The fundamental question of political reparation is: why should a state provide redress for an injustice? The predominant answer justifies redress in terms of debts—the perpetration of an injustice creates a debt, and a state is required to make redress for the same reasons that it is required to repay its debts . Other approaches justify redress on the grounds that it will facilitate the achievement of some broader political goal, like the fair distribution of social resources or political reconciliation.In (...) Transitional Justice in Established Democracies, Stephen Winter provides a novel answer to this fundamental question in terms of political legitimacy. On Winter’s “legitimating account,” the state’s perpetuation of certain injustices compromises its political legitimacy. Redress is a required for a (liberal, democratic) state to bolster its legitimacy and to live up to its political commitments.Winter’s book makes a number of contributions to thinking about redress and transitional .. (shrink)
This paper engages with the idea at the core of my co‐symposiast's paper ‘Ethics of Substance’ : that the Aristotelian concept of substantial being has ethical implications, and an alternative understanding of existence in terms of affecting and being affected will help us more easily to accommodate relational values, which are thought to sit uneasily within the Aristotelian framework.I focus on two questions. First, is there really is a tension between an Aristotelian metaphysics of substance and concern for others? The (...) answer depends on how we understand the relation between my valuing something indeterminate but determinable and my valuing the particular way in which that determinable is contingently determined. I agree that Carpenter is correct in identifying the tension she does.Second, does the alternative Buddhist influenced view of what it is to exist shift our attention from ethical values such as independence and autonomy onto interpersonal and relational values? I consider an example which reflects another aspect of Aristotle's outlook: his account of the ontological status of the simple material elements. I suggest that once we abandon the idea that such elements exist in virtue of specific intrinsic structures, then questions about their persistence through the changes by reference to which they are identified at the very least admit of no determinate answer. This suggestion also supports the line taken in Carpenter's paper. (shrink)
Tras señalar que la Segunda Ley de la Termodinámica se cumple porque el universo empezó en un estado ordenado, y que para predecir el estado inicial se deben ocupar tanto la relatividad general como la teoría cuántica, Hawking propone que el universo no tiene una sola historia sino todas las historias posibles, cada una con su propia amplitud de probabilidad. Postula que las historias del universo dependen de lo que está siendo medido, al revés de la idea habitual de que (...) el universo tiene una historia objetiva, independiente del observador: creamos la historia mediante nuestra observación, en lugar de que la historia nos cree a nosotros. Sostiene que la condición inicial para el universo es una de ausencia de fronteras, lo que implica que el universo primitivo debió haber sido casi liso, pero con pequeñas irregularidades; y que éstas habrían crecido luego bajo la influencia de la gravedad y conducido a la formación de galaxias, estrellas y, en último término, a seres considerados inteligentes. (shrink)
The authors of Habits of the Heart charge that America is losing the institutions that help “to create the kind of person who could sustain a connection to a wider political community and thus ultimately support the maintenance of free institutions.” Bellah fears that “individualism may have grown cancerous – that it may be destroying those social integuments that Tocqueville saw as moderating its more destructive potentials, that it may be threatening the survival of freedom itself.” Proponents of the liberal (...) free market order should, I will argue, take seriously the concerns that motivate Bellah and company: citizens of a liberal regime cannot live by exchanges alone. Liberal constitutionalism depends upon a certain level and quality of citizen virtue. But while the need for virtue is often neglected by liberal theorists, it is far from clear that the actual workings of liberal institutions have drastically undermined virtue in the way Bellah's dire account suggests. That analysis serves, moreover, as the springboard for a radically transformist argument that seeks, not so much to elevate and shape, but to transcend and deny, the self-interestedness that the free market exercises. Having argued against Bellah's analysis and prescriptions, I shall attempt to show how the phenomena he describes are open to an interpretation that is happier from the point of view of a concern with virtue. I shall end by using Tocqueville to suggest that combining liberal capitalism with intermediate associations like voluntary groups and state and local government helps elevate and shape self-interest, promoting a citizenry capable of and insistent upon liberal self-government. (shrink)
