Former NAACP chapter head Rachel Dolezal's attempted transition from the white to the black race occasioned heated controversy. Her story gained notoriety at the same time that Caitlyn Jenner graced the cover of Vanity Fair, signaling a growing acceptance of transgender identity. Yet criticisms of Dolezal for misrepresenting her birth race indicate a widespread social perception that it is neither possible nor acceptable to change one's race in the way it might be to change one's sex. Considerations that support transgenderism (...) seem to apply equally to transracialism. Although Dolezal herself may or may not represent a genuine case of a transracial person, her story and the public reaction to it serve helpful illustrative purposes. (shrink)
In this essay, I reply to critiques of my article “In Defense of Transracialism.” Echoing Chloë Taylor and Lewis Gordon’s remarks on the controversy over my article, I first reflect on the lack of intellectual generosity displayed in response to my paper. In reply to Kris Sealey, I next argue that it is dangerous to hinge the moral acceptability of a particular identity or practice on what she calls a collective co-signing. In reply to Sabrina Hom, I suggest that relying (...) on the language of passing to describe transracialism is potentially misleading. In reply to Tina Botts, I both defend analytic philosophy of race against her multiple criticisms and suggest that Botts’s remarks risk complicity with a form of transphobia that Talia Mae Bettcher calls the Basic Denial of Authenticity. I end by gesturing toward a more inclusive understanding of racial identity. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that although it is important to attend to injustices surrounding women's epistemic exclusions, it is equally important to attend to injustices surrounding women's epistemic inclusions. Partly in response to the historical exclusion of women's knowledge, there has been increasing effort among first-world actors to seek out women's knowledge. This trend is apparent in efforts to mainstream gender in climate change negotiation. Here, one is told that women's superior knowledge about how to adapt to climate change (...) makes them “poised to help solve and overcome this daunting challenge.” Pulling from the work of Miranda Fricker, I argue that such claims risk epistemically objectifying women. To illuminate the risk of women's epistemic objectification in climate change discourse, I offer a feminist analysis of current efforts to seek women's environmental knowledge, cautioning throughout that such efforts must reflect just epistemic relations. (shrink)
REBECCATUVEL,VINCENT DUHAMEL | : La tentative de l’ancienne cheffe d’une section de la NAACP 1 Rachel Dolezal de passer de la race blanche à la race noire a occasionné une intense controverse. Son histoire est devenue célèbre au même moment où Caitlyn Jenner2 faisait la couverture de Vanity Fair, signe d’une acceptation grandissante de l’identité trans. Pourtant, les critiques adressées à Dolezal pour avoir caché sa race natale indiquent qu’il existe une perception sociale largement répandue selon laquelle (...) il n’est ni possible ni acceptable de changer de race de la manière dont on peut changer de sexe. Les considérations qui soutiennent le transgenrisme3 semblent s’appliquer également au transracialisme. Que Dolezal représente ou non un exemple authentique de personne transraciale, son histoire et la réaction publique qu’elle a suscitée peuvent fournir un cas instructif à étudier. | : Former NAACP chapter head Rachel Dolezal’s attempted transition from the white to the black race occasioned heated controversy. Her story gained notoriety at the same time that Caitlyn Jenner graced the cover of Vanity Fair, signaling a growing acceptance of transgender identity. Yet criticisms of Dolezal for misrepresenting her birth race indicate a widespread social perception that it is neither possible nor acceptable to change one’s race in the way it might be to change one’s sex. Considerations that support transgenderism seem to apply equally to transracialism. Although Dolezal herself may or may not represent a genuine case of a transracial person, her story and the public reaction to it serve helpful illustrative purposes. (shrink)
While there exists considerable protest against the use of animals in experimentation, less protest is voiced against the use of knowledge gained from animal experimentation. Pulling from arguments against the use of Nazi data, I suggest that using knowledge gained from animal experimentation both disrespects animal victims and sustains the practice. It is thus pro tanto morally wrong.
