The sharing economy as an emerging field is characterized by unsettled debates about its shared purpose and defining characteristics of the organizations within this field. This study draws on neo-institutional theory to explore how sharing organizations position themselves vis-à-vis such debates with regard to the values these organizations publicly promote to present themselves as “good” sharing organizations and the business model features they make visible to appear as having the “right” organizational model. This study examines the online self-representations of 62 (...) prototypical sharing organizations in Germany with regard to value propositions and business model features. A semantic network analysis of the features reveals two distinct categories of sharing organizations: grassroots initiatives and platform-based organizations. By showing how value propositions and business model features are linked in the sharing economy, the findings indicate the different legitimation strategies of grassroots initiatives and platform-based organizations, which we term “sustainability by model” and “sustainability by feature.” These findings broaden our understanding of the strategies that organizations apply to cope with societal expectations in the emerging sharing economy. (shrink)
Testimony is an invaluable source of knowledge. We rely on the reports of those around us for everything from the ingredients in our food and medicine to the identity of our family members. Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in the epistemology of testimony. Despite the multitude of views offered, a single thesis is nearly universally accepted: testimonial knowledge is acquired through the process of transmission from speaker to hearer. In this book, Jennifer Lackey shows that this (...) thesis is false and, hence, that the literature on testimony has been shaped at its core by a view that is fundamentally misguided. She then defends a detailed alternative to this conception of testimony: whereas the views currently dominant focus on the epistemic status of what speakers believe, Lackey advances a theory that instead centers on what speakers say. The upshot is that, strictly speaking, we do not learn from one another's beliefs - we learn from one another's words. Once this shift in focus is in place, Lackey goes on to argue that, though positive reasons are necessary for testimonial knowledge, testimony itself is an irreducible epistemic source. This leads to the development of a theory that gives proper credence to testimony's epistemologically dual nature: both the speaker and the hearer must make a positive epistemic contribution to testimonial knowledge. The resulting view not only reveals that testimony has the capacity to generate knowledge, but it also gives appropriate weight to our nature as both socially indebted and individually rational creatures. The approach found in this book will, then, represent a radical departure from the views currently dominating the epistemology of testimony, and thus is intended to reshape our understanding of the deep and ubiquitous reliance we have on the testimony of those around us. (shrink)
Jennifer McKitrick offers an opinionated guide to the philosophy of dispositions. In her view, when an object has a disposition, it is such that, if a certain type of circumstance were to occur, a certain kind of event would occur. Since this is very common for this to be the case, dispositions are an abundant and diverse feature of our world.
Upward mobility through the path of higher education has been an article of faith for generations of working-class, low-income, and immigrant college students. While we know this path usually entails financial sacrifices and hard work, very little attention has been paid to the deep personal compromises such students have to make as they enter worlds vastly different from their own. Measuring the true cost of higher education for those from disadvantaged backgrounds, Moving Up without Losing Your Way looks at the (...) ethical dilemmas of upward mobility—the broken ties with family and friends, the severed connections with former communities, and the loss of identity—faced by students as they strive to earn a successful place in society. -/- Drawing upon philosophy, social science, personal stories, and interviews, Jennifer Morton reframes the college experience, factoring in not just educational and career opportunities but also essential relationships with family, friends, and community. Finding that student strivers tend to give up the latter for the former, negating their sense of self, Morton seeks to reverse this course. She urges educators to empower students with a new narrative of upward mobility—one that honestly situates ethical costs in historical, social, and economic contexts and that allows students to make informed decisions for themselves. -/- A powerful work with practical implications, Moving Up without Losing Your Way paves a hopeful road so that students might achieve social mobility while retaining their best selves. (shrink)
