Philosophy as Fiction seeks to account for the peculiar power of philosophical literature by taking as its case study the paradigmatic generic hybrid of the twentieth century, Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time. At once philosophical--in that it presents claims, and even deploys arguments concerning such traditionally philosophical issues as knowledge, self-deception, selfhood, love, friendship, and art--and literary, in that its situations are imaginary and its stylization inescapably prominent, Proust's novel presents us with a conundrum. How should (...) it be read? Can the two discursive structures co-exist, or must philosophy inevitably undermine literature (by sapping the narrative of its vitality) and literature undermine philosophy (by placing its claims in the mouth of an often unreliable narrator)? In the case of Proust at least, the result is greater than the sum of its parts. Not only can a coherent, distinctive philosophical system be extracted from the Recherche, once the narrator's periodic waywardness is taken into account; not only does a powerfully original style pervade its every nook, overtly reinforcing some theories and covertly exemplifying others; but aspects of the philosophy also serve literary ends, contributing more to character than to conceptual framework. What is more, aspects of the aesthetics serve philosophical ends, enabling a reader to engage in an active manner with an alternative art of living. Unlike the "essay" Proust might have written, his novel grants us the opportunity to use it as a practice ground for cooperation among our faculties, for the careful sifting of memories, for the complex procedures involved in self-fashioning, and for the related art of self-deception. It is only because the narrator's insights do not always add up--a weakness, so long as one treats the novel as a straightforward treatise--that it can produce its training effect, a feature that turns out to be its ultimate strength. (shrink)
This is a major study of conceptions of selfhood and personality in Homer and Greek Tragedy and Philosophy. The focus is on the norms of personality in Greek psychology and ethics. Gill argues that the key to understanding Greek thought of this type is to counteract the subjective and individualistic aspects of our own thinking about the person. He defines an "objective-participant" conception of personality, symbolized by the idea of the person as an interlocutor in a series of psychological and (...) ethical dialogues. (shrink)
This paper suggests that late nineteenth-century definitions of self-mutilation, a new category of psychiatric symptomatology, were heavily influenced by the use of self-injury as a rhetorical device in the novel, for the literary text held a high status in Victorian psychology. In exploring Dimmesdale’s “self-mutilation” in The Scarlet Letter in conjunction with psychiatric case histories, the paper indicates a number of common techniques and themes in literary and psychiatric texts. As well as illuminating key elements of nineteenth-century (...) conceptions of the self, and the relation of mind and body through ideas of madness, this exploration also serves to highlight the social commentary implicit in many Victorian medical texts. Late nineteenth-century England, like mid-century New England, required the individual to help himself and, simultaneously, others; personal charity and individual philanthropy were encouraged, while state intervention was often presented as dubious. In both novel and psychiatric text, self-mutilation is thus presented as the ultimate act of selfish preoccupation, particularly in cases on the “borderlands” of insanity. (shrink)
Being in Time is a provocative and accessible essay on the fragmentation of the self as explored in philosophy and literature. This original study is unique in its focus on the literary aspects of philosophical writing and their interactions with philosophical content. It explores the emotional aspects of the human experience of time commonly neglected in philosophical investigation by looking at how narrative creates and treats the experience of the self as fragmented and the past as "lost." (...) Genevieve Lloyd demonstrates the continuities and the contrasts between modern philosophic discussions of the instability of the knowing subject, treatments of the fragmentation of the self in the modern novel, and older philosophical discussions of the unity of consciousness. Combining theoretical discussion with human experience, Being in Time will be important reading to anyone interested in the relationship between philosophy and literature, as well as to more general audience of readers who share Augustine's experience of time as making him a "problem to himself.". (shrink)
The figure of the “double” or the other self is an important topic in the history of literature. Many centuries before Jean Paul Richter coined the term, “doppelgänger,” at the beginning of the Romantic Movement in the year 1796, it is possible to find the figure of the double in myths and legends. The issue of the double emphaszses the contradictory character of the human being and invokes a sinister dimension of the psychological world, what has been called (...) in German as “umheimlich.” However, does multiciplicity always involve pathology? Related to this figure in literary history, a new perspective from clinical psychology called “dialogical self” defines the self as a multi-voice reality. Along the same line, postmodernist psychology considers the self a discursive construction. From these perspectives, the “self” is situated a long way away from the classical essential conception of the self. In this paper, we review briefly some important landmarks of the figure of the double in the literature, and we compare the coincidences of the “double” experiencies described in literature with the experiences of our patients. Finally, we discuss how this literary tradition can help us to understand new psychological perspectives. (shrink)
Numinous spaces in British literature from William Wordsworth to Samuel Beckett -- Jesus figures in American literature from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Edward Albee -- Using Bakhtin's definitions to discover ethical voices in Solzhenitsyn and Tolstoy -- René Girard's categories of scapegoats in literature of the American South -- Hopkins's metaphysics of nature as sacred disclosure -- The book of job as mirrored in Hopkins's metaphysics -- Beckett's mythos of the absence of God.
