In this article, we document the growing influence of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the realm of socially responsible investing (SRI). Drawing from ethical and economic perspectives on stakeholder management and agency theory, we develop a framework to understand how and when NGOs will be most influential in shaping the ethical and social responsibility orientations of business using the emergence of SRI as the primary influencing vehicle. We find that NGOs have opportunities to influence corporate conduct via direct, indirect, and interactive (...) influences on the investment community, and that the overall influence of NGOs as major actors in socially responsible investment is growing, with attendant consequences for corporate strategy, governance, and social performance. (shrink)
We argue that differences in the institutional setting of Europe and the US is the critical factor in understanding policymaking in Europe and the United States, and particularly the influence of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). To test this relationship between institutional differences, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and NGO activism, we investigate 12 cases involving US and European companies in each of three industries. We conclude that different institutional structures and political legacies in the US and Europe are important factors in explaining (...) the influence of NGOs on business and in the policymaking process, regardless of the timeliness of corporate strategy or NGO influence. (shrink)
I. Introduction This paper aims to explain Nietzsche’s understanding of tragedy, and in particular his self-characterization as the “tragic philosopher.” What I shall claim is that, according to Nietzsche, to recognize the self-determining or self-creating character of our agency is to reveal it as tragic. Tragedy accordingly illuminates the most fundamental issue in Nietzsche’s mature philosophy: the possibility of affirmation.
This article explores the relation between the concept of symmetry and its formalisms. The standard view among philosophers and physicists is that symmetry is completely formalized by mathematical groups. For some mathematicians however, the groupoid is a competing and more general formalism. An analysis of symmetry that justifies this extension has not been adequately spelled out. After a brief explication of how groups, equivalence, and symmetries classes are related, we show that, while it’s true in some instances that groups are (...) too restrictive, there are other instances for which the standard extension to groupoids is too un restrictive. The connection between groups and equivalence classes, when generalized to groupoids, suggests a middle ground between the two. *Received July 2007. †To contact the authors, please write to: Alexandre Guay, UFR Sciences et Techniques, Université de Bourgogne, 9 Avenue Alain Savary, 21078 Dijon Cedex, France; e‐mail: email@example.com ; or to Brian Hepburn, Department of Philosophy, University of British Columbia, 1866 Main Mall E370, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z1; e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
Le risque comme l’expertise sont des sujets d’une rare richesse, comme le confirme la vaste littérature sur ces questions. Lorsqu’ils sont croisés, les difficultés que chacun d’entre eux soulève s’en trouvent renforcées. Le présent ouvrage est le produit des sixièmes conférences Pierre Duhem qui avaient pour thème : risque et expertise. Il rassemble les textes originaux de l’économiste Marc Fleurbaey et du philosophe Sven Ove Hansson, ainsi que les échanges qu’ils ont eu avec les commentateurs Mikaël Cozic, Minh Ha-Duong et (...) Emmanuel Henry. Un essai introductif, d’Alexandre Guay, complète le tout. (shrink)
In this paper, we put forward a new account of emergence called “transformational emergence”. Such an account captures a variety of emergence that can be considered as being diachronic and weakly ontological. The fact that transformational emergence actually constitutes a genuine form of emergence is motivated. Besides, the account is free of traditional problems surrounding more usual, synchronic versions of emergence, and it can find a strong empirical support in a specific physical phenomenon, the fractional quantum Hall effect, which has (...) long been touted as a paradigmatic case of emergence. (shrink)
The concept of genidentity has been proposed as a way to better understand identity through time, especially in physics and biology. The genidentity view is utterly anti-substantialist in so far as it suggests that the identity of X through time does not presuppose whatsoever the existence of a permanent “core” or “substrate” of X. Yet applications of this concept to real science have been scarce and unsatisfying. In this paper, our aim is to show that a well-defined concept of functional (...) genidentity can be crucial to shed light on identity through time in classical physics and especially in biology. Finally, we show that understanding identity on the basis of continuity suggests a move towards an ontology of processes. (shrink)