Methodological tools for doing philosophy that take into account the historical context of the phenomenon under consideration are arguably better suited for examining questions of race and gender than acontextual or ahistorical methodological tools. Accordingly, RebeccaTuvel’s “defense” of so-called transracialism arguably veers off track to the extent that it relies on acontextual and ahistorical tools. While Tuvel argues, largely relying on such tools, that so-called transracialism is both metaphysically possible and ethically permissible, from a perspective that (...) factors in context and history, so-called transracialism is arguably neither. Nonetheless, Tuvel’s ethical call to the effect that an individual right to racial self-definition should be acknowledged has its appeal. However, the lesson to be learned from the Tuvel affair arguably has less to do with the metaphysical or ethical status of so-called transracialism than with changes that arguably need to be made in the way mainstream/analytic professional philosophy goes about its business, particularly with regard to non-ideal topics like race and gender. (shrink)
RebeccaTuvel’s controversial “In Defense of Transracialism” has been criticized for a lack of engagement with critical race theory. Disengagement with salient material on race is a consistent feature of the philosophical conversation out of which it arises. In this article, I trace the origins of feminist philosophy’s disengaged and distorted view of “transracialism” and racial passing through the work of Janice Raymond, Christine Overall, and Cressida Heyes, and consider some of the relevant work on passing that is (...) omitted in the philosophy of “transracialism.” Finally, I offer methodological suggestions to avoid such distortions and omissions in feminist philosophy. (shrink)
This article explores several philosophical questions raised by RebeccaTuvel’s controversial article, “In Defense of Transracialism.” Drawing upon work on the concept of bad faith, including its form as “disciplinary decadence,” this discussion raises concerns of constructivity and its implications and differences in intersections of race and gender.
In this response I compare RebeccaTuvel’s article, “In Defense of Transracialism,” to several other recent examples of philosophical and social justice scholarship in which authors draw comparisons between diverse identities and oppressions, and draw ethical and political conclusions about experiences that are not necessarily their own. I ask what methodological or authorial differences can explain the dramatically different reception of these works compared to Tuvel’s, and whether these differences in reception were justified. In this response I (...) also challenge the often-heard claim that Tuvel failed to draw on the evidence of experience in her article, as well as the assumption that social justice scholars should always do so. Finally, I consider Tuvel’s motivations in writing her article and describe them as intellectually generous, and I call for more intellectual generosity in academia as it is transformed by social media. (shrink)
Voluntary management standards for social and environmental performance ideally help to define and improve firms’ related capabilities. These standards, however, have largely failed to improve such performance as intended. Over-emphasis on institutional factors leading to adoption of these standards has neglected the role of firms’ existing capabilities. External pressures can drive firms to adopt standards more than their technical capacity to employ them. This can lead to problems of “fit” between institutional requirements and a firm’s existing capabilities . We describe (...) a conceptual model that considers the impact of an interaction between a firm’s institutional requirements and its existing capabilities on standards failure. We suggest solutions that align institutional requirements to appropriate governance forms as a means to improve standards success. We contribute to theory by describing the role of firms’ internal capabilities to the success of voluntary management standards and the reliability of self-regulation generally. (shrink)
Financially significant relationships between corporations and non-profit organizations have increased in recent years. NPOs offer access to interests and ideologies that are lacking within most for-profit organizations. These partnerships form a unique bridge between for-profit and non-profit goals and offer significant potential to produce innovative ways of “doing business by doing good.” Exploration of the structural implications of these relationships, however, has been limited. The potential for ideological imbalance in these relationships, particularly for the NPO, has been poorly described. We (...) explore the structure of Corporate–NPO relationships from the NPO's perspective under high pressure conditions such as large relational investments or negative pressure from stakeholders. Using data collected from 20 NPOs in Australia, we identified the use by NPOs of both formal and informal governance mechanisms within their partnerships. These mechanisms acted to align and defend important goals of the NPO. They allowed the NPO and their corporate partners to be simultaneously “together and apart.” Our study offers important insight toward the study of cross-sector relationships and the role of governance mechanisms. (shrink)
