Kelly Aguirre, PhilHenderson, Cressida J. Heyes, Alana Lentin, and Corey Snelgrove engage with different aspects of Robert Nichols’ Theft is Property! Dispossession and Critical Theory. Henderson focuses on possible spaces for maneuver, agency, contradiction, or failure in subject formation available to individuals and communities interpellated through diremptive processes. Heyes homes in on the ritual of antiwill called “consent” that systematically conceals the operation of power. Aguirre foregrounds tensions in projects of critical theory scholarship that aim for (...) dialogue and solidarity with Indigenous decolonial struggles. Lentin draws attention to the role of race in undergirding the logic of Anglo-settler colonial domination that operates through dispossession, while Snelgrove emphasizes the link between alienation, capital, and colonialism. In his reply to his interlocutors, Nichols clarifies aspects of his “recursive logics” of dispossession, a dispossession or theft through which the right to property is generated. (shrink)
John Henderson focuses on three key Letters visiting three Roman villas, and reveals their meaning as designs for contrasting lives. Seneca brings the philosophical epistle to Latin literature, creating models for moralizing which feature self-criticism, parody, and animated revision of myth. The Stoic moralist wrests writing away from Greek gurus and texts, and recasts it into critical thinking in Latin terms, within a Roman context. The Letters embody critical thinking on metaphor and translation, self-transformation and cultural tradition.
In this major contribution to the study of the Chinese classics and comparative religion, John Henderson uses the history of exegesis to illuminate mental patterns that have universal and perennial significance for intellectual history. Henderson relates the Confucian commentarial tradition to other primary exegetical traditions, particularly the Homeric tradition, Vedanta, rabbinic Judaism, ancient and medieval Christian biblical exegesis, and Qur'anic exegesis. In making such comparisons, he discusses some basic assumptions common to all these traditions--such as that the classics (...) or scriptures are comprehensive or that they contain all significant knowledge or truth and analyzes the strategies deployed to support these presuppositions. As shown here, primary differences among commentarial or exegetical traditions arose from variations in their emphasis on one or another of these assumptions and strategies. Henderson demonstrates that exegetical modes of thought were far from arcane: they dominated the post-classical/premodern intellectual world. Some have persisted or re-emerged in modern times, particularly in ideologies such as Marxism. Written in an engaging and accessible style, Scripture, Canon, and Commentary is not only a challenging interpretation of comparative scriptural traditions but also an excellent introduction to the study of the Confucian classics. Originally published in 1991. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905. (shrink)
Inspired by the vision of care in Vincent van Gogh's depiction of the parable of the Good Samaritan, this article offers a paradigm for inhabiting compassion. Compassion is understood in this article as a moral emotion that is also a pathocentric virtue. This definition creates a dynamic view of compassion as a desire to alleviate the suffering of others, the capacity to act on behalf of others and a commitment to sustain engagement with the suffering other. To weave this vision (...) of compassion as a habitus rather than a theoretical construct, the article develops three phases of compassion: seeing, companioning and sighing. This framework deepens and augments a pastoral theological paradigm of compassion with the aim of inculcating an inhabited compassion in caregivers and the communities in which they participate. (shrink)
Aristotle holds that individual substances are ontologically independent from nonsubstances and universal substances but that non-substances and universal substances are ontologically dependent on substances. There is then an asymmetry between individual substances and other kinds of beings with respect to ontological dependence. Under what could plausibly be called the standard interpretation, the ontological independence ascribed to individual substances and denied of non-substances and universal substances is a capacity for independent existence. There is, however, a tension between this interpretation and the (...) asymmetry between individual substances and the other kinds of entities with respect to ontological independence. I will propose an alternative interpretation: to weaken the relevant notion of ontological independence from a capacity for independent existence to the independent possession of a certain ontological status. (shrink)
Although arguments for and against competing theories of vagueness often appeal to claims about the use of vague predicates by ordinary speakers, such claims are rarely tested. An exception is Bonini et al. (1999), who report empirical results on the use of vague predicates by Italian speakers, and take the results to count in favor of epistemicism. Yet several methodological difficulties mar their experiments; we outline these problems and devise revised experiments that do not show the same results. We then (...) describe three additional empirical studies that investigate further claims in the literature on vagueness: the hypothesis that speakers confuse ‘P’ with ‘definitely P’, the relative persuasiveness of different formulations of the inductive premise of the Sorites, and the interaction of vague predicates with three different forms of negation. (shrink)
