Two of the most important political movements of the late twentieth century are those of environmentalism and feminism. In this book, Val Plumwood argues that feminist theory has an important opportunity to make a major contribution to the debates in political ecology and environmental philosophy. _Feminism and the Mastery of Nature_ explains the relation between ecofeminism, or ecological feminism, and other feminist theories including radical green theories such as deep ecology. Val Plumwood provides a philosophically informed account of the relation (...) of women and nature, and shows how relating male domination to the domination of nature is important and yet remains a dilemma for women. (shrink)
In this much-needed account of what has gone wrong in our thinking about the environment, Val Plumwood digs at the roots of environmental degradation. She argues that we need to see nature as an end itself, rather than an instrument to get what we want. Using a range of examples, Plumwood presents a radically new picture of how our culture must change to accommodate nature.
Situationists, with reference to empirical work in psychology, have called into question the predictive and explanatory power of character traits and on this basis have criticized the empirical adequacy of moral virtue. More recently, Alfano :223–249, 2012; Character as moral fiction, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2013) has extended the situationist critique from virtue ethics to virtue epistemology. On the line he advances, virtue responsibilism—the view that intellectual character traits play an important part in traditional and untraditional epistemological inquiries—is criticized as (...) empirically inadequate in light of the extent to which individuals are shown to be susceptible to seemingly trivial and epistemically irrelevant situational influences. Alfano’s attempted redeployment of the situationist challenge to virtue responsibilism is on closer inspection not as straightforward as he claims. It is granted that the empirical adequacy of virtue responsibilism will be eventually threatened if it can be shown that virtuous motivation is, in light of situational factors, causally ineffective. As it turns out, various psychological studies which situationists have overlooked, suggest that virtuous motivation is causally efficacious in a way that favours the position of the virtue responsibilist over the situationist. In the first part of this paper, I outline the hard core of virtue theory: both a rich motivation requirement, and a commitment to the inherent relation between virtue and a good life; then I assess whether these are undermined by situationist criticism. I address the confusion of the existing debate, and the conclusion drawn is that virtue theory ultimately remains unscathed. In the second part of my paper I defend the empirical adequacy of virtue theory based on self-determination theory. When we afford closer attention to studies on the orientation of our motivation, it becomes clear how the dynamics of our motivation have a tremendous influence on desirable behavioural outcomes: a good life. (shrink)
In this posthumously published paper Val Plumwood reflects on two personal encounters with death, being seized as prey by a crocodile and burying her son in a country cemetery with a flourishing botanic community. She challenges the exceptionalism which sets the human self apart from nature and which is reflected in the choice between two conceptions of death, one of continuity in the realm of spirit, the other a reductive materialist conception in which death marks the end of the story (...) of the self. Both perspectives structure out the basis of animal existence – that we are all food, and through death nourish others. She commends an animistic materialist approach, where life is seen as in circulation and where mortuary practices might affirm death as an opportunity of life for others in the ecological community. (shrink)
Research involving minors has been the subject of much ethical debate. The growing number of longitudinal, pediatric studies that involve genetic research present even more complex challenges to ensure appropriate protection of children and families as research participants. Long-term studies with a genetic component involve collection, retention and use of biological samples and personal information over many years. Cohort studies may be established to study specific conditions (e.g. autism, asthma) or may have a broad aim to research a range of (...) factors that influence the health and development of children. Studies are increasingly intended to serve as research platforms by providing access to data and biological samples to researchers over many years. (shrink)
Ideal for undergraduate students in philosophy and science studies, Philosophy of Technology offers an engaging and comprehensive overview of a subject vital to our time. An up-to-date, accessible overview of the philosophy of technology, defining technology and its characteristics. Explores the issues that arise as technology becomes an integral part of our society. In addition to traditional topics in science and technology studies, the volume offers discussion of technocracy, the romantic rebellion against technology. Complements The Philosophy of Technology : The (...) Technological Condition: An Anthology, edited by Robert C. Scharff and Val Dusek. (shrink)
