How do conceptions of the literary author change throughout history, and how do they function in specific contexts? The present volume aims to investigate debates on the concept of authorship as a struggle of participants - writers, critics, and scholars - over different conceptions of interpretation. In this struggle all kinds of literary and non-literary norms appear to be at stake. The volume compares the time span around 1900 and 2000, and contrasts the French situation with conditions in other cultures (...) and 'minor literatures'. It addresses the following questions: how did the processes of group-constitution, professionalisation, and (de-)autonomisation of authorship around 1900 and 2000 offer new positionings and roles for writers, and affect conceptions of the author? To what extent can such conceptions of authorship - projected or defended by writers as well as by critics and scholars - be analysed as strategies to claim and legitimise a position in the literary field, respectively in the scholarly field? What light does the analysis of debates about authorship shed on how the social, political or moral relevance of both literature and criticism are defined and defended? (shrink)
There is great skepticism about the admittance of expert normative ethics testimony into evidence. However, a practical analysis of the way ethics testimony has been used in courts of law reveals that the skeptical position is itself based on assumptions that are controversial. We argue for an alternative way to understand such expert testimony. This alternative understanding is based on the practice of clinical ethics.
The familiar issue of corporate social responsibility takes on a new topic. Added to the list of concerns from affirmative action and environmental integrity is their growing contributions to education. At first glance, the efforts may appear to be ordinary gestures of communal good will in terms of providing computers, sponsoring book covers, and interactive materials provided by Scholastic Magazine. A closer view reveals a targeted market of student life who are vulnerable to commercials placed in these formats. Among the (...) most effective corporate intervention is Channel One News. It offers a newsworthy show but with mandatory commercial viewing. This increasing trend of corporations intervening to assist schools that need more money and/or equipment is disingenuous.In this essay, I present the background of this commercialization of education and demonstrate the violations against student autonomy and integrity. Although there may be utilitarian merits to some interventions, I argue that these infringe upon the moral value of personhood. Advertising in schools in its current practice is immoral on deontological grounds. (shrink)
Dr Agich takes up a previous difficult case related by Dr Kottow in an earlier issue of the Journal. He analyses the three ethical problems as presented in the case and offers his own opinion of it as well as his own conclusions with regard to the medical ethical aspects of it. Unlike Dr Kottow, Dr Agich's reading of the case indicates that the application of the principle of informed consent does not rule out ethical decisions for the physician, but (...) emphasizes the relevance of ethical analysis beyond the issue of informed consent. (shrink)
This article is an attempt to clarify a confusion in the brain death literature between logical sufficiency/necessity and natural sufficiency/necessity. We focus on arguments that draw conclusions regarding empirical matters of fact from conceptual or ontological definitions. Specifically, we critically analyze arguments by Tom Tomlinson and Michael B. Green and Daniel Wikler. which, respectively, confuse logical and natural sufficiency and logical and natural necessity. Our own conclusion is that it is especially important in discussing the brain death issue to observe (...) the distinction between logical and natural sufficiency/necessity in a strict fashion. (shrink)
This carefully crafted volume concludes the series of works that began with Cultural Thematics. Seung's primary aim is to go beyond the malaise of post-New Critical studies and to reinstate the centrality of contextual understanding in the interpretation of the structure and meaning of a text. In his introductory discussion of "Text and Context" the author undermines the claims of the objectivity of a text, textual solipsism and textual agnosticism in a manner that recalls the previous arguments in philosophy concerning (...) our knowledge of the external world. Starting with an analysis of textual indeterminacy, Seung ranges over a variety of relevant conceptions of the interpretation of a text, touching upon the works of E. D. Hirsch, Schleiermacher, Cleanth Brooks, Dilthey, Gadamer, and others. In a fairly technical chapter, "Semantics and Pragmatics," the distinctions between formal semantics and informal pragmatics are clearly discussed. An analysis of the pragmatic use of language leads to detailed and informative discussions of pragmatic norms, pragmatic functions, and the relevance of authorial intention for an understanding of a given text. Simplifying Seung's lucid and disciplined arguments, it is shown that a proper understanding of a text requires a grasp of the holistic culture in which it is presented, as well as an understanding of regnant cultural themes. Enriched by interpretations of the Odyssey, Oedipus Rex, the Aeneid, Dante's Commedia, and other literary works, Seung displays the art of contextual interpretation in accordance with his own principles. Of special interest is the presentation of the importance of textual coherence for significant textual interpretations. The various analyses of the role of thematics in the understanding of literature in historical context lead to sympathetic appraisals of Gadamer's hermeneutic program and a brief defence of Gadamer against the charge of falling into an historicist relativity. Finally, Seung concludes his illuminating study with a sketch of a cultural morphology that resembles, in embryo, Hegel's phenomenology of culture. This is no accident, insofar as Seung presents, in his concluding outline of the interaction of cultural themes, an admitted variation on Hegel's dialectical theme. By even finding a place for the "existential dimension of thematic dialectic," the author manages to negate and preserve the solipsism of the reader and give recognition virtually to every relevant aspect of a complex hermeneutic process.--G. J. Stack, SUNY College at Brockport. (shrink)
This book offers the first historical treatment and analytic analysis of the problem of the criterion. It provides analyses of the ancient and modern characterizations of the problem and a resolution of each. My purpose is to show that there are at least two versions of the problem, one posed by a Pyrrhonian sceptic and one by a dogmatic sceptic. I show that both versions have a dissolution. Then, by examining the presuppositions of the dogmatic sceptic, I demonstrate that the (...) sceptic's position is self-undermining. I argue that meta-epistemological scepticism is much less reasonable than some forms of meta-epistemic cognitivism. (shrink)
Moral dissensus is a distinct feature of our time. This is not only true of our post-modern culture in general, but also of business culture specifically. In this paper I start by explaining how modernist rationality has produced moral dissensus without offering any hope of bringing an end to it in the foreseeable future. Opting for a form of post-modernist rationality as the only viable way of dealing with moral dissensus, I then make an analysis of a number of ways (...) proposed by both specialists in the field of business ethics, as well as philosophers to deal with moral decision-making in this situation of moral dissensus. The conclusion reached is that none of these attempts succeeds in coming to terms with moral dissensus. I then formulate an alternative approach to moral decision-making which I call: Rational interaction for moral sensitivity. After explaining this approach, I defend it against some of the most obvious objections that might be raised against it in a business environment. When you''re talking birth control, what blocks it and freezes it out is that it''s not a matter of more or fewer babies being argued. That''s just on the surface. What''s underneath is a conflict of faith, of faith in empirical social planning versus faith in the authority of God as revealed by the teachings of the Catholic Church. You can prove the practicality of planned parenthood till you get tired of listening to yourself and it''s going to get nowhere because your antagonist isn''t buying the assumption that anything socially practical is good per se. Goodness for him has other sources which he values as much as or more than social practicality. (Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.). (shrink)