Having established her pluralistic account as an influential position within contemporary virtue ethics, in this work Christine Swanton offers a virtue-ethical reading of David Hume and Friedrich Nietzsche with the aim of showing how they can further the development of virtue ethics beyond the Aristotelian and ancient eudaemonist traditions. Readers of Swanton’s other major work, Virtue Ethics: A Pluralistic View, may recall that many of its philosophical resources were drawn from Nietzsche and, to a lesser extent, from Hume. This new (...) study can be seen as offering a fuller and more historically grounded reading of the work of both thinkers. Swanton has also published on... (shrink)
Lawrence J. Dennis’s intellectual biography of John L. Childs, a leading figure in twentieth-century American educational philosophy between 1930 and 1960, traces Childs’s influence not only on education but also on midcentury politics, economics, and social issues. A disciple of John Dewey and an associate of William Heard Kilpatrick, George S. Counts, Boyd Bode, and other key figures in modern American education, Childs laid the philosophic basis for social reconstruction and became an important contributor to and interpreter of pragmatism (...) as a philosophy of education. Dennis describes how the Christian beliefs so central to Childs as a youth led him as a young man into a decade of YMCA missionary work in China. When he returned to the United States, Childs studied with John Dewey, later coauthoring two chapters of a book with him. Though Childs became a recognized expert on Dewey’s educational theory, he eventually became more of a reconstructionist than his mentor. Dennis carefully recounts Childs’s long association with Dewey as well as his political activities in the American Labor Party, the Liberal Party, and the American Federation of Teachers. He likewise traces the debate about metaphysics, democracy, and indoctrination that ensued among the foremost pragmatists of the day. (shrink)
Europeans and Americans tend to hold the opinion that democracy is a uniquely Western inheritance, but in _The Common Cause_, Leela Gandhi recovers stories of an alternate version, describing a transnational history of democracy in the first half of the twentieth century through the lens of ethics in the broad sense of disciplined self-fashioning. Gandhi identifies a shared culture of perfectionism across imperialism, fascism, and liberalism—an ethic that excluded the ordinary and unexceptional. But, she also illuminates an ethic (...) of moral imperfectionism, a set of anticolonial, antifascist practices devoted to ordinariness and abnegation that ranged from doomed mutinies in the Indian military to Mahatma Gandhi’s spiritual discipline. Reframing the way we think about some of the most consequential political events of the era, Gandhi presents moral imperfectionism as the lost tradition of global democratic thought and offers it to us as a key to democracy’s future. In doing so, she defends democracy as a shared art of living on the other side of perfection and mounts a postcolonial appeal for an ethics of becoming common. (shrink)
'those who say that religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion means' Mahatma Gandhi was a profound and original thinker as well as one of the most influential figures in the history of the twentieth century. A religious and social reformer, he became a notable leader in the Indian nationalist movement, made famous for his advocacy of non-violent civil resistance. His many and varied writings are essentially responses to the specific challenges he faced, and (...) they show his maturing ideas and political will, as well as his spirituality and humanity, over several decades. This new selection demonstrates how his thinking was truly radical, dealing with problems from the roots upwards: in the lives of individuals, of societies, and of political structures. It underlines the supreme importance of non-violence, and Gandhi's unique and unrealized vision of a new India after the departure of the British. (shrink)
Ethnomethodology is in trouble, its conceptual apparatus prone to indifference or misunderstanding both from "conventional" sociologists and from its own practitioners. This article describes some of these loci of confusion and suggests that they have a common root in the relationship between ethnomethodology and conventional sociology. Ethnomethodologists' desire to find a principled theoretical framework for dealing with this relationship is shown to be the common basis for subsequent confusion, and some of the corollaries of their putative solution(s) are elaborated with (...) regard to their philosophical and programmatic implications. Key Words: ethnomethodology social constructionism situated action social structures. (shrink)
This article reports three experiments that investigated the relationship between working memory capacity and syllogistic and five-term series spatial inference. A series of complex and simple verbal and spatial working memory measures were employed. Correlational analyses showed that verbal and spatial working memory span tasks consistently predicted syllogistic and spatial reasoning performance. A confirmatory factor analysis showed that three factors best accounted for the data--a verbal, a spatial, and a general factor. Syllogistic reasoning performance loaded all three factors, whilst spatial (...) reasoning loaded only the general factor. The implications of these findings are discussed in the context of reasoning theories and contemporary accounts of the structure of working memory. (shrink)
