Philosophy's traditional "man of reason"—independent, neutral, unemotional—is an illusion. That's because the "man of reason" ignores one very important thing—the woman. Representing Reason: Feminist Theory and Formal Logic collects new and old essays that shed light on the underexplored intersection of logic and feminism.
In the following essay, I argue for an alternative anthropocentrism that, eschewing failed appeals to traditional moral principle, takes as its point of departure the cognitive, perceptual, emotive, somatic, and epistemic conditions of our existence as members of Homo sapiens, and one feature of our experience of/under these conditions particularly seriously as an avenue toward articulating this alternative, the capacity for aesthetic appreciation. To this end, I will explore, but ultimately reject philosopher Allen Carlson's ecological aesthetics, and I will adopt (...) with modification aspects of the work of Ronnie Hawkins, Val Plumwood, and Donna Haraway. My central claim is that, equipped with a better understanding of our interdependent relationship to/within human and nonhuman nature, an understanding made especially available to those who occupy situations imbued by subjugation, we can come to understand our human-centeredness not as a justification of entitlement, but as an opportunity for critical self-reflection upon those actions which endanger the ecological conditions of human and nonhuman being. I suggest, then, that developing criteria for an aesthetic appreciation ground in such a centeredness can make a vital contribution to a more ecologically defensible moral and political activism. (shrink)
In the following essay, I argue for an alternative anthropocentrism that, eschewing failed appeals to traditional moral principle, takes (a) as its point of departure the cognitive, perceptual, emotive, somatic, and epistemic conditions of our existence as members of Homo sapiens, and (b) one feature of our experience of/under these conditions particularly seriously as an avenue toward articulating this alternative, the capacity for aesthetic appreciation. To this end, I will explore, but ultimately reject philosopher Allen Carlson's ecological aesthetics, and I (...) will adopt with modification aspects of the work of Ronnie Hawkins, Val Plumwood, and Donna Haraway. My central claim is that, equipped with a better understanding of our interdependent relationship to/within human and nonhuman nature, an understanding made especially available to those who occupy situations imbued by subjugation, we can come to understand our human-centeredness not as a justification of entitlement, but as an opportunity for critical self-reflection upon those actions which endanger the ecological conditions of human and nonhuman being. I suggest, then, that developing criteria for an aesthetic appreciation ground in such a centeredness can make a vital contribution to a more ecologically defensible moral and political activism. (shrink)
J. S. Mill's role in the Indian education controversy is well known, but scarcely well understood. That he drafted, in 1836, a despatch sharply critical of Macaulay's infamous Minute on Indian Education, is general knowledge now. That in drafting the despatch Mill drew upon the ideas of H. H. Wilson, a noted Orientalist and sharp critic of Macaulay and the Anglicists, has been adequately demonstrated. That the despatch was never sent to India, because of the objections of the President of (...) the Board of Trade, John Hobhouse, a Whig with some utilitarian connections, has been common knowledge for several decades. (shrink)
Joanna Crosby and Dianna Taylor: The theme of this special section of Foucault Studies, “Foucauldian Spaces,” emerged out of the 2016 meeting of the Foucault Circle, where the four of you were participants. Each of the three individual papers contained in the special section critically deploys and/or reconceptualizes an aspect of Foucault’s work that engages and offers particular insight into the construction, experience, and utilization of space. We’d like to ask the four of you to reflect on what makes a (...) space Foucauldian, and whether or not you’d consider the space created by the convergence of and intellectual exchanges among an international group of Foucault scholars at the University of New South Wales in the summer of 2016 to be Foucauldian. (shrink)
Two of the most important political movements of the late twentieth century are those of environmentalism and feminism. In this book, Val Plumwood argues that feminist theory has an important opportunity to make a major contribution to the debates in political ecology and environmental philosophy. _Feminism and the Mastery of Nature_ explains the relation between ecofeminism, or ecological feminism, and other feminist theories including radical green theories such as deep ecology. Val Plumwood provides a philosophically informed account of the relation (...) of women and nature, and shows how relating male domination to the domination of nature is important and yet remains a dilemma for women. (shrink)
Rational expectations models have become a staple of economic theory and the basis for a Nobel Prize. This article argues that rational expectations analysis suffers from potentially fatal flaws that seriously undermine its value in understanding many market phenomena. Using the example of financial markets, the article illustrates how the rational expectations approach has worked to obscure, rather than to illuminate, our understanding of speculation and speculative markets. This misguidance raises problems for law and policy.
