Experimental methods and conceptual confusion : philosophy, science, and what emotions really are -- To 'make our voices resonate' or 'to be silent'? : shame as fundamental ontology -- Emotion, cognition, and world -- Shame and world.
Gordon Baker in his last decade published a series of papers (now collected in Baker 2004), which are revolutionary in their proposals for understanding of later Wittgenstein. Taking our lead from the first of those papers, on "perspicuous presentations," we offer new criticisms of 'elucidatory' readers of later Wittgenstein, such as Peter Hacker: we argue that their readings fail to connect with the radically therapeutic intent of the 'perspicuous presentation' concept, as an achievement-term, rather than a kind of 'objective' mapping (...) of a 'conceptual landscape.' Baker's Wittgenstein, far from being a 'language policeman' of the kind that often fails to influence mainstream philosophy, offers an alternative to the latent scientism of Wittgenstein's influential 'elucidatory' readers. (shrink)
Much has been written on the relative merits of different readings of Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. The recent renewal of the debate has almost exclusively been concerned with variants of the ineffabilist (metaphysical) reading of TL-P - notable such readings have been advanced by Elizabeth Anscombe, P. M. S. Hacker and H. O. Mounce - and the recently advanced variants of therapeutic (resolute) readings - notable advocates of which are James Conant, Cora Diamond, Juliet Floyd and Michael Kremer. During this debate, (...) there have been a number of writers who have tried to develop a third way, incorporating what they see as insights and avoiding what they see as flaws in both the ineffabilist and resolute readings. The most prominent advocates of these elucidatory readings of TL-P are Dan Hutto (2003) and Marie McGinn (1999). In this paper we subject Hutto's and McGinn's readings of TL-P to critical scrutiny. We find that in seeking to occupy the middle ground they ultimately find themselves committed to (and in the process commit Wittgenstein to) the very ineffabilism they (and Wittgenstein) are seeking to overcome. (shrink)
This provocative, engaging and important book marks the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Peter Winch's seminal The Idea of a Social Science. The authors – the first two philosophers, the third a sociologist – have worked together in various permutations before. No-one familiar with their previous publications will be surprised that the dominant voice throughout is Wittgenstein's – that is, Wittgenstein as read ‘resolutely’ by ‘new Wittgensteinians’. They have three principal aims: first, to read Winch's own work in an (...) equally ‘resolute’ way; hence to read ISS as prophylactic and therapeutic in intention, and not as heralding a wonderful or not-so-wonderful new social theory; secondly, to defend Winch against certain persistent charges; and thirdly, to persuade social theorists and philosophers of ‘social science’ that Winch's therapeutic lessons have not yet been assimilated, with the possible exception of a handful of ethnographers and ethnomethodologists.Following a substantial introductory section, Chapters 1 and 2 – respectively, entitled ‘Beyond pluralism, monism, relativism, realism etc.: reassessing Peter Winch’ and ‘Winch and linguistic idealism’ – argue that Winch cannot be seen as an advocate of linguistic idealism or “any of the other ‘isms’ that have been reactively bandied about …. (shrink)
Is there a response, which is not accounted for by regression to the mean, natural history, the Hawthorne effect?The term placebo comes to us from the Latin for "I shall please," indicating that the phenomenon known as the "placebo effect" or "placebo response" has been familiar to medical practitioners for a number of centuries, at least. As we reached the mid-20th century and randomized controlled trials became a central feature of medical research, the use of controls and blinding in those (...) trials allowed for the isolation of the placebo effect in ways that made it much clearer that there... (shrink)
Wittgenstein's Method: Neglected Aspects By Gordon Baker. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004 pp. 328. £40.00 HB.. Wittgenstein's Copernican Revolution: The Question of Linguistic Idealism By Ilham Dilman. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2002. pp. 240. £52.50 HB. Wittgenstein: Connections and Controversies By P. M. S. Hacker. Oxford: Oxford University Press,. pp. 400. £45.00 HB; £19.99 PB. Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations: An Introduction By David G. Stern. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. pp. 224. £40.00 HB; £10.99 PB.
