Against influential strands of feminist theory, I argue that there is nothing essentialist or homogenising about the category ‘women’. I show that both intersectional claims that it is impossible to separate out the ‘woman part’ of women, and deconstructionist contentions that the category ‘women’ is a fiction, rest on untenable meta-theoretical assumptions. I posit that a more fruitful way of approaching this disputed category is to treat it as an abstraction. Drawing on the philosophical framework of critical realism I elucidate (...) the nature of the vital and inevitable process of abstraction, as a means of finding a way out of the theoretical and methodological impasse that the ‘ban’ on the category ‘women’ has caused. Contrary to many contemporary feminist theorists, I contend that, although the category ‘women’ does not reflect the whole reality of concrete and particular women, it nevertheless refers to something real, namely the structural position as woman. (shrink)
In this article I attempt to reconcile two seemingly conflicting theorisations of love, the one elaborated by Roy Bhaskar as part of his philosophy of meta-Reality and Anna G. Jónasdóttir’s historical materialist-radical feminist theory of love power. While Bhaskar emphasises the essentially non-dual character of love, envisioning it as a ‘no-lose situation’, Jónasdóttir stresses the antagonistic features structuring love relations by conceptualising love as a productive power that men tend to exploit women of. Rather than seeing these accounts as mutually (...) exclusive I show that they can be reconciled by aid of the general ontology elaborated by Bhaskar in his philosophy of meta-Reality. (shrink)
Is it rational to be moral? Can moral disputes be settled rationally? Which criteria determine what we have a good reason to do? In this innovative book, Logi Gunnarsson takes issue with the assumption made by many philosophers faced with the problem of reconciling moral norms with a scientific world view, namely that morality must be offered a non-moral justification based on a formal concept of rationality. He argues that the criteria for the rationality of an action are irreducibly (...) substantive, rather than purely formal, and that assuming that morality must be given a non-moral justification amounts to a distortion of both rationality and morality. His discussion includes substantial critical engagement with major thinkers from two very different philosophical traditions, and is notable for its clear and succinct account of Habermas' discourse ethics. It will appeal to anyone interested in practical reason and the rational credentials of morality. (shrink)
Tim Henning, Person sein und Geschichten erzählen: Eine Studie über personale Autonomie und narrative Gründe Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s10677-012-9341-z Authors Logi Gunnarsson, Department of Philosophy, University of Potsdam, 14469 Potsdam, Germany Journal Ethical Theory and Moral Practice Online ISSN 1572-8447 Print ISSN 1386-2820.
The literature of bioethics suffers from two serious problems. (1) Most authors are unable to take seriously both the rights of the great apes and of severely disabled human infants. Rationalism—moral status rests on rational capacities—wrongly assigns a higher moral status to the great apes than to all severely disabled human infants with less rational capacities than the great apes. Anthropocentrism—moral status depends on membership in the human species—falsely grants all humans a higher moral status than the great apes. Animalism—moral (...) status is dependent on the ability to suffer—mistakenly equates the moral status of humans and most animals. (2) The concept person is widely used for justificatory purposes, but it seems that it cannot play such a role. It seems that it is either redundant or unable to play any justificatory role. I argue that we can solve the second problem by understanding person as a thick evaluative concept. This then enables us to justify assigning a higher moral status to the great apes than to simple animals: the great apes are persons. To solve the first problem, I argue that certain severely disabled infants have a higher moral status than the great apes because they are dependent upon human relationships for their well-being. Only very limited abilities are required for such relationships, and the question who is capable of them must be based on thick evaluative concepts. Thus, it turns out that to make progress in bioethics we must assign thick evaluative concepts a central role. (shrink)
One way to understand philosophy as a form of therapy is this: it involves a philosopher who is trying to cure himself. He has been drawn into a certain philosophical frame of mind—the ‘disease’—and has thus infected himself with this illness. Now he is sick and trying to employ philosophy to cure himself. So philosophy is both: the ailment and the cure. And the philosopher is all three: pathogenic agent, patient, and therapist.
