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.
We are grateful for the thoughtful attention the commentators and editors have given our paper. They raise many substantive points that warrant a response, but for reasons of journal space our reply must be brief. In our paper, we argue for an amended hybrid account of ‘disease’ in human medicine that takes normative ethics seriously, guards against pernicious classifications of disease and reconnects the concept with the goals of healthcare institutions in which disease diagnosis is embedded. Carel and Tekin, in (...) their respective pieces, raise issues about the objectivity and effective operationalisation of our account, Agar makes an ‘evolutionary’ case for disease concept eliminativism in mental health, and Wakefield and Conrad contend that our proposed modification to the harmful dysfunction account is unnecessary and undesirable. We will respond to each in turn. The rational moral justification component of our account raises difficult moral epistemological questions regarding which reasons are the weightiest ones and who should be allowed to participate in the rational justification process. Carel suggests that inevitable disagreement on this point undermines the alleged objectivity of our proposal. We agree with Tekin, however, that this is a feature of our account rather than a bug. What constitutes a good reason in moral deliberation is a question that goes to the very philosophical foundation of ethics ; but disagreement over which reasons are the weightiest ones does not prevent ethicists and policy makers from objectively assessing the strength of moral arguments by evaluating their empirical adequacy and logical structure, and this can take us a long way toward adjudication. The fact that rational justification has been used to support immoral practices and institutions does not warrant abandoning a reason-based approach to ethics any more than …. (shrink)
Photography began almost 150 years ago with the nearly simultaneous invention of two types of photographic processes, the daguerreotype and the Talbotype or calotype. On January 7, 1839, Louis Daguerre announced his discovery of a way to reproduce images on coated copper plate. Shortly thereafter, on January 31, William Talbot explained how shadows of objects could be chemically recorded on salted paper sensitized with silver nitrate. With the advent of photography, the people, architecture, and natural beauty of Chester County, Pennsylvania, (...) made worthy subject matter for many professional and amateur photographers. Photographers in Chester County, many of whom were also skilled artisans and craftsmen, were fortunate in that they lived near Philadelphia, a center of photographic activity. The first photographers in the county were itinerant tradesmen who traveled from place to place, taking photographs, portraits mainly, for a fee. Later, as photography developed and became more widely known, many photographers opened their own studios. Reflected Light: A Century of Photography in Chester County offers an overview of the development of the photographic medium and traces the progress of photography by examining the work of ten Chester County photographers. In the text by Pamela Powell and in striking photographs of the county and its people, the story of photography in its earliest years is deftly told. (shrink)
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.
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 unique work, Professor G.A. Powell Jr. writes: "Thinkers are different from writers—writers are prostitutes. Thinkers desire to be prostitutes." Daily Conversations with My Interloper is first and foremost a celebration of the narrative paradigm, its evolution, latitude of expression, and radical subjectivity in the forms of aphorisms and feuilletons. Following in the literary tradition of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Albert Camus, John Cage, Emile Cioran, and Susan Sontag, et al., the text chronicles Professor Powell's reflections about the (...) ongoing metamorphoses of cultures, influential literary figures, travel, film, history, ennui, quotidian, and the mundane day-to-day existence in which all people participate. Daily Conversations with my Interloper, is a provocative read for the public and private intellectual interested in a panoply of ideas. (shrink)
Steven Pinker has said that one of the most important questions humans can ask of themselves is whether moral progress has occurred or is likely to occur. Buchanan and Powell here address that question, in order to provide the first naturalistic, empirically-informed and analytically sophisticated theory of moral progress--explaining the capacities in the human brain that allow for it, the role of the environment, and how contingent and fragile moral progress can be.
