The question I shall attempt to address in what follows is an essentially historical one, namely: Why did analytic philosophy emerge first in Cambridge, in the hands of G. E. Moore and Bertrand Russell, and as a direct consequence of their revolutionary rejection of the philosophical tenets that form the basis of British Idealism? And the answer that I shall try to defend is: it didn't. That is to say, the ‘analytic’ doctrines and methods which Moore and Russell embraced in (...) the very last years of the nineteenth century were not revolutionary, did not emerge first in Cambridge, were the creation of neither Russell nor Moore and cannot be explained by appeal to facts concerning British Idealism. The adoption of the doctrines and methods which characterised the earliest manifestations of British analytic philosophy are to be explained neither by reference to anything specifically British, nor by appeal to anything unproblematically philosophical. Or so I shall argue. (shrink)
Some things are pervasive and yet elusive. If it can be agreed that the concept of my title and its instances are of this kind, then the observation may serve to justify the present enterprise. The elusiveness of authority is that so often pursued in philosophical enterprise, namely the repeated confident use of a general term by even the unsophisticated, accompanied by the Socratic puzzlement that sets in as soon as a rationale or account of this use is sought. Such (...) puzzlement in the case of the concept of authority is likely to provoke a Cephalitic reaction ). (shrink)
In this paper a number of oppositions which have haunted mathematics and philosophy are described and analyzed. These include the Continuous and the Discrete, the One and the Many, the Finite and the Infinite, the Whole and the Part, and the Constant and the Variable.
This book comprises all of John Bell's published and unpublished papers in the field of quantum mechanics, including two papers that appeared after the first edition was published. It also contains a preface written for the first edition, and an introduction by Alain Aspect that puts into context Bell's great contribution to the quantum philosophy debate. One of the leading expositors and interpreters of modern quantum theory, John Bell played a major role in the development of our (...) current understanding of the profound nature of quantum concepts. First edition Hb (1987): 0-521-33495-0 First edition Pb (1988): 0-521-36869-3. (shrink)
Is liberal democracy appropriate for East Asia? In this provocative book, Daniel Bell argues for morally legitimate alternatives to Western-style liberal democracy in the region. Beyond Liberal Democracy, which continues the author's influential earlier work, is divided into three parts that correspond to the three main hallmarks of liberal democracy--human rights, democracy, and capitalism. These features have been modified substantially during their transmission to East Asian societies that have been shaped by nonliberal practices and values. Bell points to (...) the dangers of implementing Western-style models and proposes alternative justifications and practices that may be more appropriate for East Asian societies. If human rights, democracy, and capitalism are to take root and produce beneficial outcomes in East Asia, Bell argues, they must be adjusted to contemporary East Asian political and economic realities and to the values of nonliberal East Asian political traditions such as Confucianism and Legalism. Local knowledge is therefore essential for realistic and morally informed contributions to debates on political reform in the region, as well as for mutual learning and enrichment of political theories. Beyond Liberal Democracy is indispensable reading for students and scholars of political theory, Asian studies, and human rights, as well as anyone concerned about China's political and economic future and how Western governments and organizations should engage with China. (shrink)
Bell argues that contempt has an important role to play in confronting and addressing immorality, and in that respect is essential to moral relations. Her book is not just a defense of contempt, but an account of the virtues and vices of it, providing a model for thinking more generally about the negative emotions as a response to vice.