In this much-needed account of what has gone wrong in our thinking about the environment, Val Plumwood digs at the roots of environmental degradation. She argues that we need to see nature as an end itself, rather than an instrument to get what we want. Using a range of examples, Plumwood presents a radically new picture of how our culture must change to accommodate nature.
In this article I bring together Jacques Derrida and Luce Irigaray's engagements with Sigmund Freud's vexed attempt to step beyond the pleasure principle. Derrida's speculations on the name, the house and the practice of Freud find him inadvertently rewriting the conditions of the autobiographical as that which erases as much as inscribes, while Irigaray requires a sexually different modelling of what we call language if the experience of the girl is to be addressed. Yet Irigaray uncannily repeats the teleological gesture (...) of laying claim to a legacy, diagnosed in Freud by Derrida, even as this legacy is newly imagined as that of the feminine to which Freud remained blind. I then interweave these revised stakes of the fort-da game as they are expressed in two experimental films; Lynn Hershman Leeson's feature Conceiving Ada (USA, 1997) and Hussein Chalayan's short Absent Presence (UK/Turkey, 2005). One self-consciously concerns the recovery of ‘lost’ women from history (da!), the other investigates the treatment of the foreigner staged with an all-female cast (in which the instability of foreign objects can secure no fortification for the scientific subject). The films differently engage fantasies concerning genetics, and differently engage the projection of a legacy as teleological ambition. Privileging Derrida's transformation of the pleasure into the postal principle as that which invokes ‘Tele–without telos’, I ask after the transmissibility of this ambition. (shrink)
Research involving minors has been the subject of much ethical debate. The growing number of longitudinal, pediatric studies that involve genetic research present even more complex challenges to ensure appropriate protection of children and families as research participants. Long-term studies with a genetic component involve collection, retention and use of biological samples and personal information over many years. Cohort studies may be established to study specific conditions (e.g. autism, asthma) or may have a broad aim to research a range of (...) factors that influence the health and development of children. Studies are increasingly intended to serve as research platforms by providing access to data and biological samples to researchers over many years. (shrink)
Ideal for undergraduate students in philosophy and science studies, Philosophy of Technology offers an engaging and comprehensive overview of a subject vital to our time. An up-to-date, accessible overview of the philosophy of technology, defining technology and its characteristics. Explores the issues that arise as technology becomes an integral part of our society. In addition to traditional topics in science and technology studies, the volume offers discussion of technocracy, the romantic rebellion against technology. Complements The Philosophy of Technology : The (...) Technological Condition: An Anthology, edited by Robert C. Scharff and Val Dusek. (shrink)
Situationists, with reference to empirical work in psychology, have called into question the predictive and explanatory power of character traits and on this basis have criticized the empirical adequacy of moral virtue. More recently, Alfano :223–249, 2012; Character as moral fiction, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2013) has extended the situationist critique from virtue ethics to virtue epistemology. On the line he advances, virtue responsibilism—the view that intellectual character traits play an important part in traditional and untraditional epistemological inquiries—is criticized as (...) empirically inadequate in light of the extent to which individuals are shown to be susceptible to seemingly trivial and epistemically irrelevant situational influences. Alfano’s attempted redeployment of the situationist challenge to virtue responsibilism is on closer inspection not as straightforward as he claims. It is granted that the empirical adequacy of virtue responsibilism will be eventually threatened if it can be shown that virtuous motivation is, in light of situational factors, causally ineffective. As it turns out, various psychological studies which situationists have overlooked, suggest that virtuous motivation is causally efficacious in a way that favours the position of the virtue responsibilist over the situationist. In the first part of this paper, I outline the hard core of virtue theory: both a rich motivation requirement, and a commitment to the inherent relation between virtue and a good life; then I assess whether these are undermined by situationist criticism. I address the confusion of the existing debate, and the conclusion drawn is that virtue theory ultimately remains unscathed. In the second part of my paper I defend the empirical adequacy of virtue theory based on self-determination theory. When we afford closer attention to studies on the orientation of our motivation, it becomes clear how the dynamics of our motivation have a tremendous influence on desirable behavioural outcomes: a good life. (shrink)
