In public communication contexts, such as when a company announces the proposal for an important organizational change, argumentation typically involves multiple audiences, rather than a single and homogenous group, let alone an individual interlocutor. In such cases, an exhaustive and precise characterization of the audience structure is crucial both for the arguer, who needs to design an effective argumentative strategy, and for the external analyst, who aims at reconstructing such a strategic discourse. While the peculiar relevance of multiple audience is (...) often emphasized in the argumentation literature and in rhetorical studies, proposals for modelling multi-audience argumentative situations remain scarce and unsystematic. To address this gap, we propose an analytical framework which integrates three conceptual constructs: Rigotti and Rocci’s notion of communicative activity type, understood as the implementation of an interaction scheme into a piece of institutional reality, named interaction field; the stakeholder concept, originally developed in strategic management and public relations studies to refer to any actor who affects and/or is affected by the organizational actions and who, accordingly, carries an interest in them; the concept of participant role as it emerges from Goffman’s theory of conversation analysis and related linguistic and media studies. From this integration, we derive the notion of text stakeholder for referring to any organizational actor whose interest becomes an argumentative issue which the organizational text must account for in order to effectively achieve its communicative aim. The text stakeholder notion enables a more comprehensive reconstruction and characterization of multiple audience by eliciting the relevant participants staged in a text and identifying, for each of them, the interactional role they have, the peculiar interest they bear and the related argumentative issue they create. Considering as an illustrative case the defense document issued by a corporation against a hostile takeover attempt made by another corporation, we show how this framework can support the analysis of strategic maneuvering by better defining the audience demand and, so, better explaining how real arguers design and adapt their topical and presentational choices. (shrink)
Introduction: Talking 'bout my generation -- Part I: Looking for difference -- Levinas, multiculturalism, and us -- In respectful contempt : Heidegger, appropriation, facticity -- Whistling in the dark : two approaches to anxiety -- Part II: After Levinas -- The price of being dispossessed : Levinas' God and Freud's trauma -- The mortality of the transcendent : Levinas and evil -- Is ethics fundamental? : questioning Levinas on irresponsibility -- Part III: After Heidegger -- Intransitive facticity : a question (...) to Heidegger -- Demons and the demonic : Kierkegaard and Heidegger on anxiety and sexual difference -- Dissensus communis : how to keep silent "after" Lyotard -- Conclusion: In search of visibility. (shrink)
This article proposes a more culturalist and variegated conception of the individual than that presented by individualization theorists. Inspired by the approach of the individual advocated by Émile Durkheim, Talcott Parsons and John Meyers, it first outlines the general script of the individual-as-actor that informs modern individualism as well as the generic characteristics that are routinely attributed to persons such as agency and free will. It subsequently reconstructs three predominant interpretations of this general script, i.e. utilitarian, moral and expressive individualism. (...) For each variant, the intellectual genesis and overall definition of the institutionalization in specific societal domains and the dominant articulations in social theory are briefly presented. With this threefold distinction, the aim is to synthesize the extensive literature on individualism and to show the sociological strengths of approaching subjectivity in terms of institutionalized scripts. (shrink)
My title echoes Levinas ' 1951 Is ontology fundamental? – a seminal piece that paved the way for his justly famous Totality and Infinity and Otherwise than Being. I suggest that the characteristically enthusiastic, uncritical reception of these works may not be due primarily to their originality and sheer intellectual brilliance, but rather to something in Levinas ' position that deeply resonates with the spirit of our times and our preoccupation with the fate of the Other. My claim, however, is (...) that accepting a Levinassian ethics, in which the Other has priority over the self, comes at too high a price, for it implies definitions of otherness and selfhood that fail to address precisely the problems that prompted preoccupation with otherness in the first place. I suggest that our struggles with racism, sexism, cultural bias point to frictions in subjectivity that are inappropriately ethicized when treated, ala Levinas, simply as examples of an unwillingness to open up to the Other. In Levinas ' universe, it is impossible not to hear the Other's appeal, but I argue that this view ignores the existence of a dimension of selfhood that cannot be absorbed into intersubjectivity. A metaphysical loneliness is thus implied here that our age seems unwilling to bear, preferring to cover it up with an ethics that makes us always responsible – that is, in response, connected to the Other. I develop this criticism by analyzing what I call a non-privative notion of irresponsibility whose roots are neither ethical nor ontological. (shrink)
