This paper explores two phases of the early modern genre wars. The first was fought by Marie de Gournay, in her “Preface” to Montaigne's Essays, on behalf of her adoptive father and in defense of his naked and masculine prose. The second was fought half a century later by Nicholas Boileau in opposition to Gournay's feminizing successor, Madeleine de Scudéry. In this debate Gournay's position is egalitarian, whereas Scudéry's approximates to a feminism of difference. It is claimed that both female (...) protagonists in this early debate occlude the female body. The far more sexually explicit prose of Mary Delarivier Manley is then used to raise the question: is it genre, or is it, rather, the very nature of erotic sexuality, that makes it so difficult for women to masterfully expose themselves as authoritative subjects? (shrink)
Argues that on an interpretation of the Enlightenment which emphasises its radical potential and importance for the development of democracy Catharine Macaulay should be recognised as a more centrally Enlightenment historian than David Hume.
This paper develops a new account of Beauvoir's "Hegelianism" and argues that the strand of contemporary interpretation of Beauvoir that seeks to represent her thought in isolation from that of Jean-Paul Sartre constitutes a betrayal of the philosophy of recognition that she denves from Hegel. It underscores the extent to which Beauvoir influenced Sartre's Being and Nothingness and shows that Sartre and Beauvoir both adapted Hegel's ideas and agreed in rejecting his optimism.
Madeleine de Scudery played a previously unrecognized part in the development of modern ideas of married friendship, and the eighteenth-century version of the distinction between the public and private spheres, through the influence of her novels on the political views of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Her development of the notions of tender friendship and tender love between the sexes helped change the way in which married love was conceptualized. She transformed the chivalric idea that women rule men through love, by making it (...) compatible with marriage, and her ideas concerning the appropriate relationship between husband and wife were adapted by Rousseau, without acknowledgement, in his account of the relationship between Emile and Sophie. (shrink)
It is argued that, if Armstrong is correct and truthmakers necessitate the truths they make true, then the truthmakers must include facts about the meanings of the words used to express those truths, and nominalism apparently results. This conclusion, no doubt unpalatable to Armstrong, is, it is claimed, the result of his having failed to distinguish sufficiently the meanings of words and the properties of things.
Michael Dummett has argued that a formal semantics for our language is inadequate unless it can be shown to illuminate to our actual practice of speaking and understanding. This paper argues that Frege’s account of the semantics of predicate expressions according to which the reference of a predicate is a concept (a function from objects to truth values) has exactly the required characteristics. The first part of the paper develops a model for understanding the distinction between objects and concepts as (...) an ontological distinction. It argues that, ontologically, we can take a Fregean function to be generated by a property detection device that can register for any object the presence or absence of that property. This provides a direct connection between the semantics of sentences and the structure of perceptual judgment. The second part of the paper deals with arguments that have been mounted against the coherence of Frege’s semantics. It argues that some of these are question begging, while others are correct in so far as Frege’s claim is untenable if we assume that the syntactic categories singular term and predicate are primary, and the ontological categories are simply projections of these syntactic categories. However, the objections dissipate once we recognize that an independent ontological characterization of the distinction is available. (shrink)
Peter Singer is responsible for having developed a powerful argument that apparently shows that most of us are far more immoral than we take ourselves to be. Many people follow a minimalist morality. They avoid killing, stealing, lying and cruelty, but feel no obligation to devote themselves to the well-being of everybody else. If we are unstintingly generous, constantly kind or untiring advocates for the prevention of cruelty, we take it that we are doing more morally than is strictly required. (...) We commend those who give generously to foreign aid, but we do not look on those who fail to give us unthinking criminals or moral reprobates. Yet, if Singer's argument is cogent, our standard judgements are seriously askew. Those who fail to do what they can to alleviate the absolute poverty of the worst off in the world are not quite as bad as murders and thieves, for they do not intentionally act in such a way as to kill and deprive others of their rightful share. They are, however, about as bad as reckless drivers who act in a way which will cause death and destruction, without desiring that these predictable consequences of their actions should come about (Singer 1993, p. 228). (shrink)
: De Beauvoir and Irigaray are archetypes of two opposed feminisms: egalitarian feminism and radical feminism of difference. Yet a filiation exists between de Beauvoir's claim, that women is Other, and Irigaray's Speculum of the Other Woman. This paper explores the relationship between de Beauvoir's and Irigaray's notion of otherness. It argues that Irigaray deforms de Beauvoir's categories, and that de Beauvoir provides a more coherent prospect for the development of an authentic feminine subjectivity.
