This is a tricentennial riff on the Edwardsean idea that beauty is both the first principle of being and the distinguishing perfection of God. What is really distinctive about Edwards's view of beauty is that it is an ontological reality and consists in joyfully bestowing being and beauty more than in being beautiful, in creative and beautifying activity more than in being beautiful. Edwards was also a pioneer in the way he envisaged a lively universe created by God, not out (...) of nothing or out of something, but out of the very fullness of God's own life overflowing into a world as a self-enlargement of the divine life. Edwards dares to offer a vision of God as the animating soul of the universe who governs the universe by the attractive and creative power of God's own beautifying life. What might it mean for religious ethics to take this as a description of the context for its work? The answer, in part and in brief, is that a life of true virtue, grounded in the heartfelt piety of holy affections, is a beautifying life. My aim in spinning out some Edwardsean themes is to encourage the reader to think about religious ethics outside the box within which beauty and beautifying activity play no part in defining the agenda of religious ethics. Inspired by themes unique and central to Edwards in his time, we may learn things of importance to religious ethics in our time that Edwards neither knew nor believed. (shrink)
The influence of culture and sociohistorical change on all aspects of the psyche and on psychoanalytic theory is the missing dimension in psychoanalysis. This dimension is especially relevant to clinicians in the mental health field--whether psychoanalyst, psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker or marriage counselor--to enable them to understand what is at stake in working with those from various Asian cultures in North America and European societies. It is even more relevant than most clinicians realize to working with those from one's own (...) culture. Cultural Pluralism and Psychoanalysis explores the creative dialogue that the major psychoanalysts since Freud have had with the modern Northern European/North American culture of individualism; and tries to resolve major problems that occur when psychoanalysis, with its cultural legacy of individualism, is applied to those from various Asian cultures. Alan Roland first examines the theoretical issues involved in developing a multicultural psychoanalysis. He then looks at the interface between Asian-Americans and other Americans, discussing the frequent dissonances, miscommunications, and misunderstandings that result from each coming from vastly different cultural and psychological realms. Finally, Roland examines the various ways in which culture enters the space of psychoanalytic work with Asians in America, illustrating his clinical theory with case vignettes of immigrants and second and third generation patients in the United States. (shrink)
In this paper, I consider an argument for the claim that any satisfactory epistemology of mathematics will violate core tenets of naturalism, i.e. that mathematics cannot be naturalized. I find little reason for optimism that the argument can be effectively answered.
This paper argues that Philip Kitcher's epistemology of mathematics, codified in his Naturalistic Constructivism, is not naturalistic on Kitcher's own conception of naturalism. Kitcher's conception of naturalism is committed to (i) explaining the correctness of belief-regulating norms and (ii) a realist notion of truth. Naturalistic Constructivism is unable to simultaneously meet both of these commitments.
C. S. Jenkins has recently proposed an account of arithmetical knowledge designed to be realist, empiricist, and apriorist: realist in that what’s the case in arithmetic doesn’t rely on us being any particular way; empiricist in that arithmetic knowledge crucially depends on the senses; and apriorist in that it accommodates the time-honored judgment that there is something special about arithmetical knowledge, something we have historically labeled with ‘a priori’. I’m here concerned with the prospects for extending Jenkins’s account beyond arithmetic—in (...) particular, to set theory. After setting out the central elements of Jenkins’s account and entertaining challenges to extending it to set theory, I conclude that a satisfactory such extension is unlikely. (shrink)
Penelope Maddy advances a purportedly naturalistic account of mathematical methodology which might be taken to answer the question 'What justifies axioms of set theory?' I argue that her account fails both to adequately answer this question and to be naturalistic. Further, the way in which it fails to answer the question deprives it of an analog to one of the chief attractions of naturalism. Naturalism is attractive to naturalists and nonnaturalists alike because it explains the reliability of scientific practice. Maddy's (...) account, on the other hand, appears to be unable to similarly explain the reliability of mathematical practice without violating one of its central tenets. (shrink)
Philip Kitcher's account of scientific progress incorporates a conception of explanatory unification that invites the so-called 'obsessive unifier' worry, to wit, that in our drive to unify the phenomena we might impose artificial structure on the world and consequently produce an incorrect view of how things, in fact, are. I argue that Kitcher's attempt to address this worry is unsatisfactory because it relies on an ability to choose between rival patterns of explanation which itself rests on the relevant choice having (...) already been made. I also suggest a way of answering the worry that Kitcher is not likely to endorse. (shrink)
Business Ethics and medical ethics are in principle compatible: In particular, the tools of business ethics can be useful to those doing healthcare ethics. Health care could be conducted as a business and maintain its moral core.
