Scholarly discussion has treated the account of the state of nature which Locke presents in his Second Treatise as neither an hypothesis nor a description but rather as a fiction. John Dunn, for example, claims that it is a `theoretical analysis of the fundamental relations of right and duty which obtain between human beings, relations which are logically prior to the particular historical situations in which all actual human beings always in fact find themselves'. Here Dunn presents a misleading account (...) of Locke's argument, presumably, as the title of his paper suggests, in order to mount an argument of his own about the `political relevance' of Locke's work to a time when no one takes seriously the early modern idea of the state of nature. However, this article also has a more serious concern. I argue that the representation of the state of nature as a merely imaginary, `theoretical analysis' of social relations obscures the significance of the early modern idea of a state of nature, not only for the work of Locke and his near contemporaries, but also, more importantly, for the broader development of western social and political thought. The idea of an original condition of freedom and equality played a central role in Locke's argument, serving as a means both to undermine the view that humans were born into a natural condition of subjection to the rule of others and to justify European expropriation of land in the Americas. It also represented one end of a developmental continuum, running from the original, most primitive, condition of humanity through to the societies of contemporary western Europe, which was thought to encompass all sections of humanity. While the idea of an original asocial condition on which this continuum was based was later brought into question, a closely related developmental framework nevertheless informed later movements in history and the social sciences. After being abandoned in its original form, this category was finally revived in 20th-century political theory, this time precisely in the form that Dunn mistakenly ascribes to Locke. The article concludes by speculating on the relationship between these normative and empirical perspectives on the state of nature. (shrink)
Liberal political thought has traditionally been hostile to the arbitrary power of rulers. It has, however, qualified this hostility through its promotion of what Locke calls ?prerogative?, the need for rulers to act in defence of the public good ? but on occasion outside the constraints of law. Liberal thought has tended to overlook the arbitrary powers of citizens and private organisations. This is due, first, to its commitment to individual liberty. But it is also due ?more substantially ? to (...) the belief that private agents and corporations, even when not constrained by law, are none the less subject to the non?legal sanctions and rewards imposed by the market and other aspects of civil society. Neo?liberalism is not rendered distinctive by its promotion of arbitrary power, since this has always featured in liberal government. Neo?liberalism is distinguished rather by its promotion of arbitrary powers across the full range of organs of governance ? from departments of government, through publicly and privately owned corporations, to ostensibly non?governmental bodies like charities, churches and so on. This advance in liberal promotion of arbitrary power has significant implications for the evolution of contemporary democracy. (shrink)
The invocation of large-scale social unities - states, societies, empires, cultures, civilizations - is a long-established and pervasive practice among sociologists, anthropologists, historians, political scientists and so on. This article examines the treatment of such unities as defined or held together by shared understandings and values, and as independent, boundary-maintaining social systems. We argue that both the ideational and the systemic presumptions at work here are dependent on what Foucault calls the figure of man: the first as an inescapable consequence (...) of that figure, the second as a tempting, but by no means necessary, one. Our first major argument concerns the remarkable persistence of concepts, such as ‘culture’, which designate unities that are ideational in character. We use the case study of anthropology to suggest that this is a consequence of the constitutive role of the figure of man within the human sciences. Human scientists and others critical of the stress on sameness resulting from the concern with ideational unities - cultures, ideologies, discourses and so on - as shared across a population, will find it well-nigh impossible either to modify significantly or to jettison altogether such concepts; as long as they rely on some version of the figure of man, scholars are committed irrevocably to the use of these concepts. Our second major argument concerns the conception of society as a systemic unity, a conception which we see as reflecting the influence of the figure of man in the field of governmental reason. In this part of the article we follow Foucault’s argument that the liberal rationality of government leads to a view of social life as traversed by numerous self-regulating spheres of social interaction. However, we dispute his further suggestion that the concept of society itself, as designating a self-regulating sphere of this kind, can be seen as a product of the liberal critique of police. (shrink)
Summary Ian Hunter has made a name for himself as a critic of German university metaphysics, finding its progeny at work in places where many of us would not even think of looking, for example in the late twentieth-century celebration of theory in the humanities. Some of his recent work has focused on a rather different issue: the methodological task of making intellectual history empirical. Here he builds on Quentin Skinner's rationale for the Cambridge School's efforts to make the history (...) of political thought more properly historical. Skinner's argument draws on the work of R. G. Collingwood, at least in its earlier versions, and on neo-Kantian tendencies in mid-twentieth century Oxford philosophy. Thus, in aligning his methodological programme with Skinner's argument, Hunter may risk bringing elements of university metaphysics back in another form. (shrink)
Academic discussion of citizenship focuses primarily on the citizen in relation to the particular state of which s/he is a member. From this perspective the modern spread of citizenship, first in a few western states and then somewhat more generally, is usually regarded as a definite advance in human well-being, as turning what had once been the privileges of the few into the rights of the many. This paper aims, if not entirely to undermine, then at least to unsettle this (...) celebration of citizenship. It suggests that an understanding of the impact of citizenship in the modern world must consider not just its role in bringing together members of particular sub-populations and promoting some of their interests, but also the effects of rendering the global population governable by dividing it into sub-populations consisting of the citizens of discrete, politically independent and competing states. (shrink)
Existen dos concepciones de ciudadanía funcionando en el mundo moderno. Una que la visualiza como un paquete complejo de derechos y responsabilidades inherentes a los individuos en virtud de su membrecía a una comunidad política apropiada. La otra la considera como una marca de identificación, su..
