In the decade following hepatitis B vaccine’s 1981 approval, U.S. health officials issued evolving guidelines on who should receive the vaccine: first, gay men, injection drug users, and healthcare workers; later, hepatitis B-positive women’s children; and later still, all newborns. States laws that mandated the vaccine for all children were quietly accepted in the 1990s; in the 2000s, however, popular anti-vaccine sentiment targeted the shot as an emblem of immunization policy excesses. Shifting attitudes toward the vaccine in this period were (...) informed by hepatitis B’s changing popular image, legible in textual and visual representations of the infection from the 1980s through the 1990s. Notably, the outbreak of AIDS, the advent of genetically engineered pharmaceuticals, and a Democratic push for health reform shaped and reshaped hepatitis B’s public image. Hepatitis B thus became, in turn, an AIDS-like scourge; proof of a new era of pharmaceuticals; a threat from which all American children had a right to be protected; and a cancer-causing infection spread by teenage lifestyles. The metamorphosis of the infection’s image was reflected in evolving policy recommendations regarding who should receive the vaccine in the 1980s, and was key to securing broad uptake of the vaccine in the 1990s. (shrink)
This essay frames systemic patterns of mental abuse against women of color and Indigenous women on Turtle Island (North America) in terms of larger design-of-distribution strategies in settler colonial societies, as these societies use various forms of social power to distribute, reproduce, and automate social inequalities (including public health precarities and mortality disadvantages) that skew socio-economic gain continuously toward white settler populations and their descendants. It departs from traditional studies in gender-based violence research that frame mental abuses such as gaslighting--commonly (...) understood as mental manipulation through lying or deceit--stochastically, as chance-driven interpersonal phenomena. Building on structural analyses of knowledge in political epistemology (Dotson 2012, Berenstain 2016), political theory (Davis and Ernst 2017), and Indigenous social theory (Tuck and Yang 2012), I develop the notion of cultural gaslighting to refer to the social and historical infrastructural support mechanisms that disproportionately produce abusive mental ambients in settler colonial cultures in order to further the ends of cultural genocide and dispossession. I conclude by proposing a social epidemiological account of gaslighting that a) highlights the public health harms of abusive ambients for minority populations, b) illuminates the hidden rules of social structure in settler colonial societies, and c) amplifies the corresponding need for structural reparations. (shrink)
This paper addresses the phenomenological experience of precarity and vulnerability in racialized gender-based violence from a structural perspective. Informed by Indigenous social theory and anti-colonial approaches to intergenerational trauma that link settler colonial violence to the modalities of stress-inducing social, institutional, and cultural violences in marginalized women’s lives, I argue that philosophical failures to understand trauma as a functional, organizational tool of settler colonial violence amplify the impact of traumatic experience on specific populations. It is trauma by design. I explore (...) this through the history of the concept of trauma and its connection to tragedy. I give a brief overview of prominent theories of trauma and contrast these with the work of Indigenous feminist scholar Dian Million (2013), who highlights functional complicity of settler colonial institutions in shaping accounts of trauma in the west. I begin the piece with an important illustration of the kinds of lives and experiences that call for a politicized understanding of trauma in anti-colonial feminist theory. I end by offering an expansive notion of structural trauma that is a methodological pivot for conducting trauma-based gender-based violence research in a decolonial context, which calls for an end to narratives of trauma that are severed from the settler colonial project of Native land dispossession and genocide. (shrink)
This chapter proceeds in two ways. First, I argue that Fanon’s structural witnessing of racism yields important insights about the nature of violence that challenges the settler colonial concept of violence as the extra-legal use of force. Second, I argue that his analysis of violence is insufficient for combating colonial racism and violence because, using the terms of his own analysis, it leaves intact logics and mechanisms that allow racism to structurally renew itself in perpetuity: violence against women. Without a (...) critical feminism that tracks the alterities of structural violence against women, and women of color in particular, Fanonianism is just another lifeline of colonialism. I thus caution against uncritical uses of Fanon’s structural account of violence for any emancipatory social theory that fails to acknowledge the attendant alterities, asymmetries, and axes of coordinated subordination involved in racialized violence against women. (shrink)
