The polarization of the individual and the community that underlies much of the debate between individualists and communitarians is made possible in part by the literal vanishingof civil society—the domain whose middling terms mediate the stark opposition of state and private sectors and offer women and men a space for activity that is both voluntary and public. Modern democratic ideology and the reality of our political practices sometimesseem to yield only a choice between elephantine and paternalistic government or a radically (...) solipsistic and nearly anarchic private market sector—overnment gargantuanism or private greed. Americans do not much like either one. President Clinton's callfor national service draws us out of our selfishness without kindling any affection for government. Private markets service our avarice without causing us to like ourselves. The question of how America's decentralized and multi-vocal public can secure a coherentvoice in debates over public policy under the conditions precipitated by so hollow and disjunctive a dichotomy is perhaps the most important issue facing both the political theory and social science of democracy and the practice of democratic politics in America today. Two recent stories out of Washington suggest just how grave the situation has become. Health-care reform failed in a paroxysm of mutual recrimination highlighted by the successful campaign of the private sector against a presidential program that seemed to be widely misunderstood. The public at large simply went missing in the debates. (shrink)
The essence of Dussel's thought is presented through the concept of "ethical hermeneutics" which seeks to interpret reality from the viewpoint of what Emmanuel Levinas presents as the "other" - those who are vanquished, forgotten, or excluded from existent socio-political or cultural systems. Barber traces Dussel's development toward Levinas' philosophy through his discussion of the Hegelian dialectic and through the stages of Dussel's own ethical theory.
Met illustratie van citaten uit vele auteurs wordt een poging ondernomen om het begrip 'civil society' te definiëren. De voorkeur van Barber gaat uit naar een civil socity, dat als een derde kracht tussen regering en markt opereert, met als basis een sterk democratisch gehalte.
This book is a venture in constructive clarification of several basic topics in current humanities and social science discourses that are badly muddled. The heart of the clarification is contained in Barber's definition of culture, derived from social system theory, that provides us with a better understanding of today's debate on intellectuals and the pursuit of science. Barber examines the ways in which intellectual culture is defined, the construction of ideologies and ideologists, and the structure of cultural sub-systems.
John McDowell rejects the idea that non-conceptual content can rationally justify empirical claims—a task for which it is ill-fitted by its non-conceptual nature. This paper considers three possible objections to his views: he cannot distinguish empty conception from the perceptual experience of an object; perceptual discrimination outstrips the capacity of concepts to keep pace; and experience of the empirical world is more extensive than the conceptual focusing within it. While endorsing McDowell’s rejection of what he means by non-conceptual content, and (...) appreciating his insight into the experiential synthesis of intuition and conception (in particular, its role in grasping objects), I will argue that Edmund Husserl presents an even more comprehensive account of perceptual experience that explains how we experience the contribution of receptivity and sensibility and how they cooperate in perceptual discrimination. Further, it reveals “horizons”—a unique kind of contents, surplus content (rather than independent non-conceptual content)—beyond the synthesis of intuitive and conceptual contents through which objects are grasped. Such horizons play a constitutive role, making experience with its conceptual dimensions and justificatory potential possible; they in no way function like a bare given that is to fulfill some independent justificatory role. Whereas McDowell focuses on how experience does not take place in isolation from the exercise of conceptual capacities, Husserl complements his view by situating experience in a more encompassing whole and by elucidating the surplus-horizons that exceed the conceptual content of experience; play an inseparable, constitutive role within it; and indicate the limits of conceptual comprehension. (shrink)
Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men, and Joel and Ethan Coen’s film adaptation of the same name, deliver two separate critiques of sacrificial violence through their particular renderings of Carla Jean Moss’s death scene, as they correspond, respectively, to the theories of René Girard and Slavoj Žižek. In both film and novel, the chase narrative offers a concrete representation of runaway acquisitive mimesis engendering resentment and cathartic violence. This violence is symbolically manifest in the character of Anton Chigurh. An (...) assassin whose killings often employ a ritual of chance, Chigurh is a symbol for both the violence foundational to culture and the fascinating draw such violence continues to have .. (shrink)