The aim of this review is to assess the ethical implications of finfish aquaculture, regarding fish welfare and environmental aspects. The finfish aquaculture industry has grown substantially the last decades, both as a result of the over-fishing of wild fish populations, and because of the increasing consumer demand for fish meat. As the industry is growing, a significant amount of research on the subject is being conducted, monitoring the effects of aquaculture on the environment and on animal welfare. The areas (...) of concern when it comes to animal welfare have here been divided into four different stages: breeding period; growth period; capturing and handling; and slaughter. Besides these stages, this report includes a chapter on the current evidence of fish sentience, since this issue is still being debated among biologists. However, most biologists are at present acknowledging the probability of fish being sentient creatures. Current aquaculture practices are affecting fish welfare during all four of the cited stages, both on physical and mental levels, as well as on the ability of fish to carry out natural behaviors. The effect fish farming has on the environment is here separated into five different categories: the decline of wild fish populations; waste and chemical discharge; loss of habitat; spreading of diseases; and invasion of exotic organisms. There is evidence of severe negative effects on the environment when looking at these five categories, even when considering the difficulty of studying environmental effects, due to the closely interacting variables. The ethical arguments and scientific evidences here reviewed have not all come to the same conclusions. Nevertheless, the general agreement is that current aquaculture practices are neither meeting the needs of fish nor environment. Thus, the obvious environmental and animal welfare aspects of finfish aquaculture make it hard to ethically defend a fish diet. (shrink)
This paper is the work of two fictional authors, the late Johannes Philologus and Johannes Commentarius. One part consists of Philologus’s philosophical reflections on a fragment that, unbeknownst to him, is identical to the first four paragraphs of the Preface and the last two numbered propositions of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Commentarius writes a preface to Philologus’s article and a commentary on it, in which he, like Philologus, addresses the question of how a work consisting of nonsense can be elucidatory. By (...) publishing his contribution together with that of Philologus, Commentarius wants to produce a work mirroring the structure of the Tractatus itself. (shrink)
In this paper we analyse and discuss the views of Swedish stakeholders on how to mitigate climate change to the extent it is caused by meat production. The stakeholders include meat producer organisations, governmental agencies with direct influence on meat production, political parties as well as non-governmental organisations. Representatives of twelve organisations were interviewed. Several organisations argued against the mitigation option of reducing beef production despite the higher greenhouse gas intensity of beef compared to pork and chicken meat (according to (...) life cycle analysis). Regarding feed production some organisations proposed use of the best available industrial fertilizers, others were against all use of such fertilizers. Several organizations suggested domestic production of more protein-rich fodder and use of manure for biogas production. Regarding meat consumption the focus was on throwing away less food as waste and on eating less meat but the best (most climate friendly) meat, which was considered to be Swedish meat in contrast to imported meat. There was agreement on many issues. Most disagreement was found regarding political steering. We find many of the stakeholders’ mitigation proposals regarding meat production and consumption acceptable. However, we are to some extent critical to their defence of Swedish beef production. We also point out certain problems with the suggestion to reduce consumption of imported meat but not of domestically produced meat. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue against certain dogmas about ambivalence and alienation. Authors such as Harry Frankfurt and Christine Korsgaard demand a unity of persons that excludes ambivalence. Other philosophers such as David Velleman have criticized this demand as overblown, yet these critics, too, demand a personal unity that excludes an extreme form of ambivalence (“radical ambivalence”). I defend radical ambivalence by arguing that, to be true to oneself, one sometimes needs to be radically ambivalent. Certain dogmas about alienation are (...) even more entrenched. Allen Wood’s entry on “alienation” in the Oxford Companion to Philosophy begins as follows: “A psychological or social evil, characterized by one or another type of harmful separation, disruption or fragmentation, which sunders things that belong together.” I think that it is not true that self-alienation is necessarily “harmful.” I argue that radical ambivalence is a form of self-alienation. Thus, because faithfulness to oneself sometimes requires radical ambivalence, to be true to oneself, one sometimes needs to be alienated from oneself. (shrink)
