As a means to challenge and diminish the hold of mainstream curriculum's claim of being a colorblind, politically neutral text, we will address two particular features that partially, though significantly, constitute the hidden curriculum in the United States—race and class—historically studied as separate social issues. Race and class have been embedded within the institutional curriculum from the beginning in the US; though rarely acknowledged as intertwined issues. We illustrate how the theoretical and interpretive structure of French philosopher and sociologist Pierre (...) Bourdieu can productively subsume the insights of critical race theory into its framework in a way that provides a more robust understanding of how race and class continue to be socially reproduced in schools. To perform this task we examine, through Bourdieu's constructs of habitus, field, capital, symbolic violence and misrecognition, the ways in which race, in general, and whiteness, specifically, influences pedagogical and curricular existence within the institutional superstructure of school. (shrink)
ABSTRACT In this wide-ranging interview Professor Douglas V. Porpora discusses a number of issues. First, how he became a Critical Realist through his early work on the concept of structure. Second, drawing on his Reconstructing Sociology, his take on the current state of American sociology. This leads to discussion of the broader range of his work as part of Margaret Archer’s various Centre for Social Ontology projects, and on moral-macro reasoning and the concept of truth in political discourse.
First published in 1984, Cultural Analysis is a systematic examination of the theories of culture contained in the writings of four contemporary social theorists: Peter L. Berger, Mary Douglas, Michel Foucault, and Jürgen Habermas. This study of their work clarifies their contributions to the analysis of culture and shows the converging assumptions that the authors believe are laying the foundation for a new approach to the study of culture. The focus is specifically on culture, a concept that remains subject (...) to ambiguities of treatment, and concentrates on questions concerning the definition and content of culture, its construction, its relations with social conditions, and the manner in which it may be changing. The books demonstrates how these writers have made strides towards defining culture as an objective element of social interaction which can be subjected to critical investigation. (shrink)
During the Gulf war, CNN correspondent Peter Arnett distinguished himself with its courageous reporting in Iraq while under fire by the U.S.-led coalition which dropped more bombs on Iraq than were unleashed in World War II. Reporting live from Baghdad throughout the war, Arnett provided vivid daily accounts of life in Iraq during one of the most sustained air attacks in history. From his live telephone reporting of the early hours of the U.S. attack on Iraq in January 1991 through (...) his live satellite reports of the effects of the daily bombing of Iraq, Arnett distinguished himself through his attempts to cut through the lies and disinformation of both sides and to provide accurate reporting on the effects of the U.S.-led coalition assault against Iraq. (shrink)
If “perfectionism” in ethics refers to those normative theories that treat the fulfillment or realization of human nature as central to an account of both goodness and moral obligation, in what sense is “human flourishing” a perfectionist notion? How much of what we take “human flourishing” to signify is the result of our understanding of human nature? Is the content of this concept simply read off an examination of our nature? Is there no place for diversity and individuality? Is the (...) belief that the content of such a normative concept can be determined by an appeal to human nature merely the result of epistemological naiveté? What is the exact character of the connection between human flourishing and human nature? These questions are the ultimate concern of this essay, but to appreciate the answers that will be offered it is necessary to understand what is meant by “human flourishing.” “Human flourishing” is a relatively recent term in ethics. It seems to have developed in the last two decades because the traditional translation of the Greek term eudaimonia as “happiness” failed to communicate clearly that eudaimonia was an objective good, not merely a subjective good. (shrink)
In this article, I argue that Brad Hooker's rule-consequentialism implausibly implies that what earthlings are morally required to sacrifice for the sake of helping their less fortunate brethren depends on whether or not other people exist on some distant planet even when these others would be too far away for earthlings to affect.
