What does it mean to think critically about politics at a time when inequality is increasing worldwide, when struggles for the recognition of difference are eclipsing struggles for social equality, and when we lack any credible vision of an alternative to the present order? Philosopher Nancy Fraser claims that the key is to overcome the false oppositions of "postsocialist" commonsense. Refuting the view that we must choose between "the politics of recognition" and the "politics of redistribution," Fraser argues (...) for an integrative approach that encompasses the best aspects of both. (shrink)
Refuting the argument to choose between "the politics of recognition" and the "politics of redistribution," _Justice Interruptus_ integrates the best aspects of both. ********************************************************* ** What does it mean to think critically about politics at a time when inequality is increasing worldwide, when struggles for the recognition of difference are eclipsing struggles for social equality, and when we lack any credible vision of an alternative to the present order? Philosopher Nancy Fraser claims that the key is to overcome the (...) false oppositions of "postsocialist" commonsense. Refuting the view that we must choose between "the politics of recognition" and the "politics of redistribution," Fraser argues for an integrative approach that encompasses the best aspects of both. (shrink)
Abstract Drawing on the features of “practical philosophy” described by Toulmin ( 1990 ), a “practical” ethic for animals would be rooted in knowledge of how people affect animals, and would provide guidance on the diverse ethical concerns that arise. Human activities affect animals in four broad ways: (1) keeping animals, for example, on farms and as companions, (2) causing intentional harm to animals, for example through slaughter and hunting, (3) causing direct but unintended harm to animals, for example by (...) cropping practices and vehicle collisions, and (4) harming animals indirectly by disturbing life-sustaining processes and balances of nature, for example by habitat destruction and climate change. The four types of activities raise different ethical concerns including suffering, injury, deprivation, and death (of individuals), decline of populations, disruption of ecological systems containing animals, and extinction of species. They also vary in features relevant to moral evaluation and decision-making; these include the number of animals affected, the duration of the effects, the likelihood of irreversible effects, and the degree to which the effects can be controlled. In some cases human actions can also provide benefits to animals such as shelter and health care. Four mid-level principles are proposed to make a plausible fit to the features of the four types of human activities and to address the major ethical concerns that arise. The principles are: (1) to provide good lives for the animals in our care, (2) to treat suffering with compassion, (3) to be mindful of unseen harm, and (4) to protect the life-sustaining processes and balances of nature. This “practical” approach arguably makes a better fit to the complex, real-life problems of animal ethics than the single foundational principles that have dominated much recent animal ethics philosophy. Content Type Journal Article Category Articles Pages 1-26 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9353-z Authors David Fraser, Animal Welfare Program, University of British Columbia, 2357 Main Mall, Vancouver, V6T 1Z4 Canada Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863. (shrink)
Best known for having declared the death of God, Nietzsche was a thinker thoroughly absorbed in the Christian tradition in which he was born and raised. Yet while the atheist Nietzsche is well known, the pious Nietzsche is seldom recognised and rarely understood. Redeeming Nietzsche examines the residual theologian in the most vociferous of atheists. Fraser demonstrates that although Nietzsche rejected God, he remained obsessed with the question of human salvation. Examining his accounts of art, truth, morality and eternity, (...) Nietzsche's thought is revealed to be a series of experiments in redemption. (shrink)
"Only a wayfarer born under unruly stars would attempt to put into practice in our epoch of proliferating knowledge the Heraclitean dictum that `men who love wisdom must be inquirers into very many things indeed.'" Thus begins this remarkable interdisciplinary study of time by a master of the subject. And while developing a theory of "time as conflict," J. T. Fraser does offer "many things indeed"--an enormous range of ideas about matter, life, death, evolution, and value.
