In what sense does empty space feature in visual experience? In the first part of this essay I sketch a view advanced by Soteriou and Richardson on which one's visual awareness of empty space is explained by appeal to ‘structural’ features of the phenomenology of visual experience, in particular the phenomenology of experiencing one's visual field as bounded. I suggest that although this ‘structuralist’ view is silent on whether empty space has a phenomenal appearance, the very appeal to structural features (...) seems a natural foil to some such thought. In the second part, I outline a view on which it can be granted that empty space does, after all, have a phenomenal appearance and, so, is not best cast as a species of absence perception as the structuralist avows, at least on a certain construal of ‘absence perception’. After O'Shaughnessy , I contend that although some privations have a phenomenal appearance, ‘absence perception’ should single out the putative perception of phenomena that lack phenomenal reality. I finally consider how the descriptive phenomenology that the structuralist points to, and which I urge should be embraced, can nonetheless be reconciled with the view I spell out. (shrink)
I argue that when empty space is seen in mirrors—that is, when perceptual specular experience is veridical—specular empty space is, like pictorial empty space, seen-in. I explain how the phenomenal expansiveness of specular reflections can nonetheless be reconciled with the see-through look of specular space.
I ask whether figure-ground structure can be realized in touch, and, if so, how. Drawing on the taxonomy of touch sketched in Katz's 1925 The World of Touch, I argue that the form of touch that is relevant to such consideration is a species of immersed touch. I consider whether we can feel the space we are immersed in and, more specifically, the empty space against which the surfaces of objects, as I shall urge, “stand out.” Harnessing M. G. F. (...) Martin's account of bodily awareness and touch, I defend a positive thesis, pace Graham Nerlich on whose The Shape of Space I otherwise rely, both to defend the supposition that empty space can in principle be felt and to argue that touching empty space is not a mere species of absence perception. Along the way, I defuse a causal worry that might be thought to arise in the case of touching empty space. (shrink)
In this collection of essays, Camillo “Mac” Bica, Ph.D., a former Marine Corps Officer, Vietnam Veteran, and philosopher, provides a cogent analysis of why a veteran may not want to be thanked for his “service” in war. Mac’s experiential and theoretical perspective is both gut wrenching and concise. “The Philosopher speaks from the mind,” Mac writes, “the warrior from where it hurts.” With simplicity, poignancy, and power, this book, together with future installments of the War Legacy Series, works to dispel (...) the mythology of nobility and heroism by providing a window into the reality of war and its devastating effects upon all who experience its horrors. (shrink)
In The idea of justice (2009), Amartya Sen builds on his previous work on capabilities to develop a theory of comparative justice which he contrasts to the contractarian approach. The theory has two parts: the proper materials of justice (capabilities); and, a procedure for assessing those materials. The procedure that Sen advocates is one of open impartial deliberation operationalised through Adam Smith's impartial spectator, which he contends is superior to contractarian view operationalised by Rawls’ original position. In this paper we (...) argue that Sen's open impartiality is too open and defend a more bounded version as more workable regardless of the operationalising device used. Moreover, we demonstrate that Sen's own arguments against the possibility of agreement, though aimed at the contractarian tradition, undermine his own attempts to generate a contentful account of justice by driving a wedge between the materials and procedures. Sen's attempt to provide an alternative approach to political philosophy, we conclude, fails. (shrink)
In the UK, current policies and services for people with mental disorders, including those with intellectual disabilities (ID), presume that these men and women can, do, and should, make decisions for themselves. The new Mental Capacity Act (England and Wales) 2005 (MCA) sets this presumption into statute, and codifies how decisions relating to health and welfare should be made for those adults judged unable to make one or more such decisions autonomously. The MCA uses a procedural checklist to guide this (...) process of substitute decision-making. The personal experiences of providing direct support to seven men and women with ID living in residential care, however, showed that substitute decision-making took two forms, depending on the type of decision to be made. The first process, ‘strategic substitute decision-making’, paralleled the MCA’s legal and ethical framework, whilst the second process, ‘relational substitute decision-making’, was markedly different from these statutory procedures. In this setting, ‘relational substitute decision-making’ underpinned everyday personal and social interventions connected with residents’ daily living, and was situated within a framework of interpersonal and interdependent care relationships. The implications of these findings for residential services and the implementation of the MCA are discussed. (shrink)
Abstract Moral development research has previously demonstrated that more extended discourse is a vital element in effective moral education, although the difficulty of implementing this type of discourse into classroom practice has seldom been discussed. In this study, transcripts of lessons were examined of a teacher systematically assisted to develop a more conversational style. These lessons were taped over the course of the school year at different times, beginning in the fall of the year. In addition, writing samples from children (...) who participated in the lessons were subject to content analysis for themes relating to moral questions. Analysis of the lesson transcripts suggests that young students initiate discussion of values?implications of the texts they read if opportunities for connected discourse are increased. Evidence of the impact of more ?conversational? discussions was found in the essays written by students in the class of a teacher using a more conversational style but not in the essays of students who were taught using a conventional format. (shrink)