Financially significant relationships between corporations and non-profit organizations (NPOs) have increased in recent years. NPOs offer access to interests and ideologies that are lacking within most forprofit organizations. These partnerships form a unique bridge between for-profit and non-profit goals and offer significant potential to produce innovative ways of "doing business by doing good." Exploration of the structural implications of these relationships, however, has been limited. The potential for ideological imbalance in these relationships, particularly for the NPO, has been poorly described. (...) We explore the structure of Corporate-NPO relationships from the NPO's perspective under high pressure conditions such as large relational investments or negative pressure from stakeholders. Using data collected from 20 NPOs in Australia, we identified the use by NPOs of both formal and informal governance mechanisms within their partnerships. These mechanisms acted to align and defend important goals of the NPO. They allowed the NPO and their corporate partners to be simultaneously "together and apart."Our study offers important insight toward the study of cross-sector relationships and the role of governance mechanisms. (shrink)
Patients belonging to ethnic, racial, and religious minorities have been all but excluded from the legal academy's on-going conversation about informed consent. This article repairs that egregious omission. It begins by observing the narrowing of ethical justifications that underlie our informed consent law, tracing the ethical literature from the ancients to modern formulations of autonomy-centered models. Next, this article reviews the vast body of empirical data available in social science literature, that demonstrates how distinct from the autonomy model the broad (...) range of values and priorities held by patients from racial, ethnic, and religious minority groups is. The conclusion that informed consent's focus on the western notion of autonomy affirmatively harms minority patients is inescapable. The article concludes by offering a fiduciary model of informed consent law that could improve the quality of health care for more than 100 million minority patients, potentially at risk under current law while also regulating the informed consent procedure and practice in a way that will bring balance and justice to all American patients and providers. (shrink)
The confluence of racial unrest and Medicaid expansion in Virginia should inspire a national reimagining of how health care can contribute to health equity. Hospitals in particular can leverage their role as economic drivers in communities to equalize health and social outcomes for all. The urgent need for innovative opioid intervention presents a fertile proving ground for new ways that hospitals can act to reduce the impact of racial inequity. Inspired by the role hospitals played to achieve desegregation during the (...) Civil Rights era, this essay proposes an integrated approach to use Medicaid expansion to advance health and racial healing in America. (shrink)
Patients belonging to ethnic, racial, and religious minorities have been all but excluded from the legal academy’s ongoing conversation about informed consent. Perhaps this is just as well, since the conversation appears to have concluded that the doctrine has failed to serve as a meaningful regulation of clinical relationships. Informed consent does not operate in practice the way it was intended in theory. More than a decade ago, Peter Schuck noted the “informed consent gap” that distinguishes the “proper” law of (...) informed consent “on the books” from the actual consent law in action, and called for a more contextualized approach to informed consent. Susan Wolf later called for a systemic approach to informed consent in order to accommodate multiple decision points in the managed care setting. Some reformers have sought enhancements to expand the doctrine. (shrink)
This paper explores how law might conceive of the injury or harm of endocrine disruption as it applies to an aboriginal community experiencing chronic chemical pollution. The effect of the pollution in this case is not only gendered, but gendering: it seems to be causing the ‘production’ of two girl babies for every boy born on the reserve. This presents an opening to interrogate how law is implicated in the constitution of not just gender but sex. The analysis takes an (...) embodied turn, attempting to validate the real and material consequences of synthetic chemicals acting on bodies—but uncovers that finding a harm in a declining sex ratio depends on a static conception of the human form, based on unfounded assumptions of ‘naturalness’ and ‘normalcy’. Elizabeth Grosz’s theory of ‘becoming’ offers a compelling challenge, essentially pointing to the conclusion that we should find harm where we find illness and suffering and not simply where we find difference. At the same time, we cannot discount the political economy of the pollution: the paper concludes by returning the focus to the role of power, colonialism and the state in the perpetuation of the pollution on the landscape. (shrink)
“Medicalization” has been a contentious notion since its introduction centuries ago. While some scholars lamented a medical overreach into social domains, others hailed its promise for social justice advocacy. Against the backdrop of a growing commitment to health equity across the nation, this article reviews historical interpretations of medicalization, offers an application of the term to non-biologic risk factors for disease, and presents the case of housing the demonstrate the great potential of medicalizing poverty.