The ability to reason independently from one's own goals or beliefs has long been recognised as a key characteristic of the development of formal operational thought. In this article we present the results of a study that examined the correlates of this ability in a group of 10-year-old children ( N = 61). Participants were presented with conditional and relational reasoning items, where the content was manipulated such that the conclusion to the arguments were either congruent, neutral, or incongruent with (...) beliefs, and either logically valid or logically invalid. Participants also received a measure of working memory capacity (the counting span task) and a measure of inhibitory control (the stop signal task). Indices of belief bias and logical reasoning on belief-based problems were predicted independently by both measures. In contrast logical reasoning on belief neutral problems was predicted by working memory alone. The findings suggest that executive functions play a key role in the development of children's ability to decontextualise their thinking. (shrink)
We propose a framework for analyzing the development, operation and failure to survive of all things, living, non-living or organized groupings. This framework is a sequence of developments that improve survival capability. Framework processes range from origination of any entity/system, to the development of increased survival capability and development of life-forms and organizations that use intelligence. This work deals with a series of developmental changes that arise from the uncovering of emergent properties. The framework is intended to be general, but (...) we see a potential to apply it to scientific topics such as the exploration of the origin of life or the search for life beyond Earth, and to understand some biological issues in evolution and symbiosis, and also to apply to social systems that do not seem to be operating well, to determine their problems and correct them. (shrink)
This article combines the disciplines of textual/linguistic analysis, anthropology, and perceptual psychology to examine selected ancient Jewish mystical texts that claim to describe the praxis for ascents into heaven and encounters with angelic spirits in order to reconstruct the psychosocial context of these literary works. Specifically, the article examines Hekhalot or "Divine Palaces" texts that deal with hydromancy, giving attention to their mythic–symbolic assumptions, their described preparatory and triggering rituals, and their accounts of the ASC (altered states of consciousness) visions (...) resulting from these rituals that are experienced by the practitioners. The article suggests that these accounts correlate with ASC practices identified in the literature and additionally suggests that although the mystical texts are written to resemble biblical accounts of revelatory experiences, the texts under consideration are more than works of fabulous imagination; they are literary artifacts of an actual ecstatic ASC praxis among the Jews of Late Antiquity. (shrink)
Visions of an interconnected future are on the rise that foresee technologies moving toward ubiquitous "everywhere" computing and the rise of the "Internet of Things." This article examines emerging trends in informational connectivity that indicates shifts toward upcoming scenarios of re-imagined geographies and spatial landscapes that are sensored and networked. I examine how the relationships, processes, and flows between people, physical objects, and the environment will make implicit information explicit and engagement between the physical and the digital more commonplace. These (...) are the scenarios presented by emerging applications of location-specific, informationally augmented objects: a real-time sensored future. (shrink)
The aim of the present research was to develop a difficulty model for logical reasoning problems involving complex ordered arrays used in the Graduate Record Examination. The approach used involved breaking down the problems into their basic cognitive elements such as the complexity of the rules used, the number of mental models required to represent the problem, and question type. Weightings for these different elements were derived from two experimental studies and from the reasoning literature. Based on these weights, difficulty (...) models were developed which were then tested against new data. The models had excellent predictive validity and showed the relative influence of rule based factors and factors relating to the number of underlying models. Different difficulty models were needed for different question types, suggesting that people used a variety of approaches and, at a wider level, that both mental models and mental rules may be used in reasoning. (shrink)
Tests of economic theory often focus on choice outcomes and find significant individual differences in these outcomes. This variability may mask universal psychological processes that lead to different choices because of differences across cultures in the information people have available when making decisions. On this view, decision making research within and across cultures must focus on the processes underlying choice.
Different aspects of people's interactions with money are best conceptualized using the drug and tool theories. The key question is when these models of money are most likely to guide behavior. We suggest that the Drug Theory characterizes motivationally active uses of money and that the Tool Theory characterizes behavior in motivationally cool situations. (Published Online April 5 2006).
Over time our understanding of the 'political' has been progressively shaped by the secular rational calculations of modern European political thought. This paper aims to critique these 'calculations' with reference to crucial moments of departure and flight within western philosophy itself. It concludes by reclaiming fin de siècle radicalism/philosophy as a forgotten instance of empirical-metaphysical hybridity: a form of politics or ethics capable of housing the imperatives of both desire and prayer.
