The Hebrew Bible: glimpses of immortality -- Early post-biblical literature: gateways to heaven and hell -- The mishnah: who will merit the world to come? -- The Talmud: what happens in the next world? -- Medieval Jewish philosophy: faith and reason -- Mysticism: reincarnation in Kabbalah -- Modernity: what do we believe? -- The Messiah: the eternal thread of hope.
Now in its second edition, this collection is an intelligent, accessible overview of the entire Critical Theory Tradition, written by one of the leading experts on the subject. Filled with original insights and valuable historical narratives, this work is a contribution that furthers the idea and spirit of critical theory as it weaves together a narrative from a series of examinations of the thoughts of many of the most important left Western intellectuals of the twentieth century. Covering the work of (...) major philosophical thinkers such as Benjamin, Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse and Habermas and revisiting the contributions of lesser-known figures such as Karl Korsch and Ernst Bloch, Bronner measures the writing of these theorists against each other, postmodernist philosophers and the critical tradition reaching back to Hegel, and then connects the history of critical theory with important historical events and develops in the twentieth century. Of Critical Theory and Its Theorists presents new insights useful to experienced scholars and offers clear summaries for students making this book an ideal introduction to the debates surrounding one of the most important intellectual traditions of the 20th Century. (shrink)
Decades after his death, Albert Camus is still regarded as one of the most influential and fascinating intellectuals of the twentieth century. This biography by Stephen Eric Bronner explores the connections between his literary work, his philosophical writings, and his politics. _Camus_ illuminates his impoverished childhood, his existential concerns, his activities in the antifascist resistance, and the controversies in which he was engaged. Beautifully written and incisively argued, this study offers new insights—and above all—highlights the contemporary relevance of an (...) extraordinary man. “A model of a kind of intelligent writing that should be in greater supply. Bronner manages judiciously to combine an appreciation for the strengths of Camus and nonrancorous criticism of his weaknesses.... As a personal and opinionated book, it invites the reader into an engaging and informative dialogue.”—_American Political Science Review_ __ “This concise, lively, and remarkably evenhanded treatment of the life and work of Albert Camus weaves together biography, philosophical analysis, and political commentary.”—_Science & Society_. (shrink)
Stephen Eric Bronner is a prolific author, activist, and one of America’s leading political thinkers. His new book presents bigotry as a systematic, all-encompassing mindset that has a special affinity for right-wing movements. In what will surely prove a seminal study, Bronner explores its appeal, the self-image it justifies, the interests it serves, and its complex connection with modernity. He reveals how prejudice shapes the conspiratorial and paranoid worldview of the true believer, the elitist, and the chauvinist. In (...) the process, it becomes apparent how the bigot hides behind mainstream conservative labels in order to support policies designed to disadvantage the targets of his contempt. Examining bigotry in its various dimensions—anthropological, historical, psychological, sociological, and political—Professor Bronner illustrates how the bigot’s intense hatred of “the other” is a direct reaction to social progress, liberal values, secularism, and an increasingly complex and diverse world. A sobering look at the bigot in the twenty-first century, this volume is essential for making sense of the dangers facing democracy now and in the future. (shrink)
Arendt, Rawls, Walzer, de Beauvoir, Nozick, Marcuse. These names are among the absolutely essential building blocks of a political education. Stephen Bronner's Twentieth Century Political Thought: A Reader brings together dozens of the most important pieces by the thinkers who form and expand the canon of contemporary political thought. Designed as a sampler and a guide, the volume introduces the reader to contemporary debates over liberalism, socialism, fascism, postmodernism, feminism, postcolonialism and a host of other important ideas.
A central question, if not the central question, of philosophy of perception is whether sensory states have a nature similar to thoughts about the world, whether they are essentially representational. According to the content view, at least some of our sensory states are, at their core, representations with contents that are either accurate or inaccurate. Tyler Burge’s Origins of Objectivity is the most sustained and sophisticated defense of the content view to date. His defense of the view is problematic in (...) several ways. The most significant problem is that his approach does not sit well with mainstream perceptual psychology. (shrink)
According to the Standard View, a doctor who withdraws life-sustaining treatment does not kill the patient but rather allows the patient to die—an important distinction, according to some. I argue that killing can be understood in either of two ways, and given the relevant understanding, the Standard View is insulated from typical criticisms. I conclude by noting several problems for the Standard View that remain to be fully addressed.
Lethal organ donation is a hypothetical procedure in which vital organs are removed from living donors, resulting in their death. An important objection to lethal organ donation is that it would infringe the prohibition on doctors intentionally causing the death of patients. I present a series of arguments intended to undermine this objection. In a case of lethal organ donation, the donor’s death is merely foreseen, and not intended.
