Care ethics takes as central the discerning of needs in those being cared for and attempts to meet those needs. Perceptive caring agents are more likely to be able to identify needs in those for whom they are caring. The identification of needs is no small matter, not least in teaching encounters. This paper modestly proposes that at least some of the needs a caring agent should attempt to meet are a function of the identity of the patient of caring (...) action. Taking Nel Noddings’ account of care ethics as representative, I present it in outline. This leads to the needs-identification problematic. Following this I turn to Soran Reader’s account of needs. I interpret this to offer what I designate as identity as ‘what-ness’. Such an understanding of identity-based needs is a starting point for the caring agent but a more nuanced account, of identity as ‘who-ness’, is argued to be preferable. Identity as ‘who-ness’, as expressed in Paul Ricoeur’s work, advances the discussion, culminating in his concept of the ‘capable human being’. Having brought this aspect of Ricoeur’s thought into conversation with care ethics, I offer an account of identity-based needs conducive to the broader aims of the care ethical project. Finally, I consider what this bolstered account of care ethics might say about a brief and illustrative teaching encounter. (shrink)
This article is a collective writing experiment undertaken by philosophers of education affiliated with the PESGB (Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain). When asked to reflect on questions concerning the Philosophy of Education in a New Key in May 2020, it was unsurprising that the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on society and on education were foremost in our minds. We wanted to consider important philosophical and educational questions raised by the pandemic, while acknowledging that, first and foremost, it (...) is a human tragedy. With nearly a million deaths reported worldwide to date, and with everyone effected in one way or another by Covid-19, there is a degree of discomfort, and a responsibility to be sensitive, in reflecting and writing about it academically. Members of this ‘Covid Collective’ come from various countries, with perspectives from Great Britain and Ireland well represented, and we see academic practice as a globally connected enterprise, especially since the digital revolution in academic publishing. The concerns raised in this article relate to but move beyond Covid-19, reflecting the impact of neoliberalism [and other political developments] on geopolitics with educational concerns as central to our focus. (shrink)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that great works of literature have an impact on people's lives. Well known literary characters—Oedipus, Hamlet, Faustus, Don Quixote—acquire iconic or mythic status and their stories, in more or less detail, are revered and recalled often in contexts far beyond the strictly literary. At the level of national literatures, familiar characters and plots are assimilated into a wider cultural consciousness and help define national stereotypes and norms of behaviour. In the English speaking world, Shakespeare's (...) plays or the novels of Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Dickens, and Trollope, provide imaginative material that reverberates in people's lives every bit as much as do the great historical figures, like Julius Caesar, Elizabeth I, Horatio Nelson, or Winston Churchill. What is striking is how often fictional characters from the literary tradition—like the well-loved Elizabeth Bennett, Jane Eyre, Oliver Twist, Pip, Tess of the d'Ubervilles—enter readers' lives at a highly personal level. They become, as Martha Nussbaum puts it, our ‘friends’, and for many readers the lives of these characters become closely entwined with their own. Happy and unhappy incidents in the fictional worlds are held up against similar incidents in the real lives of readers and such readers take inspiration from the courage, ingenuity, or good fortune of their fictional heroines and heroes. Nowhere is it more true that life imitates art. (shrink)
These diary entries from John and Elizabeth Bennett cover the few months before Gurdjieff's death in Paris on October29, 1949. Twice daily the group would go through a series of rituals, the most significant of which was known as "the toast of the idiots". This "science of idiotism" portrayed the human situation and the hazards of attaining liberation.
The context for these interviews was a seminar [Peter Gratton] conducted on speculative realism in the Spring 2010. There has been great interest in speculative realism and one reason Gratton surmise[s] is not just the arguments offered, though [Gratton doesn't] want to take away from them; each of these scholars are vivid writers and great pedagogues, many of whom are in constant contact with their readers via their weblogs. Thus these interviews provided an opportunity to forward student questions about their (...) respective works. Though each were conducted on different occasions, the interviews stand as a collected work, tying together the most classical questions about “realism” to ancillary movements about the non-human in politics, ecology, aesthetics, and video gaming—all to point to future movements in this philosophical area. (shrink)
"Central Themes in Early Modern Philosophy is a selection of some of the best work being done in early modern philosophy by Anglo-American philosophers today.... The essays in this collection are historically informed and philosophically challenging. The book is a fitting tribute to Jonathan Bennett." -- Daniel Garber, University of Chicago.
