In his recent book The Idea of Justice, Amartya Sen suggests that political philosophy should move beyond the dominant, Rawls-inspired, methodological paradigm – what Sen calls ‘transcendental institutionalism’ – towards a more practically oriented approach to justice: ‘realization-focused comparison’. In this article, I argue that Sen's call for a paradigm shift in thinking about justice is unwarranted. I show that his criticisms of the Rawlsian approach are either based on misunderstandings, or correct but of little consequence, and conclude that the (...) Rawlsian approach already delivers much of what Sen himself wants from a theory of justice. (shrink)
In this comprehensive new study of human free agency, Laura Waddell Ekstrom critically surveys contemporary philosophical literature and provides a novel account of the conditions for free action. Ekstrom argues that incompatibilism concerning free will and causal determinism is true and thus the right account of the nature of free action must be indeterminist in nature. She examines a variety of libertarian approaches, ultimately defending an account relying on indeterministic causation among events and appealing to agent causation only in (...) a reducible sense. Written in an engaging style and incorporating recent scholarship, this study is critical reading for scholars and students interested in the topics of motivation, causation, responsibility, and freedom. In broadly covering the important positions of others along with its exposition of the author’s own view, Free Will provides both a significant scholarly contribution and a valuable text for courses in metaphysics and action theory. (shrink)
The orthodox view of anger takes desires for revenge or retribution to be central to the emotion. In this paper, I develop an empirically informed challenge to the retributive view of anger. In so doing, I argue that a distinct desire is central to anger: a desire for recognition. Desires for recognition aim at the targets of anger acknowledging the wrong they have committed, as opposed to aiming for their suffering. In light of the centrality of this desire for recognition, (...) I argue that the retributive view of anger should be abandoned. I consider and dismiss two types of moves that can be made on the part of a proponent of the orthodox view in response to my argument. I propose that a pluralist view, which allows for both retribution and recognition in anger, is to be preferred. (shrink)
Throughout his writings, and particularly in Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason, Kant alludes to the idea that evil is connected to self-deceit, and while numerous commentators regard this as a highly attractive thesis, none have seriously explored it. Kant on Evil, Self-Deception, and Moral Reform addresses this crucial element of Kant's ethical theory. -/- Working with both Kant's core texts on ethics and materials less often cited within scholarship on Kant's practical philosophy (such as Kant's logic lectures), Papish (...) explores the cognitive dimensions of Kant's accounts of evil and moral reform while engaging the most influential -- and often scathing -- of Kant's critics. Her book asks what self-deception is for Kant, why and how it is connected to evil, and how we achieve the self-knowledge that should take the place of self-deceit. (shrink)
Language expert and psychologist, Laurent Danon-Boileau, has spent a lifetime trying to release silent children's ability to communicate. This book describes his treatment of six patients, all of whom were able to begin normal schooling after treatment: it is a landmark in the field.Children who speak late are a source of anxiety to parents and evoke conflicting responses from professionals. Professor Danon-Boileau argues that language disorders are too often considered from the perspective of either psychology or neurology and (...) that the key to understanding lies in investigating the interactions of developmental, social, and neurobiological factors.The Silent Child allows the reader to meet the children as they are gently guided by the author towards communication, first without language, using toys and games, and then gradually to the ability to talk. (shrink)
Many theists of a traditional bent have been bothered by the apparent tension between God's essential omnipotence and his essential moral goodness. Nelson Pike draws attention to the conflict between these two attributes in his article ‘Omnipotence and God's Ability to Sin’, and there have been many attempts to respond to it since that time. Most of these responses argue that the essential omnipotence and essential goodness of God are not logically incompatible, so that the traditional conception of God is (...) not incoherent; I think the arguments have been largely successful. However, some theists have found the typical responses to Pike less than convincing, and are tempted to surrender the claim that God has moral perfection essentially in favour of the more modest claim that God is morally perfect in the actual world though in some possible worlds God is morally defective. I argue in this paper that this fall-back position is incoherent. More accurately, I argue that a necessary being who is essentially omniscient and essentially omnipotent cannot be contingently morally perfect or contingently morally defective. Any such being is either essentially good or essentially evil. Since the latter alternative seems unattractive, I argue that theists should embrace the essential moral perfection of God. (shrink)
