Recent EEG studies on the early postmortem interval that suggest the persistence of electrophysiological coherence and connectivity in the brain of animals and humans reinforce the need for further investigation of the relationship between the brain’s activity and the dying process. Neuroscience is now in a position to empirically evaluate the extended process of dying and, more specifically, to investigate the possibility of brain activity following the cessation of cardiac and respiratory function. Under the direction of the Center for Healthy (...) Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, research was conducted in India on a postmortem meditative state cultivated by some Tibetan Buddhist practitioners in which decomposition is putatively delayed. For all healthy baseline and postmortem subjects presented here, we collected resting state electroencephalographic data, mismatch negativity, and auditory brainstem response. In this study, we present HB data to demonstrate the feasibility of a sparse electrode EEG configuration to capture well-defined ERP waveforms from living subjects under very challenging field conditions. While living subjects displayed well-defined MMN and ABR responses, no recognizable EEG waveforms were discernable in any of the tukdam cases. (shrink)
Within philosophy of action, there are three broad views about what, in addition to beliefs, answer the question of “what to do?” and so determine an agent’s motivation: desires, judgments about values/reasons, or states of the will, such as intentions. We argue that recent work in decision theory vindicates the volitionalist. “What to do?” isn’t settled by “what do I value” or “what reasons are there?” Rational motivation further requires determining how to trade off the possibility of a good outcome (...) against the possibility of a bad one—i.e., determining how much of a risk to take. The risk attitudes that embody this tradeoff seem best understood as intentions: as self-governing policies to weight desires or reasons in certain ways. That we need to settle our risk attitudes before making most decisions corroborates Bratman’s claim that self-governing policies are required for resolving impasses of evaluative and normative underdetermination. Moreover, far from being rare or confined to tie-breakings, cases that are underdetermined but for one’s risk attitudes are typical of everyday decision-making. The will is required for most rational action. (shrink)
Part I Philosophic Traditions Introduction to Part I 3 1 Philosophy and the Afro-American Experience 7 CORNEL WEST 2 African-American Existential Philosophy 33 LEWIS R. GORDON 3 African-American Philosophy: A Caribbean Perspective 48 PAGET HENRY 4 Modernisms in Black 67 FRANK M. KIRKLAND 5 The Crisis of the Black Intellectual 87 HORTENSE J. SPILLERS Part II The Moral and Political Legacy of Slavery Introduction to Part II 107 6 Kant and Knowledge of Disappearing Expression 110 RONALD A. T. JUDY 7 (...) Social Contract Theory, Slavery, and the Antebellum Courts 125 ANITA L. ALLEN AND THADDEUS POPE 8 The Morality of Reparations II 134 BERNARD R. BOXILL Part III Africa and Diaspora Thought Introduction to Part III 151 9 “Afrocentricity‘: Critical Considerations 155 LUCIUS T. OUTLAW, JR. 10 African Retentions 168 TOMMY L. LOTT 11 African Philosophy at the Turn of the Century 190 ALBERT G. MOSLEY Part IV Gender, Race, and Racism Introduction to Part IV 199 12 Some Group Matters: Intersectionality, Situated Standpoints, and Black Feminist Thought 205 PATRICIA HILL COLLINS 13 Radicalizing Feminisms from “The Movement Era‘ 230 JOY A. JAMES 14 Philosophy and Racial Paradigms 239 NAOMI ZACK 15 Racial Classification and Public Policy 255 DAVID THEO GOLDBERG 16 White Supremacy 269 CHARLES W. MILLS Part V Legal and Social Philosophy Introduction to Part V 285 17 Self-Respect, Fairness, and Living Morally 293 LAURENCE M. THOMAS 18 The Legacy of Plessy v. Ferguson 306 MICHELE MOODY-ADAMS 19 Some Reflections on the Brown Decision and Its Aftermath 313 HOWARD McGARY 20 Contesting the Ambivalence and Hostility to Affirmative Action within the Black Community 324 LUKE C. HARRIS 21 Subsistence Welfare Benefits as Property Interests: Legal Theories and Moral Considerations 333 RUDOLPH V. VANTERPOOL 22 Racism and Health Care: A Medical Ethics Issue 349 ANNETTE DULA 23 Racialized Punishment and Prison Abolition 360 ANGELA Y. DAVIS Part VI Aesthetic and Cultural Values Introduction to Part VI 373 24 The Harlem Renaissance and Philosophy 381 LEONARD HARRIS 25 Critical Theory, Aesthetics, and Black Modernity 386 LORENZO C. SIMPSON 26 Black Cinema and Aesthetics 399 CLYDE R. TAYLOR 27 Thanatic Pornography, Interracial Rape, and the Ku Klux Klan 407 T. DENEAN SHARPLEY-WHITING 28 Lynching and Burning Rituals in African-American Literature 413 TRUDIER HARRIS-LOPEZ 29 Rap as Art and Philosophy 419 RICHARD SHUSTERMAN 30 Microphone Commandos: Rap Music and Political Ideology 429 BILL E. LAWSON 31 Sports, Political Philosophy, and the African American 436 GERALD EARLY. (shrink)
