Several commentators on Kierkegaard and Heidegger have noted the similarity between Heidegger's account of authentic temporality in Being and Time and Kierkegaard's discussion of time in The Concept of Dread. By drawing attention to a not very well known essay of Kierkegaard's, ?The Decisiveness of Death?, I attempt to show that there is a very close connection between Heidegger's and Kierkegaard's entire views on authentic human existence. In the second part I try to locate in The Present Age, not just (...) the equivalent of das Man in Heidegger as numerous commentators have done, but the presence of the entire temporal structure of inauthenticity with equivalents for each of the ?fallen? modes of inauthentic being described by Heidegger in Being and Time. The result is that the previous attempts by commentators to restrict early Heidegger's originality vis?à?vis Kierkegaard begin to look like masterpieces of understatement. In the process of reaching this conclusion I try to shed light on several often misunderstood aspects of Kierkegaard's thought. (shrink)
A number of passages in "phenomenology of perception" suggest that merleau-Ponty wants to collapse entirely the distinction between the 'a priori' and the empirical, Between 'truths of reason' and 'truths of fact'. I argue that his discussion of one of the theorems of euclidean geometry reveals a less ambitious and more plausible aim--Namely, A demonstration that 'a priori' truths may be characterized by features traditionally applicable only to empirical truths, And vice versa. Merleau-Ponty's discussion of the 'a priori' and the (...) empirical simply brings the two a little closer together, Stressing the similarities and interconnections traditionally ignored in favor of the obvious differences. (shrink)
"This collection of classic essays in the study of visual culture fills a major gap in this new and expanding intellectual field. Its major strength is its insistence on the importance of three central aspects of the study of visual culture: the sign, the institution and the viewing subject. It will provide readers, teachers and students with an essential text in visual and cultural studies." - Janet Wolff, University of Rochester Visual Culture: The Reader provides an invaluable resource of over (...) 30 key statements from a wide range of disciplines. Although underpinned by a focus on contemporary cultural theory, this reader puts issues of visual culture and the rhetoric of the image at centre stage. Divided into three parts, The Culture of the Visual, Regulating Photographic Meaning, Looking and Subjectivity, this reader enables students to make hitherto unmade connections across art, film and photography history and theory, semiotics, history, semiotics and communications, media studies, and cultural theory. The key statements are from the work of: Visual Culture: The Reader sets the agenda for the study of Visual Culture and will be an essential sourcebook for researchers and students alike. This is the reader for the module The Image and Visual Culture (D850) - part of The Open University Masters in Social Sciences Programme. (shrink)
There is very little literature on the actual decision-making frameworks used by general practitioners with respect to ethical issues and virtually none on the impact of personal experiences of illness on this. This study aimed to investigate what these frameworks might be and if and how they were altered by doctors’ own illness experience. Twenty general practitioners were recruited, 10 having had a previous serious medical illness and 10 having no such history. They participated in a semi-structured interview, including case (...) vignettes, recorded and analysed using qualitative thematic analysis. Being a patient themselves altered general practitioners’ decision-making by enhancing physician empathy, increasing ease at discussing difficult topics, having a greater willingness to support patient choice and a wider ability to provide a greater diversity of therapeutic strategies, with the role of empathy being the most noticeable difference between the groups. Doctors who had not had a severe personal illnes... (shrink)
The paper uses thompson clark's theory of the relation of perceptual parts and wholes to illuminate certain aspects of our knowledge of other minds. The thesis is that the traditional problem can be usefully broken down into two parts--One of which calls for a better understanding of the logic of perceptual concepts; the other, For a closer look at what happens when we try to take the epistemological skeptic seriously.
Once Husserl has constituted the other ego in the "Fifth Meditation," he is able to add to his phenomenology the overall dimension of intersubjectivi- ty. Objects are no longer constituted simply as systematic correlates of my actual (presented) and po.ssible (appresented) perspectival views of them, but as correlates of the actual and possibly actual views of an open community of transcendental subjects to which I belong--that is, as co,rrelates of my actual (presented) view and the actual and possibly actual (appresented) (...) views o.f others. (shrink)
In an oft-quoted passage from The Principles of Morals and Legislation, Jeremy Bentham addresses the issue of our treatment of animals with the following words: ‘the question is not, Can they reason? nor, can they talk? but, Can they suffer?’ The point is well taken, for surely if animals suffer, they are legitimate objects of our moral concern. It is curious therefore, given the current interest in the moral status of animals, that Bentham's question has been assumed to be merely (...) rhetorical. No-one has seriously examined the claim, central to arguments for animal liberation and animal rights, that animals actually feel pain. Peter Singer's Animal Liberation is perhaps typical in this regard. His treatment of the issue covers a scant seven pages, after which he summarily announces that ‘there are no good reasons, scientific or philosophical, for denying that animals feel pain’. In this paper I shall suggest that the issue of animal pain is not so easily dispensed with, and that the evidence brought forward to demonstrate that animals feel pain is far from conclusive. (shrink)
Being morally responsible means being blameworthy and deserving of punishment if we do wrong and praiseworthy and deserving reward if we do right. In what follows I shall argue that in all likelihood we're not morally responsible. None of us. Ever.