The idea at the core of the New Mechanical account of explanation can be summarized in the claim that explaining means showing ‘how things work’. This simple motto hints at three basic features of Mechanistic Explanation (ME): ME is an explanation-how, that implies the description of the processes underlying the phenomenon to be explained and of the entities that engage in such processes. These three elements trace a fundamental contrast with the view inherited from Hume and later from strict logical (...) empiricism (see Creath 2017), focused on epistemic and formal features of science and according to which issues concerning the kind of entities and processes that lie within a theory’s domain are extraneous to science and belong instead to ontology or metaphysics. Philosophers belonging to the new mechanical philosophy believe that the received view of scientific explanation (Hempel 2001), pivoting on the notion of law of nature, overshadows this insight. Since its origin in the 17th century, mechanical philosophy aimed to explain natural phenomena by reducing them to mechanisms. Traditional attempts to define the concept of mechanism involved the identification of a limited set of fundamental elements as, for instance, contact action, action at a distance, inertial motion (see e.g. Hesse 2005), and, more recently, transmission of a mark, or of a conserved quantity (see Frisch, this volume). The new mechanical philosophy rejects this austere characterization of mechanisms and mechanistic explanation and aim at providing a novel, philosophically rigorous explication of the concept of mechanism and of its role in scientific explanation and practice. ME has been adopted with profit in philosophy of special sciences (for instance in biomedical sciences, e.g. in the explanation of chemical transmission at synapses ((Machamer, Darden and Craver 2000), MDC henceforth); but also in social sciences, e.g. the three kinds of social mechanisms in Coleman’s analysis of Max Weber’s account of the role of the Protestant ethic in the growth of capitalism (Hedström and Swedberg 1998)), where exceptionless regularities are rarely ever found. In physics, it is generally possible to formulate explanations in law-based form, with the result that the plurality of explanatory forms might be overlooked. This should not come as a surprise, given that physics was the main inspiration for logical empiricists, and, in particular, Newtonian physics was a template for Hempel’s formulation of the covering law model. However, this situation is unfortunate, since, we will argue, knowing how things work is often part of the explanation of physical phenomena. In this chapter, we provide an introduction to the basic features of ME, with specific focus on its application to physics (section 1). The main part of the chapter is devoted to the defence of two theses: on the one hand, some domains of physics are not compatible with mechanistic reasoning and explanation (section 2); on the other hand, a comprehensive account of explanation in physics can’t dispense with ME (section 3). (shrink)
The Victorian period in Britain was an “age of reform.” It is therefore not surprising that two of the era’s most eminent intellects described themselves as reformers. Both William Whewell and John Stuart Mill believed that by reforming philosophy—including the philosophy of science—they could effect social and political change. But their divergent visions of this societal transformation led to a sustained and spirited controversy that covered morality, politics, science, and economics. Situating their debate within the larger context of Victorian society (...) and its concerns, _Reforming Philosophy_ shows how two very different men captured the intellectual spirit of the day and engaged the attention of other scientists and philosophers, including the young Charles Darwin. Mill—philosopher, political economist, and Parliamentarian—remains a canonical author of Anglo-American philosophy, while Whewell—Anglican cleric, scientist, and educator—is now often overlooked, though in his day he was renowned as an authority on science. Placing their teachings in their proper intellectual, cultural, and argumentative spheres, Laura Snyder revises the standard views of these two important Victorian figures, showing that both men’s concerns remain relevant today. A philosophically and historically sensitive account of the engagement of the major protagonists of Victorian British philosophy, _Reforming Philosophy_ is the first book-length examination of the dispute between Mill and Whewell in its entirety. A rich and nuanced understanding of the intellectual spirit of Victorian Britain, it will be welcomed by philosophers and historians of science, scholars of Victorian studies, and students of the history of philosophy and political economy. (shrink)
