Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception (1945) essentially aims at debunking the myth of objectivity. The Phenomenology takes the entire Western tradition to task over its reliance on the objective attitude, showing how this attitude structures the architectonics of idealism and empiricism. These philosophies share the same presuppositions: their metaphysics and epistemologies are inherently dualistic. The problematics that stem from this objectivism have informed the Western understanding of God. This essay undertakes an examination of one of the more extended treatments of God (...) in Merleau-Ponty's magnum opus. The aim is not to justify or critique the objective attitude per se, but to show some of its radical implications for theology after Descartes. The passage of focus is on pages 358–9 in the English translation of the Phenomenology. The attempt here is to bring some of the research on Merleau-Ponty into dialogue with the philosophy of religion, and is a tentative step in a larger project of looking at the role of God in Merleau-Ponty's corpus. (shrink)
This essay attempts a phenomenological analysis of Descartes' statement, ‘my perception of God is prior to my perception of myself,’ and Buber's claim that God ‘is also the mystery of the self-evident, nearer to me than my I.’ I radicalize the implications of Descartes' and Buber's claims by drawing on the thought of Husserl and Levinas, and couching the analysis in terms of Merleau-Ponty's experiential notions of haunting and reversibility. This forces us to interrogate the subjective space in which we (...) think God qua recognize the other, and shows us a kind of necessity that underlies the I-Thou relation. My conclusion leaves us in a place of powerless subjective inwardness and awe. (shrink)
This review essay of Victor Tadros’s new book, “The Ends of Harm: The Moral Foundations of Criminal Law,” responds to Tadros’s energetic and sophisticated attacks on retributivist justifications for criminal punishment. I argue, in a nutshell, that those attacks fail. In defending retributivism, however, I also sketch original views on two questions that retributivism must address but that many or most retributivists have skated past. First, what do wrongdoers deserve – to suffer? to be punished? something else? Second, what does (...) it mean for them to deserve it? That is, what is the normative force or significance of valid desert claims, either with respect to retributivist desert in particular or with respect to all forms of desert? Because the answers that this essay offers are preliminary, the essay also serves as a partial blueprint for further work by criminal law theorists with retributivist sympathies. (shrink)
Philosophy of sport orthodoxy maintains the following three theses: (1) all sports (or all refereed sports) are games; (2) games are as Suits defined them; and (3) sprints are sports. This article argues that these three theses cannot be jointly maintained and offers exploratory thoughts regarding what might follow.
President Barack Obama ordered federal regulatory agencies to engage in a retrospective regulatory review process in early 2011. This paper reports the initial results of an analysis of participation in the notice and comment process by business and public interest groups. The focus of the analysis is on comments given to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Some attention is given to the EPA’s identification of regulations to be reviewed, as a result of this process.
While it is generally assumed that large corporations today give rhetorical support for basic human rights in public relations documents, skepticism continues toarise about the behavior of these firms. Do company actions support their rhetoric? This paper provides the initial analysis of our study of both rhetoric and practice regarding human rights in a small sample of large U.S. firms. At this point in the analysis, UNGC membership does not appear to have much influence on corporate rhetoric, but may be (...) partially correlated with several measures of corporate performance on human rights issues. (shrink)
Even when turning its attention to public health topics such as preventive care and workplace wellness, the Affordable Care Act law embodies a highly individualistic paradigm of health. The provisions of the law implicitly assign the primary responsibility for prevention to individuals, who should be urged to make more responsible and healthier choices about what they consume and how they live. Relatively little in the law reflects the “population perspective” set forth in public health scholarship that focuses on environmental and (...) social determinants of health. This article explores the cultural and economic factors that led Congress to embrace a highly individualist conception of public health, and it suggests how public health advocates and legal scholars might seek to reframe the public discourse surrounding preventive health issues. (shrink)
Kant's ideas about, questions, and challenges to the Western tradition of philosophy reverberate into the third century of the reception of his texts. The writings of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, the twentieth-century French existential and hermeneutic phenomenologist, are interlaced with engagements with Kant's ideas. Often these incidents are marked by Merleau-Ponty's critique, yet there is a noticeable recurrence of his efforts to contend with Kant's philosophy. In Merleau-Ponty's course notes, Nature (2002), he wrestles with Kant's version of nature in the Critique of (...) Judgment (1790), specifically citing ?the happy accident? between sensibility and the understanding. This opens upon realms of metaphysical thought that remain deeply contentious within Kantian scholarship. An interrogation of this ?happy accident? leads to insights about Merleau-Ponty's conceptualization of an existentialized metaphysics the implications of which shed light on theology and the judgment of God. (shrink)
Our article identifies and describes the metaphoric fallacy to a deductive inference (MFDI) that is an example of incorrect reasoning along the lines of the false analogy fallacy. The MFDI proceeds from informal semantical (metaphorical) claims to a supposedly formally deductive and necessary inference. We charge that such an inference is invalid. We provide three examples of the MFDI to demonstrate the structure of this invalid form of reasoning. Our goal is to contribute to the set of known informal fallacies.
Through a comparative analysis of the key ontological notions in Merleau-Ponty and Nagarjuna, I develop a relational social ontology that is grounded in their respective implicit and explicit ethics. Both thinkers take heed of our being-in-the-world; this is evident in their views on intersubjective sociality and language. Recognizing the limitations in these views points us toward a greater understanding of the meaningfulness of our situated existences. In this vein, I propose a number of ideas to guide the work of comparative (...) philosophy. (shrink)