Philip Kitcher has advanced an epistemology of science that purports to be naturalistic. For Kitcher, this entails that his epistemology of science must explain the correctness of belief-regulating norms while endorsing a realist notion of truth. This paper concerns whether or not Kitcher's epistemology of science is naturalistic on these terms. I find that it is not but that by supplementing the account we can secure its naturalistic standing.
Although neglected by psychology, self-respect has been an integral part of philosophical discussion since Aristotle and continues to be a central issue in contemporary moral philosophy. Within this tradition, self-respect is considered to be based on one's capacity for rationality and leads to behaviors that promote autonomy, such as independence, self-control and tenacity. Self-respect elicits behaviors that one should be treated with respect and requires the development and pursuit of personal standards and life plans that are guided by respect for (...) self and others. In contrast, the psychological concept of self-esteem is grounded in the theories of self-concept. As such, self-esteem is a self-evaluation of competency ratios and opinions of significant others that results in either a positive or negative evaluation of one's worthiness and inclusionary status. The major distinction between the two is that while competency ratios and others' opinions are central to self-esteem, autonomy is central to self-respect. We submit that not only is self-respect important in understanding self-esteem, but that it also uniquely contributes to individual functioning. Research is needed to establish the central properties of self-respect and their effects on individual functioning, developmental factors, and therapeutic approaches. (shrink)
: New genetic technologies continue to emerge that allow us to control the genetic endowment of future children. Increasingly the claim is made that it is morally "irresponsible" for parents to fail to use such technologies when they know their possible children are at risk for a serious genetic disorder. We believe such charges are often unwarranted. Our goal in this article is to offer a careful conceptual analysis of the language of irresponsibility in an effort to encourage more care (...) in its use. Two of our more important sub-claims are: (1) A fair judgment of genetic irresponsibility necessarily requires a thick background description of the specific reproductive choice; and (2) there is no necessary connection between an act's being morally wrong and its being irresponsible. These are distinct judgments requiring distinct justifications. (shrink)
HOWARD POOLE ARGUES THAT "THERE IS A RATIONAL NECESSITY LINKING NEGATIVE ATTITUDES TO PORNOGRAPHY WITH A READINESS TO IMPOSE CENSORSHIP." HIS ARGUMENT HAS THREE PREMISES: FIRST, THAT TO CALL SOMETHING OBSCENE IS TO EXPRESS STRONG BUT OFTEN NONMORAL DISAPPROVAL; SECOND, THAT THIS STRONG DISAPPROVAL COMMITS ONE TO SEEK LEGISLATION KEEPING THE MATERIAL FROM CHILDREN; THIRD, THAT SUCH LEGISLATION IS A FORM OF CENSORSHIP. I QUESTION EACH PREMISE.
Knowledge of others, then, has value; so does immunity from being known. The ability to extend one's knowledge has value; so does the ability to limit other's knowledge of oneself. I have claimed that no interest can count as a right unless it clearly outweighs opposing interests whose presence is logically entailed. I see no way to establish that my interest in not being known, simply as such, outweighs your desire to know about me. I acknowledge the intuitive attractiveness of (...) such a position; but my earlier discussion concluded that the value of privacy is ease, and the value of knowledge is understanding - and it's not obvious that either outweighs the other. Nor is it obvious that the freedom and autonomy which result from the power to limit what others know is more significant than the freedom and autonomy which result from the power to extend one's knowledge. I believe the intuitive attractiveness of the belief that privacy values outweigh knowledge values lies in the entirely correct belief that a society without any privacy would be unpleasant. But a society without mutual knowledge would be impossible.I conclude therefore that there is no right to privacy nor to control over it. Nevertheless, each of these things is a good, and a good made possible (given the presence of other people) by social structures. A desirable society will provide both privacy and control over privacy to some extent. Nothing in my analysis helps determine what the proper extent is, nor what areas of life particularly deserve protection. Those who would argue that privacy and control over it are entailed by respect for persons should, I think, choose instead some particular areas central to being a person, to counting as a person, and then show how one is less likely to exercise one's capacities there fully without privacy or without control over it. Although Gerstein's attempt fails because he inaccurately defines intimacy as a kind of absorption and incorrectly opposes absorption with publicity, I think it is the kind of attempt which must be made. Furthermore, he has probably chosen the right area of life - if anything has a special claim to privacy it is probably the union between people who care for one another. The value of being