Background: Family members are often required to act as substitute decision-makers when health care or research participation decisions must be made for an incapacitated relative. Yet most families are unable to accurately predict older adult preferences regarding future health care and willingness to engage in research studies. Discussion and documentation of preferences could improve proxies' abilities to decide for their loved ones. This trial assesses the efficacy of an advance planning intervention in improving the accuracy of substitute decision-making and increasing (...) the frequency of documented preferences for health care and research. It also investigates the financial impact on the healthcare system of improving substitute decision-making.Methods/DesignDyads (n = 240) comprising an older adult and his/her self-selected proxy are randomly allocated to the experimental or control group, after stratification for type of designated proxy and self-report of prior documentation of healthcare preferences. At baseline, clinical and research vignettes are used to elicit older adult preferences and assess the ability of their proxy to predict those preferences. Responses are elicited under four health states, ranging from the subject's current health state to severe dementia. For each state, we estimated the public costs of the healthcare services that would typically be provided to a patient under these scenarios. Experimental dyads are visited at home, twice, by a specially trained facilitator who communicates the dyad-specific results of the concordance assessment, helps older adults convey their wishes to their proxies, and offers assistance in completing a guide entitled My Preferences that we designed specifically for that purpose. In between these meetings, experimental dyads attend a group information session about My Preferences. Control dyads attend three monthly workshops aimed at promoting healthy behaviors. Concordance assessments are repeated at the end of the intervention and 6 months later to assess improvement in predictive accuracy and cost savings, if any. Copies of completed guides are made at the time of these assessments.DiscussionThis study will determine whether the tested intervention guides proxies in making decisions that concur with those of older adults, motivates the latter to record their wishes in writing, and yields savings for the healthcare system.Trial RegistrationISRCTN89993391. (shrink)
The transference theory reduces causation to the transmission of physical conserved quantities, like energy or momenta. Although this theory aims at applying to all felds of physics, we claim that it fails to account for a quantum electrodynamic effect, viz. the Aharonov-Bohm effect. After having argued that the Aharonov-Bohm effect is a genuine counter-example for the transference theory, we offer a new physicalist approach of causation, ontic and modal, in which this effect is embedded.
The elucidation of the gauge principle ‘‘is the most pressing problem in current philosophy of physics’’ said Michael Redhead in 2003. This paper argues for two points that contribute to this elucidation in the context of Yang–Mills theories. (1) Yang–Mills theories, including quantum electrodynamics, form a class. They should be interpreted together. To focus on electrodynamics is potentially misleading. (2) The essential role of gauge and BRST symmetries is to provide a local field theory that can be quantized and would (...) be equivalent to the quantization of the non-local reduced theory. If this is correct, the gauge symmetry is significant, not so much because it implies ontological consequences, but because it allows us to quantize theories that we would not be able to quantize otherwise. Thus, in the context of Yang–Mills theories, it is essentially a pragmatic principle. This does not seem to be the case for the gauge symmetry in general relativity. (shrink)
Several advocates of the lively field of “metaphysics of science” have recently argued that a naturalistic metaphysics should be based solely on current science, and that it should replace more traditional, intuition-based, forms of metaphysics. The aim of the present paper is to assess that claim by examining the relations between metaphysics of science and general metaphysics. We show that the current metaphysical battlefield is richer and more complex than a simple dichotomy between “metaphysics of science” and “traditional metaphysics”, and (...) that it should instead be understood as a three dimensional “box”, with one axis distinguishing “descriptive metaphysics” from “revisionary metaphysics,” a second axis distinguishing a priori from a posteriori metaphysics, and a third axis distinguishing “commonsense metaphysics”, “traditional metaphysics” and “metaphysics of science.” We use this three-dimensional figure to shed light on the project of current metaphysics of science, and to demonstrate that, in many instances, the target of that project is not defined with enough precision and clarity. (shrink)
The object of this paper is to look at the extent and nature of the uses of analogy during the ªrst century following the so-called scientiªc revolution. Using the research tool provided by JSTOR we systematically analyze the uses of “analog” and its cognates (analogies, analogous, etc.) in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London for the period 1665–1780. In addition to giving the possibility of evaluating quantitatively the proportion of papers explicitly using analogies, this approach makes it (...) possible to go beyond the maybe idiosyncratic cases of Descartes, Kepler, Galileo, and other much studied giants of the so-called Scientiªc Revolution. As a result a classiªcation of types of uses is proposed. Relations between types of analogies and research ªelds are also established. In this paper we are less interested in discussing the “real nature” or “essence” or even the cognitive limitations of analogical thinking than in describing its various uses and different meanings as they changed over the course of a century. (shrink)
Essay review of Gauging What’s Real: The Conceptual Foundations of Contemporary Gauge Theories R. Healey. Oxford University Press (2007). To be published in the Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 39(3):687-693, 2008.
