Examining the literature of slavery and race before the Civil War, Maurice Lee demonstrates for the first time exactly how the slavery crisis became a crisis of philosophy that exposed the breakdown of national consensus and the limits of rational authority. Poe, Stowe, Douglass, Melville, and Emerson were among the antebellum authors who tried - and failed - to find rational solutions to the slavery conflict. Unable to mediate the slavery controversy as the nation moved toward war, their writings (...) form an uneasy transition between the confident rationalism of the American Enlightenment and the more skeptical thought of the pragmatists. Lee draws on antebellum moral philosophy, political theory, and metaphysics, bringing a fresh perspective to the literature of slavery - one that synthesizes cultural studies and intellectual history to argue that romantic, sentimental, and black Atlantic writers all struggled with modernity when facing the slavery crisis. (shrink)
Utilizing Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s work, I argue that the gestaltian framework’s co-determinacy of the theme and the horizon in seeing and experiencing the world serves as an encompassing epistemological framework with which to understand racism. Conclusions reached: as bias is unavoidably part of being in the world, defining racism as bias is superfluous; racism is sedimented into our very perceptions and experiences of the world and not solely a prejudice of thought; neutral perception of skin color is impossible. Phenomenology accounts (...) for the dynamic changes in expressions of racism and the interconnections of both race and sex for women of color. (shrink)
Philosophers have long debated whether, if determinism is true, we should hold people morally responsible for their actions since in a deterministic universe, people are arguably not the ultimate source of their actions nor could they have done otherwise if initial conditions and the laws of nature are held fixed. To reveal how non-philosophers ordinarily reason about the conditions for free will, we conducted a cross-cultural and cross-linguistic survey (N = 5,268) spanning twenty countries and sixteen languages. Overall, participants tended (...) to ascribe moral responsibility whether the perpetrator lacked sourcehood or alternate possibilities. However, for American, European, and Middle Eastern participants, being the ultimate source of one’s actions promoted perceptions of free will and control as well as ascriptions of blame and punishment. By contrast, being the source of one’s actions was not particularly salient to Asian participants. Finally, across cultures, participants exhibiting greater cognitive reflection were more likely to view free will as incompatible with causal determinism. We discuss these findings in light of documented cultural differences in the tendency toward dispositional versus situational attributions. (shrink)
Homi Bhabha attends to the figure of the postcolonial metropolitan subject-a racialized subject who is not representative of the first world, yet a symbol of the metropolitan sphere. Bhabha describes theirdaily lives as inextricably split or doubled. His analysis cannot account for the agonistic moments when one is caught in not knowing, in focusing attention, and in developing understanding. Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology with the openness in the horizon of the gestaltian framework better accounts for such splits as moments on (...) the horizon for becoming and grasping something new. (shrink)
“A Phenomenology of Seeing and Affect in a Polarized Climate,” focuses on the polarized political climate that reflects racial and class differences in the wake of the Trump election. She explores how to see differently about those with whom one disagrees—that is in this specific scenario for Lee, the Trump supporters, including Asian American members of her own family. Understanding Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s exploration of the interstice between the visible and the invisible, if human beings are to see otherwise, we (...) need to disrupt the ready association between the visible and the invisible. Here, she explores the function of affect for the possibility of this break. The phenomenological understanding of emotion does not necessarily empower emotion with any sort of superlative force, especially over reason. But a subject’s emotion chiasmatically reflects the world and vice versa. The caustic and strong emotions felt by people about this presidency reflects the entrenched political climate in our society and chiasmatically the entrenched political climate embroils people in strong emotions that make it difficult to see those with whom we disagree as people we can trust and consider reasonable. To break out of this standoff, to see differently about Trump supporters, one needs to feel differently about them as well. (shrink)
Patricia Williams in her book, The Alchemy of Race and Rights, describes being denied entrance in the middle of the afternoon by a “saleschild.” Utilizing the works of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, this article explores their interaction phenomenologically. This small interaction of seemingly simple misunderstanding represents a limit condition in Merleau-Ponty’s analysis. His phenomenological framework does not explain the chasm between the “saleschild” and Williams, that in a sense they do not participate in the same world. This interaction between the “saleschild” (...) and Williams represents a moment when the two contest exactly what is reason in our society. To the extent that society discerns one’s actions as reasonable and the other’s actions as unreasonable, our society participates in determining that which constitutes reason. Williams’s work speaks precisely to this chasm as evident in her text’s subtitle, Memoirs of a Mad Woman. This decision relegates one subject to “judiciousness” and relegates the other to “madness.”. (shrink)
