The goal of discourse-based decision-making is to free negotiations from self-interested, strategic interactions. In this paper it is argued that the absence of interests may lead to both efficiency losses and redistribution between participants of the discourse and outsiders. The latter effect is the stronger, the more personal relationships between discourse participants become. Therefore, it is essential to validate the recommendations arrived at in discourses in democratic decision-making processes that are driven by competition between different points of views and interests.
The ethics of decision making for the critically ill elderly is an area of concern for all those involved in the decision-making process. The number of participants involved in decision making around end-of-life issues may be many: treatment and care decisions often bring together not only the patient and the physician, but the family, an extended medical care team, and impartial members of a hospital or institutional ethics committee. In addition, treatment and care decisions made at the end of life (...) occur in a variety of settings, not just the acute care hospital. Elderly patients who are critically ill, or in the final days or weeks of life, are found in intensive care or medical units of hospitals, in hospital and nursing home based hospice programs, in long-term care settings such as skilled nursing facilities, or at home, where they are tended by family caregivers. Differences in patterns of decision making regarding the care and treatment of critically ill older adults can be found across these settings, and decisions often vary according to the roles of the participants. (shrink)
I develop Iris Murdoch's argument that “there is no Platonic ‘elsewhere,’ similar to the Christian ‘elsewhere.’ ” Thus: Iris Murdoch is against the Separation of the Forms not as a correction of Plato but in order to keep faith with him; Plato's Parmenides is not a source book of accurately targeted self-refutation but a catalogue of student errors; the testimony of Aristotle and Gilbert Ryle about Plato's motivations in the Theory of Forms is not an indubitable foundation from (...) which to denounce Iris Murdoch's treatment of Plato as inaccurate but a rival reading of dubious charity. If Iris Murdoch's version of the Theory of Forms strikes Newton Garver as an incoherent mix of influences from Wittgenstein and Plato, this is not because Iris Murdoch is herself confused, but because in important respects the orthodoxy has Plato wrong. (shrink)
Iris Murdoch has long been known as one of the most deeply insightful and morally passionate novelists of our time. This attention has often eclipsed Murdoch's sophisticated and influential work as a philosopher, which has had a wide-ranging impact on thinkers in moral philosophy as well as religious ethics and political theory. Yet it has never been the subject of a book-length study in its own right. Picturing the Human seeks to fill this gap. In this groundbreaking book, author (...) Maria Antonaccio presents the first systematic and comprehensive treatment of Murdoch's moral philosophy. Unlike literary critical studies of her novels, it offers a general philosophical framework for assessing Murdoch's thought as a whole. Antonaccio also suggests a new interpretive method for reading Murdoch's philosophy and outlines the significance of her thought in the context of current debates in ethics. This vital study will appeal to those interested in moral philosophy, religious ethics, and literary criticism, and grants those who have long loved Murdoch's novels a closer look at her remarkable philosophy. (shrink)
Art plays a significant role in Iris Murdoch’s moral philosophy, a major part of which may be interpreted as a proposal for the revision of religious belief. In this paper, I identify within Murdoch’s philosophical writings five distinct but related ways in which great art can assist moral/religious belief and practice: art can reveal to us “the world as we were never able so clearly to see it before”; this revelatory capacity provides us with evidence for the existence of (...) the Good, a metaphor for a transcendent reality of which God was also a symbol; art is a “hall of reflection” in which “everything under the sun can be examined and considered”; art provides us with an analogue for the way in which we should try to perceive our world; and art enables us to transcend our selfish concerns. I consider three possible objections: that Murdoch’s theory is not applicable to all forms of art; that the meaning of works of art is often ambiguous; and that there is disagreement about what constitutes a great work of art. I argue that none of these objections are decisive, and that all forms of art have at least the potential to furnish us with important tools for developing the insight required to live a moral/religious life. (shrink)
If in our use of imagery we are all of us the unacknowledged legislators of the world, it would follow that one can ‘serve the cause of sexual equality in education’ by challenging the way our images of the academic are gendered. This is the excellent stated purpose of Sabina Lovibond's short new book, Iris Murdoch, Gender and Philosophy. The effect is as I shall show somewhat at odds with this.
