In Legal Pragmatism, Michael Sullivan looks closely at the place of the individual and community in democratic society. After mapping out a brief history of American legal thinking regarding rights, from communitarianism to liberalism, Sullivan gives a rich and nuanced account of how pragmatism worked to resolve conflicts of self-interest and community well-being. Sullivan’s view of pragmatism provides a comprehensive framework for understanding democracy, as well as issues such as health care, education, gay marriage, and illegal immigration that will determine (...) its character in the future. Legal Pragmatism is a bold, carefully argued book that presents a unique understanding of contemporary society, law, and politics. (shrink)
The migration and settlement of 11 million unauthorized immigrants is among the leading political challenges facing the United States today. The majority of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. have been here for more than five years, and are settling into American communities, working, forming families, and serving in the military, even though they may be detained and deported if they are discovered. An open question remains as to what to do about unauthorized immigrants who are already living in the United (...) States. On one hand it is important that the government sends a message that future violations of immigration law will not be tolerated. On the other sits a deeper ethical dilemma that is the focus of this book: what do the state and citizens owe to unauthorized immigrants who have served their adopted country? -/- Earned Citizenship argues that long-term unauthorized immigrant residents should be able to earn legalization and a pathway to citizenship through service in their adopted communities. Their service would act as restitution for immigration law violations. Military service in particular would merit naturalization in countries with a strong citizen-soldier tradition, including the United States. The book also considers the civic value of caregiving as a service to citizens and the country, contending that family immigration policies should be expanded to recognize the importance of caregiving duties for dependents. This argument is part of a broader project in political theory and public policy aimed at reconciling civic republicanism with a feminist ethic of care, and its emphasis on dependency work. As a whole, Earned Citizenship provides a non-humanitarian justification for legalizing unauthorized immigrants based on their contributions to citizens and institutions in their adopted nation. (shrink)
This project explores the potential for pragmatism to contribute to debates in philosophy of law. In particular, it claims that the method of reconstruction developed in the work of John Dewey can be fruitfully applied to contemporary legal institutions. As an example, a pragmatic approach to rights is defended as not only theoretically attractive, contra Ronald Dworkin, but as offering practical advantages over competing communitarian alternatives. Moreover, it is claimed that by proceeding in a self-consciously genealogical fashion and by recognizing (...) the interests with which one approaches inquiry, the pragmatist has resources to minimize the risk of paternalism even as she offers, in light of present social circumstances, a substantive reconstruction of rights. (shrink)
Originally published in 1987, Sociology and Social Welfare looks at the relationship between state and welfare in the context of a wider sociological analysis of state and society in post-war Britain. The book looks at two main concerns, the first suggests the ways in which the theory and practice of welfare might be made more reflective and self-conscious if located in sociological understandings of state, society, and welfare. The second suggests that the sociological study of social work and other welfare (...) activities might lead to the development of a more sensitive and practice-informed sociology. (shrink)
New York University mathematical physicist Alan Sokal published in the postmodern humanities journal Social Text a parody entitled Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity . His point in doing so was to test whether the field of ``cultural studies of science'' was seriously lacking in ``intellectual standards.'' His article is nonsense from start to finish, but was still published. He revealed the hoax in another article in Lingua Franca . The incident, and reactions to it, now (...) being called the Sokal Affair, have received wide coverage in The New York Times . (shrink)
odi profanum uulgus et arceo.fauete linguis: carmina non priusaudita Musarum sacerdosuirginibus puerisque canto.I hate and spurn the unversed crowd.Mind your tongues: songs yet unheardI sing to boys and virgin girls,the Muses' priest.
To study philosophy is to encounter paradox after paradox. These encounters provoke thought but also frustration. How many times have I seen eager eyes turn to Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling with the expectation that he will tie ethical justification to religious belief in a comforting and familiar manner, counterbalancing the incessant demand for reasons from Plato and Aristotle and the all-too-radical critiques of Nietzsche. Instead, of course, matters get even harder with Kierkegaard. The turn to the religious doesn't provide justification (...) for the ethical as hoped, and worse still in Kierkegaard's little book we are told that he cannot, in language that trades in universals, capture the singularity of god .. (shrink)