There is a pressing need to think the Heidegger affair. There are several states of urgency, and thus the affair is not the exclusive province of the political or politics. There is an urgency of thought.1A union of state and philosophy can make sense only if philosophy promises to be unconditionally useful to the state, that is to say, to set usefulness to the state higher than the truth. It would be splendid of course for the state if it also (...) had truth in its pay and service; but the state itself well knows that it is part of the essence of truth that it never accepts pay or stands in anyone's service. 2. (shrink)
_Mini-set E: Radical Politics/The Socialist Tradition_ re-issues works by H B Acton, George Brenkert, Tom Campbell, Antony Cutler, BarryHindess, Paul Hirst, Athar Hussain, Amlan Datta, J Jupp, Dennis Kavanagh, Norman MacKenzie, Patricia Pugh and Paul Thomas among others which discuss the history of socialism and the marxist and anarchist traditions.
We are often told that we are morally obligated to produce equal opportunity for all. Therefore, it seems we should examine what power we have to produce that desirable state. For it would be nonsense to say we are required to provide what is beyond our power to provide. When we examine this question, we find our power limited by two sets of constraints. One set comprises formal constraints upon the idea itself of equal opportunity. We cannot do the logically (...) impossible. The other set comprises limits upon our ability to produce the directed socio-economic change, getting known outputs for known inputs. I illustrate the formal constraints by outlining the work of Douglas Rae. The constraints upon our abilities I illustrate with evidence from sociology and politics. At the end, we shall discover that our power to make opportunities equal is sharply though not unbearably limited. A critical but unbaised survey will reveal that in the past fifty years we have gone remarkably far towards doing all that we are presently capable of doing to equalize opportunities. Perhaps we shall go even farther when we learn how. The word ‘real’ in the title is opposed to ‘ideal’ or even ‘chimerical'. It may seem an interesting question what equality of opportunity should consist in were we able to produce directed socio-economic change at will. But we are not. Therefore, a more interesting and more important question is what equality of opportunity consists in given the very large number of constraints within which we must work to achieve it. (shrink)
Locke was once supposed to have argued that since the colours, sounds, odours, and other ‘secondary’ qualities things appear to have can vary greatly according to the state and position of the observer, it follows that our ideas of the ‘secondary’ qualities of things do not ‘resemble’ anything existing in the objects themselves. And Berkeley has been credited with the obvious objection that similar facts about the ‘relativity’ of our perception of ‘primary’ qualities show that they do not ‘resemble’ anything (...) existing in the objects either, so that both ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ qualities exist only ‘in the mind’. The falsity of this view of Locke has been amply demonstrated in recent years, but no corresponding revision has been made in what remains the standard interpretation of Berkeley's criticisms of Locke. His objections therefore appear to be based on misunderstanding and to be irrelevant to what is now seen to be Locke's actual view and his reasons for holding it. I think this account of Berkeley, like the old view of Locke, is a purely fictional chapter in the history of philosophy, and in this paper I try to show that Berkeley's criticisms involve no misunderstanding and amount to a direct denial of the view Locke actually held. (shrink)
As the author of Justice as Impartiality, I am not ashamed to admit that I was delighted by the liveliness of the discussion generated by it at the meeting on which this symposium is based. I am likewise grateful to the six authors for finding the book worthy of the careful attention that they have bestowed on it. Between them, the symposiasts take up many more points than I can cover in this response. I shall therefore focus on some themes (...) that cluster round the contractual device that I associate with the notion of justice as impartiality. Is it necessary? If it is not necessary is it nevertheless useful? Within an overall contractual framework is the form of contract that I propose uniquely justifiable? And does the form of contract that I defend generate the implications that I claim for it? (shrink)
Perhaps the most remarkable event in social thought of the last twenty years has been the resurgence of various strands of individualism as political doctrines. The term ‘individualism’ is a kind of general rubric that encompasses elements of nineteenth century classical liberalism, laissez-faire economics, the theory of the minimal state, and an extreme mutation out of this intellectual gene pool, anarcho-capitalism. The term libertarianism itself is applied indiscriminately to all of those doctrines. It has no precise meaning, except that in (...) a general sort of way libertarianism describes a more rigorous commitment to moral and economic individualism and a more ideological approach to social affairs than conventional liberalism. I suspect that its current usage largely reflects the fact that the word with the better historical pedigree, liberalism, has been associated, in America especially, with economic doctrines that are alien to the individualist tradition. (shrink)
Barry Dainton presents a fascinating new account of the self, the key to which is experiential or phenomenal continuity. Provided our mental life continues we can easily imagine ourselves surviving the most dramatic physical alterations, or even moving from one body to another. It was this fact that led John Locke to conclude that a credible account of our persistence conditions - an account which reflects how we actually conceive of ourselves - should be framed in terms of mental (...) rather than material continuity. But mental continuity comes in different forms. Most of Locke's contemporary followers agree that our continued existence is secured by psychological continuity, which they take to be made up of memories, beliefs, intentions, personality traits, and the like. Dainton argues that that a better and more believable account can be framed in terms of the sort of continuity we find in our streams of consciousness from moment to moment. Why? Simply because provided this continuity is not lost - provided our streams of consciousness flow on - we can easily imagine ourselves surviving the most dramatic psychological alterations. Phenomenal continuity seems to provide a more reliable guide to our persistence than any form of continuity. The Phenomenal Self is a full-scale defence and elaboration of this premise. The first task is arriving at an adequate understanding of phenomenal unity and continuity. This achieved, Dainton turns to the most pressing problem facing any experience-based approach: losses of consciousness. How can we survive them? He shows how the problem can be solved in a satisfactory manner by construing ourselves as systems of experiential capacities. He then moves on to explore a range of further issues. How simple can a self be? How are we related to our bodies? Is our persistence an all-or-nothing affair? Do our minds consist of parts which could enjoy an independent existence? Is it metaphysically intelligible to construe ourselves as systems of capacities? The book concludes with a novel treatment of fission and fusion. (shrink)
Barry Schein proposes combining a second-order treatment of plurals with DonaldDavidson's suggestion that there are positions for reference to events in ordinary predicates inorder to account for several of the more puzzling features of ...
