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)
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)
[ 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.
Susan Wolf’s compatibilism is unique for being ‘asymmetrical. ’While holding that blameworthiness entails being able to avoid acting wrongly, she maintains that our freedom consists in single-mindedly pursuing Truth and Goodness. Comparing and contrasting her position to Saint Anselm’s seminal, libertarian approach to the same subject elicits serious questions, highlighting its drawbacks. How could freedom entail the inability to do certain things? In what sense are reasons causes? What sense can be made of a double standard for assignments of (...) responsibility? Is not self-control inconsistent with being caused to act by things independent of oneself? Does not virtue require struggling against falsehoods and evils by which one could be overcome? Wolf’s compatibilism must be rejected, I shall argue, in light of Anselm’s intuitively satisfying response to these concerns: we should prefer a philosophy that entails more of what we want from freedom without begging unanswerable questions of its own. (shrink)
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)
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 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)
Many have doubted whether the transition to genuinely new representational resources is susceptible to psychological explanation. In The Origin of Concepts (O.U.P. 2009), Susan Carey makes a strong empirical case for the existence of discontinuities in conceptual development. Carey also offers a plausible psychological explanation of some of these transitions, in particular of the child’s acquisition of the ability to represent natural numbers. The combination amounts to a forceful answer to puzzles about the learnability of new representations.
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)
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)
I have known Susan Sherwin all of my academic life—as a newbie graduate student in philosophy following on from an undergraduate degree in political science; as a newly minted PhD trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my degree; and later as a faculty member at Dalhousie University trying to craft a career in a medical school. Over the years, Sue has been an important mentor, colleague and friend.In thinking about what I want to say about (...) Sue's legacy, a well-known adage, often attributed to the renowned poet Maya Angelou,1 came to mind: "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." I doubt that I will ever forget what Sue said, or... (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)
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.
The late Susan Moller Okin was a leading political theorist whose scholarship tried to integrate political philosophy and issues of gender and the family. This volume stems from a conference on Okin, and contains articles by some of the top feminist and political philosophers working today. Their aim is not to celebrate Okin's work, but to constructively engage with it and further its goals.
Most people working in bioethics will be familiar with Susan Sherwin's contributions to the field. There is much to be said about the value and importance of Sue's contributions to feminist theory and practice, but in this reflective piece I am going to focus on the experience of teaching Sue's work. This is for three reasons: the first is that I was hired into the Philosophy Department at Dalhousie just as Sue retired and I teach many of the courses (...) she developed, so her philosophical legacy and teaching are intimately related for me. Second, in my observations of Sue's interactions with graduate students (she... (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.
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)
Consider Susan Hurley's depiction of mainstream views of the mind: "The mind is a kind of sandwich, and cognition is the filling" (p. 401). This particular sandwich (with perception as the bottom loaf and action as the top loaf) tastes foul to Hurley, who devotes most of "Consciousness in Action" to a systematic and sometimes extraordinarily detailed critique of what has otherwise been dubbed "classical" models of the mind. This critique then provides the basis for her alternative proposal, in (...) which perception, action and environment are deeply intertwined. (shrink)
The sudden resurgence of interest in the emotions that has recently overtaken analytical philosophy has raised a range of questions about the place of the passions in established explanatory schemes. How, for example, do the emotions fit into theories of action organized around beliefs and desires? How can they be included in analyses of the mind developed to account for other mental states and capacities? Questions of this general form also arise within political philosophy, and the wish to acknowledge their (...) importance and find a space for them has led to some fruitful developments. Among these are a new sensitivity to ways in which attributions of emotion can create and sustain unequal power relations, an interest in the underlying emotional capacities that make politics possible, a concern with the kinds of emotional suffering that politics should aim to abolish, and analyses of the emotional traits it should foster. While these and comparable explorations have enormously enriched contemporary political philosophy, a great deal of mainstream work continues to ignore or marginalize the emotions, so that their place remains uncertain and obscure. There is no consensus as to what kind of attention should be paid to them, or indeed whether they deserve any systematic attention at all. This is a curious state of affairs, because it was until quite recently taken for granted that political philosophy and psychology are intimately connected, and that political philosophy needs to be grounded on an understanding of human passion. In this essay I shall first consider why political philosophers ever rejected this set of assumptions. I shall then return to the pressing issue of how we might take account of the emotions in our own political theorizing. (shrink)