Using student self-reported cheating admissions and answers from a hypothetical cheating scenario, this paper analyzes the effects of individual and situational factors on potential cheating behavior. Results confirm several conclusions about student factors that are related to cheating. The probability of cheating is associated with younger students, lower GPAs, alcohol consumption, fraternity/sorority membership, and having cheated in high school. Student perceptions of the certainty and severity of punishment appear to have a negative and significant impact on the probability of cheating (...) on in-class assignments. Students who report a belief that cheating is never acceptable appear to be significantly less likely to cheat in any circumstance. This study illustrates the context-dependent nature of academic dishonesty, and the associated difficulty in understanding the relationships between measurable factors and cheating behavior. (shrink)
Our moral convictions cannot, on the face of it, count in evidence against scientific claims with which they happen to conflict. Moral anti-realists of whatever stripe can explain this easily: science is immune to moral refutation because moral discourse is defective as a trustworthy source of true and objective judgments. Moral realists, they can add, are unable to explain this immunity. After describing how anti-realists might implement this reasoning, the paper argues that the only plausible realist comeback turns on the (...) practical nature of moral reasoning. This comeback, however, places significant constraints on the structure of evidence for moral judgments. These constraints cannot be met by coherentist defenders of reflective-equilibrium methodology or by anyone sympathetic to bottom-up, case-driven foundationalism, including those who claim we have perceptual or perception-like access to moral truths. Unfortunately for realists in these categories, alternative realism-friendly accounts of science’s apparent moral immunity are unpromising. These neither explain nor explain away our unwillingness to infer an is from an ought, as Hume might have put it. Science’s apparent immunity to moral refutation therefore poses a serious problem for any realist unhappy with top-down, theory-driven conceptions of the structure of moral evidence. (shrink)
Semanticists face substitution challenges even outside of contexts commonly recognized as opaque. Jennifer M. Saul has drawn attention to pairs of simple sentences - her term for sentences lacking a that-clause operator - of which the following are typical: -/- (1) Clark Kent went into the phone booth, and Superman came out. (1*) Clark Kent went into the phone booth, and Clark Kent came out. -/- (2) Superman is more successful with women than Clark Kent. (2*) Superman is more successful (...) with women than Superman. -/- She challenges us to explain why the upper and lower sentences in each pair differ, or at least appear to differ, in their truth-values and hence truth-conditions. This appearance of substitution failure is inherently puzzling. Moreover, it is taken by Saul to generate a dilemma for anyone hostile to direct reference accounts of that-clause constructions. Direct reference theorists regard the appearance of substitution failure in that-clause contexts as mere appearance, to be dealt with pragmatically rather than semantically. -/- Critics of such accounts need to say something about simple-sentence cases. If they choose to allow that intuitions of substitution failure can be over-ridden and explained away pragmatically in simple-sentence cases but not in that-clause cases, they lay themselves open to the charge of operating a double standard. But if they do not choose this option, they must offer a semantic explanation of apparent substitution failure in simple-sentence cases - no easy task, it turns out. Other respondents to Saul's challenge have sought to provide elaborate semantic treatments. In contrast, this paper proposes a far simpler pragmatic explanation of intuitions of substitution failure in simple sentences, an explanation that deploys no more resources than are to be found in Grice's 'Logic and Conversation'. Ironically, this proposal turns out to be incompatible with a direct reference perspective. So if it is, as I maintain, the most plausible treatment of simple-sentence cases available, Saul's initial thought gets turned around 180 degrees: the phenomenon she has drawn attention to ends up representing a challenge to supporters of direct reference theories. (shrink)
Money isn’t everything, so what is? Many government leaders, social policy theorists, and members of the general public have a ready answer: happiness. This paper examines an opposing view due to Robert Nozick, which centres on his experience-machine thought experiment. Despite the example's influence among philosophers, the argument behind it is riddled with difficulties. Dropping the example allows us to re-version Nozick's argument in a way that makes it far more forceful - and less dependent on people's often divergent intutions (...) about the experience machine. [DOWNLOAD AVAILABLE at oro.open.ac.uk repository, link below]. (shrink)
