In this paper, I reconsider the commonly held position that the early moral education of the Republic is arational since the youths of the Kallipolis do not yet have the capacity for reason. I argue that, because they receive an extensive mathematical education alongside their moral education, the youths not only have a capacity for reason but that capacity is being developed in their early education. If this is so, though, then we must rethink why the early moral education is (...) arational. I argue that the reason is rooted in the nature of moral explanations. These sorts of explanations are rooted in the Forms and thus one can only understand those explanations when they have knowledge of the Forms. But this requires preparation – the very sort of preparation that is provided by both the mathematical and moral educations. (shrink)
In this paper, we explore the traditional conception of a prioricity as epistemic independence of evidence from sense experience. We investigate the fortunes of the traditional conception in the light of recent challenges by Timothy Williamson. We contend that Williamson’s arguments can be resisted in various ways. En route, we argue that Williamson’s views are not as distant from tradition as they might seem at first glance.
Carrie Jenkins presents a new account of arithmetical knowledge, which manages to respect three key intuitions: a priorism, mind-independence realism, and empiricism. Jenkins argues that arithmetic can be known through the examination of empirically grounded concepts, non-accidentally accurate representations of the mind-independent world.
In this engaging sequel to Rethinking History , Keith Jenkins argues for a re-figuration of historical study. At the core of his survey lies the realization that objective and disinterested histories as well as historical 'truth' are unachievable. The past and questions about the nature of history remain interminably open to new and disobedient approaches. Jenkins reassesses conventional history in a bold fashion. His committed and radical study presents new ways of 'thinking history', a new methodology and philosophy (...) and their impact on historical practice. This volume is written for students and teachers of history, illuminating and changing the core of their discipline. (shrink)
Why History? is a compelling introduction to the issue of history and ethics. Designed to provoke discussion, the book asks whether and why a good knowledge and understanding of the past is desirable. In the context of current postmodern thinking, Keith Jenkins suggests that the goal of "learning lessons from the past" actually means learning lessons from stories written by historians and others. If the past as history has no foundation, can anything ethical be gained from history? Daring and (...) controversial, Why History? presents liberating challenges to history and ethics, proposing that we have reached an emancipatory moment which is well beyond the "end of history.". (shrink)
This book offers a revisionary account of key epistemological concepts and doctrines of St Thomas Aquinas, particularly his concept of scientia, and proposes an interpretation of the purpose and composition of Aquinas's most mature and influential work, the Summa theologiae, which presents the scientia of sacred doctrine, i.e. Christian theology. Contrary to the standard interpretation of it as a work for neophytes in theology, Jenkins argues that it is in fact a pedagogical work intended as the culmination of philosophical (...) and theological studies of very gifted students. Jenkins considers our knowledge of the principles of a science. He argues that rational assent to the principles of sacred doctrine, the articles of faith, is due to the influence of grace on one's cognitive powers, because of which one is able immediately to apprehend these propositions as divinely revealed. His study will be of interest to readers in philosophy, theology and medieval studies. (shrink)
How does a dancer become a world renowned leader of an experimental creative dance space? The influences leading to the development of the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company are many and include historical events, family background, mentors, and private intangible states of being. Creative collaboration, a prized modus operandi, honors working with multidiscipline artists. The creative process, with all its ambiguities and conundrums, is perceived as ever-evolving. The physical creative space reflects the times we live in as well as the (...) growth and development of the artist. (shrink)