In a provocative article published in the Journal of Consciousness Studies, Susan Pockett argues for the plausibility of considering consciousness as an epiphenomenon of neural activity. This means that consciousness, though caused by the brain, would not in its turn have any role in the causation of neural activity and, consequently, of behaviour. Critical for her argument is the distinction she makes between 'consciousness per se' and 'the neural processing that accompanies it' . In her discussion, though, the author (...) begs the question concerning whether there really is such 'consciousness itself, as distinct from the neural processing that goes with it' . If consciousness as it exists happens not to be distinct from some sort of neural processing, then Pockett's 'consciousness per se' has no causal effect simply because it does not exist. (shrink)
ABSTRACTWe trace Susan Moller Okin’s reception of Mary Wollstonecraft with respect to the relationship between religion and feminist liberalism, by way of manuscripts housed at Somerville College, Oxford and Harvard University. These unpublished documents – dated from 1967 to 1998 – include her Somerville advising file, with papers dated from 1967 to 1979; her 1970 Oxford B.Phil. thesis on the feminist political theory of Wollstonecraft, William Thompson, and J.S. Mill; her teaching notes on Wollstonecraft originating in 1978, for her (...) course ‘Gender and Political Theory’ held at Brandeis and Stanford in the 1980s and 1990s; and her correspondence with John Rawls, dated from 1985 to 1998. A consistently secular feminist liberal, Okin had a blind spot with regard to religion, which led her to misinterpret Wollstonecraft’s theology as contradictory to her consequentialist arguments for women’s rights. Wollstonecraft virtually disappeared from Okin’s published corpus, overshadowed by the secular utilitarian feminist liberal J.S. Mill. Wollstonecraft nevertheless remained a deep philosophical source for both the method and the principle behind Okin’s distinctive brand of feminist liberalism. Okin’s reception of Wollstonecraft suggests that the fissures caused by religious conflict in modern politics have not only generated multiple liberalisms, as Rawls argued, but also multiple feminist liberalisms. (shrink)
We are preparing this special issue celebrating the work of Susan Sherwin under extraordinary circumstances. We are sitting in our homes, isolating ourselves from each other, in order to support and protect each other. Each of us is curtailing our preferences in order not only to protect ourselves but to protect everyone else in our community—local and global—from COVID-19. In this historic moment it is abundantly clear that our lives are inescapably relational—that, through our own decisions and actions, each (...) individual makes possible, or impossible, other actions for other people. To take a relatively simple example, consider one type of physical distancing that our government is asking us to practice... (shrink)
In Australia, Human Research Ethics Committees have a vital role to play—as the primary institutional mechanism for ethical review of research—in protecting research participants, and promoting ethical research. Their ability to act effectively in this role is currently threatened by the limited support they receive and their burgeoning workloads. In this discussion paper, I trace some of the factors contributing to what I describe as a resource crisis in human research ethics. I suggest a review of the working of HRECs (...) to canvas a range of alternatives which might serve to redress this crisis, so as to ensure the continued effectiveness of HRECs in protecting participants and promoting ethical research. (shrink)
For many of us, our relationship with the College Art Association (CAA) centers around the organization's annual meeting, that cacophonous yearly ritual that sees job applicants, panelists, and old friends and colleagues descend upon a convention hotel for one long weekend in February. The recent publication The Eye, the Hand, the Mind: 100 Years of the College Art Association, edited by former CAA executive director Susan Ball, attempts to historicize not only this event but the entire range of the (...) association's activities over its long life. Additionally, it serves as a reminder to all of us that the organization has long engaged in a wide range of pursuits that extend well beyond planning its annual conference. .. (shrink)
In Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her, Susan Griffin's embedding of language and culture within the natural world implicitly offers a critique of widespread assumptions, shared by many feminists, that language belongs only to the powerful and that it is inherently violent. Griffin's depiction of the process through which women come to speech is illuminated by V. N. Vološinov's work on the multiaccentuality of language and by Trinh Minh-ha's characterizations of oral traditions. Both authors stress the constant re-creation (...) of language by speakers and listeners. (shrink)
The caesura of tragedy, more precisely tragedy as the scene of a caesura upon which an interruption occurs in the relation between divine grounds and human will, stands at the center of Susan Taubes's confrontation with tragedy. Moving beyond an explication of generic history, she analyzed the “Nature of Tragedy” (1953) as a phenomenon emerging from a cultural-historical threshold situation, illuminating tragedy's origins in the framework of her approach to ritual, religion, and philosophy. In respect to the history of (...) theory, these reflections are located at a transition point between religious and cultural history. Her argument that tragedy maintains a…. (shrink)
In her film, Desperately Seeking Susan, Susan Seidelman continues her inquiry into the relations between the “center” and the “margin” in contemporary culture. The ideology of the film represents the center — the status quo — as the site for mature negotiations of communal values, whereas it constructs the margin — the locus of opposition — as an instance of self-indulgence, transgression, and extremity. This is the same theme in her first film, Smithereens. This fascination with the tension (...) between the center and the margin is interesting in that it enacts the “politics of reluctance” of fairly successful upper bourgeois who in their youth learned a political language and a set of attitudes now being tested in their middle years by new political “realities.”. (shrink)
Susan Haack presents a striking and appealing figure in contemporary Anglo-American philosophy. In spite of British birth and education, she appears to bridge the gap between analytic philosophy and American pragmatism, with its more diverse influences and sources. Well known for her writings in the philosophy of logic and epistemology, she fuses something of the hard-headed debunking style of a Bertrand Russell with a lively interest in Peirce, James and Dewey.