Talks collected from lectures given by Bennett with Gurdjieff's approval, to help people understand All and Everything: Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson. Bennett regarded Gurdjieff's All and Everything as a work of superhuman genius.
How can we motivate ourselves to do what we think we ought? How can we deliberate about personal values and priorities? Bennett Helm argues that standard philosophical answers to these questions presuppose a sharp distinction between cognition and conation that undermines an adequate understanding of values and their connection to motivation and deliberation. Rejecting this distinction, Helm argues that emotions are fundamental to any account of value and motivation, and he develops a detailed alternative theory both of emotions, desires (...) and evaluative judgements and of their rational interconnections. The result is an innovative theory of practical rationality and of how we can control not only what we do but also what we value and who we are as persons. (shrink)
An introduction to sociological theories -- Emile Durkheim -- Marx and Marxism -- Max Weber -- Feminist theories -- Interpretive sociology : action theories -- Michel Foucault : discourse theory and the body-centredness of modernity -- Language and social life : structuralism, post-structuralism and relativism -- Post-modernity and postmodernism -- Critical responses to post-modernity and postmodernism.
Leading digital platform providers such as Google and Uber construct marketplaces in which algorithms set prices. The efficiency-maximising free market credentials of this approach are touted by the companies involved and by legislators, policy makers and marketers. They have also taken root in the public imagination. In this article we challenge this understanding of algorithmically constructed marketplaces. We do so by returning to Hayek’s (1945) classic defence of the price mechanism, and by arguing that algorithmically-mediated price mechanisms do not, and (...) probably cannot, accumulate and signal that same kinds of knowledge that Hayek felt were essential to effective market governance. Indeed, we argue that algorithmically-constructed marketplaces are closer to, though distinct from, the central planning model that Hayek critiqued. Regardless of how you feel about Hayek’s argument, this has important consequences for how we respond to the rise of algorithmic governance tools in both markets and elsewhere. (shrink)
Agent-based models have played a prominent role in recent debates about the merits of democracy. In particular, the formal model of Lu Hong and Scott Page and the associated “diversity trumps ability” result has typically been seen to support the epistemic virtues of democracy over epistocracy (i.e., governance by experts). In this paper we first identify the modeling choices embodied in the original formal model and then critique the application of the Hong-Page results to philosophical debates on the relative merits (...) of democracy. In particular we argue that the “best-performing agents” in Hong-Page model should not be interpreted as experts. We next explore a closely related model in which best-performing agents are more plausibly seen as experts and show that the diversity trumps ability result fails to hold. However, with changes in other parameters (such as the deliberation dynamic) the diversity trumps ability result is restored. The sensitivity of this result to parameter choices illustrates the complexity of the link between formal modeling and more general philosophical claims; we use this debate as a platform for a more general discussion of when and how agent-based models can contribute to philosophical discussions. (shrink)
History of Cognitive Neuroscience documents the major neuroscientific experiments and theories over the last century and a half in the domain of cognitive neuroscience, and evaluates the cogency of the conclusions that have been drawn from them. Provides a companion work to the highly acclaimed Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience – combining scientific detail with philosophical insights Views the evolution of brain science through the lens of its principal figures and experiments Addresses philosophical criticism of Bennett and Hacker?s previous book (...) Accompanied by more than 100 illustrations. (shrink)
