Iain McGilchrist, The master and his emissary: the divided brain and the making of the Western world (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2010) Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 119-124 DOI 10.1007/s11097-011-9235-x Authors Rupert Read, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK Journal Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences Online ISSN 1572-8676 Print ISSN 1568-7759 Journal Volume Volume 11 Journal Issue Volume 11, Number 1.
The consent theory of power, whereby ruling elites depend ultimately on the submission, cooperation and obedience of the governed as their source of power, is often linked to debates about the effectiveness of non-violent political action. According to this theory, ruling elites depend ultimately on the submission, cooperation and obedience of the governed as their source of power. If this cooperation is with-drawn, then this power is undermined. Iain Atack outlines this theory and examines its strengths and weaknesses. Atack (...) argues that incorporating the insights of other theories of power, such as Gramsci's theory of hegemony and Foucault's views on 'micro-power', can provide us with a more sophisticated understanding of both the effectiveness and the limits of nonviolent political action than the consent theory of power. Gramsci's contribution deepens the analysis in terms of our understanding of the origins of individual consent in the context of larger economic and political structures, while Foucault adds a different dimension, in that his micro-approach emphasizes the ubiquity and plurality of power, rather than its embodiment or reification in large-scale structures. (shrink)
Iain I remember reading Thomas Jefferson in high school; he wrote so eloquently about our human need for freedom that I got choked up just reading him. When I found out he'd had slaves I was stunned, traumatized intellectually, but I lacked the resources to work through it very far at the time. Reading Heidegger a few years later I had a similar experience, only magnified and more complicated. As I read Heidegger's later work in Hubert Dreyfus's wonderful (...) "later Heidegger" course at UC Berkeley, I had that strange experience Emerson describes as our own ideas returning to us with "alienated majesty"; here, I thought, was someone who had eloquently expressed ideas that I felt were at the core of my own thinking but that I had never managed to articulate adequately. I was deeply moved by Heidegger's critique of our increasingly nihilistic treatment of our world and each other as meaningless resources to be optimized and I was inspired by his vision of poetic thinking as a way out of this historical nihilism. Then I found out he'd been a Nazi. (I think Dreyfus did not drop that bomb until half-way through the semester.) I was intellectually traumatized once again. But this time I didn't let the question go: How could the greatest thinker of the twentieth century have thrown the weight of his thinking behind its most horrible political regime? That's something I've been struggling with for almost twenty years now. (It is perhaps not so surprising that this question would fascinate me, given that I was raised by a politician and a forensic psychiatrist.) I believe I made some real progress in understanding this difficult and controversial issue in Heidegger on Ontotheology: Technology and the Politics of Education , and I hope to disseminate the view I presented there to a broader audience in a book I'm working on now, an intellectual biography of Heidegger. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction. Fortune and the prepared mind Iain Morley and Mark de Rond; 1. The stratigraphy of serendipity Susan E. Alcock; 2. Understanding humans - serendipity and anthropology Richard Leakey; 3. HIV and the naked ape Robin Weiss; 4. Cosmological serendipity Simon Singh; 5. Serendipity in astronomy Andrew C. Fabian; 6. Serendipity in physics Richard Friend; 7. Liberalism and uncertainty Oliver Letwin; 8. The unanticipated pleasures of the writing life Simon Winchester.
Culture After Humanism asks what happens to the authority of traditional Western modes of thought in the wake of postcolonial theory. Iain Chambers investigates moments of tension, interruptions which transform our perception of the world and test the limits of language, art and technology. In a series of interlinked discussions, ranging in focus from Susan Sontag's novel The Volcano Lover to the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, Jimi Hendrix and Baroque architecture and music, Chambers weaves together a critique of Western (...) humanism, exploring issues of colonization and migration, language and identity. Culture After Humanism offers a new approach to cultural history, a 'post-humanist' perspective which challenges our sense of a world in which the subject is sovereign language, the transparent medium of its agency, and truth, the product of reason. (shrink)
Iain Thomson's critique is persuasive on several points but not on the major issue, the relation of the ontological to the ontic in Heidegger's philosophy of technology. This reply attempts to show that these two dimensions of Heidegger's theory are closely related, at least in the technological domain, and not separate, as Thomson affirms. It is argued that Heidegger's evaluations of particular technologies, the flaws of which Thomson concedes, proceed from a flawed ontological conception.
