In this new book, Alessandra Tanesini demonstrates that feminist thought has a lot to offer to the study of Wittgenstein's philosophical work, and that -at the same time-that work can inspire feminist reflection in new directions. In Wittgenstein, Tanesini offers a highly original interpretation of several themes in Wittgenstein's philosophy. She argues that when we look at his work through feminist eyes we discover that he is not primarily concerned with providing solutions to technical problems in the philosophy of mind, (...) mathematics, and language. Instead, his remarks on these topics are intended to offer insights about human finitude, the loneliness of the modern autonomous self, and our relations to other human beings. Thus, the modern conception of the individual emerges as the critical target of Wittgenstein's philosophical work, both early and late. This conception has also been one of the dominant concerns of contemporary feminist philosophy. In this book, Wittgenstein's insights are deployed to further feminist debates on issues such as identity, difference, the masculine character of the modern self. (shrink)
This essay examines some stereotypes of bisexuals held by some lesbians. I argue that the decision that a lesbian makes not to become involved with a bisexual woman because she is bisexual can recenter men in lesbian desire, a consequence many lesbians would find deeply problematic. The acceptance of these stereotypes also results in sex becoming the defining characteristic of one's sexual orientation, thus privileging sex over any emotional, affectional, and political commitments to women.
Combating homophobia, racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination and violence in our society requires more than just focusing on the overt acts of prejudiced and abusive individuals. The very intelligibility of such acts, in fact, depends upon a background of shared beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that together form the context of social practices in which these acts come to have the meaning they do. This book, inspired by Wittgenstein as well as feminist and critical race theory, shines a critical (...) light on this background in order to show that we all share more responsibility for the persistence of oppressive social practices than we commonly suppose—or than traditional moral theories that connect responsibility just with the actions, rights, and liberties of individuals would lead us to believe. First sketching a nonessentialist view of rationality, and emphasizing the role of power relations, Peg O’Connor then examines in subsequent chapters the relationship between a variety of "foreground" actions and "background" practices: burnings of African American churches, hate speech, child sexual abuse, coming out as a gay or lesbian teenager, and racial integration of public and private spaces. These examples serve to illuminate when our "language games" reinforce oppression and when they allow possibilities for resistance. Attending to the background, O’Connor argues, can give us insight into ways of transforming the nature and meaning of foreground actions. (shrink)
The original essays in this volume, while written from diverse perspectives, share the common aim of building a constructive dialogue between two currents in philosophy that seem not readily allied: Wittgenstein, who urges us to bring our words back home to their ordinary uses, recognizing that it is our agreements in judgments and forms of life that ground intelligibility; and feminist theory, whose task is to articulate a radical critique of what we say, to disrupt precisely those taken-for-granted agreements in (...) judgments and forms of life. Wittgenstein and feminist theorists are alike, however, in being unwilling or unable to "make sense" in the terms of the traditions from which they come, needing to rely on other means—including telling stories about everyday life—to change our ideas of what sense is and of what it is to make it. For both, appeal to grounding is problematic, but the presumed groundedness of particular judgments remains an unavoidable feature of discourse and, as such, in need of understanding. For feminist theory, Wittgenstein suggests responses to the immobilizing tugs between modernist modes of theorizing and postmodern challenges to them. For Wittgenstein, feminist theory suggests responses to those who would turn him into the "normal" philosopher he dreaded becoming, one who offers perhaps unorthodox solutions to recognizable philosophical problems. In addition to an introductory essay by Naomi Scheman, the volume’s twenty chapters are grouped in sections titled "The Subject of Philosophy and the Philosophical Subject," "Wittgensteinian Feminist Philosophy: Contrasting Visions," "Drawing Boundaries: Categories and Kinds," "Being Human: Agents and Subjects," and "Feminism’s Allies: New Players, New Games." These essays give us ways of understanding Wittgenstein and feminist theory that make the alliance a mutually fruitful one, even as they bring to their readings of Wittgenstein an explicitly historical and political perspective that is, at best, implicit in his work. The recent salutary turn in philosophy toward taking history seriously has shown how the apparently timeless problems of supposedly generic subjects arose out of historically specific circumstances. These essays shed light on the task of feminist theorists—along with postcolonial, queer, and critical race theorists—to "rotate the axis of our examination" around whatever "real need[s]" might emerge through the struggles of modernity’s Others. Contributors are Nancy E. Baker, Nalini Bhushan, Jane Braaten, Judith Bradford, Sandra W. Churchill, Daniel Cohen, Tim Craker, Alice Crary, Susan Hekman, Cressida J. Heyes, Sarah Lucia Hoagland, Christine M. Koggel, Bruce Krajewski, Wendy Lynne Lee, Hilda Lindemann Nelson, Deborah Orr, Rupert Read, Phyllis Rooney, and Janet Farrell Smith. (shrink)
