This article examines the place of human and animal subjectivity in two autobiographically informed texts by Hélène Cixous. It takes her view on the word ‘human’ and the figure of Fips, the dog of the Cixous family, as a point of departure. By thinking through this figure, I argue, Cixous analyses the dehumanizing logic of colonialism and anti-Semitism in Algeria and develops her own response to such kinds of political evils, arguing for human relationality and animal corporeality. The article shows (...) that Cixous’ meeting with Fips creates a stigma that, belatedly, breaks through the barrier between herself and the dog; the reopening of the wound takes place in a poetical writing that reveals an intense ‘animal humanity’ formed by communal suffering, finiteness, and love. The lesson Cixous learns from the memory of Fips the dog is how to become ‘better human’. This becoming is also an assault on the false humanism of the colonial project and on racialized social exclusion. (shrink)
I have been asked to consider two questions: How Christian ‘oughts’ are related to Christian ‘is-es’, and, What does Christianity take flourishing to be? The background to these questions is that Christian ethics have traditionally been taken, both by supporters and opponents, as au ethic of creature-hood, sometimes quite crudely conceived. It is a sketch, but by no means a caricature, of a great deal of standard Christian thinking, to depict it as answering the two questions as follows: God is (...) your Creator: therefore you ought to obey him. The end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him for ever. (shrink)
El filósofo español José Ortega y Gasset y su traductora al alemán Helene Weyl intercambiaron correspondencia entre los años 1923 y 1946. José Ortega y Gasset y Helene Weyl formaron parte de dos grandes comunidades de intelectuales europeos: Ortega, representante de la filosofía académica en España y Helene Weyl, representante de una intelectualidad vivida más allá de cualquier corsé academicista. Su correspondencia documenta el desarrollo de dos grandes espíritus europeos así como la singular intersección de estos dos mundos y culturas (...) a través de un momento histórico difícil y turbulento del siglo XX. (shrink)
James Tabery Helen Longino’s Studying Human Behavior is an overdue effort at a nonpartisan evaluation of the many scientific disciplines that study the nature and nurture of human behavior, arguing for the acceptance of the strengths and weaknesses of all approaches. After years of conflict, Longino makes the pluralist case for peaceful coexistence. Her analysis of the approaches raises the following question: how are we to understand the pluralistic relationship among the peacefully coexisting approaches? Longino is ironically rather unpluralistic (...) about her pluralism, forcing a choice between integrative pluralism and her preferred ineliminative pluralism. I hope to show that the analysis of approaches she offers actually accommodates a pluralism that is both integrative and ineliminative.Approaches to studying human behaviorPhilosophy of biology took shape as a discipline in the 1970s. This disciplinary formation over. (shrink)
America, and the postmodern West in particular, are experiencing a moral and intellectual crisis, according to E. Robert Statham, Jr. In The Constitution of Public Philosophy, Statham argues that Walter Lippman was correct in locating this crisis in the impoverished nature of public philosophy, and he attempts to constitute a role for reason in contemporary America. Statham suggests that the negative rule of law via a written constitution requires the positive rule of reason, or political philosophy, in (...) order to flourish. (shrink)
The crisis of western civilization is a crisis of public philosophy. This is the charge of Public Philosophy and Political Science, a stunning new collection of essays edited by E. Robert Statham Jr. Vividly cataloging the decay of the moral and intellectual foundations of civic liberty, the book portrays a generation of Americans alienated from institutions built on public philosophy. The work exposes the failure of America's political scientists to acknowledge and understand this alarming crisis in the American body (...) politic. The distinguished contributors examine the evolution of public philosophy; the inextricable relationship between politics and philosophy; and the interplay between public philosophy, the constitution, natural law, and government. They reveal the dire threat to deliberative democracy and the fundamental order of constitutional society posed by public philosophy's waning power to refine, cultivate, and civilize. The work is an indictment of a society which has discarded a way of life rooted in natural law, democracy and the traditions of civility; and is a denunciation of an educated elite that has divorced itself from the standards upon which public philosophy rests. It is essential reading for philosophers and political and social scientists seeking to resurrect the standards of American public life. (shrink)
