Feminism and Ecological Communities presents a bold and passionate rethinking of teh ecofeminist movement. It is one of the first books to acknowledge the importance of postmodern feminist arguments against ecofeminism whilst persuasively preseenting a strong new case for econolocal feminism. Chris J.Cuomo first traces the emergence of ecofeminism from the ecological and feminist movements before clearly discussing the weaknesses of some ecofeminist positions. Exploring the dualisms of nature/culture and masculing/feminine that are the bulwark of many contemporary ecofeminist positions (...) and questioning traditional traditional feminist analyses of gender and caring, Feminism and Ecological Communities asks whether women are essentially closer to nature than men and how we ought to link the oppression of women, people of colour, and other subjugated groups to the degradation of nature. Chris J.Cuomo addresses these key issues by drawing on recent work in feminist ethics as well as teh work of diverse figures such as Aristotle, John Dewey, Donna Haraway adn Maria Lugones. A fascinating feature of the book is the use of the metaphor of the cyborg to highlight the fluidity of the nature/culture distinction and how this can enrich econfeminist ethics and politics. An outstanding new argument for an ecological feminism that links both theory and practice, Feminism and Ecological Communities bravely redraws the ecofeminist map. It will be essential reading for all those interested in gender studies, environmental studies and philosophy. (shrink)
Karen Warren has argued that environmental ethics must be feminist and that feminist ethics must be ecological. Hence, she endorses ecofeminism as an environmental ethic with power and promise. Recent ecofeminist theory, however, is not as powerful as one might hope. In fact, I argue, much of this theory is based on values that are potentially damaging to moral agents, and that are not in accord withfeminist goals. My intent is not to dismantle ecofeminism, but to analyze and clarify some (...) of the philosophical problems with recent ecofeminist work and to point out a more promising direction for ecofeminist ethics. (shrink)
_Feminism and Ecological Communities_ presents a bold and passionate rethinking of the ecofeminist movement. It is one of the first books to acknowledge the importance of postmodern feminist arguments against ecofeminism whilst persuasively preseenting a strong new case for econolocal feminism. Chris J.Cuomo first traces the emergence of ecofeminism from the ecological and feminist movements before clearly discussing the weaknesses of some ecofeminist positions. Exploring the dualisms of nature/culture and masculing/feminine that are the bulwark of many contemporary ecofeminist positions (...) and questioning traditional traditional feminist analyses of gender and caring, _Feminism and Ecological Communities_ asks whether women are essentially closer to nature than men and how we ought to link the oppression of women, people of colour, and other subjugated groups to the degradation of nature. Chris J.Cuomo addresses these key issues by drawing on recent work in feminist ethics as well as teh work of diverse figures such as Aristotle, John Dewey, Donna Haraway adn Maria Lugones. A fascinating feature of the book is the use of the metaphor of the cyborg to highlight the fluidity of the nature/culture distinction and how this can enrich econfeminist ethics and politics. An outstanding new argument for an ecological feminism that links both theory and practice, _Feminism and Ecological Communities_ bravely redraws the ecofeminist map. It will be essential reading for all those interested in gender studies, environmental studies and philosophy. (shrink)
To understand the human capacity for psychological altruism, one requires a proper understanding of how people actually think and feel. This paper addresses the possible relevance of recent findings in experimental economics and neuroeconomics to the philosophical controversy over altruism and egoism. After briefly sketching and contextualizing the controversy, we survey and discuss the results of various studies on behaviourally altruistic helping and punishing behaviour, which provide stimulating clues for the debate over psychological altruism. On closer analysis, these studies prove (...) less relevant than originally expected because the data obtained admit competing interpretations – such as people seeking fairness versus people seeking revenge. However, this mitigated conclusion does not preclude the possibility of more fruitful research in the area in the future. Throughout our analysis, we provide hints for the direction of future research on the question. (shrink)
