Although the term psychotherapy evokes the idea of an incisive intervention, psychotherapy is fundamentally different from any procedure found in medicine or surgery aimed at curing a disrupted body. Psychotherapy does not aim to cure the body or even the brain; it aims to persuade a person in distress to think and behave differently. It is a method common in some form to all cultures. The late Jerome Frank, a psychiatrist and esteemed scientific investigator of psychotherapy, used the study of (...) therapies that succeeded and failed to define several characteristics common to all successful therapies (Frank and Frank 1991). In addition, he found that patients seek psychotherapy for reassurance, hope, and support .. (shrink)
This essay examines the connections between ignorance and abjection. Chanter relates Julia Kristeva's notion of abjection to the mechanisms of division found in feminist theory, race theory, film theory, and cultural theory. The neglect of the co-constitutive relationships among such categories as gender, race, and class produces abjection. If those categories are treated as separate parts of a person's identity that merely interlock or intermesh, they are rendered invisible and unknowable even in the very discourses about them. Race thus becomes (...) gender's unthought other, just as gender becomes the excluded other of race. Via an exploration of Margaret's Museum and Casablanca, the author shows why the various sexual, racial, and nationalist dynamics of the two films cannot be reduced to class or commodity fetishism, following Karl Marx, or psychoanalytic fetishism, following Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan. Whether they are crystallized in Marxist or Lacanian terms, fetishistic currencies of exchange are haunted by an imaginary populated by unthought, abject figures. Ejected from the systems of exchange consecrated as symbolic, fragmented, dislocated, diseased body parts inform and constitute meaning. (shrink)
Throughout the 1980s Margaret Thatcher dominated British and global politics. At the same time she maintained an active Christian faith, which she understood as shaping and informing her political choices and policies. In this article I argue that we can construct from Thatcher's key speeches, her memoirs, and her book on public policy a cultural "theo-political" identity which guided her political decisions. Thatcher's identity was as an Anglo-Saxon Nonconformist. This consisted of her belief in values such as thrift and (...) hard work, care for the family and local neighbor, and charitable generosity; her belief in the renewal of the national British Christian spirit; and her notion of morality as the opportunity for free choice. Without a recognition of the centrality of her theo-political identity, it is difficult to understand the values and beliefs which were central to her political life. The methodological issues raised by the construction of this theo-political identity are examined in this article. The aim of the proposed methodology is to develop theological insights into a political phenomenon like Thatcher rather than make policy judgments or recommendations. (shrink)
This paper considers Margaret Cavendish's distinctive anti-mechanist materialism, focusing on her 1664 Philosophical Letters, in which she discusses the views of Hobbes, Descartes, and More, among others. The paper examines Cavendish's views about natural, material souls: the soul of nature, the souls of finite individuals, and the relation between them. After briefly digressing to look at Cavendish's views about divine, supernatural souls, the paper then turns to the reasons for Cavendish's disagreement with mechanist accounts. There are disagreements over the (...) explanation of particular phenomena, but also a broader disagreement over what to take as one's most basic causal model. (shrink)
This paper pursues a question about the spatial relations between the three types of matter posited in Margaret Cavendish’s metaphysics. It examines the doctrine of complete blending and a distinctive argument against atomism, looking for grounds on which Cavendish can reject the existence of spatial regions composed of only one or two types of matter. It establishes, through that examination, that Cavendish operates with a causal conception of parts of nature and a dynamic notion of division. While the possibility (...) of unmixed spatial regions is found to be consistent with both the doctrine of complete blending and Cavendish’s anti-atomism by themselves, it is finally ruled out by a consideration of her theory of place. In fact, the geometrical question of the spatial relations between types of matter that drives the paper is ultimately exposed as illicitly mathematical from the perspective of Cavendish’s metaphysics. (shrink)
Naturalized moral epistemology eschews practices of assuming to know a priori the nature of situations and experiences that require moral deliberation. Thus it promises to close a gap between formal ethical theories and circumstances where people need guidelines for action. Yet according experience so central a place in inquiry risks "naturalizing" it, treating it as incontestable, separating its moral and political dimensions. This essay discusses these issues with reference to Margaret Walker's Moral understandings.
