Sex and sensibility: The role of social selection Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9464-6 Authors Erika L. Milam, Department of History, University of Maryland, 2115 Francis Scott Key Hall, College Park, MD 20742, USA Roberta L. Millstein, Department of Philosophy, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA Angela Potochnik, Department of Philosophy, University of Cincinnati, P.O. Box 210374, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA Joan E. Roughgarden, Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5020, USA Journal Metascience (...) Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796. (shrink)
Contributors to this volume demonstrate how the ethics of care factors into a variety of social policies and institutions, and can indeed be useful in thinking about a number of different social problems. Divided into two sections, the first looks at care as a model for an evaluative framework that rethinks social institutions, liberal society, and citizenship at a basic conceptual level. The second explores care values in the context of specific social practices or settings, as a framework that should (...) guide thinking. (shrink)
This book is an expanded version of Joan Weiner's introduction to Frege's work in the Oxford University Press ‘Past Masters’ series published in 1999. The earlier book had chapters on Frege's life and character, his basic project, his new logic, his definitions of the numbers, his 1891 essay ‘Function and concept’, his 1892 essays ‘On Sinn and Bedeutung’ and ‘On concept and object’, the Grundgesetze der Arithmetik and the havoc wreaked by Russell's paradox, and a final brief chapter on (...) Frege's influence. To this, Weiner has added two further chapters on Frege's dispute with Hilbert on the foundations of geometry and on the three late essays of his ‘Logical investigations’. There is little change to the content of the earlier chapters, but they have been divided into sections, each with its own heading, which makes it easier to find one's way around.With the two additional chapters, the book provides an excellent introduction to Frege's work from his earliest Begriffsschrift, which gives the first presentation of his new logic, to his three late essays, which expound his views on logic, truth, and thought. As in the earlier version, the focus is on the logicist project that dominated Frege's career: the attempt to demonstrate that arithmetic is reducible to logic. In all her writings on Frege, Weiner has been particularly sensitive to the philosophical …. (shrink)
Duff offered an argument for the conclusion that just or legitimate punishment of socially deprived offenders in our unjust society is impossible. One of the claims in his argument is that our courts have the standing to blame an offender only if our polity has the right to do so since our courts are acting as the representatives of, or to use the exact phrases by Duff, “in the name of”, or “on behalf of”, the whole polity. In (...) this paper I will challenge that claim. I will argue that the courts can be seen as acting, not on behalf of the whole polity, but only on behalf of a subset of its citizens, namely, the just citizens (i.e. the citizens who cannot be seen to have wronged the deprived offenders). (shrink)
In the last three decades, considerable theoretical and empirical research has been undertaken on the topic of moral distress among health professionals. Understood as a psychological and emotional response to the experience of moral wrongdoing, there is evidence to suggest that—if unaddressed—it contributes to staff demoralization, desensitization and burnout and, ultimately, to lower standards of patient safety and quality of care. However, more recently, the concept of moral distress has been subjected to important criticisms. Specifically, some authors argue that the (...) standard account of moral distress elucidated by Jameton :542–551, 1984) does not refer to a discrete phenomenon and/or that it is not sufficiently broad and that this makes measuring its prevalence among health professionals, and other groups of workers, difficult if not impossible. In this paper, we defend the standard account of moral distress. We understand it as a concept that draws attention to the social, political and contextual determinants of moral agency and brings the emotional landscape of the moral realm to the fore. Given the increasing pressure on health professionals worldwide to meet efficiency, financial and corporate targets and reported adverse effects of these for the quality and safety of patient care, we believe that further empirical research that deploys the standard account moral distress is timely and important. (shrink)
A little more than two years ago, a Texas woman, faced with a knife-wielding intruder demanding sex from her, tried to talk her attacker into wearing a condom to protect herself against the possibility of contracting AIDS. A grand jury refused to indict the man because jurors believed that the woman's act of self-protection implied that she had consented to sex.
