In "Rethinking Sadomasochism," Patrick Hopkins challenges the "radical" feminist claim that sadomasochism is incompatible with feminism. He does so by appeal to the notion of "simulation." I argue that Hopkins's conclusions are generally right, but they cannot be inferred from his "simulation" argument. I replace Hopkins's "simulation" with Kendall Walton's more sophisticated theory of "make-believe." I use this theory to better argue that privately conducted sadomasochism is compatible with feminism.
In reexamining the "sex war" debates between radical feminists and lesbian feminist sadomasochists, I find that the actual practice of sadomasochism provides the basis for a philosophically more complex position than has been articulated. In response to the anti-SM radical perspective, I develop a distinction between simulation and replication of patriarchal dominant/submissive activities. In light of this important epistemological and ethical distinction, I claim that the radical feminist opposition to SM needs reassessment.
Should Lesbian and women's events have policies banning sadomasochists or sadomasochistic acts? This question is being heatedly debated in the Lesbian community. In this paper, I examine the moral and political problems with sadomasochism from a Lesbian-feminist perspective, concluding that sadomasochism is antifeminist and antiliberatory for many reasons. Then, given this conclusion, I explore how events such as women's music festivals should determine their policies about sadomasochism.
It is widely held in theories of narrative that all works of literary narrative fiction include a narrator who fictionally tells the story. However, it is also granted that the personal qualities of a narrator may be more or less radically effaced. Recently, philosophers and film theorists have debated whether movies similarly involve implicit audio-visual narrators. Those who answer affirmatively allow that these cinematic narrators will be radically effaced. Their opponents deny that audio-visual narrators figure in the ontology of movies (...) at all, and many have argued that the ‘effaced’ literary narrator is an illusion as well. In this paper, I attempt to sort out the central issues that arise in these debates, defending the existence of effaced narrators in both literature and film. (shrink)
Jenefer Robinson takes the insights of modern scientific research on the emotions and uses them to illuminate questions about our emotional involvement with the arts. Laying out a theory of emotion supported by the best evidence from current empirical work, she examines some of the ways in which the emotions function in the arts. Written in a clear and engaging style, her book will make fascinating reading for anyone interested in the emotions and how they work, as well as anyone (...) engaged with the arts and aesthetics. (shrink)
An analysis of the treatment of time in literature and its relationship to science and philosophy. Since the consciousness of time seems to the author to have greatly increased in contemporary culture, he refers primarily to such twentieth-century authors as Proust, Joyce and Mann.--A. R.
Our aim in this paper is to explicate some unexpected and striking similarities and equally important differences, which have not been discussed in the literature, between Wittgenstein's methodology and the approach of Chinese Chan or Japanese Zen Buddhism. We say ?unexpected? similarities because it is not a common practice, especially in the analytic tradition, to invest very much in comparative philosophy. The peculiarity of this study will be further accentuated in the view of those of the ?old school? who (...) see Wittgenstein as a logical positivist, and Zen as a religious excuse for militarism or sadomasochism. If the second claim were true, the following investigation would not only be futile but also impossible. That the first claim, concerning the ?old school? perspective on Wittgenstein, is incorrect, we will demonstrate in the ensuing discussion. By now more experts have come to accept this claim and we hope that our comparative perspective will add even more momentum. (shrink)
The semiotic model that disregards the normative context represented by the protagonist examines how we can distinguish the three conceptions of heroism, namely hero, semi-hero, and anti-hero. What are the methodological criteria whereby we can follow the protagonist in the text from beginning to end? To answer them, this article tries to present a model made up of five stages/criteria which constitute a semiotic model by means of which the connection to heroism can be determined. These are: motivation, will, ability, (...) execution, and outcome. These stages can be logically classified into three categories: 1) Pre-action, 2) Action, 3) Post-action. The model proposed here suits all types of narrative and drama and all performance and film production arts. (shrink)
Work in body studies and theories of affect challenge the mind/body dualism where human action/behavior is shown to be an embodied, lived event. More specifically, bodily practices not only inform/shape human subjectivity but convey what language—words—often cannot. BDSM is one such practice that illuminates embodied subjectivities, where the flesh proves pivotal to one’s orientation to/with the world. In this article I explore women BDSMers who, as survivors of sexual violence, engage in BDSM rape play. BDSM rape play foregrounds the flesh, (...) exemplifying quite powerfully “bodily capacity,” one where bodily disintegration that occurred with the sexual assault is disrupted through bodily recuperation. This felt experience—the body as the source of insight—carries considerable weight, and should inform our thinking when it comes to feminist explorations of sexuality and those contentious and controversial practices such as BDSM. (shrink)
