This paper explores the concept of “livity,” the ground of Rastafari subjectivity. In its multifaceted nuances, “livity” represents the Rastafari invention of a religious tradition and discourse, whose ethos was fundamentally sacred, signified the immanence of the Absolute in dialectic with the Rastafari worldview and life world. Innovatively, the Rastafari coined the term “livity” to a discourse to combat despair, damnation, social death, and the existential chaos-monde they referred to as Babylon. In the process, the Rastafari reclaimed their power to (...) name their world. The Rastafari neologism “livity” articulated a mysticism, alternative spatial visions, and a positive technology of the self that revalorized blackness, explored, and interrogated profound dimensions of the human condition, from within the Jamaican context, that inevitably brought them into conflict with the local colonial authorities and implicitly shifted the model of social relations between the master and slave. (shrink)
Do our lives have meaning? Should we create more people? Is death bad? Should we commit suicide? Would it be better if we were immortal? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic? Life, Death, and Meaning brings together key readings, primarily by English-speaking philosophers, on such 'big questions.'.
Francis Bacon, the English philosopher, statesman and jurist, is best known for developing the empiricist method which forms the basis of modern science. Bacon's writings concentrated on philosophy and judicial reform. His most significant work is the Instauratio Magna comprising two parts - The Advancement of Learning and the Novum Organum. The first part is noteworthy as the first major philosophical work published in English. James Spedding and his co-editors arranged this fourteen-volume edition, published in London between 1857 and (...) 1874, not in chronological order but by subject matter, so that different volumes would appeal to different audiences. The material is divided into three parts: philosophy and general literature; legal works; and letters, speeches and tracts relating to politics. Volume 1, published 1857, contains the biography by Bacon's secretary, William Rawley, and part 1 of the philosophical works included in the Instauratio Magna. (shrink)
This paper takes up an underdeveloped argument of Charles Taylor that linguisticality is constitutive of moral agency. Taylor’s position is part of a set of contemporary arguments that language, especially as dialogue or discourse, is the normative framework which grounds or validates fundamental norms or values. Taylor’s contribution to this “dialogical turn” is substantial and innovative, but it is not without weakness. Rather than deal with all the issues involved in this dialogical turn, I argue just that language does ground (...) morality as a distinctively human way of creating meaning, that is, as Taylor argues, constitutive of the self and self-understanding. Self-understanding, or the appropriation of moral self-consciousness, is what is meant by the authenticity and autonomy which constitute moral authority. I argue in essence that language provides a necessary and constitutive link between private and public spheres of meaning in a way that renders moral discourse meaningful and constitutively human. (shrink)
Do our lives have meaning? Should we create more people? Is death bad? Should we commit suicide? Would it be better to be immortal? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic? Since Life, Death, and Meaning: Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions first appeared, David Benatar's distinctive anthology designed to introduce students to the key existential questions of philosophy has won a devoted following among users in a variety of upper-level and even introductory courses.
The U.S. regulations for the protection of humans in biomedical and behavioral research were "born in scandal and reared in protectionism." This paper discusses the evolution of these regulations and the gaps that still persist in the ongoing effort to strike a balance between protecting vulnerable populations from research risks and providing all individuals and groups with an equal opportunity to benefit from research. In particular, this paper focuses on racial, social, and economic inequities in the selection of research participants; (...) the exclusion and underrepresentation of the elderly in research, and controversies about U.S. clinical trials conducted in developing countries. (shrink)
It seems to me that there are two ways we can approach Cohen's work in Elevations. One way is to ask if these essays fairly, if not insightfully and creatively, represent the philosophies of Rosenzweig and Levinas. In this case, the discussion would focus on Cohen as an interpreter of another's work. Even if we are of a certain analytical mind, we might ask a variation of the same sets of questions to wonder if the essays 'make sense' or render (...) anything intelligible. But in either case, one focuses on Cohen as an interpreter of an-other's work. (shrink)
This paper argues that we need to rethink what the object of economic analysis is; that is, what the intelligible relations of an economy are. The paper starts by acknowledging that economies are a constitutive element of human habitats. It also agrees that modern economic analysis based on the price-auction market has provided substantial knowledge about the operation of economies. However, I argue that a more fruitful line of inquiry than the price-auction market is to focus on the schemes of (...) personal and social meaning that set the context for economies. In developing this argument, I describe how such schemes function as a network of human relationships which provide the conditions of the possibilities of the emergence of economic technologies. That is, the explanandum of economy is not the classical price-auction market but the recurrent social cooperative structure (order) of economy in which markets are embedded. (shrink)
Leslie Stephen, author, literary critic, social commentator and the first editor of the Dictionary of National Biography, published his two-volume History of English Thought in the Eighteenth Century in 1876. This led him to further investigation and study of utilitarianism, whose proponents believed that human action should be guided by the principle of ensuring the happiness of the greatest number of people. While working on many other projects, especially the Dictionary, and haunted by domestic tragedy in the sudden death (...) of his second wife in 1895, Stephen struggled for two decades with this undertaking, calling it the 'utilitarian bog': the long-awaited three-volume work was finally published in 1900. Volume 2 examines the life and political background of James Mill whose writings were influential in the dissemination of utilitarianism. (shrink)
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