This book assists health care providers to understand the specific interplay of the roles and relationships currently forming the debates in pediatric clinical ethics. It builds on the fact that, unlike adult medical ethics, pediatric ethics begins within an acutely and powerfully experienced dynamic of patient-family-state-physician relationship. The book provides a unique perspective as it interacts with established approaches as well as recent developments in pediatric ethics theory, and then explores these developments further through cases. The book first focuses on (...) setting the stage by introducing a theoretical framework and elaborating how pediatric ethics differ from non-pediatric ethics. It approaches different theoretical frameworks in a critical manner drawing on their strengths and weaknesses. It helps the reader in developing an ability to engage in ethical reasoning and moral deliberation in order to focus on the wellbeing of the child as the main participant in the ethical deliberation, as well as to be able to identify the child’s moral claims. The second section of the book focuses on the practical application of these theoretical frameworks and discusses specific areas pertaining to decision-making. These are: the critically ill child, new and enduring ethical controversies, and social justice at large, the latter of which includes looking at the child’s place in society, access to healthcare, social determinants of health, and vaccinations. With the dynamic changes and challenges pediatric care faces across the globe, as well as the changing face of new technologies, no professional working in the field of pediatrics can afford not to take due note of this resource. (shrink)
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights refers to the importance of cultural diversity and pluralism in ethical discourse and care of humanity. The aim of this meta-narrative review is to identify indigenous ethical values pertaining to the Ojibway, Xhosa, and Mayan cultures from peer-reviewed sources and cultural review, and to ascertain if there are shared commonalities. Three main themes were identified, namely illness, healing, and health care choices. Illness was described with a (...) more complex and dynamic picture than from the western view, as illness is not considered to be one dimensional. Healing needs to take place on various levels in order to restore a state of equilibrium between the different spheres. Health care choices were also considered from a multi-level perspective. In all three of the indigenous cultures explored, good decision-making is seen to have occurred when choices are informed by commitments to one’s moral and ethical responsibilities towards the community, nature, and the spirit world. (shrink)
The aim of this psychobiography was to uncover, reconstruct and illustrate significant trajectories of psychosocial development and historical events over the lifespan of Emily Hobhouse. The British-born Hobhouse later became an anti-war campaigner and social activist who exposed the appalling conditions of the British concentration camps during the Anglo-Boer War, as evidenced by primary and secondary historical data. Purposive sampling was used to select Hobhouse as a significant and exemplary subject. Levinson’s four eras or seasons of lifespan development served as (...) the theoretical psychological approach. The study was undertaken against the background of Merleau-Ponty’s ontological philosophy that elucidates a human science phenomenology where the individual cannot be separated from her social world. Alexander’s model of identifying salient biographical themes was utilized and a conceptual psycho-historical framework, based on both the life cycle theory of Levinson and significant historical periods throughout Hobhouse’s life, was employed to assist with data gathering, categorisation, and analyses. The findings highlight significant psychosocial and historical events in the life of Hobhouse that shaped her development as an anti-war campaigner. These include: The role of her strong-willed and determined mother; the denial of an opportunity to study and pursue a formal education; her management of painful feelings of abandonment and grief; the care of her father during his illness and his eventual death; the abrupt ending of her failed romantic relationship; her networking capacity; and her open-mindedness and capacity for independent humanitarian thought. Against the philosophical background of Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological ontology, Levinson’s theory and eras proved valuable in identifying these particular psychosocial life experiences and historical events as having shaped Emily Hobhouse into an antiwar campaigner. (shrink)
Although current literature about the “cure versus care” issue tends to promote a patient-centered approach, the disease-centered approach remains the prevailing model in practice. The perceived dichotomy between the two approaches has created a barrier that could make it difficult for medical students and physicians to integrate psychosocial aspects of patient care into the prevailing disease-based model. This article examines the influence of the formal and hidden curricula on the perception of these two approaches and finds that the hidden curriculum (...) perpetuates the notion that “cure” and “care” based approaches are dichotomous despite significant changes in formal curricula that promote a more integrated approach. The authors argue that it is detrimental for clinicians to view the two approaches as oppositional rather than complementary and attempt to give recommendations on how the influence of the hidden curriculum can be reduced to get a both-cure-and-care-approach, rather than an either-cure-or-care-approach. (shrink)
Scholars and professional organizations in bioethics describe various approaches to “quality assessment” in clinical ethics. Although much of this work represents significant contributions to the literature, it is not clear that there is a robust and shared understanding of what constitutes “quality” in clinical ethics, what activities should be measured when tracking clinical ethics work, and what metrics should be used when measuring those activities. Further, even the most robust quality assessment efforts to date are idiosyncratic, in that they represent (...) evaluation of single activities or domains of clinical ethics activities, or a range of activities at a single hospital or healthcare system. Countering this trend, in this article we propose a framework for moving beyond our current ways of understanding clinical ethics quality, toward comprehensive quality assessment. We first describe a way to conceptualize quality assessment as a process of measuring disparate, isolated work activities; then, we describe quality assessment in terms of tracking interconnected work activities holistically, across different levels of assessment. We conclude by inviting future efforts in quality improvement to adopt a comprehensive approach to quality assessment into their improvement practices, and offer recommendations for how the field might move in this direction. (shrink)
Why does the world look to us as it does? As Nico Orlandi argues, it is simply because of how the world is. This answer emerges from understanding vision as situated in a structured environment, and it contrasts with the view that visual perception involves an inference.
