John Fischer and Mark Ravizza defend in this book a painstakingly constructed analysis of what they take to be a core condition of moral responsibility: the notion of guidance control. The volume usefully collects in one place ideas and arguments the authors have previously published in singly or jointly authored works on this and related topics, as well as various refinements to those views and some suggestive discussions that aim to show how their account of guidance control might fit into (...) a more comprehensive account of moral responsibility. (shrink)
In this book Macdonald elaborates a democratic framework based on the new theoretical concepts of 'public power', 'stakeholder communities' and 'non-electoral representation', and illustrates the practical implications of these proposals for projects of global institutional reform.
We think that certain of our mental states represent the world around us, and represent it in determinate ways. My perception that there is salt in the pot before me, for example, represents my immediate environment as containing a certain object, a pot, with a certain kind of substance, salt, in it. My belief that salt dissolves in water represents something in the world around me, namely salt, as having a certain observational property, that of dissolving. But what exactly is (...) the relation between such states and the world beyond the surfaces of our skins? Specifically, what exactly is the relation between the contents of those states, and the world beyond our bodies? (shrink)
What did Leibniz have to contribute to the philosophy of mind? To judge from textbooks in the philosophy of mind, and even Leibniz commentaries, the answer is: not much. That may be because Leibniz’s philosophy of mind looks roughly like a Cartesian philosophy of mind. Like Descartes and his followers, Leibniz claims that the mind is immaterial and immortal; that it is a thinking thing ; that it is a different kind of thing from body and obeys its own laws; (...) and that it comes stocked with innate truth-tracking intellectual ideas and an epistemically troubling habit of forming confused sensory ideas on the occasion of external corporeal events. Nothing is new. Of course, Leibniz adds unconscious perceptions to the mind in the form of his famous petites perceptions, and he offers a unique solution to the problem of mind-body interaction in the form of his infamous pre-established harmony. In the overall scheme of things, however, these look like minor alterations in a philosophy of mind that the Cartesians had been advocating for some fifty years. Or so it appears. (shrink)
Kant retired from teaching in 1796 and immediately began work in earnest on a new project that was supposed to complete his critical philosophy. It was never finished, and it has come down to us as a messy pile of notes published as volumes 21 and 22 in the “Academy edition” of Kant’s writings. The consensus today is that the so-called Opus Postumum would provide an immensely valuable window on the final state of Kant’s philosophy—if somebody could just make sense (...) of it. A number of scholars writing in English have taken up the challenge in full-length studies in the last few years. One of them is Jeffrey Edwards. (shrink)
Self-knowledge is the focus of considerable attention from philosophers: Knowing Our Own Minds gives a much-needed overview of current work on the subject, bringing together new essays by leading figures. Knowledge of one's own sensations, desires, intentions, thoughts, beliefs, and other attitudes is characteristically different from other kinds of knowledge: it has greater immediacy, authority, and salience. The contributors examine philosophical questions raised by the distinctive character of self-knowledge, relating it to knowledge of other minds, to rationality and agency, externalist (...) theories of psychological content, and knowledge of language. Together these original, stimulating, and closely interlinked essays demonstrate the special relevance of self-knowledge to a broad range of issues in epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language. (shrink)
In Feminist, Queer, Crip Alison Kafer imagines a different future for disability and disabled bodies. Challenging the ways in which ideas about the future and time have been deployed in the service of compulsory able-bodiedness and able-mindedness, Kafer rejects the idea of disability as a pre-determined limit. She juxtaposes theories, movements, and identities such as environmental justice, reproductive justice, cyborg theory, transgender politics, and disability that are typically discussed in isolation and envisions new possibilities for crip futures and feminist/queer/crip (...) alliances. This bold book goes against the grain of normalization and promotes a political framework for a more just world. (shrink)
This paper argues that, by construing emotion as epistemologically subversive, the Western tradition has tended to obscure the vital role of emotion in the construction of knowledge. The paper begins with an account of emotion that stresses its active, voluntary, and socially constructed aspects, and indicates how emotion is involved in evaluation and observation. It then moves on to show how the myth of dispassionate investigation has functioned historically to undermine the epistemic authority of women as well as other social (...) groups associated culturally with emotion. Finally, the paper sketches some ways in which the emotions of underclass groups, especially women, may contribute to the development of a critical social theory. (shrink)
Alison Wylie is one of the few full-time academic philosophers of the social and historical sciences on the planet today. And fortunately for us, she happens to specialise in archaeology! After emerging onto the archaeological theory scene in the mid-1980s with her work on analogy, she has continued to work on philosophical questions raised by archaeological practice. In particular, she explores the status of evidence and ideals of objectivity in contemporary archaeology: how do we think we know about the (...) past? Her other key interests include feminist initiatives in Anglo-American archaeology, and ethical conflicts in current archaeological practice. Kathryn Denning recently asked about her adventures in archaeology and academia and her thoughts on archaeology’s past, present, and future. (shrink)
In this essay, I defend theology against a recent argument made by Peter Byrne. According to Byrne, any discipline of thought that can be interpreted realistically shows the accumulation of reliable or widespread belief about the reality it investigates. I challenge this claim, first, by showing how theology, so construed as an exercise of ‘faith seeking understanding’, can and should be interpreted realistically, even if it does not show the accumulation of reliable or widespread belief about divine reality. Second, I (...) give a plausible account of why theology is beset by internal disagreement and division, even if the goal of theological enquiry is to overcome such disagreement and division. (shrink)
In this long-awaited compendium of new and newly revised essays, Alison Wylie explores how archaeologists know what they know. -/- Preprints available for download. Please see entry for specific article of interest.