A common objection to representationalism is that a representationalist view of phenomenal character cannot accommodate the effects that shifts in covert attention have on visual phenomenology: covert attention can make items more visually prominent than they would otherwise be without altering the content of visual experience. Recent empirical work on attention casts doubt on previous attempts to advance this type of objection to representationalism and it also points the way to an alternative development of the objection.
It is widely believed to be permissible for a physician to discontinue any treatment upon the request of a competent patient. Many also believe it is never permissible for a physician to intentionally kill a patient. I argue that the prospect of deactivating a patient’s artificial heart presents us with a dilemma: either the first belief just mentioned is false or the second one is. Whichever horn of the dilemma we choose has significant implications for contemporary medical ethics.
DETERMINACY is the claim that covert shifts in visual attention sometimes affect the determinacy of visual content (capital letters will distinguish the claim from the familiar word, 'determinacy'). Representationalism is the claim that visual phenomenology supervenes on visual representational content. Both claims are popular among contemporary philosophers of mind, and DETERMINACY has been employed in defense of representationalism. I claim that existing arguments in favor of DETERMINACY are inconclusive. As a result, DETERMINACY-based arguments in support of representationalism are not strong (...) ones. (shrink)
It is standardly believed that the only way to justify an assertion in the face of a challenge is by making another assertion. Call this claim ASSERTIONS ONLY. Besides its intrinsic interest, ASSERTIONS ONLY is relevant to deciding between competing views of the norms that govern reasoned discourse. ASSERTIONS ONLY is also a crucial part of the motivation for infinitism and Pyrrhonian skepticism. I suggest that ASSERTIONS ONLY is false: I can justify an assertion by drawing attention to something that (...) clearly makes the assertion true, or likely true. (shrink)
Rachael Briggs and Daniel Nolan attempt to improve on Nozick’s tracking theory of knowledge by providing a modified, dispositional tracking theory. The dispositional theory, however, faces more problems than those previously noted by John Turri. First, it is not simply that satisfaction of the theory’s conditions is unnecessary for knowledge – it is insufficient as well. Second, in one important respect, the dispositional theory is a step backwards relative to the original tracking theory: the original but not the dispositional theory (...) can avoid Gettier-style counterexamples. Future attempts to improve the tracking theory would be wise to bear these problems in mind. (shrink)
ABSENCE is the claim that, if a symbol appears on a map, then absence of the symbol from some map coordinate signifies absence of the corresponding property from the corresponding location. This claim is highly intuitive and widely endorsed. And if it is true, then cartographic representation is strikingly different from linguistic representation. I argue, however, that ABSENCE is false of various maps and that we have no reason to believe it is true of any maps. The intuition to the (...) contrary results from mistaking what a map simply conveys for what it literally represents. (shrink)
Recognizing newness is a difficult task in any intellectual history, and different cultures have gauged and evaluated novelty in different ways. In this paper we ponder the status of innovation in the context of the somewhat unusual history of one Sanskrit knowledge system, that of poetics, and try to define what in the methodology, views, style, and self-awareness of Sanskrit literary theorists in the early modern period was new. The paper focuses primarily on one thinker, Jagannātha Paṇḍitarāja, the most famous (...) and influential author on poetics in the seventeenth century, and his relationship with his important sixteenth-century predecessor, Appayya Dīkṣita. We discuss Jagannātha’s complex system of labeling of ideas as “new” and “old,” the new essay style that he used to chart the evolution of ideas in his tradition, his notion of himself as an independent thinker capable of improving the system created by his predecessors in order to protect its essential assets, and the reasons his critique of Appayya was so harsh. For both scholars what emerges as new is not so much their opinions on particular topics as the new ways in which they position themselves in relation to their system. (shrink)
Many believe that intended harms are more difficult to justify than are harms that result as a foreseen side effect of one's conduct. We describe cases of harming in which the harm is not intended, yet the harmful act nevertheless runs afoul of the intuitive moral constraint that governs intended harms. We note that these cases provide new and improved counterexamples to the so-called Simple View, according to which intentionally phi-ing requires intending to phi. We then give a new theory (...) of the moral relevance of intention. This theory yields the traditional constraint on intending harm as a special case, along with several stronger demands. (shrink)