Against criticism from Georges Rey I defend both my earlier account of sentence realization and my objection to his own ‘folie-a-deux’ account. The latter has two components, one sceptical (sentences and other standard linguistic entities are rarely if ever realized [‘produced’, ‘tokened’, ‘uttered’]) and the other optimistic (this is a benign outcome since communication is unaffected by our being mistaken in assuming that they are realized). Both components are flawed, notwithstanding Rey’s defence. My non-sceptical account of sentence realization avoids the (...) difficulties his faces, as well as those he raises for it. (shrink)
Testimony, the transmission of knowledge through communication, requires a shared understanding of linguistic expressions and utterances of them. Is this understanding itself a kind of knowledge, knowledge of meaning? The intuitive answer is ‘yes’, but the nature of such knowledge is controversial, as is the assumption that understanding is a kind of knowledge at all. This article is a critical examination of recent work on the nature and role of semantic knowledge in the generation of the linguistic understanding needed for (...) testimony. After describing a default view – that linguistic understanding partially consists in the possession and application of knowledge of a compositional theory of truth conditions – it scrutinizes two recent charges against this view: that linguistic understanding and knowledge of meaning are conceptually distinct, and that semantic ‘knowledge’ is knowledge without an object. (shrink)
A linguistic theory is correct exactly to the extent that it is the explicit statement of a body of knowledge possessed by a designated language-user. This popular psychological conception of the goal of linguistic theorizing is commonly paired with a preference for idiolectal over social languages, where it seems to be in the nature of idiolects that the beliefs one holds about one’s own are ipso facto correct. Unfortunately, it is also plausible that the correctness of a genuine belief cannot (...) consist merely in that belief’s being held. This paper considers how best to eliminate this tension. (shrink)
An idiolect, if there is such a thing, is a language that can be characterised exhaustively in terms of intrinsic properties of some single person at a time, a person whose idiolect it is at that time. The force of ‘intrinsic’ is that the characterisation ought not to turn on features of the person's wider linguistic community. Some think that this notion of an idiolect is unstable, and instead use ‘idiolect’ to describe a person's incomplete or erroneous grasp of their (...) language, where this latter is inherently social. Several important debates have featured discussion of individualistic, personal, or private languages. Some are considered in other entries (see the entries on the language of thought hypothesis, private language, and reference). This entry will concentrate on two influential and broadly idiolectal positions in the philosophy of language and linguistics: Noam Chomsky's preference for I-languages over E-languages (Section 2), and Donald Davidson's rejection of languages conceived as shared conventional structures that make communication possible (Section 3). David Lewis's claim that languages are a convention is a common target for both, and is outlined in an Appendix. The entry begins (Section 1) with some general remarks about the ontology of languages. Contents: 1. Idiolects and Language Individuation; 2. Chomsky on E-languages and I-languages; 2.1 The Origins of Chomsky's Distinction: Competence vs. Performance; 2.2 The Distinction Elaborated; 2.3 Why I-languages? Why Not E-languages?; 2.4 Criticisms of Chomsky's Preference for I-languages Over E-languages; 3. Davidson's Claim That There Are No Such Things As Languages; 3.1 What Davidson Aims to Show; 3.2 The Argument From Malaprops and Related Phenomena; 3.3 Reaction to Davidson's Argument; Bibliography; Other Internet Resources; Related Entries. (shrink)
Stephen Darwall's The Second-Person Standpoint converges with Emmanuel Levinas's concern about the role of the second-person relationship in ethics. This paper contrasts their methodologies (regressive analysis of presuppositions versus phenomenology) to explain Darwall's narrower view of ethical experience in terms of expressed reactive attitudes. It delineates Darwall's overall justificatory strategy and the centrality of autonomy and reciprocity within it, in contrast to Levinas's emphasis on the experience of responsibility. Asymmetrical responsibility plays a more foundational role as a critical counterpoint to (...) 'mean-spirited' reciprocity than Darwall's laudable distinction between accountability and revenge, and responsibility even founds this distinction. The experience of being summoned to asymmetrical responsibility amplifies the meaning of 'authority', which is a presupposition for Darwall. Finally, asymmetrical responsibility helps develop decentred reasoning, invites risk beyond the boundaries of reciprocity at moments when autonomy appears endangered, reconciles respect and care at the experiential level, and presses to extend the scope of moral obligation. (shrink)
