: Theorists analyzing the concepts of race and gender disagree over whether the terms refer to natural kinds, social kinds, or nothing at all. The question arises: what do we mean by the terms? It is usually assumed that ordinary intuitions of native speakers are definitive. However, I argue that contemporary semantic externalism can usefully combine with insights from Foucauldian genealogy to challenge mainstream methods of analysis and lend credibility to social constructionist projects.
"What is sexist oppression?" "What should be done about it?" Organized around these questions, Theorizing Feminisms: A Reader provides an overview of theoretical feminist writing about the quest for gender justice. Incorporating both classic and cutting-edge material, the reader takes into account the full diversity of women, highlighting the effects of race, ethnicity, nationality, class, sexuality, and religion on women's experience. Theorizing Feminisms is organized into four sections and includes fifty-four essays. The first section introduces several basic concepts commonly employed (...) when thinking about sexism--oppression, social construction, essentialism, intersectionality, gender, race, and class--and also raises questions about the perspective and legitimacy of the theorist. The second section surveys three approaches that attempt to characterize in a general way the source of injustice toward women: humanist feminism ("the sameness approach"), gynocentric feminism ("the difference approach"), and dominance feminism. Offering an alternate perspective, the third section introduces two "localizing" approaches, grounded in postmodernism and identity politics, respectively. Skeptical of theories that attempt to analyze social phenomena across history and culture, authors in this section challenge, rather than answer, the text's organizing questions. The final section explores the relationship of feminist theory to three liberatory projects--postcolonialism, neo-materialism, and queer theory--that do not characterize themselves as feminist, yet take gender as a significant category of analysis. Each section opens with an introduction and each essay is followed by helpful study questions. The majority of the essays are presented in their entirety. Theorizing Feminisms underscores the strong connection between feminist theory and practice by including essays that illustrate important political inspirations or applications of each theoretical approach. It also presents versions of the same approach from various points in history, revealing feminist theory to be dynamic and evolving, rather than static. Ideal for interdisciplinary courses in feminist theory, this volume will also serve as an invaluable reference for current and future generations of theorists. (shrink)
[SallyHaslanger] In debates over the existence and nature of social kinds such as 'race' and 'gender', philosophers often rely heavily on our intuitions about the nature of the kind. Following this strategy, philosophers often reject social constructionist analyses, suggesting that they change rather than capture the meaning of the kind terms. However, given that social constructionists are often trying to debunk our ordinary (and ideology-ridden?) understandings of social kinds, it is not surprising that their analyses are counterintuitive. (...) This article argues that externalist insights from the critique of the analytic/synthetic distinction can be extended to justify social constructionist analyses. /// [Jennifer Saul] SallyHaslanger's 'What Good Are Our Intuitions? Philosophical Analysis and Social Kinds' is, among other things, a part of the theoretical underpinning for analyses of race and gender concepts that she discusses far more fully elsewhere. My reply focuses on these analyses of race and gender concepts, exploring the ways in which the theoretical work done in this paper and others can or cannot be used to defend these analyses against certain objections. I argue that the problems faced by Haslanger's analyses are in some ways less serious, and in some ways more serious, than they may at first appear. Along the way, I suggest that ordinary speakers may not in fact have race and gender concepts and I explore the ramifications of this claim. (shrink)
In this collection of previously published essays, SallyHaslanger draws on insights from feminist and critical race theory and on the resources of contemporary analytic philosophy to develop the idea that gender and race are positions ...
