: Although others have focused on Catharine MacKinnon's claim that pornography subordinates and silences women, I here focus on her claim that pornography constructs women's nature and that this construction is, in some sense, false. Since it is unclear how pornography, as speech, can construct facts and how constructed facts can nevertheless be false, MacKinnon's claim requires elucidation. Appealing to speech act theory, I introduce an analysis of the erroneous verdictive and use it to make sense of MacKinnon's constructionist claims. (...) I also show that the erroneous verdictive is of more general interest. (shrink)
In a recent article in this journal, Nellie Wieland argues that silencing in the sense put forward by Rae Langton and Jennifer Hornsby has the unpalatable consequence of diminishing a rapist's responsibility for the rape. We argue both that Wieland misidentifies Langton and Hornsby's conception of silencing, and that neither Langton and Hornsby's actual conception, nor the one that Wieland attributes to them, in fact generates this consequence.
I here present two different models of oppressive speech. My interest is not in how speech can cause oppression, but in how speech can actually be an act of oppression. As we shall see, a particular type of speech act, the exercitive, enacts permissibility facts. Since oppressive speech enacts permissibility facts that oppress, speech must be exercitive in order for it to be an act of oppression. In what follows, I distinguish between two sorts of exercitive speech acts (the standard (...) exercitive and the covert exercitive) and I argue that each such exercitive affords a distinct model of oppressive speech. (shrink)
Catharine MacKinnon has pioneered a new brand of anti-pornography argument. In particular, MacKinnon claims that pornography silences women in a way that violates their right to free speech. In what follows, we focus on a certain account of silencing put forward by Jennifer Hornsby and Rae Langton, and we defend that account against two important objections. The first objection contends that this account makes a crucial but false assumption about the necessary role of hearer recognition in successful speech acts. In (...) response, we argue that, as silencing primarily concerns communication, Hornsby and Langton are perfectly correct to treat hearer recognition as they do. The second objection contends that their particular account of silencing has the unacceptable result of undermining the responsibility of rapists. We here argue that no such result follows from their account. (shrink)
In what follows, I motivate and clarify the controversy over metaphysical realism (the claim that there is a single objective way that the world is) by defending it against two objections. A clear understanding of why these objections are misguided goes a considerable distance in illuminating the complex and controversial nature of m-realism. Once the complex thesis is defined, some objections to it are considered. Since m-realism is such a complex and controversial thesis, it cannot legitimately be treated as inevitable (...) unless, of course, there are no viable alternatives to it. For this reason, a brief defense of non-realist metaphysics is offered. Since m-realism is both controversial and substantive, a commitment to it requires both explicit recognition and sustained defense. (shrink)
Suppose a diner says, 'Can you pass the salt?' Although her utterance is literally a question (about the physical abilities of the addressee), most would take it as a request (that the addressee pass the salt). In such a case, the request is performed indirectly by way of directly asking a question. Accordingly this utterance is known as an indirect speech act. On the standard account of such speech acts, a single utterance constitutes two distinct speech acts. On this account (...) then, 'Can you pass the salt?' is both a question and a request. In a provocative essay, Rod Bertolet argues that there are no indirect speech acts. According to Bertolet, 'Can you pass the salt?' is only a question. It is a question that merely functions as a request (without also being one). In this paper we respond to Bertolet's skeptical argument. Appealing to Searle's theory of speech acts and to certain features of linguistic communication, we argue that, despite Bertolet's challenge, there is good reason to countenance indirect speech acts. (shrink)
In this paper, I present a new (i.e., previously overlooked) breed of exercitive speech act (the conversational exercitive). I establish that any conversational contribution that invokes a rule of accommodation changes the bounds of conversational permissibility and is therefore an (indirect) exercitive speech act. Such utterances enact permissibility facts without expressing the content of such facts, without the speaker intending to be enacting such facts and without the hearer recognizing that it is so. Because of the peculiar nature ofthe rules (...) of accommodation that generate them, conversational exercitives have importantly different felicity conditions and therefore constitute a new breed ofexercitive speech act. (shrink)
The idea that the world is human construction is fairly familiar and generally disparaged. One version of this claim is partially defendedhere. This subjectivist thesis concerns a debate about the objectivityof rightness of categorization. A problem about the discriminatoryrole of properties is both presented and motivated. The subjectivistthesis is articulated and defended against two powerful objections.Finally, this thesis is shown to be conceptually independent ofboth verificationism and empirical idealism.
