception of embodied experience. (shrink)
A basic model of hierarchical structure, expressed by simple, linear differential equations, shows that the pattern of population growth is essentially determined by conditions of redundancy in the sub-structure of individuals. There does not exist any possible combination between growth rate and accident rate that could balance population numbers and/or the level of redundancy within the population; all possible combinations either lead to extinction or to positive population growth with a decline of the fraction of individuals with redundant substructure. Declining (...) populations, however, can be held fluctuating between certain limits by periodic phases of sub-unit repair. These results are particularly pertinent to the population dynamics of diploid (polyploid) organisms. (shrink)
A polymath and author of dozens of books including The Death of Tragedy, After Babel and In Bluebeard's Castle examines two thousand years of Western culture, philosophy and literature and discusses how great thought and great style are ...
Vanderbilt University, Dept of Political Science, Nashville, TN, USA Recent attempts by American theorists to produce a radical politics, characterized by the effort to translate the insights of Continental philosophy into a political register, remain trapped in that which they purport to transcend: the metaphysics of subjectivity. In their essential determinations, the works of William Connolly, Stephen White, Richard Ashley, etc. remain firmly anchored in a traditional liberal schema. The reason for this is that while these efforts have sought to (...) de-center political identity by exposing its relational character they have not re-thought 'rela tionality' itself. Our attempt to develop the more profound political impli cations of 'relationality' unfolds through a synthetic explication of Martin Heidegger's analysis of language, Jacques Derrida's logic of the gift, and Emmanuel Levinas' consideration of the Other. The emergent thematic of asymmetrical relationality reconfigures liberalism and provides for a rethinking of the structure of welfare. Key Words: William Connolly • . Jacques Derrida • . gift • . Martin Heidegger • - Emmanuel Levinas • - liberalism • - Other • - relationality • - welfare • - Stephen White. (shrink)