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)
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)
"The location of the author’s investigations, the body itself rather than the sphere of subjective representations of self and of function in cultures, is wholly new.... I believe this work will be a landmark in future feminist thinking." —Alphonso Lingis "This is a text of rare erudition and intellectual force. It will not only introduce feminists to an enriching set of theoretical perspectives but sets a high critical standard for feminist dialogues on the status of the body." —Judith Butler Volatile (...) Bodies demonstrates that the sexually specific body is socially constructed: biology or nature is not opposed to or in conflict with culture. Human biology is inherently social and has no pure or natural "origin" outside of culture. Being the raw material of social and cultural organization, it is "incomplete" and thus subject to the endless rewriting and social inscription that constitute all sign systems. Examining the theories of Freud, Lacan, Merleau-Ponty, Foucault, Deleuze, Derrida, etc. on the subject of the body, Elizabeth Grosz concludes that the body they theorize is male. These thinkers are not providing an account of "human" corporeality but of male corporeality. Grosz then turns to corporeal experiences unique to women—menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, menopause. Her examination of female experience lays the groundwork for developing theories of sexed corporeality rather than merely rectifying flawed models of male theorists. (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.
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.
Marking a ground-breaking moment in the debate surrounding bodies and "body politics," Elizabeth Grosz's Space, Time and Perversion contends that only by resituating and rethinking the body will feminism and cultural analysis effect and unsettle the knowledges, disciplines and institutions which have controlled, regulated and managed the body both ideologically and materially. Exploring the fields of architecture, philosophy, and--in a controversial way--queer theory, Grosz shows how these fields have conceptually stripped bodies of their specificity, their corporeality, and the vestigal (...) traces of their production as bodies. Her tour de corpe investigates the work of Michel Foucault, Teresa de Lauretis, Gilles Deleuze, Judith Butler and Alphonso Lingis. Grosz considers their work by examining the ways in which the functioning of bodies transforms understandings of space and time, knowledge and desire. Begining with an exposition of the epistemological implications of bodily and sexual difference, Grosz examines the effects such knowledge have on the reception of meaning. She looks at the relationship between the knowledge of difference and the way that knowledge validates, affirms, avows and valorizes subjects. Grosz then extends this analysis to an investigation of the relationship between space, time, bodies and the spatial "arts" such as architecuture, urban planning and geography. In the last section, Grosz moves toward a radical consideration of bodies and their relationship to transgression and perversity. Controversially showing the ways in which "queer" theory fails to offer a truly transformative conception of bodies and their politics, Grosz finds "queer" a reactive category "which sees itself in opposition to a straight norm and thus defines itself in terms of this norm." Consequentially, "queer" theory inherits the acceptance of an entire range of sexual practices, without "asking what they share and without taking into account the profound tension that may exist among these practices." Grosz's Space, Time and Perversity is a diverse and incisive collection of essays from a renowned feminist philosopher. (shrink)
A common justification for retributive views of punishment is the idea that injustice is intolerable and must be answered. For instance F. H. Bradley writes: Why … do I merit punishment? It is because I have been guilty. I have done ‘wrong’… Now the plain man may not know what he means by ‘wrong’, but he is sure that, whatever it is, it ‘ought’ not to exist, that it calls and cries for obliteration; that, if he can remove it, it (...) rests also upon him, and that the destruction of guilt, whatever be the consequences, and even if there be no consequences at all, is still a good in itself; and this, not because a mere negation is a good, but because the denial of wrong is the assertion of right. A wrong is something that ought not to exist and calls to be obliterated. If anyone is able to remove it, he is obligated to do so or the wrong will also be partly his. To deny or obliterate a wrong is to assert right, Bradley says—as if the two things were counterpoised, one able to cancel the other. It reminds us of the balance held by the figure of Justice, and of debts and credits in accounts. Paying a debt erases it; the debt no longer exists. In a similar way punishment is supposed to erase wrong. (shrink)
Elizabeth Schechter explores the implications of the experience of people who have had the pathway between the two hemispheres of their brain severed, and argues that there are in fact two minds, subjects of experience, and intentional agents inside each split-brain human being: right and left. But each split-brain subject is still one of us.