[Stephen Makin] Aristotle draws two sets of distinctions in Metaphysics 9.2, first between non-rational and rational capacities, and second between one way and two way capacities. He then argues for three claims: [A] if a capacity is rational, then it is a two way capacity [B] if a capacity is non-rational, then it is a one way capacity [C] a two way capacity is not indifferently related to the opposed outcomes to which it can give rise I provide explanations (...) of Aristotle's terminology, and of how [A]-[C] should be understood. I then offer a set of arguments which are intended to show that the Aristotelian claims are plausible. \\\ [Nicholas Denyer] In De Caelo 1: 11-12 Aristotle argued that whatever is and always will be true is necessarily true. His argument works, once we grant him the highly plausible principle that if something is true, then it can be false if and only if it can come to be false. For example, assume it true that the sun is and always will be hot. No proposition of this form can ever come to be false. Hence this proposition cannot be false. Hence it is necessarily true, and so too is anything that follows from it. In particular, it is necessarily true that the sun is hot. Moreover, if the sun not only is and always will be hot, but also always has been, then it follows by similar reasoning that the sun not only cannot now fail to be hot, but also never could have failed. Anything everlastingly true is therefore, in the strictest sense of the term, necessarily true. (shrink)
You can't be convicted of a crime without a guilty act and a guilty mind." A lawyer might dress the same idea up in Latin: "You can't be convicted of a crime without actus reus and mens rea." Things like that are often said, but what do people mean when they say them? Guilty Acts, Guilty Minds proposes an understanding of mens rea and actus reus as limits on the authority of a state, and in particular the authority of a (...) democratic state, to ascribe guilt through positive law to those accused of crime. Actus reus and mens rea are necessary conditions, among others, for the legitimacy, as distinct from the justice, of state punishment. The actus reus requirement disables a democratic state from using its authority, on the one hand, to ascribe guilt to those who didn't realize they were committing a crime, provided they lacked the capacity to realize they were committing a crime; and on the other, to ascribe guilt to those who realized they were committing a crime, but who lacked the capacity to conform their conduct to the requirements of law. The mens rea requirement disables a democratic state from using its authority, on the one hand, to ascribe guilt to those who didn't realize they were committing a crime, provided their ignorance manifested no lack of law-abiding concern for the law and its ends, and on the other, to ascribe guilt to those who realized they were committing a crime, but whose failure to conform to the law nonetheless manifested no lack of law-abiding concern for the law and its ends. (shrink)
Since the publication of his first book in 1953, Yves Bonnefoy has become one of the most important French poets of the postwar years. At last, we have the long-awaited English translation of Yves Bonnefoy’s celebrated work, _L’Arrière-pays_, which takes us to the heart of his creative process and to the very core of his poetic spirit. In his poem, “The Convex Mirror,” Bonnefoy writes: “Look at them down there, at that crossroads, / They seem to hesitate, then go on.” (...) The idea of the crossroads haunts Bonnefoy’s work, as he is troubled by the idea that the path not taken may lead to the _arrière-pays_, a place of greater plenitude, and of more authentic being—an “elsewhere in the absolute.” Seized by this fear that what he terms “presence” exists always somewhere else, a little further on, Bonnefoy here sets out on a labyrinthine quest to find traces of this “original place,” which he locates not only in objects of knowledge and experience as diverse as the deserts of Asia, a hill fort in India, a church in Armenia, the painting of Piero della Francesca but also, crucially, in the undivided intensity of his experiences as a child. Written with a visionary grace, _The Arrière-pays_ is a spiritual testament to art, philosophy, and poetry. Enriched by a new preface by the poet, this volume also includes three recent essays in which he returns to his original account of an ethical and aesthetic haunting, one that recounts the struggle between our instinct to idealize—what he deems our eternal Platonism—and the equally strong need to combat this and to be reconciled with our nature as finite beings, made of flesh and blood, in the world of the here and now. (shrink)
More than 2,200 years have passed since a group of sober people gathered in a covered colonnade, or stoa, in the marketplace of Athens to discuss the good life – a life of virtue and honor. They became known as Stoics, and their ancient creed is enjoying a renaissance today in, of all things, popular culture.
