Tradition has it that, although we experience darkness, we can neither hear nor hallucinate silence. At most, we hear that it is silent, in virtue of lacking auditory experience. This cognitive view is at odds with our ordinary thought and talk. Yet it is not easy to vouchsafe the perception of silence: Sorensen‘s recent account entails the implausible claim that the permanently and profoundly deaf are perpetually hallucinating silence. To better defend the view that we can genuinely (...) hear and hallucinate silence, we must reject the austere picture of conscious experience which underpins the cognitive theory. According to that picture, conscious experience is a simple relation between subjects and objects. In the absence of an object, there is no relation, and so no experience. By enriching this picture, room can be found for the experience of silence. I explore this idea in two phases. First, I defend the thought that we can hear and hallucinate certain forms of silence, such as pauses, in virtue of experiencing contrastive sounds. Second, I draw on Moore‘s analysis of sensation to suggest that simply experiencing silence is a special form of objectless consciousness. I offer two ways of fleshing out this idea. According to the first, auditory experience possesses a temporal field within which the absence of sounds can be perceived. According to the second, purely Moorean account, it is our capacity to listen in the absence of sounds that underlies the phenomenon of experiencing silence. (shrink)
Throughout history, many people, including Mother Teresa, have been troubled by God’s silence. In spite of the conflicting interpretations of the Bible, God has remained silent. What are the implications of divine silence for a meaning of life? Is there a good reason that explains God’s silence? If God created humanity to fulfill a purpose, then God would have clarified his purpose and our role by now, as I will argue. To help God carry out his purpose, (...) we would need to have a clear understanding of our role. Thus, by failing to clarify our role, God would be undermining himself in achieving the purpose he conceived, which would not make sense. Because God, if he exists, would not engage in this self-defeating behavior, this suggests that humanity was not created by God to fulfill a purpose. (shrink)
Jizang (549−623 CE), the key philosophical exponent of the Sanlun tradition of Chinese Buddhism, based his philosophy considerably on his reading of the works of Nāgārjuna (c. 150−250 CE), the founder of the Indian Madhyamaka school. However, although Jizang sought to follow Nāgārjuna closely, there are salient features in his thought on language that are notably absent from Nāgārjuna’s works. In this paper, I present a philosophical analysis of Jizang’s views of the relationship between speech and silence and compare (...) them with those of Nāgārjuna. I first elaborate on Nāgārjuna’s doctrine of twofold truth and discuss his thought concerning the relationship between language and ineffable quiescence. I then examine Jizang’s interpretation of the doctrine. Thereafter, I distinguish silence qua teaching from silence qua principle and examine Jizang’s views on the relationship between speech and these two kinds of silence. It is shown that while Nāgārjuna leans toward affirming a clear-cut distinction between speech and the ineffable quiescence, Jizang endorses the nonduality of conventional speech and sacred silence. (shrink)
In this essay I propose an interpretative and explanatory structure for the so-called argumentum ex silento, or argument from silence (henceforth referred to as the AFS). To this end, I explore two examples, namely, Sherlock Holmes’s oft-quoted notice of the “curious incident of the dog in the night-time” from Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story “Silver Blaze,” and the historical question of Paul of Tarsus’s silence on biographical details of the historical Jesus. Through these cases, I conclude that the (...) AFS serves as a dialogical topos best evaluated and understood through the perceived authority of the arguer and the willingness of the audience to accept that authority, due to the “curious” nature of the negative evidence that the argument employed. (shrink)
First book: Just plain evil -- You cannot meaningfully talk this way : violence is a virtue-so you cannot justifiably act that way -- Second book: Ordinary silence -- Affirming the limits of our words : listening attentively makes a life worth living -- Supplements to first and second books -- The difficulty is to stop.
Silence can sometimes be eloquent. Conversations consist not only in what is said but what is not said—the cold silence, the disapproving silence, the appreciative silence, the reverent silence, the baffled silence. Of particular interest is the approving silence, or the consenting silence, and this will be my topic here.
