This paper presents the hypothesis that linguistic capacity evolved through the action of natural selection as an instrument which increased the efficiency of the cultural transmission system of early hominids. We suggest that during the early stages of hominization, hominid social learning, based on indirect social learning mechanisms and true imitation, came to constitute cumulative cultural transmission based on true imitation and the approval or disapproval of the learned behaviour of offspring. A key factor for this transformation was the development (...) of a conceptual capacity for categorizing learned behaviour in value terms - positive or negative, good or bad. We believe that some hominids developed this capacity for categorizing behaviour, and such an ability allowed them to approve or disapprove of their offsprings- learned behaviour. With such an ability, hominids were favoured, as they could transmit to their offspring all their behavioural experience about what can and cannot be done. This capacity triggered a cultural transmission system similar to the human one, though pre-linguistic. We suggest that the adaptive advantage provided by this new system of social learning generated a selection pressure in favour of the development of a linguistic capacity allowing children to better understand the new kind of evaluative information received from parents. (shrink)
Law, Economics, and Morality examines the possibility of combining economic methodology and deontological morality through explicit and direct incorporation of moral constraints into economic models. Economic analysis of law is a powerful analytical methodology. However, as a purely consequentialist approach, which determines the desirability of acts and rules solely by assessing the goodness of their outcomes, standard cost-benefit analysis is normatively objectionable. Moderate deontology prioritizes such values as autonomy, basic liberties, truth-telling, and promise-keeping over the promotion of good outcomes. It (...) holds that there are constraints on promoting the good. Such constraints may be overridden only if enough good is at stake. While moderate deontology conforms to prevailing moral intuitions and legal doctrines, it is arguably lacking in methodological rigor and precision. Eyal Zamir and Barak Medina argue that the normative flaws of economic analysis can be rectified without relinquishing its methodological advantages and that moral constraints can be formalized so as to make their analysis more rigorous. They discuss various substantive and methodological choices involved in modeling deontological constraints. Zamir and Medina propose to determine the permissibility of any act or rule infringing a deontological constraint by means of mathematical threshold functions. Law, Economics, and Morality presents the general structure of threshold functions, analyzes their elements and addresses possible objections to this proposal. It then illustrates the implementation of constrained CBA in several legal fields, including contract law, freedom of speech, antidiscrimination law, the fight against terrorism, and legal paternalism. (shrink)
: Standing before one of Ada Medina's works in a museum recently, I knew myself to be in the company of a distinct presence. The exquisite form was so novel, yet its layers of organicity were deeply familiar. The piece effectively conveyed complex relationality, and pointed toward innovative forms of being, without resorting to didacticism, melodrama, or cliché. I had a strong urge to hug it. I needed to step back and figure it out.
This paper defends a contextualist approach to epistemic injustice according to which instances of such injustice should be looked at as temporally extended phenomena (having developmental and historical trajectories) and socially extended phenomena (being rooted in patterns of social relations). Within this contextualist framework, credibility excesses appear as a form of undeserved epistemic privilege that is crucially relevant for matters of testimonial justice. While drawing on Miranda Fricker's proportional view of epistemic justice, I take issue with its lack of attention (...) to the role that credibility excesses play in testimonial injustices. I depart from Fricker's view of the relation between credibility excesses and credibility deficits, and I offer an alternative account of the contributions that undeserved epistemic privileges make to epistemic injustices. Then, through the detailed analysis of To kill a mockingbird, I elucidate the crucial role played by the social imaginary in creating and sustaining epistemic injustices, developing an analysis of the kind of social blindness produced by an oppressive social imaginary that establishes unjust patterns of credibility excesses and deficits. (shrink)
