Davide Panagia, The Poetics of Political Thinking (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2006). ISBN 0-8223-3718-5, (hbk) US$ 74.95, (pbk) US$ 21.95,166pp. and Davide Panagia, The Political Life of Sensation (Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press, 2009). ISBN 978-0-8223-4479-7, (hbk) US$ 79.95, (pbk) US$ 22.95, 213pp.
Though for the Western political tradition violence is usually deemed merely instrumental, and thus neither essential to, nor constitutive of, the bios politikos, Walter Benjamin s Zur Kritik der Gewalt [Critique of Violence, 1921] and Georges Sorel s RØflexions sur la violence [Reflections on Violence, 1908] constitute an exception. 1 In very different ways, both texts put forward a notion of violence which comes to coincide with pure praxis, that is, with pure political action, in great contrast with a political (...) tradition which rather identifies in violence a non-political or anti-political form of action. In Benjamin s case, the ambiguity of the term Gewalt is not secondary to the argument: in German, it can mean force, power, might and violence, depending on the context; it reunites thus potestas and violentia in a dialectics that Etienne Balibar values as positive and fructuous. The French violence, on the contrary, presents a univocal connotation, though Sorel, as we will see, redefines it to his own purposes. 3 However, the explanation cannot be limited to the terminology, but must rather be pursued in their notion of praxis. (shrink)
The essay analyses the notion of ‘purity’ in the early writings of Walter Benjamin, focusing more specifically on three essays written around the crucial year 1921: ‘Critique of Violence’, ‘The Task of the Translator’, and ‘Goethe's Elective Affinities’. In these essays, ‘purity’ appears in the notions of ‘pure means’, ‘pure violence’, ‘pure language’, and, indirectly, the ‘expressionless’. The essay argues, on the one hand, that the ‘purity’ of these concepts is one and the same notion, and, on the other, that (...) it is strongly indebted to, if not a by-product of, Kant's theorisation of the moral act. In order to make this claim, the essay analyses Benjamin's intense engagement with Kant's writings in the 1910s and early 1920s: ‘purity’ is a category strongly connoted within the philosophical tradition in which the young Benjamin moved his first steps, namely Kantian transcendental criticism. The essay argues that the notion of ‘purity’ in Benjamin, though deployed outside and often against Kant's theorisation and that of his followers, and moreover influenced by different and diverse philosophical suggestions, retains a strong Kantian tone, especially in reference to its moral and ethical aspects. Whereas Benjamin rejects Kant's model of cognition based on the ‘purity’ of the universal laws of reason, and thus also Kant's theorisation of purity as simply non empirical and a priori, he models nonetheless his politics and aesthetics around suggestions that arise directly from Kant's theorisation of the moral act and of the sublime, and uses a very Kantian vocabulary of negative determinations construed with the privatives-los and -frei . The essay explores thus the connections that link ‘pure means’, ‘pure language’ and ‘pure violence’ to one another and to the Kantian tradition. (shrink)
Philosophy and Kafka is a collection of original essays interrogating the relationship of literature and philosophy. The essays either discuss specific philosophical commentaries on Kafka’s work, consider the possible relevance of certain philosophical outlooks for examining Kafka’s writings, or examine Kafka’s writings in terms of a specific philosophical theme, such as communication and subjectivity, language and meaning, knowledge and truth, the human/animal divide, justice, and freedom.
The questions of violence, justice and judgment define one of the most resonant and constant concerns of contemporary thought. In part, this is only a reflection of what are often called the realities on the ground . In the few years of this century the logic of violence, and even its aestheticisation whether as terror or as shock and awe, or in the citizens daily vocation to be alert but not alarmed have become the familiar data of current (...) experience. They are a kind of weather, felt through the colour-coded threat scale of the Homeland Security Advisory System, or in the casual references to the current climate. In view of these realities, and of an acclimatisation to them that informs general popular support for extensions of executive power and legislative activity, the urgency of the turn or return to questions of force and law is to be expected. In the fabric of recent debate, they are seams at which confrontations are staged and positions defined; but also, where the thought that remains closest to the realities on the ground is forced into juxtaposition with the mythological and theological schemes that violence, justice and judgment inevitably conjure. Thus, contributors to this issue of Colloquy were invited to consider whether it was possible to account for a difference between violence, terror and revolution, without simplification or banalisation of the relationship between law and force. On the one hand, the editors envisaged that this question would be a provocation to reexamine contemporary representations of sovereignty, jurisdiction and the state of exception, in a global context dominated by issues of security and the justification of extra-legal and extra-judicial force occupation, detention, torture. On the other hand, the reference to the mythological and the theological was inevitable, inasmuch as contributors were invited to organise their reflections around two of the most significant interventions in twentieth-century jurisprudence and political theory, Walter Benjamins Critique of Violence and Jacques Derridas Force of Law. For as is well-known, Benjamin and Derrida pursue their distinctive lines of questioning in the direction of a divine violence or of a mystical foundation of authority. The reception of the two texts suggests that these concepts remain, for many, difficult to the point of being indigestible; at least in the current climate.. (shrink)
The American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Circumcision published its policy statement and technical report on newborn circumcision in September 2012.1 ,2 Since that time, some individuals and groups have voiced objections to the work of the Task Force, while others have conveyed their support. The AAP task force is pleased that the policy statement and technical reports on circumcision have stimulated debate on this topic and welcomes respectful discussion and dialogue about the scientific and ethical issues that surround (...) neonatal circumcision. We believe this is a complex issue that does not lend itself to simplistic solutions. The Task Force encourages those of all viewpoints to contribute to a vibrant, thoughtful and respectful evidence-based dialogue. We appreciate that the free exchange of competing ideas is a necessary component of scientific discovery. We also recognise that all clinical decisions carry ethical dimensions and that a respectful and thoughtful dialogue about these issues is important. However, the Task Force also feels strongly that this debate and the academic literature are demeaned when those with an ideological agenda disseminate inaccurate information, misapply scientific principles, make accusations that are unsupported, communicate in a vitriolic tone, and attempt to discredit and mischaracterise alternative views and those who hold them. Healthy debate and …. (shrink)
