In this paper phenomenological descriptions of the experiential structures of suicidality and of self-determined behaviour are given; an understanding of the possible scopes and forms of lived self-determination in suicidal mental life is offered. Two possible limits of lived self-determination are described: suicide is always experienced as minimally self-determined, because it is the last active and effective behaviour, even in blackest despair; suicide can never be experienced as fully self-determined, even if valued as the authentic thing to do, (...) because no retrospective re-evaluation from some future vantage is possible. The phenomenological descriptions of the possible scope of lived self-determination in suicidality, presented in this paper, should prove to be extremely helpful in three different fields of interest: (a) ethical debates regarding the pros and cons of autonomous or heteronomous suicide; (b) clinical day-to-day practice with respect to treating suicidal people; (c) people who suffered a suicidal crisis, attempted suicide or lost loved ones through suicides. (155 words). (shrink)
Official apologies and truth commissions are increasingly utilized as mechanisms to address human rights abuses. Both are intended to transform inter-group relations by marking an end point to a history of wrongdoing and providing the means for political and social relations to move beyond that history. However, state-dominated reconciliation mechanisms are inherently problematic for indigenous communities. In this paper, we examine the use of apologies, and truth and reconciliation commissions in four countries with significant indigenous populations: Canada, Australia, Peru, and (...) Guatemala. In each case, the reconciliation mechanism differentiated the goal of reconciliation from an indigenous self-determination agenda. The resulting state-centered strategies ultimately failed to hold states fully accountable for past wrongs and, because of this, failed to transform inter-group relations. (shrink)
Health-related quality of life measures aim to assess patients’ subjective experience in order to gauge an increasingly wide variety of health care issues such as patient needs; satisfaction; side effects; quality of care; disease progression and cost effectiveness. Their popularity is undoubtedly due to a larger initiative to provide patient-centered care. The use of patient perspectives to guide health care improvements and spending is rooted in the idea that we must respect patients as self-determining agents. In this paper I look (...) at the two main orientations to quality of life measurement: standardized and individualized measures. I argue that while these measures are attempts to provide for patient self-determination, they both fail to do so. In their place I suggest a new approach which overcomes their respective difficulties: a dialogic approach. (shrink)
This qualitative study examines the relevance of self-determination theory to explain retention and attrition in community supported agriculture (CSA). Using a focus group study of CSA members, we examined whether belonging to a CSA supports basic psychological needs for autonomy, competency and relatedness. We found that it did for continuing members. However, for those who did not renew, membership reduced their sense of autonomy, competency, and relatedness. For continuing members, the intensity of their involvement did not affect their needs (...) satisfaction, though it did influence how those needs were met. Continuing CSA members were also intrinsically motivated and internalized extrinsic motivations. (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)
The neurosciences not only challenge assumptions about the mind’s place in the natural world but also urge us to reconsider its role in the normative world. Based on mind-brain dualism, the law affords only one-sided protection: it systematically protects bodies and brains, but only fragmentarily minds and mental states. The fundamental question, in what ways people may legitimately change mental states of others, is largely unexplored in legal thinking. With novel technologies to both intervene into minds and detect mental activity, (...) the law should, we suggest, introduce stand alone protection for the inner sphere of persons. We shall address some metaphysical questions concerning physical and mental harm and demonstrate gaps in current doctrines, especially in regard to manipulative interferences with decision-making processes. We then outline some reasons for the law to recognize a human right to mental liberty and propose elements of a novel criminal offence proscribing severe interventions into other minds. (shrink)
Don't fence me in : Rorty and Sartre -- On freedom and action : Dewey and Sartre -- A (neo) American in Paris : Bourdieu and Mead -- Mead on cosmopolitanism, sympathy, and war -- W.E.B. Du Bois : double-consciousness, Jamesian sympathy, and the cosmopolitan -- Self-concept in the new sociology of ideas : reflections on Neil Gross's Richard Rorty : the making of an American philosopher -- Eros and self-determination -- What if Hegel's master and slave were women?
