Freud's criticism of the localization project as carried out by Theodor Meynert and Carl Wernicke has usually been seen as marking his break with contemporaneous brain science. In this article, however, I show that Freud criticized localization not by turning his back on brain science, but rather by radicalizing some of its principles. In particular, he argued that the physiological pretensions of the localization project remained at odds with its uncritical importation of psychological categories. Further, by avoiding a confusion of (...) categories and adopting a parallelist reading, Freud was able to develop a fully “physiologized” account of nervous processes. This opened up the possibility for forms of mental pathology that were not reliant on the anatomical lesion. Instead, Freud suggested that lived experience might be able to create a pathological organization within the nervous system. This critique—a passage through, rather than a turn away from, brain science—opened the possibility for Freud's theory of the unconscious and his developing psychoanalysis. On a methodological level, this article aims to show how the intellectual history of modern Europe can gain from taking seriously the impact of the brain sciences, and by applying to scientific texts the methods and reading practices traditionally reserved for philosophical or literary works. (shrink)
Prolonged solitary confinement has become a widespread and standard practice in U.S. prisons—even though it consistently drives healthy prisoners insane, makes the mentally ill sicker, and, according to the testimony of prisoners, threatens to reduce life to a living death. In this profoundly important and original book, Lisa Guenther examines the death-in-life experience of solitary confinement in America from the early nineteenth century to today’s supermax prisons. Documenting how solitary confinement undermines prisoners’ sense of identity and their ability to understand (...) the world, Guenther demonstrates the real effects of forcibly isolating a person for weeks, months, or years. -/- Drawing on the testimony of prisoners and the work of philosophers and social activists from Edmund Husserl and Maurice Merleau-Ponty to Frantz Fanon and Angela Davis, the author defines solitary confinement as a kind of social death. It argues that isolation exposes the relational structure of being by showing what happens when that structure is abused—when prisoners are deprived of the concrete relations with others on which our existence as sense-making creatures depends. Solitary confinement is beyond a form of racial or political violence; it is an assault on being. (shrink)
The Gift of the Other brings together a philosophical analysis of time, embodiment, and ethical responsibility with a feminist critique of the way women’s reproductive capacity has been theorized and represented in Western culture. Author Lisa Guenther develops the ethical and temporal implications of understanding birth as the gift of the Other, a gift which makes existence possible, and already orients this existence toward a radical responsibility for Others. Through an engagement with the work of Levinas, Beauvoir, Arendt, Irigaray, and (...) Kristeva, the author outlines an ethics of maternity based on the givenness of existence and a feminist politics of motherhood which critiques the exploitation of maternal generosity. (shrink)
: Drawing on Adriana Cavarero's account of natality, Guenther argues that Martin Heidegger overlooks the distinct ontological and ethical significance of birth as a limit that orients one toward an other who resists appropriation, even while handing down a heritage of possibilities that one can—and must—make one's own. Guenther calls this structure of natality Being-from-others, modifying Heidegger's language of inheritance to suggest an ethical understanding of existence as the gift of the other.
The first of Erich Neumann's works to be translated into English, this eloquent book draws on a full range of world mythology to show that individual consciousness undergoes the same archetypal stages of development as has human consciousness as a whole. Neumann, one of Jung's most creative students and a renowned practitioner of analytical psychology in his own right, shows how the stages begin and end with the symbol of the Uroboros, or tail-eating serpent. The intermediate stages are (...) projected in the universal myths of the World Creation, Great Mother, Separation of the World Parents, Birth of the Hero, Slaying of the Dragon, Rescue of the Captive, and Transformation and Deification of the Hero. Throughout the sequence the Hero is the evolving ego consciousness. (shrink)