Although the relation between philosophy and psychoanalysis has never been an easy one, the recent turn in contemporary philosophy toward the other seems to have bridged the gap that once separated the two. With notions like the other-in-the-self having become almost self-evident in recent philosophical parlour, it would indeed seem that there is no longer any deep disagreement between the psychoanalytic and the philosophical approach to the relation between the same and the other.And yet this article argues that such optimism (...) is misplaced. More often than not, what lies hidden behind the apparent hospitality with which philosophy welcomes psychoanalysis is but another, and more subtle form of resistance: instead of trying to reduce the other to the same, contemporary philosophy inverts the procedure and reduces the same to the other.Julia Kristeva’s The foreigner in ourselvesis analysed as a case in point and contrasted with a Freudian and Lacanian reading of the narcissism of minor differences, that points to quite different conclusions. (shrink)
Previous studies have consistently argued that employees' perception of their leaders as charismatic will positively influence their willingness to commit themselves to the ethical and philanthropic objectives of the organization. However, the empirical relationship between charisma and employee work effort is only modestly explored. This study hypothesizes that in decentralized, professional, and normative organizations characterized by demanding and philanthropic tasks, group belonging, in its capacity to socially and professionally support employees, is better suited to explain employee work effort than leadership (...) charisma. Hierarchical regression analyses based on data from a bishopric supported this assumption. Practical and theoretical consequences are discussed. (shrink)
The central issue of the presentation is two questions: the first one is related to the issue of competences which are currently penetrating into philosophy curricula. The second, also related to the first one, is the issue of formulation of curriculum objectives and consequently of teaching methodology and practice. The controversial thesis that “the practice of philosophy is a whole which can not be divided into parts, procedures and techniques” is discussed and the reasons for more articulated learning objectives are (...) offered. On the level of the curriculum a reflective approach to objectives-driven curriculum and the inclusion of process-driven curriculum is offered as a solution. On the level of the teaching methodology and practice the need for appropriately articulated learning objectives for the purpose of the conceptualisation of the process is shown. (shrink)
This article argues that the introduction of value based management in a decentralized, hierarchical, and rule-based organization will add to existing informal and formal systems instead of replacing them. Consequently, employees' perception of and willingness to embrace and operationalize centrally imposed values were assumed to be dependent upon existing emotional, social, and formal processes and structures. Hierarchical regression analysis on data from a maritime company (N = 408) gathered in Norway in 2004 – which claims to be a learning and (...) value based company – showed that affective commitment and group coherence correlated positively with perception of values among employees. Formalization was positively but insignificantly correlated, whereas loyalty toward immediate superiors was significantly negatively correlated with perception of values. (shrink)
I should like to thank Professor Rorty for the care that he took in replying to my question and for kindly remembering that we had a similar discussion before. Although I do not recall all the details of that exchange1, I remember leaving him as puzzled as I am now by his renewed impression that my resistance to part of his work has a Levinasian provenance. Hence I could only welcome the invitation by the editors of Ethical Perspectives to include (...) in this issue an English translation of a recent piece in which I tried to clarify my resistance to Levinas.Oddly enough, as will become clear in the course of the following pages, at least part of my opposition to Levinas seems to be motivated by an attempt to do justice to what I consider to be Rorty’s major point in his Contingency, Irony and Solidarity: the idea that people are dependent on what he there aptly calls ‘final vocabularies’ — the set of words to which they have recourse when trying to justify their actions or their beliefs or even the meaning of their lives. Such vocabularies, I take it, were not meant to be ‘final’ in the sense that they could never change, but “in the sense that if doubt is