Frank Welz’s Kritik der Lebenswelt undertakes a sociology of knowledge criticism of the work of Edmund Husserl and Alfred Schutz that construes them as developing absolutist, egological systems opposed to the “processual” worldview prominent since the modern rise of natural science. Welz, though, misunderstands the work of Schutz and Husserl and neglects how their focus on consciousness and eidetic features pertains to the kind of reflection that one must undertake if one would avoid succumbing to absolutism, that uncovers the presuppositions (...) of the processual worldview itself, and that secures a domain distinctive of philosophy over against sociology. Finally, Welz’s charge that Schutz favors a Neo-Kantian social scientific methodology contradictory to his phenomenology neglects the levels of Schutz’s discourse and ignores how the Weberian ideal-typical approach can be subsumed within phenomenology. (shrink)
In this paper we want to briefly illustrate the ways in which technical, ethical and political judgements of various kinds are interwoven in the processes of healthcare decision-making in the UK. Drawing upon the research for the “Choices in Health Care” project we will borrow the notion of the hidden curriculum from education to illuminate the nature of resource allocation decision processes. In particular we will indicate some of the fundamental but largely hidden political factors in play in these processes (...) and the importance of the inchoate and implicit notion of “NHS values” in shaping UK resource allocation policies. We suggest that these more diffuse, holistic and system level value judgements are both central to understanding priority setting and at the same time difficult to reduce or abstract out into lists of single values/principles. (shrink)
What must linguistic knowledge be like if it is to explain our capacity to use language? All linguists and philosophers of language presuppose some answer to this critical question, but all too often the presupposition is tacit. In this collection of sixteen previously unpublished essays, a distinguished international line-up of philosophers and linguists address a variety of interconnected themes concerning our knowledge of language.
This text includes the interventions of Alfred Schutz at the 1955 Conference on Science, Philosophy, and Religion, entitled “Aspects of Human Equality,” to which his paper, later published as “Equality and the Meaning Structure of the Social World,” had been submitted. In Schutz’s reactions to the comments of other conference participants, one can see his views on: the “secularization” of more theoretical philosophical and theological ideas, the need to distinguish levels of abstraction, the importance of self-reflection on one’s own viewpoint, (...) and the significance of common sense. In the end, he recommends that theoreticians return to kindergartens and playgrounds to examine the equality practiced there. (shrink)
This paper considers a form of scepticism according to which sentences, along with other linguistic entities such as verbs and phonemes, etc., are never realized. If, whenever a conversational participant produces some noise or other, they and all other participants assume that a specific sentence has been realized (or, more colloquially, spoken), communication will be fluent whether or not the shared assumption is correct. That communication takes place is therefore, one might think, no ground for assuming that sentences are realized (...) during a typical conversation. I reject both this ‘folie-a-deux’ view and the arguments for it due to Georges Rey. I do so by drawing on Gilbert Harrnan’s no-false-lemmas principle. Since testimony is a form of knowledge and, according to the principle, knowledge cannot depend essentially on false assumptions, testimony is incompatible with the claim that sentence realization is but an illusion. Much of the paper is given over to defending this appeal to the no-false-lemmas principle. After all, a more attractive option might seem to be to infer instead that the principle is itself falsified by the folie-a-deux view. (shrink)
Richard Rorty challenges Jurgen Habermas's belief that validity-claims raised within context-bound discussions contain a moment of universality validity. Rorty argues that immersion within contingent languages prohibits any neutral, context-independent ground, that one cannot predict the defense of one's assertions before any audience, and that philosophy can no more escape its contextual limitations than strategic counterparts. Alfred Schutz's phenomenological account of motivation, the reciprocity of perspectives, and the theoretical province of meaning can articulate Habermas's intuitions.Since any claim can be analyzed from (...) an observer's perspective for its because-motives, it can always be shown to be context-related; but to the participant involved in the in-order-to project of establishing a claim's validity, the claim appears objectively valid until counter-evidence surfaces. Rorty, even when explaining what it is to make a truth claim, resorts to the observer perspective and omits reference to the in-order-to perspective, within which alone unconditional validity becomes visible. Furthermore, the expectation that one's claim is universally valid depends not on an empirical prediction that one''s claim can survive hypothesized future possible audiences. Rather, because of the reciprocity of perspectives, making possible communication and a common life, theoreticians assume that others will recognize what they take to be objective or valid, independently of diverse biographical circumstances. Finally, within the theoretical province requiring relevances different from those of everyday life, philosophy articulates claims with a greater potential to arrive at universal validity than projects that aim less universally, in spite of the fact that its theoretical context is always susceptible to because motive analysis. (shrink)
