From Odysseus' seduction by the song of the Sirens to Oscar Moore's 1991 novel A Matter of Life and Sex , whose protagonist courts death through sex and dies of AIDS, the frustrated relationship between death and desire has fixated the Western imagination. Philosophers have grappled with it and poets have told of its beauty and pain. In this strikingly original work, cultural critic Jonathan Dollimore once again demonstrates his remarkable ability to take on the complex and reveal its (...) relevance with eloquence and grace. Death, Desire and Loss in Western Culture is a rich testament to our ubiquitous preoccupation with the tangled web of death and desire. In these pages we find nuanced analysis that blends Plato with Shelley, Hölderlin with Foucault. Dollimore, a gifted thinker, is not content to summarize these texts from afar; instead, he weaves a thread through each to tell the magnificent story of the making of the modern individual. An immensely important book, Death, Desire and Loss in Western Culture is a challenge to the way we understand desire, sexuality, and the very notion of identity. (shrink)
My focus in this essay is Shoshone and Paiute arguments against the Yucca Mountain site that claim that because Yucca Mountain is a culturally significant sacred place it should not be used to store nuclear waste. Within this set of arguments for the cultural value of Yucca Mountain, I focus on arguments that claim that the proposed nuclear waste site will damage Yucca Mountain and its ecosystem—the mountain, plants, and animals themselves. These arguments assume that Yucca Mountain and its ecosystem (...) are animate and will suffer. An understanding of Western Shoshone and Southern Paiute perspectives on the human relationship to nature, particularly adherence to the concept of animist intersubjectivity, is crucial towards interpreting these arguments. As such, my purpose in this essay is an in-depth analysis of the relationship between the cultural presumption of animist intersubjectivity and Shoshone and Paiute arguments against the Yucca Mountain site. In order to explore this relationship, I begin the paper by discussing concept of animist intersubjectivity as a cultural presumption and its relationship to arguments. Then, I analyze Shoshone and Paiute arguments against the Yucca Mountain site to reveal how animist intersubjectivity influences these arguments. I conclude the essay by explaining the implications of this analysis. (shrink)
Chaos theory not only stretched the concept of chaos well beyond its traditional semantic boundaries, but it also challenged fundamental tenets of physics and science in general. Hence, its present and potential impact on the Western worldview cannot be underestimated. I will illustrate the relevance of chaos theory in regard to modern Western thought by tracing the concept of order, which modern thinkers emphasised as chaos’ dichotomic counterpart. In particular, I will underline how the concern of seventeenth-century natural (...) philosophers with order and conservation oriented the production of their concept of nature. Moreover, I will match this resulting world of natural facts with both the classical construction of the cosmos , and the nineteenth-century physico-chemical structure of conservation laws. Furthermore, I will recall the challenges to the deterministic and determinable modern scientific framework. These challenges arose from within the hard sciences, and they were often understood as a temporary lack of knowledge. I will argue that scientists long failed to acknowledge results that were at odds with their expectations, which were deeply engrained in modern Western thought, and which even harked back to the classical theoretical framework. Finally, I will suggest a link between the cultural earthquake that shook Western societies during the ‘long sixties,’ and the questioning of scientific expectations, which chaos theory defied. (shrink)
Experience and science, being the two sources of technology, have different focuses. In experiential technology, techniques and skills are emphasized while in scientific technology tool or equipment. Experiential technology is generally regarded as local knowledge, and scientific technology universal. Traditional Chinese medicine is an experiential technology. In contrast, Western medicine is set up as a scientific technology with great efforts. Through the comparison of these two medicines, this paper attempts to illustrate the difference between the two technologies and in (...) turn, the difference between these two medicines by defining these two technologies. Finally, this paper further investigates the special values of Chinese medicine. Making use of the SSK theory, this paper deconstructs the idea of universality of science, and argues that, the universality is the feature that science pursues, but not what it already has. With more historical evidence, experiential technology is more stable, while scientific technology is less stable because it updates quickly, and often changes reversely. (shrink)