This paper examines two puzzles of indeterminacy. The first puzzle concerns the hypothesis that there is a unified phenomenon of indeterminacy. How are we to reconcile this with the apparent diversity of reactions that indeterminacy prompts? The second puzzle focuses narrowly on borderline cases of vague predicates. How are we to account for the lack of theoretical consensus about what the proper reaction to borderline cases is? I suggest (building on work by Maudlin) that the characteristic feature of indeterminacy is (...) alethic normative silence, and use this to explain both plurality and lack of consensus. (shrink)
The surprising comment Wittgenstein makes at the end of his Tractatus suggests that, even though the analysis of words is the proper method of doing philosophy, the ultimate aim may be to experience silence. Whereas Wittgenstein never explains what he meant by his cryptic conclusion, Kant provides numerous clues as to how the same position can be understood in a more complete and systematic way. A clear distinction between the meaning of “silence,” “noise” and “sound” provides a helpful (...) way of understanding how philosophers can devote so much effort to analyzing words even though their quest is ultimately fulfilled only in silence. (shrink)
Ethnomethodologists (or at least many of them) have been reticent about their theoretical sources and methodological principles. It frequently falls to others to make such matters explicit. In this paper I discuss this silence about theory, but rather than entering the breach by specifying a set of implicit assumptions and principles, I suggest that the reticence is consistent with ethnomethodology's distinctive research 'program'. The main part of the paper describes the pedagogical exercises and forms of apprenticeship through which Garfinkel (...) and Sacks aimed to develop ethnomethodology as a practice. These efforts were not entirely successful, partly because ethnomethodological 'practice' required an engagement with other fully-fledged practices. Aside from the difficulties of mastering such practices, it was unclear what an ethnomethodological study would add to, or take from, them. Whether successful or not, ethnomethodological research points to the specificity of discourse and action in any given practice which a general theory is bound to misconstrue. Current disputes about cultural constructivist versions of natural science illustrate the problems that arise when the terms of a general theory are used to describe and evaluate specific domains of practice. The paper concludes by recommending ethnomethodology as a way to dissolve an unbridgeable gap between cultural theories and socially located practices. (shrink)
The central problem in the interpretation of the quantum theory is how to understand the superposition of the eigenstates of an observable. To a considerable extent scientific practice here, especially as codified in versions of Bohr's Copenhagen interpretation, follows an interpretive principle that I have elsewhere called the Rule of Silence (Ref.1). That rule admonishes us not to talk about the values of an observable unless the state of the system is an eigenstate, or a mixture of eigenstates, of (...) the observable in question. With regard to the rule of silence, as in other matters bearing on the interpretation of the quantum theory, Einstein was one of the first to realize that there can be difficulties. They appear as soon as we look at something like an explosion; i.e., the interaction between a micro and a macrosystem that involves the amplification of a microphenomenon to macroscopic scale (Ref.2). John Bell describes the difficulty over the rule of silence this way. (shrink)
Radical feminists have argued that there are normative exclusions that have silenced certain voices and have rendered certain meanings unintelligible. Some Wittgensteinians (including some Wittgensteinian feminists) have argued that these radical feminists fall into a philosophical illusion by appealing to the notions of 'intelligible nonsense' and 'inexpressible meanings', an illusion that calls for philosophical therapy. In this paper I diagnose and criticize the therapeutic dilemma that results from this interpretation of Wittgenstein's contextualism. According to this dilemma, if something is meaningful, (...) it must be expressible from the perspective of the participant in language-games; and if it is not so expressible, it is not meaningful at all. I argue that this is a false dilemma that rests on the untenable internalist notion of a unified 'participant's perspective'. I propose an alternative contextualist view that underscores the polyphony of language-games, that is, the irreducible multiplicity of perspectives always present in discursive practices (if only implicitly and in embryo). Through a discussion of the different meanings of silence, my polyphonic contextualism tries to show that our linguistic practices always exhibit an irreducible diversity and heterogeneity of points of view that cannot be subsumed under a unified perspective. (shrink)
This article reports the findings from a study that investigates the relationship between ethical climates and police whistle-blowing on five forms of misconduct in the State of Georgia. The results indicate that a friendship or team climate generally explains willingness to blow the whistle, but not the actual frequency of blowing the whistle. Instead, supervisory status, a control variable investigated in previous studies, is the most consistent predictor of both willingness to blow the whistle and frequency of blowing the whistle. (...) Contrary to popular belief, the results also generally indicate that police are more inclined than civilian employees to blow the whistle in Georgia - in other words, they are less inclined to maintain a code of silence. (shrink)