Grounded in stakeholder theory and a resource-based view of the firm, this longitudinal research demonstrates the evolution of corporate social responsibility and firm reputation over time. Drawing on a 5-year sample of 285 major U.S. firms obtained from the KLD database and Fortune’s Most Admired Companies, we find that the proposed dynamic relationship predicts evolving stakeholder expectations to incite organizations to improve their social performance to earn reputational benefits. Contrary to the often labeled stickiness of reputation, we find a “Red (...) Queen” effect that supports reputation as a dynamic construct where the change in CSR does predict a change in corporate reputation. Similarly, we find that the change in reputation over time varies by industry, being most pronounced for manufacturing. From a practical perspective, this relationship across time may incite managers to create sustainable competitive advantage by continuously investing in doing good to reap the benefits of looking good and looking even better with time. (shrink)
The enactive approach to cognition distinctively emphasizes autonomy, adaptivity, agency, meaning, experience, and interaction. Taken together, these principles can provide the new sciences of language with a comprehensive philosophical framework: languaging as adaptive social sense-making. This is a refinement and advancement on Maturana’s idea of languaging as a manner of living. Overcoming limitations in Maturana’s initial formulation of languaging is one of three motivations for this paper. Another is to give a response to skeptics who challenge enactivism to connect “lower-level” (...) sense-making with “higher-order” sophisticated moves like those commonly ascribed to language. Our primary goal is to contribute a positive story developed from the enactive account of social cognition, participatory sense-making. This concept is put into play in two different philosophical models, which respectively chronicle the logical and ontogenetic development of languaging as a particular form of social agency. Languaging emerges from the interplay of coordination and exploration inherent in the primordial tensions of participatory sense-making between individual and interactive norms; it is a practice that transcends the self-other boundary and enables agents to regulate self and other as well as interaction couplings. Linguistic sense-makers are those who negotiate interactive and internalized ways of meta-regulating the moment-to-moment activities of living and cognizing. Sense-makers in enlanguaged environments incorporate sensitivities, roles, and powers into their unique yet intelligible linguistic bodies. We dissolve the problematic dichotomies of high/low, online/offline, and linguistic/nonlinguistic cognition, and we provide new boundary criteria for specifying languaging as a prevalent kind of human social sense-making. (shrink)
This article offers a first large scale analysis of argumentative polylogues in the fracking controversy. It provides an empirical methodology that identifies, from large quantities of text data through semantic frame analysis, the many players, positions and places presumed relevant to argumentation in a controversy. It goes beyond the usual study of framing in communication research because it considers that a controversy’s communicative context is shaped, and in turn conditions, the making and defending of standpoints. To achieve these novels aims, (...) theoretical insights from frame semantics, knowledge driven argument mining, and argumentative polylogues are combined. The macroscope is implemented using the Semafor parser to retrieve all the semantic frames present in a large corpus about fracking and then observing the distribution of those frames that semantically presuppose argumentative features of polylogue. The prominent indicators are Taking_sides, Evidence and Reasoning. The automatic retrieval of the words associated with the core elements of the semantic frame enables the mapping of how different players, positions, and discussion venues are assembled around what is treated as disagreeable in the controversy. This knowledge driven approach to argument mining reveals prototypical traits of polylogues related to environmental issues. Moreover, it addresses a problem in conventional frame analysis common in environmental communication that focuses on the way individual arguments are presented without effective consideration of the argumentative relevance the semantics and pragmatics of certain frames operating across discourses. (shrink)