BackgroundIn most Anglophone nations, policy and law increasingly foster an autonomy-based model, raising issues for large numbers of people who fail to fit the paradigm, and indicating problems in translating practical and theoretical understandings of ‘good death’ to policy. Three exemplar populations are frail older people, people with dementia and people with severe traumatic brain injury. We hypothesise that these groups face some over-lapping challenges in securing good end-of-life care linked to their limited agency. To better understand these challenges, we (...) conducted a scoping review and thematic synthesis.MethodsTo capture a range of literature, we followed established scoping review methods. We then used thematic synthesis to describe the broad themes emerging from this literature.ResultsInitial searches generated 22,375 references, and screening yielded 49, highly heterogeneous, studies that met inclusion criteria, encompassing 12 countries and a variety of settings. The thematic synthesis identified three themes: the first concerned the processes of end-of-life decision-making, highlighting the ambiguity of the dominant shared decision-making process, wherein decisions are determined by families or doctors, sometimes explicitly marginalising the antecedent decisions of patients. Despite this marginalisation, however, the patient does play a role both as a social presence and as an active agent, by whose actions the decisions of those with authority are influenced. The second theme examined the tension between predominant notions of a good death as ‘natural’ and the drive to medicalise death through the lens of the experiences and actions of those faced with the actuality of death. The final theme considered the concept of antecedent end-of-life decision-making, its influence on policy and decision-making, and some caveats that arise from the studies.ConclusionsTogether these three themes indicate a number of directions for future research, which are likely to be applicable to other conditions that result in reduced agency. Above all, this review emphasises the need for new concepts and fresh approaches to end of life decision-making that address the needs of the growing population of frail older people, people with dementia and those with severe traumatic brain injury. (shrink)
This article describes and proposes the “environmental subsidiarity principle” as a guiding ethical value in forestry governance. Different trends in environmental management such as local participation, decentralization or global governance have emerged in the last two decades at the global, national and local level. This article suggests that the conscious or unconscious application of subsidiarity has been the ruling principle that has allocated the level at which tasks have been assigned to different agents. Based on this hypothesis this paper describes (...) the principle of subsidiarity and its application to environmental policies within forest governance and proposes the “environmental subsidiarity” principle as a critical conceptual tool for sustainable resource management. The paper explains as an example how “environmental subsidiarity” is the key principle that can link payment for ecosystem services (PES) with environmental public policies and applies this principle with all its political consequences to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and enhancing forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+) architecture. It concludes by showing how the adoption of “environmental subsidiarity” as a ethical principle could help to maximize benefits to all stakeholders involved in PES schemes such as REDD+. (shrink)
In this paper I consider what it might mean to see society as a kind of Rortian conversation. Although the idea of conversation is not always explicit in Rorty's social thought, it is, I think, implicitly present. To therefore invoke it as a model is not to do an injustice to Rorty, but to bring out features of his own thought that he tends to underplay. In suggesting that we take seriously the notion of society as a kind of conversation, (...) we should be careful not to overplay the aspect of talking, which is only a part of conversation. We should bear in mind that it also means living together. It must be admitted, nevertheless, that Rorty introduces the idea of conversation as a way of thinking about discourse, and so the notion as Rorty uses it prioritises the notion of talking. I would argue, however, that Rorty leaves his notion sufficiently vague and undefined to make it amenable to extension. In order to argue that we should look to the idea of conversation as a way of thinking about society more generally, I will proceed as follows. I will begin by considering the notion of conversation as discourse, focusing on two particularly prominent strands of criticism in response to this idea, namely that it ignores the role of argument and reason, and that it is a pointless sort of practice. Having rebutted these strands of criticism, I will outline a way in which we can extend the notion of conversation to society as a whole, and I will do this by debating with critics who see Rorty as privileging language over the more material and institutional aspects of society. Finally, I will argue that the conversational model is superior to the more entrenched deliberative model of democracy. Through an examination of one particular phenomenon, claro culture, which causes practical and theoretical difficulties for the deliberative model, I will offer a prima facie reason for suggesting conversation as a superior and more pragmatic alternative. (shrink)
This paper examines the temporality of agency in Judith Butler's and Saba Mahmood's writing. I argue that Mahmood moves away from a performative understanding of agency, which focuses on relations of signification, to a corporeal understanding, which focuses on desire and sensation. Drawing on Gilles Deleuze's reading of Henri Bergson, I show how this move involves a changed model of becoming: whereas Butler imagines movement as a series of discontinuous beings, in Mahmood's case, we get an understanding of becoming.
