Flesh of My Flesh is a collection of articles by today's most respected scientists, philosophers, bioethicists, theologians, and law professors about whether we should allow human cloning. It includes historical pieces to provide background for the current debate. Religious, philosophical, and legal points of view are all represented.
Baumard et al. argue that partner choice leads to fairness and mutualism, which then form the basis for morality. I comment that mutualism takes us only so far, and I apply the theory of competitive altruism in arguing how strategic investment in behaviours which make one a desirable partner may drive moral conduct.
The publication in 1957 of the Wolfenden Report occasioned a celebrated controversy in which profound theoretical issues concerning the relation between law and morality, and the legal enforcement of morality were discussed. The principal disputants were Lord Justice Devlin and Professor H. L. A. Hart. It is by now well known that the main recommendation of the Wolfenden Report was the reform of the criminal law so that homosexual behaviour in private between consenting male adults should no longer be a (...) criminal offence. As homosexual behaviour in Christendom was at the outset punishable in the ecclesiastical courts, and subsequently, with the demise of the ecclesiastical courts, in the secular courts, the Wolfenden recommendation on homosexuality marked a major departure from the prevailing state of affairs in which the precepts of Christian morality, especially relating to sexual morals, were at first enforced by the ecclesiastical courts, and then by the secular courts. (shrink)
In this article I propose to discuss some recent theological contributions to the problem of the historicity of the Gospels, and I wish to suggest that philosophical issues may ultimately be relevant to its solution.
This book offers original accounts of a number of central social phenomena, many of which have received little if any prior philosophical attention. These phenomena include social groups, group languages, acting together, collective belief, mutual recognition, and social convention. In the course of developing her analyses Gilbert discusses the work of Emile Durkheim, Georg Simmel, Max Weber, David Lewis, among others.
Margaret Gilbert offers an incisive new approach to a classic problem of political philosophy: when and why should I do what the law tells me to do? Do I have special obligations to conform to the laws of my own country and if so, why? In what sense, if any, must I fight in wars in which my country is engaged, if ordered to do so, or suffer the penalty for law-breaking the law imposes - including the death penalty? (...)Gilbert's accessible book offers a provocative and compelling case in favour of citizens' obligations to the state, while examining how these can be squared with self-interest and other competing considerations. (shrink)
This new essay collection by distinguished philosopher Margaret Gilbert provides a richly textured argument for the importance of joint commitment in our personal and public lives. Topics covered by this diverse range of essays range from marital love to patriotism, from promissory obligation to the unity of the European Union.
One of the most distinguished living social philosophers, Margaret Gilbert develops and extends her application of plural subject theory of human sociality, first introduced in her earlier works On Social Facts and Living Together. Sociality and Responsibility presents an extended discussion of her proposal that joint commitments inherently involve obligations and rights, proposing, in effect, a new theory of obligations and rights. In addition, it demonstrates the extensive range and fruitfulness of plural subject theory by presenting accounts of social (...) rules, scientific change, political obligation, collective remorse, collective guilt, shared intention and an important class of rights and obligations. (shrink)
Life, on a day to day basis, is a sequence of emotional states: hope, disappointment, irritation, anger, affection, envy, pride, embarrassment, joy, sadness and many more. We know intuitively that these states express deep things about our character and our view of the world. But what are emotions and why are they so important to us? In one of the most extensive investigations of the emotions ever published, Robert Roberts develops a novel conception of what emotions are and then (...) applies it to a large range of types of emotion and related phenomena. In so doing he lays the foundations for a deeper understanding of our evaluative judgments, our actions, our personal relationships and our fundamental well-being. Aimed principally at philosophers and psychologists, this book will certainly be accessible to readers in other disciplines such as religion and anthropology. (shrink)
This article will compare and contrast two very different accounts of convention: the game-theoretical account of Lewis in Convention, and the account initially proposed by Margaret Gilbert (the present author) in chapter six of On Social Facts, and further elaborated here. Gilbert’s account is not a variant of Lewis’s. It was arrived at in part as the result of a detailed critique of Lewis’s account in relation to a central everyday concept of a social convention. An account of (...) convention need not be judged by that standard. Perhaps it reveals the nature of an important phenomenon. Looked at in that light, these very different accounts are not incompatible. Indeed, neither should be ignored if one is seeking to understand the way in which human beings arrive at some degree of social order. (shrink)