In this article, I focus on possibly impaired self-determination in addiction. After some methodological reflections, I introduce a phenomenological description of the experience of being self-determined. I argue that being self-determined implies effectivity of agency regarding three different behavioural domains. Such self-referential agency shall be called ‘self-effectivity’ in this article. In a second step, I will use this phenomenological description to understand the impairments of self-determination in addiction. While addiction does not necessarily imply a basic lack of control (...) over one’s life, this can well be the case during certain periods of time or in special situations. Addiction is herein described as an embodied custom—highly effective with respect to changing one’s lived experience—which is learned and developed while becoming addicted. Such a repeatedly performed custom, called a ‘psychotropic technique’, implies deep changes in one’s personal identity and alters an agent’s ‘self-effectivity’. In the closing section, I discuss the possible implications of a phenomenological approach to personal responsibility. (shrink)
This book articulates a systematic vision of an international legal system grounded in the commitment to justice for all persons. It provides a probing exploration of the moral issues involved in disputes about secession, ethno-national conflict, "the right of self-determination of peoples," human rights, and the legitimacy of the international legal system itself. Buchanan advances vigorous criticisms of the central dogmas of international relations and international law, arguing that the international legal system should make justice, not simply peace among (...) states, a primary goal, and rejecting the view that it is permissible for a state to conduct its foreign policies exclusively according to what is in the "national interest." He also shows that the only alternatives are not rigid adherence to existing international law or lawless chaos in which the world's one superpower pursues its own interests without constraints. This book not only criticizes the existing international legal order, but also offers morally defensible and practicable principles for reforming it. Justice, Legitimacy, and Self-Determination will find a broad readership in political science, international law, and political philosophy. (shrink)
There is a remedy available for many of our ailments: Psychopharmacology promises to alleviate unsatisfying memory, bad moods, and low self-esteem. Bioethicists have long discussed the ethical implications of enhancement interventions. However, they have not considered relevant evidence from psychology and economics. The growth in autonomy in many areas of life is publicized as progress for the individual. However, the broadening of areas at one’s disposal together with the increasing individualization of value systems leads to situations in which the range (...) of options asks too much of the individual. I scrutinize whether increased self-determination and unbound possibilities are really in a person’s best interests. Evidence from psychology and economics challenges the assumption that unlimited autonomy is best in all cases. The responsibility for autonomous self-formation that comes with possibilities provided by neuro-enhancement developments can be a burden. To guarantee quality of life I suggest a balance of beneficence, support, and respect for autonomy. (shrink)
The United Nations' (UN) adoption of a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is intended to mark a fundamental ethical turn in the relationships between indigenous peoples and the community of sovereign states. This moment is the result of decades of discussion and negotiation, largely revolving around states' discomfort with notion of indigenous self-determination. Member states of the UN have feared that an ethic of indigenous self-determination would undermine the principles of state sovereignty on which the UN (...) is itself grounded. However, such fears are the result of very poor understandings of the ethical principles under which the relations between indigenous peoples and nation-states already have been formed under centuries of European colonialism. The principle of self-determination embraced in this Declaration does not diverge from colonial norms; it entrenches these norms as international policy. Without doubt, indigenous peoples are more likely to benefit than suffer from states' observance of the Articles within this Declaration. Reducing the challenge of indigenous peoples' rights to the notion of self-determination set out in this document, though, misses an extraordinarily important opportunity to critically investigate the ethic of rights that has produced an opposition between nation-states and indigenous peoples to begin with. A true turn in the ethics of this relationship would see not simply the institution of a right to self-determination but, rather, indigenous peoples' right to first determine the nature of self for themselves. (shrink)
