: Françoise Dastur describes her efforts to practice history of philosophy in a (paradoxically) non-historical fashion. She discusses her concept of the historical, and argues that the only true way to be of one's time is to be against one's time.
Françoise Dastur describes her efforts to practice history of philosophy in a (paradoxically) non-historical fashion. She discusses her concept of the historical, and argues that the only true way to be of one's time is to be against one's time.
Françoise Dastur describes her efforts to practice history of philosophy in a non-historical fashion. She discusses her concept of the historical, and argues that the only true way to be of one's time is to be against one's time.
Françoise Dastur describes her efforts to practice history of philosophy in a non-historical fashion. She discusses her concept of the historical, and argues that the only true way to be of one's time is to be against one's time.
In this book two of the leading figures in argumentation theory present a view of argumentation as a means of resolving differences of opinion by testing the acceptability of the disputed positions. Their model of a 'critical discussion' serves as a theoretical tool for analysing, evaluating and producing argumentative discourse. They develop a method for the reconstruction of argumentative discourse that takes into account all aspects that are relevant to a critical assessment. They also propose a practical code of behaviour (...) for discussants who want to resolve their differences in a reasonable way. This is a major contribution to the study of argumentation and will be of particular value to professionals and graduate students in speech communication, informal logic, rhetoric, critical thinking, linguistics, and philosophy. (shrink)
This theoretical expose explores the complex notion of argumentative style, which has so far been largely neglected in argumentation theory. After an introduction of the problems involved, the theoretical tools for identifying the properties of the discourse in which an argumentative style manifests itself are explained from a pragma-dialectical perspective and a theoretical definition of argumentative style is provided that does full justice to its role in argumentative discourse. The article concludes with a short reflection upon the next steps that (...) need to be taken in argumentation theory in further substantiating the notion of argumentative style. (shrink)
The issues addressed in philosophical papers on quotation generally concern only a particular type of quotation, which I call 'closed quotation'. The other main type, 'open quotation', is ignored, and this neglect leads to bad theorizing. Not only is a general theory of quotation out of reach: the specific phenomenon of closed quotation itself cannot be properly understood if it is not appropriately situated within the kind to which it belongs. Once the distinction between open and closed quotation has been (...) drawn and properly appreciated, it is tempting to consider that only closed quotation is relevant to semantics. Open quotation is more a matter of pragmatics: it is a matter of what people do with words, rather than a matter of content and truth-conditions. In this way one can provide the beginning of a justification for the neglect of open quotation in current semantic theorizing. There is some truth in this view, yet the phenomenon of 'mixed quotation', investigated at length in this paper, is interesting precisely because it shows that things are not so simple. Important issues concerning the interface between semantics and pragmatics will thus be raised. (shrink)
In the pragma-dialectical approach, fallacies are considered incorrect moves in a discussion for which the goal is successful resolution of a dispute. Ten rules are given for effective conduct at the various stages of such a critical discussion (confrontation, opening, argumentation, concluding). Fallacies are discussed as violations of these rules, taking into account all speech acts which are traditionally recognized as fallacies. Special attention is paid to the role played by implicitness in fallacies in everyday language use. It is stressed (...) that identifying and acknowledging fallacies in ordinary discussions always has a conditional character. Differences between the pragma-dialectical perspective, the Standard Treatment, and the formal logic approach to fallacy analysis are discussed. (shrink)
Conceived of as a contender to other theories in substantive ethics, virtue ethics is often associated with, in essence, the following account or criterion of right action: VR: An action A is right for S in circumstances C if and only if a fully virtuous agent would characteristically do A in C. There are serious objections to VR, which take the form of counter-examples. They present us with different scenarios in which less than fully virtuous persons would be acting rightly (...) in doing what no fully virtuous agent would characteristically do in the circumstances. In this paper, various proposals for how to revise VR in order to avoid these counter-examples are considered. I will argue that in so far as the revised accounts really do manage to steer clear of the counter-examples to VR, something which it turns out is not quite true for all of them, they instead fall prey to other damaging objections. I end by discussing the future of virtue ethics, given what has come to light in the previous sections of the paper. In particular, I sketch the outlines of a virtue ethical account of rightness that is structurally different from VR. This account also faces important problems. Still, I suggest that further scrutiny is required before we are in a position to make a definitive decision about its fate. (shrink)