In this issue we include contributions from the individuals presiding at the panel All in a Jurnal's Work: A BABEL Wayzgoose, convened at the second Biennial Meeting of the BABEL Working Group. Sadly, the contributions of Daniel Remein, chief rogue at the Organism for Poetic Research as well as editor at Whiskey & Fox , were not able to appear in this version of the proceedings. From the program : 2ND BIENNUAL MEETING OF THE BABEL WORKING GROUP CONFERENCE “CRUISING IN (...) THE RUINS: THE QUESTION OF DISCIPLINARITY IN THE POST/MEDIEVAL UNIVERSITY” SEPTEMBER 21ST, 2012: SESSION 13 MCLEOD C.322, CURRY STUDENT CENTER NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY, BOSTON, MA. Traditionally, a wayzgoose was a celebration at the end of a printer’s year, a night off in the late fall before the work began of printing by candlelight. According to the OED, the Master Printer would make for the journeymen “a good Feast, and not only entertains them at his own House, but besides, gives them Money to spend at the Ale-house or Tavern at Night.” Following in this line, continent. proposes in its publication(s) a night out and a good Feast, away from the noxious fumes of the Academy and into a night of revelry which begins, but does not end, at the alehouse or Tavern. continent. proposes that the thinking of the Academy be freed to be thought elsewhere, in the alleys and doorways of the village and cities, encountered not in the strictly defined spaces of the classroom and blackboard (now white) but anticipated and found where thinking occurs. Historically, academic journals have served a different purpose than the Academy itself. Journals (from the Anglo-Fr. jurnal , "a day," from O.Fr. jornel , "day, time; day's work," hence the journalist as writer of the news of the day ) have served as privileged sites for the articulation and concretization of specific modes of knowledge and control (insemination of those ideas has been formalized in the classroom, in seminar). In contrast, the academic journal is post-partum and has been an old-boys club, an insider trading network in which truths are (re)circulated against themselves, forming a Maginot Line against whatever is new, or the distinctly challenging. All in a Jurnal’s Work will discuss (in part) the ramifications of cheap start-up publications that are challenging the traditional ensconced-in-ivory academic journals and their supporting infrastructures. The panel will be seeking a questioning (as a challenging) towards the discipline of knowledge production/fabrication (of truth[s]) and the event of the Academy (and its publications) as it has evolved and continues to (d)evolve. Issues to be discussed will revolve around the power of academic publishing and its origins, hierarchical versus horizontal academic modules (is there a place for the General Assembly in academia?) and the evolving idea of the Multiversity as a site(s) of a (BABELing) multivocality in the wake of the University of Disaster. A CONTINUOUS ACT Nico Jenkins In Pierre Hadot’s extraordinary book, Philosophy as a Way of Life , the practices of philosophy—that is the exercise of what we can term pre-institionalized love of wisdom, what Philo of Alexandria described as a training towards wisdom—are described as, following the Stoics, “a continuous act, permanent and identical with life itself, which had to be renewed at each instant.” This renewal of thinking, this coming to be of being itself —meeting itself on its own ground, concerns the way philosophy is practiced, and more often, taught, or rather not taught. Hadot continues his thinking with a description of what happens to the structure of thought in the medieval ages as it becomes adopted—co-opted— by the university, and by extension, by the institution of the church. Philosophy becomes no longer a way of living, no longer a praxis as such but becomes a condition that is locked in a theoretical construct, one which was literally removed from life (and in life we read then love, wisdom, being etc, also the home, the market, the field, the street) and secured behind the high walls of the monastery (which were shortly replaced by the high walls of the Academy) where thinking unfortunately rests for the most part today. Hadot writes further that this dangerous movement of removal reduces thinking to a theoretical practice akin to the mythical Ouroborous; “education was thus no longer directed toward people who were to be educated with a view to becoming fully developed human beings, but to specialists, in order that they might learn how to train other specialists.” Thought then is trapped behind the walls of the academy, and with the exception of such thinkers as Spinoza, Descartes, and Liebnitz as well as others who think from an outside in, thought remains, in the form of Kant, Fichte, Hegel, a practice reduced or removed from life and restricted to what Schopenhauer will call “mere fencing in front of the mirror.” This is of course the tendency today and philosophy remains, for the most part, a discourse produced and thought inside the academy and disseminated, in seminated through university presses and of course the academic journal. It seems necessary to me that we have to have a place, a return, to a thinking which is closer to the Stoics, closer to the pre-Socratics, to a thinking which is a practice of becoming, a training to think, to live, to die. this is not south romantic than imperative . This thinking is one of a deep ir responsibility because it is not known, it is not figured out. It requires a risk and what