A standard view in ethics is that ethical issues concern a different range of human concerns than does politics. This essay goes beyond the long-standing dispute about the extent to which applied ethics needs a commitment to ethical theory. It argues that regardless of the outcome of that dispute, applied ethics, because it presumes something about the nature of authority, rests upon and is implicated in political theory. After internalist and externalist accounts of applied ethics are described, “mixed” approaches are (...) considered that contain inevitable political dimensions. A feminist alternative, Walker’s metaethic of responsibility, shows that authority is best understood as relational and that situations of unequal power are therefore often the places where applied ethics arises. Furthermore, in a democratic society, commitments to democracy should shape the account of authority, and, thus, the nature of applied ethics as well. (shrink)
I will consider Armstrong's problems in trying to account for structural universals, i.e., a kind of complex universal whose instantiation by particulars involves different parts of those particulars instantiating several basic properties and relations, such as the property of being a molecule of methane. I present and criticise Armstrong's most recent attempt to explain structural properties by means of the identification of universals with types of states of affairs and I state my own solution to the problem by appealing to (...) formal relations holding between particulars. (shrink)
In this long-awaited book, Antony Duff offers a new perspective on the structures of criminal law and criminal liability. His starting point is a distinction between responsibility (understood as answerability) and liability, and a conception of responsibility as relational and practice-based. This focus on responsibility, as a matter of being answerable to those who have the standing to call one to account, throws new light on a range of questions in criminal law theory: on the question of criminalisation, which (...) can now be cast as the question of what we should have to answer for, and to whom, under the threat of criminal conviction and punishment; on questions about the criminal trial, as a process through which defendants are called to answer, and about the conditions (bars to trial) given which a trial would be illegitimate; on questions about the structure of offences, the distinction between offences and defences, and the phenomena of strict liability and strict responsibility; and on questions about the structures of criminal defences. The net result is not a theory of criminal law; but it is an account of the structure of criminal law as an institution through which a liberal polity defines a realm of public wrongdoing, and calls those who perpetrate (or are accused of perpetrating) such wrongs to account. (shrink)
The paper argues for the importance to Kant's critique of judgment of epistemological reflections upon the problematics of experimentation on organic processes. It examines the investigations of generation by Wolff and Blumenbach, demonstrating how their experimental practices mediated reflectively between organic phenomena and their conceptualisation, acting as instruments of their judgments of these processes. It then reads Kant's ‘Kritik der teleologischen Urteilskraft’ in light of these experimental investigations, arguing that Kant highlights how the problematic relation between organic phenomena and their (...) conceptualisation manifested in such investigations is opened up as a space for reflection, thus making this act of judgment conscious. The relation between Kant's critiques of judgment in his first and third critiques are then discussed, and it is argued that the reflective character of judgment highlighted in the judgment of organic processes draws into focus the problematic aspects of all judgments of natural phenomena, by making conscious the synthetic process of judgment effected by unconscious acts of the imagination in the first critique. Finally, the paper examines Humboldt's galvanic experiments, showing how they were informed by Kant's critical philosophy, but also how they contributed to the blurring of the boundaries between the judgment of organic and inorganic processes. Thus it is claimed that the reflections upon judgment in the Kritik der Urteilskraft problematized rather than clarified Kant's treatment of judgment in the first critique. (shrink)
Dwight Macdonald's 1958 attack on James Gould Cozzens's novel By Love Possessed posited that the book's popularity was an “episode” in “The Middlebrow Counter-Revolution” then under way among American critics. That conclusion neglected the strategies of publishing, advertising, and authorial stance that Cozzens and his wife, the agent Sylvia Baumgarten, wielded to create a best seller. Macdonald also did not see how he and Cozzens shared a high-culture aesthetic and competed for power over readers threatening to make criticism irrelevant. Each (...) tried to consolidate that power by depicting his adversary as socially inferior: as Jew, queer, or feminized “middlebrow.” Although Macdonald's appropriation of Cozzens's own values succeeded in damaging Cozzens's reputation, the authority that Macdonald hoped to preserve was likewise about to collapse under pressure from mass culture and postmodern relativism. The Macdonald–Cozzens imbroglio thus provides a useful example of the provisional nature of cultural hierarchy at any given historical moment. (shrink)
