The standard foil for recent theories of hope is the belief-desire analysis advocated by Hobbes, Day, Downie, and others. According to this analysis, to hope for S is no more and no less than to desire S while believing S is possible but not certain. Opponents of the belief-desire analysis argue that it fails to capture one or another distinctive feature or function of hope: that hope helps one resist the temptation to despair;2 that hope engages the sophisticated capacities of (...) human agency, such as planning;3 or that hope involves the imagination in ways desire need not.4 Here, I focus on the role of imagination in hope, and discuss its implications for hope’s relation to practical commitment or end-setting. (shrink)
Attention seems to raise a problem for pure representationalism, the view that phenomenal content supervenes on representational content. The problem is that shifts of attention sometimes seem to bring about a change in phenomenal content without a change in representational content. I argue that the representationalist can meet this challenge, but that doing so requires a new view of the representational content of perception. On this new view, the representational content of perception is always relative to a way of attending. (...) I call this the attention-indexed view of perceptual content. (shrink)
Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, March 2006. Significant effort has been devoted to locating a good argument for Kant ’s Formula of Humanity. In this paper, I contrast two arguments, based on Kant ’s text, for the Formula of Humanity. The first, which I call the “Valued Ends” argument, is an influential and appealing argument developed most notably by Christine Korsgaard and Allen Wood. Notwithstanding the appeal and influence of this argument, it ultimately fails on several counts. I therefore present as an (...) alternative the “Autonomy” argument, which is largely inspired by the failings of the Valued Ends argument. (shrink)
In cases of identity crowding, a subject consciously sees items in a figure, even though they are presented too closely together for her to shift attention to each item. Block uses such cases to challenge the view that attention is necessary for consciousness. I argue that in identity crowding cases, subjects really do attend to the items. Specifically, they attend to the figure as a global object that contains the individual items as parts. To support this view, I provide evidence (...) that attention can be directed to a global object or a local object. My response helps to defend the view that attention is necessary for conscious perception. (shrink)
George Lakoff discusses how emotion metaphors reflect the discrete bodily states associated with each emotion. The analysis raises questions about the context for and frequency of use of emotion metaphors and, indeed, emotion labels, per se. An assumption implicit to most theories of emotion is that emotion language is just another channel through which people express ongoing emotion states. Drawing from recent evidence that labeling ongoing emotions reduces their intensity, we propose that a primary function of emotion language is regulatory (...) rather than expressive. (shrink)
I argue for adopting a conception of obligation that is broader than the conception commonly adopted by moral philosophers. According to this broader conception, the crucial marks of an obligatory action are, first, that the reasons for the obliged party to perform the action include an exclusionary reason and, second, that the obliged party is the appropriate target of blaming reactive attitudes, if they inexcusably fail to perform the obligatory action. An obligation is directed if the exclusionary reason depends on (...) the relationship between the obliged person and the person to whom they owe the obligatory action, and the latter person is positioned to personally blame the obligated person for inexcusably failing to perform the obligatory action. Some direc- ted obligations are not owed as a matter of right, and the person to whom the obligatory action is owed is the only person positioned to blame nonperformance. Other directed obligations are owed as a matter of right, and people who are not part of the relationship grounding the obligation nevertheless are also positioned to (impersonally) blame non-performance. Only the rights-based form of directed obligation has received signifi- cant attention from moral philosophers, yet the former—which is at the heart of what I call “personal bonds”—is a pervasive and significant theme of our ordinary interpersonal lives. (shrink)
It is a commonplace in both the popular imagination and the philosophical literature that hope has a special kind of motivational force. This commonplace underwrites the conviction that hope alone is capable of bolstering us in despairinducing circumstances, as well as the strategy of appealing to hope in the political realm. In section 1, I argue that, to the contrary, hope’s motivational essence is not special or unique—it is simply that of an endorsed desire. The commonplace is not entirely mistaken, (...) however, because standard ways of expressing hope do have motivational influence that is different in kind from that of desire. In sections 2 through 4, I examine one of these ways of expressing hope, fantasizing, and argue that fantasies can present us with reasons to modify our goals and projects in multiple ways. (shrink)
Apologies are strange. They are, in a certain sense, very small. An apology is just a gesture—a set of words, a physical posture, perhaps a gift. But an apology can also be very powerful—this power is implicit in the facts that it can be difficult to offer an apology and that, when we are wronged, we may want an apology very much. More, even we have been severely wronged, we are sometimes willing to forgive or pardon the wrongdoer, if we (...) receive a sincere apology. In this paper, I want to begin to figure out how a mere gesture can be so powerful. The philosophers who discuss apology generally do not go into much detail, and they discuss it almost exclusively in connection with forgiveness. 2 I, too, will discuss apology’s power to provide reason to forgive, but in order to provide the resources to examine another power. Some apologies, I will argue, fail to provide reason to forgive, but nevertheless do provide the recipient a reason to maintain a relationship with the wrongdoer, or to allow the wrongdoer to remain in her community. To be clear: the “powers” I am interested in are reason-giving powers, or powers to make certain beliefs, attitudes, or actions rational. Apologies also, no doubt, have a sort of bare causal power. The sight of a vicious, racist, cruel war criminal on his knees and in tears, sincerely begging forgiveness, may inspire in us pity or even compassion, in spite of what we believe we have reason to feel. “I can’t help but feel sorry for the bastard,” we may say, even while believing that.. (shrink)
How do we encourage patients to be hopeful without exploiting their hope? A medical researcher or a pharmaceutical company can take unfair advantage of someone's hope by much subtler means than simply giving misinformation. Hope shapes deliberation, and therefore can make deliberation better or worse, by the deliberator's own standards of deliberation.