1. For many thinkers in the seventeenth century, self-determination is the mark of free agency: a free agent is one who determines himself, and conversely. To determine oneself, in this context, is to be the cause of one’s own actions, and that in two ways. A self-determiner brings it about, first, that he does something, as opposed to not acting at all. And second, he brings it about that the action he performs is of some specific kind, as opposed (...) to being an action of some other kind.1 Not to be self-determined, then, with respect to a particular action, is for that action to be caused (if caused at all) by something other than the agent himself. This other thing may be altogether distinct from the agent: another person or some external impersonal factor. Or it may be something that is within the agent in some way but is distinguishable from himself - that is, from his real or true self. An action whose cause is a thing or person other than the agent who performs it is said to be determined by that thing or person, and the latter is said to determine it. Correspondingly, when an agent himself is the cause of an action, he is said to determine that action, and the action is said to be determined by him. Thus the term “determine” is used in such wise that free agents can be said to determine their own actions as well as their own selves. Indeed, when an agent is said to determine himself, what is usually meant is that he determines himself to act or to act in such and such way. 2. The terms “determine” and “determination” had other uses in seventeenth-century philosophical writing. Sometimes to determine something was to decide or settle it; to ascertain or establish it; to direct or regulate it; or to fix, delimit, or define it. But the causal use that I have just characterized is the one that most pertains to the concept of self-determination and thence to that of free agency. (shrink)
The principle of self-determination, as commonly established, is based on a formal and individualistic view of liberty rights. This perspective, however, is inconsistent with the needs of a community and particularly with the necessity to promote integration between subjects and a relatively stable social order. I propose a different perspective, the one that not only takes into account individuals but also relationships. In particular, what I propose is: 1) that any community is aware of a specific social order, which (...) consists of a set of practices, 2) that these practices express specific values, 3) that these values are the result of historical and cultural circumstances, 4) that they are subject to a permanent public debate, and finally 5) that the individual praxis can lead to recognition of rights only if it is consistent with these values. In this perspective there is no general liberty for self-determination of the subject outside specific relationships. It only could be stated that one has a practical liberty (not a right) to do and behave as one wants, but one's rights depend on the relationships in which the person is engaged. El principio de auto- determinación, como comúnmente se pretende, se plantea sobre una visión formal e individualista de los derechos de libertad. Esta perspectiva, sin embargo, es incompatible con las necesidades de una comunidad, y en particular con la necesidad de promover un orden social estable, y una integración entre los sujetos. Yo propongo una perspectiva diferente, que tenga en cuenta las relaciones y no solo los individuos. En particular, lo que argumento es que 1) cualquier comunidad se da cuenta de un determinado orden social, que es un conjunto de prácticas; 2) que estas prácticas expresan valores específicos; 3) que están sujetos a un debate público permanente y, finalmente, 5) que solo si la praxis individual es consistente con estos valores puede llevar al reconocimiento de los derechos. En esa perspectiva, no existe una libertad general para que un sujeto pueda auto-determinarse, sin considerar una relación específica. Solo se podría afirmar que uno tiene una libertad concreta (y no un derecho) de hacer y de actuar como quiera, pero los derechos dependen de las relaciones en las que participa la persona. (shrink)
David Rodin argues that the right of national-defence as conceived in international law cannot be grounded in the end of defending the lives of individuals. Firstly, having this end is not necessary because there is a right of defence against an invasion that threatens no lives. However, in this context we are to understand that 'defending lives' includes defending against certain non-lethal threats. I will argue that threats to national-self determination and self-government are significant non-lethal threats to the wellbeing of (...) individuals that can justify lethal defensive force. Therefore the end of defending individuals can ground a right of national-defence against a 'bloodless invasion'. Secondly, Rodin argues that defending lives is not a sufficient condition for military action to be national self-defence, because humanitarian intervention is military action to defend individuals, and such action is in deep tension with national self-defence. I will argue that a reductive account, grounded in claims of need and threats of harm, can justify principles of both intervention and non-intervention on the same grounds; that is, protecting the wellbeing of individuals. (shrink)
Disputes over territory are among the most contentious in human affairs. Throughout the world, societies view control over land and resources as necessary to ensure their survival and to further their particular life-style, and the very passion with which claims over a region are asserted and defended suggests that difficult normative issues lurk nearby. Questions about rights to territory vary. It is one thing to ask who owns a particular parcel of land, another who has the right to reside within (...) its boundaries and yet another to determine which individuals or groups have political rights of citizenship, sovereignty, and self-determination within it. It must also be asked how these rights—if ‘rights’ is the correct term—are acquired. When attention turns to the territorial rights of communities, national groups or states, sovereignty is the principal concern. Within international law, de facto power over a territory, say, of occupying forces or trustees, is insufficient to possess or acquire sovereignty (Brownlie, 1990, p. 111). The central conceptions underlying modern democratic thought are that sovereignty over a politically demarcated territory is vested in the resident population, and that governmental authority is derived from the consent of that population. It is simple enough to identify the latter with the citizenry of a state, but demographic and political flux makes this a loose criterion. States come and go, and sometimes a territory is stateless. Also, large-scale demographic shifts during upheavals and peacetime immigrations change the assessments of who belongs where. Does everyone residing in a place at a particular time have a right to share in its governance then? What about illegal immigrants? Presumably, sovereignty rests with the established population or.. (shrink)
