In this interesting and engaging book, Shabel offers an interpretation of Kant's philosophy of mathematics as expressed in his critical writings. Shabel's analysis is based on the insight that Kant's philosophical standpoint on mathematics cannot be understood without an investigation into his perception of mathematical practice in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. She aims to illuminate Kant's theory of the construction of concepts in pure intuition—the basis for his conclusion that mathematical knowledge is synthetic a priori. She does this through (...) a contextualized interpretation of his notion of mathematical construction, which she argues can be approached by looking at Euclid's Elements and Christian Wolff's mathematical textbooks. The importance of the former for her interpretation is justified by the fact that nearly all of Kant's mathematical examples in the Critique are Euclidean propositions. The importance of the latter is revealed through the fact that Wolff's textbooks were not only widely read and representative of the state of elementary mathematics during Kant's time; Kant was also intimately familiar with them. During the thirty years prior to the publication of the Critique, he used the textbooks in the college-level introductory courses in mathematics and physics that he taught.In the introduction to her book, Shabel helpfully distinguishes her approach to Kant's philosophy of mathematics from that of previous commentators. She points out that most commentators assessed Kant's thoughts on mathematics in terms of the ‘supposedly devastating effects of the discovery of non-Euclidean geometry on his theory of space’.1 Bertrand Russell, for example, criticized Kant for his lack of a proper …. (shrink)
Lisa Tessman's Burdened Virtues is a deeply original and provocative work that engages questions central to feminist theory and practice, from the perspective of Aristotelian ethics. Focused primarily on selves who endure and resist oppression, she addresses the ways in which devastating conditions confronted by these selves both limit and burden their moral goodness, and affect their possibilities of flourishing. She describes two different forms of "moral trouble" prevalent under oppression. The first is that the oppressed self may be (...) morally damaged, prevented from developing or exercising some of the virtues; the second is that the very conditions of oppression require the oppressed to develop a set of virtues that carry a moral cost to those who practice them--traits that Tessman refers to as "burdened virtues." These virtues have the unusual feature of being disjoined from their bearer's own well being. Tessman's work focuses on issues that have been missed by many feminist moral theories, and her use of the virtue ethics framework brings feminist concerns more closely into contact with mainstream ethical theory. This book will appeal to feminist theorists in philosophy and women's studies, but also more broadly, ethicists and social theorists. (shrink)
Moral Failure: On the Impossible Demands of Morality asks what happens when the sense that "I must" collides with the realization that "I can't." Bringing together philosophical and empirical work in moral psychology, Lisa Tessman here examines moral requirements that are non-negotiable and that contravene the principle that "ought implies can.".
This book endorses feminist critiques of gender, yet upholds the insight of traditional Christianity that sex, commitment and parenthood are fulfilling human relations. Their unity is a positive ideal, though not an absolute norm. Women and men should enjoy equal personal respect and social power. In reply to feminist critics of oppressive gender and sex norms and to communitarian proponents of Christian morality, Cahill argues that effective intercultural criticism of injustice requires a modest defence of moral objectivity. She thus adopts (...) a critical realism as its moral foundation, drawing on Aristotle and Aquinas. Moral judgment should be based on reasonable, practical, prudent and cross-culturally nuanced reflection on human experience. This is combined with a New Testament model of community, centred on solidarity, compassion and inclusion of the economically or socially marginalised. (shrink)
In this accessible yet throught-provoking work, Lisa Tessman takes us through gripping examples of the impossible demands of morality -- some epic, and others quotidian -- whose central predicament is: How do we make decisions when morality demands we do something that we cannot?
Prolonged solitary confinement has become a widespread and standard practice in U.S. prisons—even though it consistently drives healthy prisoners insane, makes the mentally ill sicker, and, according to the testimony of prisoners, threatens to reduce life to a living death. In this profoundly important and original book, Lisa Guenther examines the death-in-life experience of solitary confinement in America from the early nineteenth century to today’s supermax prisons. Documenting how solitary confinement undermines prisoners’ sense of identity and their ability to (...) understand the world, Guenther demonstrates the real effects of forcibly isolating a person for weeks, months, or years. -/- Drawing on the testimony of prisoners and the work of philosophers and social activists from Edmund Husserl and Maurice Merleau-Ponty to Frantz Fanon and Angela Davis, the author defines solitary confinement as a kind of social death. It argues that isolation exposes the relational structure of being by showing what happens when that structure is abused—when prisoners are deprived of the concrete relations with others on which our existence as sense-making creatures depends. Solitary confinement is beyond a form of racial or political violence; it is an assault on being. (shrink)
Lisa Bortolotti argues that some irrational beliefs are epistemically innocent and deliver significant epistemic benefits that could not be easily attained otherwise. While the benefits of the irrational belief may not outweigh the costs, epistemic innocence helps to clarify the epistemic and psychological effects of irrational beliefs on agency.