Motivated by Lord Joffe’s Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill, but with one eye on any possible future legislation, I consider the justifications that might be offered for limiting assistance in dying to those who are suffering unbearably from terminal illness. I argue that the terminal illness criterion and the unbearable suffering criterion are not morally defensible separately: that a person need be neither terminally ill (or ill at all), nor suffering unbearably (or suffering at all) to have a (...) right to assisted dying. Indeed: I shall suggest that the unbearable suffering criterion undermines the Bill (or any proposal like it) wholesale. On the other hand, the criteria taken together are defensible, and this defence would be built on a concern for the protection of the vulnerable. However, I also claim that this implies that the law might justifiably—and maybe even properly—aim to prevent a person from gaining access to that to which they have a serious moral right. This seems paradoxical, and, towards the end of the paper, I seek to tease apart the paradox. (shrink)
The aim of this inquiry is to investigate Heidegger's ontology of technology. We will show that this ontology is aporetic. In Heidegger's key technical essays, “The question concerning technology” and its earlier versions “Enframing” and “The danger”, enframing is described as the ontological basis of modern life. But the account of enframing is ambiguous. Sometimes it is described as totally binding and at other times it appears to allow for exceptions. This oscillation between, what we will call total enframing and (...) partial enframing, is underscored in the work of two influential scholars of Heidegger's later thought, Hubert Dreyfus and Iain Thomson. We will show that like Heidegger, Dreyfus and Thomson unwittingly perpetuate this dilemma that ultimately covers up the aporetic structure of enframing. (shrink)
Andrew Feenberg?s most recent contribution to the critical theory of technology, Questioning Technology , is best understood as a synthesis and extension of the critiques of technology developed by Heidegger and Marcuse. By thus situating Feenberg?s endeavor to articulate and preserve a meaningful sense of agency in our increasingly technologized lifeworld, I show that some of the deepest tensions in Heidegger and Marcuse?s relation re-emerge within Feenberg?s own critical theory. Most significant here is the fact that Feenberg, following Marcuse, exaggerates (...) Heidegger?s ?fatalism? about technology. I contend that this mistake stems from Feenberg?s false ascription of a technological ?essentialismfito Heidegger. Correcting this and several related problems, I reconstruct Feenberg?s ?radical democraticEfficacyll for a counter-hegemonic democratization of technological design, arguing that although this timely and important project takes its inspiration from Marcuse, in the end Feenberg remains closer to Heidegger than his Marcuseanism allows him to acknowledge. (shrink)
This paper investigates the stock market reaction to the announcement that a firm has been included in the UK FTSE4Good index of socially responsible firms. We use the announcement of firm inclusion in the index to estimate the stock market reaction to a firm being classified as socially responsible. This is an important test of whether investors view the undertaking of socially responsible activities by firms as a value increasing or value decreasing initiative by management. We do not find strong (...) evidence in favour of a positive market reaction. However, there is a large cross-sectional variation in the market reaction to this announcement. Investors appear to be reacting to this event and there are a number of firm characteristics that are well-established proxies for CSR that can explain the market reaction. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Notes on contributors; Introduction; Acknowledgements; Method of citation and bibliography of Heidegger's works; Part I. Interpreting Heidegger's Philosophy: 1. Heidegger's hermeneutics: towards a new practice of understanding Holger Zaborowski; 2. Facticity and Ereignis Thomas Sheehan; 3. The null basis-being of a nullity, or between two nothings - Heidegger's uncanniness Simon Critchley; 4. Freedom Charles Guignon; 5. Ontotheology Iain Thomson; Part II. Interpreting Heidegger's Interpretation: 6. Being at the beginning: Heidegger's interpretation of Heraclitus Daniel O. Dahlstrom; (...) 7. Being-affected: Heidegger, Aristotle, and the pathology of truth Josh Hayes; 8. Heidegger's interpretation of Kant Stephan Ka;ufer; 9. The death of God and the life of being: Heidegger's confrontation with Nietzsche Tracy Colony; 10. Heidegger's poetics of relationality Andrew Mitchell; Part III. Interpreting Heidegger's Critics: 11. Analyzing Heidegger: a history of analytic reactions to Heidegger Lee Braver; 12. Le;vinas and Heidegger: a strange conversation Wayne Froman; 13. Derrida's reading of Heidegger Françoise Dastur. (shrink)
This paper examines recent attempts to defend Rule-Consequentialism against a traditional objection. That objection takes the form of a dilemma, that either Rule-Consequentialism collapses into Act-Consequentialism or it is incoherent. Attempts to avoid this dilemma based on the idea that using RC has better results than using AC are rejected on the grounds that they conflate the ideas of a criterion of rightness and a decision procedure. Other strategies, Brad Hooker's prominent amongst them, involving the thought that RC need contain (...) no overarching concern to maximize the good are acknowledged to avoid the original dilemma, but lead to further problems of motivating and justifying RC in the absence of such a concern. The paper argues that Hooker's attempt to deal with these problems by using a 'Reflective Equilibrium plus method is unsuccessful. (shrink)
