Ever since the Proslogion was first circulated , critics have been bemused by St Anselm's brazen attempt to establish a matter of fact, namely, God's existence, from the simple analysis of a term or concept. Yet every critic who has proposed to ‘write the obituary’ of the Ontological Argument has found it to be remarkably resilient . At the risk of adding to a record of failures, I want to venture a new method for attacking this durable argument. Neither the (...) common version of Anselm's argument from Chapter II of the Proslogion nor the previously unrecognized modal version uncovered by Norman Malcolm from Pros , III can possibly get under way without Anselm's celebrated assertion that God is that than which no greater can be conceived. (shrink)
The central thesis of Susan Okin's Justice, Gender, and the Family—that the ideology of the traditional family is the linchpin of contemporary gender inequality in the US—remains significant more than a quarter-century after the book's publication. On a political register, Okin's insistence on structural analysis of gender inequality is an important corrective to recent mainstream feminist emphasis on individual women's choices. On an academic register, her work reveals the incoherence of scholarly classifications of feminist theories as “liberal feminist” or (...) “radical feminist” by confounding such distinctions. I argue that her thesis is best understood in relation to the early radical feminism of Juliet Mitchell's Woman's Estate, a book Okin praised. Placing Okin's work in the context of its radical roots clarifies her “linchpin thesis,” but also reveals the limitations of her argument: in her emphasis on what Iris Young has termed the “distributive paradigm of justice,” Okin unnecessarily adopts a much narrower definition of the family than did Mitchell, and overestimates the influence of economic vulnerability after divorce on women's capacity to exit marriage. I suggest modifications to her theory, and conclude by showing the continuing relevance of her argument for analyzing recent legal, policy, and demographic shifts. (shrink)
The sociology of literature, in the first of many paradoxes, elicits negations before assertions. It is not an established field or academic discipline. The concept as such lacks both intellectual and institutional clarity. Yet none of these limitations affects the vitality and rigor of the larger enterprise. We use the sociology of literature here to refer to the cluster of intellectual ventures that originate in one overriding conviction: the conviction that literature and society necessarily explain each other. Scholars and critics (...) of all kinds congregate under this outsize umbrella only to differ greatly in their sense of what they do and what sociology of literature does. They subscribe to a wide range of theories and methods. Many would not accept the sociology of literature as an appropriate label for their own work; other would refuse it to their colleagues. Nevertheless, every advocate agrees that a sociological practice is essential to literature. For the sociology of literature does not constitute just one more approach to literature. Because it insists upon a sociology of literary knowledge and literary practice within the study of literature, the sociology of literature raises questions basic to all intellectual inquiry.The sociology of literature begins in diversity. The way that is combines the ancient traditions of art with the modern practices of social science makes the very term something of an oxymoron. There is not one sociology of literature, there are many sociological practices of literature, each of which operates within a particular intellectual tradition and specific institutional context. These practices cross basic divisions within the contemporary intellectual field, especially within the university. Inherently interdisciplinary, the sociology of literature is subject to constant reformulation as scholars re-evaluate their disciplines. In consequence, disciplinary boundaries seem less rigid, less logical, and, hence, less authoritative than ever before. Even so—and this is another paradox of the sociology of literature—any sociological conception of literature is best situated in terms of an original discipline and its institutional setting. However frequently individual scholars cross over disciplinary lines, the fundamental divisions retain their force. Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson is professor of French at the University of Illinois at Chicago; she is author of Literary France: The Making of a Culture. Philippe Desan, whose Naissance de la method: Machiavelle, la Ramée, Bodin, Montaigne, Descartes was published in 1987, is an assistant professor at the University of Chicago. Wendy Griswold, associate professor of sociology at the University of Chicago, recently published Renaissance Revivals: City Comedy and Revenge Tragedy in the London Theatre, 1576-1980. (shrink)
: Many feminist and democratic theorists share the presumption that politics requires a pregiven subject ("women" or "the people") whose identity is grounded in commonality. Drawing on Linda Zerilli's interventions in feminist debates, Ferguson develops an alternative account of collective identity that emerges instead from multiple, overlapping, and discontinuous social practices. This reconceptualization of identity demands a corresponding reconceptualization of democracy, characterized by the ongoing contestation of the very subject ("the people") whose existence it presupposes.