While in agreement with Miranda Fricker?s context-sensitive approach to hermeneutical injustice, this paper argues that this contextualist approach has to be pluralized and rendered relational in more complex ways. In the first place, I argue that the normative assessment of social silences and the epistemic harms they generate cannot be properly carried out without a pluralistic analysis of the different interpretative communities and expressive practices that coexist in the social context in question. Social silences and hermeneutical gaps are misrepresented if (...) they are uniformly predicated of an entire social context, instead of being predicated of particular ways of inhabiting that context by particular people in relation to particular others. I contend that a more nuanced?polyphonic?contextualization offers a more adequate picture of what it means to break social silences and to repair the hermeneutical injustices associated with them. In the second place, I argue that the particular obligations with respect to hermeneutical justice that differently situated subjects and groups have are interactive and need to be determined relationally. That is, whether individuals and groups live up to their hermeneutical responsibilities has to be assessed by taking into account the forms of mutual positionality, relationality, and responsivity (or lack thereof) that these subjects and groups display with respect to one another. The central argument is developed through an examination of what in race theory and in contemporary epistemologies of ignorance has been termed ?white ignorance?; that is, the kind of hermeneutical inability of privileged white subjects to recognize and make sense of their racial identities, experiences, and social positionality. (shrink)
(2013). Standards for Academic and Professional Instruction in Foundations of Education, Educational Studies, and Educational Policy Studies Third Edition, 2012, Draft Presented to the Educational Community by the American Educational Studies Association's Committee on Academic Standards and Accreditation. Educational Studies: Vol. 49, Critical, Interpretive, and Normative Perspectives of Educational Foundations: Contributions for the 21st Century, pp. 107-118.
While in the movies or reading a novel, how can we feel terrified by monsters, ghosts, and fictional serial killers? And how can we feel sad or outraged by depictions of cruelty? After all, we know that the imagined threats that we fear do not exist and, therefore, pose no real threat to us; and we know that the instances of cruelty that bring tears to our eyes have not happened. And yet, the fear, the sadness, or the outrage experienced (...) in our imaginations feels very real. This is the so-called paradox of "fictional emotions." This and related paradoxes have become recalcitrant problems for a purely representational approach to the imagination that tries to accommodate the imagination in a belief-desire psychology, explaining our imaginings as mental states that are similar to beliefs or desires in some ways but not others—as "quasi-beliefs" or "quasi-desires." This representational approach can be seen, for example, in Kendall Walton's influential account of the imagination as "make-believe," or in Shaun Nichols and Stephen Stich's boxological account of the imagination as a "pretend box," which is in close interaction with the suspiciously similar "belief box". (shrink)
This paper uses the conceptual apparatus of Wittgenstein’s later philosophy to tackle a foundational issue in the philosophical literature on group identity, namely, the problem of difference. This problem suggests that any appeal to a collective identity is oppressive because it imposes a shared identity on the members of a group and suppresses the internal differences of the group. I develop a Wittgensteinian view of identity that dissolves this problem by showing the conceptual confusions on which it rests. My Wittgensteinian (...) view of identity tries to establish two main theses: first, that identity is bound up with difference and presupposes heterogeneity; and second, that the solidarity of identity groups, far from being obstructed by differences, actually requires diversity. Drawing from gender and sexuality studies, I use the mechanism of disidentification to show how there can be shared identities and identity-based solidarity without the erasure of differences. Key Words: community • difference • ethnicity • familial view • gender • identity • race • sexuality • solidarity • Wittgenstein. (shrink)
Background: Waiving parent permission can be an option in some epidemiological and social research with adolescents. However, exemptions have not been uniformly considered or applied. Our aim is to critically assess the different factors that could be taken into account when making decisions about waiving active parental permission in observational research with adolescents.DiscussionIn some cases alternatives to parental permission could be applied to protect the rights of both adolescents and parents and also to assure the benefits to adolescents as a (...) group that can come from appropriately conducted studies. However, the criteria of ensuring minimal risk can be difficult to define and apply and a distinction between harm and discomfort is reviewed. Waiving active parental permission could be acceptable when the risk of harm is minimal; when the research questions are related to an activity for which adolescents are not legally considered to be children; when the risk of harm or discomfort may increase if parental permission is required; and when risk of discomfort is low because the questionnaire is not potentially offensive for some adolescents and/or for some parents.SummaryStringent rules concerning parental permission in some studies could be detrimental to adolescents. A framework and a decision tree guide are proposed to help researchers and Research Ethics Committees in their decisions on whether active parental permission must be obtained. (shrink)