There is a section in Samuel Delany’s magnificent autobiographical meditation, The Motion of Light in Water, that dramatically raises the problem of writing the history of difference, the history, that is, of the designation of “other,” of the attribution of characteristics that distinguish categories of people from some presumed norm.1 Delany recounts his reaction to his first visit to the St. Marks bathhouse in 1963. He remembers standing on the threshold of a “gym-sized room” dimly lit by blue bulbs. The (...) room was full of people, some standing, the rest an undulating mass of naked, male bodies, spread wall to wall. My first response was a kind of heart-thudding astonishment very close to fear. I have written of a space at certain libidinal saturation before. That was not what frightened me. It was rather that the saturation was not only kinesthetic but visible.2Watching the scene establishes for Delany a “fact that flew in the face” of the prevailing representation of homosexuals in the 1950s as “isolated perverts,” as subjects “gone awry.” The “apprehension of massed bodies” gave him a “sense of political power”:what this experience said was that there was a population—not of individual homosexuals … not of hundreds, not of thousands, but rather of millions of gay men, and that history had, actively and already, created for us whole galleries of institutions, good and bad, to accommodate our sex. [M, p. 174] 2. Samuel R. Delany, The Motion of Light in Water: Sex and Science Fiction Writing in the East Village, 1957-1965 , p. 173; hereafter abbreviated M. Joan W. Scott is professor of social science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. She is the author, most recently, of Gender and the Politics of History and is currently at work on a history of feminist claims for political rights in France during the period 1789-1945 as a way of exploring arguments about equality and difference. (shrink)
Are social movements responsible for their unfinished agendas? Feminist successes in opening the professions to women paved the way for the emergence of the upper middle-class two-career household. These households sometimes hire domestic servants to accomplish their child care work. If, as I shall argue, this practice is unjust and furthers social inequality, then it poses a moral problem for any feminist commitment to social justice.
In spite of feminist recognition that hierarchical organizations are an important location of male dominance, most feminists writing about organizations assume that organizational structure is gender neutral. This article argues that organizational structure is not gender neutral; on the contrary, assumptions about gender underlie the documents and contracts used to construct organizations and to provide the commonsense ground for theorizing about them. Their gendered nature is partly masked through obscuring the embodied nature of work.jobs and hierarchies, common concepts in organizational (...) thinking, assume a disembodies and universal worker. This worker is actually a man; men's bodies, sexuality, and relationships to procreation and paid work are subsumed in the image of the worker. Images of men's bodies and masculinity pervade organizational processes, marginalizing women and contributing to the maintenance of gender segregation in organizations. The positing of gender-neutral and disembodied organizational structures and work relations is part of the larger strategy of control in industrial capitalist societies, which, at least partly, are built upon a deeply embedded substructure of gender difference. (shrink)
After distinguishing different species of Legal Moralism I outline and defend a modest, positive Legal Moralism, according to which we have good reason to criminalize some type of conduct if it constitutes a public wrong. Some of the central elements of the argument will be: the need to remember that the criminal law is a political, not a moral practice, and therefore that in asking what kinds of conduct we have good reason to criminalize, we must begin not with the (...) entire realm of wrongdoing, but with conduct falling within the public realm of our civic life; the need to look at the different processes of criminalization, and to ask what kinds of consideration can properly figure in those processes; the need to attend to the relationship, and the essential differences, between criminal law and other modes of legal regulation. (shrink)
This book examines responsibility and luck as these issues arise in tort law, criminal law, and distributive justice. The central question is: whose bad luck is a particular piece of misfortune? Arthur Ripstein argues that there is a general set of principles to be found that clarifies responsibility in those cases where luck is most obviously an issue: accidents, mistakes, emergencies, and failed attempts at crime. In revealing how the problems that arise in tort and criminal law as well as (...) distributive justice invite structurally parallel solutions, the author also shows the deep connection between individual responsibility and social equality. This is a challenging and provocative book that will be of special interest to moral and political philosophers, legal theorists, and political scientists. (shrink)