Heidegger calls a leap (for there is no bridge to it). I call it irresponsible because for too long sanctioned thought has had as its premise the idea that thinking has a goal, a direction, a telos ; that it is not an activity but a process which gives a product; that the responsibility of thinking in turn demand an answer. In my mind, only freed from that goal can thinking, in contrast, bask in its own thinking, bask in a state in which the unknown can remain unknown, that mystery can rest as mystery. This is not to say that the world needs no answers, or to promote a Whitmanesque “leaning and loafing” as the only valid practice. It is only to say that for too long, thinking has been validated by the academy, by the answerable, by the already decided. To me, this requires—as an answer— the ir responsibility of thought, what Nancy calls, “a world for which all is not already done (played out, finished, enshrined in a destiny), nor entirely still to do (in the future for always future tomorrows).” This is a thinking not sanctified by the academy, made sacred by the church or the palace but rather it takes place on the périphérie , beyond the ring road, in alleyways behind the marketplace, in cafes stained with the syphilitic patina of irresponsible talk, of loose talk, the kind of talk made loose not only by the tankard and the goblet by the practice and training of attuned thinking. continent. was formed as a collective of thinkers coming out of the European Graduate School (also known as the University of Disaster) three years ago, in an effort to combat, or challenge, the dominant paradigm which isolates thinking from the street, from life, from where perhaps wisdom tends to emerge. We feel that not only is the university herself no longer the privileged site of where true thinking takes place—and where only official thought can take place—but that the very artificiality of the academy denies thinking—at times—authentic, thought. Our goal at continent. is to create a media agnostic publication which is rigorous in its intellectual underpinnings but which will remain permanently beyond and out of reach of the academy. Though many of us butter our bread with academic paychecks (maid!) we attempt to keep continent. as a refuge—and a refugee—from the University in ruins, from the University as a site of preformed and institutionalized pre-set dialogues. In concert with other publications-both cyber and print—as well as various blogs we are attempting to re-dialogize the dialogue of thinking. We are attempting both to speak to— as well as with and against —the university as a site of accreted knowledge. We have not been utterly successful and continue to attempt to define what that role of being perpetually beyond is (while still trying to maintain rigorous intellectual standards) but it is just that, a goal, which is perpetually opening, perpetually unanswered, perhaps even by design, perpetually unanswerable. (shrink)
Proposes that to the extent that psychotherapy allows the individual to exercise greater freedom in his or her life it does so through enhancing psychological agency. The conceptions of free will and of agency used here are influenced strongly by J. F. Rychlak's discussion of the human capacity for "dialectical" thinking. The author discusses these conceptions of agency in terms of some of R. Schafer's recent ideas regarding psychoanalytic psychotherapy. A. H. Jenkins further notes that this conception of individuality (...) is contextually embedded and thus is fully compatible with the idea of a person devoted to others in mutually gratifying relationships and committed to self-definition through participation in community life. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
_Eros and Economy: Jung, Deleuze, Sexual Difference_ explores the possibility that social relations between things, partially inscribed in their aesthetics, offer important insights into collective political-economic relations of domination and desire. Drawing on the analytical psychology of Carl Jung and the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze, this book focuses on the idea that desire or libido, overlaid by sexual difference, is a driving force behind the material manifestations of cultural production in practices as diverse as art or economy. Re-reading the history (...) of capitalism and aesthetics with an awareness of the forces of sexual difference reveals not just their integral role in the development of capitalist markets, but a new understanding of our political-economic relations as humans. The appearance of the energies of sexual difference is highlighted in a number of different historical periods and political economies, from the Rococo period of pre-revolutionary France, to the aesthetics and economics of Keynesian Bloomsbury, to our contemporary Postmodern sensibility. With these examples, Jenkins demonstrates that the very constitution of capitalist markets is affected by the interaction of these forces; and she argues that a conscious appreciation and negotiation of them is integral to an immanent, democratic understanding of power. With its unique application of Jungian theory, this book provides important new insights into debates surrounding art, aesthetics, and identity politics, as well as into the quest for autonomous, democratic institutions of politics and economics. As such, this book will appeal to researchers, academics and postgraduate students in the fields of Jung, psychoanalysis, political economy, cultural studies and gender studies, as well as those interested in the field of cultural economy. (shrink)