together alone may be more significant than the value of being alone, if only because words and actions are public while thoughts are not. But I will not try to develop that argument here.In any case both privacy and control over it are social goods; on egalitarian grounds they should, ceteris paribus, be equally available to everyone. This helps explain the “dehumanizing” effect of institutions which provide no privacy at all- prisons and some mental institutions. It is not so much that the inmates are totally known; it is rather that those who know them are not so fully known by them; further, that the staff has a great deal of control over what they disclose of themselves, and the inmates very little. The asymmetry of knowledge in those institutions is one aspect of the asymmetry of power; the completely powerless are likely to feel dehumanized.My analysis also helps account for the wrongness of covert observation. It is not simply that the observer violates the wishes of the observed, for the question is whose wishes trump. The observer is violating the justified expectations of the observed: expectations supported by weighty social conventions. These have more moral weight than simple desires do. The peeping torn is violating a convention which structures the distribution of knowledge, a convention from which he benefits. Without it his own activities might well be impossible. He might be more easily caught; or his victim, less trusting, might choose houses without windows. More deeply, the thrill of what he is doing depends on the existence of the convention. Even morally permissible excitement - the suggestiveness of some clothing- would disappear without conventions about nudity. Presumably, too, there are elements of his own personal life for which he values his privacy. He is on grounds of justice obligated to observe the rule which makes his benefits possible.(Some claims to privacy result from personal predilections, rather than from convention. Parent describes a person who is extremely sensitive about being short, for instance, and does not want his exact height to be common knowledge. Parent, p. 346. The grounds for these claims are obviously different from those I've been discussing. The grounds are the moral obligation not to cause needless pain, or, if the information was given in confidence, to keep one's promises.) Although there is no right to privacy or to control over it as such, there is a right to equality of consideration and to a just distribution of benefits and burdens. To put it another way: there is no natural human right to privacy or to control over it; but a good society will provide some of each, and justice requires that the rules of a good society be observed. This paper was written during Joel Feinberg's 1984 NEH Summer Seminar. I am indebted to NEH for funding, and to Professor Feinberg and the other members of the seminar for helpful comments. (shrink)
In multicultural situations it is common for people to feel that their usual modes of coping are insufficient. They experience what is here called diversity stress. Today diversity stress is widely experienced in part because key management assumptions involving moral judgments are changing. Understanding diversity stress as a type of morality stress suggests particular patterns of causation, and of productive and counterproductive reactions on the part of individuals and organizations. – Deciding whom to appoint to a challenging new position in (...) Europe, a manager passes over an Asian employee and gives the job to a white male. He worries that there may be some prejudice in his own Judgment. – Because she wants to see more minorities in visible positions, a manager promotes a slightly less qualified minority candidate over a majority candidate, all the while feeling guilty. – A male manager hesitates to hug a longtime employee who has just lost her mother. (shrink)
Bioethicists appearing in the media have been accused of "shooting from the hip" (Rachels, 1991). The criticism is sometimes justified. We identify some reasons our interactions with the press can have bad results and suggest remedies. In particular we describe a target (fostering better public dialogue), obstacles to hitting the target (such as intrinsic and accidental defects in our knowledge) and suggest some practical ways to surmont those obstacles (including seeking out ways to write or speak at length, rather than (...) in sound bites). We make use of our own research into the way journalists quote bioethicists. We end by suggesting that the profession as a whole look into this question more fully. (shrink)
Government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) and quasi-autonomous non-governmental organizations (quangos) comprise a powerful organizational sector that has been criticized for its lack of accountability to governments and their citizens. These organizations are established to serve the public as a whole by targeting the needs of particular groups or fulfilling specific functions. Often they use practices adopted from the business sector, and sometimes they enter the marketplace as profitmaking enterprises. In light of the contribution of GSE Fannie Mae to the 2008 world economic (...) crisis, the impact of this sector on effective democratic government bears further examination. In this article, I present a systems model that suggests how researchers might comprehensively assess the accountability of organizations in this sector, here termed the "gray sector," with respect to their government missions. I focus on four systems dimensions: mission, organizational design, organizational outcomes, and the information feedback process. Organizational design and the nature of the sector population are cited as emerging issues of particular importance. (shrink)