My question in this paper concerns what eudaimonist virtue ethics (EVE) might have to say about what makes right actions right. This is obviously an important question if we want to know what (if anything) distinguishes EVE from various forms of consequentialism and deontology in ethical theorizing. The answer most commonly given is that according to EVE, an action is right if and only if it is what a virtuous person would do in the circumstances. However, understood as a claim (...) about what makes particular actions right, this is not especially plausible. What makes a virtuous person’s actions right must reasonably be a matter of the feature, or features, which she, via her practical wisdom, appreciates as ethically relevant in the circumstances, and not the fact that someone such as herself would perform those actions. I argue that EVE instead should be understood as a more radical alternative in ethical philosophy, an alternative that relies on the background assumption that no general account or criterion for what makes right actions right is available to us: right action is simply too complex to be captured in a ‘finite and manageable set of…moral principles’ (McKeever and Ridge, Principled ethics, Oxford University Press, 2006 , p. 139). This does not rule out the possibility that there might be some generalizations about how we should act which hold true without exception. Perhaps there are some things which we must never do, as well as some features of the world which always carry normative weight (even though their exact weight may vary from one context to another). Still, these things are arguably few and far between, and what we must do to ensure that we reliably recognize what is right in particular situations is to acquire practical wisdom. Nothing short of that could do the job. (shrink)
Care ethics as initiated by Gilligan, Held, Tronto and others has from its onset been critical towards ethical concepts established in modernity, like ‘autonomy’, alternatively proposing to think from within relationships and to pay attention to power. In this article the question is raised whether renewal in this same critical vein is necessary and possible as late modern circumstances require rethinking the care ethical inquiry. Two late modern realities that invite to rethink care ethics are complexity and precariousness. Late modern (...) organizations, like the general hospital, codetermined by various systems are characterized by complexity and the need for complexity reduction, both permeating care practices. By means of a heuristic use of the concept of precariousness, taken as the installment of uncertainty, it is shown that relations and power in late modern care organizations have changed, precluding the use of a straightforward domination idea of power. In the final section a proposition is made how to rethink the care ethical inquiry in order to take late modern circumstances into account: inquiry should always be related to the concerns of people and practitioners from within care practices. (shrink)
The use of biotechnology in food productiongives rise to consumer concerns. The term ``consumerconcern'' is often used as a container notion. Itincludes concerns about food safety, environmental andanimal welfare consequences of food productionsystems, and intrinsic moral objections againstgenetic modification. In order to create clarity adistinction between three different kinds of consumerconcern is proposed. Consumer concerns can be seen assigns of loss of trust. Maintaining consumer trustasks for governmental action. Towards consumerconcerns, governments seem to have limitedpossibilities for public policy. Under current (...) WTOregulations designed to prevent trade disputes,governments can only limit their policies to 1) safetyregulation based upon sound scientific evidence and 2)the stimulation of a system of product labeling. Ananalysis of trust, however, can show that ifgovernments limit their efforts in this way, they willnot do enough to avoid the types of consumer concernsthat diminish trust. The establishment of a technicalbody for food safety – although perhaps necessary –is in itself not enough, because concerns that relatedirectly to food safety cannot be solved by ``pure''science alone. And labeling can only be a good way totake consumer concerns seriously if these concerns arerelated to consumer autonomy. For consumer concernsthat are linked to ideas about a good society,labeling can only provide a solution if it is seen asan addition to political action rather than as itssubstitution. Labeling can help consumers take uptheir political responsibility. As citizens, consumershave certain reasonable concerns that can justifiableinfluence the market. In a free-market society, theyare, as buyers, co-creators of the market, andsocietal steering is partly done by the market.Therefore, they need the information to co-create thatmarket. The basis of labeling in these cases, however,is not the good life of the individual but thepolitical responsibility people have in their role asparticipants in a free-market. Then, public concernsare taken seriously. Labeling in that case does nottake away the possibilities of reaching politicalgoals, but it adds a possibility. (shrink)
This article aims tt providing some conceptual tools for dealing adequately with relevance in argumentative discourse. For this purpose, argumentative relevance is defined as a functional interactional relation between certain elements in the discourse. In addition to the distinction between interpretive and evaluative relevance that can be traced in the literature, analytic relevance is introduced as an intermediary concept. In order to classify the various problems of relevance arising in interpreting, analyzing and evaluating argumentative discourse, a taxonomy is proposed in (...) which the concept of relevance is differentiated along three co-ordinate dimensions: object, domain and aspect. With the help of this taxonomy, it can be shown that the problems of evaluative relevance with which the standard approach to fallacies cannot satisfactory deal can be more systematically approached within a pragma-dialectical framework. This is demonstrated for the argumentum and hominem, which is erroneously treated as a homogenous type of relevance fallacy in logico-centric analyses, so that cases where this is not justified must be treated as ad hoc exceptions. (shrink)
One of the few studies to date which considers in a comprehensive way the relation between these remarkable thinkers. By concrete example and continual reference it illustrates both the pervasive influence of Pseudo-Dionysius and the profound originality of Aquinas.
