For much of his career, British political philosopher Michael Oakeshott was identified with Margaret Thatcher’s conservative policies. He has been called by some a guru to the Tories, while others have considered him one of the last proponents of British Idealism. Best known for such books as _Experience and Its Modes_ and _Rationalism in Politics_, Oakeshott has been the subject of numerous studies, but always with an emphasis on his political thought. ElizabethCampbellCorey now makes the (...) case that Oakeshott’s moral and political philosophies are more informed by religious and aesthetic considerations than has previously been supposed. Hers is the first book-length study of this premise, arguing that Oakeshott’s views on aesthetics, religion, and morality are intimately linked in a creative moral personality that underlies his political theorizing. Corey focuses on a wealth of early material from Oakeshott’s career that has only recently been published, as well as his acclaimed “Tower of Babel” essays, to show that these works illuminate his thinking in ways that could not have been realized prior to their publication. She places Oakeshott squarely in the Augustinian tradition, citing his 1929 essay “Religion and the World,” and then identifies his departure from it. She explores Oakeshott’s recurring theme of “living one’s life in the present”; examines his explicit discussions of religion, aesthetics, and morality; and then considers his political thought in light of this moral vision. She finally compares his idea of Rationalism to Eric Voegelin’s concept of Gnosticism and considers both thinkers’ treatment of Hobbes to delineate their philosophical differences. Through this insightful analysis, Corey shows Oakeshott to be not merely a political philosopher but a thinker with humanistic interests—one who throughout his life was deeply interested in the question of what it means to be human and was moved by art, poetry, and religion while recognizing the necessary evil of political arrangements in order for those activities to flourish. Her work is a major step in a reevaluation of Oakeshott, showing that his conservatism has been greatly misunderstood and that he is more properly regarded as a philosopher whose vision of the human condition, while oftentimes detached and skeptical, is also romantic and inspired. (shrink)
In this essay, ElizabethCampbell reviews three recent books that address the ethical nature of professional practice: Knowledge and Virtue in Teaching and Learning: The Primacy of Dispositions, by Hugh Sockett; The Good Life of Teaching: An Ethics of Professional Practice, by Chris Higgins; and Towards Professional Wisdom: Practical Deliberation in the People Professions, edited by Liz Bondi, David Carr, Chris Clark, and Cecelia Clegg. While the first two books are situated within the context of teaching and education, (...) the third book, as an edited volume, contains chapters that represent a multidisciplinary perspective on the work of professionals within nursing, social work, counseling, and the ministry, as well as in teaching. Each of the books engages in the careful inquiry into philosophy broadly and educational philosophy specifically from conceptual frameworks widely associated with Aristotelian virtue ethics. Writing from an applied perspective on the field of scholarship relating to the moral and ethical dimensions of teaching, Campbell applauds the books for their timely reminder of the central role or persona of the individual professional as a moral agent and ethical practitioner. She argues that within the contemporary context of teacher education, which tends either to neglect or narrowly define the ethics of the profession, such an emphasis on the cultivation of personal character and responsibility within a framework of clear ethical dispositions or virtues is a welcome contribution to the field. It enables teachers, teacher educators, and student teachers to concentrate on both the ethics of practice and the practice of ethics in the ongoing quest to further their own development of virtue, practical wisdom, and personal and professional knowledge. (shrink)
In December 1984 Angela Weir and Elizabeth Wilson, two founding members of Feminist Review, published an article assessing contemporary British feminism and its relationship to the left and to class struggle. They suggested that the women's movement in general, and socialist-feminism in particular, had lost its former political sharpness. The academic focus of socialist-feminism has proved more interested in theorizing the ideological basis of sexual difference than the economic contradictions of capitalism. Meanwhile the conditions of working-class and black women (...) have been deteriorating. In this situation, they argue, feminists can only serve the general interests of women through alliance with working-class movements and class struggle. Weir and Wilson represent a minority position within the