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. VirginiaSapiro 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)
Using Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of “fields,” this article proposes a model of analysis of the forms of politicization in the literary field based on the French case. In France, during the first half of the twentieth century, the writer has embodied the figure of the “Intellectual.” The first claim is that the politicization of the French literary field resulted from three factors: the autonomy it gained in the nineteenth century, its lack of professional development, and the competition with the newly (...) emerging professions. These factors, joined to the specific features of the literary activity, account for the writers’ most typical mode of politicization: prophesying. This analysis adapts the Weberian concepts of “charismatic power” and of “prophetism” to the intellectual field, in the way suggested by Pierre Bourdieu’s interpretation of Max Weber’s theory of religion. The second claim is that the forms of politicization of writers depend on the position they occupy in the literary field: the way of being a writer conditions the way one engages in the political sphere. Four figures of committed writers are distinguished: the “notabilities,” the “aesthetes,” the “avant-garde,” and the “writer-journalists.”. (shrink)
2012 marks the 80th anniversary of Donoghue v Stevenson, a case that is frequently cited as the starting-point for a genealogy of negligence. This genealogy starts with the figure of the neighbour, from which, as Jane Stapleton eloquently describes, a “golden thread” of vulnerability runs into the present (Stapleton 2004, 135). This essay examines the harms made visible and invisible through the neighbour figure, and compares the law’s framework to Virginia Woolf’s subtle re-imagining and theorisation of responsibility in her (...) novel Mrs. Dalloway (1925). I argue that Woolf critiques and supplements the law’s representations of suffering. Woolf was interested in interpreting harms using a framework of neighbourly responsibility, but was also critical of the kinds of proximities recognised by society. Woolf made new harms visible within a framework of proximity: in this way, we might think of Woolf’s work as theorizing a feminist aesthetic of justice, and as providing an alternate genealogy of responsibility to Donoghue v Stevenson. (shrink)
The longstanding critical refrain that Virginia Woolf's fiction represents a turn "inward" to the vagaries of the inner life has more recently been countered with an "outward" approach emphasizing Woolf's interest in the material world, its everyday objects and their social and political significance. Yet one of the most curious and pervasive features of Woolf's oeuvre is that characters are so frequently wrong in their perceptions. This essay consolidates the inward and outward approaches by tracing the trope of misperception (...) in Woolf's fiction as well as in her conceptions of the work of author and reader. For Woolf, the modern literary experience derives from the nature of the faculties of perception, the tenuous points of connectionand disjunctionbetween the inner and the outer worlds. (shrink)
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.
The steady growth of the discipline of medical humanities has facilitated better understanding of the symptoms and signs of mental health conditions and the feelings of the humans experiencing them. In this project, the arts have been seen as enabling re-engagement of the practitioner with the patient's own perceptions and feelings. With respect to the association between creativity and bipolar disorder in particular, work within medical humanities has meant that mentally ill creative individuals have been subject to scientific scrutiny and (...) investigation, rather than continuing to be viewed as naively romanticised cases of mental illness. This paper is an attempt to supplement traditional literary criticism by examining Virginia Woolf's history of bipolar disorder through a medical humanities lens. I will provide an overview of Woolf's history of manic-depressive episodes, their symptoms and manifestation, look back on her circumstances during their occurrence, and observe the author's losing battle to salvage her identity in the throes of the disease. The aim is to offer further insight into Woolf's psychopathology and to gain some understanding of the causes and progression of the condition that led to her death by suicide. (shrink)
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)
Definition of the problem: In Germany, clinical ethics is still in the state of development. Ethics consultation is very new and rare in the clinical setting in German university hospitals. Therefore this paper describes the clinical ethics activities at the Medical Center of Philipps University, Marburg, regard to ethics consultation in a case report. Clinical ethics rounds at the Surgical Intensive Care Unit are organized according to the theory and practice of the ethics consultation service at the Medical Center of (...) the University of Virginia, established by J.C. Fletcher, F.G. Miller and J.J. Fins. (shrink)
The visibility of pregnancy in contemporary societies through various forms of medical imaging has often been interpreted by feminist critics as negative for the autonomy and experience of pregnant women. Here, I consider the representation of pregnancy in Virginia Woolf’s novel, Orlando, and Sally Potter’s film of the same name arguing that, despite limited critical attention to Orlando’s pregnancy, these texts offer a productive interpretation of gestation that counters conventionally reductive cultural images of that embodied state. In particular, I (...) argue that Potter’s translation of Woolf’s novel to the screen gives us a useful model for thinking through the new visibility of pregnancy in contemporary Western culture. (shrink)
The story of Richmond, Virginia is a window to the American urban experience. The political challenges this city faces can serve as a call to action to effect reconciliation across the lines that divide the metropolitan family.
In 1933, Ethel Thompson Overby became the first African American female principal in Richmond, Virginia. Her motto was ?It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness? (Overby 1975, 1). Before becoming principal, Overby had been a teacher in the southern urban de jure segregated schools of the city. How did the racially segregated context impact her understanding of democracy as an African American woman? As a teacher, what educational practices did she subscribe to? What educational (...) theorizing underpinned her educational practices as a teacher and as a principal? Who was she? These were the questions that guided this research into the educational theorizing of Ethel T. Overby. This research seeks to further the understanding of the theorizing that underpinned the educational practices of African American female teachers and principals who taught and led in public urban de jure segregated southern schools (Charron 2009; Johnson 2000; May 2007; Walker 2009). This historical qualitative research provides knowledge about the educational theorizing of African American educators and how past practices can support the educational fortitude of African American students today. ?To be a teacher, you had to be a good citizen.??Ethel Thompson Overby (1975, 10). (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)
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.
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 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)