This book provides an introduction to the emerging field of Continental philosophy of religion by treating the philosophical thought of its most important representatives, including its appropriations by several thinkers in the US. Part I provides a context to the field by looking at the religious aspects of the thought of Martin Heidegger, Emmanuel Lévinas, and Jacques Derrida. It contends that although the work of these thinkers is not apologetic in nature, it prepares the ground for the more religiously motivated (...) work of more recent thinkers by giving religious language and ideas some legitimacy in philosophical discussions. Part II devotes a chapter to each of the contemporary French thinkers who articulate a phenomenology of religious experience: Paul Ricoeur, Jean-Luc Marion, Michel Henry, Jean-Louis Chrétien, Jean-Yves Lacoste and Emmanuel Falque. This part argues that their respective philosophies can be read as an apologetics of sort, namely as making arguments for the coherence of thought about God and the viability of religious experience, though each does so in a different fashion and to a different degree. Part III considers the three major thinkers who have popularized and extended this phenomenology in the US context: Merold Westphal, John D. Caputo, and Richard Kearney. The book thus both provides an introduction to important contemporary thinkers many of whom have not yet received much treatment in English and also argues that their philosophies can be read as providing an argument for Christian faith. (shrink)
How do people decide which claims should be considered mere beliefs and which count as knowledge? Although little is known about how people attribute knowledge to others, philosophical debate about the nature of knowledge may provide a starting point. Traditionally, a belief that is both true and justiﬁed was thought to constitute knowledge. However, philosophers now agree that this account is inadequate, due largely to a class of counterexamples (termed ‘‘Gettier cases’’) in which a person’s justiﬁed belief is true, but (...) only due to luck. We report four experiments examining the effect of truth, justiﬁcation, and ‘‘Gettiering’’ on people’s knowledge attributions. These experiments show that: (1) people attribute knowledge to others only when their beliefs are both true and justiﬁed; (2) in contrast to contemporary philosophers, people also attribute knowledge to others in Gettier situations; and (3) knowledge is not attributed in one class of Gettier cases, but only because the agent’s belief is based on ‘‘apparent’’ evidence. These ﬁndings suggest that the lay concept of knowledge is roughly consistent with the traditional account of knowledge as justiﬁed true belief, and also point to a major difference between the epistemic intuitions of laypeople and those of philosophers. (shrink)
The philosophical work of Jean-Luc Marion has opened new ways of speaking about religious convictions and experiences. In this exploration of Marion’s philosophy and theology, Christina M. Gschwandtner presents a comprehensive and critical analysis of the ideas of saturated phenomena and the phenomenology of givenness. She claims that these phenomena do not always appear in the excessive mode that Marion describes and suggests instead that we consider degrees of saturation. Gschwandtner covers major themes in Marion’s work—the historical event, art, (...) nature, love, gift and sacrifice, prayer, and the Eucharist. She works within the phenomenology of givenness, but suggests that Marion himself has not considered important aspects of his philosophy. (shrink)
In this paper, I present and explore some ideas about how factive emotional states and factive perceptual states each relate to knowledge and reasons. This discussion will shed light on the so-called ‘perceptual model’ of the emotions.