Dans Science, Perception and Reality, Sellars distingue l’image manifeste de l’homme et l’image scientifique de l’homme. La première est obtenue à partir de la façon dont nous prenons conscience de nous-mêmes comme humains dans le monde. La seconde correspond à ce que les différentes sciences nous amènent à postuler sur la manière dont l’homme est constitué. Van Fraassen, lui, étend au monde ces concepts...
One of the very few matters of nearly universal agreement with respect to Nietzsche interpretation, one that bridges the great analytic/continental divide, is that Nietzsche was offering some sort of account of freedom, in contradistinction to the ‘ascetic’ or ‘slavish’ ways of the past. What remains in dispute is the character of this account. In this paper I present Nietzsche’s account of freedom and his arguments for the superior cogency of that account relative to other accounts of freedom, including irony (...) about the possibility of freedom. (shrink)
The thesis of this paper is that consequentialism does not work as a comprehensive theory of right action. This paper does not offer a typical refutation, in that I do not claim that consequentialism is self-contradictory. One can with perfect consistency claim that the good is prior to the right and that the right consists in maximizing the good. What I claim, however, is that it is senseless to make such a claim. In particular, I attempt to show that the (...) notion of what course of action maximizes the good has no content within a consequentialist framework. Since the problem that I identify rests with maximization, this refutation does not cut across the act/rule distinction. If rule consequentialism holds that there are occasions on which one should follow a rule rather than violate the rule in an optimific way, then it is not maximizing and my arguments do not apply; if not, then it collapses into act consequentialism. I have nothing to say about nonmaximizing forms of consequentialism.1 This refutation does, however, cut across the direct/indirect distinction.2 It makes no difference whether we take consequentialism as offering a principle of decision, or a standard of right. Presumably the former would be parasitic upon the latter for its legitimacy. (shrink)
The thesis of this article is that Nietzsche's use of irony in On the Genealogy of Morals is so pervasive that it cannot be relied upon to report Nietzsche's views, even at the moment of writing, on a historical sequence of events or the causal sources of the phenomena that Nietzsche identifies. I argue, primarily on the basis of textual evidence, that Nietzsche's procedure is neither to reliably report his own views nor to assert the reality of what might be (...) called the theoretical terms of the account. I offer as an explanatory hypothesis that Nietzsche adopted this procedure as a response to a problem of epistemic authority that he confronted in assessing morality. I also provide some historical context for Nietzsche's method and discuss some implications of my view for the interpretation of Nietzsche's project. (shrink)
This paper offers a reading of the seventh chapter of Beyond Good and Evil, and in particular, a solution to its puzzle.1 Nietzsche titled that chapter “Our Virtues,” and this immediately generates a puzzle because the opening words of the chapter comprise the question, “Our virtues?”2 The puzzle, then, is that there might not be any subject matter for this chapter—unlike, say, “On the Prejudices of Philosophers,” but possibly more like “What Is Noble”—leaving us to wonder what to do with (...) all those words if they are not about anything. (shrink)
“The genealogy of morals” is, most famously, a pair of genealogies: that of the good/evil dichotomy in the First Treatise, and that of the bad conscience in the Second Treatise. But the straightforward presentation of these two narratives is subverted even before it begins. Nietzsche classifies the book not as a treatise or inquiry but as a “polemic”; voices interrupt the narrative to insist that much is left unsaid; the narratives are framed by, of all things, reflections on the scientific (...) conscience; Nietzsche declares the entire enterprise to be a contribution to the critique of “the value of values”; the two genealogies of the first two Treatises overlap and various points and ultimately converge in a discussion of the “meaning” of the “ascetic ideal.” Whatever one makes of these complications, two tentative conclusions can be drawn. Nietzsche is profoundly concerned with the status of his genealogy. And genealogy does not function as reportage, primarily concerned with the accurate depiction of events; rather, it aims to reveal something about the status of “moral values” and the possibility of an alternative to them. (shrink)