Rationalism is the key to the connected oppressions of women and nature in the West. Deep ecology has failed to provide an adequate historical perspective or an adequate challenge to human/nature dualism. A relational account of self enables us to reject an instrumental view of nature and develop an alternative based on respect without denying that nature is distinct from the self. This shift of focus links feminist, environmentalist, and certain forms of socialist critiques. The critique of anthropocentrism is not (...) sacrificed, as deep ecologists argue, but enriched. (shrink)
Little attention has been paid to the role which impression management (IM) of genuine and substantial talents and commitment plays in the careers of female and male managers seeking promotion. IM studies have largely investigated the supervisor/subordinate relationship, often with samples of business students in laboratory settings. In the Cranfield Centre for Developing Women Business Leaders, we have focused on the use of IM by practising managers. In this paper, we examine previous literature for indications that gender may be important (...) in explaining differences in IM behaviours. We then report findings from a survey and a qualitative study, showing that gender, especially combined with age and job level, is a differentiating factor in managers' inclinations to use particular IM behaviours. Many women (and some men too) seem uncomfortable with using IM. Women do not always want to play "the organizational game" by the male-constructed unwritten rules, but prefer to trust good management and systems fairness for just rewards. Younger and junior level women managers often recognize that IM may be a useful tool but reject its use for themselves. Women seem to prefer to rely on extra high performance and commitment for visibility to their seniors rather than the networking, ingratiation and self-promotion strategies used more by males. An important consequence is that as ambitious young males use job-focused IM in addition to self and manager-focused strategies, this is likely to leave young women at a considerable disadvantage for promotion, if the strategies are successful. (shrink)
Visiting historical places can give important impulses regarding education of history, society, and politics. While there does exist extensive research on visitors' experiences at memorial sites, little is known about the impact of everyday places holding dark history. Two experimental studies took place in a research institute, a former women's clinic, where in the time of National Socialist dictatorship in Germany hundreds of forced sterilizations took place. Historical awareness was manipulated via systematic variation of prior information. We found partial evidence (...) that historical awareness had a negative effect on personal mood. Awareness of the site's NS history had a negative effect on the perceived valence of related photos but did not influence their qualitative description. Also, there was partial evidence that the site itself was perceived less positively and evoked more arousal when participants were aware of its NS history. Possible reasons are discussed. (shrink)
Yule, Val A series of before-and-after pictures shows the cost to a city that is bombed. A recent example is the UNESCO-listed sites in the Syrian city of Aleppo - one example is given above. After bombing these sites were all rubble.
Although most studies on the Fair Trade initiative are, to some extent, cognizant of its contribution to environmental sustainability, what the environmental aspect means to Fair Trade has not yet been explored fully. A review of environmental issues in the Fair Trade literature suggests that Fair Trade might influence participant producers’ farming practices even if it does not directly impact natural resources. This paper attempts to interpret Fair Trade certification as an intermediary institution that links two significant objectives of rural (...) development in the global South—environmental conservation and poverty reduction. This theoretical concept is examined in different real settings by observing four cases of Southern small farmer groups involved in the Fair Trade initiative. Findings from these case studies imply that if Fair Trade certification ensures tangible benefits for small farmers, it can not only help such disadvantaged farmers but also work as an approach for natural resource management. (shrink)
ABSTRACTMost eighteenth- and nineteenth-century portrait paintings have eyes staring outward at the beholder. A minority of these eyes have slightly elevated pupils in comparison to the iris. These off-centre pupils are not the norm, but they occur regularly in works by skilful European portrait painters in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This article takes a closer look at selected portrait paintings by Danish artists Jens Juel and Constantin Hansen and argues that the discrepancy between the pupils and the rest of (...) the paintings creates an illusion of movement or presence when looking the paintings in the eye. The discrepancy creates an aesthetic effect corresponding with Merleau-Ponty’s concept of internal discordance. According to Merleau-Ponty, visual art can create the illusion of movement by portraying its parts in different moments. These internal discordances make the painting “move” because the beholder unconsciously creates a fictive link between the parts thereby expanding time in space. The article combines presence theory, phenomenology and art theory and perception theory in order to study the effects and possible reasons for creating pupils out of sync with the rest of the painting. (shrink)