Philosophers and cognitive scientists address the relationships among the senses and the connections between conscious experiences that form unified wholes. In this volume, cognitive scientists and philosophers examine two closely related aspects of mind and mental functioning: the relationships among the various senses and the links that connect different conscious experiences to form unified wholes. The contributors address a range of questions concerning how information from one sense influences the processing of information from the other senses and how unified states (...) of consciousness emerge from the bonds that tie conscious experiences together. Sensory Integration and the Unity of Consciousness is the first book to address both of these topics, integrating scientific and philosophical concerns. A flood of recent work in both philosophy and perception science has challenged traditional conceptions of the sensory systems as operating in isolation. Contributors to the volume consider the ways in which perceptual contact with the world is or may be “multisensory,” discussing such subjects as the modeling of multisensory integration and philosophical aspects of sensory modalities. Recent years have seen a similar surge of interest in unity of consciousness. Contributors explore a range of questions on this topic, including the nature of that unity, the degree to which conscious experiences are unified, and the relationship between unified consciousness and the self. Contributors Tim Bayne, David J. Bennett, Berit Brogaard, Barry Dainton, Ophelia Deroy, Frederique de Vignemont, Marc Ernst, Richard Held, Christopher S. Hill, Geoffrey Lee, Kristan Marlow, Farid Masrour, Jennifer Matey, Casey O'Callaghan, Cesare V. Parise, Kevin Rice, Elizabeth Schechter, Pawan Sinha, Julia Trommershaeuser, Loes C. J. van Dam, Jonathan Vogel, James Van Cleve, Robert Van Gulick, Jonas Wulff. (shrink)
Karen Bennett has recently argued that the views articulated by Linsky and Zalta (Philos Perspect 8:431–458, 1994) and (Philos Stud 84:283–294, 1996) and Plantinga (The nature of necessity, 1974) are not consistent with the thesis of actualism, according to which everything is actual. We present and critique her arguments. We first investigate the conceptual framework she develops to interpret the target theories. As part of this effort, we question her definition of ‘proxy actualism’. We then discuss her main arguments (...) that the theories carry a commitment to actual entities that do not exist. We end by considering and addressing a worry that might have been the driving force behind Bennett’s claim that Linsky and Zalta’s view is not fully actualistic. (shrink)
Recently there has been a resurgence of philosophical interest in love, resulting in a wide variety of accounts. Central to most accounts of love is the notion of caring about your beloved for his sake. Yet such a notion needs to be carefully articulated in the context of providing an account of love, for it is clear that the kind of caring involved in love must be carefully distinguished from impersonal modes of concern for particular others for their sakes, such (...) as moral concern or concern grounded in compassion. That is, we might say, the kind of caring that is central to love must be somehow distinctly intimate. The trouble is to cash out these firm intuitions in a satisfactory way. (shrink)
What is this thing called literature? Why study it? And how? Relating literature to topics such as dreams, politics, life, death, the ordinary and the uncanny, This Thing Called Literature establishes a sense of why and how literature is an exciting and rewarding subject to study. Andrew Bennett and Nicholas Royle expertly weave an essential love of literature into an account of what literary texts do, how they work and the sort of questions and ideas they provoke. The book's (...) three parts reflect the fundamental components of studying literature: reading, thinking and writing. The authors use helpful and wide-ranging examples and summaries, offering rich reflections on the question 'What is literature?' and on what they term 'creative reading'. The new edition has been revised throughout with extensive updates to the further reading, and a new chapter on creative non-fiction. Bennett and Royle's accessible and thought-provoking style encourages a deep engagement with literary texts. This essential guide to the study of literature is as an eloquent celebration of the value and pleasure of reading. (shrink)
Critical writing about music and music history in nineteenth-century Britain was permeated with metaphor and analogy. Music and Metaphor examines how over-arching theories of music history were affected by reference to various figurative linguistic templates adopted from other disciplines such as art, religion, politics and science.
Arguing against the doctrine of double effect, Bennett claims that the terror bomber only intends to make his victims appear dead. An obvious reply is that he intends to make them appear dead by killing them. I argue that the alleged refutations of this reply rest on a mistaken test question to determine what an agent intends, as Bennett's own test question confirms, and that Bennett is misled by confusing metaphorical death and literal death. Moreover, Bennett's (...) argument is half-hearted anyway, and going the whole way would not only undermine the DDE but also Quinn's revision of it. (shrink)
In this paper I outline the main features of Karen Bennett’s (Australasian Journal of Philosophy 1–21, 2011) non-classical mereology, and identify its methodological costs. I argue that Bennett’s mereology cannot account for the composition of structural universals because it cannot explain the mereological difference between isomeric universals, such as being butane and being isobutane. I consider responses, which come at costs to the view.
