How can we critique political theory when all we have to use are its own conceptual tools? As Hannah Arendt observed, it can only be done through leaps, inversions, and the turning of concepts upside-down. But this twisting operation must be done in order to turn those who philosophize back to the hard work of real life change. In Turning Operations, renowned theorist Mary G. Dietz challenges specific contemporary modes of theorizing politics-from feminist theory to Habermasian discourse- -while appropriating (...) some of political theory's own approaches and some of its most striking figures, including Aristotle, Nietzsche, Weber, Beauvoir, and Arendt in order to foment some leaps, inversions, reversals and turns on politics along the way. Dietz confronts a number of current debates, arguing that most are filled with artificial division and empty terms. She argues that we must abandon commonly supported dichotomies-masculine versus feminine, speech versus action, liberty versus community -to create abetter discourse, and a better world. Turning Operations is an essential new contribution to democratic and feminist political thought. (shrink)
In his "From classical to constructive probability," Weatherson offers a generalization of Kolmogorov's axioms of classical probability that is neutral regarding the logic for the object-language. Weatherson's generalized notion of probability can hardly be regarded as adequate, as the example of supervaluationist logic shows. At least, if we model credences as betting rates, the Dutch-Book argument strategy does not support Weatherson's notion of supervaluationist probability, but various alternatives. Depending on whether supervaluationist bets are specified as (a) conditional bets (Cantwell), (b) (...) unconditional bets with graded payoffs (Milne), or (c) unconditional bets with ungraded payoffs(Dietz), supervaluationist probability amounts to (a) conditional probability of truth given a truth-value, (b) the expected truth-value, or (c) the probability of truth, respectively. It is suggested that for supervaluationist logic, the third option is the most attractive one, for (unlike the other options) it preserves respect for single-premise entailment. (shrink)
This is a textbook with a story to tell. Discussing development from the colonial era to the present in Latin America, Asia and Africa, authors Cypher and Dietz encompass a blend of classical development ideas and current theory, helping students gain a balanced picture not currently available in other textbooks. Adopting a truly global approach throughout, the focus in this second edition is on income distribution, poverty, and social issues. Excellent pedagogy including plentiful diagrams, boxes, user-friendly summaries and end (...) of chapter questions help readers understand often complex topics. Integral to the book is a close examination of recent events and broad-ranging discussions of key issues including: the environment debt crisis export-led industrialization import substitution endogenous growth theory technological capability. Building upon the impressive and popular first edition, Cypher and Dietz have pulled off that rarity in textbook publishing: a book which will leave students with a framework of understanding which will empower them to go on to understand a broad range of ‘North-South’ issues and controversies. (shrink)
Vagueness is a familiar but deeply puzzling aspect of the relation between language and the world. It is highly controversial what the nature of vagueness is -- a feature of the way we represent reality in language, or rather a feature of reality itself? May even relations like identity or parthood be affected by vagueness? Sorites arguments suggest that vague terms are either inconsistent or have a sharp boundary. The account we give of such paradoxes plays a pivotal role for (...) our understanding of natural languages. If our reasoning involves any vague concepts, is it safe from contradiction? Do vague concepts really lack any sharp boundary? If not, why are we reluctant to accept the existence of any sharp boundary for them? And what rules of inference can we validly apply, if we reason in vague terms? Cuts and Clouds presents the latest work towards a clearer understanding of these old puzzles about the nature and logic of vagueness. The collection offers a stimulating series of original essays on these and related issues by some of the world's leading experts. (shrink)
La Jetée is a Chris Marker movie composed by still images, photographs, with the exception of a very short sequence. The paper aims to account for the experience of temporality induced by photography, framing the structural analysis of the movie in a phenomenological horizon, in particular with regard to the Husserlian’s notion of “Living Present”.
