ABSTRACTThis paper explores the impacts of the PREVENT Counter-Terrorism Strategy. The conclusion is reached that violence may be being promoted rather than prevented by government attempts to counter ‘radicalisation’ and ‘extremism’. The motivation for this paper is the author's experience of the PREVENT Counter-Terrorism Strategy in a school in east London; and its main recommendation is that counter-extremism strategies can and should be contested. This conclusion, and the explanation for it, is reached by using a critical realist approach to Critical (...) Discourse Analysis, supported by the framework of the semiotic triangle in the context of Bhaskar's transformational model of social activity. This brings in a time dimension that, it is argued, has previously been neglected in critical realist versions of Critical Discourse Analysis. (shrink)
If a person is competent to consent to a treatment, is that person necessarily competent to refuse the very same treatment? Risk relativists answer no to this question. If the refusal of a treatment is risky, we may demand a higher level of decision-making capacity to choose this option. The position is known as asymmetry. Risk relativity rests on the possibility of setting variable levels of competence by reference to variable levels of risk. In an excellent 2016 article in Journal (...) of Medical Ethics, Rob Lawlor defends asymmetry of this kind by defending risk relativity, using and developing arguments and approaches found in earlier work such as that of Wilks. He offers what we call the two-scale approach: a scale of risk is to be used to set a standard of competence on a scale of decision-making difficulty. However, can this be done in any rational way? We argue it cannot, and in this sense, and to this extent, risk relativity is a nonsense. (shrink)
Stanley Fish opens the collection with a persuasive argument for the role of intention and biography. Michael McKeon, Gordon Turnbull, and Jerome Christensen are concerned with the late eighteenth--and early nineteenth-century English cultural discourse that gave rise to the nearly simultaneous emergence of literary biography, Romantic sensibility, and reflexive human consciousness. The essays by Alison Booth, Cheryl Walker, and Sharon O'Brien reveal that the recognition or lack thereof the biographical subject has received and remains both a problem and an (...) opportunity for women writers and readers. The essays by Valerie Ross, Rob Wilson, Steven Weiland, and William Epstein pursue the question of difference and cultural reification in the theory and practice of a specifically American biography and biographical criticism. (shrink)
In this article, I engage with Derrida’s deconstructive reading of theories of performativity in order to analyse Max Weber’s sovereignty–legitimacy paradigm. First, I highlight an essential articulation between legitimacy and sovereign ipseity (understood, beyond the sole example of State sovereignty, as the autopositioned power-to-be-oneself). Second, I identify a more originary force of legitimation, which remains foreign to the order of performative ipseity because it is the condition for both its position and its deconstruction. This suggests an essential fallibility of the (...) performative, which implies a ‘mystical’ legitimacy and a paradoxical, divisible and self-differential representation of sovereignty. The structural differentiality of legitimacy and sovereignty signifies an irreducible coloniality of law and language, but also suggests the possibility of an unconditional resistance located in the radical interpretability of the law, beyond determined representations of powers, dominations, sovereignties or resistances. This reflection is triggered by a reading of Cynthia Weber’s theory of ‘performative states’, describing sovereignty under the form of an impossible ontology, which leads me to elaborate the notion of legitimation-to-come as a non-ontological ‘concept’: this notion of unconditional legitimacy, beyond sovereignty, binds beliefs and phantasms to the unpresentable force of the event. Pursuing the efforts of scholars such as Rob Walker and Cynthia Weber, I sketch the implications of this archi-performative legitimacy regarding the methodological protocols of International Relations and sociology, in view of elucidating the persistent ontological presuppositions of these disciplines. (shrink)
In 2016, this Journal published an article by Rob Lawlor1 on what we might call the acceptance-refusal asymmetry in competence requirements. This is the view that there can be cases in which a patient is sufficiently competent to accept a treatment ( viz., to give consent to it), but not sufficiently competent to refuse it ( viz., to withhold consent to it). Though the main purpose of Lawlor’s paper was to distinguish this asymmetry from various other asymmetries with which it (...) has sometimes been confused,1 Lawlor also presented a brief case in favour of it. Developing an earlier argument of Ian Wilks’,2 3 Lawlor argued that, when the risks associated with refusing a treatment are graver than those associated with accepting it, a higher level of competence may be required to refuse a treatment than to accept it. This claim could have important implications for the law, since determinations of competence often play a central role in determining the lawfulness of refusing or imposing a treatment (eg, in England and Wales under the Mental Capacity Act 2005). Indeed, the acceptance-refusal asymmetry in competence requirements, or something close to it, has played an important role in court judgments.2 However, Lawlor himself suggests that his conclusion will have practical implications only in a narrow range of cases.3 In this issue, Pickering, Giles Newton-Howes and Simon Walker (henceforth ‘the authors’) respond to Lawlor’s piece.4 They deny that competence requirements should depend on the level of risk associated with a decision, and thus that there is any basis for the acceptance-refusal asymmetry in competence requirements. Part of the authors’ argument involves contesting the way in which Lawlor uses cases to support his view. In one case cited by Lawlor—and drawn from Wilks—we are invited to consider a whether …. (shrink)