My main thesis in this article is that Descartes' ethics should be understood as involving a distinction between happiness and well-being. The distinction I have in mind is never clearly stated or articulated by Descartes himself, but I argue that we nevertheless have good reason to embrace it as an important component in a charitable reconstruction of his ethical thought. In section I, I present Descartes' account of happiness and of how he thinks happiness can (and cannot) be acquired. Then, (...) in section II, I introduce and develop the distinction between happiness and well-being. I do this via a discussion of a difficult passage in one of Descartes' letters to Elisabeth, where he may seem first to grant and then immediately to reject the view that people's happiness can vary in degree depending on the possession of goods or perfections that are outside their power to control. I believe my proposed distinction can help us make good sense of this passage. In the last two sections (III and IV), I then offer some further grounds or reasons for why the proposed distinction should be ascribed to Descartes. (shrink)
BackgroundThe emphasis on impact factors and the quantity of publications intensifies competition between researchers. This competition was traditionally considered an incentive to produce high-quality work, but there are unwanted side-effects of this competition like publication pressure. To measure the effect of publication pressure on researchers, the Publication Pressure Questionnaire was developed. Upon using the PPQ, some issues came to light that motivated a revision.MethodWe constructed two new subscales based on work stress models using the facet method. We administered the revised (...) PPQ to a convenience sample together with the Maslach Burnout Inventory and the Work Design Questionnaire. To assess which items best measured publication pressure, we carried out a principal component analysis. Reliability was sufficient when Cronbach’s alpha > 0.7. Finally, we administered the PPQr in a larger, independent sample of researchers to check the reliability of the revised version.ResultsThree components were identified as ‘stress’, ‘attitude’, and ‘resources’. We selected 3 × 6 = 18 items with high loadings in the three-component solution. Based on the convenience sample, Cronbach’s alphas were 0.83 for stress, 0.80 for attitude, and 0.76 for resources. We checked the validity of the PPQr by inspecting the correlations with the MBI and the WDQ. Stress correlated 0.62 with MBI’s emotional exhaustion. Resources correlated 0.50 with relevant WDQ subscales. To assess the internal structure of the PPQr in the independent reliability sample, we conducted the principal component analysis. The three-component solution explains 50% of the variance. Cronbach’s alphas were 0.80, 0.78, and 0.75 for stress, attitude, and resources, respectively.ConclusionWe conclude that the PPQr is a valid and reliable instrument to measure publication pressure in academic researchers from all disciplinary fields. The PPQr strongly relates to burnout and could also be beneficial for policy makers and research institutions to assess the degree of publication pressure in their institute. (shrink)
It is often claimed that the exceptional severity of the Spanish flu, one of the most deadly events in recorded human history, is an unsolved mystery. However, even detailed aspects such as its W-shaped mortality curve are well explained by Paul Ewald’s theory of the evolution of virulence. Understanding the causes of the Spanish flu will help to prevent future epidemics.