Rewriting the Self is an exploration of ideas of the self in the western cultural tradition from the Renaissance to the present. The contributors analyze different religious, philosophical, psychological, political, psychoanalytical and literary models of personal identity from a number of viewpoints, including the history of ideas, contemporary gender politics, and post-modernist literary theory. Challenging the received version of the "ascent of western man," they assess the discursive construction of the self in the light of political, technological (...) and social changes. Contributors include: Peter Burke, Roger Cardinal, Stephen Connor, Jonathan Dollimore, Terry Eagleton, Kate Flint, E.J. Hundert, John Mullan, Linda Nead, Daniel Pick, Nikolas Rose, Jonathan Sawday, Jane Shaw, Roger Smith, Sylvana Tomaselli and Carolyn D. Williams. (shrink)
What is the relationship between the self and society? Where do moral judgments come from? As Blakey Vermeule demonstrates in The Party of Humanity, such questions about sociability and moral philosophy were central to eighteenth-century writers and artists. Vermeule focuses on a group of aesthetically complicated moral texts: Alexander Pope's character sketches and Dunciad , Samuel Johnson's Life of Savage, and David Hume's self-consciously theatrical writings on pride and his autobiographical writings on religious melancholia. These writers and their (...) characters confronted familiar social dilemmas--sexual desire, gender identity, family relations, cheating, ambition, status, rivalry, and shame--and responded by developing a practical ethics about their own behavior at the same time that they refined their moral judgments of others. The Party of Humanity frames its discussion about emotions, social conflict, and aesthetics within two broad theories: the emerging field of evolutionary psychology and Kantian moral philosophy. By studying how eighteenth-century Britons experienced the demands of their social identities, Vermeule argues, we can better understand the most salient problems facing moral philosophy today--the issue of self-interest and the question of how moral norms are shaped by social agendas. (shrink)
Figuring Animals is a collection of fifteen essays concerning the representation of animals in literature, the visual arts, philosophy, and cultural practice. At the turn of the new century, it is helpful to reconsider our inherited understandings of the species, some of which are still useful to us. It is also important to look ahead to new understandings and new dialogue, which may contribute to the survival of us all. The contributors to this volume participate in this dialogue in (...) a variety of ways--through personal experience, natural history, cultural studies, philosophical inquiry, art history, literary analysis, film studies, and theoretical imagining, and through a combination of these trains of thought. The essays expose weaknesses in western epistemological frames of reference that for centuries have limited our views and, thus, our experiences of animal being, including our own. (shrink)
This article examines the controversial issue of blasphemy in literature from the viewpoint of reception inside and outside the academia. The thesis of the article is that blasphemy in literature, though inherently related to religion and language, has a plurality of connotations and interpretations (dissidence, intertextuality, critique of colonialism, discursive strategy, alterity/Otherness, ethnicity, subversive text). Consequently, blasphemy in literature is an incentive for fruitful discussions regarding tolerance, freedom of expression, and the re-situation of the (post)modern self (...) in today’s world, dominated by an uncanny admixture of secular and religious values. (shrink)
The book is about three things. First, how Ancient thinkers perceived humans as like or unlike other animals; second about the justification for taking a humane attitude towards natural things; and third about how moral claims count as true, and how they can be discovered or acquired. Was Aristotle was right to see continuity in the psychological functions of animal and human souls? The question cannot be settled without taking a moral stance. As we can either focus on continuity or (...) on discontinuities, how should natural science draw the boundaries? Moral agents act and react in a world that they see under a certain description, and there is no value free science that can settle what is the correct description. This book asks us to think about where moral justification could come from, and suggests that the supposed ‘moral status’ of the object cannot provide the answer. For the moral status of the object is a product of our own imagination, and once we see that, we also see that there remains the question where we ought to have the will to see it. Furthermore, since the perception of moral truth involves the development of imagination and will, the means to attain it will be better served by engagement with poetry and literature than with enquiries that seek to exclude the engagement of the imagination, or any appeal to the beauty of nature or the love of one's fellow creatures. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Acknowledgments; Introduction: scales of identification; 1. Democratic expansionism, gothic geographies, and Charles Brockden Brown; 2. Urban apartments, global cities: the enlargement of private space in Poe and James; 3. Cultural orphans: domesticity, missionaries, and China from Stowe to Sui Sin Far; 4. 'The Checkered Globe': cosmopolitan despair in the American Pacific; 5. Literature and regional production; Epilogue: scales of resistance.