Despite the fact that Iris Murdoch's influence on contemporary virtue ethics is often neglected, both her general criticism of the dominant currents of early 20th century ethical theory and some of its more particular threads, like scepticism towards principle-based accounts and the fact-value distinction or the emphasis on moral psychology, show her affinity with philosophers like Anscombe, Williams, and MacIntyre. On the other hand, some particular details of her perspective seem absent from, if not alien to, the standard neo-Aristotelian (...) virtue ethical stance. It especially applies to Murdoch's high esteem for Plato, which is reflected in the central place she gives to love and the apparently non-natural concept of Good and which, at some points, is developed in religious, or even mystical, directions. (shrink)
Can the experience of great art play a role in our coming to understand the ethical framework of another person? In this article I draw out three themes from Iris Murdoch’s ‘The Sovereignty of Good’ in order to show the role that communal attention to works of art can play in our ethical lives. I situate this role in the context of Murdoch’s wider philosophical views.
Iris Murdoch is an English philosopher and novelist whose philosophical and literary approach has underscored the emotional and psychological complexities of moral rectitude of which, she argues, mid-20th century English philosophy seems to be neglecting. Criticizing the reduction of ethics as largely an act of choice (prescriptive ethics), Murdoch postulates a Platonic approach of a vision of the Good in morality and metaphysics, but in such a way that inherently culminates in a “tragedy of the divine,” that is, the (...) vision of the Good dissolves the vision of God in religion. In so doing, she radically reconfigures the architectonic of classical tragedy by plotting it as the equivalent interplay between the exercise of freewill of God and human beings. -/- By a “tragic” reading of one of her philosophical and psychological novels, The Bell (1958), this paper aims (1) to expound on Murdoch’s critique of tragedy as a literary genre and philosophic concept and (2) to argue that in this novel she situates the drama of tragedy within the psychological convolution of a metaphysics of morality. In so doing, she offers three configurations of the tragic genre: (a) by preferring novels over plays, Murdoch constructs an enlarged theatre where the form of the drama of tragedy is brought to bear in modern life; (b) that the high seriousness of tragedy is not exclusive to the ultimate questions of survival and authenticity, but play largely even in the most commonplace events; and (c) that there is an inherent interplay between tragedy and religion, and in this interplay, the traditional understanding of religion generates its own tragedy whereby the ultimate resolution appears to be a religion without gods, that is, a “tragedy of the divine.” . (shrink)
Iris Murdoch's concept of Good is a central feature of her moral theory; in Murdoch's thought, attention to the Good is the primary means of improving our moral conduct. Her view has been criticised on the grounds that the Good is irrelevant to life in this world (Don Cupitt), that the notion of a transcendent, single object of attention is incoherent (Stewart Sutherland), and that we can only understand what goodness is if we see it as an attribute of (...) a theistic, trinitarian God (Christoph Schwöbel). The paper argues that, with some clarification and development of Murdoch's view, these objections are by no means fatal to her position. (shrink)
While Iris Murdoch lived, Charles Taylor found philosophers as yet ‘too close’ to her rich philosophical contribution to see its true importance (Taylor 1996: 3). Twelve years from her death, Iris Murdoch, Philosopher is the first collection of essays on Murdoch’s philosophy edited by a philosopher, for a readership in academic philosophy. The collection is not yet the fulfilment of Taylor’s prophecy, but has the energy of a giant leap.
