This study investigated the relative contribution of perception/cognition and language-specific semantics in nonverbal categorization of spatial relations. English and Korean speakers completed a video-based similarity judgment task involving containment, support, tight fit, and loose fit. Both perception/cognition and language served as resources for categorization, and allocation between the two depended on the target relation and the features contrasted in the choices. Whereas perceptual/cognitive salience for containment and tight-fit features guided categorization in many contexts, language-specific semantics influenced categorization where the two (...) features competed for similarity judgment and when the target relation was tight support, a domain where spatial relations are perceptually diverse. In the latter contexts, each group categorized more in line with semantics of their language, that is, containment/support for English and tight/loose fit for Korean. We conclude that language guides spatial categorization when perception/cognition alone is not sufficient. In this way, language is an integral part of our cognitive domain of space. (shrink)
Oregon is the only state in the United States where a physician may legally prescribe a lethal dose of barbiturate for a patient intending suicide. The Oregon Death with Dignity Act was passed by voters in 1994 and came into effect after much legal wrangling in October of 1997. At the same time, a cabinetmaker named Pat Matheny was struggling with progressive weakness from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. I met with Pat and his family for a lengthy interview in (...) October 1998 in Coos Bay, Oregon, for a television news report on his decision to get a lethal prescription. Below is an extract from that interview. On the day this introduction was written, 10 March 1999, Pat took the prescribed lethal overdose of barbiturates and died at home. His illness was taking his voice, he could not move his hands or legs, and breathing was becoming very difficult. His mother told me he knew that was for him. (shrink)
Down Girl is a broad, original, and far ranging analysis of what misogyny really is, how it works, its purpose, and how to fight it. The philosopher Kate Manne argues that modern society's failure to recognize women's full humanity and autonomy is not actually the problem. She argues instead that it is women's manifestations of human capacities -- autonomy, agency, political engagement -- is what engenders misogynist hostility.
One variety of love is familiar in everyday life and qualifies in every reasonable sense as a reactive attitude. ‘Reactive love’ is paradigmatically (a) an affectionate attachment to another person, (b) appropriately felt as a non-self-interested response to particular kinds of morally laudable features of character expressed by the loved one in interaction with the lover, and (c) paradigmatically manifested in certain kinds of acts of goodwill and characteristic affective, desiderative and other motivational responses (including other-regarding concern and a desire (...) to be with the beloved). ‘Virtues of intimacy’ as expressed in interaction with the lover are agent-relative reasons for reactive love, and like other reactive attitudes, reactive love generates reasons in its own right. Within a broad conception of the virtues, reactive love sheds light on the reactive attitudes more generally. (shrink)
By looking at the politics of classification within machine learning systems, this article demonstrates why the automated interpretation of images is an inherently social and political project. We begin by asking what work images do in computer vision systems, and what is meant by the claim that computers can “recognize” an image? Next, we look at the method for introducing images into computer systems and look at how taxonomies order the foundational concepts that will determine how a system interprets the (...) world. Then we turn to the question of labeling: how humans tell computers which words will relate to a given image. What is at stake in the way AI systems use these labels to classify humans, including by race, gender, emotions, ability, sexuality, and personality? Finally, we turn to the purposes that computer vision is meant to serve in our society—the judgments, choices, and consequences of providing computers with these capacities. Methodologically, we call this an archeology of datasets: studying the material layers of training images and labels, cataloguing the principles and values by which taxonomies are constructed, and analyzing how these taxonomies create the parameters of intelligibility for an AI system. By doing this, we can critically engage with the underlying politics and values of a system, and analyze which normative patterns of life are assumed, supported, and reproduced. (shrink)
Human microbiome research makes causal connections between entire microbial communities and a wide array of traits that range from physiological diseases to psychological states. To evaluate these causal claims, we first examine a well-known single-microbe causal explanation: of Helicobacter pylori causing ulcers. This apparently straightforward causal explanation is not so simple, however. It does not achieve a key explanatory standard in microbiology, of Koch’s postulates, which rely on manipulations of single-microorganism cultures to infer causal relationships to disease. When Koch’s postulates (...) are framed by an interventionist causal framework, it is clearer what the H. pylori explanation achieves and where its explanatory strengths lie. After assessing this ‘simple’, single-microbe case, we apply the interventionist framework to two key areas of microbiome research, in which obesity and mental health states are purportedly explained by microbiomes. Despite the experimental data available, interventionist criteria for explanation show that many of the causal claims generated by microbiome research are weak or misleading. We focus on the stability, specificity and proportionality of proposed microbiome causal explanations, and evaluate how effectively these dimensions of causal explanation are achieved in some promising avenues of research. We suggest some conceptual and explanatory strategies to improve how causal claims about microbiomes are made. (shrink)