This book presents a comprehensive view of an important new field in human geography and interdisciplinary studies of nature-society relations. Tracing the development of political ecology from its origins in geography and ecological anthropology in the 1970s, to its current status as an established field, the book investigates how late twentieth-century developments in social and ecological theories are brought together to create a powerful framework for comprehending environmental problems. Making Political Ecology argues for an inclusionary conceptualization of the field that (...) absorbs empirical studies from urban, rural, First World and Third World contexts and the theoretical insights of feminism, poststructuralism, neo-Marxism, and non-equilibrium ecology. Extracts from the writings of key figures in political ecology provide an empirical grounding for these abstract concepts. Neumann's book will convince readers of political ecology's particular suitability for grappling with the most difficult questions concerning social justice, environmental change, and human relationships with nature. (shrink)
Critical pedagogy has often been linked in the literature to faith traditions such as liberation theology, usually with the intent of improving or redirecting it. While recognizing and drawing from those previous linkages, Jacob Neumann goes further in this essay and develops the thesis that critical pedagogy can not just benefit from a connection with faith traditions, but is actually, in and of itself, a practice of faith. In this analysis, he juxtaposes critical pedagogy against three conceptualizations of faith: (...) John Caputo's blurring of the modernist division between faith and reason, Paul Tillich's argument that faith is “ultimate concern,” and Paulo Freire's theology and early Christian influences. Using this three-pronged approach, Neumann argues that regardless of how it is seen, critical pedagogy manifests as a practice of faith “all the way down.”. (shrink)
Open peer commentary on the target article “How and Why the Brain Lays the Foundations for a Conscious Self” by Martin V. Butz. Excerpt: In this commentary to Martin V. Butz’s target article I am especially concerned with his remarks about language (§33, §§71–79, §91) and modularity (§32, §41, §48, §81, §§94–98). In that context, I would like to bring into discussion my own work on computational models of self-monitoring (cf. Neumann 1998, 2004). In this work I explore the (...) idea of an anticipatory drive as a substantial control device for modelling high-level complex language processes such as selfmonitoring and adaptive language use. My work is grounded in computational linguistics and, as such, uses a mathematical and computational methodology. Nevertheless, it might provide some interesting aspects and perspectives for constructivism in general, and the model proposed in Butz’s article, in particular. (shrink)
Motivated by a conviction that mass incarceration and state execution are among the most important ethical and political problems of our time, the contributors to this volume come together from a diverse range of backgrounds to analyze, critique, and envision alternatives to the injustices of the U.S. prison system, with recourse to deconstruction, phenomenology, critical race theory, feminism, queer theory, and disability studies. They engage with the hyper-incarceration of people of color, the incomplete abolition of slavery, the exploitation of prisoners (...) as workers and as "raw material" for the prison industrial complex, the intensive confinement of prisoners in supermax units, and the complexities of capital punishment in an age of abolition. -/- Contents -/- Introduction: Death and Other Penalties Geoffrey Adelsberg, Lisa Guenther, and Scott Zeman -/- Part I. Legacies of Slavery -/- Excavating the Sedimentations of Slavery: The Unfinished Project of American Abolition Brady Heiner -/- From Commodity Fetishism to Prison Fetishism: Slavery, Convict-leasing, and the Ideological Productions of Incarceration James Manos -/- Maroon Philosophy: An Interview with Russell Maroon Shoatz Russell Maroon Shoatz -/- Part II. Death Penalties -/- In Reality-from the Row Derrick Quintero -/- Inheritances of the Death Penalty: American Racism and Derrida's Theologico-Political Sovereignty Geoffrey Adelsberg -/- Making Death a Penalty: Or, Making "Good" Death a "Good" Penalty Kelly Oliver -/- Death Penalty Abolition in Neoliberal Times: The SAFE California Act and the Nexus of Savings and Security Andrew Dilts -/- On the Inviolability of Human Life Julia Kristeva (translated by Lisa Walsh) -/- Part III. Rethinking Power and Responsibility -/- Punishment, Desert, and Equality: A Levinasian Analysis Benjamin S. Yost -/- Prisons and Palliative Politics Ami Harbin -/- Sovereignty, Community, and the Incarceration of Immigrants Matt S. Whitt -/- Without the Right to Exist: Mass Incarceration and National Security Andrea Smith -/- Prison Abolition and a Culture of Sexual Difference Sarah Tyson -/- Part IV. Isolation and Resistance -/- Statement on Solitary Confinement Abu Ali Abdur'Rahman -/- The Violence of the Supermax: Toward a Phenomenological Aesthetics of Prison Space Adrian Switzer -/- Prison and the Subject of Resistance: A Levinasian Inquiry Shokoufeh Sakhi -/- Critical Theory, Queer Resistance, and the Ends of Capture Liat Ben-Moshe, Che Gossett, Nick Mitchell, and Eric A. Stanley. (shrink)
