I review Amy Allen's Book: The End of Progress: Decolonizing the Normative Foundations of Critical Theory (2016) as part of a Review Symposium: -/- In her latest book, The End of Progress, Amy Allen embarks on an ambitious and much needed project: to decolonize contemporary Frankfurt School critical theory. As with all of her books, this is an exceptionally well-written and well-argued book. Allen strives to avoid making assertions without backing them up via close and careful textual reading of the (...) thinkers she engages with. In what follows I will state why this book makes a central contribution to contemporary critical theory (in the wider sense), after which I pose a few questions. These questions are not meant to prove that there are any serious problems with her argumentation. Rather, they are meant in the spirit of dialogue and to allow her to further elaborate her work for the audience... (shrink)
The most widely debated conception of democracy in recent years is deliberative democracy--the idea that citizens or their representatives owe each other mutually acceptable reasons for the laws they enact. Two prominent voices in the ongoing discussion are Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson. In Why Deliberative Democracy?, they move the debate forward beyond their influential book, Democracy and Disagreement.What exactly is deliberative democracy? Why is it more defensible than its rivals? By offering clear answers to these timely questions, Gutmann and (...) Thompson illuminate the theory and practice of justifying public policies in contemporary democracies. They not only develop their theory of deliberative democracy in new directions but also apply it to new practical problems. They discuss bioethics, health care, truth commissions, educational policy, and decisions to declare war. In "What Deliberative Democracy Means," which opens this collection of essays, they provide the most accessible exposition of deliberative democracy to date. They show how deliberative democracy should play an important role even in the debates about military intervention abroad.Why Deliberative Democracy? contributes to our understanding of how democratic citizens and their representatives can make justifiable decisions for their society in the face of the fundamental disagreements that are inevitable in diverse societies. Gutmann and Thompson provide a balanced and fair-minded approach that will benefit anyone intent on giving reason and reciprocity a more prominent place in politics than power and special interests. (shrink)
While post- and decolonial theorists have thoroughly debunked the idea of historical progress as a Eurocentric, imperialist, and neocolonialist fallacy, many of the most prominent contemporary thinkers associated with the Frankfurt School--Jürgen Habermas, Axel Honneth, and Rainer Forst--have persistently defended ideas of progress, development, and modernity and have even made such ideas central to their normative claims. Can the Frankfurt School's goal of radical social change survive this critique? And what would a decolonized critical theory look like? Amy Allen fractures (...) critical theory from within by dispensing with its progressive reading of history while retaining its notion of progress as a political imperative, so eloquently defended by Adorno. Critical theory, according to Allen, is the best resouce we have for achieving emancipatory social goals. In reimagining a decolonized critical theory after the end of progress, she rescues it from oblivion and gives it a future. (shrink)
A vision of a living code of ethics is proposed to counter the emphasis on negative phenomena in the study of organizational ethics. The living code results from the harmonious interaction of authentic leadership, five key organizational processes (attraction–selection–attrition, socialization, reward systems, decision-making and organizational learning), and an ethical organizational culture (characterized by heightened levels of ethical awareness and a positive climate regarding ethics). The living code is the cognitive, affective, and behavioral manifestation of an ethical organizational identity. We draw (...) on business ethics literature, positive organizational scholarship, and management literature to outline the elements of positive ethical organizations as those exemplary organizations consistently practicing the highest levels of organizational ethics. In a positive ethical organization, the right thing to do is the only thing to do. (shrink)
Introduction -- Karl Marx's concept of alienation -- Objectification, alienation, and estrangement -- Other origins of alienation and objectification -- Marx's account of alienation : from early to late -- The alienated object of production : commodity fetishism -- The alienated means of production : machine fetishism -- Machines and the transformation of work -- Marx's energeticist turn -- The first law of thermodynamics -- From arbeit to arbeitskraft -- The second law of thermodynamics -- Machines in the communist future (...) -- Technology and the boundaries of nature -- Material wealth and value : the Grundrisse's fragment on machines -- The strife between technology and capital : the fall in the rate of profit -- Enjoyment not value : challenging the logic of exhaustion -- Man himself as fixed capital -- Class kinship and the redistribution of the means of production -- Machines in the capitalist reality -- Between thermodynamics and humanism : approaching capital -- Machinery as an historical category of production -- Machines, trains, and other capitalist monsters -- Rough, foul-mouthed boys : women's monstrous laboring bodies -- Wage labor and race -- Wage labor and sexuality -- Machinery and revolution -- Alienation beyond Marx -- Science and technology in Marx's excerpt notebooks -- Karl Marx and Charles Babbage -- Machines and temporality : the treadmill effect and free time -- Technophobia and technophilia -- Technophobia and twentieth-century theory. (shrink)
Who should have the authority to shape the education of citizens in a democracy? This is the central question posed by Amy Gutmann in the first book-length study of the democratic theory of education. The author tackles a wide range of issues, from the democratic case against book banning to the role of teachers' unions in education, as well as the vexed questions of public support for private schools and affirmative action in college admissions.