Microaggressions are a new moral category that refers to the subtle yet harmful forms of discriminatory behavior experienced by members of oppressed groups. Such behavior often results from implicit bias, leaving individual perpetrators unaware of the harm they have caused. Moreover, microaggressions are often dismissed on the grounds that they do not constitute a real or morally significant harm. My goal is therefore to explain why microaggressions are morally significant and argue that we are responsible for their harms. I offer (...) a conceptual framework for microaggressions, exploring the central mechanisms used for identification and the empirical research concerning their harm. The cumulative harm of microaggressions presents a unique case for understanding disaggregation models for contributed harms, blame allocation, and individual responsibility within structural oppression. Our standard moral model for addressing cumulative harm is to hold all individual contributors blameworthy for their particular contributions. However, if we aim to hold people responsible for their unconscious microaggressions and address cumulative harm holistically, this model is inadequate. Drawing on Iris Marion Young's social connection model, I argue that we, as individual perpetrators of microaggressions, have a responsibility to respond to the cumulative harm to which we have individually contributed. (shrink)
VICE AND VIRTUE IN EVERYDAY LIFE has been a popular choice in college ethics course study for more than two decades because it is well-liked by both college instructors and students. Course instructors appreciate it for its philosophical breadth and seriousness while college students and other readers welcome the engaging topics and readings. VICE AND VIRTUE IN EVERYDAY LIFE provides students with a lively selection of classical and contemporary readings on pressing matters of personal and social morality. The text includes (...) an overview of seminal ethical theories, as well as a unique set of stimulating articles on matters of social responsibility, personal integrity and individual virtue. While the readings consistently represent different points of view, the book also challenges readers to go beyond theoretical applications and contingent circumstances, to cultivate virtuous decision-making in their own lives. (shrink)
This volume collects twenty original essays on the philosophy of film. It uniquely brings together scholars working across a range of philosophical traditions and academic disciplines to broaden and advance debates on film and philosophy. The book includes contributions from a number of prominent philosophers of film including Noël Carroll, Chris Falzon, Deborah Knight, Paisley Livingston, Robert Sinnerbrink, Malcolm Turvey, and Thomas Wartenberg. While the topics explored by the contributors are diverse, there are a number of thematic threads that connect (...) them. Overall, the book seeks to bridge analytic and continental approaches to philosophy of film in fruitful ways. Moving to the individual essays, the first two sections offer novel takes on the philosophical value and the nature of film. The next section focuses on the film-as-philosophy debate. Section IV covers cinematic experience, while Section V includes interpretations of individual films that touch on questions of artificial intelligence, race and film, and cinema's biopolitical potential. Finally, the last section proposes new avenues for future research on the moving image beyond film. This book will appeal to a broad range of scholars working in film studies, theory, and philosophy. (shrink)
In recent years, most political theorists have agreed that shame shouldn't play any role in democratic politics because it threatens the mutual respect necessary for participation and deliberation. But Christina Tarnopolsky argues that not every kind of shame hurts democracy. In fact, she makes a powerful case that there is a form of shame essential to any critical, moderate, and self-reflexive democratic practice. Through a careful study of Plato's Gorgias, Tarnopolsky shows that contemporary conceptions of shame are far too (...) narrow. For Plato, three kinds of shame and shaming practices were possible in democracies, and only one of these is similar to the form condemned by contemporary thinkers. Following Plato, Tarnopolsky develops an account of a different kind of shame, which she calls "respectful shame." This practice involves the painful but beneficial shaming of one's fellow citizens as part of the ongoing process of collective deliberation. And, as Tarnopolsky argues, this type of shame is just as important to contemporary democracy as it was to its ancient form. Tarnopolsky also challenges the view that the Gorgias inaugurates the problematic oppositions between emotion and reason, and rhetoric and philosophy. Instead, she shows that, for Plato, rationality and emotion belong together, and she argues that political science and democratic theory are impoverished when they relegate the study of emotions such as shame to other disciplines. (shrink)
