There is an apparent tension between the open-ended aspect of the ordinal sequence and the assumption that the set-theoretical universe is fully determinate. This tension is already present in Cantor, who stressed the incompletable character of the transfinite number sequence in Grundlagen and avowed the definiteness of the totality of sets and numbers in subsequent philosophical publications and in correspondence. The tension is particularly discernible in his late distinction between sets and inconsistent multiplicities. I discuss Cantor’s contrasting views, and I (...) conclude that his account of that distinction is only tenable if the definiteness of the set-theoretical universe is rejected. (shrink)
In 1936 Tarski sketched a rigorous definition of the concept of logical consequence which, he claimed, agreed quite well with common usage-or, as he also said, with the common concept of consequence. Commentators of Tarski's paper have usually been elusive as to what this common concept is. However, being clear on this issue is important to decide whether Tarski's definition failed (as Etchemendy has contended) or succeeded (as most commentators maintain). I argue that the common concept of consequence that Tarski (...) tried to characterize is not some general, all-purpose notion of consequence, but a rather precise one, namely the concept of consequence at play in axiomatics. I identify this concept and show that Tarski's definition is fully adequate to it. (shrink)
Because of its capacity to characterize mathematical concepts and structures?a capacity which first-order languages clearly lack?second-order languages recommend themselves as a convenient framework for much of mathematics, including set theory. This paper is about the credentials of second-order logic:the reasons for it to be considered logic, its relations with set theory, and especially the efficacy with which it performs its role of the underlying logic of set theory.
George Boolos has described an interpretation of a fragment of ZFC in a consistent second-order theory whose only axiom is a modification of Frege's inconsistent Axiom V. We build on Boolos's interpretation and study the models of a variety of such theories obtained by amending Axiom V in the spirit of a limitation of size principle. After providing a complete structural description of all well-founded models, we turn to the non-well-founded ones. We show how to build models in which foundation (...) fails in prescribed ways. In particular, we obtain models in which every relation is isomorphic to the membership relation on some set as well as models of Aczel's anti-foundation axiom (AFA). We suggest that Fregean extensions provide a natural way to envisage non-well-founded membership. (shrink)
In this paper an attempt is made to present Skolem's argument, for the relativity of some set-theoretical notions as a sensible one. Skolem's critique of set theory is seen as part of a larger argument to the effect that no conclusive evidence has been given for the existence of uncountable sets. Some replies to Skolem are discussed and are shown not to affect Skolem's position, since they all presuppose the existence of uncountable sets. The paper ends with an assessment of (...) the assumptions on which Skolem's argument rests from a present-day perspective. (shrink)
In this paper we discuss the way logical consequence depends on what sets there are. We try to find out what set-theoretical assumptions have to be made to determine a logic, i.e., to give a definite answer to whether any given argument is correct. Consideration of second order logic -which is left highly indetermined by the usual set-theoretical axioms- prompts us to suggest a slightly different but natural nation of logical consequence, which reduces second order logic indeterminacy without interfering with (...) first order logic. (shrink)
This paper deals with what I take to be one woman’s literary response to a philosophical problem. The woman is Jane Austen, the problem is the rationality of Hume’s ‘sensible knave’, and Austen’s response is to deepen the problem. Despite his enthusiasm for virtue, Hume reluctantly concedes in the EPM that injustice can be a rational strategy for ‘sensible knaves’, intelligent but selfish agents who feel no aversion towards thoughts of villainy or baseness. Austen agrees, but adds that ABSENT (...) CONSIDERATIONS OF A FUTURE STATE, other vices besides injustice can be rationally indulged with tolerable prospects of worldly happiness. Austen’s creation Mr Elliot in Persuasion is just such an agent – sensible and knavish but not technically ‘unjust’. Despite and partly because of his vices – ingratitude, avarice and duplicity – he manages to be both successful and reasonably happy. There are plenty of other reasonably happy knaves in Jane Austen, some of whom are not particularly sensible. This is not to say that either Austen or Hume is in favor of knavery It is just that they both think that only those with the right sensibility can be argued out of it. (shrink)
This paper argues that communitarian philosophy can be an important philosophic resource for feminist thinkers, particularly when considered in the light of Jane Addams's (1860-1935) feminist-pragmatism. Addams's communitarianism requires progressive change as well as a moral duty to seek out diverse voices. Contrary to some contemporary communitarians, Addams extends her concept of community to include interdependent global communities, such as the global community of women peace workers.