John Harris has previously proposed that there is a moral duty to participate in scientific research. This concept has recently been challenged by Iain Brassington, who asserts that the principles cited by Harris in support of the duty to research fail to establish its existence. In this paper we address these criticisms and provide new arguments for the existence of a moral obligation to research participation. This obligation, we argue, arises from two separate but related principles. The principle of (...) fairness obliges us to support the social institutions which sustain us, of which research is one; while the principle of beneficence, or the duty of rescue, imposes upon us a duty to prevent harm to others, including by supporting potentially beneficial, even life-saving research. We argue that both these lines of argument support the duty to research, and explore further aspects of this duty, such as to whom it is owed and how it might be discharged. (shrink)
This is a case study investigating the growth of fair trade pioneer, Cafédirect. We explore the growth of the company and develop strategic insights on how Cafédirect has attained its prominent position in the UK mainstream coffee industry based on its ethical positioning. We explore the marketing, networks and communications channels of the brand which have led to rapid growth from niche player to a mainstream brand. However, the company is experiencing a slow down in its meteoric rise and we (...) question whether it is possible for the company to regain its former momentum with its current marketing strategy. (shrink)
In his essay The Origin of the Work of Art, Martin Heidegger discusses three examples of artworks: a painting by Van Gogh of peasant shoes, a poem about a Roman fountain, and a Greek temple. The new entry on Heidegger’s aesthetics in the Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy, written by Iain Thomson, focuses on this essay, and Van Gogh’s painting in particular. It argues that Heidegger uses Van Gogh’s painting to set art, as the happening of truth, in relation to (...) ‘nothing’, which is a key term in Heidegger’s essays leading up to The Origin of the Work of Art. This paper extends a similar analysis to the Greek temple as a way of offering an exposition of Heidegger’s concerns in the essay. It begins by briefly outlining Thomson’s argument that Heidegger relates Van Gogh’s painting to ‘nothing’, and indicating the way this argument can be extended to the Greek temple. It then discusses three ways in which ‘nothing’ can open up the significance of the temple as a work of art in which truth happens: (1) it is not concerned with objective representation; (2) it depicts the primal strife of earth and world, concealing and unconcealing; (3) it is fundamentally historical. (shrink)
Many people are uncomfortable with the idea that pleasure from certain sources is genuinely beneficial. These sources can be sorted into two classes: ones that involve others’ pain; and ones that involve what seems to be damage rather than benefit to the person involved. Here’s an example of the latter: a woman who claims that she enjoys her work performing in hard-core pornographic films. Some find it hard to take such a claim at face value – they instinctively assume that (...) the woman is insincere or self-deceived.1 The reason seems a strongly paternalistic one: because the activity is assumed to be bad, it’s thought that only someone who was in some way damaged could genuinely like it. A statement from Brian Hill, the director of a documentary about such women, illustrates this: ‘I felt certain that she couldn’t enjoy what she does, that there must be some reason why she’s undergoing this kind of experience. But there was nothing: no messed-up childhood, no sense of pain or humiliation.’ (Smith, 2003, 17) Forced to conclude that the woman in question really does enjoy her work, Hill changes his view to imply that the pleasure gained cannot be truly beneficial: ‘When I hear a young woman talking about doing videos of fisting and asphyxiation, I have to wonder what it’s doing to her – even if she says that she’s having fun.’ (Smith, 2003, 17). (shrink)
In Time and Death: Heidegger's Analysis of Finitude, Carol White pursues a strange hermeneutic strategy, reading Heidegger backwards by reading the central ideas of his later work back into his early magnum opus, Being and Time. White follows some of Heidegger's own later directives in pursuing this hermeneutic strategy, and this paper critically explores these directives along with the original reading that emerges from following them. The conclusion reached is that White's creative book is not persuasive as a strict interpretation (...) of Heidegger's early work, but remains extremely helpful for deepening our appreciation of Heidegger's thought as a whole. Most importantly, White helps us to understand the pivotal role that thinking about death played in the lifelong development of Heidegger's philosophy. (shrink)
Many scholars, in view of the close link that he draws between morality and freedom, argue that Kant does not think that there are free choices between nonmoral ends. On this view, Kant only posits afreedom to resist our desires and act morally. We are still responsible for immoral choices because we always have the power to act morally. Henry Allison has opposed this reading by arguing that Kant grounds a notion of nonmoral freedom in the Incorporation Thesis. In this (...) paper, I criticize Allison’s argument and then try to replace it with an alternative that grounds nonmoral freedom in morality. (shrink)
Holding to the truth of death—death is al - ways most/just [one’s] own—shows an - other kind of cer tainty, more pri mor dial than any cer tainty re gard ing be ings en - coun tered within the world or for mal ob - jects;foritisthecertaintyof be ing-in-the-world.2 Mar tin Heidegger, Be ing and Time..