It is seldom in dispute that genealogy, or genealogical accounts are central to Nietzsche’s philosophic enterprise. The role that genealogy plays in Nietzsche’s thought is little understood, however, as is Nietzsche’s argumentation in general, and, for that matter, what Nietzsche might be arguing for. In this paper I attempt to summarize Nietzsche’s genealogical account of modern ethical practices and offer an explanation of the philosophical import of genealogy. The difficulties in coming to understand the philosophical function of genealogy are obvious. (...) Genealogy, whatever else we say about it, offers a story of the genesis of contemporary ethical beliefs and practices. The story that Nietzsche gave is obviously a revisionist one, and Nietzsche seldom cites specific historical evidence; although it contains many historical allusions, the presentation is thematic or even mythical. At the same time, Nietzsche’s interests were primarily ethical: he seems to be attempting, in some novel way, either to solve or to eliminate1 philosophical problems about norms and values. In particular, he offered his genealogy as part of a critique of specifically “modern” values and the advancement of an “immoralism” that would take their place. So the difficulties are: it is unclear what status we should accord Nietzsche’s stories in particular, and it is unclear what role any story about the emergence of modern values can play in an assessment of those values. We seem to need a reason to take Nietzsche’s account as particularly authoritative, and then an explanation of how his account does in fact bear upon the normative status of “modern values.”. (shrink)
Even popular caricatures of philosophers serve important philosophical functions. By coordinating personae with ideas, they facilitate conversations involving matters that we would otherwise neglect. But one function they do not serve is generating consistency. And indeed, Nietzsche serves for us as both the transgressor of all boundaries and unmasker of all pretensions, and at the same time as the ultimate elitist who is available to us in modern culture. There are, of course, ways to reconcile these: perhaps anti-elitism is the (...) last boundary that needs to be transgressed? I shall suggest here, however, that we would do better to efface this caricature somewhat, in order to get closer to a position that is both Nietzsche’s and more interesting than the caricature. (shrink)
Among the very architects of the recent re-emergence of emergentism in the physical sciences, Robert B. Laughlin certainly occupies a prominent place. Through a series of works beginning as early as his Nobel lecture in 1998, a lecture given after having been awarded, together with Störmer and Tsui, the Nobel prize in physics for its contribution in the elucidation of the fractional quantum Hall effect, Laughlin openly and relentlessly advocated a strongly anti-reductionistic view of physics – and, more particularly, of (...) the interface between condensed matter and particles physics – which culminated in what can be considered his emergentist manifesto: A Different Universe. Reinventing Physics from the Bottom Down (2005). In spite of this prominent role in the vindication of emergentism, rare are the philosophers, among whom even those sympathetic to the idea of emergence, who have paid serious attention to Laughlin’s insights. The subtleties of his view – it is true, often concealed in many technicalities – have accordingly, and somewhat unfortunately, mainly passed unnoticed. (shrink)
Of the distinctive terminology of nineteenth-century thought, perhaps no word has been more widely adopted than ‘genealogy’.1 ‘Genealogy’, of course, had a long history before Nietzsche put it in the title of a book, but the original sense of pedigree or family tree is not the one that has become so prominent in contemporary academic discourse.2 Nietzsche initiated a new sense of ‘genealogy’ that, oddly, has become popular despite a lack of clarity about what it is.3 My aim here is (...) to clarify this sense of genealogy by situating it in the context of nineteenth-century narrative argument and identifying its general features. I contend that the famous Nietzschean.. (shrink)