George Berkeley notoriously claimed that his immaterialist metaphysics was not only consistent with common sense but that it was also integral to its defense. Roberts argues that understanding the basic connection between Berkeley's philosophy and common sense requires that we develop a better understanding of the four principle components of Berkeley's positive metaphysics: The nature of being, the divine language thesis, the active/passive distinction, and the nature of spirits. Roberts begins by focusing on Berkeley's view of the nature (...) of being. He elucidates Berkeley's view on Locke and the Cartesians and by examining Berkeley's views about related concepts such as unity and simplicity. From there he moves on to Berkeley's philosophy of language arguing that scrutiny of the famous "Introduction" to the Principles of Human Knowledge reveals that Berkeley identified the ideational theory of meaning and understanding as the root cause of some of the worst of man's intellectual errors, not "abstract ideas." Abstract ideas are, rather, the most debilitating symptom of this underlying ailment. In place of the ideational theory, Berkeley defends a rudimentary "use theory" of meaning. This understanding of Berkeley's approach to semantics is then applied to the divine language thesis and is shown to have important consequences for Berkeley's pragmatic approach to the ontology of natural objects and for his approach to our knowledge of, and relation to other minds, including God's. Turning next to Berkeley's much aligned account of spirits, the author defends the coherence of Berkeley's view of spirits by way of providing an interpretation of the active/passive distinction as marking a normative distinction and by focusing on the role that divine language plays in letting Berkeley identify the soul with the will. With these four principles of Berkeley's philosophy in hand, he then returns to the topic of common sense and offers a defense of Berkeley's philosophy as built upon and expressive of the deepest metaphysical commitments of mainstream Christianity. Roberts' reappraisal of this important figure should appeal to all historians of philosophy as well as scholars in metaphysics and philosophy of language. (shrink)
Philosophers of education have had a longstanding interest in the nature and value of reason. Literature can provide an important source of insight in addressing questions in this area. One writer who is especially helpful in this regard is Fyodor Dostoevsky. In this essay Peter Roberts provides an educational reading of Dostoevsky's highly influential shorter novel, Notes from Underground. This novel was Dostoevsky's critical response to the emerging philosophy of rational egoism. In this close reading of Notes from Underground, (...)Roberts compares rational egoism with neoliberalism, analyzes the experiences of the central character (the Underground Man), and considers the need for harmony in our educational development as reasoning, feeling, and willing beings. (shrink)
Three kinds of emotional consciousness are distinguished in this article: feeling awareness, intellectual awareness, and bare awareness. All are important to three moral properties that emotions may have: epistemic, practical, and relational. The bulk of this article is devoted to the third dimension of moral value, that emotions are constitutive of personal relationships such as friendship, enmity, good and bad parenthood, and collegiality. The conception of emotions as concern-based construals (Roberts, 2003) is put to work to explain how felt (...) and intellectually conscious emotions are constitutive of the qualities of such relationships. The relational value of emotions interacts with their epistemic and practical values. (shrink)
What is the opposite of freedom? In _Freedom as Marronage_, Neil Roberts answers this question with definitive force: slavery, and from there he unveils powerful new insights on the human condition as it has been understood between these poles. Crucial to his investigation is the concept of marronage—a form of slave escape that was an important aspect of Caribbean and Latin American slave systems. Examining this overlooked phenomenon—one of action from slavery and toward freedom—he deepens our understanding of freedom (...) itself and the origin of our political ideals. Roberts examines the liminal and transitional space of slave escape in order to develop a theory of freedom as marronage, which contends that freedom is fundamentally located within this space—that it is a form of perpetual flight. He engages a stunning variety of writers, including Hannah Arendt, W. E. B. Du Bois, Angela Davis, Frederick Douglass, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and the Rastafari, among others, to develop a compelling lens through which to interpret the quandaries of slavery, freedom, and politics that still confront us today. The result is a sophisticated, interdisciplinary work that unsettles the ways we think about freedom by always casting it in the light of its critical opposite. (shrink)
Looking at the emergence recently of a New Hegelianism (Badiou, Bhaskar, Jameson, Žižek), in which Hegel’s dialectic is variously reassessed for its political and philosophical resistance to the prevailing ‘weak nihilisms’ of left and right, I argue with Žižek and Jameson against Badiou and Bhaskar for Hegel as, essentially, a philosopher of the ‘productive return’ and failure. In this sense, what emerges is a picture of Hegel as a profoundly nonlinear historical thinker, in which loss, dissolution, breakdown and the excremental (...) prevail. This means that the received notion of Hegel as a crude historicist is deeply problematic. But, more importantly, it means that Hegelian dialectic can find a renewed anti-teleological and non-synchronistic identity within the Marxist tradition. Content Type Journal Article Category Article Pages 72-98 Authors John Roberts, University of Wolverhampton Journal Journal of Critical Realism Online ISSN 1572-5138 Print ISSN 1476-7430 Journal Volume Volume 12 Journal Issue Volume 12, Number 1 / 2013. (shrink)
Gilbert’s four modes of communication include the logical, the emotional, the visceral and the kisceral, which last has not received much attention at all. This mode covers the forms of argument that rely on intuition and undefended basal assumptions. These forms range from the scientific and mathematical to the religious and mystical. In this paper these forms will be examined, and suggestions made for ways in which intuitive frameworks can be compared and valued.
