(2012). “Just Something Gone, But Nothing Missing”: Booker T. Washington, Nannie Helen Burroughs, and the Social Significance of Black Teachers Theorizing Across Two Centuries. Educational Studies: Vol. 48, Black Teachers Theorizing, pp. 215-219.
Human beings have a tendency to transform geographical spaces into dwelling places which assume significance in terms of their social, cultural and personal identities. The authors describe the ways in which this occurs, how it is disrupted by a natural disaster - an Australian bushfire - and how the reciprocal relationship between place and person can contribute to personal and communal healing. The discussion draws on a doctoral thesis conducted by the principal author, and is illuminated by excerpts from narratives (...) provided by those who experienced the bushfire. The discussion is informed by insights from phenomenological geography and ecological philosophy. (shrink)
The fields of medical ethics, bioethics, and women's studies have experienced unprecedented growth in the last forty years. Along with the rapid pace of development in medicine and biology, and changes in social expectations, moral quandaries about the body and social practices involving it have multiplied. Philosophers are uniquely situated to attempt to clarify and resolves these questions. Yet the subdiscipline of bioethics still in large part reflects mainstream scholars' lack of interest in gender as a category of analysis. This (...) volume aims to show how a feminist perspective advances bioethics. The author uncover inconsistencies in traditional arguments and argue for the importance of hitherto ignored factors in decision-making. The essays include theory and very specific examples that demonstrate the glaring inadequacy of mainstream bioethics, where gender bias is still often to be found, along with general lack of attention to women's concerns. (shrink)
Medical issues affecting health care have become everyday media events. In response to mounting public concern, growing numbers of bioethicists are being appointed to medical school faculties and public policy panels. However the ideas voiced in these forums are seldom informed by feminist perspectives. In this important book, a distinguished group of feminist scholars and activists discuss crucial bioethics topics in a feminist light. Among the subjects explored are the care/justice debates, transforming bioethics, practice, and reproduction. The book also covers (...) less commonly discussed issues, such as culturally appropriate responses to reproductive health problems in developing countries. (shrink)
Problems with clinical research that create conflicts between doctors' therapeutic and research obligations may be fueled by a rigid view of science as determiner of truth, a heavy reliance on statistics, and certain features of randomized clinical trials. I suggest some creative, feminist approaches to such research and explore ways to provide choice for patients and to use values in directing both therapy and science - to enhance the effectiveness of each.
Authors in this special Hypatia issue seem called to heal ethics, medicine, and the new field - medical ethics. After explaining why feminists should feel this calling, I group authors' contributions as responses to questions: 1. Why hasn't medical ethics already healed medicine? 2. What role should 'caring' play? 3. Must we first heal science? 4. Are we calling health a virtue? 5. Why haven't the many medical ethics books helped? 6. How do our sisters in sociology support us?
Life situations often seem to require dualistic, either or decision making, but this common method does not always clarify moral decisions. To show this, standard arguments on why to choose or not to choose the sex or ones child are presented. Then, our feminist thinking, which regards clusters of values, and which reframes questions rather than choosing between desirable alternatives, suggests another possibility, in a gynandrous world vision.
Around the world the wealthy can get their lives extended while the poorget little basic medical help. Over the same years that the field ofbioethics has prospered and expanded, this disparity has increased.Reasons for the failure of bioethics to successfully address thishealth/wealth issue include its identification with the cognitiveand social authority of medicine; its gatekeeping behavior;its funding sources; its questionable use of ``principlism'' andits emphasis on crises and dilemmas to the neglect of ``housekeeping''issues. The work of most women in bioethics (...) rarely addresses thehealth/wealth issue; if it does, their work may be ignored, aswere the recommendations of Canadian feminists working under governmentgrants. To achieve equity in health care, the structure of both medicineand bioethics needs to be changed. Yet, since bioethicists generallyhave accepted the status quo, this seems unlikely to happen. (shrink)
Between 1787, and the end of his life in 1832, Bentham turned his attention to the development and application of economic ideas and principles within the general structure of his legislative project. For seventeen years this interest was manifested through a number of books and pamphlets, most of which remained in manuscript form, that develop a distinctive approach to economic questions. Although Bentham was influenced by Adam Smith's An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, he (...) neither adopted a Smithian vocabulary for addressing questions of economic principle and policy, nor did he accept many of the distinctive features of Smith's economic theory. One consequence of this was that Bentham played almost no part in the development of the emerging science of political economy in the early nineteenth century. The standard histories of economics all emphasize how little he contributed to the mainstream of late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century debate by concentrating attention on his utilitarianism and the psychology of hedonism on which it is premised. Others have argued that the calculating nature of his theory of practical reason reduced the whole legislative project to a crude attempt to apply economics to all aspects of social and political life. Put at its simplest this argument amounts to the erroneous claim that Bentham's science of legislation is reducible to the science of political economy. A different but equally dangerous error would be to argue that because Bentham's conception of the science of legislation comprehends all the basic forms of social relationships, there can be no science of political economy as there is no autonomous sphere of activity governed by the principles of economics. This approach is no doubt attractive from an historical point of view given that the major premise of this argument is true, and that many of Bentham's ‘economic’ arguments are couched in terms of his theory of legislation. Yet it fails to account for the undoubted importance of political economy within Bentham's writings, not just on finance, economic policy, colonies and preventive police, but also in other aspects of his utilitarian public policy such as prison reform, pauper management, and even constitutional reform. All of these works reflect a conception of political economy in its broadest terms. However, this conception of political economy differs in many respects from that of Bentham's contemporaries, and for this reason Bentham's distinctive approach to problems of economics and political economy has largely been misunderstood. (shrink)