Irigaray's early work seeks to multiply possibilities for women's self-expression by recovering a sexual difference in which male and female are neither the same nor opposites, but irreducibly different modes of embodiment. In her more recent work, however, Irigaray has emphasized the duality of the sexes at the expense of multiplicity, enshrining the heterosexual couple as the model of sexual ethics. Alison Stone's recent revision of Irigaray supplements her account of sexual duality with a theory of bodily multiplicity derived from (...) Butler, Nietzsche, and certain German Romantics; but to the extent that Stone maintains the primacy of sexual duality, her revision fails to address the claims of multiplicity on their own terms. In this paper, I interpret a passage from Marcel Proust's novel, Sodom and Gomorrah, in order to develop an alternative theory of sexual difference in which sexual duality is affirmed in relation to a third, unsexed but sexual force which multiplies the possibilities for sexual pleasure beyond heterosexual coupling. Proust's emphasis on sexed ``parts'' rather than sexed morphologies is generative of maximally diverse combinations, all of which are equally natural and equally enhanced through artifice. (shrink)
Prisoners involved in the Attica rebellion and in the recent Georgia prison strike have protested their dehumanizing treatment as animals and as slaves. Their critique is crucial for tracing the connections between slavery, abolition, the racialization of crime, and the reinscription of racialized slavery within the US prison system. I argue that, in addition to the dehumanization of prisoners, inmates are further de-animalized when they are held in conditions of intensive confinement such as prolonged solitude or chronic overcrowding. To be (...) de-animalized is to be treated not as a living being who is sustained by its mutual relations with other living and nonliving beings, but rather as a thing to be warehoused and/or exchanged for a profit. The violence of de-animalization affects both human and nonhuman animals held in control prisons, factory farms, laboratories and other sites of intensive confinement. In order to make the connections between these sites, and to develop forms of solidarity appropriate to our shared animality, we need a post-humanist critique of intensive confinement that breaks with the logic of opposition between human and animal, and articulates our constitutive relationality as (inter)corporeal beings. (shrink)
In Otherwise than Being, Levinas writes that the alterity of the Other escapes “le flair animal,” or the animal’s sense of smell. This paper puts pressure on the strong human-animal distinction that Levinas makes by considering the possibility that, while non-human animals may not respond to the alterity of the Other in the way that Levinas describes as responsibility, animal sensibility plays a key role in a relation to Others that Levinas does not discuss at length: friendship. This approach to (...) friendship addresses a gap in Levinas’ work between the absolute Other for whom I am responsible and the “brother” who is my political equal. (shrink)
In Remnants of Auschwitz , Giorgio Agamben argues that the hidden structure of subjectivity is shame. In shame, I am consigned to something that cannot be assumed, such that the very thing that makes me a subject also forces me to witness my own desubjectification. Agamben’s ontological account of shame is problematic insofar as it forecloses collective responsibility and collapses the distinction between shame and humiliation. By recontextualizing three of Agamben’s sources – Primo Levi, Robert Antelme and Maurice Blanchot – (...) I develop an alternative account of shame as the structure of intersubjectivity , and of a collective responsibility that is more fundamental than the subject itself. On this basis, I sketch the preliminary outline of a biopolitics of resistance rooted in the ethics of alterity. The intuition driving this approach is that life is never bare ; even in situations of extreme affliction there remains a relation to alterity which provides a starting point for resistance. (shrink)
Psychopathy refers to a range of complex behaviors and personality traits, including callousness and antisocial behavior, typically studied in criminal populations. Recent studies have used self-reports to examine psychopathic traits among noncriminal samples. The goal of the current study was to examine the underlying factor structure of the Self-Report of Psychopathy Scale–Short Form (SRP-SF) across complementary samples and examine the impact of gender on factor structure. We examined the structure of the SRP-SF among 2,554 young adults from three undergraduate samples (...) and a high-risk young adult sample. Using confirmatory factor analysis, a four-correlated factor model and a four-bifactor model showed good fit to the data. Evidence of weak invariance was found for both models across gender. These findings highlight that the SRP-SF is a useful measure of low-level psychopathic traits in noncriminal samples, although the underlying factor structure may not fully translate across men and women. (shrink)
