God alone is the true agreement of concept [Begriff ] and reality [Realität ]; all finite [endlichen] things involve some untruth [Unwahrheit], they have a concept and an existence [Existenz] which are incommensurable [unangemessen]. For this reason they inevitably go to ruin [zugrunde gehen], that the incommensurability [Unangemessenheit] of their concept and their existence may be evident [manifestiert]. The animal, as an individual, has its concept in the species [Gattung]; and its death [Tod] sets the species free from individuality [Einzelnheit]. (...) [§ 24, note 2]. (shrink)
A year before, at Trinity, Cambridge, Wittgenstein had been involved in a row with Karl Popper, and had reputedly threatened him with a poker. On this evening, too, Wittgenstein's behavior let [sic] to a row, with an elderly philosophy don. No poker was flourished. But the don dropped dead a few days later.
The Sexual Offences Act 2003 introduced a new statutory offence of "sexual activity in a public lavatory" into English law. Although written as a gender-neutral offence, the statute was formulated and enacted on the basis of concerns about male homosexual sexual activity in public lavatories ("cottaging"). This paper examines the justifications for, and implications of, the legislation. It considers the main arguments made in support of the offence and situates these within established moral, legal, and social debates about homosexuality. The (...) paper considers the relationship between conceptions of public and private morality in relation to the legal regulation of homosexual sex. It goes on to explore the complex nature of regulating public sex in relation to sexual practices which often maintain high degrees of privacy. The final part of the paper argues that the legislation is largely in contradiction with the realities of police work and contemporary law enforcement. (shrink)
Living man and ventriloquist's doll -- The ugly joker with the gift for happiness -- Socrates and the climax of Athenian optimism -- Socrates the philosophical genius -- Socrates and justice -- The demoralisation of Athens and the death of Socrates -- Socrates and philosophy personified.
Already by the mid-1980s, Habermas supposed that our utopian energies had been used up. Today, when a neo-liberal 'realism' seems to be a virtually dominant ideology, the climate appears, if anything, yet more hostile to radical hopes. Even while he recognises the obstacles and is clear that we might never succeed in breaking through the 'Gordian knot', Habermas is not prepared to surrender to a proclaimed 'end of politics'. This paper traces some of the ways in which his recent works (...) theorise and attempt to balance twin legacies of a critical theory tradition. Habermas wants to mediate the radicalness of vision required by a critical theory with the perceived reasonableness of its standpoint that is also necessary if theory is to engage concrete actors. Many of his critics suppose that Habermas has not achieved the right balance and that his interest in the self-reforming potentials of liberal democracies weights reasonableness too highly. The following paper sets out to defend Habermas from some of these charges. However, ultimately it finds that his theory has identified the needs for autonomy that it seeks to critically connect up with too narrowly. This means that, to some extent, Habermas' critical theory continues to 'miss its mark'. (shrink)
This article starts off by giving Habermas the opportunity to defend the ‘remnants of utopianism’ in his thinking that might seem to fly in the face of grim sociological realities. He wants to cut the ground from under a fashionable scepticism about our capacity to use a description of the unrealized potentials of the present as the basis for orienting ourselves to a desired future. This is to be done by persuading us that we have been looking in the wrong (...) place for an account of the utopian significance of modernizing achievements. The defeat of utopian energies thesis rests on a one-sided description of modernization processes that neglects their complex and ambiguous achievements and, in particular, ignores the legacy of democratic Enlightenment. Yet Habermas’s own estimation of the ambiguous legacies of cultural modernization also appears to be one-sided. The last part of the article finds that his argument with the end of utopian energies thesis rests on a narrow appreciation of the range of ways in which the potentials of cultural modernization have been described. There is, after all, a residual totalizing description of the role of the theorist in Habermas’s inability to concede the irreducible integrity of Romantic hopes for emancipated futures. (shrink)
The paper reviews the extent to which main formulations in Habermas's recent major work, Between Facts and Norms, make ground against feminist objections to the Habermasian project. Although the later work does not tamper with the core project of Habermas's theory of modernity, the terms in which the procedural norms of democratic interaction are now conceived clarify the sympathetic relevance of Habermas's project to feminism's own vital concerns. There is reason to suppose Habermas's construction of the motivations that prompt and (...) guide struggles to achieve personal autonomy is rather too narrowly conceived to capture the range of impulses that inform contemporary feminism. Despite this, I suggest that there remain good reasons for supposing that the recent conception of the project opens up the possibility for a more positive stage in Habermas's dialogue with feminism. Key Words: aesthetic communication feminism Habermas private/public relations public sphere. (shrink)
The following paper considers the extent to which discourse ethics can adequately respond to Habermas' own call for normative justification for the expectation of tolerance. It concludes that discourse ethics is able to lend its services to the flagging fortunes of the idea of toleration, not by seeking to underscore this idea with rationally compelling argumentation,but by offering insights into the possibilities opened up to a life which accepts this principle.
Human experts are the source of knowledge required to develop computer systems that perform at an expert level. Human beings are not, however, able to reliably express what they know. As a result, experts often develop non-authentic accounts of their own expertise. These accounts, here termed reconstructed methods of reasoning, lead to computer systems that perform at a high level of proficiency but have the disadvantage that they often do not reflect the heuristics and processing constraints of a system user. (...) Reconstructed methods of reasoning are compared with authentic methods derived from the study of expert human behavior. Tests are proposed to establish the authenticity of reasoning methods and examples from medical diagnosis are used to illustrate how authentic methods of reasoning can be incorporated into an expert computer system. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Defective newborn children are to be considered human persons. Thus, primary duty in proxy consent is to act with the infant's best interest in mind. This duty may at times override the otherwise prima facie right to life, but only under restricted circumstances. Refinements of McCormick's “relational potential” criteria and of ordinary-extraordinary means analysis prove useful in such decisions. Utilitarian considerations of social consequences have impact but can be kept subsidiary. The importance for decision making of available child support services (...) is considered. Spina bifida is used throughout as an example of issues discussed. (shrink)