Remarkably accessible, Affective Intelligence and Political Judgment urges social scientists to move beyond the idealistic notion of the purely rational citizen to form a more complete, realistic model that includes the emotional side of ...
This article shows how, in recent works of cultural analysis, the concept of ‘assemblage’ has been been derived from key sources of theory and put to work to provide a structure-like surrogate to express certain prominent values of a modernist sensibility in the discourse of description and analysis. Assemblage is a sort of anti-structural concept that permits the researcher to speak of emergence, heterogeneity, the decentred and the ephemeral in nonetheless ordered social life. There are other related concepts, like collage, (...) which have been used to give these values substance in research, but currently assemblage is enjoying a popularity perhaps because of the continuing fascination of the work of Deleuze and Guattari. (shrink)
The theory of affective intelligence dichotomizes challenging situations into threatening and risky ones. When people perceive a familiar threat, they tend to be dogmatic and partisan, since they are mobilizing decisive action based on habitual behaviors and nearly instinctual perceptions that have proved their worth in similar situations. When facing a novel risk, however, people tend to become more open‐minded and deliberative, since old solutions do not apply. An experiment with students' reactions to challenges to their opinions about a divisive (...) political issue suggests that, indeed, democratic citizens display the different competencies that are demanded by these two different types of situation. The actual conduct of political campaigns, too, can be expected to reflect the differences between trying to guard against defections from one's side by encouraging the appearance of routine partisan combat, and trying to promote defections from the other side by prompting anxiety, hence open‐minded deliberation. (shrink)
This article is concerned with the literal and metaphoric senses in which anthropology's accumulation of knowledge through the production of ethnography on the world's peoples can be considered an archive. The relevance of this concept to ethnography has a very different past, present, and emergent associations. The Human Area Relations Files project as visionary science dependent on the making of an archive of ethnography contrasts with the uses of the past ethnographic record in the pursuit of contemporary fieldwork in a (...) so-called postmodern world. (shrink)
This book offers a re-examination of the evidence about citizens' capacity for self-governance and what it means for the future of democratic politics, from both empirical and normative perspectives. Are ordinary citizens capable of governing themselves? For more than three decades, social scientists have accumulated evidence of the undemocratic propensities of many ordinary citizens. This has caused some to worry about the stability of existing democratic institutions, while others argue that the institutions themselves are the problem: politics needs to be (...) democratized further, giving citizens more opportunities to practice democratic politics and acquire democratic values. The thirty-three contributors to this volume enter this debate with new evidence on citizens' capacity for deliberative politics. They argue that previous methods of investigation significantly underestimate people's ability to govern themselves, and that the prospects for democracy are better than conventional wisdom suggests. Realization of these prospects will depend on citizens grasping the interplay of emotions and reason in political life, creating new opportunities for citizen deliberation, and reinvigorating the institutions of representative government. Theories of democracy in turn will have to accommodate this changing reality as citizens show themselves to be self-determining in their political activities. (shrink)
This book challenges the conventional wisdom that improving democratic politics requires keeping emotion out of it. Marcus advances the provocative claim that the tradition in democratic theory of treating emotion and reason as hostile opposites is misguided and leads contemporary theorists to misdiagnose the current state of American democracy. Instead of viewing the presence of emotion in politics as a failure of rationality and therefore as a failure of citizenship, Marcus argues, democratic theorists need to understand that emotions (...) are in fact a prerequisite for the exercise of reason and thus essential for rational democratic deliberation and political judgment. Attempts to purge emotion from public life not only are destined to fail, but ultimately would rob democracies of a key source of revitalization and change. Drawing on recent research in neuroscience, Marcus shows how emotion functions generally and what role it plays in politics. In contrast to the traditional view of emotion as a form of agitation associated with belief, neuroscience reveals it to be generated by brain systems that operate largely outside of awareness. Two of these systems, "disposition" and "surveillance," are especially important in enabling emotions to produce habits, which often serve a positive function in democratic societies. But anxiety, also a preconscious emotion, is crucial to democratic politics as well because it can inhibit or disable habits and thus clear a space for the conscious use of reason and deliberation. If we acknowledge how emotion facilitates reason and is "cooperatively entangled" with it, Marcus concludes, then we should recognize sentimental citizens as the only citizens really capable of exercising political judgment and of putting their decisions into action. (shrink)
One of the major assumptions of John Zaller's RAS model of public opinion is that people need explicit cues from partisan elites in order to evaluate persuasive messages. This puts the public in the position of a passive audience, unable to scrutinize information or make independent decisions. However, there is evidence that people can, under some circumstances, evaluate and use information independently of elite cues. Thus, patterns of public opinion in the months before the Iraq war are inconsistent with the (...) predictions of Zaller's model. While the RAS model usually accounts for the dynamics of public opinion quite well, the situations in which it fails provide us with critical insights into the limits of elite influence. (shrink)