Ethical concepts are, or purport to be, normative. They make claims on us: they command, oblige, recommend, or guide. Or at least when we invoke them, we make claims on one another; but where does their authority over us - or ours over one another - come from? Christine Korsgaard identifies four accounts of the source of normativity that have been advocated by modern moral philosophers: voluntarism, realism, reflective endorsement, and the appeal to autonomy. She traces their history, showing (...) how each developed in response to the prior one and comparing their early versions with those on the contemporary philosophical scene. Kant's theory that normativity springs from our own autonomy emerges as a synthesis of the other three, and Korsgaard concludes with her own version of the Kantian account. Her discussion is followed by commentary from G. A. Cohen, Raymond Geuss, Thomas Nagel, and Bernard Williams, and a reply by Korsgaard. (shrink)
Many forms of virtue ethics, like certain forms of utilitarianism, suffer from the problem of indirection. In those forms, the criterion for status of a trait as a virtue is not the same as the criterion for the status of an act as right. Furthermore, if the virtues for example are meant to promote the nourishing of the agent, the virtuous agent is not standardly supposed to be motivated by concern for her own flourishing in her activity. In this paper, (...) I propose a virtue ethics which does not suffer from the problem. Traits are not virtues because their cultivation and manifestation promote a value such as agent flourishing. They are virtues in so far as they are habits of appropriate response to various relevant values. This means that there is a direct connection between the rationale of a virtue and what makes an action virtuous or right. (shrink)
Christine Korsgaard has become one of the leading interpreters of Kant's moral philosophy. She is identified with a small group of philosophers who are intent on producing a version of Kant's moral philosophy that is at once sensitive to its historical roots while revealing its particular relevance to contemporary problems. She rejects the traditional picture of Kant's ethics as a cold vision of the moral life which emphasises duty at the expense of love and value. Rather, Kant's work is (...) seen as providing a resource for addressing not only the metaphysics of morals, but also for tackling practical questions about personal relations, politics, and everyday human interaction. This collection contains some of the finest current work on Kant's ethics and will command the attention of all those involved in teaching and studying moral theory. (shrink)
Christine Battersby rethinks questions of embodiment, essence, sameness and difference, self and "other", patriarchy and power. Using analyses of Kant, Adorno, Irigaray, Butler, Kierkegaard and Deleuze, she challenges those who argue that a feminist metaphysics is a a contradiction in terms. This book explores place for a metaphysics of fluidity in the current debates concerning postmodernism, feminism and identity politics.
Agency and identity -- Necessitation -- Acts and actions -- Aristotle and Kant -- Agency and practical identity -- The metaphysics of normativity -- Constitutive standards -- The constitution of life -- In defense of teleology -- The paradox of self-constitution -- Formal and substantive principles of reason -- Formal versus substantive -- Testing versus weighing -- Maximizing and prudence -- Practical reason and the unity of the will -- The empiricist account of normativity -- The rationalist account of normativity (...) -- Kant on the hypothetical imperative -- Against particularistic willing -- Deciding and predicting -- Autonomy and efficacy -- The function of action -- The possibility of agency -- Non-rational action -- Action -- Attribution -- The psychology of action -- Expulsion from the garden : the transition to humanity -- Instinct, emotion, intelligence, and reason -- The parts of the soul -- Inside or outside -- Pull yourself together -- The constitutional model -- Models of the soul -- The city and the soul -- Platonic virtues -- Justice : substantive, procedural, and platonic -- Kant and the constitutional model -- Defective action -- The problem of bad action -- Being governed by the wrong law -- Or five bad constitutions -- Conceptions of evil -- Degrees of action -- Integrity and interaction -- Deciding to be bad -- The ordinary cases -- Dealing with the disunified -- Kant's theory of interaction -- My reasons -- Deciding to treat someone as an end in himself -- Interacting with yourself -- How to be a person -- What's left of me? (shrink)
Christine Swanton offers a new, comprehensive theory of virtue ethics which addresses the major concerns of modern ethical theory from a character-based perspective. The book departs in significant ways from classical virtue ethics and neo-Aristotelianism, employing insights from Nietzsche and other sources, resulting in a highly distinctive and original brand of virtue ethics.
Ethical thought is articulated around normative concepts. Standard examples of normative concepts are good, reason, right, ought, and obligatory. Theorists often treat the normative as an undifferentiated domain. Even so, it is common to distinguish between two kinds of normative concepts: evaluative or axiological concepts, such as good, and deontic concepts, such as ought. This encyclopedia entry discusses the many differences between the two kinds of concepts.