Lynne Rudder Baker presents and defends a unique account of the material world: the Constitution View. In contrast to leading metaphysical views that take everyday things to be either non-existent or reducible to micro-objects, the Constitution View construes familiar things as irreducible parts of reality. Although they are ultimately constituted by microphysical particles, everyday objects are neither identical to, nor reducible to, the aggregates of microphysical particles that constitute them. The result is genuine ontological diversity: people, bacteria, donkeys, mountains and (...) microscopes are fundamentally different kinds of things - all constituted by, but not identical to, aggregates of particles. Baker supports her account with discussions of non-reductive causation, vagueness, mereology, artefacts, three-dimensionalism, ontological novelty, ontological levels and emergence. The upshot is a unified ontological theory of the entire material world that irreducibly contains people, as well as non-human living things and inanimate objects. (shrink)
Little attention has been paid to the role which impression management (IM) of genuine and substantial talents and commitment plays in the careers of female and male managers seeking promotion. IM studies have largely investigated the supervisor/subordinate relationship, often with samples of business students in laboratory settings. In the Cranfield Centre for Developing Women Business Leaders, we have focused on the use of IM by practising managers. In this paper, we examine previous literature for indications that gender may be important (...) in explaining differences in IM behaviours. We then report findings from a survey and a qualitative study, showing that gender, especially combined with age and job level, is a differentiating factor in managers' inclinations to use particular IM behaviours. Many women (and some men too) seem uncomfortable with using IM. Women do not always want to play "the organizational game" by the male-constructed unwritten rules, but prefer to trust good management and systems fairness for just rewards. Younger and junior level women managers often recognize that IM may be a useful tool but reject its use for themselves. Women seem to prefer to rely on extra high performance and commitment for visibility to their seniors rather than the networking, ingratiation and self-promotion strategies used more by males. An important consequence is that as ambitious young males use job-focused IM in addition to self and manager-focused strategies, this is likely to leave young women at a considerable disadvantage for promotion, if the strategies are successful. (shrink)
Dealing with situations where parents’ views about treatment for their child are strongly opposed to doctors’ views is one major area of ethical challenge in paediatric health care. The traditional approach focuses on the child’s best interests, but this is problematic for a number of reasons. The Harm Principle test is regarded by many ethicists as more appropriate than the best interests test. Despite this, use of the best interests test for intervening in parental decisions is still very common in (...) clinical settings and can lead to confusion. In this paper, I propose the Zone of Parental Discretion as a means of putting into practice the key ideas of the Harm Principle, in a clear, step-by-step process. The Zone of Parental Discretion provides a tool for ethical deliberation by clinicians and ethicists about all situations in which parents and doctors disagree about treatment of a child, whether parents are refusing medically recommended treatment, or requesting non-recommended treatment. (shrink)
Half a century ago, before the discovery of DNA, the Austrian physicist and philosopher Erwin Schrödinger inspired a generation of scientists by rephrasing the fascinating philosophical question: _What is life? _Using their expansive understanding of recent science to wonderful effect, acclaimed authors Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan revisit this timeless question in a fast-moving, wide-ranging narrative that combines rigorous science with philosophy, history, and poetry. The authors move deftly across a dazzling array of topics—from the dynamics of the bacterial (...) realm, to the connection between sex and death, to theories of spirit and matter. They delve into the origins of life, offering the startling suggestion that life—not just human life—is free to act and has played an unexpectedly large part in its own evolution. Transcending the various formal concepts of life, this captivating book offers a unique overview of life’s history, essences, and future. Supplementing the text are stunning illustrations that range from the smallest known organism to the largest. Creatures both strange and familiar enhance the pages of _What Is Life?_ Their existence prompts readers to reconsider preconceptions not only about life but also about their own part in it. (shrink)