These writings chart Harman's rise from Chicago sportswriter to co-founder of one of Europe's most promising philosophical movements: Speculative Realism. In 1997, Graham Harman was an obscure graduate student covering Chicago sporting events for a California website. Unpublished in philosophy at the time, he was already a popular conference speaker on Heidegger and related themes. Little more than a decade later, as the author of stimulating and highly visible books on continental philosophy, he was Associate Vice Provost for Research at (...) the American University in Cairo, and a key member of the Speculative Realist movement along with Ray Brassier, Iain Hamilton Grant, and Quentin Meillassoux. This fascinating collection of eleven essays and lectures from 1997-2009, anchored by Harman's rebellious transformation of Heideggerian philosophy, show the evolution of his object-oriented metaphysics from its early days into an increasingly developed philosophical position. Each chapter is preceded by Harman's delightful and witty scene-setting commentary. (shrink)
Employee buy-in is a key factor in ensuring small- and medium-size enterprise (SME) engagement with corporate social responsibility (CSR). In this exploratory study, we use participant observation and semi-structured interviews to investigate the way in which three fair trade SMEs utilise human resource management (and selection and socialisation in particular) to create employee engagement in a strong triple bottomline philosophy, while simultaneously coping with resource and size constraints. The conclusions suggest that there is a strong desire for, but tradeoff within (...) these companies between selection of individuals who already identify with the triple bottomline philosophy and individuals with experience and capability to deal with mainstream brand management – two critical employee attributes that appear to be rarely found together. The more important the business experience to the organisation, the more effort the organisation must expend in formalising their socialisation programmes to ensure employee engagement. A key method in doing this is increasing employee knowledge of, and affection for, the target beneficiaries of the CSR programme (increased moral intensity). (shrink)
Heidegger presciently diagnosed the current crisis in higher education. Contemporary theorists like Bill Readings extend and update Heidegger's critique, documenting the increasing instrumentalization, professionalization, vocationalization, corporatization, and technologization of the modern university, the dissolution of its unifying and guiding ideals, and, consequently, the growing hyper-specialization and ruinous fragmentation of its departments. Unlike Heidegger, however, these critics do not recognize such disturbing trends as interlocking symptoms of an underlying ontological problem and so they provide no positive vision for the future of (...) higher education. By understanding our educational crisis 'ontohistorically', Heidegger is able to develop an alternative, ontological conception of education which he hopes will help bring about a renaissance of the university. In a provocative reading of Plato's famous 'allegory of the cave', Heidegger excavates and appropriates the original Western educational ideal of Platonic paideia, outlining the pedagogy of an ontological education capable of directly challenging the 'technological understanding of being' he holds responsible for our contemporary educational crisis. This notion of ontological education can best be understood as a philosophical perfectionism, a re-essentialization of the currently empty ideal of educational 'excellence' by which Heidegger believes we can reconnect teaching to research and, ultimately, reunify and revitalize the university itself. (shrink)
The idea inspiring the eco-phenomenological movement is that phenomenology can help remedy our environmental crisis by uprooting and replacing environmentally-destructive ethical and metaphysical presuppositions inherited from modern philosophy. Eco-phenomenology's critiques of subject/object dualism and the fact/value divide are sketched and its positive alternatives examined. Two competing approaches are discerned within the eco-phenomenological movement: Nietzscheans and Husserlians propose a naturalistic ethical realism in which good and bad are ultimately matters of fact, and values should be grounded in these proto-ethical facts; Heideggerians (...) and Levinasians articulate a transcendental ethical realism according to which we discover what really matters when we are appropriately open to the environment, but what we thereby discover is a transcendental source of meaning that cannot be reduced to facts, values, or entities of any kind. These two species of ethical realism generate different kinds of ethical perfectionism: naturalistic ethical realism yields an eco-centric perfectionism which stresses the flourishing of life in general; transcendental ethical realism leads to a more 'humanistic' perfectionism which emphasizes the cultivation of distinctive traits of Dasein. Both approaches are examined, and the Heideggerian strand of the humanistic approach defended, since it approaches the best elements of the eco-centric view while avoiding its problematic ontological assumptions and anti-humanistic implications. (shrink)
It has been claimed in several places that the new genetic technologies allow humanity to achieve in a generation or two what might take natural selection hundreds of millennia in respect of the elimination of certain diseases and an increase in traits such as intelligence. More radically, it has been suggested that those same technologies could be used to instil characteristics that we might reasonably expect never to appear due to natural selection alone. John Harris, a proponent of this genomic (...) optimism, claims in his book Enhancing Evolution that we not only have it in our power to enhance evolution, but that we also have a duty to do so. In this paper, I claim that Harris' hand is strong but that he overplays it nevertheless. He is correct to dismiss the arguments of the anti-enhancement lobby and correct to say that enhancement is permissible; but ‘good’ is different from ‘permissible’ and his argument for the goodness of enhancement is less convincing. Moreover, he is simply wrong to claim that it generates a duty to enhance. (shrink)