British Communist Party, which argues that ‘feminism’ is now being used by sections of the left, in particular the dominant ‘Eurocommunist’ left in the CP, to justify their moves to the right, with an accompanying attack on traditional forms of trade union militancy. Beatrix Campbell, who is aligned to the dominant position within the CP, has been one target of Weir and Wilson's criticisms. In several articles from 1978 onwards, and in her book Wigan Pier Revisited, Beatrix Campbell has presented a very different analysis of women and the labour movement. She has criticized the trade union movement as a ‘men's movement’, in the sense that it has always represented the interests of men at the expense of women. And she has described the current split within the CP as one extending throughout the left between the politics of the ‘old’ and the ‘new’: traditional labour movement politics as against the politics of those who have rethought their socialism to take into account the analysis and importance of popular social movements – in particular feminism, the peace and anti-racist movements. In reply to this debate, Anne Phillips has argued that while women's position today must be analysed in the context of the capitalist crisis, it is not reducible to the dichotomy ‘class politics’ versus ‘popular alliance’. Michèle Barrett, in another reply to Weir and Wilson, has argued that they have presented a reductionist and economistic approach to women's oppression, which caricatures rather than clarifies much of the work in which socialist-feminists have been engaged. To air these differences between socialist-feminists over the question of feminism and class politics, and to see their implications for the women's movement and the left, Feminist Review has decided to bring together the main protagonists of this debate for a fuller, more open discussion. For this discussion Feminist Review drew up a number of questions which were put to the participants by Clara Connolly and Lynne Segal. They cover the recent background to socialist-feminist politics, the relationship of feminism to Marxism, the role of feminists in le ft political parties and the labour movement, the issue of racism and the prospects for the immediate future. The discussion was lengthy and what follows is an edited version of the transcript. (shrink)
ElizabethCorey suggests that in order to understand Michael Oakeshott's worldview one should pay special attention to two subjects, religion and aesthetics, and analyze the connection between these two realms and the idea of practical life in general and of politics in particular. Her book provides a sympathetic but also critical conversation with Oakeshott's ideas, ultimately offering us a coherent picture of the place of the religious, poetical, and political in the totality of his thought. Corey persuasively (...) shows that the major ideas of the mature Oakeshott originated in his earlier religious convictions and that his philosophy of aesthetics, contrary to what his critics claimed, fit nicely in the general framework of his thought. (shrink)
Michael Oakeshott's religious view of the world stands behind much of his political and philosophical writing. In this essay I first discuss Oakeshott's view of religion and the mode of practice in his own terms. I attempt next to illuminate his idea of religion by describing it in less technical language, drawing upon other thinkers such as Georg Simmel and George Santayana, who share similar views. I then evaluate Oakeshott's view as a whole, considering whether his ideas about religion can (...) stand up to careful scrutiny and whether they have value for present-day reflection on religion. (shrink)
Walker Percy was both a medical doctor and a serious Catholic—a scientist and a religious believer. He thought, however, that science had become hegemonic in the twentieth century and that it was incapable of answering the most fundamental needs of human beings. He thus leveled a critique of the scientific method and its shortcomings in failing to address the individual person over against the group. In response to these shortcomings Percy postulates a religious understanding of human life, one in which (...) man's life is understood as a pilgrimage or a search. The person who searches may not find the “object” of his search during his earthly life, but it is likely that he will come to a better understanding of himself by means of it. (shrink)
This article is an investigation of two apparently contradictory impulses in Oakeshott's writings about liberal education. On the one hand, he implied that it was primarily ‘aesthetic’, something undertaken for its own sake with no practical consequences. On the other hand, he often implied that a student might undergo a moral transformation in the process of becoming educated. This article attempts to reconcile both these ideas in Oakeshott's thought, and to show that they are coherent within the German Bildung tradition.