In many ways, the struggle for gay and lesbian rights has come of age, and mainstream politics in the USA shows signs of embracing the votes and monetary contributions of organized gay and lesbian constituents. But the author warns that a movement for sexual liberation pays too high a price when it mimics a conservative language of “family values.” Since the framework of “family” language is implicated in structures of heteronormativity and patriarchy, sexual liberation that plays the “family language” game (...) will be drawn into a narrowing politics of nondiscrimination. Furthermore, argues the author, the right to marry cannot be considered a human right, since it is always bound to local statutes and custom. Therefore, gay and lesbian liberation that seeks truly universalizable principles will do better to not ensnare its struggle in “family values.”. (shrink)
This book argues that Wittgenstein provides an original and viable alternative to both a realist conception of truth conditions, on the one hand, and semantic anti-realism, on the other. Ellenbogen’s advancement of this alternative rests heavily upon what she calls Wittgenstein’s dictum that meaning is use, as well as his notion of criteria. Ellenbogen argues that according to Wittgenstein, it is correct to predicate “is true” of something when the criterion for calling it true is met. Questions of truth, she (...) argues, are questions of meaning. (shrink)
The overdose epidemic continues to accelerate, with deaths from overdose increasing from approximately 78,000 pre-pandemic to nearly 100,000 presently. While much of the focus in mainstream media has been on overdoses from opioids, women are overdosing on a variety of drugs. The gendered dimensions of the overdose epidemic have been largely ignored even though this crisis has been building for decades. From 1997 to 2017, the overall death rate for women ages 30–64 from overdoses has increased 260 percent. The largest (...) increases in this group were women between the ages of 55 and 64. Factors such as the sexual division of labor, greater financial insecurity, intimate partner violence, and significant burdens from... (shrink)
In many ways, this is a difficult and important book about a difficult and important book about a difficult and important book. It is also much more, as Diamond highlights Anscombe's work on ethics and action as she moves to engage metaethical questions about relativism and truth. One of the unifying threads is the matter of thinking about thinking, especially the ways we respond to thinking that has gone astray. Thinking that does go astray traverses paths with "dangerous spots," as (...) Wittgenstein says. The dangerous spots may be muddles and confusions. To avoid these paths, we need sign posts. Diamond's work provides a... (shrink)
"Why should we care about having true beliefs? And why do demonstrably false beliefs persist and spread despite consequences for the people who hold them? Philosophers of science Cailin O’Connor and James Weatherall argue that social factors, rather than individual psychology, are what’s essential to understanding the spread and persistence of false belief. It might seem that there’s an obvious reason that true beliefs matter: false beliefs will hurt you. But if that’s right, then why is it irrelevant to many (...) people whether they believe true things or not? In an age riven by "fake news," "alternative facts," and disputes over the validity of everything from climate change to the size of inauguration crowds, the authors argue that social factors, not individual psychology, are what’s essential to understanding the persistence of false belief and that we must know how those social forces work in order to fight misinformation effectively."–Publisher’s description. (shrink)
In this classic, exciting, and thoughtful text, Metaphysics , Peter van Inwagen examines three profound questions: What are the most general features of the world? Why is there a world? and What is the place of human beings in the world? Metaphysics introduces to readers the curious notion that is metaphysics, how it is conceived both historically and currently. The author's work can serve either as a textbook in a university course on metaphysics or as an introduction to metaphysical thinking (...) for the interested reader. This second edition, revised though not fundamentally changed, includes the basis of the first edition with a new chapter on the nature of time. (shrink)
David O’Connor has criticized my arguments for the conclusion that God’s existence is compatible with genuinely gratuitous natural evil. In this reply, I show that his own arguments fail to achieve their objective; in addition, I point out several respects in which he has misstated my position.