André Schaeffner (1895-1980), auteur du grand ouvrage Origine des instruments de musique paru en 1936, propose une réflexion sur l’instrument de musique qui est loin d’être confinée au seul champ de l’ethnologie. La considération de la musique de son temps, notamment en l’œuvre de Stravinsky, la méditation sur l’origine du théâtre et sur la tragédie, avec Nietzsche, contribuent à forger une conception de l’instrument qui est inséparable d’une philosophie de la musique. En explorant le thème central des « origines (...) corporelles » de la musique, cet article présente trois aspects principaux au vu desquels André Schaeffner s’avère problématiser le statut de l’instrument en relation avec le corps sonore et rythmicien : le refus du dualisme entre la voix et l’instrument, le refus d’une origine manuelle des instruments, enfin l’idée d’une organologie du théâtre. (shrink)
Michel Onfray e André Comte-Sponville são os dois mais famosos representantes do ateísmo filosófico francês contemporâneo, que continua uma tradição iniciada no século XVIII de negação irreligiosa da noção monoteísta de Deus. Embora compartilhando várias ideias, como o naturalismo e, obviamente, a rejeição do monoteísmo, suas propostas têm diferenças importantes. Onfray imputa à religião a maioria dos males enfrentados pela humanidade, recusando-se a fazer qualquer concessão à tradição religiosa monoteísta, e propondo uma filosofia libertária de tipo hedonista e materialista. (...) Comte-Sponville vê aspectos positivos na religião no tocante à manutenção da unidade social e propõe uma espiritualidade mística ateia. O artigo faz uma breve apresentação de suas teses e formula críticas a ambas as propostas. Onfray está muito mais preocupado em convencer de uma proposta política do que em argumentar filosoficamente em favor de uma tese e Comte-Sponville não parece perceber as consequências auto-refutadoras do naturalismo, que também torna muito problemática a própria noção de moralidade. Palavras-chave: Michel Onfray; Comte-Sponville; ateísmo; neoateísmo; naturalismo.Michel Onfray and André Comte-Sponville are the most famous representatives of philosophical contemporary French atheism, which is a continuation of a tradition begun in the 18 th Century of irreligious denying of the monotheistic notion of God. Although sharing many ideas, like naturalism and, obviously, the rejection of the monotheistic conception of God, their proposals show important distinctions. Onfray blames on religion most of evils faced by humanity, refusing to make any concession to monotheism, and proposing a libertarian, hedonistic, materialistic philosophy. Comte-Sponville sees positive aspects in religion regarding the keeping of social unity, and puts forward an atheistic spirituality. The article makes a brief presentation of both theses and formulates criticisms to each of them. Onfray is much more concerned with convincing of a political proposal than with arguing in favour of his thesis philosophically, and Comte-Sponville does not seem to notice the self-defeating consequences of naturalism, which also makes very problematic the very notion of morality. Keywords: Michel Onfray; Comte-Sponville; atheism; neoatheism; naturalism. (shrink)
In this response to the papers on Jonathan Edwards's ethical thought by Stephen A. Wilson, Gerald R. McDermott, William C. Spohn, and Roland A. Delattre, I comment on their efforts to show that ideas drawn from Edwards can be successfully appropriated for use in contemporary ethics. I conclude that the four authors build a strong cumulative case for the view that some elements of Edwards's thought can serve as resources for our ethical reflections. But I also argue for (...) a deflationary view of how much of Edwards we will find it feasible to take on board when we engage in the task of working out a religious ethics we might accept. (shrink)
Very little has been written in recent decades about the temporal nature of art. The two principal explanations provided by our Western cultural tradition are that art is timeless (`eternal') or that it belongs within the world of historical change. Neither account offers a plausible explanation of the world of art as we know it today, which contains large numbers of works which are self-evidently not timeless because they have been resurrected after long periods of oblivion with significances quite different (...) from those which they originally held, and which also seem to have escaped history because, though long-forgotten, they have `come alive' again for us today. In his two key works on the theory of art, "Les Voix du silence" and "La Métamorphose des dieux", André Malraux offers an entirely new account of the temporal nature of art based on the concept of metamorphosis. Unlike the traditional explanations, Malraux's account makes sense of the world of art as we now know it. He revolutionizes our understanding of the relationship between art and time. (shrink)