The growth of niche markets in rural industries has been one response to the restructuring of established agricultural industries in developed countries. In some cases entry into niche markets is part of a diversification of activities from other areas of farm-based production or services. In other cases, operators have sought to diversify from niche market production into other areas, such as on-site selling and agritourism. This paper outlines the findings of an exploratory qualitative study of the factors that olive farmers (...) in Western Australia take into account when considering diversification, with a special focus on diversification into servicing visitors in the form of on-site selling and agritourism. Face-to-face and telephone interviews were conducted among 23 small olive growing operations located in the main olive growing region of Western Australia. Decision-making is shown to involve an assessment of risk, which is shaped by their appraisal of economic conditions, market opportunities, access to resources (including labor), and lifestyle factors. The argument is made that a fuller understanding of diversification is gained by studying both those who seek to diversify and those who do not, in contrast to most previous research that has only focussed on those who diversify. Also argued is that diversification is best seen as a continuum of adjustment strategies, which is guided by a combination of economic need, risk assessment (based largely on resource access), market potential, and lifestyle factors. (shrink)
The first part of my presentation is a short outline of how a feminist, process-oriented, i.e. in a Whiteheadian tradition, business ethics may look like. In the second part, I want to apply this approach in the field of American foreign trade policy concerning the extension of the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA) to a free trade zone of the Western Hemisphere. I want to focus on ethical problems for the business of the Free Trade Area of the (...) Americas. By taking my business ethics approach into consideration, I want to open up perspectives for a Whiteheadian view of the problem of the Free Trade Area. (shrink)
Southern Appalachia is unique among agroecological regions of the American South because of the diverse environmental conditions caused by its mountain ecology, the geographic and commercial isolation of the region, and the relative cultural autonomy of the people that live there. Those three criteria, combined with a rich agricultural history and the continuance of the homegardening tradition, make southern Appalachia an area of relatively high crop biodiversity in America. This study investigated the history and survival of traditional heirloom vegetable crops (...) in western North Carolina and documented 134 heirloom varieties that were still being grown. I conducted interviews with 26 individuals from 12 counties in western North Carolina. I used a snowball sampling method to identify individuals or communities that maintained heirloom vegetable varieties, and used the “memory banking” of farmers’ knowledge as a strategy to complement the gathering of seed specimens. Most of the varieties were grown and saved by homegardeners; beans were the most numerous. Results indicate that usually only one or two individuals in a community maintained significant numbers of heirloom varieties and that many communities have lost their heirloom vegetable heritage altogether. The decline of the farming population combined with a lack of cultural continuance in family seed-saving traditions threatens the ability of communities to maintain crop biodiversity. Some of the cultivars may represent the last (small) populations of endangered varieties. (shrink)
The question of who 'we' are and what vision of humanity 'we' assume in Western culture lies at the heart of hotly debated questions on the role of religion in education, politics, and culture in general. The need for recovering a greater purpose for social practices is indicated, for example, by the rapidly increasing number of publications on the demise of higher education, lamenting the fragmentation of knowledge and university culture's surrender to market-driven pragmatism. The West's cultural rootlessness and (...) lack of cultural identity are also revealed by the failure of multiculturalism to integrate religiously vibrant immigrant cultures. A main cause of the West's cultural malaise is the long-standing separation of reason and faith. -/- Jens Zimmermann suggests that the West can rearticulate its identity and renew its cultural purpose by recovering the humanistic ethos that originally shaped Western culture. In tracing the religious roots of humanism from patristic theology, through the Renaissance into modern philosophy, we find that humanism was originally based on the correlation of reason and faith. In this book, the author combines humanism, religion, and hermeneutic philosophy to re-imagine humanism for our current cultural and intellectual climate. The hope of this recovery is for humanism to become what Charles Taylor has called a 'social imaginary', an internalized vision of what it means to be human. This vision will encourage, once again, the correlation of reason and faith in order to overcome current cultural impasses, such as those posed, for example, by religious and secularist fundamentalisms. (shrink)
A people divided -- Impact of science -- The physical world and its life forms -- Human beginnings -- Our animal instincts -- An inward look -- Emergence of civilization -- Flaws in civilizations -- Brutal despair in ancient Rome -- Persistent cruelty -- The search for ethics in antiquity -- Ecclesiastical search for ethics in Christianity -- The Gospel's ethical impact -- Ethical impact in multi-invaded Britannia -- Ethical impact in seeking freedom -- Rather humanitarian Britain -- Rather humanitarian (...) United States -- The goal of the Gospel -- Concluding summation. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Introduction: Civil Society and Human Flourishing -- City States and Republics, c.400 BCE-400 -- Heavenly Mandates, 400-1500 -- The Emergence of the Sovereign State, 1500-1700 -- From Subject to Citizen, 1700-1815 -- Ideology and Equality, 1815-1914 -- Breakdown and Uncertainty, 1914-2010 -- Conclusion -- Endnotes -- Index.