Love, fear, hope, calculus, and game shows-how do all these spring from a few delicate pounds of meat? Neurophysiologist Ian Glynn lays the foundation for answering this question in his expansive An Anatomy of Thought, but stops short of committing to one particular theory. The book is a pleasant challenge, presenting the reader with the latest research and thinking about neuroscience and how it relates to various models of consciousness. Combining the aim of a textbook with the style of a (...) popularization, it provides all the lay reader needs to know to participate in the philosophical debate that is redefining our attitudes about our minds. Drawing on the rich history of neurological case studies, Glynn picks through the building blocks of our nervous system, examines our visual and linguistic systems, and probes deeply into our higher thought processes. The stories of great scientists, like Ramon y Cajal, and famous patients, like Sperry's split-brained epileptics, illuminate the scientific issues Glynn selects as essential for understanding consciousness. Some might argue that his lengthy explorations of natural selection overemphasize evolutionary explanations of psychological phenomena, but they must also agree that evolutionary psychology has distanced itself mightily from social Darwinism in recent years and merits a reappraisal. The great consciousness debate may form the core of the 21st-century Zeitgeist; get ready for it with An Anatomy of Thought. -Rob Lightner From Publishers Weekly How do we know? What do we think? How could a philosophical problem-'the mind-body problem,' say-induce a headache? What can evolutionary theory, molecular biology, the history of medicine and experimental psychology tell us about the features of human consciousness, and (once again) how do we know? Glynn, a physician and Cambridge University professor, meticulously attempts to answer these questions and more, setting forth the results of all sorts of research relevant to our brains-from 19th-century dissections to Oliver Sacks-like case studies, work with monkeys and supercomputers, and the enduring puzzles of philosophy, which he rightly saves for near the end. After explaining evolution by natural selection and 'clearing away much dross,' Glynn lays out the experiments and theories that have shown 'how nerve cells can carry information about the body, how they can interact' and how sense organs work; demonstrates the 'mixture of parallel and hierarchical organization' in our brains and 'the striking localization of function within it'; considers where neuroscience is likely to go; and admits that, among the many fields of exciting research just ahead, 'we can be least confident of progress toward a complete, scientific explanation of our sensations and thoughts and feelings.' Other recent explaining-the-brain books have sometimes advanced simplistic, or implausibly grand, claims about the nature and features of consciousness in general. Instead, Glynn offers a patient, informative, well-laid-out researcher's-eye view of what we have learned, how we figured it out and what we still don't know about neurons, senses, feelings, brains and minds. (Apr.) Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Library Journal The nature of consciousness, which perennially troubles the minds of scientists and philosophers, is the subject of an ever-growing body of literature. Two of the latest entries approach the topic from different perspectives. Glynn, a professor of physiology and head of the Physiological Laboratory at Cambridge, offers a comprehensive summary of what we know about the brain-both its evolution and its mechanisms. Among the topics he covers are natural selection, molecular evolution, nerves and the nervous system, sensory perception, and the specific structures responsible for our intellect. Using the mechanisms involved in vision and speech as models, Glynn skillfully describes various neurological deficiencies that can lead to 'disordered seeing' and problems with the use of language. He carefully distinguishes what we know through experimental evidence from what we know through the observation of patients with neurological damage. He also describes some of the major theories that attempt to explain why these structures arose. While his book concentrates on the structures that make up the mind, Glynn is well aware that some physical events appear explicable only in terms of conscious mental events-a situation that conflicts with the laws of modern physics. Only briefly, however, does he consider the various approaches that have been taken to deal with the issues of mind/body and free will. In contrast, this is the primary focus of The Physics of Consciousness. After reviewing the fundamentals of classic physics, Walker (who has a Ph.D. in physics) summarizes elements of the new physics in which our knowledge of space, time, matter, and energy are all dependent on the moment of observation. Walker explores the meaning of consciousness as a characteristic of the observer. In this context both the observer and the act of measurement are critical. In essence, Walker leads his reader on a journey through his concept of a 'quantum mind,' which can both affect matter (including other minds) and can be affected by other distant matter/minds. To break up what would otherwise be an extremely dense