The status of the body figures paradoxically in the interrelated discourses of whiteness, aesthetic taste, and hipness. While Richard Dyer’s analysis of whiteness argues that white identity is “in but not of the body,” Carolyn Korsmeyer’s and Julia Kristeva’s feminist analyses of aesthetic “taste” demonstrate that this faculty is traditionally conceived as something “of” but not “in” the body. While taste directly distances whiteness from embodiment, hipness negatively affirms this same distance: the hipster proves his elite status within (...) class='Hi'>white culture by positioning himself as, in the words of James Chance’s song title, “Almost Black.” The notion of hip contributes to my analysis of taste by focusing on both the gender politics of white embodiment, and how, by taking the social body as object of the prepositions “in” and “of,” these discourses of taste and hipness produce individual bodies as white, and maintain Whiteness as a socio-political norm. (shrink)
George Yancy gathers white scholarship that dwells on the experience of whiteness as a problem without sidestepping the question’s implications for Black people or people of color. This unprecedented reversion of the “Black problem” narrative challenges contemporary rhetoric of a color-evasive world in a critically engaging and persuasive study.
From beginning to end, the poem is literally made up of relations…[that] constitute a method of contemplation and criticism, a way of inviting the reader to think in terms of one thing in terms of another. Consider, for example, Odysseus' trip to Chryse in book 1, a passage I never read without surprise: in this tense and heavily charged world, in which everything seems to have been put into potentially violent contention, why are we given this slow and deliberate journey, (...) so heavily formulaic in texture? The answer is that this is a ritual of reconciliation, a kind of healing, which will receive its most ample performance at the great movement in book 24 when Achilles and Priam share their sorrows. A movement begins here that will run throughout the poem.It is by such an art of arrangement, by placing one thing against another, that Homer criticizes the world of book 1 with which he began; not, as we expect of a writer today, by elaborating competitive languages of motives and value but by ordering his materials into patterns of experience that teach the reader something different from anything the material itself seems to say.1 In a way the poem, as a whole thus has the form of argument; not, of course, argument in the ratiocinative sense of a thesis supported by propositions, from which it can be said to proceed by the rules of logic or the laws of probability, but argument as an activity of critical engagement, a definition of resources and a testing of limits, that results in the creation of a new position taken by the writer and offered to the reader. An argument goes on in the text, but its method is closer to that of music than debate.· 1. Cf. Cedric H. Whitman, Homer and the Heroic Tradition chap. 6, for another view of the ways that formula and image combine.James B. White is a professor in the law school, the college, and the committee on the ancient Mediterranean world at the University of Chicago. He is the author of The Legal Imagination, Constitutional Criminal Procedure, and a book on rhetoric and culture, from which the present article is drawn. (shrink)
In this book, James Boyd White shows how texts by some of our most important thinkers and writers—including Plato, Shakespeare, Dickinson, Mandela, and Lincoln—answer these questions, not in the abstract, but in the way they wrestle ...
This elegant and painstakingly detailed portrait of St. Thomas Aquinas, whose distinctive theme is the unity of his life and work, is an elaboration of the first section of the author's substantial article on Aquinas in the Dictionnaire de spiritualité. The present work consists of the following parts: a foreword; sixteen chapters which narrate and reflect upon the relevant events, including the composition of Aquinas' writings, between his birth in 1224/25 and his canonization on July 18, 1323 and its aftermath; (...) a summary chronology; a catalogue of writings and a bibliography, both established by Gilles Emery; and indexes of Aquinas' writings and of proper names. As this bare enumeration of contents suggests, the work resembles and indeed depends upon James A. Weisheipl's monumental Friar Thomas d'Aquino: His Life, Thought, and Works, which was originally published in 1974 and then reprinted "with addenda and corrigenda" in 1983. However, it also goes beyond Weisheipl's work in two important respects. (shrink)
One of the most important philosophers of recent times, Morton White has spent a career building bridges among the increasingly fragmented worlds of the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. From a Philosophical Point of View is a selection of White's best essays, written over a period of more than sixty years. Together these selections represent the belief that philosophers should reflect not only on mathematics and science but also on other aspects of culture, such as religion, art, (...) history, law, education, and morality.White's essays cover the full range of his interests: studies in ethics, the theory of knowledge, and metaphysics as well as in the philosophy of culture, the history of pragmatism, and allied currents in social, political, and legal thought. The book also includes pieces on philosophers who have influenced White at different stages of his career, among them William James, John Dewey, G. E. Moore, and W. V. Quine. Throughout, White argues from a holistic standpoint against a sharp epistemological distinction between logical and physical beliefs and also against an equally sharp one between descriptive and normative beliefs.White maintains that once the philosopher abandons the dogma that the logical analysis of mathematics and physics is the essence of his subject, he frees himself to resume his traditional role as a student of the central institutions of civilization. Philosophers should function not merely as spectators of all time and existence, he argues, but as empirically minded students of culture who try to use some of their ideas for the benefit of society. (shrink)
