The past 25 years have seen an upsurge of interest in the figure of Mary Magdalene, whose image has been transformed through feminist scholarship from penitent prostitute to prominent disciple of Jesus. This article documents another, non-academic, interpretation of Mary Magdalene – the image of Mary as goddess or embodiment of the female divine. The most influential proponent of this view is Margaret Starbird, who hypothesizes that Mary was both Jesus’ wife and his divine feminine counterpart. (...) The author suggests that feminist theologians/thealogians should be aware of this popular understanding of Mary; and consider what it is about Mary Magdalene as the sacred feminine/bride of Jesus/sophia that captures the public imagination in a way that other feminist christologies do not. (shrink)
Feared and admired in equal measure, Mary Midgely has carefully, yet profoundly challenged many of the scientific and moral orthodoxies of the twentieth century. The Essential Mary Midgley collects for the first time the very best of this famous philosopher's work, described by the Financial Times as "commonsense philosophy of the highest order." This anthology includes carefully chosen selections from her best-selling books, including Wickedness, Beast and Man, Science and Poetry and The Myths We Live By . It (...) provides a superb and eminently accessible insight into questions she has returned to again and again in her renowned sharp prose, from the roots of human nature, reason and imagination to the myths of science and the importance of holism in thinking about science and the environment. It offers an unrivalled introduction to a great philosopher and a brilliant writer, and also includes a specially written foreword by James Lovelock. (shrink)
In February 1828 a Royal Commission was appointed to examine the law of Real Property of England and Wales. The Commission sat for four years and examined a vast amount of material, recommended certain changes in the law, and drafted several bills for consideration by parliament. Four massive reports were eventually presented to parliament in May 1829, June 1830, May 1832, and lastly in April 1833. As a result parliament enacted a limited number of piecemeal reforms, but did not attempt (...) a major revision of the law. (shrink)
There are many uses of the word ‘ought’, not all of which are moral uses. The following sentences contain ‘oughts’ which are not moral ‘oughts’. The peaches on the tree nearest the house ought to be ripe. The old car ought to go now it's had a re-bore. You ought to prune your Lorraine Lee roses in February. You ought to wash your hands before meals. You ought to take more exercise.
We will start with a fable— There was once a creator who wanted to create free beings. The other creators, it seems, didn't share this ambition, indeed they thought his project was philosophically confused. They were well satisfied with their own worlds. But our creator sat down to work it out. ‘How will you even start?’ asked his friend D, the Doubter. ‘Well, I know what I won't do’, answered C. ‘I won't just give them an empty faculty named Desire, (...) and tell them to invent values and want what they choose. Unless they want something definite for a start, they won't even be able to start choosing.’ ‘Exactly’, said D. ‘So what I think I must do,’ C went on, ‘is to give them a lot of desires which conflict, and make them bright enough to see they have got to do something about it.’. (shrink)
Every age has its pet contradictions. Thirty years ago, we used to accept Marx and Freud together, and then wonder, like the chameleon on the tartan, why life was so confusing. Today there is similar trouble over the question whether there is, or is not, something called Human Nature. On the one hand, there has been an explosion of animal behaviour studies, and comparisons between animals and men have become immensely popular. People use evidence from animals to decide whether man (...) is naturally aggressive, or naturally territorial; even whether he has an Aggressive or Territorial Instinct. On the other hand, many sociologists and psychologists still seem to hold the Behaviourist view that man is a creature entirely without instincts, and so do existentialist philosophers. If so, all comparison with animals must be irrelevant. . On that view, man is entirely the product of his culture. He starts off infinitely plastic, and is formed completely by the society in which he grows up. (shrink)
Mary Leng defends a philosophical account of the nature of mathematics which views it as a kind of fiction. On this view, the claims of our ordinary mathematical theories are more closely analogous to utterances made in the context of storytelling than to utterances whose aim is to assert literal truths.
