De Haan has provided a novel and distinctly enactivist solution to the problem of integrating the physiological, experiential, social and existential. We admire her articulation of her fourth "existential" dimension. Not only does it represent a real attempt to bridge, as she says, enactivism's explanatory gap, it is also a potentially useful construct for conceptualizing the way that self-reflexivity seems to go astray in much psychopathology. We think that pinpointing this phenomenon is something that phenomenological accounts excel at. We have, (...) however, two key reservations about her account, which we outline.To begin with, we are unsure that there is any particular scientific research program that derives from... (shrink)
In recent decades, Russell’s “Neutral Monism” has reemerged as a topic of great scholarly interest among philosophers of mind, philosophers of science, and historians of early analytic philosophy. One of the most controversial points of scholarly dispute regarding Russell’s theory concerns how it best fits into standard classificatory schemes for understanding the relationship between mental phenomena and physical reality. The task of classifying Russell’s Neutral Monism is made all the more difficult by the fact that his conception of it evolves (...) in significant ways over the roughly four decades that he advocates it. In this paper, I contend that during this period, Russell holds (at least) three different, but related, ontological views, all of which he labels as “neutral monism”. This paper begins by considering key aspects of Russell’s early dualism which continue to play important roles in his Neutral Monism, especially his views about acquaintance, knowledge by description, structuralism about physics, and the construction of our physical knowledge. I argue that Russell revises, rather than abandons, his notion of knowledge by acquaintance in 1918 (when he gives up the act-object distinction) and contend that his resulting “neutral monism” remains a partial dualism until his 1921 The Analysis of Mind (hereafter AMi). Next, I explain how changes in physics leads Russell to re-conceptualize his Neutral Monism in The Analysis of Matter and An Outline of Philosophy, while challenging the relatively widespread view that his new position is a nonstandard version of physicalism. Finally, I argue that after 1940, Russell’s mature Neutral Monism—as presented in Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits, My Philosophical Development, and elsewhere—is very plausibly interpreted as a version of “Russellian Physicalism”. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that a number of recent Russell interpreters, including Evans, Davidson, Campbell, and Proops, mistakenly attribute to Russell what I call ‘the received view of acquaintance’: the view that acquaintance safeguards us from misidentifying the objects of our acquaintance. I contend that Russell’s discussions of phenomenal continua cases show that he does not accept the received view of acquaintance. I also show that the possibility of misidentifying the objects of acquaintance should be unsurprising given underappreciated aspects (...) of Russell’s overall theory of knowledge and acquaintance. Finally, I consider the radical impact that Russell’s actual views on acquaintance have for our understanding of his well-known George IV case in ‘On Denoting’. In particular, I argue that Russell’s treatment of the George IV case is not a one-size-fits-all solution to Frege’s Puzzle and provides no support for the received view of acquaintance. (shrink)
In _Beyond Animal Rights_, Josephine Donovan and Carol J. Adams introduced feminist "ethic of care" theory into philosophical discussions of the treatment of animals. In this new volume, seven essays from _Beyond Animal Rights_ are joined by nine new articles-most of which were written in response to that book-and a new introduction that situates feminist animal care theory within feminist theory and the larger debate over animal rights. Contributors critique theorists' reliance on natural rights doctrine and utilitarianism, which, they (...) suggest, have a masculine bias. They argue for ethical attentiveness and sympathy in our relationships with animals and propose a link between the continuing subjugation of women and the human domination of nature. Beginning with the earliest articulation of the idea in the mid-1980s and continuing to the theory's most recent revisions, this volume presents the most complete portrait of the evolution of the feminist-care tradition. (shrink)
This chapter examines Bertrand Russell's developing views--roughly from 1911 to 1918--on the nature of introspective knowledge and subjects' most basic knowledge of themselves as themselves. It argues that Russell's theory of introspection distinguishes between direct awareness of individual psychological objects and features, the presentation of psychological complexes involving those objects and features, and introspective judgments which aim to correspond with them. It also explores his transition from believing that subjects enjoy introspective self-acquaintance, to believing that they only know themselves by (...) self-description, and eventually to believing that self-knowledge is a logical construction. It concludes by sketching how Russell's views about introspection and self-knowledge change as a result of his adoption of neutral monism. Along the way, it sheds additional light on his acquaintance-based theory of knowledge, preference for logical constructions over inferred entities, and gradual progression towards neutral monism. (shrink)
In this revision of a seminal work, O'Donovan describes the shape of a Christian moral theology which has wide implications for creation, history, knowledge, freedom, and authority--his purpose being to outline a system of theological ethics and to describe the nature of the moral response within redeemed creation: acts of surrender, obedience, and love.