The idea of a 'logic of quantum mechanics' or quantum logic was originally suggested by Birkhoff and von Neumann in their pioneering paper . Since that time there has been much argument about whether, or in what sense, quantum 'logic' can be actually considered a true logic (see, e.g. Bell and Hallett , Dummett , Gardner ) and, if so, how it is to be distinguished from classical logic. In this paper I put forward a simple and natural semantical (...) framework for quantum logic which reveals its difference from classical logic in a strikingly intuitive way, viz. through the fact that quantum logic admits (suitably formulated versions of) the characteristic quantum-mechanical notions of superposition and incompatibility of attributes. That is, precisely the features that distinguish quantum from classical physics also serve, within this framework, to distinguish quantum from classical logic. Some light is shed on the question of whether quantum logic is a genuine logical system by introducing a natural entailment relation for quantum-logical formulas with the implication symbol. The novelty is that, although implication behaves as it should (i.e. the 'deduction theorem' holds), the order of introduction of premises is significant. The fact that a reasonable entailment relation can be formulated for quantum logic supports the view that it is a genuine logical system and not merely an algebraic formalism. (shrink)
Many have criticized liberalism for being too individualistic, but few have offered an alternative that goes beyond a vague affirmation of the need for community. In this entertaining book, written in dialogue form, Daniel Bell fills this gap, presenting and defending a distinctively communitarian theory against the objections of a liberal critic. Drawing on the works of such thinkers as Charles Taylor, Michael Sandel, and Alasdair MacIntyre, Bell attacks liberalism's individualistic view of the person by pointing to our (...) social embeddedness. He develops Michael Walzer's idea that political thinking involves the interpretation of shared meanings emerging from the political life of a community, and intelligently rebuts criticism that this approach damages his case by being conservative and relativistic. Communitarianism and Its Critics is a provocative defense of a distinctly communitarian theory which will stimulate interest and debate among scholars and students of political theory as well as those approaching the subject for the first time. (shrink)
Is liberal democracy a universal ideal? Proponents of "Asian values" argue that it is a distinctive product of the Western experience and that Western powers shouldn't try to push human rights and democracy onto Asian states. Liberal democrats in the West typically counter by questioning the motives of Asian critics, arguing that Asian leaders are merely trying to rationalize human-rights violations and authoritarian rule. In this book--written as a dialogue between an American democrat named Demo and three East Asian critics--Daniel (...) A. Bell attempts to chart a middle ground between the extremes of the international debate on human rights and democracy.Bell criticizes the use of "Asian values" to justify oppression, but also draws on East Asian cultural traditions and contributions by contemporary intellectuals in East Asia to identify some powerful challenges to Western-style liberal democracy. In the first part of the book, Bell makes use of colorful stories and examples to show that there is a need to take into account East Asian perspectives on human rights and democracy. The second part--a fictitious dialogue between Demo and Asian senior statesman Lee Kuan Yew--examines the pros and cons of implementing Western-style democracy in Singapore. The third part of the book is an argument for an as-yet-unrealized Confucian political institution that justifiably differs from Western-style liberal democracy.This is a thought-provoking defense of distinctively East Asian challenges to Western-style liberal democracy that will stimulate interest and debate among students of political theory, Asian studies, and international human rights. (shrink)
For much of the twentieth century, Confucianism was condemned by Westerners and East Asians alike as antithetical to modernity. Internationally renowned philosophers, historians, and social scientists argue otherwise in Confucian Political Ethics. They show how classical Confucian theory--with its emphasis on family ties, self-improvement, education, and the social good--is highly relevant to the most pressing dilemmas confronting us today. Drawing upon in-depth, cross-cultural dialogues, the contributors delve into the relationship of Confucian political ethics to contemporary social issues, exploring Confucian perspectives (...) on civil society, government, territorial boundaries and boundaries of the human body and body politic, and ethical pluralism. They examine how Confucianism, often dismissed as backwardly patriarchal, can in fact find common ground with a range of contemporary feminist values and need not hinder gender equality. And they show how Confucian theories about war and peace were formulated in a context not so different from today's international system, and how they can help us achieve a more peaceful global community. This thought-provoking volume affirms the enduring relevance of Confucian moral and political thinking, and will stimulate important debate among policymakers, researchers, and students of politics, philosophy, applied ethics, and East Asian studies. The contributors are Daniel A. Bell, Joseph Chan, Sin Yee Chan, Chenyang Li, Richard Madsen, Ni Lexiong, Peter Nosco, Michael Nylan, Henry Rosemont, Jr., and Lee H. Yearley. (shrink)
Summarya) Bell tries to formulate more explicitly a notion of “local causality”: correlations between physical events in different space‐time regions should be explicable in terms of physical events in the overlap of the backward light cones. It is shown that ordinary relativistic quantum field theory is not locally causal in this sense, and cannot be embedded in a locally causal theory.b) Clauser, Home and Shimony criticize several steps in Bell's argument that any theory of local “beables” is incompatible (...) with quantum mechanics. It is contended that the Clauser‐Horne derivation of a Bell‐type inequality circumvents his weak steps. The Clauser‐Horne derivation must assume that there are no undetected correlations between choices of controllable variables in two space‐like separated regions. Methodological considerations support this assumption.c) In response to criticism by Shimony, Home, and Clauser, Bell tries to clarify the argument of “The theory of local beables”, and to defend as permissible the hypothesis of free variables.d) Bell's reply to an earlier criticism by Shimony, Clauser, and Home is answered. The convergence of Bell's position towards theirs is noted. (shrink)
Moving beyond the traditional feminist ethics of care, Linda A. Bell places an existentialist conception of liberation at the heart of ethics and argues that only an ethics of freedom sufficiently allows for feminist critique and opposition ...