Homi Bhabha brings attention to the figure of the post-colonial metropolitan subject—a third world subject who resides in the first world. Bhabha describes the experiences of the “colonial” subject as ambivalently split. As much as I find his work insightful, I find problematic Bhabha’s descriptions of the daily life of post-colonial metropolitan subjects as split and doubled. His analysis lends only to the possibility of these splittings/doublings as schizophrenically wholly arising. His analysis cannot account for the agonistic moments when the (...) colonial subject is caught in not knowing, and in developing understanding about present circumstances. A framework with an account of context and horizons, such as in phenomenology can better depict the experiences of the post-colonial metropolitan subject. Maurice Merleau-Ponty follows a gestaltian contact with the world, which advances that the “most basic unit of experience is that of figure-on-a-background.” One perceives the figure/theme because of and within the background/horizon. In this horizonal framework, human experiences are ambiguously open. The openness in the horizon of the gestaltian framework better accounts for the conditions Bhabha refers to as splitting. The ambivalence can be understood not simply as conundrums that defy understanding but as ambiguous moments for expanding, developing, and growing. (shrink)
Sexual and racial differences matter. Indeed, facile assumptions of sameness born from the desire to claim universal truths persist as a dangerous tendency. Difference matters and we have yet to fully understand what difference means. But claims of absolute difference have a history of justifying colonization and recently can justify slipping into indifference about people with different embodiment. In philosophy of race’s emphasis that race has ontological significance, such emphasis on difference can leave differently racialized and sexualized people living in (...) isolation from each other. Absolute sameness and absolute difference are not true to phenomenological experience. Philosophy has long debated the relation between identity and difference, from its metaphysical origin in the relation between monism and dualism, to Hegel’s formulation of a dialectical relation between identity and difference. But the idea of an identity-in-difference explores a more immediate relation between the two. Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s work explores the idea of an identity-in-difference throughout his phenomenology in both its epistemic and ontologic senses. This paper explores at least four instantiations of the relation of identity-in-difference in Merleau-Ponty’s work to argue for upholding the value of both difference and sameness in developing our understanding of race. (shrink)
Marcel Mauss’s discussion of the gift relies on a paradox: although gift-giving is the foundational act of building a society, in order for a gift to be circulated, society must be always-already presupposed so that the gift can reach and be recognized by its destination. This article focuses on how this paradox has been addressed in anthropological and philosophical studies of the gift, by reviewing work by Claude Lévi-Strauss, Maurice Godelier and Jacques Derrida. By illuminating each position through the (...) lens of the Lacanian triad of the symbolic, the imaginary and the real, I first show how Lévi-Strauss and Godelier, respectively, focus on the symbolic and imaginary economies of the gift and how their perspectives are still bound by Mauss’s paradox in assuming the totality of society as the ultimate basis of gift exchange. I then read Derrida’s critique of Mauss as an attempt to explore the space for the aneconomic that grounds but simultaneously threatens the symbolic and imaginary economies of society. In doing so, I argue that the gift always includes the effaceable negativity and uncertainty that serve as the condition of possibility for the social. (shrink)
Focusing on the first four images of the Other mobilized in René Descartes’ Meditations—namely, the blind, the mad, the dreamy, and the bad—Reading Descartes Otherwise casts light on what have heretofore been the phenomenological shadows of “Cartesian rationality.” In doing so, it discovers dynamic signs of spectral alterity lodged both at the core and on the edges of modern Cartesian subjectivity. Calling for a Copernican reorientation of the very notion “Cartesianism,” the book's series of close, creatively critical readings of Descartes’ (...) signature images brings the dramatic forces, moments, and scenes of the cogito into our own contemporary moment. While unravelling the knotted skeins of ambiguity that have been spun within philosophical modernity out of such clichés as “Descartes, the abstract modern subject” and “Descartes, the father of modern philosophy,” the analysis highlights a figure who is at once everywhere and nowhere, a living Cartesian ghost. This effort at revitalizing and reframing the legacy of Cartesian modernity, in a way mindful of its proto-phenomenological traces, also involves reflecting on some of the trends in contemporary Cartesian scholarship while putting Descartes in dialogue with a host of twentieth century and contemporary Continental philosophers ranging from Edmund Husserl, Gaston Bachelard and Maurice Merleau-Ponty to Emmanuel Levinas, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Derrida, Jean-Luc Nancy, Jean-Luc Marion, and Alain Badiou among others. (shrink)