This is a theoretical and methodological statement of what isn't and what is Cognitive poetics. It is focused on Peter Stockwell's discussion of deixis; but, I claim, much of what I have to say on Stockwell's work would apply to some degree to the work of many other critics. I argue that Stockwell translates traditional critical terms into a "cognitive" language, but does not rely on cognitive processes to account for issues related to the texts discussed; and that he uses (...) these terms to label or classify poetic expressions rather than point out their interaction in generating poetic effects. The present paper does not presume to tell what is the "correct" way to handle those terms, but attempts to give examples of how the same terms could be used with reference to cognitive processes, so as to account for poetic effects. (shrink)
This is a theoretical and methodological statement of what isn't and what is Cognitive poetics. It is focused on Peter Stockwell's discussion of deixis; but, I claim, much of what I have to say on Stockwell's work would apply to some degree to the work of many other critics. I argue that Stockwell translates traditional critical terms into a “cognitive“ language, but does not rely on cognitive processes to account for issues related to the texts discussed; and that he uses (...) these terms to label or classify poetic expressions rather than point out their interaction in generating poetic effects. The present paper does not presume to tell what is the “correct“ way to handle those terms, but attempts to give examples of how the same terms could be used with reference to cognitive processes, so as to account for poetic effects. (shrink)
This is a theoretical and methodological statement of what isn’t and what is Cognitive poetics. It is focused on Peter Stockwell’s discussion of deixis; but, I claim, much of what I have to say on Stockwell’s work would apply to some degree to the work of many other critics. I argue that Stockwell translates traditional critical terms into a “cognitive” language, but does not rely on cognitive processes to account for issues related to the texts discussed; and that he uses (...) these terms to label or classify poetic expressions rather than point out their interaction in generating poetic effects. The present paper does not presume to tell what is the “correct” way to handle those terms, but attempts to give examples of how the same terms could be used with reference to cognitive processes, so as to account for poetic effects. (shrink)
Although the notion of spatiality has always lurked in the background of discussions of literary form, the self-conscious use of the term as a critical concept is generally traced to Joseph Frank's seminal essay of 1945, "Spatial Form in Modern Literature."1 Frank's basic argument is that modernist literary works are "spatial" insofar as they replace history and narrative sequence with a sense of mythic simultaneity and disrupt the normal continuities of English prose with disjunctive syntactic arrangements. This argument has (...) been attacked on several fronts. An almost universal objection is that spatial form is a "mere metaphor" which has been given misplaced concreteness and that it denies the essentially temporal nature of literature. Some critics will concede that the metaphor contains a half-truth, but one which is likely to distract attention from more important features of the reading experience. The most polemical attacks have come from those who regard spatial form as an actual, but highly regrettable, characteristic of modern literature and who have linked it with antihistorical and even fascist ideologies.2 Advocates of Frank's position, on the other hand, have generally been content to extrapolate his premises rather than criticize them, and have compiled an ever-mounting list of modernist texts which can be seen, in some sense, as "antitemporal." The whole debate can best be advanced, in my view, not by some patchwork compromise among the conflicting claims but by a radical, even outrageous statement of the basic hypothesis in its most general form. I propose, therefore, that far from being a unique phenomenon of some modern literature, and far from being restricted to the features which Frank identifies in those works , spatial form is a crucial aspect of the experience and interpretation of literature in all ages and cultures. The burden of proof, in other words, is not on Frank to show that some works have spatial form but on his critics to provide an example of any work that does not. · 1. Frank's essay first appeared in Sewanee Review 53 and was revised in his The Widening Gyre . Frank's basic argument has not changed essentially even in his most avante-garde statements; he still regards spatial form "as a particular phenomenon of modern avante-garde writing." See "Spatial Form: An Answer to Critics," Critical Inquiry 4 : 231-52. A useful bibliography, "Space and Spatial Form in Narrative," is being complied by Jeffrey Smitten .· 2. This charge generally links the notion of spatial form with Wyndham Lewis and Ezra Pound, the imagist movement, the "irrationality" and pessimistic antihistoricism of modernism, and the conservative Romantic tradition. Frank discusses the complex motives behind these associations in the work of Robert Weimann and Frank Kermode in his "Answer to Critics," pp. 238-48. W. J. T. Mitchell, editor of Critical Inquiry, is the author of Blake's Composite Art, and The Last Dinosaur Book: The Life and Times of a Cultural Icon. The present essay is part of Iconology: The Image in Literature and the Visual Arts. "Diagrammatology" appeared in the Spring 1981 issue of Critical Inquiry. Leon Surette responds to the current essay in "‘Rational Form in Literature’". (shrink)
Aims to improve an understanding of the theoretical issues in response to the influence of fiction. Four things in narrative unreliability; Relation between narration in literary fictions and film; Comprehension of narrative essentially a matter of intentional inference; Fictions misdescribed; Asymmetry between literature and film; Ambiguity and unreliability; Implied author and narrator.