In this article we argue that nanotechnology represents an extraordinary opportunity to build in a robust role for the social sciences in a technology that remains at an early, and hence undetermined, stage of development. We examine policy dynamics in both the United States and United Kingdom aimed at both opening up, and closing down, the role of the social sciences in nanotechnologies. We then set out a prospective agenda for the social sciences and its potential in the future shaping (...) of nanotechnology research and innovation processes. The emergent, undetermined nature of nanotechnologies calls for an open, experimental, and interdisciplinary model of social science research. (shrink)
This essay deals with plague and plagues in renaissance and early modern Europe over the longue durée, principally from a methodological perspective. I shall combine an historiographical approach with an historical account of developing reactions to plague and in passing compare measures to cope in the early sixteenth century with reactions to the impact of the Great Pox or the Mal de Naples. I shall concentrate on southern Europe and in particular on Italy and my aim is to re-assess the (...) historiography of plague through the lens of some of the more recent Anglo-Saxon literature in this field. In the process I shall outline some of the debates within the field and end with some general methodological observations drawn from early modern Italy. (shrink)
This book, published in 2000, is a clear account of causation based firmly in contemporary science. Dowe discusses in a systematic way, a positive account of causation: the conserved quantities account of causal processes which he has been developing over the last ten years. The book describes causal processes and interactions in terms of conserved quantities: a causal process is the worldline of an object which possesses a conserved quantity, and a causal interaction involves the exchange of conserved quantities. Further, (...) things that are properly called cause and effect are appropriately connected by a set of causal processes and interactions. The distinction between cause and effect is explained in terms of a version of the fork theory: the direction of a certain kind of ordered pattern of events in the world. This particular version has the virtue that it allows for the possibility of backwards causation, and therefore time travel. (shrink)
BackgroundChildhood abuse increases risk for high levels of distress in response to future stressors. Interpersonal social support is protective for health, particularly during stress, and may be particularly beneficial for individuals who experienced childhood abuse.ObjectiveInvestigate whether childhood abuse predicts levels of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and test whether the perceived availability of social companionship preceding the pandemic moderates this relationship.MethodsDuring Phase 1, adults (N= 120; AgeM[SD] = 19.4 [0.94]) completed a retrospective measure of childhood (...) adversity along with a measure of perceived availability of opportunities for social engagement immediately preceding the pandemic. Two weeks after the COVID-19 pandemic declaration, participants completed the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) with respect to the pandemic. Hierarchical linear regression analyses examined the interaction between childhood abuse and the perceived availability of social companionship preceding the pandemic as a predictor of PTSD symptoms.ResultsAdjusting for covariates, the interaction between childhood abuse and perceived availability of others to engage with before the onset of the pandemic was a significant predictor of IES-hyperarousal (β = −0.19,t= −2.06,p= 0.04, ΔR2= 0.032, CI: [−0.31 to −0.01]).ConclusionLevels of perceived opportunities for social companionship before the pandemic associates with levels of hyperarousal related to the pandemic, particularly for individuals who experienced high levels of childhood abuse. More research is needed to understand how to mitigate the higher levels of distress related to the pandemic for these individuals in order to reduce risk for future psychiatric disorders. (shrink)
The relation of ontological dependence or grounding, expressed by the terminology of separation and priority in substance, plays a central role in Aristotle’s Categories, Metaphysics, De Anima and elsewhere. The article discusses three current interpretations of this terminology. These are drawn along the lines of, respectively, modal-existential ontological dependence, essential ontological dependence, and grounding or metaphysical explanation. I provide an opinionated introduction to the topic, raising the main interpretative questions, laying out a few of the exegetical and philosophical options that (...) influence one’s reading, and locating questions of Aristotle scholarship within the discussion of ontological dependence and grounding in contemporary metaphysics. (shrink)
Why morality cannot be based on faith in God -- Isms -- Absence of evidence is evidence of absence -- The insidiousness of interpretation -- You will obey -- Sally, Butch, and Plato's dilemma -- The fundamentals of secular morality -- What it means to be moral -- Where do you get your morals? -- The secular seven -- Challenges to secular morality -- Accounting for immorality -- Genocidal century -- Secular solutions -- Moral relativism.