Holobionts, consisting of a host and diverse microbial symbionts, function as distinct biological entities anatomically, metabolically, immunologically, and developmentally. Symbionts can be transmitted from parent to offspring by a variety of vertical and horizontal methods. Holobionts can be considered levels of selection in evolution because they are well-defined interactors, replicators/reproducers, and manifestors of adaptation. An initial mathematical model is presented to help understand how holobionts evolve. The model offered combines the processes of horizontal symbiont transfer, within-host symbiont proliferation, vertical symbiont (...) transmission, and holobiont selection. The model offers equations for the population dynamics and evolution of holobionts whose hologenomes differ in gene copy number, not in allelic or loci identity. The model may readily be extended to include variation among holobionts in the gene identities of both symbionts and host. (shrink)
How can a system of criminal punishment be justified? In particular can it be justified if the moral demand that we respect each other as autonomous moral agents is taken seriously? Traditional attempts to justify punishment as a deterrent or as retribution fail, but Duff suggests that punishment can be understood as a communicative attempt to bring a wrong-doer to repent her crime. This account is supported by discussions of moral blame, of penance, of the nature of the law's (...) demands, and of the proper meaning and purpose of the criminal process of trial and verdict: it deals both with the ideals that should inform a system of criminal law and the extent to which those ideals are actualised in existing institutions and practices. The conclusion is pessimistic: punishment cannot be justified within our legal system; and this gap between the ideal and the actual presents us with serious moral dilemmas. (shrink)
In this article, the author addresses two feminist issues: first, how to conceptualize intersectionality, the mutual reproduction of class, gender, and racial relations of inequality, and second, how to identify barriers to creating equality in work organizations. She develops one answer to both issues, suggesting the idea of “inequality regimes” as an analytic approach to understanding the creation of inequalities in work organizations. Inequality regimes are the interlocked practices and processes that result in continuing inequalities in all work organizations. Work (...) organizations are critical locations for the investigation of the continuous creation of complex inequalities because much societal inequality originates in such organizations. Work organizations are also the target for many attempts to alter patterns of inequality: The study of change efforts and the oppositions they engender are often opportunities to observe frequently invisible aspects of the reproduction of inequalities. The concept of inequality regimes may be useful in analyzing organizational change projects to better understand why these projects so often fail and why they succeed when this occurs. (shrink)
Marcia Baron has offered an illuminating and fruitful discussion of extra-legal excuses. What is particularly useful, and particularly important, is her focus on our excusatory practices—on the ways and contexts in which we make, offer, accept, bestow and reject excuses: if we are to reach an adequate understanding of excuses, their implications and their grounds, we must attend to the roles that they can play in our human activities and relationships—and to the complexities and particularities of those roles. However, I (...) want to focus my comments less on the details of Baron’s discussions of excuses in extra-legal contexts than on the implications of her discussion for our understanding of excuses in the criminal law. What light (if any, a sceptic might add) can such analyses of our extra-legal concepts and practices throw on legal concepts and doctrines? (shrink)
How do we know which institutions provide good care? Some scholars argue that the best way to think about care institutions is to model them upon the family or the market. This paper argues, on the contrary, that when we make explicit some background conditions of good family care, we can apply what we know to better institutionalized caring. After considering elements of bad and good care, from an institutional perspective, the paper argues that good care in an institutional context (...) has three central foci: the purpose of care, a recognition of power relations, and the need for pluralistic, particular tailoring of care to meet individuals? needs. These elements further require political space within institutions to address such concerns. (shrink)
This essay argues that the practice ofmedicine is not a phronetic activity in theoriginal Aristotelian sense of that term. Jonsen andToulmin are two philosophers who have conflated thetechne of medicine with phronesis. Thisconflation ignores Aristotle's crucial distinctionbetween techne and phronesis and his useof the medical analogy. It is argued that medicalreasoning is similar to phronesis but does notexemplify it. Phronesis will not save thelife of medical ethics. The concept could be utilized as amoral prosthetic.