A viable environmental ethics must confront “the silence of nature”—the fact that in our culture only humans have status as speaking subjects. Deep ecology has attempted to do so by challenging the idiom of humanism that has silenced the natural world. This approach has been criticized by those who wish to rescue the discourse of reason in environmental ethics. I give a genealogy of nature’s silence to show how various motifs of medieval and Renaissance origins have worked together (...) historically to create the fiction of “Man,” a character portrayed as sole subject, speaker, and telos of the world. I conclude that the discourse of reason, as a guide to social practice, is implicated in this fiction and, therefore, cannot break the silence of nature. Instead, environmental ethics must learn a language that leaps away from the motifs of humanism, perhaps by drawing on the discourse of ontological humility found in primal cultures, postmodern philosophy, and medieval contemplative tradition. (shrink)
Philosophy and the Maternal Body is a fascinating exploration of an overlooked aspect of feminist thought: what is the role of maternity in philosophy and in what ways has it been used by male theorists to effectively "silence" the voices of women in philosophy? Drawing on rich examples such as Plato's allegory of the cave, Sigmund Freud and Melanie Klein's writing on the mother and the mother-daughter relationship, and the psychoanalytic and feminist insights of Irigaray and Kristeva, Michelle Boulous (...) Walker clearly shows how terms such as denial, repression and foreclosure offer crucial insight into the philosophical construction of the maternal body. (shrink)
Often a concern for truthfulness becomes the celebration of radical truthfulness, where this involves both the utter refusal of deception and that all moral and political beliefs be fit to survive publicity. An unfortunate consequence of this is that it has blinded us to a fair and accurate understanding of the nature and role of an important technique of virtue—temperance. Temperance implies a strategy of renunciation and withdrawal from the full content of our psychological lives. It involves us in pursuing (...) and sustaining a practice of deliberative silence about those purposes and ends which, as we see things, threaten us with corruption and the world with evil. (shrink)
In coming to words, language “reserves” itself: it holds back its event, keeping it illegible and silent. It is possible to see much of modern innovative or “experimental” poetry as such an experience of reticence and stillness, an experiment of language listening to itself “speaking” in order to allow the force of the illegible to come to speech. How this silence both limits what can be said and holds what has been written open to the possibilities of saying otherwise (...) comes from the “restraint” characteristic of the specific way in which language “speaks,” that is, arrives each time singularly as words precisely by withholding this very arrival from signification. Myung Mi Kim’s poetry stands out among contemporary American poets precisely for its specific attentiveness to this simultaneously “generative” and “constraining” force of silence. To understand better the workings of this force of silence, I examine Kim’s poetry in the context of Heidegger’s reflection on language, specifically his point about the withdrawal and restraint “essential” to the unfolding of language. I suggest that this withdrawal marks the poietic momentum of language, which can be traced, though, only by way of a listening response. This listening response becomes in turn a kind of constraint under which poetic thinking operates, a holding back of assertions and statements in favor of a listening which responds precisely to how the saying withholds itself from what comes to be said. Exploring the proximity between Kim’s poetry and Heidegger’s thinking, this essay examines how this withdrawal—a restraint at play in language itself--necessitates the attitude of poetic “reservedness.”. (shrink)
This essay tries to demonstrate two distinct but complementary visions to a central theme of Christian faith: humanity’s redemption in the crucified Christ. It will attempt to show how the poetics of Simone Weil (1909–1943) and the poetic art of Georges Rouault (1871–1943) embody different understandings of Christian faith. Considering faith from a philosophical approach, Weil detaches the sufferings of Christ from the totality of salvific history. Viewing faith from the artistic approach, Rouault places the crucified Christ in the context (...) of the history of salvation, including Mary and the Church. Though different from one another, these two visions reveal to us a light in the midst of our dark or suffering existence that makes audible or perceptible the silence of God’s love in Christ that is its source. (shrink)
The “blue wall of silence” -- the rule that police officers will not testify against each other -- has its roots in an important associational virtue, loyalty, which, in the context of friendship and familial relations, is of central importance. This article seeks to distinguish the worthy roots of the “blue wall” from its frequent corruption in the covering up of serious criminality, and attempts to offer criteria for determining when to testify and when to respond in other ways (...) to the flaws of fellow officers. (shrink)
In 1991 Jonathan Demme's The Silence of the Lambs made oﬀ with ﬁve Academy Awards, including the coveted "Best Picture." Merely to introduce this fact I have already had to ignore several potentially relevant questions.  But I will spare you the tedium of endlessly qualifying my choice of subject matter; both existentialism and psychoanalysis teach us that the attempt to get behind our own starting points or render our pasts completely transparent to ourselves is an impossible task. Rather, (...) let me lay my Heideggerian cards on the table up front, brieﬂy outlining the methodological understanding from which I will be working in the rest of this paper. (shrink)
Kwan, Tze-wan 關子尹, Articulation-cum-Silence: In Search of a Philosophy of Orientation 語默無常: 尋找定向中的哲學反思 Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11712-010-9180-3 Authors King-pong Chiu 趙敬邦, Department of Religions and Theology, University of Manchester, Opal Hall G.B13, Cavendish Street, Manchest, M15 6BB UK Journal Dao Online ISSN 1569-7274 Print ISSN 1540-3009 Journal Volume Volume 9 Journal Issue Volume 9, Number 3.