Though there has been interest in philosophical counselling in South Africa since at least the 1990s little has been accomplished by way of formalizing and developing the practice into a profession. We ask what would be required for it to become a fully-fledged profession? We argue that in order to count as a profession, a practice must meet certain normative, cognitive, and organizational criteria, but that philosophical counselling in South Africa falls short both cognitively and organizationally. This has implications for (...) individual philosophical practitioners, it would seem, who cannot any longer consider themselves professionals. We argue that being a professional is not contingent on belonging to an established profession, but rather that to claim to be a professional is to claim that one can be trusted because one has the client’s good at heart. Exploring the idea of trust highlights again, though this time from an ethical rather than from a sociological perspective, that there is an urgent need to fill the cognitive and organizational gap that exists in South Africa. We propose that in order to facilitate the professionalization of philosophical counselling in South Africa, we should adopt an approach that focuses on the training of philosophical counsellors in the hopes that an organizational component will grow out of this rather than following previous attempts to put organizations first. (shrink)
This article explores the limits of introductory social justice education and the ways in which a social foundations course could expand and deepen the social justice lens of current and future educators. The authors, members of an introductory graduate-level Social Foundations course, discuss the limitations they realized in their previous social justice education courses, and the importance of courses that further student's understandings of the ever-evolving ways people enact and experience identity, power, and privilege. The authors identify three main pedagogical (...) and theoretical elements that advanced their social justice knowledge: examining theories for their potential to uncover or obscure lived experience; unpacking binary constructions of identity; and exploring the limits and possibilities of intersectional thinking. This article offers implications and suggestions for educators who seek to challenge and expand the social justice knowledge of future educators and administrators. (shrink)
Despite much research on the relationship between awareness and dementia little can be concluded concerning their relationship and the role of other factors. It is likely that studies capture different phenomena of awareness. This study aimed at identifying and delineating such variation by analysing data from three questionnaires obtained during the longitudinal study of awareness in 101 people with early-stage dementia. The data concerned awareness in relation to memory, activities of daily living and socio-emotional function. Significant differences in patterns of (...) discrepancies were obtained. This suggests that the awareness phenomena involved were structurally different; and that, in turn, this may reflect variation in the intrinsic linking between awareness and its ‘object’ . The identification of such differences is necessary so that appropriate methodologies can be applied to the study of awareness in different contexts. (shrink)
This paper critiques Clare Palmer’s “What do we owe wild animals?” on three grounds. First, it is argued that, Palmer’s opening case study notwithstanding, there are good empirical reasons to think that we should assist domesticated horses and not wild deer. Then, Palmer’s claim that “wildness is not a capacity” is brought into question, and it is argued that wildness connotes certain capacities which wild animals generally have and which domesticated animals generally lack. Lastly, the “supererogation problem” is developed (...) against a version of Palmer’s preferred Contextualist view, which claims that, while her view doesn’t obligate us to eliminate predators and otherwise redesign nature in the name of wild animal welfare, it may nonetheless allow them. Therefore, this view has potentially unsettling environmental implications. (shrink)
Saunders Mac Lane has drawn attention many times, particularly in his book Mathematics: Form and Function, to the system of set theory of which the axioms are Extensionality, Null Set, Pairing, Union, Infinity, Power Set, Restricted Separation, Foundation, and Choice, to which system, afforced by the principle, , of Transitive Containment, we shall refer as . His system is naturally related to systems derived from topos-theoretic notions concerning the category of sets, and is, as Mac Lane emphasises, one that is (...) adequate for much of mathematics. In this paper we show that the consistency strength of Mac Lane's system is not increased by adding the axioms of Kripke–Platek set theory and even the Axiom of Constructibility to Mac Lane's axioms; our method requires a close study of Axiom H, which was proposed by Mitchell; we digress to apply these methods to subsystems of Zermelo set theory , and obtain an apparently new proof that is not finitely axiomatisable; we study Friedman's strengthening of , and the Forster–Kaye subsystem of , and use forcing over ill-founded models and forcing to establish independence results concerning and ; we show, again using ill-founded models, that proves the consistency of ; turning to systems that are type-theoretic in spirit or in fact, we show by arguments of Coret and Boffa that proves a weak form of Stratified Collection, and that is a conservative extension of for stratified sentences, from which we deduce that proves a strong stratified version of ; we analyse the known equiconsistency of with the simple theory of types and give Lake's proof that an instance of Mathematical Induction is unprovable in Mac Lane's system; we study a simple set theoretic assertion—namely that there exists an infinite set of infinite sets, no two of which have the same cardinal—and use it to establish the failure of the full schema of Stratified Collection in ; and we determine the point of failure of various other schemata in . The paper closes with some philosophical remarks. (shrink)
