Mixing fiction, history, psychoanalysis, and personal fantasy, Teresa, My Love turns a past world into a modern marvel, following Sylvia Leclercq, a French psychoanalyst, academic, and incurable insomniac, as she falls for the sixteenth-century Saint Teresa of Avila and becomes consumed with charting her life. Traveling to Spain, Leclercq, Julia Kristeva's probing alter ego, visits the sites and embodiments of the famous mystic and awakens to her own desire for faith, connection, and rebellion. One of Kristeva's most passionate and transporting (...) works, _Teresa, My Love_ interchanges biography, autobiography, analysis, dramatic dialogue, musical scores, and images of paintings and sculpture to engage the reader in Leclercq's--and Kristeva's--journey. Born in 1515, Teresa of Avila outwitted the Spanish Inquisition and was a key reformer of the Carmelite Order. Her experience of ecstasy, which she intimately described in her writings, released her from her body and led to a complete realization of her consciousness, a state Kristeva explores in relation to present-day political failures, religious fundamentalism, and cultural malaise. Incorporating notes from her own psychoanalytic practice, as well as literary and philosophical references, Kristeva builds a fascinating dual diagnosis of contemporary society and the individual psyche while sharing unprecedented insights into her own character. (shrink)
Born in 1515, Teresa of Avila survived the Spanish Inquisition and was a key reformer of the Carmelite Order. Her experience of ecstasy, which she intimately described in her writings, released her from her body and led to a complete realization of her consciousness, a state Julia Kristeva explores as it was expressed in Teresa's writing. Incorporating notes from her own psychoanalytic practice, as well as literary and philosophical references, Kristeva builds a fascinating dual diagnosis of contemporary society and the (...) individual psyche while sharing unprecedented insights into her own character. Through her dazzlingly varied formats Kristeva tests the borderlines of atheism and the need for faith, feminism and the need for a benign patriarchy. (shrink)
This is a critical introduction to modern French philosophy, commissioned from one of the liveliest contemporary practitioners and intended for an English-speaking readership. The dominant 'Anglo-Saxon' reaction to philosophical development in France has for some decades been one of suspicion, occasionally tempered by curiosity but more often hardening into dismissive rejection. But there are signs now of a more sympathetic interest and an increasing readiness to admit and explore shared concerns, even if these are still expressed in a very different (...) idiom and intellectual context. Vincent Descombes offers here a personal guide to the main movements and figures of the last forty-five years. He traces over this period the evolution of thought from a generation preoccupied with the 'three H's' - Hegel, Husserl and Heidegger, to a generation influenced since about 1960 by the 'three masters of suspicion' - Marx, Nietzsche and Freud. In this framework he deals in turn with the thought of Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, the early structuralists, Foucault, Althusser, Serres, Derrida, and finally Deleuze and Lyotard. The 'internal' intellectual history of the period is related to its institutional setting and the wider cultural and political context which has given French philosophy so much of its distinctive character. (shrink)
ONE of the most celebrated mathematical physicists, Pierre-Simon Laplace is often remembered as the mathematician who showed that despite appearances, the Solar System does conform to Newton’s theories. Together with distinguished scholars Robert Fox and Ivor Grattan-Guinness, Charles Gillispie gives us a new perspective, showing that Laplace did not merely vindicate Newton’s system, but had a uniquely creative and independent mind.
This volume is the best available tool to compare and appraise the different approaches of today’s biology and their conceptual frameworks, serving as a springboard for new research on a clarified conceptual basis. It is expected to constitute a key reference work for biologists and philosophers of biology, as well as for all scientists interested in understanding what is at stake in the present transformations of biological models and theories. The volume is distinguished by including, for the first time, self-reflections (...) and exchanges of views on practice and theoretical attitudes by important participants in recent biological debates. The questions of how biological models and theories are constructed, how concepts are chosen and how different models can be articulated, are asked. Then the book explores some of these convergences between different models or theoretical frameworks. Confronting views on adaptive complexity are investigated, as well as the role of self-organization in evolution; niche construction meets developmental biology; the promises of the emergent field of ecological-evolutionary-development are examined. In sum, this book is a marvellous account of the dynamism of today’s theoretical biology. Foreword: Carving Nature at its Joints? Richard Lewontin Chapter 1: Introduction Anouk Barberousse, Michel Morange, Thomas Pradeu Chapter 2: Articulating Different Modes of Explanation: The Present Boundary in Biological Research Michel Morange Chapter 3: Compromising Positions: The Minding of Matter Susan Oyama Chapter 4:ions, Idealizations, and Evolutionary Biology Peter Godfrey-Smith Chapter 5: The Adequacy of Model Systems for Evo-Devo: Modeling the Formation Of Organisms / Modeling the Formation Of Society Scott F. Gilbert Chapter 6: Niche Construction in Evolution, Ecosystems and Developmental Biology John Odling-Smee Chapter 7: Novelty, Plasticity and Niche Construction: The Influence of Phenotypic Variation on Evolution Kim Sterelny Chapter 8: The Evolution of Complexity Mark A. Bedau Chapter 9: Self-Organization, Self-Assembly, and the Origin of Life Evelyn Fox Keller Chapter 10: Self-Organization and Complexity in Evolutionary Theory, or, In this Life the Bread Always Falls Jammy Side Down Michael Ruse. (shrink)