This comprehensive encyclopedia entry discusses the life and works of Jane Addams (1860-1935) who influenced contemporaries John Dewey, William James, and George Herbert Mead. Although not traditionally categorized as a philosopher, Addams was a prolific writer who developed a social philosophy of attentiveness and sympathetic knowledge that prefigures contemporary feminist care ethics.
In her final fragmentary novel Sanditon, Jane Austen develops a theme that pervades her work from her juvenilia onward: illness, and in particular, illness imagined, invented, or self-inflicted. While the “invention of odd complaints” is characteristically a token of folly or weakness throughout her writing, in this last work imagined illness is also both a symbol and a cause of how selves and societies degenerate. In the shifting world of Sanditon, hypochondria is the lubricant for a society bent on (...) turning health into a commodity. As a result, people’s rationality and their moral character come under attack. Catherine Belling’s recent subtle study, A Condition of Doubt: The Meanings of Hypochondria, unveils hypochondria’s discursive and cultural character. Running sharply against the tenor of Austen’s treatment, however, she argues in defense of the rationality of hypochondriacs; the notion that the condition may involve morally significant defects is not entertained; any connection to the commercialization of health care is muted. Here, I contrast Austen’s morally and epistemically negative rendering of her hypochondriacal characters in Sanditon with Belling’s efforts to create a sympathetic understanding of people with hypochondria. I will argue that, despite time gaps and genre differences, joint consideration of these texts can help bioethicists better appreciate how medicine can intensify, pathologize, and exploit anxieties about illness and death, thus adding to the challenges of living well in the face of mortality and morbidity. (shrink)
This work is a study of Jane Bowles's madness as revealed through several of her literary works and her life story. On a parallel plane, it is an epistemological exploration of the points of intersection between humanistic psychoanalysis and deconstructive literary criticism. Here we consider the schizoid traits in Two Serious Ladies (1943) and in “Camp Cataract” (1949), using the theories developed in this area by the psychiatrist R. D. Laing (1927–1989).
The sublime is an aspect of experience that has attracted a great deal of scholarship, not only for scholarly reasons but because it connotes aspects of experience not exhausted by what Descartes once called clear distinct perception. That is, the sublime is an experience of the world which involves us in orientating ourselves within it, and this orientation, our human orientation, elevates us in comparison to the non-human world according to traditional accounts of the sublime. The sublime tells us something (...) about our relation to the world rather than anything about the world per se. Nonetheless there is an objective sense of the sublime in that the narratives involved are culturally endorsed rather than invented by an individual. This means that objects can be judged worthy or not of evoking experiences of the sublime. In other words, it is not an idiosyncratic matter. Immanuel Kant’s formulation of this involved explaining how such an experience is possible in terms of his system of the mind. Jane Forsey notes that Kant takes the features of the sublime as given and extrapolates from them certain features of the mind as if any concept of the sublime must implicate the mental architecture of his account (2007). Further to this she argues that in fact the concept of the sublime does implicate a particular system of the mind but neither Kant nor anyone else can successfully formulate it because the concept itself frames certain contradictions. According to Forsey, two consequences follow. First she argues that Kant’s system of the mind does not support the features of the sublime; and secondly that no system could as the very concept is incoherent. If Forsey can show that Kant was mistaken in presenting his account as coherent given his commitments, this would be of interest in its own right. However, her stronger claim is that we cannot separate any concept of the sublime out from Kant’s theoretical underpinnings. That the way the features of the mind are meant to operate in experiences of the sublime are contradictory simply points to the fatal flaws in the whole concept. Her conclusion is that there is no coherent account of the sublime available to us. I will argue that Forsey bases her reasoning on the assumption that a foundational empiricist or direct perception holds; and she interprets Kant’s notions of imagination, understanding and reason as though they are grounded in just such an account of perception. This is revealed in her interpretation of Kant’s phrase “beyond cognition”. Once this foundationalism is replaced with an account of perception more aligned with current research on perception, both philosophical and empirical, then an account of the sublime is available. Further to this however, I argue that what constitutes the narrative of the sublime is historically contingent. Before setting out my arguments, I consider Forsey’s argument in more detail. (shrink)