We propose a model mechanism for the initiation and spatial positioning of teeth primordia in the alligator, Alligator mississippiensis. Detailed embryological studies by Westergaard and Ferguson have shown that jaw growth plays a crucial role in the developmental patterning of the tooth initiation process. Based on biological data we develop a dynamic patterning mechanism, which crucially includes domain growth. The mechanism can reproduce the spatial pattern development of the first seven teeth primordia in each half jaw of A. mississippiensis. (...) The results for the precise spatio-temporal sequence compare well with experiment. Simulation of the model also predicts that certain transplantations can alter the spatial sequence of teeth primordia initiation. (shrink)
As interest in aesthetic experience evolved in the eighteenth century, discussions of the sublime located two opposed accounts of its place and use. Ferguson traces these two positions - the Burkean empiricist account and the Kantian formalist one - to argue that they had significance of aesthetics, including recent deconstructive and New Historicist criticism.
In this volume comprised of sixteen essays and rebuttals, author and professor of philosophy Susan Haack responds to her fellow philosophers and her critics on a wide range of topics that involve much more than the esoteric nature of contemporary philosophy. Instead, as is Haack's forte, she asserts her views on important current issues such as how scientists conduct their work, the ethics of affirmative action and the pitfalls of preferential hiring, and how the distorted reality the postmodern thinkers (...) have presented has corrupted legal thinking. Her charge is to bring clarity, precision, integrity, and most of all, practicality to her field of study. (shrink)
According to welfarism about value, something is good simpliciter just in case it is good for some being or beings. In her recent Presidential Address to the American Philosophical Association, “Good-For-Nothings”, Susan Wolf argues against welfarism by appeal to great works of art, literature, music, and philosophy. Wolf provides three main arguments against this view, which I call The Superfluity Argument, The Explanation of Benefit Argument, and The Welfarist’s Mistake. In this paper, I reconstruct these arguments and explain where, (...) in my view, each goes wrong. (shrink)
Abstract: Faced with the thesis of the exhaustion of analytic philosophy, the work of Susan Haack shows a process of deep transformation within analytical philosophy. Instead of considering the analytic tradition as an abrupt breakdown with classical pragmatism, the resurgence of pragmatism in the last decades endorses, on the contrary, the continuity between both movements. In this process Susan Haack's work has a decisive role. This paper around the pragmatism of Susan Haack is organized into three sections: (...) 1) The pragmatist development in Haack's biography; 2) the two rival versions of pragmatism; and 3) the future of pragmatism. -/- Frente a la tesis del agotamiento de la filosofía analítica, el trabajo de Susan Haack muestra un proceso de profunda transformación en el seno de la filosofía analítica. En lugar de considerar la tradición analítica como una abrupta ruptura con el pragmatismo clásico, el resurgimiento del pragmatismo de las últimas décadas avala, por el contrario, la continuidad entre ambos movimientos. En este proceso el trabajo de Susan Haack tiene un papel decisivo. Esta colaboración en torno al pragmatismo de Susan Haack está organizada en tres secciones: 1) El desarrollo pragmatista en la biografía de Haack; 2) las dos versiones rivales del pragmatismo; y 3) el futuro del pragmatismo. (shrink)
While the norm amongst states seeking to repress protest movements which challenge their legitimacy is to resort to the ideology of the criminal law and allegations of violence against protesters as a means of depoliticising their activity there have been times when this method has appeared to those in power to be inadequate as a means of weakening or crushing a particular movement. The Ferguson protests in the summer of 2014 were initially met with police repression, but ultimately the (...) National Guard was called in to respond to the protests, which were presented as being orchestrated by “outsiders”. In this way, the protests were re-politicsed for the purposes of justifying the deployment of the military against the people. This justification is antithetical to the notion and purpose of protest such as that in Ferguson, which is to be regarded as successful precisely in its having generated a broad movement that individuals and groups from across US states were moved to join. (shrink)
Reviewing "The Ethics of Gender, Feminism and Christian Ethics," and "The Cambridge Companion to Feminist Theology," the author suggests that Susan Parsons responds to questions postmodernism has posed to both feminism and Christian ethics by using insights gained from various accounts of the moral subject found in feminist philosophy, ethics, and theology. Hesitant to embrace postmodernism's critique of the possibility of ethics, Parsons redefines ethics by establishing a moral point of view within discursive communities. Yet in her brief treatment (...) of Emmanuel Levinas, Parsons does not explore the postmodern option he offers feminists: an understanding of moral responsibility that can be critical of ethics. Parsons also ignores some feminist perspectives in the physical and natural sciences, thereby missing valuable insights of feminists who insist upon the materiality of the body. (shrink)
An essay on the article "Reason and Feeling in Thinking about Justice," by Susan Moller Okin is presented. It offers a history of the original position in philosophical reasoning for explaining a sense of justice and examines feminist criticisms against such thinking for failure to appreciate differences and otherness while focused on universality and impartiality. The author relates the choice feminist theories on ethic of sympathy or care for others in place of an ethic of justice in general.