Does the morality of abortion depend on the moral status of the human fetus? Must the law of abortion presume an answer to the question of when personhood begins? Can a law which permits late abortion but not infanticide be morally justified? These are just some of the questions this book sets out to address. With an extended analysis of the moral and legal status of abortion, Kate Greasley offers an alternative account to the reputable arguments of Ronald Dworkin (...) and Judith Jarvis Thomson and instead brings the philosophical notion of 'personhood' to the foreground of this debate. Structured in three parts, the book will consider the relevance of prenatal personhood for the moral and legal evaluation of abortion; trace the key features of the conventional debate about when personhood begins and explore the most prominent issues in abortion ethics literature: the human equality problem and the difference between abortion and infanticide; and examine abortion law and regulation as well as the differing attitudes to selective abortion. The book concludes with a snapshot into the current controversy surrounding the scope of the right to conscientiously object to participation in abortion provision. (shrink)
More than two hundred years after its publication, David Hume's Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals is still widely regarded as either a footnote to the more philosophically interesting third book of the Treatise, or an abbreviated, more stylish, version of that earlier work. These standard interpretations are rather difficult to square with Hume's own assessment of the second Enquiry. Are we to think that Hume called the EPM “incomparably the best” of all his writings only because he preferred that (...) later style of exposition? Or worse, should we take his preference for the second Enquiry as a sign of aging literary vanity? Does Hume's stated preference for the EPM in no way speak to its philosophical content? (shrink)
Internalists about reasons following Bernard Williams claim that an agent’s normative reasons for action are constrained in some interesting way by her desires or motivations. In this paper, I offer a new argument for such a position—although one that resonates, I believe, with certain key elements of Williams’ original view. I initially draw on P.F. Strawson’s famous distinction between the interpersonal and the objective stances that we can take to other people, from the second-person point of view. I suggest that (...) we should accept Strawson’s contention that the activity of reasoning with someone about what she ought to do naturally belongs to the interpersonal mode of interaction. I also suggest that reasons for an agent to perform some action are considerations which would be apt to be cited in favor of that action, within an idealized version of this advisory social practice. I then go on to argue that one would take leave of the interpersonal stance towards someone—thus crossing the line, so to speak—in suggesting that she do something one knows she wouldn’t want to do, even following an exhaustive attempt to hash it out with her. An internalist necessity constraint on reasons is defended on this basis. (shrink)
In this book, Kate Distin proposes a theory of cultural evolution and shows how it can help us to understand the origin and development of human culture. Distin introduces the concept that humans share information not only in natural languages, which are spoken or signed, but also in artefactual languages like writing and musical notation, which use media that are made by humans. Languages enable humans to receive and transmit variations in cultural information and resources. In this way, they (...) provide the mechanism for cultural evolution. The human capacity for metarepresentation - thinking about how we think - accelerates cultural evolution, because it frees cultural information from the conceptual limitations of each individual language. Distin shows how the concept of cultural evolution outlined in this book can help us to understand the complexity and diversity of human culture, relating her theory to a range of subjects including economics, linguistics, and developmental biology. (shrink)