Zur Soziologie der Wissenschaftssoziologie* Von Nico Stehr Die Wissenschaftssoziologie ist in Bewegung geraten und mit ihr Wissenschaftsgeschichte und Wissenschaftstheorie sowie eine Reihe weiterer, im akademischen Bereich insti tutionalisierter wissenschaftlicher Spezialgebiete, die sich "Wissenschaft" reflexiv als Forschungsobjekt gewählt haben!. Die in diesem Band zusammengetragenen Aufsätze sind sowohl Ausdruck als auch Er gebnis dieser neuerlichen Entwicklungen auf dem Gebiet der Wissenschaftssoziologie in verschiedenen Ländern und, wie man immer mehr feststellen kann, der ihr einerseits verwandten, andererseits aber auch vorausgehenden und komplementären theoreti (...) schen Ansätze in der Wissenschaftsgeschichte und der Wissenschaftstheorie. Der Zu sammenhang von Wissenschaftssoziologie (und Wissenssoziologie), Wissensgeschichte und Wissenschaftstheorie als solcher ist zwar keineswegs neu, schon in der Vergangen heit haben sich die in diesen Spezialgebieten dominierenden theoretischen Annahmen gegenseitig beeinflußt. Allerdings blieb der angedeutete Zusammenhang, und hier be sonders was die Wissenschaftssoziologie angeht, häufig implizit und war zudem von einem, die in der Wissenschaft herrschende Hierarchie von Disziplinen und Spezial gebieten wiederspiegelnden Abhängigkeitsverhältnis gekennzeichnet, bei dem die in einem Spezialgebiet vorherrschenden Annahmen die des anderen weitgehend bestimm ten. Im Gegensatz dazu kann man immer häufiger beobachten, daß Abhängigkeits verhältnisse von Strukturen abgelöst werden, die auf eine wachsende Zusammenarbeit der sich mit (wenn auch verschiedenen) Aspekten der Wissenschaftsentwicklung be schäftigenden Spezialgebiete schließen läßt. (shrink)
In his seminal Islam Observed: Religious Developments in Morocco and Indonesia from 1968, the American anthropologist Clifford Geertz placed the comparative study of Muslim societies on the research agenda. In view of my knowledge on the history of Islam in Indonesia, it stroke me that the political dimension of religion did not take an important place in the book. This is the more remarkable because during Geertz’s fieldwork in Java in 1953-4 manifestations of political Islam regularly popped up, and Geertz (...) did not only notice those, but also recorded them in his book The Religion of Java from 1960. In this paper I will go into the question of why Geertz did not give a more prominent place to political Islam in his analysis of Muslim cultures, and what concepts of both Islam and religion he used. (shrink)
There is a certain excitement in vision science concerning the idea of applying the tools of bayesian decision theory to explain our perceptual capacities. Bayesian models are thought to be needed to explain how the inverse problem of perception is solved, and to rescue a certain constructivist and Kantian way of understanding the perceptual process. Anticlimactically, I argue both that bayesian outlooks do not constitute good solutions to the inverse problem, and that they are not constructivist in nature. In explaining (...) how visual systems derive a single percept from underdetermined stimulation, orthodox versions of bayesian accounts encounter a problem. The problem shows that such accounts need to be grounded in Natural Scene Statistics (NSS), an approach that takes seriously the Gibsonian insight that studying perception involves studying the statistical regularities of the environment in which we are situated. Additionally, I argue that bayesian frameworks postulate structures that hardly rescue a constructivist way of understanding perception. Except for percepts, the posits of bayesian theory are not representational in nature. bayesian perceptual inferences are not genuine inferences. They are biased processes that operate over nonrepresentational states. (shrink)
Film theory and its emphasis on political and ideological readings of films dominated much of cinema studies in the '70s and '80s. Since then, in response to what some view as the shortcomings of theoretical approaches, a variety of other methods have emerged or reemerged. In many ways, as Nico Baumbach argues, "Anti-Grand Theory" has won the day but its victory is, in part, based on misreadings or simplifications of '70s film theory. In particular, Baumbach views contemporary critical approaches (...) to film as abandoning the crucial and productive ways in which theory understands the relationship between cinema, politics, and art. Baumbach does not advocate a return to the orthodoxies of the seventies but rather reads the work of Ranciere, Badiou, and Agamben as providing new ways of thinking about the history of film theory and how film creates its own way of thinking about politics. Moreover, at a time when digital technologies are asking us to think of film and the film image in new ways, the work of these thinkers once again asks, "What is Cinema?" but in a more expansive sense that can help us account for transformations in how moving images are produced, distributed, and exhibited in the twenty-first century. (shrink)
This open access book revises Kant’s ethical thought in one of its most notorious respects: its exclusion of animals from moral consideration. The book gives readers in animal ethics an accessible introduction to Kant’s views on our duties to others, and his view that we have only ‘indirect’ duties regarding animals. It then investigates how one would have to depart from Kant in order to recognise that animals matter morally for their own sake. Particular attention is paid to Kant’s ‘Formula (...) of Humanity,' the role of autonomy and the moral law, as well as Kant’s notions of practical reason and animal instinct. The result is a deliberately amended version of Kantianism which nevertheless remains faithful to central aspects of Kant’s thought. The book’s final part illustrates the framework’s use in applied contexts, addressing the issues of using animals as mere means, the ethics of veganism and vegetarianism, and environmental protection. Nico Dario Müller shows how, when furnished with duties to animals, Kant's moral philosophy can be a powerful resource for animal ethicists. (shrink)
This article attempts to clarify the commitments of a predictive coding approach to perception. After summarizing predictive coding theory, the article addresses two questions. Is a predictive coding perceptual system also a Bayesian system? Is it a Kantian system? The article shows that the answer to these questions is negative.