Saunders Mac Lane famously remarked that "Bourbaki just missed" formulating adjoints in a 1948 appendix (written no doubt by Pierre Samuel) to an early draft of Algebre--which then had to wait until Daniel Kan's 1958 paper on adjoint functors. But Mac Lane was using the orthodox treatment of adjoints that only contemplates the object-to-object morphisms within a category, i.e., homomorphisms. When Samuel's treatment is reconsidered in view of the treatment of adjoints using heteromorphisms or hets (object-to-object morphisms between objects in (...) different categories), then he, in effect, isolated the concept of a left representation solving a universal mapping problem. When dualized to obtain the concept of a right representation, the two halves only need to be united to obtain an adjunction. Thus Samuel was only a now-simple dualization away for formulating adjoints in 1948. Apparently, Bodo Pareigis' 1970 text was the first and perhaps only text to give the heterodox "new characterization" (i.e., heteromorphic treatment) of adjoints. Orthodox category theory uses various relatively artificial devices to avoid formally recognizing hets--even though hets are routinely used by the working mathematician. Finally we consider a "philosophical" question as to whether the most important concept in category theory is the notion of an adjunction or the notion of a representation giving a universal mapping property (where adjunctions arise as the special case of a bi-representation of dual universal mapping problems). (shrink)
While Saunders Mac Lane studied for his D.Phil in Göttingen, he heard David Hilbert's weekly lectures on philosophy, talked philosophy with Hermann Weyl, and studied it with Moritz Geiger. Their philosophies and Emmy Noether's algebra all influenced his conception of category theory, which has become the working structure theory of mathematics. His practice has constantly affirmed that a proper large-scale organization for mathematics is the most efficient path to valuable specific results—while he sees that the question of which results are (...) valuable has an ineliminable philosophic aspect. His philosophy relies on the ideas of truth and existence he studied in Göttingen. His career is a case study relating naturalism in philosophy of mathematics to philosophy as it naturally arises in mathematics. Introduction Structures and Morphisms Varieties of Structuralism Göttingen Logic: Mac Lane's Dissertation Emmy Noether Natural Transformations Grothendieck: Toposes and Universes Lawvere and Foundations Truth and Existence Naturalism Austere Forms of Beauty. (shrink)
Reviews : Clare O'Farrell, Foucault—Historian or Philosopher? ; James W. Bernauer, Michel Foucault's Force of Flight: Toward an Ethics for Thought ; Paul Rabinow, French Modern: Norms and Forms of the Social Environment ; Jonathon Crary, Techniques of the Observer: On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century.
Some sufficient conditions on a Symmetric Monoidal Closed category K are obtained such that a diagram in a free SMC category generated by the set A of atoms commutes if and only if all its interpretations in K are commutative. In particular, the category of vector spaces on any field satisfies these conditions . Instead of diagrams, pairs of derivations in Intuitionistic Multiplicative Linear logic can be considered . Two derivations of the same sequent are equivalent if and only if (...) all their interpretations in K are equal. In fact, the assignment of values to atoms is defined constructively for each pair of derivations. Taking into account a mistake in R. Voreadou's proof of the “abstract coherence theorem” found by the author, it was necessary to modify her description of the class of non-commutative diagrams in SMC categories; our proof of S. Mac Lane conjecture also proves the correctness of the modified description. (shrink)
“She is the second St. Clare.” These words were inscribed by poet Jehan Le Fèvre as a tribute to his neighbor and living contemporary, the fourteenth-century Minorite sister Jehanne de Neuville , abbess of Longchamp from 1375-87. By invoking the example of Clare, the first Franciscan woman religious, to adorn his thirty-five-line portrait of Jehanne, Le Fèvre produced a conventional and orthodox encomium to both women. The context, however, is decidedly secular and even surprising for this type of (...) material.This essay will begin with a translation and discussion of Le Fèvre’s tribute to Jehanne de Neuville and two other nuns of her abbey, in relation to their literary and .. (shrink)
