For Gianni Vattimo, the renunciation of violence is the starting point for constructing a post foundational politics. So far, criticism of Vattimo’s argument has focused on his larger commitment to metaphysical nihilism and whether the renunciation of violence is a thicker principle than his post foundational philosophy can support. I argue that Vattimo’s renunciation of violence can also be criticized for two other reasons. First, Vattimo attempts to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable uses of violence through an under developed idea (...) of self-defense. Second, despite his attention to the political and philosophical impact of mass communications technology, Vattimo ignores emerging technological challenges to our understanding of violence. Nonetheless, I argue that Vattimo’s renunciation can still serve as a useful starting point for contemporary political thinking. What Vattimo’s logic shows is that we can enhance the moral standing of democracy by decisively detaching its practices and institutions from historical artifacts of political violence. (shrink)
We are in the midst of a renascence of Royce. The Relevance of Royce consists of a collection of essays from leading experts on the philosophy of Josiah Royce, demonstrating its relevance to contemporary concerns. The book is divided into two parts: Part I explores the depth of Royce’s thought, while Part II considers its reach. The book is “intended to be an interdisciplinary resource for scholars interested in tracing both the historical importance and the contemporary (...) relevance of Royce’s thought”.Part I begins with “Josiah Royce: Alive and Well”—John J. McDermott’s Presidential Address to the Josiah Royce Society in 2005, where he issues a clarion call for... (shrink)
is philosophy worthy of loyal service? Using Josiah Royce and Frank Oppenheim as guides, I will argue that philosophy is indeed a worthy and crucial loyalty. Its special cause will be considered here as a mode of what Royce terms a "loyalty to loyalty," as an infinite service of all specific truth-seeking activities undertaken by all communities of loyal individuals. Regarding them as individually valuable, philosophy champions them in their individuality and plays an interpretive function among them, so (...) that specification of truth-seeking in distinct domains leads to communicable discoveries valuable for all truth-seekers, as opposed to the discreteness, separation, and lifeless abstraction that can occur when... (shrink)
Now back in print, and in paperback, these two classicvolumes illustrate the scope and quality of Royce’sthought, providing the most comprehensive selection ofhis writings currently available. They offer a detailedpresentation of the viable relationship Royce forgedbetween the local experience of community and thedemands of a philosophical and scientific vision ofthe human situation.The selections reprinted here are basic to any understandingof Royce’s thought and its pressing relevanceto contemporary cultural, moral, and religious issues.
Jason Stanley presents a startling and provocative claim about knowledge: that whether or not someone knows a proposition at a given time is in part determined by his or her practical interests, i.e. by how much is at stake for that person at that time. In defending this thesis, Stanley introduces readers to a number of strategies for resolving philosophical paradox, making the book essential not just for specialists in epistemology but for all philosophers interested in philosophical methodology. Since (...) a number of his strategies appeal to linguistic evidence, it will be of great interest to linguists as well. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that what counts as the proper function of a trait is a matter of the de facto perspective that the biological system, itself, possesses on what counts as proper functioning for that trait. Unlike non-perspectival accounts, internal perspectivalism does not succumb to generality problems. But unlike external perspectivalism, internal perspectivalism can provide a fully naturalistic, mind-independent grounding of proper function and natural norms. The attribution of perspectives to biological systems is intended to be neither metaphorical (...) nor anthropomorphic: I do not mean to imply that such systems thereby must possess agency, cognition, intentions, concepts, or mental or psychological states. Instead, such systems provide the grounding for norms of performance when they internally enforce their own standard of (i.e., their own perspective on) what constitutes proper functioning or malfunctioning. By operating with a fixed, determinate level of generality, such systems provide the basis for an account of proper function that is immune to generality problems. (shrink)
In this paper, I defend the thesis that alleffects of extra-linguistic context on thetruth-conditions of an assertion are traceable toelements in the actual syntactic structure of thesentence uttered. In the first section, I develop thethesis in detail, and discuss its implications for therelation between semantics and pragmatics. The nexttwo sections are devoted to apparent counterexamples.In the second section, I argue that there are noconvincing examples of true non-sentential assertions.In the third section, I argue that there are noconvincing examples of what (...) John Perry has called`unarticulated constituents''. I conclude by drawingsome consequences of my arguments for appeals tocontext-dependence in the resolution of problems inepistemology and philosophical logic. (shrink)
