Matthias Vogel challenges the belief, dominant in contemporary philosophy, that reason is determined solely by our discursive, linguistic abilities as communicative beings. In his view, the medium of language is not the only force of reason. Music, art, and other nonlinguistic forms of communication and understanding are also significant. Introducing an expansive theory of mind that accounts for highly sophisticated, penetrative media, Vogel advances a novel conception of rationality while freeing philosophy from its exclusive attachment to linguistics. (...) class='Hi'>Vogel's media of reason treats all kinds of understanding and thought, propositional and nonpropositional, as important to the processes and production of knowledge and thinking. By developing an account of rationality grounded in a new conception of media, he raises the profile of the prelinguistic and nonlinguistic dimensions of rationality and advances the Enlightenment project, buffering it against the postmodern critique that the movement fails to appreciate aesthetic experience. Guided by the work of Jürgen Habermas, Donald Davidson, and a range of media theorists, including Marshall McLuhan, Vogel rebuilds, if he does not remake, the relationship among various forms of media -- books, movies, newspapers, the Internet, and television -- while offering an original and exciting contribution to media theory. (shrink)
A provocative argument that environmental thinking would be better off if it dropped the concept of “nature” altogether and spoke instead of the built environment. -/- Environmentalism, in theory and practice, is concerned with protecting nature. But if we have now reached “the end of nature,” as Bill McKibben and other environmental thinkers have declared, what is there left to protect? In Thinking like a Mall, Steven Vogel argues that environmental thinking would be better off if it dropped the (...) concept of “nature” altogether and spoke instead of the “environment”—that is, the world that actually surrounds us, which is always a built world, the only one that we inhabit. We need to think not so much like a mountain (as Aldo Leopold urged) as like a mall. Shopping malls, too, are part of the environment and deserve as much serious consideration from environmental thinkers as do mountains. -/- Vogel argues provocatively that environmental philosophy, in its ethics, should no longer draw a distinction between the natural and the artificial and, in its politics, should abandon the idea that something beyond human practices (such as “nature”) can serve as a standard determining what those practices ought to be. The appeal to nature distinct from the built environment, he contends, may be not merely unhelpful to environmental thinking but in itself harmful to that thinking. The question for environmental philosophy is not “how can we save nature?” but rather “what environment should we inhabit, and what practices should we engage in to help build it?”. (shrink)
Critics have charged that Heidegger's account of authenticity is morally nihilistic, that his fundamental ontology is either egocentric or chauvinistic; and many see Heidegger's turn to Nazism in 1933 as following logically from an indifference, and even hostility, to "otherness" in the premises of his early philosophy. In_ The Fragile "We": Ethical Implications of Heidegger's "Being and Time,"_ Lawrence Vogel presents three interpretations of authentic existence--the existentialist, the historicist, and the cosmopolitan--each of which is a plausible version of the (...) personal ideal depicted in _Being and Time._ He then draws parallels between these interpretations and three moments in the contemporary liberal-communitarian debate over the relationship of the "I" and the "We." His book contributes both to a diagnosis of what there is about _Being and Time_ that invites moral nihilism and to a sense of how fundamental ontology might be recast so that "the other" is accorded an appropriate place in an account of human existence. (shrink)
Publication date: 15 October 2018 Source: Author: Jude Nwafor Eze, Coleen Vogel, Philip Audu Ibrahim Flood is known to cause devastating livelihood impacts, suffering and economic damages. To reduce the impact of floods, it is very important to identify and understand the socio-economic factors that determine people’s ability to cope with stress or change. Consequently, the study assesses the social vulnerability of the households to floods in Niger State, in order to provide the empirical evidence necessary for flood adaptation (...) policies and strategies in the state. The data for the research were obtained from the household survey and Dartmouth Flood Observatory. The data obtained were analysed using descriptive and statistical analysis. The results show that flood events in the study area were caused by heavy rainfall, compounded by the opening of the Shiroro dam gate to release the excess flood in the reservoir. Moreover, results of Student “t” test and One-Way Analysis of Variance on socio-economic characteristics show that households’ major economic activities, educational status, household size, income distribution, and membership of cooperative society were significant at p 10, do not belong to cooperative society and earn less that N21000 per month have higher mean frequency, thus, the predominant households were, therefore, farmers, illiterate, have large family size, poor, and have no access to loan. Thus, the socio-economic characteristics of the households in the study area contribute to their vulnerability to floods by reducing their coping capacity. Based on the results of the assessment, it is recommended that measures are taken to mainstream flood adaptation into the development process. (shrink)
Aufsteigen oder verarmen, Beschleunigung oder Stillstand - im Werk des französischen Soziologen Pierre Bourdieu spielt Zeit eine grosse Rolle. Die Wochenzeitung Nr. 10/2009. Wir danken Berthold Vogel für die Erlaubnis, diesen Text zu reproduzieren. Der Begriff der Prekarität avancierte in den vergangenen Jahren zum Signalwort neuer sozialer Ungleichheiten. Das gilt insbesondere mit Blick auf die Arbeitswelt. Im Begriff der Prekarität geht es aber nicht nur um den Zuwachs von - Sociologie – Nouvel article.