This article considers a selection of Chris Marker's films in the context of noted differences between Emmanuel Levinas's and Jacques Derrida's positions on the animal as Other, the potential for the animal face. Derrida (2008) himself argues that Levinas ‘did not make the animal anything like a focus of interrogation within his work’ (p. 105). Statements such as this about Levinas's ethics seem to make his position clear. In contrast, Derrida's thinking on the matter of the animal, and in (...) particular human responsibility for them as Other, stands as a thorough and influential body of ethical thought, probing the limited and limiting boundary between human and animal. His autobiographical texts, according to Lynn Turner (2015, p. 135), welcome animal others. Marker's images, I will argue, address an equity between species through what he refers to as the égalité du regard, an equality in the gaze (of the camera). These images speak to a space beyond themselves and it is within this territory, I will argue, that the animal does have a face, that can occur via that of the human. (shrink)
In a recent article in this journal, Alexander Dietz argues that what I have called the ‘institutional critique of effective altruism’ is best understood as grounded in the claim that ‘EA relies on an overly individualistic approach to ethics, neglecting the importance of our collective obligations’. In this reply, I argue that Dietz’s view does not represent a plausible interpretation of the institutional critiques offered by others, primarily because, unlike Dietz, they appear to believe that their critiques (...) provide reasons to reject the EA view about the content of our individual obligations. I also argue that EA’s identity as a social movement provides grounds for denying Dietz’s claim that it is objectionably incomplete. (shrink)
Suppose that groups have reasons to act. Do the members of a group “inherit” the group’s reason? Alexander Dietz has recently argued that they do so in some circumstances. Dietz considers two principles. The first one – which I call the “Simple Principle” – claims that the members of a group always inherit the group’s reason. The second one – which I call “Dietz’s Principle,” which is the one Dietz advocates – claims that the members of (...) a group inherit the group’s reason when they cooperate. Although Dietz thinks that the Simple Principle is intuitively appealing he argues that it has to be rejected because it has – in contrast to his own principle – counterintuitive implications. In this article, I shall try to show that Dietz’s Principle also has counterintuitive implications. Furthermore, I shall consider some revisions of Dietz’s Principle, but conclude that they are unattractive. Finally, I shall suggest that Dietz’s Principle is ad hoc. (shrink)
In 'Literature Suspends Death: Sacrifice and Storytelling in Kierkegaard, Kafka and Blanchot' Chris Danta takes Genesis 22 as the starting point for an investigation of the role of literary imagination. His aim is to read the Genesis story from a literary-theoretical perspective in order to show how it can 'illuminate the secular situation of the literary writer.' To do this, Danta stages a fruitful confrontation between Søren Kierkegaard as defender of religion and inwardness and Franz Kafka and Maurice Blanchot (...) as defenders of literature. In this review, three important points in this confrontation are highlighted. 1. The problem of identification. 2. The moment of substitution. 3. The spectrality of the writer. (shrink)
Chris Dragos has recently presented two objections to criticisms I've published against Peter van Inwagen's No-Minimum argument. He also suggests that the best way to criticize the No-Minimum argument is via the concept of divine satisficing. In this article I argue that both of Dragos's objections fail, and I question whether satisficing is relevant to the viability of the No-Minimum argument.
The Philosopher Queen: Feminist Essays on War, Love, and Knowledge. By Chris Cuomo. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2003. The Philosopher Queen is a powerful illustration of what Cherríe Moraga calls a "theory in the flesh." That is, theorizing from a place where "physical realities of our lives—our skin color, the land or concrete we grow up on, our sexual longings—all fuse to create a politic [and, I would add, an ethics, spirituality, and epistemology] born out of (...) necessity" (Moraga 21). Cuomo's theory in the flesh combines standard philosophical essays with personal narratives and invites us to do philosophy from this joyful and witty place. Readers are invited to reframe and reexamine war, science, gender, sexuality, race, ecology, knowledge, and politics in a voice that is fearless, funny, faithful, and feminist—one that disrupts common understandings of how philosophy ought to be done. Instead philosophy should help us to "negotiate a wild, wicked world, and to provide some understanding of being and existence. The best philosophy aims to promote good and to produce knowledge, and therefore enable flourishing" (xi). Accepted philosophical approaches alone are inadequate. Life's challenges resist formulaic solutions. Knowledge is not always produced through neat deductions: truths are partial, power divides, stomachs growl, hearts are broken, and emotions influence... (shrink)
Why would anyone want there to be natural foundations for the social sciences? In a provocative essay exploring precisely that question, historian Chris Renwick uses an interwar debate featuring William Beveridge, Lancelot Hogben, and Friedrich Hayek to begin to imagine what might have been had such a program calling for biological knowledge to form the natural bases of the social sciences been realized at the London School of Economics. Yet perhaps Renwick grants too much attention to differences and “what-ifs” (...) and not enough to the historical question of “what happened” afterward. “Chickens and Eggs” offers an alternative view of this rather vexed question—one grounded in what happened, which suggests that Renwick’s concerns may be somewhat misplaced. (shrink)
This is my response to the papers by Chris Pincock, Lisa Warenski and Jonathan Weinberg, which were presented at the Book Symposium on my Essays on A Priori Knowledge and Justification, American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meetings, March 16–19, 2014.