THIS BOOK HAS TWO GENERAL THEMES. ONE IS THE AVAILABILITY OF RELIGIOUS IDEAS. IT IS ARGUED THAT A WHOLE RANGE OF RELIGIOUS IDEAS ARE AVAILABLE TO HUMAN BEINGS OUTSIDE A CONTEXT OF ACTUAL RELIGIOUS OR THEISTIC BELIEF. ADMISSION OF THESE IDEAS INTO ONE’S CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK DOES NOT COMMIT ONE TO RELIGIOUS BELIEF, BUT IT DOES EXPOSE THE UNINTELLIGIBILITY OF WHAT MIGHT BE CALLED THE ’IMMANENTIST’ VIEW OF THE WORLD. THE OTHER THEME OF THE BOOK IS THAT OF MORALITY. THE AUTHOR (...) ATTEMPTS TO SHOW THAT AN ADEQUATE ANALYSIS OF THE STRUCTURE OF HUMAN SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS REVEALS UNIVERSALLY APPLICABLE PRINCIPLES OF MORALITY. IN THIS SENSE MORALITY DOES NOT STAND IN NEED OF ’TRANSCENDENTAL’ SUPPORT. (EDITED). (shrink)
In Gandhi's Printing Press, Isabel Hofmeyr introduces readers to the nuances of the newspaper in a far-flung colony in the age when mail and news traveled by ship and when readers were encouraged by Gandhi to read slowly and deeply. This article explores the ways in which Thoreau's concept of slow reading influenced Gandhi and Hofmeyr herself. She discusses the community that surrounded Gandhi and the role it played in supporting the newspaper. Yet, I argue, the (...) role of women of all races as well as Coloured and black South African men in leading, modeling, and shaping the movement of resistance to pass laws and other racist legislation might have been integrated more into the main narrative. Gandhi's newspaper, Indian Opinion, reported on the pass law protests of the African women of Bloemfontein, and Abdurahman's APO newspaper (popular in the Coloured community) reported on Gandhi's protests. Indian Opinion included speeches given by John Dube, and it often praised Dube and the work at Ohlange and reprinted stories from the black press. I offer these remarks to supplement Hofmeyr's fascinating account by providing additional information in portraying the newspaper in its historical and social context. (shrink)
Although there is such a thing as Indian thought, it seems to play no role in the way social sciences and philosophy are practiced in India or elsewhere. The problem is not only that we no longer employ terms such as atman, avidya, dharma to reflect on our experience; the terms that we do indeed use—sovereignty, secularism, rights, civil society and political society, corruption—seem to insulate our experience from our reflection. This paper will outline Gandhi’s framing of our predicament (...) in Hind Swaraj. It will then discuss three very different examples taken from our peculiar life with concepts that will also serve to clarify and illustrate the framework I am outlining. It will then very briefly discuss how Gandhi saw the Gita as showing him a way out of the predicament. (shrink)
The article suggests that Gandhi’s integrated thought and practice is of great significance today. It focuses on three arguments that Gandhi put together and tested in practice, and presents them in the way that R. B. Gregg explicated them. The first is Gandhi’s critique of the problems of Western industrial civilization: increasing global inequality; increasingly destructive cycles of war and violence; and the relentless domination and exploitation of human beings, communities and ecosystems. The second argument is the (...) alternative Gandhi developed: his idea of a ‘countermodernity’ or ‘alternative civilization’ that is grounded in the power of nonviolence, equality, and mutual cooperation. The third and most original argument he put forward and lived every day of his adult life is the nonviolent way (or ways) of life that has the capacity to transform modern social systems of inequality, violence and domination into alternative social relationships and systems in which equality, nonviolence and self-organising democratic cooperation would become paramount. (shrink)
The question of the imperatives induced by the Gandhian concept of non-violence towards animals is an issue that has been neglected by specialists on the thinking of the Mahatma. The aim of this article is to highlight the systematic – and significant – character of this particular aspect of his views on non-violence. The first part introduces the theoretical foundations of the duty of non-violence towards animals in general. Gandhi's critical interpretation of cow-protection, advocated by Hinduism, leads to a (...) general reflection on the duty of non-violence towards animals, the cow being transformed into the representative of all dumb creation. The approach adopted by Gandhi to solving the problem of cow-protection focuses on its practical dimensions and is based primarily on reforming animal husbandry. What limits should be imposed on the exploitation of farm animals within the framework of non-violence? Gandhi devoted nearly 30 years to elaborating an animal husbandry system that would be both economically viable and in conformity with the universal ethical principles he drew from religions (especially Hinduism). The interdiction to kill is absolute, since Gandhi not only rejects the breeding of farm animals for the purposes of butchery but also the slaughtering of animals that are no longer capable of providing the services required of them. He therefore concentrated his efforts on drawing up a scheme to reorganize this activity on a national scale while taking into consideration these constraints, which are less contradictory than they may seem to be at first sight. Reviewing the age-old activity of animal husbandry in the light of non-violence is clearly based on the specific nature of Hindu traditions. However, it goes far beyond cultural or religious relativism, since it is also founded on universal ethical principles. (shrink)
The paper traces the parallel paths and mutual influences of these three activists in South Africa. The paper points out that Gandhi often took steps in building his movement that echoed some of the same steps that Dube had done just before him. Also, Abdurahman, who had become Gandhi's friend in 1909, advocated for involving women in nonviolent action, and advocated the use of general strike, shortly before Gandhi incorporated both methods in his movement.