There are growing discontinuities between the research practices of data science and established tools of research ethics regulation. Some of the core commitments of existing research ethics regulations, such as the distinction between research and practice, cannot be cleanly exported from biomedical research to data science research. Such discontinuities have led some data science practitioners and researchers to move toward rejecting ethics regulations outright. These shifts occur at the same time as a proposal for major revisions to the Common Rule—the (...) primary regulation governing human-subjects research in the USA—is under consideration for the first time in decades. We contextualize these revisions in long-running complaints about regulation of social science research and argue data science should be understood as continuous with social sciences in this regard. The proposed regulations are more flexible and scalable to the methods of non-biomedical research, yet problematically largely exclude data science methods from human-subjects regulation, particularly uses of public datasets. The ethical frameworks for Big Data research are highly contested and in flux, and the potential harms of data science research are unpredictable. We examine several contentious cases of research harms in data science, including the 2014 Facebook emotional contagion study and the 2016 use of geographical data techniques to identify the pseudonymous artist Banksy. To address disputes about application of human-subjects research ethics in data science, critical data studies should offer a historically nuanced theory of “data subjectivity” responsive to the epistemic methods, harms and benefits of data science and commerce. (shrink)
'This is an excellent book. It addresses what, in both conceptual and political terms, is arguably the most important source of tension and confusion in current arguments about the environment, namely the concept of nature; and it does so in a way that is both sensitive to, and critical of, the two antithetical ways of understanding this that dominate existing discussions.' Russell Keat, University of Edinburgh.
This paper explores a neglected normative dimension of algorithmic opacity in the workplace and the labor market. It argues that explanations of algorithms and algorithmic decisions are of noninstrumental value. That is because explanations of the structure and function of parts of the social world form the basis for reflective clarification of our practical orientation toward the institutions that play a central role in our life. Using this account of the noninstrumental value of explanations, the paper diagnoses distinctive normative defects (...) in the workplace and economic institutions which a reliance on AI can encourage, and which lead to alienation. (shrink)
According to the normativist, it is built into the nature of belief itself that beliefs are subject to a certain set of norms. I argue here that only a normativist account can explain certain non-normative facts about what it takes to have the capacity for belief. But this way of defending normativism places an explanatory burden on any normativist account that an account on which a truth norm is explanatorily fundamental simply cannot discharge. I develop an alternative account that can (...) achieve explanatory adequacy where this sort of truth privileging account falls short. (shrink)
A high heritability estimate usually corresponds to a situation in which trait variation is largely caused by genetic variation. However, in some cases of gene-environment covariance, causal intuitions about the sources of trait difference can vary, leading experts to disagree as to how the heritability estimate should be interpreted. We argue that the source of contention for these cases is an inconsistency in the interpretation of the concepts ‘genotype’, ‘phenotype’, and ‘environment’. We propose an interpretation of these terms under which (...) trait variance initially caused by genetic variance is subsumed into a heritability for all cases of gene-environment covariance. (shrink)
Among contemporary ethicists, Hume is perhaps best known for his views about morality’s practical import and his spectator-centered account of moral evaluation. Yet according to the so-called “spectator complaint”, these two aspects of Hume’s moral theory cannot be reconciled with one another. I argue that the answer to the spectator complaint lies in Hume’s account of “goodness” and “greatness of mind”. Through a discussion of these two virtues, Hume makes clear the connection between his views about moral motivation and his (...) understanding of moral evaluation by providing us with two portraits of the Humean moral agent. (shrink)
What form does power take in situations of retaliation against whistleblowers? In this article, we move away from dominant perspectives that see power as a resource. In place, we propose a theory of normative power and violence in whistleblower retaliation, drawing on an in-depth empirical study. This enables a deeper understanding of power as it circulates in complex processes of whistleblowing. We offer the following contributions. First, supported by empirical findings we propose a novel theoretical framing of whistleblower retaliation and (...) the role of mental health, which draws upon poststructuralist psychoanalytic thinking. Specifically, we highlight how intra- and inter-psychic affective and ambivalent attachments to organizations influence the use of normative violence in cases of whistleblower retaliation. The second contribution is empirical and builds upon the existing literature on whistleblower retaliation by highlighting how organizations position whistleblower subjects as mentally unstable and unreliable individuals, to undermine their claims. We conclude by highlighting the implications of normative power for the outcomes of whistleblower struggles. (shrink)
We all know that speech can be harmful. But how? Mary Kate McGowan argues that speech constitutes harm when it enacts a norm that prescribes that harm. She investigates such harms as oppression, subordination, and discrimination in such forms of speech as sexist remarks, racist hate speech, pornography, verbal triggers, and micro-aggressions.