People with disabilities use more medical care and see health professionals more often than do those of the same age, ethnic group, or economic class who do not have impairments. An indisputable medical goal is.
Recently, there has been a surge of interest in the lexicon. The demand for a fuller and more adequate understanding of lexical meaning required by developments in computational linguistics, artificial intelligence, and cognitive science has stimulated a refocused interest in linguistics, psychology, and philosophy. Different disciplines have studied lexical structure from their own vantage points, and because scholars have only intermittently communicated across disciplines, there has been little recognition that there is a common subject matter. The conference on which this (...) volume is based brought together interested thinkers across the disciplines of linguistics, philosophy, psychology, and computer science to exchange ideas, discuss a range of questions and approaches to the topic, consider alternative research strategies and methodologies, and formulate interdisciplinary hypotheses concerning lexical organization. The essay subjects discussed include: * alternative and complementary conceptions of the structure of the lexicon, * the nature of semantic relations and of polysemy, * the relation between meanings, concepts, and lexical organization, * critiques of truth-semantics and referential theories of meaning, * computational accounts of lexical information and structure, and * the advantages of thinking of the lexicon as ordered. (shrink)
In this paper, I outline a Kantian moral psychology and use it to generate an analysis of the emotional attitude, love. At the heart of this moral psychology is a distinction between rational and subrational motives, and the thesis that interpersonal emotional attitudes like love are governed by a norm of respect. I show how an analysis of love that relies on this moral psychology—which I call “the incorporation conception” of love—tightly fits with paradigmatic cases of romantic love, reveals both (...) the continuities and differences between romantic and other forms of love, and also explicates our ambivalence about certain cases. Finally, I argue that this analysis, although it sees love as essentially a bundle of volitions, has the resources to respond to both David Velleman’s and Niko Kolodny’s critiques of volition-based analyses of love. Taken as a whole, the discussion provides an argument for both this analysis of love and the moral psychology it presupposes. (shrink)
The aim of my article is to relate Roberto Esposito’s reflections on Europe to his more recent proposal of instituent thought. I will try to do so by focusing on three theoretical cornerstones of Esposito’s thought: the first concerns the evidence of a link between Europe, philosophy and politics. The second is deconstructive: it highlights the inadequacy of the answers of the most important contemporary ontological-political paradigms to the European crisis, as well as the impossibility of interpreting this crisis through (...) theoretical-political categories such as sovereignty. The third relates more directly to the proposal of a new political ontology, which Esposito defines as instituent thought. Esposito’s discussion of political theology is the central theoretical nucleus of this study. This discussion will focus, in particular, on the category of negation, from which any political ontology that is based on pure affirmativeness or absolute negation is criticized. In his opinion, philosophical theories developed on the basis of these assumptions have proved to be incomplete or ineffective in relation to the current European and global philosophical and political crisis. Esposito therefore perceives the urgent need to propose a line of thought that is neither negatively destituent, nor affirmatively constituent, but instituent, capable of thinking about order through conflict. Provided that we do not think of the institution statically–in a conservative sense–but dynamically, as constant instituting in which conflict can become an instrument of a politics increasingly inspired by justice. (shrink)
This essay aims to demonstrate that the concepts of conflict and prophecy play a key role in the thought of Mario Tronti and Sergio Quinzio – even though they are interpreted in a different way. Tronti describes them as “extreme think- ing and careful acting”, remaining “within and against” the mainstream sociopolitical system. Quinzio, instead, interprets conflict and prophecy as spes contra spem, “hoping against hope” ; hence, he observes the present lucidly, remaining tenaciously faithful to the promise of the (...) Second Coming of Christ. Tronti, rethinking some fundamental aspects of the Quinzio’s reflections, connects clearly the Marxian conception of the world, on the one hand, with the theological-political one, and, on the other hand, with the messianic one; in this way, it reveals itself as a resource of meaning, from which even today we can draw. (shrink)
Fact-finding hearings may be held to determine disputed allegations of domestic violence in child contact cases in England and Wales, and can play a vital role for mothers seeking protection and autonomy from violent fathers. Drawing on the author’s empirical study, this article examines the implications for the holding of fact-finding hearings of judges’ and professionals’ understandings of domestic violence and the extent to which they perceive it to be relevant to contact. While more judges and professionals are developing their (...) understanding of domestic violence, the ambit of when and how it is considered relevant to contact has grown increasingly narrow, which suggests that many disputed allegations of domestic violence are disregarded and women and children continue to be put at risk from violent fathers. This bifurcated approach is likely to have significant implications for recent developments in this area of family law which are considered in this article. (shrink)
We explore briefly Foucault's ideas about the care of the self, creating ourselves and what he meant by ethics. We then examine the work of five artists–Mark Rothko, Cindy Sherman, Helena Hietanen, Samuel Beckett, and Betty Goodwin–to help us begin to think very differently about illness and human suffering. Taking our lead from Beckett, we regard reason as being given too much responsibility for the work of a caring knowledge, and that it is through the arts that new ideas about (...) bioethics can emerge. (shrink)