Revealing flaws in both 'green' and market-based approaches to environmental policy, O'Neill develops an Aristotolian account of well-being. He examines the implications for wider issues involving markets, civil society an.
Deliberative or discursive models of democracy have recently enjoyed a revival in both political theory and policy practice. Against the picture of democracy as a procedure for aggregating and effectively meeting the given preference of individuals, deliberative theory offers a model of democracy as a forum through which judgements and preferences are formed and altered through reasoned dialogue between free and equal citizens. Much in the recent revival of deliberative democracy, especially that which comes through Habermas and Rawls, has Kantian (...) roots. Deliberative institutions are embodiments of the free public use of reason that Kant takes to define the enlightenment project. Within the Kantian model the public use of reason is incompatible with the use of rhetoric. While this paper rejects strong rhetorical criticisms of deliberative democracy which render all communication strategic, it argues that rhetorical studies of deliberation have highlighted features of deliberation which point to significant weaknesses in Kantian approaches to it. Two features are of particular importance: the role of testimony and judgements of credibility in deliberation; and the role of appeal to emotions in public discourse. Both from the Kantian perspective are potential sources of heteronomy. However, the appeal to testimony and emotion are features of public deliberation that cannot and should not be eliminated. For those committed to the enlightenment values that underlie the deliberative model of democracy the question is whether these rhetorical features of deliberation are incompatible with those values. The paper argues that they are compatible. It does so by defending an Aristotelian account of rhetoric in public deliberation which denies the Platonic contrast between reasoned discourse and rhetoric which the Kantian model inherits. (shrink)
Problems of representation lie at the centre of recent experiments in deliberative democracy. The problems are not primarily social scientific questions concerning the statistical representiveness of small-scale deliberative institutions but normative questions about their political and ethical legitimacy. Experiments in deliberative democracy often rely for their representative legitimacy on appeals to the presence of members of different groups. However, they often do so without clear sources of authorisation and accountability from those represented. The representation of nonhumans and future generations in (...) deliberative institutions is still more problematic. In the necessary absence of their authorisation, accountability, and presence, claims to speak on their behalf relies on epistemic claims, coupled with care. To highlight these problems is not to claim that small deliberative institutions are illegitimate but rather to point out the need for a clearer account of their role in democratic institutions and the proper sources of contestability of their outcomes. (shrink)
Holland argues that environmental deliberation should return to classical questions about the nature of the good life, understood as the worthwhile life. Holland's proposal contrasts with the revived hedonist conception of the good life which has been influential on environmentalism. The concept of the worthwhile life needs to be carefully distinguished from those of the happy life and the dutiful life. Holland's account of the worthwhile life captures the narrative dimension of human well-being which is revealed but inadequately addressed by (...) hedonic research. Environmental concerns are better understood from a non-hedonist perspective. An Aristotelian version of this perspective also offers the institutional focus which Holland suggests is required in environmental deliberation. (shrink)
The development and applicability of complex numbers is often cited in defence of the formalist philosophy of mathematics. This view is rejected through an examination of hamilton's development of the notion of complex numbers as ordered pairs of reals, And his later development of the quaternion theory, Which subsequently formed the basis of vector analysis. Formalism, By protecting informal assumptions from critical scrutiny, Constrained rather than encouraged the development of mathematics.
For the Enlightenment, science represented an ideal of rational argument, behaviour and community against which could be judged the arbitrary power and authority of other spheres of human practice. This Enlightenment ideal runs through much liberal and socialist theory. However, the Enlightenment picture of science has appeared to many to be increasingly uncompelling. What explains the apparent decline of the Enlightenment vision? This book explores one neglected answer originally proposed by Husserl, that its decline is rooted in formalism, in the (...) view that all there is to theoretical science is the construction and mastery of formal systems. O'Neill demonstrates formalist accounts of mathematics and natural science to be inadequate, and then considers and rejects Husserl's views on the origin of the formalization of the sciences. The book concludes by arguing that the rise of a formalist view of the sciences is founded in the professionalization of modern science, and discusses the significance of this professionalization for the fate of the Enlightenment view of science. Worlds Without Content: Against Formalism tackles an important set of issues which have been neglected in recent philosophy of science, and in so doing highlights themes in Husserl's later works which have been ignored by most commentators. It will be of particular interest for philosophers of mathematics, science and social theory, and for historians of mathematics and philosophy. (shrink)
