This is the introduction to a special issue of 'Science in Context' on vitalism that I edited. The contents are: 1. Guido Giglioni — “What Ever Happened to Francis Glisson? Albrecht Haller and the Fate of Eighteenth-Century Irritability” 2. Dominique Boury— “Irritability and Sensibility: Two Key Concepts in Assessing the Medical Doctrines of Haller and Bordeu” 3. Tobias Cheung — “Regulating Agents, Functional Interactions, and Stimulus-Reaction-Schemes: The Concept of “Organism” in the Organic System Theories of Stahl, Bordeu and Barthez” 4. (...) Charles T. Wolfe & Motoichi Terada — “The Animal Economy as Object and Program in Montpellier Vitalism” 5. Timo Kaitaro — “Can Matter Mark the Hours? – Eighteenth-Century Vitalist Materialism and Functional Properties” 6. Elizabeth Williams —“Of Two Lives One? Jean-Charles-Marguerite-Guillaume Grimaud and the Question of Holism in Vitalist Medicine” 7. Philippe Huneman — “Montpellier Vitalism and the Emergence of Alienism in France (1750-1800): The Case of the Passions” 8. Elke Witt —“Form – A Matter of Generation. The Relation of Generation, Form and Function in the Epigenetic Theory of C.F. Wolff” . (shrink)
Envy and resentment are generally thought to be unpleasant and unethical emotions which ought to be condemned. I argue that both envy and resentment, in some important forms, are moral emotions connected with concern for justice, understood in terms of desert and entitlement. They enable us to recognise injustice, work as a spur to acting against it and connect us to others. Thus, we should accept these emotions as part of the ethical life.
: Is love essential to ethical life, or merely a supplement? In Kant's view, respect and love, as duties, are in tension with each other because love involves drawing closer and respect involves drawing away. By contrast, Irigaray says that love and respect do not conflict because love as passion must also involve distancing and we have a responsibility to love. I argue that love, understood as passion and based on respect, is essential to ethics.
Derrida's purpose in ‘Death Penalties’ (2004), is to show how both arguments in favour of capital punishment, exemplified by Kant's, and arguments for its abolition, such as those of Beccaria, are deconstructible. He claims that ‘never, to my knowledge, has any philosopher as a philosopher, in his or her own strictly and systematically philosophical discourse, never has any philosophy as such contested the legitimacy of the death penalty.’ (2004, 146) Derrida also asks how it is possible ‘to abolish the death (...) penalty in a way that is based on principle, that is universal and unconditional, and not because it has become not only cruel but useless, insufficiently exemplary?’ (2004, 137) In my paper, I examine Derrida's claim about the lack of systematic opposition to the death penalty on the part of philosophers and suggest an answer to his question concerning the possibility of a universal and unconditional opposition to capital punishment. (shrink)
Iris Marion Young argues we cannot understand others’ experiences by imagining ourselves in their place or in terms of symmetrical reciprocity (1997a). For Young, reciprocity expresses moral respect and asymmetry arises from people’s greatly varying life histories and social positions. La Caze argues there are problems with Young’s articulation of asymmetrical reciprocity in terms of wonder and the gift. By discussing friendship and political representation, she shows how taking self-respect into account complicates asymmetrical reciprocity.
This paper considers the distinctions Aristotle draws (1) between the intellectual virtue of "phronêsis" and the moral virtues and (2) among the moral virtues, in light of his commitment to the reciprocity of the virtues. I argue that Aristotle takes the intellectual virtues to be numerically distinct hexeis from the moral virtues. By contrast, I argue, he treats the moral virtues as numerically one hexis, although he allows that they are many hexeis 'in being'. The paper has three parts. In (...) the first, I set out Aristotle's account of the structure of the faculties of the soul, and determine that desire is a distinct faculty. The rationality of a desire is not then a question of whether or not the faculty that produces that desire is rational, but rather a question of whether or not the object of the desire is good. In the second section I show that the reciprocity of "phronêsis" and the moral virtues requires this structure of the faculties. In the third section I show that the way in which Aristotle distinguishes the faculties requires that we individuate moral virtues according to the objects of the desires that enter into a given virtue, and with reference to the circumstances in which these desires are generated. I then explore what it might mean for the moral virtues to be different in being but not in number, given the way in which the moral virtues are individuated. I argue that Aristotle takes "phronêsis" and the political art to be a numerical unity in a particular way, and that he suggests that the moral virtues are, by analogy, the same kind of unity. (shrink)
: In a reading of René Descartes's The Passions of the Soul, Luce Irigaray explores the possibility that wonder, first of all passions, can provide the basis for an ethics of sexual difference because it is prior to judgment, and thus nonhierarchical. For Descartes, the passion of generosity gives the key to ethics. I argue that wonder should be extended to other differences and should be combined with generosity to form the basis of an ethics.