A macroscope is proposed and tested here for the discovery of the unique argumentative footprint that characterizes how a collective manages differences and pursues disagreement through argument in a polylogue. The macroscope addresses broader analytic problems posed by various conceptualizations of large-scale argument, such as fields, spheres, communities, and institutions. The design incorporates a two-tier methodology for detecting argument patterns of the arguments performed in arguing by an interactive collective that produces views, or topographies, of the ways that issues are (...) generated in the making and defending of standpoints. The design premises for the macroscope build on insights about argument patterns from pragma-dialectical theory by incorporating research and theory on disagreement management and the Argumentum Model of Topics. The design reconceptualizes prototypical and stereotypical argument patterns for characterizing large-scale argumentation. A prototype of the macroscope is tested on data drawn from six threads about oil-drilling and fracking from the subreddit Changemyview. The implementation suggests the efficacy of the macroscope’s design and potential for identifying what communities make controversial and how the disagreement space in a polylogue is managed through stereotypical argument patterns in terms of claims/premises, inferential relations, and presentational devices. (shrink)
Intersectionality is a term that arose within the black feminist intellectual tradition for the purposes of identifying interlocking systems of oppression. As a descriptive term, it refers to the ways human identity is shaped by multiple social vectors and overlapping identity categories (such as sex, race, class) that may not be readily visible in single-axis formulations of identity, but which are taken to be integral to robustly capture the multifaceted nature of human experience. As a diagnostic term, it captures the (...) confluence of power and domination on the social construction of identity in order to remedy concrete harms that result from this convergence. It is not a prescriptive methodology or closed system of analysis, but rather an open-ended hermeneutic lens through which interconnected systems of oppression can come into focus in the fight for social justice. (shrink)
One way to track the many critical impacts of women of color feminisms is through the powerful structural analyses of gendered and racialized oppression they offer. This article discusses diverse lineages of women of color feminisms in the global South that tackle systemic structures of power and domination from their situated perspectives. It offers an introduction to structuralist theories in the humanities and differentiates them from women of color feminist theorizing, which begins analyses of structures from embodied and phenomenological st¬¬andpoints--with (...) the day-to-day concerns of our lives. The essay is divided into three sections. In section one, I discuss theories of structure in the humanities and sciences, differentiating them from women of color’s analysis of structure as diagnostic of the ways colonial power relations are functionalized through social structures. In section two, I discuss the diverse contexts of interpretation that background women of color feminisms, outlining key themes and ideas related to theories of structure. I argue against a unified theory of women of color structural feminisms that supplants difference, favoring a rehabilitated concept of structure for the purposes of making targeted interventions in contemporary radical anti-colonial politics. I offer the example of systematic marginalization produced by colonial violence and mythology as one reason to take up this approach. In section three, I outline four provisional characteristics of women of color structural feminisms. I conclude that, when divested from colonial myths that guide mainstream notions of structure, it can be a useful hermeneutic tactic in the fight for liberation from ongoing colonial violence. (shrink)
In the wake of continued structural asymmetries between women of color and white feminisms, this essay revisits intersectional tensions in Catharine MacKinnon’s Toward a Feminist Theory of the State while exploring productive spaces of coalition. To explore such spaces, we reframe Toward a Feminist Theory of the State in terms of its epistemological project and highlight possible synchronicities with liberational features in women-of-color feminisms. This is done, in part, through an analysis of the philosophical role “method” plays in MacKinnon’s argument, (...) and by reframing her critique of juridical neutrality and objectivity as epistemic harms. In the second section, we sketch out a provisional coalitional theory of liberation that builds on MacKinnon’s feminist epistemological insights and aligns them with decolonizing projects in women-of-color feminisms, suggesting new directions and conceptual revisions that are on the way to coalition. (shrink)