This book demonstrates the presence of literature within speech act theory and the utility of speech act theory in reading literary works. Though the founding text of speech act theory, J. L. Austin's _How to Do Things with Words_, repeatedly expels literature from the domain of felicitous speech acts, literature is an indispensable presence within Austin's book. It contains many literary references but also uses as essential tools literary devices of its own: imaginary stories that serve as (...) examples and imaginary dialogues that forestall potential objections. _How to Do Things with Words_ is not the triumphant establishment of a fully elaborated theory of speech acts, but the story of a failure to do that, the story of what Austin calls a "bogging down." After an introductory chapter that explores Austin's book in detail, the two following chapters show how Jacques Derrida and Paul de Man in different ways challenge Austin's speech act theory generally and his expulsion of literature specifically. Derrida shows that literature cannot be expelled from speech acts—rather that what he calls "iterability" means that any speech act may be literature. De Man asserts that speech act theory involves a radical dissociation between the cognitive and positing dimensions of language, what Austin calls language's "constative" and "performative" aspects. Both Derrida and de Man elaborate new speech act theories that form the basis of new notions of responsible and effective politico-ethical decision and action. The fourth chapter explores the role of strong emotion in effective speech acts through a discussion of passages in Derrida, Wittgenstein, and Austin. The final chapter demonstrates, through close readings of three passages in Proust, the way speech act theory can be employed in an illuminating way in the accurate reading of literary works. (shrink)
Is it possible for postmodernism to offer viable, coherent accounts of ethics? Or are our social and intellectual worlds too fragmented for any broad consensus about the moral life? These issues have emerged as some of the most contentious in literary and philosophical studies. In Renegotiating Ethics in Literature, Philosophy, and Theory a distinguished international gathering of philosophers and literary scholars address the reconceptualisations involved in this 'turn towards ethics'. An important feature of this has been a renewed interest (...) in the literary text as a focus for the exploration of ethical issues. Exponents of this trend include Charles Taylor, Bernard Williams, Iris Murdoch, Cora Diamond, Richard Rorty and Martha Nussbaum, the latter a contributor and a key figure in this volume. This book assesses the significance of this development for ethical and literary theory and attempts to articulate an alternative postmodern account of ethics which does not rely on earlier appeals to universal truths. (shrink)
This paper offers a reading of Hartmann’s philosophy of literature from the perspective of contemporary aesthetics. In particular, I focus on his defense of the truth-value of literary works. After outlining the main concern of the paper (sect. 1), I place Hartmann’s view within the context of current aesthetic cognitivism (sect. 2). In the following three sections, I discuss Hartmann’s account, examining his critique of the thesis that literature is cognitively valuable because it transmits factual truths (sect. 3); (...) his defense of the view that literature discloses life (sect. 4); and the link between cognitive value and the ontology of the literary work (sect. 5). Finally, I discuss Hartmann’s focus on the concept of “truth” in the light of recent debates on knowledge of “what it is like” and on “understanding” (sect. 6). (shrink)
The impact of Foucault's work can still be felt across a range of academic disciplines. It is nevertheless important to remember that, for him, theoretical activity was intimately related to the concrete practices of self-transformation; as he acknowledged: `I write in order to change myself.' 1 This avowal is especially pertinent when considering Foucault's work on the relationship between sex and power. For Foucault not only theorized about this topic; he was also actively involved in the S&M subculture of the (...) 1970s. Although his explicit discussions of S&M are somewhat piecemeal, in this article I will show how they provide a useful point of access into his broader conception of power relations. Having first reconstructed Foucault's quasi-Sartrean account of creative self-transformation specifically through one's sexuality I will then explain why his defence of S&M (as embodying `strategic' power) is insufficiently sensitive to the inherent ambiguities of this `game'. Key Words: consent desire identity limits pleasure power role-play subjectivity trust. (shrink)
