When William James spoke about belief to the philosophy clubs of Yale and Brown in 1896, he forewarned his audience of the nature of his comments by describing them as a “sermon on justification by faith” (James 13), titling the talk “The Will to Believe.” Although there is disagreement about the substance of James’s remarks, it is fairly innocuous to assert that James thought they were appropriate because of the prevalence of the “logical spirit” of many (...) of those who practiced academic philosophy that led them to the conclusion that religious faith was untenable. Aware of his audience, James presents his view on the permissibility of religious faith on the terms and grounds familiar to professional philosophers. .. (shrink)
Feminist, critical race, and postcolonial theories have established that social identities such as race and gender are mutually constitutive—i.e., that they “intersect.” I argue that “cultural appropriation” is never merely the appropriation of culture, but also of gender, sexuality, class, etc. For example, “white hipness” is the appropriation of stereotypical black masculinity by white males. Looking at recent videos from black male hip-hop artists, I develop an account of “postmillennial black hipness.” The inverse of white hipness, this (...) practice involves the appropriation, by black men, of stereotypical white gay masculinity and/or non-American, non-white femininity. I also argue that Shephard Fairey’s recent images of (mainly militant) non-Western women of color can be read as a new form of white hipness that revises the traditional logic in two ways: (1) by appropriating non-white femininity rather than masculinity, and (2) by adopting the practice of postmillennial black hipness itself. (shrink)
Much of our work with enriched experience and training in animals supports the Quartz & Sejnowski (Q&S) thesis that environmental information can interact with pre-existing neural structures to produce new synapses and neural structure. However, substantial data as well as an evolutionary perspective indicate that multiple information-capture systems exist: some are constructivist, some are selectionist, and some may be tightly constrained.
The status of the body figures paradoxically in the interrelated discourses of whiteness, aesthetic taste, and hipness. While Richard Dyer’s analysis of whiteness argues that white identity is “in but not of the body,” Carolyn Korsmeyer’s and Julia Kristeva’s feminist analyses of aesthetic “taste” demonstrate that this faculty is traditionally conceived as something “of” but not “in” the body. While taste directly distances whiteness from embodiment, hipness negatively affirms this same distance: the hipster proves his elite status within white culture (...) by positioning himself as, in the words of James Chance’s song title, “Almost Black.” The notion of hip contributes to my analysis of taste by focusing on both the gender politics of white embodiment, and how, by taking the social body as object of the prepositions “in” and “of,” these discourses of taste and hipness produce individual bodies as white, and maintain Whiteness as a socio-political norm. (shrink)
Theorizing Black Feminisms outlines some of the crucial debates going on among Black feminists today. In doing so it brings together a collection of some of the most exciting work by Black women scholars. The book encompasses a wide range of diverse subjects and refuses to be limited by notions of disciplinary boundaries or divisions between theory and practice. Theorizing Black Feminisms combines essays on literature, sociology, history, political science, anthropology, and art. As such it will (...) be vital reading for anyone--activist, student, artist or scholar--interested in exploring the multidisciplinary possibilities for Black feminism. Most importantly, each essay in the volume begins with the assumption that Black women are not simply victims of various oppressions. Rather, they are visionary and pragmatic agents of change. Contributors: Evelyn Barbee, University of Wisconsin; Rose Brewer, University of Minnesota; Cheryl Clarke, Rutgers University; Johnnetta Cole, Spelman College; Cindy Courville, Occidental College; Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Spelman College; Marilyn Little, University of Wisconsin; Nellie McKay, University of Wisconsin; O'molara Ogundipe, Rutgers University; Christine Obbo, Wayne State University; Loretta Ross, Center for Democratic Renewal, Atlanta. (shrink)
By combining a ﬂanker task and a cuing task into a single paradigm, the authors assessed the effects of orienting and alerting on conﬂict resolution and explored how normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) modulate these attentional functions. Orienting failed to enhance conﬂict resolution; alerting was most beneﬁcial for trials without conﬂict, as if acting on response criterion rather than on information processing. Alerting cues were most effective in the older groups— healthy aging and AD. Conﬂict resolution was impaired only (...) in AD. Orienting remained unchanged across groups. These ﬁndings provide evidence of different life span developmental and clinical trajectories for each attentional network. (shrink)