The statesman, scientist, and philosopher Francis Bacon (1561-1626) lived a divided life. Was he a noble scholar, or a conniving political crook? Was he a homosexual? Lisa Jardine and Alan Stewart draw upon previously untapped sources to create a controversial nuanced portrait of the quintessential "Renaissance man", one whose achievements, while enormous, were nonetheless sadly circumscribed by his class and station.
I extend my direct virtue epistemology to explain how a knowledge-first framework can account for two kinds of positive epistemic standing, one tracked by externalists, who claim that the virtuous duplicate lacks justification, the other tracked by internalists, who claim that the virtuous duplicate has justification, and moreover that such justification is not enjoyed by the vicious duplicate. It also explains what these kinds of epistemic standing have to do with each other. I argue that all justified beliefs are good (...) candidates for knowledge, and are such because they are exercises of competences to know. However, there are two importantly different senses in which a belief may be a good candidate for knowledge, one corresponding to an externalist kind of justification and the other corresponding to an internalist one. I show how the account solves the new evil demon problem in a more satisfactory way than existing accounts. We end up with a view of knowledge, justification, and rationality that is plausible, motivated, and theoretically unified. (shrink)
The Gift of the Other brings together a philosophical analysis of time, embodiment, and ethical responsibility with a feminist critique of the way women’s reproductive capacity has been theorized and represented in Western culture. Author Lisa Guenther develops the ethical and temporal implications of understanding birth as the gift of the Other, a gift which makes existence possible, and already orients this existence toward a radical responsibility for Others. Through an engagement with the work of Levinas, Beauvoir, Arendt, Irigaray, (...) and Kristeva, the author outlines an ethics of maternity based on the givenness of existence and a feminist politics of motherhood which critiques the exploitation of maternal generosity. (shrink)
The world of wage labour seems to have become a soulless machine, an engine of social and environmental destruction. Employees seem to be nothing but 'cogs' in this system - but is this true? Located at the intersection of political theory, moral philosophy, and business ethics, this book questions the picture of the world of work as a 'system'. Hierarchical organizations, both in the public and in the private sphere, have specific features of their own. This does not mean, however, (...) that they cannot leave room for moral responsibility, and maybe even human flourishing. Drawing on detailed empirical case studies, Lisa Herzog analyses the nature of organizations from a normative perspective: their rule-bound character, the ways in which they deal with divided knowledge, and organizational cultures and their relation to morality. The volume examines how individual agency and organizational structures would have to mesh to avoid common moral pitfalls and develops the notion of 'transformational agency', which refers to a critical, creative way of engaging with one's organizational role while remaining committed to basic moral norms. The volume goes on to explore the political and institutional changes that would be required to re-embed organizations into a just society. Whether we submit to 'the system' or try to reclaim it, Herzog argues, is a question of eminent political importance in our globalized world. (shrink)
A critically revised Aristotelian-based virtue ethics has something potentially useful to offer to those engaged in analyzing oppression and creating liberatory projects. A critical virtue ethics can help clarify one of the ways in which oppression interferes with flourishing; specifically, it helps clarify an aspect of oppression that can be called "moral damage.".
Lisa Sideris proposes a new way of thinking about the natural world, an environmental ethic that incorporates the ideas of natural selection and values the processes rather than the products of nature.
