Journalists covering the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech aggravated the trauma felt by victims' families and survivors, raising ethical questions about the role of media at major news events in an Internet-enabled era of continuous coverage. Some journalists breached professional norms by knocking on doors at 6 a.m., claiming a hidden camera was a breast pump and bullying reluctant interviewees. Even conscientious journalists, however, exacerbated the ordeal through their overabundance. By forcing survivors to endure repetitious interviews and making mourners (...) feel they were being stalked, journalists demonstrated they must embrace press pools to minimize harm in the future. (shrink)
Virginia Held's Feminist Morality defends the idea that it is possible to transform the "public" sphere by remaking it on the model of existing "private" relationships such as families. This paper challenges Held's optimism. It is argued that feminist moral inquiry can aid in transforming the public sphere only by showing just how much the allegedly "private" realms of families and personal relationships are shaped-and often misshapen-by public demands and concerns.
I articulate what I refer to as Jefferson’s “land ethic,” drawing primarily from his Notes on the State of Virginia. In the first section, I discuss Jefferson’s conception of the intimate relationship between the natural and political constitution of America and his vindication of both. In the second section, I examine the centrality of the environment in Jefferson’s political vision for America: a landbasedrepublicanism. In the third section, I elaborate Jefferson’s view as to the proper relationship between human beings (...) and their environment by focusing on the form of nature to which he believes human beings most intimately relate: one’s estate. Jefferson’s understanding of the land draws from John Locke’s theory of property, but whereas Locke’s concept of property is closely associated with the economic values that facilitate human destruction of the environment, Jefferson’s environmentalism focuses on the other side of the relation: the ways in which a particular nature—a climate, one’s landholding, the New World in general–can influence human nature and politics. (shrink)
Care ethicists have long insisted that Kantian moral theory fails to capture the partiality that ought to be present in our personal relationships. In her most recent book, Virginia Held claims that, unlike impartial moral theories, care ethics guides us in how we should act toward friends and family. Because these actions are performed out of care, they have moral value for a care ethicist. The same actions, Held claims, would not have moral worth for a Kantian because of (...) the requirement of impartiality. Although Kantian moral theory is an impartial theory, I argue that the categorical imperative in the Formulation of Humanity as an End and the duty of respect require that we give special treatment to friends and family because of their relationships with us. Therefore, this treatment does have moral value for a Kantian. (shrink)
B. H. Slater has argued that there cannot be any truly paraconsistent logics, because it's always more plausible to suppose whatever negation symbol is used in the language is not a real negation, than to accept the paraconsistent reading. In this paper I neither endorse nor dispute Slater's argument concerning negation; instead, my aim is to show that as an argument against paraconsistency, it misses (some of) the target. A important class of paraconsistent logics — the preservationist logics — are (...) not subject to this objection. In addition I show that if we identify logics by means of consequence relations, at least one dialetheic logic can be reinterpreted in preservationist (non-dialetheic) terms. Thus the interest of paraconsistent consequence relations — even those that emerge from dialetheic approaches — does not depend on the tenability of dialetheism. Of course, if dialetheism is defensible, then paraconsistent logic will be required to cope with it. But the existence (and interest) of paraconsistent logics does not depend on a defense of dialetheism. (shrink)
This paper discusses a number of themes and arguments in The Quest for Reality: Stroud's distinction between philosophical and ordinary questions about reality; the similarity he finds between the view that coloris unreal and the view that it is subjective; his argument against thesecondary quality theory; his argument against the error theory; and the disappointing conclusion of the book.
: This essay suggests that to understand the pacifist position Woolf takes in her critique of fascism and patriarchy, it is essential to recognize how, not only why, she explores the relationship between narrative and political authority. Creating an intersection between a feminist conceptualization of Woolf's narrative technique and philosophical notions about ethical forms of representation, it argues that Woolf fragments the locus of narrative authority in Three Guineas to model a stylistic resistance to linguistic practices she thinks support totalitarian (...) ideology. (shrink)
Virginia Held assesses the ethics of care as a promising alternative to the familiar moral theories that serve so inadequately to guide our lives. The ethics of care is only a few decades old, yet it is by now a distinct moral theory or normative approach to the problems we face. It is relevant to global and political matters as well as to the personal relations that can most clearly exemplify care. This book clarifies just what the ethics of (...) care is: what its characteristics are, what it holds, and what it enables us to do. It discusses the feminist roots of this moral approach and why the ethics of care can be a morality with universal appeal. Held examines what we mean by "care," and what a caring person is like. Where other moral theories demand impartiality above all, the ethics of care understands the moral import of our ties to our families and groups. It evaluates such ties, focusing on caring relations rather than simply on the virtues of individuals. The book proposes how such values as justice, equality, and individual rights can "fit together" with such values as care, trust, mutual consideration, and solidarity. In the second part of the book, Held examines the potential of the ethics of care for dealing with social issues. She shows how the ethics of care is more promising than Kantian moral theory and utilitarianism for advice on how expansive, or not, markets should be, and on when other values than market ones should prevail. She connects the ethics of care with the rising interest in civil society, and considers the limits appropriate for the language of rights. Finally, she shows the promise of the ethics of care for dealing with global problems and seeing anew the outlines of international civility. (shrink)
