How much of philosophical, scientific, and political thought is caught up with the idea of continuity? What if it were otherwise? This paper experiments with the disruption of continuity. The reader is invited to participate in a performance of spacetime (re)configurings that are more akin to how electrons experience the world than any journey narrated though rhetorical forms that presume actors move along trajectories across a stage of spacetime (often called history). The electron is here invoked as our host, an (...) interesting body to inhabit (not in order to inspire contemplation of flat-footed analogies between ‘macro’ and ‘micro’ worlds, concepts that already presume a given spatial scale), but a way of thinking with and through dis/continuity – a dis/orienting experience of the dis/jointedness of time and space, entanglements of here and there, now and then, that is, a ghostly sense of dis/continuity, a quantum dis/continuity. There is no overarching sense of temporality, of continuity, in place. Each scene diffracts various temporalities within and across the field of spacetimemattering. Scenes never rest, but are reconfigured within, dispersed across, and threaded through one another. The hope is that what comes across in this dis/jointed movement is a felt sense of différance, of intra-activity, of agential separability – differentiatings that cut together/apart – that is the hauntological nature of quantum entanglements. (shrink)
KarenBarad develops a view she calls ‘posthumanism,’ or ‘agential realism,’ where the human is reconfigured away from the central place of explanation, interpretation, intelligibility, and objectivity to make room for the epistemic importance of other material agents. Barad is not alone in this kind of endeavor, but her posthumanism offers a unique epistemological position. Her aim is to take a performative rather than a representationalist approach to analyzing ‘socialnatural’ practices and challenge methodological assumptions that may go (...) unnoticed in some disciplinary fields. Yet for all the good of the challenge, Barad must support it with sound epistemological theorizing, theorizing that would apply to any methodology, whether that be sociological, historical, anthropological, or philosophical. Thus, where one might critique Barad on her assessments of sociological, historical, or anthropological incorporations of humans and the nonhuman, I critique Barad’s epistemology on its sense of objectivity and dismissal of the centrality of the human. I argue that Barad’s epistemology must retain a particular form of humanism, a humanism that stakes human subjectivity as the locus of rationality and objectivity, without which it creates intractable problems. To recuperate Barad’s challenge to contest assumptive distinctions while avoiding her epistemological problems, I offer some parting reflections. (shrink)
Feminist and post-colonial epistemologists, philosophers of science, and thinkers more generally may find themselves in a distinct form of difficult situation regarding their access to and authority over knowledge within the academic world. Because feminist and post-colonial approaches to knowledge require an acute awareness of relations of domination and the ways in which these pervade the social and epistemic world, it is often difficult to know how to proceed in making theory. These theorists are in particularly ripe positions to benefit (...) from what philosopher-physicist KarenBarad offers us. In this paper, I engage with parts of KarenBarad’s theory of agential realism, both critically and self-reflexively. I assert that allowing Barad’s theory to inform and structure our thinking and language makes knowers better able to meet certain requirements of epistemological responsibility, particularly with regard to the ways we make theory. Moreover, I attempt to assert this in a way that is mindful of how her theory speaks to and accounts for my doing so. (shrink)
Experiments with young infants provide evidence for early-developing capacities to represent physical objects and to reason about object motion. Early physical reasoning accords with 2 constraints at the center of mature physical conceptions: continuity and solidity. It fails to accord with 2 constraints that may be peripheral to mature conceptions: gravity and inertia. These experiments suggest that cognition develops concurrently with perception and action and that development leads to the enrichment of conceptions around an unchanging core. The experiments challenge claims (...) that cognition develops on a foundation of perceptual or motor experience, that initial conceptions are inappropriate to the world, and that initial conceptions are abandoned or radically.. (shrink)
Philosophers are divided on the issue of how our emotions contribute to forming moral judgments. Some hold that emotions are the foundation of moral philosophy while others insist that they should never be permitted to intrude into our moral judgments. Aquinas occupies an intermediate position on the issue. This work will primarily focus on Aquinas' account of the way our emotions support as well as impair our moral judgments. His teaching can help us to properly understanding the unique role played (...) by each of our human faculties in moral judgment and activity, the agent may be aided in his quest to approximate the ideal moral life. (shrink)
: Philosophical naturalism is ambiguous between conjoining philosophy with science or with nature understood scientifically. Reconciliation of this ambiguity is necessary but rarely attempted. Feminist science studies often endorse the former naturalism but criticize the second. KarenBarad's agential realism, however, constructively reconciles both senses. Barad then challenges traditional metaphysical naturalisms as not adequately accountable to science. She also contributes distinctively to feminist reinterpretations of objectivity as agential responsibility, and of agency as embodied, worldly, and intra-active.