It is often thought that the numerous contradictory perspectives in Margaret Cavendish's writings demonstrate her inability to reconcile her feminism with her conservative, royalist politics. In this book Lisa Walters challenges this view and demonstrates that Cavendish's ideas more closely resemble republican thought, and that her methodology is the foundation for subversive political, scientific and gender theories. With an interdisciplinary focus Walters closely examines Cavendish's work and its context, providing the reader with an enriched understanding of women's contribution to (...) early modern scientific theory, political philosophy, culture and folklore. Considering also Cavendish's ideas in relation to Hobbes and Paracelsus, this volume is of great interest to scholars and students of literature, philosophy, history of ideas, political theory, gender studies and history of science. (shrink)
A new theory of how the brain constructs emotions that could revolutionize psychology, health care, law enforcement, and our understanding of the human mind Emotions feel automatic, like uncontrollable reactions to things we think and experience. Scientists have long supported this assumption by claiming that emotions are hardwired in the body or the brain. Today, however, the science of emotion is in the midst of a revolution on par with the discovery of relativity in physics and natural selection in biology--and (...) this paradigm shift has far-reaching implications for us all. Leading the charge is psychologist and neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett, whose theory of emotion is driving a deeper understanding of the mind and brain, and shedding new light on what it means to be human. Her research overturns the widely held belief that emotions are housed in different parts of the brain and are universally expressed and recognized. Instead, she has shown that emotion is constructed in the moment, by core systems that interact across the whole brain, aided by a lifetime of learning. This new theory means that you play a much greater role in your emotional life than you ever thought. Its repercussions are already shaking the foundations not only of psychology but also of medicine, the legal system, child-rearing, meditation, and even airport security. Why do emotions feel automatic? Does rational thought really control emotion? How does emotion affect disease? How can you make your children more emotionally intelligent? How Emotions Are Made answers these questions and many more, revealing the latest research and intriguing practical applications of the new science of emotion, mind, and brain. (shrink)
Delusions are a common symptom of schizophrenia and dementia. Though most English dictionaries define a delusion as a false opinion or belief, there is currently a lively debate about whether delusions are really beliefs and indeed, whether they are even irrational. The book is an interdisciplinary exploration of the nature of delusions. It brings together the psychological literature on the aetiology and the behavioural manifestations of delusions, and the philosophical literature on belief ascription and rationality. The thesis of the book (...) is that delusions are continuous with ordinary beliefs, a thesis that could have important theoretical and practical implications for psychiatric classification and the clinical treatment of subjects with delusions. By bringing together recent work in philosophy of mind, cognitive psychology and psychiatry, the book offers a comprehensive review of the philosophical issues raised by the psychology of normal and abnormal cognition, defends the doxastic conception of delusions, and develops a theory about the role of judgements of rationality and of attributions of self-knowledge in belief ascription. Presenting a highly original analysis of the debate on the nature of delusions, this book will interest philosophers of mind, epistemologists, philosophers of science, cognitive scientists, psychiatrists, and mental health professionals. (shrink)
The net benefit of vaccinating children is unclear, and vulnerable people worldwide should be prioritised instead, say Dominic Wilkinson, Ilora Finlay, and Andrew J Pollard. But Lisa Forsberg and Anthony Skelton argue that covid-19 vaccines have been approved for some children and that children should not be disadvantaged because of policy choices that impede global vaccination.
In his article ‘Making semantics for essence’ (Inquiry, 2019), Justin Zylstra proposed a truthmaker semantics for essence and used it to evaluate principles regarding the explanatory role of essence. The aim of this article is to show that Zylstra's semantics has implausible implications and thus cannot adequately capture essence.