I observe Iris Murdoch's distinctive use of the word ‘flux’ in discussion of Sartre's Nausea and show that her usage is persuasive and revolutionary, first as Sartre exegesis, second as Heraclitus exegesis, and throughout as a contribution to the philosophy of language. Murdoch's usage of ‘flux’ frames a comparison of Sartre's Roquentin with other figures who have had similarly flowing experience but without nausea. Roquentin's plight is shown to be ‘a philosopher's plight’ precipitated by a defective theory of descriptive (...) success. I then show how the Heraclitean fragments would support Murdoch's treatment of flux and on close analysis contradict the established view exemplified in the work of Wittgenstein and Jonathan Barnes. Flux is not a variety of change, and the river image ‘cannot be analysed into non-metaphorical components without a loss of substance’. (shrink)
This review essay discusses two recent attempts to reform the framework in which issues of international and global justice are discussed: Iris Marion Young’s ‘social connection’ model and the practice-dependent approach, here exemplified by Ayelet Banai, Miriam Ronzoni and Christian Schemmel’s edited collection. I argue that while Young’s model may fit some issues of international or global justice, it misconceives the problems that many of them pose. Indeed, its difficulties point precisely in the direction of practice dependence as it (...) is presented by Banai et al. I go on to discuss what seem to be the strengths of that method, and particularly Banai et al.’s defence of it against the common claim that it is biased towards the status quo. I also discuss Andrea Sangiovanni and Kate MacDonald’s contributions to the collection. (shrink)
We consider three accepted truths about iris biometrics, involving pupil dilation, contact lenses and template aging. We also consider a relatively ignored issue that may arise in system interoperability. Experimental results from our laboratory demonstrate that the three accepted truths are not entirely true, and also that interoperability can involve subtle performance degradation. All four of these problems affect primarily the stability of the match, or authentic, distribution of template comparison scores rather than the non-match, or imposter, distribution of (...) scores. In this sense, these results confirm the security of iris biometrics in an identity verification scenario. We consider how these problems affect the usability and security of iris biometrics in large-scale applications, and suggest possible remedies. (shrink)
The writing of Iris Murdoch has long been of interest to both literature enthusiasts and students of philosophy. The years Murdoch spent studying philosophy at Oxford and Cambridge left an indelible imprint on her work. The essays in this book address both Murdoch’s philosophy and writing in the context of Continental philosophy and postmodern fiction. Many of the twelve essays resist the prevailing critical orthodoxies, introducing instead new theories with which to approach one of Britain’s most revered authors.
This is a rebuttal of influential attempts to appropriate Murdoch for either Christianity or Buddhism. I show that Maria Antonaccio and Peter Byrne ignore Murdoch's explicit statements and misunderstand Murdoch’s interest in the Ontological Argument. I explain how St. Anselm’s remark ‘I believe in order to understand’ is properly connected with Murdoch’s parable of the Mother-in-Law: Murdoch is here offering support for a virtue epistemology. Later, I explore the merits and dangers of exegesis from Peter J. Conradi and Gordon Graham (...) treating Murdoch as a kind of Buddhist. I argue that the sense in which Murdoch is speaking as a ‘ Buddhist Christian’ makes her a third kind of thinker resembling a Buddhist on some points, and a Christian on others. (shrink)
Dombrowski and Murdoch offer versions of the ontological argument which aim to avoid two types of objection – those concerned with the nature of the divine, and those concerned with the move from an abstract concept to a mind-independent reality. For both, the nature of the concept of God/Good entails its instantiation, and both supply a supporting argument from experience. It is only Murdoch who successfully negotiates the transition from an abstract concept to the instantiation of that concept, however, and (...) this is achieved by means of an ontological argument from moral experience which, in a reversal of the Kantian doctrine, depends ultimately on a form of the cosmological argument. (shrink)
Murdoch brings together the darkness of misery and the darkness of wickedness under the observation that ‘goodness is not acontinuously active organic part of our purposes and wishes’. This looks like an empirically minded correction of Socrates. But besides correcting Socrates, is Murdoch also offering, as Stephen Mulhall suggests, ‘a fundamental counter-example’ to her own ‘moral vision’? This depends on what one takes Murdoch’s moral vision to be. I trace Mulhall's mistake to Maria Antonaccio's misidentification of the good with the (...) concept of the good. (shrink)