Plato's Symposium depicts a group of men giving a series of speeches about the nature of love, with themes ranging from religion and metaphysics to medicine and pregnancy. The lone woman in the room, a "flute girl," is sent away as the discussion turns to serious matters; at the same time, the wisest of the men attributes his theories to a woman, the possibly fictional Diotima. Despite their absence from this important intellectual exchange, women are part of Symposium. What can (...) contemporary feminist readers do with this troubling yet immeasurably influential work? In Uninvited historian Carla Nappi and philosopher Carrie Jenkins talk back to Plato in poetry, inspired by the voices of women characters who were not previously permitted to speak. Images and ideas from Symposium are refracted through multiple lenses to reveal a tumult of mystical, intellectual, pedagogical, and sexual ideologies. Sometimes beautiful, sometimes horrific, these poems dance within and between the lines of Symposium, carving space for new kinds of conversations about love, with themes ranging from gender and voice to power and violence. Designed to be read with or without prior knowledge of Plato, this book invites the uninvited to join a strange, amorphous, and unending conversation on the nature of love and desire - and on the possibilities intellectual and creative activity can offer. (shrink)
Film is a powerful medium that can influence audience’s perceptions, values and ideals. As filmmaking evolved into a serious art form, it became a powerful tool for telling stories that require us to re-examine our ideology. While it remains popular to adapt a literary novel or text for the screen, filmmakers have more freedom to pick and choose the stories they want to tell. This freedom allows filmmakers to explore narratives that might otherwise go unheard, which include stories that feature (...) marginal figures, such as serial killers, as sympathetic protagonists, which is what director Patty Jenkins achieves in her 2003 film Monster. Charlize Theron’s transformation into and performance as Aileen Wuornos, and Jenkins’s presentation of the subject matter, make this film an example of rogue cinema. In addition, Aileen Wuornos is portrayed as a clear example of the rogue character. This character trope frequently defies social standards, suffers from past trauma, is psychologically complex, and is often exiled. As a prostitute and social outcast, Aileen Wuornos exists on the fringes of society and rejects the hegemonic power structure and later heteronormativity of society, which makes her a rogue figure. While there are several aspects to consider when analyzing Jenkins’s film, my intention is to argue that this film is an example of rogue cinema because of its content. In order to accomplish this task, I examine Theron’s bodily transformation and her performance as Wuornos. Furthermore, I look at how Jenkins handles the depiction of romantic love and gendered violence and argue that her treatment of this content renders this film rogue. (shrink)
Philosophers readily talk about merely verbal disputes, usually without much or any explicit reflection on what these are, and a good deal of methodological significance is attached to discovering whether a dispute is merely verbal or not. Currently, metaphilosophical advances are being made towards a clearer understanding of what exactly it takes for something to be a merely verbal dispute. This paper engages with this growing literature, pointing out some problems with existing approaches, and develops a new proposal which builds (...) on their strengths. (shrink)
Are there dispositions which not only do not manifest, but which could not manifest? We argue that there are dispositions to Ф in circumstances C where C is impossible, and some where Ф is impossible. Furthermore, postulating these dispositions does useful theoretical work. This paper describes a number of cases of dispositions had by objects even though those dispositions are not possibly manifest, and argues for the importance of these dispositions.
I argue that mind-independence realism should be characterised in terms of what I call 'essential', rather than 'modal', independence from our mental lives. I explore the connections between the two kinds of independence, and argue that characterizations in terms of essence respect more intuitions about what realism is, harmonize better with standard characterizations of anti-realism, and avert the threat of subversion from Blackburn's quasi-realist.
