fusion theory challenges efforts to see theory as inhibiting by presenting an approach that is innovative, eclectic, and subtle in order to draw out competing and constellating ideas and opinions. This collected volume of essays examines fusion theory and demonstrates how the theory can be applied to the reading of various works of Indian English novelists.
The ‘Problem of Evil’ has been the focus of a number of articles in Think. Here, Timothy Chambers offers an unusual perspective on this seemingly intractable difficulty facing theists. ‘Did not I weep for him whose day was hard? Was not my soul grieved for the poor? But when I looked for good, evil came; and when I waited for light, darkness came.’.
Autonomy is fundamental to liberalism. But autonomous individuals often choose to do things that harm themselves or undermine their equality. In particular, women often choose to participate in practices of sexual inequality—cosmetic surgery, gendered patterns of work and childcare, makeup, restrictive clothing, or the sexual subordination required by membership in certain religious groups. In this book, Clare Chambers argues that this predicament poses a fundamental challenge to many existing liberal and multicultural theories that dominate contemporary political philosophy. Chambers (...) argues that a theory of justice cannot ignore the influence of culture and the role it plays in shaping choices. If cultures shape choices, it is problematic to use those choices as the measure of the justice of the culture. Drawing upon feminist critiques of gender inequality and poststructuralist theories of social construction, she argues that we should accept some of the multicultural claims about the importance of culture in shaping our actions and identities, but that we should reach the opposite normative conclusion to that of multiculturalists and many liberals. Rather than using the idea of social construction to justify cultural respect or protection, we should use it to ground a critical stance toward cultural norms. The book presents radical proposals for state action to promote sexual and cultural justice. (shrink)
Tod Chambers suggests that literary theory is a crucial component in the complete understanding of bioethics. _The Fiction of Bioethics_ explores the medical case study and distills the idea that bioethicists study real-life cases, while philosophers contemplate fictional accounts.
Clare Chambers argues that marriage violates both equality and liberty and should not be trecognized by the state. She shows how feminist and liberal principles require creation of a marriage-free state: one in which private marriages, whether religious or secular, would have no legal status.
Recently, bioethics has become interested in engaging with narrative, but in this engagement, narrative is usually viewed as a mere helpmate to philosophy. In this precis to his book The Fiction of Bioethics, Tod Chambers argues that narrative theory should not be simply a helpful addition to medical ethics but instead should be thought of as being as vital and important to the discipline as moral theory itself. The reason we need to rethink the relationship of medical ethics to (...) narrative is that ethicists test their ideas by applying them to cases, and cases are a narrative genre. Recognizing the importance that cases have for the way medical ethicists do ethics is essential in order to appreciate the field as a form of applied philosophy. Like other forms of representation, narrative has distinct and defining features, which ethicists, in order to understand the data of their field, must learn to recognize and differentiate. Ethicists need to attend to the way decisions about the discourse of a narrative influences the kind of moral theories judged relevant to it. The author briefly examines six features of narrative discourse that rhetorically condition the way we understand medical ethics cases: filter, reportability, closure, characters, chronotope, and gender. (shrink)
"[T]he richness of his analysis, [...] his poststrucuralist emphasis on genealogy, historicity, temporality, and discourse can supplement the sometimes arid terms of the agency/structure debate. [...] An invitation to readers who might not normally turn to Continental theory for methodological inspiration, to learn from Chamber's splendid, and, yesy, timely volume." -Diana Coole, Queen Mary University of London , from a book review in the June 04 Perspectives The standard, linear view of history is founded on the belief that political outcomes (...) are predetermined by what has gone before. This book challenges this view, arguing for what Samuel A. Chambers calls an untimely politics which renders the past problematic and the future unpredictable. This pathbreaking argument is advanced through a close reading of key texts in political theory and by entering into debates involving metaphysics, philosophy of language, and psychoanalysis versus discursive analysis. Chambers focuses on the theme of the relevance of language analysis to political debate, answering those critics who insist discourse approaches to politics are irrelevant. Heidegger, Nietzsche, Foucault and Derrida are used to challenge the political burden which is placed on language analysis to prove its value in the real world. Drawing from political theory and cultural studies Chambers takes on the same-sex marriage debate, showing how the use and misuse of language has contributed to an impasse that is not likely to be broken. Wide ranging and insightful, Untimely Politics makes a timely plea for a more politically relevant and culturally engaged form of intellectual engagement. (shrink)