Ever since 1942, when Carl Hempel declared that historical events are explained by subsuming them under laws governing the occurrence of similar events, philosophers have debated the validity of explanations based on "covering laws." In _The Logic of Historical Explanation_, Clayton Roberts provides a key to understanding the role of covering laws in historical explanation. He does so by distinguishing between their use at the macro- and micro- levels, a distinction that no other scholar has made. Roberts contends (...) that the positivists were right to believe that covering laws are indispensable in historical explanations but wrong to think that these laws apply to macro-events. Similarly, the humanists were right to declare that historians do not explain the occurrence of macro-events by subsuming them under covering laws but wrong to deny the role of covering laws in tracing the course of events leading to the macro-event. Roberts resolves this debate by showing that, though useless in explaining macro-events, covering laws are indispensable in connecting the steps in an explanatory narrative. He then sets forth the logic of an explanatory narrative, explores the nature of rational explanation, and distinguishes the logic of historical interpretation from the logic of historical explanation. (shrink)
David V. Ciavatta: Spirit, the family, and the unconscious in Hegel’s philosophy Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-5 DOI 10.1007/s11007-012-9222-0 Authors Bruce Gilbert, Bishop’s University, Sherbrooke (Lennoxville), QC, Canada Journal Continental Philosophy Review Online ISSN 1573-1103 Print ISSN 1387-2842.
This lucid and original book offers a detailed and critical exposition of German metaphysics and philosophy of logic during the past century. Julian Roberts sets his argument in the context of the current debate between "analytical" and "continental" philosophers. the book centers on the problem of reflection—exploration of the boundaries of rationality, or of the "limits of thought"—which Roberts claims lies at the heart of both traditions. Roberts concentrates on the work of Frege, Wittengenstein, Husserl, the Erlangen (...) School, and Habermas. In the course of his examination, however, he also considers philosophers ranging from Russell and Quine to Putnam and Heidegger. Roberts argues that the technical advances of modern logic have not, as is sometimes believed by analytical thinkers, generated uniquely modern problems that can only be dealt with by a correspondingly modernist philosophy, for the problem of reflection was already at the heart of Kant's critical project and of his confrontation with Leibniz. If we recover this earlier debate, says Roberts, we can develop a more adequate understanding not merely of its echoes in the twentieth century, but of the role and contribution of metaphysics and of philosophy in general. (shrink)
That the pattern into which Lentricchia seeks to assimilate Stevens is politically charged becomes clearest when we turn to the following oddly incomprehensible statement: “In the literary culture that Stevens would create, the ‘phallic’ would not have been the curse word of some recent feminist criticism but the name of a limited, because male, respect for literature” . At the point where he makes this assertion, Lentricchia has been persuasively demonstrating that Stevens was “encouraged … to fantasize the potential social (...) authority of the literary as phallic authority” . But suddenly the critic’s measured discourse is disrupted by obviously personal feelings about the “curse word of some recent feminist criticism” and by a dazzlingly illogical definition of “respect for literature.” Such a disruption suggests that, in making his apparently objective argument about Stevens, Lentricchia has some other not so hidden agenda—and, of course, his peculiar decision to link his discussion of Stevens with an attack on The Madwoman in the Attic further supports this conclusion. What most strikingly reinforces the point, however, is the hysterical—or perhaps, with some recent feminist linguists, we should say “testerical”—rhetoric in which he couches his assault on our work.14 14. The term “testeria,” for male “hysteria,” is proposed by Juli Loesch in “Testeria and Penisolence—A Scourge to Humankind,” Aphra: The Feminist Literary Magazine, 4, 1 : 43-45; quoted in Casey Miller and Kate Swift, Words and Women: New Language in New Times , pp. 60-61. Sandra M. Gilbert, professor of English at Princeton University, and Susan Gubar, professor of English at Indiana University, are coauthors of No Man’s Land: The Place of the Woman Writer in the Twentieth Century, Volume I: The War of the Words , the first installment of a three-part sequel to their Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination . They have also coedited The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women: The Tradition in English. (shrink)