In the World Library of Psychologists series, international experts themselves present career-long collections of what they judge to be their finest pieces – extracts from books, key articles, salient research findings, and their major practical theoretical contributions. Elizabeth Valentine has an international reputation as an eminent scholar and pioneer in the field of philosophy and history of psychology. This selection brings together some of her best work over the last thirty years. A specially written introduction gives an overview of (...) her career and contextualises the selection in relation to changes in the field during this time. The first section on 'Philosophy' covers work on different theoretical approaches to psychology, introspection and the study of consciousness, the mind-body problem, and different types of explanation in psychology including reductionism. The second section, 'From Philosophy to History', includes work on the philosophical psychologists G. F. Stout and James Sully, among others. The third section on 'History' covers Valentine's more recent historical work on the development of psychology in London – both institutional and biographical – and includes accounts of both Bedford College and University College, and the role of pioneer women psychologists. The book enables the reader to trace developments in the philosophy and history of psychology over the last thirty years. It will appeal to anyone with interests in these areas as well as being an invaluable resource for graduate and advanced undergraduate courses in conceptual and historical issues. (shrink)
Much of the literature on the relationship between belief and credence has focused on the reduction question: that is, whether either belief or credence reduces to the other. This debate, while important, only scratches the surface of the belief-credence connection. Even on the anti-reductive dualist view, belief and credence could still be very tightly connected. Here, I explore questions about the belief-credence connection that go beyond reduction. This paper is dedicated to what I call the independence question: just how independent (...) are belief and credence? I look at this question from two angles: a descriptive one (as a psychological matter, how much can belief and credence come apart?) and a normative one (for a rational person, how closely connected are belief and credence?) Ultimately, I suggest that the two attitudes are more independent than one might think. (shrink)
Darwinian matters : life, force and change -- Biological difference -- The evolution of sex and race -- Nietzsche's Darwin -- History and the untimely -- The eternal return and the overman -- Bergsonian differences -- The philosophy of life -- Intuition and the virtual -- The future.
As current events around the world have illustrated, epistemological issues are at the center of our political lives. It has become increasingly difficult to discern legitimate sources of evidence, misinformation spreads faster than ever, and the role of truth in politics has allegedly decayed in recent years. It is therefore no coincidence that political discourse is currently saturated with epistemic notions like ‘post-truth,’ ‘fake news,’ ‘truth decay,’ ‘echo chambers,’ and ‘alternative facts.’ This book brings together leading philosophers to explore ways (...) in which the analytic and conceptual tools of epistemology bear on political philosophy, and vice versa. It is organized around three broad themes: truth and knowledge in politics; epistemic problems for democracy; and disagreement and polarization. The authors provide new and rich insights on topics such as: propaganda, fake news, weaponized skepticism, belief polarization, political disagreement, the epistemic value of democracy, voter ignorance, irrationality in politics, political bullshit, and identity politics. (shrink)
In this brief interview, Jordan B. Kinder discusses Thunderbird Strike with Anishinaabe, Métis, and settler-Irish media theorist and artist Elizabeth LaPensée. Thunderbird Strike is a multiplatform, two-dimensional sidescrolling video game created by LaPensée in collaboration with Adrian Cheater and Aubrey Jane Scott, NÀHGĄ a.k.a. Casey Koyczan, and Kaitlin Rose Lenhard. The conversation is centred on the inspiration for Thunderbird Strike, its reception, and its possibilities as a pedagogical medium.
Although debates continue, studies of cognition in infancy suggest that knowledge begins to emerge early in life and constitutes part of humans' innate endowment. Early-developing knowledge appears to be both domain-specific and task-specific, it appears to capture fundamental constraints on ecologically important classes of entities in the child's environment, and it appears to remain central to the commonsense knowledge systems of adults.
