Most businesses are aware of the costs associated with sexual harassment and are concerned about limiting its presence in the workplace. Although the business ethics literature contains work on sexual harassment, it has very little to say on chastity or its value in the workplace, even though unchaste behavior underlies the prevalence of sexual harassment. This article begins this investigation into chastity worth having in the workplace, taking typical company policies as a guide for what kind of chastity is worth (...) having in the workplace in particular. The first question asked in this article is: for what reasons is chastity worth having in the workplace? I consider four answers—harm prevention, respect for employee consent/dissent, respect for others’ dignity, and conflict of interest avoidance—and I examine workplace policies that enforce chaste behavior in search for a unified and underlying reason for these policies. In the process of locating the primary reason for the value of being chaste in the workplace in particular, we will be given tools to develop an account of chastity worth having in the workplace, which I will argue is primarily cognitive, rather than volitional or affective. I conclude that chastity is the disposition not to construe a coworker as a satisfier of one’s sexual interest, and I argue that chastity is valuable in the workplace because it secures coworkers’ ability to have their contributions appropriately valued. The hope is that once the reason and locus of chastity is identified, the professionals who know how to train businesspeople in developing virtues will better be able to focus their attention and efforts. (shrink)
There is a massive amount of severe suffering and death in the world, and much of this suffering and death is out of our control. The amount and severity of suffering and death in the world can be used to make an argument for (or elicit a reaction against) the existence of God: if God—an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good being—exists, God would not allow such massive amounts of suffering and death. I'll propose a line of response that begins by exploring (...) what would be involved in taking a new perspective on the suffering and death in the world. I then argue that there is no good reason not to take that new perspective. If this is correct, the argument from (or reaction to) suffering and death to the conclusion that God doesn't exist has lost much of its force; an argument that seems forceful from one perspective is weak from a different perspective that is just as reasonable, or more reasonable, to take. (shrink)
Religious epistemology is the study of how subjects' religious beliefs can have, or fail to have, some form of positive epistemic status and whether they even need such status appropriate to their kind. The current debate is focused most centrally upon the kind of basis upon which a religious believer can be rationally justified in holding certain beliefs about God and whether it is necessary to be so justified to believe as a religious believer ought. Engaging these issues are primarily (...) three groups of people who call themselves ‘fideists’, ‘Reformed epistemologists’, and ‘evidentialists’. Each group has a position, but the positions are not mutually exclusive in every case, and in the debate, the names better describe the groups' emphases than mutually exclusive positions in the debate. In this article, we will first give a brief historical survey of evidentialism, fideism, and reformed epistemology. Second, we will give the fideist's position. Third, we will give the evidentialist's position. Fourth, we will give the reformed epistemologist's position, and last, we will include some comments on the current state of the debate, where we will show that the groups' positions are not mutually exclusive. (shrink)
In Faith and Humility, Jonathan Kvanvig argues for an account of two virtues that balance, or provide correction for, the other: faith and humility. Faith is the disposition to act in service of an ideal, a disposition that remains despite difficulties or setbacks. One can, however, pursue distorted ideals or pursue them in the wrong way—with unquestioning zeal, for example. Humility, which helps to correct this extreme, is the disposition to attend to the value of one’s aims and the extent (...) of one’s contribution toward accomplishing them. To establish these accounts, Kvanvig first argues for a method that directs his arguments, and he then develops the accounts as he articulates and responds to alternative views. In what follows, instead of summarizing the book chapter by chapter, I provide a summary of Kvanvig’s positions and his arguments for them as they are eventually developed throughout the book. (shrink)
The Problem of Nearly Convergent Knowledge is an updated and stronger version of the Problem of Convergent Knowledge, which presents a problem for the traditional, binary view of knowledge in which knowledge is a two-place relation between a subject and the known proposition. The problem supports Knowledge Contrastivism, the view that knowledge is a three-place relation between a subject, the known proposition, and a proposition that disjoins the alternatives relevant to what the subject knows. For example, if knowledge is contrastive, (...) I do not simply know that the bird in front of me is a goldfinch; instead, I know that the bird in front of me is a goldfinch rather than a raven or eagle or falcon. There is, however, a binary view of knowledge that overcomes even the Problem of Nearly Convergent Knowledge. I will give this binary view, show that it is motivated by the same considerations that motivate Knowledge Contrastivism, and argue that it avoids problematic consequences for our epistemic lives that Knowledge Contrastivism cannot. (shrink)