This paper explores how political theory may help us map algorithmic logics against different visions of the political. Drawing on Chantal Mouffe’s theories of agonistic pluralism, this paper depicts algorithms in public life in ten distinct scenes, in order to ask the question, what kinds of politics do they instantiate? Algorithms are working within highly contested online spaces of public discourse, such as YouTube and Facebook, where incompatible perspectives coexist. Yet algorithms are designed to produce clear “winners” from information contests, (...) often with little visibility or accountability for how those contests are designed. In isolation, many of these algorithms seem the opposite of agonistic: much of the complexity of search, ranking, and recommendation algorithms is nonnegotiable and kept far from view, inside an algorithmic “black box.” But what if we widen our perspective? This paper suggests agonistic pluralism as both a design ideal for engineers and a provocation to understand algorithms in a broader social context: rather than focusing on the calculations in isolation, we need to account for the spaces of contestation where they operate. (shrink)
Denis, Lara. Moral Self-Regard: Duties to Oneself in Kant's Moral Theory. New York: Garland Publishing. 2001. Engstrom, Stephen. “The Concept ofthe Highest Good in Kant's Moral The- ory.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52, ...
There is an apparent tension between Immanuel Kant's model of moral agency and his often-neglected philosophy of moral education. On the one hand, Kant's account of moral knowledge and decision-making seems to be one that can be self-taught. Kant's famous categorical imperative and related 'fact of reason' argument suggest that we learn the content and application of the moral law on our own. On the other hand, Kant has a sophisticated and detailed account of moral education that goes well beyond (...) the kind of education a person would receive in the course of ordinary childhood experience. The task of this paper will be to reconcile these seemingly conflicting claims. Ultimately, I argue, Kant's philosophy of education makes sense as a part of his moral theory if we look not only at individual moral decisions, but also at the goals or ends that these moral decisions are intended to achieve. In Kant's case, this end is what he calls the highest good, and, I argue, the most coherent account of the highest good is a kind of ethical community and end of history, similar to the Groundwork 's realm of ends. Seen as a tool to bring about and sustain such a community, Kant's philosophy of moral education exists as a coherent and important part of his moral philosophy. (shrink)
?Vulnerability? is now a popular term in the lexicon of every-day life and a notion frequently drawn upon by policy-makers, academics, journalists, welfare workers and local authorities. This essay explores some of the ethical and practical implications of ?vulnerability? as a concept in social welfare. It highlights how ideas about vulnerability shape the ways in which we manage and classify people, justify state intervention in citizens? lives, allocate resources in society and define our social obligations. The lack of clarity and (...) limited analysis of the concept of ?vulnerability? in welfare arenas is highlighted as concerning, particularly given that those seen as most in need of support seem to be implicated in commonly held views about ?the vulnerable?. I argue that far from being innocuous, ?vulnerability? is so loaded with political, moral and practical implications that it is potentially damaging to the pursuit of social justice. Two opposing presentations of the notion are set out in order to illustrate that ?vulnerability? is a concept that should be handled with more care. (shrink)
Calls for increasing integration of ethical considerations into business education are well documented. Business graduates are perceived to be ethically naive at best, and at worst, constrained in their moral development by the lack of ethical content in their courses. The pedagogic concern is to find effective methods of incorporating ethics into the fabric of business education. The purpose of this paper is to suggest and illustrate role play as an appropriate method for integrating ethical concerns.
