Such has been his administration's impact on U.S. domestic and international politics that the assembly line of criticism often resembles polemical pamphleteering rather than solid academic argument. Singer examines the Bush administration on its own terms.
As the world has increasingly embraced globalization, temptations to encroach on traditional boundaries of state sovereignty for reasons of self-interest mount. Argumentation studies provide an important lens for examining the public discourse used to justify such moves. This essay examines the Bush administration’s strategic use of the definitional processes of association and dissociation to build its public case for regime change in Afghanistan. After exploring how the Bush administration’s early rhetoric after 9/11 failed to actually provide the Taliban (...) a choice to remain in power, the essay reveals three combinations of the terrorism/state relationship that functioned as an argument by definition to gain support for the US campaign to overthrow the regime. (shrink)
But We're American… The presence of American Exceptionalism in the Speeches of George W. Bush This paper defines American exceptionalism as the notion held by Americans that their country is unique and has a specific role to play in the world. The origins of this notion are traced to 17th century Puritan settlers, who used the metaphor of being "a city upon a hill" to highlight their position as a moral example to the rest of the world. This (...) element from a sacral religion was transformed during the founding of the United States into an element of civil religion, and as such the metaphor and concept of American exceptionalism received a political connotation. The rise of America's political power coincided with a more active role in world politics, which was backed with a rhetoric emphasising unity and America's unique role. The clash between the passive and the more active reading of the exceptionalist metaphor and the struggles between sacral and civil religion coincide during the presidency of George W. Bush. The presence of these elements of political rhetoric is surveyed in a corpus of speeches by President Bush. (shrink)
Political theorists have argued for and against the propriety of a civic ethics of “public reason” that would set normative bounds on the expression of religious views in the public discourse of government officials and, to a lesser degree, citizens. This essay explores whether critics of ethical restraints on religious discourse have grounds to criticize the religious rhetoric of President George W. Bush. Quantitative and qualitative studies show that Bush has used a distinctive “prophetic” mode of religious (...) expression more often than any modern predecessor. This sort of religious discourse is argued to be ethically dubious from the standpoints of most public reason advocates and most of their critics. Even as it champions democracy and adherence to the plans of divine providence, it discourages and de-legitimates democratic dissent and fails to provide the religious guidance it promises. (shrink)
L'analyse porte sur deux outils rhétoriques de la manipulation du discours politique : la répétition et la métaphore. Nous avons observé comment l'effet sur le récepteur en langue source pouvait être modifié si la priorité n'est pas donnée à la fonction de la traduction. Les concepts de terrorisme et de liberté et la notion de lutte du bien contre le mal peuvent être perçus différemment d'une culture à l'autre. Ces termes et cette vision manichéenne du monde proposée par un président (...) américain qui joue de l'amalgame dans sa guerre contre le terrorisme donnent au traducteur l'occasion de se pencher sur une éthique du traduire.The analysis focuses on two rhetorical tools of manipulation of political discourse: repetition and metaphor. We have seen how the effect on the receptor source language could be amended if the priority is not given to the function of the translation. The concepts of terrorism and freedom and the notion of struggle of good against evil can be perceived differently from one culture to another. These terms and this Manichean world proposed by an American president who plays the amalgam in its war against terrorism give the translator an opportunity to reflect on the ethics of translation. (shrink)
The article deals with the perception of the Pope John Paul II and Poland in the two speeches of the Presidents of the United States of America. The George W. Bush’s speech given on the occasion of the dedication of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington DC on March 22, 2001 and the Donald Trump’s speech delivered in front of the Warsaw Uprising Monument on the Krasinski Square in Warsaw on July 8, 2017 were used (...) as the sources for the study. The former speech is a laudation in honor of the Pope from Poland, whose biography was considered by the 43rd President of the United States as one of the most interesting in human history. Among the most notable episodes of the pontificate, George W. Bush listed the 1979 pilgrimage to his homeland, the 1995 visit to Manila in Philippines, the unprecedented visits to a