Martin Buber: The Life of Dialogue , the first study in any language to provide a complete overview of Buber's thought, remains the definitive guide to the full range of his work and the starting point for all modern Buber scholarship. As well as summarizing Buber's early intellectual development and attitudes - his mysticism, his youthful existentialism, his philosophy of Judaism and religious socialism - it focuses on the two crucial issues of his mature thought: his dialogic or I-Thou philosophy, (...) and his probing of the nature and redemption of evil. As a sensitive, intuitive and perennially fascinating account of one of the twentieth century's great spiritual teachers, and as an influential classic in its own right, Martin Buber: The Life of Dialogue reveals the implications of Buber's thought for theory of knowledge, education, philosophy, myth, history and Judaic and Christian belief. This fully revised and expanded 4th edition includes a new preface from the author, an expanded bibliography incorporating new Buber scholarship, and two new appendices in the form of essays on Buber's influence on Emmanuel Levinas and Mikhail Bakhtin. (shrink)
With the growth of precision medicine research on health data and biospecimens, research institutions will need to build and maintain long-term, trusting relationships with patient-participants. While trust is important for all research relationships, the longitudinal nature of precision medicine research raises particular challenges for facilitating trust when the specifics of future studies are unknown. Based on focus groups with racially and ethnically diverse patients, we describe several factors that influence patient trust and potential institutional approaches to building trustworthiness. Drawing on (...) these findings, we suggest several considerations for research institutions seeking to cultivate long-term, trusting relationships with patients: Address the role of history and experience on trust, engage concerns about potential group harm, address cultural values and communication barriers, and integrate patient values and expectations into oversight and governance structures. (shrink)
In its traditional form epistemology has always rested on the exclusive reality of the subject-object relationship. If one asks how the subject knows the object, one has in brief form the essence of theory of knowledge from Plato to Bergson; the differences between the many schools of philosophy can all be understood as variations on this theme. There are, first of all, differences in emphasis as to whether the subject or the object is the more real--as in rationalism and empiricism, (...) idealism and materialism, personalism and logical positivism. There are differences, secondly, as to the nature of the subject, which is variously regarded as pure consciousness, will to life, will to power, the scientific observer, or the intuitive knower. There are differences, thirdly, as to the nature of the object--whether it is material reality, thought in the mind of God or man, pantheistic spiritual substance, absolute and eternal mystical Being, or simply something which we cannot know in itself but upon which we project our ordered thought-categories of space, time, and causation. There are differences, finally, as to the relation between subject and object: whether the object is known through dialectical or analytical reasoning, scientific method, phenomenological insight into essence, or some form of direct intuition. (shrink)
Henrich et al. address how culture leads to cognitive variability and recommend that researchers be critical about the samples they investigate. However, there are other sources of variability, such as individual strategies in reasoning and the content and context on which processes operate. Because strategy and content drive variability, those factors are of primary interest, while culture is merely incidental.
. — The scientific method can be understood as a sequence of stages of types of activity undertaken to construct explanatory hypotheses which are verifiable. These stages, origination, deduction, experimentation, and confirmation, are each subdivided into several phases. The stages and phases are related by an order of precedence in which any given phase has to be preceded by the one before it but does not necessarily lead to the one after it. Such a dynamic outline of the growth of (...) a scientific idea is a general scheme for rendering an explanation of it. As a consequence, the general historical development of a scientific idea is traced at the same time that its logical structure and operational significance is indicated. (shrink)
This article investigates whether acts of plagiarism are predictable. Through a deductive, quantitative method, this study examines 517 students and their motivation and intention to plagiarize. More specifically, this study uses an ethical theoretical framework called the Theory of Reasoned Action and Planned Behavior to proffer five hypotheses about cognitive, relational, and social processing relevant to ethical decision making. Data results indicate that although most respondents reported that plagiarism was wrong, students with strong intentions to plagiarize had a more positive (...) attitude toward plagiarizing, believed that it was important that family and friends think plagiarizing is acceptable, and perceived that plagiarizing would be an easy task. However, participants in the current study with less intention to plagiarize hold negative views about plagiarism, do not believe that plagiarism is acceptable to family, friends or peers, and perceive that the act of plagiarizing would prove difficult. Based on these findings, this study considers implications important for faculty, librarians, and student support staff in preventing plagiarism through collaborations and outreach programming. (shrink)
This Book Incorporates Prof. Friedman S Lectures And Discussions That Were A Part Of The Inter-Cultural Dialogue At Many Levels. His Major Contribution Is In Developing An Approach That Is Within The Framework Of The Human Image.
Friedman continues an old and longstanding love: a poetics of dialogue with modern literature. Such a poetics sees literature and its interpretation in terms of what philosopher Martin Buber calls "meeting" or "the between." Friedman's powerful study boldly asserts that meaning can be reached through an engagement with classic works of world literature to arrive at a more powerful and purposeful affirmation while holding the tension with what is negative.