In this essay, I offer an epistemological accounting of Pauli Murray’s idea of Jane Crow dynamics. Jane Crow, in my estimation, refers to clashing supremacy systems that provide targets for subordination while removing grounds to demand recourse for said subordination. As a description of an oppressive state, it is an idea of subordination with an epistemological engine. Here, I offer an epistemological reading of Jane Crow dynamics by theorizing three imbricated conditions for Jane Crow, i.e. the (...) occupation of negative, socio-epistemic space, reduced epistemic confidence, and heightened epistemic disavowal. To this end, Jane Crow seems to require routine epistemic failings. In the end, I propose that an epistemological narrative of Jane Crow may also shed light on why invisibility frames figure so prominently in US Black feminist thought. (shrink)
The author argues that the contributions of Jane Addams and the women of theHull House Settlement to pragmatist theory, particularly as formulated by JohnDewey, are largely responsible for its emancipatory emphasis. By recoveringAddams's own pragmatist theory, a version of pragmatist feminism is developedthat speaks to such contemporary feminist issues as the manner of inclusionin society of diverse persons, marginalized by gender, ethnicity, race, andsexual orientation; the strengths and limitations of standpoint theory; and theneed for feminist ethics to embrace the (...) social nature of morality. The model ofsocial democracy that informs the pragmatist shift from a detached theory ofknowing to an engaged theory of understanding differentiates it from both liberalindividualism and communitarianism. Dewey's repeated attacks on theincoherence of the model of classical liberal individualism, for example, areeven more persuasive when seen in the context of the model of the intersubjectiveconstitution of the individual that Addams develops from examining therelation of personal development to social interaction among the women residentsof Hull House. (shrink)
Can we understand other minds ‘from the inside’? What would this mean? There is an attraction which many have felt in the idea that creatures with minds, people , invite a kind of understanding which inanimate objects such as rocks, plants and machines, do not invite and that it is appropriate to seek to understand them ‘from the inside’. What I hope to do in this paper is to introduce and defend one version of the so-called ‘simulation’ approach to our (...) grasp and use of psychological concepts, a version which gives central importance to the idea of shared rationality, and in so doing to tease out and defend one strand in the complex of ideas which finds expression in this mysterious phrase. (shrink)
Some people, they like to go out dancing And other peoples, they have to work And there’s even some evil mothers Well they’re gonna tell you that everything is just dirt You know, that women, never really faint And that villains always blink their eyes And that, children are the only ones who really blush And that, life is just to die. And, everyone who had a heart, They wouldn’t turn around and break it And that everyone who played a (...) part Oh wouldn’t turn around and hate it. – Lou Reed, “Sweet Jane”. (shrink)
Despite her busy life as a social activist, Jane Addams still managed to write ten books and over a hundred articles.2 These often had their origins in the many lectures she gave as the primary spokesperson for the Hull House settlement and indefatigable public speaker for social reform. When she organized these lectures for publication, often adding new material or rearranging old content, her prefaces and introductions allowed her to explain to the reader her intentions in doing so and (...) to focus their attention on the issues she thought were most important. By isolating them from their texts and reading them in chronological order, her basic commitments and methodology stand out more clearly. From first to last .. (shrink)