Kant and Education brings together sixteen essays by an international group of scholars. The range of topics covered in the anthology is impressive. Kant's contribution to contemporary theories of education is central, as well as Kant's intellectual debt to Rousseau, the role of education in Kant's normative theories, and the impact of Kant's ideas on subsequent generations. Add to this the relative shortness of each essay (ten to fifteen pages), and one is left with an accessible introduction to a fascinating, (...) but often neglected, topic of Kant's ethical theory. The editors, Klas Roth and Chris W. Surprenant, have done an admirable job. (shrink)
El presente artículo explora la presencia de un principio dialógico en la configuración de las subjetividades que interactúan en Level Five de Chris Marker con el objetivo de matizar la metáfora crítica que califica de forma consistente el cine del director francés como ejemplo del autorretrato. Mediante el concepto bajtiniano de “devenir ideológico”, el texto presta especial atención a la creciente importancia que juegan las tecnologías de la comunicación en los procesos de reacentuación discursiva que determinan en último término (...) la construcción de subjetividades. La noción de “imagen-red” busca poner de relieve las formas en las que la imagen digital ha propiciado el desarrollo de un nuevo pasaje de la imagen hacia un régimen representativo dominado por las ideas de intercambio autoinscripción cuyos ecos Level Five explora mediante el análisis de aspectos que van desde la dicotomía entre historia y memoria al papel de la imagen documental en la construcción de la realidad. This article analyzes the presence of a dialogic principle in the way subjectivities are constructed within Chris Marker’s Level Five, with a view to critically counteract the notion of Marker’s films as forms of the self-portrait. Through the Bakhtinian concept of “ideological becoming”, special attention is paid to the role played by new technologies of information and communication in the processes of re- accentuation which determine how subjectivities evolve in the context of the film. The concept of an “image-network” attempts to highlight the development of a new passage of the image towards a mode of representation dominated by a principle of exchange, whose importance is echoed in the film through the analysis of issues ranging from the dichotomy between memory and history to the relevance of documentary image for reality construction. (shrink)
I thought the paper by Kai-yee Wong and Chris Fraser was fascinating and insightful. Two things I especially appreciated are the clarity with which they summarize my views. I think they are quite fair and accurate. Second, I appreciate their suggestion that the way to deal with the practical problem of weakness of will has much to do with the role of the Background in shaping our actions. I think they are especially on the right track when they say (...) that the improvement of Background skills may actually narrow the range of real options for action, (p. 21) nonetheless, they do not decrease freedom. As they say, “It is a process of strengthening the self, and the agent is likely to experience the concomitant restriction of ‘live’ options not as a limitation but as strength of character.” (p. 21). That seems to me very much on the right track. What they are suggesting, and it is a powerful addition to my own writings, is that we should not just think of the Background as facilitating languages, games and social practices generally, but for morality as well (p. 23). (shrink)
Nurse Kaci Hickox is among the “Ebola Fighters” honored by Time magazine as its 2014 Person of the Year, having treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone while volunteering with Médecins Sans Frontieres. When she returned to the United States in October 2014, she was quarantined in New Jersey for three days before returning home to Maine under the terms of a negotiated release. A year later, in October 2015, Hickox filed suit in federal court against Governor Chris Christie and (...) New Jersey health officials, claiming that the quarantine violated her civil rights. Her complaint asserts that New Jersey officials lacked the authority to quarantine her because she did not pose a significant risk of transmission. The lawsuit raises important questions about disease-transmission risk, the inability of science to rule out certain theoretical risks, and the state's power to quarantine. It also demonstrates that population health depends on respecting individual liberty and using the best available epidemiological data to set public health policy. (shrink)
The concept of archetypes has received a number of fundamentally different interpretations, and there are numerous additional philosophical concepts which can be characterized as modifications of those interpretations. Chris Nunn’s paper represents an approach to bringing a specific one among those concepts -- Richard Dawkins’ neo-Darwinistic conception of memes -- into contact with the notion of archetypes as it has been mainly popularized by Carl Gustav Jung. Nunn states rightly that Jung’s own understanding of and emphasis on archetypes changed (...) considerably during his lifetime. Therefore the difficulty is not only how to relate memes to archetypes, but also to distinguish that concept of archetypes to which memes relate from those to which they do not. (shrink)