I explore how gender can shape the pragmatics of speech. In some circumstances, when a woman deploys standard discursive conventions in order to produce a speech act with a specific performative force, her utterance can turn out, in virtue of its uptake, to have a quite different force—a less empowering force—than it would have if performed by a man. When members of a disadvantaged group face a systematic inability to produce a specific kind of speech act that they are entitled (...) to perform—and in particular when their attempts result in their actually producing a different kind of speech act that further compromises their social position and agency—then they are victims of what I call discursive injustice. I examine three examples of discursive injustice. I contrast my account with Langton and Hornsby's account of illocutionary silencing. I argue that lack of complete control over the performative force of our speech acts is universal, and not a special marker of social disadvantage. However, women and other relatively disempowered speakers are sometimes subject to a distinctive distortion of the path from speaking to uptake, which undercuts their social agency in ways that track and enhance existing social disadvantages. (shrink)
The paper analyzes focus group data to explore student perceptions of an inquiry-based undergraduate biology course. Though the course was designed to mimic the scientific process by incorporating uncertainty, peer review, and self-reflection, students came to class focused on getting As and with a developed schema for didactic instruction and passive learning. They perceived the autonomy and self-directedness of the learning experience as a threat to their grades, and responded with strategies that protected their grades and ego, but were deleterious (...) to learning. Students could identify merits of the inquiry-based approach; however, they made clear: they prioritized grades, and were unwilling to trust an unfamiliar pedagogy if they perceived it jeopardized their grades. In the framework of self-regulated learning, the discussion considers how to scaffold students to foreground learning over achievement. (shrink)
Miranda Fricker claims that a “gap” in collective hermeneutical resources with respect to the social experiences of marginalized groups prevents members of those groups from understanding their own experiences (Fricker 2007). I argue that because Fricker misdescribes dominant hermeneutical resources as collective, she fails to locate the ethically bad epistemic practices that maintain gaps in dominant hermeneutical resources even while alternative interpretations are in fact offered by non-dominant discourses. Fricker's analysis of hermeneutical injustice does not account for the possibility that (...) marginalized groups can be silenced relative to dominant discourses without being prevented from understanding or expressing their own social experiences. I suggest that a gap in dominant hermeneutical resources is ambiguous between two kinds of unknowing: hermeneutical injustice suffered by members of marginalized groups, and epistemically and ethically blameworthy ignorance perpetrated by members of dominant groups. (shrink)
It is a truism that humans are social animals. Thus, it is no surprise that we understand the world, each other, and ourselves in terms of social kinds such as money and marriage, war and women, capitalists and cartels, races, recessions, and refugees. Social kinds condition our expectations, inform our preferences, and guide our behavior. Despite the prevalence and importance of social kinds, philosophy has historically devoted relatively little attention to them. With few exceptions, philosophers have given pride of place (...) to the kinds studied by the natural sciences, especially physics. However, philosophical interest in social kinds is growing in recent years. I critically examine answers to a cluster of related questions concerning the metaphysics of social kinds. Are social kinds natural kinds? Do social kinds have essences? Are social kinds mind dependent? Are social kinds real? (shrink)
The principle of informed consent obligates physicians to explain possible side effects when prescribing medications. This disclosure may itself induce adverse effects through expectancy mechanisms known as nocebo effects, contradicting the principle of nonmaleficence. Rigorous research suggests that providing patients with a detailed enumeration of every possible adverse event?especially subjective self-appraised symptoms?can actually increase side effects. Describing one version of what might happen may actually create outcomes that are different from what would have happened without this information. This essay argues (...) that the perceived tension between balancing informed consent with nonmaleficence might be resolved by recognizing that adverse effects have no clear black or white?truth.? This essay suggests a pragmatic approach for providers to minimize nocebo responses while still maintaining patient autonomy through?contextualized informed consent,? which takes into account possible side effects, the patient being treated, and the particular diagnosis involved. (shrink)
The claim that we have a moral obligation, where a choice can be made, to bring to birth the 'best' child possible, has been highly controversial for a number of decades. More recently Savulescu has labelled this claim the Principle of Procreative Beneficence. It has been argued that this Principle is problematic in both its reasoning and its implications, most notably in that it places lower moral value on the disabled. Relentless criticism of this proposed moral obligation, however, has been (...) unable, thus far, to discredit this Principle convincingly and as a result its influence shows no sign of abating. I will argue that while criticisms of the implications and detail of the reasoning behind it are well founded, they are unlikely to produce an argument that will ultimately discredit the obligation that the Principle of Procreative Beneficence represents. I believe that what is needed finally and convincingly to reveal the fallacy of this Principle is a critique of its ultimate theoretical foundation, the notion of impersonal harm. In this paper I argue that while the notion of impersonal harm is intuitively very appealing, its plausibility is based entirely on this intuitive appeal and not on sound moral reasoning. I show that there is another plausible explanation for our intuitive response and I believe that this, in conjunction with the other theoretical criticisms that I and others have levelled at this Principle, shows that the Principle of Procreative Beneficence should be rejected. (shrink)
This book brings together international academics from a range of Social Science and Humanities disciplines to reflect on how Deleuze's philosophy is opening up and shaping methodologies and practices of empirical research.
