This chapter sets forth a general theory of gender stratification. While both biological and ideological variables are taken into account, the emphasis is structural: It is proposed that the major independent variable affecting sexual inequality is each sex's economic power, understood as relative control over the means of production and allocation of surplus. For women, relative economic power is seen as varying-and not always in the same direction-at a variety of micro- and macrolevels, ranging from the household to the state. (...) A series of propositions links the antecedents of women's relative economic power, the interrelationship between economic and other forms of power, and the forms of privilege and opportunity into which each gender can translate its relative power. (shrink)
This paper suggests that Lenski's classification of agrarian societies into simple versus advanced, based on the use of iron in the latter, obscures important variations in the gender division of labor and the level of gender stratification. In particular, his categories lump the gender egalitarian irrigated rice societies of Southeast Asia with the great majority of agrarian societies, which are strongly patriarchal. Based on my general theory of gender stratification and experience coding and analyzing gender stratification in the ethnographic databases (...) and fieldwork in 39 countries worldwide, I propose a three-category alternative. First, agrarian societies are divided according to the technological criterion of irrigation into dry (rain-fed) and wet (irrigated rice) categories. This distinguishes two gender divisions of labor: a male farming system in dry agrarian and an "everybody works" system in labor-intensive rice cultivation, in which women are important in production. Second, irrigated rice societies are divided into patri-oriented-male advantage and those neutral to positive for women, based on the nature of the kinship system. This distinguishes the gender egalitarian Southeast Asian wet rice societies from the highly gender stratified majority of irrigated rice societies. Furthermore, these distinctions in gender equality are predicted by my gender stratification theory. (shrink)
This book is a study of Søren Kierkegaard's elucidation of the condition by which the Truth may be learned. Like Kierkegaard's pseudonym, Johannes Climacus, we are concerned in particular with that Truth which concerns us ultimately and which is confessed by Christians to be disclosed in Jesus Christ. Called faith by Climacus in Philosophical Fragments, this condition is characterized by a transformation of the individual under the impact of revelation and is received as a gift from God rather than attained (...) through human resourcefulness. The epistemological ramifications of this transformation are explored both in terms of the New Testament concept of metanoia and in comparison with claims to cognitive progress in other fields. We conclude that the account of Christian conversion given by Climacus in Philosophical Fragments and approved by Kierkegaard in his acknowledged works is a faithful elucidation of the concept of metanoia and remains a pertinent challenge to the persistent attempts of moderns and post-moderns alike who propose to learn the Truth on quite different terms. Murray Rae thus seeks to develop a new interpretation of Kierkegaard and to challenge some widely followed theological epistemologies. (shrink)
In Fear and Trembling Kierkegaard outlines and defends a faith-based religious ethic, belief in which justifies transgressing the universal ethical norms of the community. In contrast to certain commentators who maintain that Kierkegaard’s argument is about the individual’s relation to God, I understand that this aspect of Kierkegaard’s argument is only important because he maintains that faith in God is a necessary aspect of authentic being. Thus, I argue that Kierkegaard’s argument is about the role faith plays in the formation (...) and transformation of individual identity. To defend my argument, I pay particular attention to: 1) why he maintains that authenticity is found in the faith-based religious ethic; 2) what transformative impact the individual's adoption of the faith-based religious ethic can have on his/her existence; and 3) what the structural relation is between the authentic faith-based religious ethic and the universal ethic of the community. I conclude by showing that Kierkegaard’s failure to differentiate between the contents of different faith-based actions leads his faith-based religious ethic to fall into an ethical antinomy. (shrink)
Introduction: Why study ethics? -- Christian ethics -- Ethical systems and ways of moral reasoning -- Making ethical decisions -- Abortion and embryonic stem cell research -- Reproductive technologies -- Biotechnology, genetics, and human cloning -- Physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia -- Capital punishment -- Sexual ethics -- The morality of war -- Ethics and economics.
Sartre's phenomenological ontology discloses that understanding consciousness and its mode of being requires an analysis of its relation with other consciousnesses. The primordial manner in which the Other relates to consciousness is through the look. Sartre claims that consciousness tends to adopt a pre-reflective fundamental project that leads it to view the Other as a threat to its pure subjective freedom. This creates a conflictual social relation in which each consciousness tries to objectify the Other to maintain its subjective freedom. (...) But Sartre also notes that consciousnesses can establish a social relation called the “we” in which each consciousness is a free subject. While certain commentators have noted that communication allows each consciousness to learn that the Other is not simply a threatening object but another subject, communication can only play this positive role if both consciousnesses have undergone a specific process called conversion. Only conversion brings consciousness to recognise, respect, and affirm the Other's practical freedom in the way necessary to create a we-relation. To support my argument, I spend significant time outlining what conversion and the social relations created post-conversion entail. (shrink)
This essay engages with Heidegger’s attempt to re-think the human being. It shows that Heidegger re-thinks the human being by challenging the way the human being has been thought, and the mode of thinking traditionally used to think about the human being. I spend significant time discussing Heidegger’s attempt before, in the final section, asking some critical questions of Heidegger’s endeavour and pointing out how his analysis can re-invigorate contemporary attempts to understand the human being.