After an initial period of popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, André Malraux’s works on the theory of art, "The Voices of Silence" and "The Metamorphosis of the Gods", lapsed into relative obscurity. A major factor in this fall from grace was the frosty reception given to these works by a number of leading art historians, including E.H. Gombrich, who accused Malraux of an irresponsible approach to art history and of "reckless inaccuracies". This essay examines a representative sample of (...) the art historians' arguments and contends that they reveal serious misreadings of Malraux’s texts and a recurring tendency to confuse matters of interpretation with matters of fact. The article suggests that the charge of irresponsibility might well be levelled at the critics themselves, and that the myth of Malraux as guilty of ‘reckless inaccuracies’ needs to be debunked. (shrink)
André Gallois’s Occasions of Identity injects a refreshing new perspective into an old debate. Actually, what is new is the advocacy of the perspective: Gallois takes up a view that many consider a non-starter, and shows this reaction to be premature. The debate is over the right way to understand the traditional puzzles involving two things being in the same place at the same time; the perspective is that identity can hold temporarily (and contingently). Suppose an amoeba, name it (...) AMOEBA, divides in two. One of the resultant amoebas, POND, lives in a pond; the other, SLIDE, is examined on a slide in a laboratory. Does AMOEBA survive this process, and if so, does it survive as POND or SLIDE? If we stipulate that POND and SLIDE are symmetrically related to AMOEBA then it seems arbitrary to identify AMOEBA with exactly one of POND and SLIDE. But we cannot identify AMOEBA with each, for then by the transitivity and symmetry of identity we would wrongly identify POND and SLIDE. We are left with the conclusion that AMOEBA is identical to neither. But this seems wrong too; surely fission does not result in death. So just what does happen to AMOEBA? How to respond to this and related cases (involving statues and their constituting hunks of matter, cats and their undetached parts, and so on) has been much discussed.1 There are many proposals, each with distinctive strengths and weaknesses. To these Gallois adds his own, which runs as follows. After division, there are two amoebas, POND and SLIDE, each of which existed before division. But it does not follow that there were two amoebas before division. Though POND and SLIDE are numerically distinct after division, they were numerically identical before division. The identity relation can hold temporarily, or occasionally, as Gallois puts it. My sense is that this sort of claim is regarded by most metaphysicians as downright wacky. And yet there is something very natural about it. Why distinguish POND and SLIDE today because they will differ tomorrow? I suspect the “wackiness” reaction has two sources, one based on Leibniz’s Law.. (shrink)
Choderlos de Laclos’s novel 'Les Liaisons dangereuses', first published in 1782, is regarded as one of the outstanding works of French literature. This article concerns a well known commentary by the twentieth-century writer André Malraux which, though often mentioned by critics, has seldom been studied in detail. The article argues that, while Malraux endorses the favourable modern assessments of 'Les Liaisons dangereuses', his analysis diverges in important respects from prevailing critical opinion. In particular, he regards the work as the (...) commencement of an important new stage in the French novel rather than, as often argued, the culmination of the existing libertine tradition. (shrink)
Andre Gorz is one of the most important contemporary socialist thinkers, acquiring the reputation of an iconoclastic theorist who poses radical questions about the future of the Left. This full length assessment of his work is the first to critically evaluate all of his writings from the 1950s to the '90s. Highlighting the eclectic nature of Gorz's intellectual heritage beginning with his existentialist-Marxist roots in post-war France, Adrian Little creates a unique perspective, arguing that Gorz is primarily a theorist of (...) individual freedom and autonomy. In this context he can be regarded not only as a post-Marxist thinker but as a unique purveyor of individualistic socialism. This view offers a challenge to all on the Left who are concerned with the reproduction of welfare capitalism and the future of democratic socialism. (shrink)
This review essay critically discusses Andre Kukla's Methods of theoretical psychology. It is argued that Kukla mistakenly tries to build his case for theorizing in psychology as a separate discipline on a dubious distinction between theory and observation. He then argues that the demise of empiricism implies a return of some form of rationalism, which entails an autonomous role for theorizing in psychology. Having shown how this theory-observation dichotomy goes back to traditional and largely abandoned ideas in epistemology, an alternative (...) is presented in the guise of the pragmatist or functionalist tradition, where the interdependence of theory, observation and action is emphasized and the positivist dichotomy of pure observations and pure theory is rejected. Furthermore, we show how recent work on "active" perception supports the functionalist approach. Although the authors agree with Kukla that theory has a legitimate place in psychology, it is suggested that he needlessly limits its scope to autonomous domain-neutral theorizing, and that broadening its perspective to analyzing the presuppositions and implications of empirical work is a more fruitful approach. In fact, the attempt to find the epistemological and philosophical implications of empirical work in perception that is sketched in this review essay is, in the authors' view, a case of theorizing in psychology. (shrink)