text, Walker also relates the very touching story of the loss of his high-school sweetheart to leukemia. Indeed, it is his memory of their relationship that drives Walker to seek an understanding of ultimate reality. At times, he has a tendency to be dogmatic-as when he concludes, 'our consciousness, our mind, and the will of God are the same mind.' While An Anatomy of Thought is appropriate for most academic libraries, the Physics of Consciousness will be most accessible to readers with some knowledge of advanced physics. -Laurie Bartolini, Illinois State Lib., Springfield Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Booklist The codiscoverers of natural selection-Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace-disagreed over the possibility of finding an evolutionary explanation for the human mind. Glynn here argues Darwin's side of the debate, tracing an eons-long path of development starting from simple amino acids floating in primal seas and extending through the erect hominids in which the powers of a massive brain first manifest themselves. Patiently adducing evidence of an evolutionary origin for the underlying molecular machinery, Glynn dissects the nerve centers that make possible speech and hearing, sight, and reading. Pressing deeper, he lays bare the cortical foundations of personality. But those who deal with the mind must attend also to the arguments advanced by philosophers. And it is when he turns from dendrites to syllogisms (especially the vexing mind-body paradox) that Glynn's empirical reasoning fails him. In the end, he concedes his perplexity in trying to conceive of an evolutionary origin for human consciousness. This concession may set the shade of Alfred Wallace to chortling, but it will draw readers into an honest confrontation with a profound enigma. Bryce Christensen. (shrink)
In 2016, this Journal published an article by Rob Lawlor1 on what we might call the acceptance-refusal asymmetry in competence requirements. This is the view that there can be cases in which a patient is sufficiently competent to accept a treatment, but not sufficiently competent to refuse it. Though the main purpose of Lawlor’s paper was to distinguish this asymmetry from various other asymmetries with which it has sometimes been confused,1 Lawlor also presented a brief case in favour of it. (...) Developing an earlier argument of Ian Wilks’,2 3 Lawlor argued that, when the risks associated with refusing a treatment are graver than those associated with accepting it, a higher level of competence may be required to refuse a treatment than to accept it. This claim could have important implications for the law, since determinations of competence often play a central role in determining the lawfulness of refusing or imposing a treatment. Indeed, the acceptance-refusal asymmetry in competence requirements, or something close to it, has played an important role in court judgments.2 However, Lawlor himself suggests that his conclusion will have practical implications only in a narrow range of cases.3 In this issue, Pickering, Giles Newton-Howes and Simon Walker respond to Lawlor’s piece.4 They deny that competence requirements should depend on the level of risk associated with a decision, and thus that there is any basis for the acceptance-refusal asymmetry in competence requirements. Part of the authors’ argument involves contesting the way in which Lawlor uses cases to support his view. In one case cited by Lawlor—and drawn from Wilks—we are invited to consider a whether …. (shrink)
Throughout his literary career Walker Percy read and studied the philosophical thought of Charles Sanders Peirce in an attempt to re-present in language the world as Percy knew it. Beginning in 1984 and ending in 1990, the year of his death, Percy corresponded with Kenneth Laine Ketner about the "semiotic" of Peirce. Their letters - honest, instructive, and often filled with down-home humor - record an epistolary friendship of two men both passionately interested in Peirce's theory of signs. This (...) volume of letters provides a rich philosophical perspective for better understanding the fiction and nonfiction of Walker Percy. (shrink)
For many people attracted to Eastern religions (particularly Zen Buddhism), Asia seems the source of all wisdom. As Bernard Faure examines the study of Chan/Zen from the standpoint of postmodern human sciences and literary criticism, he challenges this inversion of traditional "Orientalist" discourse: whether the Other is caricatured or idealized, ethnocentric premises marginalize important parts of Chan thought. Questioning the assumptions of "Easterners" as well, including those of the charismatic D. T. Suzuki, Faure demonstrates how both West and (...) East have come to overlook significant components of a complex and elusive tradition. Throughout the book Faure reveals surprising hidden agendas in the modern enterprise of Chan studies and in Chan itself. After describing how Jesuit missionaries brought Chan to the West, he shows how the prejudices they engendered were influenced by the sectarian constraints of Sino-Japanese discourse. He then assesses structural, hermeneutical, and performative ways of looking at Chan, analyzes the relationship of Chan and local religion, and discusses Chan concepts of temporality, language, writing, and the self. Read alone or with its companion volume, The Rhetoric of Immediacy, this work offers a critical introduction not only to Chinese and Japanese Buddhism but also to "theory" in the human sciences. (shrink)
A selection of thirty-seven articles and essays by the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer includes reviews of other noted authors, reports on Cuba, the civil rights and peace movements, and autobiographical anecdotes. Reprint. 10,000 first printing.