Efforts to introduce particular-focused and emotionally engaged storytelling into historiography have sparked intense debate. Stone-Mediatore argues that women and other under-represented groups have a particular interest in defending the epistemic value of storytelling, but that we can do so meaningfully -- not by endorsing all storytelling -- but only by articulating a metahistory that challenges the division between history and story as well as makes explicit the interrelated epistemic and ethical goals of historical inquiry. The author draws on Hannah Arendt (...) and Susan Griffin to begin to articulate such a feminist metahistory. She argues that such a metahistory throws light on the potential value of creative and engaged storytelling, not only for understanding historical events but also for building less violent worlds. (shrink)
Durante el período Ilustrado hubo un discurso difundido que aclamaba la supremacía de la esfera económica sobre lo político y lo ético. Adam Ferguson, destacado filósofo de la Ilustración escocesa, no lo compartía, juzgándolo monolítico y reductor. Pensaba que la llegada de la sociedad comercial –del mercado-, decisiva para el progreso económico, fue también factor de desequilibrios que amenazaban el porvenir de la sociedad. Lo político era un elemento fundamental de la reproducción social. Se confrontaban dos modelos: uno basado (...) en el principio que parecía guiar, universalmente, las relaciones entre los hombres: el intercambio económico; y una representación de la sociedad civil basada en la virtud del ciudadano. Ferguson defendió el segundo: un hombre virtuoso no es el que serenamente contempla lo que pasa a su alrededor, sino aquel que ejerciendo su virtud activa mira a lo político. En esta perspectiva, lo virtuoso y lo político se encuentra estrechamente enlazados. (shrink)
_The Opportunity Gap_ aims to shift attention from the current overwhelming emphasis on schools in discussions of the achievement gap to more fundamental questions about social and educational opportunity. The achievement gap looms large in the current era of high-stakes testing and accountability. Yet questions persist: Has the accountability movement—and attendant discussions on the achievement gap—focused attention on the true sources of educational failure in American schools? Do we need to look beyond classrooms and schools for credible accounts of disparities (...) in educational outcomes? The essays in this book reintroduce the overlooked central issue in educational inequity: the lack of opportunity that many social groups face in our common quest for educational attainment. In a series of wide-ranging and carefully nuanced essays, _The Opportunity Gap_ casts much-needed light on the vexed relationship between society and education—and on the crucial, persistent role that education plays in addressing social ills. Contributors include Gilberto Q. Conchas, Raewyn Connell, Pat English-Sand, Linda May Fitzgerald, Patresa Hartman, Jeff Howard, Mieko Kamii, Rafa M. Kasim, Christopher Kliewer, Robert A. LeVine, Sarah E. LeVine, Jodi Meyer-Mork, Robert Parris Moses, Sonia Nieto, Donna Raschke, Stephen W. Raudenbush, Ray C. Rist, Beatrice Schnell-Anzola, Irene Serna, Susan McAllister Swap, and Amy Stuart Wells; with an afterword by Ronald F. Ferguson. (shrink)
[ Susan Hurley] I argue that the aim to neutralize the influence of luck on distribution cannot provide a basis for egalitarianism: it can neither specify nor justify an egalitarian distribution. Luck and responsibility can play a role in determining what justice requires to be redistributed, but from this we cannot derive how to distribute: we cannot derive a pattern of distribution from the 'currency' of distributive justice. I argue that the contrary view faces a dilemma, according to whether (...) it understands luck in interpersonal or counterfactual terms. /// [Richard J. Arneson] Does it make sense to hold that, if it is bad that some people are worse off than others, it is worse if those who are worse off come to be so through sheer bad luck that it is beyond their power to control? In her contribution to this symposium, Susan Hurley cautions against a closely related fallacy: from the fact that people have come to an unequal condition through unchosen bad luck, it does not follow that, if we aim to undo the influence of unchosen luck, we ought to institute equality of condition. Forswearing the fallacy that Hurley analyses is compatible with answering the question affirmatively, and more generally with holding that principles of distributive justice should be sensitive to the distinction between chosen and unchosen bad luck. This essay explores how this might be done. (shrink)
In this paper I lay out what I take to be the crucial insights in Susan Bordo's "Feminist Skepticism and the 'Maleness' of Philosophy" and point out some additional difficulties with the skeptical position. I call attention to an ambiguity in the nature or content of the "maleness" of philosophy that Bordo identifies. Finally, I point out that, unlike some feminist skeptics, Bordo never loses sight in her work of women's lived experiences.
