Rather than focusing on political and legal debates surrounding attempts to determine if and when genocidal rape has taken place in a particular setting, this essay turns instead to a crucial, yet neglected area of inquiry: the moral significance of genocidal rape, and more specifically, the nature of the harms that constitute the culpable wrongdoing that genocidal rape represents. In contrast to standard philosophical accounts, which tend to employ an individualistic framework, this essay offers a situated understanding of harm that (...) features the importance of interdependence and relationality and that conceptualizes harms as embodied and contextual. The paper ultimately reveals what is distinctive about this particular crime of sexual violence by exploring the logic of genocidal rape: genocidal rape involves the harm of forced self-betrayal unleashed relationally, causing victims as representatives of their group to participate inadvertently in the destruction of that group. (shrink)
What distinguishes evils from ordinary wrongs? Is hatred a necessarily evil? Are some evils unforgivable? Are there evils we should tolerate? What can make evils hard to recognize? Are evils inevitable? How can we best respond to and live with evils? Claudia Card offers a secular theory of evil that responds to these questions and more. Evils, according to her theory, have two fundamental components. One component is reasonably foreseeable intolerable harm -- harm that makes a life indecent and (...) impossible or that makes a death indecent. The other component is culpable wrongdoing. Atrocities, such as genocides, slavery, war rape, torture, and severe child abuse, are Card's paradigms because in them these key elements are writ large. Atrocities deserve more attention than secular philosophers have so far paid them. They are distinguished from ordinary wrongs not by the psychological states of evildoers but by the seriousness of the harm that is done. Evildoers need not be sadistic:they may simply be negligent or unscrupulous in pursuing their goals. Card's theory represents a compromise between classic utilitarian and stoic alternatives (including Kant's theory of radical evil). Utilitarians tend to reduce evils to their harms; Stoics tend to reduce evils to the wickedness of perpetrators: Card accepts neither reduction. She also responds to Nietzsche's challenges about the worth of the concept of evil, and she uses her theory to argue that evils are more important than merely unjust inequalities. She applies the theory in explorations of war rape and violence against intimates. She also takes up what Primo Levi called "the gray zone", where victims become complicit in perpetrating on others evils that threaten to engulf themselves. While most past accounts of evil have focused on perpetrators, Card begins instead from the position of the victims, but then considers more generally how to respond to -- and live with -- evils, as victims, as perpetrators, and as those who have become both. (shrink)
In this contribution to philosophical ethics, Claudia Card revisits the theory of evil developed in her earlier book The Atrocity Paradigm, and expands it to consider collectively perpetrated and collectively suffered atrocities. Redefining evil as a secular concept and focusing on the inexcusability - rather than the culpability - of atrocities, Card examines the tension between responding to evils and preserving humanitarian values. This stimulating and often provocative book contends that understanding the evils in terrorism, torture and genocide enables (...) us to recognise similar evils in everyday life: daily life under oppressive regimes and in racist environments; violence against women, including in the home; violence and executions in prisons; hate crimes; and violence against animals. Card analyses torture, terrorism and genocide in the light of recent atrocities, considering whether there can be moral justifications for terrorism and torture, and providing conceptual tools to distinguish genocide from non-genocidal mass slaughter. (shrink)
Nel Noddings, in Caring: A Feminine Approach to Ethics and Moral Education, presents and develops an ethic of care as an alternative to an ethic that treats justice as a basic concept. I argue that this care ethic is unable to give an adequate account of ethical relationships between strangers and that it is also in danger of valorizing relationships in which carers are seriously abused.
