Over the last several years, as cesarean deliveries have grown increasingly common, there has been a great deal of public and professional interest in the phenomenon of women 'choosing' to deliver by cesarean section in the absence of any specific medical indication. The issue has sparked intense conversation, as it raises questions about the nature of autonomy in birth. Whereas mainstream bioethical discourse is used to associating autonomy with having a large array of choices, this conception of autonomy does not (...) seem adequate to capture concerns and intuitions that have a strong grip outside this discourse. An empirical and conceptual exploration of how delivery decisions ought to be negotiated must be guided by a rich understanding of women's agency and its placement within a complicated set of cultural meanings and pressures surrounding birth. It is too early to be 'for' or 'against' women's access to cesarean delivery in the absence of traditional medical indications – and indeed, a simple pro- or con- position is never going to do justice to the subtlety of the issue. The right question is not whether women ought to be allowed to choose their delivery approach but, rather, taking the value of women's autonomy in decision-making around birth as a given, what sorts of guidelines, practices, and social conditions will best promote and protect women's full inclusion in a safe and positive birth process. (shrink)
We argue that critiques of political process theory are beginning to coalesce into new approach to social movements--a "multi-institutional politics" approach. While the political process model assumes that domination is organized by and around one source of power, the alternative perspective views domination as organized around multiple sources of power, each of which is simultaneously material and symbolic. We examine the conceptions of social movements, politics, actors, goals, and strategies supported by each model, demonstrating that the view of society and (...) power underlying the political process model is too narrow to encompass the diversity of contemporary change efforts. Through empirical examples, we demonstrate that the alternative approach provides powerful analytical tools for the analysis of a wide variety of contemporary change efforts. (shrink)
This report outlines the findings from a Delphi study designed to establish consensus on the definitions of cognitive style and learning style amongst an international style researcher community. The study yields long-needed definitions for each construct that reflect high levels of agreement. In a field that has been criticised for a bewildering array of definitions and a proliferation of terms and concepts, this study represents an important step to address confusion in the meaning of the two terms. New researchers interested (...) in styles are encouraged to draw on these definitions when developing new research agendas aimed at deepening our understanding of style as a core construct in educational psychology. (shrink)
We examine how two sociological traditions account for the role of femininities in social domination. The masculinities tradition theorizes gender as an independent structure of domination; consequently, femininities that complement hegemonic masculinities are treated as passively compliant in the reproduction of gender. In contrast, Patricia Hill Collins views cultural ideals of hegemonic femininity as simultaneously raced, classed, and gendered. This intersectional perspective allows us to recognize women striving to approximate hegemonic cultural ideals of femininity as actively complicit in reproducing a (...) matrix of domination. We argue that hegemonic femininities reference a powerful location in the matrix from which some women draw considerable individual benefits while shoring up collective benefits along other dimensions of advantage. In the process, they engage in intersectional domination of other women and even some men. Our analysis re-enforces the utility of analyzing femininities and masculinities from within an intersectional feminist framework. (shrink)
Many philosophers have declared that everything which exists is a particular. There is a weak interpretation of this doctrine which I believe to be a true proposition, and a strong one which I believe to be false.
The Bhagavad-Gītā is the most important text in the smrti literature of India, as distinct from the śruti literature which is traditionally regarded as ultimately authoritative. The Bhagavad-Gītā has been assigned a date ranging from the fifth century B.C. to the second century B.C. The Indian religious tradition places the Gītā at the end of the third age of the present cycle of the universe and the beginning of the fourth, namely the Kali Yuga to which we belong.
Spelman has famously argued against gender realism (the view that women have some social feature in common that makes them women). Many feminist philosophers have accepted Spelman’s argument and gender realist positions are, generally speaking, rejected. I show that Spelman’s arguments are inadequate and do not give good reasons to reject gender realism per se. I also propose a gender realist position that makes use of David Armstrong’s work on complex universals.