Whistleblowing is a subject which seizes the media headlines from time to time, and nowhere is such a dilemma of conscience more sensitive than in the area of finance and internal auditing. Additionally, professional organisations are sometimes felt to be less than supportive of their members who occasionally resort to whistlelowing. But how does it look from inside the auditing profession? Professor Chambers is a director of The Institute of Internal Auditors Inc., and a member of the Internal Auditing (...) Standards Board. He is Professor of Audit & Control at the University of Hull, and since 1991 he has chaired the Professional Standards & Guidelines Committee of IIA . He is author of several books and a former Dean of the Business School of City University, London. In 1991 he established Management Audit Ltd., The Water Mill, Moat Lane, Old Bolingbroke, Spilsby, Lincolnshire PE23 4EU, which specialises in services to boards, audit committees and internal auditors. This article was originally presented to the 54e Conférence Internationale of The Institute of Internal Auditors, Inc., organised by the Institut Francais des Auditeurs Consultants Internes. Except where otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this article are those of the author. (shrink)
From the late eighteenth through the end of the nineteenth century, educational philosophers and practitioners debated the benefits and shortcomings of the use of emulation in schools. During this period, “emulation” referred to a pedagogy that leveraged comparisons between students as a tool to motivate them to higher achievement. Many educationists praised emulation as a necessary and effective motivator. Other educationists condemned it for its tendency to foster invidious competition between students and to devalue learning. Ultimately, by the late nineteenth (...) century emulation as a specific pedagogical practice had disappeared in American educational culture. In this article, Mark Jonas and Drew Chambers ask whether the disappearance of emulation is something to be celebrated or lamented. To answer this question they examine the historical concept of educational emulation and analyze the bases on which proponents and opponents argued. Parties on both sides of the debate framed their arguments in close relation to the way emulation was being used at that time, which prioritized actual competitions and prizes. In that context, the opponents made a better case, which presumably contributed to emulation's disappearance in schools afterwards. However, as earlier proponents of emulation argued, emulation need not be restricted to competitions and prizes. Instead, these proponents offered a philosophically and psychologically rich defense of emulation, but these were not carried through to an appropriate degree. The authors conclude that, construed appropriately, emulation not only had tremendous educational potential then, but still does today. With intentional effort on the part of teachers, emulation can greatly enrich students' lives and act as a powerful learning motivator. (shrink)
Let us hypothesize that there are three main "registers" of writing: narrative, description and commentary. "Narrative" and "description" are by definition concerned with diachronic and synchronic relationships ; and it may be said that taken together, they therefore exhaust the inventory of all relationships constituting the "world" our language regards as possible. It is often remarked that there is such an affinity between narration and description that on occasion they are hard to distinguish: narration is the description of an action (...) or change, and description mimes the action of relating items one to the other, and hence may have a narrative function. This solidarity of narration and description justifies their being grouped together as constituting the "topic" of literary discourse. But the function of "commentary," which correlates the text with a context, is to create a different type of relationship, in which makes the narrative/descriptive topic "meaningful." We are thus distinguishing "meaning" and "meaningfulness" on the grounds that "meaning" can be understood as the object of semantic analysis , whereas "meaningfulness" is the meaning bestowed on a set of relationships by an act of interpretation . This type of meaningfulness is what the moral of a La Fontaine fable most characteristically seeks to create. Thus, the two-line commentary segment in Le Chat, la Belette et le petit Lapin: Ceci ressemble fort aux débats qu'ont parfoisLes petits souverains se rapportants aux rois1 designates the narrative/descriptive relationships established on the fable proper , designates the pragmatic context , but also specifies the analogy/homology between the two which makes the text meaningful . Meaningfulness in this sense is thus definable as the perception of a text/context relationship. · 1. "This greatly resembles the debates which petty sovereigns have when they refer to kings." [My translation] Ross Chambers, Marvin Felheim Distinguished University Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, is the author of Gérard de Nerval et la poétique du voyage, La Comédie au château, L'Ange et l'automate, "Spirite" de Théophile Gautier, and Room for Maneuver: Reading Oppositional Narrative. (shrink)
Originally published anonymously in 1844, Vestiges proved to be as controversial as its author expected. Integrating research in the burgeoning sciences of anthropology, geology, astronomy, biology, economics, and chemistry, it was the first attempt to connect the natural sciences to a history of creation. The author, whose identity was not revealed until 1884, was Robert Chambers, a leading Scottish writer and publisher. Vestiges reached a huge popular audience and was widely read by the social and intellectual elite. It sparked (...) debate about natural law, setting the stage for the controversy over Darwin's Origin. In response to the surrounding debate and criticism, Chambers published Explanations: A Sequel, in which he offered a reasoned defense of his ideas about natural law, castigating what he saw as the narrowness of specialist science. With a new introduction by James Secord, a bibliography of reviews, and a new index, this volume adds to Vestiges and Explanations Chambers's earliest works on cosmology, an essay on Darwin, and an autobiographical essay, raising important issues about the changing meanings of popular science and religion and the rise of secular ideologies in Western culture. (shrink)