In this addition to the Church and Postmodern Culture series, theologian Daniel Bell compares and contrasts capitalism and Christianity, showing how Christianity provides resources for faithfully navigating the postmodern global economy.Bell approaches capitalism and Christianity as alternative visions of humanity, God, and the good life. Considering faith and economics in terms of how desire is shaped, he casts the conflic as one between different disciplines desire. He engages the work of two important postmodern philosophers, Deleuze and Foucault, to (...) illuminate the nature of the postmodern world that the church currently inhabits. Bell then considers how the global economy deforms desire in a manner that distorts human relations with God and one another. In contrast, he presents Christianity and the tradition of the works of mercy as a way beyond capitalism and socialism, beyond philanthropy and welfare. Christianity heals desire, renewing human relations and enabling communion with God. (shrink)
"I found this a fascinating book: wide-ranging, readable." —Alison Jaggar Bell shows how the flesh-and-blood female body engaged in sexual interaction for payment has no inherent meaning and is signified differently in different cultures ...
Richard H. Bell analyzes the social and political thought of Simone Weil, paying particular attention to Weil's concept of justice as compassion. Bell describes the ways in which Weil's concept of justice stands in contrast with liberal 'rights-based' views of justice, and focuses upon central aspects of her thought, including 'attention,' human suffering and 'affliction,' and the importance of 'a spiritual way of life' in reshaping the individual's role in civic life.
Melancholia is a commonly experienced feeling, and one with a long and fascinating medical history which can be charted back to antiquity. Avoiding the simplistic binary opposition of constructivism and hard realism, this book argues that melancholia was a culture-bound syndrome which thrived in the West because of the structure of Western medicine since the Ancient Greeks, and because of the West's fascination with self-consciousness. While melancholia cannot be equated with modern depression, Matthew Bell argues that concepts from recent (...) depression research can shed light on melancholia. Within a broad historical panorama, Bell focuses on ancient medical writing, especially the little-known but pivotal Rufus of Ephesus, and on the medicine and culture of early modern Europe. Separate chapters are dedicated to issues of gender and cultural difference, and the final chapter offers a survey of melancholia in the arts, explaining the prominence of melancholia - especially in literature. (shrink)
Winthrop Pickard Bell, a Canadian who studied with Husserl in Göttingen from 1911 to 1914, was arrested after the outbreak of World War I and interred at Ruhleben Prison Camp for the duration of the war. In 1915 or 1916 he presented a lecture titled “Canadian Problems and Possibilities” to other internees at the prison camp. This is the first time Bell’s lecture has appeared in print. Even though the lecture was given to a general audience and thusmakes (...) no explicit reference to Husserl or phenomenology, it is a systematic phenomenological analysis of the national form of group belonging and, as such, makes a substantial contribution to phenomenological sociology and political science, grounding that contribution in phenomenological philosophy. Bell describes the essence of the nation as an organic spiritual unity that grows or develops, and is thus not a product of will, and which becomes a unity by surmounting its parts. This unity is instantiated in a given nation by tradition. The particular character of a nation’s tradition gives it a tendency to act in one way rather than another. (shrink)
The infinitesimal methods commonly used in the 17th and 18th centuries to solve analytical problems had a great deal of elegance and intuitive appeal. But the notion of infinitesimal itself was flawed by contradictions. These arose as a result of attempting to representchange in terms ofstatic conceptions. Now, one may regard infinitesimals as the residual traces of change after the process of change has been terminated. The difficulty was that these residual traces could not logically coexist with the static quantities (...) traditionally employed by mathematics. The solution to this difficulty, as it turns out, is to regard these quantities asalso being subject to (a form of) change, for then they will have the same nature as the infinitesimals representing the residual traces of change, and will become,ipso facto, compatible with these latter.In fact, the category-theoretic models which realize the Principle of Infinitesimal Linearity may themselves be regarded as representations of a general concept of variation (cf. Bell (1986)). While the static set-theoretical models represent change or motion by making a detour through the actual (but static) infinite, the varying category-theoretic models enable such change to be representeddirectly, thus permitting the introduction of geometric infinitesimals and, as we have attempted to demonstrate in this paper, the virtually complete incorporation of the methods of the early calculus.It is surely a remarkable — even an ironic — fact that the contradiction between the flux of the objective world and the stasis of mathematical entities has found its resolution in category theory, a branch of mathematics commonly, and, as one now sees, mistakenly, regarded as the summit of gratuitous abstraction. (shrink)