The so-called ‘Humean’ view of motivation is pretty standard in the Philosophy of Mind. Its most prominent contemporary defender, Michael Smith, calls it a ‘dogma’. Humeans believe in a strict divide between beliefs and desires. Beliefs have no intrinsic motivating force: I may believe anything at all, but only with the contribution of a separate desire will I be motivated to act. This claim should be broadened out to include all cognitive states (belief, knowledge…). The Humean claim is that cognitive (...) states are wholly lacking in conative power. If some beliefs seem to us to motivate action, that can only be due to a contingent association with a separate conative state. (shrink)
Heidegger is against the modern tradition of philosophical “aesthetics” because he is for the true “work of art” which, he argues, the aesthetic approach to art eclipses. Heidegger's critique of aesthetics and his advocacy of art thus form a complementary whole. Section 1 orients the reader by providing a brief overview of Heidegger's philosophical stand against aesthetics, for art . Section 2 explains Heidegger's philosophical critique of aesthetics, showing why he thinks aesthetics follows from modern “subjectivism” and leads to late-modern (...) “enframing,” historical worldviews Heidegger seeks to transcend from within—in part by way of his phenomenological interpretations of art. Section 3 clarifies this attempt to transcend modern aesthetics from within, focusing on the way Heidegger seeks to build a phenomenological bridge from a particular (“ontic”) work of art by Vincent van Gogh to the ontological truth of art in general. In this way, as we will see, Heidegger seeks to show how art can help lead us into a genuinely meaningful postmodern age. Section 4 concludes by explaining how this understanding of Heidegger's project allows us to resolve the longstanding controversy surrounding his interpretation of Van Gogh. (shrink)
Heidegger's Destruktion of the metaphysical tradition leads him to the view that all Western metaphysical systems make foundational claims best understood as 'ontotheological'. Metaphysics establishes the conceptual parameters of intelligibility by ontologically grounding and theologically legitimating our changing historical sense of what is. By first elucidating and then problematizing Heidegger's claim that all Western metaphysics shares this ontotheological structure, I reconstruct the most important components of the original and provocative account of the history of metaphysics that Heidegger gives in support (...) of his idiosyncratic understanding of metaphysics. Arguing that this historical narrative generates the critical force of Heidegger's larger philosophical project (namely, his attempt to find a path beyond our own nihilistic Nietzschean age), I conclude by briefly showing how Heidegger's return to the inception of Western metaphysics allows him to uncover two important aspects of Being's pre-metaphysical phenomenological self-manifestation, aspects which have long been buried beneath the metaphysical tradition but which are crucial to Heidegger's attempt to move beyond our late-modern, Nietzschean impasse. (shrink)
This article explores the extent to which consumers consider ethics in luxury goods consumption. In particular, it explores whether there is a significant difference between consumers’ propensity to consider ethics in luxury versus commodity purchase and whether consumers are ready to purchase ethical-luxury. Prior research in ethical consumption focuses on low value, commoditized product categories such as food, cosmetics and high street apparel. It is debatable if consumers follow similar ethical consumption patterns in luxury purchases. Findings indicate that consumers’ propensity (...) to consider ethics is significantly lower in luxury purchases when compared to commoditized purchases and explores some of the potential reasons for this reduced propensity to identify or act upon ethical issues in luxury consumption. (shrink)
Many people working in bioethics take pride in the subject’s embrace of a wide range of disciplines. This invites questions of what in particular is added by each. In this paper, I focus on the role of philosophy within the field: what, if anything, is its unique contribution to bioethics? I sketch out a claim that philosophy is central to bioethics because of its particular analytic abilities, and defend its place within bioethics from a range of sceptical attacks.
One of the characteristics of the relationship between the developed and developing worlds is the ‘brain drain’– the phenomenon by which expertise moves towards richer countries, thereby condemning poorer countries to continued comparative and absolute poverty. It is tempting to see the phenomenon as a moral problem in its own right, such that there is a moral imperative to end it, that is separate from (and additional to) any moral imperative to relieve the burden of poverty. However, it is not (...) clear why this should be so – why, that is, there is a moral reason to stem the flow of expertise in addition to seeking to improve welfare. In this paper, I examine three explanations of the putative moral aspect of the brain drain. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction Jonathan Floyd and Marc Stears; 1. Rescuing political theory from the tyranny of history Paul Kelly; 2. From contextualism, to mentalism, to behaviourism Jonathan Floyd; 3. Contingency and judgement in history of political philosophy Bruce Haddock; 4. Political philosophy and the dead hand of its history Gordon Graham; 5. Politics, political theory, and its history Iain Hampsher-Monk; 6. Constraint, freedom, and exemplar Melissa Lane; 7. History and reality Andrew Sabl; 8. The new realism Bonnie (...) Honig and Marc Stears; Afterword Jonathan Floyd. (shrink)
Postmodernism isn't what it used to be. As a meaningful philosophical movement (rather than a vague term of disparagement), "postmodernism" primarily designated a diverse series of Heidegger inspired attempts to situate and guide our late modern historical age by uncovering and transcending its most destructive metaphysical presuppositions. Ironically, however, the only major contemporary philosophers still willing to call themselves "postmodernists" have renounced that "utopian" quest for a philosophical passage beyond modernity. From their perspective, the definitive Heideggerian hope for a "postmodern" (...) understanding of being looks like a retro futuristic fantasy, a quaint image of what the future might have been, which (like the Jetsons or Steampunk) has now been rendered obsolete. Unfortunately, when self described "postmodernists" abandon the attempt to identify and transcend the distinctive problems of modernity, they empty the philosophical movement of its primary meaning and purpose, allowing the label to degenerate into a vague shorthand many philosophers use merely to deride and dismiss.. (shrink)