: Richard Moran argues that Iris Murdoch is an Existentialist who pretends not to be. His support for this view will be shown to depend on his attempt to assimilate Iris Murdoch's discussion of moral ‘vision’ in the parable of the Mother in Law to Sartre's thought on ‘choice’ and ‘orientation’. Discussing both Moran's Murdoch exegesis and Sartre's Being and Nothingness, I develop the Sartrean view to which Moran hopes to assimilate Murdoch, before pointing out how Moran's assimilation (...) fails. Murdoch's thought that when M is just and loving she sees D ‘as she really is’ cannot be accommodated on Sartre's picture. I develop this point of disagreement between Murdoch and Sartre, and argue that Murdoch has not as Moran claims made a misattribution to Sartre of an unsituated will, but has instead offered a penetrating critique of the central theme of Sartre's epistemology. (shrink)
Iris Murdoch was one of the best-known philosophers and novelists of the post-war period. In this book, Sabina Lovibond explores the tangled issue of Murdoch's stance towards gender and feminism, drawing upon the evidence of her fiction, philosophy, and other public statements. As well as analysing Murdoch's own attitudes, Iris Murdoch, Gender and Philosophy is also a critical enquiry into the way we picture intellectual, and especially philosophical, activity. Appealing to the idea of a 'social imaginary' within which (...) Murdoch's work is located, Lovibond examines the sense of incongruity or dissonance that may still affect our image of a woman philosopher, even where egalitarian views officially hold sway. The first thorough exploration of Murdoch and gender, Iris Murdoch, Gender and Philosophy is a fresh contribution to debates in feminist philosophy and gender studies, and essential reading for anyone interested in Murdoch's literary and philosophical writing. (shrink)
: In the last few years, there has been a revival of interest in the philosophy of Iris Murdoch. Despite this revival, however, certain aspects of Murdoch's views remain poorly understood, including her account of a concept that she famously described as ‘central’ to moral philosophy—i.e., love. In this paper, I argue that the concept of love is essential to any adequate understanding of Murdoch's work but that recent attempts by Kieran Setiya and David Velleman to assimilate Murdoch's account (...) of love to neo-Aristotelian or neo-Kantian theories of moral agency are misconceived. We will not understand what Murdoch is trying to do unless we understand her position as a radical alternative to such theories. Here, I present a reading of Murdoch's account of love as a form of Platonic eros directed toward two objects: the Good and the particular individual. It is in navigating the tension between these two objects that we find ourselves facing what Murdoch famously described as ‘the extremely difficult realization that something other than oneself is real’. When properly understood, Murdoch's account of love opens up conceptual space for an alternative approach to some of the central questions in contemporary moral theory. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to present a perspective on Iris Murdoch conception of metaphysics, starting from her puzzling contention that she could describe herself as a ?Wittgensteinian Neo-Platonist?. I argue that this statement is a central clue to the nature both of her philosophical method which is strongly reminiscent of Wittgenstein's, and of her Platonism, which in its emphasis on the everyday and metaphorical aspects of his work differs starkly from received modern interpretations. Placing Murdoch between Plato (...) and Wittgenstein can help us to understand the nature of her metaphysics as a complex, continuous, pictorial activity, which shows a deep awareness of and is compatible with the late twentieth century and contemporary distrust of large metaphysical systems or explanations. (shrink)
Articulating the good of liberal education—what we should teach and why we should teach it—is necessary to resist the subversion of liberal education to economic or political ends and the mania for measurable skills. I argue that Iris Murdoch's philosophical writings enrich the work of contemporary Aristotelians, such as Joseph Dunne and Alasdair MacIntyre, on these issues. For Murdoch, studies in the arts and intellectual subjects, by connecting students to the inescapable contingency and finitude of human existence, contribute to (...) the cultivation of intellectual and moral virtues and thus to human flourishing. (shrink)