Contemporary discussions of race and racism devote considerable effort to giving conceptual analyses of these notions. Much of the work is concerned to investigate a priori what we mean by the terms ‘race’ and ‘racism’ (e.g., Garcia 1996; Garcia 1997; Garcia 1999: Blum 2002; Hardimon 2003; Mallon 2004); more recent work has started to employ empirical methods to determine the content of our “folk concepts,” or “folk theory” of race and racism (Glasgow 2009; Glasgow et al 2009; (...) Faucher and Machery 2009). In contrast to both of these projects, I have argued elsewhere that in considering what we mean by these terms we should treat them on the model of kind terms whose reference is fixed by ordinary uses, but whose content is discovered empirically using social theory; I have also argued that it is not only important to determine what we actually mean by these terms, but what we should mean, i.e., what type, if any, we should be tracking. (Haslanger 2000, Haslanger 2006) My own discussion of these issues, however, has been confused and confusing. In giving an account of race or gender, is the goal to provide a conceptual analysis? Or to investigate the kinds we are referring to? To draw attention to different kinds? To stipulate new meanings? Jennifer Saul has raised a series of powerful objections to my accounts of gender and race, suggesting that they are neither semantically nor politically useful, regardless of whether we treat them as revisionary proposals, or as elucidations of our concepts. (Saul 2006) Joshua Glasgow has also offered a critique of my externalist approach to race as an effort to capture “our concept” (Glasgow 2009, Ch. 6-7). I agree with much of what they say, but I also believe that there is something I was trying to capture that.. (shrink)
It is always awkward when someone asks me informally what I’m working on and I answer that I’m trying to figure out what gender is. For outside a rather narrow segment of the academic world, the term ‘gender’ has come to function as the polite way to talk about the sexes. And one thing people feel pretty confident about is their knowledge of the difference between males and females. Males are those human beings with a range of familiar primary and (...) secondary sex characteristics, most important being the penis; females are those with a different set, most important being the vagina or, perhaps, the uterus. Enough said. Against this background, it isn’t clear what could be the point of an inquiry, especially a philosophical inquiry, into “what gender is”. (shrink)
Unlike feminist ethics, or feminist political philosophy, or even feminist epistemology and philosophy of science, feminist metaphysics cannot be said (yet!) to have standing as a full-fledged sub-discipline of either philosophy or feminist theory. Although one can find both undergraduate and graduate courses devoted to the other sub-fields just mentioned, a course in feminist metaphysics is a rare find; and there are few professional philosophers who would consider listing in their areas of specialization both feminist theory and metaphysics. There are (...) many reasons for this, some having to do with academic politics, e.g., women have not broken into the ranks of metaphysicians in anything like the numbers that can now be found in ethics or political philosophy, and some having to do with tensions between the methods and topics of standard feminist projects and standard metaphysical projects, e.g., feminism is typically taken to be a normative enterprise whereas metaphysics is not. (shrink)
The framing question of Mills' important and thought-provoking paper is whether there is reason for political progressives and radicals to employ the notion of a social contract for either descriptive or normative purposes. In contrast to the common response that the social contract is a piece of "bourgeois mystification" he argues instead that a reformulated conception of the contract, one which he calls the..
