Freedom and the subject in Jean-Paul Sartre -- Freedom and necessity in Jacques Derrida -- Freedom and the subject in contemporary philosophy and theory -- Theorizing pathologies and therapeutics of freedom.
How do people decide which claims should be considered mere beliefs and which count as knowledge? Although little is known about how people attribute knowledge to others, philosophical debate about the nature of knowledge may provide a starting point. Traditionally, a belief that is both true and justiﬁed was thought to constitute knowledge. However, philosophers now agree that this account is inadequate, due largely to a class of counterexamples (termed ‘‘Gettier cases’’) in which a person’s justiﬁed belief is true, but (...) only due to luck. We report four experiments examining the effect of truth, justiﬁcation, and ‘‘Gettiering’’ on people’s knowledge attributions. These experiments show that: (1) people attribute knowledge to others only when their beliefs are both true and justiﬁed; (2) in contrast to contemporary philosophers, people also attribute knowledge to others in Gettier situations; and (3) knowledge is not attributed in one class of Gettier cases, but only because the agent’s belief is based on ‘‘apparent’’ evidence. These ﬁndings suggest that the lay concept of knowledge is roughly consistent with the traditional account of knowledge as justiﬁed true belief, and also point to a major difference between the epistemic intuitions of laypeople and those of philosophers. (shrink)
This book is a comprehensive study of the writings of Jean-Paul Sartre. As well as examining the drama and the fiction, the book analyses the evolution of his philosophy, explores his concern with ethics, psychoanalysis, literary theory, biography and autobiography and includes a lengthy section on the still much-neglected study of Flaubert, L'Idiot de la famille. One important aim of the book is to rebut the charges made by many theorists and philosophers by revealing that Sartre is in fact a (...) major source for concepts such as the decentred subject and detotalised truth and for the revolt against individualistic humanism. Dr Howells also takes into account much posthumously published material, in particular the Chaiers pour une morale, but also the Lettres au Castor and the Cranets de la drole de guerre. The work is a substantial contribution to Sartre studies, but has been written with the non-specialist in mind; to that end all quotations are translated into English and gathered in an appendix. (shrink)
Academics across widely ranging disciplines all pursue knowledge, but they do so using vastly different methods. Do these academics therefore also have different ideas about when someone possesses knowledge? Recent experimental findings suggest that intuitions about when individuals have knowledge may vary across groups; in particular, the concept of knowledge espoused by the discipline of philosophy may not align with the concept held by laypeople. Across two studies, we investigate the concept of knowledge held by academics across seven disciplines (N (...) = 1,581) and compare these judgments to those of philosophers (N = 204) and laypeople (N = 336). We find that academics and laypeople share a similar concept of knowledge, while philosophers have a substantially different concept. These experiments show that (a) in contrast to philosophers, other academics and laypeople attribute knowledge to others in some “Gettier” situations; (b) academics and laypeople are much less likely to attribute knowledge when reminded of the possibility of error, but philosophers are not affected by this reminder; and (c) non‐philosophy academics are overall more skeptical about knowledge than laypeople or philosophers. These findings suggest that academics across a wide range of disciplines share a similar concept of knowledge, and that this concept aligns closely with the intuitions held by laypeople, and differs considerably from the concept of knowledge described in the philosophical literature, as well as the epistemic intuitions of philosophers themselves. (shrink)
The philosophical work of Jean-Luc Marion has opened new ways of speaking about religious convictions and experiences. In this exploration of Marion’s philosophy and theology, Christina M. Gschwandtner presents a comprehensive and critical analysis of the ideas of saturated phenomena and the phenomenology of givenness. She claims that these phenomena do not always appear in the excessive mode that Marion describes and suggests instead that we consider degrees of saturation. Gschwandtner covers major themes in Marion’s work—the historical event, art, (...) nature, love, gift and sacrifice, prayer, and the Eucharist. She works within the phenomenology of givenness, but suggests that Marion himself has not considered important aspects of his philosophy. (shrink)
Nagel, San Juan, and Mar report an experiment investigating lay attributions of knowledge, belief, and justification. They suggest that, in keeping with the expectations of philosophers, but contra recent empirical findings [Starmans, C. & Friedman, O. (2012). The folk conception of knowledge. Cognition, 124, 272–283], laypeople consistently deny knowledge in Gettier cases, regardless of whether the beliefs are based on ‘apparent’ or ‘authentic’ evidence. In this reply, we point out that Nagel et al. employed a questioning method that biased participants (...) to deny knowledge. Moreover, careful examination of participants’ responses reveals that they attributed knowledge in Gettier cases. We also note that Nagel et al. misconstrue the distinction between ‘apparent’ and ‘authentic’ evidence, and use scenarios that do not feature the structure that characterizes most Gettier cases. We conclude that NS&M’s findings are fully compatible with the claim that laypeople attribute knowledge in Gettier cases in general, but are significantly less likely to attribute knowledge when a belief is generated based on apparent evidence. (shrink)