This paper examines the relationship between corporate social responsibility and financial performance for Islamic banks in the Gulf Cooperation Council region over the period 2000–2014 by generating CSR-related data through disclosure analysis of the annual reports of the sampled banks. The findings of this study indicate that there is a significant positive relationship between CSR disclosure and the financial performance of Islamic banks in the GCC countries. The results also show a positive relationship between CSR disclosure and the future financial (...) performance of GCC Islamic banks, potentially indicating that current CSR activities carried out by Islamic banks in the GCC could have a long-term impact on their financial performance. Furthermore, despite demonstrating a significant positive relationship between the composite measure of the CSR disclosure index and financial performance, the findings show no statistically significant relationship between the individual dimensions of the CSR disclosure index and the current financial performance measure except for ‘mission and vision’ and ‘products and services’. Similarly, the empirical results detect a positive significant association only between ‘mission and vision’ dimension and future financial performance of the examined banks. (shrink)
Latina feminists like Gloria Anzaldúa and Mariana Ortega have developed anti-essentialist accounts of selfhood that are responsive to the problem of alterity and hermeneutic alienation experienced by multiplicitous subjects, understood as those who must navigate between multiple cultural norms and often conflicting interpretive traditions. These accounts can be fortified by examining the sense of inarticulacy that arises from having to name conditions of existence undergirded by social and historical contradictions and ambiguities—especially under the experiential stress of gendered social violence, cultural (...) trauma, and state terror. To address phenomenological accounts of “linguistic terrorism” and the role language plays in multiplicitous accounts of selfhood, I turn to a strategic reading of Nietzsche's existential conception of the self as a living multiplicity, and to his related account of the impoverishment of language. In doing so, I argue more generally that philosophies of agency that critique agential narratives of rupture, instability, and interpretive loss often do so without sufficient attunement to the ways concepts of alterity and liminality operate in North–South contexts or Latina feminist thought. I end by highlighting the critical, decolonial impetus of these concepts as responses to cultural violence. (shrink)
Bewildering features of modern physics, such as relativistic space-time structure and the peculiarities of so-called quantum statistics, challenge traditional ways of conceiving of objects in space and time. Interpreting Bodies brings together essays by leading philosophers and scientists to provide a unique overview of the implications of such physical theories for questions about the nature of objects. The collection combines classic articles by Max Born, Werner Heisenberg, Hans Reichenbach, and Erwin Schrodinger with recent contributions, including several papers that have never (...) before been published. -/- The book focuses on the microphysical objects that are at the heart of quantum physics and addresses issues central to both the "foundational" and the philosophical debates about objects. Contributors explore three subjects in particular: how to identify a physical object as an individual, the notion of invariance with respect to determining what objects are or could be, and how to relate objective and measurable properties to a physical entity. The papers cover traditional philosophical topics, common-sense questions, and technical matters in a consistently clear and rigorous fashion, illuminating some of the most perplexing problems in modern physics and the philosophy of science. (shrink)
In recent years, a ''change in attitude'' in particle physics has led to our understanding current quantum field theories as effective field theories (EFTs). The present paper is concerned with the significance of this EFT approach, especially from the viewpoint of the debate on reductionism in science. In particular, I shall show how EFTs provide a new and interesting case study in current philosophical discussion on reduction, emergence, and inter-level relationships in general.
A draft version of Chapter 11 of the edited volume 'Interpreting Bodies. Classical and Quantum Objects in Modern Physics',. The Chapter is devoted to illustrating the group-theoretic approach to the issue of physical objects. In particular, the Chapter discusses the group-theoretic constitution of classical and quantum particles in the nonrelativistic case.
This is the review paper for the section III ("Symmetry breaking") of the volume "Symmetries in physics: philosophical reflections", Cambridge University Press, 2003, edited by Katherine A. Brading and Elena Castellani. The paper's sections are: 1. Preliminaries (I); 2. Symmetry breaking and Curie's analysis; 3. Preliminaries (II); 4. Symmetry breaking of physical laws (4.1. Explicit symmetry breaking; 4.2. Spontaneous symmetry breaking); 5. Symmetry breaking and philosophical questions.
In recent years, a change in attitude in particle physics has led to our understanding current quantum field theories as effective field theories. The present paper is concerned with the significance of this EFT approach, especially from the viewpoint of the debate on reductionism in science. In particular, it is a purpose of this paper to clarify how EFTs may provide an interesting case-study in current philosophical discussion on reduction, emergence and inter-level relationships in general.