This article provides an affirmative feminist reading of the philosophy of Henri Bergson by reading it through the work of KarenBarad. Adopting such a diffractive reading strategy enables feminist philosophy to move beyond discarding Bergson for his apparent phallocentrism. Feminist philosophy finds itself double bound when it critiques a philosophy for being phallocentric, because the setup of a master narrative comes into being with the critique. By negating a gender-blind or sexist philosophy, feminist philosophy only reaffirms its (...) parameters, and setting up a master narrative costs feminist philosophy its feminism. I thus propose and practice a different methodological starting point, one that capitalizes on “diffraction.” This article experiments with the affirmative phase in feminist philosophy prophesied by Elizabeth Grosz, among others. Working along the lines of the diffractive method, the article at the same time proposes a new reading of Bergson (as well as of Barad), a new, different metaphysics indeed, which can be specified as onto-epistemological or “new materialist.”. (shrink)
Doing Science + Culture is a groundbreaking book on the cultural study of science, technology and medicine. Outstanding contributors including life and physical scientists, anthropologists, sociologists, literature/communication scholars and historians of science who focus on the analysis of science and scientific discourses within culture: what it means to "do" science. The essays are organized into three broad topics: transnational science and globalization (the movements of people, material resources and knowledges that underwrite scientific practices within and across borders of nation-states and (...) regions); emerging subjects and subjectivities (of research and researchers); and postdisciplinary pedagogies and curricula (the institutional settings of classroom, laboratory, department and academic division). Contributors: Itty Abraham, Anne Balsamo, KarenBarad, Michael M.J. Fischer, Joan H. Fujimura, Scott F. Gilbert, Emily Martin, Jackie Orr, Roddey Reid, Molly Rhodes and Sharon Traweek. (shrink)
In the dominant “climate change” imaginary, this phenomenon is distant and abstracted from our experiences of weather and the environment in the privileged West. Moreover, climate change discourse is saturated mostly in either neoliberal progress narratives of controlling the future or sustainability narratives of saving the past. Both largely obfuscate our implication therein. This paper proposes a different climate change imaginary. We draw on feminist new materialist theories—in particular those of Stacy Alaimo, Claire Colebrook, and KarenBarad—to describe (...) our relationship to climate change as one of “weathering.” We propose the temporal frame of “thick time”—a transcorporeal stretching between present, future, and past—in order to reimagine our bodies as archives of climate and as making future climates possible. In doing so, we can rethink the temporal narratives of climate change discourse and develop a feminist ethos of responsivity toward climatic phenomena. This project reminds us that we are not masters of the climate, nor are we just spatially “in” it. As weather-bodies, we are thick with climatic intra-actions; we are makers of climate-time. Together we are weathering the world. (shrink)
Karen Warren claims that there is a “logic of domination” at work in the oppressive conceptual frameworks informing both sexism and naturism. Although her account of the principle of domination as a connection between oppressions has been an influential one in ecofeminist theory, it has been challenged by recent criticism. Both Karen Green and John Andrews maintain that the principle of domination,as Warren articulates it, is ambiguous. The principle, according to Green, admits of two possible readings, each of (...) which she finds flawed. Similarly, Andrews claims that the principle is fundamentally inadequate because it cannot distinguish cases of oppressive domination from cases of nonoppressive domination. In this paper, I elucidate Warren’s views and defend her against these and other criticisms put forward by Green and Andrews. I show that Warren’s account of “the logic of domination” successfully illuminates important conceptual features of oppression. (shrink)
Karen-Sue Taussig: Ordinary Genomes: Science, Citizenship and Genetic Identities Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s10441-012-9150-8 Authors Sabina Leonelli, Department of Sociology and Philosophy, ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society, University of Exeter, Exeter, Devon, UK Journal Acta Biotheoretica Online ISSN 1572-8358 Print ISSN 0001-5342.