Publication date: 15 October 2018 Source: Author: Donovan A. McFarlane This paper examines the constructs “Level of Educational Attainment” and “Intelligence Quotient” using a Case Study Approach based in current United States political conflicts and debates between U.S. Representative Maxine Waters and U.S. President Donald Trump. Specifically, the researcher examines U.S. President Donald Trump’s claim that U.S. Representative Maxine Waters, a democratic member of the U.S. Congress from the State of California, is a “low IQ individual”. The researcher examines (...) IQ indicators and focuses on the Level of Educational Attainment of Trump and Waters by accessing, analyzing, and interpreting the most current vital data on Level of Educational Attainment at the post-secondary level, specifically examining both parties’ LEA in relation to the population samples within their age groups. Additionally, the researcher briefly looks at the life circumstances of both Donald Trump and Maxine Waters to make an educated conclusion about both leaders’ levels of intelligence and IQs. (shrink)
In this essay I suggest that Heidegger’s Being and Time provides a ground for ethics in the notion of Dasein’s ‘Being-guilty.’ Being-guilty is not a ground for ethics in the sense of a demonstration of the moral ‘ought’ or a refutation of moral skepticism. Rather, Being-guilty serves as a foundation for ethical life in a way uniquely suited to a phenomenological form of ethics, a way that clarifies, from a phenomenological point of view, why the traditional approach to ethics is (...) misguided. The traditional attempt to ground ethics through demonstration or refutation depends upon a misunderstanding of obligation as an imposition that is distinct from, and inflicted upon, the subject in a way that is in need of justification. Heidegger’s conception of Being-guilty, on the contrary, identifies the basis of moral obligation in a form of primary selfobligation that is constitutive of human nature, rather than an imposition upon it. Although primordial guilt or self-obligation does not justify ethical obligation, it does ‘ground’ ethics. For it is the primary source and support of our ethical activity in two distinct senses. First, it serves as the condition for the possibility of our indebtedness to others—it enables us to be morally obligated. It enables moral obligation towards others by determining Dasein as ontologically indebted to care for its own being—a being which is, in turn, ontologically determined as care for others. Second, Being-guilty provides a criterion for distinguishing what we call ethical and unethical behavior. Ethical behavior is distinguished according to the appropriateness of one’s care for the other according to proper recognition of the nature of the Other’s Being as Dasein. (shrink)
This chapter summarizes Russell’s The Problems of Philosophy, presents new biographical details about how and why Russell wrote it, and highlights its continued significance for contemporary philosophy. It also surveys Russell’s famous distinction between “knowledge by acquaintance” and “knowledge by description,” his developing views about our knowledge of physical reality, and his views about our knowledge of logic, mathematics, and other abstract objects.
We argue for the conclusion that intrinsic desires, at least, and every other propositional attitude having the world-to-mind direction of fit exclusively, are never found within consciousness. All desire-like states found in consciousness are experiences or exercises of imaginative capacities pertaining either to the desire or the content of the desire, but never the desire itself.