Shame is notoriously ambivalent. On one hand, it operates as a mechanism of normalization and social exclusion, installing or reinforcing patterns of silence and invisibility; on the other hand, the capacity for shame may be indispensible for ethical life insofar as it attests to the subject’s constitutive relationality and its openness to the provocation of others. Sartre, Levinas and Beauvoir each offer phenomenological analyses of shame in which its basic structure emerges as a feeling of being exposed to others and (...) bound to one’s own identity. For Sartre, shame is an ontological provocation, constitutive of subjectivity as a being-for-Others. For Levinas, ontological shame takes the form of an inability to escape one’s own relation to being; this predicament is altered by the ethical provocation of an Other who puts my freedom in question and commands me to justify myself. For Beauvoir, shame is an effect of oppression, both for the woman whose embodied existence is marked as shameful, and for the beneficiary of colonial domination who feels ashamed of her privilege. For each thinker, shame articulates the temporality of social life in both its promise and its danger. (shrink)
Psychiatrist Stuart Grassian has proposed the term “SHU syndrome” to name the cluster of cognitive, perceptual and affective symptoms that commonly arise for inmates held in the Special Housing Units (SHU) of supermax prisons. In this paper, I analyze the harm of solitary confinement from a phenomenological perspective by drawing on Husserl’s account of the essential relation between consciousness, the experience of an alter ego and the sense of a real, Objective world. While Husserl’s prioritization of transcendental subjectivity over transcendental (...) intersubjectivity underestimates the degree to which first-person consciousness is constitutively intertwined with the embodied consciousness of others, Husserl’s phenomenology nevertheless provides a fruitful starting-point for a philosophical engagement with the psychiatric research on solitary confinement. (shrink)
Marion has criticized Levinas for failing to account for the individuation of the Other, thus leaving the face of the Other abstract, neutral and anonymous. I defend Levinas against this critique by distinguishing between the individuation of the subject through hypostasis and the singularization of self and Other through ethical response. An analysis of the instant in Levinas’s early and late work shows that it is possible to speak of a “nameless singularity” which does not collapse into neutrality or abstraction, (...) but rather explains the sense in which anyone is responsible for any Other who happens to come along. (shrink)
In recent years, comparisons between abortion and slavery have become increasingly common in American pro-life politics. Some have compared the struggle to extinguish abortion rights to the struggle to end slavery. Others have claimed that Roe v Wade is the Dred Scott of our time. Still others have argued that abortion is worse than slavery; it is a form of genocide. This paper tracks the abortion = slavery meme from Ronald Reagan to the current personhood movement, drawing on work by (...) Orlando Patterson, Hortense Spillers, and Saidiya Hartman to develop a discourse of reproductive justice that grapples with the wounded kinship of slavery and racism. (shrink)
The influence of emotion on episodic and autobiographical memory in schizophrenia was investigated. Using an experiential approach, the states of awareness accompanying recollection of pictures from the IAPS and of associated autobiographical memories was recorded. Results show that schizophrenia impairs episodic and autobiographical memories in their critical feature: autonoetic awareness, i.e., the type of awareness experienced when mentally reliving events from one’s past. Schizophrenia was also associated with a reduction of specific autobiographical memories. The impact of stimulus valence on memory (...) performance was moderated by clinical status. Patients with schizophrenia recognized more positive than negative pictures, and recalled more positive than negative autobiographical memories while controls displayed the opposite pattern. A hypothesis in terms of a fundamental executive deficit underlying these impairments is proposed. (shrink)
Although molecular biology, genetics, and related special disciplines represent a large amount of empirical data, a practical method for the evaluation and overview of current knowledge is far from being realized. The main concepts and narratives in these fields have remained nearly the same for decades and the more recent empirical data concerning the role of noncoding RNAs and persistent viruses and their defectives do not fit into this scenario. A more innovative approach such as applied biocommunication theory could translate (...) empirical data into a coherent perspective on the functions within and between biological organisms and arguably lead to a sustainable integrative biology. (shrink)
: Emmanuel Levinas compares ethical responsibility to a maternal body who bears the Other in the same without assimilation. In explicating this trope, he refers to a biblical passage in which Moses is like a "wet nurse" bearing Others whom he has "neither conceived nor given birth to" (Num. 11:12). A close reading of this passage raises questions about ethics, maternity, and sexual difference, for both the concept of ethical substitution and the material practice of mothering.
