Putting Karl Rahner and Michel Foucault in conversation shows the space of overlapping concern in their work for the relationshipbetween subjectivity and knowledge, while introducing new questions about power and history in this relationship. Both fomenta respect for mystery, through Rahnerian “transcendence” and Foucauldian “rescendence,” that while not the same, may yet beunderstood as convergent without a fully realized connection. In other words, the relation between Rahner and Foucault may beposed as “asymptotic.”.
On the day before Christmas, 1170, Robert de Broc, member of a family of royal servants that had taken up King Henry II's fierce opposition to Thomas Becket, seized a horse bringing goods to the archbishop and cut off its tail. The next day, Archbishop Thomas noted this incident after his Christmas sermon when renewing his excommunication of Robert and several others, and he discussed it again four days later in his initial meeting with the men who would (...) shortly murder him. The excision of the horse's tail appears in five of the biographies of the martyr and subsequently in the national chronicles of Roger of Howden and Ralph of Diceto. Why did a minor act of cruelty inflicted on a horse seem so noteworthy to contemporaries? The sources recording it resound with the rich Latin vocabulary of shame: “dedecus, contemptus, ignominia, dehonestatio, opprobrium.” Robert's highly symbolic act, part of a pattern of harassment by the Brocs, was designed not just to threaten Becket but also to humiliate him. (shrink)
What rights govern heterosexual and homosexual behaviors? Two distinguished philosophers debate this important issue in Sexual Orientation and Human Rights. Laurence M. Thomas argues that a society which has the constitutional resources to protect hate groups can protect homosexuals without valorizing the homosexual life-style. He defends the view that the Bible cannot warrant the venom that, in the name of religion, is often expressed against homosexuals. Michael E. Levin defends the unorthodox view that the aversion some people experience toward (...) homosexuality deserves respect. He further argues that while homosexuals enjoy the same rights as others to be free of violence and discrimination, they do not have more extensive rights. (shrink)
Christine Jean Thomas - Plato's Introduction of Forms - Journal of the History of Philosophy 45:3 Journal of the History of Philosophy 45.3 485-486 Muse Search Journals This Journal Contents Reviewed by Christine J. Thomas Dartmouth College R. M. Dancy. Plato's Introduction of Forms. Cambridge-New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Pp. xii + 348. Cloth, $75.00. Russell Dancy's recent book could easily bear the title, 'A Socratic Theory of Definition'. The first two-thirds of the text extract and examine (...) various tenets of a "theory of definition" operative in a variety of Socratic dialogues. The bulk of the theory is captured in three conditions on adequacy for a definition : the definiens must be substitutable salve veritate for the definiendum; the.. (shrink)
I have three aims in this essay. I want to offer an example of an interdisciplinary historical inquiry combining literary criticism with the relatively new field of critical legal studies. I intend to use this historical inquiry to argue that the ambiguity of literary texts might better be understood in terms of an era’s social contradictions rather than in terms of the inherent qualities of literary language or rhetoric and, conversely, that a text’s ambiguity can help us expose the contradictions (...) masked by an era’s dominant ideology. I try to prove my assertion by applying my method to Herman Melville’s three most famous short works—“Benito Cereno,” “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” and Bill Budd, Sailor—works dealing with the law and lawyers and widely acknowledged as ambiguous.1 I will base my critical inquiry into these stories on Melville’s relationship with his father-in-law, Lemuel Shaw, who, while sitting as the chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts from 1830 to 1860, wrote some of the most important opinions in what Roscoe Pound has called “the formative era of American law.”2Before I get started, I should clarify what this study does not entail. By using Shaw and his legal decisions in conjunction with Melville’s fiction, I am not conducting a positivistic influence study. My method will not depend on the positivist assumption that Shaw’s legal opinions can be used to illuminate Melville’s texts only when his direct knowledge of Shaw’s opinions can be proved. Nor will I limit myself to a traditional psychoanalytic reading: my emphasis is on political and social issues, and too often these issues are deflected by translating them into psychological ones. At the same time, I recognize that critics concerned with political and social issues too often neglect questions raised by a writer’s individual situation. I compare Shaw to Melville not to reduce Melville’s politics to psychology but to prevent a political study from neglecting the political implications of psychology, to remind us—as the title of Fredric Jameson’s book The Political Unconscious reminds us—that psychological questions always have political implications. 1. See Herman Melville, “Benito Cereno,” “Bartleby,” and Billy Budd, Sailor, “Billy Budd, Sailor” and Other Stories, ed. Harold Beaver ; all further references to these works will be included in the text.2. See Roscoe Pound, The Formative Era of American Law . For discussions of Melville and Lemuel Shaw, see Charles Roberts Anderson, Melville in the South Seas, Columbia University Studies in English and Comparative Literature, no. 138 , pp. 432-33; Charles H. Foster, “Something in Emblems: A Reinterpretation of Moby-Dick,” New England Quarterly 34 : 3-35; Robert L. Gale, “Bartleby—Melville’s Father-in-Law,” Annali sezione Germanica, Istituto Universitario Orientale di Napoli 5 : 57-72; Keith Huntress, “ ‘Guinea” of White-Jacket and Chief Justice Shaw,” American Literature 43 : 639-41; Carolyn L. Karcher, Shadow over the Promised Land: Slavery, Race and Violence in Melville’s America , pp. 9-11 and 40; John Stark, “Melville, Lemuel Shaw, and ‘Bartleby,’ “ in Bartleby, the Inscrutable: A Collection of Comentary on Herman Melville’s Tale “Bartleby the Scrivener,” ed. M. Thomas Inge , all further references to this work, abbreviated JA, will be included in the text. Brook Thomas teaches English and American literature at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. He is the author of James Joyce’s “Ulysses”: A Book of Many Happy Returns and is at work on a study of the relations between law and literature in antebellum America. (shrink)