Many currently working on a Russellian notion of perceptual acquaintance and its role in perceptual experience (including Campbell 2002a, 2002b, and 2009 and Tye 2009) treat naïve realism and indirect realism as an exhaustive disjunction of possible views. In this paper, I propose a form of direct realism according to which one is directly aware of external objects and their features without perceiving a mind-dependent intermediary and without making any inference. Nevertheless, it also maintains that the qualitative character of perceptual (...) experience is a feature of our internal states of sentient awareness and so is to be distinguished from the features of objects in the perceptual scene. On this proposal, we are pre-reflectively aware of the qualitative character of our sensations simply in virtue of having them, and we are non-inferentially aware of external objects and their features by being attuned to what the occurrence of our sensations tells us about the rest of the world. Consequently, we are presented with, and thus acquainted with, both the external objects and the qualitative character of our sensory experiences, albeit in very different ways. Drawing on resources from Perry (2001) and Searle (in draft), I explain how perceptual experience has this “two-faced presentational character”. (shrink)
In _Wild Experiment_, Donovan O. Schaefer challenges the conventional wisdom that feeling and thinking are separate. Drawing on science studies, philosophy, affect theory, secularism studies, psychology, and contemporary literary criticism, Schaefer reconceptualizes rationality as defined by affective processes at every level. He introduces the model of “cogency theory” to reconsider the relationship between evolutionary biology and secularism, examining mid-nineteenth-century Darwinian controversies, the 1925 Scopes Trial, and the New Atheist movement of the 2000s. Along the way, Schaefer reappraises a range (...) of related issues, from secular architecture at Oxford to American eugenics to contemporary climate denialism. These case studies locate the intersection of thinking and feeling in the way scientific rationality balances excited discovery with anxious scrutiny, the fascination of conspiracy theories, and how racist feelings assume the mantle of rational objectivity. The fact that cognition is felt, Schaefer demonstrates, is both why science succeeds and why it fails. He concludes that science, secularism, atheism, and reason itself are not separate from feeling but comprehensively defined by it. (shrink)
Both Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin borrow from Freudian theory in their analyses of fetishism’s relation to the contemporary reception of cultural products. I will argue that both authors have confused the Marxian and Freudian theories of fetishism, resulting in mistaken conclusions about artistic reception. By disentangling the Marxian and Freudian elements in both authors’ positions, I want to show that 1) Adorno’s characterization of regressive listening implies, contrary to his intentions, that the current reception of artwork is in fact (...) antagonistic to fetishism, and that 2) his criticism of Benjamin’s optimism toward “reception in distraction” is nevertheless justified. If I am correct, it may be necessary to reassess Adorno’s demand for asceticism in advanced art. The current danger may not be “fetishism” at all, but rather the troublesome consequences of fetishism’s decline. (shrink)
The historical problem about the origins of the language of rights derives its importance from the conceptual problem: of "two fundamentally different ways of thinking about justice," which is basic? Is justice unitary or plural? This in turn opens up a problem about the moral status of human nature. A narrative of the origins of "rights" is an account of how and when a plural concept of justice comes to the fore, and will be based on the occurrence of definite (...) speech-forms—the occurrence of the plural noun in the sense of "legal properties." The history of this development is currently held to begin with the twelfth-century canonists. Later significant thresholds may be found in the fourteenth, sixteenth, and eighteenth centuries. Wolterstorff's attempt to find the implicit recognition of rights in the Scriptures depends very heavily on what he takes to be implied rather than on what is stated, and at best can establish a pre- history of rights-language. (shrink)
Despite his rejection of the metaphysical conception of freedom of the will, Nietzsche frequently makes positive use of the language of freedom, autonomy, self-mastery, self-overcoming, and creativity when describing his normative project of enhancing humanity through the promotion of its highest types. A number of interpreters have been misled by such language to conclude that Nietzsche accepts some version of compatibilism, holding a theory of natural causality that excludes metaphysical or “libertarian” freedom of the will, while endorsing morally substantial alternative (...) conceptions of freedom, autonomy, and responsibility. I argue to the contrary that although Nietzsche’s rejection of... (shrink)
