If such a thing as nanoethics is possible, it can only develop by confronting the great questions of moral philosophy, thus avoiding the pitfalls so common to regional ethics. We identify and analyze some of these pitfalls: the restriction of ethics to prudence understood as rational risk management; the reduction of ethics to cost/benefit analysis; the confusion of technique with technology and of human nature with the human condition. Once these points have been clarified, it is possible to take up (...) some weighty philosophical and metaphysical questions which are not new, but which need to be raised anew with respect to nanotechnologies: the artificialization of nature; the question of limits; the role of religion; the finiteness of the human condition as something with a beginning and an end; the relationship between knowledge and know-how; the foundations of ethics. (shrink)
The five narratives identified by the DEEPEN-project are interpreted in terms of the ancient story of desire, evil, and the sacred, and the modern narratives of alienation and exploitation. The first three narratives of lay ethics do not take stock of what has radically changed in the modern world under the triple and joint evolution of science, religion, and philosophy. The modern narratives, in turn, are in serious need of a post-modern deconstruction. Both critiques express the limits of humanism. They (...) do not imply, however, that these narratives should not be taken seriously. In particular, the enduring presence of three ancient narratives in laypeople’s symbolic thought is highly significant in terms of the role that the logic of the sacred keeps playing in the workings of modern societies. Lay people’s implicit understanding of how modern technology tends towards catastrophe and apocalypse provides the strongest argument for taking these narratives seriously. (shrink)
Challenging previous interpretations of Levinas that gloss over his use of the feminine or show how he overlooks questions raised by feminists, Claire Elise Katz explores the powerful and productive links between the feminine and religion in Levinas’s work. Rather than viewing the feminine as a metaphor with no significance for women or as a means to reinforce traditional stereotypes, Katz goes beyond questions of sexual difference to reach a more profound understanding of the role of the feminine in (...) Levinas’s conception of ethical responsibility. She combines feminist interpretations of Levinas with interpretations that focus on his Jewish writings to reveal that the feminine provides an important bridge between his philosophy and his Judaism. Katz’s reading of Levinas’s conception of the feminine against the backdrop of discussions of women of the Hebrew bible points to important shifts in contemporary philosophy toward the creation of life and care for the other. (shrink)
This paper describes a method for analyzing a corpus of descriptions collected through micro-phenomenological interviews. This analysis aims at identifying the structure of the singular experiences which have been described, and in particular their diachronic structure, while unfolding generic experiential structures through an iterative approach. After summarizing the principles of the micro-phenomenological interview, and then describing the process of preparation of the verbatim, the article presents on the one hand, the principles and conceptual devices of the analysis method and on (...) the other hand several dimensions of the analysis process: the modes of structural unfolding of generic structures, the mutual guidance of the processes of structural and experiential unfolding, the tracking of analysis processes, and finally the assessment of analysis results. (shrink)
This article presents an interview method which enables us to bring a person, who may not even have been trained, to become aware of his or her subjective experience, and describe it with great precision. It is focused on the difficulties of becoming aware of one’s subjective experience and describing it, and on the processes used by this interview technique to overcome each of these difficulties. The article ends with a discussion of the criteria governing the validity of the descriptions (...) obtained, and then with a brief review of the functions of these descriptions. (shrink)
One of the twentieth-century's most exciting and challenging intellectuals, Gilles Deleuze's writings covered literature, art, psychoanalysis, philosophy, genetics, film and social theory. This book not only introduces Deleuze's ideas, it also demonstrates the ways in which his work can provide new readings of literary texts. This guide goes on to cover his work in various fields, his theory of literature and his overarching project of a new concept of becoming.
Can we make mistakes about what rationality requires? A natural answer is that we can, since it is a platitude that rational belief does not require truth; it is possible for a belief to be rational and mistaken, and this holds for any subject matter at all. However, the platitude causes trouble when applied to rationality itself. The possibility of rational mistakes about what rationality requires generates a puzzle. When combined with two further plausible claims – the enkratic principle, and (...) the claim that rational requirements apply universally – we get the result that rationality generates inconsistent requirements. One popular and attractive solution to the puzzle denies that it is possible to make rational mistakes about what rationality requires. I show why (contra Titelbaum (2015b), and Littlejohn (2015)) this solution is doomed to fail. (shrink)
A familiar part of debates about supererogatory actions concerns the role that cost should play. Two camps have emerged: one claiming that extreme cost is a necessary condition for when an action is supererogatory, while the other denies that it should be part of our definition of supererogation. In this paper, I propose an alternative position. I argue that it is comparative cost that is central to the supererogatory and that it is needed to explain a feature that all accounts (...) agree is central to the very notion of supererogation: optionality. Perhaps because of this agreement on its importance, few attempts have been made to clarify and explain the notion of optionality. I argue that giving an account of the optionality of supererogatory requires drawing a line between doing the bare minimum permissible and going beyond the bare minimum and that this line ought to be drawn based on comparative cost of alternative permissible acts. Having outlined my account and motivated it, I discuss and reject two concerns that might be raised: firstly, that it is extreme cost, not comparative cost, that matters and, secondly, that in fact no cost is needed for an act to be supererogatory. (shrink)
Reexamining Emmanuel Levinas’s essays on Jewish education, Claire Elise Katz provides new insights into the importance of education and its potential to transform a democratic society, for Levinas’s larger philosophical project.