There is a striking difference, however, between the ways female and male modernists define and describe literal or figurative costumes. Balancing self against mask, true garment against false costume, Yeats articulates a perception of himself and his place in society that most other male modernists share, even those who experiment more radically with costume as metaphor. But female modernists like Woolf, together with their post-modernist heirs, imagine costumes of the mind with much greater irony and ambiguity, in part because women's (...) clothing is more closely connected with the pressures and oppressions of gender and in part because women have far more to gain from the identification of costume with self or gender. Because clothing powerfully defines sex roles, both overt and covert fantasies of transvestism are often associated with the intensified clothes consciousness expressed by these writers. But although such imagery is crucially important in works by Joyce, Lawrence, and Eliot on the one hand, and in works by Barnes, Woolf, and H. D. on the other, it functions very differently for male modernists from the way it operates for female modernists.Sandra M. Gilbert, professor of English at the University of California at Davis, is the author of Acts of Attention: The Poems of D.H. Lawrence and In the Fourth World; the coauthor, with Susan Gubar, of The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination, and its sequel, No Man's Land: The Woman Writer and the Twentieth-Century Literary Imagination. (shrink)
Historiography in a metaphysical mode Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-17 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9524-6 Authors Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent, CETCOPRA/Université Paris 1-Panthéon-Sorbonne, 17 Rue de la Sorbonne, 75231 Paris Cedex05, France Jan Golinski, Department of History, University of New Hampshire, 20 Academic Way, Durham, NH 03824, USA Lissa L. Roberts, Department of Science, Technology and Policy Studies (STePS), University of Twente, Postbox 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands John McEvoy, Department of Philosophy, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA Journal Metascience Online (...) ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796. (shrink)
Book Review Emotive Language in Argumentation by Fabrizio Macagno and Douglas Walton New York: Cambridge UP. 9781107676657. Review by MICHAEL A. GILBERT Department of Philosophy York University 4700 Keele St, Toronto, ON M3J 1P3 email@example.com.
We’d like to do a little hypnosis on you. Imagine that you’re ensconced in your own family room, your study, or your queen-sized bed. Settling back, you pick up the remote, flick on the TV, and naturally you turn to PBS. This is what you hear:Host 1: Good evening. Welcome to Masterpiece Theatre. Because Alistair Cooke is away on assignment in Alaska, we’ve agreed to host the show tonight, and that’s both a pleasure and a privilege because our program this (...) evening marks the beginning of a fascinating new series, a first on television: Masterpiece Theatre will present you with a docudrama entitled “Masterpiece Theatre.”Host 2: Like “The First Churchills,” this show analyzes the situation of real-life people—tonight, people in the academy. Names have not been changed to protect either the innocent or the guilty, but all the situations are fictive and at times words that may never have been spoken are put into the mouths of people who did not speak them. Other lines, however, are direct quotations from various written sources, although none of the characters, as we depict them, should be confused with any “actual” persons, whether or not those persons would scribe to the idea of their own reality. Like “Upstairs/Downstairs,” this program will introduce you to a spectrum of characters from many walks of life. What’s different about tonight’s episode, though, is that all these characters have passionate opinions about the show itself. Why, the very idea of Masterpiece Theatre drives some of them to Guerrilla Theatre, others to Theatre of the Absurd. Yes, you’ve always already guessed it: we focus tonight on a drama involving what we used to call humanists—now for some a dirty word—and most of our characters are in deep trouble. Sandra M. Gilbert, professor of English at the University of California, Davis, and Susan Gubar, professor of English at Indiana University, are coauthors of No Man’s Land: The Place of the Woman Writer in the Twentieth Century, Volume 1: The War of the Words and Volume II: Sexchanges , the first installments of a three-part sequel to their Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination . They have also coedited The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women: The Tradition in English. (shrink)
A definition of [George] Eliot as renunciatory culture-mother may seem an odd preface to a discussion of Silas Marner since, of all her novels, this richly constructed work is the one in which the empty pack of daughterhood appears fullest, the honey of femininity most unpunished. I want to argue, however, that this “legendary tale,” whose status as a schoolroom classic makes it almost as much a textbook as a novel, examines the relationship between woman’s fate and the structure of (...) society in order to explicate the meaning of the empty pack of daughterhood. More specifically, this story of an adoptive father, an orphan daughter, and a dead mother broods on events that are actually or symbolically situated on the margins or boundaries of society, where culture must enter into a dialectical struggle with nature, in order to show how the young female human animal is converted into the human daughter, wife, and mother. Finally, then, this fictionalized “daughteronomy” becomes a female myth of origin narrated by a severe literary mother uses the vehicle of a