Philosophers of quantum mechanics have generally addressed exceedingly simple systems. Laura Ruetsche offers a much-needed study of the interpretation of more complicated systems, and an underexplored family of physical theories, such as quantum field theory and quantum statistical mechanics, showing why they repay philosophical attention. She guides those familiar with the philosophy of ordinary QM into the philosophy of 'QM infinity', by presenting accessible introductions to relevant technical notions and the foundational questions they frame--and then develops and defends answers (...) to some of those questions. Finally, Ruetsche highlights ties between the foundational investigation of QM infinity and philosophy more broadly construed, in particular by using the interpretive problems discussed to motivate new ways to think about the nature of physical possibility and the problem of scientific realism. (shrink)
Naked Science is about contested domains and includes different science cultures: physics, molecular biology, primatology, immunology, ecology, medical environmental, mathematical and navigational domains. While the volume rests on the assumption that science is not autonomous, the book is distinguished by its global perspective. Examining knowledge systems within a planetary frame forces thinking about boundaries that silence or affect knowledge-building. Consideration of ethnoscience and technoscience research within a common framework is overdue for raising questions about deeply held beliefs and assumptions we (...) all carry about scientific knowledge. We need a perspective on how to regard different science traditions because public controversies should not be about a glorified science or a despicable science. Contributors are: Ward Goodenough, Eloisa and Brent Berlin, Colin Scott, Jean Lave, Emily Martin, Troy Duster, Hugh Gusterson, Charles Schwartz, Joan Fujimura, Sharon Traweek, Estellie Smith, Ellen Bielawaski, David Jacobon, Charles Ziegler, Pamela Asquith. (shrink)
Bringing together Luce Irigaray's early psychoanalytically orientated writings with her more recent and more explicitly political writings, Irigaray and Politics weaves together the ontological, political and ethical dimensions of Irigaray's philosophy of sexuate difference in imaginative ways.
Certification and labeling initiatives that seek to enhance environmental and social sustainability are growing rapidly. This article analyzes the expansion of these private regulatory efforts in the coffee sector. We compare the five major third-party certifications – the Organic, Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, Utz Kapeh, and Shade/Bird Friendly initiatives – outlining and contrasting their governance structures, environmental and social standards, and market positions. We argue that certifications that seek to raise ecological and social expectations are likely to be increasingly challenged (...) by those that seek to simply uphold current standards. The vulnerability of these initiatives to market pressures highlights the need for private regulation to work in tandem with public regulation in enhancing social and environmental sustainability. (shrink)
Michel Foucault’s _History of Sexuality_ has been one of the most influential books of the last two decades. It has had an enormous impact on cultural studies and work across many disciplines on gender, sexuality, and the body. Bringing a new set of questions to this key work, Ann Laura Stoler examines volume one of _History of Sexuality_ in an unexplored light. She asks why there has been such a muted engagement with this work among students of colonialism for (...) whom issues of sexuality and power are so essential. Why is the colonial context absent from Foucault’s history of a European sexual discourse that for him defined the bourgeois self? In _Race and the Education of Desire, _Stoler challenges Foucault’s tunnel vision of the West and his marginalization of empire. She also argues that this first volume of _History of Sexuality_ contains a suggestive if not studied treatment of race. Drawing on Foucault’s little-known 1976 College de France lectures, Stoler addresses his treatment of the relationship between biopower, bourgeois sexuality, and what he identified as “racisms of the state.” In this critical and historically grounded analysis based on cultural theory and her own extensive research in Dutch and French colonial archives, Stoler suggests how Foucault’s insights have in the past constrained—and in the future may help shape—the ways we trace the genealogies of race. _Race and the Education of Desire_ will revise current notions of the connections between European and colonial historiography and between the European bourgeois order and the colonial treatment of sexuality. Arguing that a history of European nineteenth-century sexuality must also be a history of race, it will change the way we think about Foucault. (shrink)