In this paper, I present and explore some ideas about how factive emotional states and factive perceptual states each relate to knowledge and reasons. This discussion will shed light on the so-called ‘perceptual model’ of the emotions.
In recent years, most political theorists have agreed that shame shouldn't play any role in democratic politics because it threatens the mutual respect necessary for participation and deliberation. But Christina Tarnopolsky argues that not every kind of shame hurts democracy. In fact, she makes a powerful case that there is a form of shame essential to any critical, moderate, and self-reflexive democratic practice. Through a careful study of Plato's Gorgias, Tarnopolsky shows that contemporary conceptions of shame are far too (...) narrow. For Plato, three kinds of shame and shaming practices were possible in democracies, and only one of these is similar to the form condemned by contemporary thinkers. Following Plato, Tarnopolsky develops an account of a different kind of shame, which she calls "respectful shame." This practice involves the painful but beneficial shaming of one's fellow citizens as part of the ongoing process of collective deliberation. And, as Tarnopolsky argues, this type of shame is just as important to contemporary democracy as it was to its ancient form. Tarnopolsky also challenges the view that the Gorgias inaugurates the problematic oppositions between emotion and reason, and rhetoric and philosophy. Instead, she shows that, for Plato, rationality and emotion belong together, and she argues that political science and democratic theory are impoverished when they relegate the study of emotions such as shame to other disciplines. (shrink)
This book provides an introduction to the emerging field of continental philosophy of religion by treating the thought of its most important representatives, including its appropriations by several thinkers in the United States. Part I provides context by examining religious aspects of the thought of Martin Heidegger, Emmanuel Levinas, and Jacques Derrida. Christina Gschwandtner contends that, although the work of these thinkers is not apologetic in nature, it prepares the ground for the more religiously motivated work of more recent (...) thinkers by giving religious language and ideas some legitimacy in philosophical discussions. Part II devotes a chapter to each of the contemporary French thinkers who articulate a phenomenology of religious experience: Paul Ricoeur, Jean-Luc Marion, Michel Henry, Jean-Louis Chrétien, Jean-Yves Lacoste, and Emmanuel Falque. In it, the author argues that their respective philosophies can be read as an apologetics of sorts--namely, as arguments for the coherence of thought about God and the viability of religious experience--though each thinker does so in a different fashion and to a different degree. Part III considers the three major thinkers who have popularized and extended this phenomenology in the U.S. context: John D. Caputo, Merold Westphal, and Richard Kearney. The book thus both provides an introduction to important contemporary thinkers, many of whom have not yet received much treatment in English, and also argues that their philosophies can be read as providing an argument for Christian faith. (shrink)
Microaggressions are a new moral category that refers to the subtle yet harmful forms of discriminatory behavior experienced by members of oppressed groups. Such behavior often results from implicit bias, leaving individual perpetrators unaware of the harm they have caused. Moreover, microaggressions are often dismissed on the grounds that they do not constitute a real or morally significant harm. My goal is therefore to explain why microaggressions are morally significant and argue that we are responsible for their harms. I offer (...) a conceptual framework for microaggressions, exploring the central mechanisms used for identification and the empirical research concerning their harm. The cumulative harm of microaggressions presents a unique case for understanding disaggregation models for contributed harms, blame allocation, and individual responsibility within structural oppression. Our standard moral model for addressing cumulative harm is to hold all individual contributors blameworthy for their particular contributions. However, if we aim to hold people responsible for their unconscious microaggressions and address cumulative harm holistically, this model is inadequate. Drawing on Iris Marion Young's social connection model, I argue that we, as individual perpetrators of microaggressions, have a responsibility to respond to the cumulative harm to which we have individually contributed. (shrink)
Christina Rossetti’s short fiction has been long-neglected, we are told. In this paper, I respond to her fiction “Pros and Cons,” which perhaps provides a clue regarding why there has been neglect: it leaves the impression of being an imitation of George Eliot, a mocking imitation even. I identify two differences between Rossetti and Eliot.