half-allegorical family romance to urge acquiescence in the law of the Father.If Silas Marner is not obviously a story about the empty pack of daughterhood, it is plainly, of course, a “legendary tale” about a wanderer with a heavy yet empty pack. In fact, it is through the image of the packman that the story, in Eliot’s own words, “came across my other plans by a sudden inspiration”—and, clearly, her vision of this burdened outsider is a re-vision of the Romantic wanderer who haunts the borders of society, seeking a local habitation and a name.11 I would argue further, though, that Eliot’s depiction of Silas Marner’s alienation begins to explain Ruby Redinger’s sense that the author of this “fluid and metaphoric” story “is” both Eppie, the redemptive daughter, and Silas, the redeemed father. For in examining the outcast weaver’s marginality, this novelist of the “hidden life” examines also her own female disinheritance and marginality.12 11. Eliot to Blackwood, 12 Jan. 1861, quoted in Ruby V. Redinger, George Eliot: The Emergent Self , p. 436. As Susan Garber has suggested to me, the resonant image of the “packman” may be associated with the figure of Bob Jakin in The Mill on the Floss , the itinerant pack-bearing peddler who brings Maggie Tulliver a number of books, the most crucial of which is Tomas à Kempis’ treatise on Christian renunciation .12. Rediner, George Eliot, p. 439; Eliot, “Finale,” Middlemarch, p. 896. Sandra M. Gilbert, now professor of English at the University of California, Davis, will join the Department of English at Princeton University in fall 1985. Her most recent works include a collection of poems, Emily’s Bread , and, coedited with Susan Gubar, The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women: The Tradition in English . In addition, she is at work on Mother Rites: Studies in Literature and Maternity, a project from which “Life’s Empty Pack” is drawn, and, with Susan Gubar, on No Man’s Land: The Place of the Woman Writer in the Twentieth Century, a sequel to their collaborative Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination . “Costumes of the Mind: Transvestitism as Metaphor in Modern Literature” appeared in the Winter 1980 issue of Critical Inquiry. (shrink)
Fred Halliday was a writer, teacher and public intellectual whose work spanned two closely related fields: the post-colonial societies of the Middle East; and international relations. His first major book, published in 1974, was Arabia without Sultans, although he gained a wider readership with Threat from the East?, published in paperback in 1982. In 1975, Halliday was appointed as Fellow of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam and then, in 1983, he moved to the London School of Economics. He was elected (...) as a Fellow of the British Academy in 2002. Obituary by Adam Roberts FBA. (shrink)
Terrorism, Security and Nationality shows how the concepts and methods of political philosophy can be applied to the practical problems of terrorism, state violence and national security. The book clarifies a wide range of issues in applied political philosophy, including the ethics of war, theories of state and nation, the relationship between communities and nationalisms, and the uneasy balance of human rights and national security. Ethnicity, national identity and the interests of the state, concepts commonly cited to justify terrorist acts, (...) all imply starkly contrasting notions of what constitutes a political community. Paul Gilbert examines the reasons for political violence and the plausibility of such justifications. He investigates notions of terrorism as unjust war and as political crime and concludes by considering the proper response of the state to political violence. (shrink)
"M. F. Simone Roberts's A Poetics of Being-Two is animated by a lively and engaging voice, drawing readers in with a sense of serious purpose working (delightfully) in tandem with a sense of humor. Roberts's aesthetics and her close readings of Yves Bonnefoy, St-John Perse, and Jorie Graham clearly demonstrate the literary effectiveness of Irigarayan sexual difference as an analytic trope, even as they emphasize the philosophical and political possibilities sexual difference opens up for feminism, environmentalism, and all (...) levels of contemporary cultural critique and activism."—Gail M. Schwab, Hofstra University -/- In An Ethics of Sexual Difference, Irigaray calls for a new poetics in the sense of both art and life. Rather than a critique from within philosophy, A Poetics of Being-Two tests Irigaray's ethics by extending it to other sites of cultural production. Where Irigaray's method finds stirrings and repressions of sexual difference in philosophy, this project explores that tension in poetics. Building from Irigaray's ethics, the book describes a poetics of being-two as concerns gendered subjectivity in literary poetics and then traces the on-going emergence of a poetics of being-two in the post-symbolist poetic tradition. Irigaray scholars will be interested in the sustained interpolation of Irigaray's ethical concepts as principles for a critical aesthetics and in their hermeneutic application in reading a literary tradition. Readers in comparative literature will find the first sustained feminist engagements with the major French poets Bonnefoy and Perse and an elucidation of their influence on the Pulitzer Prize winning poet Jorie Graham. (shrink)