Civic agriculture is characterized in the literature as complementary and embedded social and economic strategies that provide economic benefits to farmers at the same time that they ostensibly provide socio-environmental benefits to the community. This paper presents some ways in which women farmers practice civic agriculture. The data come from in-depth interviews with women practicing agriculture in Pennsylvania. Some of the strategies women farmers use to make a living from the farm have little to do with food or agricultural products, (...) but all are a product of the process of providing a living for farmers while meeting a social need in the community. Most of the women in our study also connect their business practices to their gender identity in rural and agricultural communities, and redefine successful farming in opposition to traditional views of economic rationality. (shrink)
Imagination has been assigned an important explanatory role in a multitude of philosophical contexts. This paper examines four such contexts: mindreading, pretense, our engagement with fiction, and modal epistemology. Close attention to each of these contexts suggests that the mental activity of imagining is considerably more heterogeneous than previously realized. In short, no single mental activity can do all the explanatory work that has been assigned to imagining.
Power is clearly a crucial concept for feminist theory. Insofar as feminists are interested in analyzing power, it is because they have an interest in understanding, critiquing, and ultimately challenging the multiple array of unjust power relations affecting women in contemporary Western societies, including sexism, racism, heterosexism, and class oppression. In "The Power of Feminist Theory," Amy Allen diagnoses the inadequacies of previous feminist conceptions of power, and draws on the work of a diverse group of theorists of power, including (...) Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, and Hannah Arendt, in order to construct a new feminist conception of power. The conception of power developed in this book enables readers to theorize domination, resistance, and solidarity, and, perhaps more importantly, to do so in a way that illuminates the interrelatedness of these three modalities of power. (shrink)
Intuitions about the transparency of experience have recently begun to play a key role in the debate about qualia. Specifically, such intuitions have been used by representationalists to support their view that the phenomenal character of our experience can be wholly explained in terms of its intentional content.[i] But what exactly does it mean to say that experience is transparent? In my view, recent discussions of transparency leave matters considerably murkier than one would like. As I will suggest, there is (...) reason to believe that experience is not transparent in the way that representationalism requires. Although there is a sense in which experience can be said to be transparent, transparency in this sense does not give us any particular motivation for representationalism—or at least, not the pure or strong representationalism that it is usually invoked to support. (shrink)
While the clinical promise of much stem cell research remains largely theoretical, patients are nonetheless pursuing unproven stem cell therapies in jurisdictions around the world?a phenomenon referred to as ?stem cell tourism.? These treatments are generally advertised on a direct-to-consumer basis via the Internet. Research shows portrayals of stem cell medicine on such websites are overly optimistic and the claims made are unsubstantiated by published evidence. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that parents are pursing these ?treatments? for their children, despite potential (...) physical and financial risk. Physicians are in a unique position as they can be expected to be involved in, or privy to, such decisions. In this paper, we consider what duties physicians may have toward minor patients whose parents/guardians wish to engage in stem cell tourism on their behalf. We use the Canadian perspective to address the broadly relevant issues raised by this trend. (shrink)
Introduction : the politics of our selves -- Foucault, subjectivity, and the enlightenment : a critical reappraisal -- The impurity of practical reason : power and autonomy in Foucault -- Dependency, subordination, and recognition : Butler on subjection -- Empowering the lifeworld? autonomy and power in Habermas -- Contextualizing critical theory -- Engendering critical theory.