Cette édition numérique a été réalisée à partir d'un support physique, parfois ancien, conservé au sein du dépôt légal de la Bibliothèque nationale de France, conformément à la loi n° 2012-287 du 1er mars 2012 relative à l'exploitation des Livres indisponibles du XXe siècle. Pages de début Présentation I. Parcours : vers un eurocommunisme problématique - Juillet 1979 II. Gramsci : entre Sartre et Althusser III. L'État du capital - 1976 IV. Questions sur le pouvoir - 1977 V. La crise (...) despartis - 1979 Pages de fin. (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)
Knowledge Societies offers both a critical examination of existing social theory, and a new synthesis of social theory with the actual study of knowledge relations in advanced economies. Some of the elements explored are scientization: the penetration not only of production but of most social action by scientific knowledge; the transformation of access to knowledge through higher education; the growth of experts (managers, accountants, advisors, and counselors) and of corresponding institutions based on the deployment of specialized knowledge; and a shift (...) in the nature of societal conflict from struggles about income and property to claims and conflicts about generalized human needs. Nico Stehr's argument amply demonstrates not only that all social theories now need to take into account the changing nature of social relations around knowledge, but also the parameters within which this analysis should take place. This book is essential reading for all those interested in social theory, sociology of knowledge and science, and the general issue of knowledge in the late 20th century. (shrink)
Susanna Schellenberg's book is an ambitious project, providing a view of perception that makes sense of its content, its phenomenology, and its epistemic role. In these comments, I focus on her capacitist view and raise questions concerning this view's ability to offer an adequate account of the content and phenomenology of perceptual and hallucinatory experiences.
Cette édition numérique a été réalisée à partir d'un support physique, parfois ancien, conservé au sein du dépôt légal de la Bibliothèque nationale de France, conformément à la loi n° 2012-287 du 1er mars 2012 relative à l'exploitation des Livres indisponibles du XXe siècle. Pages de début Introduction I - Questions générales 1 - Sur le concept de politique 2 - Politique et classes sociales 3 - Sur le concept de pouvoir II - L'État capitaliste 1 - Le problème 2 (...) - Typologie et type d'État capitaliste 3 - L'État absolutiste, État de transition 4 - Sur les modèles de la révolution bourgeoise III - Traits fondamentaux de l'État capitaliste Présentation 1 - L'État capitaliste et les intérêts des classes dominées 2 - L'État capitaliste et les idéologies 3 - L'État capitaliste et la force 4 - L'État capitaliste et les classes dominantes IV - L'unité du pouvoir et l'autonomie relative de l'État capitaliste 1 - Le problème et sa position théorique par les classiques du marxisme 2 - Quelques mésinterprétations et leurs conséquences 3 - L'État capitaliste et le champ de la lutte des classes 4 - L'État capitaliste et les classes dominantes 5 - Le problème dans les formes d'État et dans les formes de régime : l'exécutif et le législatif V - Sur la bureaucratie et les élites 1 - Le problème et les théories des élites 2 - La position marxiste et la question d'appartenance de classe de l'appareil d'État 3 - État capitaliste - Bureaucratisme - Bureaucratie4 - La bureaucratie et la lutte des classes Pages de fin. (shrink)
Žižek s work on Heidegger has not been examined in the same way as his work on Hegel, Lacan, Marx and Kant. In order to shed light on his political thought – oscillating between a heroic Leninism and a subversive _ Ideologiekritik _ – we are reconstructing his critique of Heidegger as it follows from the first chapter of _ The Ticklish Subject _. In that we want to show how his critique is essentially Kantian – Which means for Žižek: (...) A critique that doesn’t retreat from the full consequences of the subject’s finiteness. That is excactly what Žižek traces in both Heidegger and Kant, focussing around the role of transcendental imagination. In a last step we are showing how his doubled political position follows from this and hint at the intuition that his heroic Leninism itself could be conceived as a sort of retreat from those very consequences. (shrink)
Echoes of No Thing seeks to understand the space between thinking which Martin Heidegger and the 13th-century Zen patriarch Eihei D ogen explore in their writing and teachings. Heidegger most clearly attempts this in Contributions to Philosophy (of the Event) and D ogen in his Sh ob ogenz o, a collection of fascicles which he compiled in his lifetime. Both thinkers draw us towards thinking, instead of merely defining systems of thought. Both Heidegger and D ogen imagine possibilities not apparent (...) in the world we currently inhabit, but notably, find possible, through a refashioning of thinking as a soteriological reimagining that clears space for the presencing of an authentic experience in the space which emerges between certainties. Jenkins elucidates this soteriological reimagining through a close reading of both authors' conceptions of time and space, and by developing a practice of listening that is attuned to the echoes that resonate between the two thinkers. While Heidegger often wrote about new beginnings (as well as about gathering oneself, preparing the site, clearings, and practicing) in preparation for the evental un-concealing of truth, nowhere is this as present as in the enigmatic, difficult, and in fact beautiful, Contributions. To call a text beautiful, especially a work of philosophy, risks committing an act of disingenuity, and yet Contributions, like Jacques Derrida's Glas or Walter Benjamin's unfinished Arcades Project, rises to this acclaim through its very resistance to a system, its refusal to be easily digested, or even understood. Contributions is unfinished, partial, even at times muttered; it is the beginning of a thinking which takes place on a path and as such cannot imagine--or refuse--its final destination. It invites us to take up towards, but not to insist on, its thinking; it is a "turn" away from the reason and logic of a technologized world and returns philosophy--as a thinking--to a place of wonder and awe. D ogen's Sh obogenz o, from another culture and time entirely, is also a beautiful text, for similar reasons. The Sh obogenz o, gathered first