This article focuses on the transformation of the female reproductive body with the use of assisted reproduction technologies under neo-liberal economic globalisation, wherein the ideology of trade without borders is central, as well as under liberal feminist ideals, wherein the right to self-determination is central. Two aspects of the body in western medicine—the fragmented body and the commodified body, and the integral relation between these two—are highlighted. This is done in order to analyse the implications of local and global (...) transactions in women’s reproductive body parts for their right to self-determination and individual agency and what this means for their embodiment. We conclude by exploring whether women can become embodied subjects by exercising their proprietary right to their bodies through directing technology to achieve their own goals, while at the same time being fragmented into parts and losing their personhood and bodily integrity. (shrink)
In this essay I will try to demonstrate that the principle of self-determination is based on a formal and individualistic view of liberty rights. I also propose a different perspective that takes into account the relationships rather than the individual. I will show how this result can only be achieved through [...].
(Abstract: The right of “national self-determination” sometimes claimed for ethnic/religious/linguistic groups is not to be confused with the right to rebel against tyranny or with a right to secede, and it is limited by respect for the territorial integrity of functioning states. In some cases self-determination may take the form of some sort of autonomy within a mixed state. Ockham’s use of the canon..
Kant speaks of our capacity to be “self-determining [...] in certain [...] laws hold- ing firm a priori” (KrV, B 430). Here the “laws” refer to the categories of freedom introduced in KpV. The categories of freedom, then, are necessary for self-determination. I first explain how Kant employs the notion of determination in his theoretical philosophy. I then explain how the notion is utilized also in his practical philosophy, particularly in connection to the act of determining the forms of (...) willing that make morality possible. I conclude by answering the question, Why are the categories of freedom necessary for self-determination? Under- standing why the categories of freedom are required for self-determination will also help clarify the nature and function of Kant’s categories of freedom, which have puzzled many scholars. (shrink)
in Western cultures in regard to post-mortem organ donation and the termination of care for patients meeting these strict criteria. But they are of minimal use in Asian cultures and in the ethics of caring for the persistent vegetative patient. This paper introduces a formula for a global Uniform Determination of Death statute, based on the ‘entire brain including brain stem’ criteria as a default position, but allowing competent adults by means of advance directives to choose other criteria for determining (...) death during the process of dying. Keywords: euthanasia, brain death criteria, higher brain death criteria, individual choice, multicultural society, self-determination CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Proponents of global egalitarian justice often argue that their positions are compatible with the principle of self-determination. At the same time, prominent arguments in favor of global egalitarianism object to one central component of the principle: namely, that the borders of states (or other political units) are normatively significant for the allocation of rights and duties; that duties of justice and democratic rights should stop or change at borders. In this article, I propose an argument in defense of the (...) normative significance of territorial boundaries that draws on a political interpretation of the principle of self-determination. The political interpretation is distinct from the two major approaches to self-determination: the national and the democratic. It makes a twofold contribution to the debates about global justice and democracy; while it (a) challenges the position that political memberships and political borders are morally arbitrary; it (b) helpsdefine the realm of permissible autonomy for self-governing political units, which does not ignore duties to nonmembers and outsiders. (shrink)
Biomedical research has brought to the fore the issue of which rights and duties we have to each other and society. Several scholars have advocated reframing the notion of participation, arguing that we have a moral duty to participate in research from which we all benefit. However, less attention has been paid to how we justify and defend the concept of self-determination and what the implications are in a biomedical setting. The author discusses the value and importance of (...) class='Hi'>self-determination on the basis of the framework of the liberal-communitarian debate. Biobank research is used as an example of a project wherein, through our participation, we confirm our sense of belonging to society and acknowledge our mutual dependence on each other. We need a richer concept of self-determination that encompasses both liberal and communitarian insights in order to make sense of the value we attach to self-determination. (shrink)