There is a special problem with respect to our obligations to future generations which is that we can benefit or harm them but that they cannot benefit or harm us. Goodin summarizes the point well: No analysis of intergenerational justice that is cast even vaguely in terms of reciprocity can hope to succeed. The reason is the one which Addison… puts into the mouth of an Old Fellow of College, who when he was pressed by the Society to come into (...) something that might rebound to the good of their Successors, grew very peevish. ‘We are always doing’ says he, ‘something for Posterity, but I would fain see Posterity do something for us’. (shrink)
"Nature" and "wilderness" are central normative categories of environmentalism. Appeal to those categories has been subject to two lines of criticism: from constructivists who deny there is something called "nature" to be defended; from the environmental justice movement who point to the role of appeals to "nature" and "wilderness" in the appropriation of land of socially marginal populations. While these arguments often come together they are independent. This paper develops the second line of argument by placing recent appeals to "wilderness" (...) in the context of historical uses of the concept to justify the appropriation of land. However, it argues that the constructivist line is less defensible. The paper finishes by placing the debates around wilderness in the context of more general tensions between philosophical perspectives on the environment and the particular cultural perspectives of disciplines like anthropology, in particular the prima facie conflict between the aspirations of many philosophers for thin and cosmopolitan moral language that transcends local culture, and the aspirations of disciplines like anthropology to uncover a thick moral vocabulary that is local to particular cultures. (shrink)
This paper examines the epistemological arguments about markets and planning that emerged in a series of unpublished exchanges between Hayek and Neurath. The exchanges reveal problems for standard accounts of both the socialist calculation debates and logical empiricism. They also raise questions concerning the sources of ignorance and uncertainty in modern economies, and the role of market and non-market organisations in the distribution and coordination of limited knowledge, which remain relevant to contemporary debates in economics. Hayek had argued that Neurath's (...) work exemplified the errors of rationalism that underpinned the socialist project. In response Neurath highlighted assumptions about the limits of reason and predictability that the two theorists shared and attempted to turn those assumptions back against Hayek in a defence of the possibility of socialist planning. The paper critically compares Neurath's and Hayek's criticisms of rationalism and considers how far Neurath is successful in his attempt to employ Hayek's assumptions against Hayek himself. (Published Online April 18 2006) Footnotes1 I would like to thank the staff at the Vienna Circle Institute for their assistance in consulting their copy of the Neurath Nachlass. I owe a debt of gratitude to Thomas Uebel and David Archard for their comments on earlier versions of this paper. I would like to acknowledge the support of the Arts and Humanities Research Board and a Manchester University Hallsworth Fellowship in writing this paper. (shrink)
An articulate and passionate argument against the postmodern/postraditionalist abandonment of Marxist and phenomenological concepts of reason and commonsense. This is a major and accessible contribution to the debate on postmodernity.
Is logical empiricism incompatible with a critical social science? The longstanding assumption that it is incompatible has been prominent in recent debates about welfare economics. Sen’s development of a critical and descriptively rich welfare eco nomics is taken by writers such as Putnam, Walsh and Sen to involve the excising of the influence of logical empiricism on neo-classical economics. However, this view stands in contrast to the descriptively rich contributions to political economy of members of the left Vienna Circle, such (...) as Otto Neurath. This paper considers the compatibility of the meta-theoretical commitments of Neurath and others in the logical empiricist tradition with this first-order critical political economy. (shrink)
This article is a close reading of Jacques Derrida's critique of Marcel Mauss's classic, The Gift, and its revision through Charles Baudelaire's `The Counterfeit Coin'. Derrida's rejection of any exchange/reciprocity relation in the gift as an immoral binding of free subjects strangely accommodates the current ideological crisis of the gift in welfare societies. Moreover, Derrida's textual substitution of Baudelaire for Mauss repeats the counterfeit practice on which his own aporia of the gift is based.