Rationalism is the key to the connected oppressions of women and nature in the West. Deep ecology has failed to provide an adequate historical perspective or an adequate challenge to human/nature dualism. A relational account of self enables us to reject an instrumental view of nature and develop an alternative based on respect without denying that nature is distinct from the self. This shift of focus links feminist, environmentalist, and certain forms of socialist critiques. The critique of anthropocentrism is not (...) sacrificed, as deep ecologists argue, but enriched. (shrink)
Scholars have proposed a number of courses and programs intended to improve the ethical behavior of scientists in an attempt to maintain the integrity of the scientific enterprise. In the present study, we conducted a quantitative meta-analysis based on 26 previous ethics program evaluation efforts, and the results showed that the overall effectiveness of ethics instruction was modest. The effects of ethics instruction, however, were related to a number of instructional program factors, such as course content and delivery methods, in (...) addition to factors of the evaluation study itself, such as the field of investigator and criterion measure utilized. An examination of the characteristics contributing to the relative effectiveness of instructional programs revealed that more successful programs were conducted as seminars separate from the standard curricula rather than being embedded in existing courses. Furthermore, more successful programs were case based and interactive, and they allowed participants to learn and practice the application of real-world ethical decision-making skills. The implications of these findings for future course development and evaluation are discussed. (shrink)
Yule, Val A series of before-and-after pictures shows the cost to a city that is bombed. A recent example is the UNESCO-listed sites in the Syrian city of Aleppo - one example is given above. After bombing these sites were all rubble.
On 29 February 2008, Val Plumwood died of stroke at the age of 68. She was not only a seminal environmental thinker, whose book Feminism and the Mastery of Nature has become a classic of environmental philosophy; she was also a woman who fearlessly lived life on her own deeply considered terms, often in opposition to prevailing norms. In this obituary Freya Mathews discusses Val's life and her contributions to environmental philosophy.
This paper investigates how specific notions of gender and ethnicity are integrated into diversity discourses presented on 241 top European company websites. Large European companies increasingly disclose equality and diversity policies in statements on websites. Such statements may be used to promote an ethical image of the company in terms of how well it manages diversity and guards against discrimination. In this paper, we argue that diversity statement discourses are important as they play a key part in socially constructing how (...) diversity should be regarded in the company by minority and majority groups, as well as indicating corporate values to external stakeholders (investors, government, community, press etc.). Sometimes, the notions of gender or ethnic diversity are positioned as a liability in need of protection, whilst in others, as a source of competitive advantage. We find evidence of use of discursive tools such as problematisation, rationalisation, fixation, reframing and naturalisation of the notions of gender and ethnic diversity, reinforced by use of symbols, such as statistics, photographs, membership badges and awards. Few statements directly associate gender and ethnic diversity with enhanced corporate performance. We found that diversity statements sometimes appear to reinforce existing business stereotypes of women and people from ethnic minorities, and in a few discourses, create new ones, particularly evident in photographs illustrating the diversity web pages. (shrink)
One of the lessons we ought to have learned from the history of philosophy and science is that it is rarely, if ever, useful in dealing with challenges from a new movement or in distinguishing one’s position from a different school of thought, to “draw a line in the sand” and claim that everything on this side is legitimate and that everything on that side is not, and can therefore be dismissed without serious consideration or discussion. On some analyses, Plato (...) sought to dismiss all of natural science in this way, by claiming that since it dealt with change it can yield at best belief, not knowledge. The logical positivists, building on the work of Hume, tried to use the analytic/synthetic distinction and various forms of verificationism to dismiss as nonsense everything but science, logic, mathematics, and the philosophy of science. Neither of these moves succeeded in banishing what was placed on that side of the line to intellectual never-never land. More recently, critics of creationism have dismissed the views they are attacking as “not science at all” and therefore of neither concern nor interest to the scientific communities. These maneuvers tend to be unsuccessful not just because they rely on distinctions which cannot, in the end, be sustained—or can be drawn and maintained only after all the hard work which they are frequently claimed to make unnecessary has been done—but because they refuse to deal with the specific evidence and arguments advanced by the challengers, bad as those might be. (shrink)
