Fredrik Svenaeus has applied Heidegger’s concept of ‘being-in-the-world’ to health and illness. Health, Svenaeus contends, is a state of ‘homelike being-in-the-world’ characterised by being ‘balanced’ and ‘in-tune’ with the world. Illness, on the other hand, is a state of ‘unhomelike being-in-the-world’ characterised by being ‘off-balance’ and alienated from our own bodies. This paper applies the phenomenological concepts presented by Svenaeus to cases from a study of depression. In doing so, we show that while they can certainly enrich our understanding of (...) depression, they can also reveal a clash between some societal definitions of illness and the individual’s definition. Phenomenological analysis may thus cause us to question what we mean, or think should be meant, by the terms ‘health’ and ‘illness’. (shrink)
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder was recently moved to a full category in the DSM-5 . It also appears set for inclusion as a separate disorder in the ICD-11 . This paper argues that PMDD should not be listed in the DSM or the ICD at all, adding to the call to recognise PMDD as a socially constructed disorder. I first present the argument that PMDD pathologises understandable anger/distress and that to do so is potentially dangerous. I then present evidence that PMDD (...) is a culture-bound phenomenon, not a universal one. I also argue that even if medication produces a desired effect, there are biological correlates with premenstrual anger/distress, such anger/distress seems to occur monthly, and women are more likely than men to be diagnosed with affective disorders, none of these factors substantiates that premenstrual anger/distress is caused by a mental disorder. I argue that to assume they do is to ignore the now accepted role that one’s environment and psychology play in illness development, as well as arguments concerning the social construction of mental illness. In doing so, I do not claim that there are no women who experience premenstrual distress or that their distress is not a lived experience. My point is that such distress can be recognised and considered significant without being pathologised and that it is unethical to describe premenstrual anger/distress as a mental disorder. Further, if the credibility of women’s suffering is subject to doubt without a clinical diagnosis, then the way to address this problem is to change societal attitudes towards women’s suffering, not to label women as mentally ill. The paper concludes with some broader implications for women and society of the change in status of PMDD in the DSM-5 as well as a sketch of critical policy suggestions to address these implications. (shrink)
Non-medical sex selection is premised on the notion that the sexes are not interchangeable. Studies of individuals who undergo sex selection for non-medical reasons, or who have a preference for a son or daughter, show that they assume their child will conform to the stereotypical roles and norms associated with their sex. However, the evidence currently available has not succeeded in showing that the gender traits and inclinations sought are caused by a “male brain” or a “female brain”. Therefore, as (...) far as we know, there is no biological reason why parents cannot have the kind of parenting experience they seek with a child of any sex. Yet gender essentialism, a set of unfounded assumptions about the sexes which pervade society and underpin sexism, prevents parents from realising this freedom. In other words, unfounded assumptions about gender constrain not only a child’s autonomy, but also the parent’s. To date, reproductive autonomy in relation to sex selection has predominantly been regarded merely as the freedom to choose the sex of one’s child. This paper points to at least two interpretations of reproductive autonomy and argues that sex selection, by being premised on gender essentialism and/or the social pressure on parents to ensure their children conform to gender norms, undermines reproductive autonomy on both accounts. (shrink)
In 1951, the eight o’clock nightly news reported on Jean-Paul Sartre for the first time. By the end of the twentieth century, more than 3,500 programs dealing with philosophy and its practitioners—including Bachelard, Badiou, Foucault, Lyotard, and Lévy—had aired on French television. According to Tamara Chaplin, this enduring commitment to bringing the most abstract and least visual of disciplines to the French public challenges our very assumptions about the incompatibility of elite culture and mass media. Indeed, it belies the (...) conviction that television is inevitably anti-intellectual and the quintessential archenemy of the book. Chaplin argues that the history of the televising of philosophy is crucial to understanding the struggle over French national identity in the postwar period. Linking this history to decolonization, modernization, and globalization, _Turning On the Mind _claims that we can understand neither the markedly public role that philosophy came to play in French society during the late twentieth century nor the renewed interest in ethics and political philosophy in the early twenty-first unless we acknowledge the work of television. Throughout, Chaplin insists that we jettison presumptions about the anti-intellectual nature of the visual field, engages critical questions about the survival of national cultures in a globalizing world, and encourages us to rethink philosophy itself, ultimately asserting that the content of the discipline is indivisible from the new media forms in which it has found expression. (shrink)