It is widely recognized that Goodman's grue example demonstrates that the rules for induction, unlike those for deduction, cannot be purely syntactic. Ways in which Goodman's proof generalizes, however, are not widely recognized. Gruesome considerations demonstrate that neither theories of simplicity nor theories of empirical confirmation can be purely syntactic. Moreover, the grue paradox can be seen as an instance of a much more general phenomenon. All empirical investigations require semantic constraints, since purely structural constraints are inadequate. Both Russell's theory (...) of empirical knowledge and Putnam's model-theoretic argument against metaphysical realism illustrate the inadequacy of purely structural constraints. (shrink)
Catharine MacKinnon claims that pornography silences women in a way that violates the right to free speech. This claim is, of course, controversial, but if it is correct, then the very free speech reasons for protecting pornography appear also to afford reason to restrict it. For this reason, it has gained considerable attention. The philosophical literature thus far focuses on a type of silencing identified and analyzed by Jennifer Hornsby and Rae Langton (H&L). This article identifies, analyzes, and argues for (...) the importance of a different type of silencing. As we shall see, there are compelling reasons in favor of regarding H&L silencing as a free speech violation and, as I argue here, the same can be said for sincerity silencing. Although additional work needs to be done to show that either one actually is a free speech violation, I demonstrate here that both types of silencing equally warrant this further attention. Moreover, I show that sincerity silencing is a fairly widespread phenomenon; so, therefore, is the harm it constitutes. As a result of these considerations, then, we can safely conclude that sincerity silencing also requires our attention. (shrink)
Although others have focused on Catharine MacKinnon's claim that pornography subordinates and silences women, I here focus on her claim that pornography constructs women's nature and that this construction is, in some sense, false. Since it is unclear how pornography, as speech, can construct facts and how constructed facts can nevertheless be false, MacKinnon's claim requires elucidation. Appealing to speech act theory, I introduce an analysis of the erroneous verdictive and use it to make sense of MacKinnon's constructionist claims. I (...) also show that the erroneous verdictive is of more general interest. (shrink)
In recent work Mary Kate McGowan presents an account of oppressive speech inspired by David Lewis's analysis of conversational kinematics. Speech can effect identity-based oppression, she argues, by altering ?the conversational score??which is to say, roughly, that it can introduce presuppositions and expectations into a conversation, and thus determine what sort of subsequent conversational ?moves? are apt, correct, felicitous, etc.?in a manner that oppresses members of a certain group (e.g. because the suppositions and expectations derogate or demean members (...) of that group). In keeping with the Lewisian picture, McGowan stresses the asymmetric pliability of conversational scores. She argues that it is easier to introduce (for example) sexist presuppositions and expectations into a conversation than it is to remove them. Responding to a sexist remark, she thus suggests, is like trying to ?unring a bell?. I begin by situating McGowan's work in the wider literature on speech and social hierarchy, and explaining how her account of oppressive speech improves upon the work of others in its explication of the relationship between individuals' verbal conduct and structurally oppressive social arrangements. I then propose an explanation and supportive elaboration of McGowan's claims about the asymmetric pliability of conversations involving identity-oppressive speech. Rather than regarding such asymmetry as a sui generis phenomenon, I show how we can understand it as a consequence of a more general asymmetry between making things salient and un-salient in speech, and I show how this asymmetry also operates in various cases that interested Lewis. (shrink)
: If liberal theory is to move forward, it must take the political nature of family relations seriously. The beginnings of such a liberalism appear in Mary Wollstonecraft's work. Wollstonecraft's depiction of the family as a fundamentally political institution extends liberal values into the private sphere by promoting the ideal of marriage as friendship. However, while her model of marriage diminishes arbitrary power in family relations, she seems unable to incorporate enduring sexual relations between married partners.