This paper presents a critical comparative reading of Ulrich Beck and Herbert Marcuse. Beck's thesis on 'selfcritical society' and the concept of 'sub-politics' are evaluated within the framework of Marcusian critical theory. We argue for the continued relevance of Marcuse for the project of emancipatory politics. We recognise that a focus upon the imminent and spontaneous possibilities for radical social change within the 'sub-political' is a useful provocation to the high abstractionism of much critical theory, but suggest that such possibilities (...) are better captured in a Marcusian theoretical frame than they are in Beck's account. (shrink)
`I would encourage undergraduates students to read it, for it does summarise well a classical Marxist analysis of social policy and welfare' - Social Policy The anti-capitalist movement is increasingly challenging the global hegemony of neo-liberalism. The arguments against the neo-liberal agenda are clearly articulated in Rethinking Welfare. The authors highlight the growing inequalities and decimation of state welfare, and use Marxist approaches to contemporary social policy to provide a defence of the welfare state. Divided into three main sections, the (...) first part of this volume looks at the growth of inequality, and social and environmental degradation. Part Two centres on the authors' argument for the relevance of core Marxists concepts in aiding our understanding of social policy. This section includes Marxist approaches to a range of welfare issues, and their implications for studying welfare regimes and practices. Issues covered include: · Class and class struggle · Opression · Alienation and the family The last part of the book explores the question of globalization and the consequences of international neo-liberalism on indebted countries as well as the neo-liberal agenda of the Conservative and New Labour governments in Britain. The authors conclude with the prospect of an alternative welfare future which may form part of the challenge against global neo-liberalism. (shrink)
The concept of autonomy plays atleast two roles in moral theory. First, itprovides a source of constraints upon action:because I am autonomous you may not interferewith me, even for my own good. Second, itprovides a foundation for moral theory: humanautonomy has been thought by some to producemoral principles of a more general kind.This paper seeks to understand what autonomyis, and whether the autonomy of which we arecapable is able to serve these roles. We wouldnaturally hope for a concept of autonomy (...) thatis value-neutral rather than value-laden. Thatis to say, we would want the judgement that Iam autonomous to depend wholly on, say,structural features of my psychology, and in noway to require us to make ethical judgements, orother value judgements. Being value-neutral isperhaps desirable in a concept of autonomyserving the first role, and plausiblyindispensible in one playing the second. Ishall argue, however, that value-neutral conceptionsof autonomy are impoverished and out of linewith our intuitions; set out and defendan explicitly value-laden conception ofautonomy; and explore the implications of such a view for theability of autonomy to play the rolesmentioned above. (shrink)
Ongoing debate within the philosophy of medicine concerns how concepts central to healthcare (e.g. health, disease, etc.) should be defined. One of the difficulties of this debate is that various interested parties have different needs with respect to such concepts. Some take a theorist’s perspective, and prioritise conceptual clarity and rigor. Others are more concerned with providing concepts that can be useful to reallife medical practice. And others are more concerned with wider policy and healthpromotion issues, and seek a concept (...) of health usable in a globalised context. (shrink)
This paper argues that the demands of respect for autonomy in the context of biobanking are fewer and more limited than is often supposed. It discusses the difficulties of agreeing a concept of autonomy from which duties can easily be derived, and suggests an alternative way to determine what respect for autonomy in a biobanking context requires. These requirements, it argues, are limited to provision of adequate information and non-coercion. While neither of these is in itself negligible, this is a (...) smaller set of demands than is often suggested. In particular, it is argued here that securing ‘one time consent’ is consistent with respect for autonomy. Finally, the paper notes that while the demands of respect for autonomy may be less than some suppose, respecting autonomy is not the only way in which biobanks and their users may have moral duties to donors. (shrink)
In Questioning Technology, Feenberg accuses Heidegger of an untenable 'technological essentialism'. Feenberg's criticisms are addressed not to technological essentialism as such, but rather to three particular kinds of technological essentialism: ahistoricism, substantivism, and one-dimensionalism. After these three forms of technological essentialism are explicated and Feenberg's reasons for finding them objectionable explained, the question whether Heidegger in fact subscribes to any of them is investigated. The conclusions are, first, that Heidegger's technological essentialism is not at all ahistoricist, but the opposite, an (...) historical conception of the essence of technology which serves as the model for Feenberg's own view. Second, that while Heidegger does indeed advocate a substantivist technological essentialism, he offers a plausible, indirect response to Feenberg's voluntaristic, Marcusean objection. Third, that Heidegger's one-dimensional technological essentialism is of a non-objectionable variety, since it does not force Heidegger to reject technological devices in toto. These conclusions help vindicate Heidegger's ground-breaking ontological approach to the philosophy of technology. (shrink)