Feminism is both an intellectual commitment and a political movement that seeks justice for women and the end of sexism in all forms. However, there are many different kinds of feminism. Feminists disagree about what sexism consists in, and what exactly ought to be done about it; they disagree about what it means to be a woman or a man and what social and political implications gender has or should have. Nonetheless, motivated by the quest for social justice, feminist inquiry (...) provides a wide range of perspectives on social, cultural, and political phenomena. Important topics for feminist theory and politics include: the body, class and work, disability, the family, globalization, human rights, popular culture, race and racism, reproduction, science, the self, sex work, and sexuality. Extended discussion of these topics is included in the sub-entries to feminism in this encyclopedia. (shrink)
I’ll start by giving a very brief summary of Sider’s position and will identify some points on which my own position differs from his. I’ll then raise four issues, viz., how to articulate the 3-dimensionalist view, the trade-offs between Ted’s stage view of persistence and endurance with respect to intrinsic properties, the endurantist’s response to the argument from vagueness, and finally more general questions about what’s at stake in the debate. I don’t believe that anything I say raises insurmountable problems (...) for Sider’s view; and in fact, I’m sure he’s in a better position to defend his view more convincingly than I’m able to defend mine. However, there is plenty worth discussing further. (shrink)
Across the humanities and social sciences it has become commonplace for scholars to argue that categories once assumed to be “natural” are in fact “social” or, in the familiar lingo, “socially constructed”. Two common examples of such categories are race and gender, but there many others. One interpretation of this claim is that although it is typically thought that what unifies the instances of such categories is some set of natural or physical properties, instead their unity rests on social features (...) of the items in question. Social constructionists pursuing this strategy—and it is these social constructionists I will be focusing on in this paper—aim to “debunk” the ordinary assumption that the categories are natural, by revealing the more accurate social basis of the classification.2 To avoid confusion, and to resist some of the associations with the term ‘social construction’, I will sometimes use the term ‘socially founded’ for the categories that this sort of constructionist reveals as social rather than natural. (shrink)
Are sagging pants cool? Are cows food? Are women more submissive than men? Are blacks more criminal than whites? Taking the social world at face value, many people would be tempted to answer these questions in the affirmative. And if challenged, they can point to facts that support their answers. But there is something wrong about the affirmative answers. I deny that sagging pants are cool, cows are food, women are more submissive than men, and blacks are more criminal than (...) whites. And moreover, I maintain that there is an objective basis for denying these claims even though the facts seem to support the face value affirmative response. But how can that be? We all know that male urban youth can barely walk with their pants belted around their thighs, that beef is a staple in the American diet, that blacks are incarcerated in the United States at a much higher rate than any other race, and that women defer to men in both work and family life. How could a denial of these facts be justified? In this paper I will sketch a way to interpret claims such as the ones listed in the previous paragraph that shows how they convey more than they seem. To do so, I will draw on recent ideas in the philosophy of language and metaphysics to show how the assertion of a generic claim of the sort in question ordinarily permits one to infer that the fact in question obtains by virtue of something specifically about the subject so described, i.e., about women, or blacks, or sagging pants. In the examples I’ve offered, however, this implication is unwarranted. The facts in question obtain by virtue of broad.. (shrink)
In the weeks after 9/11/01, the events of that day were described in many ways. One of the most significant "spins" came from the government: initially the events were described as "a terrorist attack," but not long after they became an "act of war". We were told that what occurred was not a crime to be addressed by punishing the perpetrators, but an attack on a nation-state which requires us to take up arms against the enemy.