This paper argues that Dummett’s interpretation of the relationship between Frege’s anti-psychologism and Wittgenstein’s doctrine that meaning is use results in a misreading of Frege. It points out that anti-mentalism is a form of anti-psychologism, but that mentalism is not the only version of psycholgism. Thus, while Frege and Wittgenstein are united in their opposition to mentalism, they are not equally opposed to psychologism, and from Frege’s point of view, the doctrine that meaning is use could also imply a version (...) of psychologism. It then offers a realist and externalist reading of Frege’s understanding of concepts, which is more in line with what Frege intended by anti-psychologism. (shrink)
It is generally thought that <span class='Hi'>Searle</span>'s cluster theory of the sense of a proper name was soundly refuted by Kripke in Naming and Necessity. This paper challenges this widespread belief and argues that the observations made by Kripke do not show that <span class='Hi'>Searle</span>'s version of descriptivism is false. Indeed, charitably interpreted, <span class='Hi'>Searle</span>'s theory retains considerable plausibility.
I. Logic, rationality and ideology Herbert Marcuse once claimed that the ‘“rational” is a mode of thought and action which is geared to reduce ignorance, destruction, brutality, and oppression.’ He echoed a widespread folk belief that a world in which people were rational would be a better world. This could be taken as an optimistic empirical conjecture: if people were more rational then probably the world would be a better place (a trust that ‘virtue will be rewarded’, so to speak). (...) However, it is also worth considering a stronger hypothesis: that if something did not reduce ignorance, destruction, brutality, and oppression then it would not constitute rationality. On this view there is no mere correlation between rationality and a propensity toward reduction in ignorance and the rest, it is the propensity to reduce ignorance, destruction, brutality and oppression which in part constitutes rationality. Call this a broad conception of rationality, because it expands beyond the epistemic goal of reducing ignorance, and reaches out to moral concerns like oppression. (shrink)
According to Wollstonecraft . This suggests that for her ethical judgement is based on reason, and so she is an ethical cognitivist. This impression is upheld by the fact that she clearly believes in the existence of ethical truth and has little sympathy with subjectivism. At the same time, she places a great deal of importance on the role of the emotions in ethical judgement. This raises the question how the emotions can be relevant if ethics consists in a realm (...) of truths, discoverable by reason. The paper answers this question and clarifies Wollstonecraft's model of the interaction of emotion and reason by comparing it with those of Rousseau, Godwin, Price and Adam Smith. It argues that the originality of Wollstonecraft's position resides in the way she understands the role of the imagination in ethical reasoning. (shrink)
Abstract Feminists have interpreted Rousseau's attitudes to women as characteristic of a patriarchal ideology in which passion, nature and love are associated with the feminine and repressed in favour of masculine reason, culture and justice. Yet this reading does not cohere with Rousseau's adulation of nature, nor with the repression of writing and culture in favour of natural speech which Derrida finds in his texts. This paper uses Rousseau's accounts of his personal experiences to resolve this conflict and to develop (...) a more complex understanding of Rousseau's attitudes to women. The reading emphasizes that Rousseau operated with a triadic picture in which reason, the passions of the heart and the passions of the body are distinguished. The discussion of Derrida's reading of Rousseau gives rise to some reflections on the relationship of speech and writing to subjectivity, autonomy and women's oppression. (shrink)
In her paper, 'Two distinctions in goodness', Korsgaard points out that while a contrast is often drawn between intrinsic and instrumental value there are really two distinctions to be drawn here. One is the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic value, the other is that between having value as an end and having value as a means. In this paper I apply this contrast to some issues in environmental philosophy. It has become a commonplace of environmentalism that there are intrinsic values (...) in nature. What is usually meant by this is that some values in nature are not merely instrumental to human ends. By using the notion of intrinsic value to express this philosophers have developed positions which are open to a number of meta-ethical and practical objections. The view that there are objective values in nature, which are independent of human interests, is better served by an environmental philosophy which sees most value in nature as objective, extrinsic value. The resulting environmental ethic is sketched and some apparent difficulties discussed. (shrink)
I examine recent arguments to the effect that there are significant logical, conceptual, historical, or psychosexual connections between the subordination of women and the subordination of nature and argue that they are all problematic. Although there are important connections between women’s emancipation and the achievement of important environmental goals, they are practical connections rather than conceptual ones.