In 1997, five decades after the publication of the landmark Hempel-Oppenheim article "Studies in the Logic of Explanation"(, 1970) Wesley Salmon published Causality and Explanation, a book that re-addresses the issue of scientific explanation. He provided an overview of the basic approaches to scientific explanation, stressed their weaknesses, and offered novel insights. However, he failed to mention Mary Hesse's approach to the topic and analyze her standpoint. This essay brings front and center Hesse's approach to scientific explanation formulated in (...) the 1960s and argues that rereading Hesse's account one can overcome the criticisms addressed towards another influential theory of explanation that of Bas van Fraassen's. Furthermore, it could bring the traditional philosophy of science into a fruitful conversation with science and technology studies and gender studies in science, technology and medicine. (shrink)
During a smallpox epidemic in April 1721, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu asked Dr. Charles Maitland to "engraft" her daughter, thus instigating the first documented inoculation for smallpox (_Variola_ virus) in England. Engrafting, or variolation, was a means of conferring immunity to smallpox by placing pus taken from a smallpox pustule under the skin of an uninfected person to create a local infection. The introduction of infectious viral matter, however, could trigger fullblown smallpox, and the practice was controversial for both (...) this reason and the pervasive conviction that it was immoral to intentionally infect a human body. Eventually, engrafting was phased out altogether in favor of vaccination, a much safer procedure established by Edward Jenner in the late eighteenth century. Montagu's decision was influenced by her experiences in Constantinople, where she had spent a year, and where engrafting was commonplace. As a smallpox survivor herself, Montagu had taken an interest in Turkish inoculation practices, and had had her son Edward engrafted while in Turkey. She was not the first person to import the idea of smallpox inoculation to England, nor the first English person to have their child inoculated (other English children had been inoculated while visiting Turkey), yet she quickly became known for importing and popularizing smallpox inoculation. At the request of her acquaintances, she took her inoculated daughter with her on a round of visits into elite households to demonstrate the safety of the procedure. The reputation she gained was both positive and negative: monuments were erected in her honor, encomiastic poems were published, and Voltaire declared her "a woman of as fine a genius, and endued with as great a strength of mind as any of her sex in the British Kingdoms"; however, anti-inoculationists ridiculed her, some society figures regarded her warily, and Alexander Pope satirized her in his poetry.
Montagus pioneering role in the smallpox debate is undoubtedly significant: she instigated the first smallpox inoculation on English soil, and she was largely responsible for making the practice acceptable in elite circles. My interest in this essay is in the nature and significance of Montagus reputation as an inoculation pioneer. I will argue that her reputation was based on the particular combination of her social position as a Whig and an aristocratic woman; her interest in progressive and enlightened forms of social, political, and scientific thought; her standing in influential literary circles; and, not least, the force of her own personality. In broad terms, I offer Montagus involvement in the smallpox debate as a case study in a new kind of public role becoming available to elite women in the early eighteenth century a role that caused considerable discomfort among her peers and in the medical community, and one that stimulated a widespread controversy in print publications of the day. (shrink)
This article discusses the work of Dr Mary Louisa Gordon, who was appointed as the first English Lady Inspector of Prisons in 1908, and remained in post until 1921. Her attitude towards and treatment of women prisoners, as explained in her 1922 book Penal Discipline, stands in sharp contrast to that of her male contemporaries, and the categorisation of her approach as ‘feminist’ is reinforced by her documented connections with the suffragette movement. Yet her feminist and suffragist associations also (...) resulted in the marginalisation and dismissal of her work, such that Mary Gordon and Penal Discipline are virtually unknown today. Nevertheless, her insights into the position and needs of women prisoners retain a striking contemporary relevance. (shrink)