The title of this paper reflects the fact truthmaking is quite frequently considered to be expressive of realism. What this means, exactly, will become clearer in the course of our discussion, but since we are interested in Armstrong’s work on truthmaking in particular, it is natural to start from a brief discussion of how truthmaking and realism appear to be associated in his work. In this paper, special attention is given to the supposed link between truthmaking and realism, but it (...) is argued that this link should not be taken too seriously, as truthmaking turns out to be, to a large extent, ontologically neutral. Some consequences of this are studied. (shrink)
In the 1960s, before the promulgation of Humanae Vitae, the Catholic philosophers Elizabeth Anscombe and Herbert McCabe OP debated whether there are convincing natural law arguments for the claim that contraception violates an exceptionless moral norm. This article revisits those arguments and critiques McCabe’s approach to natural law, concerned primarily with ‘social sin’ and not simply violations of ‘right reason,’ as one particularly ill-suited to addressing questions in sexual ethics and unable both to distinguish properly between certain forms of (...) sexual wrongdoing and more obviously social sins such as theft, and also to distinguish between ‘natural’ and ‘unnatural’ sexual acts. Anscombe’s views, I argue, are closer to those of Thomas Aquinas and provide reasons for making the distinctions McCabe does not. An argument concerning the nature of the institution of marriage and the effects of non-marital acts on that institution is proposed as a way of strengthening Anscombe’s argument that contraception violates an exceptionless moral norm. (shrink)
Abstract: In chapter 15 of A Materialist Theory of the Mind, D.M.Armstrong offers an account of what he calls “the biological value of introspection”, namely, that “without information…about the current state of our minds, purposive trains mental activity would be impossible.” This paper examines and assesses Armstrong’s “Just-so story about introspective consciousness”—as W.G.Lycan later called it. One moral will be that appreciating this aspect of Armstrong’s view blurs the difference between his own perceptual model of introspection, and the anti-perceptual models (...) advanced by such critics as Sydney Shoemaker . (shrink)
Resemblances obtain not only between objects but between properties. Resemblances of the latter sort - in particular resemblances between quantitative properties - prove to be the downfall of a well-known theory of universals, namely the one presented by David Armstrong. This paper examines Armstrong's efforts to account for such resemblances within the framework of his theory and also explores several extensions of that theory. All of them fail.
In her recent book Private Government, Elizabeth Anderson makes a powerful but pragmatic case against the abuses experienced by employees in conventional corporations. The purpose of this review-essay is to contrast Anderson’s pragmatic critique of many abuses in the employment relation with a principled critique of the employment relationship itself. This principled critique is based on the theory of inalienable rights that descends from the Reformation doctrine of the inalienability of conscience down through the Enlightenment in the abolitionist, democratic, (...) and feminist movements. That theory was the basis for the abolition of the voluntary slavery or self-sale contract, the voluntary non-democratic constitution (pactum subjectionis), and the voluntary coverture marriage contract in today’s democratic countries. When understood in modern terms, that same theory applies as well against the voluntary self-rental or employment contract that is the basis for our current economic system. (shrink)
I show that Armstrong’s view of laws as second-order contingent relations of ‘necessitation’ among categorical properties faces a dilemma. The necessitation relation confers a relation of extensional inclusion (‘constant conjunction’) on its relata. It does so either necessarily or contingently. If necessarily, it is not a categorical relation (in the relevant sense). If contingently, then an explanation is required of how it confers extensional inclusion. That explanation will need to appeal to a third-order relation between necessitation and extensional inclusion. The (...) same dilemma reappears at this level. Either Armstrong must concede that some properties are not categorical but have essential powers – or he is faced with a regress. (shrink)
D. M. Armstrong famously claims that deterministic laws of nature are contingent relations between universals and that his account can also be straightforwardly extended to irreducibly probabilistic laws of nature. For the most part, philosophers have neglected to scrutinize Armstrong’s account of probabilistic laws. This is surprising precisely because his own claims about probabilistic laws make it unclear just what he takes them to be. We offer three interpretations of what Armstrong-style probabilistic laws are, and argue that all three interpretations (...) are incompatible either with some feature of Armstrong’s broader metaphysics or with essential features of his account of laws (or both). (shrink)