This volume collects four published articles by the late Tamara Horowitz and two unpublished papers on decision theory: "Making Rational Decisions When Preferences Cycle" and the monograph-length "The Backtracking Fallacy." An introduction is provided by editor Joseph Camp. Horowitz preferred to recognize the diversity of rationality, both practical and theoretical rationality. She resisted the temptation to accept simple theories of rationality that are quick to characterize ordinary reasoning as fallacious. This broadly humanist approach to philosophy is exemplified by the (...) articles in this collection. As just one example, in "The Backtracking Fallacy," she argues that there are policies for decision-making a person may adopt if the person prefers to do so, but need not adopt. A person who employs such a policy no longer can regard standard expected utility theory as exceptionless, thereby sacrificing theoretical simplicity. But it is a mistake, Horowitz argues, to preserve theoretical simplicity by falsifying the decision making methods real people really use. (shrink)
In Absolute Music: The History of an Idea, Mark Evan Bonds presents a magisterial history of absolute music—a term Richard Wagner first coined in 1846, and yet which Bonds believes existed as an ‘idea’ going all the way back to Ancient Greece. Drawing primarily on the work of new musicologists in the United States in the 1980s as his point of departure, Bonds defines absolute music as a ‘regulative concept’ that allows him to discuss the ‘relationship between music’s perceived essence (...) and its effect’.1 1 The ‘essence-effect’ binarism provides a unique angle for his history, yet also locks his discussion into a conceptual framework that leads to either/or conclusions about absolute music’s moral, social, and aesthetic value. (shrink)
: This essay highlights how contemporary Muslim fundamentalists reduce Islam's rich and complex intellectual legacy to a set of authoritarian rules. The three branches of classical Islamic education-theology, jurisprudence, and ethics-are particularly targeted. The reductionist pattern applied to these areas is designed to eliminate both the scholarly space of inquiry and the room for individual reflection traditionally granted to its followers by Islamic religion. The essay ends with an analysis of the language used by Osama bin Laden in various documents (...) over the last ten years that show how he has abused Islam's jurisprudential tradition to confer on him a convenient likeness of legality. (shrink)
This paper proposes an alternative approach towards ethical leadership. Recent research tells us that socioeconomic and cultural differences affect moral intuition, making it difficult to locate a guiding organizational principle. Nevertheless, in this paper I attempt to open an alternative path towards an ethics that might serve as a guide for leaders – especially leaders who are leading a highly professionalized workforce. Using the Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño and the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze as points of reference, I develop an (...) ethical form of leadership that is based on a continuous ‘poetic’ dialogue between creation and affirmation. The nature of this dialogue requires a leadership approach that plays both a courageous and imaginative role in liberating its workforce. Last, I develop a frame which provides the constituent principles of leading in the direction of an ethical organization. (shrink)
To what extent can philosophical thought experiments reveal norms? Some ethicists have argued that certain thought experiments reveal that people draw a morally significant distinction between "doing" and "allowing". I examine one such thought experiment in detail and argue that the intuitions it elicits can be explained by "prospect theory", a psychological theory about the way people reason. The extent to which such alternative explanations of the results of thought experiments in philosophy are generally available is an empirical question.
Despite their centrality and importance to both science and philosophy, relatively little has been written about thought experiments. This volume brings together a series of extremely interesting studies of the history, mechanics, and applications of this important intellectual resource. A distinguished list of philosophers and scientists consider the role of thought experiments in their various disciplines, and argue that an examination of thought experimentation goes to the heart of both science and philosophy.
Cosmopolitan principles of justice tell us that it is the responsibility of the wealthy to ensure the immediate transfer of resources to the poor. Yet, it cannot be denied that most countries, and most individual citizens, seem unwilling to act as these principles demand. At issue is motivation: although many people would agree that cosmopolitan principles of justice are right, at least to some extent, few seem motivationally inspired to act upon them. This paper evaluates one set of proposals for (...) securing the transfer of resources from the wealthy to the poor, namely, those that suggest that the right way to achieve cosmopolitan objectives is to generate institutions that will, over time, produce cosmopolitans. I argue that we should focus, doubly, on the generation of supra-national institutions as a way to create a?global demos? and on harnessing the motivational resources available at the nation-state level. (shrink)
This article focuses on the follow question: Are human enhancement technologies likely to be justice impairing or justice promoting? We argue that human enhancement technologies may not be inherently just or unjust, but when situated within obtaining social contexts they are likely to exacerbate rather than alleviate social injustices.