I was optimistic of a new beginning in an open society when I came to America in 1999. Since then, I have indeed benefited from many aspects of American life. I have learned a lot – especially through my experience with small farms and farmers. But now, it's time to move on. And it was reading Debt and Dispossession, a book about American agriculture and human values, that crystallized in me why I wanted to leave. By telling the story of (...) the 1980s farm crisis through the words of the residents of a Minnesota town, the book prizes open many of the contradictions of American society. The 1970s were boom times for mid-western farms; farmers took advantage of “easy” farm credit to finance expansion. By the 1980s, the boom burst and slump loomed. Lenders wanted their money back and thousands of farmers were dispossessed. Debt and Dispossession probes beneath the surface of a community apparently united in protest against the dispossessions. Underneath, it finds a tangled picture of a society at war with itself, pitting farmer against farmer in a fratricidal struggle. The book let me glimpse the paradox of American individualism, all-American contradictions centering on government and consumerism, frugality and morality. Just like my experience of American agriculture and farmers as a whole, Debt and Dispossession helped me see the best side of America, but also revealed the fragility of life in a one-on-one society. (shrink)
Mary is confined to a black-and-white room, is educated through black-and-white books and through lectures relayed on black-and white television. In this way she learns everything there is to know about the physical nature of the world. She knows all the physical facts about us and our environment, in a wide sense of 'physical' which includes everything in completed physics, chemistry, and neurophysiology, and all there is to know about the causal and relational facts consequent upon all this, including (...) of course functional roles. If physicalism is true, she knows all there is to know. For to suppose otherwise is to suppose that there is more to know than every physical fact, and that is just what physicalis.. (shrink)
Feared and admired in equal measure, Mary Midgely has carefully, yet profoundly challenged many of the scientific and moral orthodoxies of the twentieth century. The Essential Mary Midgley collects for the first time the very best of this famous philosopher's work, described by the Financial Times as "commonsense philosophy of the highest order." This anthology includes carefully chosen selections from her best-selling books, including Wickedness, Beast and Man, Science and Poetry and The Myths We Live By . It (...) provides a superb and eminently accessible insight into questions she has returned to again and again in her renowned sharp prose, from the roots of human nature, reason and imagination to the myths of science and the importance of holism in thinking about science and the environment. It offers an unrivalled introduction to a great philosopher and a brilliant writer, and also includes a specially written foreword by James Lovelock. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Notes on Contributors.1. Introduction: Educational Neuroscience (Kathryn E. Patten and Stephen R. Campbell).2. Educational Neuroscience: Motivations, methodology, and implications (Stephen R. Campbell).3. Can Cognitive Neuroscience Ground a Science of Learning? (Anthony E. Kelly).4. A Multiperspective Approach to Neuroeducational Research (Paul A. Howard-Jones).5. What Can Neuroscience Bring to Education? (Michel Ferrari).6. Connecting Education and Cognitive Neuroscience: Where will the journey take us? (Daniel Ansar1, Donna Coch and Bert De Smedt).7. Position Statement on Motivations, Methodologies, and Practical (...) Implications of Educational Neuroscience Research: fMRI studies of the neural correlates of creative intelligence (John Geake).8. Brain-Science Based Cohort Studies (Hideaki Koizumi).9. Directions for Mind, Brain, and Education: Methods, Models, and Morality (Zachary Stein and Kurt W. Fischer).10. The Birth of a Field and the Rebirth of the Laboratory School (Marc Schwartz and Jeanne Gerlach).11. Mathematics Education and Neurosciences: Towards interdisciplinary insights into the development of young children's mathematical abilities (Fenna Van Nes).12. Neuroscience and the Teaching of Mathematics (Kerry Lee and Swee Fong Ng).13. The Somatic Appraisal Model of Affect: Paradigm for educational neuroscience and neuropedagogy (Kathryn E. Patten).14. Implications of Affective and Social Neuroscience for Educational Theory (Mary Helen Immordino-Yang).Index. (shrink)