Originally, the idea of interviewing Iris Marion Young in Barcelona came about after she accepted an invitation to give a public lecture at the Law School of Pompeu Fabra University in May 2002. I had first met Iris back in 1999, at a conference in Bristol, England, and I was impressed deeply by her personality and ideas. We kept in touch since then and exchanged papers and ideas. She was very keen to come to Spain (it seems that (...) her mother had lived some years in Mallorca) and she finally travelled to Barcelona with her husband and daughter in spring 2002. The lecture, which she entitled "Women, War, and Peace," was meant to be the closing session of a course on Gender and the Law, and was also part of a series of seminars annually organized by the legal philosophy department (the Albert Calsamiglia Seminar). Her work was quite well-known among several Catalan philosophers and political scientists and professor Angel Castiñeira-who, at the time, was the director of Idees (Ideas), a Catalan journal published by the Centre d'Estudis de Temes Contemporanis (Center for the Study of Contemporary Issues)-suggested that she could give a second lecture, which they would publish together with an interview I could prepare. She accepted both proposals, and I started to think of a questionnaire for the interview while I was at Queen's University in Canada earlier that year. Idil Boran, a philosopher and good friend who did her doctorate at Queen's, offered to help me with this endeavour, since she also admired Iris as both a scholar and a person. Together we prepared the questions and sent them to her once she was back in Chicago, as there was not time to conduct the interview in person while she was in Barcelona. In fall 2002, she sent some answers to our questions, but the document was unfortunately incomplete. She was busy at the time, so we didn't want to pressure her to finish the interview. Eventually, the editors of Idees decided to publish the manifest about the war in Iraq subscribed by a large number of American Intellectuals together with fragments of Iris's (antiwar) lectures and an article that she wrote together with Daniel Archibugi, "Envisioning a Global Rule of Law." The interview was thus left unpublished. Both Idil and I thought it would be worthwhile to publish it somewhere else, but, for one reason or another, Iris didn't have the time to complete it and we kept postponing the project. At some point, she said that the questions she left unanswered were too complex or challenging to give a short or quick answer, and that she would need to reflect on them to provide detailed responses. Later, we learned she was ill and we didn't feel it was right to insist on those questions being answered. The issue came up again when she accepted to participate as a keynote speaker at the World Congress of Legal Philosophy held in Granada in June 2005. She then said she would come first to Barcelona (where she and Nancy Fraser had been invited to a workshop by the Catalan Women Institute) and suggested we could sit in a cafe and talk about the issues left out in those unanswered questions. Unfortunately, she had to cancel this trip because of her medical treatment, and I did not have the privilege of sharing time with her again. The following series of questions and responses are the product of this rather extended interview process. (shrink)
This article explains Iris Murdoch’s notion of moral vision and its importance as a basic concept within applied ethics. It does so by exploring the influence of Iris Murdoch upon Alasdair MacIntyre whose ideas are frequently discussed by business ethicists. Arguably, the British philosopher Iris Murdoch (1919–1999) who wrote – amongst others – Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals ( 1992 ), along with her contemporaries, Philippa Foot and Elizabeth Anscombe, pioneered the resurgence of Aristotle’s virtue ethics. (...) Furthermore, Iris Murdoch influenced Alasdair MacIntyre. Heather Widdows, in her biography of Iris Murdoch lists Alasdair MacIntyre amongst those ‘thinkers she inspired’ (Widdows, The moral vision of Iris Murdoch, Ashgate Publishing, Aldershot, 2005 , p. 10). And in his writings MacIntyre does both examine Murdoch’s work and acknowledge that ‘Iris Murdoch has … put us all in her debt’ (MacIntyre, 1993 , The New York Times on the Web , January 3, http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/12/20/specials/murdoch-metaphysics.html , p. 3). Murdoch was both an influential philosopher and a successful novelist. MacIntyre has stated that ‘Iris Murdoch’s novels are philosophy: but they are philosophy which casts doubt on all philosophy, including her own’ ( London Review of Books , 3–16 June, 1982 , p. 15). I therefore explore in this article the influence of Iris Murdoch’s literary work, where ‘true vision occasions right conduct’ upon Alasdair MacIntyre’s portrayal of us as ‘storytelling animals’ on a ‘narrative quest’. (shrink)
: This essay explores the value of oppositional, performative political action in the context of oppression, domination, and exclusionary political spheres. Rather than adopting Iris Marion Young's approach, Drexler turns to Hannah Arendt's theories of political action in order to emphasize the capacity of political action as action to intervene in and disrupt the constricting, politically devitalizing, necrophilic normalizations of proceduralism and routine, and thus to reorient the importance of contestatory action as enabling and enacting creativity, spontaneity, and resistance.