Although liberals too often forget it, the health of the liberal publicorder depends on our ability to constitute not only political institutions and limits on power, but appropriate patterns of social lifeand citizen character. Liberal character traits and political virtuesdo not, after all, come about “naturally” or by the deliverance of an “invisible hand.” Even Adam Smith did not think that, as we will see below. Harry Eckstein gets closer to themark by suggesting that “stable governments…are the productof 'accidental' conjunctions (...) of conditions which do sometimes, but rarely, occur in actual societies.”. (shrink)
To understand H.L.A. Hart's general theory of law, it is helpful to distinguish between substantive and methodological legal positivism. Substantive legal positivism is the view that there is no necessary connection between morality and the content of law. Methodological legal positivism is the view that legal theory can and should offer a normatively neutral description of a particular social phenomenon, namely law. Methodological positivism holds, we might say, not that there is no necessary connection between morality and law, but rather (...) that there is no connection, necessary or otherwise, between morality and legal theory. The respective claims of substantive and methodological positivism are, at least on the surface, logically independent. Hobbes and Bentham employed normative methodologies to defend versions of substantive positivism, and in modern times Michael Moore has developed what can be regarded as a variant of methodological positivism to defend a theory of natural law. (shrink)
Robert A. Hatch - Peiresc's Europe: Learning and Virtue in the Seventeenth Century - Journal of the History of Philosophy 40:3 Journal of the History of Philosophy 40.3 395-397 Book Review Peiresc's Europe: Learning and Virtue in the Seventeenth Century Peter N. Miller. Peiresc's Europe: Learning and Virtue in the Seventeenth Century. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000. Pp. xv + 234. Cloth, $40.00. N.-C. Fabri de Peiresc was no philosopher—not by modern lights—nor does he bear much resemblance to (...) his contemporaries, Bacon, Hobbes, or Descartes. Not least, Peiresc should not be confused with his singular friend and biographer, Pierre Gassendi. Compared to these philosophers, Peiresc's thought was unsystematic, his interests undisciplined. As Peter N. Miller argues—sometimes brilliantly—Peiresc was an antiquarian. And indeed, more than any contemporary, the "Prince of Erudition" has come to epitomize the Renaissance ideal of Humanist, Scholar, and Patron. But if Peiresc was no philosopher, neither was he content to write about the "Life of Letters." Peiresc lived it—perhaps to excess—perhaps too literally. Peiresc was no philosopher because his curiosity was unbound, not least, Peiresc published nothing, nary a.. (shrink)
Reading with Muriel Dimen / Writing with Muriel Dimen: Experiments in Theorizing a Field is a collection of reading and writing experiments inspired by the late feminist psychoanalyst Muriel Dimen. Each of the six projects that comprise this volume explore a stylistic and thematic manner of reading and responding-to Dimen's work, challenging the field to write outside the standardized edition, and covering a remarkable breadth of essential analytic topics, such as sex, gender, money, love and hate, and boundary violations. As (...) an homage to Dimen's quest to engage the personal and the political in the author's craft, and in collaboration with Dimen's endeavour to foster revolution across the psychosocial landscape that renders psychoanalysis its field, the authors offer readers a wild analysis of reading and writing. Giving a clear introduction to and exploration of Muriel Dimen's groundbreaking work, this book will prove essential for scholars of psychoanalysis, cultural studies and gender studies, as well as anyone seeking to understand Dimen's influence on psychoanalytic practice today. (shrink)
Stephen Davies taught philosophy at the University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. His research specialty is the philosophy of art. He is a former President of the American Society for Aesthetics. His books include Definitions of Art (Cornell UP, 1991), Musical Meaning and Expression (Cornell UP, 1994), Musical Works and Performances (Clarendon, 2001), Themes in the Philosophy of Music (OUP, 2003), Philosophical Perspectives on Art (OUP, 2007), Musical Understandings and Other Essays on the Philosophy of Music (OUP, 2011), The (...) Artful Species: Aesthetics, Art, and Evolution (OUP, 2012), The Philosophy of Art (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016 second ed.), and Adornment: What Self-decorations Tells Us about Who We Are, (Bloomsbury Academic, 2020). (shrink)
Practitioners of disciplines whose problems are debated by moral philosophers regularly complain that the philosophers are engaged in abstract speculation, divorced from ‘real-life’ consequences and responsibilities, that it is the practitioners who must take the decisions, and that they cannot act in accordance with strict abstract logic.
Theories of economic justice are characteristically based on abstract ethical concerns often unrelated to practical distributive results. Two decades ago, Rawls's theory of justice began as a reaction against the alleged ‘sacrifices’ condoned by utilitarian theory. One variant of this objection is that utilitarianism permits gross inequalities, severe deprivations of individual liberty, or even the enslavement of society's least well-off individuals. There are, however, more subtle forms of the objection. In Rawls, it is often waged without any claim that utilitarianism (...) does in fact imply such gross deprivations in actual realworld circumstances. A second variant hinges, rather, on the milder claim that utilitarianism could condone such deprivations or sacrifices in some possible world—the objection being that utilitarianism improperly makes justice contingent, or uncertain, in this way. A third, still more abstract, variant would be that utilitarianism is flawed—not because of any practical distributive result, actual or hypothetical, but in theory —due to the way it treats individuals' interests, or the ‘concept of persons’ it presupposes. (shrink)