Derek Longhurst’s rhetorical strategies don’t leave me much room to maneuver. By constructing my essay in such a way that we are opponents, he offers only two choices: I can recant or enter into battle. Actually, I would rather do neither; I agree with most of what he says and would like a chance to explore those points where we differ. But in order to do that, it is first necessary to see where our differences really lie; and Longhurst’s (...) response does not make it easy.Granted, some of his criticisms are sound. He is right that I use the word “we” too loosely and that I sketched out my argument on an extremely abstract level, which resulted in, among other things, a blurring of the differences between American and British literature. But more often than not, Longhurst attacks me for taking positions that I do not in fact hold. For instance, he suggests that I believe the categories “popular” and “serious” to be fixed, and that my scheme would therefore shatter when confronted with a text like The Citadel, which was regarded as “both ‘serious’ and ‘popular.’ ” Yet my essay was intended precisely to offer a way to talk about such cases—of which The Glass Key is one—and while my solution may have its flaws, the rigidity of categories that Longhurst attacks it for is surely not one of them. Peter J. Rabinowitz is associate professor of comparative literature at Hamilton College. He is the author of Before Reading , a book about the conventions of reading, and is also active as a music critic for such publications as Fanfare and Ovation. His previous contributions to Critical Inquiry are “Truth in Fiction: A Reexamination of Audiences” , “Who Was That Lady? Pluralism and Critical Method” , and “The Turn of the Glass Key: Popular Fiction as Reading Strategy”. (shrink)
In recent metaethics, moral realists have advanced a companions-in-guilt argument against moral nihilism. Proponents of this argument hold that the conclusion that there are no categorical normative reasons implies that there are no epistemic reasons. However, if there are no epistemic reasons, there are no epistemic reasons to believe nihilism. Therefore, nihilism is false or no one has epistemic reasons to believe it. While this argument is normally presented as a reply to Mackie, who introduced the term “companions-in-guilt” in his (...) Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong of 1977, Herbert J. Phillips presented a form of this argument in Ethics in 1940. In this paper, I will discuss Phillips’ version of the companions-in-guilt argument, demonstrate how recent epistemology bears out an important premise of the argument, and compare Phillips’ argument to Derek Parfit’s recent work. (shrink)
Resumen: Derek Parfit en Personas, racionalidad y tiempo sostiene que si bien es posible concebir experiencias sin referir a personas, las experiencias dependen para su existencia de las personas, y a su vez, las experiencias dependerían para su identidad de cierta otra entidad no idéntica con la entidad persona. Tal tesis, que deviene de determinado experimentos mentales de Parfit, específicamente del argumento Mi División y el Argumento del Hospital, se revisará desde ciertas nociones metafísicas de E. J. Lowe, en (...) específico, desde la tesis que supone que dependencia de identidad implica dependencia existencial, de forma que si x depende para su identidad de y, x dependería, de igual forma, para su existencia de y. Tal supuesto permitirá desarrollar ciertas problemáticas para lo que Parfit sostiene en su esquema sobre la dependencia de las experiencias.: Derek Parfit in People, rationality and time argues that although it is possible to conceive experiences without referring to people, experiences depend on people for their existence, and in turn, experiences would depend on certain other entity not identical to the person entity for their identity. This thesis, which comes from certain mental experiments of Parfit, specifically from My Division argument and the Hospital Argument, will be reviewed from certain metaphysical notions of E. J. Lowe, specifically, from the thesis that assumes that identity dependence implies existential dependence, so that if x depends on the identity of y, x would depend, in the same way, on the existence of y. This assumption will bring to developing certain problems concerning what Parfit holds in his scheme on the dependence of experiences. (shrink)
Summary L. J. M. Daguerre realized it was impossible to capitalize by subscription or to patent his daguerreotype technique. In January 1839 François Arago, both scientist and Republican politician, suggested that financial support for Daguerre should be sought from the state in return for his secret. The idea made no immediate headway because of governmental breakdown. Only after a new cabinet was established in May 1839 could any procedure be set in motion to obtain the agreement of parliament. After discussing (...) attitudes towards patents and pensions during the July Monarchy, the article documents the way the Bill for a pension passed through parliament in June and July 1839. An annotated bibliography of the government Bill and Arago's Report to the Chambre des Députés are provided, as well as Arago's Lecture of 19 August 1839 by which a description of Daguerre's process was released to the world. (shrink)
This paper considers the account of the content of pictures provided by T.J. Clark. It concludes that Clark's account has many virtues, but is marred by an unjustified commitment to semiotics and to an untenable Marxist theory of explanation.