Corporate environmental performance (CEP) has been of fundamental interest in scholarly research during the last few decades. However, there is a great deal of disagreement pertaining to the definition, conceptualization, and adequate measurement of CEP. Our study addresses these issues and provides a methodologically rigorous and comprehensive examination of content validity and construct validity. By integrating the available literature on CEP, we derive a parsimonious definition and theoretically sound framework of the focal construct. Drawing on non-aggregated and publicly available data (...) for a sample of 706 firm-years, we test the construct validity of this framework by means of factor analysis. Our results provide evidence for the multidimensional nature of the focal construct. By contrasting our findings with existing measurement approaches in empirical research, we emphasize several deficiencies with regard to the inferences and conclusions yielded in prior research. Future empirical and practically oriented studies can build on our findings and thus provide more stringent results. (shrink)
Amartya Sen argues that it is not, after all, irrational to reverse preferences when your choices are amplified by an ‘irrelevant’ alternative. He offers examples such as the agent who always picks the next-to-largest piece of cake. Given a choice between a larger and smaller piece, I will prefer the smaller one. But when a third and largest piece in added to my alternatives, I will now prefer the formerly largest piece over the smallest piece. This violates ‘contraction consistency’: a (...) third alternative should not have made any difference in my preferences regarding the first two. Such examples are shown to rely on descriptions which omit features crucial to choice. These features, and all identifying features relevant to my decision, should be included in the descriptions of the alternatives. An adequate description does not smuggle norms into the overt act of choice, but it does include the non-normative characteristics without which my decision-rules, if any, cannot be applied. When alternatives are adequately described, Sen’s inconsistencies disappear. The result is a clearer and more resillent, but also less aggressive notion of behavioral consistency. (shrink)
The illusion that Kant respects persons comes from ascribing contemporary meanings to purely technical terms within his second formulation of the categorical imperative, “[A]ct so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of another, always as an end and never as a means only”. When we realize that “humanity” means rational nature and “person” means the supersensible self (homo noumenon), we find that we are to respect, not human selves in all their diversity (homo phaenomenon), (...) but rational selves in all their sameness, in their unvarying conformity to the universal principles of pure practical reason. Contemporary individualism gets no support from Kant. (shrink)
In the wake of modernity, women's sexuality was positioned in a way that created a beauty/narcissism double bind that is still with us today. My concern in this article is that the subject position of “fashion model” serves as a constant reminder of this split, which is directed at all women and weakens the generalized woman's political agency. Fashion models themselves experience harassment and humiliation as well as pleasure and desire in their work as fashion models. However, the small portion (...) of feminist work that has engaged explicitly with the fashion-model business sees it mainly as an enterprise that is alienating and hostile to women. Although I do not entirely disagree with this analysis, it neglects the meaning of beauty and what beauty does to us with regard to creativity and pleasure. I wish to explore how some of the work experience of fashion models intersects with and challenges the beauty/narcissism double bind. I suggest that rather than grounding our understanding of the subject position “fashion model” and the fashion business solely in their reinforcement of the beauty/narcissism double bind, we should pay attention to the importance of what beauty and aspects of narcissism may mean. (shrink)
Emmanuel Levinas compares ethical responsibility to a maternal body who bears the Other in the same without assimilation. In explicating this trope, he refers to a biblical passage in which Moses is like a “wet nurse” bearing Others whom he has “neither conceived nor given birth to”. A close reading of this passage raises questions about ethics, maternity, and sexual difference, for both the concept of ethical substitution and the material practice of mothering.
Paulo Freire’s work is often characterized and used in terms that seek to produce widespread political and economic changes across societies. Peter Roberts, however, in his book Paulo Freire in the twenty-first Century, offers readers a much different way of approaching Freire’s work. Throughout his book, Roberts presents Freire as recognizing the limitations of educational initiatives, as not seeking specific macro-political objectives, and as emphasizing openness to alternative discourses. These themes weave throughout each chapter of the book, in which Roberts (...) examines a wide range of topics, from Freire and Dostoevsky to reason and emotion to political correctness to Freire and the Tao Te Ching. In this review essay, I engage a number of purposes. I elucidate and trace these three themes as they weave throughout and support the various topics that Roberts examines in his book. I illustrate how Roberts’s treatment of these themes challenges many of the interpretations of Freire’s work found within the critical literature, and, through this critique, it offers readers new ways of thinking about Freire’s thinking. Lastly, I discuss how Roberts’s thoughts suggest new ways that Freire’s work, and critical education in general, might begin to make more meaningful and practical inroads into public education and might develop new avenues of scholarship on Freire’s work. (shrink)
Emmanuel Levinas compares ethical responsibility to a maternal body who bears the Other in the same without assimilation. In explicating this trope, he refers to a biblical passage in which Moses is like a "wet nurse" bearing Others whom he has "neither conceived nor given birth to". A close reading of this passage raises questions about ethics, maternity, and sexual difference, for both the concept of ethical substitution and the material practice of mothering.
The macroscopic properties of a many-particle quantum system are revealed by an embedding of the macroscopic classical into the microscopic quantum description of the system. Such an embedding is based on the assumption that the experiments to which the classical theory applies may also be described quantum mechanically. It results from the existence of an injective trajectory observable. For photon quantum systems with a finite number of modes an embedding is explicitly constructed using the well- known phase space observable for (...) quantum systems of finite degrees of freedom. For the general case of photon quantum fields the existence of a phase space observable is shown which, restricted to a finite number of modes, coincides with the mentioned one. (shrink)