This paper highlights the relevance of moral authority, and the role that egoistic ethical claims have in waging war. This is done, in view of the just war tradition, by drawing a parallel between the crusades in the 'kingdom of heaven' proclaimed in 1095, and the present Islamic jih d , as well as the Bush administration's declaration of a war on terror. It maintains that the role of self-legitimized leaders is crucial in shaping the order of the jus ad (...) bellum criteria, in both Christian and Muslim societies, and that the indiscriminate usage of just war rhetoric proves to be a formidable weapon. Moral authority is described as a power resource, capable of capsizing the relevance of ethics, subjecting the interpretation of justice to declare war to the self-proclaimed authorities, and moving masses on the grounds of enthusiasm. (shrink)
The unthought means that which it is possible to think, but which has not yet been thought, and also what we are prevented from thinking. Philosophical systems can prevent us from thinking otherwise and restrictions on women’s access to knowledge can prevent women from thinking apart from what is prescribed as suitable. The unthought is both what hasn’t been thought and what could be thought if there wasn’t a barrier of some sort. Michèle Le Dœuff directs us towards the unthought (...) as a measure of the extent to which writers on women’s education have allowed the possibility of women’s access to the unthought, not just to received knowledge to date. This unthought is also connected to creativity and originality, and philosophy that is not systematic. In this paper, I elucidate the nature of Michèle Le Dœuff’s project and the structure of her argument in The Sex of Knowing (2003) through the idea of the unthought. (shrink)
In this article, I examine Michele Moody-Adams’ critique of the ‘inability thesis’, according to which some cultures make the resources for criticizing injustice ‘unavailable’ to their members. I investigate Moody-Adams’ alternative ‘affected ignorance’ thesis. Using the example of slavery in ancient Greece, I consider two potential candidates for affected ignorance which involve, respectively, ‘unawareness’ and ‘mistaken moral weighing’; in neither, I hold, may one ascribe culpability to those involved.
My essay begins with Michèle Le Doeuff's singular account of the "primal scene" in her own education as a woman, illustrating a universally significant point about the way in which education can differ for men and women: gender difference both shapes and is shaped by the imaginary of a culture as manifest in how texts matter for Le Doeuff. Her primal scene is the first moment she remembers when, while aspiring to think for herself, a prohibition is placed in her (...) reading of literature. Her philosophy teacher - at a boys' school - told the young Michèle that Kant's _Critique of Pure Reason_ was "too difficult" for her to read. In recalling this scene, the older Michèle - now, a woman philosopher - directs her readers to this text by Kant, in order to demonstrate how knowledge has been constrained by the narrative and imagery in the text of a philosopher; similarly, in the texts of others. She finds the central imagery of Kant's text for setting the limits to human knowledge in his account of "the island of understanding," or "land of truth," surrounded by "a stormy sea" of uncertainty; the latter image also retains a seductive appeal, threatening to destroy the confidence of any knower who ventures out beyond the well-marked out island. Moreover, women have often been associated with the dangers at sea beyond the safety of the island, where falsehood and worse reign. I propose that "text matters" here not only for gender issues, but for the postcolonial theory which Le Doeuff's reading of island imagery enhances in western literature and culture. The suggestion is that women in the history of ideas have been more susceptible than men to prohibitions : women's negative education is against going beyond certain boundaries which have been fixed by a generally colonialist culture on the grounds of gender-hierarchies. I stress the significance of confidence in the production of knowledge. A lack or an inhibition of confidence in one's own ability to think critically risks the damaging exclusions of, for example, colonialism and sexism. My aim is to unearth the political biases evident in textual imagery, while also pointing to new epistemic locations, with island-and-sea imagery that transgresses patriarchal prohibition, liberating subjects for confident reading and writing of texts today. (shrink)
Ces deux ouvrages tentent de présenter l'évolution du concept de l'utopie. L'ouvrage de Claude Cohen-Safir voudrait recenser les noms des penseurs européens et américains qu'elle considère comme importants dans la trajectoire des idées utopiques outre Atlantique. On trouve mention, dans ce livre, d'utopistes présents dans l'ouvrage dirigé par Michèle Riot-Sarcey qui s'intéresse davantage aux questions de définition et de méthodologie. Le but de chaque auteur dans ce collectif est aussi..
For Michele Tosini, the baptism of Christ has profound allusions to Christ's suffering and death. In the Baptism of Christ and Temptations, Tosini is creative in his placement of the temptation narratives and in his selection of the Lukan account.
My aim in this article is to analyze and extend Michèle Le Dœuff’s work on philosophy’s exclusionary practices, examining and enhancing both her diagnosis of the problem and how philosophy might be transformed. I proceed in three steps. First, I briefly outline the main features of Le Dœuff’s account of the reasons for the exclusion of women from philosophy. Le Dœuff’s focus is on the structure of philosophical pedagogy and its implications for the philosophical imaginary. Second, I examine Le Dœuff’s (...) proposals for transforming the imaginary so as to resist exclusionary practices. These suggestions involve the introduction of an original understanding of plurality in philosophy. However, Le Dœuff’s proposals are... (shrink)
Michèle Roberts: Female Genius and the Theology of an English Novelist Since Simone de Beauvoir published The Second Sex in 1949, feminist analysis has tended to assume that the conditions of male normativity—reducing woman to the merely excluded "Other" of man—holds true in the experience of all women, not the least, women in the context of Christian praxis and theology. Beauvoir's powerful analysis—showing us how problematic it is to establish a position outside patriarchy's dominance of our conceptual fields—has helped to (...) explain the resilience of sexism and forms of male violence that continue to diminish and destroy women's lives because they cannot be seen as questionable. It has also, I would argue, had the unintended consequence of intensifying the sense of limitation, so that it becomes problematic to account for the work and lives of effective, innovative and responsible women in these contexts. In order to address this problematic issue, I use the life and work of novelist Michèle Roberts, as a case study in female genius within an interdisciplinary field, in order to acknowledge the conditions that have limited a singular woman's literary and theological aspirations but also to claim that she is able to give voice to something creative of her own.The key concept of female genius within this project draws on Julia Kristeva's notion of being a subject without implicitly excluding embodiment and female desire as in normative male theology, or in notions of genius derived from Romanticism. Roberts' work as a writer qualifies her as female genius in so far as it challenges aspects of traditional Christianity, bringing to birth new relationships between theological themes and scriptural narratives without excluding her singular female desires and pleasures as a writer. This paper—as part of a more inclusive, historical survey of the work of women writers crossing the disciplinary boundaries between literature and Christian theology over the last several centuries also asks whether, in order to do proper justice to the real and proven limitations imposed on countless women in these fields across global and historical contexts, we need, at the same time, to reduce the Christian tradition to something that is always antithetical or for which women can take absolutely no credit or bear no responsibility. (shrink)