In this paper I argue for a doctrine I call ?infallibilism?, which I stipulate to mean that If S knows that p, then the epistemic probability of p for S is 1. Some fallibilists will claim that this doctrine should be rejected because it leads to scepticism. Though it's not obvious that infallibilism does lead to scepticism, I argue that we should be willing to accept it even if it does. Infallibilism should be preferred because it has greater explanatory power (...) than fallibilism. In particular, I argue that an infallibilist can easily explain why assertions of ?p, but possibly not-p? (where the ?possibly? is read as referring to epistemic possibility) is infelicitous in terms of the knowledge rule of assertion. But a fallibilist cannot. Furthermore, an infallibilist can explain the infelicity of utterances of ?p, but I don't know that p? and ?p might be true, but I'm not willing to say that for all I know, p is true?, and why when a speaker thinks p is epistemically possible for her, she will agree (if asked) that for all she knows, p is true. The simplest explanation of these facts entails infallibilism. Fallibilists have tried and failed to explain the infelicity of ?p, but I don't know that p?, but have not even attempted to explain the last two facts. I close by considering two facts that seem to pose a problem for infallibilism, and argue that they don't. (shrink)
Virtue ethics prescribes cultivating global and behaviorally efficacious character traits, but John Doris and others argue that situationist social psychology shows this to be infeasible. Here, I show how certain versions of virtue ethics that ‘go mental’ can withstand this challenge as well as Doris’ further objections. The defense turns on an account of which psychological materials constitute character traits and which the situationist research shows to be problematically variable. Many situationist results may be driven by impulsive akrasia produced by (...) low-level , emotionally induced ignorance about one’s situation, and some may be driven by a further subtype: modal akrasia. Many subjects in the infamous Milgram experiments, e.g., seem to have recognized what the virtuous thing to do was and that they should do it, and only failed to do it because their emotions prevented them from seeing that they could. If the primary constituents of character traits are higher-level mental dispositions involved in deliberation, though, then the results don’t show that these psychological materials are problematically variable. (shrink)
Decisions are performatives - or at least, they share important features with performative utterances that can elucidate our theory of what type of thought they are, and what they do. Namely, decisions have an analogous force to that of performatives, where the force of a propositional attitude or utterance is constituted by its point, or purpose, which is mainly a matter of its direction-of-ﬁt, and its felicity conditions. The force of both decisions and performatives is to bring into being the (...) states of aﬀairs represented in their intentional contents, merely in virtue of the decision or performative’s occurrence and the satisfaction of the felicity conditions they presuppose. The ﬁrst chapter of the thesis explicates this general framework, and the second and third attempt to show some of the work it can do for a theory of decisions. (shrink)
We distinguish, among other things, between the agent of the context, the speaker of the agent's utterance, the mechanism the agent uses to produce her utterance, and the tokening of the sentence uttered. Armed with these distinctions, we tackle the the ‘answer-machine’, ‘post-it note’ and other allegedly problematic cases, arguing that they can be handled without departing significantly from Kaplan's semantical framework for indexicals. In particular, we argue that these cases don't require adopting Stefano Predelli's intentionalism.
