This article outlines a model for conducting psychotherapy with people of diverse cultural backgrounds. The theoretical foundation for the model is based on clinical and cultural psychology. Cultural psychology integrates psychology and anthropology in order to provide a complex understanding of both culture and the individual within his or her cultural context. The model proposed in this article is also based on our clinical experience and mixed method research with the Portuguese community. The model demonstrates its value with ethnic minority (...) clients by situating the clients within the context of their multi-layered social reality. The individual, familial, socio-cultural and religio-moral domains are explored in two research projects, revealing the interrelation of these levels/contexts. The article is structured according to these domains. Study 1 is a quantitative study that validates the Agonias Questionnaire in Ontario. The results of this study are used to illustrate the individual domain of our proposed model. Study 2 is an ethnography conducted in the Azorean Islands, and the results of this study are integrated to illustrate the other three levels of the model, namely family, sociocultural, and the religio-moral levels. (shrink)
Spinoza's Theologico-Political Treatise is simultaneously a work of philosophy and a piece of practical politics. It defends religious pluralism, a republican form of political organisation, and the freedom to philosophise, with a determination that is extremely rare in seventeenth-century thought. But it is also a fierce and polemical intervention in a series of Dutch disputes over issues about which Spinoza and his opponents cared very deeply. Susan James makes the arguments of the Treatise accessible, and their motivations plain, by setting (...) them in their historical and philosophical context. She identifies the interlocking theological, hermeneutic, historical, philosophical, and political positions to which Spinoza was responding, shows who he aimed to discredit, and reveals what he intended to achieve. The immediate goal of the Treatise is, she establishes, a local one. Spinoza is trying to persuade his fellow citizens that it is vital to uphold and foster conditions in which they can cultivate their capacity to live rationally, free from the political manifestations and corrosive psychological effects of superstitious fear. At the same time, however, his radical argument is designed for a broader audience. Appealing to the universal philosophical principles that he develops in greater detail in his Ethics, and drawing on the resources of imagination to make them forceful and compelling, Spinoza speaks to the inhabitants of all societies, including our own. Only in certain political circumstances is it possible to philosophise, and learn to live wisely and well. (shrink)
One of the aims of Spinoza's Tractatus Theologico-Politicus is to vindicate the view that philosophy and theology are separate forms of enquiry, neither of which has any authority over the other. However, many commentators have objected that this aspect of his project fails. Despite his protestations to the contrary, Spinoza implicitly gives epistemological precedence to philosophy. I argue that this objection misunderstands the nature of Spinoza's position and wrongly charges him with inconsistency. To show how he can coherently allow both (...) that theology and philosophy employ independent epistemological standards, and that philosophy is epistemologically superior to theology, we need to step back from the immediate disputes to which the Tractatus is a response and examine a Ciceronian distinction on which Spinoza indirectly draws. As well as enabling us to vindicate Spinoza's position, it places his alleged naturalism in a new light and portrays philosophizing as a form of piety. (shrink)
Does Spinoza present philosophy as the preserve of an elite, while condemning the uneducated to a false though palliative form of ‘true religion’? Some commentators have thought so, but this contribution aims to show that they are mistaken. The form of religious life that Spinoza recommends creates the political and epistemological conditions for a gradual transition to philosophical understanding, so that true religion and philosophy are in practice inseparable.