The largest surviving set of ivories from the Pre-Gothic Middle Ages is the Salerno Ivories, which includes extensive Old and New Testament cycles. Although the monument has been much studied by art historians, its potential symbolic and political meaning has not been investigated. This article takes a particular plaque as a starting point for analysis, making the case that an Old Testament plaque depicting the creation of sun and moon echoes the usage of this metaphor by Gregory VII during the (...) Investiture Controversy, and that the cycle as a whole is a statement of political covenant. (shrink)
A central idea in Anscombe's philosophy of action is that of practical knowledge, the formally distinctive knowledge a person has of what she is intentionally doing. Anscombe also discusses 'practical truth', an idea she borrows from Aristotle, and which on her interpretation is a kind of truth whose bearer is not thought or language, but action. What is the relationship between practical knowledge and practical truth? What we might call the 'Simple View' of this relationship holds that practical knowledge is (...) essentially knowledge of practical truth. But the Simple View isn't obviously available, since we have practical knowledge of all of our intentional actions, whereas an action manifests practical truth in Aristotle's sense only if it is a case of doing or living well. I suggest that we distinguish a thicker ethical version and a thinner action-theoretical version of each notion. This allows us to maintain a - complex - version of the Simple View, on which practical knowledge in the thick ethical sense is knowledge of practical truth in the thick ethical sense, and practical knowledge in the thin action-theoretical sense is knowledge of practical truth in the thin action-theoretical sense. Although Anscombe did not make these distinctions explicitly, I argue that she nevertheless commits herself to them in her discussion. (shrink)
George Herbert Mead was born at the height of America's bloody Civil War in 1863, the year of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address. He was born in New England, in the small town of South Hadley, Massachusetts; but when he was seven years old his family moved to Oberlin, Ohio, so that his father, Hiram Mead, a Protestant minister, could assume a chair in homiletics at the Oberlin Theological Seminary. After his father's death in 1881, Mead's mother, (...) class='Hi'>Elizabeth Storrs Billings Mead, briefly taught at Oberlin College. Mead grew to self-consciousness in this educational atmosphere, amidst the conflict between science and religion over the primacy of efficient or final explanations; and he offers us, in some autobiographical comments, a sense of the difficulties felt by one who saw values on either side: We wished to be free to follow our individual thinking and feeling into an intelligent and sympathetic world without having to bow before incomprehensible dogma or to anticipate the shipwreck of our individual ends and values. We wanted full intellectual freedom and yet the conservation of the values for which had stood Church, State, Science, and Art. (shrink)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer earned critical acclaim for its use of metaphor to explore the conflicts of growth, power, and transgression. Its groundbreaking stylistic and thematic devices, boldness and wit earned it an intensely devoted fan base—and as it approached its zenith, attention from media watchdog groups and the Federal Communications Commission. The grim and provocative evolution of the show over its final two seasons polarized its audience, while also breaking new ground for critical and philosophical analysis. The thirteen essays (...) in this collection, divided into the perspectives of feminist, cultural, auteur and fan studies, explore the popular series’ conclusion, providing a multifaceted examination of Buffy’s most controversial two seasons. Lynne Y. Edwards is associate professor of media and communication studies at Ursinus College. Elizabeth L. Rambo is associate professor of English at Campbell University. James B. South is associate professor of English at Campbell University. James B. South is associate professor and chair of the philosophy department at Marquette University. (shrink)