Flannery O'Connor is considered one of America's greatest fiction writers. The immensely talented Robert Giroux, editor-in-chief of Harcourt, Brace & Company and later of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, was her devoted friend and admirer. He edited her three books published during her lifetime, plus Everything that Rises Must Converge, which she completed just before she died in 1964 at the age of thirty-nine, the posthumous The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor, and the subsequent award-winning collection of her letters titled The (...) Habit of Being. When poet Robert Lowell first introduced O'Connor to Giroux in March 1949, she could not have imagined the impact that meeting would have on her life or on the landscape of postwar American literature. Flannery O'Connor and Robert Giroux: A Publishing Partnership sheds new light on an area of Flannery O?Connor?s life?her relationship with her editors?that has not been well documented or narrated by critics and biographers. Impressively researched and rich in biographical details, this book chronicles Giroux?s and O?Connor?s personal and professional relationship, not omitting their circle of friends and fellow writers, including Robert Lowell, Caroline Gordon, Sally and Robert Fitzgerald, Allen Tate, Thomas Merton, and Robert Penn Warren. As Patrick Samway explains, Giroux guided O'Connor to become an internationally acclaimed writer of fiction and nonfiction, especially during the years when she suffered from lupus at her home in Milledgeville, Georgia, a disease that eventually proved fatal. Excerpts from their correspondence, some of which are published here for the first time, reveal how much of Giroux's work as editor was accomplished through his letters to Milledgeville. They are gracious, discerning, and appreciative, just when they needed to be. In Father Samway's portrait of O'Connor as an extraordinarily dedicated writer and businesswoman, she emerges as savvy, pragmatic, focused, and determined. This engrossing account of O'Connor's publishing history will interest, in addition to O'Connor's fans, all readers and students of American literature. (shrink)
I distinguish restrictive and permissive multiverse solutions to the problems of evil and no best world. Restrictive multiverses do not admit a single instance of gratuitous evil and they are not improvable. I show that restrictive multiverses unacceptably entail that all modal distinctions collapse. I consider Timothy O’Connor’s permissive multiverse. I show that a perfect creator minimizes aggregative suffering in permissive multiverses only if the actual universe is not included in any actualizable multiverse. I conclude that permissive multiverses do not (...) offer a credible solution to the problems of evil and no best world. (shrink)
This chapter is a critical discussion of the third chapter of Tim O'Connor's *Theism and Ultimate Explanation*. In this chapter, O'Connor advances the 'existence stage' of his cosmological argument from contingency. I argue that naturalists have good reason to think that on each of the live hypotheses -- infinite regress, brute contingency, brute necessity -- naturalism is preferable to theism.
Theodor W. Adorno, İkinci Dünya Savaşı sonrası dönemin önde gelen filozof ve toplum kuramcılarından biridir. Eleştirel Kuramın gelişmesinde önemli rolü olan, özgün ve de genellikle zor olan yazıları sadece temel felsefi sorular ileri sürmekle kalmayıp aynı zamanda edebiyat, sanat, müzik, sosyoloji ve siyaset kuramına ilişkin derin analizler de sunar. Bu kapsamlı kitapta Brian O’Connor, Adorno’nun felsefesini, onun eserleriyle ilk kez karşılaşanlara açıklamaktadır. O’Connor, bu amaçla, yaşamı ve entelektüel çevresinin bağlamını oluşturan ana felsefi görüşleri aracılığıyla Adorno felsefesinin merkezi unsurlarını değerlendiriyor. Bu (...) bağlamda Aydınlanmanın diyalektiği, şeyleşme, bütünsellik, dolayımlama, özdeşlik, özdeşsizlik, deneyim, negatif diyalektik, içkinlik, özgürlük, özerklik ve sanatta taklit gibi kavramları, felsefesinin temel alanları üzerinden tartışıyor. Kronoloji ve terimler sözlüğünün yanı sıra ek okuma önerileri de içeren Adorno, felsefe, edebiyat, sosyoloji ve kültürel çalışmalarla ilgilenenler için ideal bir giriş kitabı... (shrink)
What I learned from you and what helped me in the ensuing years to find my way around in reality without selling my soul to it the way people in earlier times sold their souls to the devil is that the only thing of importance is not philosophies but the truth, that one has to live and think in the open and not in one's own little shell, no matter how comfortably furnished it is, and that necessity in whatever form (...) is only a will-o'-the-wisp that tries to lure us into playing a role instead of attempting to be a human being.On YouTube, you can find a recording of Flannery O'Connor reading "A Good Man Is Hard to Find." It is fun to hear the audience erupt in laughter when O'Connor, in her thick southern accent, has... (shrink)
Edmund D. Pellegrino and David C. Thomasma analyze the virtues that are especially relevant to the practice of good medicine. Their account of the virtues and medicine is complemented by Alasdair MacIntyre’s recent analysis of human development and the acquisition of the moral and intellectual virtues. These two accounts contribute toward analyzing the historical constitution of social practices and relationships in medicine. In particular, the moral and intellectual virtues characteristic of good medicine are acquired and exercised within those healing relationships (...) featured in Pellegrino’s and Thomasma’s phenomenology of medicine. Examining their account of medical practice in light of MacIntyre’s more recent work suggests, however, that their theory of the good of the patient and their understanding of the relation of virtue to altruism and self-interest stand in need of further development. (shrink)