This paper explores two questions central to understanding the nature of formulaic sequences: What are they for? and What determines how many there are? The “Communicative Impact” model draws into a single account how language is shaped by cognitive processing on the one hand and socio-interactional function on the other: Formulaic sequences play a range of coordinated roles in neutralizing unanticipated perturbations in the cognitive management of language, so the speaker's socio-interactional goals can still be achieved. One role involves compensatory (...) actions to sustain fluency. However, these actions are themselves context-sensitive, so the balance of types of formulaic sequence will vary according to situation. The model applies equally to temporary cognitive pressure and chronic problems such as dementia and limited linguistic competency in a foreign language. (shrink)
Alison Stone offers a feminist defence of the idea that sexual difference is natural, providing a new interpretation of the later philosophy of Luce Irigaray. She defends Irigaray's unique form of essentialism and her rethinking of the relationship between nature and culture, showing how Irigaray's ideas can be reconciled with Judith Butler's performative conception of gender, through rethinking sexual difference in relation to German Romantic philosophies of nature. This is the first sustained attempt to connect feminist conceptions of embodiment (...) to German idealist and Romantic accounts of nature. Not merely an interpretation of Irigaray, this book also presents an original feminist perspective on nature and the body. It will encourage debate on the relations between sexual difference, essentialism, and embodiment. (shrink)
The prevalence and complexity of local sustainable development challenges require coordinated action from multiple actors in the business, public, and civil society sectors. Large multi-stakeholder partnerships that build capacity by developing and leveraging the diverse perspectives and resources of partner organizations are becoming an increasingly popular approach to addressing such challenges. Multi-stakeholder partnerships are designed to address and prioritize a social problem, so it can be challenging to define the value proposition to each specific partner. Using a resource-based view, this (...) study examines partner outcomes from the perspective of the strategic interest of the partner as distinct from the strategic goal of the partnership. Based on 47 interviews with representatives of partner organizations in four Canadian case studies of community sustainability plan implementation, this article details 10 resources partners can gain from engaging in a multi-stakeholder partnership. (shrink)
In this paper, we examine critically the notion of “Triple Bottom Line” accounting. We begin by asking just what it is that supporters of the Triple Bottom Line idea advocate, and attempt to distil specific, assessable claims from the vague, diverse, and sometimescontradictory uses of the Triple Bottom Line rhetoric. We then use these claims as a basis upon which to argue (a) that what issound about the idea of a Triple Bottom Line is not novel, and (b) that what (...) is novel about the idea is not sound. We argue on bothconceptual and practical grounds that the Triple Bottom Line is an unhelpful addition to current discussions of corporate social responsibility. Finally, we argue that the Triple Bottom Line paradigm cannot be rescued simply by attenuating its claims: the rhetoric isbadly misleading, and may in fact provide a smokescreen behind which firms can avoid truly effective social and environmental reporting and performance. (shrink)
In this wide-ranging interview with three members of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Sao Paolo (Brazil) Wylie explains how she came to work on philosophical issues raised in and by archaeology, describes the contextualist challenges to ‘received view’ models of confirmation and explanation in archaeology that inform her work on the status of evidence and contextual ideals of objectivity, and discusses the role of non-cognitive values in science. She also is pressed to explain what’s feminist about feminist (...) research and in that connection outlines her account of feminist standpoint theory and the relevance of feminist analysis to science. (shrink)
Understanding causal structure is a central task of human cognition. Causal learning underpins the development of our concepts and categories, our intuitive theories, and our capacities for planning, imagination and inference. During the last few years, there has been an interdisciplinary revolution in our understanding of learning and reasoning: Researchers in philosophy, psychology, and computation have discovered new mechanisms for learning the causal structure of the world. This new work provides a rigorous, formal basis for theory theories of concepts and (...) cognitive development, and moreover, the causal learning mechanisms it has uncovered go dramatically beyond the traditional mechanisms of both nativist theories, such as modularity theories, and empiricist ones, such as association or connectionism. (shrink)
The Beloved Self is about the holy grail of moral philosophy, an argument against egoism that proves that we all have reasons to be moral. Part One introduces three different versions of egoism. Part Two looks at attempts to prove that egoism is false, and shows that even the more modest arguments that do not try to answer the egoist in her own terms seem to fail. But in part Three, Hills defends morality and develops a new problem for egoism, (...) an epistemological problem. She shows that it is not epistemically rational to believe the most plausible versions of egoism. The first part of the book will be most relevant to those interested in moral theory, as it contains detailed discussions of recent interpretations of virtue ethics and especially of Kant's moral theory. The second and third part of the book turn to epistemology, particularly moral epistemology, and include an account of the relationship between knowledge and action, a new theory of moral understanding, and a discussion of the epistemically rational response to various kinds of disagreement. Hills also defends a new account of virtue and of morally worthy action. (shrink)
Teleosemantics seeks to explain meaning and other intentional phenomena in terms of their function in the life of the species. This volume of new essays from an impressive line-up of well-known contributors offers a valuable summary of the current state of the teleosemantics debate.