Every day situations arising in health care contain ethical issues influencing care providers' conscience. How and to what extent conscience is influenced may differ according to how conscience is perceived. This study aimed to explore the relationship between perceptions of conscience and stress of conscience among care providers working in municipal housing for elderly people. A total of 166 care providers were approached, of which 146 (50 registered nurses and 96 nurses' aides/enrolled nurses) completed a questionnaire containing the Perceptions of (...) Conscience Questionnaire and the Stress of Conscience Questionnaire. A multivariate canonical correlation analysis was conducted. The first two functions emerging from the analysis themselves explained a noteworthy amount of the shared variance (25.6% and 17.8%). These two dimensions of the relationship were interpreted either as having to deaden one's conscience relating to external demands in order to be able to collaborate with coworkers, or as having to deaden one's conscience relating to internal demands in order to uphold one's identity as a `good' health care professional. (shrink)
According to one understanding of the problem of dirty hands, every case of dirty hands is an instance of moral conflict, but not every instance of moral conflict is a case of dirty hands. So, what sets the two apart? The dirty hands literature has offered widely different answers to this question but there has been relatively little discussion about their relative merits as well as challenges. In this paper I evaluate these different accounts by making clear which understanding of (...) concept distinctness underlies them and which of them is, ultimately, the most plausible one in the case of dirty hands and ordinary moral conflict. In order to do so, I will borrow from the terminology employed in recent debates in the philosophy of evil which have tackled a similar problem to the one at hand, i.e. defining what sets evil apart from ordinary wrongdoing. Here it has been argued that concepts could be distinct in three ways: they can have a quantitative difference, a strong qualitative or a moderate qualitative difference. I conclude that the most convincing definition of dirty hands draws a moderate qualitative distinction between ordinary moral conflict according to which dirty hands are those moral conflicts that involve a serious violation or betrayal of a core moral value. (shrink)
This volume collects twenty original essays on the philosophy of film. It uniquely brings together scholars working across a range of philosophical traditions and academic disciplines to broaden and advance debates on film and philosophy. The book includes contributions from a number of prominent philosophers of film including Noël Carroll, Chris Falzon, Deborah Knight, Paisley Livingston, Robert Sinnerbrink, Malcolm Turvey, and Thomas Wartenberg. While the topics explored by the contributors are diverse, there are a number of thematic threads that connect (...) them. Overall, the book seeks to bridge analytic and continental approaches to philosophy of film in fruitful ways. Moving to the individual essays, the first two sections offer novel takes on the philosophical value and the nature of film. The next section focuses on the film-as-philosophy debate. Section IV covers cinematic experience, while Section V includes interpretations of individual films that touch on questions of artificial intelligence, race and film, and cinema's biopolitical potential. Finally, the last section proposes new avenues for future research on the moving image beyond film. This book will appeal to a broad range of scholars working in film studies, theory, and philosophy. (shrink)
Positive emotions are highly valued and frequently sought. Beyond just being pleasant, however, positive emotions may also lead to long-term benefits in important domains, including work, physical health, and interpersonal relationships. Research thus far has focused on the broader functions of positive emotions. According to the broaden-and-build theory, positive emotions expand people’s thought–action repertoires and allow them to build psychological, intellectual, and social resources. New evidence suggests that positive emotions—particularly gratitude—may also play a role in motivating individuals to engage in (...) positive behaviors leading to self-improvement. We propose and offer supportive evidence that expressing gratitude leads people to muster effort to improve themselves via increases in connectedness, elevation, humility, and specific negative states including indebtedness. (shrink)