An approach that allows us to see more clearly what Chan Buddhists mean by the inadequacy of language is based on three principles of liminology of language: (1) the radical problematization of any absolute, immobilized limit of language; (2) insight into the mutual connection and transition between two sides of language--speaking and non-speaking; and (3) linguistic twisting as the strategy of play at the limit of language. It helps us to rediscover how Chan masters perceived a dynamic, mutually involving relation (...) between two sides of the limit of language, and how they demonstrated a marvelous interplay between speech and silence, a skillful performance of various novel linguistic strategies, et cetera, in order to negotiate the limit of language. (shrink)
The power to influence decisions is inherent in newspaper practices of publishing or withholding information about significant events - creating profound ethical questions. The two major newspapers in Seattle provide an example of selective coverage of the Great Depression. Area unemployment that reached 25% and galloping bank failures were ignored, as were social implications of such events. Questions are raised here about the moral implications of strategic silence, or reverse agenda setting, as a means of encouraging broadened discussion of (...) the implications of such selective coverage. (shrink)
While the demise of Enron has raised a number of interesting issues, such as proper governance of large corporations, and the effectiveness and efficiency of statutory direction and regulatory mechanisms, the lack of meaningful vocal stakeholder stewardship has not been one of them. While the relative “silence” of Enron’s stakeholders (watchdogs) could simply have been a communication glitch, or a temporary lapse in social morality, an understanding of hat was not said and why, could well be a significant requisite (...) in formulating meaningful measures to preclude future Enrons. Why weren’t the watchdogs barking? Why had the stakeholder alert system shut down? Further, what are the implications for then and now of this quiescence? Since Enron’s demise many questions have been asked and answered about what went wrong. But little has been said about why the stakeholders failed to speak out by exercising their fiduciary responsibilities. This paper takes a closer look at the behavior of some key Enron stakeholders. (shrink)
Certain passages in the Meditations indicate a silence of Descartes before the mystery of God. These passages underscore the inadequacy of reason to penetrate God’s attributes. Descartes underlines the incomprehensibility of God’s infinity and God’s purposes. He evokes an intuitive knowledge of God which transcends the conceptual. Relevant passages in the correspondence of Descartes indicate Descartes’s repeated concern with the limits of philosophical theology and support a deconstruction of the Medítations which privileges its recurrent theologia negativa. Such an interpretation (...) of the religious theory in public and private Cartesian texts contests the persistent “rationalist” interpretation of Descartes, which reduces the theology of the Meditations to a series of deductive proofs. (shrink)
Some accounts of social life give explanatory emphasis to normative requirements themselves. This paper resists such a tendency. It is argued that when normative requirements themselves are given explanatory priority the concept of social normativity tends to be situated between these requirements on the one hand, and the practice of evaluating conduct in accordance with those requirements. Normativity so situated is then required to bridge the justificatory gap between the two. It is further illustrated how such an explanatory (...) structure is designed to avoid questions concerning the legitimacy of the exercise of power. Making room for the silence of social normativity involves paying theoretical attention to the time before the first instance of a problematisation of a certain way of doing, which is thereafter commonly described, under the benefit of hindsight, as a deviation from a rule that was implicit all along, and merely made explicit. Instead of believing or assuming that we are able to achieve mastery and control over the practices we engage in, we ought to recognise, instead, that persons are always and already, inevitably and necessarily, emotionally involved in certain common or joint objects that are, at any one time, invisible to them. Given the pervasiveness, tenacity and, sometimes, violence of the silence of social normativity, the vital question becomes: how can we educate future generations such that they are both capable and willing to reflect on the consequences of their practices? (shrink)
In recent times, whistleblowing has become one of the most popularly debated issues of business ethics. Popular discussion has coincided with the institutionalisation of whistleblowing via legal and administrative practices, supported by the emergence of academic research in the field. However, the public practice and knowledge that has subsequently developed appears to construct a dichotomy of whistleblowing/silence ; that is, an employee elects either to ‘blow the whistle’ on organisational wrongdoing, or remain silent. We argue that this public transcript (...) of whistleblowing/silence overshadows the importance of continuing research into alternative (individual or collective) employee behaviour. Drawing on original research with a financial services organisation, our research uncovers a dissenting discourse that operates through implicit communication, such as codes, sarcasm and jokes. We suggest that this hidden transcript offers significant opportunities for employees to act ethically, and offers the potential to sustain an ethical organisational culture. (shrink)
Strikingly, theorizing about digital technologies has led us to recognize many habitual subjects of research as figures against fields that are also worthy of study. Communication, for example, becomes visible only against the field of silence. Silence is critically important for the construction of reality – and the social construction of reality has a complement, the also necessary contemplative construction of reality. Silence is so sensitive and fragile that an inability to achieve it, or to get rid (...) of it, or to correct the wrong kind of silence often provides early indicators of individual, group, communal, and society-wide stresses from information technologies. Indeed, we might treat difficulties with silence as miners treated canaries in coal mines, as early warning signals. The story has already been told that nightingales in London now have to sing so loudly in order to be heard above the ambient noise that the birds are in danger of breaking the noise ordinance law. Surely something has gone awry if nightingales break the law when they sing. Finding ways to protect silence as an arena of personal and social choice is a particularly poignant, evocative, and instructive ethical and policy horizon at this frontier moment for the human species. This article introduces the theory of the contemplative construction of reality, explores what the study of silence tells us about reality construction processes, and outlines a research agenda. (shrink)
I offer a new cartography of ethical resistance. I argue that there is an uncharted interaction between managerial secrecy and organizational silence, which may exponentially increase the incidence of corruption in ways not yet understood. Current methods used to raise levels of moral conduct in business and government practice appear blind to this powerful duo. Extensive literature reviews of secrecy and silence scholarships form the background for an early stage conceptual layout of the co-production of secrecy and (...) class='Hi'>silence. (shrink)