A debate has been raging in the philosophy of mind for at least the past two decades. It concerns whether the mental can make a causal difference to the world. Suppose that I am reading the newspaper and it is getting dark. I switch on the light, and continue with my reading. One explanation of why my switching on of the light occurred is that a desiring with a particular content (that I continue reading), a noticing with a particular content (...) (that it is getting dark), and a believing with a particular content (that by switching on the light I could continue reading) occurred in me, and these events caused my switching on of the light. This explanation works by citing the intentional contents of mental phenomena as causes of that action. It is because the intentional causes have the contents that they do, and because those contents play a causal role in bringing about my action, that my action is causally explained. (shrink)
The massive disparity between the relative wealth of most citizens in affluent countries and the profound poverty of billions of people struggling elsewhere for survival is morally jolting. But why exactly is this disparity so outrageous and how should the citizens of affluent countries respond? Political philosopher, Thomas Pogge, has emerged as one of the world’s most ardent critics of global injustice which, he argues, is caused directly by the operation of a global institutional order that not only systematically disadvantages (...) poor countries but is imposed on them by precisely those wealthy, powerful countries that benefit the most from the order’s injustice. In allowing their governments to perpetrate this injustice, Pogge contends that citizens of the wealthy countries collude in a monumental crime against humanity. In this book Pogge’s challenging and controversial ideas are debated by leading political philosophers from a range of philosophical viewpoints. With a clear and informative introduction by Alison Jaggar, and original contributions from Neera Chandhoke, Jiwei Ci, Joshua Cohen, Erin Kelly, Lionel McPherson, Charles W. Mills, Kok-Chor Tan, and Leif Wenar, this volume deepens and expands the debate over global justice and moral responsibility in the world today. (shrink)
I will introduce six constraints that should guide the formulation and use of DE. One goal in listing them is to engage in dialectical fair play by ruling out criticisms of the doctrine that are directed at misformulations of DE or that result from misapplications of it. Each of these constraints should be acceptable to any proponent of DE. Yet when these constraints on the application of DE are respected, it becomes clear that many of the examples provided as illustrations (...) of DE actually illustrate other, more interesting uses of the contrast between intention and foresight. (shrink)
Alison Bailey’s The Weight of Whiteness: A Feminist Engagement with Privilege, Race, and Ignorance examines how whiteness misshapes our humanity, measuring the weight of whiteness in terms of its costs and losses to collective humanity. People of color feel the weight of whiteness daily. The resistant habits of whiteness and its attendant privileges, however, make it difficult for white people to feel the damage. White people are more comfortable thinking about white supremacy in terms of what privilege does for (...) them, rather than feeling what it does to them. The first half of the book focuses on the overexposed side of white privilege, the side that works to make the invisible and intangible structures of power more visible and tangible. Bailey discusses the importance of understanding privileges intersectionally, the ignorance-preserving habits of “white talk,” and how privilege and ignorance circulate in educational settings. The second part invites white readers to explore the underexposed side of white dominance, the weightless side that they would rather not feel. The final chapters are powerfully autobiographical. Bailey engages readers with a deeply personal account of what it means to hold space with the painful weight of whiteness in her own life. She also offers a moving account of medicinal genealogies, which helps to engage the weight she inherits from her settler colonial ancestors. The book illustrates how the gravitational pull of white ignorance and comfort are stronger than the clean pain required for collective liberation. The stakes are high: Failure to hold the weight of whiteness ensures that white people will continue to blow the weight of historical trauma through communities of color. (shrink)
At least since Augustine, philosophers have constructed developmental just-so stories about the origins of certain concepts. In these just-so stories, philosophers tell us how children must develop these concepts. However, philosophers have by and large neglected the empirical data about how children actually do develop their ideas about the world. At best they have used information about children in an anecdotal and unsystematic, though often illuminating, way.