Sciabarra replies to the seven respondents to his Fall 2002 essay on Rand, Rush, and progressive rock music. He defends the view that Rand's dialectical orientation underlies a fundamentally radical perspective. Rand shared with the counterculture—especially its libertarian progressive rock representatives—a repudiation of authoritarianism, while embracing the "unknown ideal" of capitalism. Her ability to trace the interrelationships among personal, cultural, and structural factors in social analysis and her repudiation of false alternatives is at the heart of that ideal vision, which (...) transcends left and right. (shrink)
This study firstly addresses three threads in Chris Marker’s work – theology, Marxism, and Surrealism – through a mapping of the work of both Giorgio Agamben and Jacques Derrida onto the varied production of his film and photographic work. Notably, it is late Agamben and late Derrida that is utilized, as both began to exit so-called post-structuralism proper with the theological turn in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It addresses these threads through the means to ends employed and (...) as ends proper (as production of semi-autonomous works that also, paradoxically, index a much larger field of inquiry and theoretical praxis). It is perhaps French “schizophrenia” regarding theological versus political agency that best accounts for the sardonic deployment of irony and humor in Marker’s work in the face of Big History. Such means to ends (plus a subtle anti-intellectualism vis-à-vis fashionable academic trends) tend to underscore the severity and ultimate sincerity of Marker’s overall cultural-political project. -/- Dossier Chris Marker is also a study of a late-modern chiasmus, impersonal-personal agency, as it comes to expression in the works of Marker, as the dynamic interplay of political and subjective agency. As chiasmus, the complementary halves of this often-apocalyptic dynamis (a semi-catastrophic, temporal or historical force-field) also – arguably – secretly agree to meet, through the work of art, in the futural (problematized in contemporary French post-phenomenological and post-post-structuralist theory as “the event).” Consistent with the classical figure of concordia discors, Marker resolves these irreducible warring aspects of life experience in an atemporal and ahistorical moment that inhabits the work of art from its inception. This redemptive aspect in art is also the ultimate gesture of the artwork as autonomous subject and “mask” (or “screen”) for forces that reside beyond the frame of the image or work, as its proverbial Other, or within the frame, as other to that Other. -/- Despite the complications of the as-yet unresolved post-modern condition (its nihilist-relativist bias), and its similar, mostly circular concerns with the image and/or media, Marker’s work is clearly not post-modern. In fact, when tested against immemorial cultural epiphenomena, that work withstands all attempts at categorization and/or art-historical analysis proper. It remains unassimilable to the post-modern cause ... What emerges, upon closer examination, and through rigorous re-contextualization, is the prescient force of Marker’s works toward that futural state buried in art that is also “theological,” versus atheological, and heedlessly anterior to cultural politics per se. -/- In the case of Marker, this age-old or immemorial “thing-in-itself” (the artwork as image of world-chiasmus) finds its foremost or penultimate formation in his very-still photography – the singular images that are also the building blocks for his renowned ciné-essays. Not without irony, this same austere, reductive force of the still image (as form of proscription) also inhabits the more complex, synthetic works (or montages) that he has formulated and presented “dramatically,” here and there, through the often-sketchy apparatuses of his new-media experiments, as of the late 1980s. Ultimately, this world-image as chiasmus was always present within his earliest literary projects, from the 1940s forward – most especially in books and essays, with or without actual images. -/- Marker’s “return” to photography (to exhibiting still photography in galleries), in the late 2000s, is in many ways a return to the singular object of the artist-critic’s desire; the image in/for itself, while that image – endlessly troubled or interrogated for decades – continues to speak “in tongues” anyway, often against, or oblivious to, the voice of the author/artist/narrator. -/- Marker is a High Romantic Christian Marxist. The “Christic” aspect is rightly well-hidden, but emerges when the eschatological versus historical center of his work is exposed (the existential-metaphysical fuse such as also inhabits the works of Caravaggio), and when his early years are examined in light of his later and/or final years. Marker’s semi-personal/semi-impersonal apocalyptic vision is writ large in diverse works that cross decades, figuring a redemptive, world-shattering formation of art as pleroma. (shrink)