Many scholars in the area of citizenship education take deliberative approaches to democracy, especially as put forward by John Rawls, as their point of departure. From there, they explore how students’ capacity for political and/or moral reasoning can be fostered. Recent work by political theorist Chantal Mouffe, however, questions some of the central tenets of deliberative conceptions of democracy. In the paper I first explain the central differences between Mouffe’s and Rawls’s conceptions of democracy and politics. To this end I (...) take Eamonn Callan’s Creating Citizens as an example of Rawlsian political education and focus on the role of conflict and disagreement in his account. I then address three areas in which political education would need to change if it were to accept Mouffe’s critiques of deliberative approaches to democracy and her proposal for an agonistic public sphere. The first area is the education of political emotions; the second is fostering an understanding of the difference between the moral and the political; the third is developing an awareness of the historical and contemporary political projects of the “left” and “right.” I propose that a radical democratic citizenship education would be an education of political adversaries. (shrink)
This essay argues that current advocacy of lesbian and gay rights to legal marriage and parenthood insufficiently criticizes both marriage and motherhood as they are currently practiced and structured by Northern legal institutions. Instead we would do better not to let the State define our intimate unions and parenting would be improved if the power presently concentrated in the hands of one or two guardians were diluted and distributed through an appropriately concerned community.
In the last twenty years, recorded messages and written notes have become a significant test and an intriguing puzzle for the semantics of indexical expressions (see Smith 1989, Predelli 1996, 1998a,1998b, 2002, Corazza et al. 2002, Romdenh-Romluc 2002). In particular, the intention-based approach proposed by Stefano Predelli has proven to bear interesting relations to several major questions in philosophy of language. In a recent paper (Saul 2006), Jennifer Saul draws on the literature on indexicals and recorded messages in order to (...) criticize Rae Langton's claim that works of pornography can be understood as illocutionary acts – in particular acts of subordinating women or acts of silencing women. Saul argues that it does not make sense to understand works of pornography as speech acts, because only utterances in contexts can be speech acts. More precisely, works of pornography such as a film may be seen as recordings that can be used in many different contexts – exactly like a written note or an answering machine message. According to Saul, bringing contexts into the picture undermines Langton's radical thesis – which must be reformulated in much weaker terms. In this paper, I accept Saul's claim that only utterances in contexts can be speech acts, and that therefore only works of pornography in contexts may be seen as illocutionary acts of silencing women. I will, nonetheless, show that Saul's reformulation doesn't undermine Langton's thesis. To this aim, I will use the distinction Predelli proposes in order to account for the semantic behaviour of indexical expressions in recorded messages – namely the distinction between context of utterance and context of interpretation. (shrink)
What distinguishes evils from ordinary wrongs? Are some evils unforgivable? How should we respond to evils? Card offers a secular theory of evil--representing a compromise between classic utilitarian and stoic approaches--that responds to these and other questions.
Marilyn Frye's first book, The Politics of Reality: Essays in Feminist Theory, presents nine philosophical lectures: four on women's subordination, four on resistance and rebellion, one on revolution. Its approach combines a lesbian perspective with analytical philosophy of language. The major contributions of the book are its analysis of oppression, highly suggestive discussions of the roles of attention in knowledge and ignorance and in arrogance and love, a defense of political separatism not based on female supremacism, and a development of (...) the idea of lesbian epistemology. Its proposal for resisting White racism will be controversial. Its treatment of gay rights is not balanced by an acknowledgement that drag queens, like "totaled women," are products of oppression, not simply of intolerance. The most philosophically problematic aspect of the book is its analysis of coercion and of the roles of coercion in women's subordination. This creates an unresolved tension with the positive message of the second half of the book. Despite this difficulty, these essays are an outstanding contribution to contemporary feminist theory. (shrink)
Book Description\n\nIn Aristotle's Ethics as First Philosophy, Claudia Baracchi demonstrates\nthe indissoluble links between practical and theoretical wisdom in\nAristotle's thinking. Baracchi shows how the theoretical is always\ninformed by a set of practices, and, specifically, how one's encounter\nwith phenomena, the world, or nature in the broadest sense, is always\na matter of ethos. \n\nAbout the Author\n\nClaudia Baracchi is a Professor of Moral Philosophy at the Universit...\ndi Milano-Bicocca, Italy and the author of Of Myth, Life, and War\nin Plato's Republic.