By any measure, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., led a full and remarkable life. He was tall and exceptionally attractive, especially as he aged, with piercing eyes, a shock of white hair, and prominent moustache. He was the son of a famous father, a thrice-wounded veteran of the Civil War, a Harvard-educated member of Brahmin Boston, the acquaintance of Longfellow, Lowell, and Emerson, and for a time a close friend of William James. He wrote one of the classic works (...) of American legal scholarship, The Common Law, and he served with distinction on the Supreme Court of the United States. He was actively involved in the Court's work into his nineties. In Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, G. Edward White, the acclaimed biographer of Earl Warren and one of America's most esteemed legal scholars, provides a rounded portrait of this remarkable jurist. We see Holmes's early life in Boston and at Harvard, his ambivalent relationship with his father, and his harrowing service during the Civil War. White examines Holmes's curious, childless marriage and he includes new information on Holmes's relationship with Clare Castletown. White not only provides a vivid portrait of Holmes's life, but examines in depth the inner life and thought of this preeminent legal figure. There is a full chapter devoted to The Common Law, for instance, and throughout the book, there is astute commentary on Holmes's legal writings. Indeed, White reveals that some of the themes that have dominated 20th-century American jurisprudence--including protection for free speech and the belief that "judges make the law"--originated in Holmes's work. Perhaps most important, White suggests that understanding Holmes's life is crucial to understanding his work, and he continually stresses the connections between Holmes's legal career and his personal life. For instance, his desire to distinguish himself from his father and from the "soft" literary culture of his father's generation drove him to legal scholarship of a particularly demanding kind. White's biography of Earl Warren was hailed by Anthony Lewis on the cover of The New York Times Book Review as "serious and fascinating," and The Los Angeles Times noted that "White has gone beyond the labels and given us the man." In Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, White has produced an equally serious and fascinating biography, one that again goes beyond the labels and gives us the man himself. (shrink)
Dans ce livre, Morton White propose une vaste reconsidération de la philosophie de la culture au vingtième siècle, montrant les limites de la conception analytique et du positivisme logique au profit d’une étude empirique plus globale des différentes institutions de la culture.La perspective adoptée est à la fois pragmatiste et holiste. Pragmatiste car, en s’opposant à toutes les formes de dualisme de la pensée rationnelle classique, l’auteur propose une vision plus souple des ajustements entre théorie et expérience. Holiste car (...)White montre que l’on confronte les croyances à l’expérience, non sous forme d’hypothèses, mais toujours sous la forme d’un système en évolution. Et là est l’originalité de l’ouvrage : même notre connaissance morale se constitue en soumettant tout un système de croyances à l’épreuve de notre expérience sensible et de nos sentiments d’obligation.L’auteur renouvelle ainsi les approches de Peirce, James, Russell, Dewey, Quine, Goodman et Rawls. Bien plus qu’une introduction historique au pragmatisme et à son héritage, c’est toute une reconception de la philosophie et de ses rapports à la culture qui se dessine ici. (shrink)
_The Hidden God_ revisits the origins of American pragmatism and finds a nascent "posthumanist" critique shaping early modern thought. By reaching as far back as the Calvinist arguments of the American Puritans and their struggle to know a "hidden God," this book brings American pragmatism closer to contemporary critical theory. Ryan White reads the writings of key American philosophers, including Jonathan Edwards, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William James, and Charles Sanders Peirce, against modern theoretical works by Niklas Luhmann, Richard (...) Rorty, Jacques Derrida, Sharon Cameron, Cary Wolfe, and Gregory Bateson. This juxtaposition isolates the distinctly posthumanist form of pragmatism that began to arise in these early texts, challenging the accepted genealogy of pragmatic discourse and common definitions of posthumanist critique. Its rigorously theoretical perspective has wide implications for humanities research, enriching investigations into literature, history, politics, and art. (shrink)
This new edition of William James’s 1909 classic, A Pluralistic Universe reproduces the original text, only modernizing the spelling. The books has been annotated throughout to clarify James’s points of reference and discussion. There is a new, fuller index, a brief chronology of James’s life, and a new bibliography—chiefly based on James’s own references. The editor, H.G. Callaway, has included a new Introduction which elucidates the legacy of Jamesian pluralism to survey some related questions of contemporary (...) American society. -/- A Pluralistic Universe was the last major book James published during his life time. It is a substantial philosophical work, devoted to a thorough-going criticism of Hegelian monism and Absolutism—and the exploration of philosophical and social-theological alternatives. Our world of some one hundred years on is much the better for James’s contributions; and understanding James’s pluralism deeply contributes even now to America’s self-understanding. At present, we are more certain that American is, and is best, a pluralistic society, than we are of what particular forms our pluralism should take. Keeping an eye out for social interpretations of Jamesian pluralism, this new philosophical reading casts light on our twenty-first century alternatives by reference to prior American experience and developments. -/- . (shrink)
William James had the courage to experience the collision of European and American ways of thinking head on, and to emerge from it with a new philosophy - one displaying a remarkable vitality for dealing with the transformative issues at the core of the human condition. This easy to read introduction to his life and work explains why James' work is overwhelmingly valuable to us today in getting to grips with the spiritual dimension of human experience.
