Dorothea Olkowski's exploration of the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze clarifies the gifted French thinker's writings for specialists and nonspecialists alike. Deleuze, she says, accomplished the "ruin of representation," the complete overthrow of hierarchic, organic thought in philosophy, politics, aesthetics, and ethics, as well as in society at large. In Deleuze's philosophy of difference, she discovers the source of a new ontology of change, which in turn opens up the creation of new modes of life and thought, not only in (...) philosophy and feminism but wherever creation is at stake. The work of contemporary artist Mary Kelly has been central to Olkowski's thinking. In Kelly she finds an artist at work whose creative acts are in themselves the ruin of representation as a whole, and the text is illustrated with Kelly's art. This original and provocative account of Deleuze contributes significantly to a critical feminist politics and philosophy, as well as to an understanding of feminist art. (shrink)
The present paper offers a philosophical discussion of phenomena which in the empirical literature have recently been subsumed under the concept of ‘mental time travel’. More precisely, the paper considers differences and similarities between two cases of ‘mental time travel’, recollective memories (‘R-memories’) of past events on the one hand, and sensory imaginations (‘S-imaginations’) of future events on the other. It develops and defends the claim that, because a subject who R-remembers a past event is experientially aware of a past (...) particular event, while a subject who S-imagines a future event could not possibly be experientially aware of a future particular event, R-memories of past events and S-imaginations of future events are ultimately mental occurrences of two different kinds. (shrink)
Interactions between corporations and nonprofits are on the rise, frequently driven by a corporate interest in establishing credentials for corporate social responsibility (CSR). In this article, we show how increasing demands for accountability directed at both businesses and NGOs can have the unintended effect of compromising the autonomy of nonprofits and fostering their co-optation. Greater scrutiny of NGO spending driven by self-appointed watchdogs of the nonprofit sector and a prevalence of strategic notions of CSR advanced by corporate actors weaken the (...) ability of civil society actors to change the business practices of their partners in the commercial sector. To counter this trend, we argue that corporations should embrace a political notion of CSR and should actively encourage NGOs to strengthen “downward accountability” mechanisms, even if this creates more tensions in corporate–NGO partnerships. Rather than seeing NGOs as tools in a competition for a comparative advantage in the market place, corporations should actively support NGO independence and critical capacity. (shrink)
Sometimes we remember past objects or events in a vivid, experiential way. The present paper addresses some fundamental questions about the metaphysics of such experiential or ‘recollective’ memories. More specifically, it develops the ‘Relational Account’ of recollective memory, which consists of the following three claims. A subject who recollectively remembers a past object or event stands in an experiential relation to the relevant past object or event. The R‐remembered object or event itself is a part of the R‐memory; that is, (...) the subject's present R‐memory is partly constituted by the relevant past object or event. When a subject R‐remembers a past object, the past object is a constitutive part of the conscious experience itself; that is, the object is immediately available to the subject in conscious experience. In developing the Relational Account, the present paper hopes to make a substantial contribution to any attempt to account for the nature of recollective memory. Furthermore, in order to explain how a subject could understand the beliefs that she forms about the past on the basis of an R‐memory, and how a subject could, on the basis of an R‐memory, gain any knowledge about the past, we arguably also need to rely on the Relational Account of recollective memory. Thus, the Relational Account will also play an important role in an attempt to account for various other ways in which a subject might be related to the past in general, and to her own past in particular. Standing in such relations to the past is, in turn, a central feature of our human existence. Ultimately, therefore, the Relational Account of recollective memory should also play a crucial role in furthering our understanding of ourselves, and of our own existence in time. (shrink)
Partnerships between companies and NGOs have received considerable attention in CSR in the past years. However, the role of NGO legitimacy in such partnerships has thus far been neglected. We argue that NGOs assume a status as special stakeholders of corporations which act on behalf of the common good. This role requires a particular focus on their moral legitimacy. We introduce a conceptual framework for analysing the moral legitimacy of NGOs along three dimensions, building on the theory of deliberative democracy. (...) Against this background we outline three procedural characteristics which are essential for judging the legitimacy of NGOs as potential or actual partners of corporations. (shrink)
Imagine you are walking through a park. Suddenly, a mugger points a gun at you, threatening to shoot you if you do not hand over your valuables. Is this an instance of domination? Many authors working within the neo-republican framework - including Philip Pettit himself - are inclined to say 'yes'. After all, the mugger case seems to be a paradigmatic example of what it means to be at someone's mercy. However, I argue that this conclusion is based on a (...) misleading, interactional account of domination that misconceives its structural character. Domination, I maintain, is a structurally constituted form of power. Whether the mugger in the park dominates you or not can only be established by analysing the wider power structures in which your interaction is embedded. (shrink)
Drawing on the work of De Beauvoir, Sartre, and Le Doeuff, among others, and addressing a range of topics from the Asian sex trade to late capitalism, quantum gravity, and Merleau-Ponty's views on cinema, Dorothea Olkowski stretches the ...