Recently, some have challenged the idea that there are genuine norms of diachronic rationality. Part of this challenge has involved offering replacements for diachronic principles. Skeptics about diachronic rationality believe that we can provide an error theory for it by appealing to synchronic updating rules that, over time, mimic the behavior of diachronic norms. In this paper, I argue that the most promising attempts to develop this position within the Bayesian framework are unsuccessful. I sketch a new synchronic surrogate that (...) draws upon some of the features of each of these earlier attempts. At the heart of this discussion is the question of what exactly it means to say that one norm is a surrogate for another. I argue that surrogacy, in the given context, can be taken as a proxy for the degree to which formal and traditional epistemology can be made compatible. (shrink)
We talk about irrationality when behaviour defies explanation or prediction, when decisions are driven by emotions or instinct rather than by reflection, when reasoning fails to conform to basic principles of logic and probability, and when beliefs lack coherence or empirical support. Depending on the context, agents exhibiting irrational behaviour may be described as foolish, ignorant, unwise or even insane. -/- In this clear and engaging introduction to current debates on irrationality, Lisa Bortolotti presents the many facets of the (...) concept and offers an original account of the importance of judgements of irrationality as value judgements. The book examines the standards against which we measure human behaviour, and reviews the often serious implications of judgements of irrationality for ethics and policy. Bortolotti argues that we should adopt a more critical stance towards accepted standards of rationality in the light of the often surprising outcomes of philosophical inquiry and cognitive science research into decision making. -/- Irrationality is an accessible guide to the concept and will be essential reading for students and scholars interested in the limitations of human cognition and human agency. (shrink)
Stem cell research. Drug company influence. Abortion. Contraception. Long-term and end-of-life care. Human participants research. Informed consent. The list of ethical issues in science, medicine, and public health is long and continually growing. These complex issues pose a daunting task for professionals in the expanding field of bioethics. But what of the practice of bioethics itself? What issues do ethicists and bioethicists confront in their efforts to facilitate sound moral reasoning and judgment in a variety of venues? Are those immersed (...) in the field capable of making the right decisions? How and why do they face moral challenge -- and even compromise -- as ethicists? What values should guide them? In The Ethics of Bioethics, Lisa A. Eckenwiler and Felicia G. Cohn tackle these questions head on, bringing together notable medical ethicists and people outside the discipline to discuss common criticisms, the field's inherent tensions, and efforts to assign values and assess success. Through twenty-five lively essays examining the field's history and trends, shortcomings and strengths, and the political and policy interplay within the bioethical realm, this comprehensive book begins a much-needed critical and constructive discussion of the moral landscape of bioethics. (shrink)
Between the years 1643 and 1649, Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia and René Descartes exchanged fifty-eight letters—thirty-two from Descartes and twenty-six from Elisabeth. Their correspondence contains the only known extant philosophical writings by Elisabeth, revealing her mastery of metaphysics, analytic geometry, and moral philosophy, as well as her keen interest in natural philosophy. The letters are essential reading for anyone interested in Descartes’s philosophy, in particular his account of the human being as a union of mind and body, as well as (...) his ethics. They also provide a unique insight into the character of their authors and the way ideas develop through intellectual collaboration. Philosophers have long been familiar with Descartes’s side of the correspondence. Now Elisabeth’s letters—never before available in translation in their entirety—emerge this volume, adding much-needed context and depth both to Descartes’s ideas and the legacy of the princess. Lisa Shapiro’s annotated edition—which also includes Elisabeth’s correspondence with the Quakers William Penn and Robert Barclay—will be heralded by students of philosophy, feminist theorists, and historians of the early modern period. (shrink)
This volume presents cutting-edge theory and research on emotions as constructed events rather than fixed, essential entities. It provides a thorough introduction to the assumptions, hypotheses, and scientific methods that embody psychological constructionist approaches. Leading scholars examine the neurobiological, cognitive/perceptual, and social processes that give rise to the experiences Western cultures call sadness, anger, fear, and so on. The book explores such compelling questions as how the brain creates emotional experiences, whether the "ingredients" of emotions also give rise to other (...) mental states, and how to define what is or is not an emotion. Introductory and concluding chapters by the editors identify key themes and controversies and compare psychological construction to other theories of emotion. (shrink)
Despite increasing public attention to animal suffering, little seems to have changed: Human beings continue to exploit billions of animals in factory farms, medical laboratories, and elsewhere. In this wide-ranging and perceptive study, Lisa Kemmerer shows how spiritual writings and teachings in seven major religious traditions can help people to consider their ethical obligations toward other creatures.Dr. Kemmerer examines the role of nonhuman animals in scripture and myth, in the lives of religious exemplars, and by drawing on foundational philosophical (...) and moral teachings. She begins with a study of indigenous traditions around the world, then focuses on the religions of India and China, and finally, religions of the Middle East. At the end of each chapter, Kemmerer explores the inspiring lives and work of contemporary animal advocates who are motivated by a personal religious commitment. Animals and World Religions demonstrates that rethinking how we treat nonhuman animals is essential for anyone claiming one of the world's great religions. (shrink)
In this new interpretation of the political writings of Hannah Arendt, Lisa Jane Disch focuses on an issue that remains central to today's debates in political philosophy and feminist theory: the relationship of experience to critical understanding. Discussing a range of Arendt's work including unpublished writings, Disch explores the function of storytelling as a form of critical theory beyond the limits of philosophy.