The work of French philosopher and theologian Jean-Luc Marion has been recognized as among the most suggestive and productive in the philosophy of religion today. In Reading Marion, Christina M. Gschwandtner provides the first comprehensive introduction to Marion's large and conceptually dense corpus. Gschwandtner gives particular attention to Marion's early work on Descartes and follows thematic threads through to his most recent publications on charity and eroticism. She explores in detail three prominent topics in Marion's thought: the desire to (...) overcome metaphysics, his reflections on the divine, and his reconsideration of the relation of the self to the other in love. Gschwandtner reveals Marion's thought as a unified whole and provides context for his theological and phenomenological writings. Readers at all levels will find insight into the work of one of the world's most provocative thinkers. (shrink)
This article contends that environmental organisations vary in type, scale and purpose in ways that help stewards self-sort into the opportunities that align with their individual motivations and environmental concerns. To explore these potential links between personal motivations and environmental organisational attributes, we rely on descriptive and inferential statistics from surveys of two partner environmental organisations: one local scale community based-organisation and one a broader scale environmental non-profit organisation, both located in Central Texas, USA. These partners were selected based on (...) their compatible pro-environmental missions but disparate spatial scales of operation. The survey results revealed meaningful between-organisation differences in volunteer environmental stewards, which raise the possibility of a 'First Law of Environmental Stewardship' whereby all stewards are related, but stewards in the same organisation are more related than stewards in different organisations. These findings expose some of the nuances of environmental volunteerism by highlighting connections between personal motivations, geographic scale, and organisation type. (shrink)
Through a wide-ranging international collection of papers, this volume provides theoretical and historical insights into the development and application of phenomenological sociology and ethnomethodology and offers detailed examples of research into social phenomena from these standpoints. All the articles in this volume join together to testify to the enormous efficacy and potential of both phenomenological sociology and ethnomethodology.
Following her abdication, Queen Christina of Sweden took up residence in the Palazzo Farnese, Rome from 1655. She had already developed a keen interest in music, gained from tuition from a French dancing master, and playing the star role in the ballet The Captured Cupid in honour of her mother's birthday in 1649. Christina's arrival in Rome was marked by performances in her honour in the Palazzo Barberini and Palazzo Pamphili of specially commissioned works by contemporary composers Marco (...) Marazzoli and A.F. Tenaglia, and by her favourite Giacomo Carissimi. Inspired by the chamber music proportions of the cappella of the Collegio Germanico, many of Carissimi's secular arias were composed for his royal Swedish patron. After two years in France, Christina returned to Rome, where she took up residence in the Palazzo Riario on the Janiculum. Inventories record her musical instruments and describe the contents of the Great Hall in which concerts were held. (shrink)
The Cognitive Reflection Test is purported to test our inclination to overcome impulsive, intuitive thought with effortful, rational reflection. Research suggests that philosophers tend to perform better on this test than non-philosophers, and that men tend to perform better than women. Taken together, these findings could be interpreted as partially explaining the gender gap that exists in Philosophy: there are fewer women in Philosophy because women are less likely to possess the ideal ‘philosophical personality’. If this explanation for the gender (...) gap in Philosophy is accepted, it might be seen to exonerate Philosophy departments of the need to put in place much-needed strategies for promoting gender diversity. This paper discusses a number of reasons for thinking that this would be the wrong conclusion to draw from the research. Firstly, the CRT may not track what it is claimed it tracks. Secondly, the trait tracked by the CRT may not be something that we should value in philosophers. Thirdly, even if we accept that the CRT tracks a trait that has value, this trait might be of limited importance to good philosophising. Lastly, the causal story linking the gender gap in CRT score and the gender gap in Philosophy is likely to be far more complex than this explanation implies. (shrink)