• Ongoing concerns about time to acceptance/rejection and time to publication. o NB: Schemas kick in when people are rushed. How does this affect the refereeing process? Does it matter for desk rejections, which may be quick and based on nonanonymized papers? Does it also affect referees? How?
With some notable exceptions, feminist epistemologists have not focused (like many contemporary analytic epistemologists) on the the semantics of claims to know: What are the truth conditions of claims of the form S knows that p? My goal in this paper is to suggest a way of approaching the task of specifying the truth conditions for knowledge while (hopefully) making clear how a broad range of feminist work that is often deemed irrelevant to the philosophical inquiry into knowledge is, in (...) fact, highly relevant. My discussion may also show (though I’m not going to take this up explicitly) that there are reasons why the search for truth conditions for knowledge could have a legitimate place in feminist epistemological inquiry. (shrink)
SallyHaslanger (2006) is concerned with the debate between so-called social constructionists and error theorists about a given category, such as race or gender. For example, social constructionists about race claim that race is socially constructed, that is, the kind or property that unifies all instances of the category is a social feature (not a natural or physical feature, as naturalists about race would hold). On the other hand, error theorists about race claim that the term ‘race’ is (...) an empty term, that is, nothing belongs to this category, since the conditions that something should satisfy in order to fall under ‘race’ are not satisfied by anything. What kind of evidence could we use in order to support one or another of these theories? It seems that this debate is in part semantic: what makes the case that a category is an empty one (and therefore error theory about it holds), as opposed to it being socially constructed, has to do with the meaning of the corresponding expression. In particular, in the case of race, some people have argued that our concept RACE is such that something will fall under it only if it is a natural property that can explain certain features. Arguably, there are no natural properties of human beings that can do the explanatory work that races are supposed to do, and therefore, error theorists have concluded that ‘race’ is an empty term, that is, there are no races (Appiah (1996)). (Some theorists have introduced new terms for a new property that is very similar to that of race and can do part of the explanatory work that races were supposed to do, but it does not have to satisfy all the conditions that races are supposed to satisfy. For instance, Appiah (1996) has introduced the notion of ‘racial identity’ to that effect.) These considerations suggest that if we want to find out whether a certain category is socially constructed, or whether an error theory about it is correct, we have to engage in.... (shrink)
This discussion of SallyHaslanger’s recent book, Resisting Reality: Social Construction and Social Critique (Oxford 2012), investigates how her theory of race and gender handles the problem of intersectionality; that is, the problem of how to understand the ways in which one’s location in multiple socially constructed categories affects one’s lived experiences, social roles, and relative privilege or disadvantage. Haslanger defines race and gender as locations within hierarchical social structures. This high-level structural analysis allows her to find (...) commonality without claiming that, for example, all women share social roles or psychological characteristics. However, race-based oppression seems sometimes to cancel out gender-based privilege; thus raising the question of how, on Haslanger’s model, we are to understand race and gender working together. (shrink)
If each of the subtypes of autism is defined simply as constituted by a set of symptoms, then the criteria for its observation are straightforward, although, of course, some of those symptoms themselves might be hard to observe definitively. Compare with telling whether or not someone is bleeding: while it might be hard to tell if someone is bleeding internally, we know what it takes to find out, and when we have the right access and instruments we can settle the (...) issue. But matters are not so simple for the autism subtypes. For one thing, how do we settle which symptoms to group together under one heading? One key difference between “autism disorder” and “Asperger’s disorder” is that the former exhibit language delays (sometimes extreme), whereas the latter do not. But is that a sign of genuinely distinct conditions or is that an artifact of the distinct groups of subjects that Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger worked with? And in general, although there are certainly types of behavior that are taken to be indicative of autism, none by itself is taken by diagnosticians to be either necessary or sufficient for a definitive diagnosis for any of the autism subtypes. What is the diagnostician to do? This is not merely an academic issue, as many parents can attest. Are we in a situation, then, that each practitioner has his or her own “pet” signs that are the “real keys” to the diagnosis? That would suggest that the term “autistic” might meet the fate of the outdated term “neurotic,” which turned out to be a pseudo-scientific term for an inexact clumping together of unrelated phenomena. The assumption amongst specialists seems to be that we will reach the point with "autism" that we have with "water": there will be a root essence to autism whose presence or absence settles a diagnosis. If that is to be the case, however, we have to settle the level of application of the concept. Does the term apply to people who exhibit particular behaviors? Or is it possible to exhibit “autistic” behaviors without actually being autistic, because autism is instead a particular feature of the mind (as, for example, in Baron-Cohen’s “impaired theory of mind module” theory, discussed below) which usually but not necessarily has behavioral effects? Or is autism located instead in the brain, perhaps in damage to key areas, which in turn would typically have an effect on modules of the mind? Or perhaps autism is located in genetics or biology, so that some people with damage to the brain caused by accidents so that they exhibit autistic symptoms would not actually be autistic. Conversely, supposing one had an “autistic brain” but showed none of (or not a sufficient number of) the symptoms, would one not be autistic? The assumption is that the genotypes and phenotypes will line up neatly, but if they do not, what happens to the concept “autistic?” (There is an analogy in the philosophy of sex and gender: androgen insensitive individuals tend to self-identify as female and have outward female traits, but have XY chromosomes—should we go with chromosomes or self-identity in assigning sex category?) Finally, the implications for these complications for diagnosis and categorization, with the attendant social and medical implications is discussed. The typical assumption of the medical profession is that autism cannot be “cured.” That assumes that autism is not simply the symptoms. However, at the same time, the tests used to diagnose ASDs work simply from the symptoms (for example, Baron-Cohen’s Sally/Anne test, which ASD children of a certain age almost all fail, but which practically no ASD adult fails). This implies an inherent confusion over the status of the concept. I conclude that attempts to make sense of some true or accurate summary of what it is to be autistic (such as one would find in the DSM) are almost certainly misguided and will vanish into history along with “neurotic.” But as with racial terms, which are similarly shifting and perverse, the term has already passed into the public sphere and will have a lasting and dangerous influence beyond its short scientific shelf-life. (shrink)
The gender concept woman is central to feminism but has proven to be notoriously difficult to define. Some feminist philosophers, most notably SallyHaslanger, have recently argued for revisionary analyses of the concept where it is defined pragmatically for feminist political purposes. I argue against such analyses: pragmatically revising woman may not best serve feminist goals and doing so is unnecessary. Instead, focusing on certain intuitive uses of the term ‘woman’ enables feminist philosophers to make sense of it.
