This article investigates the work of mourning following the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on September 11, 2001. Combining discussions of mourning, kitsch and sentimentality, I examine the perverse transformation of grief into patriotic nationalism. Linking Freud’s description of mourning as work with Derrida’s articulation of grief as ‘a work working at its own unproductivity’, I explore how grief has been paired with icons of American nostalgia, such as Norman Rockwell, as well as kitschy souvenirs from Ground Zero (...) vendors, and, through this pairing, been transformed into a motive force for war. A central part of this operation, I argue, is the process of identification with the traumatic event. Identification, what Freud describes as a ‘binding force’, takes place across diverse fields - from White House speeches, to kitsch memorabilia made available immediately following the attacks. Identification with the event enables identification with the nation - an operation immediately reifying the official rhetoric of ‘Us against Them’ propounded by President Bush and his advisers. As grief over 9/11 is transformed into a perpetual rationale for war, that day becomes a new origin conveniently obliterating all that came before regarding the history of US nation-building and its own brand of terrorism. (shrink)
Empirical work on and common observation of the emotions tells us that our emotions sometimes key us to the presence of real and important reason-giving considerations without necessarily presenting that information to us in a way susceptible of conscious articulation and, sometimes, even despite our consciously held and internally justified judgment that the situation contains no such reasons. In this paper, I want to explore the implications of the fact that emotions show varying degrees of integration with our conscious agency—from (...) none at all to quite substantial—for our understanding of our rationality, and in particular for the traditional assumption that weakness of the will is necessarily irrational. (shrink)
Capitalism in the western world is currently facing a crisis of legitimacy in the face of rampant and growing inequality. In response, people are challenging the status quo and demanding their economic rights. But what economic rights do we have, and why? This book explores how four remarkable thinkers answered these questions during the nineteenth century's industrial revolution and how their ideas can provide a blueprint for economic justice today.
Intended for the first course in logic, The Power of Logic (POL) is written with the conviction that logic is the most important course that college students take. POL preserves the balance between informal and formal logic. Layman;s direct and accessible writing style, along with his plentiful examples, imaginative exercises, and POL;s accompanying Logic Tutor make this the best text for logic classes today.day.
We frequently speak of certain things or phenomena being built out of or based in others. Making Things Up concerns these relations, which connect more fundamental things to less fundamental things: Karen Bennett calls these 'building relations'. She aims to illuminate what it means to say that one thing is more fundamental than another.
. This paper reports the preliminary results from a semester-long ethics project at an AACSB accredited, regional comprehensive undergraduate school. This project culminated in an Ethics Awareness Week, which highlight a case study of the controversial EverQuest® multi-player online game. Issues of project planning and design are outlined, the dynamics of a business program-wide approach to ethics are social responsibility are presented, student survey results are presented and analyzed, and issues related to ongoing research are discussed. Nonparametric survey results indicate (...) that the greatest effect in student’s self reported enhanced understanding and interest in issues of business ethics is present when multiple pedagogical methods, e.g., case studies, lectures, assignments, and an Oxford-style debate, are applied by a number of faculty members over an extended time period. The paper concludes with a discussion of future research issues as well as a series of prescriptions for planning, organizing, and implementing such an extended activity. (shrink)
Jason Brennan and Peter Jaworski reject expressive objections to markets on the grounds that market symbolism is culturally contingent, and contingent cultural symbols are less important than the benefits markets offer. I grant and, but I deny that these points suffice as grounds to dismiss expressive critiques of markets. For many plausible expressive critiques of markets are not symbolic critiques at all. Rather, they are critiques grounded in the idea that some market transactions embody morally inappropriate normative stances toward the (...) goods or services on offer. (shrink)
This paper is a reflection on two ontological analogies that have played a role in discussion about the Trinity---the Modalist and Social analogies. I argue that the Modal analogy commits one to a view of the divine persons that comports poorly with Scripture. I then consider two arguments to the effect that the doctrine of the Trinity commits one to tritheism. I argue that the Social analogy contains better resources for handling these arguments than the more traditional position, which involves (...) denying that the divine persons are substances. (shrink)
It is traditional to ascribe to Locke the view that every person who acquires natural property rights by labouring on resources is obligated to leave sufficient resources for everyone else. But during the last several decades, a number of authors have contributed to a compelling textual case against this reading. Nevertheless, Locke clearly indicates that there is something wrong with distributions in which some suffer while others thrive. But if he does not endorse the traditional proviso, what exactly is the (...) problem? In this paper, I offer a solution to this puzzle. I argue that according to Locke, once people use their natural rights to acquire large properties, many individuals are unable to enjoy the material and moral wellbeing, or “preservation,” that is the end of natural law. For even if such large properties pose no problem for material preservation, they foster arbitrary power that offends against moral preservation. (shrink)
According to John Locke, the conditions of human happiness establish the content of natural law, but God’s commands make it morally binding. This raises two questions. First, why does moral obligation require an authority figure? Second, what gives God authority? I argue that, according to Locke, moral obligation requires an authority figure because to have an obligation is to be accountable to someone. I then argue that, according to Locke, God has a kind of parental authority inasmuch as he is (...) bound by covenant to guide us by revealing the content of the moral law. (shrink)
Recently much has been made of the grounding relation, and of the idea that it is intimately tied to fundamentality. If A grounds B, then A is more fundamental than B (though not vice versa ), and A is ungrounded if and only if it is fundamental full stop—absolutely fundamental. But here is a puzzle: is grounding itself absolutely fundamental?