In this paper we investigate compassion and its place within mindfulness-based approaches. Compassion is an orientation of mind that recognizes pain and the universality of pain in human experience and the capacity to meet that pain with kindness, empathy, equanimity and patience. We outline how learning to meet pain with compassion is part of how people come to live with chronic conditions like recurrent depression. While most mindfulness-based approaches do not explicitly teach compassion, we describe how the structure of the (...) programme and teachers' embodiment enable participants to cultivate compassion in the landscape of suffering. We describe a case example of how this process unfolded for someone through mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. (shrink)
It's a bad time to be a boy in America. As the century drew to a close, the defining event for American girls was the triumph of the U.S. women's soccer team. For boys, the symbolic event was the mass killing at Columbine High School. It would seem that boys in our society are greatly at risk. Yet the best-known studies and the academic experts say that it's girls who are suffering from a decline in self-esteem. It's girls, they say, (...) who need extra help in school and elsewhere in a society that favors boys. The problem with boys is that they are boys, say the experts. We need to change their nature. We have to make them more like...girls. These arguments don't hold up to scrutiny, says Christina Hoff Sommers in this provocative, fascinating book. She analyzes the work of the leading academic experts, Carol Gilligan and William Pollack, and finds it lacking in scientific rigor. There is no girl crisis, says Sommers. Girls are outperforming boys academically, and girls' self-esteem is no different from boys'. Boys lag behind girls in reading and writing ability, and they are less likely to go to college. The "girl crisis" has been seized upon by some feminists and has been suffused with sexual politics. Under the guise of helping girls, many schools have adopted policies that penalize boys, often for simply being masculine. Sommers says that boys do need help, but not the sort they've been getting. They need help catching up with girls academically. They need love, discipline, respect, and moral guidance. They desperately need understanding. They do not need to be rescued from masculinity. (shrink)
This article focuses on the ways that one individual child, Christina, experienced urban life in and outside of a diversely populated elementary school with a multicultural curriculum. Labeled by the school and her parents as white, Christina identified as Latina, and used specific spaces in the city to support this claim. Drawing on data from a year-long ethnographic study, I show how Christina navigated her life in the city and explore the ways that she consciously represented herself (...) over time, in multiple social spaces, as non-white. Three particular spaces are explored here: the city bus ride to school, Christina's neighborhood, and classroom discussions. Christina used a variety of resources to negotiate each space, in effect drawing a map of her racial identity as she lived in the city. Her case offers ideas about how such a curriculum might influence the senses of self of children in diversely populated classrooms. (shrink)
RATIONALE, AIM AND OBJECTIVE: Factors influencing doctors in prescribing of drugs have mostly been studied in primary care. Studies performed in hospital care have primarily focused on new drugs, not prescribing in general. An in-depth understanding of the prescribing process in the more specialized secondary care is not only important for secondary care itself, but because it also influences prescribing in primary care. The aim of this study is therefore to identify factors that secondary care doctors believe influence them in (...) prescribing drugs, using a qualitative approach. (shrink)
This paper argues that the dirty hands literature has overlooked a crucial distinction in neglecting to discuss explicitly the issue of, what I call, symmetry. This is the question of whether, once we are confronted with a dirty hands situation, we could emerge with our hands clean depending on the action we choose. A position that argues that we can keep our hands clean I call “asymmetrical” and one that says that we will get our hands dirty no matter what (...) we do I call “symmetrical”. Not acknowledging this distinction is a problem because, firstly, it adds to the existing confusions about how best to define what dirty hands are. Secondly, it prevents the concept of dirty hands from being applied properly to other contexts such as, for example, the responsibility and accountability of politicians. I argue that we have good reason to favour a symmetrical understanding because it gives a more convincing account of what makes an action dirty and because it more accurately captures our complex moral decision-making when faced with dirty hands situations. The paper concludes by outlining possible implications that the distinction between the symmetry view and the asymmetry view has on wider debates surrounding the problem of dirty hands. (shrink)