In the Pre-Qin time, pursuing “Dao” was the main task in the scholarship of most of the ancient Chinese philosophers, while the Ancient Greek philosophers considered pursuing “Truth” as their ultimate goal. While the “Dao” in ancient Chinese texts and the “Truth” in ancient Greek philosophic literature do share or cross-cover certain connotations, there are subtle and important differences between the two comparable philosophic concepts. These differences have deep and profound impact on the later development of Chinese and Western (...) philosophy and culture respectively. Interestingly, while the modern Chinese philosophy has gradually accepted and established the Western conception of “Truth” on its way towards modernization, the “post-modern” Western philosophy is just undergoing a process of deconstructing its traditional concept of “Truth”, thus, in a certain sense, going closer to the traditional Chinese “Dao”. From a comparative, relative and dynamic perspective, there could possibly be a fusion of horizon between the Chinese “Dao” and the Western “Truth”. (shrink)
This illustrated edition of Sir Anthony Kenny’s acclaimed survey of Western philosophy offers the most concise and compelling story of the complete development of philosophy available. Spanning 2,500 years of thought, An Illustrated Brief History of Western Philosophy provides essential coverage of the most influential philosophers of the Western world, among them Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Jesus, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Berkeley, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Mill, Nietzsche, Darwin, Freud, Frege, Russell, and Wittgenstein. Replete with (...) over 60 illustrations - ranging from Dufresnoy’s The Death of Socrates, through to the title page of Thomas More’s Utopia, portraits of Hobbes and Rousseau, photographs of Charles Darwin and Bertrand Russell, Freud’s own sketch of the Ego and the Id, and Wittgenstein’s Austrian military identity card - this lucid and masterful work is ideal for anyone with an interest in Western thought. (shrink)
: Philosophers in the Indian and Western traditions have developed and defended a range of sophisticated accounts of self-awareness. Here, four of these accounts are examined, and the arguments for them are assessed. Theories of self-awareness developed in the two traditions under consideration fall into two broad categories: reflectionist or other-illumination theories and reflexivist or self-illumination theories. Having assessed the main arguments for these theories, it is argued here that while neither reflectionist nor reflexivist theories are adequate as traditionally (...) formulated and defended, the approaches examined here give important insights for the development of amore adequate contemporary account of self-awareness. (shrink)
History of Western Thought is a comprehensive introduction to the history of Western philosophy from the Pre-Socratics to Twentieth Century thought. In addition to all the key figures, the book covers figures whose contributions have so far been overlooked such as Vico, Montesquieu, Durkheim and Weber.