Hume's discussion of the idea of space in his Treatise on Human Nature is fundamental to an understanding of his treatment of such central issues as the existence of external objects, the unity of the self, the relation between certainty and belief, and abstract ideas. Marina Frasca-Spada's rich and original study examines this difficult part of Hume's philosophical writings and connects it to eighteenth-century works in natural philosophy, mathematics and literature. Focusing on Hume's discussions of the infinite divisibility (...) of extension, the origin of the idea of space, geometry, and the notion of a vacuum, she shows that the central questions of Hume's 'science of human nature' - what does the 'science of human nature' reveal about the mind and its operations? what is experience? - underlie all of these discussions. Her analysis points the way to a reassessment of the central current interpretative problems in Hume studies. (shrink)
The special and unique attitudes that we take towards events in our futures/pasts—e.g., attitudes like the dread of an impeding pain—create a challenge for “Reductionist” accounts that reduce persons to aggregates of interconnected person stages: if the person stage currently dreading tomorrow’s pain is numerically distinct from the person stage that will actually suffer the pain, what reason could the current person stage have for thinking of that future pain as being his? One reason everyday subjects believe they have a (...) substantially extended temporal existence stems from introspection—they introspectively experience their selves as being temporally extended. In this paper, I examine whether a Reductionist about personal identity can co-opt this explanation. Using Galen Strawson’s recent work on self-experience as a resource, I reach both a negative and a positive conclusion about the prospects of such a position. First, the relevant kind of self-experience—i.e., the introspective experience of one’s self as being a substantially temporally extended entity—will not automatically arise within a person stage simply in virtue of that stage being psychologically connected to/continuous with other person stages. Second, the relevant kind of self-experience will arise, however, in virtue of person stages weaving together their respective experiences, actions, etc. via a narrative. This positive conclusion points towards a new Reductionist position that focuses upon a narrative, and not mere psychological continuity, in attempting to justify the special attitudes we take towards events in our futures/pasts. (shrink)
It has been argued that Extended Cognition (EXT), a recently much discussed framework in the philosophy of cognition, would serve as the theoretical basis to account for the impact of Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI) on the self and life of patients with Locked-in Syndrome (LIS). In this paper I will argue that this claim is unsubstantiated, EXT is not the appropriate theoretical background for understanding the role of BCI in LIS. I will critically assess what a theory of the (...) extended self would comprise and provide a list of desiderata for a theory of self that EXT fails to accommodate for. There is, however, an alternative framework in Cognitive Science, Enactivism, which entails the basis for an account of self that is able to accommodate for these desiderata. I will outline some first steps towards an Enactive approach to the self, suggesting that the self could be considered as a form of human autonomy. Understanding the self from an enactive point of view will allow to shed new light on the questions of whether and how BCIs affect or change the selves of patients with LIS. (shrink)
Kafka's writings are frequently interpreted as representing the historical period of modernism in which he was writing. Little attention has been paid, however, to the possibility that his writings may reflect neural mechanisms in the processing of self during hypnagogic (i.e., between waking and sleep) states. Kafka suffered from dream-like, hypnagogic hallucinations during a sleep-deprived state while writing. This paper discusses reasons (phenomenological and neurobiological) why the self projects an imaginary double (autoscopy) in its spontaneous hallucinations and how (...) Kafka's writings help to elucidate the underlying cognitive and neural mechanisms. I further discuss how the proposed mechanisms may be relevant to understanding paranoid delusions in schizophrenia. Literature documents and records cognitive and neural processes of self with an intimacy that may be otherwise unavailable to neuroscience. To elucidate this approach, I contrast it with the apparently popularizing view that the symptoms of schizophrenia result from what has been called an operative (i.e., pre-reflective) hyper-reflexivity. The latter approach claims that pre-reflective self-awareness (diminished in schizophrenia) pervades all conscious experience (however, in a manner that remains unverifiable for both phenomenological and experimental methods). This contribution argues the opposite: the. (shrink)