Questions about information inform many debates in bioethics. One of the reasons for this is that at least some level of information is taken by many to be a prerequisite of valid consent. For others, autonomy in the widest sense presupposes information, because one cannot be in control of one’s life without at least some insight into what it could turn out to contain. Yet not everyone shares this view, and there is a debate about whether or not there is (...) a right to remain in ignorance of one’s medical, and especially genetic, information. It is notable, though, that this debate leaves unexamined the assumption that, if a person wants information, he is entitled to it. This paper examines the assumption, specifically in relation to genetics, where learning facts about oneself may reveal facts about other people, particularly one’s close relatives. This may be taken as a violation of their privacy, and since privacy is something that we normally think should be respected, it is worth asking whether one ought to abjure the opportunity to obtain genetic information for the sake of privacy. In effect, there may be an argument to be made not just for a right to remain in ignorance, but for a duty to do so. (shrink)
This paper reports on a study of ethical decision-making in a fair trade company. This can be seen to be a crucial arena for investigation since fair trade firms not only have a specific ethical mission in terms of helping growers out of poverty, but they tend to be perceived as (and are often marketed on the basis of) having an "ethical" image. Eschewing a straightforward test of extant ethical decision models, we adopt Thompson''s proposal for a more contextualist understanding (...) rooted in ethnographic data. Our findings suggest that the fair trade mission of the firm is experienced as an over-riding ethical claim, which is often invoked to justify potentially ethically questionable decisions. Moreover, decision precedents emerge which can mean that the decision process is bypassed or hurried through. Finally we provide evidence that the significance of these precedents, and indeed, even moral intensity itself, could be actively shaped and constructed by organization members to support different, even shifting, conceptions of what is a morally acceptable decision for a fair trade company to make. (shrink)
Majority cycling and related social choice paradoxes are often thought to threaten the meaningfulness of democracy. But deliberation can prevent majority cycles – not by inducing unanimity, which is unrealistic, but by bringing preferences closer to single-peakedness. We present the first empirical test of this hypothesis, using data from Deliberative Polls. Comparing preferences before and after deliberation, we find increases in proximity to single-peakedness. The increases are greater for lower versus higher salience issues and for individuals who seem to have (...) deliberated more versus less effectively. They are not merely a byproduct of increased substantive agreement (which in fact does not generally increase). Our results both refine and support the idea that deliberation, by increasing proximity to single-peakedness, provides an escape from the problem of majority cycling. (shrink)
A probabilistic theory of causation is a theory which holds that the central feature of causation is that causes (usually) raise the probability of their effects. In this dissertation, I defend Hans Reichenbach's original (1953) version of the probabilistic theory of causation, which analyses causal relations in terms of a three place statistical betweenness relation. Unlike most discussions of this theory, I hold that the statistical relation should be taken as a sufficient, but not as necessary, condition for causal betweenness. (...) With this difference in interpretation, Reichenbach's theory is shown to be immune to all of the criticisms which have been raised against it in the last.. (shrink)
Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) is widely considered one of the most original and important philosophers of the 20th century, and, thanks to his (failed) attempt to assume philosophical leadership of the century’s most execrable political movement (Nazism) and his later critique of the history of metaphysics from Anaximander to Nietzsche as inherently nihilistic, he is also certainly the most controversial.
In 2005, John Harris published a paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics in which he claimed that there was a duty to support scientific research. With Sarah Chan, he defended his claims against criticisms in this journal in 2008. In this paper I examine the defence, and claim that it is not powerful. Although he has established a slightly stronger position, it is not clear that the defence is sufficiently strong to show that there is a duty to support (...) scientific research. Important questions about fairness, about rescue, and about the relationship between reasons and obligations to act can still be raised; and these questions are important enough to destabilize the defence. (shrink)
This paper exhorts geographers to become more active in debate about ethical research practice. It also suggests that ethical theory, practical problems, and lessons learned from postmodern thought make the prospects of establishing prescriptive codes of ethics unlikely. Instead, flexible prompts for moral contemplation might be used to encourage careful thought on matters of ethics. Because the practical feasibility of moral prompts rests on the existence of moral imaginations, it is vital to consider ways in which those imaginations might be (...) stimulated and nurtured. Professional associations and university academics have significant roles to play in this. Geographers must position themselves as effective agents in the processes by which professional research ethics are shaped rather than awaiting the potentially inappropriate outcomes of other agencies ' deliberations. (shrink)
In Heidegger on Ontotheology: Technology and the Politics of Education, I argue that Heidegger’s ontological thinking about education forms one of the deep thematic undercurrents of his entire career, but I focus mainly on Heidegger’s later work in order to make this case. The current essay extends this view to Heidegger’s early magnum opus, contending that Being and Time is profoundly informed – albeit at a subterranean level – by Heidegger’s perfectionist thinking about education. Explaining this perfectionism in terms of (...) its ontological and ethical components (and their linkage), I show that Being and Time’s educational philosophy seeks to answer the paradoxical question: How do become what we are? Understanding Heidegger’s strange but powerful answer to this original pedagogical question, I suggest, allows us to make sense of some of the most difficult and important issues at the heart of Being and Time, including what Heidegger really means by possibility, death, and authenticity. (shrink)