Suppose a diner says, 'Can you pass the salt?' Although her utterance is literally a question (about the physical abilities of the addressee), most would take it as a request (that the addressee pass the salt). In such a case, the request is performed indirectly by way of directly asking a question. Accordingly this utterance is known as an indirect speech act. On the standard account of such speech acts, a single utterance constitutes two distinct speech acts. On this account (...) then, 'Can you pass the salt?' is both a question and a request. In a provocative essay, Rod Bertolet argues that there are no indirect speech acts. According to Bertolet, 'Can you pass the salt?' is only a question. It is a question that merely functions as a request (without also being one). In this paper we respond to Bertolet's skeptical argument. Appealing to Searle's theory of speech acts and to certain features of linguistic communication, we argue that, despite Bertolet's challenge, there is good reason to countenance indirect speech acts. (shrink)
‘Metaphysics’, said Bradley, ‘is the finding of bad reasons for what we believe on instinct, but to find these reasons is no less an instinct.’ This idea that reasoning is both instinctive and feeble is reminiscent of Hume; except that reasons in Hume tend to serve as the solvent rather than the support of instinctive beliefs. Instinct leads us to play backgammon with other individuals whom we assume inhabit a world which exists independently of our own perception and which will (...) continue to exist tomorrow in a similar fashion to today. However, when instinct leads us also to reason about these beliefs they are all subject to sceptical attack. Their defence provides a challenge, a challenge which in thumbnail histories of the subject is met by Kant. He does this by use of a powerful new form of argument which he calls transcendental argument and which, in my opinion, provides not only reasons but also good reasons for the defence of some of our most central instinctive beliefs. The strategy involved in this kind of argument is to reflect on the necessary preconditions for comprehensible experience. In this way, some beliefs which are subject to sceptical attack, such as that there is a causal order between objects which exist independently of our experience of them, can be found to be the essential preconditions for having comprehensible experience at all. The reason for accepting them is, therefore, that they are the necessary preconditions of having any beliefs at all; and this provides a good, rather than a bad, reason for accepting these particular instinctive beliefs. (shrink)
The philosophical problem of the relation of symbol to truth is far from solved, but there have been significant advances toward its solution. It is the common Christian understanding that God is Truth , and that all truths must ultimately find union in him. This is to say that all genuine truths must be compatible. The true conclusions of genuine science must be compatible with the true conclusions of genuine theology. Or, to bring this general statement to a more particular (...) level, the true conclusions of Biblical scholarship must be compatible with the true conclusions of the natural sciences. When this compatibility is lacking, and it so often is, we must assume that the conclusions of one field of truth-seeking or the other do not partake of the Truth which is God. And there is no guarantee that theology as a field of truth-seeking cannot err. Another characteristic of genuine truth is that it is not dependent upon any particular environment or milieu —either social, cultural, philosophical, or even theological. Unless we are to make the common but dangerous division of sacred and secular, of holy and profane, claim that these areas of human experience have nothing to do the one with the other, compartmentalise our thought, and ask, ‘What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?’, it must be concluded that there is no one specifically Christian milieu . Genuine truths must be true at all times, in all places, and for all men. But since we are not gods, we must hold these truths in what St Paul called earthen vessels , vessels shaped and moulded by our particular milieu. (shrink)
This paper suffers from a disconcerting generality. I need an excuse for wandering from Wittgenstein's Tractatus to Picasso's drawing of a Weeping Woman, via the philosophy of science and the theory of sense data. The thesis of the paper is that I have such an excuse. These are all areas where the concept of representation either exists in its own right, or has been found to be illuminating by philosophers. An important question is whether it could be the same concept (...) in all these cases. I wish to claim that there is an illuminating common concept, even though to find it may require some fairly drastic modifications of some of the philosophical theses that are involved. (shrink)
The philosophy department in Edinburgh is in David Hume tower; the philosophy faculty at Cambridge is in Sidgwick Avenue. In one way, no competition. Everybody has heard of Hume, whereas even the anybody who's anybody may not have heard of Sidgwick. Yet in another way, Sidgwick wins this arcane contest. For if David Hume, contradicting the Humean theory of personal identity, were to return to Edinburgh, he would not recognize the tower. Whereas, if someone with more success in rearousing spirits (...) than Sidgwick himself had could now produce him, Sidgwick would know the avenue. For he planned it; he partially paid for it; and he pushed it past the local opposition. He was its creator. And creator not just of the avenue: if Sidgwick is not quite the only begetter, it was he more than anyone who was responsible for building the school of philosophy in Cambridge which is being celebrated in this series of articles. (shrink)
‘I see well enough what poor Kant would be at’ said James Mill on first looking into the Kritik der reinen Vernunft. No one would wish to say that the reception of Kant in England has remained at this level: abundance of sound scholarship, innumerable Kant seminars and the swell of interest in transcendental argument which has developed since the Second World War all exist to prove the contrary. But in spite of all that, Mill's response still touches a chord (...) in English breasts. We are prone to think Kant a conjurer. If we are to accept, or even to work seriously with, any version of Kantianism it must be a demythologized, logically aseptic version. Strawson's Kant, for instance, is a Kant freed from the ‘strained analogy’ between the study of the conditions of sense, or intelligibility, and the study of the human cognitive system. And in moral philosophy too, the English Kantianism chiefly represented by the work of Professor R. M. Hare has scrupulously avoided those parts of Kant's ethics which have a suspiciously speculative flavour: the notion of an unqualified good, for example, or that of treating moral agents as Ends-in-Themselves; and more generally the whole notion, which permeates Kant's moral philosophy, that morality can only ultimately be understood in terms of a set of ideal relationships that entirely transcend all considerations of common-sense mutual accommodation or rational self-interest: transcend all such considerations so radically, in fact, as to point mutely towards the possibility of a life after death. (shrink)