A dramatic shift in British and French ideas about empire unfolded in the sixty years straddling the turn of the nineteenth century. As Jennifer Pitts shows in A Turn to Empire, Adam Smith, Edmund Burke, and Jeremy Bentham were among many at the start of this period to criticize European empires as unjust as well as politically and economically disastrous for the conquering nations. By the mid-nineteenth century, however, the most prominent British and French liberal thinkers, including John Stuart (...) Mill and Alexis de Tocqueville, vigorously supported the conquest of non-European peoples. Pitts explains that this reflected a rise in civilizational self-confidence, as theories of human progress became more triumphalist, less nuanced, and less tolerant of cultural difference. At the same time, imperial expansion abroad came to be seen as a political project that might assist the emergence of stable liberal democracies within Europe. Pitts shows that liberal thinkers usually celebrated for respecting not only human equality and liberty but also pluralism supported an inegalitarian and decidedly nonhumanitarian international politics. Yet such moments represent not a necessary feature of liberal thought but a striking departure from views shared by precisely those late-eighteenth-century thinkers whom Mill and Tocqueville saw as their forebears. Fluently written, A Turn to Empire offers a novel assessment of modern political thought and international justice, and an illuminating perspective on continuing debates over empire, intervention, and liberal political commitments. (shrink)
Testimony is a crucial source of knowledge: we are to a large extent reliant upon what others tell us. It has been the subject of much recent interest in epistemology, and this volume collects twelve original essays on the topic by some of the world's leading philosophers. It will be the starting point for future research in this fertile field. Contributors include Robert Audi, C. A. J. Coady, Elizabeth Fricker, Richard Fumerton, Sanford C. Goldberg, Peter Graham, Jennifer Lackey, Keith (...) Lehrer, Richard Moran, Frederick F. Schmitt, Ernest Sosa, and James Van Cleve. (shrink)
A view of knowledge—what I call the "Deserving Credit View of Knowledge" —found in much of the recent epistemological literature, particularly among so-called virtue epistemologists, centres around the thesis that knowledge is something for which a subject deserves credit. Indeed, this is said to be the central difference between those true beliefs that qualify as knowledge and those that are true merely by luck—the former, unlike the latter, are achievements of the subject and are thereby creditable to her. Moreover, it (...) is often further noted that deserving credit is what explains the additional value that knowledge has over merely lucky true belief. In this paper, I argue that the general conception of knowledge found in the DCVK is fundamentally incorrect. In particular, I show that deserving credit cannot be what distinguishes knowledge from merely lucky true belief since knowledge is not something for which a subject always deserves credit. (shrink)
Literary beauty was once understood as intertwining sensations and ideas, and thus as providing subjective and objective reasons for literary appreciation. However, as theory and philosophy developed, the inevitable claims and counterclaims led to the view that subjective experience was not a reliable guide to literary merit. Literary theory then replaced aesthetics as did philosophy’s focus on literary truth. Along with the demise of the relevance of sensations, literary form also took a back seat. This suggested to some that either (...) literature communicated truth like any other literal form of communication or it was a mere diversion: a springboard to harmless reverie or daydreaming. Neither response satisfactorily captured what was distinctive about literature: the love readers can have for literary texts and the edification or insight claimed of works within each culture’s respective catalogue of classics. However, a concept of literary beauty has again become viable due to developments in theories of pleasure and imagination. If the defining aspect of literature is the imaginative engagement it occasions, and if this imagining is constrained by plausibility and endorsed as effective relative to our goals, ideals, and interests, then literature is not reduced to either mere fact or wish fulfillment. An account of literary beauty is available which defines literature accordingly and explains how subjective and objective reasons for appreciation intertwine to evoke pleasure and insight. (shrink)
Jennifer Lackey presents a ground-breaking exploration of the epistemology of groups, and its implications for group agency and responsibility. She argues that group belief and knowledge depend on what individual group members do or are capable of doing, while being subject to group-level normative requirements.