Clower, Jason: The Unlikely Buddhologist, Tiantai Buddhism in M ou Zongsan’s New Confucianism Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11712-011-9261-y Authors Sébastien Billioud, Univ Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité. UFR LCAO/East Asian Studies Department, Case 7009, 16 rue Marguerite Duras, 75205 Paris Cedex 13 Paris, France Journal Dao Online ISSN 1569-7274 Print ISSN 1540-3009.
Marguerite Clark as Topsy in Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1918). Charlton Heston as Ramon Miguel Vargas in Touch of Evil (1958). Mizuo Peck as Sacagawea in Night at the Museum (2006). From the early days of cinema to its classic-era through to the contemporary Hollywood age, the history of cinema is replete with films in which the racial (or ethnic) background of a principal character does not match the background of the actor or actress portraying that character. I call this (...) actor-character race-mismatching. In this paper, I mainly explore whether a coherent and plausible account can be given of race-matching in terms of purely aesthetic considerations, i.e., an account that absent moral considerations can nevertheless coherently and productively answer the following questions: can race-mismatching itself ever be an aesthetic defect of a film, and if so, under what conditions can race-mismatching be such an aesthetic defect. I claim that once we have in place a precise account of the nature of race-matching, it becomes clear that films for which race-mismatching appears to constitute an aesthetic defect are actually films with which properly engaging requires audiences to satisfy inconsistent epistemic conditions. In such cases, I claim, race mismatching constitutes an aesthetic defect for the film-fiction because—in virtue of the inconsistency underwritten by the race-mismatching—that film-fiction undermines the very uptake it prescribes. I then argue that if what’s defective about race-mismatching aesthetically is predicated on something being defective about race-mismatching epistemically, then if there is nothing in principle defective about race-mismatching epistemically, then so too for mismatching aesthetically (and so too for mismatching morally). From this I conclude that reasons stemming only from race-matching/mismatching itself lack the normative force sufficient to warrant the claim that film-fictions ought not race-mismatch. (shrink)
Studies exploring how students learn and understand science processes such as diffusion and natural selection typically find that students provide misconceived explanations of how the patterns of such processes arise (such as why giraffes’ necks get longer over generations, or how ink dropped into water appears to “flow”). Instead of explaining the patterns of these processes as emerging from the collective interactions of all the agents (e.g., both the water and the ink molecules), students often explain the pattern as being (...) caused by controlling agents with intentional goals, as well as express a variety of many other misconceived notions. In this article, we provide a hypothesis for what constitutes a misconceived explanation; why misconceived explanations are so prevalent, robust, and resistant to instruction; and offer one approach of how they may be overcome. In particular, we hypothesize that students misunderstand many science processes because they rely on a generalized version of narrative schemas and scripts (referred to here as a Direct-causal Schema) to interpret them. For science processes that are sequential and stage-like, such as cycles of moon, circulation of blood, stages of mitosis, and photosynthesis, a Direct-causal Schema is adequate for correct understanding. However, for science processes that are non-sequential (or emergent), such as diffusion, natural selection, osmosis, and heat flow, using a Direct Schema to understand these processes will lead to robust misconceptions. Instead, a different type of general schema may be required to interpret non-sequential processes, which we refer to as an Emergent-causal Schema. We propose that students lack this Emergent Schema and teaching it to them may help them learn and understand emergent kinds of science processes such as diffusion. Our study found that directly teaching students this Emergent Schema led to increased learning of the process of diffusion. This article presents a fine-grained characterization of each type of Schema, our instructional intervention, the successes we have achieved, and the lessons we have learned. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to show that for Aristotle god is, and is not, virtuous. I consider first the arguments of the EN to show that the gods do not have virtue---beginning with an account of the divisions of the faculties of soul, and of the virtues that belong to those divisions. These arguments suggest that nous is a divine virtue, and so in the second section I consider nous, as a faculty of soul and as a virtue, (...) and examine the differences between nous as a human virtue, and nous as a virtue which is also a substance, and with which the first divine principle is identified. In the third and final section I ask what kind of difference Aristotle takes the difference between human and divine nous to be---and in particular whether this is a difference in kind or in degree. (shrink)