In “Race, Multiculturalism, and Democracy,” Robert Gooding-Williams offers an insight. He writes: “Our sense of ourselves and of the possibilities existing for us is, to a significant degree, a function of the descriptions we have available to us to conceptualize our intended actions and prospective lives. . . . ‘Hence if new modes of description come into being, new possibilities of action come into being in consequence.’” In this article, I discuss the philosopher’s role in the articulation of new descriptions (...) and thus new possibilities. I argue that potential modes of bold and assertive comportment are conjured when new insurrectionist descriptions are articulated within oppressed populations. To bring this to a higher resolution, I discuss the pervasiveness of dialectical conflict, the need to creatively reorient the descriptions of oppressed groups toward liberation, and the need for more than one prescriptive mode of social amelioration. (shrink)
In The Agrarian Vision , Thompson argues that a better appreciation of agrarian ideals could lead to a more virtuous, more sustainable way of life. While I agree with Thompson in many respects, there are some aspects of the book that I question and others that I would like to hear Thompson explicate in greater detail. In this paper, I question Thompson’s claim that agrarian farmers and farming communities serve as ideal models of virtuous habits and good character. I challenge (...) Thompson’s use of virtue theory, particularly the notion that farming virtues can be acquired without participating in farming practices. In the end, I make the point that Thompson seems to vacillate between being realistic and being idealistic, which may seriously complicate our notions of responsibility and obligation in practice. (shrink)
ABSTRACT In “Race, Multiculturalism, and Democracy,” Robert Gooding-Williams offers an insight. He writes: “Our sense of ourselves and of the possibilities existing for us is, to a significant degree, a function of the descriptions we have available to us to conceptualize our intended actions and prospective lives…. ‘Hence if new modes of description come into being, new possibilities of action come into being in consequence.’” In this article, I discuss the philosopher's role in the articulation of new descriptions and thus (...) new possibilities. I argue that potential modes of bold and assertive comportment are conjured when new insurrectionist descriptions are articulated within oppressed populations. To bring this to a higher resolution, I discuss the pervasiveness of dialectical conflict, the need to creatively reorient the descriptions of oppressed groups toward liberation, and the need for more than one prescriptive mode of social amelioration. (shrink)
John Dewey and Alasdair MacIntyre are seldom considered philosophically compatible. Yet, both critique contemporary liberalism by focusing on the pervasiveness of atomistic, pecuniary, laissez-faire individualism. I argue that Dewey and MacIntyre have not abandoned individualism as much as reconstructed the concept. Dewey's and MacIntyre's conceptions of human flourishing rely on a nuanced conception of individualism, which I term "collectivistic individualism.".
In The Agrarian Vision, Thompson argues that a better appreciation of agrarian ideals could lead to a more virtuous, more sustainable way of life. While I agree with Thompson in many respects, there are some aspects of the book that I question and others that I would like to hear Thompson explicate in greater detail. In this paper, I question Thompson’s claim that agrarian farmers and farming communities serve as ideal models of virtuous habits and good character. I challenge Thompson’s (...) use of virtue theory, particularly the notion that farming virtues can be acquired without participating in farming practices. In the end, I make the point that Thompson seems to vacillate between being realistic and being idealistic, which may seriously complicate our notions of responsibility and obligation in practice. (shrink)
Raymond Boisvert and Lisa Heldke begin Philosophers at Table with a simile. Following Mary Midgley, they suggest that philosophy is like plumbing. We post-industrial urbanites and suburbanites rely on plumbing to bring us water and dispose of our waste. We rely on it daily, but we rarely think reflectively about it. In like fashion, we all rely on philosophy; ideas, concepts, values, and guiding principles structure and organize the way we perceive and experience the world. Philosophy lies undetected, out of (...) sight, tucked neatly in the walls and under the floorboards. We typically suffer its dripping faucets, its low water pressure, its slow drain as long as we can because these almost always involve unwieldy... (shrink)
The following paper serves as a review of a recent compilation of essays by Leonard Harris, addressing the reimagining of philosophy contained therein and engaging a handful of views borne by this unique philosophical conception from a Deleuzo-Guattarian perspective, focusing on a few of the strategic merits and challenges faced by a potential alliance between these thinkers.