George Karamanolis breaks new ground in the study of later ancient philosophy by examining the interplay of the two main schools of thought, Platonism and Aristotelianism, from the first century BC to the third century AD. Arguing against prevailing scholarly assumption, he argues that the Platonists turned to Aristotle only in order to elucidate Plato's doctrines and to reconstruct Plato's philosophy, and that they did not hesitate to criticize Aristotle when judging him to be at odds with Plato. Karamanolis (...) offers much food for thought to ancient philosophers and classicists. (shrink)
Past research has identified a number of asymmetries based on moral judgments. Beliefs about what a person values, whether a person is happy, whether a person has shown weakness of will, and whether a person deserves praise or blame seem to depend critically on whether participants themselves find the agent's behavior to be morally good or bad. To date, however, the origins of these asymmetries remain unknown. The present studies examine whether beliefs about an agent's “true self” explain these observed (...) asymmetries based on moral judgment. Using the identical materials from previous studies in this area, a series of five experiments indicate that people show a general tendency to conclude that deep inside every individual there is a “true self” calling him or her to behave in ways that are morally virtuous. In turn, this belief causes people to hold different intuitions about what the agent values, whether the agent is happy, whether he or she has shown weakness of will, and whether he or she deserves praise or blame. These results not only help to answer important questions about how people attribute various mental states to others; they also contribute to important theoretical debates regarding how moral values may shape our beliefs about phenomena that, on the surface, appear to be decidedly non-moral in nature. (shrink)
The Ideal of a Rational Morality collects the most important essays by the distinguished moral philosopher Marcus G. Singer. Its guiding theme is the concept of a morality based in reason, which is presupposed in ordinary moral contexts and provides an ideal for improving ordinary morality and correcting moral judgements. Singer makes compelling claims that certain fundamental presuppositions are inescapable in moral thought, that fundamental moral principles can be proved, and that the concepts of truth and 'common sense' are (...) essential to ethics.Subsequent essays proceed to analyse the nature of value judgements and of moral judgements, emphasising the vital importance of certain basic distinctions. There is a discussion of race and racism, presenting new ideas about the nature of both. The relation of law to morality is considered, as are the relations between moral judgements of individual persons and the actions and moral judgements of institutions, leading to an examination of the relations between moral issues and social problems. A particularly well-known essay on the Golden Rule is reproduced, where Singer's analysis shows it to be applicable and defensible as it stands, and finally the nature of happiness is explored through a discussion of John Stuart Mill's moral philosophy.Each essay is supplemented by a set of Additional Notes and Comments, with supplementary pieces and response to criticisms. The Ideal of a Rational Morality will be fascinating reading for anybody seeking rigour and clarity in ethical issues. (shrink)
The Twin Earth thought experiment invites us to consider a liquid that has all of the superficial properties associated with water (clear, potable, etc.) but has entirely different deeper causal properties (composed of “XYZ” rather than of H2O). Although this thought experiment was originally introduced to illuminate questions in the theory of reference, it has also played a crucial role in empirically informed debates within the philosophy of psychology about people’s ordinary natural kind concepts. Those debates have sought to accommodate (...) an apparent fact about ordinary people’s judgments: Intuitively, the Twin Earth liquid is not water. We present results from four experiments showing that people do not, in fact, have this intuition. Instead, people tend to have the intuition that there is a sense in which the liquid is not water but also a sense in which it is water. We explore the implications of this finding for debates about theories of natural kind concepts, arguing that it supports views positing two distinct criteria for membership in natural kind categories – one based on deeper causal properties, the other based on superficial, observable properties. (shrink)
This paper examines people's reasoning about identity continuity and its relation to previous research on how people value one-of-a-kind artifacts, such as artwork. We propose that judgments about the continuity of artworks are related to judgments about the continuity of individual persons because art objects are seen as physical extensions of their creators. We report a reanalysis of previous data and the results of two new empirical studies that test this hypothesis. The first study demonstrates that the mere categorization of (...) an object as “art” versus “a tool” changes people's intuitions about the persistence of those objects over time. In a second study, we examine some conditions that may lead artworks to be thought of as different from other artifacts. These observations inform both current understanding of what makes some objects one-of-a-kind as well as broader questions regarding how people intuitively think about the persistence of human agents. (shrink)
The present studies investigated children’s and adults’ intuitive beliefs about the physical nature of essences. Adults and children (ranging in age from 6 to 10 years old) were asked to reason about two different ways of determining an unknown object’s category: taking a tiny internal sample from any part of the object (distributed view of essence), or taking a sample from one specific region (localized view of essence). Results from three studies indicated that adults strongly endorsed the distributed view, and (...) children showed a developmental shift from a localized to distributed view with increasing age. These results suggest that even children go beyond mere placeholder notions of essence, committing to conceptual frameworks of how essences might be physically instantiated. (shrink)
A new theory of vision -- A treatise concerning the principles of human knowledge (part i) -- Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous -- An essay on motion -- Alciphron, or, The minute philosopher (excerpts) -- Siris: a chain of philosophical reflexions and inquiries concerning the virtues of tar-water (excerpts).