The essays in this volume critically analyze and revitalize agrarian philosophy by tracing its evolution in the classical American philosophy of key figures such as Franklin, Jefferson, Emerson, Thoreau, Dewey, and Royce.
Ecological feminism (or ecofeminism) and feminist bioethics seem to have much in common. They share certain methodological and epistemological concerns, offer similar challenges to traditional philosophy, and take up a number of the same practical issues. The two disciplines have thus far had little or no direct interaction; this is one attempt to begin some conversation and perhaps stimulate some cross-pollination of ideas. The email dialogue engaged an active ecofeminist scholar, Karen Warren, and an active feminist bioethicist, Hilde Nelson, (...) in an exchange of ideas. Jessica Pierce, whose research cuts between environmental philosophy and bioethics, served as moderator. (shrink)
In this essay, I respond to Tim Lewens's proposal that realists and Strong Programme theorists can find common ground in reliabilism. I agree with Lewens, but point to difficulties in his argument. Chief among these is his assumption that reliabilism is incompatible with the Strong Programme's principle of symmetry. I argue that the two are, in fact, compatible, and that Lewens misses this fact because he wrongly supposes that reliabilism entails naturalism. The Strong Programme can fully accommodate a reliabilism which (...) has been freed from its inessential ties to naturalism. Unlike naturalistic epistemologists, the Strong Programme's sociologistic reliabilist insists that all scientific facts are the product of both natural and social causal phenomena. Anticipating objections, I draw on Wittgenstein's rule-following considerations to explain how the sociologistic reliabilist can account for standard intuitions about the objective elements of knowledge. I also explain how the Strong Programme theorist can distinguish between a belief's seeming reliable and its being reliable. Ich setzte den Fu in die Luft, und sie trug. (Hilde Domin). (shrink)
: The feminist ethic of care has often been criticized for its inability to address four problems--the problem of exploitation as it threatens care givers, the problem of sustaining care-giver integrity, the dangers of conceiving the mother-child dyad normatively as a paradigm for human relationships, and the problem of securing social justice on a broad scale among relative strangers. We argue that there are resources within the ethic of care for addressing each of these problems, and we sketch strategies for (...) developing the ethic more fully. (shrink)
Current efforts to think holistically about mental disorder may be assisted by considering the integrative strategies used by Hildegard of Bingen, a twelfth-century abbess and healer. We search for integrative strategies in the detailed records of Hilde-gard’s treatment of the noblewoman Sigewiza and in Hildegard’s more general writings. Three strategies support Hildegard’s holistic thinking: the use of narrative approaches to mental illness, acknowledging interdependence between perspectives, and applying principles of balance to the relationships between perspectives. Applying these three strategies (...) to the present-day conceptualization and treatment of mental disorder could move us toward a more thoroughly integrated understanding of the field. (shrink)
Girls learn the lesson of cognitive deference most clearly, perhaps, growing up in patriarchal families. Taught to discount their own judgments and to depend on those of the family's dominant men, they lose self-trust and cannot take themselves seriously as moral deliberators. I argue that through the telling of counterstories, which undermine normative stories of oppression, it is sometimes possible for women to reclaim these families as places where they have cognitive authority.
Surrogate motherhood-at least if carefully structured to protect the interests of the women involved-seems defensible along standard liberal lines which place great stress on free agreements as moral bedrocks. But feminist theories have tended to be suspicious about the importance assigned to this notion by mainstream ethics, and in this paper, we develop implications of those suspicions for surrogacy. We argue that the practice is inconsistent with duties parents owe to children and that it compromises the freedom of surrogates to (...) perform their share of those duties. Standard liberal perspectives tend to be insensitive to such considerations; we propose a view which takes more seriously the moral importance of the causal relationship between parents and children, and which therefore illuminates rather than obscures the stake that women and children have in surrogacy. (shrink)
I introduce the notion of the counterstory: a story that contributes to the moral self-definition of its teller by undermining a dominant story, undoing it and retelling it in such a way as to invite new interpretations and conclusions. Counterstories can be told anywhere, but particularly when told within chosen communities, they permit their tellers to reenter, as full citizens, the communities of place whose goods have been only imperfectly available to its marginalized members.
