The purpose of this paper is to explore the possibility of a new form of right that is both antidisciplinarian and liberated from sovereignty, the term Michel Foucault uses for what he claims to be the traditional theme of modern political philosophy. Some attempts to derive a theory of right from Foucaults critique have been made. However, by their own admission they do not yield a coherent and adequate theory, and other work has demonstrated the major problems inherent in Foucaults (...) critique that render such a project problematic. This paper takes a different approach by revising the philosophical foundations of modern democracy with the goal of developing a new theory of right that addresses the problems that Foucault identified. To provide a theoretical context for this exploration, Foucaults key concepts of disciplinary technologies, power, the construction and maintenance of human subjects, and the role of the human body in human subjection are briefly reviewed. The main analysis will focus on the ideas of three political theorists whose respective works represent the core of sovereignty, and who are indisputably basic to any student of Western political theory, namely Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau. The aim of this analysis is not to provide another critique of their virtues and shortcomings. Instead, the work of these thinkers is used in a pragmatic way, to elicit a new form of right that could serve as a counter to disciplinary power. Key Words: civil right Enlightenment Foucault natural right political philosophy political theory postmodern critique social justice. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to explore the possibility of a new form of right that is both antidisciplinarian and liberated from ‘sovereignty’, the term Michel Foucault uses for what he claims to be the traditional theme of modern political philosophy. Some attempts to derive a theory of right from Foucault’s critique have been made. However, by their own admission they do not yield a coherent and adequate theory, and other work has demonstrated the major problems inherent in Foucault’s (...) critique that render such a project problematic. This paper takes a different approach by revising the philosophical foundations of modern democracy with the goal of developing a new theory of right that addresses the problems that Foucault identified.To provide a theoretical context for this exploration, Foucault’s key concepts of disciplinary technologies, power, the construction and maintenance of human subjects, and the role of the human body in human subjection are briefly reviewed. The main analysis will focus on the ideas of three political theorists whose respective works represent the core of ‘sovereignty’, and who are indisputably basic to any student of Western political theory, namely Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau. The aim of this analysis is not to provide another critique of their virtues and shortcomings. Instead, the work of these thinkers is used in a pragmatic way, to elicit a new form of right that could serve as a counter to disciplinary power. (shrink)
A growing literature testifies to the persistence of place as an incorrigible aspect of human experience, identity, and morality. Place is a common ground for thought and action, a community of experienced particulars that avoids solipsism and universalism. It draws us into the philosophy of the ordinary, into familiarity as a form of knowledge, into the wisdom of proximity. Each of these essays offers a philosophy of place, and reminds us that such philosophies ultimately decide how we make, use, and (...) understand places, whether as accidents, instruments, or fields of care. (shrink)
Roger Crisp distinguishes a positive and a negative aspect of the buck-passing account of goodness (BPA), and argues that the positive account should be dropped in order to avoid certain problems, in particular, that it implies eliminativism about value. This eliminativism involves what I call an ontological claim, the claim that there is no real property of goodness, and an error theory, the claim that all value talk is false. I argue first that the positive aspect of the BPA (...) is necessary to explain the negative aspect. I accept the ontological claim but argue that this does not imply any sort of error theory about value. (shrink)
Roger Crisp has inspired two important criticisms of Scanlon's buck-passing account of value. I defend buck-passing from the wrong kind of reasons criticism, and the reasons and the good objection. I support Rabinowicz and Rønnow-Rasmussen's dual role of reasons in refuting the wrong kind of reasons criticism, even where its authors claim it fails. Crisp's reasons and the good objection contends that the property of goodness is buck-passing in virtue of its formality. I argue that Crisp conflates general and (...) formal properties, and that Scanlon is ambiguous about whether the formal property of a reason can stop the buck. Drawing from Wallace, I respond to Crisp's reasons and the good objection by developing an augmented buck-passing account of reasons and value, where the buck is passed consistently from the formal properties of both to the substantive properties of considerations and evaluative attitudes. I end by describing two unresolved problems for buck-passers. (shrink)
The Many Faces of Patriotism debate the consequences of the 21st century's patriotic resurgence, examining it both in theoretical and comparative terms that draw on examples of patriotism from ancient Greece to post-apartheid South Africa.