How is feminism changing the way women and men think, feel, and act? Virginia Held explores how feminist theory is changing contemporary views of moral choice. She proposes a comprehensive philosophy of feminist ethics, arguing persuasively for reconceptualizations of the self of relations between the self and others and of images of birth and death, nurturing and violence. Held shows how social, political, and cultural institutions have traditionally been founded upon masculine ideals of morality. She then identifies a distinct (...) feminist morality that moves beyond culturally embedded notions about motherhood and female emotionality. Examining the effects of this alternative moral and ethical system on changing social values, Held discusses its far-reaching implications for altering standards of freedom, democracy, equality, and personal development. Ultimately, she concludes, the culture of feminism could provide a fresh perspective on--even solutions to--contemporary social problems. Feminist Morality makes a vital contribution to the ongoing debate in feminist theory on the importance of motherhood. For philosophers and other readers outside feminist theory, it offers a feminist moral and social critique in clear and accessible terms. (shrink)
Theories of justice, argues Virginia Held, are usually designed for a perfect, hypothetical world. They do not give us guidelines for living in an imperfect world in which the choices and decisions that we must make are seldom clear-cut. Seeking a morality based on actual experience, Held offers a method of inquiry with which to deal with the specific moral problems encountered in daily life. She argues that the division between public and private morality is misleading and shows convincingly (...) that moral judgment should be contextual. She maps out different approaches and positions for various types of issues, including membership in a state, legal decisions, political activities, economic transactions, interpersonal relations, diplomacy, journalism, and determining our obligation to future generations. Issues such as these provide the true test of moral theory, since its success is seen in the willingness of conscientious persons to commit themselves to it by acting on it in their daily lives. (shrink)
What is terrorism? How is it different from other kinds of political violence? Why exactly is it wrong? Why is war often thought capable of being justified? On what grounds should we judge when the use of violence to be morally acceptable? It is often thought that using violence to uphold and enforce the rule of law can be justified, that violence used in self-defense is acceptable, and that some liberation movements can be excused for using violence--but that terrorism is (...) always wrong. How persuasive are these arguments, and on what bases should we judge them? -/- How Terrorism is Wrong collects articles by Virginia Held that offer a moral assessment of various forms of political violence, with terrorism the focus of much of the discussion. Here and throughout, Held examines possible causes discussed, including the connection between terrorism and humiliation. Held also considers military intervention, conventional war, intervention to protect human rights, violence to prevent political change, and the status and requirements of international law. She looks at the cases of Rwanda, Kosovo, Iraq, and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Finally, she explores questions of who has legitimate authority to engage in justifiable uses of violence, whether groups can be responsible for ethnic violence, and how the media should cover terrorism. -/- Held discusses appropriate ways of engaging in moral evaluation and improving our moral recommendations concerning the uses of violence. Just war theory has been developed for violence between the military forces of conflicting states, but much contemporary political violence is not of this kind. Held considers the guidance offered by such traditional moral theories as Kantian ethics and utilitarianism, and also examines what the newer approach of the ethics of care can contribute to our evaluations of violence. Care is obviously antithetical to violence since violence destroys what care takes pains to build; but the ethics of care recognizes that violence is not likely to disappear from human affairs, and can offer realistic understandings of how best to reduce it. (shrink)
Nearly two hundred years ago, Mary Wollstonecraft wrote what is considered to be the first major work of feminist political theory: A Vindication of the Rights of Women . Much has been written about this work, and about Wollstonecraft as the intellectual pioneer of feminism, but the actual substance and coherence of her political thought have been virtually ignored. Virginia Sapiro here provides the first full-length treatment of Wollstonecraft's political theory. Drawing on all of Wollstonecraft's works and treating them (...) thematically rather than sequentially, Sapiro shows that Wollstonecraft's ideas about women's rights, feminism, and gender are elements of a broad and fully developed philosophy, one with significant implications for contemporary democratic and liberal theory. The issues raised speak to many current debates in theory, including those surrounding interpretation of the history of feminism, the relationship between liberalism and republicanism in the development of political philosophy, and the debate over the canon. For political scientists, most of whom know little about Wollstonecraft's thought, Sapiro's book is an excellent, nuanced introduction which will cause a reconsideration of her work and her significance both for her time and for today's concerns. For feminist scholars, Sapiro's book offers a rounded and unconventional analysis of Wollstonecraft's thought. Written with considerable charm and verve, this book will be the starting point for understanding this important writer for years to come. (shrink)
The ‘awareness principle’: theory, practice and praxis Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9594-5 Authors Virginia Baker, Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) Ltd, PO Box 50 348, Porirua, 5240 New Zealand Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Analyzing Montaigne's triptych painting, “Of the Education of Children,” reveals a series of ever-morphing, Dorian Gray–like canvases that depict metaphor mutations through which Montaigne defined education by distinguishing between schooling a child into a learned man and educating him into an able, active, and gentle person. Montaigne used metaphor and metaphor clusters to image key points in his educational philosophy, advanced his argument by intertwining, transmuting, and inverting metaphors, and thereby drew and vividly painted his philosophy of how to educate (...) a person from cradle to coffin. Because the etymology and pronunciation of “essay” (from the French essai) support Montaigne's imaging and exploiting of this genre's creative potential, Virginia Worley begins by considering the term's etymology before positioning her analysis of Montaigne's work within metaphor research. She then examines the metaphors Montaigne used to paint the triptych word painting that embodies his philosophy of education: the meaning and value of educating in and for the art of living well. (shrink)