Catherine Keller's Cloud of the Impossible knits together process theology and relational ontology with quantum mechanics. In quantum physics, she finds a new resource for undoing the architecture of classical metaphysics and its location of autonomous human subjects as the primary gears of ethical agency. Keller swarms theology with the quantum perspective, focusing in particular on the phenomenon of quantum entanglement, by which quantum particles are found to remain influential over each other long after they have been physically separated—what Albert (...) Einstein and his collaborators recklessly dismissed as “spooky action at a distance.” This spooky action, Keller suggests, reroutes process thought—classically concerned with flux—to a new concern with intransigence—particularly the intransigence of the ethical relationship. Attending to the ethical urgency of the Other, she leaves process theology in a position of susceptibility to the moral imperative posed by the marginalized, the victimized, and the oppressed. This essay argues that although the ontological work of Keller's book productively integrates quantum physics into process theology, the ethical dimension of relationality is left cold in the quantum field. This is because, contra the ethical framework of contemporary deconstruction, which, following Emmanuel Levinas, sees ethical relationships as emerging out of a dynamic of infinite distance, moral connection has nothing to do with the remote reaches of the quantum scale or the macro-scale limits of space—nothing to do with “infinity” at all. Ethics emerges out of a much messier landscape—the evolved dynamic of fleshy, finite, material bodies. Rather than seeing ethical labor as a matter of physics, my contention is that interdisciplinary undertakings like Cloud of the Impossible are ethical disciplinary practices, re-acquainting us with the non-sovereignty of the self in order to open up new habits of relating rather than spotlighting ethical imperatives. (shrink)
Neutral monism is the view that both ‘mind’ and ‘matter’ are grounded in a more fundamental form of reality that is intrinsically neither mental nor material. It has often been treated as an odd fringe theory deserving of at most a footnote in the broader philosophical debates. Yet such attitudes do a grave disservice to its sophistications and significance for late nineteenth and early twentieth-century philosophy of mind and psychology. This paper sheds light on this neglected view by situating it (...) within broader historical monist debates about the mind and bringing attention to one of its central internal disputes regarding ‘mental chemistry’. By taking a closer look at how Ernst Mach, William James, and Bertrand Russell address the question of whether and how our mental episodes are composed of more basic elements, it highlights deep differences among their conceptions of the fundamental ‘neutral stuff’ and its relations to ‘mind’ and ‘matter’. (shrink)
Acquaintance, Knowledge, and Logic (awarded the 2016 Bertrand Russell Society Book Prize) brings together ten new essays on Bertrand Russell's best-known work, The Problems of Philosophy. These essays, by some of the foremost scholars of his life and works, reexamine Russell's famous distinction between “knowledge by acquaintance” and “knowledge by description,” his developing views about our knowledge of physical reality, and his views about our knowledge of logic, mathematics, and other abstract objects. In addition, this volume includes an editors' introduction, (...) which summarizes Russell's influential book, presents new biographical details about how and why Russell wrote it, and highlights its continued significance for contemporary philosophy. (shrink)
In this paper, I directly oppose Nietzsche ’s endorsement of a morality of breeding to all forms of comparative, positive eugenics: the use of genetic selection to introduce positive improvement in individuals or the species, based on negatively or comparatively defined traits. I begin by explaining Nietzsche ’s contrast between two broad categories of morality: breeding and taming. I argue that the ethical dangers of positive eugenics are grounded in their status as forms of taming, which preserves positively evaluated character (...) traits and types through the active de-selection of negatively evaluated ones. The morality of taming is not a form of selection, but de-selection: the production of counter or anti-traits and types. Consequently, in its attempt to improve humanity, it tends necessarily toward violence as the elimination of de-selected forms of human life. In contrast, Nietzsche ’s morality of breeding selects traits and types by protecting them from de-selection—specifically, by attacking moral ideas, values, and practices designed to eliminate them. It tends not towards the destruction but preservation of types; its negativity targets not life but the ideas that disable, disempower, and eradicate forms of life. I argue, further, that the fundamental ethical difference between breeding and taming, and so between Nietzschean morality and eugenics, is found in their attitudes toward the natural world. The violence of eugenics as taming is grounded in its status as anti-natural, while Nietzsche ’s morality of breeding resists violence through its foundational affirmation of the conditions and limitations of the natural world: its resolute moral naturalism. Finally, I apply my interpretation of breeding and taming to two cases of comparative, positive eugenics: the historical case of racial eugenics and the so-called “designer baby” case in contemporary liberal eugenics. Nietzsche must condemn both as forms of the anti-natural morality of taming, to which the morality of breeding is diametrically opposed. (shrink)