The recent economic crisis as well as other disasters such as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico or the nuclear disaster in Japan has fanned calls for leaders who do not deny responsibility, hide information, and deceive others, but rather lead with authenticity and integrity. In this article, we empirically investigate the concept of authentic leadership. Specifically, we examine the antecedents and individual as well as group-level outcomes of authentic leadership in business (Study 1; n = 306) as (...) well as research organizations (Study 2; n = 105). Findings reveal leader self-knowledge and self-consistency as antecedents of authentic leadership and followers’ satisfaction with supervisor, organizational commitment, and extra-effort as well as perceived team effectiveness as outcomes. The relations between authentic leadership and followers’ work-related attitudes as well as perceived team effectiveness are mediated by perceived predictability of the leader, a particular facet of trust. We discuss the implications of our findings for theory and practice and provide suggestions for advancing theory and research on authentic leadership in the future. (shrink)
The paper explores the relationship of happiness and critique. It is a reflection on a decade of being trained in and practicing philosophical critique. It is a reflection on experiences I had during teaching on social justice, inclusion and diversity; and it is a reflection on the on-going debate on negative vs. affirmative forms of critique within feminist philosophy. It is also an exercise in imagining a transformation of our critical practices, where the embrace of more affirmative modes of critique (...) does not entail overlooking or turning a blind eye to the barriers that unjustly restrain some movements and allow for others' privileges to persist. I suggest that a diffractive approach to critique would allow for joyfully interchanging and alternating appropriate modes of debunking, of being the killjoy against sedimentations that weigh some of us down, with other modes of critique which allow us to augment and lift up examples of already on-going structural change. (shrink)
Nel Noddings, in Caring: A Feminine Approach to Ethics and Moral Education (1984), presents and develops an ethic of care as an alternative to an ethic that treats justice as a basic concept. I argue that this care ethic is unable to give an adequate account of ethical relationships between strangers and that it is also in danger of valorizing relationships in which carers are seriously abused.
This article explores the philosophically neglected topic of artistic integrity, situated within the literature on personal or moral integrity more generally. It argues that artists lack artistic integrity if, in the process of creation, they place some other—competing, distracting, or corrupting—value over the value of the artwork itself, in a way that violates their own artistic standards. It also argues, however, that artistic integrity does not require adamant refusal to acknowledge or act upon commitments to values other than single-minded devotion (...) to one's art. Artists of integrity need not be inflexible fanatics. They can seek to earn a living through their art, alter their vision of a work to reach an audience, evolve their artistic standards as they grow as artists, and balance the energy devoted to their art against energy devoted to family, friends, and self-care; they can honor the demands of morality. (shrink)
In Aristotle's Ethics as First Philosophy Claudia Baracchi demonstrates the indissoluble links between practical and theoretical wisdom in Aristotle's thinking. Referring to a broad range of texts from the Aristotelian corpus, Baracchi shows how the theoretical is always informed by a set of practices, and specifically, how one's encounter with phenomena, the world, or nature in the broadest sense, is always a matter of ethos. Such a 'modern' intimation can, thus, be found at the heart of Greek thought. Baracchi's (...) book opens the way for a comprehensively reconfigured approach to classical Greek philosophy. (shrink)
This essay examines how rape of women and girls by male soldiers works as a martial weapon. Continuities with other torture and terrorism and with civilian rape are suggested. The inadequacy of past philosophical treatments of the enslavement of war captives is briefly discussed. Social strategies are suggested for responding and a concluding fantasy offered, not entirely social, of a strategy to change the meanings of rape to undermine its use as a martial weapon.
: Social death, central to the evil of genocide (whether the genocide is homicidal or primarily cultural), distinguishes genocide from other mass murders. Loss of social vitality is loss of identity and thereby of meaning for one's existence. Seeing social death at the center of genocide takes our focus off body counts and loss of individual talents, directing us instead to mourn losses of relationships that create community and give meaning to the development of talents.