Mary Anne Warren investigates a theoretical question that is at the centre of practical and professional ethics: what are the criteria for having moral status? That is: what does it take to be an entity towards which people have moral considerations? Warren argues that no single property will do as a sole criterion, and puts forward seven basic principles which establish moral status. She then applies these principles to three controversial moral issues: voluntary euthanasia, abortion, and the status of (...) non-human animals. (shrink)
Mary Daly had a complicated relationship to the Catholic tradition. While it is commonly assumed that she rejected it thoroughly, this article offers a more nuanced look at the various ways in which it shaped her thinking. What is clear is that she had a decisive impact on the Catholic tradition, indeed on religion in general. Language about the divine, images of deities, human participation in things spiritual will never be the same after her thorough-going feminist critique. Her legacy (...) is multi-faceted like the woman herself. (shrink)
My topic may seem a bizarre mixture of epistemology and value theory; and perhaps it is best to acknowledge this oddity at once. I should also, perhaps, confess that such a mixture has always seemed something to aspire to. Any philosopher who has made it seem that feeling strongly about something, valuing it highly, is an inevitable consequence of the nature of human understanding, that from the facts of knowledge or perception one can derive the inescapable facts of emotion or (...) desire, any such philosopher has always deeply appealed to me. I am therefore a confessed perpetrator of the naturalistic fallacy. Indeed I go further, and say that I love the fallacy. So Spinoza, Hume and Sartre all seem to me to be real philosophers, on the grounds that for them this connexion between knowing and wanting seemed inevitable. My aim is to illustrate this kind of connexion by suggesting that the human imagination is such that we ought to value it and respect it more highly than anything else; and that therefore, if it can be educated and improved, it is to this education that we should give priority, if we are concerned with education at all. It may seem on the face of it absurd to say that we ought to value any particular human faculty or capacity. It may be thought that this is not the kind of object or evaluation with which at any rate philosophers should be concerned. But the fact is, of course, that we do value very highly indeed all kinds of capacities that we have, such as sight, and hearing and understanding. And being unashamedly naturalistic, I have no hesitation in saying not only that we do value them, but that we ought to; they are, in every sense, valuable. (shrink)
Philosophers have traditionally concentrated on the qualities that make human beings different from other species. In _Beast and Man_ Mary Midgley, one of our foremost intellectuals, stresses continuities. What makes people tick? Largely, she asserts, the same things as animals. She tells us humans are rather more like other animals than we previously allowed ourselves to believe, and reminds us just how primitive we are in comparison to the sophistication of many animals. A veritable classic for our age, _Beast (...) and Man_ has helped change the way we think about ourselves and the world in which we live. (shrink)
Science and mathematics: the scope and limits of mathematical fictionalism Content Type Journal Article Category Book Symposium Pages 1-26 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9640-3 Authors Christopher Pincock, University of Missouri, 438 Strickland Hall, Columbia, MO 65211-4160, USA Alan Baker, Department of Philosophy, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA 19081, USA Alexander Paseau, Wadham College, Oxford, OX1 3PN UK Mary Leng, Department of Philosophy, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD UK Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
In the _World Library of Educationalists_, international experts themselves compile career-long collections of what they judge to be their finest pieces – extracts from books, key articles, salient research findings, major theoretical and practical contributions – so the world can read them in a single manageable volume, allowing readers to follow the themes of their work and see how it contributes to the development of the field. Mary James has researched and written on a range of educational subjects which (...) encompass curriculum, pedagogy and assessment in schools, and implications for teachers´ professional development, school leadership and policy frameworks. She has written many books and journals on assessment, particularly assessment for learning and is an expert on teacher learning, curriculum, leadership for learning and educational policy. Starting with a specially written introduction in which Mary gives an overview of her career and contextualises her selection, the chapters are divided into three parts: Educational Assessment and Learning Educational Evaluation and Curriculum Development Educational Research and the Improvement of Practice Through this book, readers can follow the different strands that Mary James has researched and written about over the last three decades, and clearly see her important contribution to the field of education. (shrink)
Lady Mary Shepherd’s critique of Hume’s account of causation, his worries about knowledge of matters of fact, and the contention that it is possible for the course of nature to spontaneously change relies primarily on three premises, two of which – that objects are merely bundles of qualities and that the qualities of an object are individuated by the causal powers contributed by those qualities – anticipate contemporary metaphysical views in ways that she should be getting credit for. The (...) remaining premise – that it is impossible for an object to begin to exist uncaused – seems more old fashioned. I argue that Shepherd can do without her old-fashioned premise and that she provides the materials for arguing that her remaining premises demonstrate a stronger anti-Humeanism than is maintained even by the contemporary representatives of those views, even though she may have to concede more to Humeanism than she would like. (shrink)