Discover the truth about sex in the city (and the country). Mapping Desire explores the places and spaces of sexuality from body to community, from the "cottage" to the Barrio, from Boston to Jakarta, from home to cyberspace. Mapping Desire is the first book to explore sexualities from a geographical perspective. The nature of place and notions of space are of increasing centrality to cultural and social theory. Mapping Desires presents the rich and diverse world of contemporary sexuality, exploring how (...) the heterosexed body has been appropriated and resisted on the individual, community and city scales. Editors David Bell and Gill Valentine have brought together contributors with a wealth of approaches to ways in which the spaces of sex and the sexes of space are being mapped out across contemporary culture. Among the many sexual geographies covered are: Lesbians at home and on the streets; gay men on fantasy islands; bisexual identities; The heterosexualization of the workplace; bachelor farmers and spinsters; surveillance and sexuality; prostitution; queer politics; sexual citizenship, and the transformation of intimacy. The book is divided into four sections: cartographies/identities; sexualized spaces: global/local; sexualized spaces: local/global; sites of resistance. Each section is separately introduced. Beyond the bibliography, an annotated guide to further reading is also provided to help the reader map their own way through the literature. Mapping Desire will be a valuable and accessible travelogue of information for anyone interested in social, cultural and political geography, lesbian and gay studies, cultural studies, or simply those who want to find out more about the sexual landscape of contemporary society. Contents: Part I: Cartographies/Identities; Resolving Riddles: The Sexed Body, Julia Cream ; Locating Bisexual Identities: Discourses of Bisexuality and Contemporary Feminist Theory, Clare Hemmings; Of Moffies, Kaffiers and Perverts: Male Homosexuality and the Discourse of Moral Order in the Apartheid State, Glen Elder; Femme on the Streets, Butch in the Sheets (a Play on Whores), Alison Murray; Body Work: The Performance of Gendered and (Hetero)Sexualized Identities in City Workplaces, Linda McDowell; Part II: Sexualized Spaces: Global/Local; Whenever I Lay My Girlfriend That's My Home: The Performance and Surveillance of Lesbian Identities in Domestic Environments, Lynda Johnston and Gill Valentine; The Lesbian Flaneur, Sally Munt; Fantasy Islands: Popular Topographies of Marooned Masculinities, Gregory Woods; Sexuality and Urban Space: A Framework for Analysis, Lawrence Knopp; Part III: Sexualized Spaces: Local/Global; "And She Told Two Friends...": Lesbians Creating Urban Social Space, Tamar Rothenberg; Trading Places: Consumption, Sexuality and the Production of Queer Space, Jon Binnie; Bachelor Farmers and Spinsters: Gay and Lesbian Identities and Communities in Rural North Dakota, Jerry Lee Kramer; (Re)Constructing a Spanish Redlight District: Prostitution, Space and Power, Angie Hart; Part IV: Sites of Resistance; "Surveilliant Gays": HIV, Space and the Construction of Identities, David Woodhead; Sex, Scale and the "New Urban Politics": HIV-Prevention Strategies from Yaletown, Vancouver, Michael Brown; "Boom, Bye, Bye": Jamaican Ragga and Gay Resistance, Tracey Skelton; The Diversity of Queer Politics and the Redefinition of Sexual Identity and Community in Urban Space, Tim Davis; Perverse Dynamics, Sexual Citizenship and the Transformation of Intimacy, David Bell; Guide to Further Reading; Bibliography. (shrink)
Reading feminist theory as a complex imaginative achievement, Feminist Imagination considers feminist commitment through the interrogation of its philosophical, political and affective connections with the past, and especially with the `race' trials of the twentieth century. The book looks at: the 'directionlessness' of contemporary feminist thought; the question of essentialism and embodiment; the racial tensions in the work of Simone de Beauvoir; the totalitarian character in Hannah Arendt; the 'mimetic Jew' and the concept of mimesis in the work of Judith (...) Butler. Vikki Bell provides a compelling rethinking of feminist theory as bound up with attempts to understand oppression outside a focus on 'women'. She affirms feminism as a site and mode of making these connections. What emerges is a profound work brimming with insight that will be required reading for anyone who is seriously interested in feminist theory and, more generally, contemporary social theory. (shrink)