This article looks at the popular, yet controversial, pedagogical exercise originated by Jane Elliot in the early 1970s. The "Blue-Eyed, Brown-Eyed" activity is analysed as a possible tool of moral education utilising Michel Foucault's theories of ethical self-formation and care of the self . By first explicating Foucault's ethics, the author reveals how the exercise, as practised in the post-secondary classroom, can be considered part of the "technologies of the self" advocated by Foucault that are integral to the process (...) of creating an ethical self. Moving beyond "knowledge of" oppression, in this instance "racial" inequality and degradation, to a more profound understanding of justice depends on our ability to sympathise with others. The author, in adopting Foucaut's model of moral development as ethical/liberatory/aesthetic practice, is claiming that self-construction, the constant critique and shaping of our persons as ethical beings, must be considered a central aim of moral pedagogy. Such an education involves more than the simple adoption of categorical truths. Creating an ethical self requires ongoing judgements about how one responds to the condition of others and who one would be in the world. It is these judgements that students need to recognise, examine, practise and critically reflect on, in order to grow as educated and compassionate people. (shrink)
This welcome volume offers a rich presentation of the ideas of Jane Addams (1860–1935), with emphases upon her contributions to the Pragmatic movement. It is divided into two parts. Chapters 1–4 “provide a historical and theoretical foundation for Addams’s social philosophy,” and chapters 5–9 “discuss how Addams applied her social theories to a variety of social issues” (p. 11) including pacifism, race and diversity, socialism, education broadly conceived, and religion. There is also an introduction, an afterword, and an extensive (...) bibliography. It is the author’s hope that his study will spur further work on the role of Addams, and other women, in the history of Pragmatism and American philosophy; and I anticipate .. (shrink)
The year is 1901. Two minor celebrities from opposite corners of the globe share an evening meal in Chicago. Both are politically left-leaning, both are evolutionists of a sort, both are concerned with the plight of the poor in the face of the escalation of the Industrial Revolution. The Russian man has been giving a series of lectures to the people of Chicago; he is staying at the American woman's settlement house-Hull House. They are Jane Addams, Chicago's activist social (...) worker and Petr Kropotkin, Russian nobleman by birth, anarchist in politics, and naturalist by inclination. Each awaits publication of their first full-length book concerning politics and moral development: Democracy and Social Ethics (1902) on .. (shrink)
This article attends to an unnamed and often missing element of the cosmopolitanism discourse: care ethics. Developed out of feminist theory in the 1980s, care ethics privileges the relational, contextual, and affective aspects of morality. It is my suggestion that contemporary discussions of cosmopolitanism would benefit from integrating the moral commitments of care ethics. First, a definition of care ethics is offered followed by a delineation of themes of care in the cosmopolitan theorizing of an historical figure, Jane Addams, (...) and a contemporary theorist, Kwame Anthony Appiah. Ultimately, the contention here is that cosmopolitan societies envisioned by Addams and Appiah cannot be exclusively founded on systems of justice but needs caring to provide the social cohesion necessary for organic international justice, as well as lasting peace. (shrink)
The context for these interviews was a seminar [Peter Gratton] conducted on speculative realism in the Spring 2010. There has been great interest in speculative realism and one reason Gratton surmise[s] is not just the arguments offered, though [Gratton doesn't] want to take away from them; each of these scholars are vivid writers and great pedagogues, many of whom are in constant contact with their readers via their weblogs. Thus these interviews provided an opportunity to forward student questions about their (...) respective works. Though each were conducted on different occasions, the interviews stand as a collected work, tying together the most classical questions about “realism” to ancillary movements about the non-human in politics, ecology, aesthetics, and video gaming—all to point to future movements in this philosophical area. (shrink)
The doctrine of Democracy, like any other of the living faiths of men, is so essentially mystical that it continually demands new formulation. In a 1914 report to the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, Jane Addams remembered how Chicago’s clubs came together two decades earlier around social issues that had been in the air for some time but which took on sudden immediacy amidst the women’s new collective “feeling and thought” and, with that key happening, called the groups to (...) deliberate action. “The newly moralized issue, almost as if by accident,” as Addams described the phenomenon, “suddenly takes fire and sets whole communities in a blaze, lighting up human relationships and public duty with new .. (shrink)
My exploration of the nature of and importance of place will focus on two women: Jane Addams and Margaret Preston.1 As far as I know, Jane Addams never met Margaret Preston, who was Australia’s foremost woman painter between the two world wars, nor did they influence each other in any way. However, they partially overlap in time: Jane Addams 1860–1935, Margaret Preston 1875–1963. They also share similar approaches to the ties that bind us to the countries in (...) which we live and work. They both encouraged and contested the popular myths of homeland and worked to reform and redefine the meaning of nationalism. In their lives, they ran up against similar obstacles. Ironically, these and other significant similarities .. (shrink)
