According to a widely held view, moral thought essentially involves the survey of an array of independently specifiable morally relevant facts, on the basis of which an agent is to reach a judgment about how anybody in that situation ought to act. I argue, drawing on Henry James’s.
The Regime of the Brother is one of the first attempts to challenge modernity on its own terms. Using the work of Lacan, Kristeva and Freud, Juliet MacCannell confronts the failure of modernity to bring about the social equality promised by the Enlightenment. On the verge of its destruction, the Patriarchy has reshaped itself into a new, and often more oppressive regime: that of the Brother. Examining a range of literary and social texts - from Rousseau's Confessions to Richardson's Clarissa (...) and from Stendhal's De L'Amour to James's What MaisieKnew and Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea - MacCannell illustrates a history of the suppression of women, revealing the potential for a specifically feminine alternative. (shrink)
_The Regime of the Brother_ is one of the first attempts to challenge modernity on its own terms. Using the work of Lacan, Kristeva and Freud, Juliet MacCannell confronts the failure of modernity to bring about the social equality promised by the Enlightenment. On the verge of its destruction, the Patriarchy has reshaped itself into a new, and often more oppressive regime: that of the Brother. Examining a range of literary and social texts - from Rousseau's _Confessions_ to Richardson's _Clarissa_ (...) and from Stendhal's _De L'Amour_ to James's _What Maisie Knew_ and Jean Rhys's _Wide Sargasso Sea_ - MacCannell illustrates a history of the suppression of women, revealing the potential for a specifically feminine alternative. (shrink)
To be responsible for their acts, agents must both perform those acts voluntarily and in some sense know what they are doing. Of these requirements, the voluntariness condition has been much discussed, but the epistemic condition has received far less attention. In Who Knew? George Sher seeks to rectify that imbalance. The book is divided in two halves, the first of which criticizes a popular but inadequate way of understanding the epistemic condition, while the second seeks to develop a (...) more adequate alternative. It is often assumed that agents are responsible only for what they are aware of doing or bringing about--that their responsibility extends only as far as the searchlight of their consciousness. The book criticizes this "searchlight view" on two main grounds: first, that it is inconsistent with our attributions of responsibility to a broad range of agents who should but do not realize that they are acting wrongly or foolishly, and, second, that the view is not independently defensible. The book's positive view construes the crucial relation between an agent and his failure to recognize the wrongness or foolishness of what he is doing in causal terms: the agent is responsible when, and because, his failure to respond to his reasons for believing that he is acting wrongly or foolishly has its origins in the same constitutive psychology that generally does render him reason-responsive. (shrink)
Whether abduction is treated as an argument or as an inference, the mainstream view presupposes a tight connection between abduction and inference to the best explanation. This paper critically evaluates this link and supports a narrower view on abduction. Our main thesis is that merely the hypothesis-generative aspect, but not the evaluative aspect, is properly abductive in the sense introduced by C. S. Peirce. We show why equating abduction with IBE unnecessarily complicates argument evaluation by levelling the status of abduction (...) as a third reasoning mode. We also propose a scheme for abductive argument along with critical questions, and suggest retaining abduction alongside IBE as related but distinct categories. (shrink)
A paradigmatic means of conveying a turningpoint in a narrativeof danger is the line ‘we knew that’s it’. In four tellings of a single narrative about danger during the Holocaust, anarrator varies this line in ways that maintain its collective focus on knowledge, but alter what is ‘known’. An analysis of changes in the ‘we knew [x]’ line reveals its relationship with the changingstructure of the narrative and with the shift toward multi-vocalic means ofexternal evaluation. Also suggested is (...) the relationship of the overall narrative changes to the changing place of Holocaust discourse, narrative and oral history in memory culture, and the larger discourse of resistance and survival. (shrink)