John Shook’s Systematic Atheology, “composed mainly for the edification of atheism’s defenders,” (p. 37) is an attempt to understand and defend atheism in an organized way. The book is divided into three sections. The first is the attempt to define ‘atheist’, ‘atheology’, and their relationship by tracking historical uses of the terms. The second is an extensive history of atheistic and atheological western philosophers, and the third, which occupies the last half of the book, is the attempt to systematically undermine (...) every kind of argument for the existence of a god. In this review, I state the strengths and weaknesses of the book, summarize its main points, and provide reasons to think that the atheological project in the last half of the book fails. (shrink)
The inductive argument from evil to the non-existence of God contains the premise that, probably, there is gratuitous evil. Some skeptical theists object: one's justification for the premise that, probably, there is gratuitous evil involves an inference from the proposition that we don't see a good reason for some evil to the proposition that it appears that there is no good reason for that evil, and they use a principle, "CORNEA," to block that inference. The common sense problem of evil (...) threatens the CORNEA move, because the common sense problem of evil does not involve any inference to justify the belief that there is gratuitous evil. In this paper, I argue that the common sense problem of evil doesn't avoid CORNEA. CORNEA, or a reformulated version of it, can still prevent one from having justification for the belief that there is gratuitous evil. (shrink)
There is a modal relative of Euthyphro’s dilemma that goes like this: are necessary truths true because God affirms them, or does God affirm them because they’re true? If you accept the first horn, necessary truths are as contingent as God’s free will. If you accept the second, God is less ultimate than the modal ontology that establishes certain truths as necessary. If you try to split the horns by affirming that necessary truths are somehow grounded in God’s nature, Brian (...) Leftow meets you with an argument. I will argue that Leftow’s argument fails and that, contrary to his argument, there is a good reason to believe that necessary truths are grounded in God’s nature. (shrink)
In this short book, Hilary Kornblith argues that there isn’t any reason to think reflection is more valuable than unreflective processes. This is because reflection doesn’t have any special powers above what unreflective processes have, and, in fact, reflection isn’t even different in kind from unreflective processes. We don’t learn all of this, though, until the end of the book. In the beginning, Kornblith gives two arguments against views that afford reflection a special power that unreflective processes don’t have. He (...) then applies these arguments to four philosophical areas: knowledge, reasons, freedom, and normativity. These areas correspond to the first four chapters of his book. In the fifth chapter, Kornblith tries to put reflection into the proper perspective by arguing for the views I gave above, and by doing so he hopes to show why the philosophers who have placed so much value on reflection have gone wrong. (shrink)
Hilary Kornblith argues that reflection is not more valuable than unreflective processes, because reflection is not different in kind from unreflective processes. Reflection, then, has no special role in whether we know, are reasonable, are able to exercise free will, or are able to act as we should. I summarize Kornblith’s arguments and provide a reason to think that Kornblith’s arguments fail; if the arguments are successful, they give us reason to believe that reflection is more valuable than his arguments (...) indicate. (shrink)
ChrisTweedt has offered a solution to the “common sense problem of evil,” on which that there is gratuitous evil is justified non-inferentially as a trivial inference from non-inferentially justified premises by invoking versions of CORNEA. Tweedt claims his solution applies not only to the versions of the common sense problem of evil offered by Paul Draper and Trent Dougherty, but also to that offered by me in this journal in 1992. Here I argue that Tweedt (...) fails to defeat this version of the problem. So even if Tweedt’s response to Draper and Dougherty is successful, a version of the common sense problem of evil survives. (shrink)
La Jetée is a Chris Marker movie composed by still images, photographs, with the exception of a very short sequence. The paper aims to account for the experience of temporality induced by photography, framing the structural analysis of the movie in a phenomenological horizon, in particular with regard to the Husserlian’s notion of “Living Present”.