synagogue and a Muslim country, the forgiveness shown to Ali Ağca – the would-be assassin, and the visits to the United States during which the Pope from Poland reminded the people of human dignity and the virtues of a just society. The latter speech is a laudation on the spirit of the Polish nation. Donald Trump emphasized the steadfastness of the Poles in the struggle to preserve their cultural identity despite the loss of their homeland. He recalled the period of partition and extermination of the Polish nation by the German Nazis and the Soviet Communists during World War II. The 45th President of the United States reminded the world about famous Poles: Nicolaus Copernicus, Frederic Chopin, Casimir Pulaski, Thaddeus Kosciuszko and Saint John Paul II. He also spoke about the lasting ties between the Americans and the Poles and about the common values cherished on both sides of the Atlantic. On the example of social transformations in Poland and Europe initiated by John Paul II’s pilgrimage to Poland in 1979, Donald Trump emphasized the influence of faith in God on political and social transformations in the world. He also expressed hope for the survival of Western civilization based on faith in God and the preservation of family and freedom. (shrink)
There were various initial reactions to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, and among those reactions were some contradictions. There were those who demanded an explanation for the attacks, and others who condemned attempts to explain as immoral or unpatriotic. Though President George W. Bush did make some rhetorical remarks that, I believe, masqueraded as explanatory, it appears that he agrees with the latter set.
In the presidential election that brought George W. Bush to power, the moral character of the candidates was a significant factor with some voters. Among those who rated honesty as an important factor influencing their choice of candidate, 80% said they voted for Bush. These voters were disgusted with Bill Clinton, not only for his sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky but for lying about it. They wanted someone to bring sound ethical values to the (...) White House and believed that Bush was the man to do it. What have the last three years told us about Bush's ethics? (shrink)
In the current ongoing Terror War, both George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden deploy certain similar figures of speech, fusing their metaphysical and political discourses while reserving the demonology. In his speech to Congress on September 20, 2001 declaring his war against terrorism, Bush described the conflict as a war between freedom and fear. The coming Terror War was, he explained, a conflict between “those governed by fear” who “want to destroy our wealth and freedoms,” and (...) those on the side of freedom. Bush insisted that “you’re either with us, or you’re with the terrorists,” and laid down a series of non-negotiable demands to the Taliban while Congress wildly applauded. Bush’s popularity soared with a country craving blood-revenge and the head of Osama bin Laden. Moreover, proclaiming what his administration and commentators would describe as “the Bush doctrine,” Bush also asserted that his administration held accountable those nations who supported terrorism –- a position that could nurture and legitimate military interventions for years to come. (shrink)
Many individuals domestically and internationally who strive for peace and justice are concerned about the new National Security Strategy issued by the George W. Bush Administration in September 2002. 1 William Galston, for example, writes in a recent issue of Philosophy and Public Policy Quarterly: A global strategy based on the new Bush doctrine of preemption means the end of the system of international institutions, laws and norms that we have worked to build for more than a (...) half a century. To his credit, Kissinger recognizes this; he labels Bush’s new approach “revolutionary” and declares, “Regime change as a goal for military intervention challenges the international system.” 2 Does the new Bush doctrine end the international legal system? Is the new Bush doctrine making policy declarations that are unprecedented in United States history? While I share many of the concerns critics are expressing about the new national security strategy, I contend that the more serious issue is not the ways in which this strategy represents a departure from those of prior United States presidential administrations but the actual practices of the Bush administration that appeal to this strategy. I will indicate how this new national security strategy does not represent much of a shift in policy, capability, or practice. Instead, this strategy Bush is using the strategy as an enabling device for a disturbing resurgence of United States global imperialism that serves interests that are actually opposed to the political rhetoric of the value of nations aiming for democracy and a market economy. I conclude by commenting on pursuing genuinely democratic values. I suggest that if the United States were truly committed to democratic values, then any military interventions would require the prior consent of the people. Otherwise what the United States refer to as “bringing democracy” to a people will be more like a militarily enforced authoritarianism that too closely resembles old-style exploitive imperialism. (shrink)