We are used to seeing foundations linked to the mainstream mathematics of the late nineteenth century: the arithmetization of analysis, non-Euclidean geometry, and the rise of abstract structures in algebra. And a growing number of case studies bring a more philosophy-of-science viewpoint to the latest mathematics, as in [Carter, 2005; Corfield, 2006; Krieger, 2003; Leng, 2002]. Mac Lane's autobiography is a valuable bridge between these, recounting his experience of how the mid- and late-twentieth-century mainstream grew especially through Hilbert's school.An autobiography (...) at age 94 obviously has a lot of ground to cover. Mac Lane entered Yale in 1926 to study chemistry as a good practical career field but by the end of his first year he had won a $50 prize in mathematics and learned that you could make a living with it—as an actuary. He decided to do that. The next year he was excited to learn from his philosophy professor F.S.C. Northrop that you can also pursue new mathematical discoveries! Northrop had studied with A.N. Whitehead and sold Mac Lane on the excitement of Principia Mathematica. In a pattern that foreshadowed his career Mac Lane bought and annotated a copy of the first volume of Principia but his planned tutorial study of the book turned into a study of [Hausdorff, 1914] applying set theory to topology and analysis. As a graduate student at Chicago he was powerfully influenced by E.H. Moore, who taught the new axiomatic methods as tools for unifying and advancing the most classical analysis . Then he went to Göttingen. He heard Hilbert lecture on philosophy. He studied mathematics and its philosophy with Weyl. He followed Noether's lectures on abstract algebra for number theory. He had gone there to study logic and he wrote a …. (shrink)
One might say that Clare is almost by virtue of that label alone a political poet. “Peasant poet” is a contradiction in terms from the perspective of English literary history, or of the longer history of the literary pastoral. The phrase must refer to two different social locations, and as such makes social place an explicit, problematic concern for the middle-class readers of that poet’s work. To Clare’s publisher and patrons in the 1820s, as to his editors in (...) the 1980s, the language, the forms, the sentiments, and even the punctuation of his poetry are further markers of class difference for an audience invited to read him as a peasant poet. In recent collections concerned to recover the politics of English poetry these signs of difference are highly valued.2 They seem to mark Clare’s work as what Fredric Jameson terms “strong” political art, that is, “authentic cultural creation … dependent for its existence on authentic collective life, on the vitality of the ‘organic’ social group.”3At the time his poems were published class difference in English rural life was a political issue sufficiently charged to make publisher and patrons wish to minimize its marks in Clare’s poetry. On the one hand, a clearly understood hierarchy was the form of social stability that rural scenes staged for their urban middle-class audiences. Evidence of class difference confirmed the survival of this hierarchy and the reader’s position in it. Clare’s poetry of place affirmed a system of social as well as geographical differences felt as a traditional—and essential—aspect of English national identity. On the other hand, however, the countryside was precisely where the erosion of the hierarchical relations of deference and responsibility was particularly noticeable, and disturbing, in the years after 1815. Sporadic outbreaks of protest against low wages and unemployment in 1816, 1822, and 1830 realized dramatically for the middle and upper classes what one might call a rural version of the process Marx was later to term alienation: the known and familiar inhabitants of the rural scene—laborers, village artisans—were suddenly made strange to their middle- and upper-class neighbors, so much so that many observers were convinced that they must be strangers, intruders from another pace .4 The elements of difference, or strangeness, in Clare’s poetry—the marks of his identity as rural laborer—thus also risked awaking specific anxieties among his early readers. Clare’s editor and publisher, John Taylor, punctuated, regularized meter, and replaced some of Clare’s unfamiliar local vocabulary. Nonetheless, his two most important early patrons, the evangelical aristocrat Lord Radstock and the middle-class Mrs. Emmerson, objected to some lines as “radical slang” and others as “vulgar.” The language of class risked rejection as politically subversive. Especially in an already politicized rural scene, the peasant poet could not be a neutral figure. 2. Both A Book of English Pastoral Verse, ed. John Barrell and John Bull and The Faber Book of Political Verse, ed. Tom Paulin restore Clare’s original orthography and lack of punctuation to support the label “peasant poet.”3. Fredric Jameson, “Reification and Utopia in Mass Culture,” Social Text 1 : 140. Elizabeth Helsinger is associate professor of English and general studies at the University of Chicago and a coeditor of Critical Inquiry. Her Ruskin and the Art of the Beholder was published in 1982. The present essay is part of a book in progress on representations of the rural scene in Victorian England. (shrink)
Bringing together the best of international research, _Clare of Assisi: Life, Writings and Spirituality_ examines Clare's history and hagiography and offers critical translations and literary analyses of her Forma Vitae and her four letters to Agnes of Prague.