The idea of ‘hope’ has received significant attention in the political sphere recently. But is hope just wishful thinking, or can it be something more than a political catch-phrase? This book argues that hope can be understood existentially, or on the basis of what it means to be human. Under this conception of hope, given to us by Gabriel Marcel, hope is not optimism, but the creation of ways for us to flourish. War, poverty and an absolute reliance on technology (...) are real-life evils that can suffocate hope. Marcel’s thought provides a way to overcome these negative experiences. An ethics of hope can function as an alternative to isolation, dread, and anguish offered by most existentialists. This book presents Marcel’s existentialism as a convincing, relevant moral theory; founded on the creation of hope, interwoven with the individual’s response to the death of God. Jill Hernandez argues that today’s reader of Marcel can resonate with his belief that the experience of pain can be transcended through a philosophy of hope and an escape from materialism. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that Leibniz’s form/matter defense of omnipotence is paradoxical, but not irretrievably so. Leibniz maintains that God necessarily must concur only in the possibility for evil’s existence in the world (the form of evil), but there are individual instances of moral evil that are not necessary (the matter of evil) with which God need not concur. For Leibniz, that there is moral evil in the world is contingent on God’s will (a dimension of (...) divine omnipotence), with the result that even though it is necessary that God exerts his will, there are particular products of his will that are contingent and unnecessary—including human moral evil. If there are instances of evil which are contingent on God’s will and yet unnecessary, then the problematic conclusion for Leibniz’s view must be that human evil depends upon divine concurrence, not just for its possibility in the world (which is necessary) but for its instance (which is contingent). If the form/matter defense of omnipotence contains a true paradox, then God concurs in the form as well as the matter of evil. To assuage this difficulty for Leibniz, I will argue that he could either give up an Augustinian notion of evil, or rely upon a distinction between *potenta absoluta* and *potenta ordinate*, which was popular among important thinkers in the medieval period. (shrink)
This article explores the relational and motivational leadership behaviors that may promote stewardship in organizations. I conceptualize stewardship as an outcome of leadership behaviors that promote a sense of personal responsibility in followers for the long-term wellbeing of the organization and society. Building upon the themes presented in the stewardship literature, such as identification and intrinsic motivation, and drawing from other research streams to include factors such as interpersonal and institutional trust and moral courage, I posit that leaders foster stewardship (...) in their followers through various relational, motivational, and contextually supportive leadership behaviors. (shrink)
Samuel Kerstein argues that an asymmetry between moral worth and maxims prevents Kant from accepting a category of acts that are impermissible, but have moral worth. Kerstein contends that an act performed from the motive of duty should be considered as a candidate for moral worth, even if the action’s maxim turns out to be impermissible, since moral worth depends on the correct moral motivation of an act, rather than on the moral rightness of an act. I argue that Kant (...) cannot consistently maintain that there are morally forbidden, though good, acts since one of the conditions of acting from the moral law should be that one has a true belief about what the moral law requires. My project, then, rejects the possibility of morally impermissible, worthy acts for Kant, and qualifies the conditions for moral worth Kerstein gives with an epistemological constraint on moral worth. (shrink)
This article examines the complex relationship between culture, values, and ethics in mental health care. Cultural competence is a practical, concrete demonstration of the ethical principles of respect for persons, beneficence (doing good), nonmaleficence (not doing harm), and justice (treating people fairly)—the cornerstones of modern ethical codes for the health professions. Five clinical cases are presented to illustrate the range of ethical issues faced by mental health clinicians working in a multicultural environment, including issues of therapeutic boundaries, diagnosis, treatment choice, (...) confidentiality and informed consent, and the just distribution of limited health care resources. (shrink)
Recent feminists have critiqued G.W. Leibniz’s Theodicy for its effort to justify God’s role in undeserved human suffering over natural and moral evil. These critiques suggest that theodicies which focus on evil as suffering alone obfuscate how to thematize evil, and so they conclude that theodicies should be rejected and replaced with a secularized notion of evil that is inextricably tied to the experiences of the victim. This paper argues that the political philosophy found in the writings of Catherine Macaulay (...) (1731–1791) can serve as a support to Leibniz’s larger claims and can also offer a more concrete, situated notion of evil that escapes the contemporary feminist critique. Macaulay’s work on natural and moral political evil, especially, will be presented as an early modern precursor to feminism, which defends divine perfection and a pre-established harmony in the face of political evil. I then identify three unique theodicical arguments in Macaulay’s work: the pragmatically beneficial defense, the eschatalogical defense, and the redemptive defense. (shrink)