Abstract While it has long been recognized that the concept ?alienation? plays a crucial role in Hegel?s Phenomenology of Spirit and indeed his overall philosophical project, too often commentators simply note its importance without providing an in-depth discussion of this important concept. I aim to remedy this by providing an extended discussion of the role that alienation plays in the phenomenological development of consciousness. To do so, I first, briefly, outline the project that Hegel undertakes in the Phenomenology of Spirit, (...) before undertaking an analytic of the concept ?alienation? to show that: (a) Hegel distinguishes between ?alienation as estrangement? (Entfremdung) and ?alienation as externalisation? (Entaüsserung); and (b) the two senses of the term are intimately, if differently, related to concepts such as objectivity and objectification. I then show that, while he recognizes that the experience of alienation may be an undesirable aspect of consciousness?s existence, Hegel maintains that experiencing a particular combination of the two senses of alienation allows consciousness to overcome its alienation. The conclusion drawn is that properly understanding Hegel?s subtle and multi-dimensional account of alienation provides us with insight into this concept, Hegel?s conception of consciousness, and his wider philosophical project. (shrink)
This thesis provides a comparative analysis of the different ways Hegel and Sartre understand that consciousness can be alienated. Because understanding the various ways Hegel and Sartre hold that consciousness can be alienated is not possible without first understanding what each thinker understands by consciousness, I first identify and outline the different ways Hegel and Sartre conceptualise consciousness’s ontological structure before identifying the various ways each thinker understands that consciousness can be alienated. The general argument developed shows that while Hegel (...) and Sartre agree that alienation is a constitutive aspect of consciousness’s existence and are, therefore, allies in the battle against it, Sartre’s analysis of consciousness’s ontological structure is unable to provide the same depth of analysis as Hegel’s. Put differently, I believe it is Hegel’s analysis of consciousness’s ontological structure that provides an analysis of alienation that is more nuanced, subtle, complex, and multi-dimensional than the account Sartre’s provides. To support my argument, I first explore Sartre’s understanding of consciousness’s ontological structure. This discloses that, because Sartre defines consciousness as ontologically nothing, he holds that consciousness is defined in strict ontological opposition to objectivity. Consciousness’s ontological nothingness leads Sartre to hold that consciousness is free to choose its mode of being. This leads me to identify what Sartre holds to be constitutive of authentic and inauthentic modes of being. But while Sartre distinguishes between the ontological structure of consciousness and its experiences, I argue that Hegel: 1) does not introduce a distinction between consciousness’s ontological structure and its mode of being, but holds that consciousness’s self-understanding and ontological structure develop through its experiences; and 2) holds that consciousness is not ontologically opposed to objectivity, but is a spiritual synthesis of subjectivity and objectivity. I show that because Hegel holds that consciousness’s intentional object is an aspect of its ontological structure, rather than something simply opposed to itself, and because he recognises that consciousness must learn what it is ontologically by experiencing numerous different relations with its object, he is able to show that while the subject/object binary opposition of Sartre’s analysis of consciousness’s ontological structure describes one potential ontological relation consciousness can have to its object, it is not the only one. Indeed, Hegel’s analysis of consciousness’s ontological structure insists that consciousness will only truly understand its ontological structure if it learns to not think of itself in terms of the subject/object dichotomy and, instead, realises that it is a spiritual synthesis of subjectivity and objectivity. To show how this fundamental difference manifests itself throughout their thought, I identify and compare what each thinker’s understanding of consciousness’s ontological structure means in terms of consciousness’s relation to the world, alienation, authenticity, ethics, self-transformation, and social relations. (shrink)
In this essay, I attempt to remedy the relative neglect that has befallen Sartre’s analysis of social relations in the Critique of Dialectical Reason. I show that, contrary to the interpretation of certain commentators, Sartre’s analysis of social relations in this text does not contradict his earlier works. While his early work focuses on individual-to-individual social relations, the Critique of Dialectical Reason complements this by focusing on the way various group formations constrain or enhance the individual’s practical freedom. To outline (...) my argument, I first discuss the relationship between Being and Nothingness and the Critique of Dialectical Reason before going on to identify the four group formations Sartre discusses in the Critique of Dialectical Reason and the implications each has for the individual’s practical freedom. I argue that while the group formations called the series and the institution constrain the individual’s practical freedom, the open, democratic group formations called the group-in-fusion and, in particular, the organized group, enhance the individual’s practical freedom. Because it is membership of an organized group that best enhances the individual’s practical freedom, I conclude by arguing that Sartre implicitly holds that the individual’s practical and political activity should be directed towards the establishment of a group formation that has the characteristics of an organized group. (shrink)
