This paper argues for a psychological understanding of Nietzsche's categories of master and slave morality. Disentangling Nietzsche's parallel discourses of strength, superiority, and spirituality in the first essay of On the Genealogy of Morals, I argue that master and slave morality are better understood as ethical practices of the self than surrogates for either a binary classification of strength and weakness or a political demarcation of oppressor and oppressed. In doing so, I offer an application of this analysis to the (...) horrific violence visited upon the Gaza Strip by Israel in its 2008-09 military assault. (shrink)
This book is a collection of secondary essays on America's most important philosophic thinkers—statesmen, judges, writers, educators, and activists—from the colonial period to the present. Each essay is a comprehensive introduction to the thought of a noted American on the fundamental meaning of the American regime.
Nietzsche’s Revolution argues that Nietzsche is a revolutionary who aims to liberate modernity by overthrowing Christianity. Although Nietzsche’s terrified inability to follow through on this revolutionary project causes him to retreat into a retrograde essentialism of race and gender that betrays his own revolutionary promise, Nietzsche’s complicity in this failure bequeaths this revolution to us, his future readers, who can take it up in the form of poststructuralist queer theory and politics. This is a revolutionary future Nietzsche could neither have (...) foreseen nor endorsed, but is the necessary consequence of his quest to overthrow Christianity’s cult of meaning. (shrink)
In recent work, Cheryl Misak has developed a novel justification of deliberative democracy rooted in Peircean epistemology. In this article, the author expands Misak's arguments to show that not only does Peircean pragmatism provide a justification for deliberative democracy that is more compelling than the justifications offered by competing liberal and discursivist views, but also fixes a specific conception of deliberative politics that is perfectionist rather than neutralist. The article concludes with a discussion of whether the `epistemic perfectionism' implied (...) by the pragmatist argument could be endorsed by liberal democrats. Key Words: deliberative democracy epistemology liberalism Cheryl Misak Charles Peirce perfectionism pragmatism truth. (shrink)
In The American Pragmatists (2013), Cheryl Misak casts Peirce and Lewis as the heroes of American pragmatism. She establishes an impressive continuity between pragmatism and both logical empiricism and contemporary analytic philosophy. However, in casting James and Dewey as the villains of American pragmatism, she underplays the pragmatists' interest in action.
En What Emotions Really Are y en otros artículos, Griffiths afirma que las clases naturales de los organismos vivos en Biología son cladistas. La afirmación está inmersa en una nueva teoría acerca de las clases naturales. En este trabajo examinaré los argumentos esgrimidos por Griffiths para sostener el estatus privilegiado de las clasificaciones cladistas frente a otras clasificaciones. No se discutirá la teoría de las clases naturales ofrecida, de cuyos méritos no dudo, sino su capacidad para ofrecer una solución en (...) la cuestión particular de qué sistema de clasificación de organismos debería utilizarse en Biología. In What emotions really are and in other papers Griffiths states that in Biology, natural classes ofliving organisms are clades. This assertion is made within the bounds of a new theory of natural classes. In this paper I wiIl consider the arguments employed by Griffiths to support the privileged status of the cladistic classification over other classifications. It is not Griffith's theory of natural classes what will be discussed, but his ability to offer a solution to the particular issue ofwhich classification system of organisms should be used in Biology. (shrink)
This article defends a pragmatic conception of objectivity for the moral domain. I begin by contextualizing pragmatic approaches to objectivity and discuss at some length one of the most interesting proposals in this area, Cheryl Misak's conception of pragmatic objectivity. My general argument is that in order to defend a pragmatic approach to objectivity, the pragmatic stance should be interpreted in more radical terms than most contemporary proposals do. I suggest in particular that we should disentangle objectivity from truth, (...) and I claim that moral inquiry is in most cases responsive to a normative standard that is closer to warranted assertibility than to truth. Using an argument that relies partly on Huw Price's account of forms of normative assertion, I will show that a practice-based account of warranted assertibility does the epistemic work required to defend objectivity while avoiding exposure to the criticisms that are usually addressed against this notion. (shrink)
Cheryl Misak presents a history of the great American philosophical tradition of pragmatism, from its inception in the 1870s to the present day. She traces the connections between classical American pragmatism and contemporary analytic philosophy, and draws out the continuing influence of pragmatist ideas in the recent history of philosophy.
Cheryl Misak argues that truth ought to be reinstated to a central position in moral and political philosophy. She argues that the correct account of truth is one found in a certain kind of pragmatism: a true belief is one upon which inquiry could not improve, a belief which would not be defeated by experience and argument. This account is not only an improvement on the views of central figures such as Rawls and Habermas, but it can also make (...) sense of the idea that, despite conflict, pluralism, and the expression of difference, our moral and political beliefs aim at truth and can be subject to criticism. Anyone interested in a fresh discussion of political theory and philosophy will find this a fascinating read. (shrink)
This commentary explores the disagreement between Alex Klein and Cheryl Misak about the core insights of American Pragmatism, against a background of agreement. Both take the history of early American pragmatism to be a vital part of the history of analytic philosophy, not a radical break with it. But Misak argues that James seeks to loosen the usual epistemic standards so that religious and scientific belief can both be justified by a unitary set of evidentiary rules, and Klein argues (...) that James’s aim is not primarily to seek a rationale or justification for religious belief. At the heart of the debate is a matter still very much alive in philosophy of science: the nature and status of indispensability arguments or arguments purporting to show that we need to assume some things in order to conduct inquiry. (shrink)
The issues that Foucault raises about reception and reading are certainly part of the contemporary discussion of literature. However, they are not the only issues with which we, as today’s readers, are concerned. Discussions about the role of the author persist and so we continue to have recourse to the notion of authorship.For instance, in her recent book Sexual / Textual Politics , the feminist critic Toril Moi feels called on to return to these twenty-year-old issues in French theory to (...) tell us what it has meant to speak of the author, when she says: “For the patriarchal critic, the author is the source, origin and meaning of the text. If we are to undo this patriarchal practice of authority, we must take one further step and proclaim with Roland Barthes the death of the author.”3In the course of this essay I wish to reopen the question of whether it is advisable to speak of the author, or of what Foucault calls “the author function,” when querying a text, and I wish to reopen it precisely at the site where feminist criticism and post-structuralism are presently engaged in dialogue. Here in particular we might expect that reasons for rejecting author erasure would appear. However, theoretically informed feminist critics have recently found themselves tempted to agree with Barthes, Foucault, and the Edward Said of Beginnings that the authorial presence is best set aside in order to liberate the text for multiple uses.4 4. See Edward W. Said, Beginnings: Intention and Method , p. 162. Cheryl Walker is professor of English and humanities at Scripps College. She is the author of The Nightingale’s Burden: Women Poets and American Culture before 1900 and Masks Outrageous and Austere: Culture, Psyche, and Persona in Modern Women Poets . She is currently editing an anthology of nineteenth-century women poets and a book of essays about feminist criticism in the wake of post-structuralism. (shrink)