This paper aims at surveying the current philosophical issues concerning the climate change crisis in Latin America. The work attempts to analyze some central policies, particularly those that fostered economic progress in the region at the expense of human and environmental depletion. Historically, Latin America remained at the periphery of philosophical inquiry following the long standing multiple manifestations of colonialism. As a result, the systematic philosophical reflections about climate change in the region have been scarce at best. Here, I have (...) addressed three main topics: political ecology, economic development, and indigenous issues. Latin American political ecology generally seeks to identify the ontological schemes necessary to mitigate, cope, and adapt to the climatic crisis. In addition, developmentalism played a significant role in exacerbating the state of Latin American political, economic, and ecological systems. Environmentalists all throughout the region strive to find alternatives to replace the failures of developmentalist policies. Consequently, indigenous concepts such as Sumak Kawsay or ?good living? offer alternate philosophical modes for Latin Americans, with their complex ethnic diversity, to derive their ontological and epistemological foundations on the problems posed by climate change. My work represents a sketch reporting the various inception points of different eco-philosophical views portraying legitimate instances of Latin Americans thinking critically about their own reality and surroundings. These may serve as alternate methods to forge models that could potentially contribute to universal philosophical concepts endowing humanity with broader epistemic tools to tackle the crisis at hand. (shrink)
The ‘middle knowledge’ doctrine salvages free will and divine omniscience by contending that God knows what agents will freely choose under any possible circumstances. I argue, however, that the Leibnizian problem of divine knowledge of human evil is best resolved by applying a Theodicy II distinction between determined, foreseen, and resolved action. This move eliminates deference to middle knowledge. Contingent action is indeed free, but not all action is contingent, and so not all action is free. For Leibniz, then, God’s (...) knowledge extends to the sum pattern of determinates for an act, rather than to contingent events. (shrink)
The paper is a critical examination of Rorty’s argument against foundationalism, on which depends his view of the social irrelevance of traditional philosophy. I try to demonstrate the incoherence and speciousness of his reasoning against foundationalism and in the process refute his view that traditional philosophy is a tool which can and should be cast off from the public, and even from the private, sphere of human life and that its universal concepts can therefore be circumvented. This demonstration is accomplished (...) in twocomplementary stages. First, I provide a general justification of my “argumentative” style in engaging Rorty’s position against his objection to this approach, while showing that what he calls his strategy of “re-description” is really nothing but a form of logical argumentation. Second, I attempt to show how, in order to substantiate his rejection of traditional philosophy’s claim of social relevance, Rorty’s “re-description” of the motivation underlying traditional philosophy is no different from the strategy of unmasking that he has called into question as an instance of a radical or foundationalist critique. I show that, despite his protestations to the contrary, “unmasking” is precisely what—at least on a number of occasions—Rorty quite inconsistently does in demonstrating that the claim of social relevance arises from a form of self-deception engaged in by the traditional philosopher. I further show that theanti-foundationalist stance that defines his characteristic manner of extricating himself from such self-reference problems is based on faulty reasoning and lands him in a deeper incoherence. Since his depoliticization of traditional philosophy depends on the cogency ofthis anti-foundationalist view, I conclude that this depoliticizing project fails. (shrink)
Critical thinking is often assumed to be an integral part of learning in higher education. This learning increasingly takes place in the online environment, where students and faculty are challenged to engage in a collaborative project of critical thinking. This paper seeks to explore the process of critical thinking that is currently taking place online and proposes that social interaction and the social construction of knowledge are integral parts of this process. Discussion boards from economics, history, and sociology are discussed (...) as examples of how critical thinking is developed in the online environment. (shrink)