"Baracchi has identified pivotal points around which the Republic operates; this allows a reading of the entire text to unfold.... a very beautifully written book." —Walter Brogan "... a work that opens new and timely vistas within the Republic.... Her approach... is thorough and rigorous." —John Sallis Although Plato’s Republic is perhaps the most influential text in the history of Western philosophy, Claudia Baracchi finds that the work remains obscure and enigmatic. To fully understand and appreciate its meaning, she (...) argues, we must attend to what its original language discloses. Through a close reading of the Greek text, attentive to the pervasiveness of story and myth, Baracchi investigates the dialogue’s major themes. The first part of the book addresses issues of generation, reproduction, and decay as they apply to the founding of Socrates’ just city. The second part takes up the connection between war and the cycle of life, employing a thorough analysis of Plato’s rendition of the myth of Er. Baracchi shows that the Republic is concerned throughout with the complex but intertwined issues of life and war, locating the site of this tangled web of growth and destruction in the mythical dimension of the Platonic city. (shrink)
Global health conditions are marked by inequities due mostly to poverty and lack of access to healthcare services. In a Pandemic setting, Mayan Communities in the Quintana Roo State in Mexico are a good example of how these disparities are exacerbated. First, they may have difficulty in adhering to directives to stay home from work because of the nature of their job, and the necessity to work, their living conditions are marked by crowding and sometimes lack of basic sanitation. Other (...) susceptibilities generally considered are the underlying host factors and medical conditions that may increase the risk of disease or of complications of disease. In general, our native communities experience a high degree of socio-economic marginalization and are at disproportionate risk in public health emergencies, becoming even more vulnerable during this global pandemic, owing to factors such as their lack of access to effective monitoring and early-warning systems, and adequate health and social services. (shrink)
Conducting large multi-site research within universities highlights inconsistencies between universities in approaches, requirements and responses of research ethics committees. Within the context of a social science research study, we attempted to obtain ethical approval from 101 universities across England to recruit students for a short online survey. We received varied responses from research ethics committees of different universities with the steps to obtaining ethics approval ranging from those that only required proof of approval from our home institution, to universities that (...) facilitated fast-track applications to those that required a full ethics review. Some universities also completely refused. After contacting all 101 universities in England, 60 universities gave clearance to our study. In this article, we present the different approaches universities adopted in response to our application to sample from students in their institution. We consider a number of conceptual and ethical issues pertinent to considering ethics approval for researchers from other universities in England and critically discuss three possible models of ethics governance that would cover all universities in England. (shrink)
This short paper responds to the essays by Shilpi Sinha, Shaireen Rasheed, and Lyudmila Bryzzheva. It considers how racial inequality between teachers and students affects the possibilities of educational hospitality, both in cases of white teachers teaching racialized students and in cases of racialized teachers teaching white students. The response takes a phenomenological turn, considering the relative vulnerability of bodies that encounter each other in educational spaces which, themselves, are not neutral.
There is widespread agreement that an adequate understanding of the nature of science is a critical component of scientific literacy and a major goal in science education. However, we still do not know many specific details regarding how students and teachers learn particular aspects of NOS and what are the most important feature traits of instruction. In this context, the main objective of this review is to analyze articles from nine main science education journals that consider the teaching of NOS (...) to K-12 students, pre-service, and in-service science teachers in search of patterns in teaching and learning NOS. After reviewing 52 studies in nine journals that included data regarding participants’ views of NOS before and after an intervention, the main findings were as follows: some aspects of NOS are easier to learn than others, and subjective aspects of NOS and “the scientific method” seemed to be difficult for participants to understand; the interventions most frequently lasted 5 to 8 weeks for students, one semester for pre-service teachers, and 1 year for experienced teachers; and most of the interventions incorporated both decontextualized and contextualized activities. Given the substantial diversity in the methods and intervention designs used and the variables studied, it was not possible to infer a pattern of more-effective NOS teaching strategies from the reviewed studies. Future investigation should focus on disentangling whether a difference exists between the easy and difficult aspects of learning NOS and formulating a theoretical explanation for distinguishing the two types of aspects and assessing the effectiveness of different kinds of courses and strategies. (shrink)
