Abstract Hybrid languages are introduced in order to evaluate the strength of “minimal” mereologies with relatively strong frame definability properties. Appealing to a robust form of nominalism, I claim that one investigated language Hm is maximally acceptable for nominalistic mereology. In an extension Hgem of Hm, a modal analog for the classical systems of Leonard and Goodman (J Symb Log 5:45–55, 1940) and Lesniewski (1916) is introduced and shown to be complete with respect to 0- deleted Boolean algebras. We characterize (...) the formulas of first-order logic invariant for Hgem-bisimulations. (shrink)
The cultural imagery of women is deeply ingrained in our consciousness. So deeply, in fact, that feminists see this as a fundamental threat to female autonomy because it enshrines procreative heterosexuality as well as the relations of domination and subordination between men and women. Diana Meyers' book is about this cultural imagery - and how, once it is internalized, it shapes perception, reflection, judgement, and desire. These intergral images have a deep impact not only on the individual psyche, but (...) also on the social, political, and cultural syntax of society as a whole. Meyer's argues for the necessity of crafting a dissident, empowering, and 'emancipatory counter-imagery' for women. Rigorous, well written, and accessible, the reach of Gender in the mirror is arguably catholic, and addresses the interests or readers across an impressive range of intellectual disciplines. (shrink)
Diana Tietjens Meyers examines the political underpinnings of psychoanalytic feminism, analyzing the relation between the nature of the self and the structure of good societies. She argues that impartial reason--the approach to moral reflection which has dominated 20th-century Anglo-American philosophy--is inadequate for addressing real world injustices. ____Subjection and Subjectivity__ is central to feminist thought across a wide range of disciplines.
A response to Susan Hekman's article "Reconstituting the Subject: Feminism, Modernism, and Postmodernism" and to her review of Diana T. Meyers' book Self, Society, and Personal Choice both of which appeared in Hypatia 6.
Part II. Section 4. Autonomy Competency: Meyers takes John Rawls to task for giving a superficial account of autonomy. Endorsing deliberative rationality, he furnishes no account of how to achieve it. Meyers argues that her conception of autonomy competency fills the gap in Rawls's theory. Moreover, it is compatible with the emotional bonds of a relational self, and, acknowledging human fallibility, it provides an account of how autonomous people can recognize and correct their missteps. In the context of (...) a critique of Michael Sandel's distinction between the cognitive self and the voluntarist self, Meyers shows that autonomy competency allows for individual control and innovation without denying the social situatedness of the autonomous subject. (shrink)
Part I. The book begins with literary, cinematic, and historical scenarios that exemplify personal autonomy. Meyers uses these vignettes to distinguish personal autonomy from other, variously related types of autonomy and to show that other kinds of autonomy cannot adequately address the concern people have with their own personal decisions. Noting how profoundly social experience impinges on self-discovery, self-definition, and self-direction, Meyers characterizes autonomous individuals as persons who do what they really want, and she undertakes to supply an (...) account of an authentic self that acknowledges people's enmeshment in social relations as well as their psychological complexity. (shrink)
Part IV. Section 2. Self-Respect and Autonomy: Meyers's discussion of self-respect takes into account work by Stephen Darwall, Thomas Hill, Jr., and Stephen Massey and proposes a unified triadic account that undermines the distinction between self-respect and self-esteem. After distinguishing compromised respect from unqualified respect, she shows why self-respect is both required for and a product of exercising autonomy competency.
Part IV. Section 1. The Personal and the Political Value of Autonomy: Disparities in autonomy competency number among the many ways in which women and men in western societies are unequal. Meyers holds that although personal autonomy is not the sole or paramount value, medial autonomy is not only a personal good, but is also a political good.
Part II. Section 1. Recent Accounts of Autonomy: Emphasizing the problematic relationship between autonomy and socialization, Meyers explores prominent views of autonomy, including Robert Young's, Stanley Benn's, Harry Frankfurt's, Gerald Dworkin's, and Gary Watson's. Having identified three main models for "rescuing autonomy from socialization," she identifies a single defect underlying all of them - namely, their assumption that personal autonomy requires transcending socialization through free will.