This essay introduces a Common Knowledge symposium on the relationship between texts (for instance, musical scores or dramatic scripts) and performance in the arts by drawing out its implications for the interpretation of publicly consequential texts (such as constitutions, legal statutes, and canon law). Arguing that judges and clerics could learn much from studying the work of Philip Gossett and other practitioners of textual criticism in the arts, the essay suggests that a wider array of choices exists for legal (...) interpretation than the usual alternative between originalism or literalism, on the one hand, and intuitionism, on the other hand. Contributions to the symposium (titled “Between Text and Performance”) emphasize what Roger Moseley calls “improvisatory fluency in historical idioms,” and this introduction recommends that jurists develop for the law the kind of “ear” that musicians must have when a score invites or demands improvisation. (shrink)
It is argued that persuasive advertising overrides the autonomy of consumers, in that it manipulates them without their knowledge and for no good reason. Such advertising causes desires in such a way that a necessary condition of autonomy — the possibility of decision — is removed. Four notions central to autonomous action are discussed — autonomous desire, rational desire and choice, free choice, and control or manipulation — following the strategy of Robert Arrington in a recent paper in this journal. (...) Replies are made to Arrington's arguments in favour of advertising. It is also claimed that the argument developed by Philip Nelson, which concludes that even if persuasive advertising does override autonomy, it is still in the interests of consumers to be subjected to it, is seriously mistaken. Finally, some caveats concerning informative advertising are presented. (shrink)
This article is a response to some of Philip Stratton-Lake’s criticisms of an earlier paper of mine in this journal, on the so-called ‘buck-passing’ account of goodness. Some elucidation is offered of the ‘wrong kind of reasons’ problem and of T. M. Scanlon’s view, and the question is raised of the role of goodness in the view outlined by Stratton-Lake.
In contemporary forms of psychoanalysis, particularly intersubjective systems theory, the turn towards contextualism has permitted the development of new ways of thinking and practicing that have dispensed with the notion of isolated individuality. For many who embrace this "post-subjectivist" way of thinking and practicing, the recognition that all human experience is fundamentally immersed in the world makes the question of individuality seem confusing, even anachronistic. Yet the challenge of individuality remains an important and pressing issue for contemporary theory and practice; (...) many clinicians are left to wonder about the role of "individual" experience and how to approach it conceptually or clinically. This volume of original essays gives the problem of individuality its due, without losing sight of the importance of contextualized experience. Drawing on a variety of disciplinary backgrounds - philosophical, developmental, biological, and neuroscientific - the contributors address the tension that exists between individuality and the emergence of contextualism as a dominant mode of psychoanalytic theory and practice, thereby providing unique insights into the role and place of individuality both in and out of the clinical setting. Ultimately, these essays demonstrate that individuality, no matter how it may be defined, always occurs within a contextual web that forms the basis of human experience. _Contributors:_ William J. Coburn, Philip Cushman, James L. Fosshage, Roger Frie, Frank M. Lachmann, Jack Martin, Donna Orange, Robert D. Stolorow, Jeff Sugarman. (shrink)
Rogers & McClelland (R&M) have provided an impressive outline of the capabilities of a class of multi-layered perceptrons that mimic many aspects of human knowledge acquisition. Despite this success, in the literature several basic issues are raised and concerns are expressed. Indeed, the problems are so acute that a different way of thinking is called for. In this commentary it is suggested that rational models approach provides a promising alternative.