Reasons for action is a widely employed methodology in practical philosophy, and especially in moral philosophy. Reasons are facts that explain and justify actions. But, conceptually, if reasons were causes, incontinent actions would be impossible. When an agent ranks an evaluation about what to do as his best judgement, it entails that he has a reason for acting as that judgement prescribes. But when an agent acts incontinently, he acts in accordance to an intention that is not aligned with his (...) best evaluative judgement. Yet, if the agent’s best evaluative judgement provides him a reason for action, this reason should also be his strongest reason, and therefore, the strongest cause. How then can it be possible that an agent incontinently acts according to a reason of inferior causal strength? In this paper, I analyze how Davidson’s argument for the possibility of incontinent actions interacts with his causal theory of actions. I argue that Davidson’s proposal does not fully respect the two principles of intentional rationality, that he himself claims to be compelling. Lastly, I sketch some initial steps that might be helpful to drawing more precise conceptual distinctions in terms of the rationality of incontinent actions. (shrink)
In several papers, John Norton has argued that Bayesianism cannot handle ignorance adequately due to its inability to distinguish between neutral and disconfirming evidence. He argued that this inability sows confusion in, e.g., anthropic reasoning in cosmology or the Doomsday argument, by allowing one to draw unwarranted conclusions from a lack of knowledge. Norton has suggested criteria for a candidate for representation of neutral support. Imprecise credences (families of credal probability functions) constitute a Bayesian-friendly framework that allows us to avoid (...) inadequate neutral priors and better handle ignorance. The imprecise model generally agrees with Norton's representation of ignorance but requires that his criterion of self-duality be reformulated or abandoned. (shrink)
Ludwig Wittgenstein suggests that ?A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes?. The idea for this dialogue comes from a conversation that Michael Peters and Morwenna Griffiths had at the Philosophy of Education of Great Britain annual meeting at the University of Oxford, 2011. It was sparked by an account of an assessment of a piece of work where one of the external examiners unexpectedly exclaimed ?I knew Jean-Paul Sartre?, trying to trump the discussion. (...) This conversation is a dialogue about comedy and humor as a basis for philosophy, education and pedagogy that provides an introduction to recent works and a context for ongoing research. The concluding section provides further reflection on some of the main themes, drawing attention to the significance of humor in dialogues within philosophy and education, and suggesting that it has a particular role in resisting managerialism at all levels of educational institutions. (shrink)
Introduction: Burnout, inertia, meltdown, and shutdown have been identified as important parts of some autistic people’s lives. This study builds on our previous work that offered early academic descriptions of these phenomena, based on the perspectives of autistic adults.Objectives: This study aimed to explore the unique knowledge and insights of eight autistic children and youth to extend and refine our earlier description of burnout, inertia, and meltdown, with additional exploration of shutdown. We also aimed to explore how these youth cope (...) with these phenomena and what others around them do that make things better or worse, with a hope to glean knowledge to design better supports.Methods: One-to-one interviews were conducted with eight children and youth, who shared their experience with BIMS. To match individual communication strengths of children and youth, we took a flexible approach to interviews, allowing for augmentative communication systems and use of visual images to support verbal interviews, as needed. We conducted a reflexive, inductive thematic analysis, using an iterative process of coding, collating, reviewing, and mapping themes.Findings: Our analysis has identified that these youth describe BIMS as a multi-faceted experience involving emotional, cognitive and physical components. Moreover, these multifaceted experiences are often misunderstood by neurotypical adults, which contributes to inadequate support in managing BIMS. Of the four experiences, these youth identified meltdowns as most common.Conclusion: By gaining first-hand perspectives, we have identified novel insights into BIMS and developed a more holistic understanding of these phenomena. These youths’ descriptions of supportive strategies for BIMS stress the importance of compassion and collaboration from trusted adults. This new knowledge will provide a foundation for how to better support autistic children and youth. Further research is required to develop an understanding of BIMS, especially with respect to how it is experienced by children and youth. Future research should leverage the insights and experiential knowledge of autistic children and youth to co-design support tool for BIMS. (shrink)
John Abbruzzese has recently attempted a defense of omniscience against a series of my attacks. This affords me a welcome occasion to clarify some of the arguments, to pursue some neglected subtleties, and to re-think some important complications. In the end, however, I must insist that at least three of four crucial arguments really do show an omniscient being to be impossible. Abbruzzese sometimes misunderstands the forms of the argument themselves, and quite generally misunderstands their force.