The elucidation of the gauge principle ``is the most pressing problem in current philosophy of physics" Redhead. This paper argues two points that contribute to this elucidation in the context of Yang-Mills theories. 1) Yang-Mills theories, including quantum electrodynamics, form a class. They should be interpreted together. To focus on electrodynamics is a mistake. 2) The essential role of gauge and BRST surplus is to provide a local theory that can be quantized and would be equivalent to the quantization of (...) the non-local reduced theory. (shrink)
Kant, having identified the formulas of the supreme principle of morality, offers a succinct explanation of their interrelation. What Kant says is, “The above three ways of representing the principle of morality are at bottom only so many formulae of the very same law, and any one of them of itself unites the other two in it.”1 This claim – hereafter the “Unity Claim” – plays the role of the eccentric cousin in the family of Kant’s ethics: although glaringly present, (...) it is little spoken of, but seldom disowned. Most commentators, at any rate, focus their attention on more important matters, such as the content of the individual formulas, the moral psychology, or the deduction of freedom. Such matters are sufficiently absorbing to leave the Unity Claim often passed over without remark. But the Unity Claim should not be ignored. Kant does assert it, which compels us to attempt to find a place for it in his moral theory. It would seem to constrain the interpretation of the other, more momentous issues. How one interprets the content of the categorical imperative, in particular, would seem to be significantly restricted by the Unity Claim; one could not, given the Unity Claim, offer a complete interpretation of any single formula without also at least referring to the other formulas. And, as I shall argue in Part III below, the Unity Claim is no accident. Kant is committed to the Unity Claim by virtue of some basic features of his moral theory. This paper will thus offer what amounts to an extended commentary on the Unity Claim. I shall review the various suggestions of what it might mean, and how it might, or might not, be accommodated within Kant’s moral theory. The structure of this paper will be as such. Part II will examine the two main strategies for including the Unity Claim within Kant’s moral theory, and explain why they are both inadequate. Part III will examine the other main approach to the 2 Unity Claim: giving up on it.. (shrink)
Nietzsche’s self-proclaimed ‘anti-political’(EH ‘wise’ 3; cf. TI 8.4) stance is often ignored.1 Commentators, that is, often interpret Nietzsche’s texts as responding to familiar issues within political philosophy, and as furnishing a novel position therein. This could indeed be the appropriate hermeneutic response. Dismissing one of Nietzsche’s proclamations is, on a variety of different grounds, hermeneutically reasonable. In this particular case, given all that Nietzsche has to say about sociality and the roles of public institutions in modern life, dismissal might even (...) seem compelling. Here, however, I wish to recuperate Nietzsche’s anti-political stance. That is, I shall argue that Nietzsche’s self-proclamation does in fact reflect his deep commitments, and thus compels a reassessment of the political interpretations of his thought. (shrink)
This paper shows how the study of surpluses of structure is an interesting philosophical task. In particular I explore how local gauge symmetry in quantized Yang-Mills theories is the by-product of the specific dynamical structure of interaction. It is shown how in non relativistic quantum mechanics gauge symmetry corresponds to the freedom to locally define global features of gauge potentials. Also discussed is how in quantum field theory local gauge symmetry is replaced by BRST symmetry. This last symmetry is apparently (...) the result of the fact that we do not know how to define quantum Yang-Mills theories without unphysical gauge boson states. Since Yang-Mills theories describe successfully three of the four fundamental interactions the elucidation of this symmetry is a pressing philosophical question. (shrink)
This chapter (in French) compares the ways to access to events in science and in art. In particular, the Déotte's concept of "appareil" is discussed. To be published in Jean-Louis Déotte and Sylvestra Mariniello (ed.), Appareil et Intermédialité, L'Harmattan, 2007.