There is convergence among researchers of the ‘Big Five’ personality traits taxonomy, that the dimension of conscientiousness best explains differences in work performance. This research is a literature review on the interrelationship between certain traits of the conscientiousness dimension and human virtues, or character traits. It also analyzes whether or not it is rational to argue that the continuous improvement culture enhances the exercise of these character traits. The personal effort to develop one's conscientiousness enriches one's character or way of (...) being, and this development is a consequence of character moulding through an intellectual and willful effort enabling one not only to develop personal habits but also to improve task performance. Continuous improvement culture, on the one hand, should provide a work environment where employees can practice virtues, including those contained in conscientiousness. On the other hand, the requirement is that continuous improvement culture should be developed in an environment that respects the freedom and purpose of the individual. (shrink)
Since the 2004 publication of his book The Good in the Right, Robert Audi has been at the forefront of the current resurgence of interest in intuitionism – the idea that human beings have an intuitive sense of right and wrong – in ethics. The New Intuitionism brings together some of the world’s most important contemporary writers from such diverse fields as metaethics, epistemology and moral psychology to explore the latest implications of, and challenges to, Audi’s work. The book also (...) includes an opening chapter that surveys the development of contemporary intuitionism and a conclusion that lays the ground for future developments and debates both written by Audi himself, making this an essential survey of this important school of ethical thought for anyone working in the field. (shrink)
We tested the hypothesis that perception of an alternative image in ambiguous figures would be manifest as high-frequency (gamma) components that become synchronized over multiple scalp sites as a ''cognitive binding'' process occurs. For 171 combinations of data from 19 electrodes, obtained from 17 subjects and 10 replicate stimuli, we calculated the difference in correlation between the response to first seeing an ambiguous figure and when the alternative percept for that figure became consciously realized (cognitively bound). Numerous statistically significant correlation (...) differences occurred in all frequency bands tested with ambiguous-figure stimulation, but not in two kinds of control data (a reaction-time test to sound stimuli and a no-task, mind-wandering test). Statistically significant correlation changes were widespread, involving frontal, parietal, central, and occipital regions of both hemispheres. Correlation changes were evident at each of five frequency bands, ranging up to 62.5 Hz. Most of the statistically significant correlation changes were not between adjacent sites but between sites relatively distant, both ipsilateral and contralateral. Typically, these correlation changes occurred in more than one frequency band. These results suggest that cognitive binding is a distinct mental state that is reliably induced by ambiguous-figure perception tasks. Coherent oscillations at multiple frequencies may reflect the mechanism by which such binding occurs. Moreover, different coherent frequencies may mediate different components of the total cognitive-binding process. (shrink)
The study of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) function has shown to provide useful indicators for risk stratification and early detection on a variety of cardiovascular pathologies. However, data gathered during different tests of the ANS are difficult to analyse, mainly due to the complex mechanisms involved in the autonomic regulation of the cardiovascular system (CVS). Although model-based analysis of ANS data has been already proposed as a way to cope with this complexity, only a few models coupling the main (...) elements involved have been presented in the literature. In this paper, a new model of the CVS, representing the ventricles, the circulatory system and the regulation of the CVS activity by the ANS, is presented. The models of the vascular system and the ventricular activity have been developed using the Bond Graph formalism, as it proposes a unified representation for all energetic domains, facilitating the integration of mechanic and hydraulic phenomena. In order to take into account the electro-mechanical behaviour of both ventricles, an electrophysiologic model of the cardiac action potential, represented by a set of ordinary differential equations, has been integrated. The short-term ANS regulation of heart rate, cardiac contractility and peripheral vasoconstriction is represented by means of continuous transfer functions. These models, represented in different continuous formalisms, are coupled by using a multi-formalism simulation library. Results are presented for two different autonomic tests, namely the Tilt Test and the Valsalva Manoeuvre, by comparing real and simulated signals. (shrink)
Cardiovascular modelling has been a major research subject for the last decade. Different cardiac models have been developed at a cellular level as well as at the whole organ level. Most of these models are defined by a comprehensive cellular modelling using continuous formalisms or by a tissue-level modelling often based on discrete formalisms. Nevertheless, both views still suffer from difficulties that reduce their clinical applications: the first approach requires heavy computational resources while the second one is not able to (...) reproduce certain pathologies.This paper presents an original methodology trying to gather advantages from both approaches, by means of a hybrid model mixing discrete and continuous formalisms. This method has been applied to define a hybrid model of cardiac action potential propagation on a 2D grid of endocardial cells, combining cellular automata and a set of cells defined by the Beeler-Reuter model. For simulations under physiological and ischemic conditions, results show that the action potential propagation as well as electrogram reconstructions are consistent with clinical diagnosis. Finally, the advantage of the proposed approach is discussed within the frame of cardiac modelling and simulation. (shrink)
