Retrospective rule-making has few supporters and many opponents. Defenders of retrospective laws generally do so on the basis that they are a necessary evil in specific or limited circumstances, for example to close tax loopholes, to deal with terrorists or to prosecute fallen tyrants. Yet the reality of retrospective rule making is far more widespread than this, and ranges from ’corrective’ legislation to ’interpretive regulations’ to judicial decision making. The search for a rational justification for retrospective rule-making necessitates a reconsideration (...) of the very nature of the rule of law and the kind of law that can rule, and will provide new insights into the nature of law and the parameters of societal order. This book examines the various ways in which laws may be seen as retrospective and analyses the problems in defining retrospectivity. In his analysis Dr Charles Sampford asserts that the definitive argument against retrospective rule-making is the expectation of individuals that, if their actions today are considered by a future court, the applicable law was discoverable at the time the action was performed. The book goes on to suggest that although the strength of this ’rule of law’ argument should prevail in general, exceptions are sometimes necessary, and that there may even be occasions when analysis of the rule of law may provide the foundation for the application of retrospective laws. (shrink)
Despite the frequency of stillbirths, the subsequent implications are overlooked and underappreciated. We present findings from comprehensive, systematic literature reviews, and new analyses of published and unpublished data, to establish the effect of stillbirth on parents, families, health-care providers, and societies worldwide. Data for direct costs of this event are sparse but suggest that a stillbirth needs more resources than a livebirth, both in the perinatal period and in additional surveillance during subsequent pregnancies. Indirect and intangible costs of stillbirth are (...) extensive and are usually met by families alone. This issue is particularly onerous for those with few resources. Negative effects, particularly on parental mental health, might be moderated by empathic attitudes of care providers and tailored interventions. The value of the baby, as well as the associated costs for parents, families, care providers, communities, and society, should be considered to prevent stillbirths and reduce associated morbidity. (shrink)
This article revisits Arendt’s and Foucault’s converging accounts of modern (bio)politics and the entry of biological life into politics. Agamben’s influential account of these ideas is rejected as a misrepresentation both because it de-historicizes biological/organic life and because it occludes the positivity of that life and thus the discursive appeal and performative force of biopolitics. Through attention to the genealogy of Arendt’s and Foucault’s own ideas we will see that the major point of convergence in their thinking is their insistence (...) upon understanding biological thinking from the inside, in terms of its positivity. Agamben’s assessment of modern politics is closer to Arendt’s than it is to Foucault’s and this marks a fascinating point of disagreement between Arendt and Foucault. Whereas Arendt sees the normalizing force of modern society as being in total opposition to individuality, Foucault posits totalization and individuation as processes of normation, which casts a light upon the relative import they place upon politics and ethics. (shrink)
In the 1970s and 1980s a strong opposition and anxiety towards biological and naturalizing knowledges was the norm in feminist discourse. In the past decades the certainties of that ‘anti-biologism’ have been challenged, in part because of a new recognition of the role of contingency in both biological determination and biological science. What seems to have survived the shift is a set of normative assumptions concerning the role of determinacy and contingency in the political implications of ontological claims: an assumed (...) political valorization of contingency. This article challenges those assumptions. It draws attention to the embrace of contingency and processuality on the part of supremacist biopolitical discourse, and suggests the need to think again about the politics of contingency and becoming . Focusing on the issue of racism and supremacist-specification, the article takes a genealogical look at ‘second-wave’ feminist anti-biologism. Monique Wittig’s materialist feminist attack on naturalizing ideology and ‘the myth of woman’ provides the historical example. The article draws attention to curious absences in Wittig’s anti-biologistic statements concerning early 20th-century biologistic feminism: the absence of a critique of eugenics, racism and supremacism. Arguably the condemnation of biology as a conservative ‘ideology of the status quo’ created masks for biopolitical ontology, obscuring the progressive, dynamic, processual character of biologism and of modern racism. While dislodging some powers of biologistic discourse, feminist anti-biologism might also have played a part in facilitating the revitalization of biopolitical racism within the constructivist culturalist rubric. The aim of the article is not to critique ‘second-wave’ feminism from the perspective of contemporary scholarship, but to help generate new ways of thinking and feeling about the role of ontology, contingency and temporality in the present politics of classification. (shrink)
Motherhood, as it is practiced, constitutes an obstacle to gender equality in political participation. Several options are available as a potential solution to this problem. One is to advice women not to become mothers, or if they do, to devote less time and energy to caring for their children. However this will have negative repercussions for those who need to be cared for, whether children, sick people or the elderly. A second solution is to reject the view that political participation (...) is an important or necessary part of human flourishing, and allow that those who engage in caring activities can live good lives without having a say in how they are ruled. This has negative consequences for the carers who find themselves in a position, if not of direct oppression, of being dominated, and therefore susceptible of being oppressed. The solution I propose, inspired by the writings of Sophie de Grouchy, is that we look for a form of republicanism that regards caring activities as a form of political participation. (shrink)