The literature on theoretical reason has been dominated by epistemological concerns, treatments of practical reason by ethical concerns. This book overcomes the limitations of dealing with each separately. It sets out a comprehensive theory of rationality applicable to both practical and theoretical reason. In both domains, Audi explains how experience grounds rationality, delineates the structure of central elements, and attacks the egocentric conception of rationality. He establishes the rationality of altruism and thereby supports major moral principles. The concluding part describes (...) the pluralism and relativity his conception of rationality accommodates and, taking the unified account of theoretical and practical rationality in that light, constructs a theory of global rationality--the overall rationality of persons. Rich in narrative examples, intriguing analogies, and intuitively appealing arguments, this beautifully crafted book will spur advances in ethics and epistemology as well in philosophy of mind and action and the theory of rationality itself. (shrink)
Introduction -- Am I alone in my body? -- Multiple personality -- Personal identity -- Diachronic identity -- What am I fundamentally? -- Empirical discernability and fission -- My body -- The various senses of personal identity -- Multiple personality and individuation -- Morton Prince's seminal case study the dissociation of a personality -- Philosophical theories of multiple personality -- The coexistence thesis -- Sharing my body -- A criterion of individuation -- Multiple personality in therapeutic and biographic discourses -- (...) Multiple personality in literary discourses. (shrink)
Abstract In this article, we investigate the merits of an enactive view of cognition for the contemporary debate about social cognition. If enactivism is to be a genuine alternative to classic cognitivism, it should be able to bridge the “cognitive gap”, i.e. provide us with a convincing account of those higher forms of cognition that have traditionally been the focus of its cognitivist opponents. We show that, when it comes to social cognition, current articulations of enactivism are—despite their celebrated successes (...) in explaining some cases of social interaction—not yet up to the task. This is because they (1) do not pay sufficient attention to the role of offline processing or “decoupling”, and (2) obscure the cognitive gap by overemphasizing the role of phenomenology. We argue that the main challenge for the enactive view will be to acknowledge the importance of both coupled (online) and decoupled (offline) processes for basic and advanced forms of (social) cognition. To meet this challenge, we articulate a dynamic embodied view of cognition. We illustrate the fruitfulness of this approach by recourse to recent findings on false belief understanding. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-23 DOI 10.1007/s11097-011-9223-1 Authors Leon C. de Bruin, Department of Philosophy II, Ruhr-University Bochum, Universitätsstr. 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany Lena Kästner, Department of Philosophy II, Ruhr-University Bochum, Universitätsstr. 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany Journal Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences Online ISSN 1572-8676 Print ISSN 1568-7759. (shrink)
In this paper, a logic for reasoning about coalitional power is developed which explicitly represents agents’ preferences and the actions by which the agents can achieve certain results. A complete axiomatization is given and its satisfiability problem is shown to be decidable and EXPTIME -hard.
This paper presents a substantivist construal of discourse ethics, which claims that we should see our engagement in public deliberation as expressing and elaborating a substantive commitment to basic moral ideas of solidarity, equality, and freedom. This view is different from Habermas's standard formalist defence of discourse ethics, which attempts to derive the principle of discursive moral justification from primarily non-moral presuppositions of rational argumentation as such. After explicating the difference between the substantivist and the formalist construal, I (...) defend the former by showing that it is not only intuitively compelling, but also particularly well equipped for addressing four important objections recently levelled against discourse ethics and its political applications (Rawls's concern that it lacks substantive guidelines, Gunnarsson's challenge that it has not been proven to be superior to alternative moral conceptions such as utilitarianism, Scanlon's complaint that it lacks an account of moral motivation, and Galston's and Young's worries that it could lead to political practices of cultural imposition). I conclude by pointing out some consequences of the previous discussion for the future of Critical Theory. (shrink)
The volume is a collection of essays devoted to the analysis of scientific change and stability. It explores the balance and tension that exist between commensurability and continuity on the one hand, and incommensurability and discontinuity on the other. Moreover, it discusses some central epistemological consequences regarding the nature of scientific progress, rationality and realism. In relation to these topics, it investigates a number of new avenues, and revisits some familiar issues, with a focus on the history and philosophy of (...) physics, and an emphasis on developments in cognitive sciences as well as on the claims of “new experimentalists”.The book constitutes fully revised versions of papers which were originally presented at the international colloquium held at the University of Nancy, France, in June 2004. Each paper is followed by a critical commentary. The conference was a striking example of the sort of genuine dialogue that can take place between philosophers of science, historians of science and scientists who come from different traditions and endorse opposing commitments. This is one of the attractions of the volume. (shrink)
In this article I will do three things: I will argue that solidarity is not necessary for political legitimacy, that non-domination is a strong candidate for legitimacy criterion, and, finally, that non-domination can legitimate the egalitarian welfare state.