In a series of recent papers, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong has developed a novel argument against moral intuitionism. I suggest a defense on behalf of the intuitionist against Sinnott-Armstrong’s objections. Rather than focus on the main premises of his argument, I instead examine the way in which Sinnott-Armstrong construes the intuitionistic position. I claim that Sinnott-Armstrong’s understanding of intuitionism is mistaken. In particular, I argue that Sinnott-Armstrong mischaracterizes non-inferentiality as it figures in intuitionism. To the extent that Sinnott-Armstrong’s account of intuitionism has (...) been adopted by others uncritically, intuitionists have cause for concern. I develop an alternative, and more accurate, reading of what is non-inferential about intuitionistic moral knowledge. In light of this alternative reading, certain elements of Sinnott-Armstrong’s case against intuitionism are significantly weakened. But perhaps more importantly, this paper helps clarify what circumspect intuitionists mean when they claim that some moral knowledge is non-inferential. (shrink)
Elizabeth Fricker’s writings on testimonial justification include some contrary ideas. In this paper, we propose Fricker’s theory of justification coherently and explain why she speaks of different ideas and which idea is more compatible with her general theory of knowledge. Fricker proposes three conditions for justification of testimonial beliefs for adults by appealing to commonsense world-picture and defining a paradigm case of testimony: justified belief of using speech act of telling, justified belief of the sincere of testifier and the (...) competence of testifier. The speech act of telling itself requires that for example, testifier at least apparently speaks from his knowledge and thinks that hearer is ignorant of the testimony. We argue that various parts of Fricker’s theory face problems. For example, double standard about children and adults in testimonial justification is against unity of conception of knowledge. چون تعداد کلمات کمتر از 150 کلمه بود این عبارت در اینجا قرار گرفت تا اجازه عبور از این مرحله داده شود. (shrink)
Foundationalism in moral epistemology is a core tenet of ethical intuitionism. According to foundationalism, some moral beliefs can be known without inferential justification; instead, all that is required is a proper understanding of the beliefs in question. In an influential criticism against this view, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong has argued that certain psychological facts undermine the reliability of moral intuitions. He claims that foundationalists would have to show that non-inferentially justified beliefs are not subject to those defeaters, but this would already constitute (...) a form of inference and hence undermine the possibility of noninferential justification. The goal of my paper is to defend foundationalism against Sinnott-Armstrong’s criticism. After presenting his challenge, I first argue that the most promising objection to it fails. This objection makes the case that defeater-defeaters are not part of the justification, but merely preserve the justification which the original claim provides. I object to this argument by distinguishing between weak and robust defeaters; only weak defeaters, I argue, fall outside the scope of justification, and it is an open question whether Sinnott-Armstrong’s defeaters fall into that category. This leads the way to my own criticism of Sinnott-Armstrong’s challenge: foundationalists in moral epistemology are entitled to the use of defeater-defeaters as part of the justification for moral beliefs as long as those defeater-defeaters themselves do not entail moral claims. Therefore, Sinnott-Armstrong’s challenge does not undermine foundationalism. (shrink)
D. M. Armstrong rejects various ontologies that posit truths without truthmakers. But, lest proponents of such questionable ontologies postulate suspicious truthmakers in a bid to regain ontological respectability, Armstrong requires a plausible restriction on truthmaking that eliminates such ontologies. I discuss three different candidate restrictions: categorical, natural, and intrinsic difference-making. While the categorical and natural restrictions eliminate the questionable ontologies, they also eliminate Armstrong’s own ontology. The intrinsic difference-making restriction, on the other hand, fails to eliminate any of them. Thus (...) Armstrong lacks a principled reason for rejecting such ontologies. (shrink)
In this paper I argue against Armstrong’s recent truthmaking account of possibility. I show that the truthmaking account presupposes modality in a number of different ways, and consequently that it is incapable of underwriting a genuine reduction of modality. I also argue that Armstrong’s account faces serious difficulties irrespective of the question of reduction; in particular, I argue that his Entailment and Possibility Principles are both false.
This article argues that there is a great divide between semantics and metaphysics. Much of what is called metaphysics today is still stuck in the linguistic turn. This is illustrated by showing how Fraser MacBride misunderstands David Armstrong's theory of modality.