In 'Literature Suspends Death: Sacrifice and Storytelling in Kierkegaard, Kafka and Blanchot' Chris Danta takes Genesis 22 as the starting point for an investigation of the role of literary imagination. His aim is to read the Genesis story from a literary-theoretical perspective in order to show how it can 'illuminate the secular situation of the literary writer.' To do this, Danta stages a fruitful confrontation between Søren Kierkegaard as defender of religion and inwardness and Franz Kafka and Maurice Blanchot (...) as defenders of literature. In this review, three important points in this confrontation are highlighted. 1. The problem of identification. 2. The moment of substitution. 3. The spectrality of the writer. (shrink)
Chris Dragos has recently presented two objections to criticisms I've published against Peter van Inwagen's No-Minimum argument. He also suggests that the best way to criticize the No-Minimum argument is via the concept of divine satisficing. In this article I argue that both of Dragos's objections fail, and I question whether satisficing is relevant to the viability of the No-Minimum argument.
The Philosopher Queen: Feminist Essays on War, Love, and Knowledge. By Chris Cuomo. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2003. The Philosopher Queen is a powerful illustration of what Cherríe Moraga calls a "theory in the flesh." That is, theorizing from a place where "physical realities of our lives—our skin color, the land or concrete we grow up on, our sexual longings—all fuse to create a politic [and, I would add, an ethics, spirituality, and epistemology] born out of (...) necessity" (Moraga 21). Cuomo's theory in the flesh combines standard philosophical essays with personal narratives and invites us to do philosophy from this joyful and witty place. Readers are invited to reframe and reexamine war, science, gender, sexuality, race, ecology, knowledge, and politics in a voice that is fearless, funny, faithful, and feminist—one that disrupts common understandings of how philosophy ought to be done. Instead philosophy should help us to "negotiate a wild, wicked world, and to provide some understanding of being and existence. The best philosophy aims to promote good and to produce knowledge, and therefore enable flourishing" (xi). Accepted philosophical approaches alone are inadequate. Life's challenges resist formulaic solutions. Knowledge is not always produced through neat deductions: truths are partial, power divides, stomachs growl, hearts are broken, and emotions influence... (shrink)
Why would anyone want there to be natural foundations for the social sciences? In a provocative essay exploring precisely that question, historian Chris Renwick uses an interwar debate featuring William Beveridge, Lancelot Hogben, and Friedrich Hayek to begin to imagine what might have been had such a program calling for biological knowledge to form the natural bases of the social sciences been realized at the London School of Economics. Yet perhaps Renwick grants too much attention to differences and “what-ifs” (...) and not enough to the historical question of “what happened” afterward. “Chickens and Eggs” offers an alternative view of this rather vexed question—one grounded in what happened, which suggests that Renwick’s concerns may be somewhat misplaced. (shrink)
This is my response to the papers by Chris Pincock, Lisa Warenski and Jonathan Weinberg, which were presented at the Book Symposium on my Essays on A Priori Knowledge and Justification, American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meetings, March 16–19, 2014.
Kant and Education brings together sixteen essays by an international group of scholars. The range of topics covered in the anthology is impressive. Kant's contribution to contemporary theories of education is central, as well as Kant's intellectual debt to Rousseau, the role of education in Kant's normative theories, and the impact of Kant's ideas on subsequent generations. Add to this the relative shortness of each essay (ten to fifteen pages), and one is left with an accessible introduction to a fascinating, (...) but often neglected, topic of Kant's ethical theory. The editors, Klas Roth and Chris W. Surprenant, have done an admirable job. (shrink)
El presente artículo explora la presencia de un principio dialógico en la configuración de las subjetividades que interactúan en Level Five de Chris Marker con el objetivo de matizar la metáfora crítica que califica de forma consistente el cine del director francés como ejemplo del autorretrato. Mediante el concepto bajtiniano de “devenir ideológico”, el texto presta especial atención a la creciente importancia que juegan las tecnologías de la comunicación en los procesos de reacentuación discursiva que determinan en último término (...) la construcción de subjetividades. La noción de “imagen-red” busca poner de relieve las formas en las que la imagen digital ha propiciado el desarrollo de un nuevo pasaje de la imagen hacia un régimen representativo dominado por las ideas de intercambio autoinscripción cuyos ecos Level Five explora mediante el análisis de aspectos que van desde la dicotomía entre historia y memoria al papel de la imagen documental en la construcción de la realidad. This article analyzes the presence of a dialogic principle in the way subjectivities are constructed within Chris Marker’s Level Five, with a view to critically counteract the notion of Marker’s films as forms of the self-portrait. Through the Bakhtinian concept of “ideological becoming”, special attention is paid to the role played by new technologies of information and communication in the processes of re- accentuation which determine how subjectivities evolve in the context of the film. The concept of an “image-network” attempts to highlight the development of a new passage of the image towards a mode of representation dominated by a principle of exchange, whose importance is echoed in the film through the analysis of issues ranging from the dichotomy between memory and history to the relevance of documentary image for reality construction. (shrink)