In this essay, I will look closer at the death of the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze, who committed suicide in 1995. I will scrutinize his death in concordance with his philosophical thoughts, but frame my gaze within Albert Camus’ well-known opening- question from The Myth of Sisyphus: “Judging whether life is worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy” (Camus, 2005:1).
This is a critical response to Dr. Tamara Dobler's paper “What Is Wrong with Hacker's Wittgenstein? On Grammar, Context and Sense-Determination.” It demonstrates that Dr. Dobler has no idea of what Wittgenstein meant by “grammar” or “rule of grammar.” She does not know what Wittgenstein meant by “grammatical proposition,” nor does she know what a compositional account of meaning or a category mistake is. She labours under the illusion that to say, as Wittgenstein did, that a rule of grammar (...) excludes a form of words from use is incompatible with the claim that whether an utterance makes sense may be a context-dependent issue. Unlike Dr. Dobler, Wittgenstein did not. (shrink)
Peter Hacker defends an interpretation of the later Wittgenstein's notion of grammar, according to which the inherently general grammatical rules are sufficient for sense-determination. My aim is to show that this interpretation fails to account for an important contextualist shift in Wittgenstein's views on sense-determination. I argue that Hacker attributes to the later Wittgenstein a rule-based, combinatorial account of sense, which Wittgenstein puts forward in the Tractatus. I propose that this is not how we should interpret the later Wittgenstein because (...) he insists that particular circumstances of use play a necessary role in determining the boundary between sense and nonsense. (shrink)
What role should the state have in recognizing and regulating marriage? Until recently, liberal political theorists paid little attention to this question. Yet the challenges that the public–private boundary-crossing institution of marriage poses to liberalism are substantial. Tensions in contemporary debates suggest that these challenges remain unaddressed and thus, invite attempts to formulate a coherent and compelling model of the relationship between marriage and the liberal state. This article responds to this invitation. Marriage has long been a concern of at (...) least some liberal thinkers. Typically they focused on the dual character of marriage, or its role in producing gender inequality. While these critical insights are essential to any adequate account of marriage and the state, they are only part of the picture. To grasp the sources of confusion and silences in contemporary debates, and formulate a robust liberal model of marriage and the state, we must examine the functions — intended and effective — of public recognition of marriage. This examination highlights the relevance to the marriage-state relationship of familiar liberal approaches to negotiating the religion-state relationship. Drawing on these approaches and liberal feminist thought, I sketch a model of marriage and the state that aims to expand the area of protected freedom without sacrificing equality, fairness or marriage. Under the model I propose, marriage would be disestablished. The state would neither confer marital status, nor use 'marriage' as a category for dispersing benefits. Legitimate public welfare goals currently treated through marriage would be addressed through an intimate caregiving union status. (shrink)
: In his autobiographical account, the Munqidh min al-Dalāl, al-Ghazālī reflects on his conversion from skepticism to faith. Previous scholarship has interpreted this text as an anticipation of Cartesian positions regarding epistemic certainty. Although the existing similarities between al-Ghazālī and Descartes are striking, the focus of the present essay lies on the different philosophical aims pursued by the two thinkers. It is thus argued that al-Ghazālī operates with a broader notion of the Self than Descartes, because it is inclusive of (...) the body. And it is shown that the two philosophers use completely diverging paradigms. While Descartes models his notion of evidence after mathematical certainty, al-Ghazālī draws his famous 'ilm al-yaqīnī (certain knowledge) from a religious context. (shrink)
Tamara Horowitz criticizes the use of thought experiments by Warren Quinn and others to support a version of the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing. She argues that because a competing empirical explanatory hypothesis for our common agreement on the correct outcome in those thought experiments is true we should conclude that our intuitions concerning those examples do not provide support for the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing. Other authors have reached similar conclusions. I argue that the argument misconstrues the (...) role of higher order reflection on first order intuitive moral judgements in moral thinking. Appropriately appreciating that role will require us to reject Horowitz's claim that she has undermined arguments from Quinn's examples to the conclusion that there is a morally significance difference between doing and allowing. (shrink)