Affect theory is a subfield that encourages us to think about how we interact with each other and the world along registers that are not reducible to language. This has suggested to some scholars that affect theory can also be used to better understand the experience of animals. This article explores a merger between affect theory, animal studies and the lifeworld tradition of phenomenology. The upshot of this is a way of seeing how animals, like humans, have rich religious worlds (...) that are shaped by pre-linguistic textures of affect. This perspective indicates that animals can be thrown into a state of trauma by being deprived of these lifeworlds. In light of this, the article considers the ethical implications of the modern factory farm system, particularly the practice of mass confinement. (shrink)
This paper will be a limited attempt to make sense of divine causation in Leibniz. I will not be able to discuss whether divine causation is immanent causation, nor explore the metaphysics of creation, emanation, and miracles in detail. Rather, I will focus on adjudicating the degree to which Leibniz’s famous denial of the interaction of substances bears on his views of divine causation. (edited).
The central problem of this dissertation arises from reflecting on Euthyphro’s often neglected final attempt to define piety and the discussion that follows. He claims that piety is knowledge of how to give to the gods what is pleasing in prayer and sacrifice. Socrates, without much argument, reduces Euthyphro’s answer to his earlier, already refuted one – that piety is what is dear to the gods – inviting the question of whether this is all the elenchos is meant to accomplish. (...) If it is not, we should expect to find its purpose in the brief discussion that falls between Euthyphro’s definition and the final reduction of this definition to its predecessor. At the center of this discussion Socrates compares Euthyphronic piety to commerce. This comparison has classically been interpreted as showing Euthyphro’s definition to imply that humans can benefit gods, and since Euthyphro has elsewhere rejected this idea, his definition is refuted by contradiction. But this strands the reduction withoutpurpose, and scrutiny of the text suggests this is not the correct way to interpret the inference structure of this intervening discussion. In this dissertation I argue for two main theses: the disambiguation thesis, which claims that the comparison to commerce is not the philosophical point of the elenchos, and does not result in the refutation of Euthyphro’s definition. It is instead intended to elicit which of two possible models of piety Euthyphro means to describe, the language of his definition being equivocal in at least one important respect, namely whether or not a met need necessarily confers a benefit upon the recipient; the translation thesis, which claims that there are some important observations to be made about the Greek of Euthyphro’s definition, observations that will make the dis- ambiguation thesis more plausible, and which are obscured by traditional translations of the passage under discussion. These observations concern kecharismena, a word often translated as ‘pleasing’, but is better understood as denoting a broad set of social and religious norms, and for which there is no simple English equivalent. Together, these two theses allow us to see that the main philosophical lesson of the last elenchos is that Euthyphro’s account of piety as ritual is an application of his more famous third attempt to define piety voluntaristically, and that any philosophical concerns over the last definition are consequences of it being an extension of the third one. This is why Plato puts the two side-by-side to close the dialogue, and we are kept from seeing this clearly when we take the comparison to commerce to be accomplishing the main work of the elenchos, rather than as clarifying Euthyphro’s answer so that its conceptual similarities to the previous answer are plainly visible. I conclude the project by defending the venerable view that Socratic piety is service to the gods instantiated by rational inquiry, and show how this model of piety is the antithesis to, and moral remedy for, Euthyphronic piety. (shrink)