In this book the author has equated Swaraj with Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘self-rule’, Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s ‘birthright for freedom’, Aurobindo’s ‘Sanatana Dharma’, Raja Rammohun Roy’s ‘individual liberty’, Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘humanity’, and Swami Vivekananda’s ‘love of the motherland’.
One of the basic issues of modern times is how to construct a nonviolent and peaceful society and achieve the goal of a one-world community that lives in peace and harmony. Islam and Mahatma Gandhi’s approaches, in this regard, are remarkable. Both share same aims about common ethical concepts such as nonviolent, compassion for all creation, freedom,justice, patience and tolerance. There are remarkable similarities between the ideas of Gandhi and teachings of Islam, particularly in the concepts of peace (...) and nonviolence are concerned. This article, thus, mentions about the concepts of peace and nonviolence (ahimsa) as propounded by them. It handles attributes of ahimsa and satyagraha such as “loving sinners and even your enemy”, “having no intention to harm others”, “rest on God”, “consistency of word and action”, which are held forth by Gandhi. Furthermore, this article deals with similarities of Gandhi’s teachings with “ehsan” (benevolence), “tavakol (trust in God), “al-niyyat” (intent) and “an-nasrha”(sincerity) in Islamic thought. (shrink)
The political thought of Mohandas K. Gandhi has been increasingly used as a paradigmatic example of hybrid political thought that developed out of a cross-cultural dialogue of eastern and western influences. With a novel unpacking of this hybridity, this article focuses on the conceptual influences that Gandhi explicitly stressed in his autobiography and other writings, particularly the works of Leo Tolstoy and the Bhagavad Gītā. This new tracing of influence in the development of Gandhi’s thought alters the (...) substantive thrust of Gandhi’s thought away from more familiar quasi-liberal interpretations and towards a far more substantive bhakti or devotional understanding of politics. The analysis reveals a conception of politics that is not pragmatic in its use of non-violence, but instead points to a devotional focus on cultivating the self (ātman), ultimately dissolving the public/private distinction that many readings of Gandhi’s thought depend upon. (shrink)
This review discussion examines two recent works on Gandhi, Richard Sorabji’s Gandhi and the Stoics: Modern Experiments on Ancient Values, and Ram Guha’s Gandhi Before India. The review makes the point that we can see Gandhi’s unusual philosophical method at work if the two books are read together. Sorabji has argued that it is essential to understand Gandhi’s philosophy before we can assess the consistency between what he thought, believed and did. Guha has recorded events (...) in Gandhi’s early years that can provide readers with details of Gandhi’s practise and experiments. (shrink)
Tagore and Gandhi shared a relationship across 26 years. They argued about many things including the means for the attainment of swaraj/freedom. In terms of this central concern with the nature of freedom they came fairly close to an issue that has perhaps dominated the (European) Enlightenment. For the Enlightenment has sought to clarify what is meant by individual freedom and attempted to secure such freedom to the individual. This article argues that the Tagore-Gandhi debate can perhaps be (...) reconstructed around the issue of freedom and the collective. Gandhi was able to employ the idea of collective action with conceptual and practical ease. He seemed to have felt no tension between individual freedom and the notion of the collective of which an individual becomes a part in his/her attempt to deal with the contending ‘other’ and secure his /her freedom/swaraj. To understand Tagore’s opposition to the Gandhian idea of swaraj this article draws a philosophical parallel between Tagore and Kant on individual freedom as primarily the freedom to reason. Tagore’s argument seemed to have centered on the insight that the location of the individual in a collective hypostatized self in order to protect his or her freedom from ‘others’ reaffirms the self other divide. The insider-outsider exclusionary dynamics that are generated not only consolidate such distinctions as external to (and outside of) the collective self, but they also initiate internal dynamics that create the ‘silenced insider.’. (shrink)