as a series of talks given by Eihei D ogen (and later composed as written texts) details the process of understanding which leads, for D ogen, to a position of pure seeing, or satori, and yet these talks are not simply rules for monks, nor merely imprecations and demands for a laity; rather, they open a being's thinking to the possibility of something purely other and work as a transition across worlds that also opens us to an other world. What both thinkers illustrate, as do the other thinkers drawn on in this project--most notably, those philosophers associated with the Kyoto School, who were both intimately aware of D ogen's work, and studied, or studied with, Heidegger--is that world is not a fixed, stable entity; rather it is a fugal composition of possibility, of as yet untraversed--and at times un-traversable--spaces. Echoes of No Thing seeks to examine, within the lacunal eddies of be-coming's arrival, that space between which both thinkers point towards as possible sites of new beginnings."--https://punctumbooks.com/titles/echoes-of-no-thing-thinking-between-heidegger-and-doge n/, accessed 06/05/2020. (shrink)
Animal ethics has often been criticized for an overreliance on “ideal” or even “utopian” theorizing. In this article, I recognize this problem, but argue that the “nonideal theory” which critics have offered in response is still insufficient to make animal ethics action-guiding. I argue that in order for animal ethics to be action-guiding, it must consider agent-centered theories of change detailing how an ideally just human-animal coexistence can and should be brought about. I lay out desiderata that such a theory (...) of change should suffice so as to be helpful in guiding action. Specifically, a theory of change should determine (1) who needs to do what in order for ideal justice to be achieved in the long run, (2) who should be expected to refuse compliance and how they should be moved to comply, and (3) why specific intermediate steps are necessary. I show how previous “nonideal” contributions, though helpful in other ways, are insufficiently determinate on these points and I sketch a (still somewhat utopian) theory of change for one specific context. This brings animal ethics a crucial step closer to being action-guiding in the real world. (shrink)
The popular media has repeatedly pointed to pride as one of the key factors motivating leaders to behave unethically. However, given the devastating consequences that leader unethical behavior may have, a more scientific account of the role of pride is warranted. The present study differentiates between authentic and hubristic pride and assesses its impact on leader ethical behavior, while taking into consideration the extent to which leaders find it important to their self-concept to be a moral person. In two experiments (...) we found that with higher levels of moral identity, authentically proud leaders are more likely to engage in ethical behavior than hubristically proud leaders, and that this effect is mediated by leaders’ motivation to act selflessly. A field survey among organizational leaders corroborated that moral identity may bring the positive effect of authentic pride and the negative effect of hubristic pride on leader ethical behavior to the forefront. (shrink)
In his book Processual Sociology (2016), Andrew Abbott proposes a radically new theoretical perspective for sociology. This review essay discusses the strengths and weaknesses of his “processual” approach, in comparison with other dynamic perspectives in sociology such as, in particular, Norbert Elias’s “process sociology.” It critically questions central ideas and arguments advanced in this book: the reduction of social processes to “events,” the focus on stability as the central explanandum of sociological theory, the implicit separation of individual and social processes, (...) the proposition that the social world changes faster than the individual, the idea that “excess” rather than “scarcity” is the central problematic of human affairs, the strong emphasis on the inherent normativity of sociological concepts, the focus on values as the core of human social life, the neglect of human interdependence, power, coercion, and violence, and the distinction between “moral facts” and “empirical facts.” Detailed criticisms of the arguments in various chapters are given, and alternative viewpoints are proposed. The conclusion is that Processual Sociology fails to provide a fruitful approach for understanding and explaining social processes, and that it even represents, in several respects, theoretical regression rather than progress. (shrink)
continent. 1.1 (2011): 60-67. At the beginning of Martin Heidegger’s lecture “Time and Being,” presented to the University of Freiburg in 1962, he cautions against, it would seem, the requirement that philosophy make sense, or be necessarily responsible (Stambaugh, 1972). At that time Heidegger's project focused on thinking as thinking and in order to elucidate his ideas he drew comparisons between his project and two paintings by Paul Klee as well with a poem by Georg Trakl. In front of Klee's (...) Saints from the Window and Death of Fire —though we wouldn’t absolutely understand what we were seeing—he writes, “we should want to stand…a long while.” In a similar manner, of Trakl’s poem “Septet of Death”—although it is likely we are unsure in what we hear—Heidegger states that, “we should want to hear…[it] often.” Heidegger further states that in appreciating these, “we “should abandon any claim that [they] be immediately intelligible” (1). So also we must we approach, Heidegger continues, the realm of theoretical physics, in which the difficult work of Werner Heisenberg, be listened to “without protest” and without “any claim that he be immediately understood.” These works, like his own project, merit the time they take to be originally (mis)understood. But this is not necessarily true for philosophy, Heidegger advises, because, “That thinking is supposed to offer ‘worldly wisdom’ and perhaps even a ‘way to a blessed life’” (1). Philosophy is in the unique position of being both abstract (what do we talk about when we talk?) and at the same moment, useful. There are demands that it make sense, that it be, grounded, immediate, and most importantly, rational. Heidegger draws these comparisons between the works of Klee and Trakl and Heisenberg not to claim that philosophy is totally irresponsible. He does not claim that the poet, the painter, nor the physicist have acted irresponsibly. Rather, he would