In their paper "Remembering," first published in the Philosophical Review in 1966, Martin and Deutscher develop what has since come to be known as the Causal Theory of Memory. The core claim of the Causal Theory of Memory runs as follows: If someone remembers something, whether it be "public," such as a car accident, or "private," such as an itch, then the following criteria must be fulfilled: 1. Within certain limits of accuracy he represents that past thing. 2. I f (...) the thing was "public," then he observed what he now represents. If the thing was "private," then it was his. 3. His past experience of the thing was operative in producing a state or successive states in him finally operative in producing his representation. These three statements express the condition which we consider to be separately necessary and jointly sufficient, if an event is to be an instance of remembering. (shrink)
The following paper considers one important feature of our experiential or ‘recollective’ memories, namely their spatial perspectival characteristics. I begin by considering the ‘Past-Dependency-Claim’, which states that every recollective memory (or ‘R-memory’) has its spatial perspectival characteristics in virtue of the subject’s present awareness of the spatial perspectival characteristics of a relevant past perceptual experience. Although the Past-Dependency-Claim might for various reasons seem particularly attractive, I show that it is false. I then proceed to develop and defend the ‘Present-Dependency-Claim’, namely (...) the claim that the spatial perspectival characteristics of an R-memory depend on the spatial perspectival characteristics of perceptual experiences that the subject has at the time at which the R-memory occurs. Lastly, I discuss the phenomenon of so-called ‘observer-memories’, which presents a special challenge for any attempt to account for the spatial perspectival characteristics of R-memories. I argue that we have no good reason to deny that the relevant experiences should count as memories, and I show that we can account for the spatial perspectival characteristics of observer-memories with the help of the ‘Present-Dependency-Claim’. More generally, the paper shows that certain events that occur in a subject’s mental life (namely, a subject’s R-memories) are necessarily dependent on other events that occur in the relevant subject’s mental life (namely, on certain perceptual experiences). This more general conclusion in turn should be relevant for any attempt to develop an appropriate account of a subject’s mental life as a whole. (shrink)
The present article aims to show that a subject can only fully grasp the concept of the past if she has some experiential, or recollective, memories of particular past events. More specifically, I argue that (1) in order for a subject to understand the concept of the past, it is necessary that the subject understand the concept of a particular past event in such a way that it might contribute to her understanding of the concept of the past. (2) But (...) then, in order for a subject to understand the concept of a particular past event in such a way that it might contribute to her understanding of the concept of the past, it is necessary that the subject have some recollective memories of particular past events. (C) Hence, a subject can only understand the concept of the past if she has some recollective memories of particular past events. I defend the premises of the present argument against various objections, indicate why we should accept both premises, and accordingly end by endorsing the argument's conclusion. (shrink)
We sometimes experience emotions which are directed at past events (or situations) which we witnessed at the time when they occurred (or obtained). The present paper explores the role which such "autobiographically past-directed emotions" (or "APD-emotions") play in a subject's mental life. A defender of the "Memory-Claim" holds that an APD-emotion is a memory, namely a memory of the emotion which the subject experienced at the time when the event originally occurred (or the situation obtained) towards which the APD-emotion is (...) directed. On this view, APD-emotions might play an important role in our acquiring knowledge about our own past emotions, which renders the view rather attractive. However, as I show in the present paper, none of the various possible versions of the Memory-Claim are tenable. This leaves us with the "Universal-New-Emotion-Claim", according to which all APD-emotions are new emotional responses to the past events (or situations) towards which the relevant APD-emotions are directed. Further consideration of the "Universal-New-Emotion-Claim" shows that while APD-emotions do not play the epistemological role they could have played had some version of the Memory-Claim turned out to be true, a subject's APD-emotions nevertheless do play a vital role in a subject's mental life: they help the subject to develop a balanced sense of self. (shrink)