This is a conversation held at the book launch for Christopher Insole’s Kant and the Divine: From Contemplation to the Moral Law, hosted jointly, in November 2020, by the Centre for Catholic Studies, Durham University, and the Australian Catholic University. The conversation covers the claim made by Insole that Kant believes in God, but is not a Christian, the way in which reason itself is divine for Kant, and the suggestion that reading Kant can open up new possibilities for dialogue (...) between Christian thinkers and contemporary forms of secular religiosity. (shrink)
Practical deliberation consists in thinking about what to do. Such deliberation is deemed rational when it conforms to certain normative requirements. What is often ignored is the role that an agent's context can play in so-called ‘failures’ of rationality. In this paper, I use recent cognitive science research investigating the effects of resource-scarcity on decision-making and cognitive function to argue that context plays an important role in determining which norms should structure an agent's deliberation. This evidence undermines the view that (...) the norms of ‘ideal’ rationality are necessary and universal requirements on deliberation. They are a solution to the problems faced by cognitively limited agents in a context of moderate scarcity. In a context of severe scarcity, the problems faced by cognitively limited agents are different and require deliberation structured by different norms. Agents reason rationally when they use the norms best suited to their context and cognitive capacities. (shrink)
During this period, when disciples were growing in number, a grievance arose on the part of those who spoke Greek, against those who spoke the language of the Jews; they complained that their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution. When Americans think of ethnic conflict, conflict between blacks and whites comes to mind most immediately. Yet ethnic conflict is pervasive around the world. Azerbijanis and Turks in the Soviet Union; Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland; Arabs and Jews (...) in the Middle East; Maoris and English settlers in New Zealand; Muslims and Hindus in India and Pakistan; French and English speakers in Quebec; Africans, Afrikaaners, and mixed-race people in South Africa, in addition to the tribal warfare among the Africans themselves: these are just a few of the more obvious conflicts currently in the news. We observe an even more dizzying array of ethnic conflicts if we look back just a few years. Japanese and Koreans; Mongols and Chinese; Serbs and Croats; Christians and Buddhists in Viet Nam: these ancient antagonisms are not immediately in the news, but they could erupt at any time. And the history of the early Christian Church recounted in the Acts of the Apostles reminds us that suspicion among ethnic groups is not a modern phenomenon; rather, it is ancient. The present paper seeks to address the problem of ethnic conflict in modern western democracies. How can our tools and traditions of participatory governments, relatively free markets, and the common law contribute to some resolution of the ancient problems that we find within our midst? In particular, I want to focus here on the question of ethnic integration. (shrink)
In _Aesthetics and Material Beauty_, Jennifer A. McMahon develops a new aesthetic theory she terms Critical Aesthetic Realism - taking Kantian aesthetics as a starting point and drawing upon contemporary theories of mind from philosophy, psychology, and cognitive science. The creative process does not proceed by a set of rules. Yet the fact that its objects can be understood or appreciated by others suggests that the creative process is constrained by principles to which others have access. According to her (...) update of Kantian aesthetics, beauty is grounded in indeterminate yet systematic principles of perception and cognition. However, Kant’s aesthetic theory rested on a notion of indeterminacy whose consequences for understanding the nature of art were implausible. McMahon conceptualizes "indeterminacy" in terms of contemporary philosophical, psychological, and computational theories of mind. In doing so, she develops an aesthetic theory that reconciles the apparent dichotomies which stem from the tension between the determinacy of communication and the indeterminacy of creativity. Dichotomies such as universality and subjectivity, objectivity and autonomy, cognitivism and non-cognitivism, and truth and beauty are revealed as complementary features of an aesthetic judgment. (shrink)
Psychiatric ethics as professional and biomedical ethics -- The distinctiveness of the psychiatric setting -- Psychiatric ethics as virtue ethics -- Elements of a gender-sensitive ethics for psychiatry -- Some virtues for psychiatrists -- Character and social role -- Case studies in psychiatric virtues.
A fundamental entity is an entity that is ‘ontologically independent’; it does not depend on anything else for its existence or essence. It seems to follow that a fundamental entity is ‘modally free’ in some sense. This assumption, that fundamentality entails modal freedom (or ‘FEMF’ as I shall label the thesis), is used in the service of other arguments in metaphysics. But as I will argue, the road from fundamentality to modal freedom is not so straightforward. The defender of FEMF (...) should provide positive reasons for believing it, especially in light of recent views that are incompatible with it. I examine both direct and indirect routes to FEMF. (shrink)
This book is a concise overview of the relevance and application of moral philosophy to all those involved in business and employment. It is the ideal introduction for beginning students of applied philosophy, business or management ethics.