The recent struggle over the confirmation of Clarence Thomas and the credibility of Anita Hill raises in a dramatic and pointed way many of the issues at stake in theorizing the public sphere in contemporary society. At one level, the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Hill’s claim that Thomas sexually harassed her constituted an exercise in democratic publicity as it has been understood in the classical liberal theory of the public sphere. The hearings opened to public scrutiny a function of (...) government, namely, the nomination and confirmation of a Supreme Court justice. They thus subjected a decision of state officials to the force of public opinion. Through the hearings, in fact, public opinion was constituted and brought to bear directly on the decision itself, affecting the process by which the decision was made as well as its substantive outcome. As a result, state officials were held accountable to the public by means of a discursive process of opinion and will formation.Yet that classical liberal view of the public sphere does not tell the whole story of these events.1 If were examine the Thomas confirmation struggle more closely, we see that the very meaning and boundaries of the concept of publicity was at stake. The way the struggle unfolded, moreover, depended at every point on who had the power to successfully and authoritatively define where the line between the public and the private would be drawn. It depended as well on who had the power to police and defend that boundary. 1. See Jürgen Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society, trans. Thomas Burger. Nancy Fraser is associate professor of philosophy and faculty fellow of the Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research at Northwestern University, where she also teaches in the women’s studies program. She is the author of Unruly Practices: Power, Discourse, and Gender in Contemporary Social Theory. She is currently working on Keywords of the Welfare State, a jointly authored book with Linda Gordon. (shrink)
This essay, translated here in Italian and preceded by the Author's inedited preface, reconstructs the trajectory of second wave feminism since the 60s, exploring its ambivalences. Shifting from an analysis focused on economic redistribution to one founded on recognition of differences, feminism has sacrificed the critique of neoliberalism on the altar of women's emancipation. In order to break the tie with neoliberalism, Fraser proposes a new conception of social justice that links the principle of non-domination with those of social (...) protection and solidarity. (shrink)
I. The present paper was read as one of ‘Three Notes of Doubt and One of Despair’ at the Oxford Philological Society in June 1948. Generally speaking, there is nothing to be said in favour of publishing an article on a text one is admittedly unable to under-stand. But in this case it has seemed advisable to start a discussion. I am therefore grateful to my friend P. Fraser for having consented to communicate his thoughts on the matter in (...) an appendix to my note. We both hope that other scholars will be able to provide the satisfactory solution that has escaped us. Meanwhile we thank P. Maas, C. H. Roberts, and H. M. Last for their great help. (shrink)
This study is an important contribution to the intellectual history of Victorian England which examines the religio-aesthetic theories of some central writers of the time. Dr Fraser begins with a discussion of the aesthetic dimensions of Tractarian theology and then proceeds to the orthodox certainties of Hopkins' theory of inscape, Ruskin's and Arnold's moralistic criticism of literature and the visual arts, and Pater's and Wilde's faith in a religion of art. The author identifies significant cultural and historical conditions which (...) determined the interdependence of aesthetic and religious sensibility in the period. She argues that certain tensions in the thought of Wordsworth and Coleridge - tensions between poetry and religion, rebellion and reaction, individualism and authority - continued to manifest themselves throughout the Victorian age, and as society became increasingly democratic, religion in turn became increasingly personal and secular. (shrink)
Il saggio propone una nuova analisi della crisi capitalistica che si ricollega alla teoria dell’economista e teorico sociale Karl Polanyi, innovando la tesi di quest’ultimo del doppio movimento di mercatizzazione e protezioni sociali, fonte di lotte e conflitti, con un terzo asse: l’emancipazione e le sue proprie lotte. Le lotte per l’auto-determinazione e l’indipendenza sono qui interpretate attraverso la chiave di lettura dell’emancipazione, teorizzata come «il terzo mancante». Perciò, al doppio movimento di Polanyi subentra il «triplo movimento», che forma il (...) nucleo della riflessione teoretica e pone sotto una nuova luce la crisi capitalistica delle società attuali. Ognuno dei tre termini è ambivalente e nessuno dei tre può essere preso in considerazione senza gli altri due.This paper suggests us a new analysis of the crisis of capitalism. Fraser’s analysis builds upon the theory of the economist and social theorist Karl Polanyi, argomenting Polanyi’s thesis of a double movement of marketization and social protections, reason of struggles and conflicts, with a third axis: emancipation and its struggles. By emancipation Fraser understands the struggle for self-determination and independence, which she theorizes as «the missing third». Thus, instead of Polanyi’s double movement, she speaks of a «triple movement». This threefold movement forms the core of her theoretical reflections which cast the current crisis of capitalist societies in a new light. In fact, each term of the triple movement as ambivalent and none of the three can be adequately grasped in isolation from the others. (shrink)
Correspondence: Chris Fraser (J) (Assistant Professor) Department of Philosophy Rm. 430, Fung King Hey Bldg. Chinese University of Hong Kong Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong Telephone: 852-9782-0560 Fax: 852-2603-5323 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org..