Philosophers and others have criticized the courts for ascribing a right of self-determination to severe incompetents. I defend ascription of a right of self-determination to these incompetents against both conceptual and normative attacks. I argue that a court need make no conceptual error when it ascribes a right of self-determination to a being who never had capacity for rational choice, and I argue that proper judicial deference to reflective conventional morality supports ascription of a right of (...) class='Hi'>self-determination to severe incompetents. Keywords: Self-determination, incompetence, person CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
It is a standard requirement of democratic theory that all members of society be treated with equal respect as capable of self-determination (Christiano 2004; Dworkin 1977; Gutmann and Thompson 2004; Patten 2011; Waldron 1999). The fulfillment of this requirement is problematic vis-à-vis conscientious dissenters. Conscientious dissenters refuse to comply with legally enforced duties when compliance risks jeopardizing their moral integrity, because the required behavior would compromise their loyalty to (some of) their moral commitments. Coercing conscientious dissenters into behavior they (...) deem morally wrong, qua contrary to their conscience, amounts to disrespect because it threatens their capacity for .. (shrink)
This paper reports on a mail survey of Jewish nursing homes nationally regarding their compliance with the federal Patient Self-Determination Act that became effective in December, 1991. Data is presented about the extent to which institutions' religious affiliation has influenced their advance directive policies and the procedures they have adopted to implement those policies. A content analysis of written advance directive policies used in Jewish nursing homes is presented also.
OBJECTIVES: The subject of patient self-determination in health care has gained broad interest because of the increasing number of incompetent patients. In an attempt to solve the problems related to doctors' decision making in such circumstances, advance directives have been developed. The purpose of this study was to examine relationships between public attitudes towards patient autonomy and advance directives. SUBJECTS AND MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: A stratified random sample of 600 adults in northern Sweden was surveyed by a questionnaire with (...) a response rate of 78.2%. The subjects were asked about their wish for control of their health care, their concerns about health care, their treatment preferences in a life-threatening situation (both reversible and irreversible), and their attitudes towards the application of advance directives. RESULTS: Numerous relationships between various aspects of self-determination in health care (desire for control, fears of over-treatment, and choice of treatment level) in general and advance directives, in particular, were found. Those who wanted to have a say in their health care (about 94%) also mainly supported the use of an advance directive. CONCLUSIONS: The fact that almost 30% of the respondents were undecided concerning their personal use of advance directives points to a lack of knowledge and to the necessity of education of the public on these issues. (shrink)
Conventional wisdom suggests that promoting self-determination for peoples and protecting the human rights of individuals are competing priorities. However, many recent international human rights documents include rights of peoples in their lists of basic human rights. In this paper, I defend including at least one people’s right, the right to self-determination, in the list of basic rights. Recognizing that self-determination is a constitutive element of human dignity casts state sovereignty in a different light, with interesting consequences both (...) for international law and for philosophical debates about the rights of minorities. (shrink)
Towards the end of the first world war, a “principle of self-determination” was proposed as a foundation for international order. In the words of its chief advocate, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, it specified that the “settlement of every question, whether of territory, of sovereignty, of economic arrangement, or of political relationship” is to be made “upon the basis of the free acceptance of that settlement by the people immediately concerned and not upon the basis of the material interest or (...) advantage of any other nation or people which may desire a different settlement for sake of its own exterior influence or mastery” (Wilson 1927, 233). The principle played a significant role in deliberations about lands newly liberated by the first world war, and, in the aftermath of the second, it was enshrined within Article 1 of the United Nations Charter which called upon member nations “to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.” Its status within international law was further heightened by the 1966 Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, whose first articles specify the following: “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social, and cultural development.” In 1970, General Assembly Resolution 2625 added that, “every state has the duty to respect this right in accordance with the provision of the Charter.”. (shrink)
Symposium: Territory, Belonging: secession, self-determination and territorial rights in the age of identity politics With a discussion of Neera Chandhoke’s Contested Secessions. Rights, Self-determination, Democracy and Kashmir (OUP 2012) Guest Editor: Valentina Gentile Submission Deadline Long(1,000 words max): November 15, 2012 Full paper (10,000 words max, upon acceptance): March 15, 2013 Invited Contributors Allen Buchanan (DukeUniversity), Will Kymlicka (Queen’s University), Margaret Moore (Queen’s University) and Neera Chandhoke (University of Delhi).