The polemic was an important cultural event in 19th-century Cuba. From 1838 to 1840, issues of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, pedagogy, and the influence of Victor Cousin’s eclecticism were discussed in the island’s leading newspapers. A brief historical account preceding the polemic is offered. It is argued that the predominant view of the polemic as motivated by a widespread desire for Cuba’s independence from Spain is misleading — promoting an emancipatory myth. Lastly, it is argued that José de la Luz y (...) Caballero’s appeal to patriotism during the polemic unwittingly established a dangerous precedent for self-appointed guardians of patriotism to condition public debates. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that Foucaultian genealogy offers a critical approach to practices of remembering and forgetting which is crucial for resisting oppression and dominant ideologies. For this argument I focus on the concepts of counter-history and counter-memory that Foucault developed in the 1970’s. In the first section I analyze how the Foucaultian approach puts practices of remembering and forgetting in the context of power relations, focusing not only on what is remembered and forgotten, but how , by whom, (...) and with what effects. I highlight the critical possibilities for resistance that this approach opens up, and I illustrate them with Ladelle McWhorter’s genealogy of racism in Anglo-America. In the second section I put the Foucaultian approach in conversation with contemporary work in pragmatism and critical theory on the social epistemology of memory. In the third and final section, I explore some of the implications of the Foucaultian notion of resistance and what I term guerrilla pluralism for contemporary epistemological discussions of ignorance in standpoint theory and race theory. (shrink)
This paper is a critical examination of Wittgenstein's view of the limits of intelligibility. In it I criticize standard analytic readings of Wittgenstein as an advocate of transcendental or behaviourist theses in epistemology; and I propose an alternative interpretation of Wittgenstein's view as a social contextualism that transcends the false dichotomy between Kantianism and psychologism. I argue that this social contextualism is strikingly similar to the social account of epistemic practices developed by Pierre Bourdieu. Through a comparison between Wittgenstein's and (...) Bourdieu's view and an analysis of the notion of habitus , I try to show how social contextualism can account for the distinction between sense and nonsense without falling into transcendental constructivism or social behaviourism. (shrink)
Los diversos intentos por conceptualizar el principio de precaución de manera general se construyen a partir de las respuestas que han encontrado los ordenamientos jurídicos, tanto estatales como de carácter internacional, para hacer frente a la incertidumbre que provoca la generación de los riesgos provenientes del desarrollo, especialmente frente a las nuevas tecnologías. De esta forma, se pueden encontrar importantes lecciones en la historia respecto al cómo afrontar situaciones que dañan, principalmente, al medioambiente, la salud humana, animal o vegetal; por (...) lo cual es importante conocer como éstos se han ido enfrentando y fueron dando forma a este principio en la práctica, el cual tiene una importancia fundamental al convertirse en una garantía frente al progreso de las ciencias, para que no sea más caro el “prevenir que curar”. (shrink)
Vitoria and Suárez defend the categorical immunity of the innocent not to be intentionally killed. But they allow for inflicting collective punishment on the innocent and the noninnocent alike during and after a just war. So they allow for deliberately harming them. Inflicting harm on the innocent can often result in their death. Hence, holding both claims seems incoherent. First, the objections against using the term “innocent” are explained. Second, their views on just war are explored. And third, by appealing (...) to Aquinas' double-effect reasoning, it is shown how they try to avoid the above-mentioned incoherence. Still, their appeal might be insufficient to palliate the tension between the above-mentioned claims. If just wars are possible, the deliberate harming of the innocent is reasonably unavoidable for defeating and punishing those who wage them. Hence, defenders of just wars, whether from a religious or a secular perspective, must live with such a tension. (shrink)
The Totonac homegarden is a traditionally designed agroecosystem mixing different elements, such as cultivated and wild plants, and livestock. Our objective was to understand the role and importance of homegardens as a strategy for subsistence and natural resources management. Anthropological fieldwork was carried out in Coxquihui, Veracruz, Mexico, a Totonac community. Conventional sampling using a questionnaire yielded a sample of 40 individuals, each representing a family group. Personal interviews, life stories, observations, and field transects enriched survey information. Fieldwork permitted identification (...) of four types of Totonac homegardens: backyards, cropping fields, acahuales or fallow fields, and fences or field edges. Each of these gardens yields an array of products and services important for several cultural roles and natural resource management aims. Totonacs see