Neural Geographies draws together recent feminist and deconstructive theories, early Freudian neurology and contemporary connectionist theories of cognition. In this original work, Elizabeth A. Wilson explores the convergence between Derrida, Freud and recent cognitive theory to pursue two important issues: the nature of cognition and neurology, and the politics of feminist and critical interventions into contemporary scientific psychology. This book seeks to reorient the usual presumptions of critical studies of the sciences by addressing the divisions between the static and (...) the changeable; the natural and the political; the neuro-cognitive and the cultural that have been traditional to both scientific and critical accounts of neurology and cognition. (shrink)
Darwin and feminism: preliminary investigations into a possible alliance -- Darwin and the ontology of life -- The Nature of culture -- Law, justice, and the future -- The Time of violence: Derrida, deconstruction, and value -- Drucilla Cornell, identity, and the "Evolution" of Politics -- Philosophy, knowledge, and the future -- Deleuze, Bergson, and the virtual -- Merleau-Ponty, Bergson, and the question of ontology -- The thing -- Prosthetic objects -- Identity, sexual difference, and the future -- The Time (...) of thought -- The Force of sexual difference -- (Inhuman) forces: power, pleasure, and desire -- The future of female sexuality. (shrink)
David Hume’s theory of action is well known for several provocative theses, including that passion and reason cannot be opposed over the direction of action. In Hume, Passion, and Action, the author defends an original interpretation of Hume’s views on passion, reason and motivation that is consistent with other theses in Hume’s philosophy, loyal to his texts, and historically situated. This book challenges the now orthodox interpretation of Hume on motivation, presenting an alternative that situates Hume closer to “Humeans” than (...) many recent interpreters have. Part of the strategy is to examine the thinking of the early modern intellectuals to whom Hume responds. Most of these thinkers insisted that passions lead us to pursue harmful objects unless regulated by reason; and most regarded passions as representations of good and evil, which can be false. Understanding Hume’s response to these claims requires appreciating his respective characterizations of reason and passion. The author argues that Hume’s thesis that reason is practically impotent apart from passion is about beliefs generated by reason, rather than about the capacity of reason. Furthermore, the argument makes sense of Hume’s sometimes-ridiculed description of passions as “original existences” having no reference to objects. The author also shows how Hume understood morality as intrinsically motivating, while holding that moral beliefs are not themselves motives, and why he thought of passions as self-regulating, contrary to the admonitions of the rationalists. (shrink)
The importance of food in our individual lives raises moral questions from the debate over eating animals to the prominence of gourmet cookery in the popular media. Through philosophy, Elizabeth Telfer discusses issues including our obligations to those who are starving; the value of the pleasure of food; food as art; our duties to animals; and the moral virtues of hospitableness and temperance. Elizabeth Telfer shows how much traditional philosophy, from Plato to John Stuart Mill, has to say (...) to illuminate this everyday yet complex subject. (shrink)
This new and important study of semantic change examines how new meanings arise through language use, especially the various ways in which speakers and writers experiment with uses of words and constructions in the flow of strategic interaction with addressees. In the last few decades there has been growing interest in exploring systemicities in semantic change from a number of perspectives including theories of metaphor, pragmatic inferencing, and grammaticalization. Like earlier studies, these have for the most part been based on (...) data taken out of context. This book is the first detailed examination of semantic change from the perspective of historical pragmatics and discourse analysis. Drawing on extensive corpus data from over a thousand years of English and Japanese textual history, Traugott and Dasher show that most changes in meaning originate in and are motivated by the associative flow of speech and conceptual metonymy. (shrink)