Controversies about optimality models and adaptationist methodologies have animated the discussions of evolutionary theory in recent years. The sociobiologists, following the lead of E. O. Wilson, have argued that if Darwinian natural selection can be reliably expected to produce the best possible type of organism - one that optimizes the value of its genetic contribution to future generations - then evolution becomes a powerfully predictive theory as well as an explanatory one. The enthusiastic claims of the sociobiologists for the predictability (...) and applicability that the optimalist approach engenders have been met with severe criticism by Richard C. Lewontin, Stephen Jay Gould, and other biologists and philosophers of biology. These original essays take up both sides of the controversy over the role of optimality models in evolutionary biology, providing a refreshingly insightful and balanced discussion of optimality issues by an interdisciplinary group of leading philosophers of biology, biologists, psychologists, anthropologists, and an economist. They focus on the current state of adaptationist and optimalist methodology in evolutionary theory, and on the possibility of extending such methodology to the human sciences, especially those of psychology and anthropology. Introduction / John Dupre -- Part 1. Methodological questions. Simple models of complex phenomena: the case of cultural evolution / Peter J. Richerson and Robert Boyd -- Natural selection and the null hypothesis / John Beatty -- Why not the best? / Philip Kitcher -- Part 2. Evolution and optimality. What is adaptationism? / Elliot Sober -- How to model evolution / John Maynard Smith -- Comments on Maynard Smith’s "How to Model Evolution" / Elliot Sober -- Reply to Sober / John Maynard Smith -- The shape of optimality / Richard C. Lewontin -- Part 3. Applications. Evolutionary ecology and the optimality assumption / John M. Emlen -- Optimality theory and behavior / John E.R. Staddon -- Part 4. Applications to human behavior. Optimization theory in anthropology: applications and critiques / Eric Alden Smith -- Evolution of a mesh between principles of the mind and regularities of the world / Roger N. Shepard -- From evolution to behavior: evolutionary psychology as the missing link / Leda Cosmides and John Tooby -- On the emotions as guarantors of threats and promises / Jack Hirschleifer -- Human kinds / John Dupre. (shrink)
Table of Contents Perspectives on Animal Cognition Chapter 1 The Myth of Anthropomorphism John Andrew Fisher Chapter 2 Gendered Knowledge? Examining Influences on Scientific and Ethological Inquiries Lori Gruen Chapter 3 Interpretive Cognitive Ethology Hugh Wilder Chapter 4 Concept Attribution in Nonhuman Animals: Theoretical and Methodological Problems in Ascribing Complex Mental Processes Colin Allen and Marc Hauser Cognitive and Evolutionary Explanations Chapter 5 On Aims and Methods of Cognitive Ethology Dale Jamieson and Marc Bekoff Chapter 6 Aspects of the Cognitive (...) Ethology of an Injury-Feigning Bird, The Piping Plover Carolyn Ristau Chapter 7 Tradition in Animals: Field Observations and Laboratory Analysis Bennett G. Galef Chapter 8 The Study of Adaptation Randy Thornhill Chapter 9 The Units of Behavior in Evolutionary Explanations Sandra D. Mitchell Chapter 10 Levels of Analysis and the Functional Significance of Helping Behavior Walter D. Koenig and Ron Mumme Recognition, Choice, Vigilance, and Play Chapter 11 The Ubiquitous Concept of Recognition with Special Reference to Kin Andrew R. Blaustein and Richard H. Porter Chapter 12 Do Animals Choose Habitats? Michael Rosenzweig Chapter 13 The Influence of Models on the Interpretation of Vigilance Steven L. Lima Chapter 14 Is There an Evolutionary Biology of Play? Alex Rosenberg Chapter 15 Intentionality, Social Play, and Definition Colin Allen and Marc Bekoff Communication and Language Chapter 16 Communication and Expectations: A Social Process and the Cognitive Operation It Depends upon and Influences W. John Smith Chapter 17 Animal Communication and Social Evolution Michael Philips and Steven Austad Chapter 18 Animal Language: Methodological and Interpretive Issues Sue Savage-Rumbaugh and Karen E. Brakke Chapter 19 Knowledge Acquisition and Asymmetry between Language Comprehension and Production: Dolphins and Apes as General Models for Animals Louis M. Herman and Palmer Morrel-Samuels Animal Minds Chapter 20 Evolution and Psychological Unity Roger Crisp Chapter 21 The Mental Lives of Nonhuman Animals John Dupré Chapter 22 Inside the Mind of a Monkey Robert M. Seyfarth and Dorothy L. Cheney Chapter 23 Science and Our Inner Lives: Birds of Prey, Bats, and the Common Bi-ped Kathleen Akins Chapter 24 Afterword: Ethics and the Study of Animal Cognition. (shrink)