In his reflections on ethics, Descartes distances himself from the eudaimonistic tradition in moral philosophy by introducing a distinction between happiness and the highest good. While happiness, in Descartes’s view, consists in an inner state of complete harmony and satisfaction, the highest good instead consists in virtue, i.e. in ‘a firm and constant resolution' to always use our free will well or correctly. In Section 1 of this paper, I pursue the Cartesian distinction between happiness and the highest good in (...) some detail. In Section 2, I discuss the question of how the motivation to virtue should be accounted for within Descartes’s ethical framework. In Section 3, I turn to Descartes’s defence of the view that virtue, while fundamentally distinct from happiness, is nevertheless sufficient for obtaining it. In the final section of the paper , my concern is instead with a second and sometimes neglected distinction that Descartes makes between two different senses o.. (shrink)
What is the highest good? In the ethics of René Descartes, we can distinguish between at least seven different answers to this question: God; the sum of all the different goods that “we either possess... or have the power to acquire” ; free will; virtue; love of God; wisdom; and supernatural beatitude. In this paper, I argue that each of these answers, in Descartes’s view, provides the correct particular conception, relative to a distinct sense or concept of the highest good. (...) Just as there are seven different conceptions of the highest good, according to Descartes, there are thus also seven different senses or concepts of the highest good. (shrink)
In this theoretical expose, it is argued that the notion of argumentative style is more encompassing and at the same time more specific than the more familiar notion of linguistic style. According to van Eemeren, argumentative styles always have three dimensions: the selection of standpoints, starting-points, arguments or other argumentative moves, the adjustment of argumentative moves to the frame of reference and preferences of the listeners or readers, and the choice of verbal or non-verbal means for advancing argumentative moves. In (...) argumentative discourse, the three dimensions of argumentative style manifest themselves in the argumentative moves made in trying to resolve a difference of opinion, the dialectical routes chosen in making these argumentative moves and the strategic considerations brought to bear in this endeavour. Van Eemeren explains what this means in practice by discussing the distinctive features of the three dimensions of two general categories of argumentative styles that can be regularly encountered, in one variant or other, in argumentative discourse: detached argumentative styles and engaged argumentative styles. (shrink)
Que peuvent bien attendre les psychiatres, les psychothérapeutes, les psychologues, et avant tout leurs patients, de la Daseinsanalyse? On tentera de répondre à cette question en partant ici du trait distinctif qui fonde la singularité de la Daseinsanalyse : inscrire toute réflexion et toute pratique médicale dans le cadre d’une méditation ontologique en direction du mode d’être de l’homme. En effet, une conviction, issue de l’œuvre de Heidegger domine la Daseinsanalyse : l’homme n’est pas une chose mais un Dasein, un (...) existant, un être qui est dans son être ouverture à l’être. Qu’il s’agisse de la mélancolie, de la manie, des troubles obsessionnels compulsifs, de la dépression ou de la schizophrénie, la description de ces pathologies comme leur traitement ne sauraient en effet demeurer les mêmes selon que l’on considère celui qui en souffre comme un être neuronal, un composé de forces physicochimiques, une psyché dominée par des conflits inconscients ou comme un Dasein. (shrink)
According to van Eemeren, argumentation theory is a hybrid discipline, because it requires a multidisciplinary, if not interdisciplinary approach, combining descriptive and normative insights. He points out that modern argumentation theorists give substance to the discipline by relying either on a dialectical perspective, concentrating on the reasonableness of argumentation, or on a rhetorical perspective, concentrating on its effectiveness. Both the dialectical and the rhetorical perspective are interpreted in ways related to how they were viewed by Aristotle, but in modern argumentation (...) theory the relationship between the two, captured in Aristotle’s term antistrophos, is lost. According to van Eemeren, this relationship, which he considers crucial to a full-fledged argumentation theory, has been recovered in extended pragma-dialectics with the help of the theoretical notion of ‘strategic manoeuvring.’. (shrink)
Attention is given to a background idea that is often invoked in discussions about reasonable partiality: the idea of a moral division of labour. It is not only a right, but also a duty for professionals to attend (almost) exclusively to the interests of their own clients, because their partial activities are part of an impartial scheme providing for an allocation of professional help to all clients. To clarify that idea, a difference is made between two kinds of division of (...) labour, a technical one and a social one. In order to assess the applicability of the idea of a moral division of labour to professional ethics, journalism is contrasted with other professions. (shrink)
How, asks Françoise Dastur, can philosophy account for the sudden happening and the factuality of the event? Dastur asks how phenomenology, in particular the work of Heidegger, Husserl, and Merleau-Ponty, may be interpreted as offering such an account. She argues that the "paradoxical capacity of expecting surprise is always in question in phenomenology," and for this reason, she concludes, "We should not oppose phenomenology and the thinking of the event. We should connect them; openness to phenomena must be (...) identified with openness to unpredictability." The article offers reflections in these terms on a phenomenology of birth. (shrink)