Uncovers the truth behind the ideas, struggles, and eventually success of Black and Puerto Rican Nationalists regarding key feminist issues of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s While most people believe that the movement to secure voluntary reproductive control for women centered solely on abortion rights, for many women abortion was not the only, or even primary, focus. Jennifer Nelson tells the story of the feminist struggle for legal abortion and reproductive rights in the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s through (...) the particular contributions of women of color. She explores the relationship between second-wave feminists, who were concerned with a woman's right to choose, Black and Puerto Rican Nationalists, who were concerned that Black and Puerto Rican women have as many children as possible “for the revolution,” and women of color themselves, who negotiated between them. Contrary to popular belief, Nelson shows that women of color were able to successfully remake the mainstream women's liberation and abortion rights movements by appropriating select aspects of Black Nationalist politics—including addressing sterilization abuse, access to affordable childcare and healthcare, and ways to raise children out of poverty—for feminist discourse. (shrink)
Kant is the philosophical tradition's arch-anti-consequentialist – if anyone insists that intentions alone make an action what it is, it is Kant. This chapter takes up Kant's account of the relation between intention and action, aiming both to lay it out and to understand why it might appeal. The chapter first maps out the motivational architecture that Kant attributes to us. We have wills that are organized to action by two parallel and sometimes competing motivational systems. One determines us by (...) way of motives that are sensuous, natural and given from without, the other by motives that are intellectual, rational, and given from within. Each set of motives belongs to a system of laws – natural motives to the laws of nature, rational motives to the laws of freedom. For Kant, all things, including actions, are what they are in virtue of the laws governing them; actions, qua actions, are always governed by laws that govern individual wills. These laws are Kantian maxims, 'or subjective practical laws.' Maxims, for Kant, thus make actions the actions they are. The chapter then maps out the implications of this motivational architecture for Kant's theory of value. Maxims always advert to or 'contain' both ends and means. Ends are always specifications of one of two ultimate ends. Actions have the moral value they have depending on which of two ultimate ends the maxim adverts to. The possibilities are 'happiness,' or gratification of desires with sensuous origins, and 'duty,' or accord with the moral demand to will in ways that respect free rational agency wherever it is found. Only actions aimed at the latter – actions with rational motives – have moral value. Actions aimed at the former – actions with natural motives – though not immoral in themselves, become so when pursuit works against rational motives. For Kant, actions aimed at happiness are ultimately allied with efforts to sustain our 'animal' existence, and so are governed by terms and conditions given by the natural world. Actions aimed at duty, in contrast, are ultimately allied with efforts to impose a rational form on nature, to make it over, so to speak, according to values not given by nature itself. Actions aimed at duty, therefore, create a specifically moral world, one in which mores and norms, formal and informal arrangements, institutions, policies, and so on, realize, harmonize, and promote free rational agency itself. Finally, the chapter addresses motivations for Kant's view. The architecture of will and the theories of action and value he proposes allow Kant to accommodate a host of intuitions and commitments. His view makes room for metaphysically free agency, and for the lived experience of motivational freedom from ever-changing natural desires. It makes room for conflicts within the will while still holding out hope that resolution is possible. It accommodates views that the best human lives engage 'higher' faculties in sustained ways. It identifies a stable, necessary, universal end amidst the evident contingency, pluralism, and instability of most ends. It makes us, and not God or nature, the authors of our moral lives. In the end, Kant's 'anti-consequentialism,' his focus on intentions, is a way of insisting on actions that take their character and value from what should matter most to us, namely individual and collective free rational agency, rather than only and always taking the character of reactive responses to circumstance. (shrink)
Philosophers of language have long recognized that in opaque contexts, such as those involving propositional attitude reports, substitution of co-referring names may not preserve truth value. For example, the name ‘Clark Kent’ cannot be substituted for ‘Superman’ in a context like:1. Lois believes that Superman can flywithout a change in truth value. In an earlier paper , Jennifer Saul demonstrated that substitution failure could also occur in ‘simple sentences’ where none of the ordinary opacity-producing conditions existed, such as:2. Superman (...) leaps more tall buildings than Clark Kent does.Accounts focusing on opacity were unable to explain our ‘anti-substitution intuitions’ in such cases.In Simple Sentences, Substitution, and Intuitions, Saul extends her earlier work. She provides a comprehensive presentation and criticism of recent accounts of simple sentence substitution failure, and proposes a new approach drawing on psychological evidence about cognitive processing. Saul's purpose is not merely to solve the substitution puzzle cases, but to make …. (shrink)
This book is a concise overview of the relevance and application of moral philosophy to all those involved in business and employment. It is the ideal introduction for beginning students of applied philosophy, business or management ethics.