This article examines ethical themes in the works of the celebrated writer on urban affairs, Jane Jacobs. Jacobs' early works on cities develop an implicit, 'ecological' conception of the human good, one that connects it closely with economic and political goals while emphasizing the intrinsic good of the community formed in pursuit of those goals. Later works develop an explicit ethics, arguing that governing and trading require two different schemes of values and virtues. While Jacobs intended this ethics to (...) apply to all forms of productive activity, it is particularly illuminating when applied to her own urban ideas and activism. (shrink)
A compelling exploration of the convergence of Jane Austen’s literary themes and characters with David Hume’s views on morality and human nature. Argues that the normative perspectives endorsed in Jane Austen's novels are best characterized in terms of a Humean approach, and that the merits of Hume's account of ethical, aesthetic and epistemic virtue are vividly illustrated by Austen's writing. Illustrates how Hume and Austen complement one another, each providing a lens that allows us to expand and elaborate (...) on the ideas of the other Proposes that literature may serve as a thought experiment, articulating hypothetical cases which allow the reader to test her moral intuitions Contributes to ongoing debates on the philosophy of literature, ethics, and emotion. (shrink)
Both Jane Addams and John Dewey see human beings as ultimately creative in nature and as radically connected to each other. In this paper I look to these ideas to provide a theoretical model that is able to explain why we are able to extend our care to others outside of our intimate circle of family and friends, and to show us how we can purposefully move to the next higher level of moral reasoning.
This article compares the ways in which the classic Western philosophical division between the private and public spheres is challenged by an apparently disparate pair of thinkers—Confucius and Jane Addams. It is argued that insofar as the public and private distinction is that between the sphere of the family and that outside of the family, Confucius and Addams offer ways of rethinking that distinction. While Confucius endorses a porous relation between these realms, Addams advocates a relation that fosters reconstructive (...) transformation of each the private and public spheres. Because Confucius and Addams both challenge the idea of a rigid separation between the private and public, while at the same time differing from one another in important ways, a comparative engagement of their views is performed, with the suggestion that Confucians might glean very much from Addams, while contemporary feminists might do the same from both she and Confucius. (shrink)
Recent moral philosophy emphasizes both the particularity of ethical contexts and the complexity of human character, but the usual abstract examples make it difficult to communicate to students the importance of this particularity and complexity. Extended study of a literary text in ethics classes can help overcome this obstacle and enrich our students’ understanding and practice of mature ethical reflection. Jane Austen’s Persuasion is an ideal text for this kind of effort. Persuasion augments the resources for ethical reflection that (...) students bring to our courses, provides a multitude of fecund examples to inspire discussion, and introduces philosophical points of its own. I explain specific ways to integrate this novel into courses and why some approaches work better than others, and I highlight themes for three different levels of study: reflection on particular virtues and vices, illustration of broader ethical issues, and discussion of virtues that the philosophical literature neglects. In each case, I discuss a particular example in detail: the question of whether or not pride can be a virtue, the varieties of friendship and their relation to virtue, and the virtue of proper persuadability. These examples suggest ways in which ethics teachers might explore the resources of other literary works towards similar ends. (shrink)