Different approaches have been proposed in order to achieve knowledge integration for coronary care monitoring applications, usually in the form of expert systems. The clinical impact of these expert systems, which are based only on "shallow" knowledge, has not been remarkable due to the difficulties associated with the construction and maintenance of a complete knowledge base. Model-based systems represent an alternative to these problems because they allow efficient integration of the "deep" knowledge on the underlying physiological phenomena being monitored. In (...) this work, a brief review of existing model-based systems for cardiac rhythm interpretation is presented, followed by the description of a new system forCardiac Arrhythmia Recognition by Model-Based ECG Matching (CARMEM). Fundamental characteristics of CARMEM are presented; in particular, its ability to provide on-line parameter adaptation to simulate complex rhythms and to match observed ECG signals. The proposed model can be useful for the explanation of the origin of cardiac arrhythmias and contribute towards their robust characterization in the context of coronary care units. (shrink)
In this paper, a mathematical model of the respiratory mechanics is used to reproduce experimental signal waveforms acquired from three newborn lambs. As the main challenge is to determine specific lamb parameters, a sensitivity analysis has been realized to find the most influent parameters, which are identified using an evolutionary algorithm. Results show a close match between experimental and simulated pressure and flow waveforms obtained during spontaneous ventilation and pleural pressure variations acquired during the application of positive pressure, since root (...) mean square errors equal to 0.0119, 0.0052 and 0.0094. The identified parameters were discussed in light of previous knowledge of respiratory mechanics in the newborn. (shrink)
Since its original 1996 publication,Jorge Garcia''s ``The Heart of Racism'''' has beenwidely reprinted, a testimony to its importanceas a distinctive and original analysis ofracism. Garcia shifts the standard framework ofdiscussion from the socio-political to theethical, and analyzes racism as essentially avice. He represents his account asnon-revisionist (capturing everyday usage),non-doxastic (not relying on belief),volitional (requiring ill-will), and moralized(racism is always wrong). In this paper, Icritique Garcia''s analysis, arguing that hedoes in fact revise everyday usage, that hisaccount does tacitly rely on (...) belief, thatill-will is not necessary for racism, and thata moralized account gets both the scope and thedynamic of racism wrong. While I do not offeran alternative positive account myself, Isuggest that traditional left-wing structuralanalyses are indeed superior. (shrink)
The year of the centennial of the Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges is probably the right time to exhume one of the links that this universal writer had with William James. In 1945, Emece, a publisher from Buenos Aires, printed a Spanish translation of William James’s book Pragmatism, with a foreword by Jorge Luis Borges.
Arriaga is an early modern scholastic who recognizes the importance of relations to philosophical discussions. He offers a classification of different kinds of relations, focusing on the distinction between categorial relations and transcendental relations. I suggest that this distinction might be seen as akin to one version of the modern distinction between external and internal relations. Like Suárez, whom he characterizes as a “giant among the scholastics,” Arriaga offers a reductionist account of categorial relations. He criticises Suárez’s account, however, for (...) formally identifying a relation with the foundation in one relatum, something Suárez does in order to preserve a real distinction between converse relations. Arriaga, in contrast, argues that a categorial relation is formally identical to the foundation and terminus. Arriaga gives less attention to transcendental relations, even though he thinks they are real relations, but I offer some suggestions for how he may be thinking about them. (shrink)
In this article, we argue that it can be fruitful for philosophers interested in the nature and moral significance of racism to pay more attention to psychology. We do this by showing that psychology provides new arguments against Garcia's views about the nature and moral significance of racism. We contend that some scientific studies of racial cognition undermine Garcia's moral and psychological monism about racism: Garcia disregards (1) the rich affective texture of racism and (2) the diversity of what makes (...) racial ills morally wrong. Key Words: racism • emotions • implicit bias • psychology • racial ills • pluralism. (shrink)
“Given the history of ideas about race and the present knowledge that race does not have the biological foundation that the lay public continues to think it does, philosophers addressing race at this time would seem to have a professional obligation to think through the implications for related topics of the biological non-existence of race. For instance, […].