This article makes a case for the capacity of "social practice" accounts of agency and freedom to criticize, resist, and transform systemic forms of power and domination from within the context of religious and political practices and institutions. I first examine criticisms that Michel Foucault's analysis of systemic power results in normative aimlessness, and then I contrast that account with the description of agency and innovative practice that pragmatist philosopher Robert Brandom identifies as "expressive freedom." I argue that Brandom can (...) provide a normative trajectory for Foucault's diagnoses of power and domination, helping to resolve its apparent lack of ethical direction. I demonstrate that Foucault, in turn, presents Brandom with insights that might overcome the charges of abstraction and conservatism that his pragmatic inferentialism frequently encounters. The result is a vindication of social practice as an analytical lens for social criticism that is at once both immanent and radical. (shrink)
To assess ethics pedagogy in science and engineering, we developed a new tool called the Engineering and Science Issues Test (ESIT). ESIT measures moral judgment in a manner similar to the Defining Issues Test, second edition, but is built around technical dilemmas in science and engineering. We used a quasi-experimental approach with pre- and post-tests, and we compared the results to those of a control group with no overt ethics instruction. Our findings are that several (but not all) stand-alone classes (...) showed a significant improvement compared to the control group when the metric includes multiple stages of moral development. We also found that the written test had a higher response rate and sensitivity to pedagogy than the electronic version. We do not find significant differences on pre-test scores with respect to age, education level, gender or political leanings, but we do on whether subjects were native English speakers. We did not find significant differences on pre-test scores based on whether subjects had previous ethics instruction; this could suggest a lack of a long-term effect from the instruction. (shrink)
Jason Stanley's "Knowledge and Practical Interests" is a brilliant book, combining insights about knowledge with a careful examination of how recent views in epistemology fit with the best of recent linguistic semantics. Although I am largely convinced by Stanley's objections to epistemic contextualism, I will try in what follows to formulate a version that might have some prospect of escaping his powerful critique.
To assess ethics pedagogy in science and engineering, we developed a new tool called the Engineering and Science Issues Test. ESIT measures moral judgment in a manner similar to the Defining Issues Test, second edition, but is built around technical dilemmas in science and engineering. We used a quasi-experimental approach with pre- and post-tests, and we compared the results to those of a control group with no overt ethics instruction. Our findings are that several stand-alone classes showed a significant improvement (...) compared to the control group when the metric includes multiple stages of moral development. We also found that the written test had a higher response rate and sensitivity to pedagogy than the electronic version. We do not find significant differences on pre- test scores with respect to age, education level, gender or political leanings, but we do on whether subjects were native English speakers. We did not find significant differences on pre- test scores based on whether subjects had previous ethics instruction; this could suggest a lack of a long-term effect from the instruction. (shrink)
Practical wisdom is the intellectual virtue that enables a person to make reliably good decisions about how, all-things-considered, to live. As such, it is a lofty and important ideal to strive for. It is precisely this loftiness and importance that gives rise to important questions about wisdom: Can real people develop it? If so, how? What is the nature of wisdom as it manifests itself in real people? I argue that we can make headway answering these questions by modeling wisdom (...) on expert skill. Presenting the main argument for this expert skill model of wisdom is the focus of this paper. More specifically, I’ll argue that wisdom is primarily the same kind of epistemic achievement as expert decision-making skill in areas such as firefighting. Acknowledging this helps us see that, and how, real people can develop wisdom. It also helps to resolve philosophical debates about the nature of wisdom. For example, philosophers, including those who think virtue should be modeled on skills, disagree about the extent to which wise people make decisions using intuitions or principled deliberation and reflection. The expert skill model resolves this debate by showing that wisdom includes substantial intuitive and deliberative and reflective abilities. (shrink)
Chapter 1: Ryle on Knowing How Chapter 2: Knowledge-wh Chapter 3: PRO and the Representation of First-Person Thought Chapter 4: Ways of Thinking Chapter 5: Knowledge How Chapter 6: Ascribing Knowledge How Chapter 7: The Cognitive Science of Practical Knowledge Chapter 8: Knowledge Justified Preface A fact, as I shall use the term, is a true proposition. A proposition is the sort of thing that is capable of being believed or asserted. A proposition is also something that is characteristically the (...) kind of thing that is true or false; that snow is white is a true proposition, that Barack Obama is President of the United States as I am writing these words is another. Facts in this sense are not only among the things we believe and assert; they are also the kinds of things we know. The thesis of this book is that knowing how to do something is the same as knowing a fact. It follows that learning how to do something is learning a fact. For example, when you learned how to swim, what happened is that you learned some facts about swimming. Knowledge of these facts is what gave you knowledge of how to swim. Something similar occurred with every other activity that you now know how to do, such as riding a bicycle or cooking a meal. You know how to perform activities solely in virtue of your knowledge of facts about those activities. (shrink)