Collating, for the first time, the key writings of Leonard Harris, this volume introduces readers to a leading figure in African-American and liberatory thought. -/- Harris' writings on honor, insurrectionist ethics, tradition, and his work on Alain Locke have established him as a leading figure in critical philosophy. His timely and urgent responses to structural racism and structural violence mark him out as a bold cultural commentator and a deft theoretician. -/- The wealth and depth of Harris' writings are brought (...) to the fore in this collection and the incisive introduction by Lee McBride serves to orient, contextualize, and frame an oeuvre that spans four decades. In his prolegomenon, Harris eschews the classical meaning of “philosophy,” supplanting it with an idiosyncratic conception of philosophy--philosophia nata ex conatu--that features an avowedly value-laden dimension. As well as serving as an introduction to Harris' philosophy, A Philosophy of Struggle provides new insights into how we ought conceptualize philosophy, race, tradition, and insurrection in the 21st century. (shrink)
This symposium examines insurrectionist ethics, the brainchild of Leonard Harris. The position does not stem from one key source; it was born out of Harris’s philosophical interaction with various philosophers over an extended period, including thinkers as diverse as David Walker, Karl Marx, Edward Wilmot Blyden, Alain Locke, and Angela Davis. The driving questions are: What counts as justified protest? Do slaves have a moral duty to insurrect? What character traits and modes to resistance are most conducive to liberation and (...) the amelioration of oppressive material conditions? Insurrectionist ethics is meant to address such questions. This symposium attempts to locate insurrectionist ethics in the work of representative practitioners. To this end, each of the contributors focuses on some historical figure in the American intellectual tradition with hopes of tracing, substantiating, questioning, clarifying, or extending Harris’s claims. (shrink)
This paper elucidates a key element that is often missing from graduate training in philosophy -- the art of teaching. In the first section, the author details the extent of the training many philosophers receive in the area of teaching. In the second section, the notion of sympathetic understanding (a la William James, Jane Addams, and John Dewey) is introduced. In the last section, the author articulates the role of sympathetic understanding in the classroom and the benefits that arise from (...) it. (shrink)
Martha Nussbaum argues that “garden-variety anger” is normatively irrational, politically unnecessary, and inevitably destructive (Nussbaum 2015). Anger, on this account, is portrayed as a primitive vestige of bygone days, an impediment to the genuine pursuit of justice and the honoring of obligations. Yet, on Nussbaum’s account, there is one exception: “transitional anger” – anger that quickly transitions into compassionate hope, focusing on future welfare. Martin Luther King, Jr. is evoked as an exemplar here. In response, this paper revisits Aristotle’s Nicomachean (...) Ethics to point out that (even-tempered) anger was listed among the virtues, and to discuss the practical wisdom required to approximate the mean in these cases. A case is made for the approbation of anger (in relation to the right person(s), in the right amount, at the right time, with the right aim in view, and in the right way). The argument hinges on the persistence of institutionalized oppressions, situated ignorance, and the role anger plays in galvanizing social agency among those who suffer social injustice. (shrink)
This chapter draws questions of race into food ethics. Appropriating a conception of race articulated by Alain Locke (1885‒1954), it is suggested that racial imperialism and the attending drive to claim proprietary ownership of racialized cultural products is responsible for much of the intercultural strife and race-based injustice in the modern world. Foods and foodways, understood as cultural products, are then discussed against the backdrop of racial partisanship in the exchange and consumption of foods and cuisine. Notions of authenticity and (...) cultural appropriation are discussed in this light. It is argued that there is a place for race in the discussion of food ethics and that racial imperialism and racial partisanship in the exchange and consumption of foods should be repudiated. (shrink)
This paper offers an account of leftist democratic politics, one that seeks insights and new possibilities in the confluence of liberal-reformist thought and radical democratic post-Marxist thought. An interpretation of the renascent liberalism of John Dewey is compared to the radical democracy of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, exposing shared commitments to radical democracy, egalitarianism, and continued struggles to combat the varied intersectional manifestations of subordination. The author argues that this confluence of thought offers a tenable leftist democratic politics, one (...) that remains open to transnational perspectives, critiques, and insights. (shrink)
This paper discusses racism and the liberation of racially oppressed peoples. An account of insurrectionist ethics is offered, outlining the types of moral intuitions, character traits, and methods required to garner impetus for the liberation of oppressed groups. For illustrative purposes, the core tenets of insurrectionist ethics are highlighted in the work of Angela Davis. It is argued that insurrectionist ethics and its militant posture of resistance is crucial to human liberation and social amelioration in the face of racism.