I have attempted to show that the philosophical problem of action individuation finds its resolution in the analysis of members'in-situ practices of action description and action attribution, and that the differentkinds of description that may be given of any one presumed action make available different features of that action, and thus are loci for the production of different sorts of narrative trajectories. They can thus provide for the accomplishment of systematically different kinds of interactional tasks. For the present purposes I (...) have distinguished two kinds of constructions that can be provided of ‘actions’: those that are ‘outcome’ descriptions (and involve the use of outcome verbs) and are indeterminate as to prior trajectory or intention; and ‘outcome-indeterminate’ performance descriptions that nevertheless can point to a prospective trajectory of possible outcomes but do not deliver them. These two kinds of description have a different logic-in-use, a different socio-logic, and it is this socio-logic that I have attempted to begin exploring.Further, it has become clear how ‘intention,’ ‘knowledge’ and ‘action’ are finely inter-meshed in practical communicative contexts — indeed, they are ‘laminated’ together in ascriptive and accounting practices whereby the ascription, invocation or inference of ‘intention’ will presuppose or implicate a particular ‘action description.’ Put another way, particular ‘action’ attributions or descriptions logically provide for, or presuppose (are logically tied to), specific kinds of attribution of ‘intention’ and ‘knowledge.’ Indeed, the grammar of ‘action’ accounts is a logical grammar of ‘intention,’ ‘knowledge’ and ‘outcome’. What ‘action’ attribution or description is given or used in any particular context then, depends on and projects a particular ‘composite’ or ‘conjuncture’ of these three action paramaters. It is in this sense that one can talk of asocio-logic of action or, looked at in another way, a socio-logic of knowledge-in-context, one that is simultaneously conceptual, normative and practical. (shrink)
The last years have seen a surge of scandals in financial intermediation. This article argues that the agency structure inherent to most forms of financial intermediation gives rise to conflicts of interest. Though this does not excuse scandalous behavior it points out market imperfections. There are four types of conflicts of interest: personal-individual, personal-organizational, impersonal-individual, and finally, impersonal-organizational conflicts. Analyzing recent scandals we find that all four types of conflicts of interest prevail in financial intermediation.
The contributions in this part of the present issue mainly originate from the Carnap Lectures 2011 in Bochum where Prof. Tim Crane (Cambridge, UK) and Prof. Katalin Farkas (Budapest) presented keynote lectures under the heading “The Boundaries of the Mental”. The full workshop program is available on our website: http://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/philosophy/carnap2011/index.html.
"The introduction of Historical Dictionary of Feminist Philosophy provides a useful overview of the subject, while the chronology runs the gamut from ancient Greek to contemporary feminist philosophers. Dictionary entries cover both the central figures and ideas from the historical tradition of philosophy, as well as ideas and theories from contemporary feminist philosophy, such as epistemology and topics like abortion and sexuality. In addition to including entries on Aristotle, Plato, Descartes, Kant, Wollstonecraft, Beauvoir, and Daly, relevant aspects of other fields (...) of philosophy, the major concepts, and prevailing interpretations and conjectures are also covered. A comprehensive bibliography allows for further reading."--BOOK JACKET. (shrink)