This study examined the hypothesis that religiosity would be differentially related to six types of adolescent prosocial behaviour, and that these relations would be mediated by the prosocial value of kindness. Self?report data were collected from 142 high school students (63 per cent female; 91 per cent White; M age?=?16.8, S?=?.80). Religiosity was a significant positive predictor of kindness, as well as compliant, anonymous and altruistic prosocial behaviour, but not public, dire and emotional prosocial behaviour. Associations between religiosity and both (...) compliant and altruistic prosocial behaviours were mediated by kindness. Direct and indirect paths were found between religiosity and anonymous prosocial behaviour. Thus, partial support was found for the mediational hypothesis. Discussion focused on the utility of distinguishing among different types of prosocial behaviours and on the role of religion and values in promoting moral education. (shrink)
This study examined relations between parenting dimensions (involvement, autonomy support and structure) and adolescents' moral values internalisation. A sample of 101 adolescents (71% female; 76% white; M age = 16.10, SD = 1.17) reported on the parenting behaviour of one of their parents and on their own moral values. Four forms of values regulation were assessed (external, introjected, identified and integrated), as well as overall internalisation. Structure was positively linked to external and introjected regulation, involvement was positively associated with identified (...) and integrated regulation and structure was negatively linked to overall internalisation. Additionally, positive interactions were found for autonomy support and involvement predicting identified and integrated regulation. Implications for parenting and moral education are discussed. (shrink)
Today there is a great interest in reconstructing Lenin's thought concerning the relation between vangard and masses. Lenin's definitive theses on the problem are seen to have been outlined in his famous and much discussed work, What Is to Be Done? which, for some, remains the only scientific answer to the problem (not fully developed by Marx and Engels) of the passage from “class-in-itself” to “class-for-itself.” For others, this work, impregnated by intellectualism and idealism, is seen as a classic of (...) the Stalinist era and is held to be the root of all the bureaucratic deviations of the Soviet experience. (shrink)
The necessary starting point in an analysis of Yugoslavia is the level of development of self-management. The 1973 law on collective work, the goal of which was to contain growing technocratic tendencies in the enterprises, has disciplined the powers of the “work units,” the democratic cells which are directed from below (in practice, they are something similar to department assemblies) and which were supposed to provide the most authentic foundation for self-management. These productive units can be compared to Western capitalist (...) firms whose goal, as we know, it to strengthen control over production costs, increase economic efficiency, facilitate management and create a more congenial atmosphere for work. (shrink)
Dieter Senghaas' recent volume on the problem of underdevelopment represents one of the few actual efforts in Western European culture of the last twenty years toward understanding the problem of underdevelopment from a progressive perspective. This exception is all the more relevant since it comes from a German scholar, i.e., an exponent of a scientific climate which is definitely conservative and often openly reactionary. Starting from the empirical discovery of the existence of an unbalanced social division of labor in the (...) world market (pp. 15 and 25), Senghaas is led to the repudiation of the Ricardian law of comparative costs and benefits (p. 27ff). (shrink)
There are three concerns regarding Rachlin's altruism model. First, proximal causal mechanisms such as those identified by cognitive neuroscientists and behavioral neuropharmacologists are not emphasized. Second, there is a lack of clear testable hypotheses. And third, extreme forms of altruism are emphasized rather than common forms. We focus on an overarching theme – proximal mechanisms of individual differences in altruism.
Supervaluationism holds that the future is undetermined, and as a consequence of this, statements about the future may be neither true nor false. In the present paper, we explore the novel and quite different view that the future is abundant: statements about the future do not lack truth-value, but may instead be glutty, that is both true and false. We will show that the logic resulting from this “abundance of the future” is a non-adjunctive paraconsistent formalism based on subvaluations, which (...) has the virtue that all classical laws are valid in it, while no formula like φ ∧ ¬φ is satisfiable ; The peculiar behaviour of abundant logical consequence has an illuminating analogy in probability logic; abundance preserves some important features of classical logic when it comes to express those important retrogradations of truth which are presupposed by the argument de praesenti ad praeteritum. (shrink)
Scholars have noted the need to examine the psychometric properties of measures that can be used in evaluating moral education programs. The present study was designed to examine the best?fitting factor model of a commonly?used measure of prosocial moral reasoning (PROM) across samples from Brazil and the USA, gender and adolescent age groups. The samples consisted of 619 college students (M age = 20.59 years, SD = 4.08; 41% men, 59% women) and 239 middle and high school students (M age (...) = 14.02 years, SD = 3.04; 45% boys, 55% girls) from the USA. There were 114 college students (M age = 21.81, SD = 4.33; 35% men, 65% women) and 136 middle and high school students (M age = 14.93 years, SD = 1.55; 42% boys, 58% girls) from Brazil. A series of (multigroup) confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to test the best fitting factor structure of the PROM and the invariance of this factor structure across culture, gender and age groups. Evidence for measurement invariance was found such that a four?factor model was a slightly better fitting model than the five?factor model across all groups. Discussion focuses on theoretical and methodological implications of the findings. (shrink)