This article will explore the representation of certain mental and somatic phenomena in Beckett’s trilogy of novels Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable, exploring how his understanding of schizophrenia and psychosis informs his representation of the relationship between mind and body. It will also examine recent phenomenological and philosophical accounts of schizophrenia that see the condition as a disorder of selfhood and concentrate in it on the disruption to ipseity, a fundamental and pre-reflective awareness of self that leads to a (...) loss of ‘grip’ on concepts and percepts. Beckett’s writing might, it is argued, make such disruptions more tangible and intelligible. The article will also consider John Campbell’s argument that immunity of the first person to error—Sydney Shoemaker’s foundational philosophical idea that we cannot misspeak the first person pronoun—is revoked in states of psychosis, and relate such states to the moments in Beckett’s writing where this immunity is challenged, and quasi-psychotic experiences represented. (shrink)
Analysing Performance is a wide-ranging collection of essays about key aspects of the performing arts. Each essay tackles the theory and practice of contemporary performance work, and enables students and teachers to see what is at stake in analyzing dance, drama, music and videos. The commitment to cross-disciplinary approaches mirrors the breakdown of boundaries between these art forms in today's multi-media world. How do postmodernist, feminist or psychoanalytic readings construct performance worlds? What is the impact of multiculturalism on the language (...) of theatre? What are the dynamics between AIDS, representation and live art? How does one talk about the body in contemporary dance forms? Contributors include: Elizabeth Wright on psychoanalysis, Baz Kershaw on the politics of performance, Jatinda Verma on multiculturalism, E. Ann Kaplan on MTV and video, Lizbeth Goodman on feminism and AIDS, and Stephen Connor on postmodernism. (shrink)
In Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence, I argued that coming into existence is always a harm and that procreation is wrong. In this paper, I respond to those of my critics to whom I have not previously responded. More specifically, I engage the objections of Tim Bayne, Ben Bradley, Campbell Brown, David DeGrazia, Elizabeth Harman, Chris Kaposy, Joseph Packer and Saul Smilansky.
Machine generated contents note: Introduction Efraim Podoksik; Part I. Oakeshott's Philosophy: 1. Oakeshott as philosopher James Alexander; 2. Worlds of experience: history Luke O'Sullivan; 3. Worlds of experience: science Byron Kaldis; 4. Worlds of experience: aesthetics ElizabethCorey; 5. Education as conversation Kevin Williams; Part II. Oakeshott on Morality, Society and Politics: 6. Practical life and the critique of rationalism Steven Smith; 7. Oakeshott's ideological politics: conservative or liberal? Andrew Gamble; 8. Rhetoric and political language Terry Nardin; 9. (...) Oakeshott's On Human Conduct Paige Digeser and Richard Flathman; 10. Oakeshott's political theory: recapitulation and criticisms Williams A. Galston; Part III. Oakeshott and Others: 11. Oakeshott in the context of British Idealism David Boucher; 12. Oakeshott in the context of German Idealism Efraim Podoksik; 13. Oakeshott's contribution to Hobbes scholarship Ian Tregenza; 14. Oakeshott and the Cold-War critique of political rationalism Dana Villa; Bibliography; Index. (shrink)
Many problems of inequality in developing countries resist treatment by formal egalitarian policies. To deal with these problems, we must shift from a distributive to a relational conception of equality, founded on opposition to social hierarchy. Yet the production of many goods requires the coordination of wills by means of commands. In these cases, egalitarians must seek to tame rather than abolish hierarchy. I argue that bureaucracy offers important constraints on command hierarchies that help promote the equality of workers in (...) bureaucratic organizations. Bureaucracy thus constitutes a vital if limited egalitarian tool applicable to developing and developed countries alike. (shrink)
This, the 21st volume in the Library of Living Philosophers, is more than Sir Alfred Ayer's final word on the philosophical issues that preoccupied him for more than sixty years; the list of contributors is a roll-call of some of the greatest living figures in philosophy, each expertly addressing a key problem arising in Ayer's work. Most of the critical papers are answered directly and in detail by Sir Alfred-he completed his replies to 21 of the 24 papers before his (...) death. Contributors include: A. J. Ayer, Evandro Agazzi, James Campbell, David S. Clarke, Michael Dummett, Elizabeth Eames, John Foster, Dimitri Ginev, Paul Gochet, Martin Hollis, Ted Honderich, Tscha Hung, Peter Kivy, Arne Naess, D. J. O'Connor, Desiree Park, David Pears, Azarya Polikarov, Hilary Putnam, Francisco Miró, Quesada C., A. Anthony Quinton, Emanuele Riverso, Ernest Sosa, T. L. S. Sprigge, Barry Stroud, and David Wiggins. (shrink)