I argue that a study of the Nicomachean Ethics and of the Parva Naturalia shows that Aristotle had a notion of attention. This notion captures the common aspects of apparently different phenomena like perceiving something vividly, being distracted by a loud sound or by a musical piece, focusing on a geometrical problem. For Aristotle, these phenomena involve a specific selectivity that is the outcome of the competition between different cognitive stimuli. This selectivity is attention. I argue that Aristotle studied the (...) common aspects of the physiological processes at the basis of attention and its connection with pleasure. His notion can explain perceptual attention and intellectual attention as voluntary or involuntary phenomena. In addition, it sheds light on how attention and enjoyment can enhance our cognitive activities. (shrink)
The importance of emotions is supported by many authors of the ethics of care in contrast to the rationalistic paradigm of justice. However, the reference to the emotions remains generic. By focusing on three paradigmatic typologies, I propose to investigate this aspect further, and distinguish between the different emotions that motivate care. I will try, first, to offer a reflection on which emotions are likely to motivate ethical action within an ethics of care; second, to survey different potential obstacles to (...) these emotions and propose how they might be overcome to more successfully achieve good care and ethical action. (shrink)
Ganeri's  discussion of mental time travel and the self focuses on remembering the past, but has less to say with respect to the status of future-oriented mental time travel. This paper aims to disambiguate the relation between prospection and the self from the framework of Ganeri's interpretation of three Buddhist views—by Buddhaghosa, Vasubandhu, and Dignaga. Is the scope of Ganeri's discussion confined to the past, or is there a stronger assumption that future thought always entails self-representation? I argue that (...) if mental time travel towards the past and towards the future are continuous, both past and future thought should be possible independently of self-representation. An assumption of discontinuity however would enable the employment of the self as one of the defining differences between remembering the past and imagining the future. The two options can be further contrasted on the basis of distinct ways of constructing past/future scenarios (field vs. observer perspective), modes of experiencing time (known vs. lived), and the origin of mental time travel (episodic vs. semantic memory). I further assess the compatibility of future-oriented thought with the three Buddhist views on the basis of these coordinates. (shrink)
It has been a long-standing puzzle that Negative Polarity Items appear to split into two subvarieties when their effect on the interpretation of questions is taken into account: while questions with any and ever can be used as unbiased requests of information, questions with so-called `minimizers', i.e. idioms like lift a finger and the faintest idea, are always biased towards a negative answer (cf. Ladusaw 1979). Focusing on yes/no questions, this paper presents a solution to this puzzle. Specifically it is (...) shown that in virtue of containing even (cf. Heim 1984), minimizers, unlike any, trigger a presupposition, which reduces the set of the possible answers to a question to the singleton containing the negative answer. (shrink)
Is there more that one "Curie's principle"? How far are different formulations legitimate? What are the aspects that make it so scientifically fruitful, independently of how it is formulated? The paper is devoted to exploring these questions. We start with illustrating Curie's original 1894 article and his focus. Then, we consider the way that the discussion of the principle took shape from early commentators to its modern form. We say why we think that the modern focus on the inter-state version (...) of the principle loses sight of some of the most interesting significant applications of the principle. Finally, we address criticism of the principle put forward by Norton and purported counterexamples due to Roberts. (shrink)
This essay argues that according to feminist existential phenomenology, feminist pragmatism, and feminist genealogy, our embodied condition is an important starting place for ethical living due to the inevitable role that habits play in our conduct. In bodies, the phenomenon of habit uniquely holds together the ambiguities of freedom and determinism, transcendence and immanence, and stability and plasticity. Seeing habit formation as a matter of self-growth and social justice gives fresh opportunity for thinking of “assuming ambiguity” as a lifelong endeavor (...) made up of many small projects and practices of situated resistance to stagnation. Transcendence, understood as ameliorative transformation, is found in cultivating habits of learning from our bodily living. I articulate this argument via a reading of Simone de Beauvoir's The Coming of Age, John Dewey's Human Nature and Conduct, and Ladelle McWhorter's Bodies and Pleasures. I discuss two domains wherein the ethical significance of habit formation appears: cognitive psychological research on neural plasticity, and certain projects of self-cultivation that risk turning into overdetermining “cult of the self ” practices that close off possibilities for personal and collective transformation. (shrink)
In our contemporary age, where a combination of individualism and mutual distrust is unhappily common among people and society is “liquid” and disoriented, so-called intermediate units are a precious resource that promotes positive coexistence within organizations and in local communities, too. The present contribution describes an example of such an intermediate unit, the Talent Club, located in a peripheral neighborhood of a metropolitan area in northern Italy. This case study shows the development of positive living and working together in organizations (...) and their transformation in the tool for community development and good coexistence. Qualitative and quantitative data show that the relational aspect is crucial because it promotes authentic exchange among people, supporting participation and social cohesion against self-referential habits and isolation. Although at present the Talent Club is mostly functioning in a affiliating coexistence among members, seeds of a more generativ... (shrink)