Positive emotions are highly valued and frequently sought. Beyond just being pleasant, however, positive emotions may also lead to long-term benefits in important domains, including work, physical health, and interpersonal relationships. Research thus far has focused on the broader functions of positive emotions. According to the broaden-and-build theory, positive emotions expand people’s thought–action repertoires and allow them to build psychological, intellectual, and social resources. New evidence suggests that positive emotions—particularly gratitude—may also play a role in motivating individuals to engage in (...) positive behaviors leading to self-improvement. We propose and offer supportive evidence that expressing gratitude leads people to muster effort to improve themselves via increases in connectedness, elevation, humility, and specific negative states including indebtedness. (shrink)
Academics across widely ranging disciplines all pursue knowledge, but they do so using vastly different methods. Do these academics therefore also have different ideas about when someone possesses knowledge? Recent experimental findings suggest that intuitions about when individuals have knowledge may vary across groups; in particular, the concept of knowledge espoused by the discipline of philosophy may not align with the concept held by laypeople. Across two studies, we investigate the concept of knowledge held by academics across seven disciplines (N (...) = 1,581) and compare these judgments to those of philosophers (N = 204) and laypeople (N = 336). We find that academics and laypeople share a similar concept of knowledge, while philosophers have a substantially different concept. These experiments show that (a) in contrast to philosophers, other academics and laypeople attribute knowledge to others in some “Gettier” situations; (b) academics and laypeople are much less likely to attribute knowledge when reminded of the possibility of error, but philosophers are not affected by this reminder; and (c) non‐philosophy academics are overall more skeptical about knowledge than laypeople or philosophers. These findings suggest that academics across a wide range of disciplines share a similar concept of knowledge, and that this concept aligns closely with the intuitions held by laypeople, and differs considerably from the concept of knowledge described in the philosophical literature, as well as the epistemic intuitions of philosophers themselves. (shrink)
This article adds to contemporary analyses of neoliberalism by shedding light on its psychic life. Writers in the Foucauldian tradition have explored how subjectivities are reconstituted under neoliberalism, showing that the neoliberal self is an entrepreneurial subject. Yet, there has been little empirical research that explores entrepreneurial subjectivity and, more specifically, its psychic life. By drawing on over 60 in-depth interviews with individuals who may be entrepreneurial subjects par excellence, this article adds to our understanding of how neoliberalism is lived (...) out. The article is divided into 10 sections, with each section exploring a distinct contour of entrepreneurial subjectivity. They show, for example, that competition is not only other-directed under neoliberalism, but also directed at the self, and that exclusionary processes lie at the heart of the constitution of entrepreneurial subjectivities. By providing a theoretically informed analysis of a wealth of empirical data, the article makes an original contribution to our understanding of the psychic life of neoliberalism. (shrink)
Nagel, San Juan, and Mar report an experiment investigating lay attributions of knowledge, belief, and justification. They suggest that, in keeping with the expectations of philosophers, but contra recent empirical findings [Starmans, C. & Friedman, O. (2012). The folk conception of knowledge. Cognition, 124, 272–283], laypeople consistently deny knowledge in Gettier cases, regardless of whether the beliefs are based on ‘apparent’ or ‘authentic’ evidence. In this reply, we point out that Nagel et al. employed a questioning method that biased participants (...) to deny knowledge. Moreover, careful examination of participants’ responses reveals that they attributed knowledge in Gettier cases. We also note that Nagel et al. misconstrue the distinction between ‘apparent’ and ‘authentic’ evidence, and use scenarios that do not feature the structure that characterizes most Gettier cases. We conclude that NS&M’s findings are fully compatible with the claim that laypeople attribute knowledge in Gettier cases in general, but are significantly less likely to attribute knowledge when a belief is generated based on apparent evidence. (shrink)
Through a wide-ranging international collection of papers, this volume provides theoretical and historical insights into the development and application of phenomenological sociology and ethnomethodology and offers detailed examples of research into social phenomena from these standpoints. All the articles in this volume join together to testify to the enormous efficacy and potential of both phenomenological sociology and ethnomethodology.