A recent case in the Northern Territory of Australia has raised the issues of intra-racial rape and the legal recognition of traditional marriages between Indigenous people. The defendant in the Jamilmira case was charged with statutory rape of a 15-year-old girl. He argued that the girl’s status as his promised wife should lead to mitigation of his sentence. Members of the Northern Territory judiciary and others in the community were divided in their response to his claim. Ultimately the case led (...) to reform of the law in relation to the recognition of traditional marriage, a response which outraged some members of the Indigenous community. In this article I examine the various representations of culture and individuals that were utilised by ‘the law’ and how these representations informed the legal response. In the process I question the limits of my own role as a ‘white middle-class feminist’ in the context of explorations of law and culture. Is there a space to become involved in these debates without being complicit in fostering racism and prejudice and without reverting to stereotypes and cultural arrogance? (shrink)
Recent and puzzling experimental results suggest that people’s judgments as to whether or not an action was performed intentionally are sensitive to moral considerations. In this paper, we outline these results and evaluate two accounts which purport to explain them. We then describe a recent experiment that allegedly vindicates one of these accounts and present our own findings to show that it fails to do so. Finally, we present additional data suggesting no such vindication could be in the offing and (...) that, in fact, both accounts fail to explain the initial, puzzling results they were purported to explain. (shrink)
Norman forms the belief that the president is in New York by way of a clairvoyance faculty he doesn’t know he has. Many agree that his belief is unjustified but disagree about why it is unjustified. I argue that the lack of justification cannot be explained by a higher-level evidence requirement on justification, but it can be explained by a no-defeater requirement. I then explain how you can use cognitive faculties you don’t know you have. Lastly, I use lessons from (...) the foregoing to compare Norman’s belief, formed by clairvoyance, with Sally’s theistic belief, formed by a sensus divinitatis. (shrink)
Meursault, the protagonist of Camus' The Stranger, is unable to grieve, a fact that ultimately leads to his condemnation and execution. Given the emotional distresses involved in grief, should we envy Camus or pity him? I defend the latter conclusion. As St. Augustine seemed to dimly recognize, the pains of grief are integral to the process of bereavement, a process that both motivates and provides a distinctive opportunity to attain the good of self-knowledge.
In 1941 Simone Weil was introduced to Father Jean-Marie Perrin, a priest of the Dominican order whose friendship became one of the most significant influences on her spiritual development. It was for Father Perrin that she wrote her 'spiritual autobiography', contained in Waiting for God, and to him that she later wrote 'Letter to a Priest'. When Weil requested work as a field hand, Perrin sent her to Gustave Thibon, a farmer and Christian philosopher. From 1941-2, Weil stayed with the (...) Thibon family, working in the fields by day while writing by night the notebooks which posthumously became Gravity and Grace and other seminal works. Perrin and Thibon met Weil at a time when her interior life and her creative genius were at the height of their glowing maturity. During the short but deep period of their acquaintance with her, they came to know her as she actually was. Their accounts of this time reveal her to us in the bare parlour of the Dominican convent at Marseilles where, after waiting her turn among a stream of refugees, she discussed her personal problems with Father Perrin. They show her to us in the vineyards of Ardèche, and on the stone seat by the fountain overlooking the Rhone valley where she read Plato to Thibon, her host. First published in 1953, and now newly introduced by Patricia Little, this unique portrait depicts Weil through the eyes of her friends, not as a strange and unaccountable genius but as an ardent and very human young person in search of truth and knowledge. (shrink)