In this paper I offer three main challenges to James (2011). All three turn on the nature of philosophy and secure knowledge in Spinoza. First, I criticize James's account of the epistemic role that experience plays in securing adequate ideas for Spinoza. In doing so I criticize her treatment of what is known as the 'conatus doctrine' in Spinoza in order to challenge her picture of the relationship between true religion and philosophy. Second, this leads me into a criticism of (...) her account of the nature of philosophy in Spinoza. I argue it is less piecemeal and less akin to what we would recognize as 'science' than she suggests. Third, I argue against James's core commitment that Spinoza's three kinds of knowledge differ in degree; I claim they differ in kind. My argument will offer a new interpretation of Spinoza's conception of 'common notions'. Moreover, I argue that Spinozistic adequate knowledge involves something akin to angelic disembodiment. (shrink)
Book synopsis: Since its publication in 1677, Spinoza’s Ethics has fascinated philosophers, novelists, and scientists alike. It is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and contested works of Western philosophy. Written in an austere, geometrical fashion, the work teaches us how we should live, ending with an ethics in which the only thing good in itself is understanding. Spinoza argues that only that which hinders us from understanding is bad and shows that those endowed with a human mind should devote (...) themselves, as much as they can, to a contemplative life. This Companion volume provides a detailed, accessible exposition of the Ethics. Written by an internationally known team of scholars, it is the first anthology to treat the whole of the Ethics and is written in an accessible style. (shrink)
This article investigates the uneasy process of integrating midwifery’s alternative, women-centered model of childbirth care within the medically-dominated healthcare system in Canada. It analyses the impure processes of rhetorical identification and differentiation that characterized the debate about how to regulate midwifery in Ontario by examining a selection of submissions from diverse health care groups with vested interest in the debate’s outcome. In divergent ways, these groups strategically appeal to the value of the “public interest” in order to advance professional concerns. (...) The study considers the implications of this rhetorical process for re-defining midwifery’s distinctive professional identity in relation to other health professions, to the state, and to the women for whom midwives care. Likewise, it suggests the relevance of rhetorical analysis for understanding the discursive formation and re-formation of health models, values, and professions in Western culture. (shrink)
Unless rights are claimable, it is sometimes argued, they are no more than rhetorical gestures which mock the poor and needy. But what makes a right claimable? If rights are to avoid the charge of emptiness, I argue, they must be effectively enforceable. But what does this involve? I identify three conditions of enforceability, and four sets of broader circumstances in which these conditions can be met. I discuss the implications of this analysis of rights for multicultural societies, and conclude (...) that the conditions in which appeals to rights are useful are more limited than many contemporary theorists allow. (shrink)
: As a constructive alternative to the exclusionary binaries of Cartesian philosophy, Genevieve Lloyd and Moira Gatens turn to Spinoza. Spinoza's understanding of the body as "in relation" takes the focus of philosophical thought from the homo-geneous subject to the heterogeneity of the social, and the focus of politics from individual rights to collective responsibility. The implications for feminism are radical; Spinoza enables a reconceptualization of the imaginary and the possibility of a sociability of inclusion.
Passion and Action is an exploration of the role of the passions in seventeenth-century thought. Susan James offers fresh readings of a broad range of thinkers, including such canonical figures as Hobbes, Descartes, Malebranche, Spinoza, Pascal, and Locke, and shows that a full understanding of their philosophies must take account of their interpretations of our affective life. This ground-breaking study throws new light upon the shaping of our ideas about the mind, knowledge, and action, and provides a historical context for (...) burgeoning current debates about the emotions. (shrink)
Women often seek midwifery care as an alternative to the maternity services that are readily available within the insured health care system in Alberta. Some aspects of community-based, primary care midwifery in Alberta that characterize this alternative are the use of story-telling as a form of knowledge, the development of social con nections among women seeking midwifery care, and nonauthoritarian relationships between midwives and women. In this paper, the concept of confidentiality, as it relates to these aspects of midwifery practice, (...) is explored, using traditional, caring and feminist models of ethics. (shrink)
This is a study of the central questions of explanation in the social sciences, and a defence of 'holism' against 'individualism'. In the first half of the book Susan James sets out very clearly the philosophical background to this controversy. She locates its source not at the analytical level at which most of the debate is usually conducted but at a more fundamental, moral level, in different conceptions of the human individual. In the second half of the book she examines (...) critically three case studies of holistic approaches - Althusser, Poulantzas and the Annales historians - and progressively refines our sense of the strengths and deficiencies of their programmes. She ends by arguing for a form of concessive holism, which offers some accommodation to liberal conceptions of individual autonomy but continues to emphasise the explanatory importance of social regularities and environments. (shrink)