Every day situations arising in health care contain ethical issues influencing care providers' conscience. How and to what extent conscience is influenced may differ according to how conscience is perceived. This study aimed to explore the relationship between perceptions of conscience and stress of conscience among care providers working in municipal housing for elderly people. A total of 166 care providers were approached, of which 146 (50 registered nurses and 96 nurses' aides/enrolled nurses) completed a questionnaire containing the Perceptions of (...) Conscience Questionnaire and the Stress of Conscience Questionnaire. A multivariate canonical correlation analysis was conducted. The first two functions emerging from the analysis themselves explained a noteworthy amount of the shared variance (25.6% and 17.8%). These two dimensions of the relationship were interpreted either as having to deaden one's conscience relating to external demands in order to be able to collaborate with coworkers, or as having to deaden one's conscience relating to internal demands in order to uphold one's identity as a `good' health care professional. (shrink)
Native advertising has recently become a prominent buzzword for advertisers and publishers alike. It describes advertising formats which closely adapt their form and style to the editorial environment they appear in, intending to hide the commercial character of these ads. In two experimental studies, we test how advertising disclosures in native ads on news websites affect recipients’ attitudes towards a promoted brand in a short and long-term perspective. In addition, we explore persuasion through certain content features and how they affect (...) disclosure effects. Results show that disclosures increase perceived persuasive intent but do not necessarily decrease brand attitudes. However, disclosure effects do not persist over time and remain unaffected by content features. (shrink)
The Cognitive Reflection Test is purported to test our inclination to overcome impulsive, intuitive thought with effortful, rational reflection. Research suggests that philosophers tend to perform better on this test than non-philosophers, and that men tend to perform better than women. Taken together, these findings could be interpreted as partially explaining the gender gap that exists in Philosophy: there are fewer women in Philosophy because women are less likely to possess the ideal ‘philosophical personality’. If this explanation for the gender (...) gap in Philosophy is accepted, it might be seen to exonerate Philosophy departments of the need to put in place much-needed strategies for promoting gender diversity. This paper discusses a number of reasons for thinking that this would be the wrong conclusion to draw from the research. Firstly, the CRT may not track what it is claimed it tracks. Secondly, the trait tracked by the CRT may not be something that we should value in philosophers. Thirdly, even if we accept that the CRT tracks a trait that has value, this trait might be of limited importance to good philosophising. Lastly, the causal story linking the gender gap in CRT score and the gender gap in Philosophy is likely to be far more complex than this explanation implies. (shrink)
It's a bad time to be a boy in America. As the century drew to a close, the defining event for American girls was the triumph of the U.S. women's soccer team. For boys, the symbolic event was the mass killing at Columbine High School. It would seem that boys in our society are greatly at risk. Yet the best-known studies and the academic experts say that it's girls who are suffering from a decline in self-esteem. It's girls, they say, (...) who need extra help in school and elsewhere in a society that favors boys. The problem with boys is that they are boys, say the experts. We need to change their nature. We have to make them more like...girls. These arguments don't hold up to scrutiny, says Christina Hoff Sommers in this provocative, fascinating book. She analyzes the work of the leading academic experts, Carol Gilligan and William Pollack, and finds it lacking in scientific rigor. There is no girl crisis, says Sommers. Girls are outperforming boys academically, and girls' self-esteem is no different from boys'. Boys lag behind girls in reading and writing ability, and they are less likely to go to college. The "girl crisis" has been seized upon by some feminists and has been suffused with sexual politics. Under the guise of helping girls, many schools have adopted policies that penalize boys, often for simply being masculine. Sommers says that boys do need help, but not the sort they've been getting. They need help catching up with girls academically. They need love, discipline, respect, and moral guidance. They desperately need understanding. They do not need to be rescued from masculinity. (shrink)
In certain contemporary theories of the politics of shame, shame is considered a pernicious emotion that we need to avoid in, or a salutary emotion that serves as an infallible guide to, democratic deliberation. The author argues that both positions arise out of an inadequate notion of the structure of shame and an oversimplistic opposition between shame and shamelessness. Plato's dialogue, the Gorgias, actually helps to address these problems because it supplies a deeper understanding of the place of shame in (...) democratic politics in ways that address our contemporary dilemmas. It does this first, by avoiding the simple opposition between shame and shamelessness and secondly, by articulating three different kinds of "politics of shame" that can characterize democratic deliberations. Finally, Plato's treatment of shame extends upon contemporary ethical and psychoanalytic notions of shame in ways that are directly relevant to the our contemporary political situation. (shrink)
In this paper, I revisit the Davidsonian thesis that all reasons are causes. Drawing on a better taxonomy of reasons than the one Davidson provides, I argue that this thesis is either indefensible or uninteresting.