The nineteenth-century British historian Lucy Aikin's ambitious four-part poem Epistles on Women (1810) marks both her first important contribution to women's historiography and a compelling example of Enlightenment feminist historiography. To some extent, Aikin is building on the work of male Enlightenment historians who had evaluated the status of women in different times and places and correlated it to social progress. However, she not only restricts her focus exclusively to women, but also makes a concerted effort to resolve some of (...) the tensions apparent in previous accounts of the relationship between women and social progress. Especially striking is her mediation of two distinct historical models of femininity, which I have called the republican and commercial models of femininity, the outlines of both of which we can trace in the work of male Enlightenment historians. By suggesting that through proper education women might combine the best aspects of each model, Aikin strategically advances the project of controversial feminists like Catherine Macaulay and Mary Wollstonecraft, who had taken inspiration from the republican model of femininity in their demands for improvements to female education. ??Revised for the History of European Ideas, October 2, 2004 by Kathryn Ready. (shrink)
Frank Jackson’s knowledge argument (KA) aims to prove, by means of a thought experiment concerning the hypothetical scientist Mary, that conscious experiences have non-physical properties, called qualia. Mary has complete scientific knowledge of colours and colour vision without having had any colour experience. The central intuition in the KA is that, by seeing colours, Mary will learn what it is like to have colour experiences. Therefore, her scientific knowledge is incomplete, and conscious experiences have qualia. In this (...) paper I consider an objection to the KA raised by Daniel Dennett. He maintains that the KA is vitiated by Jackson’s account of Mary’s scientific knowledge. While endorsing this criticism, I will defend the plausibility and relevance of the type of strategy involved in the KA by offering an account of Mary’s scientific knowledge. This account involves formulating a reasonable and not immediately false version of the physicalist thesis with regard to colour experiences. Whether this version of the KA is successful against this type of physicalism is not investigated here. (shrink)
Mary knows all there is to know about physics, chemistry and neurophysiology, yet has never experienced colour. Most philosophers think that if Mary learns something genuinely new upon seeing colour for the first time, then physicalism is false. I argue, however, that physicalism is consistent with Mary's acquisition of new information. Indeed, even if she has perfect powers of deduction, and higher-level physical facts are a priori deducible from lower-level ones, Mary may still lack concepts which (...) are required in order to deduce from the lower-level physical facts what it is like to see red. (shrink)
In the contemporary debate on moral status, it is not uncommon to find philosophers who embrace the following basic moral principle: -/- The Principle of Full Moral Status: The degree to which an entity E possesses moral status is proportional to the degree to which E possesses morally relevant properties until a threshold degree of morally relevant properties possession is reached, whereupon the degree to which E possesses morally relevant properties may continue to increase, but the degree to which E (...) possesses moral status remains the same. -/- One philosopher who has contributed significantly to the contemporary debate on moral status and embraces the Principle of Full Moral Status is Mary Anne Warren. Warren holds not only that it is possible for some entities to possess full moral status, but that some entities actually do, e.g., normal adult human beings. I argue that two of Warren’s primary arguments for the Principle of Full Moral Status—the Argument from Pragmatism and the Argument from Explanatory Power—are significantly flawed. (shrink)
I argue for the superiority of non-gappy physicalism over gappy physicalism. While physicalists are united in denying an ontological gap between the phenomenal and the physical, the gappy affirm and the non-gappy deny a relevant epistemological gap. Central to my arguments will be contemplation of Swamp Mary, a being physically intrinsically similar to post-release Mary (a physically omniscient being who has experienced red) but has not herself (the Swamp being) experienced red. Swamp Mary has phenomenal knowledge of (...) a phenomenal character not instantiated by any of her past or current mental states. I issue a challenge to gappy physicalists to account for how it is that Swamp Mary can satisfy the psychosemantic requirements on phenomenal knowledge while non-Swamp pre-release Mary cannot. I argue that gappy physicalists cannot meet this psychosemantic challenge. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to reinforce anti-physicalism by extending the hard problem to a specific kind of intentional states. For reaching this target, I investigate the mental content of the new intentional states of Jackson’s Mary. I proceed in the following way: I start analyzing the knowledge argument, which highlights the hard problem tied to phenomenal consciousness. In a second step, I investigate a powerful physicalist reply to this argument: the phenomenal concept strategy. In a third step, (...) I propose a constitutional account of phenomenal concepts that captures the Mary scenario adequately, but implies anti-physicalist referents. In a last step, I point at the ramifications constitutional phenomenal concepts have on the constitution of Mary’s new intentional states. Therefore, by focusing the attention on phenomenal concepts, the so-called hard problem of consciousness will be carried over to the alleged easy problem of intentional states as well. (shrink)
In her book, Moral Status, Mary Anne Warren defends a comprehensive theory of the moral status of various entities. Under this theory, she argues that animals may have some moral rights but that their rights are much weaker in strength than the rights of humans, who have rights in the fullest, strongest sense. Subsequently, Warren believes that our duties to animals are far weaker than our duties to other humans. This weakness is especially evident from the fact that Warren (...) believes that it is frequently permissible for humans to kill animals for food. Warren’s argument for her view consists primarily in the belief that we have inevitable practical conflicts with animals that make it impossible to grant them equal rights without sacrificing basic human interests. However, her arguments fail to justify her conclusions. In particular, Warren fails to justify her beliefs that animals do not have an equal right to life and that it is permissible for humans to kill animals for food. (shrink)
The Knowledge Argument of Frank Jackson has not persuaded physicalists, but their replies have not dispelled the intuition that someone raised in a black and white environment gains genuinely new knowledge when she sees colors for the first time. In what follows, we propose an explanation of this particular kind of knowledge gain that displays it as genuinely new, but orthogonal to both physicalism and phenomenology. We argue that Mary’s case is an instance of a common phenomenon in which (...) something new is learned as the result of exploiting representational resources that were not previously exploited, and that this results in gaining genuinely new information. (shrink)
This paper recovers and investigates the work of two forgotten figures in the history of American philosophy: Ella Lyman Cabot and Mary Parker Follett. It focuses on Cabot's work, developed between 1889 and 1906. During this period, Cabot took several classes given by Josiah Royce at Radcliffe College. Cabot's work creatively extends Royce's early thinking on the issues of growth, unity, and loyalty. This paper claims that Cabot's writing serves as a valuable type of Roycean interpretation—an interpretation that sheds (...) light on Royce's philosophy while redeploying his thinking in ways that explore its ethical and social implications. Cabot is an important figure in the community of classical American thinkers, a figure who deserves greater attention. This analysis concludes with a brief discussion of Cabot's legacy as it is carried on by Mary Parker Follett's progressive and feminist writings published in the early decades of the 1900s. Follett's contribution to the field of organizational management reveals her affinity with Cabot and variety of other American thinkers. (shrink)
Even long after their formal exclusion has come to an end, members of previously oppressed social groups often continue to face disproportionate restrictions on their freedom, as the experience of many women over the last century has shown. Working within in a framework in which freedom is understood as independence from arbitrary power, Mary Wollstonecraft provides an explanation of why such domination may persist and offers a model through which it can be addressed. Republicans rely on processes of rational (...) public deliberation to highlight and combat oppression. However, where domination is primarily social rather than legal or political (such as where cultural attitudes, traditions and values exert an arbitrary and inhibiting force) then this defence against domination is often negated. Prejudice, she argues, ‘clouds’ people’s ability to reason and skews debate in favour of the dominant powers, thereby entrenching patterns of subjection. If they are to be independent, then, citizens require not only political rights but a platform from which to add their perspectives and interests to the background social values which govern political discussion. (shrink)