What does it mean to hold that the significant aspects of a literary passage cannot be captured in a paraphrase? Does a change in the description of an act "risk producing a different act" from the one described? Using Jane Austen as an example, we'll consider whether her use of metaphor and symbol really amounts to calling someone a prick, whether her narrative voice changes what it is that is expressed, and whether comedy can hold just as much significance (...) as tragedy without all the heavy breathing. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThis paper argues that the activist, feminist and pragmatist Jane Addams was an experimental philosopher. To defend this claim, I argue for capacious notions of both philosophical pragmatism and experimental philosophy. I begin in Section 2 with a new defence of Rose and Danks’ [‘In Defense of a Broad Conception of Experimental Philosophy’. Metaphilosophy 44, no. 4 : 512–32] argument in favour of a broad conception of experimental philosophy. Koopman [‘Pragmatist Resources for Experimental Philosophy: Inquiry in Place of Intuition’. (...) Journal of Speculative Philosophy 26, no. 1 : 1–24] argues that many twentieth-century American pragmatists can make important contributions to contemporary experimental philosophy. In Section 3, I argue that while this may be true, it is also true that under the broad conception, many of the pragmatists just were experimental philosophers. In Section 4, I argue that as a pragmatist philosopher in her own right, Jane... (shrink)
A central, if controversial, Aristotelian claim is that the virtues are connected—that practical wisdom depends upon moral virtue, and moral virtue upon practical wisdom. If those who see Jane Austen's portrayal of the moral life as broadly Aristotelian1 are right, we should expect to see such a dependence shown in Austen's novels. I will argue that we can indeed find portrayed a dependence of wisdom upon character, and in particular upon the virtues Austen calls constancy and unreserve. These two (...) are of interest not only because of the special role Austen seems to give them but also because they are not... (shrink)
Case histories make contributions to science and practice, but they can also be highly misleading. We illustrate with our reexamination of the case of Jane Doe; she was videotaped twice, once when she was six years old and then eleven years later when she was seventeen. During the first interview she reported sexual abuse by her mother. During the second interview she apparently forgot and then remembered the sexual abuse. Jane's case has been hailed by some as the (...) new proof of recovery of repressed or dissociated traumatic memories, and even as proof of the reliability of recovered memories of repeated abuse. Numerous pieces of "supporting evidence" were given in the original article for believing that the abuse occurred. Upon closer scrutiny, however, there are reasons to doubt not only the "supporting evidence," but also that the sexual abuse ever happened in the first place. Our analysis raises several general questions about the use of case histories in science, medicine, and mental health. There is a cautionary tale not only for those professionals who advance the case history, but also for those who base their theories on it or would readily accept it as proof. (shrink)
There seems to be something self-evident—irresistibly so, to judge from its gleeful propagation—about the use of the phrase, “Jane Austen and the Masturbating Girl,” as the Q.E.D. of phobic narratives about the degeneracy of academic discourse in the humanities. But what? The narrative link between masturbation itself and degeneracy, though a staple of pre-1920s medical and racial science, no longer has any respectable currency. To the contrary: modern views of masturbation tend to place it firmly in the framework of (...) optimistic, hygienic narratives of all-too-normative individual development. When Jane E. Brody, in a recent “Personal Health” column in the NewYork Times, reassures her readers that, according to experts, it is actually entirely possible for people to be healthy without masturbating; “that the practice is not essential to normal development and that no one who thinks it is wrong or sinful should feel he or she must try it”; and that even “’those who have not masturbated … can have perfectly normal sex lives as adults,’” the all but perfectly normal Victorianist may be forgiven for feeling just a little—out of breath.3 In this altered context, the self-evidence of a polemical link between autoeroticism and narratives of wholesale degeneracy 4 draws on a very widely discredited body of psychiatric and eugenic expertise whose only direct historical continuity with late twentieth-century thought has been routed straight through the rhetoric and practice of fascism. But it now draws on this body of expertise under the more acceptable gloss of the modern, trivializing, hygienic-developmental discourse, according to which autoeroticism not only is funny—any sexuality of any power is likely to hover near the threshold of hilarity—but also must be relegated to the inarticulable space of infantility. 3. Jane E. Brody, “Personal Health,” New York Times, 4 Nov. 1987.4. Rosenblatt, “The Universities,” p. 3. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick is professor of English at Duke University and the author of Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire and Epistemology of the Closet. (shrink)