Abstract: The article aims to sharpen the neo-republican contribution to international political thought by challenging Pettit’s view that only representative states may raise a valid claim to non-domination in their external relations. The argument proceeds in two steps: First I show that, conceptually speaking, the domination of states, whether representative or not, implies dominating the collective people at least in its fundamental, constitutive power. Secondly, the domination of states – and thus of their peoples – cannot be justified normatively in (...) the name of promoting individual non-domination because such a compensatory rationale misconceives the notion of domination in terms of a discrete exercise of power instead of as an ongoing power relation. This speaks in favour of a more inclusive law of peoples than Pettit (just as his liberal counterpart Rawls) envisages: In order to accommodate the claim of collective peoples to non-domination it has to recognize every state as a member of the international order. (shrink)
The present paper considers our ability to ‘shape our own mental lives’; more specifically, it considers the claim that subjects sometimes can and do engage in ‘mental self-regulation’, that is, that subjects sometimes can be, and are, actively involved with their own mental lives in a goal-directed way. This ability of mental self-regulation has been rather neglected by contemporary philosophers of mind, but I show why it deserves careful philosophical attention. In order to further our understanding of the nature of (...) the phenomenon of mental self-regulation and to locate it within the wider context of our everyday lives and the world we live in, I proceed to develop some conditions which need to be met in order for a subject to be able to engage in mental self-regulation. In developing those conditions we find that compared to the physical realm, our mental lives are a rather elusive domain in the face of attempts at intervention, and our ability to intervene in our own mental lives is rather fragile. We also find that our ability to regulate our own mental lives in many cases depends on our possession of mental skills and mental know-how. Both these observations in turn throw new light on our understanding of the nature of the human mind. (shrink)
The essays presented here by Olkowski and Weiss attempt to situate Merleau-Ponty in the larger context of feminist theory, while impartially evaluating his contributions, both positive and negative, to that theory.
Plato is commonly credited with a much more enlightened view concerning the equality of women and their political rights than Aristotle. This is due to the fact that he acknowledges, in the Republic, the possibility that women possess abilities that are equal to those of men and therefore assigns to them the same functions in the state. Plato’s principle of equality is, however, limited to the women of the upper classes in the Republic, and it is, at least in part, (...) a consequence of the separation of the classes. Because these conditions no longer obtain in the “second-best state” designed in the Laws, women are assigned, there, a much inferior role. In the Timaeus, women are treated not only as the weaker but also as the decadent form of humankind in the cycle of births and rebirths. Plato’s views on the worth of women change, if not with time, then with context.Aristotle throughout supports the traditional view on the exclusion of women from politics and public life. He does so because he ascribes to women only a limited form of practical rationality. Though he ascribes to women the status of citizens, he regards them as citizens that stand in need of a permanent rule by their male superiors, in public as well as in the family. Aristotle never questions whether the same kind education would lead to the intellectual equality of men and women. The rigidity of Aristotle’s position in that respect seems to be based on a kind of “conservative naturalism.” He accepts as constituted by nature the social conditions that are observable throughout the world as he knew it. This not only explains his view on the natural inferiority of women, but also his justification of slavery as a natural institution. (shrink)
_The Infrastructure of Accountability _brings together leading and emerging scholars who set forth an ambitious conceptual framework for understanding the full impact of large-scale, performance-based accountability systems on education. Over the past 20 years, schools and school systems have been utterly reshaped by the demands of test-based accountability. Interest in large-scale performance data has reached an unprecedented high point. Yet most education researchers focus primarily on questions of data quality and the effectiveness of data use. In this bold and thought-provoking (...) volume, the contributors look beneath the surface of all this activity to uncover the hidden infrastructure that supports the production, flow, and use of data in education, and explore the impact of these large-scale information systems on American schooling. These systems, the editors note, “sit at the juncture of technical networks, work practices, knowledge production, and moral order. (shrink)
