The encounter of environmental history and intellectual history is a union of two insidiously oceanic inquiries.???Oceanic??? in the sense of limitlessness, or oneness with the universe.???All history is the history of thought???, and the history of thought is in modern intellectual history a universal investigation, of advertisements for sofas and Ayn Rand and adoption laws in early colonial Bihar. But all history is also the history of space, and of the environment that surrounds the sofas and the laws. It is (...) apparent, now, that???history occurs in space as well as time???. Environmental history is everywhere as well as nowhere. It is a new universal understanding, which subverts even the historians' own anxieties about universalization: a???negative universal history???. (shrink)
G.E. Moore, more than either Bertrand Russell or Ludwig Wittgenstein, was chiefly responsible for the rise of the analytic method in twentieth-century philosophy. This selection of his writings shows Moore at his very best. The classic essays are crucial to major philosophical debates that still resonate today. Amongst those included are: * A Defense of Common Sense * Certainty * Sense-Data * External and Internal Relations * Hume's Theory Explained * Is Existence a Predicate? * Proof of an (...) External World In addition, this collection also contains the key early papers in which Moore signals his break with idealism, and three important previously unpublished papers from his later work which illustrate his relationship with Wittgenstein. (shrink)
This essay constitutes an attempt to probe the very idea of a saying/showing distinction of the kind that Wittgenstein advances in the Tractatus—to say what such a distinction consists in, to say what philosophical work it has to do, and to say how we might be justified in drawing such a distinction. Towards the end of the essay the discussion is related to Wittgenstein’s later work. It is argued that we can profitably see this work in such a way that (...) a saying/showing distinction arises there too. In particular, in the final sub-section of the essay, it is suggested that we can see in Wittgenstein’s later work an inducement to say what we are shown. (shrink)
Rights of Women attracted much UK media attention in late 2014 by bringing a judicial review that challenged the reduced provisions for family law legal aid available for victims of domestic violence: R v The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice  EWHC 35. In June 2015, within Rights of Women’s 40th anniversary year, Hannah Camplin interviewed the organisation’s Director Emma Scott about the decision to bring the judicial review, the advantages and challenges of the judicial review (...) process, and the experience of strategic litigation within the context of Rights of Women’s long history of campaigning for women’s rights. What emerged is a portrait of a feminist organisation in 2015, and, in a fast changing political and financial landscape, the dual importance of collaborative working and the need for flexibility in service provision and campaigning tools. (shrink)
In this response to the review of Moore, Causation and Responsibility, by Larry Alexander and Kimberly Ferzan, previously published in this journal, two issues are discussed. The first is whether causation, counterfactual dependence, moral blame, and culpability, are all scalar properties or relations, that is, matters of more-or-less rather than either-or. The second issue discussed is whether deontological moral obligation is best described as a prohibition against using another as a means, or rather, as a prohibition on an agent (...) strongly causing a prohibited result that was not about to happen anyway while intending to do so. (shrink)
In April 1939, G. E. Moore read a paper to the Cambridge University Moral Science Club entitled ‘Certainty’. In it, amongst other things, Moore made the claims that: the phrase ‘it is certain’ could be used with sense-experience-statements, such as ‘I have a pain’, to make statements such as ‘It is certain that I have a pain’; and that sense-experience-statements can be said to be certain in the same sense as some material-thing-statements can be — namely in the (...) sense that they can be safely counted on. When Moore later read his paper to Wittgenstein, Wittgenstein took violent exception to it, and the two entered into a heated exchange. The only known notes of this exchange are a previously unpublished verbatim record of part of it, taken by Norman Malcolm. This paper is an edition of Malcolm’s notes. These notes are valuable for both philosophical and scholarly reasons. They give us a glimpse of a sustained exchange between Wittgenstein and a real-life interlocutor; they contain a defence by Wittgenstein of the idea that a word’s use can illuminate its meaning; and they provide evidence of Wittgenstein’s philosophical engagement with the topic of certainty, and with Moore’s thought on it, long before he began to write the notes which make up On Certainty, in 1949. (shrink)
In _Considering Emma Goldman_ Clare Hemmings examines the significance of the anarchist activist and thinker for contemporary feminist politics. Rather than attempting to resolve the tensions and problems that Goldman's thinking about race, gender, and sexuality pose for feminist thought, Hemmings embraces them, finding them to be helpful in formulating a new queer feminist praxis. Mining three overlapping archives—Goldman's own writings, her historical and theoretical legacy, and an imaginative archive that responds creatively to gaps in those archives —Hemmings shows (...) how serious engagement with Goldman's political ambivalences opens up larger questions surrounding feminist historiography, affect, fantasy, and knowledge production. Moreover, she explores her personal affinity for Goldman to illuminate the role that affective investment plays in shaping feminist storytelling. By considering Goldman in all her contradictions and complexity, Hemmings presents a queer feminist response to the ambivalences that also saturate contemporary queer feminist race theories. (shrink)
G. E. Moore observed that to assert, 'I went to the pictures last Tuesday but I don't believe that I did' would be 'absurd'. Over half a century later, such sayings continue to perplex philosophers. In the definitive treatment of the famous paradox, Green and Williams explain its history and relevance and present new essays by leading thinkers in the area.