Culture After Humanism asks what happens to the authority of traditional Western modes of thought in the wake of postcolonial theory. Iain Chambers investigates moments of tension, interruptions which transform our perception of the world and test the limits of language, art and technology. In a series of interlinked discussions, ranging in focus from Susan Sontag's novel The Volcano Lover to the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, Jimi Hendrix and Baroque architecture and music, Chambers weaves together a critique of (...) Western humanism, exploring issues of colonization and migration, language and identity. Culture After Humanism offers a new approach to cultural history, a 'post-humanist' perspective which challenges our sense of a world in which the subject is sovereign language, the transparent medium of its agency, and truth, the product of reason. (shrink)
Publisher's Note: Written by Phil Parvin and Clare Chambers, who are current political philosophy lecturers and leading researchers, Political Philosophy - The Essentials is designed to give you everything you need to succeed, all in one place. It covers the key areas that students are expected to be confident in, outlining the basics in clear jargon-free English, and then providing added-value features like summaries of key thinkers, and even lists of questions you might be asked in your seminar or (...) exam. The book's structure follows that of most university courses on political philosophy, by looking at the essential concepts within political philosophy (freedom, equality, power, democracy, rights, the state, political obligation), and then looking at the ways in which political philosophers have used these fundamental concepts in order to tackle a range of normative political questions such as whether the state has a responsibility to alleviate inequalities, and what interest liberal and democratic states should take in the cultural or religious beliefs of citizens. (shrink)
This article introduces the concept of a Moment of Equal Opportunity (MEO): a point in an individual’s life at which equal opportunity must be applied and after which it need not. The concept of equal opportunity takes many forms, and not all employ an MEO. However, the more egalitarian a theory of equal opportunity is, the more likely it is to use an MEO. The article discusses various theories of equal opportunity and argues that those that employ an MEO are (...) problematic. Unjust inequalities, those that motivate the use of equal opportunity, occur throughout people’s lives and thus go unrectified after an MEO. However, it is not possible to abandon the MEO approach and apply more egalitarian versions of equal opportunity throughout a person’s life, since doing so entails problems of epistemology, efficiency, incentives, and counter-intuitive results. The article thus argues that liberal egalitarian theories of equality of opportunity are inconsistent if they support an MEO and unrealizable if they do not. (shrink)
Over the past decade, Jacques Rancière’s writings have increasingly provoked and inspired political theorists who wish to avoid both the abstraction of so-called normative theories and the philosophical platitudes of so-called postmodernism. Rancière offers a new and unique definition of politics, la politique, as that which opposes, thwarts and interrupts what Rancière calls the police order, la police — a term that encapsulates most of what we normally think of as politics (the actions of bureaucracies, parliaments, and courts). Interpreters have (...) been tempted to read Rancière as proffering a formally pure conception of politics, wherein politics is ultimately separate from and in utter opposition to all police orders. Here I provide a different account of Rancière’s thinking of politics: for Rancière politics goes on within police orders and for this reason he strongly rejects the very idea of a pure politics. Politics is precisely that which could never be pure; politics is an act of impurity, a process that resists purification. In carefully delineating the politique—police relation I show that the terms of Rancière’s political writings are multiple and multiplied. Rancière consistently undermines any effort to render politics pure, and therein lies his potential contribution to contemporary political theory. (shrink)
This article examines the significance of Jacques Rancière?s work on pedagogy, and argues that to make sense of Rancière?s ?lesson on the lesson? one must do more but also less than merely explicate Rancière?s texts. It steadfastly refuses to draw out the lessons of Rancière?s writings in the manner of a series of morals, precepts or rules. Rather, it is committed to thinking through the ?lessons? of Rancière in another sense. Above all, Rancière wants to ?teach? his readers something absolutely (...) crucial about teaching. In making this claim the article emphasizes the extent to which Rancière advocates an utterly radical pedagogy, one that completely reconceives all the central elements of ?schooling?, including teacher, student, intelligence and knowledge. Rancière thinks it possible to teach without knowing; he believes that the best schoolmasters can operate not on the assumption of their expertise, but on the equality of intelligence; and this means ultimately that Rancière contends that we can ?teach what we do not know?. The best schoolmasters are ignorant schoolmasters. Rancière?s radical pedagogy depends upon, just as it consistently advances, a thoroughgoing resistance to a certain form of epistemological and ontological mastery. The rejection of mastery?of schoolmasters who would know it all, and convey this knowing to their students?forms the very backbone of all of Rancière?s writings and critical investigations. This is the chief reason why Rancière is, in a way, always talking about pedagogy, even when his subject matter appears to be something else entirely. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Diana Mutz's individual-level data show that participation and deliberation are often inversely related. This, according to Mutz, undermines many claims made by deliberative-democratic theory. However, a systemic approach to deliberative democracy challenges the significance of this finding. Although it is true that some citizens are political activists not open to hearing the other side and other citizens are less active but more open minded, both types of citizens make equally important and positive contributions to deliberative politics when it is (...) viewed as a system that deploys a division of labor. (shrink)