Silence in organizations refers to a state in which employees refrain from calling attention to issues at work such as illegal or immoral practices or developments that violate personal, moral, or legal standards. While Morrison and Milliken (Acad Manag Rev 25:706–725, 2000 ) discussed how organizational silence as a top-down organizational level phenomenon can cause employees to remain silent, a bottom-up perspective—that is, how employee motives contribute to the occurrence and maintenance of silence in organizations—has not yet (...) been given much research attention. In this paper, we argue that this perspective is a meaningful complementation of the existing literature and that it is sensible to conceptualize distinct forms of employee silence (Pinder and Harlos, Research in personnel and human resources management. JAI Press, Greenwich, 2001 ; van Dyne et al., J Manag Stud 40:1359–1392, 2003 ). Drawing on past research and theory we conceptualize four forms of employee silence, namely quiescent, acquiescent, prosocial, and opportunistic silence. We present scales to assess the four forms and provide empirical tests for their distinctiveness and patterns of relationships to various correlates and potential antecedents and consequences. (shrink)
In this commentary I discuss the shared theme found in articles by Hoult, Calof, Cheit, Freyd, and Salter (this issue) of the prices of resisting attempts to engender silence when the topic is sexual abuse of children. The parallels between silencing tactics of sexual abusers of children and those used by the false memory movement against its critics are analyzed. Questions are raised about the ethical implications of such silencing strategies.
Barbara Applebaum develops a conceptual framework that makes clear the ways that speech acts reproduce power, especially as it serves to maintain the marginalisation of non-heterosexual people. However, Applebaum's focus on explicit "utterances" and "expressions of beliefs" is too narrow, leaving out silence, especially the silence around sexual orientation in school curricula. Silence is a speech act that serves the reproduction of power and promotes harm just as powerfully as the other speech acts Applebaum is willing to (...) censor; and so she begs the question: can we forget to censor silence in the fight against heterosexism? (shrink)
This paper seeks to address the relationship between two key areas of contention figuring in the communicative realities in which language is used and the morality of action: the role of silence and the role of power and the lack thereof. It is proposed that action per se becomes problematic under practical manifestations of silence such as inarticulacy (which is aggravated by major asymmetries in the global politics of language) and ignorance, and that even when action is possible, (...) deciding on what would constitute morally right action under such circumstances remains a question. Furthermore, another key hindrance to action for greater justice and equality is constituted by lack of empowerment. This paper presents the view that a beginning towards answering such questions can be made on the basis of the recognition of the universality of human creativity, in the domains of both language and constructive action, and the fundamental universality of human morality with culture- and communityspecific modes of putting that morality into practice. (shrink)
In this article, I suggest that exclusive attention to questions of individual moral responsibility for the killing of Vietnamese civilians in raids on My Lai and Thanh Phong (March 16, 1968, and February 24.25, 1969, respectively), while important, may serve only to silence equally important ethical questions like: Are these cases genocide and mass murder? What does the response or lack thereof of the American government and public to these events tell us about our quest for justice? If we (...) cannot ascertain a reliable account of the facts, does this relegate such actions to meaninglessness? What role does memory play in our representation of horror as well as our memorializing the past? Do we have to be both victims and executioners or can we, in Albert Camus.s words, become “neither victims nor executioners”? My point is that the relevance of this issue is less about returning to the past and assigning guilt and moral culpability and more about the pragmatic-ethical concern of addressing the conditions that make such actions possible. (shrink)
This article looks at the question of animality and silence in terms of developing a theory of interspecies cosmopolitics based on ecological dissensus. By starting with the author’s own experiences taking care of chickens, this article engages the question of environmental ethics within the gastronomic axis, theweb of life that binds all beings in the shared need to eat. By examining the philosophical roots of silence and abjectness that often characterizes the animal, the author argues for an ecologically (...) oriented celebration of bare life as a means of recognizing silence as a form of politics that moves beyond the human. (shrink)
I firstly argue that there are two ways of thematizing silence philosophically, either as a phenomenon of the world or as the silencing of the philosopher, and that the second way constitutes a problem without whose solution the first way of thematization cannot occur. Secondly, I discuss Pyrrhonian scepticism as that philosophical theory which generates the silencing of the philosopher and repudiate three objections to the claim that this scepticism is not spuriously constructed. Next I show how the German (...) philosopher Georg Hegel proposes to refute Pyrrhonian scepticism in his magnum opus, the Science of Logic. Finally, I draw the consequences of Hegel’s solution to the problem for a specific attempt in the history of philosophy to secure a place for silence in ontological theory and practice. (shrink)
The current paper reflects my own personal struggle between two different fields of my training and career: religious studies and philosophy. Scholars with training in religious studies are understandably less interested in philosophical issues and more interested in such issues as myth, ritual, practice, eschatology, and, in the case of Buddhism and other Indian religions, soteriology. I will mainly address the tension between soteriological and philosophical discourses. I do agree that philosophy, Eastern philosophy in particular, is a byproduct of religious (...) activities. But I do not agree with a popular view among scholars of Buddhist studies that all the Buddhist philosophical discourses serve a soteriological goal. On my view, Buddhist philosophy may have been developed out of asoteriological context, but it takes its own life and cannot be reduced too quickly to soteriology. I will illustrate this point with the well-known silence of the Buddha. (shrink)
In contrast to his Anglican writings and practice—where fasting played a prominent role—Newman as a Roman Catholic was practically silent about fasting. This essay suggests that there were many reasons for Newman’s silence on fasting as a Roman Catholic, such as his health, his Oratorian vocation, and the presence of an established communal practice of fasting in the Roman Catholic Church.