The American philosophical tradition is often portrayed as a genteel tradition that is committed to democracy and the incremental expansion of democracy through suasionist means. In an attempt to complicate this narrative, the author articulates the basic features of Leonard Harris’s insurrectionist ethics, then attempts to locate this insurrectionist ethics in the work of Henry D. Thoreau. It is argued that this insurrectionist ethos is a fecund addition to the American philosophical tradition and that insurrectionist character traits and modes of (...) comportment offer appealing resources to those faced with oppression and hegemony. (shrink)
This symposium examines insurrectionist ethics, the brainchild of Leonard Harris. The position does not stem from one key source; it was born out of Harris’s philosophical interaction with various philosophers over an extended period, including thinkers as diverse as David Walker, Karl Marx, Edward Wilmot Blyden, Alain Locke, and Angela Davis. The driving questions are: What counts as justified protest? Do slaves have a moral duty to insurrect? What character traits and modes to resistance are most conducive to liberation and (...) the amelioration of oppressive material conditions? Insurrectionist ethics is meant to address such questions. This symposium attempts to locate insurrectionist ethics in the work .. (shrink)
The modern way of life is highly dependent upon the production of goods by industrial organizations that are in turn dependent upon their workers for their ongoing operations. Even though more than a century has passed since the dawn of the industrial revolution, many dangerous aspects of work, both physical and mental, remain in the workplace today. Using Buddhist philosophical principles, this paper suggests that although many sources of the problem reside within the larger society, the industrial engineer is still (...) a key factor in bettering work and providing a workplace suitable for their fellow workers. Drawing on these insights, we present a number of work design guidelines that industrial engineers who abide by Buddhist principles could practice to help overcome some of the many sufferings produced by modern work. (shrink)
McBride, Glen I was brought up a good Anglican boy by two non-religious parents. My mother was probably an incipient feminist. I knew my father better but never heard him discuss anything religious. At 19, I arrived in England, a bookworm in the RAAF and discovered George Bernard Shaw in perhaps the most exciting mind-opening time of my life. He introduced me to the word 'agnostic' and made it clear that no one had anything worth saying for or against (...) god and its existence. He convinced me - as I'm sure he had many others. I immediately pronounced myself agnostic and in the almost seventy years since, have never found a reason to change that decision. (shrink)
SummaryIt has been argued that clinical medicine should be regarded as a relatively autonomous science. While it draws upon other sciences which variously contribute to medical knowledge, it is not just an “application” of any of these, alone or in combination. Its contributions to medical knowledge are made within the context of patient care (the term “clinical medicine” is used here to emphasize this matter). It is distinct from other sciences in its domain of inquiry and its approach to this (...) domain, studying relationships between events and processes of many kinds and levels as they occur in the human organism. To the fullest extent possible (and to an extent not possible elsewhere) these relationships are investigated as they occur within the living organism. Arguments providing logical justification for this approach have been offered. The practical justification of its approach, and of clinical medicine itself, rests in its accomplishments. Various possible objections to the scientific status of clinical medicine have been discussed and found lacking in force. I have no doubt that there might be other objections. However, these would also, I believe, be found on examination to result from too restrictive definitions of “science,” unacceptable in their exclusion also of other recognized sciences, or from lack of familiarity with modern clinical medicine. (shrink)
In this summary of my recent book , I outline a general theoretical approach for the psychology of religion and develop one component of it in detail. First I review arguments and research demonstrating the utility of attachment theory for understanding many aspects of religious belief and behavior, particularly within modern Christianity. I then introduce evolutionary psychology as a general paradigm for psychology and the social sciences, arguing that religion is not an adaptation in the evolutionary sense but rather a (...) byproduct of numerous psychological systems that evolved for other adaptive purposes, of which the attachment system is just one example. I conclude by summarizing numerous advantages of this framework over other extant approaches to the psychology of religion. (shrink)