say, they are rising to the highest levels of intelligibility, though it is perhaps an intelligibility that is commonly unavailable to us. In Trakl’s case, as we shall see, mastery is the end result of difficult words. Instead, Heidegger seems be making pleas: for a period of uninterrupted unintelligibility (pure unintelligibility); and that there is a time (that time is now) when, “thinking is…placed in a position which demands of it reflections that are far removed from any useful, practical wisdom” (1-2). Heidegger argues that philosophy requires a period of time in which, instead of focusing on the practical—or even on the worldly—the discipline draw its “determination” instead from the place of painting and poetry and physics. In doing so, “we should have to abandon any claims to immediate intelligibility” (2). But Heidegger doesn’t offer this as a way out. We still have to turn up, we “still have to listen, because we must think what is inevitable, but preliminary” (2). The point for Heidegger, is not to listen to a series of propositions, but instead to “follow the movement of showing” (2). I. … Maybe we're here only to say: house, bridge, well, gate, jug, olive tree, window— at most: pillar, tower … but to say them, remember, oh, to say them in a way that the things themselves never dreamed of existing so intensely.… Rainer Maria Rilke, “The Ninth Elegy” There is little more fundamental, preliminary, in the world than language. We use language, in the form of speech, constantly, whether we are saying anything or not. “Man speaks,” Heidegger writes, and goes on to describe in his essay “Language” (2001) the constant speaking that we do. “We are always speaking, even when we do not utter a single word aloud, but merely listen or read, and even when we are not particularly speaking or listening but are attending to some work or taking a rest” (187). Speaking is expression, an utterance of something internal. It is a recognition of a world. It is a way of communicating thought and it is an activity that we all do, inevitably. Speaking separates the human from the animal world, and despite advances in primatology that seek to give ‘voice’ to primates and other non-human animals, it can safely be said that our form of communication—what we call speech and know as language—is the most advanced, the most complicated. We use it to present and represent the world around us; through actual utterances (vocalization) or through the written word or through ‘unvoiced thoughts’ and dreams. We use language, but more specifically speech—naming—to transmit moods, thoughts, desires, aversions, and feelings. These expressions, mere utterances, nearly always find a source in words, whether spoken or not. Heidegger writes that this common view of language means “that only speech enables man to be the living being he is as man. It is as the one who speaks that man is—man” (187). Speaking then—utterance—surrounds us constantly, whether in the form of careful thought—in the form of an academic paper, say—or in the half mutterings and forgotten thoughts of a nearly remembered dream. Like scaffolding, the apparatus of speech sustains and explains the world, making, in a sense, the world rational, making it apparent. When we speak, we describe, and in doing so, name the world. We use words, through this process of naming, to interpret and sustain the world we see, and the world we imagine. Like Rilke’s naming of jug, and bridge, and window, and stream, we describe—and inscribe upon—the world through an activity of naming. Are we here, perhaps, to name? Is it possible not to name? Is it possible to regard and to view and to look around without naming what we see? Is it possible to feel—to experience—world without giving utterance to that feeling, that process? Sadness, grief, joy, ecstasy, hunger, thirst. Desk, light, room, pen, book, world. White, black, tomorrow, today. Each of these words is a name given to a thing I see in front of me, or a concept that I imagine (in the case of tomorrow or world). What arises in my mind has already existed. If I imagine it, it is named. The word for ‘tomorrow’ and ‘desk’ and ‘light’ precedes me, and precedes my concept of it. The idea of it is already pre-informed, and I must, in a certain sense, bend my ideas to it. When I imagine a table, I imagine my own table (or I imagine an idea of table) but that imagining must follow certain general rules; while, perhaps, it might not always require four legs and a horizontal surface, it must, at least not be, say, a pool of water, or a pile of excrement. It must have some tableness to it to be a table. It must, with Heidegger, table. Otherwise, speech is reduced to gibberish. For Heidegger however, the discussion of language points to something deeper than its “scientific and analytic” study as a communicative device. Indeed, Heidegger seeks to understand language not in reference to man or woman, not as an utterance of humanity, but in reference to itself. In doing so he abandons the conversation—that is, he casts away the traditional arguments surrounding philosophy of language; that it is a means of expression; that it is a human activity; and that it is somehow a representation of something that is—in order to seek to understand language as language, on its own terms. Heidegger is not a philosopher of language, but a philosopher of world, of being. Despite these “correct ideas” holding sway “over the whole field of the varied scientific perspectives on language…they ignore completely the oldest natural cast of language” (191). What is this “oldest natural cast of language? It is the act of language itself. Language is language and language speaks. “Most often,” Heidegger writes, “and too often, we encounter what is spoken only as the residue of a speaking long past” (195). Speech, as we normally encounter it, is like Echo herself calling out to Narcissus, doomed to repeat what has already been said, a mere remnant of what was once language, a trace left behind in the gathering silence of becoming. In both the essay “Language” and in his three lecture course “The Nature of Language” (1982), Heidegger attempts to unpack the seeming tautology of language as language. In each, he focuses on poetry as a way out, or into, a true discussion of the oldest natural cast of language. Poetry is pure speech. In poetry, language is brought to language and language speaks ( Die Sprach spricht ). In the act of poetry, the act of pure speech, the poet names (on the surface not different from how I name this table, this computer) but