The metaphysics of presence has led not only to the closure of rationalized systems that define modernity, but also to what can appear as its opposite, the freely flowing movement of information (and of capital) characteristic of the post-modern “de-centered” world. Ideas, after all, require a depth dimension that ultimately proves irreconcilable with the one-dimensionality of the purely present. It is for this reason that the rejection of metaphysics (which is only the final consequence of the metaphysics of presence) fails (...) to solve our dilemma. An alternative strategy is to attempt the recovery of the living heart of metaphysics, its open and ecstatic gaze, rather than its final consequence, the constrictive will to closure, determination, and power. This is the genuinely Socratic possibility, a metaphysics not of presence but of radical transcendence. To clarify that possibility, it is necessary to show how Socrates himself was characterized less by practical and political concerns than by a metaphysical vision directed not to presence but to the unknowable region that opens with death. Socrates’ irony and courage have the same source, what I call a metaphysics of “silence.”. (shrink)
In this paper, I shall be concerned with the phenomenon that has been labeled silencing in some of the recent philosophical literature. A speaker who is silenced in this sense is unable to make herself understood, even though her audience hears every word she utters. For instance, consider a woman who says “No”, intending to refuse sex. Her audience fails to recognize her intention to refuse, because he thinks that women tend to be insincere, and to not say what they (...) really mean, especially in sexual situations.1 This speaker’s utterance then goes astray in the manner that constitutes silencing in my sense. Regarding this phenomenon, philosophers such as Rae Langton and Jennifer Hornsby have argued, first, that women are particularly liable to be thus affected, i.e., silenced; second, that, as a result of this silencing, they are systematically disadvantaged; and third, that pornography is responsible for this silencing. (shrink)
Residual categories are those which cannot be formally represented within a given classification system. We examine the forms that residuality takes within our information systems today, and explore some silences which form around those inhabiting particular residual categories. We argue that there is significant ethical and political work to be done in exploring residuality.
No other field of literature can quite equal the drama in its faithful representation of life. A solid jolt of reality can connect the audience to the primeval human instincts not readily understood in everyday life. Confronted by conscience, it is natural for a person to seek closure and meaning to achieve catharsis that sometimes drama can provide when real life cannot. The study aims to examine Danilo’s character in relation to his seeming indifference to the indignation of his parents (...) and the town folks at the heartless father of Sepang Loca’s child; to identify the various instances that allude or point to him as the criminal; and, to analyze his behavior, feelings and thoughts about the phenomenon. The descriptive method is used to (a) trace his social background and moral values; (b) reveal Danilo’s crime based on his actions, what he says or thinks, and his silences, and to infer if there has been any remorse on his part; and, (c) the role of the large black mole shaped like a teardrop that runs among sons of Danilo’s clan. The study tries to unravel the extent of Danilo’s crime, guilt and remorse. It is hoped that through his character, the play succeeds in stirring social conscience and kindling transformative energy to effect change in the way society deals with idiots. Keywords – Literature, Filipino Play, guilt, remorse, descriptive method, Philippines. (shrink)
There is a view abroad on which (a) perceptual experience has (a) representational content in this sense: in it something is represented to the perceiver as so. On the view, a perceptual experience has a face value at which it may be taken, or which may be rejected. This paper argues that that view is mistaken: there is nothing in perceptual experience which makes it so that in it anything is represented as so (except insofar as the perceiver represents things (...) to himself as so). In that sense, the senses are silent, or, in Austin's term, dumb. Perceptual experience is not as such either veridical or delusive. It may mislead, but it does not take representation to accomplish that. (shrink)
Ordinary people tend to be realists regarding perceptual experience, that is, they take perceiving the environment as a direct, unmediated, straightforward access to a mindindependent reality. Not so for (ordinary) philosophers. The empiricist influence on the philosophy of perception, in analytic philosophy at least, made the problem of perception synonymous with the view that realism is untenable. Admitting the problem (and trying to offer a view on it) is tantamount to rejecting ordinary people’s implicit realist assumptions as naive. So what (...) exactly is the problem? We can approach it via one of the central arguments against realism – the argument from hallucination. The argument is intended as a proof that in ordinary, veridical cases of perception, perceivers do not have an unmediated perceptual access to the world. There are many versions of it; I propose the following1: 1. Hallucinations that are subjectively indistinguishable from veridical perceptions are possible. 2. If two subjective states are indistinguishable, then they have a common nature. 3. The contents of hallucinations are mental images, not concrete external objects. 4. Therefore, the contents of veridical perceptions are mental images rather than concrete external objects. The key move is, I believe, from the fact that hallucinations that are subjectively indistinguishable from cases of veridical perception are possible to an alleged common element, factor, or nature, in the form of a mental state, in the two cases – that is, premise 2. Disjunctivism, at its core, can be taken as simply denying this move, and arguing that all that follows from the premise stating the possibility of hallucinations that are subjectively indistinguishable from cases veridical perception is that there is a broader category, that of “experience as of...”, which encompasses both cases.. (shrink)
