The development of Rancière’s philosophical work, from his formative years through the political and methodological break with Louis Althusser and the lessons of May 68, is documented here, as are the confrontations with other thinkers, the controversies and occasional misunderstandings. So too are the unity of his work and the distinctive style of his thinking, despite the frequent disconnect between politics and aesthetics and the subterranean movement between categories and works. Lastly one sees his view of our age, and of (...) our age’s many different and competing realities. What we gain in the end is a rich and multi-layered portrait of a life and a body of thought dedicated to the exercise of philosophy and to the emergence of possible new worlds. (shrink)
"Re/reading the Past "is concerned with the discourses of history, from the complementary perspectives of Critical Discourse Analysis and Systemic Functional Linguistics. The papers in the book stress the discursive construction of the past, focussing on the different social narratives which compete for official acknowledgement. Issues of collective and cultural memory are addressed, reflecting the "linguistic turn" in the Social Sciences. The book covers a range of discourses, interpreting texts from popular culture to academic discourse including the construction and evaluation (...) of past events in a variety of places around the world. It is especially timely in its focus on the construction of time and value in a post-colonial world where history discourses are central to on-going processes of reconciliation, debates on war crimes, and the issues of amnesty and restitution. As such the book fills a significant gap in interdisciplinary debates as well as in register and genre analysis, and will be of general interest to historians, political scientists and discourse analysts as well as students and teachers of ESP and EAP. (shrink)
Does the practice of psychology make a significant and positive contribution to human welfare and the struggle for a good society? This book presents a reinvigorating look at psychology and its societal purpose, offering a bold new philosophical foundation from which professionals in the field can deeply examine their work.
Early German Romanticism sought to respond to a comprehensive sense of spiritual crisis that characterised the late eighteenth century. The study demonstrates how the Romantics sought to bring together the new post-Kantian idealist philosophy with the inheritance of the realist Platonic-Christian tradition. With idealism they continued to champion the individual, while from Platonism they took the notion that all reality, including the self, participated in absolute being. This insight was expressed, not in the language of theology or philosophy, but through (...) aesthetics, which recognised the potentiality of all creation, including artistic creation, to disclose the divine. In explicating the religious vision of Romanticism, this study offers a new historical appreciation of the movement, and furthermore demonstrates its importance for our understanding of religion today. (shrink)
Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged: A Philosophical and Uterary Companion, a new book edited by Edward W. Younkins, provides a reminder of how much Rand's great novel has to say on a broad range of subjects—and of what a joy the book has been for so many to read. This review summarizes and comments on the book's essays.
The rapid rise in interest in geoengineering the climate as a response to global warming presents a clear and significant challenge to environmental ethics. The paper articulates what I call the 'presumptive argument' against geoengineering from environmental ethics, a presumption strong enough to make geoengineering almost 'unthinkable' from within that tradition. Two rationales for suspending that presumption are next considered. One of them is a 'lesser evil' argument, the other makes connections between the presumptive argument, ecofacism, and the anthropocentrism/non-anthropocentrism debate. (...) The discussion is designed to prompt reflection on how environmental ethicists should orient themselves to the rapidly moving geoengineering debate and what they should think about the moral significance of the earth's large-scale biogeochemical processes compared to the moral significance of individuals, species, and ecosystems. (shrink)
This essay examines the connections between dress, religion, and gender, specifically, contextual practices and underlying beliefs concerning dress among women in Tuareg communities of Niger and Mali, West Africa, who speak a Berber language, Tamajaq, predominantly adhere to Islam, are semi-nomadic, socially stratified, and display influences from pre- and popular Islamic, nation-state, and global forces. The Tuareg data reveals both common themes and inter- and intra-cultural variations in Muslim women’s dress, thereby challenging monolithic interpretations of women’s dress in Islamic communities.More (...) broadly, the essay calls for attention to the contested meanings of dress in terms of its special semiotic qualities: it is portable, can be disassembled and reassembled, and can be subtly re-arranged to convey ambiguous but powerful meanings that are neither unitary or stable. (shrink)
Through a detailed re-reading of Saussure's work in the light of contemporary developments in the human, life and physical sciences, Paul Thibault provides us with the means to redefine and refocus our theories of social meaning-making. Saussure's theory of language is generally considered to be a formal theory of abstract sign-types and sign-systems, separate from our individual and social practices of making meaning. In this challenging book, Thibault presents a different view of Saussure. Paying close attention to the original texts, (...) including the Cours de Linguistic Generale, he demonstrates that Saussure was centrally concerned with trying to formulate a theory of how meanings are made. In addition to demonstrating the continuing viability of Saussure's thinking through a range of examples, Re-reading Saussure makes an important intervention in contemporary linguistic and semiotic debate. (shrink)