Fifteen to twenty years ago one might have been forgiven for thinking that both the philosophy and history of science constituted specialized academic backwaters, far removed from debates in the forefront of either philosophic or public attention. But times have changed; science and technology have in many ways and in many guises become central foci of public debate, whether through concern over nuclear safety, the massive price to be paid for continued research in areas such as high energy physics, the (...) cost of high technology medicine, the spectre of genetic engineering, or the wonders of information processing and the computer revolution. At the same time that there is public questioning of the authority of expert scientific pronouncements and debate about the wisdom of courses of action proposed in the name of technology and progress, there is political pressure to direct eduction in an increasingly scientific and technological direction. But even so, in this country, the history and philosophy of science remain peripheral disciplines, not only in relation to the total academic scene but even in relation to philosophy, which is itself being academically marginalized. (shrink)
The Critique of Dialectical Reason was first published in France twenty years ago, in 1960. The book, we know from Simone de Beauvoir, was flung together in a hurry, written virtually without correction during the height of the Algerian war, a period, for Sartre, of stress and anxious stock-taking of his position as a Marxist and a long-term non-joiner of the Communist Party. The whole sense in which, in 1960, Sartre was a Marxist, the question of precisely how eccentric his (...) kind of Marxism was, is centred on his theory of historical explanation. I do not propose to raise many detailed questions about the relation of Sartre's views on history to those of Marx himself, still less to those of other Marxists. Ignorance alone would rule out such a course. I would like if I can, however, to consider Sartre's own view of historical explanation as it appears in the Critique, and leave it to others if they wish to fit it into the Marxist tradition, or exclude it. In order to perform this relatively modest expository task, it will be necessary for me to refer, from time to time, to Sartre's earlier philosophical views. But this will come in incidentally. (shrink)
Mary Midgley argues in her powerful new book that far from being the opposite of science, myth is a central part of it. In brilliant prose, she claims that myths are neither lies nor mere stories but a network of powerful symbols that suggest particular ways of interpreting the world.
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.
In the 1706 third edition of her Reflections upon Marriage, Mary Astell alludes to John Locke’s definition of slavery in her descriptions of marriage. She describes the state of married women as being ‘subject to the inconstant, uncertain, unknown, Arbitrary Will of another Man’ (Locke, Two Treatises, II.22). Recent scholars maintain that Astell does not seriously regard marriage as a form of slavery in the Lockean sense. In this paper, I defend the contrary position: I argue that Astell does (...) seriously regard marriage as a form of slavery for women and that she condemns this state of affairs as morally wrong. I also show that, far from criticizing Locke, Astell draws on key passages in his Thoughts concerning Education to urge that women be educated to retain their liberty. (shrink)
Renowned philosopher Mary Midgley explores the remarkable gap that has opened up between our own understanding of our sense of our self and today's scientific orthodoxy that claims the self to be nothing more than an elaborate illusion. Bringing her formidable acuity and analytic skills to bear, she exposes some very odd claims and muddled thinking on the part of cognitive scientists and psychologists when it comes to talk about the self. Well-known philosophical problems in causality, subjectivity, empiricism, free (...) will and determinsim are shown to have been glossed over by scientists claiming that the self is no more than a jumble of brain-cells. Midgley argues powerfully and persuasively that the rich variety of our imaginative life cannot be contained in the narrow bounds of a highly puritanical materialism that equates brain and self. The denial of the self has been sustained by the belief that physical science requires it, but there is not just one such pattern of thought but many others which all help to explain the different kinds of problems that arise in our life, argues Midgley. Physics' amazing contemporary successes spring from attacking problems that arise within physics, not from outside. It is no more sensible to give a physical answer to a moral problem than it is to give political answers to physical ones. 'Are you an Illusion?' is an impassioned defence of the importance of our own experiences - the subjective sources of thought - which are every bit as necessary for the world as the objective ones such as brain cells. (shrink)
According to some scholars, Mary Astell’s feminist programme is severely limited by its focus on self-improvement rather than wider social change. In response, I highlight the role of ‘virtuous friendship’ in Astell’s 1694 work, A Serious Proposal to the Ladies. Building on classical ideals and traditional Christian principles, Astell promotes the morally transformative power of virtuous friendship among women. By examining the significance of such friendship to Astell’s feminism, we can see that she did in fact aim to bring (...) about reformation of society and not just the individual. (shrink)
Even long after their formal exclusion has come to an end, members of previously oppressed social groups often continue to face disproportionate restrictions on their freedom, as the experience of many women over the last century has shown. Working within in a framework in which freedom is understood as independence from arbitrary power, Mary Wollstonecraft provides an explanation of why such domination may persist and offers a model through which it can be addressed. Republicans rely on processes of rational (...) public deliberation to highlight and combat oppression. However, where domination is primarily social rather than legal or political (such as where cultural attitudes, traditions and values exert an arbitrary and inhibiting force) then this defence against domination is often negated. Prejudice, she argues, ‘clouds’ people’s ability to reason and skews debate in favour of the dominant powers, thereby entrenching patterns of subjection. If they are to be independent, then, citizens require not only political rights but a platform from which to add their perspectives and interests to the background social values which govern political discussion. (shrink)