Nietzsche occasionally referred to his substantive ethical position as “immoralism,”1 but gave only a vague impression of just what this position amounts to. The strategy of this paper will be to determine how to be an immoralist by identifying what is affirmed in Nietzsche’s negation of morality. That is, I wish to consider aspects of the critique of morality not to show that morality is wrong – that is not my goal here – but to identify what Nietzsche’s substantive ethical (...) position is. I hope to show two things: that Nietzsche characterizes his immoralist position as an extension of rather than as an antithesis to a moralist one, and that Nietzsche offers a teleological position different from any of the familiar ones. (shrink)
This paper identifies recent attributions to Nietzsche of skeptical arguments about the subject in its theoretical and practical capacities and argues that they are wrong. Although Nietzsche does criticize the picture of the subject as a unity that exerts influence in the world from outside it, he does so in order to replace it with a richer, more complex model of subjectivity. The skeptical arguments attributed to Nietzsche attempt to assimilate features of subjectivity to some alternative, purportedly more familiar explanatory (...) account, and then move from this assimilation to the denial of subjectivity altogether. There are three main strategies for making this latter move, which are referred to in this paper as appeal to ontology, appeal to justification, and appeal to explanation. Each fails for different reasons, but all misconstrue Nietzsche's explanatory interests regarding subjectivity. Those interests, this paper argues, are what lead Nietzsche to argue that a single person comprises a multiplicity of subjectivities, and that all explanation is ultimately telic in form. This paper then discusses some of the appeals that Nietzsche makes to account for the possibility of single, unitary subjectivity within this framework, including: his account of the relationship between constituent and corporate units within fully self-relating subjectivity, his account of the relation between "inner" and "outer", his account of pluralist individualism, and his account of unconscious "depth". This paper concludes by arguing that Nietzsche's distinctive approach suggests a way to relate theoretical questions about the mental to practical questions about the self and ethical commitment. (shrink)
This paper identifies and explains three of the philosophically substantial senses in which Nietzsche writes of the historical character of things and argues that, according to Nietzsche, recognizing these three distinct senses is necessary to understand subjectivity. I refer to these three senses as “general historicity,” “special historicity,” and “narrativity.” According to general historicity, history is the continuity of powerful transindividual processes that shape or determine present conditions or events. According to special historicity, certain things are constituted by meanings only (...) available through historical appeals; the human abilities to interpret, organize, remember, and forget allow for a continuation of the past into the present and a protention of the future such that diachronic patterns take on significance and constitute the character of things. These two forms of historicity, according to Nietzsche, provoke a “self-contradiction in the form of time” that can be resolved by satisfying three constraints: “active forgetting,” “retroactive force,” and the absence of “revenge against time.” Narrativity, which offers a metahistorical account of the self-relation that emerges in relation to general and special historicity, satisfies these constraints. History in the sense of narrativity comprises the actualizing of historical agency by integrating historical contributions in a way that itself takes the form of stories. Narrativity, that is, is the historical form of the active mediation of historical contributions; it thus clarifies the ways in which human subjectivity is both determined and determining, and how these two elements are inextricable from one another. (shrink)
One of the many virtues of Martin Seel’s Aesthetics of Appearing is that it lays its cards on the table at the very outset. The final three chapters consist in a series of complex digressions from the main discussion: one on the aesthetic significance of ‘resonating’(p. 139), one organized around the metaphysics of pictures, and one charged with defending the implausible claim that the artistic representation of violence is uniquely capable of revealing ‘what is violent about violence’ (p. 191). But (...) the thesis of the book and its main arguments are stated in the preface, preceding even the acknowledgements. Seel writes, ‘[t]his book makes the proposal of having aesthetics begin not with concepts of being‐so or semblance but with a concept of appearing’ (p. xi). This might initially seem opaque, as though reducing aesthetics to a subtlety involving the meaning of the Greek word phainomai, but Seel immediately clarifies the stance that he wishes to advance. Seel’s position is that aesthetics is distinguished by attention to the indeterminable particularity of sensory experience; aesthetics so considered comprises the philosophy of art as well as non‐art experience; aesthetic experience is a legitimate mode of world‐encounter by virtue of its immediacy or ‘presence’ (p. xi)(Gegenwart – i.e., a contrary of ‘past’, rather than of ‘absence’); and because the presence of our experience reveals the presence of our lives, aesthetic experience constitutes an important form of self‐knowledge. The subsequent chapters are devoted to explicating this position in extraordinary detail. Seel’s position depends on a somewhat implicit account of subjectivity. In this account, what we fundamentally perceive, conditioned by conceptual activity but transcending any possible determinate content, is a ‘play’ of sensuous qualities (p. 47). Since it is ‘unfettered’ (p. 51) by theoretical interest, this form of perception is far qualitatively richer than our more structured experiences: here one is ‘able to perceive.... (shrink)