This book raises questions about the nature of philosophy by examining the source and significance of one central philosophical problem: how can we know anything about the world around us? Stroud discusses and criticizes the views of such philosophers as Descartes, Kant, J.L. Austin, G.E. Moore, R. Carnap, W.V. Quine, and others.
A collection of material on Husserl's Logical Investigations, and specifically on Husserl's formal theory of parts, wholes and dependence and its influence in ontology, logic and psychology. Includes translations of classic works by Adolf Reinach and Eugenie Ginsberg, as well as original contributions by Wolfgang Künne, Kevin Mulligan, Gilbert Null, Barry Smith, Peter M. Simons, Roger A. Simons and Dallas Willard. Documents work on Husserl's ontology arising out of early meetings of the Seminar for Austro-German Philosophy.
_Stream of Consciousness_ is about the phenomenology of conscious experience. Barry Dainton shows us that stream of consciousness is not a mosaic of discrete fragments of experience, but rather an interconnected flowing whole. Through a deep probing into the nature of awareness, introspection, phenomenal space and time consciousness, Dainton offers a truly original understanding of the nature of consciousness.
All major western countries today contain groups that differ in their religious beliefs, customary practices or ideas about the right way in which to live. How should public policy respond to this diversity? In this important new work, Brian Barry challenges the currently orthodox answer and develops a powerful restatement of an egalitarian liberalism for the twenty-first century. Until recently it was assumed without much question that cultural diversity could best be accommodated by leaving cultural minorities free to associate (...) in pursuit of their distinctive ends within the limits imposed by a common framework of laws. This solution is rejected by an influential school of political theorists, among whom some of the best known are William Galston, Will Kymlicka, Bhikhu Parekh, Charles Taylor and Iris Marion Young. According to them, this 'difference-blind' conception of liberal equality fails to deliver either liberty or equal treatment. In its place, they propose that the state should 'recognize' group identities, by granting groups exemptions from certain laws, publicly 'affirming' their value, and by providing them with special privileges or subsidies. In Culture and Equality, Barry offers an incisive critique of these arguments and suggests that theorists of multiculturism tend to misdiagnose the problems of minority groups. Often, these are not rooted in culture, and multiculturalist policies may actually stand in the way of universalistic measures that would be genuinely beneficial. (shrink)
Since the 1970s Barry Stroud has been one of the most original contributors to the philosophical study of human knowledge. This volume presents the best of Stroud's essays in this area. Throughout, he seeks to clearly identify the question that philosophical theories of knowledge are meant to answer, and the role scepticism plays in making sense of that question. In these seminal essays, he suggests that people pursuing epistemology need to concern themselves with whether philosophical scepticism is true or (...) false. Stroud's discussion of these fundamental questions is essential reading for anyone whose work touches on the subject of human knowledge. (shrink)
We say "the grass is green" or "lemons are yellow" to state what everyone knows. But are the things we see around us really colored, or do they only look that way because of the effects of light rays on our eyes and brains? Is color somehow "unreal" or "subjective" and dependent on our human perceptions and the conditions under which we see things? Distinguished scholar Barry Stroud investigates these and related questions in The Quest for Reality. In this (...) long-awaited book, he examines what a person would have to do and believe in order to reach the conclusion that everyone's perceptions and beliefs about the color of things are "illusions" and do not accurately represent the way things are in the world as it is independently of us. Arguing that no such conclusion could be consistently reached, Stroud finds that the conditions of a successful unmasking of color cannot all be fulfilled. The discussion extends beyond color to present a serious challenge to many other philosophical attempts to discover the way things really are. A model of subtle, elegant, and rigorous philosophical writing, this study will attract a wide audience from all areas of philosophy. (shrink)