Although most studies on the Fair Trade initiative are, to some extent, cognizant of its contribution to environmental sustainability, what the environmental aspect means to Fair Trade has not yet been explored fully. A review of environmental issues in the Fair Trade literature suggests that Fair Trade might influence participant producers’ farming practices even if it does not directly impact natural resources. This paper attempts to interpret Fair Trade certification as an intermediary institution that links two significant objectives of rural (...) development in the global South—environmental conservation and poverty reduction. This theoretical concept is examined in different real settings by observing four cases of Southern small farmer groups involved in the Fair Trade initiative. Findings from these case studies imply that if Fair Trade certification ensures tangible benefits for small farmers, it can not only help such disadvantaged farmers but also work as an approach for natural resource management. (shrink)
BackgroundFor children with life-limiting conditions who are unable to participate in decision-making, decisions are made for them by their parents and paediatricians. Shared decision-making is widely recommended in paediatric clinical care, with parents preferring a collaborative approach in the care of their child. Despite the increasing emphasis to adopt this approach, little is known about the roles and responsibilities taken by parents and paediatricians in this process. In this study, we describe how paediatricians approach decision-making for a child with a (...) life-limiting condition who is unable to participate in decision-making for his/herself.MethodsThis qualitative phenomenological study involved 25 purposively sampled paediatricians. Verbatim transcripts from individual semi-structured interviews, conducted between mid-2019 and mid-2020, underwent thematic analysis. Interviews were based around a case vignette matched to the clinical experience of each paediatrician.ResultsTwo key themes were identified in the exploration of paediatricians' approach to decision-making for children with life-limiting conditions: there is a spectrum of paediatricians’ roles and responsibilities in decision-making, and the specific influences on paediatricians’ choice of approach for end-of-life decisions. In relation to, analysis showed four distinct approaches: non-directed, joint, interpretative, and directed. In relation to, the common factors were: harm to the child, possible psychological harm to parents, parental preferences in decision-making, and resource allocation.ConclusionsDespite self-reporting shared decision-making practices, what paediatricians often described were physician-led decision-making approaches. Adopting these approaches was predominantly justified by paediatricians’ considerations of harm to the child and parents. Further research is needed to elucidate the issues identified in this study, particularly the communication within and parental responses to physician-led approaches. We also need to further study how parental needs are identified in family-led decision-making approaches. These nuances and complexities are needed for future practice guidance and training around paediatric decision-making.Trial registration: Not applicable. (shrink)
Holobionts are multicellular eukaryotes with multiple species of persistent symbionts. They are not individuals in the genetic sense— composed of and regulated by the same genome—but they are anatomical, physiological, developmental, immunological, and evolutionary units, evolved from a shared relationship between different species. We argue that many of the interactions between human and microbiota symbionts and the reproductive process of a new holobiont are best understood as instances of reciprocal scaffolding of developmental processes and mutual construction of developmental, ecological, and (...) evolutionary niches. Our examples show that mother, fetus, and different symbiotic microbial communities induce or constitute conditions for the development and reproduction of one another. These include the direct induction of maternal or fetus physiological changes, the restructuring of ecological relations between communities, and evolutionary selection against undesirable competitors. The mutual scaffolding and niche constructing processes start early—prior to amniotic rupture. We are evolutionarily, physiologically, and developmentally integrated holobiont systems, strung together through mutual reliance and mutual construction. Bringing the processes of niche construction and developmental scaffolding together to interpret holobiont birth conceptually scaffolds two new directions for research: in niche construction, identifying the evolutionary implications of organisms actively constructing multiple overlapping niches and scaffolds, and in Evolutionary Developmental Biology, characterizing evolutionary and ecological processes as developmental causes. (shrink)
