“What does it mean to say that we live in a secular age?” This apparently simple question opens into the massive, provocative, and complex A Secular Age, where Charles Taylor positions secularism as a defining feature of the modern world, not the mere absence of religion, and casts light on the experience of transcendence that scientistic explanations of the world tend to neglect. -/- In Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age, a prominent and varied group of scholars chart the (...) conversations in which A Secular Age intervenes and address wider questions of secularism and secularity. The distinguished contributors include Robert Bellah, José Casanova, Nilüfer Göle, William E. Connolly, Wendy Brown, Simon During, Colin Jager, Jon Butler, Jonathan Sheehan, Akeel Bilgrami, John Milbank, and Saba Mahmood. -/- Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age is edited by Michael Warner, Jonathan VanAntwerpen, and Craig Calhoun. (shrink)
Calhoun’s critical sociology relies not only on engagements with Habermas, Bourdieu and Taylor, but also on the middle range empirical traditions of American sociology. Through a review of his recent work on cosmopolitanism and globalization, community and solidarity, and public spaces and sociology, I propose that his search to explain different ways in which solidarity is developed offers a robust sociological foundation for the development of the most appropriate intellectual formation, and institutional sequel, to the emancipatory project that undergirds (...) critical theory’s hope and commitment. At the same time, we all need to rethink how both critical theory and more empirical sociologies can help us recognize the issues and agencies most vital for the address of contemporary cultural, social and biophysical needs. (shrink)
The conversation seeks to extend and complicate Charles Taylor’s account of three constitutive formations of modern social imaginaries: market, the public sphere, and the nation-state based on popular sovereignty in two critical respects. First, it seeks to show how these key imaginaries, especially the market imaginary, are not contained and sealed within autonomous spheres. They are portable and they often leak into domains beyond the ones in which they originate. Second, it seeks to identify and explore the new incipient and/or (...) emergent imaginaries vying for recognition and demanding consideration in the constitution of contemporary social life, such as the risk-reward entrepreneurial culture. (shrink)
Harry C. Boyte. Craig Calhoun. Geoff Eley. Nancy Fraser. Nicholas Garnham. JürgenHabermas. Peter Hohendahl. Lloyd Kramer. Benjamin Lee. Thomas McCarthy. Moishe Postone. Mary P.Ryan. Michael Schudson. Michael Warner. David Zaret.
Commentators on Craig Calhoun's Tanner Lecture. The Tanner Lectures are a collection of educational and scientific discussions relating to human values. Conducted by leaders in their fields, the lectures are presented at prestigious educational facilities around the world.
Ontology is one strategy for promoting interoperability of heterogeneous data through consistent tagging. An ontology is a controlled structured vocabulary consisting of general terms (such as “cell” or “image” or “tissue” or “microscope”) that form the basis for such tagging. These terms are designed to represent the types of entities in the domain of reality that the ontology has been devised to capture; the terms are provided with logical defi nitions thereby also supporting reasoning over the tagged data. Aim: This (...) paper provides a survey of the biomedical imaging ontologies that have been developed thus far. It outlines the challenges, particularly faced by ontologies in the fields of histopathological imaging and image analysis, and suggests a strategy for addressing these challenges in the example domain of quantitative histopathology imaging. The ultimate goal is to support the multiscale understanding of disease that comes from using interoperable ontologies to integrate imaging data with clinical and genomics data. (shrink)
Calhoun is interviewed regarding the relationship of his work on the university to his other research interests. Calhoun elaborates on his hope for a debate over transformations in the structure of the university that is much more sensitive to the public role universities play and the importance of the collective goods they create. In the process he articulates the possibilities for an institutional analysis of the university that meets scholarly standards of knowledge production while remaining engaged with central (...) issues that arise out of institutional transformation. By situating universities in relationship with the public sphere, Calhoun provides a basis for debates about the transformation of the university to overcome the structured and structuring dispositions of the participants, while remaining grounded in social and historical analysis-an approach that can be considered an alternative public sociology. (shrink)
A wide body of psychological research corroborates the claim that whether one’s life is (or will be) meaningful appears relevant to whether it is rational to continue living. This article advances conceptions of life’s meaningfulness and of suicidal choice with an eye to ascertaining how the former might provide justificatory reasons relevant to the latter. Drawing upon the recent theory of meaningfulness defended by Cheshire Calhoun, the decision to engage in suicide can be understood as a choice related to (...) life’s meaningfulness insofar as an individual can see no point in investing her agency in her anticipated future. These meaning-based reasons relevant to suicidal choice either cannot be reduced to the reasons of well-being that philosophers have typically used to analyse suicide decisions or at least forms a distinct class of reasons within those that contribute to well-being. (shrink)
Michael Ridge presents an original expressivist theory of normative judgments--Ecumenical Expressivism--which offers distinctive treatments of key problems in metaethics, semantics, and practical reasoning. He argues that normative judgments are hybrid states partly constituted by ordinary beliefs and partly constituted by desire-like states.