In response to Henry Allison?s and Sally Sedwick?s comments on my recent book, Kant and the Capacity to Judge, I explain Kant?s description of the understanding as being essentially a ?capacity to judge?, and his view of the relationship between the categories and the logical functions of judgment. I defend my interpretation of Kant?s argument in the Transcendental Deduction of the Categories in the B edition. I conclude that, in my interpretation, Kant?s notions of the ?a priori? and the (...) ?given? are more complex and flexible than is generally perceived. Nevertheless, Kant maintains a strict distinction between receptivity and spontaneity, the ?passive? and the ?active aspects of our representational capacities. This separates him from his German idealist successors, most notably Fichte and Hegel. Contrary to Sedgwick?s and Allison?s suggestions, I do not think that my interpretation tends to blur this distinction. (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)
Our world is a world of change. Children are born and grow into adults. Material possessions rust and decay with age and ultimately perish. Yet scepticism about change is as old as philosophy itself. Heraclitus, for example, argued that nothing could survive the replacement of parts, so that it is impossible to step into the same river twice. Zeno argued that motion is paradoxical, so that nothing can alter its location. Parmenides and his followers went even further, arguing that the (...) very concept of qualitative change is inconsistent. Change in any respect is impossible, they argued, as change requires difference and nothing differs from itself. Few today would accept the Eleatic conclusion that change is impossible. But the topic of change continues to be a source of much debate, as it brings together various issues that are central to metaphysics, language, and logic – including identity, persistence, time, tense, and temporal logic. Author Recommends Wasserman, Ryan. 'The Problem of Change.' Philosophy Compass 1 (2006): 1–10. This article presents the problem of change and provides a brief survey of potential solutions. Haslanger, Sally. 'Persistence Through Time.' The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics . Eds. M. Loux and D. Zimmerman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. This article presents the problem of change and provides a detailed survey of potential solutions. Heller, Mark. 'Things Change.' Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (1992): 695–704. This article presents, explains, and defends the temporal parts solution to the problem of change. Hinchliff, Mark. 'The Puzzle of Change.' Philosophical Perspectives 10 (1996): 119–36. This article presents, explains, and defends the presentist solution to the problem of change. Wasserman, Ryan. 'The Argument from Temporary Intrinsics.' Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (2003): 413–19. This article presents, explains, and defends the relationist solution to the problem of change. Sider, Theodore. Four-Dimensionalism . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. This book provides an introduction to various issues related to the problem of change, including the nature of time, tense, and persistence. Chapter 5 presents, explains, and defends the stage-view solution to the problem of change. Online Materials Change. URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/change/ The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on change, by Chris Mortensen. Time. URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/time/ The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on time, by Ned Markosian. Temporal Parts. URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/temporal-parts/ The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on temporal parts, by Katherine Hawley. Material Constitution. URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/material-constitution/ The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on material constitution, by Ryan Wasserman. Persistence Bibliography. URL: http://tedsider.org/teaching/pp_bibliography.pdf A bibliography on change and related issues, by Theodore Sider. Sample Syllabus Books on Syllabus Rea, Michael. Material Constitution: A Reader . Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 1997. Sider, Theodore. Four-Dimensionalism . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. 2008. Metaphysics: The Big Questions . 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008. Week 1: Time and Tense Four-Dimensionalism , chapters 1 and 2. Markosian, Ned. 'A Defence of Presentism.' Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, Volume 1. Ed. D. Zimmerman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004: 47–82. In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 116-123. In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 124-129. Week 2: Time and Persistence Four-Dimensionalism , chapter 3. McGrath, Matthew. 'Temporal Parts.' Philosophy Compass 2 (2007): 730–48. In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 265-267. Hawthorne, J, Scala, M., and Wasserman, R. 'Recombination, Humean Supervenience, and Causal Constraints: An Argument for Temporal Parts?' Oxford Studies in Metaphysics , Volume 1. Ed. D. Zimmerman, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004: 301-318. Week 3: Change and Presentism In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 141-149. In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 267-269. In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 269-281. Week 4: Change and Temporal Parts Four-Dimensionalism , pp. 92–8. Heller, Mark. 'Things Change.' Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (1992): 695–704. Lombard, Lawrence. 'The Doctrine of Temporal Parts and the "No Change" Objection.' Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (1994): 365–72. Week 5: Change, Relationism, and Adverbialism Hawley, Katherine. 'Why Temporary Properties are not Relations between Physical Objects and Times.' Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 98 (1998): 211–16. Wasserman, Ryan. 'The Argument from Temporary Intrinsics.' Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (2003): 413–19. Lewis, David. 'Tensing the Copula.' Mind 111 (2002): 1–13. Caplan, Ben. 'Why so Tense about the Copula?' Mind 114 (2007): 703–8. Week 6: Change and Tropes Ehring, Douglas. 'Lewis, Temporary Intrinsics and Momentary Tropes.' Analysis 57 (1997): 254–8. MacBride, Fraser. 'Four New Ways to Change Your Shape.' Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (2001): 81–9. Simons, Peter. 'On Being Spread Out in Time: Temporal Parts and the Problem of Change.' Existence and Explanation . Eds. W. Spohn, B.C. van Fraassen, and B. Skyrms. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1991: 131-147. Weeks 7 and 8: Special Topic – Material Change Four-Dimensionalism , chapter 5. Selections from Material Constitution: A Reader. Week 9: Special Topic – Change of Position In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 186-195. In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 195-215. Week 10: Special topic – Changing the Past In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 224-235. van Iwagen, Peter. 'Changing the Past.' Oxford Studies in Metaphysics , Volume 5 . Ed. D. Zimmerman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009: 1-22. Hudson, H. and Wasserman, R. 'Van Inwagen on Time Travel and Changing the Past.' Oxford Studies in Metaphysics , Volume 5. Ed. D. Zimmerman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009: 41-49. (shrink)
This article has benefited from the thoughtful comments and suggestions of many, including Susan Brison, Gilbert Harman, SallyHaslanger, Richard Holton, Win Kymlicka, Mark van Roojen, Michael Smith, Scott Schon, Katalie Stoljar, and the Editors of Philoso- phy & Public Affairs, I am grateful to them all. r, American Booksellers, Inc, v, Hudnut, 5g8 F. Supp. I327 (S.D. Ind. zgsA) (heresfter Hudnut).