Collecting, comparing, and computing molecular sequences are among the most prevalent practices in contemporary biological research. They represent a specific way of producing knowledge. This paper explores the historical development of these practices, focusing on the work of Margaret O. Dayhoff, Richard V. Eck, and Robert S. Ledley, who produced the first computer-based collection of protein sequences, published in book format in 1965 as the Atlas of Protein Sequence and Structure. While these practices are generally associated with the rise (...) of molecular evolution in the 1960s, this paper shows that they grew out of research agendas from the previous decade, including the biochemical investigation of the relations between the structures and function of proteins and the theoretical attempt to decipher the genetic code. It also shows how computers became essential for the handling and analysis of sequence data. Finally, this paper reflects on the relationships between experimenting and collecting as two distinct "ways of knowing" that were essential for the transformation of the life sciences in the twentieth century. (shrink)
This article explores the pedagogical significance of non-static and hybrid utopian readings and writings by focusing on Margaret Cavendish's educationally-philosophically neglected female utopia The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World. It questions the exaggerated, inflated and exclusivist emphasis on the pedagogical benefits of homologous spatial signifiers of entry into utopia and return to home and draws examples of utopian passages across genres, texts, minds and worlds from the writing of Cavendish. Such passages can be read as (...) performative ways of hybridising and reinventing both the utopian topos and the traveller's identity. New space is thus opened for learning as imitation and re-writing rather than as a return to, or manifestation of, an original self. Finally, new performative means for fashioning pedagogical authorship, nurturing the other's learning, and fashioning intellectual growth are promoted. Such means comprise mutuality of pedagogical initiatives, improvisation through imitation and supplementarity of cooperative writing. (shrink)
ABSTRACTIn this paper, I explore Margaret Cavendish’s engagement with mid-seventeenth-century debates on spirits and spiritual activity in the world, especially the problems of incorporeal substance and magnetism. I argue that between 1664 and 1668, Cavendish developed an increasingly robust form of materialism in response to the deficiencies which she identified in alternative philosophical systems – principally mechanical philosophy and vitalism. This was an intriguing direction of travel, given the intensification in attacks on the supposedly atheistic materialism of Hobbes. While (...) some scholars claim that Cavendish’s views were not formed out of extensive engagement with contemporary thinkers, I suggest that, on the contrary, Cavendish engaged very closely with the views of More, Hobbes and others – including the vitalist thinker Johannes Baptista van Helmont and the mechanical philosopher Henry Power – on the subject of spirits and... (shrink)
This essay analyzes the eco-religious “God’s Gardeners” group as they appear in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood as a possible model of capitalist “non-existence,” exploring the alternative potentials at which they arrive in relation to waste throughout the text. The Gardeners present an affective mode of consumer non-participation as a possible first step toward a reflexive awareness of the role trash plays in our subjective experiences of the world. Through a process of symbolic (...) embodiment, the Gardeners exist in marginalized space and so re-situate waste for themselves as objects and spaces with new potential boundaries. This leads to a confrontation with social reality itself, piercing the reality-building project of capitalist logic in order to uncover the fabricated “antagonism between the Excluded—the ‘animals’ according to global capital—and the Included—the ‘political animals’ proper, those participating in capitalism” that structures characters’ experiences. The focus here is not only on re-situating waste but re-inscribing it in the domain of social discourse in a way that subverts consumer expectations and challenges the limits of desire. In these texts, enjoyment is displaced onto waste objects as a point of psychological investment transmitted from subject to subject. In building reality through these kinds of direct relations, Atwood implies, one may challenge the imposition of ideology and expand its apparent limits in order to re-symbolize the spaces and objects marginalized as waste, proceeding in the end to a renewed interconnection between subject, object, and excess. (shrink)
In this essay, the reminiscences of Margaret Fuller, feminist activist and member of the American Transcendentalist movement, from her journey to the Great Lakes region, entitled Summer on the Lakes, are considered in the light of EcoGothic considerations. The essay shows how Fuller’s journey disillusioned her about progress and led to abandoning the serene vision of nature and landscapes reflected in the works of Transcendentalists. The destruction of nature and landscape verging on an ecological catastrophe is presented by Fuller (...) in the perspective of the Gothic, as a price for the technological development driven by the capitalist economy. The Gothic character of Summer on the Lakes derives from the mental condition of the writer and a pessimistic vision arising from the debunking of the myth of America as a virgin land. Fuller’s work constitutes an EcoGothic tribute to the indigenous inhabitants of America—but also a Gothic live burial of the Native Americans who do still live in the regions she visits—as well as to Mariana and Frederica, unusual and gothicized women excluded from society. By bringing together Fuller’s observations about nature, indigenous peoples and marginalized women, the essay shows how Fuller’s text prophetically announces the beginning of the end of the American environment. (shrink)
: Naturalized moral epistemology eschews practices of assuming to know a priori the nature of situations and experiences that require moral deliberation. Thus it promises to close a gap between formal ethical theories and circumstances where people need guidelines for action. Yet according experience so central a place in inquiry risks "naturalizing" it, treating it as incontestable, separating its moral and political dimensions. This essay discusses these issues with reference to Margaret Walker's Moral understandings.
This paper provides a systematic reconstruction of Cavendish's general epistemology and a characterization of the fundamental role of that theory in her natural philosophy. After reviewing the outlines of her natural philosophy, I describe her treatment of 'exterior knowledge', i.e. of perception in general and of sense perception in particular. I then describe her treatment of 'interior knowledge', i.e. of self-knowledge and 'conception'. I conclude by drawing out some implications of this reconstruction for our developing understanding of Cavendish's natural philosophy.