As has been obvious to anyone who has looked at them, there is a special relationship between the two earliest extant works on Sanskrit poetics: Bhāmaha’s Kāvyālaṃkāra (Ornamenting Poetry) and Daṇḍin’s Kāvyādarśa (The Mirror of Poetry). The two not only share an analytical framework and many aspects of their organization but also often employ the selfsame language and imagery when they are defining and exemplifying what is by and large a shared repertoire of literary devices. In addition, they also betray (...) highly specific disagreements regarding the nature and aesthetic value of a set of literary phenomena. It has thus long been clear to Indologists that the two are in conversation with one another, but the nature of the conversation and its directionality have never been determined: Was Bhāmaha responding to Daṇḍin’s Kāvyādarśa ? Was Daṇḍin making a rejoinder to Bhāmaha’s Kāvyālaṃkāra ? Were the two authors contemporaries who directly interacted with one another? Or was their interaction indirect and mediated through other texts that are no longer extant? Determining the nature of the interrelations between the two authors and their texts may teach us a great deal about the origins of Sanskrit poetics, the direction in which it developed during its formative period, and the way in which some of the disagreements between Daṇḍin and Bhāmaha metamorphosed in later time. By reviewing existing scholarship, considering new evidence, and taking a fresh look at some of the passages that have long stood at the center of this debate, this article sets out to answer the question of the texts’ relationship and relative chronology. (shrink)
Unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections pose a huge public health problem in the United States. Efforts towards reducing unintended pregnancies have previously focused on women, but the role of men in family planning and preventing unwanted pregnancy is becoming clearer. The primary objective of the study was to fully examine the utilization of family planning services by men in the US, and to determine whether factors such as race, health insurance type and number of sexual partners influenced their utilization (...) and receipt of family planning services and STI-related health services. Data were from the 2006–2010 National Survey on Family Growth study conducted in the US. The study sample comprised 7686 men aged 14–44 who ever had sex with women, and who had had at least one sexual partner in the 12 months before the survey. The receipt of family planning and STI-related health services by this group of men was estimated. The results showed that non-Hispanic Black men were more likely to receive family planning and STI-related services than Hispanic and non-Hispanic White males. Given that non-Hispanic Black men are disproportionately affected by STIs and are a high-risk group, the finding that this group received more family planning and STI services is a positive step towards reducing the disproportionately high prevalence of STIs in men in this under-privileged population. (shrink)
Cet article propose, à la lumière d’un exemple particulier – l’abandon de la croyance en l’existence du Père Noël –, de tester différents scénarios théoriques de la rupture cognitive. L’exemple choisi, en raison de ses spécificités, ne peut prétendre invalider un modèle ou en confirmer définitivement un autre, mais il souhaite être une contribution au débat sur la base d’un matériau empirique rarement réuni en cette matière. Les 142 entretiens mobilisés permettent d’appréhender dans le détail divers aspects de l’abandon de (...) cette croyance : est-elle le fait d’incohérences internes ? de dissonances externes ? d’une concurrence cognitive ? est-elle suivie d’une crise ?This article proposes – with reference to a specific example : the denial of the existence of Santa Claus – to test several theoretical scenarios of cognitive rupture. Owing to its specific nature, this example cannot hope to invalidate one model or to confirm another, once and for all. However, being based on an empirical and original survey, it could emerge as a contribution to the debate. The 142 interviews allow us to examine different visions of the denial of this belief : is it the consequence of an internal disjuncture ? Of external dissonances ? Of cognitive competition ? Will it lead to a crisis ? (shrink)
The subject of sexuality among elderly patients with dementia was examined, focusing on two main aspects: the sexual behaviour of institutionalized elderly people with dementia; and the reactions of other patients, staff and family members to this behaviour. The behaviour was found to be mostly heterosexual and ranged from love and caring to romance and outright eroticism. Reactions varied, being accepting of love and care but often objecting to erotic behaviour. Understanding of the sexual needs of elderly people should become (...) an integral part of the training and continued education of health care staff, thus helping to resolve conflicts and clarify common misconceptions. (shrink)
There is something quite deceptive about Bilhaṇa’s Vikramāṅkadevacarita , one of the most popular and oft-quoted works of the Sanskrit canon. The poem conforms perfectly to the stipulations of the mahākāvya genre: it is replete with descriptions of bravery in battle and amorous plays with beautiful women; its language is intensified by a powerful arsenal of ornaments and images; and it portrays its main hero, King Vikramāṅka VI of the Cāḷukya dynasty (r. 1076–1126), as an equal of Rāma. At the (...) same time, the poem subverts these very aspects of Sanskrit literary culture: the poetic language is thinned down at a series of crucial junctions; the Rāmaness of the hero is repeatedly undermined; and the poet consistently airs his ambivalence toward, if not utter resentment for his immediate cultural milieu, his own patron and subject matter, and the very task of a court poet. The article argues that Bilhaṇa’s ambivalence and alienation are the hallmark of his work, and that the poet constantly and consciously struggles with and comments on what he sees as the utter incompatibility between poetry and political reality. It also demonstrates that Bilhaṇa’s unique, personal voice resonates in his many afterlives and in several collections of poems attributed to him posthumously. I argue that it may well be a sign of recognition of what was truly innovative in his poetry that the tradition has credited Bilhaṇa with such additional lives and corpora. (shrink)