A Hegelian reading of good and bad luck -- In Shakespearean drama (phen. of spirit, King Lear, Othello, Hamlet, a Midsummer night's dream) -- Tearing the fabric: Hegel's Antigone, Shakespeare's Coriolanus, and kinship-state conflict (phen. of spirit c. 6, Judith Butler's Antigone, Coriolanus) -- Aufhebung and anti-aufhebung: geist and ghosts in Hamlet (phen. of spirit, Hamlet) -- The problem of genius in King Lear: Hegel on the feeling soul and the tragedy of wonder (anthropology and psychology in the encyclopaedia, Philosophy (...) of mind, King Lear) -- Richard II's mirror and the alienation of the Universal Will (of the I that is a We) (Richard II, phen. of spirit c. 5) -- Falstaff and the politics of wit: negative infinite judgment in a culture of alienation (Henry IV parts I & II, phen. of spirit c. 6, philosophy of right) -- Henry V's unchangeableness: his rejection of wit and his posture of virtue reinterpreted in the light of Hegel's theory of virtue (philosophy of right, Henry V) -- Hegel's theory of crime and evil: (re)tracing the rights of the sovereign self (aesthetics, phen. of spirit, phil. of right, Richard II through to Henry V) -- Richard III, Hamlet, Macbeth and Henry V: conscience, hypocrisy, self-deceit and the tragedy of ethical life (phil. of right, Richard III, Hamlet, Macbeth, Henry V) -- Negation of the negative infinite judgment versus sublation of it: punishment vs. pardon (phil. of right, phen. of spirit c. 6 and Henry VIII) -- Universal wit : the absolute theater of identity (phen. of spirit c. 6 and 8, Pericles, the Tempest) -- Absolute infections and their cure (phen. of spirit c. 6, the Winter's tale). (shrink)
We present a formal derivation of the Mino–Sasaki–Tanaka–Quinn–Wald (MSTQW) equation describing the self-force on a (semi-) classical relativistic point mass moving under the influence of quantized linear metric perturbations on a curved background space–time. The curvature of the space–time implies that the dynamics of the particle and the field is history-dependent and as such requires a non-equilibrium formalism to ensure the consistent evolution of both particle and field, viz., the worldline influence functional and the closed- time-path (CTP) coarse-grained effective (...) action. In the spirit of effective field theory, we regularize the formally divergent self-force by smearing the local part of the retarded Green’s function and employing a quasi-local expansion. We derive the MSTQW–Langevin equations describing the perturbations of the particle’s worldline about its semi-classical trajectory resulting from interactions with the quantum fluctuations of the linear metric perturbations. Finally, we demonstrate that the quantum fluctuations of the field could, in principle, leave imprints on gravitational waveforms expected to be observed by gravitational interferometers, thereby encoding information about tree-level perturbative quantum gravity. (shrink)
Introduction : heroes like us -- Hegel, the western and classical modernity -- The myth and the frontier -- The hero in the epochs of mythical and the bourgeois -- The end of the individual -- The end of the subject -- Romanticism, crime and agonal modernity -- The return of tragedy in modernity -- Heroes of coolness and the ironist -- Nietzsche, science fiction and hybrid modernity -- Heroic individualismus and metaphysics -- Superhumans, supermen, cyborgs -- Heroes of the (...) future. (shrink)
Hegel, the western and classical modernity. The myth and the frontier ; The hero in the epochs of mythical and the bourgeois ; The end of the individual ; The end of the subject -- Romanticism, crime and agonal modernity. The return of tragedy in modernity ; Heroes of coolness and the ironist -- Nietzsche, science fiction and hybrid modernity. Heroic individualismus and metaphysics ; Superhumans, supermen, cyborgs ; Heroes of the future.