cast on the worth of these words, their user has no non-circular argumentative recourse”.Hence Rorty’s idea that, as he puts it in the present paper, the West in approaching the non-West should “get rid of rationalistic rhetoric” and rather think of itself as “someone with an instructive story to tell.” The West, that is, should not give up what Rorty believes to be of prime importance in its own story , but merely detach from it that part which Rorty thinks it doesn’t need in order to remain in touch with that story and which can only cause embarrassment to those who find themselves in other stories.The story of the West is for Rorty but another final vocabulary — and thus, as they all are, a “product of time and chance” — but the realization of this contingency should not lead to the ironist’s conclusion that what is contingent is not worth living for. Since Rorty thinks that contingency does not exclude commitment, he finds himself at odds both with the ironist’s despair that there is nothing which is not contingent, and with the ‘metaphysician’s’ hope that we could still get in touch with something ‘bigger than us’. (shrink)
The author deals with the operational core oflogic, i.e. its diverse procedures ofinference, in order to show that logicallyfalse inferences may in fact be right because –in contrast to logical rationality – theyactually enlarge our knowledge of the world.This does not only mean that logically trueinferences say nothing about the world, butalso that all our inferences are inventedhypotheses the adequacy of which cannot beproved within logic but only pragmatically. Inconclusion the author demonstrates, through therelationship between rule-following andrationality, that it is (...) most irrational to wantto exclude the irrational: it may, at times, bemost rational to think and infer irrationally.Focussing on the operational aspects of knowingas inferring does away with the hiatus betweenlogic and life, cognition and the world(reality) – or whatever other dualism one wantsto invoke –: knowing means inferring, inferringmeans rule-governed interpreting, interpretingis a constructive, synthetic act, and aconstruction that proves adequate (viable) inthe ``world of experience'', in life, in thepraxis of living, is, to the constructivistmind, knowledge. It is the practice of livingwhich provides the orienting standards forconstructivist thinking and its judgments ofviability. The question of truth is replaced bythe question of viability, and viabilitydepends on the (right) kind of experiential fit. (shrink)
Anders, Rudi When I see a colourful sunset, my mind goes to a spectacular purple sunset I saw near the Mexican border many years ago. That memory stops me from being fully aware of the scene in front of me. No two sunsets are the same and my memory is stopping me from fully appreciating the spectacle before my eyes. Famous and spectacular places don't work for me because expectations and memories get in the way, but when I walk (...) alone in nature I find my mind stops chattering and I begin to effortlessly notice the shades of green in the foliage, the patterns in the bark on the trees and the sounds and fragrances. It sometimes feels as if am absorbed by the surroundings. When this happens I don't bother with the names of birds or flowers because even that distracts from direct experience. (shrink)
Anders, Rudi The articles in AH I like best are the ones with which I disagree to a greater or lesser degree, because they force me to re-think and clarify my position. One such article was by John Perkins, titled 'Let's admit that Islam is a problem'. Although the article is very well-written, and I admire John's fact-finding regarding Islam, I think he misses the elephant in the room. Namely, Christian Europe and North America killed far more people than (...) Islam ever did. Buddhist and Shinto Japan did shocking things in the last world war. Jews in Israel ignore the rights of Palestinians. The atheist communist Soviet Union was as bad as Christian Czarist Russia. There is gross injustice in Hindu India. I don't think Islam should be singled out as a problem. I agree that religion can be a problem but the many atheist dictators, for example: Napoleon Bonaparte, Mussolini and Stalin, are also a problem, so atheism as such is not a guarantee of justice. (shrink)
Anders, Rudi I enjoy mixing with people who hold different beliefs from mine. Belief is a very complex and rather odd thing. I am particularly interested in the psychology of belief. Sometimes belief is the cause of terrible conflict and suffering.
Anders, Rudi Mental conditioning is like gravity; it feels so normal and ever-present that it often goes unnoticed, but it influences much human behaviour. I am not free when I am not aware how my ideas and attitudes are absorbed from my culture, family, the media and peers. It takes courage to stand alone.
Anders, Rudi Mathematics is objective and unambiguous, but as soon as mathematics is applied to anything in the human world, human values complicate the issues. Two apples for two people equals one apple for each person, but compassion for a starving person, or other human values, can alter the outcome.