I argue that recent virtue theories (including those of Hursthouse, Slote, and Swanton) face important initial difficulties in accommodating the supererogatory. In particular, I consider several potential characterizations of the supererogatory modeled upon these familiar virtue theories (and their accounts of rightness) and argue that they fail to provide an adequate account of supererogation. In the second half of the paper I sketch an alternative virtue-based characterization of supererogation, one that is grounded in the attitudes of virtuous ideal observers, and (...) that avoids the concerns raised in the first part of the paper. (shrink)
Los teóricos de la democracia dejaron de lado la pregunta de quién legalmente forma parte del "pueblo" autorizado, pregunta que atraviesa a todas las teoría de la democracia y continuamente vivifica la práctica democrática. Determinar quién constituye el pueblo es un dilema inabordable e incluso imposible de responder democráticamente; no es una pregunta que el pueblo mismo pueda decidir procedimentalmente porque la propia premisa subvierte las premisas de su resolución. Esta paradoja del mandato popular revela que el pueblo para ser (...) mejor comprendido como una demanda política, como un proceso de subjetivación, surge y se desarrolla en distintos contextos democráticos. En Estados Unidos el disputado poder para hablar en beneficio del pueblo deriva de un excedente constitutivo heredado de la era revolucionaria, a partir del hecho de que desde la Revolución el pueblo ha sido por vez primera encarnado por la representación y como exceso de cualquier forma de representación. La autoridad posrevolucionaria del vox populi deriva de esa continuamente reiterada pero nunca realizada referencia a la soberanía del pueblo a partir de la representación, legitimidad a partir de la ley, espíritu a partir de la letra, la palabra a través de la palabra. Este ensayo examina la emergencia histórica de este exceso de democracia en el período revolucionario, y cómo este habilita a una subsecuente historia de "momentos constituyentes", momentos cuando subautorizados -radicales, entidades autocreadas-, se apoderan del manto de la autoridad, cambiando las reglas de la autoridad en ese proceso. Estos pequeños dramas de reclamos de autoridad política para hablar en nombre del pueblo son felices, aun cuando explícitamente rompan con los procedimientos o reglas estatuidas para representar la voz popular. -/- Momentos constituyentes: paradojas y poder popular en los Estados Unidos de América posrevolucionarios [traducción], Revista Argentina de Ciencia Política, N°15, EUDEBA, Buenos Aires, Octubre 2012, pp. 49-74. ISSN: 0329-3092. Introducción de “Constituent Moments: Enacting the People in Postrevolutionary America”, de Jason Frank [Ed.: Duke University Press Books, enero de 2010. ISBN-10: 0822346753; ISBN-13: 978-0822346753]. (shrink)
Josiah Royce (1855-1916) was the leading American proponent of absolute idealism, the metaphysical view (also maintained by G. W. F. Hegel and F. H. Bradley) that all aspects of reality, including those we experience as disconnected or contradictory, are ultimately unified in the thought of a single all-encompassing consciousness. Royce also made original contributions in ethics, philosophy of community, philosophy of religion and logic. His major works include The Religious Aspect of Philosophy (1885), The World and the Individual (...) (1899-1901), The Philosophy of Loyalty (1908), and The Problem of Christianity (1913). Royce's friendly but longstanding dispute with William James, known as "The Battle of the Absolute," deeply influenced both philosophers' thought. In his later works, Royce reconceived his metaphysics as an "absolute pragmatism" grounded in semiotics. This view dispenses with the Absolute Mind of previous idealism and instead characterizes reality as a universe of ideas or signs which occur in a process of being interpreted by an infinite community of minds. These minds, and the community they constitute, may themselves be understood as signs. Royce's ethics, philosophy of community, philosophy of religion, and logic reflect this metaphysical position. (shrink)
My central thesis is that philosophers considering questions of epistemic value ought to devote greater attention to the enduring nature of beliefs. I begin by arguing that a commonly drawn analogy between beliefs and actions is flawed in important respects, and that a better, more fruitful analogue for belief would be desire, or a similarly enduring state of an agent. With this in hand, I argue that treating beliefs as enduring, constitutive states of agents allows us to capture the importance (...) of accessible, justified, and true beliefs to sustaining personal identity, autonomy, self-control, and authenticity. We thus arrive at a significant value to such beliefs through their crucial role in our personal, practical identities. (shrink)
Ontological Pluralism is the view that there are different modes, ways, or kinds of being. In this paper, I characterize the view more fully (drawing on some recent work by Kris McDaniel) and then defend the view against a number of arguments. (All of the arguments I can think of against it, anyway.).