Contrasting ontological accounts of autonomy with procedural accounts, Meyers defends the procedural model. For Meyers, the key question for a theory of autonomy is how people make decisions. She introduces the idea of autonomy competency - a repertoire of coordinated skills that make self-discovery, self-definition, and self-direction and hence autonomy possible. The authentic self is a self that has some degree of proficiency with respect to this competency and that emerges and evolves through the exercise of this competency. (...)Meyers distinguishes programmatic autonomy - living an autonomous life - from episodic autonomy - making particular decisions autonomously. (shrink)
Part III. Section 1. Theories of Socialization. Autonomy as autonomy competency acknowledges the necessity of socialization for autonomy. Preliminary to considering this claim in relation to gender, Meyers sketches three social scientific models of socialization - psychoanalysis, social learning, and cognitive development.
Part III. Section 3. Autonomy and Feminine Socialization: Having agreed with Beauvoir that narcissism and altruism contribute to women's lack of autonomy, Meyers examines Beauvoir's account of autonomy in light of her own conception of autonomy competency and argues that Beauvoir's conception of autonomy is too stringent. Autonomy competency, in contrast, allows for degrees of autonomy and variations in degree as viewed over a life-time, as well as for a distinction between programmatic and episodic autonomy. Meyers concludes by (...) characterizing minimal, medial, and full autonomy. (shrink)
Part II. Section 5. Interests, Self-Interest and Autonomy: Two questions drive this chapter: 1) What kinds of things can be objects of autonomous choices? and 2) How are these related to an individual's authentic self? If self-interest is construed as securing a set of basic goods for oneself, personal autonomy and self-interest can collide. Still, Meyers holds that autonomy based on exercising autonomy competency is compatible with the dominance principle, which counsels opting for a course of action that satisfies (...) at least one more authentic desire than other available possibilities. (shrink)
Part III. Section 2. Feminine and Masculine Socialization: Two main problems are explored: 1) How are girls and boys socialized in contemporary western societies? and 2) What are adult women and men like? Meyers appropriates the main outlines of Simone de Beauvoir's account of feminine socialization in The Second Sex, but she also discusses more recent research.
Part III. Section 5. Autonomy-Enhancing Socialization: Meyers seeks a remedy for gendered inequality with respect to autonomy in processes of socialization. After critically examining proposals offered by Beauvoir, Chodorow, and Radcliffe Richards, Meyers describes a pedagogical model that fosters assertiveness and intimacy while avoiding the inculcation of aggression and that actively nurtures the development of autonomy skills.
Part II. Section 6. Responsibility for Self: Meyers criticizes Derek Parfit's arguments against the rationality of temporal neutrality -- in other words, the principle of responsibility to self. She urges that autonomy requires providing for one's future.
Because it is characteristic of competencies that they have overarching functions, Meyers considers what the overarching function of autonomy competency might be. She defends a view of personal integration that does not entail counterproductive consistency or unity. She rejects several other solutions to this problem, including compartmentalization, sanity, happiness, and eccentric nonconformity.
In this extraordinary work, Peter Alexander Meyers shows how the centerpiece of the Enlightenment—_society _as the symbol of collective human life and as the fundamental domain of human practice—was primarily composed and animated by its most ambivalent figure: Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Displaying this new _society_ as an evolving field of interdependence, _Abandoned to Ourselves_ traces the emergence and moral significance of dependence itself within Rousseau’s encounters with a variety of discourses of order, including theology, natural philosophy, and music. Underpinning this (...) whole scene we discover a modernizing conception of the human Will, one that runs far deeper than Rousseau’s most famous trope, the “general Will.” As _Abandoned to Ourselves_ weaves together historical acuity with theoretical insight, readers will find here elements for a reconstructed sociology inclusive of things and persons and, as a consequence, a new foundation for contemporary political theory. (shrink)
In this book, Chris Meyers takes the reader on a careful, rational, sustained criticism of arguments about the immorality of homosexuality. Meyers refutes anti-gay arguments by showing that they are based on unreasonable or demonstrably false ideas about the nature of morality.