This essay sets out from a reading of two photomontage projects by South African artist Jane Alexander, ?Adventure Centre? (2000) and ?Survey: Cape of Good Hope? (2005?09), one of Alexander's ongoing ?survey? projects, and remarks on the overwhelming impulse on the part of critics and interpreters to anthropomorphize the figures appearing in the photomontage images. It goes on to explore the hypothesis that Alexander's work in fact resists or refuses these attempts at anthropomorphization, and that this resistance is connected (...) with the more openly political aspects of her work, as well as with a more general refusal of anthropomorphism by photography. The second part of the essay frames a possible engagement with Alexander's photomontages through terms offered by Walter Benjamin's ?Little History of Photography,? and looks at Benjamin's peculiar concern with a kind of anti-portraiture: a photographic genre that would feature the human face in an anonymous way, without being concerned with identity. The essay closes with a consideration of the genre of the photographic survey historically, and traces an impulse, evident in the survey, to treat the human as only one of many figural elements composing the crypto-industrial landscape. (shrink)
"Alternative Selves" and Authority in the Fiction of Jane Urquhart The article engages with "alternative selves," a concept found in The Stone Carvers by a Canadian writer, Jane Urquhart. Her fiction is first seen in the context of selected texts by Lucy Maud Montgomery, Margaret Laurence and Alice Munro, who explore the clash between female characters' conventional roles and their "secret" selves. My analysis was inspired by Pamela Sue Anderson's A Feminist Philosophy of Religion, which stresses the need (...) for "reinventing ourselves as other" in the face of biased beliefs and dominant epistemology. In particular, my article refers to Anderson's concern with Kant's imaginary from The Critique of Pure Reason, where "the territory of pure understanding" is projected on the island, while desire, chaos and death are identified with the sea. Seen through the prism of a feminist reading of the philosophical imaginary, the sea becomes the female beyond. Urquhart's three novels: Away, The Stone Carvers and A Map of Glass dissolve the opposition between Kantian island and water, by showing how reason is invaded by desire and death, and how the female protagonist embodies the elements that have been repressed. Urquhart's fiction, which is "landscape driven," provides the image of a dynamic relationship between the qualities that form a static binary opposition in Kantian discourse. Mary in Away, Klara in The Stone Carvers and Sylvia in A Map of Glass all subvert the dominant epistemology by following their desire, which becomes "a positive energy" and not "a deviation from a good rational norm," to refer to another concept by Anderson. Urquhart's Mary, Klara and Sylvia have to contend with power vested in collective beliefs and stereotypical construction of femininity. By venturing into the liminal zone beyond the territory of "pure understanding," the three protagonists regain their voices and discover their authority. The article ends with the analysis of a Homeric intertext in A Map of Glass, where Sylvia identifies with Odysseus "lashed to mast" so that he would not respond to the call of the siren song. Reading Homer's passage on the siren song, one realizes that the use of the Kantian imaginary turns Ithaca into the island of truth, and the sea into the stormy beyond, identified with desire, death and femaleness. While the Odyssey suppresses the dangerous message of the siren song, Urquhart's fiction rewrites it and reclaims it as positive inspiration for the female protagonist. (shrink)
This essay sketches the musical art of Frances Pelton-Jones, an American harpsichordist active at the beginning of the twentieth century. Almost entirely unknown today, she was widely acclaimed in her day for performing elaborate costume recitals dressed as Marie Antoinette. More than just a recitalist in costume, Pelton-Jones staged elaborate tableaux vivants with environmental decor to elicit fantasies of the past. Bridging the worlds of fashion, environmental design, and music, her performances offer a compelling case study to investigate the aesthetic (...) applications of Jane Bennett’s ecological theory of assemblages. Exploring how different human and nonhuman actants collaborated in Pelton-Jones’ art to evoke whole historical atmospheres for her audiences, I elaborate Bennett’s argument about the synthetic potential of combining certain materials to conjure an affect, highlighting how the delicacy of the assemblage as a whole often is contingent upon the frailty of the individual materials involved. Ultimately, Bennett’s theory affirms the aesthetic sensibilities of Pelton-Jones whose musical productions delighted audiences by harnessing the synthetic potential of well-coordinated vital materials. (shrink)