“Mathematical objects are not exactly of our own making, but we actually have to do something to get them. There’s something out there which we prod, but there’s the prodding that’s also required. Numbers are not exactly out there or in us, but somehow in between.”.
In this essay, I investigate musical silence. I first discuss how to integrate the concept of silence into a general theory or definition of music. I then consider the possibility of an entirely silent musical piece. I begin with John Cage’s 4′33″, since it is the most notorious candidate for a silent piece of music, even though it is not, in fact, silent. I conclude that it is not music either, but I argue that it is a piece (...) of non-musical sound art, rather than simply a piece of theatre, as Stephen Davies has argued. I end with consideration of several other candidates for entirely silent pieces, concluding that two of these are in fact pieces of music consisting entirely of silence. (shrink)
Disgrace , by J.M. Coetzee, is a story of a rape; more, it is a tale in which the victim of the rape, Lucy Lurie, is silent. She demands neither sympathy nor justice for what happens toher, presenting herself as neither a victim nor someone seeking revenge. Instead she stands as a witness, and does so by adopting an attitude reminiscent of the thinking of Simone Weil—rejecting the possibility of rights, and not looking for explanations. Rape, Coetzee thus suggests, is (...) an act without meaning, a trauma whose reality cannot be exorcised through narration. Fittingly, therefore, the novel ends with a tableau of Lucy growing flowers in her garden; living, like Candide, without rationalisation or consolatory myth. (shrink)
This paper examines some recent trends in feminist epistemology. It argues that theories that make a priori claims to the effect that the structure of our body of knowledge must encode a masculine bias are both philosophically problematic and politically counterproductive, and it recommends a feminist methodology free from such general theoretical claims as best suited for the promotion of productive feminist thought and action.
I first try to identify what problem, if any conceptual art poses for philosophical aesthetics. It is harder than one might think to formulate some claim about traditional art with which much conceptual art is inconsistent. The idea that sense experience plays a special role in the appreciation of traditional artworks falls foul of literature. Instead I focus on the idea that conceptual art exhibits a particularly loose relation between the properties with which we engage in appreciating it and the (...) properties on which those artistic properties depend. In Part II, I then offer an account of how conceptual art communicates, and attempt to use it to illuminate some prominent features of that art. I suggest it works by frustrating certain fundamental expectations with which we approach it. In this it is analogous to certain ways of indirectly communicating in conversation – certain kinds of conversational implicature. At the close, I ask whether this account allows us to address the problem identified in Part I. (shrink)
Vagueness manifests itself (among other things) in our inability to find boundaries to the extension of vague predicates. A semantic theory of vagueness plans to justify this inability in terms of the vague semantic rules governing language and thought. According to a supporter of semantic theory, the inability to find such a boundary is not dependent on epistemic limits and an omniscient being like God would be equally unable. Williamson (Vagueness, 1994 ) argued that cooperative omniscient beings adequately instructed would (...) find a precise boundary in a sorites series and that, for this reason, the semantic theory misses its target, while Hawthorne (Philosophical Studies 122:1–25, 2005 ) stood with the semantic theorists and argued that the linguistic behaviour of a cooperative omniscient being like God would clearly demonstrate that he does not find a precise boundary in the sorites series. I argue that Hawthorne’s definition of God’s cooperative behaviour cannot be accepted and that, contrary to what has been assumed by both Williamson and Hawthorne, an omniscient being like God cannot be a cooperative evaluator of a semantic theory of vagueness. (shrink)
In this eye-opening look at the doctor-patient decision-making process, physician and law professor Jay Katz examines the time-honored belief in the virtue of silent care and patient compliance. Historically, the doctor-patient relationship has been based on a one-way trust -- despite recent judicial attempts to give patients a greater voice through the doctrine of informed consent. Katz criticizes doctors for encouraging patients to relinquish their autonomy, and demonstrates the detrimental effect their silence has on good patient care. Seeing a (...) growing need in this age of medical science and sophisticated technology for more honest and complete communication between physician and patients, he advocates a new, informed dialogue that respects the rights and needs of both sides. In a new foreword to this edition of The Silent World of Doctor and Patient , Alexander Morgan Capron outlines the changes in medical ethics practice that have occurred since the book was first published in 1984, paying particular attention to the hotly debated issues of physician-assisted suicide and informed consent in managed care. (shrink)