What is the number one? How do we know that 2+2=4? These apparently simple questions are in fact notoriously difficult to answer, and in one form or other have occupied philosophers from ancient times to the present. Gottlob Frege's conviction that the truths of arithmetic, and mathematics more generally, are derived from self-evident logical truths formed the basis of a systematic project which revolutionized logic, and founded modern analytic philosophy. In this accessible and stimulating introduction, Joan Weiner traces the (...) development of Frege's thought from his invention of a powerful new logical language in Begriffsschrift, through his explication of his project in the Foundations of Arithmetic and famous papers such as 'On Sense and Reference', to the brilliant, but ultimately doomed, presentation of the system in Basic Laws of Arithmetic. At each stage, she discusses Frege's motivations in a way which enables the modern reader to appreciate the originality, clarity, and profundity of his thought. Past Masters is a series of concise, lucid, authoritative introducitons to the thought of leading intellectual figures of the past whose ideas still influence the way we think today. (shrink)
Long run success in watershed management requires understanding of how economic stratification and social values affect water quality protection. Feedback effects on water quality are produced by three aspects of economic well-being: income levels, quality of life and inequality, including the effects of gender based inequality. In the US emphasis on individualistic values leads to reliance on local and private policy solutions to social problems. Analysis of the context of New York City's internationally famous watershed agreement with communities 120 miles (...) distant provides a case study of these relationships. The nature of economic stratification in these upstate communities and the insufficient response of social policies were an impediment to achieving New York City's water quality goals. As a consequence the City's watershed agreement contains direct economic aid to Watershed communities. The Agreement does not address all stratification issues. Some call for solutions beyond the local level and an approach that benefits from the European emphasis on community. It is in the interest of watershed managers to broaden the scope of their concerns to understand and support state and national programs which address problems created by economic stratification. The expansion of the European Union increases the relevance of these lessons for Europe. (shrink)
A holobiont is a composite organism consisting of a host together with its microbiome, such as a coral with its zooxanthellae. To explain the often intimate integration between hosts and their microbiomes, some investigators contend that selection operates on holobionts as a unit and view the microbiome’s genes as extending the host’s nuclear genome to jointly comprise a hologenome. Because vertical transmission of microbiomes is uncommon, other investigators contend that holobiont selection cannot be effective because a holobiont’s microbiome is an (...) acquired condition rather than an inherited trait. This disagreement invites a simple mathematical model to see how holobiont selection might operate and to assess its plausibility as an evolutionary force. This paper presents two variants of such a model. In one variant, juvenile hosts obtain microbiomes from their parents (vertical transmission). In the other variant, microbiomes of juvenile hosts are assembled from source pools containing the combined microbiomes of all parents (horizontal transmission). According to both variants, holobiont selection indeed causes evolutionary change in holobiont traits. Therefore, holobiont selection is plausibly an effective evolutionary force with either mode of microbiome transmission. The modeling employs two distinct concepts of inheritance, depending on the mode of microbiome transmission: collective inheritance whereby juveniles inherit a sample of the collected genomes from all parents, as contrasted with lineal inheritance whereby juveniles inherit the genomes from only their own parents. A distinction between collective and lineal inheritance also features in theories of multilevel selection. (shrink)
The development of photodynamic therapy and anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agents have revolutionized the treatment of retinal diseases, transforming the retina subspecialty by ushering in an age of pharmacological treatments for a wide range of diseases, including age-related macular degeneration.
Criminal attempts, it is often said, are crimes of intention. While many complete crimes can be committed recklessly, criminal attempts require “purposive conduct”; in attempts “the intent is the essence of the crime.” But what kind of intention is required; what must be intended, or purposed, by someone who is to be guilty of a criminal attempt?
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