In the last twenty years the concept of the quotidien, or the everyday, has been prominent in contemporary French culture and in British and American cultural studies. This book provides the first comprehensive analytical survey of the whole field of approaches to the everyday. It offers, firstly, a historical perspective, demonstrating the importance of mainstream and dissident Surrealism; the indispensable contribution, over a 20-year period (1960-80), of four major figures: Henri Lefebvre, Roland Barthes, Michel de Certeau, and Georges Perec; (...) and the recent proliferation of works that investigate everyday experience. Secondly, it establishes the framework of philosophical ideas on which discourses on the everyday depend, but which they characteristically subvert. Thirdly, it comprises searching analyses of works in a variety of genres, including fiction, the essay, poetry, theatre, film, photography, and the visual arts, consistently stressing how explorations of the everyday tend to question and combine genres in richly creative ways. -/- By demonstrating the enduring contribution of Perec and others, and exploring the Surrealist inheritance, the book proposes a genealogy for the remarkable upsurge of interest in the everyday since the 1980s. A second main objective is to raise questions about the dimension of experience addressed by artists and thinkers when they invoke the quotidien or related concepts. Does the 'everyday' refer to an objective content defined by particular activities, or is it best thought of in terms of rhythm, repetition, festivity, ordinariness, the generic, the obvious, the given? Are there events or acts that are uniquely 'everyday', or is the quotidien a way of thinking about events and acts in the 'here and now' as opposed to the longer term? What techniques or genres are best suited to conveying the nature of everyday life? The book explores these questions in a comparative spirit, drawing new parallels between the work of numerous writers and artists, including André Breton, Raymond Queneau, Walter Benjamin, Michel Leiris, Maurice Blanchot, Michel Foucault, Stanley Cavell, Annie Ernaux, Jacques Réda, and Sophie Calle. (shrink)
: The Newman programs established at secular colleges and universities provided an opportunity for intellectual, spiritual, and social growth among the Catholic student population. As a young physician and junior medical faculty member, André Hellegers took part in the early organization and ongoing work of Carroll House, the Newman Center at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Hellegers's experience at Carroll House enabled him to develop a clear blueprint of an academic center of excellence for the scientific, theological, and philosophical (...) exploration of the many problems that he had seen and foresaw in medicine. That center would become Georgetown's Kennedy Institute of Ethics. (shrink)
Quel est le statut des lois de la nature ? Telle est la question posée dans ce livre d’André Charrak. L’auteur montre que la philosophie des Lumières envisage le problème de la connaissance sous l’angle de « l’application des principes aux phénomènes et des sciences les unes aux autres » (p. 199) et qu’il existe un lien direct entre la possibilité de l’application de la mathématique à la physique dans les savoirs positifs et les partis pris explicites sur le (...) statut modal des lois du mouvement.. (shrink)
Summary André-Jacob Roubo, author of Art du menuisier (Art of the Woodworker), included in the famous series of the Descriptions des arts et métiers published by the Paris Academy of Sciences, was a true worker whose craft was based on first-hand experience of the trade. At the same time, he was a literate artist, who shared the ideas and values of the Enlightenment and dedicated himself to writing technical treatises. Roubo was on the fringe of the guild system by (...) virtue of his training and his first steps in the trade. From the start, his connections with the circle of the learned elite were much more developed than with the world of the Parisian ?maîtres menuisiers?. Yet Roubo considered himself to be a member of the community of woodworkers, and he addressed his treatise to his fellow workers, as if it were the masterpiece required to be received into the guild. So, who was Roubo? By training and status, he was certainly an artisan. But at the same time, we can see him as a sort of member of the Republic of Letters, whose fame rested on his expertise in woodworking and joinery. His case illustrates the fact that the gulf between ?gens de métiers? and ?gens de lettres? in the eighteenth century was less wide than is usually asserted. (shrink)