The needs principle—that certain goods should be distributed according to need—has been central to much socialist and egalitarian thought. It is the principle which Marx famously takes to be that which is to govern the distribution of goods in the higher phase of communism. The principle is one that Marx himself took from the Blanquists. It had wider currency in the radical traditions of the nineteenth century. In the twentieth century it remained central to the mutualist form of socialism defended (...) by Tawney and Titmuss. The principle underlay the development and justification of the modern welfare state—thus the National Health Service is still founded upon the idea that the distribution of medical resources should be determined by medical need, not by ability to pay. One source of the power of the needs principle lies in the fact that it appears to be both a principle of justice and a principle of community or social solidarity. As a principle of justice it is offered as a corrective to the particular forms of unequal distributions of goods that can result from market transactions, and as a principle of community or social solidarity as a corrective to the possessive individualism taken to be the corollary of a market order. (shrink)
The paper addresses two questions central to recent environmental political thought: Can a reduction in consumption be rendered compatible with a maintenance or improvement of well-being? What are the conditions for a sense of citizenship that crosses different generations? The two questions have elicited two conflicting responses. The first has been answered in broadly Epicurean terms: in recent environmental thought appeal has been made to recent hedonic research which appears to show that improvements in sub jective well-being can be decoupled (...) from increased material consumption. The second has usually been answered in broadly Aristotelian terms: republicans have suggested that a public world and pro jects that are shared over generations are a condition of human well-being. These Epicurean and Aristotelian responses appear to look in opposite directions. They start from different accounts of well-being and appear to look in different places for human flourishing. This paper suggests that the broadly Aristotelian response is in fact owed to both problems. It shows that recent empirical researchinthehedonictraditioncanberenderedconsistentwith that Aristotelian response. (shrink)
In a series of papers in Economica between 1941 and 1944 Hayek’s criticisms of socialist planning were directed at a set of assumptions about the social world and social science that he took to partly underpin the socialist project. Hayek’s epistemic arguments against planning and in defence of the market are deployed against the claims of ‘scientism’, ‘objectivism’ and ‘physicalism’ in the social sciences. These assumptions illustrate a pervasive version of the rationalist errors underlying socialist planning. They foster a form (...) of social engineering which promises to achieve an optimal technical outcome through planning in which monetary calculation in the market place is replaced by in natura calculation in kind. One of the main objects of criticism was Neurath in whom, for Hayek, all these errors are gathered in one person. Neurath responded to those criticisms in a series of notes and letters to Hayek in 1945 which he hoped would form the basis for a public exchange between them . Neurath’s response focused on what he took to be shared epistemological assumptions and their common commitment to a pluralist alternative to totalitarianism. The response was in some ways an attempt to answer a question he formulated in his generous review of Hayek’s Road to Serfdom: ‘What would Professor Hayek answer if the tables were turned on him?’ . Elsewhere I have looked in more detail at the epistemic arguments in this debate . In this paper while I touch upon these arguments, I focus on the discussion of pluralism and its social and economic preconditions. I will argue that while there are internal problems with Neurath’s arguments, his defence of non-market institutional orders in the modern world raises significant problems with Hayek’s position. (shrink)
Hayek's epistemic arguments against planning were aimed not just against socialism but also the tradition of ecological economics. The concern with the physical preconditions of economic activity and defence of non-monetary measures in economic choice were expressions of the same rationalist illusion about the scope of human knowledge that underpinned the socialist project. Neurath's commitment to physicalism, in natura calculation and planning typified these errors. Neurath responded to these criticisms in unpublished notes and correspondence with Hayek. These highlighted the epistemological (...) premises his work shared with Hayek's, representing a response to Hayek from Hayek's own assumptions. This paper examines the cogency and continuing relevance of the arguments in this debate. (shrink)
Hayek's epistemic arguments against central planning and in defence of market economies have recently been redeployed by some market-socialists against more decentralized models of non-market socialism. This paper considers the cogency of these arguments through an examination of an unpublished exchange in the socialist calculation debates between Hayek and a proponent of non-market associational models of socialism, Otto Neurath. Contrary to the standard view of the debates, Neurath shared many of the assumptions of Hayek's epistemic arguments and similarly criticized technocratic (...) models of planning. The paper outlines Neurath's defence of associational socialism from his early role in the Bavarian revolution through his engagement in the post-war housing movements in Vienna and the unity of science movement. While Neurath's response to Hayek is not entirely successful, his proposals for associational models of socialism point to problems not just in Hayek's criticisms of non-market socialism, but also those of more recent market-socialists. (shrink)
Recent rhetorical critiques of philosophy and science assume a contrast between rational argument and rhetoric that is inherited from an antirhetorical tradition in philosophy. This article rejects that assumption. Rhetoric is compatible with reasoned discourse in a strong sense originally outlined by Aristotle. Rhetorical analysis reveals the inadequacy of purely demonstrative accounts of rational argument and cognitive accounts of the conditions for rational assent to propo sitions. Social studies of the rhetoric of science, and in particular of credibility claims, need (...) not fall into the forms of relativism and global antirealism with which they have become associated. (shrink)
This paper responds to Pope John Paul's "Veritatis Splendor". It defends one of its claims, that some human acts are intrinsically evil, and relates it to another, that one should live in truth. It outlines two versions of the idea of living in truth and argues that the Thomist position defended in the encyclical is to be preferred. However, the paper rejects the encyclical's authoritarianism. It criticizes not the concept of 'authoritative teaching' as such -- all teaching presupposes epistemological authority (...) -- but the way in which the encyclical's characterization of such authority is incompatible with one of its preconditions -- reasoned dialogue. (shrink)
What is it for a situation to be worse or better for someone? This paper considers an answer to that question which draws on a distinction implicit in a work of Chekhov between a happy and a worthwhile life. It examines the implications of that answer for recent debates about equality, outlining the virtues of a virtues-based egalitarianism.