Medical ethicists conventionally assume that the requirement to employ informed consent procedures is grounded in autonomy. It seems intuitively plausible that providing information to an agent promotes his autonomy by better allowing him to steer his life. However, James Taylor questions this view, arguing that any notion of autonomy that grounds a requirement to inform agents turns out to be unrealistic and self-defeating. Taylor thus contends that we are mistaken about the real theoretical grounds for informed consent procedures. Through (...) analysing Taylor's arguments and showing that they do not stand up to scrutiny, it is possible to defend the view that autonomy is a plausible theoretical basis for informed consent, and to enhance our understanding of the relationship between autonomy and informed consent. (shrink)
The question whether epistemological concepts are closed under deduction is an important one since many skeptical arguments depend on closure. Such skepticism can be avoided if closure is not true of knowledge (or justification). This response to skepticism is rejected by Peter Klein and others. Klein argues that closure is true, and that far from providing the skeptic with a powerful weapon for undermining our knowledge, it provides a tool for attacking the skeptic directly. This paper examines various arguments in (...) favor of closure and Klein's attempted use of closure to refute skepticism. Such a refutation of skepticism is mistaken. But the closure principle is in any case false, so the skepticism that depends on it is undermined. The appeal of the closure principle derives from a failure to recognize an important feature of our epistemological concepts, namely, their context relativity. (shrink)
A questionnaire study was performed among Swedish organic livestock farmers to determine their view of animal welfare and other ethical issues in animal production. The questionnaire was sent to 56.5% of the target group and the response rate was 75.6%. A principal components analysis (exploratory factor analysis) was performed to get a more manageable data set. A matrix of intercorrelations between all pairs of factors was computed. The factors were then entered into a series of multiple regression models to explain (...) five dependent variables. Respondents were well educated and had long experience of farming. 81% were full-time farmers. They generally had a very positive attitude towards organic animal husbandry. They considered allowing animals their natural behavior a central aim, which is in accordance with organic philosophy. Farmers tended to be less approving of concepts like animal rights, dignity, and intrinsic value. When analyzing correlations between the factors, two groups of farmers emerged that were only partially correlated, representing different attitudes and behavioral dispositions. These may be interpreted as two subpopulations of organic livestock farmers in Sweden: those who saw organic farming as a lifestyle (``pioneer attitude'''') and entrepreneurs, who considered making money and new challenges more important. Their view of animal welfare differed. While the pioneers considered natural behavior a key issue, this was less important to the entrepreneurs, who also had a more approving attitude towards invasive operations such as castration and were more critical of the organic standards. (shrink)
The current study examined whether Callous-Unemotional (CU) traits, a core component of psychopathy, modulate neural responses of participants engaged in a social exchange game. In this task, participants were offered an allocation of money and then given the chance to punish the offerer. Twenty youth participated and responses to both offers and the participant’s punishment (or not) of these offers were examined. Increasingly unfair offers were associated with increased dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) activity but this responsiveness was not modulated (...) by CU traits. Increasing punishment of unfair offers was associated with increased dACC and anterior insula activity and this activity was modulated by CU traits. Higher CU trait participants showed a weaker association between activity and punishment level. These data suggest that CU traits are associated with appropriate expectations of other individual’s normative behavior but weaker representations of such information when guiding behavior of the self. (shrink)
Youths with disruptive behavior disorders and psychopathic traits showed reduced amygdala responses to fearful expressions under low attentional load but no indications of increased recruitment of regions implicated in top- down attentional control. These findings suggest that the emotional deficit observed in youths with disruptive behavior disorders and psychopathic traits is primary and not secondary to increased top- down attention to nonemotional stimulus features.
What do we know when we know the law? Not a set of rules or theories, but a set of practices that are at bottom practices of reading--reading the texts of the law, reading the world--and writing (including of course speaking), especially writing in news ways in the inherited language of the law. Legal knowledge is a writer's knowledge. It always has as one of its deepest themes the question of justice. These themes are explored through an examination of the (...) Model Penal Code, which respect to which I ask what it would be like to learn this material with an eye to using it as a language of thought and argument. It is full of tensions and fissures about the most important matters, including its conceptions of justice and the purposes of criminal law, its central ideas of blameworthiness as a function of intention or state of mind, and its conception of proportionality. These can be seen as defects to be cured, or as reflections of irremediable tensions deep in our thought about these matters which it is a virtue not a vice of the Code to render explicit. To shift from legislative to judge-made law, I next examine Holmes's famous opinions in Shenck and Abrams, which I read in the light offered by the Model Penal Code, using that text to help define the criminal law issues presented in the two cases. This in turn helps define Holmes's achievement in these cases as a transformation of the criminal law, which leads to his constitutional doctrine. Finally, I analyze Brandeis's opinion in Whitney as an intellectual and rhetorical achievement of a different, and more extraordinary, kind. In all of these, the idea is to demonstrate how it is that legal knowledge is a writer's knowledge: for the drafter of statutes, for the composer of judicial opinions applying statutory and constitutional law alike, and for the lawyer thinking through and arguing a case. (shrink)