This paper presents a Thomistic analysis of addiction that incorporates scientific, philosophical, and theological features of addiction. I will argue first, that a Thomistic hylomorphic anthropology provides a cogent explanation of the causal interactions between human action and neuroplasticity. I will employ Karol Wojtyła’s account of self-determination to further clarify the kind of neuroplasticity involved in addiction. Next, I will elucidate how a Thomistic anthropology can accommodate, without reductionism, both the neurophysiological and psychological elements of addiction, and finally, I (...) will make clear how Thomism can provide an ethics and a theology of grace that can be integrated with these ontological and scientific considerations into a holistic theory of addiction. (shrink)
Respect for autonomy and self-determination is a central principle in nursing ethics. Autonomy and quality of life are strongly connected, and, at the same time, autonomy is an important quality indicator on how older persons' housing functions. In this study, autonomy was conceived as self-determination. The aim of the study was to describe how older people living in sheltered housing experience self-determination and how they are valued as human beings. Eleven persons living in five different housing facilities (...) for older people in southern Sweden were interviewed. The data were analysed by manifest and latent qualitative content analysis. The overall theme expressing the latent content in the interviews emerged as disempowerment, which implied an environment that does not strengthen individual self-determination. The results showed a negative experience of how these older people thought they were valued in the sheltered housing where they lived. In sheltered housing, more attention should be paid to residents' self-determination and sense of value. (shrink)
The Communist Party USA's reputation for being in the forefront of the fight against African American oppression was forged in the 1930s as the result of the adoption of the Communist International's position that African Americans were an oppressed nationality. According to Marxist-Leninist doctrine, this entitled African Americans to the right to self-determination in that area of the country where they were a majority (the Black Belt South) and equal social and political rights throughout the country. The organizational internalization (...) of this position was accomplished through numerous articles in the Party's press, which were used as educational tools for the membership. The most sustained organizing work in the South occurred in Alabama with the organizing of the Share Croppers Union (SCU). A study of the Party and the SCU in Alabama during the 1930s helps demonstrate the significance of the self-determination position and its importance in shaping the work of the Party among African Americans. (shrink)
In this article I examine the political relations between Aboriginal communities and government in the development of Australian Aboriginal health policy. How do government policymakers interpret the concept of Aboriginal self-determination? What does reconciliation mean in the context of Aboriginal health? The article is based on 12 months of ethnographic research in southeast Australia with key stakeholders in the Aboriginal community-controlled health sector as well key stakeholdes in regional, state, and national (Commonwealth) government. The research was a response to (...) the call for anthropologists to engage in ethnographic studies of colonial relations.1 I argue that although Australian health policy today is premised on community-government partnerships, contemporary relationships are still, fundamentally, rooted in and informed by Australia’s colonialist history with all of its attendant institutions, structures, and practices. (shrink)
The doctrine of the right of national self-determination has been pernicious in its effects. And let no one doubt that the proclamation of the so-called “right” by Wilson and Lenin, and its widespread validation, including for that matter by sundry scholars,55 has encouraged people to take up arms on be-half of the nation. Ideas are not without their effects, and bad ideas are apt to have bad effects. While no set of ideas can solve problems absolutely, the widespread abandonment (...) of the doctrine of the right of national self-determination might well have a salutary and pacifying effect in certain troubled areas, removing at the same time at least one source of violations of human rights.56 The question of tyranny, which constitutes the one exception to the proscription of secession, cannot be put to use in the service of this doctrine, which remains incompatible with the moral universalism of Natural Law. (shrink)
This essay examines the contradictions often found in third wave feminist texts that function as strategic choices that may shape, foster, and enhance an individual's sense of agency. Many third wave feminists utilize contradiction as a way to understand emergent identities, to develop new ways of thinking, and to imagine new forms of social action. Agency, then, stems from the use of contradiction as a means of self-determination and identity, of transcendence of seemingly forced or dichotomous choices, and counter-imaginations (...) of a better future. (shrink)