It must be admitted that there are some of us who “teach” Virginia Woolf and yet seem unable to learn from her. The secret of Virginia’s eminently readable prose style remains hidden from us. It is for this reason that I find it impossibly hard to read everything that Professor Marcus and some of her colleagues produce in such astounding abundance, and that, she may retort, is why she has found it impossible to read my biography of Virginia Woolf. In (...) a sense, she does not need to; she can imagine it and, thus, credit me with the statement that I considered my aunt “a minor British novelist, ranked somewhere below E. M. Forster as a writer of fiction” . Seeing that I made it clear from the outset of that biography that I would not attempt to assess the work of Virginia Woolf, seeing that I have been blamed for this abstention , and seeing that I have said absolutely nothing at any time that could possibly be construed in this sense, I think that we may well call this a master-stroke of the imagination.Also it is irrelevant. I accuse her of inaccuracy; she “replies” by asserting that I have bad taste. It seems a rather unconvincing form of defence. In fact, in her “reply,” which must be about as long as the article by which it was engendered, Professor Marcus can find so little in the way of evidence or argument with which to support those contentions which I have criticized that the reader must wade through page after page of completely otiose matter before coming to anything which seems to bear on the matter at hand. At last Professor Marcus tells us that she has written “two long essays in which I did at length and in detail exactly what he does here”; here, then, we come to her answer . The reader, who may be somewhat bewildered by so long a preface, may wish to be reminded what there is that needs to be answered. I maintain that Professor Marcus has neglected to notice that Margaret Llewelyn Davis was primarily Leonard Woolf’s friend rather than Virginia’s, that her relationship with Virginia was at times very uneasy, that Virginia was out of sympathy with politically minded women, and that Professor Marcus neglects to notice any of this because she fails to use the evidence of the diaries and the letters. When she does quote from a letter, she completely misunderstands it, just as she fails to understand Virginia’s use of the term “the woman’s republic” . Quentin Bell is the author of, among other works, Ruskin , Bloomsbury , Virginia Woolf: A Biography , and On Human Finery . His previous contributions to Critical Inquiry include “Art and the Elite” , “Bloomsbury and ‘the Vulgar Passions’” , and “A ‘Radiant’ Friendship”. (shrink)
As a critic, Virginia Woolf has been called a number of disparaging names: "impressionist," "belletrist," "raconteur," "amateur." Here is one academic talking on the subject: "She will survive, not as a critic, but as a literary essayist recording the adventures of a soul among congenial masterpieces. . . . The writers who are most downright, and masculine, and central in their approach to life - Fielding or Balzac - she for the most part left untouched....Her own approach was at once (...) more subterranean and aerial, and invincibly, almost defiantly, feminine." In other words, Virginia Woolf is not a critic; how could she be? She is a woman. From its beginning, criticism has been a man's world. This is to say not only that males have earned their living as critics but, more importantly, that the conventionally accepted ideals of critical method are linked with qualities stereotypically allotted to males: analysis, judgment, objectivity. Virginia Woolf has had a poor reputation as a critic not merely because her sex is female but because her method is "feminine." She writes in a way that is said to be creative, appreciative, and subjective. We will accept this descriptive for the moment but will later enlarge on it, and even our provisional acceptance we mean to turn to a compliment. Barbara Currier Bell has written articles on critical theory and modern poetry and has served as a consultant on women's education at both Vassar and Hampshire Colleges. She is assistant professor of English at Wesleyan University. Carol Ohmann is the author of Ford Madox Ford: From Apprentice to Craftsman and several articles on English and American fiction. She coedited Female Studies IV: Teaching about Women with Elaine Showalter and is chairman of the Department of English at Wesleyan University. She has contributed, with Richard Ohmann, "Reviewers, Critics, and The Catcher in the Rye , and "CRITICAL RESPONSE: Universals and the Historically Particular" .See also: "The Masculine Mode" by Peter Schwenger in Vol. 5, No. 4; "The Robber in the Bedroom: or, The Thief of Love: A Woolfian Grieving in Six Novels and Two Memoirs" by Mark Spilka in Vol. 5, No. 4. (shrink)