In consequentialist theories, the good is usually defined in non-moral terms (i.e., as that which persons in fact like, desire, seek out, enjoy), and the right is characterized in terms of maximizing the good. The good is usually defined “impartially,” that is, as the good for everyone rather than for an individual. But this need not be the case: as we see with Bentham, the good that the individual (as opposed to the legislator) is concerned with is his or her (...) own. And exceptions are sometimes made to the non-moral character of the good: the pleasure of the sadist or the pain of the justly punished is discounted from calculations. (Bentham, notice, explicitly avoids doing this: any pleasure is a good and any punishment is bad. But he thinks that the pleasure of the sadist will always, as a matter of fact, be immensely outweighed by the victims, and punishment is legitimated by a positive net effect.). (shrink)
1. We are unknown to ourselves, we knowing ones, we to our own selves, and for a good reason. We have never sought ourselves – so how could it happen, that one day we would find ourselves? Someone once correctly said: “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”;1 our treasure is where the beehives of our knowledge are. We are always on the way to finding it; as winged creatures and honey-gatherers of the spirit, we truly care (...) for only one thing from the heart: to “bring something home.” Whatever else concerns life, the so-called “experiences” – who among us has enough seriousness for them? Or enough time? In these matters we have been, I fear, somewhat distracted: our hearts have not quite been in it, and not even our ears! More often, like some divine scatter-brain absorbed-in-himself into whose ear the bell has tolled the twelve strikes of noon at full power, who then suddenly wakes up and asks himself, “What was really just struck?”, just like that we rub our ears afterwards and ask, completely amazed, completely embarrassed, “what did we really experience?” and further, “who are we really?” and afterwards, as said, count the twelve trembling bell-strikes of our experience, our life, our being – ugh! and miscount them . . . We necessarily remain strangers to ourselves, we do not understand ourselves, we must get ourselves wrong, for us the saying “Each is furthest from himself” holds for all eternity – we are not “knowing ones” with respect to ourselves. (shrink)
This paper concerns Marx’s case, especially in the German Ideology, for the relative privilege of his own conception of history. I argue, against what I call the standard interpretation, that Marx’s case does not rest on an inversion of Young Hegelian “idealism”; against the “revisionist interpretation,” I argue that Marx nevertheless sustains a concern with the justificatory adequacy of his position. Marx’s argument, on my interpretation, is that an account of productive agency is a necessary constituent of any understanding of (...) history, and in turn requires a reflexive component. The reflexive character of agency can only be adequately realized under conditions in which historical processes and the causal effectiveness of individual agency are aligned. Marx’s justification, then, relies on an account of the internal character of historical agency rather than on metaphysical claims about the real. Marx, I suggest, was attempting to offer a distinctively “practical” justification. (147 words). (shrink)
As I preliminary to treating the topic of this paper, I offer two observations about the practice of interpreting Nietzsche. My first observation is that this practice is sometimes carried out at an unusually high level of generality. I think that much of what we concern ourselves with, both in our private musings and in our disputes with others, is not merely the analysis of positions or the reconstruction of arguments, but what kind of philosopher Nietzsche was, and thus what (...) sort of a philosophical enterprise we might attribute to him at all. What I have claimed so far, that different philosophers – never mind the nonphilosophers for a moment – read Nietzsche in radically different ways, will probably not shock anyone. Nevertheless, here are three examples of different ways of reading Nietzsche. To produce these examples I have culled details from more comprehensive readings. I cannot do justice to those readings or their authors here, but what should remain are a few genuine points of difference. On Gianni Vattimo’s reading, Nietzsche gradually develops from an Enlightenment cultural critic to an antihumanist. In the process that Vattimo describes, Nietzsche begins his philosophical career as a moralist who sheds light on the “spiritual tradition of humanity”1 by revealing its hidden origins, its basis in lies, and its groundlessness. Nietzsche breaks with Enlightenment, however, in dismissing the very availability of truth behind the “masks” of culture. Vattimo writes that Nietzsche’s project is only accomplished “… when you understand that even the notion of truth, belief in its value in preference to error, the very idea that there may.. (shrink)