Outsourcing is becoming a major option in British business, including the financial services industry, and it raises a number of ethical considerations. The author of this major ethical study contends that “Outsourcing seems to present a particular threat to employees... because of the factors which have led to outsourcing and the way in which it tends to work.” Mike Henderson is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and Senior Lecturer in Financial Services in the School of Financial (...) Studies and Law of Sheffield Hallam University, City Campus, Pond Street, Sheffield S1 1WB, England. (shrink)
Goffman makes considerable use of the metaphor of social life as theater. This metaphor has a significant impact on his thought in three areas: 1) it is central to his changing views about cynicism and trust in everyday life; 2) metaphor in general is a method of sociological inquiry; and 3) metaphor suggests a "limit" that his later work attempts to transcend.
The greatest existential threats to humanity stem from increasingly powerful advanced technologies. Yet the “risk potential” of such tools can only be realized when coupled with a suitable agent who; through error or terror; could use the tool to bring about an existential catastrophe. While the existential risk literature has provided many accounts of how advanced technologies might be misused and abused to cause unprecedented harm; no scholar has yet explored the other half of the agent-tool coupling; namely the agent. (...) This paper aims to correct this failure by offering a comprehensive overview of what we could call “agential riskology.” Only by studying the unique properties of different agential risk types can one acquire an accurate picture of the existential danger before us. (shrink)
Both literalism, the view that mathematical objects simply exist in the empirical world, and fictionalism, the view that mathematical objects do not exist but are rather harmless fictions, have been both ascribed to Aristotle. The ascription of literalism to Aristotle, however, commits Aristotle to the unattractive view that mathematics studies but a small fragment of the physical world; and there is evidence that Aristotle would deny the literalist position that mathematical objects are perceivable. The ascription of fictionalism also faces a (...) difficult challenge: there is evidence that Aristotle would deny the fictionalist position that mathematics is false. I argue that, in Aristotle's view, the fiction of mathematics is not to treat what does not exist as if existing but to treat mathematical objects with an ontological status they lack. This form of fictionalism is consistent with holding that mathematics is true. (shrink)
A predicate logic typically has a heterogeneous semantic theory. Subjects and predicates have distinct semantic roles: subjects refer; predicates characterize. A sentence expresses a truth if the object to which the subject refers is correctly characterized by the predicate. Traditional term logic, by contrast, has a homogeneous theory: both subjects and predicates refer; and a sentence is true if the subject and predicate name one and the same thing. In this paper, I will examine evidence for ascribing to Aristotle the (...) view that subjects and predicates refer. If this is correct, then it seems that Aristotle, like the traditional term logician, problematically conflates predication and identity claims. I will argue that we can ascribe to Aristotle the view that both subjects and predicates refer, while holding that he would deny that a sentence is true just in case the subject and predicate name one and the same thing. In particular, I will argue that Aristotle's core semantic notion is not identity but the weaker relation of constitution. For example, the predication ‘All men are mortal’ expresses a true thought, in Aristotle's view, just in case the mereological sum of humans is a part of the mereological sum of mortals. (shrink)
The dictum ‘“ought” implies “can”’ has a status in moral philosophy in some respects like that of ‘a good player needs good co-ordination’ in talk about ball-games. Clearly, you say something important but not conclusive about proficiency in playing a ball-game when you say that it requires good co-ordination: similarly, you say something important but not conclusive about obligation when you say that it implies a certain possibility or power or ability. Each dictum is a reminder: the one about such (...) courses of physical instruction, the other about such exhortations to duty, as are worth persevering with. It would be hopeless to keep on teaching a boy the moves and tricks of rugby football if he could never co-ordinate well enough to get his eye in, so to speak. Correspondingly, it would be meaningless to recommend that someone ought to do something the specification of which involved a contradiction, and pointless to suggest that he ought to do something which, for quite general reasons, was not, and was certain to remain not, within his power. So each dictum expresses a bluff, no-nonsense wisdom which we should count on before involving ourselves in certain more detailed commitments. But probably this is as far as the comparison between the two sayings can well be taken. (shrink)
This paper examines three medical student poems about death to explore how medical students use poetry to understand their encounters with dying patients and to discuss how these poems function as elegies in the context of medical culture.