Until recently, struggles for justice proceeded against the background of a taken-for-granted frame: the bounded territorial state. With that "Westphalian" picture of political space assumed by default, the scope of justice was rarely subject to open dispute. Today, however, human-rights activists and international feminists join critics of structural adjustment and the World Trade Organization in challenging the view that justice can only be a domestic relation among fellow citizens. Targeting injustices that cut across borders, they are making the scale of (...) justice an object of explicit struggle. Inspired by these efforts, Nancy Fraser asks: What is the proper frame for theorizing justice? Faced with a plurality of competing scales, how do we know which one is truly just? In exploring these questions, Fraser revises her widely discussed theory of redistribution and recognition. She introduces a third, "political" dimension of justicerepresentationand elaborates a new, reflexive type of critical theory that foregrounds injustices of "misframing." Engaging with thinkers such as Jürgen Habermas, John Rawls, Michel Foucault, and Hannah Arendt, she envisions a "postwestphalian" mapping of political space that accommodates transnational solidarity, transborder publicity, and democratic frame-setting, as well as emancipatory projects that cross borders. The result is a sustained reflection on who should count with respect to what in a globalizing world. (shrink)
It has long been known that people’s causal judgments can have an impact on their moral judgments. To take a simple example, if people conclude that a behavior caused the death of ten innocent children, they will therefore be inclined to regard the behavior itself as morally wrong. So far, none of this should come as any surprise. But recent experimental work points to the existence of a second, and more surprising, aspect of the relationship between causal judgment and moral (...) judgment. It appears that the relationship can sometimes go in the opposite direction. That is, it appears that our moral judgments can sometimes impact our causal judgments. (Hence, we might first determine that a behavior is morally wrong and then, on that basis, arrive at the conclusion that it was the cause of various outcomes.). (shrink)
Most philosophical discussion of the particle concept that is afforded by quantum field theory has focused on free systems. This paper is devoted to a systematic investigation of whether the particle concept for free systems can be extended to interacting systems. The possible methods of accomplishing this are considered and all are found unsatisfactory. Therefore, an interacting system cannot be interpreted in terms of particles. As a consequence, quantum field theory does not support the inclusion of particles in our ontology. (...) In contrast to much of the recent discussion on the particle concept derived from quantum field theory, this argument does not rely on the assumption that a particulate entity be localizable. (shrink)
Quantum field theory (QFT) presents a genuine example of the underdetermination of theory by empirical evidence. There are variants of QFT—for example, the standard textbook formulation and the rigorous axiomatic formulation—that are empirically indistinguishable yet support different interpretations. This case is of particular interest to philosophers of physics because, before the philosophical work of interpreting QFT can proceed, the question of which variant should be subject to interpretation must be settled. New arguments are offered for basing the interpretation of QFT (...) on a rigorous axiomatic variant of the theory. The pivotal considerations are the roles that consistency and idealization play in this case. *Received June 2009; revised August 2009. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada; e‐mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
Although the philosophical literature on the foundations of quantum field theory recognizes the importance of Haag’s theorem, it does not provide a clear discussion of the meaning of this theorem. The goal of this paper is to make up for this deficit. In particular, it aims to set out the implications of Haag’s theorem for scattering theory, the interaction picture, the use of non-Fock representations in describing interacting fields, and the choice among the plethora of the unitarily inequivalent representations of (...) the canonical commutation relations for free and interacting fields. (shrink)
This book demonstrates how and why vitalism—the idea that life cannot be explained by the principles of mechanism—matters now. Vitalism resists closure and reductionism in the life sciences while simultaneously addressing the object of life itself. The aim of this collection is to consider the questions that vitalism makes it possible to ask: questions about the role and status of life across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities and questions about contingency, indeterminacy, relationality and change. All have special importance now, (...) as the concepts of complexity, artificial life and artificial intelligence, information theory, and cybernetics become increasingly significant in more and more fields of activity. (shrink)