I thought the paper by Kai-yee Wong and Chris Fraser was fascinating and insightful. Two things I especially appreciated are the clarity with which they summarize my views. I think they are quite fair and accurate. Second, I appreciate their suggestion that the way to deal with the practical problem of weakness of will has much to do with the role of the Background in shaping our actions. I think they are especially on the right track when they say (...) that the improvement of Background skills may actually narrow the range of real options for action, (p. 21) nonetheless, they do not decrease freedom. As they say, “It is a process of strengthening the self, and the agent is likely to experience the concomitant restriction of ‘live’ options not as a limitation but as strength of character.” (p. 21). That seems to me very much on the right track. What they are suggesting, and it is a powerful addition to my own writings, is that we should not just think of the Background as facilitating languages, games and social practices generally, but for morality as well (p. 23). (shrink)
Nurse Kaci Hickox is among the “Ebola Fighters” honored by Time magazine as its 2014 Person of the Year, having treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone while volunteering with Médecins Sans Frontieres. When she returned to the United States in October 2014, she was quarantined in New Jersey for three days before returning home to Maine under the terms of a negotiated release. A year later, in October 2015, Hickox filed suit in federal court against Governor Chris Christie and (...) New Jersey health officials, claiming that the quarantine violated her civil rights. Her complaint asserts that New Jersey officials lacked the authority to quarantine her because she did not pose a significant risk of transmission. The lawsuit raises important questions about disease-transmission risk, the inability of science to rule out certain theoretical risks, and the state's power to quarantine. It also demonstrates that population health depends on respecting individual liberty and using the best available epidemiological data to set public health policy. (shrink)
The concept of archetypes has received a number of fundamentally different interpretations, and there are numerous additional philosophical concepts which can be characterized as modifications of those interpretations. Chris Nunn’s paper represents an approach to bringing a specific one among those concepts -- Richard Dawkins’ neo-Darwinistic conception of memes -- into contact with the notion of archetypes as it has been mainly popularized by Carl Gustav Jung. Nunn states rightly that Jung’s own understanding of and emphasis on archetypes changed (...) considerably during his lifetime. Therefore the difficulty is not only how to relate memes to archetypes, but also to distinguish that concept of archetypes to which memes relate from those to which they do not. (shrink)
Sciabarra replies to the seven respondents to his Fall 2002 essay on Rand, Rush, and progressive rock music. He defends the view that Rand's dialectical orientation underlies a fundamentally radical perspective. Rand shared with the counterculture—especially its libertarian progressive rock representatives—a repudiation of authoritarianism, while embracing the "unknown ideal" of capitalism. Her ability to trace the interrelationships among personal, cultural, and structural factors in social analysis and her repudiation of false alternatives is at the heart of that ideal vision, which (...) transcends left and right. (shrink)
This study firstly addresses three threads in Chris Marker’s work – theology, Marxism, and Surrealism – through a mapping of the work of both Giorgio Agamben and Jacques Derrida onto the varied production of his film and photographic work. Notably, it is late Agamben and late Derrida that is utilized, as both began to exit so-called post-structuralism proper with the theological turn in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It addresses these threads through the means to ends employed and (...) as ends proper (as production of semi-autonomous works that also, paradoxically, index a much larger field of inquiry and theoretical praxis). It is perhaps French “schizophrenia” regarding theological versus political agency that best accounts for the sardonic deployment of irony and humor in Marker’s work in the face of Big History. Such means to ends (plus a subtle anti-intellectualism vis-à-vis fashionable academic trends) tend to underscore the severity and