How has feminism failed lesbianism? What issues belong at the top of a lesbian and gay political agenda? This book answers both questions by examining what lesbian and gay subordination really amounts to. Calhoun argues that lesbians and gays aren't just socially and politically disadvantaged. The closet displaces lesbians and gays from visible citizenship, and both law and cultural norms deny lesbians and gay men a private sphere of romance, marriage, and the family.
Doing Valuable Time considers the interest--and disinterest--we take in our own lives. It explores the nature of meaningful living, the attraction to the future that is lost in depression, the motivating force of hope, the role of commitments, the inevitability of boredom, and the possibilities for contentment with imperfection.
To the surprise of many readers, Jürgen Habermas has recently made religion a major theme of his work. Emphasizing both religion's prominence in the contemporary public sphere and its potential contributions to critical thought, Habermas's engagement with religion has been controversial and exciting, putting much of his own work in fresh perspective and engaging key themes in philosophy, politics and social theory. Habermas argues that the once widely accepted hypothesis of progressive secularization fails to account for the multiple trajectories of (...) modernization in the contemporary world. He calls attention to the contemporary significance of "postmetaphysical" thought and "postsecular" consciousness - even in Western societies that have embraced a rationalistic understanding of public reason. Edited by Craig Calhoun, Eduardo Mendieta, and Jonathan VanAntwerpen, _Habermas and Religion_ presents a series of original and sustained engagements with Habermas's writing on religion in the public sphere, featuring new work and critical reflections from leading philosophers, social and political theorists, and anthropologists. Contributors to the volume respond both to Habermas's ambitious and well-developed philosophical project and to his most recent work on religion. The book closes with an extended response from Habermas - itself a major statement from one of today's most important thinkers. (shrink)
This paper deals with Ludwik Fleck’s theory of thought styles and Michael Polanyi’s theory of tacit knowledge. Though both concepts have been very influential for science studies in general, and both have been subject to numerous interpretations, their accounts have, somewhat surprisingly, hardly been comparatively analyzed. Both Fleck and Polanyi relied on the physiology and psychology of the senses in order to show that scientific knowledge follows less the path of logical principles than the path of accepting or rejecting (...) specific conventions, where these may be psychologically or sociologically grounded. It is my aim to show that similarities and differences between Fleck and Polanyi are to be seen in the specific historical and political context in which they worked. Both authors, I shall argue, emphasized the relevance of perception in close connection to their respective understanding of science, freedom, and democracy. (shrink)
The wrongdoing that feminists critique often occurs at the level of social practice where social acceptance of oppressive practices and the absence of widespread moral critique impede the wrongdoer’s awareness of wrongdoing. This chapter argues that under these circumstances individuals are not blameworthy for participating in conventionalized wrongdoing. However, because social vulnerability to reproach is necessary to publicizing moral standards and conveying the obligatory force of moral requirements, it is sometimes reasonable to reproach moral failings even when individuals are excused.