: This essay critiques Chad Hansen’s "mass noun hypothesis," arguing that though most Classical Chinese nouns do function as mass nouns, this fact does not support the claim that pre-Qin thinkers treat the extensions of common nouns as mereological wholes, nor does it explain why they adopt nominalist semantic theories. The essay shows that early texts explain the use of common nouns by appeal to similarity relations, not mereological relations. However, it further argues that some early texts do characterize the (...) relation between individuals and collections as a mereological relation. (shrink)
The Argument from Disagreement (AD) (Mackie, 1977) depends upon empirical evidence for ‘fundamental’ moral disagreement (FMD) (Doris and Stich, 2005; Doris and Plakias, 2008). Research on the Southern ‘culture of honour’ (Nisbett and Cohen, 1996) has been presented as evidence for FMD between Northerners and Southerners within the US. We raise some doubts about the usefulness of such data in settling AD. We offer an alternative based on recent work in moral psychology that targets the potential universality of morally significant (...) distinctions (e.g. means vs. side-effects, actions versus omissions). More specifically, we argue that a recent study showing that a rural Mayan population fails to perceive as morally significant the distinction between actions and omissions provides a plausible case of FMD between Mayans and Westerners. (shrink)
Many large corporations now have written codes of ethics to guide the business/marketing activities of employees. The purpose of this study was to determine the frequency and types of topics which are covered in the ethics policy statements of large U.S. corporations. The results indicated that the topics covered most often (respectively) were: misuse of funds/improper accounting, conflicts of interest, political contributions, and confidential information. It is concluded that in addition to written ethics policy statements, top management should communicate ethical (...) values and demonstrate by example. (shrink)
The ethics of the Zhuāngzi is distinctive for its valorization of psychological qualities such as open-mindedness, adaptability, and tolerance. The paper discusses how these qualities and their consequences for morality and politics relate to the text’s views onskepticism and value. Chad Hansen has argued that Zhuangist ethical views are motivated by skepticism about our ability to know a privileged scheme of action-guiding distinctions, which in turn is grounded in a form of relativism about such distinctions. Against this, Icontend that the (...) Zhuāngzi’s skepticism and its ethical stance jointly rest on a metaethical view of value as inherently plural, perspectival, heterogeneous, and contingent. This view provides grounds for moral consideration toward others and for political liberalism. It also explains how the psychological qualities valorized in the Zhuāngzi contribute to the value of our individual lives, by showing what their absence costs us. (shrink)
Three views of psychological emptiness, or x , can be found in the Zhu ngz . The instrumental view values x primarily as a means of efficacious action. The moderate view assigns it intrinsic value as an element of one Zhuangist vision of the good life. The radical view also takes it to be an element of the ideal life, but in this case the form of life advocated is that of the Daoist sage, who transcends mundane human concerns to (...) merge with nature or the D o. The instrumental and moderate views articulate a relatively commonsensical position, on which the agent continues to pursue at least some characteristically human projects. On the radical view, by contrast, the agent ceases to exercise agency and lives a life hardly recognizable as human. The three views thus signal a tension in Zhuangist ethics, and the unattractiveness of the radical view poses a potential obstacle to the application of Daoist ideas in contemporary ethical discourse. The paper argues that there are principled grounds within Zhuangist thought for detaching the instrumental and moderate views from the radical view and rejecting the latter. (shrink)