The rise of experimental philosophy is generating pressing methodological questions for philosophers. Can findings from experimental studies hold any significance for philosophy as a discipline? Can philosophical theorizing be improved through consideration of such studies? Do these studies threaten traditional philosophical methodology?
Jennifer Trusted's new book argues that metaphysical beliefs are essential for scientific inquiry. The theories, presuppositions and beliefs that neither science nor everyday experience can justify are the realm of metaphysics, literally `beyond physics'. These basic beliefs form a framework for our activities and can be discovered in science, common sense and religion. By examining the history of science from the eleventh century to the present, this book shows how religious and mystical beliefs, as well as philosophical speculation have (...) had a considerable role in motivating scientists and inspiring scientific inquiry. _Physics and Metaphysics_ presupposes no technical knowledge of either philosophy or science. It is an ideal introduction to science and the important forces that have shaped its history and ideas. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Conceptual engineering provides a prima facie attractive alternative to traditional, conceptual analysis based approaches to philosophical method – particularly for those with doubts about the epistemic merits of intuition. As such, it seems to be a natural fit for those persuaded by the critiques of intuition offered by experimental philosophy. Recently, a number of authors [Schupbach, J. 2015. “Experimental Explication.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 : 672–710; Shepherd, J., and J. Justus. 2015. “X-Phi and Carnapian Explication.” Erkenntnis 80 : (...) 381–402; Fisher, J. 2015. “Pragmatic Experimental Philosophy.” Philosophical Psychology 28: 412–433; Machery, E. 2017. Philosophy Within its Proper Bounds. Oxford University Press] have suggested that experimental philosophy might be employed in service of conceptual engineering. In this paper, I provide a novel argument for x-phi’s relevance to conceptual engineering, based on a ‘functionalist’ approach to conceptual engineering. In short, I argue that experimental philosophy is distinctively well-suited to investigation of the purposes or functions which our concepts serve, and the means by which they fulfil those functions. Experimental philosophy thereby uncovers potential engineering solutions that may serve as models for the conceptual engineer. (shrink)
Truth, Trust and Medicine investigates the notion of trust and honesty in medicine, and questions whether honesty and openness are of equal importance in maintaining the trust necessary in doctor-patient relationships. Jackson begins with the premise that those in the medical profession have a basic duty to be worthy of the trust their patients place in them. Yet questions of the ethics of withholding information and consent and covert surveillance in care units persist. This book boldly addresses these questions which (...) disturb our very modern notions of a patient's autonomy, self-determination and informed consent. (shrink)
Recent years have seen growing concerns about threats to academic freedom in light of the changing norms of and demands on the university. This volume brings together contributions from leading philosophers about the latest issues - ranging from safe spaces to social media controversies - and traditional challenges for academic freedom.
The emergence of modern science is a history of disentanglement, as science detached itself first from religion and then from philosophy. Jennifer Trusted in Physics and Metaphysics argues that science -- in its haste to tear itself from its historical links -- has neglected the various roles religious and philosophical ideas have actually played and continue to play in scientific thinking. This book seeks to redress the balance by exploring how metaphysical beliefs have functioned in the history of scientific (...) inquiry and discovery. By examining the history of science from the eleventh century to the present, this book shows how religious and mystical beliefs, as well as philosophical speculation, have had a considerable role in motivating scientists and inspiring scientific inquiry. Physics and Metaphysics presupposes no technical knowledge of either philosophy or science, and as such it is an ideal introduction to science and the importantforces that have shaped its history and ideas. (shrink)
Jennifer Radden finds, within Robert Burton's religious and humoral explanations in his Anatomy of Melancholy, a remarkably coherent account of normal and abnormal psychology with echoes in modern day clinical psychology.