The intent of ethics is to establish a set of standards that will provide a framework to modify, regulate, and possibly enhance moral behaviour. Eleven focus groups were conducted with physicians from six culturally distinct countries to explore their perception of formalized, written ethical guidelines (i.e., codes of ethics, credos, value and mission statements) that attempt to direct their ethical practice. Six themes emerged from the data: lack of awareness, no impact, marginal impact, other codes or value statements supersede, personal (...) codes or values dictate, and ethical guidelines are useful. Overall, codes were valued only when they were congruent with existing personal morality. The findings suggest the need to re-evaluate the purpose, content, and delivery of codes for them to improve their function in promoting ethical conduct. (shrink)
In the remainder of this article, we will disarm an important motivation for epistemic contextualism and interest-relative invariantism. We will accomplish this by presenting a stringent test of whether there is a stakes effect on ordinary knowledge ascription. Having shown that, even on a stringent way of testing, stakes fail to impact ordinary knowledge ascription, we will conclude that we should take another look at classical invariantism. Here is how we will proceed. Section 1 lays out some limitations of previous (...) research on stakes. Section 2 presents our study and concludes that there is little evidence for a substantial stakes effect. Section 3 responds to objections. The conclusion clears the way for classical invariantism. (shrink)
I develop an interpretation of Maurice Merleau-Ponty's concept of motor intentionality, one that emerges out of a reading of his presentation of a now classic case study in neuropathology—patient Johann Schneider—in Phenomenology of Perception. I begin with Merleau-Ponty's prescriptions for how we should use the pathological as a guide to the normal, a method I call triangulation. I then turn to his presentation of Schneider's unusual case. I argue that we should treat all of Schneider's behaviors as pathological, not (...) only his abstract movements, as is commonly acknowledged in the secondary literature, but also crucially his concrete movements. Using these facts of Schneider's illness, I reconstruct a ‘fundamental function’ of consciousness, as Merleau-Ponty called it, in which there are two kinds of bodily agency: the power of the body to be solicited by a situation and the power of the body to project a situation. I propose that these powers became dissociated in Schneider's case, as evidenced by his abstract and concrete movements, while in the normal case, these powers comprise a dynamic unity, enacted as motor intentionality. I also discuss how my interpretation complements Merleau-Ponty's assertion that motor intentions exist between mind and matter. (shrink)
Burning fossil fuel in the North American continent contributes more to the CO2 global warming problem than in any other continent. The resulting climate changes are expected to alter food production. The overall changes in temperature, moisture, carbon dioxide, insect pests, plant pathogens, and weeds associated with global warming are projected to reduce food production in North America. However, in Africa, the projected slight rise in rainfall is encouraging, especially since Africa already suffers from severe shortages of rainfall. For all (...) regions, a reduction in fossil fuel burning is vital. Adoption of sound ecological resource management, especially soil and water conservation and the prevention of deforestation, is important. Together, these steps will benefit agriculture, the environment, farmers, and society as a whole. (shrink)
Is A & C sufficient for the truth of ‘if A were the case, C would be the case’? Jonathan Bennett thinks not, although the counterexample he gives is inconsistent with his own account of counterfactuals. In any case, I argue that anyone who accepts the case of Morgenbesser's coin, as Bennett does, should reject Bennett’s counterexample. Moreover, I show that the principle underlying his counterexample is unmotivated and indeed false. More generally, I argue that Morgenbesser’s coin commits us to (...) the sufficiency of A & C for the truth of the corresponding counterfactual. (shrink)
Merleau-Ponty was a pivotal figure in twentieth century French philosophy. He was responsible for bringing the phenomenological methods of the German philosophers, Husserl and Heidegger, to France and instigated a new wave of interest in this approach. His influence extended well beyond the boundaries of philosophy and can be seen in theories of politics, art and language. This is the first volume to bring together a comprehensive selection of Merleau-Ponty's writing and presents a cross-section of his work which shows the (...) historical progression of his ideas and influence. (shrink)
A response to a declaration in 'Le Monde', 'Luttons efficacement contre les théories du complot' by Gérald Bronner, Véronique Campion-Vincent, Sylvain Delouvée, Sebastian Dieguez, Karen Douglas, Nicolas Gauvrit, Anthony Lantian, and Pascal Wagner-Egger, published on June the 6th, 2016.
This article examines whether people share the Gettier intuition in 24 sites, located in 23 countries and across 17 languages. We also consider the possible influence of gender and personality on this intuition with a very large sample size. Finally, we examine whether the Gettier intuition varies across people as a function of their disposition to engage in “reflective” thinking.