After having reconstructed a minimal biological characterisation of species, we endorse an “empirical approach” based on the idea that it is the peculiar evolutionary history of the species at issue—its peculiar origination process, its peculiar metapopulation structure and the peculiar mixture and strength of homeostatic processes vis à vis heterostatic ones—that determines species’ identity at a time and through time. We then explore the consequences of the acceptance of the empirical approach in settling the individuals versus kinds dispute. In particular, (...) while conceptual arguments have been proposed to show that species can be equally treated as individuals and kinds because mereology’s and set-theory’s languages are inter-translatable, we advance instead a causal argument to sustain the claim that each species is both a kind and an individual. (shrink)
This contribution aims at providing an argumentative method to account for epistemic modality and evidentiality. I claim that these two linguistic categories can work as semantic components of defeasible argumentative schemes based on classification processes. This kind of approximate reasoning is, in fact, frequently indicated by appearance verbs which signal that the inferred standpoint is conceived by the speaker as uncertain due to the deceiving nature of perceptual data. Drawing from an analysis at the semantic-argumentative interface, the way in which (...) prototype theory sheds light on the processes of meaning construction underlying defeasible arguments from definition is also shown. (shrink)
Weak/strong duality is usually accompanied by what seems a puzzling ontological feature: the fact that under this kind of duality what is viewed as 'elementary' in one description gets mapped to what is viewed as 'composite' in the dual description. This paper investigates the meaning of this apparent 'particle democracy', as it has been called, by adopting an historical approach. The aim is to clarify the nature of the correspondence between 'dual particles' in the light of an historical analysis of (...) the developments of the idea of weak/strong duality, starting with Dirac's electric-magnetic duality and its successive generalizations in the context of field theory, to arrive at its first extension to string theory. This analysis is then used as evidential basis for discussing the 'elementary/composite' divide and, after taking another historical detour by analysing an instructive analogy case, drawing some conclusions on the particle-democracy issue. (shrink)
This is the first of two papers concerned with the philosophical significance of dualities as applied in recent fundamental physics. The general idea is that, for its peculiarity, this ‘new’ ingredient in theory construction can open unexpected perspectives in the current philosophical reflection on contemporary physics. In particular, today’s physical dualities represent an unusual type of intertheory relation, the meaning of which deserves to be investigated. The aim is to show how discussing this point brings into play, at the same (...) time, what is intended by a 'theory’ and in which sense dualities are to be considered 'symmetries'. This paper is introductory and focusses on the first form of duality explicitly applied in twentieth century physics, that is electromagnetic duality as discussed in Dirac’s theory of magnetic poles. The extension of electromagnetic duality in the context of quantum field theory and string theory is explored in a forthcoming companion paper. (shrink)
The Congress for Cultural Freedom is remembered as a paramount example of the “cultural cold wars.” In this paper, I discuss the ways in which this powerful transnational organization sought to promote “science studies” as a distinct – and politically relevant – area of expertise, and part of the CCF broader agenda to offer a renewed framework for liberalism. By means of its Study Groups, international conferences and its periodicals, such as Minerva, the Congress developed into an influential forum for (...) examining the ways Big Science impacted the relations between science, society, and politics, thus constituting a semi-institutional niche for Science Studies before its professionalization within academia during the 1970s. I argue that the Congress contributed to the construction of public space in which the relations between science, society and politics were debated, and science was reconceptualized as a social activity. The vision of “science studies” the CCF-associated intellectuals promulgated was different from the science studies we know today. Yet, this alternative vision, in which the issues of science politics appeared inseparable from those of science policy, science organization, and science governance, constituted the “pre-history” of science studies today. (shrink)
This article examines how specific realist and projectivist versions of manipulability theories of causation deal with the problem of objectivity. Does an agent-dependent concept of manipulability imply that conflicting causal claims made by agents with different capacities can come out as true? In defence of the projectivist stance taken by the agency view, I argue that if the agent’s perspective is shown to be uniform across different agents, then the truth-values of causal claims do not vary arbitrarily and, thus, reach (...) a satisfactory level of objectivity. My argument connects Price’s considerations on the situation of deliberation, whose structure, common to all agents, is the same with respect to both decision making and causal claims on a concept inspired by Douglas’s classification of objectivity of thought processes: the perspective of the detached agent. I further argue that, despite his agent-independent concept of intervention, Woodward’s claim of a stronger objectivity standard cannot be achieved, as the relativity of causal concepts to a variable set brings about the issue of the agent’s choice of variables. Consequently, a more permissive objectivity standard applies to both views. (shrink)