Helen Frowe has recently offered what she calls a “practical” account of self-defense. Her account is supposed to be practical by being subjectivist about permissibility and objectivist about liability. I shall argue here that Frowe first makes up a problem that does not exist and then fails to solve it. To wit, her claim that objectivist accounts of permissibility cannot be action-guiding is wrong; and her own account of permissibility actually retains an objectivist (in the relevant sense) element. In (...) addition, her attempt to restrict subjectivism primarily to “urgent” situations like self-defense contradicts her own point of departure and is either incoherent or futile. Finally, the only actual whole-heartedly objectivist account she criticizes is an easy target; while those objectivist accounts one finds in certain Western European jurisdictions are immune to her criticisms. Those accounts are also clearly superior to hers in terms of action-guidingness. (shrink)
Bilimsel faaliyetin ve bilimsel bilginin en temel özelliklerinden bir tanesi olarak karşımıza çıkan bilimsel nesnellik bilim felsefesi alanı içerisinde sıklıkla tartışılan bir konu olagelmiştir. Bu doğrultuda, bilimsel nesnelliğin temin edilmesine yönelik çeşitli görüşler ileri sürülmektedir. Genel olarak bilimsel nesnellik bilim insanlarının çalışmalarında olguları doğrudan yansıtması ya da bilim insanlarının çalışmalarını tarafsız bir bakış açısıyla tamamlaması olarak anlaşılmaktadır. Bu görüşlerin bilim felsefesi içerisindeki yansımaları sırasıyla olgulara bağlılık olarak nesnellik ve hiçbir yerden bakış olarak nesnellik isimleriyle olmuştur. Bu bakış açısı, kişisel çıkarların (...) ve değerlerin bilimsel çalışmalardan izole edilmesi sayesinde bilimsel nesnelliğin sağlanabileceğini kabul etmektedir. Diğer bir deyişle, bilimler değerlerden bağımsız olduğu takdirde nesnel olabilmektedirler. Bu görüşe karşı olarak, Helen Longino gibi bilim insanları ise değerleri bilimsel nesnelliğin bir gerekliliği olarak görmektedirler. Bu çalışmada, özellikle değerlerin göz ardı edilmesiyle bilimsel nesnelliğin gerçekleştirilmesinin mümkün olamayacağını vurgulan Helen Longino’nun “bağlamsal deneycilik” olarak bilinen görüşlerine yer verilmektedir. Buna göre Longino, bilimsel araştırmanın toplumsal yönlerini göz önünde bulundurarak değerden bağımsız ideali tamamen reddetmektedir. O değer yüklü bir bilimin hem bilgi kuramsal açıdan hem de nesnellik açısından güvenilir olabileceğini düşünmektedir. -/- Scientific objectivity, which is one of the most basic features of scientific activity and scientific knowledge, is a subject that is frequently discussed in the field of philosophy of science. In this direction, various views are put forward to ensure scientific objectivity. In general, scientific objectivity is understood as scientists reflecting the facts as they are in their studies or scientists completing their studies with an impartial point of view. The reflections of these views in the philosophy of science were respectively called objectivity as faithfulness to facts and objectivity as a view from nowhere. This perspective recognizes that scientific objectivity can be achieved by isolating personal interests and values from scientific studies. In other words, sciences can only be objective if they are value-free. Against this view, scientists such as Helen Longino see values as a necessity of scientific objectivity. In this study, Helen Longino's views known as "contextual empiricism" are included. Accordingly, it is emphasized that it is not possible to realize scientific objectivity by ignoring values. Longino completely rejects the value-free ideal, considering the social aspects of scientific research. She thinks that a value-laden science can be reliable both in terms of epistemology and objectivity. (shrink)
Objectives: To study the consent process experienced by participants who are enrolled in a molecular genetic research study that aims to find new genetic mutations responsible for an apparently inherited disorder.Design: Semi-structured interviews and analysis/description of main themes.Participants: 78 members of 52 families who had been recruited to a molecular genetic study.Results: People were well informed about the goals, risks and benefits of the genetic research study but could not remember the consent process. They had mostly been recruited to take (...) part by trusted clinicians or their relatives but had little memory of, or concern about signing consent forms. Families appeared to regard the research as a continuation of their, or their relatives’, clinical care.Conclusions: Ethical review should be more flexible in its attitude to consent forms and written information sheets for some sorts of research. For rare genetic disease studies where research has been discussed fully within the clinical setting then the consent obtained at that time could suffice rather than needing extra consent at a later stage. However, clinician-researchers will need to ensure that their duty of care extends for the duration of the research and beyond. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Contrastive and deviant/default accounts of causation are becoming increasingly common. However, discussions of these accounts have neglected important questions, including how the context determines the contrasts, and what shared knowledge is necessary for this to be possible. I address these questions, using organic chemistry as a case study. Focusing on one example—nucleophilic substitution—I show that the kinds of causal claims that can be made about an organic reaction depend on how the reaction is modelled, and argue that paying attention (...) to the various ways that reactions are modelled has important implications for our understanding of causation. _1_ Introduction _2_ General Contrastive Causal Claims in Organic Chemistry _3_ Deviant Causal Claims in Organic Chemistry _4_ Nucleophilic Substitution Reactions _5_ The Causal Modelling Tradition _5.1_ The type/token distinction _6_ Competing Reactions _6.1_ Type- and token-causal claims, variables, and values of variables _7_ Disambiguation of ‘Reaction’ _8_ Reaction Kinds _9_ Specific Reactions _9.1_ Specific reactions and token-causal claims _9.2_ Specific reactions and type-causal claims _10_ Implications _10.1_ Kinds of causal claim _10.2_ Contrastive and deviant causal claims _10.3_ Model relativity. (shrink)