Political writings of eighteenth-century France have been so far mostly overlooked as a source of republican thought. Philosophers such as Condorcet actively promoted the ideal of republicanism in ways that can shed light on current debates. In this paper, I look at one particular source: Le Republicain, published in the summer 1791, focusing on previously unattributed articles by Condorcet’s wife and collaborator, Sophie de Grouchy. Grouchy, a philosopher in her own right, is beginning to be known for her Letters (...) on Sympathy, a response to Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiment, which she published at the same time as her translation of that text into French. I argue, further, that in the texts, which I attribute to Grouchy, we can find the early development of a commercial republican theory, a belief, which is reflected in her discussion of the ‘cost’ of tyranny. (shrink)
Knowledge about ethical judgments has not advanced appreciably after decades of research. Such research, however, has rarely addressed the possible importance of the content of such judgments; that is, the material appearing in the brief vignettes or scenarios on which survey respondents base their evaluations. Indeed, this content has seemed an afterthought in most investigations. This paper closely examined the vast array of vignettes that have appeared in relevant research in an effort to reduce this proliferation to a more concise (...) set of overarching vignette themes. Six generic themes emerged from this process, labeled here as Dilemma, Classic, Conspiracy, Sophie’s Choice, Runaway Trolley, and Whistle Blowing. Each of these themes is characterized by a unique combination of four key factors that include the extent of protagonist personal benefit from relevant vignette activities and victim salience in vignette descriptions. Theme identification enabled inherent ambiguities in vignettes that threaten construct validity to come into sharp focus, provided clues regarding appropriate vignette construction, and may help to make sense of patterns of empirical findings that heretofore have seemed difficult to explain. (shrink)
The lifeworld is saturated with claims, justifications, assertions, validities, values and reasons; it is, in a manifold of senses, the very domain of right. In this brilliantly argued book, Sophie Loidolt advances the compelling thesis that these structures of right and justification, broadly construed, not only shape lived experience, but are, as “fundamentale Weisen der Welterschließung,” constitutive of subjectivity itself (p. 1).Loidolt takes as her point of departure the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl and offers a detailed reconstruction of Husserl’s (...) genetic analyses of theoretical evidence and justification found in his later writings, above all Experience and Judgment, as well as a thorough presentation of the main trends in the development of his ethical writings from 1908 to the end of his career. This project is not limited to reconstruction and interpretation of Husserl’s text, however, but has instead the goal of outlining a theory of “right thinking” (rechtliches Denken). (shrink)
The aim of this paper will be to show that certain strongly realist forms of scientific realism are either misguided or misnamed. I will argue that, in the case of a range of robustly realist formulations of scientific realism, the ‘scientific’ and the ‘realism’ are in significant philosophical and methodological conflict with each other; in particular, that there is a tension between the actual subject matter and methods of science on the one hand, and the realists' metaphysical claims about which (...) categories of entities the world contains on the other. (shrink)
Jean-Marc Moschetta | Résumé : Phénoménologie de la transcendance, publié par Sophie Nordmann, propose une réflexion sur certains concepts classiques de la théologie : création, rédemption, transcendance, etc. La thèse principale de l’ouvrage est que le monde est insuffisant à rendre compte de lui-même et que cette incomplétude est elle-même indéductible du monde. D’où le caractère authentiquement créé du monde. La création du monde, entendue strictement sur le mode de « l’insuffisance ontologique à soi », apparaît alors comme un (...) concept délié du don originel et permet de faire l’économie d’un Dieu créateur. Cet article met en regard cette analyse et celle qui est issue de la tradition théologique. En particulier, même si la construction de la thèse principale de l’ouvrage est contestée sur la base des contre-exemples fournis par les sciences contemporaines de la nature, la conclusion de l’ouvrage qui proclame le lien entre création et rédemption d’un monde en voie d’achèvement peut être reçue comme une confirmation de la légitimité de la théologie naturelle contemporaine. |: Phénoménologie de la transcendance, published by Sophie Nordmann, offers a philosophical thought on some classical concepts of theology such as : creation, redemption, transcendence, etc. The main thesis of the book is that the world is insufficient to account for itself. Moreover, the world incompleteness cannot be inferred from the world. Hence the world as a genuine created entity. The creation of the world, strictly understood as the “ontological self-insufficiency” appears as a concept independent of the original gift and allows to consider God the Creator as unnecessary. The present article compares Ms. Nordmann’s analysis with the one inherited from the theological tradition. The main book thesis is disputed on the basis of counter-examples issued from contemporary natural sciences. Yet, the conclusion proclaims a connection between creation and redemption of a world in the process of accomplishment. That conclusion may be regarded as confirming the legitimacy of contemporary natural theology. (shrink)
In philosophical circles, Electress Sophie of Hanover (1630-1714) is known mainly as the friend, patron, and correspondent of Leibniz. While many scholars acknowledge Sophie's interest in philosophy, some also claim that Sophie dabbled in philosophy herself, but did not do so either seriously or competently. In this paper I show that such a view is incorrect, and that Sophie did make interesting philosophical contributions of her own, principally concerning the nature of mind and thought.