Valadez' book is an excellent investigation of the question of group rights. Nonetheless, there are some serious objections to group rights that he does not investigate. Groups contain hierarchies of power: thus giving legal privileges to a group is usually tantamount to giving more power to those already in power within the group. Groups have unclear and changing boundaries of membership; group rights often reify the current definition of a group and militate against change. Finally, there are 'dispersed groups' that (...) may be very important in people's identity, but that do not figure in the usual discussions of group ethno-cultural rights; the group of women, groups defined by sexual orientation, profession or the love of something. Such groups are unlikely to win legal privileges but then, giving legal privileges to the ethno-cultural groups makes them more salient by contrast with the 'dispersed groups'. I investigate these points, using a variety of examples. Key Words: group rights identity race Valadez women. (shrink)
Transpersonal psychology first emerged as an academic discipline in the 1960s and has subsequently broadened into a range of transpersonal studies. Jorge Ferrer (2002) has called for a 'revisioning' of transpersonal theory, dethroning inner experience from its dominant role in defining and validating spiritual reality. In the current paradigm he detects a lingering Cartesianism, which subtly entrenches the very subject-object divide that transpersonalists seek to overcome. This paper outlines the development and current shape of the transpersonal movement, compares Ferrer's (...) epistemology with the heterophenomenology of Daniel Dennett, and speculates on the integration of the latter into transpersonal theory. (shrink)
It is an honor and also a pleasure to respond to the three philosophers who have devoted so much time and careful attention to reading and critiquing my paper "Nations of Immigrants: Do Words Matter?" As an interdisciplinary scholar who interacts more often with specialists in the social sciences, history, and Italian studies than with philosophers, I was unsure what to expect from the Coss Dialogue. Would it be possible to find words common enough to all that we could begin (...) to address the complex issues raised by national mythology about the United States as a nation of immigrants? I believe that our panel discussions revealed the common ground we rather quickly found. But they also uncovered a few gaping chasms .. (shrink)
Se busca rastrear la imagen que Platón tiene de Heráclito y articularla con la estructura argumentativa del Cratilo, para comprender las necesidades textuales a las que responde la doctrina del flujo perpetuo, es decir, la discusión sobre la corrección (ὀρθότης) del nombre. Gracias a la inclusión del testimonio heraclíteo, resulta posible rastrear la presunta consolidación de la tesis sobre los nombres primarios y los secundarios como el eje de la separación entre dos planos de realidad (uno estable y uno móvil) (...) y de la teoría de las Ideas -es decir, como la base de la epistemología platónica presente en los diálogos de madurez-. The article seeks to trace the image Plato has of Heraclitus and connect it with the argumentative structure of the Cratylus in order to understand the textual needs that give rise to the doctrine of perpetual flux, that is, the discussion regarding the correctness (ὀρθότης) of names. The inclusion of Heraclitus's testimony makes it possible to trace the alleged consolidation of the thesis regarding primary and secondary names as the axis of separation between two levels of reality (one stable, the other, changing) and the theory of Ideas -that is, as the basis of Plato's epistemology as set forth in the late dialogues-. (shrink)
This is the first book-length study of Descartes's metaphysics to place it in its immediate historical context, the Late Scholastic philosophy of thinkers such as Suárez against which Descartes reacted. Jorge Secada views Cartesian philosophy as an 'essentialist' reply to the 'existentialism' of the School, and his discussion includes careful analyses and original interpretations of such central Cartesian themes as the role of scepticism, intentionality and the doctrine of the material falsity of ideas, universals and the relation between sense (...) and understanding, causation and the proofs of the existence of God, the theory of substance, and the dualism of mind and matter. His study offers a picture of Descartes's metaphysics that is both novel and philosophically illuminating. (shrink)
This work is not a specific assessment of Utility of Religion by John Stuart Mill, but a defence of what I think is a utilitarian, but not millian, view on the problem that work states, the question of the utility of religion in contemporary societies. I construct that view from neohumeanism more than from millian positions, notwithstanding, I postulate that view as a genuine utilitarian one. -/- Every cultural tradition makes a different approach to ethical and political theories. Spanish and (...) Ibero-American utilitarians make precisely it with Classical Utilitarianism. -/- From that point of view, Ibero-American people identifies utilitarianism with radical and enlightened tradition linked with the reform that through XVIIIth and XIXth centuries tried to undermine the foundations of conservative society in our nations. -/- This aim was not achieved, at least not completely; because of that, the pursuit of Utilitarianism remains opened between us. In the end, I will argue that Spanish and Ibero-American utilitarians connect utilitarianism with philosophical and political radicalism, and inside that Hispanic utilitarianism, plays an important role the criticism of social and political functions of Religion. -/- Maybe, part of the future of Utilitarianism in our cultural context depends on a return of the Theory to its radical roots, also in religious subjects. (shrink)