Patients suffering from the behavioral variant of Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD-b) often exaggerate their abilities. Are those errors in judgment limited to domains in which patients under-perform, or do FTD-b patients overestimate their abilities in other domains? Is overconﬁdence in FTD-b patients domain-speciﬁc or domain-general? To address this question, we asked patients at early stages of FTD-b to judge their performance in two domains (attention, perception) in which they exhibit relatively spared abilities. In both domains, FTD-b patients overestimated their performance relative (...) to patients with Dementia of Alzheimer Type (DAT) and healthy elderly subjects. Results are consistent with a domaingeneral deﬁcit in metacognitive judgment. We discuss these ﬁndings in relation to “regression to the mean” accounts of overconﬁdence and the role of emotions in metacognitive judgments. (shrink)
This study explored possible deﬁcits in selective attention brought about by Dementia of Alzheimer Type (DAT). In three experiments, we tested patients with early DAT, healthy elderly, and young adults under low memory demands to assess perceptual ﬁltering, conﬂict resolution, and set switching abilities. We found no evidence of impaired perceptual ﬁltering nor evidence of impaired conﬂict resolution in early DAT. In contrast, early DAT patients did exhibit a global cost in set switching consistent with an inability to maintain the (...) goals of the task (mental set). We discuss these ﬁndings in relation to the DAT literature on executive attention, dual-tasking, and working memory. Ó 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. (shrink)
I defend a sensitive neo-Moorean invariantism, an epistemological account with the following characteristic features: (a) it reserves a place for a sensitivity condition on knowledge, according to which, very roughly, S’s belief that p counts as knowledge only if S wouldn’t believe that p if p were false; (b) it maintains that the standards for knowledge are comparatively low; and (c) it maintains that the standards for knowledge are invariant (i.e., that they vary neither with the linguistic context of the (...) subject of knowledge nor with the linguistic context of the attributor of knowledge). I argue that this sort of account allows us to respond adequately to some difficult puzzles in epistemology, puzzles such as skeptical puzzles, as well as puzzles that inspire epistemological contextualism. I also maintain that by utilizing what Keith DeRose calls a warranted assertibility maneuver, sensitive neo-Moorean invariantism can account for our epistemic judgments in each of these puzzle cases. (shrink)
Still-vital lectures on teaching deal with psychology and the teaching art, the stream of consciousness, the child as a behaving organism, education and behavior, native and acquired reactions, habit, association of ideas, attention, memory, acquisition of ideas, perception, will, and more. The three addresses to students are "The Gospel of Relaxation," "On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings," and "What Makes a Life Significant?" Preface. 2 black-and-white illustrations.
2) Philosophy in an important sense has no special subject-matter which stands to it as other subject-matters stand to other special disciplines…. What is characteristic of philosophy is not a special subject-matter, but the aim of knowing one’s way around with respect to the subject-matters of all the special disciplines.  [BB: It is not clear how this sits with the distinction between being a researcher (in a special discipline) and being an intellectual (caring about how it all fits together). (...) For, surely, not all intellectuals are philosophers, nor vice versa. One possibility is that he thinks that our research specialty is being intellectuals. But this is not plausible: sociologists, historians, journalist-pundits, culture critics, and so on have an equal claim to that distinction. WS might be thinking of philosophers as exclusively concerned with the cognitive enterprise, allowing intellectuals more generally to worry about, e.g., politics. But this is a pre- Hegelian way of thinking about things that is very implausible. I have my own take on this (cf. “Reason, Expression, and the Philosophic Enterprise”, Ch. 4 of RiP).]. (shrink)
Research now provides participants greater indications of genetic risk for disease, even for conditions incidental to the research study. Given this development, should such information also be disclosed to the family of research participants? There has been some indication at the national level that genetic risk information can be disclosed to participants' families; however, limited attention has been given to returning research results to family. Thus, we have also incorporated the discussion surrounding the disclosure of genetic risk discovered in the (...) clinic (e.g., genetic testing). A number of important questions are examined: Should genetic research results be provided to family? Are there differences between clinical and research findings that would prevent research results from being disclosed to family? Who should make the disclosure, if in fact it is done at all? We conclude by noting that the return of results is increasingly accepted as technology permits the discovery of more and more medically useful data. However, debates of whether results should be returned to participants must first be settled before moving to familial disclosure. (shrink)