Over 200 years ago, doctors' most effective tools were typically not found in their medical bags. Indeed, most treatments in the history of medicine have, until relatively recently, caused more harm than good. Prior to the biomedical revolution in the late 19th century, doctors' most reliable and effective instruments of healing were their skills of communication with patients and an aptitude for a positive and supportive bedside manner. Bearing out this portrait of medicine, Thomas Jefferson, writing in 1807, noted that (...) "one of the most successful physicians I have ever known has assured me that he used more bread pills, drops of colored water, and powers of hickory ashes, than of all other medicines put together"... (shrink)
Empathy is a broad concept that involves the various ways in which we come to know and make connections with one another. As medical practice becomes progressively orientated towards a model of engaged partnership, empathy is increasingly important in healthcare. This is often conceived more specifically through the concept of therapeutic empathy, which has two aspects: interpersonal understanding and caring action. The question of how we make connections with one another was also central to the work of the novelist E.M. (...) Forster. In this article we analyse Forster’s interpretation of connection—particularly in the novel Howards End—in order to explore and advance current debates on therapeutic empathy. We argue that Forster conceived of connection as a socially embedded act, reminding us that we need to consider how social structures, cultural norms and institutional constraints serve to affect interpersonal connections. From this, we develop a dispositional account of therapeutic empathy in which connection is conceived as neither an instinctive occurrence nor a process of representational inference, but a dynamic process of embodied, embedded and actively engaged enquiry. Our account also suggests that therapeutic empathy is not merely an untrainable reflex but something that can be cultivated. We thus promote two key ideas. First, that empathy should be considered as much a social as an individual phenomenon, and second that empathy training can and should be given to clinicians. (shrink)
In the current academic climate, teaching is often seen as secondary to research. Teaching Philosophy seeks to bring teaching philosophy higher on the academic agenda.An international team of contributors, all of whom share the view that philosophy is a subject that can transform students, offers practical guidance and advice for teachers of philosophy. The book suggests ways in which the teaching of philosophy at undergraduate level might be facilitated. Some of the essays place the emphasis on individual self discovery, others (...) focus on the wider political context, many offer practical ideas for enhancing the teaching of philosophy through exercises that engage students in often unconventional ways. The integration of students' views on teaching provides a necessary reminder that teaching is not a one-way process, but a project that will ultimately succeed through cooperation and a shared sense of achievement amongst participants. (shrink)
There are five ways in which shame might negatively impact upon our attempts to combat and treat HIV. Shame can prevent an individual from disclosing all the relevant facts about their sexual history to the clinician. Shame can be a motivational factor in people living with HIV not engaging with or being retained in care. Shame can prevent individuals from presenting at clinics for STI and HIV testing. Shame can prevent an individual from disclosing their HIV status to new sexual (...) partners. Shame can serve to psychologically imprison people, it makes the task of living with HIV a far more negative experience than it should, or needs to, be. Drawing on recent philosophical work on shame, and more broadly on work in the philosophy and psychology of emotion, we propose a framework for understanding how shame operates upon those who experience the emotion, propose a strategy for combatting the negative role shame plays in the fight against HIV, and suggest further study so as to identify the tactics that might be employed in pursuing the strategy here proposed. (shrink)
Since the resurgence of interest in political philosophy in the early 1970s debates about freedom have been central. Throughout this period Hillel Steiner has proposed and defended the pure negative conception of freedom. This work is complemented by Ian Carter’s recent writings on freedom. Carter and Steiner advance a non-normative conception of freedom employing tools from contemporary philosophy of action and language. In this article I seek to offer a deflationary critique of the Carter/Steiner position. My purpose is not to (...) deny the potential moral or political significance of a pure negative conception of freedom but rather to deflate the philosophical foundations claimed for such a conception. I show Steiner’s commitment to the pure negative conception of freedom is a substantive moral commitment, not the result of logical conclusions deemed from conceptual analysis. (shrink)
Since the resurgence of interest in political philosophy in the early 1970s debates about freedom have been central. Throughout this period Hillel Steiner has proposed and defended the pure negative conception of freedom. This work is complemented by Ian Carter’s recent writings on freedom. Carter and Steiner advance a non-normative (empirical) conception of freedom employing tools from contemporary philosophy of action and language. In this article I seek to offer a deflationary critique of the Carter/Steiner position. My purpose is not (...) to deny the potential moral or political significance of a pure negative conception of freedom but rather to deflate the philosophical foundations claimed for such a conception. I show Steiner’s commitment to the pure negative conception of freedom is a substantive moral commitment, not the result of logical conclusions deemed from conceptual analysis. (shrink)
Since its origins in the mid-Twentieth Century, Cognitive Science has almost exclusively operated within the philosophical frames provided by Cartesian Representationalism. In recent years, alternative, phenomenological and pragmatist, frames have served as a resource for the emergence of non-representational approaches to mind and cognition. These have been gathered under the label ‘4E cognition’, indicating their Embodied, Extended, Enacted and Embedded nature. This chapter examines one version of 4E cognition, which builds upon Ecological Psychology, and argues that it fails to pass (...) the Evaluation Test: it cannot account for the central role of normativity and evaluation in our responsiveness to loci of significance in the lifeworld, while failing to provide an argument for the exclusion of evaluative and normative aspects. (shrink)
Despite many points of divergence, social scientists and social theorists seem united by one primary concern: to identify what it is people are doing. The thought that this might count as not only a viable but centrally important concern is grounded in a scepticism about the ability of societies’ ordinary members to reliably correctly identify their own and others’ actions. In this scepticism, such social scientists and social theorists usually situate themselves in opposition to ethnomethodologists and Peter Winch. This scepticism (...) is grounded in a belief that ordinary or competent members of societies are unreliable authorities on the identity of their own and others’ actions because they are subject to systems of sociological refraction. The idea being that ordinary members of society are systematically misled as to the identity of their actions and those of their peers because they — or their perceptions of actions — are subject to the refractive properties of ideology, or folk theories of action, and so on. In this paper, I subject to analysis this core commitment of much social science and social theory. (shrink)