The Exclusion Problem (EP) for mental causation suggests that there is a tension between the claim that the mental causes physical effects, and the claim that the mental does not overdetermine its physical effects. In response, Karen Bennett (2008, 2003) puts forward an extra necessary condition for overdetermination: if one candidate cause were to occur but the other were not to occur, the effect would still occur. She thus denies one of the assumptions of EP, the assumption that if (...) an effect has two sufficient causes, it is overdetermined. If sound, her argument does two things: it solves EP, and it shows how to use counterfactuals in order to make the notion of overdetermination precise. However, the argument is not sound. (shrink)
This essay focuses on the possibility of adopting a representational approach for technoscience, in which representation is considered as a situated process of dynamic “intra-action” (Barad 2007 ). Re-elaborating the recent critiques of representationalism (Thrift 2008 ), my analysis begins by analysing Hayles’s situated model of representation from an early essay where she explains her definition of constrained constructivism (Hayles [ 1991 ] 1997). The essay then discusses the notions of figuration and diffraction and the way they are employed (...) by Haraway in many of her writings for her critique of technoscience (Haraway 1991 , 1997 ). Finally, after considering diffraction through Barad’s reading of this practice in the context of her theory of agential realism ( 2007 ), it shows the links that relate constrained constructivism, situated knowledge and agential realism, and the way all of them work at “diffract[ing] the rays of technoscience” (Haraway 1997 : 16) through an alternative representational practice. (shrink)
Transformations are not only conditioned by facts encompassing narrower or wider panoramas: from concentrating on death and one (political) role (the ode of Horace), through recalling Cleopatra’s mature life and love (the drama of Shakespeare), to creating an image embracing the heroine’s whole life with its numerous roles, but as a mother and a daughter in the first place, because even her lovers resemble a father and a child (the fictional biography of Karen Essex). Above all, they appear to (...) be more connected with different attitudes towards universal references lying within human cognitive abilities. Horace’s didactic opposition of contradictory patterns leads to the victory of one of them — and it is a linear pattern, as an equivalent of modern myth, which is accepted by the author himself. In Shakespeare, it takes a form of tragedy resulting from the fragmentary character of each pattern, one of which introduces change (archaic myth) and the other constancy (modern myth), and from a painful attempt to combine them. In Essex, the vision of the world in which archaic myth, strongly represented by a child, triumphs is utopian. Irrespective of the differences, all the works realize the essential role played by images developed by heroes, and especially by authors, in human cognition. (shrink)
This is a book review of Karen Armstrong's "The Spiral Staircase", the autobiography of a historian of religion. -/- To cite this article: Newstead, Anne. Compassion, Not Belief [Book Review] [online]. Quadrant, Vol. 49, No. 6, June 2005: 88-89. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=203690937218529;res=IELLCC> ISSN: 0033-5002. [cited 06 Dec 12].
This study examines the use of a video news release in a specific story. Press coverage and editorial criticism in the case showed that journalists do not articulate sufficiently how the news owners' sway, through institutional controls, can lead to a hegemony of expedient action in the newsroom. Critical self-reflection by news workers will better enable journalists to ethically deliberate news choices that balance their responsibilities to owners, peers, and the public.
Karen Bennett has recently articulated and defended a “compatibilist” solution to the causal exclusion problem. Bennett’s solution works by rejecting the exclusion principle on the grounds that even though physical realizers are distinct from the mental states or properties that they realize, they necessarily co-occur such that they fail to satisfy standard accounts of causal over-determination. This is the case, Bennett argues, because the causal background conditions for core realizers being sufficient causes of their effects are identical to the (...) “surround” conditions with which the core realizers are metaphysically sufficient the states or properties that they realize. Here we demonstrate that the background conditions for the causal sufficiency of core realizers for their effects are not identical to the core realizer’s surrounds, nor do backgrounds necessitate such surround conditions. If compatibilist solutions to exclusion can be defended, a different argument will be needed. (shrink)
This article attempts to define karma as both action and the effects of action. In terms of the effects or fruits of action, the effect of action upon the mind is the focus; thus, the idea of "effect" is primarily defined as psychic residue and is compared to Freud's notion of memory traces. In addition, action that produces karma is said to be accompanied by the "pulling" feeling of volition (cetanÄ). Some comparisons are then made between cetanÄ and the theories (...) of Karen Horney in Western psychology vis Ã vis her view of the neurotic's compulsive, driven feelings. The article also has a more ethically oriented side. Often, the karma doctrine is believed to be the only causal factor responsible for one's present condition, and thus, a person's unfortunate circumstances: sometimes this notion leads to blaming a person for his or her misfortune. This article seeks to discover whether or not this idea truly has scriptural backing. Lastly, the article explores the issue of whether or not one must always live out the entirety of the effects of one's actions or if it is possible to purify or eliminate actions' effects before they come to fruition. For this question in particular, the article examines both TheravÄda and MahÄyÄna thinking. (shrink)