The Tanner Lectures on Human Values, founded July 1, 1978, at Clare Hall, Cambridge University, was established by the American scholar, industrialist, and philanthropist Obert Clark Tanner. Lectureships are awarded to outstanding scholars or leaders in broadly defined fields of human values and transcend ethnic, national, religious, or ideological distinctions. Volume 33 features lectures given during the academic year 2012-2013 at Stanford University; the University of Michigan; the University of Oxford; the University of California, Berkeley; Harvard University; the University of (...) Utah; and the U.S. Ambassador’s Palace, Paris, France._ William G. Bowen_, “Costs and Productivity in Higher Education” and “Prospects for an Online Fix: Can We Harness Technology in the Service of Our Aspirations?”_ Craig Calhoun_, “The Problematic Public: Revisiting Dewey, Arendt, and Habermas”_ Michael Ignatieff_, “Representation and Responsibility: Ethics and Public Office”_ F. M. Kamm_,_ “_Who Turned the Trolley?” and _“_How Was the Trolley Turned?”_ Claude Lanzmann, “_Resurrection”_ Robert Post, “_Representative Democracy: The Constitutional Theory of Campaign Finance Reform” and _“_Campaign Finance Reform and the First Amendment”_ Michael J. Sandal_, “The Moral Economy of Speculation: Gambling, Finance, and the Common Good”. (shrink)
In this book, Michael Arbib, a researcher in artificial intelligence and brain theory, joins forces with Mary Hesse, a philosopher of science, to present an integrated account of how humans 'construct' reality through interaction with the social and physical world around them. The book is a major expansion of the Gifford Lectures delivered by the authors at the University of Edinburgh in the autumn of 1983. The authors reconcile a theory of the individual's construction of reality as a network (...) of schemas 'in the head' with an account of the social construction of language, science, ideology and religion to provide an integrated schema-theoretic view of human knowledge. The authors still find scope for lively debate, particularly in their discussion of free will and of the reality of God. The book integrates an accessible exposition of background information with a cumulative marshalling of evidence to address fundamental questions concerning human action in the world and the nature of ultimate reality. (shrink)
This volume draws together important selections from the rich history of theories and debates about emotion. Utilizing sources from a variety of subject areas including philosophy, psychology, and biology, the editors provide an illuminating look at the "affective" side of psychology and philosophy from the perspective of the world's great thinkers. Part One features classic readings from Aristotle, Descartes, Spinoza, and Hume. Part Two, entitled "The Meeting of Philosophy and Psychology," samples the theories of thinkers such as Darwin, James, and (...) Freud. The third section presents some of the extensive work on emotion that has been done by European philosophers over the past century, and the final section comprises essays from modern British and American philosophers. (shrink)
Systemic discrimination produces individuals with a degraded self-concept who therefore may not care about autonomy or set ends compatible with human flourishing. Under systemic discrimination, the dominant conceptual and evaluative framework does not enable the oppressed to articulate their humanity or the rationality of aspiring to full human flourishing. And the injustice of that system may be fully visible only from a perspective outside of that system.
In the Trolley Case, as devised by Philippa Foot and modified by Judith Jarvis Thomson, a runaway trolley is headed down a main track and will hit and kill five unless you divert it onto a side track, where it will hit and kill one.
I suggest that civility is the display of respect, tolerance, or considerateness. Social norms enable us to successfully display these basic moral attitudes, and social consensus sets the bounds of civility, i.e., what views and behaviors are not owed a civil response. Because tied to social norms, there is no guarantee that standards of civility will exempt us from civilly responding to what, from a socially critical moral point of view, is tolerable. I raise and addresses the question: How could (...) civility be a moral virtue if it is so thoroughly governed by social norms? (shrink)
In an opinion piece penned at the Great War’s onset yet apparently unpublished until now, the historian of religion Hermann Gunkel outlined the opportunities he saw for the German people in anticipation of their triumph. He believed this war could consummate what the Napoleonic Wars and the Unification of Germany had not. Gunkel hoped for true German unity, more liberal domestic politics, and spiritual restoration. Further still, he referred to a resurgence of piety on account of the conflict. On the (...) Great War’s centenary, this documentation speaks to the mobilizing, nationalist activities of Gunkel in particular and of academicians and theologians more generally. (shrink)
In various areas of Anglo-American law, legal liability turns on causation. In torts and contracts, we are each liable only for those harms we have caused by the actions that breach our legal duties. Such doctrines explicitly make causation an element of liability. In criminal law, sometimes the causal element for liability is equally explicit, as when a statute makes punishable any act that has “ caused … abuse to the child….” More often, the causal element in criminal liability is (...) more implicit, as when criminal statutes prohibit killings, maimings, rapings, burnings, etc. Such causally complex action verbs are correctly applied only to defendants who have caused death, caused disfigurement, caused penetration, caused fire damage, etc. (shrink)
Freud justified his extensive theorizing about dreams by the observation that they were “the royal road” to something much more general: namely, our unconscious mental life. The current preoccupation with the theory of excuse in criminal law scholarship can be given a similar justification, for the excuses are the royal road to theories of responsibility generally. The thought is that if we understand why we excuse in certain situations but not others, we will have also gained a much more general (...) insight into the nature of responsibility itself. Nowhere has this thought been more evident than in the century-old focus of criminal law theoreticians on the excuse of insanity, a focus that could not be justified by the importance of the excuse itself. In this paper I wish to isolate two theories of excuse, each of which instantiates its own distinctive theory of responsibility. One is what I shall call the choice theory of excuse, according to which one is excused for the doing of a wrongful action because and only because at the moment of such action's performance, one did not have sufficient capacity or opportunity to make the choice to do otherwise. Such a choice theory of excuse instantiates a more general theory of responsibility, according to which we are responsible for wrongs we freely choose to do, and not responsible for wrongs we lacked the freedom to avoid doing. The second I shall call the character theory of excuse, according to which one is excused for the doing of a wrongful action because and only because such action is not determined by those enduring attributes of ourselves we call our characters. (shrink)
This comprehensive collection of classical sociological theory is a definitive guide to the roots of sociology from its undisciplined beginnings to its current guideposts and reference points in contemporary sociological debate. A definitive guide to the roots of sociology through a collection of key writings from the founders of the discipline Explores influential works of Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Mead, Simmel, Freud, Du Bois, Adorno, Marcuse, Parsons, and Merton Editorial introductions lend historical and intellectual perspective to the substantial readings Includes a (...) new section with new readings on the immediate "pre-history" of sociological theory, including the Enlightenment and de Tocqueville Individual reading selections are updated throughout. (shrink)
John Locke is the greatest English philosopher. _An Essay Concerning Human Understanding_, one of the most influential books in the history of thought, is his greatest work. In this study the historical meaning and philosophical significance of Locke's _Essay_ are investigated more comprehensively than ever before. _Locke_ was originally published in two volumes, _Epistemology_ and _Ontology_. This paperback edition has within its covers the full text of both volumes.