Quantum physics is believed to be the fundamental theory underlying our understanding of the physical universe. However, it is based on concepts and principles that have always been difficult to understand and controversial in their interpretation. This book aims to explain these issues using a minimum of technical language and mathematics. After a brief introduction to the ideas of quantum physics, the problems of interpretation are identified and explained. The rest of the book surveys, describes and criticises a range of (...) suggestions that have been made with the aim of resolving these problems; these include the traditional, or 'Copenhagen' interpretation, the possible role of the conscious mind in measurement, and the postulate of parallel universes. This new edition has been revised throughout to take into account developments in this field over the past fifteen years, including the idea of 'consistent histories' to which a completely new chapter is devoted. (shrink)
School psychologists often break confidentiality if confronted with risky adolescent behavior. Members of the National Association of School Psychologists ( N = 78) responded to a survey containing a vignette describing an adolescent engaging in risky behaviors and rated the degree to which it is ethical to break confidentiality for behaviors of varying frequency, intensity, and duration. Respondents generally found it ethical to break confidentiality when risky adolescent behaviors became more dangerous or potentially harmful, although there was considerable variability between (...) respondents. Significant gender effects were found between male and female respondents for alcohol use, and a significant Form Type (i.e., male or female vignette) Frequency/Duration interaction was observed for antisocial behaviors. School psychologists could benefit from further training in ethical decision making because these ethical dilemmas are not always clear-cut. (shrink)
Heidegger’s critique of metaphysics is central to his attempt to re-instantiate the question of being. This paper examines Heidegger’s critique of metaphysics by looking at the relationship between metaphysics and thought. This entails an identification of the intimate relationship Heidegger maintains exists between philosophy and metaphysics, an analysis of Heidegger’s critique of this association, and a discussion of his proposal that philosophy has been so damaged by its association with metaphysics that it must be replaced with meditative thinking. It is (...) not quite clear, however, how the overcoming of metaphysical thinking is to occur especially given Heidegger’s insistence that relying on human will to effect an alteration in thinking simply re-instantiates the metaphysical perspective to be overcome. While several critics have argued Heidegger has no solution to this issue, instead holding that thought must simply be open to being’s ‘self’-transformation if and when it occurs, I turn to Heidegger’s notion of trace and a number of scattered comments on the relationship between meditative thinking and willing as non-willing to show Heidegger: (a) was aware of this issue; and (b) tried to resolve it by recognising a reconceptualised notion of willing not based on or emanating from the aggressive willing of metaphysics. (shrink)
Herbert Marcuse is a thinker associated with one of the most radical and totalising critiques of modernity ever produced. Marcuse maintains that contemporary capitalist society is a one-dimensional prison that is capable of perpetuating itself by incorporating any criticism into its logic. Despite this totalisation, Marcuse insists that the realm of aesthetics is capable of escaping the logic of modern capitalism and establishing an alternative society that is grounded in an alternative non-repressive logic. However, it is argued that not only (...) does Marcuse ground this transformation in a specific economic formation thereby ensuring that it is economics not aestheticsthat grounds this social transformation, but his argument is based on a simplistic understanding of the relation between the aesthetic as a means of affecting individual transformation and the aesthetic affecting social transformation. (shrink)
1. Comparing the weight of different evils is highly problematic; neither a positivist, interpretive account nor an exclusively aspirational account is satisfactory. 2. Alexander is correct that choosing a lesser evil is sometimes a mandate, not a mere permission, but the point has wider application than he indicates. 3. Is a choice of lesser but not least evil justifiable? Alexander’s affirmative answer is only partially convincing. 4. Alexander endorses a striking claim: the very notion of a reckless belief (...) or reckless mistake (as to the factual grounds for a justification) is incoherent. This claim is insupportable, but the flaws in his argument demonstrate the complexity of the concept of reckless belief, especially in the context of justiﬁcation defenses, where the probabilistic aspect of the distinction between permissible and impermissible risk-taking is especially salient. 5. Alexander aptly notes that the legislatively preclusion doctrine (which denies application of the lesser evils defense) creates a fundamental tension between legal actors’ power to articulate the content of the defense and the democratic pedigree of the criminal law. I conclude that genuinely democratic principles can be served by permitting juries considerable latitude to recognize a defense when the legislature has not yet had occasion to formulate an exception, or even, in some cases, by authorizing de facto civil disobedience. (shrink)