Chris Meyers takes the reader on a careful, rational, sustained criticism of arguments about the immorality of homosexuality. Meyers refutes anti-gay arguments by showing that they are based on unreasonable or demonstrably false ideas about the nature of morality. Working through the morality arguments against homosexuality, Meyers shows how the nature of morality demands impartial, overriding reasons to act, and that it is not grounded in visceral feelings of disgust, commands from the scriptures, or mysterious Platonic essences. (...) In clear, convincing discussion, Meyers examines morality to promote the moral logic of granting rights to all people, no matter their sexual orientation. (shrink)
How is women’s conception of self affected by the caregiving responsibilities traditionally assigned to them and by the personal vulnerabilities imposed on them? If institutions of male dominance profoundly influence women’s lives and minds, how can women form judgments about their own best interests and overcome oppression? Can feminist politics survive in face of the diversity of women’s experience, which is shaped by race, class, ethnicity, and sexual orientation, as well as by gender? Exploring such questions, leading feminist thinkers have (...) reinvigorated work on the concept of self and personal identity, as demonstrated by the discussions in this insightful volume.The concerns that animate feminist scholarship have prompted feminist philosophers to sideline the theme of individualism and to focus on the theme of intersubjectivity. In conceptualizing the self, the contributors to this volume highlight emotional bonds among people, the stories people tell one another, and the systems of categories and behavioral norms that unite and divide groups of people. Topics addressed include sexual violence and the self, the social self and autonomy, the narrative self and integrity, self-ownership and the body, forgetting yourself and your race, group membership and personal identity, grief and gender, sympathy and women’s diversity, emotion and emancipatory epistemology, and dependency and justice. This volume will be important reading for students of feminist theory, ethics, and social and political philosophy. (shrink)
Much of the work in professional ethics sees ethical problems as resulting from ethical ignorance, ethical failure or evil intent. While this approach gets at real and valid concerns, it does not capture the whole story because it does not take into account the underlying professional or institutional culture in which moral decision making is imbedded. My argument in this paper is that this culture plays a powerful and sometimes determinant role in establishing the nature of the ethical debate; i.e., (...) it helps to define what are viable action options, what is the organization’s genuine mission, and what behaviors will be rewarded or criticized. Given these conclusions, I also argue that consulting ethicists need more than an understanding of ethics theory, concepts and principles; they also need a sufficiently rich understanding of organizational culture and a willingness and an ability to critique that culture. (shrink)
Feminist Social Thought brings together key articles by prominent feminist thinkers, offering students sophisticated treatment of the theoretical topics central to feminist social thought. This reader highlights salient concerns in contemporary feminist scholarship and the advances feminist philosophers have made. The editor's introduction outlines alternative routes through the text, allowing instructors to easily adapt this reader to their particular courses and the interests of their students. Each article is prefaced with a short introduction by the editor placing it in context, (...) highlighting the principle issues and the conclusions reached. Students will find these headnotes helpful when tackling the challenging theoretical issues addressed. Representing a spectrum of feminist thinking, Feminist Social Thought is organized around seven topics constructions of gender; theorizing diversity; figurations of women; subjectivity, agency and feminist critique; social identity, solidarity and political engagement; care and its critics; and women, equality and justice. Students will be exposed to a wide variety of feminist philosophy and encouraged to think critically about challenging questions around pivotal subjects including * How are gender norms instilled, enforced, and perpetuated? * What are the relationships between gender and other socially demarcated positions such as race, class and sexual orientation? * What resources do women have at their disposal for recognizing their subordination and resisting it? * What goals should feminist politics pursue? * How can social and legal equality be reconciled with difference? (shrink)
: J. David Velleman develops a canny, albeit mentalistic, theory of selfhood that furnishes some insights feminist philosophers should heed but that does not adequately heed some of the insights feminist philosophers have developed about the embodiment and relationality of the self. In my view, reflexivity cannot do the whole job of accounting for selfhood, for it rests on an unduly sharp distinction between reflexive loci of understanding and value, on the one hand, and embodiment and relationality, on the other. (...) I conclude that what is missing from Velleman's account is an appreciation of the psycho-corporeal attributes and capabilities embedded in the embodied self and the relational self. (shrink)