These essays engage Jin Y. Park’s recent translation of the work of Kim Iryŏp, a Buddhist nun and public intellectual in early twentieth-century Korea. Park’s translation of Iryŏp’s Reflections of a Zen Buddhist Nun was the subject of two book panels at recent conferences: the first a plenary session at the annual meeting of the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy and the second at the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association on a group program session sponsored by the (...) International Society for Buddhist Philosophy. This exchange also includes a response from Park. (shrink)
In this essay, I consider whether the alleged demise of metaphysical realism does actually provide a better way for defending the cognitive status of ethical judgments. I argue that the rejection of a realist ontology and epistemology does not help to establish the claim that ethical knowledge is possible. More specifically, I argue that Hilary Putnam's argument does not succeed in making a case for ethical knowledge. In fact, his account of the procedures by which our valuations are warranted—the criteria (...) of idealized inquiry—ultimately begs the question in a number of crucial ways. Moreover, it prejudices the moral and political discussion in certain ideological respects. Finally, though Putnam has apparently modified to some extent his approach to the issue of realism in recent years, I will point out that these modifications are not fundamental and do not help to advance the case for ethical knowledge. I note also that Martha C. Nussbaum's appeal to Putnam’s argument actually works against her attempt to make a case for an Aristotelian conception of human flourishing. Ultimately, I conclude that metaphysical realism is vital for ethical knowledge. (shrink)
This essay asks whether what is good for someone is distinct from her self-perfection, and whether it makes sense to understand either her good or her self-perfection in terms of the other. The essay adopts a traditional naturalistic understanding of perfection. It argues, however, that the conception of human nature that underlies the perfectionist view must be more individualistic than it is often taken to be. It goes on to distinguish individuative from generic features of human nature; because the account (...) includes both types of characteristics, the concluding vision of human nature, and hence human perfection, is deeply individualized. What is good for an individual is linked to the exercise of her nature rather than to desires individuals simply happen to have. (shrink)
"The enterprise initiative is probably the most significant political and cultural influence to have affected Western and Eastern Europe in the last decade. In this book, academics from a range of disciplines debate Mary Douglas's distinctive Grid Group cultural theory and examine how it allows us to analyse the complex relation between the culture of enterprise and its institutions. Mary Douglas, Britain's leading cultural anthropologist, contributes several chapters."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights (...) Reserved. (shrink)
I. Beyond Utilitarianism In the summer of 1982, I published an article called “Missiles and Morals,” in which I argued on utilitarian grounds that nuclear deterrence in its present form is not morally justifiable. The argument of “Missiles and Morals” compared the most likely sort of nuclear war to develop under nuclear deterrence with the most likely sort of nuclear war to develop under American unilateral nuclear disaramament. For a variety of reasons, I claimed diat the number of casualties in (...) a two-sided nuclear war developing under DET would be at least fifteen times greater than the number of casualties in a one-sided nuclear attack developing under UND. If one assumes that human lives lost or saved is the principal criterion by which nuclear weapons policies should be measured, it follows that DET is morally superior to UND on utilitarian grounds only if the chance of a two-sided nuclear war under DET is more than fifteen times less dian the chance of a one-sided nuclear attack under UND. Since I did not believe that the chance of nuclear war under deterrence is fifteen times less than the chance of nuclear war under unilateral nuclear disarmament, I inferred diat utilitaranism failed to justify DET. Indeed, on utilitarian grounds, DET stood condemned. (shrink)
Modern analytic philosophy of religion has become increasingly interested in the dogmatic substances of Christian theology. I argue that the doctrine of the Trinity provides an instance of the importance of dogmatic formulation for an appreciation of the philosophical aspect of the Christian concept of God. The starting point of mydiscussion is the recent defence of pantheism by Michael Levine, and his discussion of Neoplatonist and German Idealist models of deity. Both metaphysical theism and the alleged Neoplatonic metaphysical genealogy of (...) pantheism are considered with particular reference to St Augustine's account of creation in the Confessions . Just as it is impossible to distinguish the purely philosophical from the purely dogmatic concept of God, one cannot give an adequate modern account of theism without a rigorous and sensitive treatment of the historical models. The issue of pantheism shows how a misunderstanding of the meaning of concept of ‘unity’ can distort our view of theism as a model of deity. (shrink)