With a book as wide ranging and insightful as Barry's Justice as Impartiality, it is perhaps a little churlish to criticize it for paying insufficient attention to one's own particular interests. That said, in what follows I am going to do just that and claim that in an important sense Barry does not take utilitarianism seriously. Utilitarianism does receive some discussion in Barry's book, and in an important section which I will discuss he even appears to concede that utilitarianism provides (...) a rival though ultimately inadequate theory of justice. Nevertheless, utilitarianism is not considered a rival to ‘justice as impartiality’ in the way that ‘justice as mutual advantage’ and ‘justice as reciprocity’ are. One response, and perhaps the only adequate response, would be to construct a rival utilitarian theory. I cannot provide such a theory in this paper, and I certainly would be very cautious about claiming that I could provide such a theory elsewhere. What I want to suggest is that utilitarianism is a genuine third theory to contrast with ‘justice as mutual advantage’ and ‘justice as impartiality’ – ‘justice as reciprocity’ being merely a hybrid of ‘justice as mutual advantage’, at least as Barry presents it. I also want to argue that it poses a more significant challenge to a contractualist theory such as Barry's than his discussion of utilitarianism reveals. (shrink)
We argue that uncomputability and classical scepticism are both re ections of inductive underdetermination, so that Church's thesis and Hume's problem ought to receive equal emphasis in a balanced approach to the philosophy of induction. As an illustration of such an approach, we investigate how uncomputable the predictions of a hypothesis can be if the hypothesis is to be reliably investigated by a computable scienti c method.
While I deeply appreciate the painstaking and often generous remarks in R.N. Berki’s review of my book Hegel’s Retreat From Eleusis, [OWL, September 1978], I should like to correct two of his misapprehensions. First, the point is not that I try to “steer a middle course between ‘antiquaries’ who relegate Hegel to history books and ‘renovators’ who believe that Hegel is directly relevant,” but between the former and those who warp Hegel out of context in support of their preferred vision (...) of social and political action and/or explanation. Second, I do not conclude negatively about “the contemporary value of Hegel’s doctrine of the state;” If I had, the book would scarcely have been worth writing. It is simply that, in line with the first point, I counsel caution and salutary “archaeological” reflection. Current reality is messy: Hegel guides us and teaches us, but he furnishes no coup de foudre for solving our institutional problems. If this is irresolute, so be it. Does Mr. Berki propose bringing back monarchy, estates, and early 19th century municipal life? My own position is stated on pp. 109, 142–144, 183, 222–223. Although this may be, in Hayden White’s language, a Rankean trope, my option is surely not for “the historical dustbin.”. (shrink)
It is well known that Augustine, Boethius, Anselm and Aquinas participated in a tradition of philosophical theology which determined God to be simple, perfect, immutable and timelessly eternal. Within the parameters of such an Hellenic understanding of the divine nature, they sought a clarification of one of the fundamental teachings of their Christian faith, the doctrine of the Trinity. These classical theists were not dogmatists, naively unreflective about the very possibility of their project. Aquinas, for instance, explicitly worried about and (...) fought to dispel the seeming contradiction between the philosophical requirement of divine simplicity and the creedal insistence on a threefold personhood in God. 1 Nevertheless, doubts abound. Philosophers otherwise friendly to Classical Theism still remain unsure about the coherence of affirming a God that is at once absolutely simple and triune. 2 A less friendly critic has even suggested that the theory of divine simplicity pressured Augustine and his medieval followers away from recognizing that real complexity within the life of God which Trinitarianism expresses. 3. (shrink)
Philosophical logicians proposing theories of rational belief revision have had little to say about whether their proposals assist or impede the agent's ability to reliably arrive at the truth as his beliefs change through time. On the other hand, reliability is the central concern of formal learning theory. In this paper we investigate the belief revision theory of Alchourron, Gardenfors and Makinson from a learning theoretic point of view.
Man has the urge to thrust against the limits of language. Think for instance about one's astonishment that anything exists. This astonishment cannot be expressed in the form of a question and there is no answer to it. Anything we can say must, a priori, be nonsense.
A computer can come to understand natural language the same way Helen Keller did: by using “syntactic semantics”—a theory of how syntax can suffice for semantics, i.e., how semantics for natural language can be provided by means of computational symbol manipulation. This essay considers real-life approximations of Chinese Rooms, focusing on Helen Keller’s experiences growing up deaf and blind, locked in a sort of Chinese Room yet learning how to communicate with the outside world. Using the SNePS computational (...) knowledge-representation system, the essay analyzes Keller’s belief that learning that “everything has a name” was the key to her success, enabling her to “partition” her mental concepts into mental representations of: words, objects, and the naming relations between them. It next looks at Herbert Terrace’s theory of naming, which is akin to Keller’s, and which only humans are supposed to be capable of. The essay suggests that computers at least, and perhaps non-human primates, are also capable of this kind of naming. (shrink)