David Boonin has recently advanced several challenges to the self-defense justification of punishment. Boonin argues that the self-defense justification of punishment justifies punishing the innocent, justifies disproportionate punishment, cannot account for mitigating excuses, and does not justify intentionally harming offenders as we do when we punish them. In this paper, I argue that the self-defense justification, suitably understood, can avoid all of these problems. To help demonstrate the self-defense theory’s attraction, I also develop some contrasts between the self-defense justification, Warren (...) Quinn’s better known ‘auto-retaliator’ argument, and desert-based justifications of punishment. In sum, I show that the self-defense justification of punishment is more resilient than commonly supposed and deserves to be taken seriously as a justification of punishment. (shrink)
Institution caractéristique d'une Cappadoce peu urbanisée, les chorévêques (ou ' évêques des campagnes ') sont attestés pour l'essentiel aux IVe et Ve siècles. C'est leur place dans le gouvernement de l'Église nouvellement impériale que nous avons examinée pour montrer que, loin de témoigner d'une première évangélisation et prise en charge par l'Église de ces communautés rurales d'Asie Mineure, leur importance au IVe siècle, puis leur effacement au siècle suivant signalent en fait la mise sous tutelle de ces mêmes communautés et (...) de leur organisation ecclésiastique par la hiérarchie épiscopale, conformément au principe d'accommodement. Cette conclusion invalide l'idée, encore récemment énoncée, que les campagnes dans leur ensemble ont été christianisées tardivement, et postérieurement aux cités. (shrink)
Biodiversity sciences witness a double dynamic. Whereas the need for interdisciplinary approaches is increasingly appreciated, most disciplinary studies are still confined to developing operational, discipline-specific indices. We show that a reassessment of the general notion of biodiversity is needed to clarify this situation. We advocate a new approach, according to which the main usefulness of this notion is not to capture quantitatively biological objects or processes, but to organize meaningful and coherent interdisciplinary interactions by constructively criticizing disciplinary studies. We apply (...) this approach to ecological-economic models, in the hope of launching more fruitful critical dialogs between economists and biologists. (shrink)
In this review I present the main claims of McKenna's book Conversation and Responsibility. There McKenna develops a theory of moral responsibility inspired by an analogy with the relationship people bear to each other as part of a conversational exchange. The first half of the book develops the conversational account and considers objections to it. In the second half of the book, McKenna turns to an examination of the kind of normative claim being made when we say that being morally (...) responsible is to be understood in terms of appropriately holding someone morally responsible. I discuss the main themes of the book, how McKenna advances the literature on moral responsibility, and some challenges/limits of the view. (shrink)
Descartes’s very brief explanations of human responsibility for sin and divine innocence of sin include references to the idea that evil is a privation rather than a real thing. It is not obvious, though, that privation fits naturally in Descartes’s reductionistic metaphysics, nor is it clear precisely what role his privation doctrine plays in his theodicy. These issues are made clear by contrasting Descartes’s use of privations with that of Suarez, particularly in light of reoccurring objections to privation theory. These (...) objections have no weight against Suarez’s use of privations, but Descartes’s mentions of privation are so few that it is not clear how his account avoids their consequences. Descartes’s brevity seems to have motivated some of his followers to develop creative accounts of the way in which privation fits in a Cartesian system. Pierre-Sylvain Régis accomplishes this task by reintroducing material causation. Régis holds that moral evil has no efficient cause since an efficient cause can only produce something real. Because he holds that moral evil can have a material cause, he is able to affirm that the soul is morally responsible for sin. In Régis’s case, accommodating this theological issue meant reincorporating Aristotelian resources into his Cartesian system. (shrink)
This article offers a reading of the last film by Sylvain Georges, Towards Madrid, dedicated to the movement of the Indignados. In its attempt to focus on the specificity of the documentary mode of filming, it explores three possible interpretations of the following proposition : “Sylvain Georges’s documentary films are to be understood as a cinema of the approach”, where the approach is successively described as a matter of apparatus, as a form of distancing and as a sensitive (...) approximation. (shrink)
Tous ceux qui s’intéressent à la vie et à l’œuvre de Descartes connaissent l’épisode rapporté par Adrien Baillet dans sa Vie de monsieur Descartes et évoqué par Descartes lui-même dans une lettre à son ami Villebressieu en 1631 : vers la fin des années 1620, le jeune Descartes participa à Paris chez le nonce apostolique, le cardinal Guidi di Bagno, à une « assemblée de personnes savantes et curieuses », parmi lesquelles le cardinal de Berulle et Mersenne. L’orateur était..