The phenomenon of self-anger has been overlooked in the contemporary literature on emotion. This is a failing we should seek to remedy. In this paper I provide the first ef-fort towards a philosophical characterization of self-anger. I argue that self-anger is a genuine instance of anger and that, as such, it is importantly distinct from the negative self-directed emotions of guilt and shame. Doing so will uncover a potentially distinctive role for self-anger in our moral psychology, as one of the (...) strongest affective motiva-tors for self-change. (shrink)
This innovative new volume analyses the role of emotions in knowledge acquisition. It focuses on the field of philosophy of emotions at the exciting intersection between epistemology and philosophy of mind and cognitive science to bring us an in-depth analysis of the epistemological value of emotions in reasoning. With twelve chapters by leading and up-and-coming academics, this edited collection shows that emotions do count for our epistemic enterprise. Against scepticism about the possible positive role emotions play in knowledge, the authors (...) highlight the how and the why of this potential, lucidly exploring the key aspects of the functionality of emotions. This is explored in relation to: specific kinds of knowledge such as self-understanding, group-knowledge and wisdom; specific functions played by certain emotions in these cases, such as disorientation in enquiry and contempt in practical reason; the affective experience of the epistemic subjects and communities. (shrink)
Externalist representationalism is touted as a superior rival to naïve realism, and yet a careful analysis of the externalist representationalist's analysis of our ordinary perceptual experiences shows the view to be far closer to naïve realism than we might have expected. One of the central advertised benefits of representationalist views in general is that they are compatible with the idea that ordinary, illusory and hallucinatory perceptual experiences are of the same fundamental kind. Naïve realists are forced to deny the ‘common (...) fundamental kind claim’ and adopt disjunctivism. However, I argue that externalist representationalism is also a version of disjunctivism. Consequently, one of the main rivals to naïve realism turns out not to be a rival at all. (shrink)
Is religious faith consistent with being an intellectually virtuous thinker? In seeking to answer this question, one quickly finds others, each of which has been the focus of recent renewed attention by epistemologists: What is it to be an intellectually virtuous thinker? Must all reasonable belief be grounded in public evidence? Under what circumstances is a person rationally justified in believing something on trust, on the testimony of another, or because of the conclusions drawn by an intellectual authority? Can it (...) be reasonable to hold a belief on a topic over which there is significant, entrenched disagreement among informed inquirers, or should such disagreement lead all parties to modify or suspend their own judgments? Is there anything about faith that exempts it from measurement against such epistemic norms? And if we would so evaluate it, how exactly should we understand the intellectual commitments faith requires? The volume's introduction provides a roadmap of the central issues and controversies as currently discussed by philosophers. In fourteen new essays written to engage nonspecialists as well as philosophers working in religion and epistemology, a diverse and distinguished group of thinkers then consider the place of intellectual virtue in religious faith, exploring one or more of the specific issues noted above. (shrink)
A companion volume to Free Will: A Philosophical Study, this new anthology collects influential essays on free will, including both well-known contemporary classics and exciting recent work. Agency and Responsibility: Essays on the Metaphysics of Freedom is divided into three parts. The essays in the first section address metaphysical issues concerning free will and causal determinism. The second section groups papers presenting a positive account of the nature of free action, including competing compatibilist and incompatibilist analyses. The third section concerns (...) free will and moral responsibility, including theories of moral responsibility and the challenge to an alternative possibilities condition posed by Frankurt-type scenarios. Distinguished by its balance and consistently high quality, the volume presents papers selected for their significance, innovation, and clarity of expression. Contributors include Harry Frankfurt, Peter van Inwagen, David Lewis, Elizabeth Anscombe, John Martin Fischer, Michael Bratman, Roderick Chisholm, Robert Kane, Peter Strawson, and Susan Wolf. The anthology serves as an up-to-date resource for scholars as well as a useful text for courses in ethics, philosophy of religion, or metaphysics. In addition, paired with Free Will: A Philosophical Study, it would form an excellent upper-level undergraduate or graduate-level course in free will, responsibility, motivation, or action theory. (shrink)