The article investigates the political cartoon construction of two major `players' on the contemporary political stage, and the semio-linguistic and visual rhetorical tools used to achieve this construction, through an analysis of semiotic-discursive aspects of a small corpus of political cartoons in English and Arabic, all about the two `players' — George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden — in the aftermath of 9/11 and within the ongoing `war on terror', followed by a more detailed analysis of two (...) political cartoon texts from the corpus — one in Arabic about Bush and the other in English about bin Laden. A rationale for the combination of semiotics and critical discourse analysis and a discussion of the nature and functions of political cartoon are provided. These are followed by a review of the relevant literature with a focus on political cartoons. The analysis, drawing upon the `dispositive' model and the incongruity theory of humor, addresses the verbal and visual aspects of the cartoons, instances of blending, incongruity and visual metaphors therein. Some major notions in CDA, for example Van Dijk's ideological square and Chilton's legitimation and proximization, are also utilized in examining the sample cartoons. The detailed analysis of the two cartoons elaborates on the salient features and generic aspects of the sample, specifically on incongruity, blending and visual metaphor, toward an understanding of the messages of the cartoons, the tools used to convey these messages and how they contribute to the ongoing war of ideological misrepresentation. (shrink)
In the last couple years of George W. Bush’s reign the word “sovereignty” has been on everyone’s lips. As the U.S. prepared to invade Iraq in March 2003, those who supported the war claimed that Iraq posed a threat to U.S. security and sovereignty while those against the war argued that a preemptive strike against another sovereign nation was justified only in urgent self-defense or that U.S. sovereignty should ultimately yield to the sovereignty of international organizations such as (...) the UN. But what exactly is sovereignty?In this paper I take a few cues from Jacques Derrida’s recently published Rogues in order to analyze in detail the Platonic origins of sovereignty. I demonstrate the way in which Plato displaces or transforms a sovereignty based in convention and institutions into a sovereignty rooted in the putative knowledge of the few. Such an analysis of the origins of sovereignty can go a long way, I argue, in helping us understand and resist the policies and arguments of our sovereigns and the hidden ideas of sovereignty on which they rely. (shrink)
In September of 2002, the administration of President George W. Bush announced its policy of preemption. This policy is actually equivalent to a policy of preventive war. The principal difficulty with this policy is that it will incite fear in governments who would not otherwise attack us, and thereby incite them to hostile action. Thus the policy actually makes the world a more dangerous place.
In his State of the Union address on January 31, 2006, President George W. Bush asserted: “for all Americans, we must confront the rising cost of care, strengthen the doctor-patient relationship, and help people afford the insurance coverage they need.” Soon thereafter, the White House National Economic Council released a summary of President Bush's plans for health care reform. The Bush plan argues that increased consumer control over health care purchasing decisions will go a long way (...) to solving America's health care woes. By making patients more value-conscious consumers, the Bush Administration hopes to reduce costs, improve quality and increase competition within the health care sector.The problem of rising health care costs is not new. In fact, President Bush's statement could have come from any American President in the last fifty years. (shrink)
In this study, I demonstrate the consequences of the triumph of neoliberalism and media deregulation for democracy. I argue that the tremendous concentration of power in the hands of corporate groups who control powerful media conglomerates has intensified a crisis of democracy in the United States and elsewhere. Providing case studies of how mainstream media in the United States have become tools of conservative and corporate interests since the 1980s, I discuss how the corporate media helped forge a conservative hegemony, (...) failed to address key social problems, and promoted the candidacy of George W. Bush in the 2000 U.S. presidential election. Key Words. (shrink)
President George W. Bush surprised many observers in his second inaugural address when he promised to oppose tyranny and oppression, and this in a world not always willing or ready to join in that fight. Humanitarian intervention is again on the forefront of world politics.