An anthology of essays by up-and-coming feminist and gay writers reevaluates the objectives and philosophy of the feminist movement, calling for more emphasis on liberating women than on guarding their sexual behavior.
Whilst public engagement in decisions concerning science and technology is widely extolled, research shows that the application of deliberative democratic theory remains – at least in Europe – highly constrained. Science and technology policy requires closer attention to the wider context of governance and the compatibility of public deliberation with established modes of policy-making.
Whether or not there is a natural inclination to want freedom, and whether or not slaves (modern or ancient) are living in violation of such a natural inclination has been debated by scholars for centuries. David Walker’s APPEAL provides a starting point for an argument that settles the issue: given my interpretation of Walker’s naturalism and his approach to existential agency, slaves have a duty to insurrect even if there is no empirical evidence that a natural inclination exists. (...) And they have this duty even if they are likely to fail. Neither instrumentalist nor consequentialist reasoning provide a slave compelling reasons to rebel; all consequences of rebellion are almost certain to be deleterious and it is not unreasonable for persons to be subservient under conditions of slavery. I depict, and use Walker’s depiction of, slavery to defend his approach to naturalism and liberation; an approach arguably beneficial to how we should see contemporary slavery. (shrink)
Creativity: Theory, History, Practice offers important new perspectives on creativity in the light of contemporary critical theory and cultural history. Innovative in approach as well as argument, the book crosses disciplinary boundaries and builds new bridges between the critical and the creative. It is organized in four parts: · Why creativity now? offers much-needed alternatives to both the Romantic stereotype of the creator as individual genius and the tendency of the modern creative industries to treat everything as a commodity. · (...) Defining creativity, creating definitions traces the changing meaning of "create" from religious ideas of divine creation from nothing to advertising notions of concept creation. It also examines the complex history and extraordinary versatility of terms such as imagination, invention, inspiration and originality. · Creation as myth, story, metaphor begins with modern re-telling of early African, American and Australian creation myths and -picking up Biblical and evolutionary accounts along the way - works round to scientific visions of the Big Bang, bubble universes and cosmic soup. · Creative practices, cultural processes is a critical anthology of materials, chosen to promote fresh thinking about everything from changing constructions of "literature" and "design" to artificial intelligence and genetic engineering. Rob Pope takes significant steps forward in the process of rethinking a vexed yet vital concept, all the while encouraging and equipping readers to continue the process in their own creative or "re-creative" ways. Creativity: Theory, History, Practice is invaluable for anyone with a live interest in exploring what creativity has been, is currently, and yet may be. (shrink)