Recent work in behavioral economics and psychology provides valuable resources for religious ethicists. This book discussion examines contributions by Cass Sunstein, Daniel Kahneman, George Akerlof and Rachel Kranton, Uri Gneezy and John A. List, and Douglas Hough. This literature raises important questions about ethical decision-making, moral agency and responsibility, and the ethics of life in global capitalism. It also opens up promising areas for interdisciplinary dialogue between economics and religious studies. This book discussion concludes that religious ethicists have much to (...) contribute to the conversations about moral anthropology that are now being held in behavioral economic research, and to the broader political economic debates in which this research participates. (shrink)
This book is an unusually readable and lucid account of the development of Derrida's work, from his early writings on phenomenology and structuralism to his most recent interventions in debates on psychoanalysis, ethics and politics. Christina Howells gives a clear explanation of many of the key terms of deconstruction - including differance, trace, supplement and logocentrism - and shows how they function in Derrida's writing. She explores his critique of the notion of self-presence through his engagement with Husserl, and (...) his critique of humanist conceptions of the subject through an account of his ambivalent and evolving relationship to the philosophy of Sartre. The question of the relationship between philosophy and literature is examined through an analysis of the texts of the 1970s, and in particular Glas, where Derrida confronts Hegel's totalizing dialectics with the fragmentary and iconoclastic writings of Jean Genet. The author addresses directly the vexed questions of the extreme difficulty of Derrida's own writing and of the passionate hostility it arouses in philosophers as diverse as Searle and Habermas. She argues that deconstruction is a vital stimulus to vigilance in both the ethical and political spheres, contributing significantly to debate on issues such as democracy, the legacy of Marxism, responsibility, and the relationship between law and justice. Comprehensive, cogently argued and up to date, this book will be an invaluable text for students and scholars alike. (shrink)
The work of French philosopher and theologian Jean-Luc Marion has been recognized as among the most suggestive and productive in the philosophy of religion today. In Reading Marion, Christina M. Gschwandtner provides the first comprehensive introduction to Marion's large and conceptually dense corpus. Gschwandtner gives particular attention to Marion's early work on Descartes and follows thematic threads through to his most recent publications on charity and eroticism. She explores in detail three prominent topics in Marion's thought: the desire to (...) overcome metaphysics, his reflections on the divine, and his reconsideration of the relation of the self to the other in love. Gschwandtner reveals Marion's thought as a unified whole and provides context for his theological and phenomenological writings. Readers at all levels will find insight into the work of one of the world's most provocative thinkers. (shrink)
In this paper we investigate compassion and its place within mindfulness-based approaches. Compassion is an orientation of mind that recognizes pain and the universality of pain in human experience and the capacity to meet that pain with kindness, empathy, equanimity and patience. We outline how learning to meet pain with compassion is part of how people come to live with chronic conditions like recurrent depression. While most mindfulness-based approaches do not explicitly teach compassion, we describe how the structure of the (...) programme and teachers' embodiment enable participants to cultivate compassion in the landscape of suffering. We describe a case example of how this process unfolded for someone through mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. (shrink)
Offender populations experience their incarceration through different lenses and often as a spiritual journey of suffering. During 2017 and 2018 a study was conducted by the authors with 30 men serving long-term sentences in Correctional Centre A, Zonderwater Management Area in the Gauteng province of South Africa. Following interviews and focus group sessions, the authors report on participants’ representations on how their constructed views of God assist them to find meaning in suffering while incarcerated. Narrative inquiry as a philosophical framework (...) was applied, which presupposes equality between the researcher and the participant, the unmediated representation of words as data, the researcher as auto-ethnographer and respectful submission to subjectivity. Participants’ views of God are thematised according to sets of God-images, firstly, as identified by Van der Ven in his book God Reinvented?, adapted by the authors to suit the contents of the participants’ God talk. Secondly, the ‘God-images in Africa’ were applied. The participants’ constructed God-images are divided into two categories: images that feed on the binary between divine and human and images that function in the dialogical spaces between divine and human where the incarcerated have internalised an external God. Binary images of God are presented by the apathetic God, retributive God, controlling God and the purifying God. However, a significant number of participants expressed their belief in God through the dialogical image of the compassionate God, and the suffering God as co-sufferer. The role of Africanness in constructing these God-images constitutes a special point of inquiry in this article, as reflected in the images of God defined by God the Great Ancestor and Divine Spirit, and God with whom a mystical union is formed. (shrink)