Recently, there has been a large amount of support for the idea that causal claims can be sensitive to normative considerations. Previous work has focused on the concept of actual causation, defending the claim that whether or not some token event c is a cause of another token event e is influenced by both statistical and prescriptive norms. I focus on the policy debate surrounding alternative energies, and use the causal modelling framework to show that in this context, people’s normative (...) commitments don’t just affect the causal claims they are willing to endorse, but also their understanding of the causal structure. In the context of the alternative energy debate, normative considerations affect our understanding of the causal structure by influencing our judgements about which variables should be held fixed, and therefore which variables should be relegated to the background of a causal model. In cases of extreme disagreement, normative commitments can also affect which causal structure we think should be instantiated. Thus, focusing on a new context has revealed a previously unexplored sense in which normative factors are incorporated into causal reasoning. (shrink)
In the area of social science, in particular, although we have developed methods for reliably discovering the existence of causal relationships, we are not very good at using these to design effective social policy. Cartwright argues that in order to improve our ability to use causal relationships, it is essential to develop a theory of causation that makes explicit the connections between the nature of causation, our best methods for discovering causal relationships, and the uses to which these are put. (...) I argue that Woodward’s interventionist theory of causation is uniquely suited to meet Cartwright’s challenge. More specifically, interventionist mechanisms can provide the bridge from ‘hunting causes’ to ‘using them’, if interventionists (i) tell us more about the nature of these mechanisms, and (ii) endorse the claim that it is these mechanisms (or whatever constitutes them) that make causal claims true. I illustrate how having an understanding of interventionist mechanisms can allow us to put causal knowledge to use via a detailed example from organic chemistry. (shrink)
I apply James Woodward’s interventionist theory of causation to organic chemistry, modelling three different ways that chemists are able to manipulate the reaction conditions in order to control the outcome of a reaction. These consist in manipulations to the reaction kinetics, thermodynamics, and whether the kinetics or thermodynamics predominates. It is possible to construct interventionist causal models of all of these kinds of manipulation, and therefore to account for them using Woodward’s theory. However, I show that there is an alternate, (...) more illuminating way of thinking about the third kind of reaction control, according to which chemists are thought of as manipulating which causal system is instantiated. I show that our ability to manipulate which system is instantiated is an important part of our ability to control the world, as is therefore especially relevant to interventionism. Thus, considering examples from organic chemistry leads to the identification of an important extension to Woodward’s theory. Finally, this investigation into reaction control in organic chemistry also has a more general implication: it suggests that interventionism results in a version of pragmatism about causation. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to determine whether and to what extent Woodward’s interventionist theory of causation is variable relative. In an influential review, Strevens has accused Woodward’s account of a damaging form of variable relativity, according to which obviously false causal claims can be made true by choosing a depleted variable set. Following McCain, I show that Strevens’ objection doesn’t succeed. However, Woodward also wants to avoid another kind of variable relativity, according to which it can be true (...) that X is a cause of Y in one set of background conditions, but false in another. I show that Woodward’s account is problematically overpermissive, unless there are restrictions on the values that certain variables can take. I formulate a modified account that makes these restrictions explicit, then use it to argue that Woodward’s attempt to avoid relativity to background conditions is misguided. On the best interpretation of the interventionist theory, causal claims are assessed relative to a particular kind of variable set. Thus, I conclude that the theory should be understood as variable relative, in a specific, unproblematic sense. (shrink)
Helen Steward puts forward a radical critique of the foundations of contemporary philosophy of mind, arguing that it relies too heavily on insecure assumptions about the sorts of things there are in the mind--events, processes, and states. She offers a fresh investigation of these three categories, clarifying the distinctions between them, and argues that the category of state has been very widely and seriously misunderstood.