In this essay I examine Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer prizewinning play, Wit, to explore the numerous connections drawn there between damage to bodies and damage to identities. In the course of this exploration I aim to get clearer about the kinds of illness, injury, or medical interventions that damage patients’ identities; how the damage is inflicted; and what might be done to repair identities that have been damaged in these ways. I argue that just as bodily illness and injury can damage (...) the identity-constituting narratives by which we understand ourselves and others, so too (as the play demonstrates) injurious identity-constituting narratives can result in bodily harm. Because identities are narrative constructions, the damage inflicted on them requires narrative repair. The defective stories must be uprooted and replaced, but the success of the repair depends on both the soundness of the replacement story and the willingness of others to take up the new story. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Acknowledgements -- Disrupting the Impression of Stability in the Gender-Technology Relation -- Changing Images of Computers and its Users since 1980 -- Discursive Developments Within Computer Education -- Variations in Gender-ICT Relations Among Male and Female Computer Students -- Stories About Individual Change and Transformation -- Layered Meanings and Differences Within -- Is there an Elsewhere? -- References -- Endnotes -- Index.
Narratives have always played a prominent role in both bioethics and medicine; the fields have attracted much storytelling, ranging from great literature to humbler stories of sickness and personal histories. And all bioethicists work with cases--from court cases that shape policy matters to case studies that chronicle sickness. But how useful are these various narratives for sorting out moral matters? What kind of ethical work can stories do--and what are the limits to this work? The new essays in Stories and (...) Their Limits offer insightful reflections on the relationship between narratives and ethics. (shrink)
Medicine and families, two venerable institutions crucial to human well-being, are in crisis. The medical profession, struggling to control and equitably distribute care, finds itself compromised by its own success; families are shattered by divorce, violence and confusion about their own nature. What has gone unnoticed is the way these two powerful and pervasive spheres contribute to each other's loss of direction. The Patient in the Family diagnoses the ways in which the worlds of home and hospital misunderstand each other. (...) The authors explore how medicine, through its new reproductive technologies, is altering the structure of families, how families can participate more fully in medical decision-making, and how to understand the impact on families when medical advances extend life but not vitality . This book takes an unprecedented perspective on both institutions. Innovative and vivid, their stories tell the tales of families interacting with the medical establishment. (shrink)
Introduction -- Value theory : the nature of the good life -- Epicurus letter to Menoeceus -- John Stuart Mill, Hedonism -- Aldous Huxley, Brave new world -- Robert Nozick, The experience machine -- Richard Taylor, The meaning of life -- Jean Kazez, Necessities -- Normative ethics : theories of right conduct -- J.J.C. Smart, Eextreme and restricted utilitarianism -- Immanuel Kant the good will & the categorical imperative -- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan -- Philippa Foot, Natural goodness -- Aristotle, Nicomachean (...) ethics -- W.D. Ross, What makes right acts right? -- Hilde Lindemann, What is feminist ethics? -- Metaethics : the status of morality -- David Hume, Moral distinctions not derived from reason -- J.L. Mackie, The subjectivity of values -- Gilbert Harman, Ethics and observation -- Mary Midgley, Trying out one's new sword -- Michael Smith, Rrealism -- Renford Bambrough, Pproof -- Moral problems -- Peter Singe, The Singer solution to world poverty -- Heidi Malm, Paid surrogacy: arguments and responses -- Ronald Dworkin, Playing God : genes, clones, and luck -- James Rachels, The morality of euthanasia -- John Harris, The survival lottery -- Peter Singer, Unsanctifying human life -- William F. Baxter, People or penguins : the case for optimal pollution -- Judith Jarvis, Tthomson a defense of abortion -- Don Marquis, Why abortion is immoral -- Jonathan Bennett, The conscience of Huckleberry Finn -- Michael Walzer, Terrorism : a critique of excuses -- David Luban, Liberalism, torture, and the ticking bomb -- Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham City Jail -- Igor Primoratz, Justifying legal punishment -- Stephen Nathanson, An eye for an eye -- Michael Huemer, America's unjust drug war -- John Corvino, Why shouldn't Tommy and Jimmy have sex? : a defense of homosexuality -- Bonnie Steinbock, Adultery -- Hugh Lafollette, Licensing parents -- Jane English, What do grown children owe their parents? (shrink)