A variety of relations widely invoked by philosophers—composition, constitution, realization, micro-basing, emergence, and many others—are species of what I call ‘building relations’. I argue that they are conceptually intertwined, articulate what it takes for a relation to count as a building relation, and argue that—contra appearances—it is an open possibility that these relations are all determinates of a common determinable, or even that there is really only one building relation.
In this paper I defend an etiological theory of biological functions (according to which the proper function of a trait is the effect for which it was selected by natural selection) against three objections which have been influential. I argue, contrary to Millikan, that it is wrong to base our defense of the theory on a rejection of conceptual analysis, for conceptual analysis does have an important role in philosophy of science. I also argue that biology requires a normative notion (...) of a "proper function", and that a normative notion is not ahistorical. (shrink)
Letters to Doubting Thomas is an exchange of letters between two characters on the existence of God; it provides a cumulative case for Theism (the belief that God exists). Chapter by chapter, theism is compared with Naturalism (roughly, the view that there is no God and that ultimate reality is physical reality), concluding that Theism (on balance) provides a better explanation of the world and human life than does Naturalism.
In Free Market Fairness, John Tomasi tries to show that ‘thick’ economic liberties, including the right to own productive property, are basic liberties. According to Tomasi, the policy-level consequences of protecting economic liberty as basic are essentially libertarian in character. I argue that if economic liberties are basic, just societies must guarantee their fair value to all citizens. And in order to secure the fair value of economic liberty, states must guarantee that citizens of roughly similar dispositions and talents are (...) roughly equally able to use their economic liberties to develop and pursue a conception of the good. This, I will argue, is a very demanding standard that requires aggressive taxation and redistribution. (shrink)
John Locke held that every person has a natural duty to use her property efficiently, and that consent is required for legitimate political power. On the face of it, these two positions seem to be in tension. This is because, (1) according to Locke, it is nearly impossible to use resources efficiently unless one lives within a political community, and (2)the waste restriction is enforceable. Consequently, it might seem that persons living outside civil society may be forced to submit to (...) civil power, in violation of the consent requirement. I argue that this tension is only apparent; although the waste restriction is enforceable, the consent requirement is safe. But in the course of resolving this difficulty, three significant, but little-noticed, features of Locke's doctrine of consent to government come to light: (A) consent is conceptually necessary, and not just morally required, for persons to be subject to political power; (B) most people living outside civil society have a moral obligation to enter civil society if they can; and (C) consent to government can bind under duress so long as the duress does not render anyone dependent on the arbitrary wills of others. (shrink)
In this article, the author examines the seemingly privileged position of technology in current educational thought. The article begins by considering Lewis Mumford’s notion of the myth of the machine and his insistence that only when tool making/using is modified by linguistic symbols, esthetic design, and socially transmitted knowledge does it become a significant contributor to human development. Through a sociohistorical critique, the author establishes a relationship between the ubiquity of the mythos and current educational discourse. The author provides examples (...) from various historical events that have contributed to the tradition of print-based culture, the origins of the mythos of technology, the increasingly popular notion that technology offers apanacea for educational woes, the marginalization of critical discourse in regard to educational technology, and corporate involvement in maintenance of the mythos. (shrink)
The basic form of the exclusion problem is by now very, very familiar. 2 Start with the claim that the physical realm is causally complete: every physical thing that happens has a sufficient physical cause. Add in the claim that the mental and the physical are distinct. Toss in some claims about overdetermination, give it a stir, and voilá—suddenly it looks as though the mental never causes anything, at least nothing physical. As it is often put, the physical does all (...) the work, and there is nothing left for the mental to do. (shrink)