Experiences of emotion are content-rich events that emerge at the level of psychological description, but must be causally constituted by neurobiological processes. This chapter outlines an emerging scientific agenda for understanding what these experiences feel like and how they arise. We review the available answers to what is felt (i.e., the content that makes up an experience of emotion) and how neurobiological processes instantiate these properties of experience. These answers are then integrated into a broad framework that describes, in psychological (...) terms, how the experience of emotion emerges from more basic processes. We then discuss the role of such experiences in the economy of the mind and behavior. (shrink)
Sex offenders are sometimes offered or required to undergo pharmacological interventions intended to diminish their sex drive (anti-libidinal interventions or ALIs). In this paper, we argue that much of the debate regarding the moral permissibility of ALIs has been founded on an inaccurate assumption regarding their intended purpose—namely, that ALIs are intended solely to realise medical purposes, not correctional goals. This assumption has made it plausible to assert that ALIs may only permissibly be administered to offenders with their valid consent, (...) in line with the approach taken to most other interventions with a medical aim. However, we argue that, contrary to this assumption, the state's intention in relation to at least some ALIs is, at least in part, to achieve correctional objectives. We evaluate two legal regimes for ALI provision—section 645 of the California Penal Code and the mental health regime in England and Wales. In each case, we identify the state's implicit purpose in imposing ALIs and argue that the Californian and English regimes both serve as counterexamples to the view that ALIs are intended solely for medical purposes. While the moral implications of our argument are not straightforward, it raises the question whether consent is required for permissible imposition of ALIs, and more generally, whether the moral permissibility of crime-preventing interventions using medical means should be assessed against the standards of medical ethics or against those of criminal justice ethics. (shrink)
Despite increasing public attention to animal suffering, little seems to have changed: human beings continue to exploit billions of animals in factory farms, medical laboratories, and elsewhere. In this wide-ranging and perceptive study, Lisa Kemmerer shows how spiritual writings and teachings in seven major religious traditions can help people to consider their ethical obligations towards other creatures.
We are currently seeing dramatic changes in the ways we imagine and experience time. Permanent debt, unending violent conflict, climate change, economic instability, and widening social inequalities have led to suggestions that we are now living in the time of the 'end times'. In the shadow of a foreshortened future, the present is increasingly experienced as a form of 'non-stop inertia', resulting in experiences of time as both frenetic but also stuck - revving up, as Ivor Southwood puts it, to (...) go nowhere. So, where do we go and how when all options seem to have run their course and time is no longer moving forward? Enduring Time proposes some alternative relations of time which provide hopeful alternatives to the dominating models of oppression, limitation and exploitation. A strikingly original philosophy of time which also provides students and scholars with a rigorous and detailed survey of contemporary theories of time, Enduring Time is an indispensable read for those attempting to live meaningfully in the current age. (shrink)
This paper considers whether eudaimonism is necessarily an idealizing approach to ethics. I argue, contrary to what is implied by Christine Swanton, that it is not, and I suggest that a non-ideal eudaimonistic virtue ethics can be useful for feminist and critical race theorists. For eudaimonist theorists in the Aristotelian tradition, the claim that one should aim to live virtuously assumes that there will typically be good enough background conditions so that an exercise of the virtues, in conjunction with these (...) favorable external conditions, will suffice for someone to flourish both in the sense of living virtuously and in the sense of living well or living the good life. However, under some forms of oppression the background conditions will not be good enough, and thus an exercise of the virtues will often be insufficient to constitute a flourishing life. It may seem that eudaimonism, with its foregrounding of the concept of flourishing and its assumption of a tight connection between living virtuously and living well, may function as a form of ideology that elides the ways in which non-ideal and oppressive conditions can separate virtue from well-being and can make the state of flourishing (in its dual senses) unattainable. I point out that eudaimonism can be revised to incorporate the claim that virtue and flourishing may typically be unlinked, and I advocate retaining flourishing as an unattainable end, exercising the virtues even with a sense of their absurdity, and confronting the existential states of frustration and disappointment that may result. (shrink)