Philosophy is often conceived in the Anglophone world today as a subject that focuses on questions in particular ‘‘core areas,’’ pre-eminently epistemology and metaphysics. This article argues that the contemporary conception is a new version of the scholastic ‘‘self-indulgence for the few’’ of which Dewey complained nearly a century ago. Philosophical questions evolve, and a first task for philosophers is to address issues that arise for their own times. The article suggests that a renewal of philosophy today should turn the (...) contemporary conception inside out, attending to and developing further the valuable work being done on the supposed ‘‘periphery’’ and attending to the ‘‘core areas’’ only insofar as is necessary to address genuinely significant questions. (shrink)
If someone abstains from meat-eating for reasons of taste or personal economics, no moral or philosophical question arises. But when a vegetarian attempts to persuade others that they, too, should adopt his diet, then what he says requires philosophical attention. While a vegetarian might argue in any number of ways, this essay will be concerned only with the argument for a vegetarian diet resting on a moral objection to the rearing and killing of animals for the human table. The vegetarian, (...) in this laense, does not merely require us to change or justify our eating habits, but to reconsider our attitudes and behaviour towards members of other species across a wide range of practices. (shrink)
Mountaineering is a dangerous activity. For many mountaineers, part of its very attraction is the risk, the thrill of danger. Yet mountaineers are often regarded as reckless or even irresponsible for risking their lives. In this paper, we offer a defence of risk-taking in mountaineering. Our discussion is organised around the fact that mountaineers and non-mountaineers often disagree about how risky mountaineering really is. We hope to cast some light on the nature of this disagreement – and to argue that (...) mountaineering may actually be worthwhile because of the risks it involves. Section 1 introduces the disagreement and, in doing so, separates out several different notions of risk. Sections 2–4 then consider some explanations of the disagreement, showing how a variety of phenomena can skew people's risk judgements. Section 5 then surveys some recent statistics, to see whether these illuminate how risky mountaineering is. In light of these considerations, however, we suggest that the disagreement is best framed not simply in terms of how risky mountaineering is but whether the risks it does involve are justified. The remainder of the paper, sections 6–9, argues that risk-taking in mountaineering often is justified – and, moreover, that mountaineering can itself be justified by and because of the risks it involves. (shrink)
Is rhetoric just a new and trendy way to épater les bourgeois? Unfortunately, I think that the newfound interest of some economists in rhetoric, and particularly Donald McCloskey in his new book and subsequent responses to critics, gives that impression. After economists have worked so hard for the past five decades to learn their sums, differential calculus, real analysis, and topology, it is a fair bet that one could easily hector them about their woeful ignorance of the conjugation of Latin (...) verbs or Aristotle's Six Elements of Tragedy. Moreover, it has certainly become an academic cliché that economists write as gracefully and felicitously as a hundred monkeys chained to broken typewriters. The fact that economists still trot out Keynes's prose in their defense is itself an index of the inarticulate desperation of an inarticulate profession. (shrink)
Jonathan Glover and I, while not in such deep disagreement about the ethics of killing as to make all communication impossible, still disagree enough to make sustained confrontation worthwhile. At minimum, such confrontation should make it clear what are the most fundamental issues at stake in ethical arguments about various kinds of killing.
This paper argues that the primary task of legal theory should be to pursue the responsiveness of a legal system to the moral life of a community. However, the pursuit of such an aim cannot appeal merely or even dominantly to the short-term motivational structures of individuals - as is dominantly the case in contemporary legal theory. What is required, instead, is appeal to long-term learning structures. This paper introduces the notion of long-term learning structures by reference to the work (...) of John Dewey. It supplements Dewey's account by reference to two further principles of moral education: first, developing the recognition of vulnerability, and second, fostering respect for difference. Having provided an account of moral education, the paper goes on to consider its relationship to the pursuit of a socially just legal system. The paper does so primarily by reference to the work of Philip Selznick and Roger Cotterrell, calling in essence for the revival of pedagogically-informed communitarian jurisprudence. (shrink)