This article examines how the availability of Big Data, coupled with new data analytics, challenges established epistemologies across the sciences, social sciences and humanities, and assesses the extent to which they are engendering paradigm shifts across multiple disciplines. In particular, it critically explores new forms of empiricism that declare ‘the end of theory’, the creation of data-driven rather than knowledge-driven science, and the development of digital humanities and computational social sciences that propose radically different ways to make sense of culture, (...) history, economy and society. It is argued that: Big Data and new data analytics are disruptive innovations which are reconfiguring in many instances how research is conducted; and there is an urgent need for wider critical reflection within the academy on the epistemological implications of the unfolding data revolution, a task that has barely begun to be tackled despite the rapid changes in research practices presently taking place. After critically reviewing emerging epistemological positions, it is contended that a potentially fruitful approach would be the development of a situated, reflexive and contextually nuanced epistemology. (shrink)
The American novelist Walker Percy (1916-90) considered himself a "thief of Peirce", because he found in the views of C.S. Peirce, the founder of pragmatism, an alternative approach to prevailing reductionist theories in order to understand what we human beings are and what the peculiar nature of our linguistic activity is. -/- This paper describes, quoting widely from Percy, how abduction is the spontaneous activity of our reason by which we couple meanings and experience in our linguistic expressions. This (...) coupling of personal creativity and cultural tradition makes it possible to bridge the gaps between persons and cultures. (shrink)
Lefebvre, Love and Struggle provides the only comprehensive guide to Lefebvre's work. It is an accessible introduction to one of the most significant European thinkers of the twentieth century. Rob Shields draws on the full range of Lefebvre's writings, including many previously untranslated and unpublished works and correspondence. Topics covered include Lefebvre's early relationship with Marxism, his critique of the rise of fascism, as well as his Critique of Everyday Life and the significant work on urban space for which he (...) is best known today. (shrink)
This book looks at the origins and the many contemporary meanings of the virtual. Rob Shields shows how the construction of virtual worlds has a long history. He examines the many forms of faith and hysteria that have surrounded computer technologies in recent years. Moving beyond the technologies themselves he shows how the virtual plays a role in our daily lives at every level. The virtual is also an essential concept needed to manage innovation and risk. It is real but (...) not actual, ideal but not abstract. The virtual, he argues, has become one of the key organizing principles of contemporary society in the public realms of politics, business and consumption as well as in our private lives. (shrink)
This article discusses studies and politicalinitiatives concerned with enhancing publicinvolvement in major technological decisions.It argues that such decisions should include asignificant role for the mass media, andrespect for the diverse relations betweenscience and governance. The notion of`regulated worlds' is proposed as a startingpoint in a discourse that brings together themass media, science management, anddeliberative democracy.
Voici un ouvrage imposant par sa taille et son ambition. C'est une somme qui arrive à point nommé. Elle propose en effet un ensemble de 38 articles rédigés par une équipe très internationale, à dominante historienne, qui aborde le problème du rapport des femmes au politique à travers le temps (du XVIe au XXe siècle) et l'espace (en Europe et en Amérique du Nord). Organisées de manière chronologique en trois rubriques, « Au seuil de la modernité, les femmes peuvent-elles gouverner (...) ? », .. (shrink)
_Philosophy and the Maternal Body_ gives a new voice to the mother and the maternal body which have often been viewed as silent within philosophy. Michelle Boulous Walker clearly shows how some male theorists have appropriated maternity, and suggests new ways of articulating the maternal body and women's experience of pregnancy and motherhood.