Cartesian skepticism about epistemic justification (‘skepticism’) is the view that many of our beliefs about the external world – e.g., my current belief that I have hands – aren’t justified. I examine the two most influential arguments for skepticism – the Closure Argument and the Underdetermination Argument – from an evidentialist perspective. For both arguments it is clear which premise the anti-skeptic must deny. The Closure Argument, I argue, is the better argument in that its key premise is weaker than (...) the Underdetermination Argument’s key premise. However, it’s also likely that the motivation for accepting both key premises is exactly the same. So there may be a sense in which both arguments provide exactly the same motivation for skepticism. Then I argue that if I I’m right about what the motivation for accepting the arguments’ key premises is, then neither argument succeeds in providing a good reason to accept skepticism. I conclude by explaining why I think epistemologists are right to expend a lot of time and effort on refuting these arguments, even if neither argument provides any motivation for skepticism. (shrink)
If one flips an unbiased coin a million times, there are 2 1,000,000 series of possible heads/tails sequences, any one of which might be the sequence that obtains, and each of which is equally likely to obtain. So it seems (1) 'If I had tossed a fair coin one million times, it might have landed heads every time' is true. But as several authors have pointed out, (2) 'If I had tossed a fair coin a million times, it wouldn't have (...) come up heads every time' will be counted as true in everyday contexts. And according to David Lewis' influential semantics for counterfactuals, (1) and (2) are contradictories. We have a puzzle. We must either (A) deny that (2) is true, (B) deny that (1) is true, or (C) deny that (1) and (2) are contradictories, thus rejecting Lewis' semantics. In this paper I discuss and criticize the proposals of David Lewis and more recently J. Robert G. Williams which solve the puzzle by taking option (B). I argue that we should opt for either (A) or (C). (shrink)
According to the traditional view of weakness of will, a weak-willed agent acts in a way inconsistent with what she judges to be best.1 Richard Holton has argued against this view, claiming that ‘the central cases of weakness of will are best characterized not as cases in which people act against their better judgment, but as cases in which they fail to act on their intentions’ (1999: 241). But Holton doesn’t think all failures to act on one’s prior intentions, or (...) all revisings of intentions, are cases of weakness of will (WW). Rather, he thinks an intention-revision is a case of WW only when it occurs ‘in circumstances in which [one] should not have revised [the intention]’. Holton points out that according to the traditional view of WW, to call an agent ‘weak-willed’ is to make descriptive claim about the agent (about whether an action in fact is inconsistent with what (s)he judges to be best). But according to Holton’s account, the question of whether the agent was weak-willed ‘will depend on which intentions [the agent] should have stuck with as a rational intender. That is a normative question’ (my emphasis) (241-3, 247-8. (shrink)
The recent process of deinstitutionalization of the psychiatric treatment system, in both Denmark and other European countries, has relied heavily on the involvement in treatment and recovery of cohabitant relatives of diagnosed people. However, political objectives regarding depression and involvement rely on a limited body of knowledge about people’s ways of managing illness-related problems in everyday life. Drawing on a discursive notion of gender laid out by Raewyn Connell, the aim of the article is to elucidate how the involvement of (...) relatives is guided by an extra- individual rationale about gender and caregiving, and how this gendered discourse might frame different challenges and burdens, depending on the gender of the diagnosed person and the cohabitant relative. Drawn from a larger, multisited field study on involvement processes in Danish psychiatry, t he article is based on field notes and 21 interviews with seven heterosexual couples. The analysis shows that gender works as a decisive premise for the division of caregiving labour among the couples, and clarifies how the couples’ gendered institution is disrupted after the onset of depression. The article argues that gender-blind involvement strategies could produce divergent treatment outcomes and varying social effects in relation to couples’ everyday family lives. (shrink)
'A comprehensive and important collection that includes essays by some of the leading figures in the field....Essential reading for anyone interested in risk assessment.' Professor Kristin Shrader-Frechette, University of Notre Dame 'The editors are to be congratulated for bringing together a distinguished international group of theorists to reflect on the issues. This volume will be sure to raise the level of debate while at the same time showing the importance of philosophical reflection in approaches to the problems of the age.' (...) Professor Jonathan Wolff, University College London This volume brings together top authors from the fields of risk, philosophy, social sciences and psychology to address the issue of how we should decide how far technological risks are morally acceptable or not. The underlying principles are examined, along with methodological challenges, public involvement and instruments for democratization. A strong theoretical basis is complemented by a range of case studies from some of the most contentious areas, including medical ethics and GM crops. This book is a vital new resource for researchers, students and anyone concerned that traditional approaches to risk management don't adequately address ethical considerations. (shrink)
JEAN-PIERRE CLERO, LYNDA LOTTE. — Lacan est mort il y a un peu plus de vingt ans, en 1981 ; il semble que sa présence, pour ne pas dire son règne, n’ait jamais été aussi éclatante. Il faut toutefois se méfier de ce qui paraît évident et peut-être y a-t-il eu de profonds changements au cours de ces deux dernières décennies où son œuvre est apparue..