[E.H. Gombrich wrote on May 13, 1975:] . . . I recently was invited to talk about "Art" at the Institution for Education of our University. There was a well-intentioned teacher there who put forward the view that we had no right whatever to influence the likes and dislikes of our pupils because every generation had a different outlook and we could not possibly tell what theirs would be. It is the same extreme relativism, which has invaded our art schools (...) and resulted in the doctrine that art could not possibly be taught because only what has been done already can be taught, and since art is creativity it is not possible to teach it. Q.E.D.—I recently asked my history finalists what "Quod erat demonstrandum" means and they did not know. . . . [Quentin Bell responded on May 15, 1975:] . . . Your teacher at the Institute, is he really a relativist? Isn't he a kind of religious zealot? I used to teach school children. With me there was a much better teacher . One day she came into the room where I had been teaching and found a series of the most surprising and beautiful water colours. "What are these?" said she. I explained that they were copies of Raphael made by eleven and twelve year old children. I would have gone on to explain how interested I was by their resemblance, not to Raphael but rather to Simone Martini, for they had all the shapes beautifully right but none of the internal drawing or the sentiment, but I was checked by her look of horror. "You've made them copy from Raphael?" she said. Her expression was exactly that of someone who had been casually informed that that I had committed a series of indecent assaults upon the brats. And in fact in subsequent conversation it appeared that this was very nearly what she did feel. For her, what she called "self expression" was as precious as virginity. E.H. Gombrich was director of the Warburg Institute and Professor of the History of the Classical Tradition at the University of London from 1959 to 1976. His books include The Story of Art, Art and Illusion, Meditations on a Hobby Horse, Norm and Form, Symbolic Images, The Heritage of Apelles, and In Search of Cultural History. He became a Fellow of the British Academy in 1960, a Commander of the British Empire in 1966, and was knighted in 1972. He is also a trustee of the British Museum and a foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Philosophical Society. His contributions to Critical Inquiry include "Notes and Exchanges" ,"Standards of Truth: The Arrested Image and the Moving Eye" , and, with Quentin Bell, "Canons and Values in the Visual Arts: A Correspondence" . Quentin Bell is professor of the history and theory of art, Sussex University. He has written Virginia Woolf: A Biography, Of Human Finery, Ruskin, Victorian Artists and Bloomsbury. Other contributions to Critical Inquiry are "The Art Critic and the Art Historian" , "Notes and Exchanges" , and "Bloomsbury and 'the Vulgar Passions'". (shrink)
This was to have been a confutation. My intention was to rebut and for the record’s sake to correct certain fashionable errors concerning the life of Virginia Woolf. What could be more proper, and what, it has to be said, more tedious? If the defence of truth had remained my only objet, I should have left these words unwritten, or at least should have addressed them to a very small audience. But the pursuit of truth sent me back to my (...) sources, and there I found a story, in many ways sad, but also funny and certainly instructive. It seemed worth extracting this record of a friendship from the great mass of evidence in which it is embedded. I hope that the reader will agree with me in finding it interesting in itself but, just as Prince’s Hal’s “plain tale” is made livelier by being contrasted with Falstaff’s “eleven buckram men,” so too the simple facts are made more striking by the intentions of Virginia’s recent interpreters. Let me therefore begin with a quotation from one of them.Volume I [of Virginia Woolf’s Letters] has a rarely preserved portrait of a female artist in the making, love and work intensely intertwined in her relations with women who encouraged her to write, read, and think, and gave her the nourishment of womanly love and literary criticism, which she was to seek and find in female friendship all her life. Bloomsbury fades into insignificance as an “influence” next to the radiance of Woolf’s relationships with Margaret Llewelyn Davies, head of the Cooperative Working Women’s Guild, Janet Case, her Greek teacher, violet Dickinson, Madge Vaughan, and her aunt Caroline Stephen, the Quaker whom she called “Nun.”1These words were written by Professor Jane Marcus, a person of great charm and ability, whose opinions are, I understand, accepted by a multitude of admirers. In those articles by her which I have read, she hardly disguises her contempt for me as a biographer. But, painful though it is to have incurred the disdain of so influential a personage, it much be allowed that, if the influence of Virginia Woolf’s husband, her sister, and her closest friends “fades into insignificance” when compared with that of Miss Caroline Stephen and Mrs. W. W. Vaughan, then indeed I have gone sadly astray. Quentin Bell is the author of, among other works, Virginia Woolf: A Biography, Bloomsbury, Ruskin, and On Human Finery. His previous contributions to Critical Inquiry include “Art and the Elite” and “Bloomsbury and ‘the Vulgar Passions’ ”. (shrink)