En el mundo occidental, la primera figura que encarna el arquetipo del mediador sapiencial entre la comunidad humana y lo divino es, sin duda, Pitágoras de Samos. Las implicaciones de las doctrinas de este chamán en la historia de las ideas son enormes, pues sus invenciones abarcan todos los campos del saber: matemáticas, astronomía, filosofía, retórica, política, adivinación, medicina y religión. Nada escapa a este sabio griego, al que se atribuye un famoso teorema matemático, las escalas musicales y la idea (...) de la inmortalidad del alma. La primera parte del libro se ocupa de estudiar a Pitágoras como figura carismática y legendaria, la colección de sus enseñanzas, sus aspectos mánticos y políticos y, finalmente, la tradición pitagórica entre la realidad y la falsificación. En la segunda parte se presenta por primera vez, en una nueva traducción anotada, una recopilación de todas las biografías del filósofo: las escritas por Porfirio de Tiro, Jámblico de Calcis y Diógenes Laercio, y, como novedad, la más antigua que se conserva, redactada por el historiador griego Diodoro de Sicilia (s. I a.C.), y la del patriarca Focio de Constantinopla (s. IX). Todo ello, junto a la colección de máximas pitagóricas de origen tardío, llamada Versos de oro, así como el epítome de la enciclopedia bizantina Suda (s. X), forma el presente corpus biográfico-doctrinal de Pitágoras, que era una labor pendiente en el panorama bibliográfico español. David Hernández de la Fuente (Madrid, 1974) es escritor y profesor universitario, especializado en religión griega, antigüedad tardía e historia del platonismo. Doctor en filología clásica y sociología, es autor de los ensayos Oráculos griegos (Alianza) y Bakkhos Anax (CSIC), así como de numerosos artículos en revistas académicas y ediciones de autores clásicos, y ha coordinado la obra colectiva New Perspectives on Late Antiquity (Cambridge Scholars Pub.). Como autor de narrativa ha publicado Las puertas del sueño (Premio de Arte Joven 2005 de la Comunidad de Madrid), Continental (2007) y A cubierto (Premio Diputación de Valencia 2010). Memoria mundi 59 Isbn: 978-84-938466-6-4 440 páginas. (shrink)
Staffan Müller-Wille & Hans-Jörg Rheinberger (Eds): Heredity Produced. At the Crossroads of Biology, Politics, and Culture, 1500–1870 Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 327-331 DOI 10.1007/s10441-011-9130-4 Authors Robert Olby, Department of the History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, 1017 Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, PA 15236, USA Journal Acta Biotheoretica Online ISSN 1572-8358 Print ISSN 0001-5342 Journal Volume Volume 59 Journal Issue Volume 59, Numbers 3-4.
The aim of this paper is two-fold: (1) To contribute to a better knowledge of the method of the Argentinean mathematicians Lia Oubifia and Jorge Bosch to formulate category theory independently of set theory. This method suggests a new ontology of mathematical objects, and has a profound philosophical significance (the underlying logic of the resulting category theory is classical iirst—order predicate calculus with equality). (2) To show in outline how the Oubina-Bosch theory can be modified to give rise to (...) a strong paraconsistent category theory; strong enough to be taken as the basis for a paraconsistent mathematics which encompasses all classical mathematical results. (shrink)
Although most predicates may be truthfully predicated of only some beings, there are others that seem to apply to every being. The latter, including being itself, were known as the transcendentals in the Middle Ages and gave rise to the much disputed doctrine of the transcendentals. This article explores the main tenets of the doctrine and the difficulties that they face, the reasons why scholastic authors were interested in these issues, and the origins of the doctrine.
This paper uses tools of philosophical analysis critically to examine accounts of the nature of racism that have recently been offered by writers including existentialist philosopher Lewis Gordon, conservative theorist Dinesh D'Souza, and sociologists Michael Omi and Howard Winant. These approaches, which conceive of racism either as a bad-faith choice to believe, a doctrine, or as a type of 'social formation', are found wanting for a variety of reasons, especially that they cannot comprehend some forms of racism. I propose (...) an account that conceives racism chiefly as a motivational/volitional matter, in short, as a form of moral viciousness. I show how this approach offers a unified account that comprises inter alia individual and institutional racism, expressed and unexpressed racism. I point out advantages that my view has over Thomas Schmid's somewhat similar suggestion, and use the account to examine a number of claims made about racism by H. L. Gates, Jr, Elizabeth Young-Bruehl, Gertrude Ezorsky, and others. Finally, I defend this approach from the general criticism that Benjamin DeMott has levelled against any effort so to understand racism. Key Words: Benjamin DeMott Dinesh D'Souza existentialism Lewis Gordon moral concepts Michael Omi racism social formation Howard Winant. (shrink)
The discussion of the relation of levels of reality to categories is important because categories have often been interpreted as constituting levels of reality. This article explores whether this view is correct, and argues it is not. Categories as such should not be understood to constitute levels of reality, although particular categories may. The article begins with a discussion of levels of reality and then turns to specific questions about categories and how they are related to these levels.