Only rarely have feminist theorists addressed the adequacy of just-war theory, a set of principles developed over hundreds of years to assess the justice of going to war and the morality of conduct in war. Recently, a few feminist scholars have found just-war theory inadequate, yet their own counterproposals are also deficient. I assess feminist contributions to just-war theorizing and suggest ways of strengthening, rather than abandoning, this moral approach to war.
Scholars have recently suggested the desirability of moving the migrant female subject to the center of the analysis of sex trafficking and other forms of women’s cross-border migration. At first glance, this seems to be a progressive move forward in empowering women and protecting their human rights, especially those who have been trafficked for the sex trade or have otherwise migrated for work in the sex industry. However, putting the victim of trafficking into the center of trafficking analysis also creates (...) new problems, especially for the formulation and implementation of law and public policy. In this paper, I will first discuss some of the factors that favor putting the female migrant subject at the center of anti-trafficking, such as recognition and respect for the autonomy of the person that is at the center of trafficking. I will then discuss some of the problems that such a reconfiguration would entail. (shrink)
: Recently, a number of commentators on the early Wittgenstein have tried to make the Tractatus more palatable than it actually is; they have blurred the lines between exegesis and philosophical defense. As a corrective to this tendency, this paper attempts to retrieve the early Wittgenstein's true understanding of the ontology of possibility. Focusing upon the two kinds of metaphors he uses in the Tractatus, object-based and space ones, the first part of this paper emphasizes the philosophical problems that motivated (...) his ontology of possibility, especially the "Parmenidean" question of how false propositions make contact with reality. The second part addresses two novel interpretations of the early Wittgenstein's views of ontology and possibility—the non-ontological reading of McGuinness, Ishiguro and the "New" Wittgensteinians, and Raymond Bradley's "third degree possibilist" reading—and shows why they are exegetically unsound. (shrink)
In his A Defense of Abortion David Boonin largely misreads one of the oldest and most defensible arguments against abortion, the argument based on the fetus’s rational nature. In this paper it will be shown that Boonin’s characterization of this argument isinaccurate, that his criticisms of it are therefore ineffective, and that his own criterion—the possession of a “present, dispositional, ideal desire for a future like ours”—is insufficient to ground a human being’s right to life. Boonin’s misread of this classic (...) argument is largelythe result of his focus upon the “properties,” as opposed to the nature, of a fetus and his failure to consider the notion of a rational nature as ordered to rational activities. In addition, his argument for abortion rights fails on its own terms because it ultimately licensesinfanticide. Infants have desires and they possess a future like ours, but they do not have any desire for a future like ours. (shrink)
What can the "Lotus Sūtra" teach us about social responsibility? This question is explored through the lens of gender by examining the specifically female-gendered images in the "Lotus Sūtra" in order to assess its messages regarding normative gender relations, and the implications of these messages for gender justice in the contemporary world. First, gender imagery in the Lotus is explored. Second, these images are compared with those found elsewhere in the Buddhist tradition in order to provide a clearer assessment of (...) how representative the "Lotus'" messages are regarding gender in Buddhism more generally. Measuring the gender imagery in the "Lotus Sūtra" against that in comparable Buddhist texts reinforces an assessment that this text reflects somewhat ambivalent and contradictory messages regarding women's capacity for Enlightenment. (shrink)
In contrast to recent trends that depict the later Wittgenstein’s work as wholly therapeutic in nature, this essay argues that the famous wood sellers scenario of Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics is evidence of the later Wittgenstein’s linguistic naturalism and relativism. This scenario, like many others, is intended to show the naturalistic and arbitrary character of our own concepts, as well as the possibility of different forms of life with different concepts. David R. Cerbone’s more therapeutic take on these (...) passages, that the purpose of the wood sellers is to demonstrate the impossibility of logically alien practices, is then addressed. It is shown that such a read is incompatible with numerous passages in Wittgenstein’s writings, overlooks the nexus of remarks within which this scenario appears, and ignores much of what Wittgenstein actually states about the wood sellers. (shrink)
The so-called “war on terror” launched by the United States following 9/11 is only the latest in an ongoing strategy of responding to conflict around the world with military violence and armed force. These interventions appear to be premised on a belief that there is no alternative to using violence and armed force to resolve conflicts because human beings have fixed and unchanging identities which are either “with us or against us,” “friends or enemies,” “good or evil.” In contrast, despite (...) the pervasiveness of violent conflict, suffering and human rights violations in their homelands, it is striking to note how a number of prominent Buddhist political and spiritual leaders remain optimistic about the possibilities of positive peace in the world. In exploring the reasons for these differences, I will focus on the views of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the spiritual and political leader of the government of Tibet in exile and the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize as well as the congressional gold medal, as well as those of two other Buddhist leaders: Daw Aung Sang Suu Kyi, the democratically elected leader of Burma who has been held under house arrest by the ruling military junta for several years since her election in 1989, and the Vietnamese Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh, who has worked for peace in his country since the start of the Vietnam War. As I will show, their views reflect starkly different assumptions about human beings, “enemies” in particular, that provide a more constructive framework for resolving conflict situations than those evident in the seemingly automatic resort to armed violence employed by US leaders. (shrink)