So begins "For Anne Gregory," published by W. B. Yeats in 1933. It is surely one of his most charming poems.1 The poem's lilting rhythm and affectionate tone effectively soften—even disguise—what is arguably a dark and dismaying message. Anne is destined to be loved not for herself alone, but for an accidental physical attribute—her blond hair. Why do I claim that the poem's message is dark? Why should it dismay Anne if she is loved for the beauty (...) of her hair? Is that not better, after all, than not being loved in the first place? And what would it be to love Anne for herself "alone"? Love Anne for her sweet disposition; for her ability always to say the right thing; for her kindness; but for her yellow hair? .. (shrink)
It has been argued that there is a problem oftemporary intrinsics, the problem of explaininghow it is possible for things to possesssuccessively contrary properties, if a certaintheory about time, ``eternalism'', is true. Inthis paper, I consider whether there really issuch a problem and survey some standardsolutions to it. I argue for one of them, onewhich has been offered by Mark Johnston andPeter van Inwagen, and which I call the``exemplification-solution''''. I consider avariant on that solution offered by E.J. Lowe(and Sally (...)Haslanger), and I argue that thisvariant should be rejected. (shrink)
Philosophy of language is the branch of philosophy that examines the nature of meaning, the relationship of language to reality, and the ways in which we use, learn, and understand language. The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Language provides a comprehensive and up-to-date survey of the field, charting its key ideas and movements, and addressing contemporary research and enduring questions in the philosophy of language. Unique to this Companion is clear coverage of research from the related disciplines of formal logic (...) and linguistics, and discussion of the applications in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and philosophy of mind. Organized thematically, the Companion is divided into seven sections: Core Topics; Foundations of Semantics; Parts of Speech; Methodology; Logic for Philosophers of Language; Philosophy of Language for the Rest of Philosophy; and Historical Perspectives. Comprised of 70 never-before-published essays from leading scholars--including SallyHaslanger, Jeffrey King, Sally McConnell-Ginet, Rae Langton, Kit Fine, John MacFarlane, Jeff Pelletier, Scott Soames, Jason Stanley, Stephen Stich and Zoltan Gendler Szabo--the Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Language promises to be the most comprehensive and authoritative resource for students and scholars alike. (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)
This article offers a critical reading of three major biographies of the British novelist and philosopher Iris Murdoch. It considers in particular how a limited concern for gender issues has hampered their portrayals of Murdoch as a creator of images and ideas. The biographies are then contrasted to a biographical sketch constructed from Murdoch's philosophical writing. The assessment of the biographies is set against the larger background of the relation between women and philosophy. In doing so, the paper offers a (...) critical response to SallyHaslanger's recent “Musings” (Haslanger 2008), which is contrasted to Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own (1929) and Michèle Le Doeuff's Hipparchia's Choice (2007). (shrink)
The work of Spinoza, Descartes and Leibniz is cited in an attempt to develop, both expositorily and critically, the philosophy of Anne Viscountess Conway. Broadly, it is contended that Conway's metaphysics, epistemology and account of the passions not only bear intriguing comparison with the work of the other well-known rationalists, but supersede them in some ways, particularly insofar as the notions of substance and ontological hierarchy are concerned. Citing the commentary of Loptson and Carolyn Merchant, and alluding to other (...) commentary on the Cambridge Platonists whose work was done in tandem with Conway's, it is contended that Conway's conception of the "monad" preceded and influenced Leibniz's, and that her monistic vitalism was in many respects a superior metaphysics to the Cartesian system. It is concluded that we owe Conway more attention and celebration than she has thus far received. (shrink)