This paper challenges the foundational claim that the human family is no more than a social construction. It advances the position that the family is a central category of experience, being, and knowledge. Throughout, the analysis argues for the centrality of the family for human flourishing and, consequently, for the importance of sustaining family-oriented practices within social policy, such as more family-oriented approaches to consent to medical treatment. Where individually oriented approaches to medical decision-making accent an ethos of isolated personal (...) autonomy family-oriented approaches acknowledge the central social and moral reality of the family. I argue that the family ought to be appreciated as more than a mere network of personal relations and individual undertakings; the family possesses a being that is social and moral such that it realizes a particular structure of human good and sustains the necessary conditions for core areas of human flourishing. Moreover, since the family exists as a nexus of face-to-face relationships, the consent of persons, including adults, to be members of a particular family, subject to its own respective account of family sovereignty, is significantly more amply demonstrated than the consent of citizens to be under the authority of a particular state. As a result, in the face of a general Western bioethical affirmation of the autonomy of individuals, as if adults and children were morally and socially isolated agents, this paper argues that social space must nevertheless be made for families to choose on behalf of their own members. (shrink)
Contemporary approaches to the study of suicide tend to examine suicide as a medical or public health problem rather than a moral problem, avoiding the kinds of judgements that have historically characterised discussions of the phenomenon. But morality entails more than judgement about action or behaviour, and our understanding of suicide can be enhanced by attending to its cultural, social, and linguistic connotations. In this work, I offer a theoretical reconstruction of suicide as a form of moral experience that delineates (...) five distinct, yet interrelated domains of understanding: the temporal, the relational, the existential, the ontological, and the linguistic. Attention to each of these domains, I argue, not only enriches our understanding of the moral realm but also provides a heuristic for examining the moral traditions and practices that constitute contemporary understandings of suicide. (shrink)
After recognizing that technologies are socially constructed, questions arise concerning how technologies should be constructed, by what processes, and granting how much influence to whom. Because partisanship, uncertainty, and disagreement are inevitable in trying to answer these questions, reconstructivist scholarship should embrace the desirability of thoughtful partisanship, should focus on strategies for coping intelligently with uncertainties, and should make central the study of social processes for coping with disagreement regarding technoscience and its utilization. That often will entail siding with have-nots, (...) meaning that reconstructivist scholars often will be opposing the behaviors of government, business, and technoscientific elites. Because reconstructivists normally will be outnumbered, we need to devote more systematic professional attention to setting our collective agenda concerning what is most worth researching. (shrink)
This article traces the multiple enactments of sex in clinical practices of transgender medicine to argue against the presumed singularity of ‘transexuality’. Using autoethnography to analyse my own experience as a trans patient, I describe my clinical encounters with doctors, psychiatrists and surgeons in order to theorise sex as multiple. Following recent developments in science and technology studies that advance the work of Judith Butler on sex as performatively reproduced, I use a praxiographic approach to argue that treatment practices produce (...) particular iterations of what sex ‘is’ and how these processes limit and foreclose other trans possibilities. I consider the ethical, political and material-discursive implications of treatment practices and offer a series of reflections about the effects and effectiveness of current clinical practices and the possibilities for intervening in such processes in order that, following Annemarie Mol, we might make sex differently. (shrink)
OBJECTIVES: To review the characteristics and performance of research ethics committees in Spain in the evaluation of multicentre clinical trial drug protocols. DESIGN: A prospective study of 100 applications. SETTING: Forty-one committees reviewing clinical trial protocols, involving 50 hospitals in 25 cities. MAIN MEASURES: Protocol-related features, characteristics of research ethics committees and evaluation dynamics. RESULTS: The 100 applications involved 15 protocols (of which 12 were multinational) with 12 drugs. Committees met monthly (except one). They had a mean number of 12 (...) members, requested a mean of six complete dossiers and nine additional copies of the protocol with a mean deadline of 14 days before the meeting. All applications were approved except three (two of the three were open-label long-term safety trials rejected by the same committee), which were approved by the other committees involved. The mean time from submission to approval was 64 days. The mean time from submission to arrival of the approval document at our offices was 85 days. Twenty-five committees raised queries for 38 of the 97 finally approved applications. Impact of evaluation fee, number of members, queries raised and experience of committees on timings were not statistically significant. CONCLUSION: Obtaining ethical approval is time-consuming. There is much diversity in the research ethics committees' performance. A remarkable delay (> 20 days) exists between the decision and the arrival of the written approval, suggesting administrative or organisational problems. (shrink)
This volume presents new texts of Cicero's dialogues on political philosophy, De Re Publica and De Legibus, together with corrected versions of the editor's previously published editions of Cato Maior de Senectute and Laelius de Amicitia. The texts are based on a full reconsideration of the manuscript evidence and are presented in a clear and readable form.