In 1991 Jonathan Demme's The Silence of the Lambs made oﬀ with ﬁve Academy Awards, including the coveted "Best Picture." Merely to introduce this fact I have already had to ignore several potentially relevant questions.  But I will spare you the tedium of endlessly qualifying my choice of subject matter; both existentialism and psychoanalysis teach us that the attempt to get behind our own starting points or render our pasts completely transparent to ourselves is an impossible task. Rather, let (...) me lay my Heideggerian cards on the table up front, brieﬂy outlining the methodological understanding from which I will be working in the rest of this paper. (shrink)
Data from a longitudinal study into the key management success factors in the fair trade industry provide insights into the essential nature of inter-organizational alliances and networks in creating the profitable and growing fair trade market in the UK. Drawing on three case studies and extensive industry interviews, we provide an interpretive perspective on the organizational relationships and business networks and the way in which these have engendered success for UK fair trade companies. Three types of benefit are derived from (...) the networks: competitive developments through virtual integration in which the organizations remain flexible and small while projecting size to the market; intellectual developments through the sharing of intellectual capital with a diverse network of organizations in many fields; and ideological developments through an ideological network of like-minded individuals by which the companies can prevent the co-opting of the original purpose of fair trade. However, relative success at leveraging these benefits is influenced by three managerial factors: partner choice, partner use and partner management. (shrink)
This paper addresses the question of normativity in Hegel by examining the role of ‘undialectical’ resistance to dialectical development. Beginning with a general overview of dialectical normativity and what it might mean to be ‘undialectical,’ the focus then shifts to a privileged example in Hegel’s writings: Sophocles’ Antigone. The central claim of the paper is the following: The very contradictions that fuel dialectical normativity can also trap individuals within an obsolete actuality, without immediate hope of escape. Indeed, the irreducible dependence (...) of dialectical thinking upon the actions and decisions of individual consciousness expose it to the threat of continual stasis or regression. This ineliminable possibility of failure is what is here called the ‘undialectical’ moment of the dialectic, which Hegel understands rather as a negative condition of possibility of freedom and rationality. (shrink)
In this paper I present an interpretation of the role of pleasure in Kant’s theory of desire formation. On my reading Kant’s account of how desires are formed does—in spite of what some commentators say—commit him to hedonism. On the face of it, Kant writes of the determination of the faculty of desire in three distinct ways, but I argue that these accounts can be reconciled in a single, more comprehensive (and thoroughly hedonistic) theory. This comprehensive theory has the virtue (...) of complementing and elucidating some of the lesser-known things that Kant has to say on the nature of pleasure in the Critique of Judgment and Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View. (shrink)
In this paper, I suggest that the important philosophy of the future will increasingly be found neither in the “continental” nor in the “analytic” traditions but, instead, in the transcending sublation of (all) traditions I call “synthetic philosophy.” I mean “synthetic” both in a sense that encourages the bold combinatorial mélange of existing styles, traditions, and issues, and also in the Hegelian sense of sublating dichotomous oppositions, appropriating the distinctive insights of both sides while eliminating their errors and exaggerations, and (...) thereby creating new syntheses in which the old oppositions are transcended. (shrink)
One property of the emulator framework presented by Grush is that imagery operates off-line. Contrary to this viewpoint, we present evidence showing that mental rotation of a simple figure modulates low-level features of drawing articulation. This effect is dependent upon the type of rotation, suggesting a more integrative online role for imagery than proposed by the target article.
Nancy Cartwright believes that we live in a Dappled World– a world in which theories, principles, and methods applicable in one domain may be inapplicable in others; in which there are no universal principles. One of the targets of Cartwright’s arguments for this conclusion is the Causal Markov condition, a condition which has been proposed as a universal condition on causal structures.1 The Causal Markov condition, Cartwright argues, is applicable only in a limited domain of special cases, and thus cannot (...) be used as a universal principle in causal discovery. I have no dispute with any of these claims here. Rather, I wish to argue for a very limited thesis: that the Causal Markov condition is applicable in the specific domain of microscopic quantum mechanical systems; further, that the condition can fruitfully be applied to the much discussed EPR setup. This is perhaps a surprising conclusion, for it is precisely in this domain that Cartwright’s arguments against the Causal Markov condition have been considered to be the most successful. (shrink)
I take it that (1) the central problem of political philosophy is how to deploy philosophy in the criticism and direction of practice. This paper maps out the basic terrain of the relationship between (A) neo?Kantian Critical Theory (for example, Jürgen Habermas), (B) hermeneutics (for example, Charles Taylor) and (C) constructivism (for example, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari). It contends that this central problem (1) is not met by the arguments of (A) and (B) ? these representing what I call (...) ?the communicative turn in political philosophy?. They assume ?democratic dialogue? is its own justification and that from it spring both truth and right. The key objection is that the communication of opinions is not the same as the demonstration of their validity. I argue that (C) may help to take us beyond the failures of (A) and (B). (shrink)
The Varieties of British Political Thought 1500?1800 edited by J. G. A. Pocock with the assistance of Gordon J. Schochet and Lois G. Schwoerer, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, in association with the Folger Institute, Washington D.C., 1993, pp. 373 + x, ISBN 0 521 443776, £40.00 $59.95.