Futuristic fantasy fiction that is produced for female adolescent readers offers a vision of the relationship between the female body, feminine subjectivity and technology that is both unique and ideologically complex because of the way in which it simultaneously interrogates and adheres to liberal humanist conceptualisations of the subject. This article examines three contemporary works of young adult fiction — Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson and ‘Anda’s Game’ by Cory Doctorow — (...) in light of Donna Haraway’s emancipatory vision of the cyborg, investigating how such narratives construct the ideological relationship between technology and feminine subjectivity. (shrink)
[David Charles] Aristotle, it appears, sometimes identifies well-being with one activity, sometimes with several, including ethical virtue. I argue that this appearance is misleading. In the Nicomachean Ethics, intellectual contemplation is the central case of human well-being, but is not identical with it. Ethically virtuous activity is included in human well-being because it is an analogue of intellectual contemplation. This structure allows Aristotle to hold that while ethically virtuous activity is valuable in its own right, the best life available for (...) humans is centred around, but not wholly constituted by, intellectual contemplation. /// [Dominic Scott] In Nicomachean Ethics X 7-8, Aristotle distinguishes two kinds of eudaimonia, primary and secondary. The first corresponds to contemplation, the second to activity in accordance with moral virtue and practical reason. My task in this paper is to elucidate this distinction. Like Charles, I interpret it as one between paradigm and derivative cases; unlike him, I explain it in terms of similarity, not analogy. Furthermore, once the underlying nature of the distinction is understood, we can reconcile the claim that paradigm eudaimonia consists just in contemplation with a passage in the first book requiring eudaimonia to involve all intrinsic goods. (shrink)
This paper attempts to get some critical distance on the increasingly fashionable issue of realism in political theory. Realism has an ambiguous status: it is sometimes presented as a radical challenge to the _status quo_; but it also often appears as a conservative force, aimed at clipping the wings of more ‘idealistic’ political theorists. I suggest that what we might call ‘actually existing realism’ is indeed a conservative presence in political philosophy, and that its ambiguous status plays a part in (...) making it so. But I also argue that there is no necessary connection between realism and conservatism. This paper describes the three contingent and suspiciously quick steps which lead from an initial commitment to being attentive to the real world, via a particular kind of pessimism about political possibilities, to an unnecessarily conservative destination. In the process, I try to show how the ubiquitous trinity of realism, pessimism and conservatism might be pulled apart, thus removing the artificial tension between ‘being realistic’ and the demand for far-reaching social change. (shrink)
What sorts of things are there in the world? Clearly enough, there are concrete, material things; but are there other things too, perhaps nonconcrete or non-material things? Some people believe that there are such things, which are often called abstract ; purported examples of such objects include numbers, properties, possible but non-actual states of affairs, propositions, and sets. Following a long-standing tradition, I shall describe persons who believe that there are abstract objects as ‘platonists’. In this paper, I shall not (...) directly address the plausibility of platonism, as compared with its rivals; instead, I shall confine my attention to one way in which some people have tried to combine platonism and theism. More specifically, I shall concentrate upon the claim that abstract objects depend upon God ontologically ; I shall argue that platonistic theists should reject DEP in favour of the claim that abstract objects exist independently of God . In order to evaluate the relative merits of DEP versus IND, it will be helpful to examine in some detail a particular articulation of DEP. When it comes to recent work on DEP, we can do no better in this regard than to examine the recent work of Thomas V. Morris and Christopher H. Menzel. According Morris and Menzel, there is a sense in which God literally creates such abstracta through engaging in intellective activities. (shrink)