There is now a general consensus amongst philosophers in the values in science literature that values necessarily play a role in core areas of scientific inquiry. We argue that attention should now be turned from debating the value-free ideal to delineating legitimate from illegitimate influences of values in science, a project we dub “The New Demarcation Problem.” First, we review past attempts to demarcate the uses of values and propose a categorization of the strategies by where they seek to draw (...) legitimacy from. Next, we propose a set of desiderata for what we take to be a satisfactory solution and present a case study where conflicting sets of values clearly impinge on science, but where the legitimacy of their influence is ambiguous. We use these desiderata and the case study to illustrate what we take to be the strengths and weaknesses of current strategies. To be clear, our goal is not to answer the question we pose, but to articulate a framework within which a solution can be judged. (shrink)
This paper advances a fresh theorization of historicity. The word and concept of historicity has become so widespread and popular that they have ceased to have definite meaning and are used to stand for unsupported notions of the values inherent in human experience. This paper attempts to repair the concept by re-defining it as the temporal aspect of the interdependence of life; having history is to have a life intertwined with the lives of all others and with the universe. After (...) separating out the looser uses, surveying some of the literature, and defining what needs to be done, the paper examines shortcomings in the very different and widely influential conceptions of historicity of Koselleck and Heidegger. It then advances a new conception and fits it into the theoretical and moral capabilities of the philosophy of history as a core of philosophical anthropology. (shrink)
Industry is a major source of funding for scientific research. There is also a growing concern for how it corrupts researchers faced with conflicts of interest. As such, the debate has focused on whether researchers have maintained their integrity. In this article we draw on both the history of medicine and formal modeling to argue that given methodological diversity and a merit-based system, industry funding can bias a community without corrupting any particular individual. We close by considering a policy solution (...) that may seem to promote unbiased inquiry but that actually exacerbates the problem without additional restrictions. (shrink)
This paper argues that pleasure and pains are not qualia and they are not to be analyzed in terms of supposedly antecedently intelligible mental states like bodily sensation or desire. Rather, pleasure and pain are char- acteristic of a distinctive kind of evaluation that is common to emotions, desires, and (some) bodily sensations. These are felt evaluations: pas- sive responses to attend to and be motivated by the import of something impressing itself on us, responses that are nonetheless simultaneously con- (...) stitutive of that import by virtue of the broader rational patterns of which they are a part and that they serve to de?ne. This account of felt eval- uations makes sense of the way in which pleasures and pains grab our attention and motivate us to act and of the peculiar dual objectivity and subjectivity of their implicit evaluations, while o?ering a phenomenology adequate to both emotional and bodily pleasures and pains. (shrink)
In his New Essays on Human Understanding, Leibniz presents an extended critical commentary on Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Leibniz read some of Locke’s work in English and then, a few years later, the whole of it in French, a language in which he was more comfortable. Over a period of about two further years, on and off, he wrote his New Essays, which he finished at about the time Locke died and which was not published until about half a (...) century after Leibniz’s death. (He left them unpublished partly because they had been motivated by a hope of getting Locke to reply, and Locke’s death put an end to that; though his character made it a forlorn hope in any case.) The New Essays has been an important work: for one thing, Kant read it on its first appearance, and scholars say that this was a decisive event in his philosophical development. Anyway, given that this is one of Leibniz’s only two philosophical works of substantial book length, in all the torrent that poured from his pen, and given also that it is focused - critically but with respect and careful attentiveness - on the greatest classic of English philosophy, it is surprising that the New Essays had to wait until 1981 for a usable English translation.1 In 1896 there was published a sort of translation by A. G. Langley;2 but it is inaccurate far beyond the bounds of normal incompetence, as well as being grimly unreadable for stylistic reasons. As Chesterton once said about The Origin of Species, it is surprising how many people think they have read it, but I'll bet that nobody alive has slogged through the Langley version from cover to cover. It is a pity that the work was not decently available in English for nearly three centuries, because even for those who can read the French of, say, Descartes, Leibniz’s French is difficult. He reserved his native German for writings on history and politics, using French and Latin for philosophy and mathematics; presumably French was chosen for the New Essays because Leibniz wanted to respond to a popular work by a popular work.. (shrink)
