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 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)
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 ...