Media in Question sets the agenda for a revitalized debate on the hybrid communicative practices that constitute the postmodern media landscape: practices that cross the boundaries between fact and fiction, information and entertainment, public knowledge, and popular culture. In this challenging and provocative collection, the individual contributors rethink key issuesùthe meaning of the public interest, the quality of media performance, and deregulation. In the process they raise questions rarely addressed in normative media theories, for example, the ethics of sports reporting, (...) the moral reasoning in popular culture, and the required professional standards for infotainment genres such as reality television and gossip journalism. Accessible and wide-ranging, The Media in Question will be essential reading for students in mass communication and political communication studies. (shrink)
Functions and altered states in dispositional analysis: a reply to Vihvelin Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-7 DOI 10.1007/s11098-012-9890-y Authors Charles Hermes, University of Texas, Arlington, TX, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
Direct source incompatibilism (DSI) is the conjunction of two claims: SI-F: there are genuine Frankfurt-style counterexamples (FSCs); SI-D: there is a sound version of the direct argument (DA). Eric Yang ( 2012 ) responds to a recent criticism of DSI (Campbell 2006 ). We show that Yang misses the mark. One can accept Yang’s criticisms and get the same result: there is a deep tension between FSCs and DA, between SI-F and SI-D. Thus, DSI is untenable. In this essay, we (...) use an important yet overlooked distinction between truthmakers and determiners to help drive this point home. (shrink)
Any analysis of "In the Company of Men" is forced to answer three questions of central importance to the ethics of humor: (1) What does it mean to find sexist humor funny? (2) What are the various sources of humor? And, (3) can moral flaws with attempts at humor increase their humorousness? I argued that although merely finding a joke funny in a neutral context cannot tell you anything reliable about a person's beliefs, in context, a joke may (...) reveal a great deal about one’s social attitudes, or feelings of insecurity. Especially in its portrayal of Howard, the film exposes the role of insecurity as a source of humor. Not only can insecurity make one more prone to laugh, but it can also make someone seem funnier in some contexts. I contended that this shows that a strong version of the superiority theory of humor is clearly wrong. Furthermore, the disparate audience reactions to Chad's jokes showed that the morally sensitive who were aware of the purpose of his jokes would see them as ethically flawed. Rather than making the jokes more amusing, the fact that the jokes were considered to be ethically flawed made them less funny. Hence, immoralism is most likely false. (shrink)
Many commentators have dismissed Wittgenstein’s numbering system in the Tractatus as either incoherent or a joke. In this paper I offer a way to rehabilitate the system along the lines of Wittgenstein’s own instructions. Reading the Tractatus in this way not only offers a way to make sense of the numbering, but also offers a significant improvement in examining the meaning of the text.
Milan Kundera's first major novel, The Joke, was written in 1961-1965, before he made the decision to leave Czechoslovakia and take up residency as a political exile in France.1 With a few noteworthy exceptions, critics of the work focused on its political message in a Cold War context. This was easy to do: its plot revolves around an avid young Czech communist (Ludvik), who writes an ironic postcard to his overly earnest girlfriend while she is away at a political (...) training camp. The year is 1950, and among intellectuals, enthusiasm for a new era of Soviet-mediated socialism is a genuine response to the chaotic disintegration of old certainties after the Nazi occupation of the country. Ludvik is dedicated to the .. (shrink)
A Kantian beginning : Georg Hermes -- A Catholic Hegel? Anton Günther -- The response of fideism : Louis Bautain -- Magisterial interventions : Gregory XVI and Pius IX -- Return to the schoolmen : Joseph Kleutgen and Leo XIII -- Embodying the Leonine project : Etienne Gilson -- The philosophy of action : Maurice Blondel -- The dispute over apologetics : from Blondel to Balthasar -- A synthetic outcome? John Paul II's letter Fides et ratio -- From Cracow (...) to Regensburg : Benedict XVI. (shrink)
Humor is pervasive in contemporary culture, and is generally celebrated as a public good. Yet there are times when it is felt to produce intolerance, misunderstanding or even hatred. This book brings together, for the first time, contributions that consider the ethics as well as the aesthetics of humor. The book focuses on the abuses and limits of humor, some of which excite considerable social tension and controversy. Beyond a Joke is an exciting intervention, full of challenging questions and (...) issues. (shrink)