This innovative book takes a new look at environmental ethics and the need for ecological and biological integrity. Laura Westra explores the necessity for radical alteration not only of interpersonal ethics, but also of social institutions and public policy. In the process, Westra denies the validity of majority rule in environmentally ethical concerns. Issues discussed in the book include the link between ecological integrity and human health; an environmental evaluation of business and technology; biotechnology and transgenics in agriculture and (...) aquaculture; and the environmental ethics of the ancient Greeks and Kant. Living in Integrity is a valuable book for philosophers and environmentalists alike. (shrink)
Understanding causal structure is a central task of human cognition. Causal learning underpins the development of our concepts and categories, our intuitive theories, and our capacities for planning, imagination and inference. During the last few years, there has been an interdisciplinary revolution in our understanding of learning and reasoning: Researchers in philosophy, psychology, and computation have discovered new mechanisms for learning the causal structure of the world. This new work provides a rigorous, formal basis for theory theories of concepts and (...) cognitive development, and moreover, the causal learning mechanisms it has uncovered go dramatically beyond the traditional mechanisms of both nativist theories, such as modularity theories, and empiricist ones, such as association or connectionism. (shrink)
The view that physical objects do not, in fact, possess colour properties is certainly the dominant position amongst scientists working on colour vision. It is also a reasonably popular view amongst philosophers. However, the recent philosophical debate about the metaphysical status of colour properties seems to have taken a more realist turn. In this article, I review the main philosophical views – eliminativism, physicalism, dispositionalism and primitivism – and describe the problems they face. I also examine how these views have (...) been classified and suggest that there may be less disparity between some of these positions than previously thought. (shrink)
Feminist therapy is more than a prescription of technique; it is a unique philosophy of psychotherapy. While much has been written on feminism and therapy, this bold book breaks new ground by making explicit and coherent the theoretical underpinnings of feminist therapy.Building on the revolutionary work of feminist scholars who have described how women employ strategies of knowing the world in a manner distinct from men, Laura S. Brown, noted for her pioneering work in the field of ethics and (...) boundaries, shows how these insights should reshape the very nature of the therapeutic encounter. With meticulous care, the author examines key features of the therapeutic encounter with a feminist lens: the power of the therapist; assessment and diagnosis; the nature of change; the ethics of practice; and differences in race, class, and sexual identity. She constructs a vision of therapy that helps the client develop a sense of entitlement to satisfying and equal relationships outside the therapist's office. This powerful vision of feminist therapy is grounded throughout with case examples that illustrate how a dialogue between therapist and client can be healing, subversive, and transformative all at once. (shrink)
Through case studies that highlight the type of information that is seldom reported in the news, Faces of Environmental Racism exposes the type and magnitude of environmental racism, both domestic and international. The essays explore the justice of current environmental practices, asking such questions as whether cost-benefit analysis is an appropriate analytic technique and whether there are alternate routes to sustainable development in the South.
Looking at scholarship on both old' and new' slavery, Laura Brace assesses the work of Aristotle, Locke, Hegel, Kant, Wollstonecraft and Mill, and explores the contemporary concerns of human trafficking and the prison industrial complex to consider the limitations of new slavery' discourse.
Laura Hengehold presents a new, Deleuzian reading of Simone de Beauvoir's phenomenology, the place of recognition in The Second Sex, the philosophical issues in her novels, the important role of her student diaries and her early interest in Bergson and Leibniz.