This essay focuses on personal love, or the love of particular persons as such. Part of the philosophical task in understanding personal love is to distinguish the various kinds of personal love. For example, the way in which I love my wife is seemingly very different from the way I love my mother, my child, and my friend. This task has typically proceeded hand-in-hand with philosophical analyses of these kinds of personal love, analyses that in part respond to various puzzles (...) about love. Can love be justified? If so, how? What is the value of personal love? What impact does love have on the autonomy of both the lover and the beloved? (shrink)
The phenomenology of emotions has traditionally been understood in terms of bodily sensations they involve. This is a mistake. We should instead understand their phenomenology in terms of their distinctively evaluative intentionality. Emotions are essentially affective modes of response to the ways our circumstances come to matter to us, and so they are ways of being pleased or pained by those circumstances. Making sense of the intentionality and phenomenology of emotions in this way requires rejecting traditional understandings of intentionality and (...) so coming to see emotions as a distinctive and irreducible class of mental states lying at the intersection of intentionality, phenomenology, and motivation. (shrink)
Communities of respect are communities of people sharing common practices or a (partial) way of life; they include families, clubs, religious groups, and political parties. This book develops a detailed account of such communities in terms of the rational structure of their members' reactive attitudes, arguing that they are fundamental in three interrelated ways to understanding what it is to be a person. First, it is only by being a member of a community of respect that one can be a (...) responsible agent having dignity; such an agent therefore has certain rights as well as the authority to demand that fellow members recognize her dignity and follow the norms of the community, norms compliance with which they likewise have the authority to demand from her. Second, by prescribing or proscribing both actions and values, communities of respect can shape the identities of its members in ways that others have the authority to enforce, thereby revealing an important interpersonal dimension of the identities of persons. Finally, all of this is grounded in a distinctively interpersonal form of practical rationality in virtue of which we jointly have reasons to recognize the dignity and authority of fellow members and so to comply with their authoritative demands, as well as to respect (and so comply with) the norms of the community. Hence we persons are essentially social creatures. (shrink)
Mr Bennett in his interesting essay in the April 1974 issue of Philosophy claims that ‘… in a particular case sympathy and morality may pull in opposite directions. This can happen not just with bad moralities, but also with good ones like yours and mine.’ By sympathy he says he means ‘every sort of fellow-feeling’. Although a triumph of sympathy over morality may be a good thing, it also represents a triumph of irrationality over reason.
There are some philosophical questions that can be answered without attention to the social context in which evidence is produced and distributed.ing away from social context is an excellent way to ignore messy details and lay bare the underlying structure of the limits of inference. Idealization is entirely appropriate when one is essentially asking: In the best of all possible worlds, what am I entitled to infer? Yet, philosophers’ concerns often go beyond this domain. As an example I examine the (...) debate on mechanistic evidence and then reevaluate a canonical case study in this debate. I show that for the assessment of actual evidence, produced in a world that is far from ideal, omission of the social aspects of medical epistemology leads philosophers to draw the wrong lessons from cases they take as paradigmatic cases for their views. I close by arguing that social epistemology provides an avenue to incorporate these complications and provides the necessary framework to understand medical evidence. (shrink)
In recent years the social nature of scientific inquiry has generated considerable interest. We examine the effect of an epistemically impure agent on a community of honest truth seekers. Extending a formal model of network epistemology pioneered by Zollman, we conclude that an intransigently biased agent prevents the community from ever converging to the truth. We explore two solutions to this problem, including a novel procedure for endogenous network formation in which agents choose whom to trust. We contend that our (...) model nicely captures aspects of current problems in medical research and gesture at some morals for medical epistemology more generally. (shrink)
Private companies provide by far the most funding for scientific research and development. Nevertheless, relatively little attention has been paid to the dynamics of industry‐funded research by philosophers of science. This paper addresses this gap by providing an overview of the major strengths and weaknesses of industry research funding, together with the existing recommendations for addressing the weaknesses. It is designed to provide a starting point for future philosophical work that explores the features of industry‐funded research, avenues for addressing concerns, (...) and strategies for making research funded by the private sector as fruitful as possible. (shrink)