The extraction of a pecuniary penalty for the recusancy of married women was a heavily contested issue in the Parliament of Elizabeth. Under the rules of coverture, married women controlled no property. It was thus ineffective to fine them, for they were unable to pay the penalty. As a result, the government attempted to hold husbands responsible for the penalties of their wives through the use of recognizances under the auspices of the Commissions for Causes Ecclesiastical, a prerogative court. Research (...) into the York Commission’s use of recognizances indicated that it had indeed been possible legitimately and legally to obtain a pecuniary penalty for the recusancy of a married woman by the 1570s. This was generally believed to have been legally impossible until they became obtainable by statute in 1593. Detailed examination of the records of the Commission indicates clearly that the depiction in the scholarly literature of the levying of these penalties as somehow improper or even illegal is erroneous. These forfeitures might have seemed irregular, but were indeed legitimate and obtained by proper and legal means in the context of contemporary standards of authority and control, both governmental and familial. This study demonstrates how respect for the standards of coverture, patriarchy, and marital obligations incorporated in the use of the recognizance provided a highly effective and legal means to penalise and correct both recusant wives and their husbands. (shrink)
Against the contemporary view which portrays the roots of modern political philosophy as fundamentally areligious, Peddle's essay shows how Puritanism and Enlightenment converge in the U.S. Constitution. In light of reflections on the logic of this convergence, an interpretation of the religious clauses of the first amendment is advanced.
Peddle's essay investigates Calvin's theological conceptions and finds in them pre-modern intimations of freedom and equality the foundational concepts of modernity. Through this investigation he wishes to indicate how the conception of religion present in political liberalism distorts the religious roots of liberalism.
Karen Barad develops a view she calls ‘posthumanism,’ or ‘agential realism,’ where the human is reconfigured away from the central place of explanation, interpretation, intelligibility, and objectivity to make room for the epistemic importance of other material agents. Barad is not alone in this kind of endeavor, but her posthumanism offers a unique epistemological position. Her aim is to take a performative rather than a representationalist approach to analyzing ‘socialnatural’ practices and challenge methodological assumptions that may go unnoticed in (...) some disciplinary fields. Yet for all the good of the challenge, Barad must support it with sound epistemological theorizing, theorizing that would apply to any methodology, whether that be sociological, historical, anthropological, or philosophical. Thus, where one might critique Barad on her assessments of sociological, historical, or anthropological incorporations of humans and the nonhuman, I critique Barad’s epistemology on its sense of objectivity and dismissal of the centrality of the human. I argue that Barad’s epistemology must retain a particular form of humanism, a humanism that stakes human subjectivity as the locus of rationality and objectivity, without which it creates intractable problems. To recuperate Barad’s challenge to contest assumptive distinctions while avoiding her epistemological problems, I offer some parting reflections. (shrink)
Karen Stohr’s book On Manners argues persuasively that rules of etiquette, though conventional, play an essential moral role, because they “serve as vehicles through which we express important moral values like respect and consideration for the needs, ideas, and opinions of others”. Stohr frequently invokes Kantian concepts and principles in order to make her point. In Part 2 of this essay, I shall argue that the significance of etiquette is better understood using a virtue ethics framework, like that of (...) Confucianism, rather than the language of Kantianism. Within the Chinese tradition, Daoists have frequently been critics of Confucian ritualism. Consequently, in Part 3, I shall consider some possible Daoist critiques of Stohr’s work. (shrink)
Feminist and post-colonial epistemologists, philosophers of science, and thinkers more generally may find themselves in a distinct form of difficult situation regarding their access to and authority over knowledge within the academic world. Because feminist and post-colonial approaches to knowledge require an acute awareness of relations of domination and the ways in which these pervade the social and epistemic world, it is often difficult to know how to proceed in making theory. These theorists are in particularly ripe positions to benefit (...) from what philosopher-physicist Karen Barad offers us. In this paper, I engage with parts of Karen Barad’s theory of agential realism, both critically and self-reflexively. I assert that allowing Barad’s theory to inform and structure our thinking and language makes knowers better able to meet certain requirements of epistemological responsibility, particularly with regard to the ways we make theory. Moreover, I attempt to assert this in a way that is mindful of how her theory speaks to and accounts for my doing so. (shrink)
Most of the essays in this excellent collection give clear and persuasive arguments about difficult topics, and several break new ground. They are demanding but accessible to the non-specialist, with all Greek transliterated and translated; footnotes send the specialist reader to other published works where the case for a point is made in more technical detail.The book’s stated aim casts a wide net: “to expose some of the ways in which the received view has overestimated the gap Aristotle sees between (...) science and ethics and suggest some possible avenues for bridging that gap”, and the essays are divided into three naturally distinct sections. The essays of part 1 make the case that Aristotle’s ethics.. (shrink)