Beginning with the death of Socrates in 399 BC, and following the strand of philosophical inquiry through the centuries to recent figures such as Bertrand Russell and Wittgenstein, Bryan Magee's conversations with fifteen contemporary writers and philosophers provide an accessible and exciting account of Western philosophy and its greatest thinkers. With contributions from A. J. Ayer, Bernard Williams, Martha Nussbaum, Peter Singer, and John Searle, the book is not only an introduction to the philosophers of the past, but gives (...) an invaluable insight into the view and personalities of some of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century. (shrink)
In contemporary Western analytic philosophy, the classic analogical argument explaining our knowledge of other minds has been rejected. But at least three alternative positive theories of our knowledge of the second person have been formulated: the theory-theory, the simulation theory and the theory of direct empathy. After sketching out the problems faced by these accounts of the ego’s access to the contents of the mind of a “second ego”, this paper tries to recreate one argument given by Abhinavagupta (Shaiva (...) philosopher of recognition) to the effect that even in another’s body, one must feel and recognize one’s own self, if one is able to address that embodied person as a “you”. The otherness of You does not take away from its subjectivity. In that sense, just as every second person to whom one could speak is, first, a person, she is also a first person. Even as I regret that I do not know exactly how some other person is feeling right now, I must have some general access to the subjective experience of that other person, for otherwise what is it that I feel so painfully ignorant about? My subjective world is mine only to the extent that I recognize its continuity with a sharable subjective world where other I-s can make a You out of me. (shrink)
The fundamental principles of modern dialectical philosophy derive from Hegel. He sums them up as follows. ‘Everything is inherently contradictory ... Contradiction is the root of all movement and vitality, it is only in so far as something has a contradiction within it that it moves, has an urge and activity' (Hegel 1969, 439). In Hegel's philosophy these ideas form part of an all−embracing idealist system which portrays all phenomena ×− both natural and social ×− as subject to dialectic. Marx (...) inherits and transforms these ideas; but how precisely he does so has been a topic of much dispute within western Marxism. Marx himself describes his relation to Hegel with the aid of a couple of graphic but vague metaphors. He says that he turns Hegel's dialectic ‘right side up' in order to ‘discover the rational kernel within the mystical shell' (Marx 1961, 20). But how can this be done? Is there a ‘rational kernel' to Hegel's dialectic? If so, how can it be extracted? (shrink)
Essential Buddhism, the fundamental teachings of the historical Buddha and the core of all major branches of Buddhism, is psychology, not religion or philosophy. Essential Buddhism is described from a psychological perspective and interrelated with Western psychology in general, and cognitive science, behaviour modification, psychoanalysis, and transpersonal psychology, in specific. Integrating Buddhist psychology and Western psychology yields a more comprehensive psychology and more powerful therapies.
The field of bioethics is replete with applications of moral theories such as utilitarianism and Kantianism. For a given dilemma, even if it is not clear how one of these western philosophical principles of right (and wrong) action would resolve it, one can identify many of the considerations that each would conclude is relevant. The field is, in contrast, largely unaware of an African account of what all right (and wrong) actions have in common and of the sorts of (...) factors that for it are germane to developing a sound response to a given bioethical problem. My aim is to help rectify this deficiency by first spelling out a moral theory grounded in the mores of many sub-Saharan peoples, and then applying it to some major bioethical issues, namely, the point of medical treatment, free and informed consent, standards of care and animal experimentation. For each of these four issues, I compare and contrast the implications of the African moral theory with utilitarianism and Kantianism, my overall purposes being to highlight respects in which the African moral theory is distinct and to demonstrate that the field should take it at least as seriously as it does the Western theories. (shrink)
Confucianism conceives of persons as being necessarily interdependent, defining personhood in terms of the various roles one embodies and that are established by the relationships basic to one's life. By way of contrast, the Western philosophical tradition has predominantly defined persons in terms of intrinsic characteristics not thought to depend on others. This more strictly and explicitly individualistic concept of personhood contrasts with the Confucian idea that one becomes a person because of others; where one is never a person (...) independently or in and of oneself but develops into one only in community. This article surveys some differences between Confucian and Western ideas of self and their connection to ethics mainly in light of the relational self of the Confucian Analects and Mencius . A Philosophy Compass article called Confucianism and Ethics in the Western Philosophical Tradition II: A Comparative Analysis of Personhood will follow, that examines how the more individualistic way of conceiving of personhood in the West has had moral and political implications that differ, and even conflict, with those of Confucianism. (shrink)
A generalized traditional Western world view is compared with a generalized traditional American Indian world view in respect to the practical relations implied by either to nature. The Western tradition pictures nature as material, mechanical, and devoid of spirit (reserving that exclusively for humans), while the American Indian tradition pictures nature throughout as an extended family or society of living, ensouled beings. The former picture invites unrestrained exploitation of nonhuman nature, while the latter provides the foundations for ethical (...) restraint in relation to nonhuman nature. This conclusion is defended against disclaimers by Calvin Martin and Tom Regan. (shrink)
I examine three main objections to humor in western thought--That humor is hostile, That it is irrational, And that it is irresponsible. None of these, I show, Is a valid general objection to humor. I then explore some of the values of humor overlooked in western thought, Especially the way it gets us to see things in new ways and liberates us from practical concern. I contrast the western rejection of humor with the embracing of humor in (...) zen, Showing the connection between the nonattachment emphasized in zen and the "distancing" in humor. (shrink)
It is generally agreed that while, from the silent film The Great Train Rob- bery (1903) until the present, well over seven thousand Westerns have been made it was not until three seminal articles in the nineteen fifties by Andre´ Bazin and Robert Warshow that the genre began to be taken seriously. Indeed Bazin argued that the “secret” of the extraordinary persistence of the Western must be due to the fact that the Western embodies “the essence of cinema,” (...) and he suggested that that essence was its incorporation of myth and a mythic consciousness of the world.1 He appeared to mean by this that Westerns.. (shrink)
I will trace the history of western conceptions of soul and self from the ancient Greeks to the present. The story line that I will present is based mainly on material covered in two books by Ray Martin and myself: _The Naturalization of the Soul: Self and Personal Identity in the_.