This essay considers the tension between political liberalism and gender equality in the light of social construction and multiculturalism. The tension is exemplified by the work of Martha Nussbaum, who tries to reconcile a belief in the universality of certain liberal values such as gender equality with a political liberal tolerance for cultural practices that violate gender equality. The essay distinguishes between first? and second?order conceptions of autonomy, and shows that political liberals mistakenly prioritise second?order autonomy. This prioritisation leads political (...) liberals to seek to limit state interference in individuals' choices. However, the essay argues that if options, choices and the preferences which lead to them are socially influenced or constructed, it is no longer clear that state non?interference secures autonomy. Instead, it becomes a matter of justice what the content of the social or state influence is, which options are open to people, and political liberalism cannot deal with many forms of injustice. Rather than emphasising state neutrality, liberals should endorse state prohibition of practices which cause significant harm to those who choose them, if they are chosen only in response to unjust norms. (shrink)
Judith Butler has been arguably the most important gender theorist of the past twenty years. This edited volume draws leading international political theorists into dialogue with her political theory. Each chapter is written by an acclaimed political theorist and concentrates on a particular aspect of Butler's work. The book is divided into five sections which reflect the interdisciplinary nature of Butler's work and activism: Butler and Philosophy: explores Butler’s unique relationship to the discipline of philosophy, considering her work in light (...) of its philosophical contributions Butler and Subjectivity: covers the vexed question of subjectivity with which Butler has engaged throughout her published history Butler and Gender: considers the most problematic area, gender, taken by many to be primary to Butler’s work Butler and Democracy: engages with Butler’s significant contribution to the literature of radical democracy and to thecentral political issues faced by our post-cold war Butler and Action: focuses directly on the question of political agency and political action in Butler’s work. Along with its companion volume, Political Theory of Judith Butler, it marks an intellectual event for political theory, with major implications for feminism, women’s studies, gender studies, cultural studies, lesbian and gay studies, queer theory and anyone with a critical interest in contemporary American ‘great power’ politics. (shrink)
Mechanisms of selective attention are vital for coherent perception and action. Recent advances in cognitive neuroscience have yielded key insights into the relationship between neural mechanisms of attention and eye movements, and the role of frontal and parietal brain regions as sources of attentional control. Here we explore the growing contribution of reversible neurodisruption techniques, including transcranial magnetic stimulation and microelectrode stimulation, to the cognitive neuroscience of spatial attention. These approaches permit unique causal inferences concerning the relationship between neural processes (...) and behaviour, and have revealed fundamental mechanisms of attention in the human and animal brain. We conclude by suggesting that further advances in the neuroscience of attention will be facilitated by the combination of neurodisruption techniques with established neuroimaging methods. (shrink)
Renal biopsy is a potentially hazardous procedure, generally performed for therapeutic reasons. An open renal biopsy was performed when there appeared to be no accepted clinical indication and its results published in a specialty journal, whose editors declined publication of subsequent correspondence, questioning the ethical propriety of such a procedure. The implications for clinical practice, authors, editors and readers are discussed.
Eating locally continues to be promoted as an alternative to growing concerns related to industrialized, global, corporate agriculture. Buying from local famers and producers is seen as a way to promote a healthier diet, reduce environmental impacts, and sustain communities. The promotion of the local food movement presents the question: is it possible to feed a community primarily from the foods produced locally? We conducted a systematic analysis comparing the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) recommended dietary requirements for the (...) estimated 2008 population with annual local agricultural production for the years 2004–2008 within the counties of the Willamette Valley growing region. Our results indicate that current agricultural production in this highly fertile region does not meet the dietary needs of the local inhabitants for any of the USDA’s six food groups: grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, meat and beans, and oils. In the most recent year of our analysis, 2008, Willamette Valley agriculture production met 67% of annual required grains, 10% of vegetable needs, 24% of fruits, 59% of dairy, 58% of meat and beans, and 0% of dietary oil requirements. Over the past 5 years there have been significant fluctuations in crop production, particularly in 2006 when grain yields dropped to 29% of needs met. Additionally, many of these commodities are exported as cash crops, thus not contributing to meeting local food needs. We discuss these results as well as areas of potential for increasing production of edible crops for local consumption in the region. (shrink)