I argue for the unexceptionality of evidence about what rationality requires. Specifically, I argue that, as for other topics, one’s total evidence can sometimes support false beliefs about this. Despite being prima facie innocuous, a number of philosophers have recently denied this. Some have argued that the facts about what rationality requires are highly dependent on the agent’s situation, and change depending on what that situation is like (Bradley, 2019). Others have argued that a particular subset of normative truths, those (...) concerning what epistemic rationality requires, have the special property of being ‘fixed points’ – it is impossible to have total evidence that supports false belief about them (Smithies, 2012; Titelbaum, 2015). Each of these kinds of exceptionality permit a solution to downstream theoretical problems that arise from the possibility of evidence supporting false belief about requirements of rationality. However, as I argue here, they incur heavy explanatory burdens that we should avoid. (shrink)
Introduction: The problem of vitalism : active/passive -- Brain, system, model : the affective turn -- Vitalism and theoria -- Inorganic art -- Inorganic vitalism -- The vital order after theory -- On becoming -- Living systems, extended minds, gaia -- Conclusion.
The well-known experiments of Nisbett and Wilson lead to the conclusion that we have no introspective access to our decision-making processes. Johansson et al. have recently developed an original protocol consisting in manipulating covertly the relationship between the subjects’ intended choice and the outcome they were presented with: in 79.6% of cases, they do not detect the manipulation and provide an explanation of the choice they did not make, confirming the findings of Nisbett and Wilson. We have reproduced this protocol, (...) while introducing for some choices an expert guidance to the description of this choice. The subjects who were assisted detected the manipulation in 80% of cases. Our experiment confirms Nisbett and Wilson’s findings that we are usually unaware of our decision processes, but goes further by showing that we can access them through specific mental acts. (shrink)
This article offers a critique and reformulation of the concept of empathy as it is currently used in the context of medicine and medical care. My argument is three pronged. First, that the instrumentalised notion of empathy that has been common within medicine erases the term’s rich epistemological history as a special form of understanding, even a vehicle of social inquiry, and has instead substituted an account unsustainably structured according to the polarisations of modernity. I suggest that understanding empathy by (...) examining its origins within the phenomenological tradition, as a mode of intersubjective understanding, offers a different and profitable approach. Secondly, I argue that the appropriation of empathy in medicine means that, ironically, empathy can function as a technique of pastoral power, in which virtue, knowledge and authority remain with the doctor. And thirdly, empathy is in danger of being resourced as a substitute for equity and funding within health systems. I conclude however with hope for the productive possibilities for empathy. (shrink)
The critical realist and Bourdieusian conceptions of action fundamentally disagree on a number of fronts: the synthetic versus dualistic relationship between structure and agency; the social nature of the self/body; the link between morphogenesis and reflexivity. Despite these differences, this article argues that re-reading Bourdieu’s theories with attention to some of the core tenets of critical realism can provide insights into how the habitus is capable of reflexivity and social change. In particular, this article reworks Bourdieu’s theory of habitus by (...) suggesting that social selves are always situated at the intersection of multiple and competing social locations and that the habitus itself is always layered. Reflexivity arises from horizontal disjunctures and vertical disjunctures. (shrink)
Cinema, thought and time -- Deleuze's cinema books -- Technology -- Essences -- Space and time -- Bergson, time, and life -- The movement-image -- The history of time and space and the history of cinema -- The movement-image and semiotics -- Styles of sign -- The whole of movement -- Image and life -- Becoming-inhuman, becoming imperceptible -- The deduction of the movement-image -- Art and time -- Destruction of the sensory motor apparatus and the spiritual automaton -- Time (...) and money -- Art and history -- Monument -- Framing, territorialization, and the plane of composition -- Politics and the origin of meaning -- Transcending life and the genesis of sense -- Beyond symbolic and imaginary -- Shit and money -- Exchange, gift, and theft -- The fiction of mind -- Collective investment and group fantasy -- The time of man -- The intense germinal influx. (shrink)
This article is devoted to the description of the experience associated with listening to a sound. In the first part, we describe the method we used to gather descriptions of auditory experience and to analyse these descriptions. This work of explicitation and analysis has enabled us to identify a threefold generic structure of this experience, depending on whether the attention of the subject is directed towards the event which is at the source of the sound, the sound in itself, considered (...) independently from its source, the felt sound. In the second part of the article, we describe this structure. The third part is devoted to a discussion of these results and the paths they open up in various fields of theoretical and applied research. (shrink)
In this paper we list the various criticisms that have been formulated against introspection, from Auguste Comte denying that consciousness can observe itself, to recent criticisms of the reliability of first person descriptions. We show that these criticisms rely on the one hand on poor knowledge of the introspective process, and on the other hand on a naïve conception of scientific objectivity. Two kinds of answers are offered: the first one is grounded on a refined description of the process of (...) becoming aware of one's experience and describing it, the second one relies on a comparison with the methods of the experimental sciences. We conclude the article by providing a renewed definition of 'the truth' of a first person description. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to show through the concrete example of epileptic seizure anticipation how neuro-dynamic analysis and “pheno-dynamic” analysis may guide and determine each other. We will show that this dynamic approach to epileptic seizure makes it possible to consolidate the foundations of a cognitive non pharmacological therapy of epilepsy. We will also show through this example how the neuro-phenomenological co-determination could shed new light on the difficult problem of the “gap” which separates subjective experience from neurophysiological (...) activity. (shrink)