I argue that naturalistic pictures provide a guide and a justification for our concept of colour. The crucial relation between pictures and colours is to be brought out, not by reference to the ‘internal’ relations between colours (for example, what differentiates green from red), but by considering how colours are differentiated from the wider range of visually discriminable qualities. Naturalistic pictures effect such a differentiation by simulating colour-like qualities such as gold, amber, and blond, while requiring nothing beyond the three-dimensional (...) manifold of colour space. The seeming simplicity and salience of colour in our visual experience should be recognized as depending on our familiarity with this reductive power of naturalistic pictures. While some sense of these issues has been given expression by many thinkers, the idea is significantly articulated in remarks of Wittgenstein's that were prompted by his reading of a letter the painter Runge wrote to Goethe. (shrink)
Although the criteria of double effect is usually used with issues of warfare and human health, such as abortion and euthanasia, the authors suggest using T. A. Cavanaugh's version of double effect reasoning when deliberating about cases that deal with the social media. With the creation of a modified version of Cavanaugh's three criteria, both social media users and those who evaluate decisions in that medium will have an alternate ethical decision-making model to use. The authors show how one might (...) use this model in the age of anytime, anywhere technology. (shrink)
Debate over the curricula of Black colleges and universities dates back to before the turn of the century and involved such noted Black leaders as Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois. The 1890 Land-Grant Colleges eventually established in 17 southern and border states were created to provide institutions for the teaching of the agricultural and mechanical arts to African-Americans. However, due to their being chronically underfunded and understaffed during the early decades of their existence, they focused mainly on teacher training (...) and to a large extent became state normal schools or teacher colleges for Blacks. I argue that the improvements in public education of southern Blacks at the primary and secondary levels during the 1920s and 1930s induced many graduates of the 1890 institutions to become teachers. At the same time the growing numbers and higher quality of these individuals lead to an increase in the returns to time spent in school and induced increasing numbers of Black parents to send their children to school. During the 1930s expenditures per pupil in Black public schools increased, as did the real wages of Black teachers, while average classroom size fell. At the same time both literacy and school attendance of southern Blacks rose. In no small part these changes were due to 1890 colleges and their students. (shrink)
Both Watts and Beit-Hallahmi are enthusiastic about attachment theory as an important contribution to the psychology of religion, but they raise very different criticisms regarding other aspects of the book. I respond to Beit-Hallahmi by defending my assertion that a scientific approach to psychology of religion need not lead to the conclusion, nor rest on the premise, that the beliefs under study are ontologically false. I argue further that this "veridicality trap" has deep roots in prevailing, deeply mistaken assumptions about (...) how the mind/brain works, and show how an evolutionary approach clearly exposes such reasoning as fallacious and offers a powerful, alternative perspective on the problem. In response to Watts, I defend evolutionary psychology against the charge that it is not sufficiently empirical, and argue that the computational cognitive approach he prefers should be seen as complementary to an evolutionary approach rather than an alternative to it. (shrink)
This study contributes to existing research on polymedia by probing into what we call academic polymedia, investigating the constant availability of interpersonal, professional, and social media for constructing scholarly personas. Drawing on the technobiographical narratives of a group of Hong Kong bilingual academics, we analyze academics’ perceptions of their media choices as situated in their professional polymedia environments. In particular, we examine how choices between public and private media shape academic persona development, and the way polymedia engagement impacts the participants’ (...) language choice for academic purposes. This study sheds light on existing research on workplace discourse and identity in sociolinguistics by offering a polymedia dimension that draws on people’s media ideology in developing their professional identities. (shrink)