The body of the law is an ambiguous phrase. Conventionally, it designates the law as a determinate corpus; legal codes, statutes, and the rulings of common law. But it can also refer to the subjected body that is produced by and is part of the law. This subjected body is necessary for the law's existence. Thinking Through the Body of the Law reconceives the role of the body in the founding, maintaining, and regulation of our legal systems and social order (...) and elaborates on its implications for issues of legal responsibility and justice. Taking into account and sometimes challenging the tenets of critical legal theory, critical race theory, and feminist jurisprudence, these essays examine the body and the law as they relate to surrogacy, the Holocaust, land-rights for Aboriginals, murder, the media and insanity, taxation, genetic engineering, and sexy dressing and sexual harassment. (shrink)
Research ethics committees—animal ethics committees for animal-based research and institutional research boards for human subjects—have a key role in research governance, but there has been little study of the factors influencing their effectiveness. The objectives of this study were to examine how the effectiveness of a research ethics committee is influenced by committee composition and dynamics, recruitment of members, workload, participation level and member turnover. As a model, 28 members of AECs at four universities in western Canada were interviewed. Committees (...) were selected to represent variation in the number and type of protocols reviewed, and participants were selected to include different types of committee members. We found that a bias towards institutional or scientific interests may result from a preponderance of institutional and scientist members, an intimidating atmosphere for community members and other minority members, recruitment of community members who are affiliated with the institution and members joining for reasons other than to fulfil the committee mandate. Thoroughness of protocol review may be influenced by heavy workloads, type of review process and lack of full committee participation. These results, together with results from the literature on research ethics committees, suggested potential ways to improve the effectiveness of research ethics committees. (shrink)
This essay applies John Searle’s account of weakness of will to explore the classical Chinese problem of weak-willed action. Searle’s discussion focuses on the shortcomings of the Western classical model of rationality in explaining weakness of will, so he naturally says little about the practical ethical problem of overcoming weak-willed action, the focus of the relevant Chinese texts. Yet his theory of action, specifically his notion of the Background, suggests a compelling approach to the practical issue, one that converges with (...) a plausible account of the classical Chinese conception of agency. On this approach, the practical problem is due to weaknesses of the self in carrying out intentions. The key to overcoming the problem lies not in restructuring the agent’s affective states, as suggested by prominent interpreters of Chinese thought such as David Nivison, but in strengthening the agent’s Background capacities, much as we do when mastering new skills. (shrink)
Misrecognition, taken seriously as unjust social subordination, cannot be remedied by eliminating prejudice alone. In this rejoinder to Richard Rorty, it is argued that a politics of recognition and a politics of redistribution can and should be combined. However, an identity politics that displaces redistribution and reifies group differences is deeply flawed. Here, instead, an alternative 'status' model of recognition politics is offered that encourages struggles to overcome status subordination and fosters parity of participation. Integrating this politics of recognition with (...) redistribution enables a coherent Left vision that could redress injustices of culture and of political economy simultaneously. (shrink)
Three views of psychological emptiness, or x?, can be found in the Zhu?ngz?. The instrumental view values x? primarily as a means of efficacious action. The moderate view assigns it intrinsic value as an element of one Zhuangist vision of the good life. The radical view also takes it to be an element of the ideal life, but in this case the form of life advocated is that of the Daoist sage, who transcends mundane human concerns to merge with nature (...) or the Dào. The instrumental and moderate views articulate a relatively commonsensical position, on which the agent continues to pursue at least some characteristically human projects. On the radical view, by contrast, the agent ceases to exercise agency and lives a life hardly recognizable as human. The three views thus signal a tension in Zhuangist ethics, and the unattractiveness of the radical view poses a potential obstacle to the application of Daoist ideas in contemporary ethical discourse. The paper argues that there are principled grounds within Zhuangist thought for detaching the instrumental and moderate views from the radical view and rejecting the latter. (shrink)
This case series presents two general practice cases where HIV testing occurred, or results suggestive of HIV were received, before informed consent was obtained. Bioethical and professional principles are used to explore these dilemmas.
