In the first edition of White Mythologies (1990) Robert Young challenged the status of history, asking whether in this postmodern era we should consider it a Western myth, with an uncertain status. Is it, he asked, possible to write history that avoids the trap of Eurocentrism? Investigating the history of History, from Hegel to Foucault, White Mythologies calls into question traditional accounts of a single 'World History' which leaves aside the 'Third World' as surplus to the narrative of the West. (...) Young goes on to consider questionings of the limits of Western knowledge in the work of Edward Said, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Homi Bhabha. For Young, these thinkers have been involved in a project to decolonize History and to deconstruct 'the West'. In exploring these issues, he shows us the relation of history to theory and of politics to knowledge. White Mythologies has proved to be one of the most important critical works in post-colonial theory of the last two decades. It has engendered much debate and inspired countless critical responses. Twelve years after publication, Robert Young returns to the issues raised in this book to offer fresh perspectives and to reflect upon developments in the post-colonial debate since White Mythologies was first published. (shrink)
If killing another human being is morally wrong on at least some occasions, what precisely makes it wrong on those occasions? I have framed the question thus to indicate that I shall not be considering the view that killing another human being is always and everywhere morally wrong. I take it as read that there are at least some morally justifiable killings. Once it is clear what is wrong with killing on some occasions it should become possible to explain why (...) it is not wrong on others. My immediate concern is with the killing of another human being, and with applying my answer to cases of voluntary and non-voluntary euthanasia, but light will be shed on whether and, if so, why it is wrong to kill oneself, to kill unborn human beings, and to kill non-human animals especially those whose life has most in common with the life of human beings. (shrink)
In this Critical Notice of Emily Jackson and John Keown’s Debating Euthanasia , the respective lines of argument put forward by each contributor are set out and the key debating points identified. Particular consideration is given to the points each contributor makes concerning the sanctity of human life and whether slippery slopes leading from voluntary medically assisted dying to non-voluntary euthanasia would be established if voluntary medically assisted dying were to be legalised. Finally, consideration is given to the positions adopted (...) by the contributors in relation to the legalisation of voluntary medically assisted dying. (shrink)
The writing of yet another paper on miracles probably stands in need of justification. The justification I wish to claim has two aspects. Firstly, I think that the concepts of the miraculous usually defended and, in turn, criticized, are unacceptable and that a better one is available. Secondly, and more importantly, I think that these unacceptable concepts produce in virtue of their inherent weaknesses a situation in which only the less important questions get asked about miracles. These questions are those (...) which relate to the ontological status of miracles. I think it can be shown that is is the epistemological questions about miracles which are more interesting and important and, furthermore, that the standard accounts are so hemmed in by the difficulties raised for them that a preoccupation with ontological questions characterizes most discussion. (shrink)
In his recent book, Survival and Disembodied Existence Terence Penelhum presents a convincing case against the belief in disembodied personal survival. His formidable attack constitutes, I think, one of the strongest cases that has yet been made out against such a belief. I am in substantial agreement with his position.