On October 26–27, 1962, the first meeting of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy took place in Evanston, Illinois. Seven months earlier, on March 19, 1962, Columbia Records released the debut album of a young folk singer from Hibbing, Minnesota. Topics discussed at the SPEP meeting included the "phenomenology of perception, existential aesthetics, value theory, the life-world, the emotions, and expressive meaning."1 Songs on the album included two originals—"Talking New York" and "Song to Woody"—and covers of several gospel and (...) blues songs, including "In My Time of Dyin'," "Fixin' to Die," and "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean." The SPEP archives don't indicate whether anyone at the meeting in... (shrink)
Dylan Dodd offers a simple, yet forceful, argument for infallibilism. The argument relies upon two assumptions concerning the relationship between knowledge, epistemic possibility, and epistemic probability. We argue below that by endorsing a particular conception of epistemic possibility, a fallibilist can both plausibly reject one of Dodd’s assumptions and mirror the infallibilist’s explanation of the linguistic data. In fact, such a fallibilist may even be able to offer a more comprehensive explanation than the infallibilist. Our discussion is of interest (...) due in part to the fact that many fallibilists have rejected the conception of epistemic possibility employed in our response to Dodd. (shrink)
JEAN-PIERRE CLERO, LYNDA LOTTE. — Lacan est mort il y a un peu plus de vingt ans, en 1981 ; il semble que sa présence, pour ne pas dire son règne, n’ait jamais été aussi éclatante. Il faut toutefois se méfier de ce qui paraît évident et peut-être y a-t-il eu de profonds changements au cours de ces deux dernières décennies où son œuvre est apparue...
The idea that incompatibilism is intuitive is one of the key motivators for incompatibilism. Not surprisingly, then philosophers who defend incompatibilism often claim that incompatibilism is the natural, commonsense view about free will and moral responsibility (e.g., Pereboom 2001, Kane Journal of Philosophy 96:217–240 1999, Strawson 1986). And a number of recent studies find that people give apparently incompatibilist responses in vignette studies. When participants are presented with a description of a causal deterministic universe, they tend to deny that people (...) are morally responsible in that universe. Although this suggests that people are intuitive incompatibilists, Eddy Nahmias and Dylan Murray, in a recent series of important papers, have developed an important challenge to this interpretation. They argue that people confuse determinism with bypassing, the idea that one’s mental states lack causal efficacy. Murray and Nahmias present new experiments that seem to confirm the bypassing hypothesis. In this paper, we use structural equation modeling to re-examine the issue. We find support instead for an incompatibilist explanation of the bypassing results, i.e., incompatibilist judgments seem to cause bypassing judgments. We hypothesize that this phenomenon occurs because people think of decisions as essentially indeterministic; thus, when confronted with a description of determinism they tend to think that decisions do not even occur. We provide evidence for this in three subsequent studies which show that many participants deny that people make decisions in a deterministic universe; by contrast, most participants tend to allow that people add numbers in a deterministic universe. Together, these studies suggest that bypassing results don’t reflect a confusion, but rather the depth of the incompatibilist intuition. (shrink)
In the fall of 1998 Trent Lott used his power as Senate Majority Leader to prevent the confirmation of James C. Hormel, an openly gay San Francisco philanthropist who was then President Clinton’s nominee for Ambassador to Luxembourg. Mr. Lott made it clear that his opposition to Hormel was based on his opposition to homosexuality in general. Asked by a television interviewer during the controversy whether homosexuality is a sin, Mr. Lott answered "Yes, it is"; he went (...) on to compare gay people to alcoholics, sex addicts, and kleptomaniacs. Shortly thereafter, Dick Armey, the House Majority Leader, seconded Lott’s view, adding that “[t]he Bible is very clear on this…Both myself and Senator Lott believe very strongly in the Bible.”. (shrink)
Who's better? Billie Holiday or P. J. Harvey? Blur or Oasis? Dylan or Keats? And how many friendships have ridden on the answer? Such questions aren't merely the stuff of fanzines and idle talk; they inform our most passionate arguments, distil our most deeply held values, make meaning of our ever-changing culture. In Performing Rites, one of the most influential writers on popular music asks what we talk about when we talk about music. What's good, what's bad? What's high, (...) what's low? Why do such distinctions matter? (shrink)
What if you're not who you think you are? What if you don't really know the people closest to you? And what if your most deeply-held beliefs turn out to be. wrong? In Stop Being Reasonable, philosopher Eleanor Gordon-Smith tells gripping true stories that show the limits of human reason. Susie realises her husband harbours a terrible secret, Dylan leaves the cult he's been raised in since birth, Alex discovers he can no longer return to his former identity after (...) impersonating someone else on reality TV. All of them radically alter their beliefs about the things that matter most. What makes them change course? What does this say about our own beliefs? And, in an increasingly divided world, what does it teach us about how we might change the minds of others? Stop Being Reasonable is a mind-changing exploration of the murky place where philosophy and real life meet. (shrink)
