& Behavioral and brain imaging research indicates that human infants, humans adults, and many nonhuman animals represent large nonsymbolic numbers approximately, discriminating between sets with a ratio limit on accuracy. Some behavioral evidence, especially with human infants, suggests that these representations differ from representations of small numbers of objects. To investigate neural signatures of this distinction, event-related potentials were recorded as adult humans passively viewed the sequential presentation of dot arrays in an adaptation paradigm. In two studies, subjects viewed successive (...) arrays of a single number of dots interspersed with test arrays presenting the same or a different number; numerical range (small numerical quantities 1–3 vs. large numerical.. (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)
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)
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.
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)
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)
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.
Disability is primarily a social phenomenon -- a way of being a minority, a way of facing social oppression, but not a way of being inherently or intrinsically worse off. This is how disability is understood in the Disability Rights and Disability Pride movements; but there is a massive disconnect with the way disability is typically viewed within analytic philosophy. The idea that disability is not inherently bad or sub-optimal is one that many philosophers treat with open skepticism, and sometimes (...) even with scorn. The goal of this book is to articulate and defend a version of the view of disability that is common in the Disability Rights movement. To be physically disabled is not to have a defective body, but simply to have a minority body. (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.
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 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)
Climate Change and the Moral Agent examines the moral foundations of climate change and makes a case for collective action on climate change by appealing to moralized collective self-interest, collective ability to aid, and an expanded understanding of collective responsibility for harm.
In this article, I argue that faith’s going beyond the evidence need not compromise faith’s epistemic rationality. First, I explain how some of the recent literature on belief and credence points to a distinction between what I call B-evidence and C-evidence. Then, I apply this distinction to rational faith. I argue that if faith is more sensitive to B-evidence than to C-evidence, faith can go beyond the evidence and still be epistemically rational.
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.
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)
One of the reasons why Kantian contractualism has been seen as an appealing alternative to utilitarianism is that it seems to be able to avoid utilitarianism's extreme demandingness, while retaining a fully impartial moral point of view. I argue that in the current state of the world, contractualist obligations to help those in need are not significantly less demanding than utilitarian obligations. I also argue that while a plausible version of utilitarianism would be considerably less demanding if the state of (...) the world were different, a central aspect of contractualism means that it would remain exceedingly demanding in any practically realizable state of the world. (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)
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)
Elizabeth Anscombe is among the most distinguished and original philosophers alive today. Her work has ranged over many areas of philosophy, including metaphysics, ethics, the philosophy of mind and action, and the philosophy of religion. In each of these areas she has made seminal contributions. The essays in this book reflect the breadth of her interests and the esteem in which she is held by her colleagues. The distinguished contributors include Michael Dunnett, Nancy Cartwright, Peter Geach and Philippa Foot; (...) and Professor Anscombe's essay 'Making True' is published here for the first time. (shrink)
Introducing the work of three French feminists - Julia Kristeva, Luce Irigaray and Michele L Doeuff -Sexual Subversions provides access to the work of these writers. In doing so this book raises some key issues of relevance to feminist research, addressing debates around the nature of feminist theory; the relationship between feminist thinking theory; the relationship between feminist thinking and male-dominated areas of knowledge; the strategies appropriate for developing non-patriarchal or woman-centered knowledges. No book on French feminists would be complete (...) without including the contributions of Kristeva and Irigaray. The inclusion of Le Doeuff's work, which brings a different perspective to bear on the question of sexual difference, provides a counterbalance to literary appropriations of French feminism by Anglo-American readerships. Kristeva, Irigaray and Le Doeuff are the focal points of this study, precisely because each highlights the differences of the others, revealing the frameworks to which the others are committed. Nevertheless, while these writers do not present a common political or theoretical position or form a school, each does address the question of women's autonomy from male definition, affirms the sexual specificity of women, seeks out a femininity women can use to question the patriarchal norms and ideals of femininity and rejects the preordained positions patriarchy allots to woman. This book is intended for students and researchers in women's studies, philosophy and feminism. (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)
References to the good angels in the works of Augustine are legion, and angels also play a central role in some of his major works, such as City of God and the opening of On the Trinity. Despite Augustine's interest in angels, however, little scholarly work has appeared on the topic. In this book, Elizabeth Klein gives the first comprehensive account of Augustine's theology of the angels and its importance for his thought more generally. Offering a close textual analysis (...) of the reference to angels in Augustine's corpus, the volume explores Augustine's angelology in relationship with his understanding of creation, of community, of salvation history and of spiritual warfare. By examining Augustine's angelology, we glimpse his understanding of time and eternity, as well as the meaning and perfection of created life. Klein's book is foundational for a proper understanding of Augustine's angelology and has far-reaching implications not only for Augustinian studies, but also the broader history of Christian angelology. (shrink)