University teachers, as is well known, commit acts of despotism. About three years ago I committed such an act. I told my students that I would not accept papers which included the words protagonist, basic , alienation, total , dichotomy, and a few others including elite and elitist. On consideration I decided to remove the ban on the last two for it seemed to me that there was no other term that could be used to discuss what is, after all, (...) an interesting idea.It is of course true that my students and I use the word incorrectly. An elite must surely be a chosen body. Congress, the police, the final heat of the Miss World contest, and the Bolshevik Party are elites, whereas an aristocracy or a plutocracy—unless one believes the rich and the nobility to be chosen by God—are not. Nevertheless, when we use the word elite in connection with the visual arts it is certainly related to, though not synonymous with, class. An elite is usually a group within a relatively prosperous class. The patrons of the Renaissance were, presumably, at the apex of the social system: on the other hand, the patrons of the Impressionists belonged to a comparatively humble section of the middle classes. But it will be found that an aesthetic elite does always enjoy certain advantages of wealth and leisure and education.Quentin Bell is professor of the history and theory of art, Sussex University. He has written Virginia Woolf: A Biography, Of Human Finery, Ruskin, Victorian Artists and Bloomsbury. Other contributions to Critical Inquiry are "The Art Critic and the Art Historian" , "CRITICAL RESPONSE: Notes and Exchanges" , and "Bloomsbury and 'the Vulgar Passions'". (shrink)
But while the literature of art is, in publishers' terms, booming, it has in one respect suffered a loss. During the past two hundred years there has usually been some important figure who acted as a censor and an apologist of the contemporary scene, a Diderot, a Baudelaire, a Ruskin or a Roger Frye. Who amongst our living authors plays this important role? What name springs to mind? I would suggest that no name actually springs; the last of our grandly (...) influential critics was Sir Herbert Read and since his death, whatever else modern art may or may not possess, it has no prophet. This is not to say that aesthetic prophets are necessarily desirable nor that there are not some very conscientious and extremely perceptive critics at work today; in view of the fact that I am within a fortnight exhibiting my work in a London dealer's gallery , it would be folly to deny it. But it is I believe true that for better or for worse we have no grand pundit of living art and I believe that this lack may be concerned with what I see as a certain diminution in the role of the art critic, a certain decay in this department of literature. It is a tendency which I regret and the causes of which I want to try to discuss. It arises I believe from a misunderstanding concerning the proper functions of the critic and this confusion of purpose will be my theme. First, however, I think that I should glance at two important circumstances which make the work of an art critic particularly difficult today. Quentin Bell, professor of the history and theory of art at Sussex University, has written Virginia Woolf: A Biography, Of Human Finery, Ruskin, Victorian Artists, and, Bloomsbury. His article, "Art and the Elite," appeared in the first issue of Critical Inquiry. "The Art Critic and the Art Historian" was originally delivered as the Leslie Stephen lecture at the University of Cambridge on November 26, 1973. Other contributions are "CRITICAL RESPONSE: Notes and Exchanges" , and "Bloomsbury and 'the Vulgar Passions'". (shrink)
[E.H. Gombrich wrote on May 13, 1975:]... I recently was invited to talk about "Art" at the Institution for Education of our University. There was a well-intentioned teacher there who put forward the view that we had no right whatever to influence the likes and dislikes of our pupils because every generation had a different outlook and we could not possibly tell what theirs would be. It is the same extreme relativism, which has invaded our art schools and resulted in (...) the doctrine that art could not possibly be taught because only what has been done already can be taught, and since art is creativity it is not possible to teach it. Q.E.D.—I recently asked my history finalists what "Quod erat demonstrandum" means and they did not know.... [Quentin Bell responded on May 15, 1975:]... Your teacher at the Institute, is he really a relativist? Isn't he a kind of religious zealot? I used to teach school children. With me there was a much better teacher. One day she came into the room where I had been teaching and found a series of the most surprising and beautiful water colours. "What are these?" said she. I explained that they were copies of Raphael made by eleven and twelve year old children. I would have gone on to explain how interested I was by their resemblance, not to Raphael but rather to Simone Martini, for they had all the shapes beautifully right but none of the internal drawing or the sentiment, but I was checked by her look of horror. "You've made them copy from Raphael?" she said. Her expression was exactly that of someone who had been casually informed that that I had committed a series of indecent assaults upon the brats. And in fact in subsequent conversation it appeared that this was very nearly what she did feel. For