in the poet naming, the naming does not “hand out titles,” “apply terms,” but rather the naming is a call, a calling forth of entities that bring them into their own, allow them to take their place purely, without compromise. This calling, Heidegger (2001) states, “here calls into a nearness. But even so the call does not wrest what it calls away from the remoteness, in which it is kept by the calling there. The calling calls into itself and therefor always here and there—here into presence, there into absence” (196). II. Window with falling snow is arrayed, Long tolls the vesper bell, The house is provided well, The table is for many laid. Wandering ones, more than a few, Come to the door on darksome courses. Golden blooms the tree of graces Drawing up the earth’s cool dew. Wanderer quietly steps within; Pain has turned the threshold to stone. There lie, in limpid brightness shown, Upon the table bread and wine. Georg Trakl “A Winter Evening” Heidegger is often given short shrift as an abysmally difficult writer, as one that makes no sense and is needlessly difficult. In doing this though, we forget sometimes his eloquence, his simple beauty in writing. Of the above opening stanza, “Window with falling snow is arrayed/ Long tolls the vesper bell.” he writes (2001), This speaking names the snow that soundlessly strikes the window late in the waning day, while the vesper bell rings. In such a snowfall, everything lasts longer. Therefore the vesper bell, which daily rings for a strictly fixed time, tolls long. The speaking names the winter evening time (197). The speaking names the winter evening time. It is almost impossible to comment on that one line by Heidegger. It is as though it must exist on its own completely, without elucidation—as though in front of it we must stand as we do in front of a painting by Klee, that is, we must abandon any claim . Silent and devoted. The speaking of the poem here is not clearly different from common speech ( rede ) yet there is, via Heidegger, an invitation to experience that auracular quality of light and stillness that a gentle, dusk tinged snowfall gives; words evoking a quality so clear, so poignant that, in a sense, Heidegger’s work, at this moment, has been done. But what does this naming accomplish? What does the call call? Remember, it is not the poet that calls, but the naming which calls. The poet has only brought the words forward; it is now the words— snow, vesper bell, window— that take new life in the pure language of the poem. Entities are called forth into presence, like the speaking that names the winter evening time. Not to be present amongst us now, however; naming ‘table’ in the poem does not place it in front of us in this room. Rather, the naming places entities into a gathering which is also a sheltering. The naming brings them to be. In an act of appropriation, things come to be purely as their own, unimpeded by a predetermined expectation. They are called to themselves into an arrival. In Being and Time (1962), Heidegger famously describes the movement between present-at-hand and ready-to-hand in his analysis of the hammer, and of equipment in general. This analysis is already known, if not always clear, to most readers of Heidegger. Briefly, a hammer is ordinarily zuhanden or ready-to-hand; it is part of the background of the world, equipment used and never thought about, like this desk, this sheet of paper, this room. Our interaction with it is temporary and it is historically different for each entity and each relation. We need a hammer, we use a hammer. If all goes according to plan, the hammer remains ready-to-hand; it remains, in a sense, undisclosed and certainly unobtrusive. Our world is undisturbed by the hammer. Only when the hammer or the car or the computer is broken (or sometimes unused or unrecognized or missing) does it intrude into our world, become conspicuous as an object present-at-hand, or vorhanden . In this case, we reach for the hammer, it is broken and we suddenly notice it’s being, broken though it is. The thing which was always ready to hand—handy—is suddenly abstract, something to be examined, if only in its absence or disfunction. This can be exhibited for all entities, and it is important to note that in this analysis the zuhanden / vorhanden split is not restricted to a specific form of constructed material; zuhanden does not refer to the car, and vorhanden the sunset. No entity is ever exclusively ready-to-hand or present-at-hand; they are instead, interpenetrated with each others mode of being, one informing the other in a way that both brings things forth into the world—discloses is the word Heidegger chooses—and at the same time conceals them. As one mode is coming to be so another mode is withdrawing. This flux and movement between modes is precisely what brings the world forward, and what makes it manifest. It exists beyond where we tread and before man took dubious control of the world. We go to find a book or turn on the computer and it is missing or broken and we become aware of the object, as though for the first time. We walk to the water to glimpse the sunset and miss it, or it is less than stellar; in the sunset’s grayness, we become aware of it’s being sunset. The thing is disclosed in its withdrawal. Echoing Heraclitus, we can say that as something is coming to be, it is already becoming something other. Of similar importance to the fact that things are never all of one, or all of the other, they are also never alone. The hammer is never a single object, but is in relation always to the whole. Heidegger (1962) states, Equipment—in accordance with its equipmentality—always is in terms of its belonging to other equipment: ink-stand, pen, ink, paper, blotting pad, table, lamp, furniture, windows, doors, room. These ‘Things’ never show themselves proximally as they are for themselves…What we encounter as closest to us…is the room; and we encounter it not as something ‘between four walls’ in a geometrical, spatial sense, but as equipment for residing…it is in this that any ‘individual’ item of equipment shows itself. Before its does so, a totality of equipment has already been discovered (97). Equipment resides—dwells—in its relations, in its proximal being to other beings. Within the structure of totality, a series of relations is always occurring. The hammer is on the workbench in the carpenter’s hand in the workshop in the village under the sky and under the sun. It doesn’t stop there. Equipment surrounds us and the focus is not on what it does, or what one does