land as the dominant and most critical resource. A great deal of terrain is steeply sloped and soils are poor. Homegardens play a key role in a production system that minimizes these site limitations, striking a balance between resource maintenance and subsistence needs. Their functions are ecological, to foster a multistrata vegetation cover, and a continuous supply of organic matter to the soil; economic, serving as living storehouses where diverse products (food, timber, firewood, forage, animals, ceremonial supplies, medicinal products), are kept through the annual cycle; and social, performing various social roles such as growing medicinal, ritual, and edible plants, thus supporting beliefs and culture continuity. Studies like this contribute to a better understanding of Totonac culture and native ecology, and give ideas for a better land management. (shrink)
This is a critical discussion of selected chapters of the first volume of Scott Soames's _Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century. It is argued that this volume falls short of the minimal standards of scholarship appropriate to a work that advertises itself as a history, and, further, that Soames's frequent heuristic simplifications and distortions, since they are only sporadically identified as such, are more likely to confuse than to enlighten the student. These points are illustrated by reference to Soames's discussions (...) of Russell's logical system and the place of the theory of descriptions in his ontological development. It is then argued that Soames's interpretation of the point of G. E. Moore's famous 'proof' of an external world, while not straightforwardly undermined by the textual evidence, is nonetheless questionable, and plausibly overlooks what is novel in Moore's discussion. This, it is argued, in his attempt to offer a common sense 'refutation of idealism', rather than (as is more commonly supposed) an antiskeptical argument 'from differential certainty'. (shrink)
El presente trabajo tiene como objetivo fundamental analizar una disciplina reciente denominada teoría de la organización. Para tal efecto se muestran diversos hechos históricos, los cuales al inicio eran tan sólo una pretensión teórico-metodológica univoca y simplificada para el estudio de las organizaciones, como ocurrió con las ciencias naturales. Sin embargo, en la actualidad han eclosionado en una amplia gama de perspectivas fenomenológicas en torno a las organizaciones. Por lo anterior se propone como explicación el anarquismo epistemológico acuñado por Paul (...) K. Feyerabend, por considerarlo una herramienta poderosa para entender a las teorías de la organización. También se sostiene como hipótesis la presencia de un robustecimiento de esta teoría al abrevar de distintas fuentes para la explicación de sus fenómenos.The fundamental aim of this paper is to analyze a recent discipline called organization theory. For this purpose, diverse historic events are shown. These facts initiated a theoretical-methodological univocal and simplified pretension for the study of the organizations, like the one occurred with the natural sciences. Nevertheless, currently they have emerged in an extensive range of phenomenological perspectives around organizations. Therefore, it is proposed as an explanation the “anarchism epistemology” minted by Paul K. Feyerabend by considering it a powerful tool to understand the theories of the organization. Also it maintains as hypothesis that the study of several sources to find out a possible explanation for its phenomena, strengthens the organization theory or theories. (shrink)
Through a new interpretation of Wittgenstein's rule-following discussions, this article defends a negotiating model of normativity according to which normative authority is always subject to contestation. To refute both individualism and collectivism, I supplement Wittgenstein's Private Language Argument with a Social Language Argument, showing that normativity cannot be monopolized either individually or socially (i.e. it cannot be privatized or collectivized). The negotiating view of normativity here developed lays the foundations of a politics of radical contestation which converges with Chantal Mouffe's (...) framework of 'radical democracy', while departing from her agonism in preserving the structuring and constraining role that tacit agreement in action plays in rule-following practices. My account of the 'burdens of eccentricity' elucidates how the normative force of dissidence can be properly recognized and used effectively for social transformations. I argue that there is a 'presumption of normalcy' in favour of the established consensus of action, but that this presumption is defeasible: in normative disagreements, a violation of expected normalcy shifts the burden onto the shoulders of rebellious agents who must show that their dissenting behaviour can be a legitimate extension, revision, or transformation of the practice in question. (shrink)
As third wave feminist philosophers attending graduate schools in different parts of the country, we decided to use our e-mail discussion as the format for presenting our thinking on the subject of third wave feminism. Our dialogue takes us through the subjects of postmodernism, the relationship between theory and practice, the generation gap, and the power relations associated with feminist philosophy as an established part of the academy.