The notion of the author’s intention is logically tied to the interpretation we give to her work as the notion of the agent’s intention is logically tied to the interpretation we give to her action. When we find a discrepancy between what the author or agent says and the meaning we find in her work or the sense we make of what she does, this does not show that the intention is irrelevant in determining this meaning or sense. As Frank (...) Cioffi has argued, we are rather favouring one criterion of intention over another. Taking a close look at the early criticism surrounding The Turn of the Screw I draw attention to this phenomenon—much discussed by Wittgenstein—of favouring one criterion of intention over another. Because Wittgenstein’s views, though mentioned frequently, are still ill-understood, I go on to tease out the philosophical assumptions that lurk in the background of disputes about the relevance of intention for interpretation. (shrink)
In his recent book, English Poetry; A Critical Introduction , Mr. F. W. Bateson makes the observation that as romantic criticism is now dead it should receive “decent and final interment.” By “romantic” criticism he seems to have in mind either what he calls the Pure Sound theory of poetry, which would have us believe that meaning has nothing to do with poetry, that poetry makes nothing but an emotional or physiological impact upon us; or the suggestion theory which argues (...) that “a good poem should mean very little while suggesting a good deal.” Both of these, according to Mr. Bateson, attempt “to justify the exclusion of meaning from poetry.”. (shrink)
In this essay I want to offer an analysis of the structure of the fictional emotions that we have reading novels. I shall start with a presentation of the structure of emotions in general and their relation to aesthetic fiction. Afterwards, I shall offer a critical review of the current positions on fictional emotions. The aim of this section is to question the presuppositions that dominate the current debate on fictional emotions in particular and on emotions in general. Finally, I (...) shall develop my own account on this issue. The thesis that I am going to defend is that fictional emotions possess doxastic and practical rationality and that they are full fledged emotional experiences the reality of which we should not doubt, even though they show some peculiarities. Key Words: Fictional emotion, quasi-emotion, doxastic rationality, practical rationality, assumption. (shrink)
Next SectionBackground Scientific papers are retracted for many reasons including fraud (data fabrication or falsification) or error (plagiarism, scientific mistake, ethical problems). Growing attention to fraud in the lay press suggests that the incidence of fraud is increasing. Methods The reasons for retracting 742 English language research papers retracted from the PubMed database between 2000 and 2010 were evaluated. Reasons for retraction were initially dichotomised as fraud or error and then analysed to determine specific reasons for retraction. Results Error was (...) more common than fraud (73.5% of papers were retracted for error (or an undisclosed reason) vs 26.6% retracted for fraud). Eight reasons for retraction were identified; the most common reason was scientific mistake in 234 papers (31.5%), but 134 papers (18.1%) were retracted for ambiguous reasons. Fabrication (including data plagiarism) was more common than text plagiarism. Total papers retracted per year have increased sharply over the decade (r=0.96; p<0.001), as have retractions specifically for fraud (r=0.89; p<0.001). Journals now reach farther back in time to retract, both for fraud (r=0.87; p<0.001) and for scientific mistakes (r=0.95; p<0.001). Journals often fail to alert the naïve reader; 31.8% of retracted papers were not noted as retracted in any way. Conclusions Levels of misconduct appear to be higher than in the past. This may reflect either a real increase in the incidence of fraud or a greater effort on the part of journals to police the literature. However, research bias is rarely cited as a reason for retraction. (shrink)
The introductory revised essay, "Horses of Wrath: Recent Critical Lessons," followed by nine reprinted essays, pits the Christian Rationalist, Wimsatt, an aroused Horse of Instruction, against the Tigers of Wrath, Blakean Myth critics led by Northrop Frye. Their battleground is the relation of poetry to life: what for the Blakeans is the fearful symmetry of poetry as the apocalypse of life is for Wimsatt the hateful siege of contraries, both an anarchy of life and a confusion of poetic limits. Wimsatt (...) supports the classical and Christian notion that harmony comes "in spite of" the conflict of good and evil, not "because of" that conflict, as the Blakeans would claim. For Wimsatt, poetry's unique kind of cognition is the analogous perspective it establishes toward contraries, namely the perspective of drama and metaphor in which is created a mock substance of the human condition. But after Wimsatt's analysis, we are left with a dualism which can be itself a hateful contrary: the more poetry performs its perspective function, the more it destroys its subject matter. It is also to the credit of Wimsatt's theoretic hesitancy that he will not let us forget these contraries.—E. S. T. (shrink)