Abstract In a 1967 article that is considered a classic of criminal justice scholarship, Abraham Blumberg portrayed defense attorneys for accused offenders as more responsive to the demands of the court entourage for smooth and expeditious functioning than to the needs of their clients for a stalwart representation. The article suggests that Blumberg's view, while provocative and with a considerable element of accuracy, may have reflected a somewhat jaundiced and overstated perspective when he was on the verge of (...) leaving law practice for academia. The article also speculates about the current accuracy of Blumberg's observations. (shrink)
Consciousness and its relation to the unconscious mind have long been debated in philosophy. I develop the thesis that consciousness and its contents reflect the highest elaboration of a set of abilities to respond to the environment realized in more primitive organisms and brain circuits. The contents of the states lesser than consciousness are, however, intrinsically dubious and indeterminate as it is the role of the discursive skills we use to construct conscious contents that lends articulation and clarity to (...) the mental acts which cumulatively make up our mental lives. I lay out a tripartite structure for the formation of mind in which the ongoing interaction between brain and world, the formative effect of socio-cultural context and the self production of a relatively coherent narrative all play an important part in making a mind. The latter two influences clearly transcend biological science and suggest that human minds have features which broadly align with certain Freudian insights but do not support the reification of the causally structured unconscious that Freud envisaged. (shrink)
Increasing numbers of engineers from developed countries are employed during some part of their careers in lesser-developed nations (LDN’s), or they may design products for use in LDN’s. Yet determining the implications of professional engineering codes for engineers’ conduct in such settings can be difficult. Conditions are often substantially different from those in developed countries, where the codes were formulated. In this paper I explore the implications of what I call the “welfare requirement” in engineering codes for professional engineering (...) conduct in LDN’s. (shrink)
Projects importing technology to lesser developed nations may raise five important concerns: famine resulting from substitution of cash crops for subsistence crops, the use of products banned in the United States but permitted overseas, the use of products safe in the U.S. but unsafe under local conditions, ecological consequences of technological change, and cultural disruption caused by displacing traditional ways of life. Are engineers responsible for the foreseeable hunger, environmental degradation, cultural disruption, and illness that results from the project? (...) Are engineers guilty of paternalism if they refuse to accept the project for that reason? Criteria are given to help engineers assess the extent of their responsibility when working in lesser developed nations. (shrink)
The notion of entitlement plays an important role in some influential epistemologies. Often the epistemological motive for introducing the concept is to accommodate certain externalist intuitions within an internalist framework or, conversely, to incorporate internalist traits into an otherwise externalist position. In this paper two prominent philosophers will be used as examples: Tyler Burge as a representative of the first option and Fred Dretske as one of the second. However, even on the assumption that the concept of entitlement is sufficiently (...) clarified, accomplishing these results is easier said than done – especially if we also want to ascribe positive epistemic value to entitlement. It will be shown that the epistemic value of entitlement is either granted at the expense of the epistemic value of justification or the value ends up below the level of value at which the epistemologists employing the concept of entitlement are aiming. (shrink)
The main aim of Jeff McMahan's manuscript on the morality of war is to answer the question: why and accordingly when is it justified or permissible to kill people in war? However, McMahan argues that the same principles apply to individual actions and to war. McMahan rejects all doctrines of collective responsibility and liability. His claim is that every individual is liable for what he has done and not for the actions of others - even if both are part of (...) the same collective. Accordingly, McMahan challenges the common view that it is much easier to justify killing in war compared to killing in other contexts. Therefore, the scope of his project exceeds the context of war and extends to interpersonal conflicts between individuals that do not qualify as war. Many of McMahan's main claims are appealing. Particularly, appealing is his rejection of the collectivist account of war. Indeed, it seems that the simple story according to which people are responsible solely for their actions - rather than (also) to the actions of others - should be held on until a different, more complex, account of collective responsibility is put forward and its plausibility is explained. Therefore, the article focuses on the general principles advocated by McMahan with regard to the resolution of all interpersonal conflicts: Whether these conflicts are small scale or large scale (that is, whether few or a many people are involved in the conflict), and within the latter category of conflicts involving many people, whether these conflicts qualify as war (according to some standard) or not. (shrink)
How should a democratic state fight terrorism? This is the question discussed by Michael Ignatieff in his latest book. Ignatieff explores several possible positions as a response to this question. The review considers the analysis of these positions.