In “Post‐Liberation Feminism,” Ladelle McWhorter raises the question of what practices will be helpful to further feminist goals if we are no longer in a state of domination, but are still oppressed. McWhorter finds resources in Michel Foucault's concept of “practices of freedom” to begin to answer this question. I build upon McWhorter's insight while recalling Angela Davis's Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: namely, that sexual love, as conceived in hoodoo and the blues, became a terrain upon which newly emancipated (...) blacks worked out what their newfound freedom meant. In this essay, I consider what practices of freedom would look like within a life‐giving nexus of hoodoo, blues, and sexual love. Not only does the image of the hoodoo woman, prevalent within the blues, emerge through an interaction of race, class, region, gender, sexuality, and spiritualty, but analyzing sexual love within this hoodoo–blues coupling will help us track how sexual love was transformed into a practice of freedom. I will argue that sexual love within this hoodoo–blues coupling reveals an important dimension of emancipatory work that both defies categorization as resistance and is crucial to the development of capacities for resistance. (shrink)
Contextualism in epistemology is the doctrine that the proposition expressed by a knowledge attribution relative to a context is determined in part by the standards of justification salient in that context. The (non-skeptical) contextualist allows that in some context c, a speaker may truly attribute knowledge at a time of a proposition p to Hannah, despite her possession of only weak inductive evidence for the truth of that proposition. Relative to another context, someone may make the very same knowledge attribution (...) to Hannah, yet be speaking falsely, because the epistemic standards in that context are higher. The reason this is possible, according to the contextualist, is that the two knowledge attributions express different propositions. (shrink)
Philosophers have long been tempted by the idea that objects and properties are abstractions from the facts. But how is this abstraction supposed to go? If the objects and properties aren't 'already' there, how do the facts give rise to them? Jason Turner develops and defends a novel answer to this question: The facts are arranged in a quasi-geometric 'logical space', and objects and properties arise from different quasi-geometric structures in this space.
Drawing on social identity theory and organizational identification theory, we develop a model of the impact of perceived corporate social responsibility on employees’ organizational identification. We argue that employees’ perceptions of their company’s social responsibility behaviors are more important than organizational reality in determining organizational identification. After defining perceived corporate social responsibility (PCSR), we postulate how PCSR affects organizational identification when perception and reality are aligned or misaligned. Implications for organizational practice and further research are discussed.
The concept of wisdom is largely ignored by contemporary philosophers. But given recent movements in the fields of ethics and epistemology, the time is ripe for a return to this concept. This article lays some groundwork for further philosophical work in ethics and epistemology on wisdom. Its focus is the distinction between practical wisdom and theoretical wisdom or between phronesis and sophia . Several accounts of this distinction are considered and rejected. A more plausible, but also considerably more complex, account (...) is offered. The discussion sheds light on the relation between practical wisdom and theoretical wisdom, and on the positive character of each. (shrink)
Despite international laws guaranteeing the right to a nationality, statelessness remains a pervasive global problem that has been termed a “forgotten human rights crisis.” The issue highlights an important question for scholars that has not yet received enough attention: Why do some issues make it onto the international agenda while others do not? This study examines the characteristics necessary for successful issue emergence, or the step in the process of mobilization when a preexisting grievance is transformed from a problem into (...) an issue. Using qualitative data from interviews with 21 decision makers at leading human rights and humanitarian non-governmental organizations, the study highlights shortcomings in the existing literature and provides additional explanations for issue emergence (or non-emergence). Statelessness serves as a case study for better understanding this process, and the article ends with specific recommendations for addressing key obstacles to its full emergence within the international community. (shrink)
In this paper I explore the question of whether gestation can ground parental rights. I consider Anca Gheaus’s claim that the labour and bonding of gestation give one the right to parent one’s biological child. I argue that, while Gheaus’s gestational account of parental rights is the most successful of such accounts in the literature, it is ultimately unsuccessful, because the concept ‘maternal-fetal bonding’ does not stand up to scrutiny. Gheaus argues that the labour expended in gestation generates parental rights. (...) This is a standard, Lockean sort of a move in parental ethics—it usually relies on the claim that I have proprietary rights over the products of my labour. However, Gheaus argues that a standard labour account of parental rights could not generate parental rights over one’s own birth child via gestation without ownership, since the labour would merely afford one a right to enjoy the goods of parenthood. At best, then, labour alone would generate a right to a child. But, Gheaus argues, not only do gestational mothers expend labour in the course of the pregnancy; they also develop emotional ties to the fetus. They ‘bond’ with it. This, Gheaus argues, coupled with labour, gives the birth mother parental rights over her birth child. Fathers, on her account, acquire rights over their birth child by contributing labour—in the form of antenatal support—during the course of the pregnancy. I argue that because ‘bonding’ is not an appropriately morally salient phenomenon, Gheaus’s account does not work unless it relies on a proprietary claim, and this is prima facie reason to reject the account. Further, the fact that it only confers parental rights on fathers by proxy also gives us reason to reject the account. I then offer a brief sketch of a more promising, positive account of parental rights. (shrink)
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