Modern concepts of vocation often refer to some ambiguous understanding of personal occupation or religious life. These interpretations appear to be in tension with the Christian understanding of vocation as the call of God given to a community to a certain way of living. Christian physicians live into this communal vocation when they remain present to the suffering as a sign of God’s faithfulness. This vocational practice of medicine is threatened by a distorted understanding of the body that stems from (...) what Max Weber called the “disenchantment” of the world. By bringing an understanding of the medicine that stems from Weber’s disenchantment into conversation with the language and beliefs of the church, this essay will seek to explore practices that might serve to re-enchant an understanding of the body and the practice of medicine as a form of Christian vocation. (shrink)
Discourses of public education reform, like that exemplified within the Queensland Government's future vision document, Queensland State Education‐2010 , position schooling as a panacea to pervasive social instability and a means to achieve a new consensus. However, in unravelling the many conflicting statements that conjoin to form education policy and inform related literature , it becomes clear that education reform discourse is polyvalent . Alongside visionary statements that speak of public education as a vehicle for social justice are the visionary (...) or those reflecting neoliberal individualism and a conservative politics. In this paper, it is argued that the latter coagulate to form strategic discursive practices which work to secure dominant relations of power. Further, discussion of the characteristics needed by the ‘ideal’ future citizen of Queensland reflect efforts to ‘tame change through the making of the child’ . The casualties of this vision and the refusal to investigate the pathologies of ‘traditional’ schooling are the children who, for whatever reason, do not conform to the norm of the desired school child as an ‘ideal’ citizen‐in‐the‐making and who become relegated to alternative educational settings. (shrink)
The task of being oneself lies at the heart of human existence and entails the possibility of not being oneself. In the case of schizophrenia, this possibility may come to the fore in a disturbing way. Patients often report that they feel alienated from themselves. Therefore, it is perhaps unsurprising that schizophrenia sometimes has been described with the heideggerian notion of inauthenticity. The aim of this paper is to explore if this description is adequate. We discuss two phenomenological accounts of (...) schizophrenia: Binswanger’s account of schizophrenia as a form of inauthenticity and Blankenburg’s account of schizophrenia as a loss of common sense, which seems construable as a loss of inauthenticity. We argue that the accounts are highlighting aspects of the same underlying phenomenon, viz. schizophrenic autism. Moreover, we argue that Binswanger’s description of schizophrenia as a form of inauthenticity is inadequate and we discuss experiences of self-alienation in schizophrenia. (shrink)
Reseña del libro Dubucs, J., & Bourdeau, M.. Constructivity and Computability in Historical and Philosophical Perspective. Springer Netherlands, XI. 214, pp. ISBN: 978-94-017-9216-5 978-94-017-9217-2, €83.29.
ABSTRACT The article revisits the history of the ‘Eastern Question’ and its impact in late Victorian England through the lens of the British scholar Arthur J. Evans. Evans is best known for his archaeological discoveries in the island of Crete in the beginning of the twentieth century. His journalistic and archaeological ventures in the Balkans in the 1870s and 1880s have received scant attention. The article recovers Evans’ activities which straddled humanitarianism, political activism, archaeology, anthropology/ethnography and journalism. Although Evans was (...) not a systematic thinker on international affairs, his writings typified the liberal internationalist ambivalences on the ‘plight’ of eastern christians in southeastern Europe and the Balkans. The article argues that his thought fused two interrelated temporal frames: the deep anthropological and archaeological time of ancient civilizations and the modern framework of nationalist politics. These different horizons guided his understanding of the world of international affairs and underpinned the key role he played in debates on the Bosnian and Albanian questions. (shrink)