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)
This paper develops a domination-based practice-dependent approach to justice, according to which it is practices of systemic domination which can be said to ground demands from justice. The domination-based approach developed overcomes the two most important objections levelled to alternative practice-dependent approaches. First, it eschews conservative implications and hence is immune to the status quo objection. Second, it is immune to the redundancy objection, which doubts whether empirical facts and practices can really play an irreducible role in grounding justice. In (...) theorising dominating practices in terms of practices of social power, a domination-based approach makes justice dependent on factual information in three ways: First, the principle of non-domination is indeterminate and can only be spelled out by taking into view particular contexts of domination. Second, the principle of non-domination is conditional on the existence of practices of social power. Third, social power possesses a struc... (shrink)
I am grateful to the commentators for their thoughts on my paper. The commentaries present a variety of views on the proposal, ranging from the view that it has too much teeth, to the view that it does not have enough teeth, and come from a range of perspectives, reflecting the spirit of the panel I propose. I respond to the commentaries in themes, clarifying certain points along the way.Some commentators have interpreted me as implying that philosophers have a 'royal (...) road to the truth' or that they are confined to armchair philosophizing, yet I believe neither. In these disciplines, as in other disciplines, strong arguments are based on both sound logic and evidence, and there would need to be evidence underlying... (shrink)
The creation of the latest version of psychiatry's 'bible' has been surrounded by a great deal of controversy. The latest revision, the DSM-5, contains several controversial diagnoses that have been the subject of much debate. One of the central criticisms of DSM-5 is that it pathologizes some behaviors that were previously considered simply problematic, or variations of normal behavior—for example, fidgetiness, noisiness, abundance of energy, shyness, anxiety, and bereavement. Diagnoses such as Binge Eating Disorder, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder...
TamaraKayali Browne's suggestion to create a formal role in revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders for philosophers, sociologists, and bioethicists is interesting and stems from a well-supported concern about how nosological psychiatric categories interact with both the epistemic norms of science and philosophy and with their consequences in the world. Browne is grappling with a problem that is clearly stated and pressing. However, I am not convinced that her solution, namely, using experts from (...) these disciplines to form a veto-wielding ethics committee, is an ameliorative to this problem.Browne identifies a problem: The process of DSM revision involves making value judgements... (shrink)
TamaraKayali Browne's proposal for an Ethics Review Panel for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders conceives of a state-sponsored panel of academic experts—philosophers, sociologists, and bioethicists—dealing in a reflective, systematic, and standardized manner with the "value judgements" that are an "integral and unavoidable part of psychiatric nosology". The panel would consider existing and new diagnostic categories, and issue authoritative vetoes and/or modifications as appropriate. Browne asserts that, "it should not be necessary to have protests and (...) political activism, such as that involved in removing homosexuality from the DSM, in... (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)
Important philosophical work has gone into debunking thoroughly entrenched positivist notions that objective science proceeds in a value neutral manner. Dr. TamaraKayali Browne's article "A Role for Philosophers, Sociologists, and Bioethicists in Revising the DSM" admirably takes the next step. Given the evaluative elements that permeate, in this case, the science of nosology—how do we deal responsibly with those evaluative elements? She correctly, in my opinion, concludes that dealing with evaluative issues responsibly is tantamount to dealing with (...) them ethically. But, as her concrete example of the ethics of premenstrual dysphoric disorder demonstrates, dealing with the ethics of the science of... (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)
This book offers a new philosophical analysis of readings and studies by Walter Benjamin. Tamara Tagliacozzo uncovers a remarkable continuity in Benjamin's thought: the difference between “early” and “late” Benjamin is not as great as generally believed.
: 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)
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.
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)
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).