MORRIS: But come back to that other kind of fiction, in which the author himself is involved with his works, not merely in writing something for other people but in writing what seems to be necessary to his conscious existence, to his sense of well-being. For such a writer, when he finished with something he finishes with it; he is not left with continuations that he can go on knitting until he runs out of yarn. This conceit reflects my own (...) experience as a writer, relying on the sap that keeps rising, the force that drives the flower, as Dylan Thomas put it. It is plantlike. We put it in the sun and when it doesn't grow, we take it and put it in another room. I don't think of repotting the plant. The plant must make its own way. BOOTH: I like the organic metaphor, but I keep wanting to come back to particular cases to see how you actually work, in literal detail. Even the organic novelist obviously still has the matter of collecting notes, starting a novel, having it fail to go. Let me put a simple question, and move out from there. How many actual novels, whether they ever reach fruition or not, do you have "growing" at a given time? MORRIS: You don't mean simultaneously? BOOTH: I mean actual notes that exist in some kind of manuscript form, starts on a novel, something you are actually working on. MORRIS: It is so unusual for me to have more than one or two things in mind at once that I don't find this a fruitful question. Wright Morris's work as a novelist, essayist, and photographer is examined by prominent critics in Conversations with Wright Morris; the collection, edited by Robert E. Knoll, was published in the spring of 1977 by the University of Nebraska Press. "The Writing of Organic Fiction" is a chapter in that book. Wayne C. Booth's other contributions to Critical Inquiry include "Kenneth Burke's Way of Knowing" ,"Irony and Pity Once Again: Thais Revisited" , "M.H. Abrams: Historian as Critic, Critic as Pluralist" , “'Preserving the Exemplar': Or, How Not to Dig our Own Graves" , "Notes and Exchanges" , "Metaphor as Rhetoric: The Problem of Evaluation" ,"Ten Literal 'Theses" , and, with Robert E. Streeter, W.J.T. Mitchell: "Sheldon Sacks 1930-1979". (shrink)
The T&T Clark Handbook of Analytic Theology provides theological and philosophical resources that demonstrate analytic theology's unique contribution to the task of theology. Analytic theology is a recent movement at the nexus of theology, biblical studies, and philosophy that marshals resources from the analytic philosophical tradition for constructive theological work. Paying attention to the Christian tradition, the development of doctrine, and solid biblical studies, analytic theology prizes clarity, brevity, and logical rigour in its exposition of Christian teaching. Each contribution in (...) this volume offers an overview of specific doctrinal and dogmatic issues within the Christian tradition and provides a constructive conceptual model for making sense of the doctrine. Additionally, an extensive bibliography serves as a valuable resource for researchers wishing to address issues in theology from an analytic perspective. (shrink)
Green agrees with Kant on the abstract character of moral law as categorical imperatives and that intentional dispositions are central to a moral justification of punishment. The central problem with Kant's account is that we are unable to know these dispositions beyond a reasonable estimate. Green offers a practical alternative, positing moral law as an ideal to be achieved, but not immediately enforceable through positive law. Moral and positive law are bridged by Green's theory of the common good through the (...) dialectic of morality. Thus, Green appears to offer an alternative that remains committed to Kantian morality whilst taking proper stock of our cognitive limitations. Unfortunately, Green fails to unravel fully Kant's dichotomy of moral and positive law that mirrors Green's solution, although Green offers a number of improvements, such as the importance of the community in establishing rights and linking the severity of punishment to the extent that a criminal act threatens the continued maintenance of a system of rights. (shrink)
In _Did God Care?_ Dylan Burns offers the first comprehensive survey of providence in ancient philosophy, from Plato to Plotinus, that takes into full account the importance and innovations of early Christian thinkers, including Coptic Gnostic and Syriac sources.
It is shown that the logical truth of instances of the T-schema is incompatible with the formal nature of logical truth. In particular, since the formality of logical truth entails that the set of logical truths is closed under substitution, the logical truth of T-schema instances entails that all sentences are logical truths.
René Girard, Theology, and Pop Culture provides a fresh and engaging introduction to and the application of René Girard's mimetic theory. From movies to social media, television to graphic novels, the contributors explore popular culture's theological depths and challenge readers to consider what culture reveals about them.