Emotions are crucial to human agency. But what are emotions? And how do they relate to agency? The aim of this book is to spell out an account of emotions, which is grounded on analogies between emotions and sensory experiences, and to explore the implications of this account for our understanding of human agency. The central claim is that emotions consist in perceptual experiences of values, such as the fearsome, the disgusting or the admirable. A virtue of this account is (...) that it affords a better grasp of a variety of interconnected phenomena: the relationship between emotions and motivation, the nature of evaluative judgements, the relationship between responsibility and attitudes such as anger, and, finally, the relation between emotions and reasons. (shrink)
This paper criticizes two accounts of the normativity of practical principles: the empiricist account and the rationalist or realist account. It argues against the empiricist view, focusing on the Humean texts that are usually taken to be its locus classicus. It then argues both against the dogmatic rationalist view, and for the Kantian view, through a discussion of Kant's own remarks about instrumental rationality in the second section of the Groundwork. It further argues that the instrumental principle cannot stand alone. (...) Unless there are normative principles directing us to the adoption of certain ends, there can be no requirement to take the means to our ends. The familiar view that the instrumental principle is the only requirement of practical reason is incoherent. (shrink)
Christine M. Korsgaard presents a compelling new view of our moral relationships to the other animals. She offers challenging answers to such questions as: Are people superior to animals, and does it matter morally if we are? Is it all right for us to eat animals, experiment on them, make them work for us, and keep them as pets?
In contemporary Western society, people are more often called upon to justify the choice not to have children than they are to supply reasons for having them. In this book, Christine Overall maintains that the burden of proof should be reversed: that the choice to have children calls for more careful justification and reasoning than the choice not to. Arguing that the choice to have children is not just a prudential or pragmatic decision but one with ethical repercussions, Overall (...) offers a wide-ranging exploration of how we might think systematically and deeply about this fundamental aspect of human life. Writing from a feminist perspective, she also acknowledges the inevitably gendered nature of the decision; the choice has different meanings, implications, and risks for women than it has for men. After considering a series of ethical approaches to procreation, and finding them inadequate or incomplete, Overall offers instead a novel argument. Exploring the nature of the biological parent-child relationship -- which is not only genetic but also psychological, physical, intellectual, and moral -- she argues that the formation of that relationship is the best possible reason for choosing to have a child. (shrink)
One difficulty in understanding recent debates is that not only have many terms been used to refer to weakness of will – “akrasia” and “incontinence” have often been used as synonyms of “weakness of will” – but quite different phenomena have been discussed in the literature. This is why the present entry starts with taxonomic considerations. The second section turns to the question of whether it is possible to freely and intentionally act against one’s better judgment.
Calls to expand temporary work programmes come from two directions. First, as global justice advocates observe, every year thousands of poor migrants cross borders in search of better opportunities, often in the form of improved employment opportunities. As a result, international organizations now lobby in favour of expanding ‘guest-work’ opportunities, that is, opportunities for citizens of poorer countries to migrate temporarily to wealthier countries to fill labour shortages. Second, temporary work programmes permit domestic governments to respond to two internal, contradictory (...) political pressures: (1) to fill labour shortages and (2) to do so without increasing rates of permanent migration. Temporary work programmes permit governments to appear ‘tough’ on migration, while responding to employer pressure to locate workers willing to work in low-skilled, poorly remunerated positions. The coincidence of national self-interest and global justice generates a strong case in favour of expanding guest-work. We evaluate the moral benefits and burdens of expanding guest-work opportunities, and conclude that although there are benefits to be gleaned from the perspective of global wealth redistribution, at present, temporary work programmes are generally unjust. We will argue that just temporary work programmes, in time, permit temporary workers to attain citizenship. This spells the end of traditional temporary work programmes, which require that workers return to their home country in time; instead, what is temporary is the employment obligation that must be fulfilled as a requirement to access citizenship. As long as this requirement is met, we endorse guest-work programmes as a tool to respond to global inequality. (shrink)
In this theoretical paper, motives for CSR are considered. An underlying assumption is that the commercial imperative is not the sole driver of CSR decision-making in private sector companies, but that the formal adoption and implementation of CSR by corporations could be associated with the changing personal values of individual managers. These values may find expression through the opportunity to exercise discretion, which may arise in various ways. It is suggested that in so far as CSR initiatives represent individuals' values, (...) so the responsibility in evidence is less obviously corporate. Our emphasis on personal initiative is intended to counter a tendency to view the corporation as the agent, and may serve to remind us that individuals can, indeed, make a difference. (shrink)