This book features opening arguments followed by two rounds of reply between two moral philosophers on opposing sides of the abortion debate. In the opening essays, Kate Greasley and Christopher Kaczor lay out what they take to be the best case for and against abortion rights. In the ensuing dialogue, they engage with each other's arguments and each responds to criticisms fielded by the other. Their conversational argument explores such fundamental questions as: what gives a person the right to (...) life? Is abortion bad for women? What is the difference between abortion and infanticide? Underpinned by philosophical reasoning and methodology, this book provides opposing and clearly structured perspectives on a highly emotive and controversial issue. The result gives readers a window into how moral philosophers argue about the contentious issue of abortion rights, and an in-depth analysis of the compelling arguments on both sides. (shrink)
Precarious employment is commonplace within the University-as-business model. Neoliberal and New Public Management agendas have influenced widespread insecurity, and limited career progression pathways within academic work. Qualitative multi-case data inform this investigation of how young academic workers cope with, and justify, their precarious situations in a large Australian university. This article introduces the notion of cruel optimism to analyse the unethical exploitation of desires of precariously employed academics. This analytical engagement extends empathetic engagement with the lived experiences and rationalisations of (...) precariously employed academic workers, paying homage to their desires and negotiations. Findings demonstrate that participants were heavily invested in working towards achieving their good life fantasy which encompassed secure employment and the recognition this provided. Cruel optimism operated as participants developed coping mechanisms to deal with the ongoingness of their troubling situation as precarious workers uncertain how to change their precarious circumstances. Participants experienced cruel optimism as they navigated through issues of identity, control, and desire, related to their present and future lives as academic workers experiencing an impasse of crisis ordinariness. Optimism directed towards the academic scene of desire motivated participants’ daily actions and informed their understandings. Ethical elements of the impasse of precarious employment are presented in relation to the neoliberal and New Public Management-oriented University context. This article provides a novel conceptualisation of how precarious employment contributes to a relation of cruel optimism among workers by highlighting how organisations exploit the desires of insecure employees for extended periods of time, contributing to an impasse of crisis ordinariness. (shrink)
This article examines the “Choice Argument” for sweatshops, i.e., the claim that it is morally wrong or impermissible for third parties to interfere with the choice of sweatshop workers to work in sweatshops. The Choice Argument seeks, in other words, to shift the burden of proof onto those who wish to regulate sweatshop labor. It does so by forcing critics of sweatshops to specify the conditions under which it is morally permissible to interfere with sweatshop workers’ choice. My aim in (...) this article is to meet that burden. Unlike other critics of sweatshop labor, however, my argument does not proceed from contested economic or moral assumptions. To the contrary, my strategy will be to demonstrate that even if we grant the truth of the economic and moral assumptions made by defenders of the Choice Argument, it never- theless does not follow that it is morally wrong to interfere with the choice of sweatshop workers to work in sweatshops. The Choice Argument thus fails on its own terms. (shrink)
The purpose of this symposium is to explore the ways in which literature, broadly construed to include poetry and narrative in a variety of modes of representation, can change the world by providing interventions in justice. Our approach foregrounds the relationship between the activity demanded by some individual literary works and some categories of literary work on the one hand and the way in which those works can make a tangible difference to social reality on the other. We consider three (...) types of active literary engagement: doing philosophy, ideological critique, and necessary rather than contingent performance. Kate Kirkpatrick opens with Kamel Daoud’s The Meursault Investigation (2013), reading the narrator as not only a critic of colonial and postcolonial discourse but also a literary exemplar of the search for justice when it is difficult to know to what level of explanation to attribute its absence. Rafe McGregor demonstrates how the final season of Prime Video’s The Man in the High Castle (2015–19) makes a radical break from the previous three, exposing the misanthropy at the core of right-wing populism and calling for a fundamentally democratic response from the left. Finally, Karen Simecek argues that poetry in performance has a potentially reparative function for the ethically lonely – the vulnerable, the oppressed, and the persecuted – in society. (shrink)