ultimate sincerity of Marker’s overall cultural-political project. -/- Dossier Chris Marker is also a study of a late-modern chiasmus, impersonal-personal agency, as it comes to expression in the works of Marker, as the dynamic interplay of political and subjective agency. As chiasmus, the complementary halves of this often-apocalyptic dynamis (a semi-catastrophic, temporal or historical force-field) also – arguably – secretly agree to meet, through the work of art, in the futural (problematized in contemporary French post-phenomenological and post-post-structuralist theory as “the event).” Consistent with the classical figure of concordia discors, Marker resolves these irreducible warring aspects of life experience in an atemporal and ahistorical moment that inhabits the work of art from its inception. This redemptive aspect in art is also the ultimate gesture of the artwork as autonomous subject and “mask” (or “screen”) for forces that reside beyond the frame of the image or work, as its proverbial Other, or within the frame, as other to that Other. -/- Despite the complications of the as-yet unresolved post-modern condition (its nihilist-relativist bias), and its similar, mostly circular concerns with the image and/or media, Marker’s work is clearly not post-modern. In fact, when tested against immemorial cultural epiphenomena, that work withstands all attempts at categorization and/or art-historical analysis proper. It remains unassimilable to the post-modern cause ... What emerges, upon closer examination, and through rigorous re-contextualization, is the prescient force of Marker’s works toward that futural state buried in art that is also “theological,” versus atheological, and heedlessly anterior to cultural politics per se. -/- In the case of Marker, this age-old or immemorial “thing-in-itself” (the artwork as image of world-chiasmus) finds its foremost or penultimate formation in his very-still photography – the singular images that are also the building blocks for his renowned ciné-essays. Not without irony, this same austere, reductive force of the still image (as form of proscription) also inhabits the more complex, synthetic works (or montages) that he has formulated and presented “dramatically,” here and there, through the often-sketchy apparatuses of his new-media experiments, as of the late 1980s. Ultimately, this world-image as chiasmus was always present within his earliest literary projects, from the 1940s forward – most especially in books and essays, with or without actual images. -/- Marker’s “return” to photography (to exhibiting still photography in galleries), in the late 2000s, is in many ways a return to the singular object of the artist-critic’s desire; the image in/for itself, while that image – endlessly troubled or interrogated for decades – continues to speak “in tongues” anyway, often against, or oblivious to, the voice of the author/artist/narrator. -/- Marker is a High Romantic Christian Marxist. The “Christic” aspect is rightly well-hidden, but emerges when the eschatological versus historical center of his work is exposed (the existential-metaphysical fuse such as also inhabits the works of Caravaggio), and when his early years are examined in light of his later and/or final years. Marker’s semi-personal/semi-impersonal apocalyptic vision is writ large in diverse works that cross decades, figuring a redemptive, world-shattering formation of art as pleroma. (shrink)
We review Potts' influential book on the semantics of conventional implicature , offering an explication of his technical apparatus and drawing out the proposal's implications, focusing on the class of CIs he calls supplements. While we applaud many facets of this work, we argue that careful considerations of the pragmatics of CIs will be required in order to yield an empirically and explanatorily adequate account.
Given Kant's seemingly dismissive attitude toward Scottish philosophers of common sense—in the Prolegomena, he famously describes how painful it is to see them miss Hume's point—one might expect that a book titled Kant and the Scottish Enlightenment would be a rather slim volume. However, as Manfred Kuehn in Scottish Common Sense in Germany and elsewhere has made abundantly clear, Scottish philosophy played a large role in eighteenth-century Germany, and was a significant influence on Kant. The present volume, which stands as (...) a Festschrift for Kuehn, admirably follows on this path, and the nineteen papers collected here trace a number of interesting and surprising ways in which Scottish philosophy connects to Kant.... (shrink)
Ethics in Early China: An Anthology is a major contribution to the philosophical study of early Chinese ethics and comparative ethics by a collection of some of the most distinguished scholars in these fields. This anthology honors Professor Chad Hansen's many and important contributions to the study of Chinese philosophy, but the work is not a festschrift per se. Instead of discussing the honoree's oeuvre in a collection of essays, these new, innovative, and outstanding writings engage, bear upon, develop, and (...) contend with important themes in Hansen's work, including, for example, Hansen's provocative interpretations of the meanings of dao 道 and de 德 in early Chinese sources, his analysis of the action-guiding .. (shrink)