This book features readings of over twenty key texts and authors in Western poetry and philosophy, including Homer, Plato, Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare and Rousseau. Simon Haines argues that the history of both can be seen as a struggle between two different conceptions of the self: the "romantic" vs. the "realist".
The political shift toward an economic liberalism in many developed market economies, emphasizing the importance of the marketplace rather than government intervention in the economy and society (Dorman, Systematic Occupational Health and Safety Management: Perspectives on an International Development, 2000; Tombs, Policy and Practice in Health and Safety 3(1): 24-25, 2005; Walters, Policy and Practice in Health and Safety 03(2):3-19, 2005), featured a prominent discourse centered on the need for business flexibility and competitiveness in a global economy (Dorman, 2000; Tombs, (...) 2005). Alongside these developments was an increasing pressure for corporate social responsibility (CSR). The business case for CSR - that corporations would benefit from voluntarily being socially responsible — was increasingly promoted by governments and corporations as part of the justification for self-regulation. The aim of the article is to examine more closely the proposition that self-regulation is effective, with particular reference to the business case for workplace equality and safety. Based on a comprehensive literature review and documentary analysis, it was found that current predominant management discourse and practice focusing on diversity and safety management systems (OHSMS) resonate well with a government and corporate preference for the business case and self-regulation. However, the centrality of individual rather than organizational factors in diversity and OHSMS means that systemic discrimination and inherent workplace hazards are downplayed, making it less likely that employers will initiate structural remedies needed for real change. Thus, reliance on the business case in the argument for self-regulation is problematic. In terms of government policy and management practice, the business case needs to be supplemented by strong, proactive legislation, and worker involvement. (shrink)
This book is a major contribution to the philosophical literature on the nature of the self, personal identity, and survival. Its distinctive methodology is one that is phenomenologically descriptive rather than metaphysical and normative. On the basis of this approach Raymond Martin shows that the distinction between self and other is not nearly as fundamental a feature of our so-called egoistic values as has been traditionally thought. He explains how the belief in a self as a (...) fixed, continuous point of observation enters into our experience of ourselves and the world. He also reveals the explosive implications this thesis has for recent debates over personal identity and what matters in survival. This is the first book of analytic philosophy directly on the phenomenology of identity and survival. It builds bridges between analytic and phenomenological traditions and, thus, to open up a new field of investigation. (shrink)
This paper aims to critique the phenomenon of advanced patient autonomy and choice in healthcare within the specific context of self-testing devices. A growing number of self-testing medical devices are currently available for home use. The premise underpinning many of these devices is that they assist individuals to be more autonomous in the assessment and management of their health. Increased patient autonomy is assumed to be a good thing. We take issue with this assumption and argue that (...) class='Hi'>self-testing provides a specific example how increased patient autonomy and choice within healthcare might not best serve the patient population. We propose that current interpretations of autonomy in healthcare are based on negative accounts of liberty to the detriment of a more relational understanding. We also propose that Kantian philosophy is often applied to the healthcare arena in an inappropriate manner. We draw on the philosophical literature and examples from the self-testing process to support these claims. We conclude by offering an alternative account of autonomy based on the interrelated concepts of relationality, care and responsibility. (shrink)
The governance of nanotechnology seeks to limit its risks, without constraining opportunities. The literature on the effectiveness of approaches to governance has neglected approaches that impact directly on the behavior of a researcher. We analyze the effectiveness of legal regulations versus regulation via self-commitment. Then, we refine this model by analyzing competition and autonomy as key contingency factors. In the first step, qualitative interviews with nanotechnology researchers are conducted to reflect this model. In the second step, its empirical (...) relevance is tested using a survey of 90 nanotech researchers. The results indicate that legal regulations, as well as self-commitment to an informal CoC reduce the scope of behavior. Finally, that competition and autonomy affect the relative strength of these governance factors. (shrink)