Although there is a consensus among philosophers of mathematics and mathematicians that mathematical explanations exist, only a few authors have proposed accounts of explanation in mathematics. These accounts fit into the unificationist or top-down approach to explanation. We argue that these models can be complemented by a bottom-up approach to explanation in mathematics. We introduce the mechanistic model of explanation in science and discuss the possibility of using this model in mathematics, arguing that using it does not presuppose a Platonist (...) view of mathematics and allows one to gain insight into why a theorem is true by answering what-if-things-had-been-different questions. (shrink)
One of the central aims of the philosophical analysis of mathematical explanation is to determine how one can distinguish explanatory proofs from non-explanatory proofs. In this paper, I take a closer look at the current status of the debate, and what the challenges for the philosophical analysis of explanatory proofs are. In order to provide an answer to these challenges, I suggest we start from analysing the concept understanding. More precisely, I will defend four claims: understanding is a condition for (...) explanation, unificatory understanding is a type of explanatory understanding, unificatory understanding is valuable in mathematics, and mathematical proofs can contribute to unificatory understanding. As a result, in a context where the epistemic aim is to unify mathematical results, I argue it is fruitful to make a distinction between proofs based on their explanatory value. (shrink)
During the past thirty years the pragma-dialectical theorizing has developed in various steps from designing an abstract ideal model for critical discussion to examining strategic manoeuvring in the various argumentative activity types in which argumentative discourse manifests itself in argumentative reality. The response to the theoretical proposals that have been made includes, next to approval, also various kinds of criticisms. This paper explores the nature and thrust of these criticisms. In doing so, a distinction is made between criticisms concerning the (...) dialectical and the pragmatic dimensions of pragma-dialectics, the scope of the theory, the rhetorical dimension and moral quality, the treatment of the fallacies, and the epistemic dimension. (shrink)
How do Dutch people let each other know that they disagree? What do they say when they want to resolve their difference of opinion by way of an argumentative discussion? In what way do they convey that they are convinced by each other’s argumentation? How do they criticize each other’s argumentative moves? Which words and expressions do they use in these endeavors? By answering these questions this short essay provides a brief inventory of the language of argumentation in Dutch.
How, asks Françoise Dastur, can philosophy account for the sudden happening and the factuality of the event? Dastur asks how phenomenology, in particular the work of Heidegger, Husserl, and Merleau-Ponty, may be interpreted as offering such an account. She argues that the “paradoxical capacity of expecting surprise is always in question in phenomenology,” and for this reason, she concludes, “We should not oppose phenomenology and the thinking of the event. We should connect them; openness to phenomena must be (...) identified with openness to unpredictability.” The article offers reflections in these terms on a phenomenology of birth. (shrink)
The introduction of the concept of strategic maneuvering into the pragma-dialectical theory makes it possible to formulate testable hypotheses regarding the persuasiveness of argumentative moves that are made in argumentative discourse. After summarizing the standard pragma-dialectical approach to argumentation, van Eemeren, Garssen, and Meuffels explain what the extension of the pragma-dialectical approach with strategic maneuvering involves and discuss the fallacies in terms of the extended pragma-dialectical approach as derailments of strategic maneuvering. Then they give an empirical interpretation of the extended (...) pragma-dialectical model in which they report the testing of three hypotheses which formulate preliminary conditions for effectiveness research within the framework of the extended pragma-dialectical theory and the results of the tests they consecutively carried out. (shrink)
Recently, there has been a heavy debate in the US about the government’s use of data mining in its fight against terrorism. Privacy concerns in fact led the Congress to terminate the funding of TIA, a program for advanced information technology to be used in the combat of terrorism. The arguments put forward in this debate, more specifically those found in the main report and minority report by the TAPAC established by the Secretary of Defense to examine the TIA issue, (...) will be analysed to trace the deeper roots of this controversy. This analysis will in turn be used as a test case to examine the adequacy of the usual theoretical frameworks for these kinds of issues, in particular the notion of privacy. Whereas the dominant theoretical framing of the notion of privacy turns around access to information, most of the core arguments in the debate do not fit in this kind of framework. The basic disagreements in the controversy are not about mere access, they involve both access and use. Furthermore, whereas the issue of access by itself refers to a more or less static situation, the real disagreements much more concern the organisational dynamics of the use of information, the mechanisms in the organisation that control these dynamics, and the awareness present within the organisation of the ‘social risks’ these dynamics represent. The bottom line question is whether the assessment of these gives sufficient reason for trust. (shrink)
"It is a real joy to be guided by Francoise Dastur in a reading of Heidegger's Being and Time, one of the greatest books of this century. With an exceptional competence, rigorous analysis, and a great clarity of expression, she first undertakes to reconstruct the very meaning of the ontological question for which the investigation of temporality provides a preliminary answer." --Paul Ricoeur.