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:IntroductionWhen I first came across Dieter Hattrup's analysis of the De reductione I noted that the professor from Paderborn was trying, step by step, to trace the authorship back to friars influenced by Roger Bacon – a reductio ad Baconem, if you will. Hattrup's argument that Roger Bacon was indirectly involved in the composition of the De reductione evoked the fleeting memory of a pop culture game (...) created by American college students in the 1990s called the "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon," whereby the characters in any given film must be linked to a film with the Hollywood actor, Kevin Bacon, by comparing no more than six films. To mention the esteemed theologian in such a fleeting cultural context is not meant to trivialize his argument in any way; rather, the intent is to underscore, admittedly tongue in cheek, the intricacies of his argument against Bonaventurian authorship of the De reductione as outlined in the monograph Ekstatik der Geschichte: Die Entwicklung der christologischen Erkenntnistheorie Bonaventuras and the journal article, "Bonaventura zwischen Mystik und Mystifikation: Wer ist der Autor von De reductione?" While Hattrup hesitates to claim Bacon as the author of De reductione, he does develop a systematic study that eventually leads, step by step, association by association, back to Roger Bacon. This essay examines and disputes Hattrup's claim by analyzing the historical context of his argument, the chronology and sources in question, the theme of the fourfold light and scripture, and the relationship between the sciences and theology. The numerous questions raised will underscore the fragility of his argument. Subsequent essays will treat the contemporary theological implications as well as the literary-theological genre and academic occasion of Bonaventure's De reductione.Historical ContextBefore we examine Hattrup's argument against Bonaventure as the author of the De reductione, let us first evoke the historical situation he suggests as the possible origin of the text. In 1267, Bonaventure warns his Minorite confreres of the dangers inherent in the sciences in the Collations on the Ten Commandments, and then, once again in 1268 in the Collations on Gifts of the Holy Spirit. The brothers in Bacon's circle are concerned because they contend that the sciences must be cultivated and consequently compose the De reductione. Their intent is to demonstrate how the sciences are integral to theology, such that even natural philosophy contains the wisdom of God. Hattrup sees this text stemming from Bacon's circle as a conscious attempt to subvert Bonaventure's understanding of the relationship between faith and reason in favor of the sciences by utilizing some of the General Minister's own language as mirrored in the Journey of the Soul into God and Francis of Assisi's experience of God in the natural world. The resulting text of the De reductione, according to Hattrup, is an intentional mystification of Bonaventure's own mystical or ecstatic methodology.Hattrup suggests that the De reductione came to Bonaventure's attention in 1270, but he is preoccupied with affairs in the early 1270s and only returns later to address the dangers he recognizes in the De reductione in another collation series in May of 1273, the Collations on the Six Days, or Hexaëmeron. The General Minister warns of those who entered religious life as friends of the sciences, the "hospites scientiae." They must place limits on their efforts in these fields of inquiry and not promote them as essential to theological reflection, as posited by the De reductione, if they wish to remain faithful to the ascetical-mystical vision of the Minorite Order. Unable to finish the Hexaëmeron due to ecclesial obligations, Bonaventure died unexpectedly in July of 1274 at the Council of Lyon. The text of the De reductione, found among Bonaventure's other writings, was dutifully copied and included among the Seraphic Doctor's literary corpus since at first glance this kurze Denkschrift appears to be from the deceased General Minister.Hattrup readily admits that.. (shrink)
Although corporate social responsibility practice increasingly addresses gender issues, and gender and CSR scholarship is expanding, feminist theory is rarely explicitly referenced or discussed in the CSR literature. We contend that this omission is a key limitation of the field. We argue that CSR theorization and research on gender can be improved through more explicit and systematic reference to feminist theories, and particularly those from feminist organization studies. Addressing this gap, we review developments in feminist organization theory, mapping their relevance (...) to CSR. With reference to six major theoretical perspectives in CSR scholarship, we note feminist research relating to each. Drawing upon FOS theory and CSR theory, we then develop an integrated theoretical framework for the analysis of gender issues in CSR. Our framework enables us to identify research strengths in the gender and CSR literature, as well as gaps therein, to open new conversations and to posit future research directions for this emerging area of scholarship. Our paper illustrates how a better grounding of CSR in feminist theory can contribute to CSR research more broadly. (shrink)