Margaret Atwood and David Suzuki are two of the most prominent Canadian public intellectuals involved in the global warming debate. They both argue that anthropogenic global warming is occurring, warn against its grave consequences, and urge governments and the public to take immediate, decisive, extensive, and profound measures to prevent it. They differ, however, in the reasons and evidence they provide in support of their position. While Suzuki stresses the scientific evidence in favour of the global warming theory and (...) the scientific consensus around it, Atwood is suspicious of the objectivity of science, and draws on an idiosyncratic neo-Malthusian theory of human development. Their implicit views about the cognitive authority of science may be identified with Critical Contextual Empiricism and Feminist Standpoint Epistemology, respectively, both of which face difficulties with providing solid grounds for the position they advocate. . (shrink)
Margaret Cavendish may not have described her prose narrative The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World as a utopia, let alone assigned it a single genre or form. It contains aspects of romance, adventure, and fantasy and many of the elements that would come to be associated with utopian literature, such as world building and a detailed accounting of that world by a traveler who happens upon it. Yet The Blazing World also contains philosophy, scientific debates, (...) political discussions, and a detailed narrative of a successful military campaign. Folded into this rich hybrid text are also numerous autobiographical events, characters, and details. This rich plurality of elements offered Cavendish a... (shrink)
One of the hallmarks of Kantian philosophy, especially in connection with its characterization of scientific knowledge, is the importance of unity, a theme that is also the driving force behind a good deal of contemporary high energy physics. There are a variety of ways that unity figures in modern science—there is unity of method where the same kinds of mathematical techniques are used in different sciences, like physics and biology; the search for unified theories like the unification of electromagnetism and (...) optics by Maxwell; and, more recently, the project of grand unification or the quest for a theory of everything which involves a reduction of the four fundamental forces under the umbrella of a single theory. In this latter case it is thought that when energies are high enough, the forces, while very different in strength, range and the types of particles on which they act, become one and the same force. The fact that these interactions are known to have many underlying mathematical features in common suggests that they can all be described by a unified field theory. Such a theory describes elementary particles in terms of force fields which further unifies all the interactions by treating particles and interactions in a technically and conceptually similar way. It is this theoretical framework that allows for the prediction that measurements made at a certain energy level will supposedly indicate that there is only one type of force. In other words, not only is there an ontological reduction of the forces themselves but the mathematical framework used to describe the fields associated with these forces facilitates their description in a unified theory. Specific types of symmetries serve an important function in establishing these kinds of unity, not only in the construction of quantum field theories but also in the classification of particles; classifications that can lead to new predictions and new ways of understanding properties like quantum numbers. Hence, in order to address issues about unification and reduction in contemporary physics we must also address the way that symmetries facilitate these processes. (shrink)
Since Kathrine Switzer broke into the Boston Marathon in 1967 by registering with the gender neutral initials K. V., women’s participation in racing events has risen decade by decade: Running USA reports that 57 percent of finishes recorded in 2014 were posted by women. Key milestones have been reached, including the inauguration of the women’s marathon at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and the passing of Title IX in the United States in 1972, which guarantees support for women’s athletic programs (...) at the college level. But most remarkable has been the increase in women’s activity at the community level, made manifest in the number of organized races, often held to support women’s health initiatives, as well... (shrink)
Margaret Cavendish is known for her personal allegiance to monarchy in England. This is reflected in her writings; as Hobbes did, she tended to criticize severely any attempt at rebellion and did not think England could become a republic. Yet it seems that Cavendish did have sympathy with some republican values, in particular, as Lisa Walters has argued, with the republican concept of freedom as nondomination. How can we explain this apparent inconsistency? I believe that the answer lies in (...) a lack of fit between the republican theories that were available to her and the values she accepted and according to which she was expected to live her life. (shrink)
This collection of papers is as welcome as it is overdue. As its editors observe in their introduction, the reference point for studies of Hume’s economic thinking has remained Eugene Rotwein’s “Introduction” to his volume David Hume: Writings on Economics (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press) since its publication in 1955. The conference from which these papers derive was convened forty-eight years later, in 2003, and the volume was another five years in preparation (while this review, in turn, has taken its (...) own time). But David Hume’s Political Economy is not a random collection of conference papers: editorial direction has ensured a substantial publication, and an important contribution to Hume studies. The .. (shrink)
Wit explores modes of reading representations of death and dying, both through the play’s sustained engagement with Donne’s Holy Sonnets and through Vivian’s self-reflexive approach to her illness and death. I argue that the play dramatizes reparative readings, a term coined by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick to describe an alternative to the paranoid reading practices that have come to dominate literary criticism. By analyzing the play’s reparative readings of death and dying, I show how Wit provides lessons about knowledge-making and reading (...) practices in the field of health humanities. (shrink)