Christine M. Korsgaard is Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University. She was educated at the University of Illinois and received a Ph.D. from Harvard. She has held positions at Yale, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of Chicago, and visiting positions at Berkeley and UCLA. She is a member of the American Philosophical Association and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has published extensively on Kant, and about (...) moral philosophy and its history, the theory of practical reason, the philosophy of action, and personal identity. Her two published books are The Sources of Normativity (1992) and Creating the King- dom of Ends (1996). (shrink)
With the help of medicine and technology we are living longer than ever before. As human life spans have increased, the moral and political issues surrounding longevity have become more complex. Should we desire to live as long as possible? What are the social ramifications of longer lives? How does a longer life span change the way we think about the value of our lives and about death and dying? Christine Overall offers a clear and intelligent discussion of the (...) philosophical and cultural issues surrounding this difficult and often emotionally charged issue. Her book is unique in its comprehensive presentation and evaluation of the arguments—both ancient and contemporary—for and against prolonging life. It also proposes a progressive social policy for responding to dramatic increases in life expectancy. Writing from a feminist perspective, Overall highlights the ways that our biases about race, class, and gender have affected our views of elderly people and longevity, and her policy recommendations represent an effort to overcome these biases. She also covers the arguments surrounding the question of the "duty to die" and includes a provocative discussion of immortality. After judiciously weighing the benefits and the risks of prolonging human life, Overall persuasively concludes that the length of life does matter and that its duration can make a difference to the quality and value of our lives. Her book will be an essential guide as we consider our social responsibilities, the meaning of human life, and the prospects of living longer. (shrink)
Different types of consent are used to obtain human biospecimens for future research. This variation has resulted in confusion regarding what research is permitted, inadvertent constraints on future research, and research proceeding without consent. The National Institutes of Health Clinical Center's Department of Bioethics held a workshop to consider the ethical acceptability of addressing these concerns by using broad consent for future research on stored biospecimens. Multiple bioethics scholars, who have written on these issues, discussed the reasons for consent, the (...) range of consent strategies, and gaps in our understanding, and concluded with a proposal for broad initial consent coupled with oversight and, when feasible, ongoing provision of information to donors. This article describes areas of agreement and areas that need more research and dialogue. Given recent proposed changes to the Common Rule, and new guidance regarding storing and sharing data and samples, this is an important and tim.. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is twofold: In its first part, we work out the key features of constitutivism as presented by Christine Korsgaard. This reconstruction serves to clarify which goals Korsgaard wants to achieve with her account and which of its central claims she has to defend in particular. In the second part, we discuss whether Korsgaard can vindicate constitutivism's most central claim. To do this, we analyse two important arguments - the argument from unavoidability and the argument (...) from the abstract constitutive principle - that have been made in support of constitutivism. We show how both these arguments go amiss and conclude that at least for now, constitutivism's most central claim has not been successfully argued for. (shrink)
Although evidence of teaching behaviour has been identified in some nonhuman species, human teaching appears to be unique in terms of both the breadth of contexts within which it is observed, and in its responsiveness to needs of the learner. Similarly, cultural evolution is observable in other species, but human cultural evolution appears strikingly distinct. This has led to speculation that the evolutionary origins of these capacities may be causally linked. Here we provide an overview of contrasting perspectives on the (...) relationship between teaching and cultural evolution in humans, and briefly review previous research which suggests that cumulative culture can occur without teaching. We then report the results of a novel experimental study in which we investigated how the benefits of teaching may depend on the complexity of the skill to be acquired. Participants were asked to tie knots of varying complexity. In our Teaching condition, opportunities to interact with an experienced partner aided transmission of the most complex knots, but not simpler equivalents, relative to exposure to completed products alone, and also relative to information about the process of completion. We conclude by considering the plausibility of various accounts of the evolutionary relationship between teaching and cultural evolution in humans. (shrink)
In this essay I present an overview of the problem of climate change, with attention to issues of interest to feminists, such as the differential responsibilities of nations and the disproportionate “vulnerabilities” of females, people of color, and the economically disadvantaged in relation to climate change. I agree with others that justice requires governments, corporations, and individuals to take full responsibility for histories of pollution, and for present and future greenhouse gas emissions. Nonetheless I worry that an overemphasis on household (...) and personal-sphere fossil fuel emissions distracts from attention to higher-level corporate and governmental responsibilities for addressing the problem of climate change. I argue that more attention should be placed on the higher-level responsibilities of corporations and governments, and I discuss how individuals might more effectively take responsibility for addressing global climate change, especially when corporations and governments refuse to do so. (shrink)