The prospect of using genome technologies to modify the human germline has raised profound moral disagreement but also emphasizes the need for wide-ranging discussion and a well-informed policy response. The Hinxton Group brought together scientists, ethicists, policymakers, and journal editors for an international, interdisciplinary meeting on this subject. This consensus statement formulated by the group calls for support of genome editing research and the development of a scientific roadmap for safety and efficacy; recognizes the ethical challenges involved in clinical reproductive (...) applications of genome editing but, importantly, rejects the idea that human reproductive germline modification is necessarily morally unacceptable; and highlights the importance of meaningful engagement in discussions of genome editing and the development of regulation and oversight mechanisms to govern future uses of such technologies. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that Nietzsche’s published works contain a substantial, although implicit, argument for the will to power as ontology—a critical and descriptive, rather than positive and explanatory, theory of reality. Further, I suggest this ontology is entirely consistent with a naturalist methodology. The will to power ontology follows directly from Nietzsche’s naturalist rejection of three metaphysical presuppositions: substance, efficient causality, and final causality. I show that a number of interpretations, including those of Clark, Schacht, Reginster, and Richardson, (...) are inconsistent with Nietzsche’s naturalism, because they presuppose efficient or final causality. In contrast, I argue that the will to power is not an explanatory theory, but a description of the basic, necessary character of reality, designed to critically reveal and minimize metaphysical presuppositions—to reject false explanations of reality and human behavior. It avoids substance-metaphysics by describing reality as will, a causal process without discrete efficient causes or agents. It eliminates efficient causality by describing events as maximal manifestations of power, rather than as agent-actualized potentialities. Finally, it opposes teleology by describing life as tending toward the activity of resistance as such, rather than toward explanatory end-states, such as the accumulation of power or overcoming of resistances. (shrink)
Nietzsche implicitly endorses a positive value system grounded in his concept of the will to power, a “noble” alternative to the “slavish” and life-denying values that he believes characterize modern European morality. His own power-affirming value system is usually presented amorally: as an alternative to morality, rather than as a competing morality. Most commentators believe this is necessarily so: because Nietzsche founds his values in the affirmation of power, they are incompatible with the concern for the well-being of others that (...) is characteristic of any authentic morality. This paper argues, on the contrary, that Nietzsche’s noble, power-affirming values are fully compatible with morality. It defends this view by rejecting two common misconceptions about Nietzsche’s philosophy: 1) the view that Nietzsche’s concept of the will to power is inseparable from domination, and 2) the view that noble values require and actively promote social hierarchy. (shrink)
In the following essay, I argue that in the case of some works of art, moral evaluation should not play a role in artistic appraisal. While I reject the strong ethicist’s view—the view that moral evaluation may inform the artistic evaluation of any artwork—I will not do so in favor of the aestheticist’s position. The aestheticist argues for a rigid distinction between the moral and aesthetic evaluation of an artwork. On this view, the moral status of the work is independent (...) of and irrelevant to artistic value. This view would allow us, for example, to evaluate Leni Reifenstahl’s film The Triumph of the Will as a superior work of cinematic art, while at the same time condemning it on moral grounds. Rather than support a strict separation of aesthetic and moral elements in an artwork, I will suggest that in the case of certain types of artwork, it is inappropriate to use moral criteria in their artistic evaluation—even though the work’s moral content contributes to its artistic value. This is the case in artworks that (1) are “interrogative” in form and (2) have moral dilemmas as their principal theme. Briefly put, an interrogative artwork is one that poses a question or problem that remains unresolved in the work. I will begin by explaining in more detail what I mean by an interrogative artwork. Using the example of Duchamp’s “ready-made” sculpture Fountain, I will argue that it is inappropriate to artistically evaluate such works by appeal to criteria that they themselves call into question. I will then turn to the specific issue of morally interrogative artworks. I will consider Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as a paradigmatic case of an interrogative artwork that poses an unresolved moral problem, and will contrast my own rejection of the moral appraisal of the novel to Wayne Booth’s attempt to provide a morally informed positive assessment of the novel. (shrink)