Laura Marcus is one of the leading literary critics of modernist literature and culture. Dreams of Modernity: Psychoanalysis, Literature, Cinema covers the period from around 1880 to 1930, when modernity as a form of social and cultural life fed into the beginnings of modernism as a cultural form. Railways, cinema, psychoanalysis and the literature of detection - and their impact on modern sensibility - are four of the chief subjects explored. Marcus also stresses the creativity of modernist women writers, (...) including H. D., Dorothy Richardson and Virginia Woolf. The overriding themes of this work bear on the understanding of the early twentieth century as a transitional age, thus raising the question of how 'the moderns' understood the conditions of their own modernity. (shrink)
Deep brain stimulation is a well-accepted treatment for movement disorders and is currently explored as a treatment option for various neurological and psychiatric disorders. Several case studies suggest that DBS may, in some patients, influence mental states critical to personality to such an extent that it affects an individual’s personal identity, i.e. the experience of psychological continuity, of persisting through time as the same person. Without questioning the usefulness of DBS as a treatment option for various serious and treatment refractory (...) conditions, the potential of disruptions of psychological continuity raises a number of ethical and legal questions. An important question is that of legal responsibility if DBS induced changes in a patient’s personality result in damage caused by undesirable or even deviant behavior. Disruptions in psychological continuity can in some cases also have an effect on an individual’s mental competence. This capacity is necessary in order to obtain informed consent to start, continue or stop treatment, and it is therefore not only important from an ethical point of view but also has legal consequences. Taking the existing literature and the Dutch legal system as a starting point, the present paper discusses the implications of DBS induced disruptions in psychological continuity for a patient’s responsibility for action and competence of decision and raises a number of questions that need further research. (shrink)
Laura Papish’s new book comes in the wake of a series of studies of Kant’s conception of evil. Two features distinguish her approach: its emphasis on the connection between evil and self-deception (chapters 1–5), and its attentiveness to the role of self-cognition in moral reform (chapters 6–8). Lucidly written and conversant with recent debates in social and moral psychology, Papish’s book expands the range of topics that typically worry Kantians. Its most important contribution is perhaps to have shown that (...) self-deception and self-cognition are countervailing concepts, which together shed light on the neglected, epistemic dimension of Kant’s practical philosophy. My review will adopt the three-part structure of the book indicated in its title. (shrink)
Outlaw emotions are emotions that stand in tension with one’s wider belief system, often allowing epistemic insight one may have otherwise lacked. Outlaw emotions are thought to play crucial epistemic roles under conditions of oppression. Although the crucial epistemic value of these emotions is widely acknowledged, specific accounts of their epistemic role(s) remain largely programmatic. There are two dominant accounts of the epistemic role of emotions: The Motivational View and the Justificatory View. Philosophers of emotion assume that these dominant ways (...) of accounting for the epistemic role(s) of emotions in general are equipped to account for the epistemic role(s) of outlaw emotions. I argue that this is not the case. I consider and dismiss two responses that could be made on behalf of the most promising account, the Justificatory View, in light of my argument, before sketching an alternative account that should be favoured. (shrink)
This book constructs a deepening, interdisciplinary understanding of adult learning and imaginatively reframes its transformative aspects. The authors explore the tension at the heart of current understanding of ‘transformative’ adult learning: that while it can be framed as both easy and imperative, personal transformation is in fact rooted in the context in which we live, our stories and relationships. At its core, transformation is never easy – nor always desirable – and the authors thus draw on interdisciplinary and auto/biographical inquiry (...) to explore what it means to change our presuppositions and frames of meaning that guide our thinking. Using their linguistic, gendered, academic and cultural differences, the authors illuminate how the social, contextual, cultural, cognitive and psychological dimensions of transformation intertwine. In doing so, they emphasise the importance of transformation as a contingent struggle for meaning and recognition, social justice, fraternity, and the pursuit of truth. This engaging book will be of interest to students and scholars of transformative learning and education. (shrink)
Freud may never have set foot in Cambridge - that hub for the twentieth century's most influential thinkers and scientists - but his intellectual impact there in the years between the two World Wars was immense. This is a story that has long languished untold, buried under different accounts of the dissemination of psychoanalysis. John Forrester and Laura Cameron present a fascinating and deeply textured history of the ways in which a set of Freudian ideas about the workings of (...) the human mind, sexuality and the unconscious affected Cambridge men and women - from A. G. Tansley and W. H. R. Rivers to Bertrand Russell, Bernal, Strachey and Wittgenstein - shaping their thinking across a range of disciplines, from biology to anthropology, and from philosophy to psychology, education and literature. Freud in Cambridge will be welcomed as a major intervention by literary scholars, historians and all readers interested in twentieth-century intellectual and scientific life. (shrink)