Helen Steward argues that determinism is incompatible with agency itself--not only the special human variety of agency, but also powers which can be accorded to animal agents. She offers a distinctive, non-dualistic version of libertarianism, rooted in a conception of what biological forms of organisation might make possible in the way of freedom.
Helen Fielding, in examining Yael Bartana’s video art works, in particular, Wild Seeds (2005), argues that politics seem to privilege the temporal, and video art thus lends itself to this enactment. Drawing upon Hannah Arendt, she concludes that the in-between, while a space and not a territory, is more a spacing, a taking place between people “no matter where they happen to be” than a place as such. In Bartana’s works, the temporal aspect of video allows her to open (...) up a time-space, or rather a spacing as a relation rather than a place. It is a spacing that takes place only when the art work sets to work in its engagement with viewers, that is, when the video is playing in a public space. Moreover, Bartana generally takes up temporally circumscribed events that are deeply embedded in the past, yet show up either disjuncture or parallels between national identity and individual embodied narratives. While national identity might rely upon fusion, Bartana’s videos upset that identity by opening up a spacing where identity can be questioned. Filming events such as a demonstration, an initiation into military weapons training, as well as play, her videos draw upon ritualized events that, in their repetition, are often meant to work performatively at a corporeal level to create a national and cultural unity. Her videos affectively and phenomenally draw the viewer into the corporeal experience of these rituals in order to show up the ruptures; indeed, they seem to suggest that it is at the level of the corporeal that this cohesion can both be effected and also undone. In other words, rather than focusing on national identity which is exclusive and hence spatial, corporeal being-with is temporal—the polis is figured as embodied intermittent relations or spacings rather than as an actual territory or space. -/- . (shrink)
Helen Fielding considers how the repetition of the same can be phenomenally shifted. Considering the phenomenon of death by suicide in response to cyberbullying, she asks how cyberspace as a system can be opened up and become more responsive to the living affect of young women subjected to abuse. At the heart of this problem is the breakdown of personal time into objective time, whereby the inexhaustible potentiality of the living world is collapsed into the indifferent infinity of the (...) possible that, unconnected to living existence, is ultimately a closed system. (shrink)
The first major consideration of old age in Western philosophy and literature since Simone de Beauvoir's The Coming of Age, Helen Small ranges widely from Plato through to recent work by Derek Parfit, Bernard Williams and others, and from King Lear through Balzac, Dickens, Beckett, Stevie Smith, Bellow, Roth, and Coetzee.
The research literature on parenting support typically focuses on English-speaking countries, such as England, the United States and Australia. This article draws on a review, commissioned by the English government, which examined policies and services to support parenting in five European countries: Denmark, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, and considered the evidence for effectiveness. In exploring differences between the five countries, and with England, this article raises questions about the way in which understandings of ?what works? can inform the (...) ways in which support for parents and families is designed and delivered. An emphasis on formal outcome evaluations, as in England, favours the use of standardised parenting programmes, which are more amenable to evaluation of effectiveness using quasi-experimental research designs. In some other European countries, support for parents and families is embedded in universal service provision, rather than a discrete, time-limited ?intervention?, and hence evaluation is more likely to involve assessment of individual progress (is this working for this family?) rather than assessment of the overall efficiency of a standardised programme. (shrink)
Helen Beebee, Anne-Marie McCallion ABSTRACT: Louise Antony draws a now well-known distinction between two explanatory models for researching and addressing the issue of women’s underrepresentation in philosophy – the ‘Different Voices’ and ‘Perfect Storm’ models – and argues that, in view of PS’s considerably higher social value, DV should be abandoned. We argue ….
Helene Cixous is widely regarded as one of the world's most influential feminist writers and thinkers. "White Ink" brings together her most revealing interviews, available in English for the first time. Spanning over four decades and including a new interview with the editor Susan Sellers, this collection presents a brilliant, running commentary on the subjects at the heart of Cixous' writing.Here, Cixous discusses her books and her creative process, her views on and insights into literature, philosophy, theatre, politics, aesthetics, faith (...) and ethics, human relations and the state of the world. As she responds to interviewers' questions, Cixous is prompted to reflect on her roles and activities as poet, playwright, feminist theorist, professor of literature, philosopher, woman, Jew. Each interview is a remarkable performance, an event in language and thought where Cixous' celebrated intellectual and poetic force can be witnessed 'in action'. The accessibility of the interview format provides an excellent starting-point for readers new to Cixous, while those already familiar with her work will find unexpected insights and fresh elucidations of her thought. (shrink)