A rational defense of the criminal law must provide a comprehensive theory of culpability. A comprehensive theory of culpability must resolve several difficult issues; in this article I will focus on only one. The general problem arises from the lack of a systematic account of relative culpability. An account of relative culpability would identify and defend a set of considerations to assess whether, why, under what circumstances, and to what extent persons who perform a criminal act with a given culpable (...) state are more or less blameworthy than persons who perform that act with a different culpable state. (shrink)
The problem of evil has traditionally been formulated as a claim about the incompatibility of the statements ‘God exists’ and ‘There occur instances of suffering’. Hume, for example, in his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion , part x, claims that the statements ‘God exists’ and ‘There occur instances of suffering’ are incompatible. In his esssy ‘Hume on Evil’, Nelson Pike argues that it has not been shown that the statements ‘God exists’ and ‘There occur instances of suffering’ are incompatible because it (...) has not been shown that God could not have a morally sufficient reason for permitting suffering he could prevent. 1 Moreover, according to Pike, the theist who is convinced that God must have a morally sufficient reason for permitting suffering he can prevent will claim that the statements ‘God exists’ and ‘There occur instances of suffering’ are not incompatible. He will claim this even though he cannot specify the morally sufficient reason why God permits suffering he can prevent. The theist will thus maintain that God exists even given the occurrence of suffering in the world. 2 Robert Richman, in his essay ‘The Argument from Evil’, argues that Pike is too generous to the theist. According to Richman, only if the theist can specify the morally sufficient reason why God permits suffering he can prevent will the theist be rationally justified in maintaining that God exists in the face of suffering in the world. Richman supports his position by reformulating the argument from evil in terms of what he calls ‘the logic of our moral judgmentsr’. 3 Richman thinks that his formulation of the argument from evil is successful against the theist who cannot specify the morally sufficient reason why God permits evil he can prevent. In this paper, I shall argue that Richman's argument is not successful against the typical theist, i.e. the person who accepts the existence of God on the basis of faith or a priori arguments. 4. (shrink)
Old philosophical problems never die, but they can be reinterpreted. In this paper, I offer a reinterpretation of the problem of reconciling divine omniscience and human free will. Classical discussions of this problem concentrate on the nature of God and the concept of free will. The present discussion will focus attention on the concept of knowledge, drawing on developments in epistemology that resulted from the posing of a certain problem by Edmund Gettier in 1963.
The Issues at Issue: Heidegger declares metaphor to be a function of metaphysics. Ricoeur's tension theory of metaphor takes the understanding of metaphor beyond metaphysics. Ricoeur's theory of metaphor is a theory of metaphorical statement not of naming. The classical, lexical theory of metaphor focuses on a primary meaning of each metaphor. As such metaphor is merely ornamentation in language. What it names could more appropriately be accomplished in literal language. In contrast, metaphor is understood by Ricoeur to be a (...) semantic event made possible by three kinds of tensions. One may understand symbols to function with the same metaphorical tensions. In the case of symbols, however, these tensions function not at the level of the sentence but rather of the narrative. Metaphor and symbol both have an ‘ontological priority’ over other elements of discourse and experience. They ‘work’ because of the event character of both understanding and experience. Understanding and experience have event as their condition of possibility. Metaphor and symbol both have a ‘temporal priority’, as well, for they serve as the shock to think ‘more’. This can occur, however, because they are part of a circularity that is non-metaphysical, that is, the circularity of the event character of the Being-of beings. Hence, just as metaphors are always ‘larger’ than the sentence, so are symbols always ‘larger’ than the narrative. (shrink)
Common sense realism, by E. G. Bewkes.--Theology and religious experience, by V. Ferm.--A reasoned faith, by G. F. Thomas.--Can religion become empirical? By J. S. Bixler.--Value theory and theology, by H. R. Niebuhr.--The truth in myths, by R. Niebuhr.--Is subjectivism in value theory compatible with realism and meliorism? By C. Krusé.--The semi-detached knower: a note on radical empiricism, by R. L. Calhoun.--The new scientific and metaphysical basis for epistemological theory, by F. S. C. Northrop.--A psychological approach to reality, by H. (...) Hartshorne.--A definition of religious liberalism, by D. S. Robinson. (shrink)