Is human nature something that the natural and social sciences aim to describe, or is it a pernicious fiction? What role, if any, does ”human nature’ play in directing and informing scientific work? Can we talk about human nature without invoking---either implicitly or explicitly---a contrast with human culture? It might be tempting to think that the respectability of ”human nature’ is an issue that divides natural and social scientists along disciplinary boundaries, but the truth is more complex. The contributors to (...) this collection take very different stances with regard to the idea of human nature. They come from the fields of psychology, the philosophy of science, social and biological anthropology, evolutionary theory, and the study of animal cognition. Some of them are ”human nature’ enthusiasts, some are sceptics, and some say that human nature is a concept with many faces, each of which plays a role in its own investigative niche. Some want to eliminate the notion altogether, some think it unproblematic, others want to retain it with reforming modifications. Some say that human nature is a target for investigation that the human sciences cannot do without, others argue that the term does far more harm than good. The diverse perspectives articulated in this book help to explain why we disagree about human nature, and what, if anything, might resolve that disagreement. Introduction Tim Lewens 1 Doubling Down on the Nomological Notion of Human Nature Edouard Machery 2 Trait Bin and Trait Cluster Accounts of Human Nature Grant Ramsey 3 A Developmental Systems Account of Human Nature Karola Stotz and Paul Griffiths 4 Human Nature, Natural Pedagogy, and Evolutionary Causal Essentialism Cecilia Heyes 5 Human Nature John Dupré 6 Sceptical Reflections on Human Nature Kim Sterelny 7 The Social Construction of Human Nature Kevin N. Laland and Gillian R. Brown 8 The Use and Non-Use of the Human Nature Concept by Evolutionary Biologists Peter J. Richerson 9 Human Ontogenies as Historical Processes Christina Toren 10 Divide and Conquer Maria Kronfeldner. (shrink)
A misleading and apparently addictive practice is now prevalent in discussions of philosophy in general, and moral philosophy in particular. This is the habit of dichotomizing. We are led to believe that we have to choose between reason and sentiment as the basis of morality, that facts and values are to be found on either side of an unbridgeable gulf, and so on. This practice is harmful because it leads philosophers to take sides in unnecessary conflicts which cannot be won (...) by either side, and thus prevents progress in the discussion of extremely important issues. (shrink)
Why our workplaces are authoritarian private governments—and why we can’t see it One in four American workers says their workplace is a “dictatorship.” Yet that number almost certainly would be higher if we recognized employers for what they are—private governments with sweeping authoritarian power over our lives. Many employers minutely regulate workers’ speech, clothing, and manners on the job, and employers often extend their authority to the off-duty lives of workers, who can be fired for their political speech, recreational activities, (...) diet, and almost anything else employers care to govern. In this compelling book, Elizabeth Anderson examines why, despite all this, we continue to talk as if free markets make workers free, and she proposes a better way to think about the workplace, opening up space for discovering how workers can enjoy real freedom. (shrink)
This book explores the tradition of the 'science of man' in French medicine of the era 1750-1850, focusing on controversies about the nature of the 'physical-moral' relation and their effects on the role of medicine in French society. Its chief purpose is to recover the history of a holistic tradition in French medicine that has been neglected because it lay outside the mainstream themes of modern medicine, which include experimental, reductionist, and localistic conceptions of health and disease. Professor Williams also (...) challenges existing historiography, which argues that the 'anthropological' approach to medicine was a short-term by-product of the leftist politics of the French Revolution. This work argues instead that the medical science of man long outlived the Revolution, that it spanned traditional ideological divisions, and that it reflected the shared aim of French physicians, whatever their politics, to claim broad cultural authority in French society. (shrink)
This book is devoted to applied ethics. We focus on six popular and controversial topics: abortion, the environment, animals, poverty, punishment, and disability. We cover three chapters per topic, and each chapter is devoted to a famous or influential argument on the topic. After we present an influential argument, we then consider objections to the argument, and replies to the objections. The book is impartial, and set up in order to equip the reader to make up her own mind about (...) the controversial topics covered. (shrink)
Looking at the philosophical issues raised by food this short and accessible book questions the place food should have in our individual lives. It shows how traditional philosophy and its classic texts can illuminate an everyday subject.