You know that George W. Bush is the U.S. president, but you know how to ride a bicycle. What's the difference? According to intellectualists, not much: either knowing how to do something is a matter of knowing that something is the case or, at the very least, know-how requires a prior bit of theoretical knowledge. Anti-intellectualists deny this order of priority: either knowing-how and knowing-that are independent or, at the very least, knowing that something is the case requires (...) a prior bit of know-how. Much of the dispute centers on the relationship between knowing how to do something and having an ability to do it. If having an ability is necessary and sufficient for knowing-how, this is thought to provide comfort for anti-intellectualists. This paper traces the place of ability in the know-how/know-that debate from Ryle's seminal statement of anti-intellectualism through Stanley and Williamson's more recent defense of intellectualism. (shrink)
John Stuart Mill (1843) thought that proper names denote individuals and do not connote attributes. Contemporary Millians agree, in spirit. We hold that the semantic content of a proper name is simply its referent. We also think that the semantic content of a declarative sentence is a Russellian structured proposition whose constituents are the semantic contents of the sentence’s constituents. This proposition is what the sentence semantically expresses. Therefore, we think that sentences containing proper names semantically express singular propositions, which (...) are propositions having individuals as constituents. For instance, the sentence ‘George W. Bush is human’ semantically expresses a proposition that has Bush himself as a constituent. Call this theory Millianism. Many philosophers initially find Millianism quite appealing, but find it much less so after considering its many apparent problems. Among these problems are those raised by non-referring names, which are sometimes (tendentiously) called empty names. Plausible examples of empty names include certain names from fiction, such as ‘Sherlock Holmes’, which I shall call fictional names, and certain names from myth and false scientific theory, such as ‘Pegasus’ and ‘Vulcan’, which I shall call mythical names. I have defended Millianism from objections concerning empty names in previous work (Braun 1993). In this paper, I shall re-present those objections, along with some new ones. I shall then describe my previous Millian theory of empty names, and my previous replies to the objections, and consider whether the theory or replies need revision. I shall next consider whether fictional and mythical names are really empty. I shall argue that at least some utterances of mythical names are. (shrink)
In this paper, we develop an understanding of recognition in terms of individuals’ capacity for conflict. Our goal is to overcome various shortcomings that can be found in both the positive and negative conceptions of recognition. We start by analyzing paradigmatic instances of such conceptions—namely, those put forward by Axel Honneth and Judith Butler. We do so in order to show how both positions are inadequate in their elaborations of recognition in an analogous way: Both fail to make intelligible the (...) fundamental nexus between relations of recognition and individuals’ capacity for conflict. We then move on to reconsider aspects of Hegel's view of recognition—ones that, from our viewpoint, have been unjustly neglected in the debate about recognition: his focus on the constitution of relations of recognition in conflict and on the status of being an author of acts of recognition. On this basis, we then spell out in a more systematic way what we take to be a more convincing conception of recognition. This puts us in the position to gesture at some consequences of this conception in practical contexts, above all with regard to the justification, role and structure of political institutions. (shrink)
George Santayana published The Realm of Matter and The Genteel Tradition at Bay. He continued work on Book Three of Realms of Being, The Realm of Truth, and on his novel, The Last Puritan. Citing his commitment to his writing and his intention to retire from academia, he declined offers from Harvard University for the Norton Chair of Poetry and for a position as William James Professor of Philosophy, as well as offers for positions at the New School for (...) Social Research and Brown University. The deaths of his half sisters, Susan Sturgis de Sastre and Josephine Sturgis, in 1928 and 1930, respectively, were extremely distressing to him. Santayana and Charles Strong continued their epistolary debate over the nature and perception of reality and the problem of knowledge. The book also includes letters to Robert Bridges, Cyril Clemens, Morris R. Cohen, Curt John Ducasse, Sydney Hook, Horace Meyer Kallen, Walter Lippmann, Ralph Barton Perry, William Lyon Phelps, and Herbert W. Schneider. Santayana sent many letters with articles and reviews to journalists Wendell T. Bush, Henry Seidel Canby, Wilbur Cross, and John Middleton Murry. Discussion of his novel and continuing work on Realms of Being took place with Otto Kyllmann and John Hall Wheelock, his editors at Constable and Scribner's. Although Santayana now made the Hotel Bristol in Rome his permanent residence, he continued to travel in England, France, and Italy. (shrink)