In this article, I argue for bringing the work of Michel Foucault and Hannah Arendt into dialogue with respect to the links between power, subjectivity, and agency. Although one might assume that Foucault and Arendt come from such radically different philosophical starting points that such a dialogue would be impossible, I argue that there is actually a good deal of common ground to be found between these two thinkers. Moreover, I suggest that Foucault's and Arendt's divergent views about the role (...) that power plays in the constitution of subjectivity and agency should be seen as complementary rather than opposed. (shrink)
The puzzle of imaginative desire arises from the difficulty of accounting for the surprising behaviour of desire in imaginative activities such as our engagement with fiction and our games of pretend. Several philosophers have recently attempted to solve this puzzle by introducing a class of novel mental states?what they call desire-like imaginings or i-desires. In this paper, I argue that we should reject the i-desire solution to the puzzle of imaginative desire. The introduction of i-desires is both ontologically profligate and (...) unnecessary, and, most importantly, fails to make sense of what we are doing in the imaginative contexts in question. (shrink)
Empathy has for a long time, at least since the eighteenth century, been seen as centrally important in relation to our capacity to gain a grasp of the content of other people's minds, and predict and explain what they will think, feel, and do; and in relation to our capacity to respond to others ethically. In addition, empathy is seen as having a central role in aesthetics, in the understanding of our engagement with works of art and with fictional characters. (...) A fuller understanding of empathy is now offered by the interaction of research in science and the humanities. This volume draws together nineteen original chapters by leading researchers across several disciplines, together with an extensive Introduction by the editors. The individual chapters reveal how important it is, in a wide range of fields of enquiry, to bring to bear an understanding of the role of empathy in its various guises. It offers the ideal starting-point for the exploration of this intriguing aspect of human life. (shrink)
In this article, I argue that persons suffering from Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID) can give informed consent to surgical measures designed to treat this disorder. This is true even if the surgery seems radical or irrational to most people. The decision to have surgery made by a BIID patient is not necessarily coerced, incompetent or uninformed. If surgery for BIID is offered, there should certainly be a screening process in place to insure informed consent. It is beyond the scope (...) of this work, however, to define all the conditions that should be placed on the availability of surgery. However, I argue, given the similarities between BIID and gender dysphoria and the success of such gatekeeping measures for the surgical treatment of gender dysphoria, it is reasonable that similar conditions be in place for BIID. Once other treatment options are tried and gatekeeping measures satisfied, A BIID patient can give informed consent to radical surgery. (shrink)
As persons, we are importantly different from all other creatures in the universe. But in what, exactly, does this difference consist? What kinds of entities are we, and what makes each of us the same person today that we were yesterday? Could we survive having all of our memories erased and replaced with false ones? What about if our bodies were destroyed and our brains were transplanted into android bodies, or if instead our minds were simply uploaded to computers? -/- (...) In this engaging and accessible introduction to these important philosophical questions, Amy Kind brings together three different areas of research: the nature of personhood, theories of personal identity over time, and the constitution of self-identity. Surveying the key contemporary theories in the philosophical literature, Kind analyzes and assesses their strengths and weaknesses. As she shows, our intuitions on these issues often pull us in different directions, making it difficult to develop an adequate general theory. Throughout her discussion, Kind seamlessly interweaves a vast array of up-to-date examples drawn from both real life and popular fiction, all of which greatly help to elucidate this central topic in metaphysics. -/- A perfect text for readers coming to these issues for the first time, Persons and Personal Identity engages with some of the deepest and most important questions about human nature and our place in the world, making it a vital resource for students and researchers alike. (shrink)