Contemporary physics is in a great need of a unified theoretical framework allowing for a comprehensive physical description of particles and interactions. One of the leading candidates for such a framework, the superstring theory, has recently provoked immense critics due to the lack of its experimental verification (L. Smolin, R. Penrose). The survey of the specificity of the unification mechanisms that are operative within the superstring theory shows that, in comparison with such a successful paradigm as that of the general (...) theory of relativity, the unification model of the theory does not follow the strict relation between the formalism and a unifying physical idea. The critical analysis of the superstring theory, presented by Lee Smolin in his book The Trouble with Physics, offers a detailed re-evaluation of theory's physical foundations but remains insensitive to issues of methodological, ontological and epistemological import. In particular, Smolin seems to be aware of the lack of the background independence as well as the need to compactify extra space-time dimensions that are hoped to be alleviated in the future M-theory. He treats purely mathematical criteria such as that of renormalizability on an equal footing with the physical interpretation of the theory. Such a methodological disarray leads to Smolin's biased estimate of the true drawbacks of the superstring theory. (shrink)
This essay honors the teaching legacy of Katie Geneva Cannon. The renowned social ethicist, theologian, and womanist scholar was foremost a beloved teacher. Her former student reflects on Cannon’s embodied teaching praxis that contends for the historical survival of the particular self. Weaving personal narrative and curriculum theory, the essay supplies intimate glimpses into the expansive and liberative learning space Cannon nurtured in her classrooms.
Medium- and high-spin states of Pr-134 were populated using the Cd-116(Na-23, 5n) reaction and studied with the GAMMASPHERE spectrometer. Several new bands have been found in this nucleus, one of them being linked to the previously observed chiral-candidate twin-band structure. The ground state of Pr-134 could be determined through establishing a level structure that connects the two previously known long-lived isomeric states. Unambiguous spin-parity assignments for the excited states could be performed based on the known 2(-) spin-parity of the ground (...) state combined with the present experimental data. Intrinsic single-particle configurations have been assigned to the newly observed bands on the basis of the measured B(M1)/B(E2) ratios, alignments, band-crossing frequencies, bandhead spins, the observed single-particle configurations in the neighboring nuclei, and taking into account the predictions of total Routhian surface and tilted-axis cranking calculations. (shrink)
High-spin states have been studied in Pr-135(59), populated through the Cd-116(Na-23,4n) reaction at 115 MeV, using the Gammasphere gamma-ray spectrometer. The negative-parity yrast band has been significantly extended to spin similar to 45 (h) over bar and excitation energy 21.5 MeV, showing evidence for several rotational alignments. The positive-parity yrast band of Ce-135(58), populated through the p4n channel of this reaction, was also populated to spin similar to 38 (h) over bar and excitation energy 18 MeV. Cranking calculations indicate that (...) these nuclei are soft with respect to the triaxiality parameter gamma and that several competing nuclear shapes occur at high spin. (shrink)
A recursive graph is a graph whose vertex and edge sets are recursive. A highly recursive graph is a recursive graph that also has the following property: one can recursively determine the neighbors of a vertex. Both of these have been studied in the literature. We consider an intermediary notion: Let A be a set. An A-recursive graph is a recursive graph that also has the following property: one can recursively-in-A determine the neighbors of a vertex. We show that, if (...) A is r.e. and not recursive, then there exists A-recursive graphs that are 2-colorable but not recursively k-colorable for any k. This is false for highly-recursive graphs but true for recursive graphs. Hence A-recursive graphs are closer in spirit to recursive graphs than to highly recursive graphs. (shrink)