Anthony Ashley Cooper, the Third Earl of Shaftesbury, was the grandson of the First Earl of Shaftesbury. The First Earl, along with John Locke, was a leader and founder of the Whig movement in Britain. Locke was the First Earl's secretary and also the tutor of the Third Earl. Both the First and Third Earls were members of parliament and supporters of Whig causes. Although both the First and Third Earls were involved in politics, the Third Earl is better known (...) for intellectual pursuits. Indeed, the Third Earl is second only to Locke in terms of influence during the eighteenth century. Yet if one takes into account effects upon literature, the arts, and manners, as well as upon philosophical trends and theories, Shaftesbury might be even more influential. Even if we restrict ourselves to philosophy, Shaftesbury's ideas were admired by thinkers as different as Leibniz and Montesquieu—something which could obviously not be said about Locke. Within ethics, Shaftesbury influenced Francis Hutcheson, David Hume, Samuel Butler, and Adam Smith and is credited with founding the “moral sense” school of thought. (shrink)
W B Gallie’s notion of essentially contested concepts remains of philosophical interest. I argue that medicine is one such concept and look at the consequences of this as regards the inappropriateness of looking for definitions and necessary and sufficient conditions to settle debates about what medicine is and is not.
Recently several philosophers have claimed that miracles cannot occur or that belief in them involves a misunderstanding of the scientific enterprise. In this paper I will argue that these claims, particularly the latter, are mistaken. By examining the characteristics of the believer's conception of the miraculous I will be able to show how he can meet these sceptical challenges. In particular, I will argue that the believer can hold that certain particular events are the result of intervention by divine agency (...) and are thus not to be explained scientifically but nevertheless can grant the scientist autonomy to investigate all types of events. While I urge that belief in the miraculous does not rest on a confusion I do not argue whether or not this belief is rational or justified. (shrink)
Value pluralism does not imply relativism or subjectivism about values. What it does is allow respect for an at least limited toleration of values with which one may profoundly disagree. Thus a doctor can respect the autonomy of a patient whose values he does not share.
This article examines the relationships between disaster type and firms’ disaster responses. We draw on a unique dataset of 2,164 press releases related to the occurrence of 206 natural disasters over a 10-year period to analyze how firm responses are shaped by the type of disaster it faces. Firms play an increasingly important role in disaster response. We find that firms engage in more anticipatory responses when the type of disaster a firm faces exhibits even impact dispersion and high expected (...) recurrence, and provides substantial warning. Our study draws a relationship between physical geography, disaster type, and more anticipatory firm responses which can improve how firms and communities respond to the risks posed by different types of natural disasters. The article concludes by outlining an agenda for future research on firm responses to natural disasters. (shrink)
Commonsense Consequentialism is a book about morality, rationality, and the interconnections between the two. In it, Douglas W. Portmore defends a version of consequentialism that both comports with our commonsense moral intuitions and shares with other consequentialist theories the same compelling teleological conception of practical reasons. Broadly construed, consequentialism is the view that an act's deontic status is determined by how its outcome ranks relative to those of the available alternatives on some evaluative ranking. Portmore argues that outcomes should (...) be ranked, not according to their impersonal value, but according to how much reason the relevant agent has to desire that each outcome obtains and that, when outcomes are ranked in this way, we arrive at a version of consequentialism that can better account for our commonsense moral intuitions than even many forms of deontology can. What's more, Portmore argues that we should accept this version of consequentialism, because we should accept both that an agent can be morally required to do only what she has most reason to do and that what she has most reason to do is to perform the act that would produce the outcome that she has most reason to want to obtain.Although the primary aim of the book is to defend a particular moral theory, Portmore defends this theory as part of a coherent whole concerning our commonsense views about the nature and substance of both morality and rationality. Thus, it will be of interest not only to those working on consequentialism and other areas of normative ethics, but also to those working in metaethics. Beyond offering an account of morality, Portmore offers accounts of practical reasons, practical rationality, and the objective/subjective obligation distinction. (shrink)