In a celebrated passage in ‘Of the Standard of Taste’, Hume tells us that those readers who prefer Bunyan's writings to Addison's are merely ‘pretended critics’ whose judgment is ‘absurd and ridiculous’; this is ‘no less an extravagance, than if he had maintained a mole-hill to be as high as TENERIFFE, or a pond as extensive as the ocean’. Hume shows a decisiveness and vehemence in his judgment against Bunyan that has greater significance than that of being a mere reflection (...) of his aesthetic principles. Hume does, after all, wish to make ‘durable admiration’ the foundation of his standard of taste, and both the number of eighteenth-century reprints of The Pilgrim's Progress and Johnson's comment that this work has as ‘the best evidence of its merit, the general and continued approbation of mankind’ testify to the lasting popularity of Bunyan's work. Hume's critical judgment on Bunyan is not merely a consequence of a mechanical application of his standard of taste, but is rather a reflection of what I will term Hume's ‘epistemology of ease’. (shrink)
Arnold Gehlen is one of the most controversial figures of German intellectual history. Gehlen’s commitment to National Socialism (a commitment he never disavowed) is mostly seen in close connection with his theoretical focus on institutions. According to Gehlen, what mankind requires above all is order and thus the protection of institutions. And yet, by reducing Gehlen’s sociology to the necessity of order one misses the analytical scope of his writings. As this article aims to show, the strength of Gehlen’s sociology (...) lies less in its theory of institutionalization than in its attempt to comprehend change, i.e. the conceptual clarification of the interplay between radical innovation and institutionalization. In order to apprehend Gehlen’s understanding of change we have to look at his sociology of art as it is art which works as ‘a small symbol of society’. To approach Gehlen from this perspective is not to rehabilitate the controversial thinker. Instead, I am trying to show that Gehlen’s theoretical framework is as complex as modern culture itself and should therefore not prematurely be declared a reactionary testimony of the past. (shrink)
Christine Battersby is a leading thinker in the field of philosophy, gender studies and visual and literary aesthetics. In this important new work, she undertakes an exploration of the nature of the sublime, one of the most important topics in contemporary debates about modernity, politics and art. Through a compelling examination of terror, transcendence and the ‘other’ in key European philosophers and writers, Battersby articulates a radical ‘female sublime’. A central feature of The Sublime, Terror and Human Difference is (...) its engagement with recent debates around ‘9/11’, race and Islam. Battersby shows how, since the eighteenth century, the pleasures of the sublime have been described in terms of the transcendence of terror. Linked to the ‘feminine’, the sublime was closed off to flesh-and-blood women, to ‘Orientals’ and to other supposedly ‘inferior’ human types. Engaging with Kant, Burke, the German Romantics, Nietzsche, Derrida, Lyotard, Irigaray and Arendt, as well as with women writers and artists, Battersby traces the history of these exclusions, while finding resources within the history of western culture for thinking human differences afresh The Sublime, Terror and Human Difference is essential reading for students of continental philosophy, gender studies, aesthetics, literary theory, visual culture, and race and social theory. (shrink)
Aristotle believes that an agent lacks virtue unless she enjoys the performance of virtuous actions, while Kant claims that the person who does her duty despite contrary inclinations exhibits a moral worth that the person who acts from inclination lacks. Despite these differences, this chapter argues that Aristotle and Kant share a distinctive view of the object of human choice and locus of moral value: that what we choose, and what has moral value, are not mere acts, but actions: acts (...) done for the sake of ends. Morally good actions embody a kind of intrinsic value that inspires us to do them from duty (in Kant) or for the sake of the noble (in Aristotle). The chapter traces the difference in their attitudes about doing one's duty with pleasure to a difference in their attitudes towards pleasure itself: Aristotle sees it as a perception of the good, while Kant thinks of it as mere feeling. (shrink)
The aim of the paper is to investigate the effects of the corporate governance model on social and environmental disclosure (SED). We analyze the disclosures of the 100 U.S. Best Corporate Citizens in the period 2005–2007, and we posit a series of simultaneous relationships between different attributes of the governance system and a multidimensional construct of corporate social performance (CSP). We consider both the extent and the quality of SED, with the purpose of identifying increasing levels of corporate commitment to (...) stakeholders and shedding some light on whether SED is used as a signal or rather as a legitimacy tool. Our empirical evidence shows that the stakeholders’ orientation of corporate governance is positively associated with CSP and SED. On the other hand, we do not find support for the monitoring intensity of corporate governance being negatively associated with social performance. We also find that CSP in the “product” dimension is positively associated with the extent and quality of SED whilst CSP in the “people” dimension is negatively associated with the extent and quality of SED. At a time when shareholders and stakeholders share more common aspects in their relationships with firms, this is a significant area to explore and this research fills an important lacuna in this respect. (shrink)
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