This paper investigates how specific notions of gender and ethnicity are integrated into diversity discourses presented on 241 top European company websites. Large European companies increasingly disclose equality and diversity policies in statements on websites. Such statements may be used to promote an ethical image of the company in terms of how well it manages diversity and guards against discrimination. In this paper, we argue that diversity statement discourses are important as they play a key part in socially constructing how (...) diversity should be regarded in the company by minority and majority groups, as well as indicating corporate values to external stakeholders. Sometimes, the notions of gender or ethnic diversity are positioned as a liability in need of protection, whilst in others, as a source of competitive advantage. We find evidence of use of discursive tools such as problematisation, rationalisation, fixation, reframing and naturalisation of the notions of gender and ethnic diversity, reinforced by use of symbols, such as statistics, photographs, membership badges and awards. Few statements directly associate gender and ethnic diversity with enhanced corporate performance. We found that diversity statements sometimes appear to reinforce existing business stereotypes of women and people from ethnic minorities, and in a few discourses, create new ones, particularly evident in photographs illustrating the diversity web pages. (shrink)
Imprecise definition of key terms in the “public participation” domain have hindered the conduct of good research and militated against the development and implementation of effective participation practices. In this article, we define key concepts in the domain: public communication, public consultation, and public participation. These concepts are differentiated according to the nature and flow of information between exercise sponsors and participants. According to such an information flow perspective, an exercise’s effectiveness may be ascertained by the efficiency with which full, (...) relevant information is elicited from all appropriate sources, transferred to all appropriate recipients, and combined to give an aggregate/consensual response. Key variables that may theoretically affect effectiveness—and on which engagement mechanisms differ—are identified and used to develop a typology of mechanisms. The resultant typology reveals four communication, six consultation, and four participation mechanism classes. Limitations to the typology are discussed, and future research needs identified. (shrink)
Appeals to some thesis of underdetermination, to the idea that scientific theories and hypotheses are not entailed by the evidence that supports them, are common in feminist philosophy of science. These appeals seek to understand and explain how androcentrism and other problematic approaches to gender have found their way into good science, as well as the reverse – how feminist approaches to gender and science that are also value-laden, can contribute to good science. Focusing on W.V. Quine’s positions on holism (...) and underdetermination, I argue that although Quine’s general thesis of holism does not entail his thesis of global underdetermination, his account of and arguments for moderate holism entail a localized and generalizable underdetermination, which I call moderate underdetermination. This moderate underdetermination is not transient or true of only some theories and hypotheses. Rather, it is a permanent state of affairs that characterizes all reasonably inclusive theories and hypotheses, however much evidence for them accumulates. I contend that Quine’s moderate holism entails the most robust and defensible argument for localized underdetermination, and that feminists would do well to appeal to it in arguing that values inform good science. (shrink)
My aim is twofold: first, to root out the metaphysical assumptions that generate the problem of mental causation and to show that they preclude its solution; second, to dissolve the problem of mental causation by motivating rejection of one of the metaphysical assumptions that give rise to it. There are three features of this metaphysical background picture that are important for our purposes. The first concerns the nature of reality: all reality depends on physical reality, where physical reality consists of (...) a network of events.1 The second concerns the nature of causation, and the third concerns the conception of behavior. I try to vindicate a robust idea of mental causation. (shrink)