Charles Taylor has recently stated his religious leanings as being at the core of his philosophical vision for a better society. At the heart of this vision is his emphasis on transcendence: that there is something beyond life as we know it. Some years earlier, Taylor had explicitly endorsed the work of Walter Benjamin and Ernst Bloch for the way he wanted to talk about the issue of transcendence; however, neither figures prominently in his recent writings. While there may be (...) differing reasons for this omission, my main concern in this article is to show how the issue of transcendence in Benjamin's and Bloch's writings offers an interesting comparison with Taylor's work on this issue. Moreover, Benjamin and Bloch will be shown to offer ways in which Taylor can more fully express his own undeveloped articulation of transcendence through a consideration of the themes of religion, God, time and death. (shrink)
The Mohist Canons are a set of brief statements on a variety of philosophical and other topics by anonymous members of the Mohist school , an influential philosophical, social, and religious movement of China's Warring States period (479-221 B.C.).  Written and compiled most likely between the late 4th and mid 3rd century B.C., the Canons are often referred to as the “later Mohist” or “Neo-Mohist” canons, since they seem chronologically later than the bulk of the Mohist writings, most of (...) which are probably from the mid-5th to the late 4th century. The.. (shrink)
This paper is an attempt to examine issues and problemsraised by agricultural biotechnology by drawing on the richnessof contemporary ideas in ethical theory and thereby contribute tothe project of establishing new approaches to these problems. Thefundamental argument is that many of the negative aspects ofagricultural biotechnology are generated at the level of theunderlying conceptual frameworks that shape the technology''sinternal modes of organization, rather than the unintendedeffects of the application of an inherently benevolent set oftechniques. If ``food ethics'''' is to address (...) the adverse impacts ofagricultural biotechnology, it must ultimately challenge theseconceptual frames, which, I argue, emerge from Enlightenment,liberal, political, and economic theory.The translation of traditional bioethics (focusing on principlessuch as autonomy and rights, justice, and well being) into foodethics does not produce the critical tools that are ableadequately to challenge the harmful legacy of Enlightenmentthinking. What is needed are reorientations of ethics that arecapable of formulating concepts and approaches that to someextent break with the presuppositions that underpin biotechnologyat its foundation. This paper suggests that narrative andfeminist critiques of medical bioethics are a good place to startin this project. (shrink)
This paper reports on an interpretive research project which examines the feasibility of implementing social audit within the general medical practice setting. The study aims to communicate patients' voices to aid evaluation of the potential contribution of social audit to the public health sector and also addresses particular conceptual problems which arise when attempting to implement social audit within this environment. The fieldwork focuses on one general health practice in Lanarkshire (in southern central Scotland). Consultative focus group discussions and individual (...) interviews were carried out with a sample of twenty two patients. Patients were most concerned with health service organisational and delivery issues. Overall, the results suggest patients are enthusiastic about the ideas and process of the social audit. Patients were able to demonstrate a capacity for grasping accountability issues and balanced reasoning. There was an acute awareness of the constraints which exist in the public services. Patients addressed the broad rights and responsibilities issues, and highlighted the possible pitfalls of relying on a representational mechanism for ensuring their voices were heard. The study concludes that an involved and negotiative dialogue process of implementing social audit could provide beneficial understanding and ideas to the organisation which may be further researched. (shrink)
In this lecture, I present a sketch of how action and agency are conceived of in pre-Qín 先秦, or classical, Chinese thought, along the way drawing some contrasts with familiar Western conceptions of action. I will also comment briefly on how the ideas I present might affect our interpretation of early Chinese texts and how they might help us to relate early Chinese thought to contemporary action theory and ethics.