In The Robust Demands of the Good Pettit claims that the three goods he takes to be central to the good, namely attachment, virtue and respect, share a common structure: they are robustly demanding in that they require the provision of an associated benefit not just under actual but across various possible circumstances. The aim of this paper is to show that the unified account of the good misconstrues the nature of respect. First, I argue that Pettit’s account of respect (...) as robust non-interference cannot account for the particularly robust kind of robustness that respect requires and fails to clarify the relation between respect and freedom. Second, drawing on Pettit’s earlier work, I propose to reconceive of respect as the robust provision of discursive address. This account solves the ambiguities of Pettit’s account of respect. However, it suggests that the particularly robust demands of respect are demands of the right, not the good. (shrink)
Though the two-world interpretation of Plato's metaphysics is no longer uncontested the question of the expendability of the physical world still predominates current discussions. Against this tendency the article suggests that Plato neither intended to dispose of sensory evidence altogether nor to locate the Forms in a separate realm of pure understanding. The Forms should rather be understood as the ideal principles determining the proper function of each entity. Such a 'functional view' of the Forms is discussed explicitly in Book (...) X of the Republic, but it can easily be extended to account for Plato's use of the Forms elsewhere. (shrink)
The philosophers and scholars of the Hellenistic world laid the foundations upon which the Western tradition based analytical grammar, linguistics, philosophy of language, and other disciplines probing the nature and origin of human communication. Building on the pioneering work of Plato and Aristotle, these thinkers developed a wide range of theories about the nature and origin of language which reflected broader philosophical commitments. In this collection of nine essays, a team of distinguished scholars examines the philosophies of language developed by, (...) among others, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, the Stoics, and Lucretius. They probe the early thinkers' philosophical adequacy and their impact on later theorists. With discussions ranging from the Stoics on the origin of language to the theories of language in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the collection will be of interest to students of philosophy and of language in the classical period and beyond. (shrink)
It is generally acknowledged that Hobbes's radical scepticism is intimately connected with his nominalism, and that his nominalism in turn rests upon the doctrine of meaning and truth set out in its best-known version in Chapters 4 and 5 of Leviathan.
The present paper considers the question whether, and if so how, a subject's full attention to an object which she interacts with might have value. More specifically, I defend the claim that in order for a subject's activity to have value, it is sufficient that the subject give her full attention to the object towards which the activity is directed.
THE CLAIM that even Plato could not say everything at once nor could have thought or worked out everything at once is, of course, a platitude. It is generally acknowledged that there is development in Plato's thought. But what the development is, is still a much fought-over question. For in spite of all scholarly efforts this intriguing question cannot be regarded as settled in a satisfactory way. This is due not only to the fact that we all look at Plato (...) through different eyes. There are just too many unknowns: We do not know when the dialogues were written nor in what order. We do not know what Plato himself regarded as the result of each of the dialogues nor how they are supposed to hang together. We do not know to what extent Plato himself is in agreement with what he lets Socrates say--or any of his partners. Nor do we always know what, precisely, the text itself says. And we do not know when Plato put the dialogues into the form in which they have come down to us. (shrink)
The chapter on temporality in Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception , is situated in a section titled, “Being-for-Itself and Being-in-the-World.” As such, Merleau-Ponty’s task in the chapter on temporality is to bring these two positions together, in other words, to articulate the manner in which time links the cogito (Being-for-Itself) with freedom (Being-in-the-World). To accomplish this, Merleau-Ponty proposes a subject located at the junction of the for-itself and the in-itself, a subject which has an exterior that makes it possible for others (...) to have an interior. This analysis will take Merleau-Ponty to an impasse where, on the one hand, there appears to be an objective world and the time of objects in that world, and on the other, there is the subject’s notion of events and the passing of time. Referring to Bergson’s notion of time, this essay proposes that there must be a temporal interval between perception, feeling and action in order for the subject to be “temporal by means of an inner necessity,” as Merleau-Ponty prescribes. (shrink)
In his attempt to redirect philosophy, Rorty recruits some allies to his cause. The present paper contains a critical discussion of his attempt to interpret heidegger and davidson as holding an "above battle" position in the realism/anti-Realism controversy. Although neither heidegger nor davidson fit into the regular mold of either position, Neither does rorty's nietzschean portrait of heidegger nor his pragmatist one of davidson do justice to those two philosophers but, Rather, Betray the "textualist's" hand.