In The Sovereignty of Good Iris Murdoch suggests that the central task of the moral agent involves a true and loving perception of an- other individual, who is seen as a particular reality external to the agent. Writing in the 1960s she claimed that this dimension of morality had been "theorized away" in contemporary ethics. I will argue today that 20 years later, this charge still holds true of much contemporary ethical theory.
What is citizenship? This question goes back to the political philosophy of Aristotle, and how one answers it will be decisive in determining one's vision of political life. In the last ten to fifteen years, the question of citizenship has aroused a renewed set of extremely lively debates within political philosophy, and Iris Marion Young has certainly occupied an important place within these theoretical debates. In particular, Young—especially in her seminal article, Polity and Group Difference: A critique of the (...) ideal of universal citizenship—has presented a sharp challenge to all political theorists who are in some broad sense intellectually nourished by the tradition of civic republicanism and who think about the theme of citizenship under the influence of civic‐republican conceptions. In essence, Young's argument is that the practices of contemporary liberal society show that the implicit normative promise contained in the idea of a universal citizen identity has not been fulfilled, and therefore we must rethink this notion from the ground up. The purpose of my essay is to review the arguments that constitute Young's challenge to the civic‐republican tradition, with a view to clarifying the following questions: Is Young's political theory aimed at a reconstruction of the idea of citizenship on a normatively more sound basis? Or does her project imply a rejection of the idea of citizenship, and its displacement by an alternative understanding of political membership? (shrink)
This review essay discusses two recent attempts to reform the framework in which issues of international and global justice are discussed: Iris Marion Young's ?social connection' model and the practice-dependent approach, here exemplified by Ayelet Banai, Miriam Ronzoni and Christian Schemmel's edited collection. I argue that while Young's model may fit some issues of international or global justice, it misconceives the problems that many of them pose. Indeed, its difficulties point precisely in the direction of practice dependence as it (...) is presented by Banai et al. I go on to discuss what seem to be the strengths of that method, and particularly Banai et al.'s defence of it against the common claim that it is biased towards the status quo. I also discuss Andrea Sangiovanni and Kate MacDonald's contributions to the collection. (shrink)
Drawing on Iris Marion Young’s essay, “House and Home: Feminist Variations on a Theme,” Weir argues for an alternative ideal of home that involves: (1) the risk of connection, and of sustaining relationship through conflict; (2) relational identities, constituted through both relations of power and relations of mutuality, love, and flourishing; (3) relational autonomy: freedom as the capacity to be in relationships one desires, and freedom as expansion of self in relationship; and (4) connection to past and future, through (...) reinterpretive preservation and transformative identification. (shrink)
This article offers a critical reading of three major biographies of the British novelist and philosopher Iris Murdoch. It considers in particular how a limited concern for gender issues has hampered their portrayals of Murdoch as a creator of images and ideas. The biographies are then contrasted to a biographical sketch constructed from Murdoch's philosophical writing. The assessment of the biographies is set against the larger background of the relation between women and philosophy. In doing so, the paper offers (...) a critical response to Sally Haslanger's recent “Musings” (Haslanger 2008), which is contrasted to Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own (1929) and Michèle Le Doeuff's Hipparchia's Choice (2007). (shrink)