This book outlines the scale and scope of ableist bias, as it manifests both institutionally and intergenerationally. Ranging across disability studies, continental philosophy, and bioethics, the philosophical questions addressed in this work confront and resist ableism as it frames our world in uninhabitable and unsustainable ways.
According to the scientific image, aesthetic experience is constituted by private reverie or mindless gratification of some kind. This image fails to fully acknowledge the theoretical and hence cultural aspect of perception, which includes aesthetic experience. This chapter reframes aesthetic reflective judgment in terms of perceptual processes (section 2); intentional pleasure (section 3); non-perceptually represented perceptual properties (section 4); and intersubjectivity (section 5). By clarifying the relevant terms, the liberal naturalist account of the sublime provides the link between the sublime (...) and moral motivation (section 6). (shrink)
Aristotle's requirement that virtuous actions be chosen for themselves is typically interpreted, in Kantian terms, as taking virtuous action to have intrinsic rather than consequentialist value. This raises problems about how to reconcile Aristotle's requirement with (a) the fact that virtuous actions typically aim at ends beyond themselves (usually benefits to others); and (b) Aristotle's apparent requirement that everything (including virtuous action) be chosen for the sake of eudaimonia. I offer an alternative interpretation, based on Aristotle's account of loving a (...) friend for herself, according to which choosing a virtuous action for itself involves choosing it on account of those features of it that make it the kind of action it is, where these features include its intended consequences (such as the benefits it seeks to provide to others). I then suggest that Aristotle may take these consequences (including benefits to others) as contributing (and contributing non-instrumentally) to the agent's own eudaimonia, and that there is no conflict here with Aristotle's view that eudaimonia is an activity of the soul. For just as my activity of teaching is actualized in my students (provided they learn from me), so too my virtuous activity can be actualized in its beneficiaries. If this is right, then Aristotle's view is far from the Stoic (and proto-Kantian) view often attributed to him. (shrink)
Part graphic novel, part feminist and philosophical analysis, The Pregnancy ≠ Childbearing Project explores how pregnancy can be a meaningful and distinct phenomenon from childbirth and does not equate with childbearing or the production of children.
This is a comprehensive resource of original essays by leading thinkers exploring the newly emerging inter-disciplinary field of the philosophy of psychiatry. The contributors aim to define this exciting field and to highlight the philosophical assumptions and issues that underlie psychiatric theory and practice, the category of mental disorder, and rationales for its social, clinical and legal treatment. As a branch of medicine and a healing practice, psychiatry relies on presuppositions that are deeply and unavoidably philosophical. Conceptions of rationality, personhood (...) and autonomy frame our understanding and treatment of mental disorder. Philosophical questions of evidence, reality, truth, science, and values give meaning to each of the social institutions and practices concerned with mental health care. The psyche, the mind and its relation to the body, subjectivity and consciousness, personal identity and character, thought, will, memory, and emotions are equally the stuff of traditional philosophical inquiry and of the psychiatric enterprise. A new research field--the philosophy of psychiatry--began to form during the last two decades of the twentieth century. Prompted by a growing recognition that philosophical ideas underlie many aspects of clinical practice, psychiatric theorizing and research, mental health policy, and the economics and politics of mental health care, academic philosophers, practitioners, and philosophically trained psychiatrists have begun a series of vital, cross-disciplinary exchanges. This volume provides a sampling of the research yield of those exchanges. Leading thinkers in this area, including clinicians, philosophers, psychologists, and interdisciplinary teams, provide original discussions that are not only expository and critical, but also a reflection of their authors' distinctive and often powerful and imaginative viewpoints and theories. All the discussions break new theoretical ground. As befits such an interdisciplinary effort, they are methodologically eclectic, and varied and divergent in their assumptions and conclusions; together, they comprise a significant new exploration, definition, and mapping of the philosophical aspects of psychiatric theory and practice. (shrink)
A stimulating and accessible introduction to feminist philosophy. The chapters are organised around key issues of practical significance. Clear arguments are provided for a variety of feminist positions, drawing upon up-to-date empirical research. No background in feminism or philosophy is needed, and the clarity of the narrative ensures that Feminism: Issues and Arguments will appeal to a wide audience.