BackgroundScientists engaged in global health research are increasingly faced with barriers to access and use of human tissues from the developing world communities where much of their research is targeted. In part, the problem can be traced to distrust of researchers from affluent countries, given the history of 'scientific-imperialism' and 'biocolonialism' reflected in past well publicized cases of exploitation of research participants from low to middle income countries.DiscussionTo a considerable extent, the failure to adequately engage host communities, the opacity of (...) informed consent, and the lack of fair benefit-sharing have played a significant role in eroding trust. These ethical considerations are central to biomedical research in low to middle income countries and failure to attend to them can inadvertently contribute to exploitation and erode trust. A 'tissue trust' may be a plausible means for enabling access to human tissues for research in a manner that is responsive to the ethical challenges considered.SummaryPreventing exploitation and restoring trust while simultaneously promoting global health research calls for innovative approaches to human tissues research. A tissue trust can reduce the risk of exploitation and promote host capacity as a key benefit. (shrink)
Choice reaction tasks are performed faster when stimulus location corresponds to response location. This spatial stimulus–response compatibility effect affects performance at the level of action planning and execution. However, when response selection is completed before movement initiation, the Simon effect arises only at the planning level. The aim of this study was to ascertain whether when a precocious response selection is requested, the Simon effect can be detected on the kinematics characterizing the online control phase of a non-ballistic movement. Participants (...) were presented with red or green colored squares, which could appear on the right, left, above, or below a central cross. Depending on the square's color, participants had to release one of two buttons, then reach toward and press a corresponding lateral pad. We found evidence of the Simon effect on both action planning and on-line control. Moreover, the investigation of response conflict at the level of previous trials, a factor that might determine interference at the level of the current response, revealed a conflict adaptation process across trials. Results are discussed in terms of current theories concerned with the Simon effect and the distinction between action planning and control. (shrink)
The paper discusses Ralph Waldo Emerson’s thought in relation to the German Bildung tradition. For many, Bildung still signifies a valuable achievement of modern educational thought as well as a critical, emancipatory ideal which, frequently in a rather nostalgic manner, is appealed to in order to delineate problematic tendencies of current educational trends. Others, in an at times rather cynical manner, claim that Bildung through its successful institutionalization has shaped vital features of our present educational system and has thus served (...) its time and lost its critical potential. When thinking through Emerson’s variations on Bildung I argue against the nostalgic appeals to Bildung that the criticism against it has to be taken seriously. Against the cynical assessment of Bildung having run its course, I will hold that with Emerson we can develop the idea of an ‘aversive education’ as a call for Bildung to be turned upon itself, allowing to revive it as a conceptual tool for transformation, drawing particular attention to its political dimension. (shrink)
Simone de Beauvoir was a philosopher and writer of notable range and influence whose work is central to feminist theory, French existentialism, and contemporary moral and social philosophy. The essays in this 2003 volume examine all the major aspects of her thought, including her views on issues such as the role of biology, sexuality and sexual difference, and evil, the influence on her work of Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Husserl, and others, and the philosophical significance of her memoirs and fiction. New (...) readers and nonspecialists will find this the most convenient and accessible guide to Beauvoir currently available. Advanced students and specialists will find a conspectus of recent developments in the interpretation of Beauvoir. (shrink)
The article introduces the problematics of the classical two-valued logic on which Western thought is generally based, outlining that under the conditions of its logical assumptions the subject I is situated in a world that it cannot address. In this context, the article outlines a short history of cybernetics and the shift from first- to second-order cybernetics. The basic principles of Gordon Pask’s 1976 Conversation Theory are introduced. It is argued that this second-order theory grants agency to others through a (...) re-conception of living beings as You logically transcending the I. The key principles of Conversation Theory are set in relation to the poetic forms of discourse that played a key role in art as well as philosophical thinking in China in the past. Second-order thinking, the article argues, is essentially poetic. It foregoes prediction in favour of the potentiality of encountering tomorrow’s delights. (shrink)