Emma Borg examines the relation between semantics and pragmatics, and assesses recent answers to fundamental questions of how and where to draw the divide between the two. She argues for a minimal account of the interrelation between them--a 'minimal semantics'--which holds that only rule-governed appeals to context can influence semantic content.
It is common in philosophy of language to recognise two different kinds of linguistic meaning: literal or conventional meaning, on the one hand, versus communicated or conveyed meaning, on the other. However, once we recognise these two types of meaning, crucial questions immediately emerge; for instance, exactly which meanings should we treat as the literal (semantic) ones, and exactly which appeals to a context of utterance yield communicated (pragmatic), as opposed to semantic, content? It is these questions and, specifically, how (...) we should model the relationship between semantic content and utterance context, that is the topic of this chapter. We explore five contemporary answers to this modelling question, considering the benefits and challenges of each, before closing by examining some potential new directions for debates in this area. (shrink)
Understanding in Epistemology Epistemology is often defined as the theory of knowledge, and talk of propositional knowledge has dominated the bulk of modern literature in epistemology. However, epistemologists have recently started to turn more attention to the epistemic state or states of understanding, asking questions about its nature, relationship … Continue reading Understanding in Epistemology →.
If I were to say, “Agnes does not know that it is raining, but it is,” this seems like a perfectly coherent way of describing Agnes’s epistemic position. If I were to add, “And I don’t know if it is, either,” this seems quite strange. In this chapter, we shall look at some statements that seem, in some sense, contradictory, even though it seems that these statements can express propositions that are contingently true or false. Moore thought it was (...) paradoxical that statements that can express true propositions or contingently false propositions should nevertheless seem absurd like this. If we can account for the absurdity, we shall solve Moore’s Paradox. In this chapter, we shall look at Moore’s proposals and more recent discussions of Moorean absurd thought and speech. (shrink)
This chronological collection of Moore's most compelling and dramatic images, taken as the movement progressed through Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Georgia, highlights activity from 1958 to 1965. Included are the iconic scenes of black protestors huddled in a doorway to escape the crippling blasts of fire hoses in Birmingham; a white bigot swinging a baseball bat seconds before cracking it on the head of a black woman during the desegregation of the Capitol Cafeteria in Montgomery; a young and stunned (...) Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. pinned to the counter of a police precinct, his arm twisted behind his back; the devastating aftermath of "Bloody Sunday" on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma; and Bull Connor's police dogs tearing mercilessly at the legs of a protestor in downtown Birmingham. Celebrity protestors--comedian Dick Gregory, poet Galway Kinnell, singers Joan Baez, Mary Travers, Pete Seeger, and Harry Bellafonte, actor Pernell Roberts, and writer James Baldwin--are featured alongside the many nameless but committed participants and the recognized major leaders of the movement. (shrink)
Does scepticism threaten our common sense picture of the world? Does it really undermine our deep-rooted certainties? Answers to these questions are offered through a comparative study of the epistemological work of two key figures in the history of analytic philosophy, G. E. Moore and Ludwig Wittgenstein.
In various areas of Anglo-American law, legal liability turns on causation. In torts and contracts, we are each liable only for those harms we have caused by the actions that breach our legal duties. Such doctrines explicitly make causation an element of liability. In criminal law, sometimes the causal element for liability is equally explicit, as when a statute makes punishable any act that has “ caused … abuse to the child….” More often, the causal element in criminal liability is (...) more implicit, as when criminal statutes prohibit killings, maimings, rapings, burnings, etc. Such causally complex action verbs are correctly applied only to defendants who have caused death, caused disfigurement, caused penetration, caused fire damage, etc. (shrink)
In this book Emma Ruttkamp demonstrates the power of the full-blown employment of the model-theoretic paradigm in the philosophy of science. Within this paradigm she gives an account of sciences as process and product. She expounds the "received statement" and the "non-statement" views of science, and shows how the model-theoretic approach resolves the spurious tension between these views. In this endeavour she also engages the views of a number of contemporary philosophers of science with affinity to model theory. This (...) text can be read by specialists working in philosophy of science or formal semantics, by logicians working on the structure of theories, and by students in philosophy of science - this text offers a thorough introduction to non-statement accounts of sciences as well as a discussion of the traditional statement account of science. (shrink)
For more than fifteen years, Melissa Ann Pinney has been making photographs of girls and women, from infancy to old age, to portray how feminine identity is constructed, taught, and communicated. Her work depicts not only the rites of American womanhood—a prom, a wedding, a baby shower, a tea party—but the informal passages of girlhood: combing a doll's hair, doing laundry with a mother, smoking a cigarette at a state fair. With each view, we gain a greater understanding of the (...) connections between mother and daughter, and by extension the larger world of family, friends, and society. Pinney's approach to interpreting girlhood became more complicated and complex when her daughter, Emma, was born eight years ago. Emma's childhood evoked in Pinney her own girlhood and gave her work new meaning and purpose. Ultimately, Regarding Emma shares with all of us the incremental and the ritualistic changes that take place in a woman's life over time. Her photographs are artistic and social documents that reveal the subtle and bold aspects of feminine identity—documents whose reach will extend well beyond the walls of America's leading galleries and museums into the hearts and homes of everyday Americans. "Melissa Ann Pinney is making powerful art. In matters of light, color, and composition she is flawless. But these are not simply constructions of elements. These photographs bear witness to the speed at which the little girl becomes the old woman, to the fleeting, breathless beauty of childhood, to life itself, which leaves us stunned in its wake."