Does Spinoza present philosophy as the preserve of an elite, while condemning the uneducated to a false though palliative form of ‘true religion’? Some commentators have thought so, but this contribution aims to show that they are mistaken. The form of religious life that Spinoza recommends creates the political and epistemological conditions for a gradual transition to philosophical understanding, so that true religion and philosophy are in practice inseparable.
Susan Stebbing’s work on incomplete symbols and analysis was instrumental in clarifying, sharpening, and improving the project of logical constructions which was pivotal to early analytic philosophy. She dispelled use-mention confusions by restricting the term ‘incomplete symbol’ to expressions eliminable through analysis, rather than those expressions’ purported referents, and distinguished linguistic analysis from analysis of facts. In this paper I explore Stebbing’s role in analytic philosophy’s development from anti-holism, presupposing that analysis terminates in simples, to the more holist or (...) foundherentist analytic philosophy of the later 20th century. I read Stebbing as a transitional figure who made room for more holist analytic movements, e.g., applications of incomplete symbol theory to Quinean ontological commitment. Stebbing, I argue, is part of a historical narrative which starts with the holism of Bradley, an early influence on her, to which Moore and Russell’s logical analysis was a response. They countered Bradley’s holist reservations about facts with the view that the world is built up out of individually knowable simples. Stebbing, a more subtle and sympathetic reader of the British idealists, defends analysis, but with important refinements and caveats which prepared the way for a return to foundherentism and holism within analytic philosophy. (shrink)
: This paper responds to comments, queries, and criticisms offered by Alcoff, Bergoffen, and Ferguson at a scholar's session on my work held at the annual meeting of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy in October 2001. Responding to Alcoff, I highlight my understanding of liberation in the context of a Nietzschean and a Latin American feminism and the politics of conceptualizing "resistance" in postcolonial theory. Responding to Ferguson, I address, among other issues, the often misunderstood distinction (...) between postcolonialism and postmodernism, as well as related implications regarding some postcolonial feminists' qualified appeals to universals and women's rights. Responding to Bergoffen, I advocate on behalf of cultural formations supportive of the feminist affirmation of life and of radical subjectivities that challenge gender orthodoxies. (shrink)
Part biography and part constructive ethical inquiry, this book is an original interpretation of the Scottish philosopher Adam Ferguson’s ethical method and view of ethical integrity, with an emphasis on his Analysis, Institutes, and Principles.
Although Adam Ferguson is regarded typically as a secular thinker, the larger frame of this thought may reflect his theism. After recounting, in summary fashion, elements of Ferguson's life, the paper sets forth his embrace of standard doctrines of eighteenth-century natural theology, including the metaphysical basis between mind, activity, and moral happiness, as well as Ferguson's treatment of an important theme of Christian belief – human sinfulness. Turning to Ferguson's moral theory, it is argued that energetic (...) and moralized activity, vigour, may be less an expression of ‘civic humanism’ than of Ferguson's practical experience within the Scottish Church. More important, the very idea of vigorous exertion manifests, in Ferguson's own view, the human reflection of the Divine. Even if Ferguson remains a secular thinker, there is reason to regard him as a man whose thought bears the marks of religious belief and institutional practice. (shrink)
Susan Stebbing’s paper “Logical Positivism and Analysis” (March 1933) was unusually critical of Wittgenstein. It put up a sharp opposition between Cambridge analytic philosophy of Moore and Russell and the positivist philosophy of the Vienna Circle to which she included Wittgenstein from 1929–32. Above all, positivists were interested in analyzing language, analytic philosophers in analyzing facts. Moreover, whereas analytic philosophers were engaged in directional analysis which seeks to illuminate the multiplicity of the analyzed facts, positivists aimed at final analysis (...) which “proves” that there are simples. Stebbing’s paper urged Wittgenstein to recast his philosophy and 1933 abandon those components of it that linked him to the Vienna Circle. (shrink)
SummaryThis article reconstructs a significant historical alternative to the theories of ‘cosmopolitan’ or ‘liberal’ patriotism often associated with the Scottish Enlightenment. Instead of focusing on the work of Andrew Fletcher, Francis Hutcheson, David Hume or Adam Smith, this study concentrates on the theories of sociability, patriotism and international rivalry elaborated by Adam Ferguson and Henry Home, Lord Kames. Centrally, the article reconstructs both thinkers' shared perspective on what I have called ‘unsociable’ or ‘agonistic’ patriotism, an eighteenth-century idiom which saw (...) international rivalship, antagonism, and even war as crucial in generating political cohesion and sustaining moral virtue. Placing their thinking in the context of wider eighteenth-century debates about sociability and state formation, the article's broader purpose is to highlight the centrality of controversies about human sociability to eighteenth-century debates about the nature of international relations. (shrink)