The Frame Problem is the problem of how one can design a machine to use information so as to behave competently, with respect to the kinds of tasks a genuinely intelligent agent can reliably, effectively perform. I will argue that the way the Frame Problem is standardly interpreted, and so the strategies considered for attempting to solve it, must be updated. We must replace overly simplistic and reductionist assumptions with more sophisticated and plausible ones. In particular, the standard interpretation assumes (...) that mental processes are identical to certain kinds of computational processes, and so solving the Frame Problem is a matter of finding a computational architecture that can effectively represent relations of semantic relevance. Instead, we must take seriously the possibility that the way in which intelligent agents use information is inherently different. Whereas intelligent agents are plausibly genuinely causally sensitive to semantic properties as such (to what they perceive, desire, believe intend, etc.), computational systems can only be causally sensitive to the formal features that represent these properties. Indeed, it is this very substitution of formal generalizations for genuinely semantic ones that is responsible for the way current AI systems are brittle, inflexible, and highly specialized. What we need is a more sophisticated way of investigating the relationship between computational information processing and genuinely semantic information use, so that these two senses of using information are not conflated, but instead the question of how they are related to one another can be studied directly. I apply the generative methodology I have developed elsewhere for cognitive science and AI research (Miracchi, 2017, 2019a) to show how the Frame Problem can be appropriately updated. (shrink)
The cognitive revolution in the 1950s and 1960s led researchers to view the human mind--like a computer--as an information-processing system that encodes, represents, and stores information and is constrained by limits on hardware and software. The emergence of new behavioral, computational, and neuroscience methodologies, has deeply expanded psychologists' understanding of the workings of the infant, child, and adult mind. One result is that research has focused on mechanisms of change, over developmental time, in the information-processing mind.In this book, Lisa (...) Oakes, Cara Cashon, Marianella Casasola, and David Rakison bring together the recent findings and theories about the origins and early development of the information-processing mind, and provide insight into the future directions in the study of infant perception and cognition. The contributors represent a wide-range of research areas in the study of infant perception and cognition, who emphasize the use of diverse methodological techniques to address key questions about development. Their chapters demonstrate how the combination of historical perspectives on the information-processing approach to cognition and recent advances in behavioral, computational, and neuroscience approaches to cognition has contributed to our understanding of how abilities ranging from visual attention to face processing to object categorization have developed during infancy. Across this broad range of topics, it is clear that much of our modern understanding of infant perceptual and cognitive development emerges from the foundation of classic information-processing models of development, such as that of Leslie B. Cohen. The recent advances illustrated in this book show how researchers have built on this foundation to uncover the mechanisms that drive developmental change. (shrink)
_Sister Species: Women, Animals, and Social Justice_ addresses interconnections between speciesism, sexism, racism, and homophobia, clarifying why social justice activists in the twenty-first century must challenge intersecting forms of oppression. This anthology presents bold and gripping--sometimes horrifying--personal narratives from fourteen activists who have personally explored links of oppression between humans and animals, including such exploitative enterprises as cockfighting, factory farming, vivisection, and the bushmeat trade. _Sister Species_ asks readers to rethink how they view "others," how they affect animals with their (...) daily choices, and how they might bring change for all who are abused. These essays remind readers that women have always been important to social justice and animal advocacy, and they urge each of us to recognize the links that continue to bind all oppressed individuals. The astonishing honesty of these contributors demonstrates with painful clarity why every woman should be an animal activist and why every animal activist should be a feminist. Contributors are Carol J. Adams, Tara Sophia Bahna-James, Karen Davis, Elizabeth Jane Farians, Hope Ferdowsian, Linda Fisher, Twyla François, Christine Garcia, A. Breeze Harper, Sangamithra Iyer, Pattrice Jones, Lisa Kemmerer, Allison Lance, Ingrid Newkirk, Lauren Ornelas, and Miyun Park. (shrink)
This book argues that dominant approaches to teaching ethics fail to adequately support ethical action because empowered action requires intentional emotional engagement and oppressive forces have worked against affective pedagogy. Lisa Kretz argues in favor of pedagogical approaches that empower students to be ethically engaged activists.