In an earlier paper, Hestia (R. Vesta)-guardian of the family hearthfire and center of household/family ritual activities in the ancient Greek oikos-was re-claimed as a metaphor for philosophical analysis of the private sphere in everyday life (SPCW, 1996). This paper undertakes a comparable project of reclamation for Hermes (R. Mercury), guardian of the public sphere of the ancient Greek polis and its later manifestations. The goal of this project of reclamation is not to introduce unnecessary neologisms or to support (...) “New Age” spirituality. It is, rather, to help philosophers and social theorists to hold in mind two distinctive systems of human action within a singleexplanatory paradigm. Doing so allows us to compare and contrast in a consistent and coherent manner events, institutions, and actions in each of two systems operating in everyday life without privileging one (usually the polis and the political) over the other (theoikos and the familial). It is hoped that doing so may promote a dual standpoint theory that can take contemporary feminist theory (which seems to have painted itself into a corner) beyond gender. (shrink)
Freud's Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious (1976 ), because of its subject-matter, has had a fragmented history. From within psychoanalysis itself it has been regarded as an early application of the insights of his dream theory to a by-way of human behaviour, in which the unconscious adopts techniques against the censor similar to those that are operative within the dream. In his essay 'Humour' (1985 ) Freud himself did later add an addendum on humour per se which related (...) it to his id-ego-superego topology, extending the context of relevance to the operations of the superego as an 'heir to the parental agency', but he did not widen the generality of his explanation further. (shrink)
In this paper I am concerned with two questions: What is sexist humor? and what is wrong with it? To answer the first question, I briefly develop a theory of humor and then characterize sexist humor as humor in which sexist beliefs (attitudes/norms) are presupposed and are necessary to the fun. Concerning the second question, I criticize a common sort of argument that is supposed to explain why sexist humor is offensive: although the argument explains why sexist humor feels offensive, (...) it does not place responsibility for the offense in the humorist or audience that enjoys sexist humor. I develop an alternate account of the offense in sexist humor that places responsibility for offense in precisely those quarters. (shrink)
He had made it all up, he said, and gloated that his "prank" proved that sociologists and humanists who spoke of science as a "social construction" didn't know what they were talking about. Acknowledging the ethical issues raised by his deception, Professor Sokal declared it justified by the importance of the truths he was defending from postmodernist attack: "There is a world; its properties are not merely social constructions; facts and evidence do matter. What sane person would contend otherwise?".
This paper primarily deals with the conceptual prospects for generalizing the aim of abduction from the standard one of explaining surprising or anomalous observations to that of empirical progress or even truth approximation. It turns out that the main abduction task then becomes the instrumentalist task of theory revision aiming at an empirically more successful theory, relative to the available data, but not necessarily compatible with them. The rest, that is, genuine empirical progress as well as observational, referential and theoretical (...) truth approximation, is a matter of evaluation and selection, and possibly new generation tasks for further improvement. The paper concludes with a survey of possible points of departure, in AI and logic, for computational treatment of the instrumentalist task guided by the ‘comparative evaluation matrix’. (shrink)
Plotinus represent a constant reference in all of Šestov's philosophy. For the Russian philosopher Plotinus is, on the one hand, the one who thought up thesynthesis of Greek philosophy, on the other, the one who first broke with that same tradition precisely when it was at its peak. However, Šestov does lift from the Enneadi certain passages which he marries - as if in a sort of contrapuntal rewriting exercise - to others in which Plotinus seems to contradict himself. What (...) interests Šestov are precisely those discontinuities in the thought of the last great philosopher of old in an anti-Greek function. That of Šestov is once again a marked criticism of Rationalism as creator of an autonomous set of ethics that he judges according to an intellect which everything is subject to. Autonomousethics, affirms Šestov, is a fruit of Greek schools of thought to the extent that it shows distrust for what is mutable, unforeseen and arbitrary, of everything which, in short, is irrational, as it is not inserted in the One/All necessitating, justifying, regulating. In the alternative between Athens and Jerusalem, between the Rationalism and the Bible, Šestov opts to assume a stance, in no uncertain terms, on the side Jerusalem, taking with him the Plotinus of the awakening andheading towards a greater reality capable of overturning the throne occupied for too long by reason. That Plotinus who at a certain point was obliged to say thatin this other dimension "the intellect before God represents a reckless, ungodly apostate" (VI.9.5). That Plotinus, who ultimately, in one of those most particularmoments, realized that he was predestined for something loftier with respect to the world of evil and death. (shrink)
On February 18, 1519, Cortés set sail for Mexico with about 600 men and, perhaps more important, 16 horses. Two years later, the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán lay in ruins, and one of the world’s great civilizations had perished.