with it—the carpenter with the hammer, the writer with laptop—but with the fact that it is. Equipment occurs in relation and is always occurring around us overhead, underfoot, by the stream and in the city. There is a constant exchange of relations happening, and as this occurs, so the world occurs, so the world both discloses and withdraws, into and out of itself. In a very real sense, language is also equipment. It is the thing that we use most often without thought, it is ready-to-hand (except when it’s not.) As we re- cognize the world around us, as we offer names for things and make lists, we are using language much like we might use a hammer, that is, bluntly. Most of the time it is invisible and we draw on it without wondering how we are going to say something. When language does intrude, it does so in an awkward moment, that moment when we can’t remember the right word, when we forget a phrase. At that second, it “speaks itself as language,” it reveals itself as malfunctioning equipment, and we “undergo” an experience with language, in Heidegger’s famous formulation. Language is not a tool anymore that we use to bludgeon an object, but something instead that we submit to, that we experience. In “The Nature of Language,” Heidegger (1982) writes, But when does language speak to us as language? Curiously enough, when we cannot find the right word for something that concerns us, carries us away, oppresses or encourages us. Then we leave unspoken what we have in mind and, without rightly giving it a thought, undergo moments in which language itself has distantly and fleetingly touched us with its essential being (59). The poet’s words become themselves, become appropriate, only when they no longer function in the prosaic world; they instead intrude as they come to be. Language itself brings itself to language. Names, like the entities they indicate, are always becoming something else. As noted above, language, through the poet, has brought forth entities from words previously “known.” I thought that I knew snow, but through Trakl’s re- presentation of the word, language calls forth a new image of snow, indeed calls forth snow itself. The vesper bell tolls longer, the table is for many laid. In bringing forth things , language has brought the world to presence. In everyday naming, word occludes world, preventing, in its everydayness, its coming forth, its disclosing. But what is this world that word has been brought forth into? In the same way that language speaks, world worlds. World, left alone, un-interfered with, comes into itself. It worlds. Again, this sounds like a tautology, but it is essential to Heidegger’s thought (and in my mind is more of a “god killer” than Nietzsche.) One of the most overlooked (and under-appreciated) aspects of Heidegger is his later examination and enthusiasm for the “fourfold,” or the system through which things come to be, through which things thing in a world worlding. The fourfold is the interaction of earth and sky, mortals and gods. Things come to be in the interstices and gathering of the fourfold. The fourfold provides both a place of being, and a sheltering, a place to dwell. Heidegger writes that “the things that were named, thus called, gather to themselves sky and earth, mortals and divinities. The four are united primally in being toward one another, a fourfold.” The poet has called, through the act of pure naming, things to come forth. In the purity of the fourfold—that is, when that is all that there is, when there are no other distractions, definitions, things—entities themselves can come to be. It is important to note that Heidegger is not saying that there are four formal things in the world, autonomous entities unto themselves. He is not evoking a pre-Socratic formula as to what makes up the world; instead, the four mirror each other constantly. (Heidegger calls this the ‘mirror-play.’) They interpenetrate in the same way that the modes of being of things interpenetrate themselves. There is no discrete exclusivity in being or the fourfold. What makes up things is not a precise recipe of the four main components; what makes up things is the action of the fourfold coming together, the movement of the fourfold which is a becoming. Heidegger (2001) writes that “this gathering, assembling, letting stay is the thinging of things.” And he later adds that “thinging, things are things. Thinging, they gesture—gestate—world” (197). Language brings the world to be. It works not again as a recipe added to things, but instead it is a bridge, or more precisely, a relation. Language relates world to thing, brings world to thing. In a sense, it does not say anything; rather it allows, or calls in its movement. Heidegger (2001) writes that, The intimacy of world and thing is not a fusion. Intimacy obtains only where the intimate—world and thing—divides itself cleanly and remains separated. In the midst of the two, in the between of world and thing, in their inter, division prevails: a dif-ference (199). It is in this inter that language prevails. Language is difference, it is the differential aspect between world and thing that brings world to thing. In the final stanza of Trakl’s poem “The Winter Evening,” Trakl evokes this difference in the second line when he writes, “Pain has turned the threshold to stone.” Christopher Fynsk, in his essay “Noise at the Threshold,” draws attention to this point when he writes “it is the figure of the threshold that is language itself, inasmuch as language is defined as the articulation of difference by which difference comes about” (25). Language, as used in the pure language of the poem, draws together world and thing, bridging relation between entity and world. The calling of language calls world to thing, world to being. Heidegger (2001) describes this difference as unique; “of itself, it holds apart the middle in and through which world and things are at one with each other” (200). III. Neither reading nor writing, nor speaking—and yet it is by those paths that we escape what has been said already, and knowledge, and reciprocity, and enter the unknown space, the space of distress where what is given is perhaps not received by anyone (99). Maurice Blanchot The Writing of Disaster So far, we have allowed Heidegger to put forward what language does, how it functions as a relation and how it operates as a threshold, as a bridge. What interests me is what happens beyond language, beyond the relation. What happens to the thing without the naming, without the poet, or even without the everyday chatter—Fynsk