Democratic theorists often distinguish between two views of democratic procedures. ‘Outcomes theorists’ emphasize the instrumental nature of these procedures and argue that they are only valuable because they tend to produce good outcomes. In contrast, ‘proceduralists’ emphasize the intrinsic value of democratic procedures, for instance, on the grounds that they are fair. In this paper. I argue that we should reject pure versions of these two theories in favor of an understanding of the democratic ideal that recognizes a commitment to (...) both intrinsically valuable democratic procedures and democratic outcomes. In instances in which there is a conflict between these two commitments, I suggest they must be balanced. This balancing approach offers a justification of judicial review on the grounds that it potentially limits outcomes that undermine democracy. But judicial review is not justifiable in any instance in which a bad democratic outcome results from democratic procedures. When the loss that would result from overturning a democratic procedure is greater than the gain to democracy that would result from ensuring against an undemocratic outcome; judicial review is not justifiable. Loss or gain to democracy is defined by the negative or positive impact of each action on the core democratic values of equality and autonomy, aspects of the democratic ideal. Even when judicial review is justified, the fact that it overturns intrinsically valuable procedures suggests that such review is never ideal from the standpoint of democracy. (shrink)
This paper introduces a symposium discussing Michael Oakeshott's understanding of the relationship of religion, science and politics. Essays by ElizabethCorey, Timothy Fuller, Byron Kaldis, and Corey Abel are followed by a review of Corey's recent book by Efraim Podoksik.
John Campbell investigates how consciousness of the world explains our ability to think about the world; how our ability to think about objects we can see depends on our capacity for conscious visual attention to those things. He illuminates classical problems about thought, reference, and experience by looking at the underlying psychological mechanisms on which conscious attention depends.
Feeling Power is a bold and provocative book whose breadth of inquiry is stunning. Author Megan Boler sets out to rescue emotions from their devalued and obscure political status by showing that they are both a site of social control and also a site for political resistance. She situates her inquiry within the context of education, convinced that classrooms, especially within higher education, constitute significant locations of social and political struggle. -/- Boler takes the reader on a wide-ranging interdisciplinary exploration (...) where she analyzes various discourses to show how emotions get visibly and invisibly addressed in education and how emotions reflect particular historical, cultural, and social arrangements. Her broad conception of emotion resonates with philosophical accounts that view emotions as (partially) cognitive as well as with accounts that give emotions a role in moral judgments and ethical reasoning. -/- In Part I, Boler builds upon the work of feminist theorists, such as Elizabeth Spelman (1989, 1991), Alison Jaggar (1989), Sandra Bartky (1990), and Sue Campbell (1997), and uses key concepts drawn from poststructural theorists to develop a theoretical framework for revealing and explicating the myriad ways in which the "politics of emotion," shaped by different scholarly disciplines, functions in public education to enforce social control of the nation's citizens. Through astute, gender-sensitive historical critiques of the mental hygiene and character education movements, and a close analysis of Daniel Goleman's (1995) contemporary notion of emotional intelligence, Boler shows how we are taught to internalize and enact emotional rules, and roles, that serve to maintain society's particular stratifications of gender, race, and class. The chapters on emotional intelligence and the emotional literacy curricula founded on this concept are, I think, among the best in the book. Together they constitute a persuasive example of the power of Boler's method of discourse analysis. (shrink)
In Better Never to Have Been, David Benatar argues that existence is always a harm. His argument, in brief, is that this follows from a theory of personal good which we ought to accept because it best explains several???asymmetries???. I shall argue here that Benatar's theory suffers from a defect which was already widely known to afflict similar theories, and that the main asymmetry he discusses is better explained in a way which allows that existence is often not a harm.