Parfit and Dancy argue that desires couldn’t be reason giving because if they were they would have to give us reasons for their own retention. The argument is not successful, but it reveals an interesting connection between the humean view of practical reason and our concepts of self governance and self determination. It shows that on the humean view of practical reason the same relations or processes that ground autonomous action and determine what we have reason to do also (partly) (...) determine who we have reason to be. Rationally endorsed desires determine on the humean view which action of ours is autonomous and what we have reason to do. The lesson from Parfit’s and Dancy’s argument is that rationally endorsed desires are also normatively self determining; they provide the normative foundation for their own retention. Commentators have often wondered how, according to humeans, could our practical identity, whose causal history is normatively arbitrary, ground our reasons for action. The humean answer is that parts of our practical identity – namely, our rationally endorsed desires – justify their own retention and are thus normatively non-arbitrary. In this paper I analyze Dancy’s and Parfit’s argument, provide a humean reply, describe the implications of that reply for the humean view and give some examples of normatively self determining desires. (shrink)
Powers and Faden argue that social justice ‘is concerned with securing and maintaining the social conditions necessary for a sufficient level of well-being in all of its essential dimensions for everyone’ (2006: 50). Moreover, social justice is concerned with the ‘achievement of well-being, not the freedom or capability to achieve well-being’ (p. 40). Although Powers and Faden note that an agent alone cannot achieve well-being without the necessary social conditions of life (e.g. equal civil liberties and basic material resources, such (...) as food and shelter), it seems that achievement requires that an agent actually pursue the six dimensions of well-being. In this article, I question the extent to which an individual has an obligation to achieve well-being, even if he or she would choose to do otherwise. For example, can an agent choose to forgo being healthy even if all the social conditions are met in her life, thereby choosing to not achieve well-being? It remains unclear how the dimension of self-determination coheres with the remaining five dimensions of well-being and the extent of society’s obligations toward an individual’s achievement of well-being, even in those instances when society’s actions may go against an individual’s right to self-determination. (shrink)
The purpose of this study was to compare nursing students' perceptions of self-determination in elderly patients before and after clinical training in long term care institutions as a part of their course in gerontological nursing. A pre- post-test design was employed. The data were collected by questionnaires completed by students at one nurse education organization college in Finland (pre-test n ± 120, response rate 95%; post-test n ± 115, response rate 91%). The students' perceptions of elderly patients' self-determination (...) were more positive after their clinical training period concerning to what extent elderly patients are able to control their treatment and what kind of support they received from nurses to exercise their self-determination. The students' perceptions remained stable concerning how important self-determination is to elderly patients, and how willing and knowledgeable they are about using their self-determination. Ethics teaching, together with high quality clinical training placements, should be assured early during nursing studies. (shrink)
Spinoza’s letter of June 2, 1674 to his friend Jarig Jelles addresses several distinct and important issues in Spinoza’s philosophy. It explains briefly the core of Spinoza’s disagreement with Hobbes’ political theory, develops his innovative understanding of numbers, and elaborates on Spinoza’s refusal to describe God as one or single. Then, toward the end of the letter, Spinoza writes: With regard to the statement that figure is a negation and not anything positive, it is obvious that matter in its totality, (...) considered without limitation [indefinitè consideratam], can have no figure, and that figure applies only to finite and determinate bodies. For he who says that he apprehends a figure, thereby means to indicate simply this, that he apprehends a determinate thing and the manner of its determination. This determination therefore does not pertain to the thing in regard to its being [esse]; on the contrary, it is its non-being [non-esse]. So since figure is nothing but determination, and determination is negation [Quia ergo figura non aliud, quam determinatio, et determinatio negatio est], figure can be nothing other than negation, as has been said. Arguably, what is most notable about this letter is the fate of a single subordinate clause which appears in the last sentence of this passage: et determinatio negatio est. That clause was to be adopted by Hegel and transformed into the slogan of his own dialectical method: Omnis determinatio est negatio (Every determination is negation). Of further significance is the fact that, while Hegel does credit Spinoza with the discovery