her, what she called "self expression" was as precious as virginity. E.H. Gombrich was director of the Warburg Institute and Professor of the History of the Classical Tradition at the University of London from 1959 to 1976. His books include The Story of Art, Art and Illusion, Meditations on a Hobby Horse, Norm and Form, Symbolic Images, The Heritage of Apelles, and In Search of Cultural History. He became a Fellow of the British Academy in 1960, a Commander of the British Empire in 1966, and was knighted in 1972. He is also a trustee of the British Museum and a foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Philosophical Society. His contributions to Critical Inquiry include "Notes and Exchanges","Standards of Truth: The Arrested Image and the Moving Eye", and, with Quentin Bell, "Canons and Values in the Visual Arts: A Correspondence". Quentin Bell is professor of the history and theory of art, Sussex University. He has written Virginia Woolf: A Biography, Of Human Finery, Ruskin, Victorian Artists and Bloomsbury. Other contributions to Critical Inquiry are "The Art Critic and the Art Historian", "Notes and Exchanges", and "Bloomsbury and 'the Vulgar Passions'". (shrink)
As I see it, the historic role of literary Bloomsbury was to act as a sort of check or antibody continually attacking the proponents of the vulgar passions in the body politic whenever these menaced the traditional values of liberal England. In a democracy and perhaps in any modern state there is always a danger that men seeking power will rely upon the feelings rather than the intelligence of the masses. Such appeals to the vulgar passions represent a continual danger; (...) fight on till the Huns are smashed, squeeze Germany until the pips squeak, woman's place is in the home, stamp out dirty unnatural vice, keep the black man in his place—exhortations of this kind can be terribly effective. Against them, or most of them, one may oppose the arguments of the Sermon on the Mount: love your enemies, all men are brothers. This Bloomsbury did not do; it had no use either for the hero or for the saint. In its polemics it appeals to good sense and good feeling and relies upon the belief that ultimately the reasoned argument will prevail. Quentin Bell is the author of, among other works, Virginia Woolf: A Biography, Bloomsbury, Ruskin, and On Human Finery. His previous contributions to Critical Inquiry are "Art and the Elite" and exchanges with E. H. Gombrich and James Ackerman. (shrink)
"Using direct observations of the surrounding landscape and the tangibel artifacts of the city, its topography, streets, temples and other stunning architectural monuments, Barry Bell carries out a progressive investigation into Bangkok's ...
From the New York Times bestselling author Derrick Bell, a profound meditation on achieving success with integrity. As one of the country's most influential law professors, Derrick Bell has spent a lifetime helping students struggling to maintain a sense of integrity in the face of an overwhelming pressure to succeed at any price. Frequently asked how he managed to be so extraordinarily successful while never giving up the fight for justice and equality, Bell decided to spend his (...) seventieth year writing a book of insight and guidance. The result, Ethical Ambition , is a deeply affecting, uplifting, and brilliant series of meditations that not only challenges us to face some of the most difficult questions that life presents, but dares to offer some solutions. Using incidents from his own life, Bell also looks to literature, history, and other contemporary figures who have refused to compromise their beliefs. In chapters that explore passion, faith courage, inspiration, humility, and relationships, Ethical Ambition address the most fundamental issues of life. (shrink)
Lombardo and Bell have translated this important early dialogue on virtue, wisdom, and the nature of Sophistic teaching into an idiom remarkable for its liveliness and subtlety. Michael Frede has provided a substantial introduction that illuminates the dialogue's perennial interest, its Athenian political background, and the particular difficulties and ironic nuances of its argument.
It is estimated that there could be 200 million‘environmental refugees’ by the middle of this century. One major environmental cause of population displacement is likely to be global climate change. As the situation is likely to become more pressing, it is vital to consider now the rights of environmental refugees and the duties of the rest of the world. However, this is not an issue that has been addressed in mainstream theories of global justice. This paper considers the potential of (...) two leading liberal theories of international justice to address the particular issues raised by the plight of potential and actual environmental refugees. I argue that neither John Rawls’s ‘Law of Peoples’ approach nor Charles Beitz’s `cosmopolitanism' is capable of providing an adequate account of justice in this context. Beitz’s theory does have some advantages over Rawls’s approach but it fails to take proper account of the attachment that some people have to their own ‘home’. (shrink)