—Ann Patchett, from the Foreword "Melissa Ann Pinney provides a compelling portrait of American girls as they make their way from infancy to adulthood. Using her daughter's childhood as a point of departure, she traces the complex terrain of adolescence and budding femininity. The results are photographs marked by empathy and grace."—Sylvia Wolf, Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City "These photographs by Melissa Ann Pinney impart a sense of the special and sacred everyday rituals we take for granted. She appreciates at once the transient nature of what she finds and its gravity. Her pictures describe so well the wonder, and beauty, and centrality of the things we know best and the people we see often."—Sandra S. Phillips, Curator of Photography, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art "Melissa Ann Pinney's record of life with her daughter, Emma, adds a new and touching chapter to our knowledge of the lives of women and girls."—Adam Gopnik, author of Paris to the Moon and a staff writer for The New Yorker "Melissa Pinney's passionate, painstaking investigation of the stages of women's lives is impressive for its rigor and courage. Her themes aren't imposed on the pictures or on the women, men, and children who people them; instead, they arise from her attentive study of particularities— of the ways human lives are etched on the surfaces of faces and the positions of bodies in real spaces and places, mundane but radiant. When she turns from the lives of others to her own life, the shift is seamless but the volume swells, the emotions grow more pointed and the paradoxes more painful, joyous, and direct. This is remarkable work by an artist at the height of her powers."—Peter Bacon Hales, author of William Henry Jackson and the Transformation of the American Landscape. (shrink)
Minimal Semantics asks what a theory of literal linguistic meaning is for - if you were to be given a working theory of meaning for a language right now, what would you be able to do with it? Emma Borg sets out to defend a formal approach to semantic theorising from a relatively new type of opponent - advocates of what she call 'dual pragmatics'. According to dual pragmatists, rich pragmatic processes play two distinct roles in linguistic comprehension: as (...) well as operating in a post-semantic capacity to determine the implicatures of an utterance, they also operate prior to the determination of truth-conditional content for a sentence. That is to say, they have an integral role to play within what is usually thought of as the semantic realm. Borg believes dual pragmatic accounts constitute the strongest contemporary challenge to standard formal approaches to semantics since they challenge the formal theorist to show not merely that there is some role for formal processes on route to determination of semantic content, but that such processes are sufficient for determining content. Minimal Semantics provides a detailed examination of this school of thought, introducing readers who are unfamiliar with the topic to key ideas like relevance theory and contextualism, and looking in detail at where these accounts diverge from the formal approach. Borg's defence of formal semantics has two main parts: first, she argues that the formal approach is most naturally compatible with an important and well-grounded psychological theory, namely the Fodorian modular picture of the mind. Then she argues that the main arguments adduced by dual pragmatists against formal semantics - concerning apparent contextual intrusions into semantic content - can in fact be countered by a formal theory. The defence holds, however, only if we are sensitive to the proper conditions of success for a semantic theory. Specifically, we should reject a range of onerous constraints on semantic theorizing (e.g., that it answer epistemic or metaphysical questions, or that it explain our communicative skills) and instead adopt a quite minimal picture of semantics. (shrink)
Freud justified his extensive theorizing about dreams by the observation that they were “the royal road” to something much more general: namely, our unconscious mental life. The current preoccupation with the theory of excuse in criminal law scholarship can be given a similar justification, for the excuses are the royal road to theories of responsibility generally. The thought is that if we understand why we excuse in certain situations but not others, we will have also gained a much more general (...) insight into the nature of responsibility itself. Nowhere has this thought been more evident than in the century-old focus of criminal law theoreticians on the excuse of insanity, a focus that could not be justified by the importance of the excuse itself. In this paper I wish to isolate two theories of excuse, each of which instantiates its own distinctive theory of responsibility. One is what I shall call the choice theory of excuse, according to which one is excused for the doing of a wrongful action because and only because at the moment of such action's performance, one did not have sufficient capacity or opportunity to make the choice to do otherwise. Such a choice theory of excuse instantiates a more general theory of responsibility, according to which we are responsible for wrongs we freely choose to do, and not responsible for wrongs we lacked the freedom to avoid doing. The second I shall call the character theory of excuse, according to which one is excused for the doing of a wrongful action because and only because such action is not determined by those enduring attributes of ourselves we call our characters. (shrink)
Twelve essays by the influential radical include "Marriage and Love," "The Hypocrisy of Puritanism," "The Traffic in Women," Anarchism," and "The Psychology of Political Violence." Other enduringly relevant essays examine patriotism, the failure of the penal system, and drama as a means of conveying political theory.