Both thinkings on Dao in Chinese philosophy and metaphysics in Western philosophy investigate things on a spiritual level that transcends experience, but there are incommensurable differences between them. The objective of “metaphysics” is ontological knowledge about nature from the perspective of epistemological “truth-pursuing”. Western metaphysics is thus a “metaphysics of nature”. Dao in Chinese philosophy, on the other hand, more often manifests itself in “good-pursuing” by means of the internal, experiential pursuit of moral stature and spiritual security. Philosophy (...) of Dao is thus a “metaphysics of ethics”. The cause of this difference can be traced back to the differences between the rational tradition of the West, characterized by the dualism of the subject and the object, and the moral tradition of China, characterized by the integration of man and nature. (shrink)
This Philosophy Compass article continues the comparison between Confucian and mainstream Western views of personhood and their connection with ethics begun in Confucianism and Ethics in the Western Philosophical Tradition I: Fundamental Concepts , by focusing on the Western self conceived as an independent agent with moral and political rights. More specifically, the present article briefly accounts for how the more strictly and explicitly individualistic notion of self dominating Western philosophy has developed, leading up to a (...) recent debate in modern Western rights theory between Herbert Fingarette and Henry Rosemont, Jr., two contemporary Western philosophers who are both steeped in Confucian thought as well as moral and political philosophy. This discussion elucidates how Confucianism can be compared to, and even contrasted with some basic principles of modern Western rights theory and the more individualistic view of self they entail. In the end, a new view of personhood and "free will"? is offered that synthesizes insights from the Confucian treatment of persons as being essentially interdependent with the Western treatment of persons as being essentially independent. (shrink)
Iain McGilchrist, The master and his emissary: the divided brain and the making of the Western world (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2010) Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 119-124 DOI 10.1007/s11097-011-9235-x Authors Rupert Read, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK Journal Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences Online ISSN 1572-8676 Print ISSN 1568-7759 Journal Volume Volume 11 Journal Issue Volume 11, Number 1.
Colonial encounters in the 1850s: the European impact on India, Indonesia, and China -- Russia and Poland: the relationship of national emancipation to revolution -- Race, class, and slavery: the Civil War as a second American revolution -- Ireland: nationalism, class, and the labor movement -- From the Grundrisse to Capital: multilinear themes -- Late writings on non-western and precapitalist societies -- Conclusion -- Appendix: the vicissitudes of the Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe from the 1920s to today.