The paper is an extended discussion of what I call the ‘dismissive attitude’ towards metaphysical questions. It has three parts. In the first part, I distinguish three quite different versions of dismissivism. I also argue that there is little reason to think that any of these positions is correct about the discipline of metaphysics as a whole; it is entirely possible that some metaphysical disputes should be dismissed and others should not be. Doing metametaphysics properly requires doing metaphysics first. I (...) then put two particular disputes on the table to be examined in the rest of the paper: the dispute over whether composite objects exist, and the dispute about whether distinct objects can be colocated. In the second part of the paper, I argue against the claim that these disputes are purely verbal disputes. In the third part of the paper, I present a new version of dismissivism, and argue that it is probably the correct view about the two disputes in question. They are not verbal disputes, and the discussion about them to date has not remotely been a waste of time. At this stage, however, our evidence has run out. I argue that neither side of either dispute is simpler than the other, and that the same objections in fact arise against both sides. (For example, the compositional nihilist does not in fact escape the problem of the many, and the one-thinger does not in fact escape the grounding problem.). (shrink)
Ecological feminism is the position that there are important connections-historical, symbolic, theoretical-between the domination of women and the domination of nonhuman nature. I argue that because the conceptual connections between the dual dominations of women and nature are located in an oppressive patriarchal conceptual framework characterized by a logic of domination, (1) the logic of traditional feminism requires the expansion of feminism to include ecological feminism and (2) ecological feminism provides a framework for developing a distinctively feminist environmental ethic. I (...) conclude that any feminist theory and any environmental ethic which fails to take seriously the interconnected dominations of women and nature is simply inadequate. (shrink)
I think that there is an awful lot wrong with the exclusion problem. So, it seems, does just about everybody else. But of course everyone disagrees about exactly _what_ is wrong with it, and I think there is more to be said about that. So I propose to say a few more words about why the exclusion problem is not really a problem after all—at least, not for the nonreductive physicalist. The genuine _dualist_ is still in trouble. Indeed, one of (...) my main points will be that the nonreductive physicalist is in a rather different position vis à vis the exclusion problem than the dualist is. Properly understanding nonreductive physicalism—and clearly recognizing that it is, after all, a form of _physicalism_—goes a long way toward solving the exclusion problem. (shrink)
A lot of people believe that distinct objects can occupy precisely the same place for the entire time during which they exist. Such people have to provide an answer to the 'grounding problem' – they have to explain how such things, alike in so many ways, nonetheless manage to fall under different sortals, or have different modal properties. I argue in detail that they cannot say that there is anything in virtue of which spatio-temporally coincident things have those properties. However, (...) I also argue that this may not be as bad as it looks, and that there is a way to make sense of the claim that such properties are primitive. (shrink)
Over 700,000 copies of the original hardcover and paperback editions of this stunningly popular book have been sold. Karen Armstrong's superbly readable exploration of how the three dominant monotheistic religions of the world—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—have shaped and altered the conception of God is a tour de force. One of Britain's foremost commentators on religious affairs, Armstrong traces the history of how men and women have perceived and experienced God, from the time of Abraham to the present. From classical (...) philosophy and medieval mysticism to the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the modern age of skepticism, Armstrong performs the near miracle of distilling the intellectual history of monotheism into one compelling volume. (shrink)
Most anthropological and sociological studies of Buddhism have concentrated on village and rural Buddhism. This is a systematic anthropological study of monastic organization and monk-layman interaction in a purely urban context in the countries where Theravada Buddhism is practised, namely, Burma, Cambodia, Ceylon, Laos and Thailand. The material presented is based on fieldwork carried out in Ayutthaya, Central Thailand. Dr Bunnag describes and analyses the socio-economic and ritual relations existing between the monk and the lay community, and she demonstrates (...) the way in which the role of the monk is used by some men, wittingly or otherwise, as a social stepping-stone, in that for the son of a farmer a period in the monkhood can provide the education and contacts necessary to facilitate his assimilation into the urban lay community at a social and economic level which would otherwise have been impossible. Finally, Dr Bunnag places the material presented in a broader theoretical context by reviewing it in relation to anthropological discussions concerning the nature of Thai society as a whole. (shrink)
A philosophical exploration of the nature, scope, and significance of ecofeminist theory and practice. This book presents the key issues, concepts, and arguments which motivate and sustain ecofeminism from a western philosophical perspective.