The article defines a new referential problem of ethnographic description: the verbalization of the “silent” dimension of the social. As a documentary procedure, description has been devalued by more advanced recording techniques that set a naturalistic standard concerning the reification of qualitative “data.” I discuss this standard from the perspective of the sociology of knowledge and replace it by a challenge unknown to all empirical procedures relying on primary verbalizations of informants. Descriptions have to solve the problems of the voiceless, (...) the silent, the unspeakable, the pre-linguistic, and the indescribable. Ethnography puts something into words, which did not exist in language before. To respond to this task, descriptions have to turn away from the logic of recording and develop into a theory-oriented research practice. (shrink)
In this paper I examine two controversialissues that occurred in two different centuriesbut that are inextricably linked with eachother â the 1835 murder committed by a Frenchpeasant, Pierre Riviere and documented byMichel Foucault and the 1990's debate regardingthe controversial methods of FacilitatedCommunication used with students labeledautistic in the United States. In this paper Iargue that both controversies foreground thecrisis of the humanist subject. In other words,I argue that both controversies are generatedby a seemingly simple question: Are personsidentified as mentally disabledcapable/incapable (...) of representing themselves?In response to this question, I will use amaterialist analysis to explore theimplications that the poststructuralistdepiction of the humanist subject as a fictionholds for both the Riviere case and theFacilitated Communication debate. (shrink)
Gareth Evans famously affirmed an explanatory connection between answering the question whether p and knowing whether one believes that p. This is commonly interpreted in terms of the idea that judging that p constitutes an adequate basis for the belief that one believes that p. This paper formulates and defends an alternative, more modest interpretation, which develops from the suggestion that one can know that one believes that p in judging that p.
The idea of life on Mars has been with us for nearly 300 years, ever since early astronomers saw what they believed to be polar ice caps through their primitive telescopes. Since then, space probes have indeed confirmed that the red planet has water and future missions might tell us if Mars contains any traces of life, whether extinct or still active. Such a discovery would be of tremendous scientific significance: the first time that any signs of extraterrestrial life have (...) ever been detected. Many people would also find it heartening to learn that we’re not entirely alone in this vast cold cosmos. (shrink)
Building on research and measures on solitude, ethical leadership theories, and decision making literatures, we propose a conceptual model to better understand processes enabling ethical leadership neglected in the literature. The role of solitude as antecedent is explored in this model, whereby its selective utilization focuses inner directionality toward growing authentic executive awareness as a moral person and a moral manager and allows an integration between inner and outer directionality toward ethical leadership and resulting decision-making processes that will have an (...) impact on others’ perceptions of leader authentic ethical leadership. Thus it is proposed that utilization of solitude positively predicts executive-level authentic ethical leadership action and in turn, ethical decision making perceived fairness and integrity. We also propose two moderators, strengthening the hypothesized (positive) association between solitude and ethical leadership; these are the executive’s ability for moral reasoning and a motivation for socialized (as opposed to personalized) power. (shrink)
The voyage and the map. Prologue : words and music -- Words about music : the visual fallacy -- Reconceiving Schenker -- Inventing tonality-- and a backward look -- The twentieth century. The path to the twentieth century -- Schoenberg and Webern -- Stravinsky and musical stasis -- Reconceiving twelve-tone theory -- The tradition at an apocalyptic moment : the Schoenberg Trio -- On the threshold of the new century.
The publication of the Bradley review in the United Kingdom is a watershed in the development of policy regarding the way that the Criminal Justice System responds to individuals with mental health problems. It then goes on to explore one aspect of that response: the role of the Appropriate Adult under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (1984).
The concept of emancipation has an increasingly ambivalent status in postcolonial criticism. Under the influence of poststructuralism, the idea that the subaltern subject might overcome colonial relations of cultural domination through acts of self-representation has been thrown into disrepute. If there is to be emancipation, according to this view, it will not come through the recovery of an authentic speaking subject, but through strategies of 'strategic essentialism'. Here it is argued that this postructuralist approach leaves the subaltern in a politically (...) precarious position and should be exchanged for the kind of hermeneutic approach that makes possible a genuine politics of recognition. (shrink)
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