Contemporary political theory has increasingly attended to the inevitability, and even advantage, of hypocrisy in liberal democratic politics, but less consideration has been given to the social and psychological repercussions of this ubiquitous phenomenon. This article recovers Baruch Spinoza and Pierre Bayle’s critiques of hypocritical conformity to demonstrate that their influential theories of toleration and freedom were shaped considerably by concerns with enforced conformity. Reframing Spinoza and Bayle as theorists of hypocrisy, moreover, suggests that recent redemptive accounts of hypocrisy in (...) political theory overlook deeper and arguably more discerning anxieties about a politics characterized by hypocrisy, specifically the deleterious effects of social mistrust and psychological distress. (shrink)
Exemplars clearly play a significant role in the ethical vision of the Analects. However, while they are often treated as illustrations of the text’s more abstract ethical commitments, I argue that they are better understood to source those commitments. Such is to say that the conceptual schemata of the Analects – its account of human flourishing, the specific virtues it recommends, and its suggested path for self cultivation – originate in the people the text so vividly describes, in the unmediated (...) experiences of admiration and appreciation that these figures inspire. Theory is here an attempt to take our responses to exemplars and query just why we admire them, lifting from the examples they provide more general observations about virtue. Drawing on Linda Zagzebski’s’s recent work, I argue that there are both sound textual reasons and important prudential reasons to treat the Analects as exemplarist virtue ethic. (shrink)
Imagination occupies a central place in philosophy, going back to Aristotle. However, following a period of relative neglect there has been an explosion of interest in imagination in the past two decades as philosophers examine the role of imagination in debates about the mind and cognition, aesthetics and ethics, as well as epistemology, science and mathematics. This outstanding _Handbook_ contains over thirty specially commissioned chapters by leading philosophers organised into six clear sections examining the most important aspects of the philosophy (...) of imagination, including: Imagination in historical context: Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Husserl, and Sartre What is imagination? The relation between imagination and mental imagery; imagination contrasted with perception, memory, and dreaming Imagination in aesthetics: imagination and our engagement with music, art, and fiction; the problems of fictional emotions and ‘imaginative resistance’ Imagination in philosophy of mind and cognitive science: imagination and creativity, the self, action, child development, and animal cognition Imagination in ethics and political philosophy, including the concept of 'moral imagination' and empathy Imagination in epistemology and philosophy of science, including learning, thought experiments, scientific modelling, and mathematics. The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy _of Imagination_ is essential reading for students and researchers in philosophy of mind and psychology, aesthetics, and ethics. It will also be a valuable resource for those in related disciplines such as psychology and art. (shrink)
Imagination is celebrated as our vehicle for escape from the mundane here and now. It transports us to distant lands of magic and make-believe, and provides us with diversions during boring meetings or long bus rides. Yet the focus on imagination as a means of escape from the real world minimizes the fact that imagination seems also to furnish us with knowledge about it. Imagination seems an essential component in our endeavor to learn about the world in which we live--whether (...) we're planning for the future, aiming to understand other people, or figuring out whether two puzzle pieces fit together. But how can the same mental power that allows us to escape the world as it currently is also inform us about the world as it currently is? Ten original essays grapple with this neglected question; in doing so, they present a diverse array of positions ranging from cautious optimism to deep-seated pessimism. Blending perspectives from philosophy of mind, cognitive science, epistemology, aesthetics, and ethics, Knowledge Through Imagination sheds new light on the epistemic role of imagination. (shrink)
Opponents of abortion sometimes hold that it is impermissible because fetuses are persons from the moment of conception. But miscarriage, which ends up to 89 % of pregnancies, is much deadlier than abortion. That means that if opponents of abortion are right, then miscarriage is the biggest public-health crisis of our time. Yet they pay hardly any attention to miscarriage, especially very early miscarriage. Attempts to resolve this inconsistency by adverting to the distinction between killing and letting die or to (...) the difficulty of preventing miscarriage fail, leaving a dilemma. Opponents of abortion should either advocate a substantial shift in our political and medical priorities or else give up the view that fetuses are persons from the moment of conception. (shrink)