Anders, Rudi Sometimes it is nice to do something totally unconnected to the usual bustle of life, such as a walk in the park. This time I visit a German Lutheran church in Melbourne; I have never entered it before. The exterior and interior consistently retain the traditional design. The bluestone gives it a sense of permanence - timelessness. I rarely like modern churches; mixing modern and traditional never works for me. This church is not large and has an (...) intimate feel to it. The people are all smiles. I like people, regardless of their beliefs. Family groups look like they feel at home, and visitors like me are made welcome. I sit and admire the skill of the craftsmen who attended to every detail in the church. They didn't have the modern machines we take for granted. (shrink)
"Rationalität" respektive "rationale" gehören zu den Prädikaten, die wir Personen bzw. deren Einstellungen, Entscheidungen und Handlungen zuschreiben. Die Handlung einer Person beschreiben wir als "rational", wenn das Mittel, ein angestrebtes Ziel zu erreichen, den Erfolg der Handlung garantiert oder zumindest unter normalen Umständen wahrscheinlich macht. Die Zweck-Mittel-Relation lässt sich in einem "praktischen Syllogismus§ (von Wright 1984, Fischer 1987) formalisieren. Eine Meinung, ein Glaube (präpositionale Einstellung), dass p, gilt dann als rational, wenn er auf Prämissen beruht, die diese Meinung "begründen", die (...) sie aus den Prämissen ableitbar macht. Überall - ob bei Handlungen, Entscheidungen, Meinungen etc. -, wo wir Personen Rationalität zuschreiben, ist das am Werk, was wir Denken nennen. Hans Rudi Fischer reduziert den Kern der unterschiedlichen Verwendungsweisen unseres Rationalitätskonzeptes auf den zentralen Aspekt der Form: Es geht bei der Rationalität um die formale Beziehung zwischen Sätzen oder Einstellungen, Haltungen etc., die prinzipiell diskursiv zugänglich, also in Sprache artikulierter sein müssen. Da die Abstraktion von bestimmten Inhalten und die Fokussierung auf die formale Beziehung zwischen Sätzen das originäre Gebiet der Logik ist, kann man sagen, dass im Kern westlicher Rationalität (Logos), des sogenannten "rationalen" Denkens, eine formale, an der Logik orientierte Ordnung steckt- Diese Rationalität zu untersuchen, deren Bedingungen und grundlegenden Prinzipien zu bestimmen ist seit Alters her Aufgabe von Logik, Erkenntnistheorie (Handlungs- und Entscheidungstheorie) bzw. Philosophie. (shrink)
What does it mean to drive a Cadillac? What does 'cuckoo' suggest about the bird? -- two examples explored in this investigation of the history of language signs and of what philosophers, linguists, and others have had to say about them. Rudi Keller shows how signs emerge, function, and develop in the permanent process of language change. He recombines thoughts and ideas from Plato to the present day to create a new theory of the meaning and evolution of icons (...) and symbols. By assuming no prior knowledge and by developing his argument from first principles, Rudi Keller has written a basic text which includes all the necessary features: easy style, good organization, original scholarship, and historical depth. This is a non-technical book which will interest linguists, philosophers, students of communications and cultural studies, semioticians/semanticists, sociologists, and anthropologists. (shrink)
Western philosophy has mainly developed in accordance with the three laws of identity, noncontradiction and excluded middle, also known as “laws of thought”. Since Zen Buddhism often violates these apparently indisputable logical principles, a superficial reading may induce the idea that Zen Buddhism is a completely irrational, illogical doctrine. In this essay, I argue that Zen Buddhism is not absurd or illogical. Conversely, it relies on a different logic, which is perfectly consonant with the Buddhist view of the world.
The present paper identifies creativity as a crucial component in the pedagogical process envisaged by Chan masters in the Song era. In particular, the paper considers ritual dialogues between masters and students involving questions and answers taken from the renowned collection known as the Blue Cliff Record. The first section is concerned with the definition of creativity and its role within the contextual framework of Chan pedagogy in the Song era. The second section analyses some significant ritual dialogues included in (...) the Blue Cliff Record with the aim of exploring a variety of different creative expressions in the considered Chan narratives. The third and last section illustrates how the ritualized performance of dialogical encounters, and by extension the use of gongan literature, entails and promotes the recourse to creativity as a functional strategy in Chan practice. (shrink)
The present study consists of a cross-cultural analysis of the role of irony in the Blue Cliff Record. The analysis is structured in four chapters, one devoted to methodological concerns and three to equivalent types and functions of irony within the text, a pivotal literary work of the Chan Buddhist tradition. In relation to Chan studies, a discussion of irony is particularly important since the wide corpus of Chan literature includes a significant number and a consistent variety of ironic features (...) such as puns, wordplay, extravagant acts, and so forth. The idea of the present paper is that the ironic temperament of Chan is not a contingent circumstance, but a functional strategy purposely employed in textual compositions and oral communication with soteriological purposes. (shrink)