Radical feminists have argued that there are normative exclusions that have silenced certain voices and have rendered certain meanings unintelligible. Some Wittgensteinians (including some Wittgensteinian feminists) have argued that these radical feminists fall into a philosophical illusion by appealing to the notions of 'intelligible nonsense' and 'inexpressible meanings', an illusion that calls for philosophical therapy. In this paper I diagnose and criticize the therapeutic dilemma that results from this interpretation of Wittgenstein's contextualism. According to this dilemma, if something is meaningful, (...) it must be expressible from the perspective of the participant in language-games; and if it is not so expressible, it is not meaningful at all. I argue that this is a false dilemma that rests on the untenable internalist notion of a unified 'participant's perspective'. I propose an alternative contextualist view that underscores the polyphony of language-games, that is, the irreducible multiplicity of perspectives always present in discursive practices (if only implicitly and in embryo). Through a discussion of the different meanings of silence, my polyphonic contextualism tries to show that our linguistic practices always exhibit an irreducible diversity and heterogeneity of points of view that cannot be subsumed under a unified perspective. (shrink)
Since Stalbaum’s 1838 translation revived interest in Plato’s Timaeus, commentators have tended to bracket the discourse on Necessity, reading it as either mythical or mystical. This essay offers an interpretation of Necessity that is also an assertion of its importance for understanding the philosophically important conception of chora-space found therein. Beginning with throwing ourselves back into the Presocratic milieu, I examine what remains of Presocratic notions of kreon and ananke (necessity) in order to move forward a more robust interpretation of (...) the discourse on Necessity and chora-space. (shrink)
This paper articulates a deflationary interpretation of the notions of meaning and necessity in Wittgenstein's Tractatus. This interpretation is developed through a new account of the socalled color‐exclusion problem and of why the formalism of the Tractatus fails to solve it. According to my analysis, this failure calls into question whether the limits of the sayable and the thinkable can be drawn from within language and thought by means of a purely formal logical analysis. I argue that the lesson to (...) learn from the color‐exclusion problem concerns the limitations of a formal logical analysis of language in eliminating the philosophical mythologies formed around the notions of meaning and necessity, and more generally the limitations of formalism as a deflationary strategy in philosophy. (shrink)
Carl Schmitt contends that liberal constitutionalism or the rule of law fails because it neglects the state of exception and the political, namely politics viewed as a distinction between friend and enemy groups. Yet, as a representative of liberal constitutionalism, Locke grapples with the state of exception by highlighting a magistrate prerogative and/or the right of the majority to act during a serious political crisis. Rather than neglecting the political, Locke’s state of war presupposes it. My thesis is that Schmitt’s (...) assault against Locke’s liberal constitutionalism is one-sided, and hence Locke’s militant liberalism can disarm it. In support of my thesis I shall argue (1) that Schmitt overlooks Locke’s distinction between liberty and license; (2) that, ironically, Schmitt’s conception of politics resembles Locke’s state of war; and (3) that Locke’s liberalism is militant rather than neutral because it excludes extremists from enjoying equal civil and political rights, as reasonable citizens do, to compete for political power. (shrink)
El artículo constituye una breve investigación histórica y teórica en torno a los principales nexos entre el pensamiento temprano de William James y el trabajo desplegado por Edmund Husserl en las Investigaciones lógicas. A través de un examen preliminar de las relaciones personales entre ambos autores, pasaremos a un estudio sobre el aparato conceptual desarrollado por James, sobre todo en Principios de psicología, con el objetivo de contrastarlo con el planteado por Husserl, mostrando cómo el primer autor esbozó, entre otros, (...) los conceptos fenomenológicos de intencionalidad y objetividad ideal. (shrink)