The view that CSR performance can be improved most effectively through external pressures is shown to be invalid for most firms. In exploring why this is the case, the authors demonstrate that most small and medium enterprises are not exposed to the same pressures as large firms, and that this undermines many of the assumptions that underpin the externally driven business case (EDBC) for voluntary CSR practices. The analysis does this by looking at the external drivers of one of the (...) components of CSR; namely, the environmental behaviour of firms. This shows that the strength of the EDBC is largely determined by five factors. Importantly, the analysis provides the basis for the claim that -- and helps to explain why -- the EDBC for voluntary environmental behaviour is likely to remain a weak form of pressure for many small firms. (shrink)
In recent work Timothy Williamson argues that the epistemology of metaphysical modality is a special case of the epistemology of counterfactuals. I argue that Williamson has not provided an adequate argument for this controversial claim, and that it is not obvious how what he says should be supplemented in order to derive such an argument. But I suggest that an important moral of his discussion survives this point. The moral is that experience could play an epistemic role which is more (...) epistemically significant than a mere 'enabling' role but not equivalent to an evidential role. (shrink)
We discuss explanation of an earlier event by a later event, and argue that prima facie cases of backwards event explanation are ubiquitous. Some examples: (1) I am tidying my flat because my brother is coming to visit tomorrow. (2) The scarlet pimpernels are closing because it is about to rain. (3) The volcano is smoking because it is going to erupt soon. We then look at various ways people might attempt to explain away these prima facie cases by arguing (...) that in each case the 'real' explanation is something else. We argue that none of the explaining-away strategies are successful, and so any plausible account of explanation should either make room for backwards explanation, or have a good story to tell about why it doesn't have to. (shrink)
Within the context of the study of the genetics of language, Chomskian laws of grammar, such as theStructure-dependence Condition and theA over A Condition, may be usefully regarded to have a status similar to that of Mendelian Laws in classical genetics. In both the case of Chomsky's Laws and Mendel's Laws, formal genetic principles are postulated which abstract away from the physical mechanisms involved and in both cases certain apparent counterexamples mirror a more complex underlying genetic organisation.
The goal of the research programme I describe in this article is a realist epistemology for arithmetic which respects arithmetic's special epistemic status (the status usually described as a prioricity) yet accommodates naturalistic concerns by remaining fundamentally empiricist. I argue that the central claims which would allow us to develop such an epistemology are (i) that arithmetical truths are known through an examination of our arithmetical concepts; (ii) that (at least our basic) arithmetical concepts are accurate mental representations of elements (...) of the arithmetical structure of the independent world; (iii) that (ii) obtains in virtue of the normal functioning of our sensory apparatus. The first of these claims protects arithmetic's special epistemic status relative, for example, to the laws of physics, the second preserves the independence of arithmetical truth, and the third ensures that we remain empiricists. Preliminaries Justifying and grounding concepts Cameras and filters An epistemology for arithmetic Concluding remarks. (shrink)
This note concerns a puzzle about probability which has recently caught the attention of a number of philosophers. According to the current philosophical consensus, the solution to the puzzle reveals that one can acquire new information, sufficient to change one's credences in certain events, just by having a certain experience, even though one knew all along that one would have an experience which felt exactly like this. I argue that the philosophical consensus is mistaken.