Lewis, according to Kuklick, was ‘a private person’, of ‘unsparing honesty and … utter dedication to the rational pursuit of truth’. He was, Kuklick continues, ‘equally uncompromising in what he expected of his readers, and as a result wrote for and lectured to a tiny group of scholars’. I hope that—since I occasionally find myself borrowing from him and frequently find myself arguing with him—I may count myself as one of the ‘tiny group of scholars’ for whom Lewis wrote. And (...) perhaps, by arguing with him again here, I may persuade some of you of the enduring interest of his work. (shrink)
“I love you dear child and it is very hard to be reduced to a reines Bewusstsein [pure consciousness].”1 Susan Taubes wrote this sentence in Paris on February 18, 1952, to her husband Jacob Taubes in Jerusalem. Following ten months together with him in the holy city, she had been living for six weeks in one of the most prominent centers of secular modernism. From now on she would live alone. Her arrival in Paris formed the sequel to an (...) extensive correspondence allowing the pair to keep in touch in the first three years of marriage (1949–52), despite geographical distance…. (shrink)
Evil in Modern Thought, Susan Neiman's account of the intellectual trajectory of modernity, employs the trope “homeless” to articulate deep difficulties that affirmations of divine transcendence and of human capacities to acknowledge transcendence face in a contemporary context thoroughly marked by fragmentation, fragility, and contingency. The “hospitality” of the Incarnation, which makes a fractured world a place for divine welcoming of the human in all its contingency and brokenness, is proposed as locus for theological engagement with Neiman's appropriation of (...) a Kantian sense of hope as the readiness to resist evil in a world seemingly bereft of welcome. (shrink)
Foreword This letter is part of a correspondence belonging to the estate of Susan Taubes. It documents the private and intellectual relations between her and Jacob Taubes, whom she married in 1949. The two spent most of the period until 1952 geographically separated from each other, a situation due to their changing work and study circumstances. Susan spent the first half of 1952 in Paris, preparing her dissertation at the Sorbonne; Jacob took up Gershom Scholem's invitation to teach (...) the sociology of religion at the Hebrew University. In this year, intellectual debates stemming from the ferment of postwar American and…. (shrink)
This paper proceeds from a sense of dissatisfaction with much of current moral argument about defence policy, in particular the role of nuclear weapons. Discussions of the moral issues tend to divide into two distinct kinds of writing: on the one hand, impassioned calls to action based on and allied with equally impassioned moral exhortations; and on the other hand, usually in academic contexts, meticulous analyses and comparisons of aspects of nuclear policy with paradigm cases of acknowledged moral categories or (...) requirements, with the object of showing by analogy with these that the particular aspect of policy under discussion is or is not morally wrong. My unease is caused by the fact that, while it is difficult not to respond to the impassioned style of argument, as one recognizes in it a practical and moral urgency which our situation seems to demand, nevertheless it plainly appeals only to those already convinced of its conclusions. The unconverted tend to regard it with suspicion or disdain, for in contrast to the analytical style, which manifestly seeks to compel the intellect, the impassioned style seems to make its effect by stirring the emotions as much as if not instead of by compelling the intellect. On the other hand the analytical style can seem curiously irrelevant, even trivial, in relation to the issue. For instance, it has been argued that since: nuclear war is a moral disaster; deterrence is threatening or intending to wage nuclear war; it is wrong to threaten or intend to do something wrong; therefore: deterrence is wrong, and should be abandoned. It is hard to believe that defenders of deterrence as the cornerstone of defence policy are going to be persuaded by such an argument to abandon their advocation of it, if only because the argument totally ignores the object of deterrence. (shrink)