David Walker’s famous 1829 Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World expresses a puzzle at the very outset. What are we to make of the use of “Citizens” in the title given the denial of political rights to African Americans? This essay argues that the pamphlet relies on the cultural and linguistic norms associated with the term appeal in order to call into existence the political standing of black folks. Walker’s use of citizen does not need to (...) rely on a recognitive legal relationship precisely because it is the practice of judging that illuminates one’s political, indeed, citizenly standing. Properly understood, the Appeal aspires to transform blacks and whites, and when it informs the prophetic dimension of the text, it tilts the entire pamphlet in a democratic direction. This is the political power of the pamphlet; it exemplifies the call-and-response logic of democratic self-governance. (shrink)
Rob Clifton was one of the most brilliant and productive researchers in the foundations and philosophy of quantum theory, who died tragically at the age of 38. Jeremy Butterfield and Hans Halvorson collect fourteen of his finest papers here, drawn from the latter part of his career (1995-2002), all of which combine exciting philosophical discussion with rigorous mathematical results. Many of these papers break wholly new ground, either conceptually or technically. Others resolve a vague controversy intoa precise technical problem, which (...) is then solved; still others solve an open problem that had been in the air for soem time. All of them show scientific and philosophical creativity of a high order, genuinely among the very best work in the field. The papers are grouped into four Parts. First come four papers about the modal interpretation of quantum mechanics. Part II comprises three papers on the foundations of algebraic quantum field theory, with an emphasis on entanglement and nonlocality. The two papers in Part III concern the concept of a particle in relativistic quantum theories. One paper analyses localization; the other analyses the Unruh effect (Rindler quanta) using the algebraic approach to quantum theory. Finally, Part IV contains striking new results about such central issues as complementarity, Bohr's reply to the EPR argument, and no hidden variables theorems; and ends with a philosophical survey of the field of quantum information. The volume includes a full bibliography of Clifton's publications. Quantum Entanglements offers inspiration and substantial reward to graduates and professionals in the foundations of physics, with a background in philosophy, physics, or mathematics. (shrink)
We show that three fundamental information-theoretic constraints -- the impossibility of superluminal information transfer between two physical systems by performing measurements on one of them, the impossibility of broadcasting the information contained in an unknown physical state, and the impossibility of unconditionally secure bit commitment -- suffice to entail that the observables and state space of a physical theory are quantum-mechanical. We demonstrate the converse derivation in part, and consider the implications of alternative answers to a remaining open question about (...) nonlocality and bit commitment. (shrink)
Fifteen original essays open up a novel area of inquiry: the distinctively ethical dimensions of women's experiences of and in aging. Contributors distinguished in the fields of feminist ethics and the ethics of aging explore assumptions, experiences, practices, and public policies that affect women's well-being and dignity in later life. The book brings to the study of women's aging a reflective dimension missing from the empirical work that has predominated to date. Ethical studies of aging have so far failed to (...) emphasize gender. And feminist ethics has neglected older women, even when emphasizing other dimensions of 'difference.' Finally work on aging in all fields has focused on the elderly, while this volume sees aging as an extended process of negotiating personal and social change. (shrink)
In an essay on performance-enhancing drugs, author Chuck Klosterman (2007) argues that the category of enhancers extends from hallucinogens used to inspire music to steroids used to strengthen athletes—and he criticizes those who would excuse one means of enhancement while railing against the other as a form of cheating: After the summer of 1964, the Beatles started taking serious drugs, and those drugs altered their musical performance. Though it may not have been their overt intent, the Beatles took performance-enhancing drugs. (...) And . . . absolutely no one holds it against them. No one views “Rubber Soul” and “Revolver” as “less authentic” albums, despite the fact that they would not (and probably could .. (shrink)
Process engraver and printer Emery Walker was a pivotal figure in the English, American, and continental European Private Press Movement from the 1880s until his death in 1933. This article looks at his theories for the typography, design, and production of books, and how those theories were developed by key designers and close associates of Walker such as William Morris, T. J. Cobden Sanderson, and Bruce Rogers and through the practical teaching of figures such as J. H. Mason (...) and Edward Johnston. It examines how the theories were then taken up by the exponents of fine printing from the early 20th century through to the 1930s, focusing on the presses of Bernard Newdigate, Harry Kessler, Harold Curwen, and Francis Meynell. From these presses, and also via Stanley Morison and the Monotype Corporation, Walker’s theories are shown to have spread into mainstream book publishing in the first half of the 20th century. The article considers questions of whether the improvement in the readability of books in the early 20th century has had a continuing impact in book publishing, and makes suggestions how to access the incunabula referenced by the designers discussed, as well as collections of private press books and other early 20th-century fine printing. (shrink)