calls this ‘noise’—intruding on being? If language allows things to become by bringing thing to world, what happens when we remove this bringing, this threshold turned to pain? In “The Nature of Language,” Heidegger examines the work of the poet Stefan George, specifically “The Word”: Wonder or dream from distant land I carried to my county’s strand And waited till the twilight norn Had found the name within her bourn— Then I could grasp it close and strong It blooms and shines now the front along… Once I returned from happy sail, I had a prize so rich and frail, She sought for long and tidings told: “No like of these depths unfold.” And straight it vanished from my hand, The treasure never graced my land… So I renounced and sadly see: Where word breaks off no thing may be. That final line, “Where word breaks off no thing may be” is evoked on nearly every page of Heidegger’s essay. It is the line to which he returns over and over and bears repeating. Where word breaks off no thing may be. Where naming ends, no thing. We can interpret this in two ways (at least.) Where word—naming—breaks off, then there is nothing . Or, as I choose to read it, where word breaks off no thing may be. In this I see a hint forward, a marker left behind by Heidegger. What could this look like? What does no thing look like? Like a zen koan ( there is no mirror ) it is as thrilling and horrifying as contemplating what preceded the Big Bang. Because language as naming wasn’t always here; we weren’t always here. One or maybe two aspects of the fourfold (depending on your view of gods) were not always here, and there is no guarantee that we will always be around. What then? Heidegger (1982) describes the landscape that the poet finds, “It names the realm into which the renunciation must enter: it names the call to enter into that relation between thing and word which has now been experienced” (65). The poet, in renouncing, allows for the “may be” of “where word breaks off no thing may be.” This “may be” becomes “a kind of imperative, a command which the poet follows, to keep it from then on.” No thing is lacking. Where word breaks off, there may be, a totality, a completion. If we place the emphasis on may be , we make it affirmative, make it positive. One allows it. No thing is where the word, that is the name, is lacking. If we remove then (if we can remove) the word, the name, than that is where no thing is, that is where no thing may blossom, enrich, belong, become. What is no thing? Heidegger writes that “thing is anything that in any way is.” And just after this he writes that the “world alone gives being to the thing.” But what happens if there is no word? Word, in this formulation can be seen as an enframing, a challenging of language. By naming, by drawing a perimeter around an object, we hold it, by its definition (that is a brick) to an ordered future. If we borrow from Heidegger’s essay “The Question Concerning Technology” (1993) the idea of this standing-reserve of an ordered future, we see that “everywhere everything is ordered to stand by, to be immediately on hand, indeed to stand there just so that it may be on call for a further ordering” (322). What happens if there is no naming of the thing? Silence perhaps. Stillness. We can name—and do name—that which we know. We equate knowledge with knowing the name of something. A brick is a brick, a hammer is a hammer, the universe is the universe. By naming a thing, we create, and draw its parameters, the parameters of the thing, not as thing thinging in the fourfold, but as blunt object apparent. In the four dimensions relatively available to us, we observe (and name) that the brick takes up possibly six by four by two inches and is, in the sense that it currently occupies this time slot. It fulfills its destiny, its being, its brickness, it bricks . But what happens when we remove the name for this brick. We no longer know what to call this no-thing (if indeed we can even arrive at the point of uncalled calling.) In fact the it (this brick) is no longer a thing in the sense that by not naming—by removing the name—it still occupies the same dimension but is indiscernible from the world. It simply is , un-reliant, un- needed by me. By removing the subject (me) from it (the brick) do I not then also remove the object—or at least the duality objectifying it? Why is this important? Why does this matter? I have not really removed anything. I have not changed any thing , per se . The brick still occupies the same space in geographic and temporal dimensions. I have literally not even touched the brick sitting on my desk. But what I have done is removed the name, removed the word (the bridge, according to Heidegger) and in this (again, if this is even possible) there is something vertiginously liberating, not only for me (and my way of thinking) but also for the brick itself. Like the poet who calls the thing forward, by refusing to name, by avoiding any thing that demands me to name it, I release the thing into the fourfold. I am no longer challenging the thing to be there for me ; I do not en frame it through language. Rather I, in an act of extreme responsibility, am refusing the challenge. By refusing the name (refusing to name) one allows, (or no one allows no thing) the brick to be all things , to manifest its manifold being, to incorporate all things into its thinging . It becomes, quite literally, every thing . Because, in its infinite manifestness, it incorporates everything; the mud that gave it its current being, the water that formed the mud, the sun, the stars, the universe and it also allows it to become mud again, to become landfill, to become again, water and sun and stars and universe in an endless, infinite cycle of coming to be some thing (else). Perhaps this is what Heidegger is suggesting when he talks about the stillness at the end of his essay, “Language” (2001): The dif-ference stills particularly in two ways: it stills the things in thinging and the world in worlding. Thus stilled, thing and world never escape from the dif-ference. Rather, they rescue it in the stilling, where the dif-ference is itself the stillness (206). It is in this stillness that I can imagine a gellasenheit (here I mean both “releasement in the Heideggarean sense, as well as Meister Eckhart’s use of the term meaning “letting the world go and giving oneself to God”) of thing and world, a releasing into the stillness and silence of no thing beyond where word breaks off. It is here where I may no longer be, and yet no thing is, but may be. (shrink)