Since its influential rendering by Rae Langton in her 1993 paper, “Speech Acts and Unspeakable Acts,” the “silencing argument” against pornography has become the subject of a lively debate that continues to this day. My intention in this paper is not to join in the existing debate, but to give a critical overview of it. In its current form, I suggest, it is going nowhere . Yet the silencing argument, I believe, nevertheless contains an indispensable insight—and more radical potential than (...) is usually acknowledged either by its defenders or its opponents. I argue that in order to preserve this insight and unleash its potential, we should begin by adopting the following motto: MacKinnon, not Austin! (shrink)
Rights of Women attracted much UK media attention in late 2014 by bringing a judicial review that challenged the reduced provisions for family law legal aid available for victims of domestic violence: R v The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice  EWHC 35. In June 2015, within Rights of Women’s 40th anniversary year, Hannah Camplin interviewed the organisation’s Director Emma Scott about the decision to bring the judicial review, the advantages and challenges of the judicial review (...) process, and the experience of strategic litigation within the context of Rights of Women’s long history of campaigning for women’s rights. What emerged is a portrait of a feminist organisation in 2015, and, in a fast changing political and financial landscape, the dual importance of collaborative working and the need for flexibility in service provision and campaigning tools. (shrink)
In this book, Scott Soames illuminates the notion of truth and the role it plays in our ordinary thought as well as in our logical, philosophical, and scientific theories. Soames aims to integrate and deepen the most significant insights on truth from a variety of sources. He powerfully brings together the best technical work and the most important philosophical reflection on truth and shows how each can illuminate the other. Investigating such questions as whether we need a truth predicate (...) at all, what theoretical tasks it allows us to accomplish, and how we are to understand the content of any predicate capable of accomplishing these tasks, Soames organizes his discussion into three parts. Part I addresses crucial foundational issues as it identifies the bearers of truth, provides a basis for distinguishing truth from other notions, and formulates positive responses to well-known forms of truth-skepticism. Part II explicates the formal theories of Alfred Tarski and Saul Kripke and evaluates the philosophical significance of their work. It discusses their treatments of the Liar paradox, the relationship between truth and proof, the notion of a partially defined predicate, the concepts of logical truth and logical consequence, and the connection between truth and meaning. Part III extends important lessons drawn from Tarski and Kripke into new domains: vague predicates, the Sorites paradox, and the development of a larger, deflationary perspective on truth. Throughout the book, Soames examines a wide range of deflationary theories of truth, and attempts to separate what is correct and worth preserving in them from what is not. In doing so, he seeks to clear up many of the most significant philosophical doubts about truth. Written for a general audience while offering engaging material to the specialist, this rich study will be profitably read by both. (shrink)
We argue that human rights are best conceived as norms arising from a fiduciary relationship that exists between states and the citizens and noncitizens subject to their power. These norms draw on a Kantian conception of moral personhood, protecting agents from instrumentalization and domination. They do not, however, exist in the abstract as timeless natural rights. Instead, they are correlates of the state's fiduciary duty to provide equal security under the rule of law, a duty that flows from the state's (...) institutional assumption of irresistible sovereign powers. (shrink)
As well as providing a clear and critical introduction to the theory, this refreshing overview focuses on the practice of feminism with coverage of actions and activism, bringing the subject to life for newcomers as well as offering fresh perspectives for advanced students. Explanations of the main strands to feminism, such as liberalism, sit alongside an exploration of a range of approaches, such as radical, anarchist and Marxist feminism, and provide much-needed context against which more familiar historical themes may be (...) understood. The author's broad and inclusive view conveys the diversity and disagreement within feminism with accessible clarity. The analysis of key terms equips readers with a critical understanding of the vocabulary of feminist debates that will be invaluable to undergraduate students. (shrink)
Alison Jaggar recommends a radical break with a dominant approach to the philosophy of immigration shared by both liberal cosmopolitans and liberal nationalists. This paper is intended as an exploration of Jaggar’s conclusions and as an attempt to carry them further. Building on her critique, I argue that the characteristic questions asked by both cosmopolitans and nationalists appear inappropriate when seen against the political reality of immigration. In the last part of the paper, I argue that liberal nationalist contributions in (...) particular have problematized immigration and immigrants in ways not fundamentally different from those seen on the racist right. (shrink)
A Scientific Approach The facts detailed in this briefing are the results of scientific exploration of terror networks and sacred values and their association to political violence. The research is sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the National Science Foundation.