The paper aims to disarm arguments, prevalent in diverse philosophical contexts, that deny the legitimacy of attributions of propositional attitudes on the grounds that the putative subject lacks one or more of the requite concepts. Its strategy is to offer and defend an extremely minimal account on concept possession. The agenda of the paper broadens into a defence of the thesis that concepts are a linguistic epiphenomenon: talk about them emerges as the result of certain contingently available and pleonastic ways (...) of talking about propositional attitudes. (shrink)
Money isn’t everything, so what is? Many government leaders, social policy theorists, and members of the general public have a ready answer: happiness. This paper examines an opposing view due to Robert Nozick, which centres on his experience-machine thought experiment. Despite the example's influence among philosophers, the argument behind it is riddled with difficulties. Dropping the example allows us to re-version Nozick's argument in a way that makes it far more forceful - and less dependent on people's often divergent intutions (...) about the experience machine. (shrink)
A popular interpretation of linguistic theories has it that they should describe the brain at a high level of abstraction. One way this has been understood is as the requirement that the theory’s derivational structure reflect (by being isomorphic to) relevant structural properties of the language user’s brain. An important criticisrn of this idea, made originally by Crispin Wright against Gareth Evans in the 1980s, still has purchase, notwithstanding attempts to reply to it, notably by Martin Davies and, indirectly, Christopher (...) Peacocke. Wright’s objection seems to have been forgotten rather than seen off. (shrink)
This paper addresses the nature and value of Giorgio Agamben’s negative thought, which revolves around the theme of nothingness. I begin by observing the validity of negative thinking, and thus oppose those affirmative philosophies that reject Agamben’s thought simply on the basis of its negativity. Indeed, the importance of negative thought is set forth by Agamben’s attention to the specific biopolitical logic that governs the present. If we are to understand the present, then we must begin by understanding the nothingness (...) inherent in the logic of biopolitics. At the same time, I argue, it is important to distinguish two kinds of negative thought. The first, ultimately limited manner of negative thought follows a strictly Heideggerian path of contemplation. While Agamben shows a certain affinity with this style of thinking, I call for increased focus on a different manner of negative thought, one that turns on the power to think nothingness. I develop this second manner of negative thought by advancing the concepts of love and exile, which provide the means by which the potentiality of nothingness may inhabited in novel ways. (shrink)
The use of informed consent for surgery or research has been widely studied; however, its use in other areas of clinical practice has received less attention. This study investigates how doctors and nurses understand informed consent in relation to the prescription and administration of medicines in secondary care. It uses a qualitative analysis of semi-structured in-depth interviews with 19 doctors and 6 nurses recruited from various specialties in a teaching hospital. The results indicate a striking gap between official and actual (...) standards of practice. Providing information, assuring adherence and communication about potential treatment harms were raised as key issues instead of the principal goals of informed consent. Rather than simply treating these findings as support for a 'deficit' account of professionalism, the paper concludes that we need a richer and more grounded account of exactly when hospital medication decisions need to be subjected to the highest standards of informed consent. (shrink)
In this article we examine the nature of intimacy and knowing in the nurse-patient relationship in the context of advanced nursing roles in fertility care. We suggest that psychoanalytical approaches to emotions may contribute to an increased understanding of how emotions are managed in advanced nursing roles. These roles include nurses undertaking tasks that were formerly performed by doctors. Rather than limiting the potential for intimacy between nurses and fertility patients, we argue that such roles allow nurses to provide increased (...) continuity of care. This facilitates the management of emotions where a feeling of closeness is created while at the same time maintaining a distance or safe boundary with which both nurses and patients are comfortable. We argue that this distanced or ‘bounded’ relationship can be understood as a defence against the anxiety of emotions raised in the nurse-fertility patient relationship. (shrink)