Individual substances are the ground of Aristotle’s ontology. Taking a liberal approach to existence, Aristotle accepts among existents entities in such categories other than substance as quality, quantity and relation; and, within each category, individuals and universals. As I will argue, individual substances are ontologically independent from all these other entities, while all other entities are ontologically dependent on individual substances. The association of substance with independence has a long history and several contemporary metaphysicians have pursued the connection. In this (...) chapter, I will discuss the intersection of these notions of substance and ontological dependence in Aristotle. I will canvass a few contemporary formulations of ontological dependence and discuss some of the interpretative difficulties in ascribing any of these formulations to Aristotle’s characterization of individual substances as ontologically independent. My aim is not to resolve fully these difficulties but to locate the topics of substance and independence relative to certain other controversies in Aristotle studies. However, I will sketch a position. In particular, elsewhere I have speculated that Aristotle is both a primitivist and a pluralist with respect to ontological dependence, and I will develop this line of interpretation a bit further later in the chapter. (shrink)
This chapter argues that dual-use emerging technologies are distributing unprecedented offensive capabilities to nonstate actors. To counteract this trend, some scholars have proposed that states become a little “less liberal” by implementing large-scale surveillance policies to monitor the actions of citizens. This is problematic, though, because the distribution of offensive capabilities is also undermining states’ capacity to enforce the rule of law. I will suggest that the only plausible escape from this conundrum, at least from our present vantage point, is (...) the creation of a “supersingleton” run by a friendly superintelligence, founded upon a “post-singularity social contract.” In making this argument, the present chapter offers a novel reason for prioritizing the “control problem,” i.e., the problem of ensuring that a greaterthan-human-level AI will positively enhance human well-being. (shrink)
Despite much discussion over the existence of moral facts, metaethicists have largely ignored the related question of their possibility. This paper addresses the issue from the moral error theorist’s perspective, and shows how the arguments that error theorists have produced against the existence of moral facts at this world, if sound, also show that moral facts are impossible, at least at worlds non-morally identical to our own and, on some versions of the error theory, at any world. So error theorists’ (...) arguments warrant a stronger conclusion than has previously been noticed. This may appear to make them vulnerable to counterarguments that take the possibility of moral facts as a premise. However, I show that any such arguments would be question-begging. (shrink)
This paper contributes towards a lay ethics of nanotechnology through an analysis of talk from focus groups designed to examine how laypeople grapple with the meaning of a technology ‘in-the-making’. We describe the content of lay ethical concerns before suggesting that this content can be understood as being structured by five archetypal narratives which underpin talk. These we term: ‘the rich get richer and the poor get poorer’; ‘kept in the dark’; ‘opening Pandora’s box’; ‘messing with nature’; and ‘be careful (...) what you wish for’. We further suggest that these narratives can be understood as sharing an emphasis on the ‘giftedness’ of life, and that together they are used to resist dominant technoscientific and Enlightenment narratives of control and mastery which are encapsulated by nanotechnology. (shrink)