The article presents the conceptual groundwork for an understanding of the essentially improvisational dimension of human rationality. It aims to clarify how we should think about important concepts pertinent to central aspects of human practices, namely, the concepts of improvisation, normativity, habit, and freedom. In order to understand the sense in which human practices are essentially improvisational, it is first necessary to criticize misconceptions about improvisation as lack of preparation and creatio ex nihilo. Second, it is necessary to solve the (...) theoretical problems that derive from misunderstandings concerning the notions of normativity, habit, and freedom – misunderstandings that revolve around the idea that rationality is a form that is developed out of itself and thus works in a way similar to algorithms. One can only make sense of normativity, habit, and freedom if one understands that they all involve conflictual relationships with the world and with others, which in turn enables one to adequately take into account their constitutive connection to improvisation, properly understood. In outlining these conceptual connections, we want to prepare the foundations for an explanation of rational practices as improvisational practices. The article concludes by stating that human rational life is improvisatory because the conditions of human practice arise out of practice itself. (shrink)
Why philosophize about comedy? What is the use of investigating the comical from philosophical and psychoanalytic perspectives? In The Odd One In, Alenka Zupancic [haceks over both cs] considers how philosophy and psychoanalysis can help us understand the movement and the logic involved in the practice of comedy, and how comedy can help philosophy and psychoanalysis recognize some of the crucial mechanisms and vicissitudes of what is called humanity. Comedy by its nature is difficult to pin down with concepts and (...) definitions, but as artistic form and social practice comedy is a mode of tarrying with a foreign object--of including the exception. Philosophy's relationship to comedy, Zupancic [haceks over both cs] writes, is not exactly a simple story. It could begin with the lost book of Aristotle's Poetics, which discussed comedy and laughter. But Zupancic [haceks over both cs] draws on a whole range of philosophers and exemplars of comedy, from Aristophanes, Molière, Hegel, Freud, and Lacan to George W. Bush and Borat. She distinguishes incisively between comedy and ideologically imposed, "naturalized" cheerfulness. Real, subversive comedy thrives on the short circuits that establish an immediate connection between heterogeneous orders. Zupancic [haceks over both cs] examines the mechanisms and processes by which comedy lets the odd one in. Alenka Zupancic [haceks over both cs] is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy, Slovene Academy of Sciences, Ljubljana. She is the author of The Shortest Shadow: Nietzsche's Philosophy of the Two. (shrink)
The concept of second nature promises to provide an explanation of how nature and reason can be reconciled. But the concept is laden with ambiguity. On the one hand, second nature is understood as that which binds together all cognitive activities. On the other hand, second nature is conceived of as a kind of nature that can be changed by cognitive activities. The paper tries to investigate this ambiguity by distinguishing a Kantian conception of second nature from a Hegelian conception. (...) It argues that the idea of a transformation from a being of first nature into a being of second nature that stands at the heart of the Kantian conception is mistaken. The Hegelian conception demonstrates that the transformation in question takes place within second nature itself. Thus, the Hegelian conception allows us to understand the way in which second nature is not structurally isomorphic with first nature: It is a process of ongoing selftransformation that is not primarily determined by how the world is, but rather by commitments out of which human beings are bound to the open future. (shrink)