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)
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)
I explore how we negotiate sexual encounters with one another in language and consider the pragmatic structure of such negotiations. I defend three theses: Discussions of consent have dominated the philosophical and legal discourse around sexual negotiation, and this has distorted our understanding of sexual agency and ethics. Of central importance to good-quality sexual negotiation are sexual invitations and gift offers, as well as speech designed to set up safe frameworks and exit conditions. Sexual communication that goes well does not (...) just prevent harm; it enables forms of agency, pleasure, and fulfillment that would not otherwise be possible. (shrink)
It is easy to give a list of cognitive processes. They are things like learning, memory, concept formation, reasoning, maybe emotion, and so on. It is not easy to say, of these things that are called cognitive, what makes them so? Knowing the answer is one very important reason to be interested in the mark of the cognitive. In this paper, consider some answers that we think do not work and then offer one of our own which ties cognition to (...) actions explained via the having of reasons. (shrink)
Scouting for Boys is the original blueprint and 'self-instructor' of the Boy Scout Movement. An all-time bestseller, it is both a handbook and a philosophy for a way of living that replaces self with service, puts country before individual, and duty above all. As well as practical instructions on how to light fires and stalk men and animals, it includes sections on chivalry, self-discipline, self-improvement and citizenship. This new edition reveals its maverick complexity and explores its contradictions about sexuality, the (...) environment, and the empire. (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)
Previous work in Game Studies has centered on several loci of investigation in seeking to understand virtual gameworlds. First, researchers have scrutinized the concept of the virtual world itself and how it relates to the idea of “the magic circle”. Second, the field has outlined various forms of experienced “presence”. Third, scholarship has noted that the boundaries between the world of everyday life and virtual worlds are porous, and that this fosters a multiplicity of identities as players identify both with (...) themselves-offline and themselves-in-game. Despite widespread agreement that these topics are targets for research, so far those working on these topics do not have mutually agreed-upon framework. Here we draw upon the work of Alfred Schutz to take up this call. We provide a phenomenological framework which can be used to describe the phenomena of interest to Game Studies, as well as open new avenues of inquiry, in a way acceptable and useful to all. This helps to distinguish the core of the field from the supplemental theoretical and critical commitments which characterize diverse approaches within the field. (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)
Mathematicians judge proofs to possess, or lack, a variety of different qualities, including, for example, explanatory power, depth, purity, beauty and fit. Philosophers of mathematical practice have begun to investigate the nature of such qualities. However, mathematicians frequently draw attention to another desirable proof quality: being motivated. Intuitively, motivated proofs contain no "puzzling" steps, but they have received little further analysis. In this paper, I begin a philosophical investigation into motivated proofs. I suggest that a proof is motivated if and (...) only if mathematicians can identify (i) the tasks each step is intended to perform; and (ii) where each step could have reasonably come from. I argue that motivated proofs promote understanding, convey new mathematical resources and stimulate new discoveries. They thus have significant epistemic benefits and directly contribute to the efficient dissemination and advancement of mathematical knowledge. Given their benefits, I also discuss the more practical matter of how we can produce motivated proofs. Finally I consider the relationship between motivated proofs and proofs which are explanatory, beautiful and fitting. (shrink)
Ethical lapses associated with the first facial transplant included breaches of confidentiality, bending of research rules, and film deals. However, discussions of the risk-benefit ratio for face transplantation are often deficient in that they ignore the needs, experience, and decision-making capability of potential recipients.
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 reopened what many Americans had assumed was a settled ethical question: Is torture ever morally permissible? Rebecca Gordon argues that institutionalized state torture remains as wrong today as it was before those terrible attacks, and shows how U.S. practices during the ''war on terror'' are rooted in a history that includes support for torture regimes abroad and for the use of torture in the jails and prisons of this country.
The Institute of Medicine’s 2005 publication, Dietary Supplements: A Framework for Evaluating Safety, is authoritative and thorough, and thus representative of other reports by the Institute of Medicine. What makes this report particularly interesting, however, is the rich political subtext that exists in the interstices of the report, popping up here and there in brief comments and barely suppressed yelps of exasperation. To understand this context, it is useful to reflect for a moment on the special nature of the IOM (...) and its relationship to government.IOM is part of the National Academy of Sciences, and is a private, non-governmental organization that does not receive direct federal funding for its work. Rather, IOM studies are often funded by contract with governmental entities that request reports on particular topics. As a case in point, the dietary supplement study was requested and paid for by the FDA. (shrink)
I intend, here, in reflecting on my life to see if, by taking what appear to me in retrospect to be three critical points of vantage from which to describe my situation, my intentions and the thought, if any, which lay behind them, I can be of service.