Several Buddhist schools in India, China and Japan concentrate on the interrelationships between waking and dreaming consciousness. In Eastern philosophy, reality can be seen as a dream and an obscure 'reality beyond' can be considered as real. In spite of the overwhelming Platonic-Aristotelian-Freudian influence existent in Western culture, some Western thinkers and artists - Valéry, Baudelaire, and Schnitzler, for example - have been fascinated by a kind of 'simple presence' contained in dreams. I show that this has consequences (...) for a philosophy of space. According to the authors discussed, the dreamer and the player recognize that human space always means the entire cosmos. (shrink)
The mapping of numbers onto space is fundamental to measurement and to mathematics. Is this mapping a cultural invention or a universal intuition shared by all humans regardless of culture and education? We probed number-space mappings in the Mundurucu, an Amazonian indigene group with a reduced numerical lexicon and little or no formal education. At all ages, the Mundurucu mapped symbolic and nonsymbolic numbers onto a logarithmic scale, whereas Western adults used linear mapping with small or symbolic numbers and (...) logarithmic mapping when numbers were presented nonsymbolically under conditions that discouraged counting. This indicates that the mapping of numbers onto space is a universal intuition and that this initial intuition of number is logarithmic. The concept of a linear number line appears to be a cultural invention that fails to develop in the absence of formal education. (shrink)
Globalization consists of global interculture strengthening local cultures as it depends on them. Globality and locality are interdependent, and “universal” must be replaced by “inter-versal” as existence inter-exists. Chinese thinking thus must be Chinese, not Western, as Western thinking must be Western, not “universal”; China must help the West be Western, as the West must help China be Chinese. As Mrs. Tu speaks English in Chinese syntax, so “sinologists” logicize in Chinese phrases. English speakers parse her (...) to realize the distinctness of English; Chinese thinkers parse Western “sinologists” to realize the distinctness of China. Inter-versal parsing toward cultural inter-enrichment occurs in three stages. This is intercultural globalization. (shrink)
This paper offers a reading of Heidegger''s 1931 lectures on Aristotle''s Metaphysics, Theta 1-3 that relates that discussion to Heidegger''s later work on The Question Concerning Technology and then, more briefly, to contemporary philosophical discussions of ecological issues. This reading is intended to open the possibility of using Heidegger''s re-interpretation of Aristotle as a source within the Western European tradition for understanding our relationship to the natural world in a way that could provide the philosophical tools for addressing ecological (...) problems more adequately and effectively. (shrink)
Our present actions can have effects on future generations - affecting not only the environment they will inherit, but even perhaps their very existence. This raises a number of important moral issues, many of which have only recently received serious philosophical attention. I begin by discussing some contemporary Western philosophical perspectives on the problem of our obligations to future generations, and then go on to consider how these approaches might relate to the classical Indian philosophical tradition. Although the Indian (...) commitment to pre-existence and rebirth precludes the arising of the Non-Identity Problem, this does not mean that there is not still a problem about justifying our obligations to future generations. The Indian Non-Reductionists about personal identity have difficulties with this that are comparable to the difficulties of their Western counterparts, but the Indian Buddhist Reductionists offer some provocative arguments for impartiality and the rationality of altruism. (shrink)
We (relatively few) Western analytic philosophers who also work on classical Indian philosophy commonly encounter puzzlement or suspicion from our colleagues in Western philosophy because of our Indian interests. The ubiquity of these attitudes is itself revealing of Western conceptions of Indian philosophy, though their origins lie in cultural history often unknown to those who hold them. In the first part of this paper I relate a small but significant slice of that history before going on to (...) distinguish and illustrate three different Western conceptions of Indian philosophy associated with three different approaches to India: the magisterial, the exoticist and the curatorial. I argue that none of these three approaches gives us an adequate conception of Indian philosophy: the magisterial approach is overly dismissive, the exoticist approach misrepresents the analytical achievements of Indian philosophy, and the curatorial approach fails to take seriously Indian philosophy's concern with truth. I advocate instead a different Western approach to Indian philosophy, an approach suggested by the Indian philosophers' own discussions of the problem of truth. (shrink)
In today’s society, models of God are challenged to account for more than the postmodern context in which Western Christianity finds itself; they should also consider the reality of religious pluralism. Non-monotheistic religions present a particular challenge to Western theological and philosophical God-modeling because they require a model of Gods. This paper uses an African traditional religion as a case study to problematize the effects of monotheism on philosophical models of God. The desire to uphold the image of (...) a singular God tends to invalidate religious experiences that deviate from a given scientifically-verifiable norm. It also mischaracterizes the concept of divinity in religions that maintain divine multiplicity. That is, scholars of African traditional religions affirm that “polytheism” is not an accurate naming of their traditions; rather these religions affirm a community of gods. I propose a Whiteheadian process model that describes a community of gods that has active interaction with the temporal world. Such a model not only broadens conversations of religious pluralism for Western-trained religious scholars, but also acknowledges the Western context in which many practitioners of African traditional religions live. (shrink)