Mass Hysteria examines the medical and cultural practices surrounding pregnancy, new motherhood, and infant feeding. Late eighteenth century transformations in these practices reshaped mothers' bodies, and contemporary norms and routines of prenatal care and early motherhood have inherited the legacy of that era. As a result, mothers are socially positioned in ways that can make it difficult for them to establish and maintain healthy and safe boundaries and appropriate divisions between public and private space.
Phase 1 healthy volunteer clinical trials—which financially compensate subjects in tests of drug toxicity levels and side effects—appear to place pressure on each joint of the moral framework justifying research. In this article, we review concerns about phase 1 trials as they have been framed in the bioethics literature, including undue inducement and coercion, unjust exploitation, and worries about compromised data validity. We then revisit these concerns in light of the lived experiences of serial participants who are income-dependent on phase (...) 1 trials. We show how participant experiences shift attention from discrete exchanges, behaviors, and events in the research enterprise to the ongoing and dynamic patterns of serial participation in which individual decision-making is embedded in collective social and economic conditions and shaped by institutional policies. We argue in particular for the ethical significance of structurally diminished voluntariness, routine powerlessness in setting the terms of exchange, and incentive structures that may promote pharmaceutical interests but encourage phase 1 healthy volunteers to skirt important rules. (shrink)
The early modern period is arguably the most pivotal of all in the study of the mind, teeming with a variety of conceptions of mind. Some of these posed serious questions for assumptions about the nature of the mind, many of which still depended on notions of the soul and God. It is an era that witnessed the emergence of theories and arguments that continue to animate the study of philosophy of mind, such as dualism, vitalism, materialism, and idealism. -/- (...) Covering pivotal figures in philosophy such as Descartes, Hobbes, Kant, Leibniz, Cavendish, and Spinoza, Philosophy of Mind in the Early Modern and Modern Ages provides an outstanding survey of philosophy of mind of the period. Following an introduction by Rebecca Copenhaver, sixteen specially commissioned chapters by an international team of contributors discuss key topics, thinkers, and debates, including: -/- Hobbes, Descartes’ philosophy of mind and its early critics, consciousness, the later Cartesians, Malebranche, Cavendish, Locke, Spinoza, Descartes and Leibniz, perception and sensation, desires, mental substance and mental activity, Hume, and Kant. Essential reading for students and researchers in philosophy of mind, enlightenment philosophy, and the history of philosophy, Philosophy of Mind in the Early Modern and Modern Ages is also a valuable resource for those in related disciplines such as religion, history of psychology, and history of science. (shrink)
Open-mindedness is widely valued as an important intellectual virtue. Definitional debates about open-mindedness have focused on whether open-minded believers must possess a particular first-order attitude toward their beliefs or a second-order attitude toward themselves as believers, taking it for granted that open-mindedness is motivated by the pursuit of propositional knowledge. In this article, Rebecca Taylor develops an alternative to knowledge-centered accounts of open-mindedness. Drawing on recent work in epistemology that reclaims understanding as a primary epistemic good, Taylor argues for (...) an expanded account of open-mindedness as an intellectual virtue motivated by the pursuit of both knowledge and understanding. Incorporating understanding allows for a more robust account of open-mindedness that better accommodates common usage, avoids common criticisms, and better explains the widespread acceptance of open-mindedness as an important intellectual virtue. Taylor also identifies the connections between open-mindedness and several other intellectual virtues, including intellectual humility, intellectual courage, and intellectual diligence. (shrink)
Combatting chronic, lifestyle-related disease has become a healthcare priority in the developed world. The role personal responsibility should play in healthcare provision has growing pertinence given the growing significance of individual lifestyle choices for health. Media reporting focussing on the ‘bad behaviour’ of individuals suffering lifestyle-related disease, and policies aimed at encouraging ‘responsibilisation’ in healthcare highlight the importance of understanding the scope of responsibility ascriptions in this context. Research into the social determinants of health and psychological mechanisms of health behaviour (...) could undermine some commonly held and tacit assumptions about the moral responsibility of agents for the sorts of lifestyles they adopt. I use Philip Petit's conception of freedom as ‘fitness to be held responsible’ to consider the significance of some of this evidence for assessing the moral responsibility of agents. I propose that, in some cases, factors outside the agent's control may influence behaviour in such a way as to undermine her freedom along the three dimensions described by Pettit: freedom of action; a sense of identification with one's actions; and whether one's social position renders one vulnerable to pressure from more powerful others. (shrink)