Some people (e.g., Drs. Paul and Susan Lim) and, with them, organizations (e.g., the National Embryo Donation Center) believe that, morally speaking, the death of a frozen human embryo is a very bad thing. With such people and organizations in mind, the question to be addressed here is as follows: if one believes that the death of a frozen embryo is a very bad thing, ought, morally speaking, one prevent the death of at least one frozen embryo via embryo adoption? (...) By way of a three‐premise argument, one of which is a moral principle first introduced by Peter Singer, my answer to this question is: at least some of those who believe this ought to. (Just who the “some” are is identified in the paper.) If this is correct, then, for said people, preventing the death of a frozen embryo via embryo adoption is not a morally neutral matter; it is, instead, a morally laden one. Specifically, their intentional refusal to prevent the death of a frozen embryo via embryo adoption is, at a minimum, morally criticizable and, arguably, morally forbidden. Either way, it is, to one extent or another, a moral failing. (shrink)
The troubling ethics and politics of philanthropy Is philanthropy, by its very nature, a threat to today’s democracy? Though we may laud wealthy individuals who give away their money for society’s benefit, Just Giving shows how such generosity not only isn’t the unassailable good we think it to be but might also undermine democratic values and set back aspirations of justice. Big philanthropy is often an exercise of power, the conversion of private assets into public influence. And it is a (...) form of power that is largely unaccountable, often perpetual, and lavishly tax-advantaged. The affluent—and their foundations—reap vast benefits even as they influence policy without accountability. And small philanthropy, or ordinary charitable giving, can be problematic as well. Charity, it turns out, does surprisingly little to provide for those in need and sometimes worsens inequality. These outcomes are shaped by the policies that define and structure philanthropy. When, how much, and to whom people give is influenced by laws governing everything from the creation of foundations and nonprofits to generous tax exemptions for donations of money and property. Rob Reich asks: What attitude and what policies should democracies have concerning individuals who give money away for public purposes? Philanthropy currently fails democracy in many ways, but Reich argues that it can be redeemed. Differentiating between individual philanthropy and private foundations, the aims of mass giving should be the decentralization of power in the production of public goods, such as the arts, education, and science. For foundations, the goal should be what Reich terms “discovery,” or long-time-horizon innovations that enhance democratic experimentalism. Philanthropy, when properly structured, can play a crucial role in supporting a strong liberal democracy. Just Giving investigates the ethical and political dimensions of philanthropy and considers how giving might better support democratic values and promote justice. (shrink)
Combining methods in social scientific research has recently gained momentum through a research strand called Mixed Methods Research. This approach, which explicitly aims to offer a framework for combining methods, has rapidly spread through the social and behavioural sciences, and this article offers an analysis of the approach from a field theoretical perspective. After a brief outline of the MMR program, we ask how its recent rise can be understood. We then delve deeper into some of the specific elements that (...) constitute the MMR approach, and we engage critically with the assumptions that underlay this particular conception of using multiple methods. We conclude by offering an alternative view regarding methods and method use. (shrink)
Some conspicuous characteristics of argumentation as we all know this phenomenon from our shared everyday experiences are in my view vital to its theoretical treatment because they should have methodological consequences for the way in which argumentation research is conducted. To start with, argumentation is in the first place a communicative act complex, which is realized by making functional verbal communicative moves.
According to the theory of intrinsic value and moral standing called the ‘substance view,’ what makes it prima facie seriously wrong to kill adult human beings, human infants, and even human fetuses is the possession of the essential property of the basic capacity for rational moral agency – a capacity for rational moral agency in root form and thereby not remotely exercisable. In this critique, I cover three distinct reductio charges directed at the substance view's conclusion that human fetuses have (...) the same intrinsic value and moral standing as adult human beings. After giving consideration to defenders of the substance view's replies to these charges, I then critique each of them, ultimately concluding that none is successful. Of course, in order to understand all of these things – the reductio charges, defenders of the substance view's replies to them, and my criticisms of their replies – one must have a better understanding of the substance view as well as its defense. Accordingly, I address the substance view's understanding of rational moral agency as well as present its defense. (shrink)
Philosophical reflection on quantum field theory has tended to focus on how it revises our conception of what a particle is. However, there has been relatively little discussion of the threat to the "reality" of particles posed by the possibility of inequivalent quantizations of a classical field theory, i.e., inequivalent representations of the algebra of observables of the field in terms of operators on a Hilbert space. The threat is that each representation embodies its own distinctive conception of what a (...) particle is, and how a "particle" will respond to a suitably operated detector. Our main goal is to clarify the subtle relationship between inequivalent representations of a field theory and their associated particle concepts. We also have a particular interest in the Minkowski versus Rindler quantizations of a free Boson field, because they respectively entail two radically different descriptions of the particle content of the field in the *very same* region of spacetime. We shall defend the idea that these representations provide *complementary descriptions* of the same state of the field against the claim that they embody completely *incommensurable theories* of the field. (shrink)