All conceptions of equal opportunity draw on some distinction between morally justified and unjustified inequalities. We discuss how this distinction varies across a range of philosophical positions. We find that these positions often advance equality of opportunity in tandem with distributive principles based on merit, desert, consequentialist criteria or individuals' responsibility for outcomes. The result of this amalgam of principles is a festering controversy that unnecessarily diminishes the widespread acceptability of opportunity concerns. We therefore propose to restore the conceptual separation (...) of opportunity principles concerning unjustified inequalities from distributive principles concerning justifiable inequalities. On this view, equal opportunity implies that that morally irrelevant factors should engender no differences in individuals' attainment, while remaining silent on inequalities due to morally relevant factors. We examine this idea by introducing the principle of ‘opportunity dominance' and explore in a simple application to what extent this principle may help us arbitrate between opposing distributive principles. We also compare this principle to the selection rules developed by John Roemer and Dirk Van de Gaer. (shrink)
This article challenges the general thesis that an unconditional basic income, set at the highest sustainable level, is required for maximizing the income-leisure opportunities of the least advantaged, when income varies according to the responsible factor of labor input. In a linear optimal taxation model (of a type suggested by Vandenbroucke 2001) in which opportunities depend only on individual productivity, adding the instrument of a uniform wage subsidy generates an array of undominated policies besides the basic income maximizing policy, including (...) a “zero basic income” policy which equalizes the post-tax wage rate. The choice among such undominated policies may be guided by distinct normative criteria which supplement the maximin objective in various ways. It is shown that most of these criteria will be compatible with, or actually select, the zero basic income policy and reject the basic income maximizing one. In view of the model's limited realism, the force of this main conclusion is discussed both in relation to Van Parijs' argument for basic income in Real Freedom for All (1995) and to some key empirical conditions in the real world. Footnotes1 I am grateful for useful comments on various stages of this paper by Marc Fleurbaey, Susan Hurley, Mathias Hild, Dirk Van de gaer, Frank Vandenbroucke, Alex Voorhoeve, Roland van der Veen, Andrew Williams, Chris Woodard and an anonymous referee. Above all I thank Loek Groot for his contribution. The research has also been supported by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), and the Social and Political Theory Program of the Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University. (shrink)
Consider a group of people whose preferences satisfy the axioms of one of the current versions of utility theory, such as von Neumann-Morgenstern (1944), Savage (1954), or Bolker-Jeﬀrey (1965). There are political and economic contexts in which it is of interest to ﬁnd ways of aggregating these individual preferences into a group preference ranking. The question then arises of whether methods of aggregation exist in which the group’s preferences also satisfy the axioms of the chosen utility theory, and in which (...) at the same time the aggregation process satisﬁes certain plausible conditions (e.g., the Pareto conditions below). (shrink)
Ranking theory delivers an account of iterated contraction; each ranking function induces a specific iterated contraction behavior. The paper shows how to reconstruct a ranking function from its iterated contraction behavior uniquely up to multiplicative constant and thus how to measure ranks on a ratio scale. Thereby, it also shows how to completely axiomatize that behavior. The complete set of laws of iterated contraction it specifies amend the laws hitherto discussed in the literature.
The scope of Aumann’s (1976) Agreement Theorem is needlessly limited by its restriction to Conditioning as the update rule. Here we prove the theorem in a more comprehensive framework, in which the evolution of probabilities is represented directly, without deriving new probabilities from new certainties. The framework allows arbitrary update rules subject only to Goldstein’s (1983) requirement that current expectations agree with current expectations of future expectations.