of this most fundamental insight, he believes Spinoza failed to appreciate the importance of his discovery. The issue of negation and the possibility of self-negation stand at the very center of the philosophical dialogue between the systems of Spinoza and Hegel, and in this paper I will attempt to provide a preliminary explication of this foundational debate between the two systems. In the first part of the paper I will argue that the “determination is negation” formula has been understood in at least three distinct senses among the German Idealists, and as a result many of the participants in the discussion of this formula were actually talking past each other. The clarification of the three distinct senses of the formula will lead, in the second part of the paper, to a more precise evaluation of the fundamental debate between Spinoza and Hegel (and the German Idealists in general) regarding the possibility (or even necessity) of self-negation. In this part I will evaluate the validity of each interpretation of the determination formula, and motivate the positions of the various participants in the debate. (shrink)
As part of an attempt to give a “libertarian” account of some aspects of human agency, the author articulates and defends a modified interpretation of “internalism” which makes coherent the notion of a genuinely, self-determined choice amongst fundamental conceptions of practical reason. That such choices are “nomologically irreducible” is evidenced by the fact that although (contextually) unavoidable, they are nonetheless under-determined with respect to any combination of the agent’s (specific) desires and circumstances. Alternatively, to the extent that orthodox “externalism” subordinates (...) reason to the field of externally determined “passions,” it is rejected, in conclusion, as yielding a naive and excessively reductive analysis of human agency. (shrink)
I argue for a basically Sartrean approach to the idea that one''s self-concept, and any form of knowledge of oneself as an individual subject, presupposes concepts and knowledge about other things. The necessity stems from a pre-conceptual structure which assures that original self-consciousness is identical with one''s consciousness of objects themselves. It is not a distinct accomplishment merely dependent on the latter. The analysis extends the matter/form distinction to concepts. It also requires a distinction between two notions of consciousness: one (...) relates to the employment of already formed concepts, the other to the structures of imaginative apprehension that help to constitute (empirical) concepts from the start. We need to see that (1) so far as objects are only conceptualized appearances, the material through which we apprehend them must be reflected in that apprehension itself; (2) the corresponding material consists of a manifold of pre-conceptually active anticipations and retentions concerning the course of one''s own experience. The resultant structure imposes an orientation on the world of appearances that does not derive from a concept of oneself as an individual in it, but that nevertheless provides the only possible basis for such a concept. One''s self-concept, at least as empirical subject, is simply that ofwhatever subject is indicated, in an appropriate way, by that orientation. (shrink)
In order to be a self-governing agent, a person must govern the process by means of which she acquires the intention to act as she does. But what does governing this process require? The standard compatibilist answers to this question all assume that autonomous actions differ from nonautonomous actions insofar as they are a more perfect expression of the agent’s agency. I challenge this conception of autonomous agents as super agents. The distinguishing feature of autonomous agents is, I argue, the (...) nonagential role they play in the formation of their intentions. I offer an account of the relevant role. (shrink)
This article summarizes the theory of federalism as non-domination Iris Marion Young began to develop in her final years, a theory of self-government that tried to recognize interconnectedness. Levy also poses an objection to that theory: non-domination cannot do the work Young needed of it, because it is a theory about the merits of decisions not about jurisdiction over them. The article concludes with an attempt to give Young the last word.
This paper examines Cécile Fabre’s cosmopolitan reductionist approach to war. It makes three main points. First, I show that Fabre must ‘thin down’ justice’s content in order to justify the cosmopolitan claim that the same rights and duties bind people everywhere. Second, I investigate Fabre’s account of the values at stake in national sovereignty and territorial integrity. Can cosmopolitanism explain why it is permissible to fight in defense of one’s political community? I doubt it. I argue that Fabre’s reductionist approach (...) cannot justify national self-defense in many cases. Finally, I explore the role that authoritative institutions play in specifying the rights and duties we have under cosmopolitan justice. I believe Fabre takes an overly simple view of the relationship between rights, duties, and authoritative institutions. A more complex account may leave less space for private war on the part of individuals than she does. (shrink)