Guided by the work of Jürgen Habermas, Donald Davidson, and a range of media theorists, including Marshall McLuhan, Vogel rebuilds, if he does not remake, the relationship among various forms of media -- books, movies, newspapers, the ...
Subjunctivitis is the doctrine that what is distinctive about knowledge is essential modal in character, and thus is captured by certain subjunctive conditionals. One principal formulation of subjunctivism invokes a ``sensitivity condition'' (Nozick, De Rose), the other invokes a ``safety condition'' (Sosa). It is shown in detail how defects in the sensitivity condition generate unwanted results, and that the virtues of that condition are merely apparent. The safety condition is untenable also, because it is too easily satisfied. A powerful motivation (...) for adopting subjunctivism would be that it provides a solution to the problem of misleading evidence, but in fact, it does not. (shrink)
I first characterize a moral mistake in coercion. The principle of independence with which I criticize coercion seems also to condemn exchange. I propose an account of exchange from which it follows that exchange upholds independence after all. In support of that account I argue that, of the accounts of exchange that occur to me, only this one has the consequence that, on general assumptions, a person can take part in exchange while acting, intending, and believing with sufficient reason. I (...) argue that the hiring of very poor people by very rich people for labor from which the rich draw a substantial surplus does not give rise to an exchange of this kind. These instances of the wage labor relation resemble coercion insofar as they violate independence. (shrink)
Philosophers such as Eric Katz and Robert Elliot have argued against ecological restoration on the grounds that restored landscapes are no longer natural. Katz calls them “artifacts,” but the sharp distinction between nature and artifact doesn’t hold up. Why should the products of one particular natural species be seen as somehow escaping nature? Katz’s account identifies an artifact too tightly with the intentions of its creator: artifacts always have more to them than what their creators intended, and furthermore the intention (...) behind some artifacts might explicitly be to allow things to happen unpredictably. Indeed, to build any artifact is to employ forces that go beyond the builder: in this sense all artifacts are natural. Recognizing the naturalness of artifacts can help encourage the key environmental virtues of self-knowledge and humility. (shrink)
I call for “postnaturalism” in environmental philosophy—for an environmental philosophy that no longer employs the concept nature. First, the term is too ambiguous and philosophically dangerous and, second, McKibben and others who argue that nature has already ended are probably right—except that perhaps nature has always already ended. Poststructuralism, environmental history, and recent science studies all point in the same direction: the world we inhabit is always already one transformed by human practices. Environmental questions are social and political ones, to (...) be answered by us and not by nature. Many will worry that this conclusion leads to environmentally pernicious consequences, and to problems of relativism and idealism, but I argue that it does not. Practices are real, not ideal, and not all practices are equal: those that acknowledge human responsibility for transforming the world are preferable to those that don’t. Environmental harm results when we do not recognize our own responsibility for the world our practices create. (shrink)
This paper traces the historical roots of some of our current preoccupations with the ethics of business. Its central argument is that many of the contemporary criteria that we use to evaluate the ethics of business are not new; rather, they date back several centuries. This paper illustrates this thesis by comparing historical and contemporary discussions of three sets of issues: the relationship between ethics and profits, the relationship between private gain and the public good and the tension between the (...) results of capitalism and the intentions of businessmen.The fact that these tensions are inherent in the nature of capitalism, if not in human nature itself, does not make our contemporary concerns or standards any less valid. On the contrary, it underlies their significance. Contemporary discussions of business ethics constitute part of an ongoing moral dialogue with both deep secular and religious roots. (shrink)
What is unique about the development of business ethics in the USA, and how does it compare with various countries of Europe and with Japan? Institutional, legal, social and cultural factors are identified by the Professor of Business and Public Policy at the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley. An earlier version of this article titled “The Globalization of Business Ethics: Why America Remains Distinctive” was published in the Fall 1992 issue of the California Management Review, Vol. (...) 35, No. 1. Reprinted by Permission of The Regents of the University of California. (shrink)
Laurence BonJour, among others, has argued that inference to the best explanation allows us to reject skeptical hypotheses in favor of our common-sense view of the world. BonJour considers several skeptical hypotheses, specifically: our experiences arise by mere chance, uncaused; the simple hypothesis which states merely that our experiences are caused unveridically; and an elaborated hypothesis which explains in detail how our unveridical experiences are brought about. A central issue is whether the coherence of one’s experience makes that experience more (...) likely to be veridical. BonJour’s recent treatment of “analog” and “digital” skeptical hypotheses is also discussed. I argue that, although there are important lessons to be learned from BonJour’s writings, his use of inference to the best explanation against skepticism is unsuccessful.Keywords: BonJour; Explanation; Inference to the best explanation; Skepticism; Confirmation; Probability; Coherence; External world. (shrink)