David Lewis is associated with the controversial thesis that some properties are more eligible than others to be the referents of our predicates solely in virtue of those properties’ being more natural; independently, that is, of anything to do with our patterns of usage of the relevant predicates. On such a view, the natural properties act as ‘reference magnets’. In this paper I explore (though I do not endorse) a related thesis in epistemology: that some propositions are ‘justification magnets’. According (...) to the doctrine of justification magnetism, we have better justification for some propositions than for others solely in virtue of certain features of those propositions; independently, that is, of anything to do with evidential support or cognitive accomplishment. In the course of discussing an objection to justification magnetism I describe (though I do not endorse) a novel approach to epistemology akin to interpretationism in the theory of reference. (shrink)
The fields of environmental ethics and of religion and ecology have been shaped by Lynn White Jr.'s thesis that the roots of ecological crisis lie in religious cosmology. Independent critical movements in both fields, however, now question this methodological legacy and argue for alternative ways of inquiry. For religious ethics, the twin controversies cast doubt on prevailing ways of connecting environmental problems to religious deliberations because the criticisms raise questions about what counts as an environmental problem, how religious traditions change, (...) and whether ethicists should approach problems and traditions with reformist commitments. This article examines the critiques of White's legacy and presents a pluralist alternative that focuses religious ethics on the contextual strategies produced by moral communities as they confront environmental problems. (shrink)
This is a big-picture book, 2 written with a breadth of focus which I find admirable. It exhibits what's come to be known as the ‘intersubdiscplinary’ approach to philosophy, which is not restricted by traditional boundaries within the discipline but rather proceeds with an eye to all sorts of areas of philosophy where relevant arguments, results, analogies and strategies might be lurking. I approve of this way of doing philosophy; it seems to me that all too often that wheels are (...) reinvented, or crucial points missed, because of a lack of this sort of intersubdisciplinarity.To help guide us through such a broad landscape, this book needed to be well-signposted and clearly written, and it is. It cannot be denied, however, that the ambitious scale of The Nature of Normativity won't be to every taste. For one thing, not everyone likes big pictures. For another, this is a deep, dense and in many ways difficult book, which can only really be appreciated by sitting down with it for hours on end. It will not repay the casual skim-reader, nor is it likely to appeal to those who prefer dipping into philosophy books over reading them wholesale.The book is also long . The view under construction has a great many interlocking elements, including non-reductive normative naturalism, normative realism, a priorist intuitionism, normative internalism, the normativity of intentionality, conceptual-role semantics, contextualism, possible-worlds semantics, and certain ideas about ‘planning’ derived from the recent work of Allan Gibbard. It will be a tough read for specialists who do not share Wedgwood's familiarity with a wide range of subdisciplines, who will either have to content themselves with a superficial reading of many passages or else hunt down the necessary background material to …. (shrink)
Lewis has argued that quasi-realism is fictionalism. Blackburn denies this, offering reasons which rely on a descriptive reading of quasi-realism. This note offers a different, more general argument against Lewis's claim, available to prescriptive as well as descriptive quasi-realists.
By a will to truth Nietzsche understands an overriding commitment, unlimited in scope, to believing in accordance with evidence and argument. I show that the critique of this commitment found in Nietzsche’s later works uncovers the psychological grounds of our modern will to truth and establishes its affinity with distinctively moral commitments. I argue that Nietzsche’s critique nevertheless provides no answer to his question concerning the value of a will to truth in general. Nietzsche’s examination of the will to truth (...) aims instead to establish that we presently lack any standard for determining its value. (shrink)
Hegel’s assertion that self-consciousness is desire in general stands at a critical point in the Phenomenology , but the concept of desire employed in this identification is obscure. I examine three ways in which Hegel’s concept of desire might be understood and conclude that this concept is closely related to Fichte’s notions of drive and longing. So understood, the concept plays an essential role in Hegel’s non-foundational, non-genetic account of the awareness that individual rational subjects have of themselves. This account, (...) I argue, is part of a larger concern with demonstrating the relation between theoretical and practical capacities of the subject. I also argue that my reading explains Hegel’s emphasis on the figure of the bondsman in “Lordship and Bondage.” The bondsman’s experience of itself and its world instantiates Hegel’s views on the integration of subjective capacities and the reality of objects of experience. (shrink)
Eric Scerri and other authors have acknowledged that the reality of chemical orbitals is not compatible with quantum mechanics. Recently, however, Scerri and Sharon Crasnow have argued that if chemists cannot consider orbitals as real entities, then chemistry is in danger of being reduced to physics. I argue that the question of the existence of orbitals is best viewed as an issue of explanation, not metaphysics: In many chemically important cases orbitals do not make sufficiently accurate predictions, and must be (...) replaced. Chemists and physicists can acknowledge this fact while maintaining the utility of orbitals and the autonomy of chemistry. (shrink)
in American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (3), July 2007, pp. 259-72. Argues that epistemically normative claims are made true by the same facts as, but do not mean the same as, certain natural-sounding claims.