I suggest that the normative expectations connected with common decency do not derive from a conception of what we owe each other. Instead, they derive from a constructed concept of what can be expected of a minimally well formed moral agent.
Bart Pattyn: Needless to say, we are more than pleased with the willingness of Michael Walzer to be here in Leuven. After the stimulating lecture yesterday we now have the opportunity to pose some questions to Michael Walzer in the same room where we talked with his friend, Harry Frankfurt, as well as with Bernard Williams. I have asked Professor Selling to moderate this discussion which I am sure he will do with a firm hand.Joseph Selling: We have (...) two papers which Prof. Walzer, and many of you, have read in advance. Perhaps we can take the questions from the authors of those papers and then take other questions. (shrink)
Philosophical accounts of the constitution relation have been explicated in terms of synchronic relations between higher‐ and lower‐level entities. Such accounts, I argue, are temporally austere or impoverished, and are consequently unable to make sense of the diachronic and dynamic character of constitution in dynamical systems generally and dynamically extended cognitive processes in particular. In this paper, my target domain is extended cognition based on insights from nonlinear dynamics. Contrariwise to the mainstream literature in both analytical metaphysics and extended cognition, (...) I develop a nonstandard, alternative conception of constitution, which I call “diachronic process constitution”. It will be argued that only a diachronic and dynamical conception of constitution is consistent with the nature of constitution in distributed cognitive processes. (shrink)
In _Michael Polanyi and His Generation_, Mary Jo Nye investigates the role that Michael Polanyi and several of his contemporaries played in the emergence of the social turn in the philosophy of science. This turn involved seeing science as a socially based enterprise that does not rely on empiricism and reason alone but on social communities, behavioral norms, and personal commitments. Nye argues that the roots of the social turn are to be found in the scientific culture and political (...) events of Europe in the 1930s, when scientific intellectuals struggled to defend the universal status of scientific knowledge and to justify public support for science in an era of economic catastrophe, Stalinism and Fascism, and increased demands for applications of science to industry and social welfare. At the center of this struggle was Polanyi, who Nye contends was one of the first advocates of this new conception of science. Nye reconstructs Polanyi’s scientific and political milieus in Budapest, Berlin, and Manchester from the 1910s to the 1950s and explains how he and other natural scientists and social scientists of his generation—including J. D. Bernal, Ludwik Fleck, Karl Mannheim, and Robert K. Merton—and the next, such as Thomas Kuhn, forged a politically charged philosophy of science, one that newly emphasized the social construction of science. (shrink)
This paper starts by considering an argument for thinking that predictive processing (PP) is representational. This argument suggests that the Kullback–Leibler (KL)-divergence provides an accessible measure of misrepresentation, and therefore, a measure of representational content in hierarchical Bayesian inference. The paper then argues that while the KL-divergence is a measure of information, it does not establish a sufficient measure of representational content. We argue that this follows from the fact that the KL-divergence is a measure of relative entropy, which can (...) be shown to be the same as covariance (through a set of additional steps). It is well known that facts about covariance do not entail facts about representational content. So there is no reason to think that the KL-divergence is a measure of (mis-)representational content. This paper thus provides an enactive, non-representational account of Bayesian belief optimisation in hierarchical PP. (shrink)
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