Over the past two decades, Victor and Cullen's (Adm Sci Q 33:101-125, 1988) typology of ethical climates has been employed by many academics in research on issues of ethical climates. However, little is known about how managerial practices such as communication and empowerment influence ethical climates, especially from a functional perspective. The current study used a survey of employees from Taiwan's top 100 patent-owning companies to examine how communication and empowerment affect organizational ethical climates. The results confirm the relationship between (...) these two managerial practices and organizational ethical climates. We discuss our results and their implications for both future academic research and practice. (shrink)
This article provides current Schwartz Values Survey (SVS) data from samples of business managers and professionals across 50 societies that are culturally and socioeconomically diverse. We report the society scores for SVS values dimensions for both individual- and societal-level analyses. At the individual-level, we report on the ten circumplex values sub-dimensions and two sets of values dimensions (collectivism and individualism; openness to change, conservation, self-enhancement, and self-transcendence). At the societal-level, we report on the values dimensions of embeddedness, hierarchy, mastery, affective (...) autonomy, intellectual autonomy, egalitarianism, and harmony. For each society, we report the Cronbach’s α statistics for each values dimension scale to assess their internal consistency (reliability) as well as report interrater agreement (IRA) analyses to assess the acceptability of using aggregated individual level values scores to represent country values. We also examined whether societal development level is related to systematic variation in the measurement and importance of values. Thus, the contributions of our evaluation of the SVS values dimensions are two-fold. First, we identify the SVS dimensions that have cross-culturally internally reliable structures and within-society agreement for business professionals. Second, we report the society cultural values scores developed from the twenty-first century data that can be used as macro-level predictors in multilevel and single-level international business research. (shrink)
Traditional navigation visualization utilizes two-dimensional. maps for road guidance or arrow symbols for turn by turn information. While the advantage of map views is supposed to be the inherent understanding of the surroundings, often these schematic line-drawing bird's eye views are rather confusing than helpful because they cannot provide an overview and an appropriate level of detail in an area of interest at the same time, i.e. the user is forced to change between different resolutions. In this paper we describe (...) a 3D visualization system for vehicle navigation that overcomes these shortcomings by providing a realistic and perspective 3D view of the environment. (shrink)
Escalation of commitment causes people to continue a failing course of action. We study the role of construal level in such escalation of commitment. Consistent with the widely held view of construal level as a primed effect, we employed a commonly used prime for manipulating this construct in a laboratory experiment. Our findings revealed that the prime failed to produce statistically significant differences in construal level, which was measured using the Behavior Identification Form. Furthermore, there was no effect of the (...) prime on escalation of commitment, or on constructs that have previously been linked to construal level such as the perceived importance of feasibility considerations relative to desirability considerations, and the number of pros and cons that subjects can think of.Interestingly, however, subjects’ actual construal level scores on the BIF were found to significantly affect escalation. Specifically, our findings show that people with a low construal level are less willing to continue a failing project. This relation is mediated by the perceived importance of the feasibility of the project relative to its desirability. For people with a low construal level, the perceived importance of feasibility relative to desirability is higher, which in turn makes escalation of commitment less likely.Our findings are consistent with prior research suggesting that priming construal level may not always be effective. Thus, while construal level has typically been regarded as a state-like variable that can be primed, in this study, we show that construal level may also be considered as a trait. (shrink)
I discuss the historical roots of the landscape problem and propose criteria for its successful resolution. This provides a perspective to evaluate the possibility to solve it in several of the speculative cosmological scenarios under study including eternal inflation, cosmological natural selection and cyclic cosmologies.Invited contribution for a special issue of Foundations of Physics titled Forty Years Of String Theory: Reflecting On the Foundations.