For over thirty years, Robert Audi has produced important work in ethics, epistemology, and the theory of action. This volume features thirteen new critical essays on Audi by a distinguished group of authors: Fred Adams, William Alston, Laurence BonJour, Roger Crisp, Elizabeth Fricker, Bernard Gert, Thomas Hurka, Hugh McCann, Al Mele, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Raimo Tuomela, Candace Vogler, and Timothy Williamson. Audi's introductory essay provides a thematic overview interconnecting his views in ethics, epistemology, and philosophy of action. The volume concludes (...) with his comprehensive response essay that yields an illuminating dialog with all his critics and often extends his previous work. (shrink)
How might the psycho-social effects of chronic skin disease, its treatments (and discontents) be figuratively expressed in writing and painting? Does the art reveal common denominators in experience and representation? If so, how do we understand the cryptic language of these expressions? By examining the works of artists with chronic skin diseases—John Updike, Elizabeth Bishop, and Zelda Fitzgerald—some common features can be noted. Chronically broken skin can fracture the ego or self-perception, resulting in a disturbed body image, which leads (...) to personality disorders and co-morbid affective disorders such as anxiety and depression. The vertiginous feeling that results can be noted in the paradoxical characters, figures, and psyches portrayed in the works of these artists. This essay will examine the more specific ways in which artists disclose and/or conceal their experiences and the particular ways in which these manifest in their works. While certain nuances exist, the common denominators give us a starting point for developing an eczema aesthetic, a code for interpreting the ways in which artists’ experiences with skin disease manifest in their works. (shrink)
As James Chapman has famously put it in National Identity and the British Historical Film, historical films are “as much about the present in which they are made as they are about [the] past in which they are set.” This article discusses Shekhar Kapur’s aesthetically ground-breaking Elizabeth and its sequel Elizabeth: The Golden Age focusing on two main aspects, namely national identity issues and the representation of the enemy. Kapur’s Elizabeth films will first be placed within the (...) larger context of Elizabeth’s film and television appearances. Informed by Giroux’s critical methodology guidelines, in an attempt to “historize” the films under scrutiny and so foster “sane historical sense,” a semiotic analysis will then be offered. Largely inspired by the tenets of Fairclough’s critical discourse analysis and Kress and Leeuwen’s visual grammar, this will draw a parallel between the verbal and visual discourses in both films. Data will finally be discussed and the contention will be made that England’s religious heritage has left indelible traces which remain latent in the English imagination, for which historical evidence will be presented. The article’s ultimate aim will be to provide evidence suggesting that, in the English case, religious and national discourses merged from the late 16th century onwards, clearly influencing not only the perception that the English had of themselves but also and crucially the image they may still have of “Other” nations. (shrink)
Aaron Ancell and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (A&SA) propose a pragmatic approach to problems arising from conscientious objections in healthcare. Their primary focus is on private healthcare systems like that in the United States. A&SA defend three claims: (i) many conscientious objections in healthcare are morally permissible and should be lawful, (ii) conscientious objections that involve invidious discrimination are morally impermissible, but (iii) even invidiously-discriminatory conscientious objections should not always be unlawful, as there is a better way to protect patient rights. Pursuant (...) to (iii), A&SA propose a framework that legally allows discriminatory conscientious objections, but that shifts the financial costs associated with such objections from patients to the clinics that employ doctors who discriminate against patients. Though their proposal is controversial, it has attractive features, and merits further discussion. In this paper, I remain neutral on the third claim A&SA advance in support of their proposal, but point out a problem with the two first claims. In the light of my criticisms, I propose to modify their proposal so that costs are shifted to clinics in a broader range of cases. (shrink)
[full article, abstract in English; abstract in Lithuanian] Armstrong’s theory of laws and causation may be articulated as something like the following, which we may refer to as the received view: “Laws are intrinsic higher-order relations of ensuring between properties. The instantiation of laws is identical with singular causation. This identity is a posteriori.” Opponents and advocates of this view, believe that it may fairly and correctly be attributed to Armstrong. I do not deny it; instead I seek to reconsider (...) the received view, specifically by treating it as a part of Armstrong’s metaphysics. The main features that should concern us are truthmaker theory and the formal account of the constitutive parts of states of affairs. I also discuss Bird’s ultimate argument against Armstrong and show how its impact is weakened by this proper reading. (shrink)
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong's recent defense of moral skepticism raises the debate to a new level, but I argue that it is unsatisfactory because of problems with its assumption of global skepticism, with its use of the Skeptical Hypothesis Argument, and with its use of the idea of contrast classes and the correlative distinction between "everyday" justification and "philosophical" justification. I draw on Chisholm's treatment of the Problem of the Criterion to show that my claim that I know that, e.g., baby-torture is (...) wrong, is no more question-begging than Sinnott-Armstrong's denial that I know this. (shrink)