Although people own myriad objects, land, and even ideas, it is currently illegal to own other humans. This reluctance to view people as property raises interesting questions about our conceptions of people and about our conceptions of ownership. We suggest that one factor contributing to this reluctance is that humans are normally considered to be autonomous, and autonomy is incompatible with being owned by someone else. To investigate whether autonomy impacts judgments of ownership, participants recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk read (...) vignettes where a person paid for an entity or created it. Participants were less likely to judge that the entity was owned when it was described as autonomous compared with when it was described as non-autonomous, and this pattern held regardless of whether the entity was a human or an alien, a robot, or a human-like biological creation. The effect of autonomy was specific to judgments of whether entities were owned, and it did not influence judgments of the moral acceptability of paying for and keeping entities. These experiments also found that judgments of ownership were separately impacted by ontological type, with participants less likely to judge that humans are owned compared with other kinds of entities. A fourth experiment tested a further prediction of the autonomy account, and showed that participants are more likely to view a person as owned if he willingly sells himself. Together these findings show that attributions of autonomy constrain judgments of what can be owned. 2017 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
Recent work in behavioral economics and psychology provides valuable resources for religious ethicists. This book discussion examines contributions by Cass Sunstein, Daniel Kahneman, George Akerlof and Rachel Kranton, Uri Gneezy and John A. List, and Douglas Hough. This literature raises important questions about ethical decision-making, moral agency and responsibility, and the ethics of life in global capitalism. It also opens up promising areas for interdisciplinary dialogue between economics and religious studies. This book discussion concludes that religious ethicists have much to (...) contribute to the conversations about moral anthropology that are now being held in behavioral economic research, and to the broader political economic debates in which this research participates. (shrink)
The global segmentation of production and distribution has resulted in highly complex global value chains where vertical and horizontal dynamics are equally important in determining working conditions and providing points of leverage for labour. Borrowing notions of multi-level governance, we propose an analytical framework for describing and explaining success and failure of labour agency when attempting to improve working conditions along GVCs. Our starting point is that the high complexity of GVCs and the absence of a global overarching authority have (...) been balanced by the emergence of governance mechanisms of different forms and at different levels. An assessment of these mechanisms, which emphasize process over institutions, reveals how different types of interactions and interdependencies along GVCs impact on labour’s use of power. We argue that, in order to fully situate labour agency within governance debates, any future research agenda needs to be driven by micro-level bottom-up approaches. (shrink)
This article explores the collaborative research of the Nobel laureate Hans Spemann (1869–1941) and the Swiss zoologist Fritz Baltzer (1884–1974) on problems at the intersection of development and heredity and raises more general questions concerning science and politics in Germany in the interwar period. It argues that Spemann and Baltzer’s collaborative work made a significant contribution to the then ongoing debates about the relation between developmental physiology and hereditary studies, although Spemann distanced himself from _Drosophila_ genetics because of his anti-reductionist (...) position. The article analyzes how Spemann framed the issues of heredity in terms of an epigenetic principle in the context of his work on the “organizer,” and it explores the experimental dynamics of research on newt merogones carried out by Baltzer in a methodological development of Spemann’s constriction experiments. Finally, these research attempts are discussed as part of a broader “prehistory” of the mid-twentieth century cell nuclear transplantation experiments, which provided the basis for later animal cloning. (shrink)