All 8 first-grade classes of an elementary school participated in a study of the efficacy of an in-class humane education program that incorporated regular visits from therapy animals. The study also investigated the relative efficacy of a popular, printed humane-education publication, although it was not possible to use this printed material in its optimal manner. The in-class humane-education program—but not the printed material—significantly increased students' self-reported attitudes toward nonhuman animals as compared to those of students who did not participate in (...) the program. However, neither the in-class program nor the printed material affected student scores on another, self-report measure of interactions with one's nonhuman animal companions. Therefore, the results suggest that such an in-class approach can change young students' attitudes toward animals for the better; not surprisingly, actual interactions with one's pets may be somewhat less tractable. (shrink)
Culture is a unique and fascinating aspect of the human species. How did it emerge and how does it develop? Richard Dawkins suggested culture evolves and that memes are cultural replicators, subject to variation and selection in the same way as genes are in the biological world. Thus human culture is the product of a mindless evolutionary algorithm. Does this imply, as some have argued, that we are mere meme machines and that the conscious self is an illusion? This highly (...) readable and accessible book extends Dawkins's theory, presenting for the first time a fully developed concept of cultural DNA. Distin argues that culture's development can be seen as the result of memetic evolution and as the product of human creativity. Memetic evolution is perfectly compatible with the view of humans as conscious and intelligent. This book should find a wide readership amongst philosophers, psychologists, sociologists and non-academic readers. (shrink)
Knowledge is a presumed motivator for changed consumption practices in ethical eating discourse: the consumer learns more about where their food comes from and makes different consumption choices. Despite intuitive appeal, scholars are beginning to illuminate the limits of knowledge-focused praxis for ethical eating. In this paper, we draw from qualitative interviews and focus groups with Toronto mothers to explore the role of knowledge in conceptions of ethical foodwork. While the goal of educating children about their food has become central (...) to Canadian and American discourses of “good” mothering, we identify a paradoxical maternal expectation surrounding meat consumption: to raise informed child consumers who know where their food comes from, and to protect children from the harsh realities of animal slaughter. Rather than revealing the story behind the meat on a child’s plate, mothers seek to shield children from knowledge of meat production. Our analysis of the child consumer contributes to ethical eating scholarship and illuminates a larger paradox surrounding knowledge of meat in an industrialized food system. In the practice of feeding children, mothers confront the visceral discomforts of meat consumption; their reactions speak to discordant feelings involved with eating meat in a setting far-removed from the lives and deaths of animals. Ultimately, the paper illustrates the limits of consumer-focused strategies for food-system change that call on individual mothers to educate young consumers and protect childhood innocence, all while getting ethically-sourced meals on the table. (shrink)
Although the implications of Hume's distinction between philosophical anatomy and painting have been the subject of lively scholarly debates, it is a puzzling fact that the details of the distinction itself have largely been a matter of interpretive presumption rather than debate. This would be unproblematic if Hume's views about these two species of philosophy were obvious, or if there were a rich standard interpretation of the distinction that we had little reason to doubt. But a careful review of the (...) literature shows neither to be the case. We are far from scholarly consensus about Hume's vision of philosophical anatomy and painting, and what unity there is rests on extremely unsteady ground and leaves important questions unanswered. In this article, my aim is three-fold: first, to show that the appearance of well-grounded scholarly unity about Humes distinction is illusory; second, to dispose of those misinterpretations of Hume's distinction that are sufficiently at odds with the text that they can be demonstrated to be false in this context; and third, to explore in sufficient detail the numerous questions one might raise about the content of Hume's distinction so that the stage might at last be properly set for a truly full account of Hume's distinction between philosophical anatomy and painting. (shrink)