This is a review of Susan Greenfield's 2015 book 'Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark On Our Brains'. Greenfield is a neuroscientist and a member of the UK House of Lords, who argues that digital technologies are changing the human environment "in an unprecedented way," and that by adapting to this environment, "the brain may also be changing in an unprecedented way." The book and its author have created a surprising amount of controversy. I discuss both (...) Greenfield's book and a prominent critique by Bell et al. (2015). The exchange points to some flaws in Greenfield's argument and represents an interesting debate about the public role of scientists, but it does not undermine the value of the book as a springboard for discussions about possible policies and future research. (shrink)
Review of: "Computation, Information, Cognition: The Nexus and the Liminal", Ed. Susan Stuart & Gordana Dodig Crnkovic, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, September 2007, xxiv+340pp, ISBN: 9781847180902, Hardback: £39.99, $79.99 ---- Are you a computer? Is your cat a computer? A single biological cell in your stomach, perhaps? And your desk? You do not think so? Well, the authors of this book suggest that you think again. They propose a computational turn, a turn towards computational explanation and towards the explanation (...) of computation itself. The explanation of computation is the core of the present volume, but the computational turn to regard a wide variety of systems as computational is a potentially very wide-ranging project. (shrink)
Event synopsis: Professor Susan James inverses Leo Strauss’ reading of Spinoza. Whereas Strauss emphasized the hidden subtext of Spinoza’s arguments, James revives the explicit debates of his time within which Spinoza's Theologico-Political Treatise was situated. But this is not a simple historical reconstruction. James’ close reading of the Treatise offers a radically new perspective on Spinoza’s revolutionary book – a reading that presents startling new perspective on the political, metaphysical and theological implications of the book. Given the importance of (...) Spinoza’s political writings in contemporary radical democratic approaches to the state, James intervention has the potential to reshape the way we think of a Spinozan politics. (shrink)
“Sucks and stones will break my bones,” Justice Scalia pronounced from the bench in oral arguments in Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network, “but words can never hurt me. That's the First Amendment,” he added. Jay Alan Sekulow, the lawyer for the petitioners, anti-abortion protesters who had been enjoined from moving closer than fifteen feet away from those entering an abortion facility, was obviously pleased by this characterization of the right to free speech, replying, “That's certainly our position on it, and that (...) is exactly correct …”. (shrink)
Adam Ferguson has received little of the renewed attention that contemporary philosophers have given to the philosophers of the Scottish Enlightenment, most notably David Hume, Thomas Reid and Adam Smith. There are good reasons for this difference. Yet, the conception of moral philosophy at work in Ferguson's writings can nevertheless be called upon to throw important critical light on the current enthusiasm for philosophical ethics and applied philosophy. Eighteenth century ‘moral science’ took its significance from a context that (...) modern philosophers who seek to be practically ‘relevant’ need, but lack. (shrink)
There are differences between human beings, and some of these differences are, for many, a matter of identity. Some people are men, and some are white. Some people are poor, others are wealthy. These identity-constituting differences are deeply connected with different kinds of injustices. Susan Hekman's main contention in The Future of Differences is that a new epistemology is required if we are to acknowledge all these differences and, consequently, address these injustices.
Susan Wolf, Meaning in Life and Why it Matters Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s10677-011-9321-8 Authors Simon Derpmann, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Philosophisches Seminar, Domplatz 23, 48143 Münster, Germany Journal Ethical Theory and Moral Practice Online ISSN 1572-8447 Print ISSN 1386-2820.
In a way that is rarely even attempted, and even more rarely actually pulled off, Susan Hurley, in her book Consciousness in Action, brings scientific ideas into contact with mainstream philosophy. It is not at all unusual for empirical results from cognitive science, psychology, and neuroscience to be raised in discussion of issues in philosophy of science and philosophy of mind--Dennett and the Churchlands, for example, have been doing so for years. But Hurley attempts to draw empirical results even (...) closer to the center of philosophy, using them to make points about metaphysics and epistemology more broadly, especially PutnamÂ’s Twin Earth cases. We are very fond of Hurley's book, and we agree with nearly all of her conclusions. We do think, though, that there are two important cases where Hurley has misunderstood scientific work. First, we think she misunderstand dynamical systems theory; second, we think her criticism of ecological psychology is misplaced. In neither case do these misunderstandings derail HurleyÂ’s overall project--indeed, the former of them makes her conclusions all the more plausible. We consider them in order. (shrink)