It is commonly believed that Quine's principal argument for the Indeterminacy of Translation requires an untenably strong account of the underdetermination of theories by evidence, namely that that two theories may be compatible with all possible evidence for them and yet incompatible with each other. In this article, I argue that Quine's conclusion that translation is indeterminate can be based upon the weaker, uncontroversial conception of theoretical underdetermination, in conjunction with a weak reading of the ‘Gavagai’ argument which establishes the (...) underdetermination of the sense and reference of subsentential terms. If underdetermination is considered to be a widespread phenomenon in science, or in inductive reasoning more generally, then the Indeterminacy of Translation will be widespread too. Finally, I briefly consider two issues concerning the scope of this conclusion about the Indeterminacy of Translation: first, whether the argument presupposes behaviourism; and second, whether indeterminacy is restricted to the case of radical translation. I argue that the answer to both these questions is negative, and thus that the thesis of semantic indeterminacy remains relevant to those who disagree with Quine about some issues concerning the nature of mind and language. (shrink)
There are many conflicting attitudes to technological progress: some people are fearful that robots will soon take over, even perhaps making ethical decisions for us, whilst others enthusiastically embrace a future largely run for us by them. Still others insist that we cannot predict the long term outcome of present technological developments. In this paper I shall be concerned with the impact of the new technology on medicine, and with one particularly agonizing ethical dilemma to which it has already given (...) rise. (shrink)
En este texto se trabaja sobre las ideas sostenidas por Krause respecto de la dialéctica y el lugar de las mujeres. En lo referido a la primera cuestión, se analiza la peculiaridad de la dialéctica krausiana mostrando el esfuerzo que este autor realiza por ablandar las antinomias del esquema dialéctico, desconfiando siempre de la síntesis y proponiendo una dialéctica dual de la complementariedad El recorrido realizado incluye consideraciones relativas a la filosofía del derecho y la dialéctica en Krause, Hegel y (...) Marx. En lo referido al lugar de las mujeres, Krause pensaba que si el Estado debía serlo de un pueblo organizado democráticamente, era preciso partir de una reestructuración de la familia. Desde su punto de vista el Estado provenía de la familia, de allí su esfuerzo por reformular su estructura sobre nuevas bases: la educación en los valores de libertad e igualdad. A contrapelo de las ideas volcadas por Rousseau en el Emilio, Krause pensaba que era preciso educar a las mujeres para la libertad y la armonía con el varón, de modo tal que a partir de una familia así formada se llegara a la institución de un Estado orgánico que no fuera obstáculo para el desarrollo pleno de cada uno de los seres humanos. Para Krause las mujeres deberían ser empujadas a unirse a la Alianza de la Humanidad, el ideal libertario promulgado por el filósofo. En este credo sería educada Sofía, su hija primogénita.This paper works about the Krause's ideas both dialectics and women's place. On dialectics the author analyzes the peculiarity of Krausist dialectics showing the author's effort to conceive the antinomies of dialectics in a softer way. Krause doesn't have any trust in the synthetics moments and he proposes a dual dialectic of complementarities. The study includes considerations about the philosophy of right and dialectics in the works of Krause, Hegel and Marx. On women's place, Krause thinks that the State ought to be of a democratically organized country it must be necessary to begin by family organization. In his opinion the State became from the family, thus he thought that it was necessary to redefine its structure in other basis: the education in values of liberty and equality. Against Rousseau and his ideas Krause thought that women ought to be educated from freedom and harmony with the man. This family, in this way formed would was the basis of the new State. This State will doesn't be an obstacle for full human development. From Krause's point of view women must be pushed to joint the Alliance for Humanity, his libertarian ideal. In this believes was growing Sophie, his eldest daughter. (shrink)
Girls learn the lesson of cognitive deference most clearly, perhaps, growing up in patriarchal families. Taught to discount their own judgments and to depend on those of the family's dominant men, they lose self-trust and cannot take themselves seriously as moral deliberators. I argue that through the telling of counterstories, which undermine normative stories of oppression, it is sometimes possible for women to reclaim these families as places where they have cognitive authority.
In this paper, my main goal is to discuss two incompatible answers proposed to what I shall call, the objectivity seeking question (OSQ). The first answer is what I shall call the primacy thesis, according to which the third-person perspective is superior to that of the first-person perspective. Ultimately I will reject this answer. The second answer is what I shall call the skepticism thesis, according to which the distinction between the first-person perspective and the third-person perspective can be maintained (...) without reducing to/explaining away the former in terms of the latter. This is the answer I will defend albeit with some qualification. In this case, I will advance my discussion by appealing to the metaphysics of conscious experience/phenomenal consciousness. Third and finally, I will consider some empirically motivated objections against the skepticism thesis. In this case, my focus will be on modern neuroimaging techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), and positron emission tomography (PET) and see whether or not they pose a serious threat against the skepticism thesis. My overall conclusion will be that science and subjectivity, which is rooted in the first-person perspective, can coexist in the sense of complementing each other. (shrink)