I distinguish between the nineteenth- to twentieth-century (modernist) tendency to rehabilitate (white) femininity from the abject popular, and the twentieth- to twenty-first-century (postmodernist) tendency to rehabilitate the popular from abject white femininity. Careful attention to the role of nineteenth-century racial politics in Nietzsche's Gay Science shows that his work uses racial nonwhiteness to counter the supposedly deleterious effects of (white) femininity (passivity, conformity, and so on). This move—using racial nonwhiteness to rescue pop culture from white femininity—is a common twentieth- and (...) twenty-first-century practice. I use Nietzsche to track shifts from classical to neo-liberal methods of appropriating “difference.” Hipness is one form of this neoliberal approach to difference, and it is exemplified by the approach to race, gender, and pop culture in Vincente Minnelli's film The Band Wagon. I expand upon Robert Gooding-Williams's reading of this film, and argue that mid-century white hipness dissociates the popular from femininity and whiteness, and values the popular when performed by white men “acting black.” Hipness instrumentalizes femininity and racial nonwhiteness so that any benefits that might come from them accrue only to white men, and not to the female and male artists of color whose works are appropriated. (shrink)
A Igreja Católica legitimou prática e teoricamente o sistema colonial brasileiro e teve um caráter predominantemente leigo, por força da instituição do padroado. Pouco foi escrito sobre as irmandades de negros. As análises têm se restringido a observar que desempenharam um importante papel na manutenção das crenças religiosas africanas. Com a República, o processo de romanização empreendido pela Igreja teve por objetivo a desvalorização do catolicismo laico, com o desmantelamento das antigas irmandades e sua substituição por novas organizações leigas. Impõe-se (...) caracterizar o papel desempenhado pela resistência, sem o quê seria difícil entender a existência atual da Irmandade Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Homens Pretos de São Paulo, fundada em 1711, na região central da cidade. Sua história se confunde com a história das irmandades de negros em geral, mas oferece exemplo de como continuou a ser repositório da tradição popular, calcada em prática religiosa católica 'branca' e prática religiosa 'negra', pensada a partir do patamar da escravidão. Palavras-chave : religião; poder; laicidade.The Catholic Church legitimized practical and theoretically the Brazilian colonial system and had a predominantly lay character by virtue of the institution of patronage. Little has been written about the brotherhoods among black people. The analysis have been restricted to noting that they have played an important role in maintaining the religious African beliefs. With the Republic, the romanization process undertaken by the Church has aimed the devaluation of the laic Catholicism, with the dismantling of old brotherhoods and their replacement by new lay organizations. It is necessary to characterize the role played by resistance, without which it would be difficult to understand the actual existence of the Irmandade Nossa Senhora dos Homens Pretos de São Paulo, founded in 1711, in the central region of the city. Its history is mixed with the history of black people brotherhoods in general, but provides an example of how it continued to be the repository of folk tradition, grounded in the 'white' catholic religious practice and the 'black' religious practice, seen from the porch of slavery. Keywords : religion; power; secularism. (shrink)
Existence in Black is the first collective statement on the subject of Africana Philosophy of Existence. Drawing upon resources in Africana philosophy and literature, the contributors explore some of the central themes of Existentialism as posed by the context of what Frantz Fanon has identified as "the lived-experience of the black." Among questions posed and explored in the volume are: What is to be done in a world of near universal sense of superiority to, if not universal hatred (...) of, black folk?; What is black suffering?; What is the meaning (if any) of black existence? The introduction argues that a response to these questions requires a journey through the resources of identity questions in critical race theory and the teleological dimensions of liberation theory. The contributors address these questions through an analysis of nearly every dimension of Africana phiosophy. In the first half of the book, they address Black Philosophies of Existence in terms of Traditional African Philosophy, the Harlem Renaissance, Du Boisian Double-Consciousness, and Fanonian and Sartrean Philosophies of Existence. In the second half of the book, contributors consider racial identity through examinations of such concepts as equality, death, mimesis, property, embodiment, technology, disappointment, and dread. Part II is an exploration of postmodern challenges to "black existence" through discussions of postmodern conservatism, Nietzsche's thoughts on blacks, Richard Wright and fragmented consciousness, and feminist critiques of race. And Part IV is an examination of problems of historical responsibility and constructing black liberation theories. Contributors are: Ernest Allen, Jr., Robert Birt, Bernard Boxill, George Carew, Bobby Dixon, G.M. James Gonzales, Lewis R. Gordon, Leonard Harris, Floyd Hayes, III, Paget Henry, Patricia Huntington, Joy Ann James, Clarence Shole Johnson, Bill E. Lawson, Howard McGary, Roy D. Morrison, William Preston, Jean-Paul Sartre, T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, Gary Schwartz, Robert Westley, and Naomi Zack. (shrink)