Three key contributions of Iris Young to democratic political theory, and three challenges that have arisen in response to Young's theory, are examined here in relation to education. First, Young has argued that oppression and domination, not distributive inequality, ought to guide discussions about justice. Second, eliminating oppression requires establishing a politics that welcomes difference by dismantling and reforming structures, processes, concepts and categories that sustain difference‐blind, impartial, neutral, universal politics and policies. The infatuation with merit and standardized tests, (...) both of which are central to measuring educational achievement, are chief amongst the targets in need of reform. Third, a politics of difference requires restructuring the division of labour and decision‐making so as to include disadvantaged social groups but allow them to contribute without foregoing their particularities. The challenges that have arisen in response to Young's theory are first, that difference is merely another way of getting at inequality of resources or opportunities, and if it is not, then, second, a politics of difference values difference for the sake of difference rather than for the sake of alleviating social disadvantage. Third, in theory and in practice a politics that focuses on difference putatively jeopardizes a politics whose aim is to improve the redistribution of resources. (shrink)
The debate over encumbered versus unencumbered selves that characterized the dialogue between liberalism and republicanism did not end well. Neither side seemed enlightened by its encounter with the other, as it became increasingly difficult to pin down the differences between the sides, never more so than when Michael Sandel was violently agreeing with Richard Dagger. Drawing on the work of novelist and philosopher Iris Murdoch, this essay argues that Sandel could have made a much stronger argument for his view (...) than he did. Sandel need not have conceded or concluded that encumbered selves are unable to choose freely. Freedom is a more subtle and complicated concept that either Sandel or Dagger recognize. (shrink)
Iris Marion Young was a world-renowned feminist moral and political philosopher whose many books and articles spanned more than three decades. She explored issues of social justice and oppression theory, the phenomenology of women's bodies, deliberative democracy and questions of terrorism, violence, international law and the role of the national security state. Her works have been of great interest to those both in the analytic and Continental philosophical tradition, and her roots range from critical theory, and phenomenology to poststructural (...) psychoanalytic feminism. This anthology of writings aims to carry on the fruitful lines of thought she created and contains works by both well-known and younger authors who explore and engage critically with aspects of her work. The essays include personal remembrances as well as a last interview with Young about her work. The essays are organized into topic areas that are of interest to students in advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in ethics, feminist theory, and political philosophy. (shrink)
The paper discusses Iris Marion Young's idea of asymmetric reciprocity that rethinks typical understandings of gift giving. Iris Marion Young's proposals for asymmetric ethical relationships have important implications for democratic contexts that seek to take differences seriously. Imagining oneself in the place of the other or expecting from the other what one expects from oneself levels out differences between people and hinders possibilities of interaction. The conditions of asymmetry and reciprocity of Iris Marion Young's communicative ethics, as (...) well as that of the unexpected as understood within situations of gift giving, bring about new readings of learning and teaching situations. The paper discusses issues of power and knowledge that have important ethical implications for how the relationships between the teacher and student could be imagined and how the teacher and student imagine themselves. Following Derridean underpinnings to Young's notion of asymmetric reciprocity the paper questions pedagogic attempts that seek to minimize the asymmetric positions of the teacher and the student and challenges educational practices based on the reproduction of knowledge and reproduction of persons. The paper follows Young's arguments against Derrida's reading of asymmetry as being one sided. It argues that such a reading does away with the idea of teaching and learning altogether as teaching necessarily involves acts of responding. It continues to argue that Young's conceptualizations of gift giving as reciprocal and asymmetrical open up alternative understandings of the pedagogic relationships between teachers and students. (shrink)