In his article ‘Saints and Heroes’, Urmson argues that traditional moral theories allow at most for a threefold classification of actions in terms of their worth, and that they are therefore unsatisfactory. Since the conclusion of his argument has led to the widespread use of the term ‘acts of supererogation’, and since I do not believe that such acts exist, I propose to argue that the actions with which he is concerned not only can, but should, be contained within the (...) traditional classification. (shrink)
This article is an interview with Elizabeth Povinelli, by Mathew Coleman and Kathryn Yusoff. It addresses Povinelli’s approaches to ‘geontologies’ and ‘geontopower’, and the discussion encompasses an exploration of her ideas on biopolitics, her retheorization of power in the current conditions of late liberalism, and the situation of the inhuman within philosophical and anthropological economies. Povinelli describes a mode of power that she calls geontopower, which operates through the governance of Life and Nonlife. The interview is accompanied by a (...) brief contextualizing introduction. (shrink)
This article is an interview with Elizabeth Grosz by Kathryn Yusoff and Nigel Clark. It primarily addresses Grosz’s approaches to ‘geopower’, and the discussion encompasses an exploration of her ideas on biopolitics, inhuman forces and material experimentation. Grosz describes geopower as a force that subtends the possibility of politics. The interview is accompanied by a brief contextualizing introduction examining the themes of geophilosophy and the inhumanities in Grosz’s work.
More than forty years have passed since Congress, in response to the Civil Rights Movement, enacted sweeping antidiscrimination laws in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. As a signal achievement of that legacy, in 2008, Americans elected their first African American president. Some would argue that we have finally arrived at a postracial America, butThe Imperative of Integration indicates otherwise. Elizabeth Anderson demonstrates that, despite progress toward (...) racial equality, African Americans remain disadvantaged on virtually all measures of well-being. Segregation remains a key cause of these problems, and Anderson skillfully shows why racial integration is needed to address these issues. Weaving together extensive social science findings--in economics, sociology, and psychology--with political theory, this book provides a compelling argument for reviving the ideal of racial integration to overcome injustice and inequality, and to build a better democracy. -/- Considering the effects of segregation and integration across multiple social arenas, Anderson exposes the deficiencies of racial views on both the right and the left. She reveals the limitations of conservative explanations for black disadvantage in terms of cultural pathology within the black community and explains why color blindness is morally misguided. Multicultural celebrations of group differences are also not enough to solve our racial problems. Anderson provides a distinctive rationale for affirmative action as a tool for promoting integration, and explores how integration can be practiced beyond affirmative action. -/- Offering an expansive model for practicing political philosophy in close collaboration with the social sciences, this book is a trenchant examination of how racial integration can lead to a more robust and responsive democracy. (shrink)
Psychology's fascination with memory and its imperfections dates back further than we can remember. The first careful experimental studies of memory were published in 1885 by German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus, and tens of thousands of memory studies have been conducted since. What has been learned, and what might the future of memory be?
What is the proper role of politics in higher education? Many policies and reforms in the academy, from affirmative action and a multicultural curriculum to racial and sexual harassment codes and movements to change pedagogical styles, seek justice for oppressed groups in society. They understand justice to require a comprehensive equality of membership: individuals belonging to different groups should have equal access to educational opportunities; their interests and cultures should be taken equally seriously as worthy subjects of study, their persons (...) treated with equal respect and concern in communicative interaction. Conservative critics of these egalitarian movements represent them as dangerous political meddling into the disinterested pursuit of knowledge. They cast the pursuit of equality as a threat to freedom of speech and academic standards. In response, some radical advocates of such programs agree that the quest for equality clashes with free speech, but view this as an argument for sacrificing freedom of speech. (shrink)
Although the theme of these papers is ‘Contemporary Moral Problems’ my paper is partly about Aristotelian ideas. I had originally intended to apologize for this, but I find there is no need: many other contributors have found Aristotle to be timelessly relevant, as I myself have.