I explore the role that values and interests, especially ideological interests, play in managing and balancing epistemic risks in medicine. I will focus in particular on how diseases are identified and operationalized. Before we can do biomedical research on a condition, it needs to be identified as a medical condition, and it needs to be operationalized in a way that lets us identify sufferers, measure progress, and so forth. I will argue that each time we do this, we engage in (...) epistemic risk balancing that inevitably draws upon values and interests, often including social and ideological values. My main interest here is in the conceptualization of infertility as a disease. Infertility is a rich test case for exploring the interplay between interests and epistemic risk management. There is no uncontested or standardized definition of infertility. The various definitions of it are internally ambiguous and tension-ridden, and in spectacular contradiction with one another. Many interest groups who are invested in framing infertility as a pressing problem deserving of social and medical redress are quick to insist that it is a legitimate ‘disease,’ but they cannot agree on which disease it is, what its symptoms or diagnostic markers are, or even what its basic ontology is. I suggest that there are political explanations for this epistemic mess. Indeed, I contend that there are good scientific and ethical reasons to reduce away the category of ‘infertility,’ especially understood as a scientific or medical category; I argue that we should excise the concept from our research and clinical practices. (shrink)
In 1837, Dirichlet proved that there are infinitely many primes in any arithmetic progression in which the terms do not all share a common factor. Modern presentations of the proof are explicitly higher-order, in that they involve quantifying over and summing over Dirichlet characters, which are certain types of functions. The notion of a character is only implicit in Dirichlet’s original proof, and the subsequent history shows a very gradual transition to the modern mode of presentation. In this essay, we (...) describe an approach to the philosophy of mathematics in which it is an important task to understand the roles of our ontological posits and assess the extent to which they enable us to achieve our mathematical goals. We use the history of Dirichlet’s theorem to understand some of the reasons that functions are treated as ordinary objects in contemporary mathematics, as well as some of the reasons one might want to resist such treatment. We also use these considerations to illuminate the formal treatment of functions and objects in Frege’s logical foundation, and we argue that his philosophical and logical decisions were influenced by many of the same factors. (shrink)
The view that social kinds (e.g., money, migrant, marriage) are mind-dependent is a prominent one in the social ontology literature. However, in addition to the claim that social kinds are mind-dependent, it is often asserted that social kinds are not real because they are mind-dependent. Call this view social kind anti-realism. To defend their view, social kind anti-realists must accomplish two tasks. First, they must identify a dependence relation that obtains between social kinds and our mental states. Call this the (...) Dependence Task. Second, they must show that social kinds are not real because they are mind-dependent. Call this the Anti-Realist Task. In this paper, I consider several different ways of defining the relation that is supposed to obtain between social kinds and our mental states. With respect to each relation, I argue that either it fails to accomplish the Dependence Task, or it fails to accomplish the Anti-Realist Task. As such, anyone who wishes to defend social kind anti-realism must provide an alternative explanation of how social kinds depend on our mental states in a way that impugns their reality. In the absence of such an explanation, there is no reason to endorse social kind anti-realism. (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)
I defend a novel view of how social kinds (e.g., money, women, permanent residents) depend on our mental states. In particular, I argue that social kinds depend on our mental states in the following sense: it is essential to them that they exist (partially) because certain mental states exist. This analysis is meant to capture the very general way in which all social kinds depend on our mental states. However, my view is that particular social kinds also depend on our (...) mental states in more specific ways—some of them causal, others metaphysical. I defend a minimal but metaphysically important notion of essence—one that takes as primary that the essential properties of a kind constitute its identity—and argue that this minimal notion of essence is all that is needed to vindicate my claim that social kinds are essentially mind-dependent. (shrink)
Scientific explanations are widely recognized to have instrumental value by helping scientists make predictions and control their environment. In this paper I raise, and provide a first analysis of, the question whether explanatory proofs in mathematics have analogous instrumental value. I first identify an important goal in mathematical practice: reusing resources from existing proofs to solve new problems. I then consider the more specific question: do explanatory proofs have instrumental value by promoting reuse of the resources they contain? In general, (...) I argue that the answer to this question is “no” and demonstrate this in detail for the theory of mathematical explanation developed by Marc Lange. (shrink)
Prominent mathematician William Thurston was praised by other mathematicians for his intellectual generosity. But what does it mean to say Thurston was intellectually generous? And is being intellectually generous beneficial? To answer these questions I turn to virtue epistemology and, in particular, Roberts and Wood's (2007) analysis of intellectual generosity. By appealing to Thurston's own writings and interviewing mathematicians who knew and worked with him, I argue that Roberts and Wood's analysis nicely captures the sense in which he was intellectually (...) generous. I then argue that intellectual generosity is beneficial because it counteracts negative effects of the reward structure of mathematics that can stymie mathematical progress. (shrink)
I develop and defend the following neo-Aristotelian account of supererogation: an action is supererogatory if and only if it is overall virtuous and either the omission of an overall virtuous action in that situation would not be overall vicious or there is some overall virtuous action that is less virtuous than it and whose performance in its place would not be overall vicious. I develop this account from within the virtue-ethical tradition. And I argue that it is intuitively defensible and (...) fully compatible with the doctrine of the mean. (shrink)