Toward the end of Hume's Dialogues concerning Natural Religion, Philo catalogues the ‘frivolous observances’, ‘rapturous ecstasies’ and ‘bigotted credulity’ of ‘vulgar superstition’, concluding that ‘true religion, I allow, has no such pernicious consequences: But we must treat of religion, as it has com monly been found in the world’. This would be a mild enough sort of caveat were it not nigh on impossible to determine exactly what counts as true religion, and how it figures in Hume's argument. Typically, answers (...) to this puzzle have required identifying the positions of the discussants, and then arguing that one of them represents Hume's views. A catalogue of the options may prove instructive. (shrink)
Foucault’s critique of early modern political theory aimed at displacing sovereignty as the principle of intelligibility of power. In the genealogical literature since Foucault, sovereignty has become a residual category lacking analytic specificity, largely displaced by governance, in turn equated with politics. We argue that Foucault and the Foucauldians have not understood that the flourishing of governance has presupposed a symbolic regime with a division of knowledge-power-law characteristic of the democratic sovereign. The conflation of governance with politics, together with the (...) sliding of sovereignty under governance, has left Foucauldians unable to diagnose the dangers present in varying possible sovereignty-governance configurations. (shrink)
We present an argument for revising the theory of alternatives for Scalar Implicatures and for Association with Focus. We argue that in both cases the alternatives are determined in the same way, as a contextual restriction of the focus value of the sentence, which, in turn, is defined in structure-sensitive terms. We provide evidence that contextual restriction is subject to a constraint that prevents it from discriminating between alternatives when they stand in a particular logical relationship with the assertion or (...) the prejacent, a relationship that we refer to as symmetry. Due to this constraint on contextual restriction, discriminating between alternatives in cases of symmetry becomes the task of focus values. This conclusion is incompatible with standard type-theoretic definitions of focus values, motivating our structure-sensitive definition instead. (shrink)
Recent political developments have made the notion of 'post-truth' ubiquitous. Along with associated terms such as 'fake news' and 'alternative facts', it appears with regularity in coverage of and commentary on Donald Trump, the Brexit vote, and the role – relative to these phenomena – of a half-despised, half-feared creature known as 'the public'. It has become commonplace to assert that we now inhabit, or are entering, a post-truth world. In this paper, I issue a sceptical challenge against the distinctiveness (...) and utility of the notion of post-truth. I argue, first, that the term fails to capture anything that is both real and novel. Moreover, post-truth discourse often has a not-fully-explicit political force and function: to ‘irrationalise’ political disaffection and to signal loyalty to a ‘pre-post-truth’ political status quo. The central insight of the speech act theory of J. L. Austin and others – that saying is always also doing – is as indispensable for understanding the significance of much of what is labelled ‘post-truth’, I’ll argue, as it is for understanding the significance of that very act of labelling. Keywords: post-truth, speech acts, Trump, brexit, Austin. (shrink)
Rory Fox challenges the traditional understanding that Thomas Aquinas believed that God exists totally outside of time. His study investigates the work of several mid-thirteenth-century writers, and thus provides access to a wealth of material on medieval concepts of time and eternity.
What is law (and why should we care)? -- Crazy little thing called "law" -- Austin's sanction theory -- Hart and the rule of recognition -- How to do things with plans -- The making of a legal system -- What law is -- Legal reasoning and judicial decision making -- Hard cases -- Theoretical disagreements -- Dworkin and distrust -- The economy of trust -- The interpretation of plans -- The value of legality.
This ambitious, interdisciplinary book seeks to explain the origins of religion using our knowledge of the evolution of cognition. A cognitive anthropologist and psychologist, Scott Atran argues that religion is a by-product of human evolution just as the cognitive intervention, cultural selection, and historical survival of religion is an accommodation of certain existential and moral elements that have evolved in the human condition.
Almost all philosophers agree that a necessary condition on lying is that one says what one believes to be false. But, philosophers haven’t considered the possibility that the true requirement on lying concerns, rather, one’s degree-of-belief. Liars impose a risk on their audience. The greater the liar’s confidence that what she asserts is false, the greater the risk she’ll think she’s imposing on the dupe, and, therefore, the greater her blameworthiness. From this, I arrive at a dilemma: either the belief (...) requirement is wrong, or lying isn’t interesting. I suggest an alternative necessary condition for lying on a degree-of-belief framework. (shrink)
In 1986, philosopher-bioethicist Samuel Gorovitz published an essay entitled “Baiting Bioethics,” in which he reported on various criticisms of bioethics that were “in print, or voiced in and around … the field” at that time, and set forth his assessment of their legitimacy. He gave detailed attention to what he judged to be the particularly fierce and “irresponsible attacks” on “the moral integrity” and soundness of bioethics contained in two papers: “Getting Ethics” by philosopher William Bennett and “Medical Morality Is (...) Not Bioethics,” coauthored by us. Gorovitz attributed some of the criticisms that bioethics was eliciting to the fact that this new, rapidly rising, and increasingly visible field had brought “scholars and practitioners together who otherwise would have little exposure to one another's disciplines. Their interactions are mutually enriching at times,” he declared, “but mutually baffling and even infuriating at other times.” In this latter regard, he suggested that “perhaps” Fox and Swazey's characterization of bioethics in the article he dissected “reflects a general revulsion at endeavors they see as inadequately like the social sciences or insufficiently respectful of them.” He went on to say that despite his objections to our “complaints” about bioethics—especially to our claim that “autonomy [had] been an unduly emphasized value” in the field—he had “a lingering sense” that there might be “a grain of truth” in them. Gorovitz ended his essay with an affirmation about the “benefit” that bioethics can derive from “responsible” and even from “irresponsible” criticism. “The unexamined discipline invites the philosopher's critical scrutiny no less than the unexamined life,” he aphoristically concluded. a. (shrink)