I defend a strong version of the Kantian claim that actions done solely from duty have moral worth by (1) considering pure cases of acting from duty, (2) showing that love and sympathy, unlike a sense of duty, can often lead us to do the wrong thing, (3) carefully distinguishing moral from non-moral virtues, and (4) by distinguishing pathological sympathy from practical sympathy. Not only is acting purely from a sense of duty superior to acting from love and sympathetic feelings, (...) but the cold-heartedness found in Kant’s examples should be thought of as a virtue rather than a vice. (shrink)
Journalists are regularly criticized for causing harm to others, such as invading privacy, printing, or airing offensive material, and so forth. Although most sensitive journalists readily acknowledge these harms, they frequently argue that the pursuit and coverage of news is nonetheless justified because it fulfills a greater moral purpose - satisfaction of the public's right to know. This article argues that although "the public s right to know" does justify some harmful journalistic behavior, too often the phrase is used without (...) the conceptual precision necessary to justify the competing harm. That is, journalists often confuse having a right to know with having an interest or curiosity in knowing and such conceptual confusion too often allows journalistic behavior to occur that would otherwise be seen as unethical. (shrink)
When external groups accuse a business organization of unethical practices, managers of the accused organization usually offer a communicative response to attempt to protect their organization's public image. Even though many researchers readily concur that analysis of these communicative responses is important to our understanding of business and society conflict, few investigations have focused on developing a theoretical framework for analyzing these communicative strategies used by managers. In addition, research in this area has suffered from a lack of empirical investigation. (...) In this paper we address both of these weaknesses in the existing literature. First, we explicate Impression Management Theory as an appropriate framework for studying organizational communicative responses, paying particular attention to the concept of accounts. Second, we critique previous investigations of organizational accounts and discuss the major contributions of our study. Third, we propose a coding system and content analyze the accounts offered by managers from 21 organizations that were recently the targets of consumer boycotts. Finally, we report the results of our empirical investigation and discuss ethical issues related to organizational accounts. (shrink)
As national and state health care policy -making becomes contentious and complex, there is a need for a forum to debate and explore public concerns and values in health care, give voice to local citizens, to facilitate consensus among various stakeholders, and provide feedback and direction to health care institutions and policy makers. This paper explores the role that regional health care ethics committees can play and provides two contrasting examples of Networks involved in facilitation of public input into and (...) the development of health care policies and adoption of state-wide practices. (shrink)
In this paper I will argue against the Humean theory of motivation, or “conativism” which claims that all actions are ultimately generated by desires. Conativism is supported by (1) a behavioral analysis of desire as a disposition to act in certain ways, and (2) the difference between belief and desire in terms of their different “direction of fi t” with the world. I will show that this behavioral account of desire cannot provide an adequate explanation of action. Mere disposition to (...) act (what I call “wanting”) does not explain why the agent acts; insofar as it explains the action desire is a feeling. I will then argue against the direction of fit argument by showing that beliefs about what we ought to do have both directions of fit—the belief has one direction of fit, and the content of the belief (the ought-clause) has the opposite direction of fit. (shrink)
The paper is a reply to g s robinson's criticism in "analysis," volume 31, Of popper's attempt to clarify the notion of scientific progress in terms of verisimilitude. I argue that robinson (1) misunderstands popper's account of basic statements, (2) confuses verisimilitude with probability (despite popper's explicit warnings), And (3) fails to understand the sense in which popper claims that verisimilitude is objective.
We describe how a Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) process was used to develop a means of discussing end-of-life care needs of Deaf seniors. This process identified a variety of communication issues to be addressed in working with this special population. We overview the unique linguistic and cultural characteristics of this community and their implications for working with Deaf individuals to provide information for making informed decisions about end-of-life care, including completion of health care directives. Our research and our work with (...) members of the Deaf community strongly show that communication and presentation of information should be in American Sign Language, the language of Deaf citizens. (shrink)