This paper argues that Kantians face a little discussed problem in accounting for how actions that fulfill imperfect duties can be morally motivated. It is widely agreed that actions that are performed from the motive of duty are performed through a recognition of the objective necessity of the action. It is also generally held that the objective necessity of an action consists in its rational non-optionality. Many actions that fulfill imperfect duties, however, are rationally optional. Given these constraints, it is (...) impossible that such rationally optional actions could be performed from the motive of duty. After presenting the problem as one that Kantians should find genuinely pressing, this paper offers a solution by advancing an alternative to the conception of rational necessity widely shared by Kantians. On the alternative view presented here, an action is rationally necessary if and only if the justifying reasons that speak in favor of performing the action do not depend on any empirical and therefore contingent motivational source on the part of an agent. Such actions may well be rationally optional. Moral motivation is therefore possible even in the case of rationally optional actions. Abbreviations: The following abbreviations are used for Kant’s works. All translations are from Practical Philosophy, ed. Mary J. Gregor. Citations are given by the abbreviation, the volume, and the page number from Kant’s Gesammelte Schriften, edited by the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences. G.Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten.KpVKritik der praktischen Vernunft.MSDie Metaphysik der Sitten. (shrink)
The sublime is an aspect of experience that has attracted a great deal of scholarship, not only for scholarly reasons but because it connotes aspects of experience not exhausted by what Descartes once called clear distinct perception. That is, the sublime is an experience of the world which involves us in orientating ourselves within it, and this orientation, our human orientation, elevates us in comparison to the non-human world according to traditional accounts of the sublime. The sublime tells us something (...) about our relation to the world rather than anything about the world per se. Nonetheless there is an objective sense of the sublime in that the narratives involved are culturally endorsed rather than invented by an individual. This means that objects can be judged worthy or not of evoking experiences of the sublime. In other words, it is not an idiosyncratic matter. Immanuel Kant’s formulation of this involved explaining how such an experience is possible in terms of his system of the mind. Jane Forsey notes that Kant takes the features of the sublime as given and extrapolates from them certain features of the mind as if any concept of the sublime must implicate the mental architecture of his account (2007). Further to this she argues that in fact the concept of the sublime does implicate a particular system of the mind but neither Kant nor anyone else can successfully formulate it because the concept itself frames certain contradictions. According to Forsey, two consequences follow. First she argues that Kant’s system of the mind does not support the features of the sublime; and secondly that no system could as the very concept is incoherent. If Forsey can show that Kant was mistaken in presenting his account as coherent given his commitments, this would be of interest in its own right. However, her stronger claim is that we cannot separate any concept of the sublime out from Kant’s theoretical underpinnings. That the way the features of the mind are meant to operate in experiences of the sublime are contradictory simply points to the fatal flaws in the whole concept. Her conclusion is that there is no coherent account of the sublime available to us. I will argue that Forsey bases her reasoning on the assumption that a foundational empiricist or direct perception holds; and she interprets Kant’s notions of imagination, understanding and reason as though they are grounded in just such an account of perception. This is revealed in her interpretation of Kant’s phrase “beyond cognition”. Once this foundationalism is replaced with an account of perception more aligned with current research on perception, both philosophical and empirical, then an account of the sublime is available. Further to this however, I argue that what constitutes the narrative of the sublime is historically contingent. Before setting out my arguments, I consider Forsey’s argument in more detail. (shrink)
Substitution and simple sentences -- Simple sentences and semantics -- Simple sentences and implicatures -- The enlightenment problem and a common assumption -- Abandoning (EOI) -- Beyond matching propositions -- App. A : extending the account -- App. B : belief reporting.