Kant's third Critique, the Critique of Judgement, is regarded as one of the most influential books in the history of aesthetics. This book is designed as a reader's guide for students trying to work their way, step-by-step, through Kant's text. It is also a guide to the text-in-context in that it sets Kant's concepts, language and aims in the context of Kant's philosophy in general and the late eighteenth century. This is one of the first comprehensive introductions to Kant's Critique (...) of Judgement. Not only does it include a detailed and full account of Kant's aesthetic theory (the beautiful, the sublime, genius and fine art), it incorporates an extended discussion of the 'Critique of Teleological Judgement', a treatment of Kant's overall conception of the text and its place in the wider critical system.Designed as an introduction, suitable for undergraduate and first-year postgraduate use, the book assumes no prior knowledge of Kant, or any other particular philosophy. As such, it could be used as an introduction to Kant in general from the point of view of the third Critique. Moreover, it stays with the historical Kant, avoiding 'updating' arguments that sound more like recent theories and including sections of the text that are sometimes neglected. In these ways, the book will be useful as a starting point for understanding Kant's relationship to the eighteenth century and his legacy throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.The choice of text is the Pluhar translation in the Hackett edition. However, throughout, Douglas Burnham provides alternative translations of key terms and phrases, making the book independent of any particular translation of Kant's text.Features* A comprehensive and introductory level text* Useful for understanding Kant's critical system as a whole, and his historical influence* Includes: - translations of key words in brackets in the text - helpful summary boxes at the end o. (shrink)
Is the flavor of mint reducible to the minty smell, the taste, and the menthol-like coolness on the roof of one’s mouth, or does it include something over and above these—something not properly associated with any one of the contributing senses? More generally, are there features of perceptual experiences—so-called novel features—that are not associated with any of our senses taken singly? This question has received a lot of attention of late. Yet surprisingly little attention has been paid to the question (...) of what it means to say that a feature is associated with a sensory modality in the first place. Indeed, there is only one fully developed proposal in the literature, due to Casey O’Callaghan. I argue that this proposal is too permissive to inform the debate over novel features. I go on to argue that all attempts to formulate a better proposal along these lines fail. The corollary of my arguments is that the question of the existence of novel features is poorly formed. Furthermore, the problem generalizes, with the result that we should not rely on our pre-theoretical notions of the senses as the basis of theorizing about the features of perceptual experiences. (shrink)
Kellner writes, "As we move into the 1990s critical theory might help produce theoretical and political perspectives which could be part of a Left Turn that could reanimate the political hopes of the 1960s, while helping overcome and reverse the losses and regression of the 1980s.".
Douglas Sturm, a major ethical thinker, here presents ten intriguing essays that lay the groundwork for a communitarian political theory. Drawing on the work of Alfred North Whitehead and Bernard E. Meland, Sturm brings the implications of process thought, especially its principle of internal relations, to bear on the interpretation and evaluation of our social and political life. He argues that American individualism, including its curious transmutations into the forms of corporativism, racism, and nationalism is a constraint that deprives (...) us of a deeper, more complex understanding of ourselves and a richer sense of the goodness of our lives. The essays contrast a communitarian political theory with alternative traditions of social thought, particularly those forms of individualism generated by Hobbes, Locke, and Bentham. Political realities of power, rights, and interests are not to be dismissed, according to Sturm, but they need to be cast within a concept of politics that sustains a community as a whole; thus public good and justice are defined as the central principles of public life. He isolates alternative theoretical perspectives and demonstrates how they deal with several current social and political dilemmas. Sturm applies the principles of the communitarian political theory to a broad range of contemporary concerns: the character and legitimacy of the modern business corporation; the idea of democratic capitalism; legal realism as the prevailing jurisprudence of the practicing lawyer; the scope and focus of bioethics as a discipline. In doing so, he affirms both the inescapability of public life in our existence and the radical character of the evil that it often creates. (shrink)