Michael WiIliams maintains that skepticism about the extemal worId is vitiated by a commitment to foundationalism and epistemological realism. (The latter is, approximately, the view that there is such a thing as knowledge of the extemal world in general, which the skeptic can take as a target). I argue that skepticism is not encumbered in the ways Williams supposes. What matters, first of all, is that we can’t perceive the difference between being in an ordinary environment and being in the (...) sort of situation the skeptic describes (e.g. having one’s brain manipulated by deceitful experimenters). This point can be upheld without embracing any substantial foundationalist tenet, such as the existence of basic beliefs, the availabiIity of something “given,” or the epistemic priority of experience. As to “epistemological realism,” I find that Williams has offered no principled way to distinguish between ordinary chaIIenges to knowledge and skeptical challenges which, supposedly, have no cIaim on our concem. (shrink)
In claiming that 'nature speaks', authors such as Scott Friskics and David Abram implicitly agree that language use is linked to moral considerability, adding only that we need to extend our conception of language to see that non-humans too use it. I argue that the ethical significance of language use derives from its role in dialogue, in which speakers make truth-claims, question and potentially criticise the claims of others, and provide justifications for the claims they raise themselves. Non-human entities (as (...) a contingent matter) seem not to engage in dialogue in this sense, and none of the examples Friskics and Abram offer suggest that they do. Thus the conception of language such authors employ is too weak to support the ethical conclusions they implicitly wish to defend. (shrink)
I show how Hans Jonas, one of Heidegger's most distinguished Jewish students, traces his mentor's susceptibility to Nazism to a moral nihilism at the heart of Heidegger's teaching in "Being and Time". I then demonstrate how Jonas's own "existential interpretation of the biological facts" and metaphysical grounding of "an imperative of responsibility" provide one of the most systematic and challenging rejoinders to the moral failings of Heidegger's thought.
Crispin Wright tried to refute classical 'Cartesian' skepticism contending that its core argument is extendible to a reductio ad absurdum (_Mind, 100, 87-116, 1991). We show both that Wright is mistaken and that his mistakes are philosophically illuminating. Wright's 'best version' of skepticism turns on a concept of warranted belief. By his definition, many of our well-founded beliefs about the external world and mathematics would not be warranted. Wright's position worsens if we take 'warranted belief' to be implicitly defined by (...) the general principles governing it. Those principles are inconsistent, as shown by a variant of Godel's argument. Thus the inconsistency Wright found has nothing to do with the special premises of Cartesian skepticism, but is embedded in his own conceptual apparatus. Lastly, we show how a Cartesian skeptic could avoid Wright's critique by reconstructing a skeptical argument that does not use the claims Wright ultimately finds objectionable. (shrink)
If “environment” means “that which environs us,” it isn’t clear why environmentalist thinkers so often identify it with nature and not with the built environment that a quick glance around would reveal is what we’re actually environed by. It’s a familiar claim that we’re “alienated from nature,” but I argue that what we’re really alienated from is the built environment itself. Typically talk of alienation from nature involves the claim that we fail to acknowledge nature’s otherness, but the built environment (...) is just as other from us as the natural one. And just as we are said to fail to recognize the role of nature as the origin of everything with which we have to do in the world, so too we fail to recognize the role of socially organized human labor in the objects that surround us. Overcoming alienation would require acknowledging the builtness and the sociality of the world we inhabit. (shrink)
Any thoughtful reading of Levinas must grapple with what is implied by his notion that the Other is “higher” than the self — that the Other is “one for whom I can do all and to whom I owe all”? (EI 89). At least two evident issues arise when we wonder what it would mean to live with and by this notion. Without fail, newcomers to Levinas’s ideas raise these two issues. The first centers on the question: What is my (...) responsibility to strangers? That is, if I “owe all” to a stranger in need to the point where his or her welfare and life come before mine, how can I possibly address the interests of my loved ones, friends, colleagues, and fellow citizens, not to mention my own needs? Moreover, is Levinas suggesting that we have a moral duty to be saints? The second issue revolves around the question: What is the responsibility of a victim toward her persecutor? This can easily lead to asking, is Levinas implying that a Jew being herded off to Auschwitz “owes everything” tohis Nazi captor? Also, what can it mean for a victim to encounter the face of a rapist and to “substitute” herself for him? And should she? I shall approach these persistent issues by first explaining how Levinas grounds his claims that the face-to-face-relationship is asymmetrical and that “I am responsible for the Other, without waiting for reciprocity, were I to die for it” (EI 98). (shrink)