This paper investigates how specific notions of gender and ethnicity are integrated into diversity discourses presented on 241 top European company websites. Large European companies increasingly disclose equality and diversity policies in statements on websites. Such statements may be used to promote an ethical image of the company in terms of how well it manages diversity and guards against discrimination. In this paper, we argue that diversity statement discourses are important as they play a key part in socially constructing how (...) diversity should be regarded in the company by minority and majority groups, as well as indicating corporate values to external stakeholders (investors, government, community, press etc.). Sometimes, the notions of gender or ethnic diversity are positioned as a liability in need of protection, whilst in others, as a source of competitive advantage. We find evidence of use of discursive tools such as problematisation, rationalisation, fixation, reframing and naturalisation of the notions of gender and ethnic diversity, reinforced by use of symbols, such as statistics, photographs, membership badges and awards. Few statements directly associate gender and ethnic diversity with enhanced corporate performance. We found that diversity statements sometimes appear to reinforce existing business stereotypes of women and people from ethnic minorities, and in a few discourses, create new ones, particularly evident in photographs illustrating the diversity web pages. (shrink)
On 29 February 2008, Val Plumwood died of stroke at the age of 68. She was not only a seminal environmental thinker, whose book Feminism and the Mastery of Nature has become a classic of environmental philosophy; she was also a woman who fearlessly lived life on her own deeply considered terms, often in opposition to prevailing norms. In this obituary Freya Mathews discusses Val's life and her contributions to environmental philosophy.
Val Plumwood’s 1993 paper, “The politics of reason: towards a feminist logic” (hence- forth POR) attempted to set the stage for what she hoped would begin serious feminist exploration into formal logic – not merely its historical abuses, but, more importantly, its potential uses. This work offers us: (1) a case for there being feminist logic; and (2) a sketch of what it should resemble. The former goal of Plumwood’s paper encourages feminist theorists to reject anti-logic feminist views. The paper’s (...) latter aim is even more challenging. Plumwood’s critique of classical negation (and classical logic) as a logic of domination asks us to recognize that particular logical systems are weapons of oppression. Against anti-logic feminist theorists, Plumwood argues that there are other logics besides classical logic, such as relevant logics, which are suited for feminist theorizing. Some logics may oppress while others may liberate. We provide details about the sources and context for her rejection of classical logic and motivation for promoting relevant logics as feminist. (shrink)
This paper investigates how specific notions of gender and ethnicity are integrated into diversity discourses presented on 241 top European company websites. Large European companies increasingly disclose equality and diversity policies in statements on websites. Such statements may be used to promote an ethical image of the company in terms of how well it manages diversity and guards against discrimination. In this paper, we argue that diversity statement discourses are important as they play a key part in socially constructing how (...) diversity should be regarded in the company by minority and majority groups, as well as indicating corporate values to external stakeholders. Sometimes, the notions of gender or ethnic diversity are positioned as a liability in need of protection, whilst in others, as a source of competitive advantage. We find evidence of use of discursive tools such as problematisation, rationalisation, fixation, reframing and naturalisation of the notions of gender and ethnic diversity, reinforced by use of symbols, such as statistics, photographs, membership badges and awards. Few statements directly associate gender and ethnic diversity with enhanced corporate performance. We found that diversity statements sometimes appear to reinforce existing business stereotypes of women and people from ethnic minorities, and in a few discourses, create new ones, particularly evident in photographs illustrating the diversity web pages. (shrink)
This article explores mechanisms for making poor rural women’s work visible by drawing on Amartya Sen’s intra-family “cooperative conflict” theory to explain the workings of two Bangladesh non-governmental organization’s income-generating programs (rearing poultry and rearing silkworms). On the assumption that cooperation surpasses conflict in the intra-family relations when women’s work is visible, the article identifies factors that influence intra-family conflict and cooperation. At entry, cooperation in a family depends on how successfully the family can make women’s income-generating activities compatible with (...) their existing household responsibilities and with continuation of the male breadwinner’s income source. In women’s continuing work, the level of cooperation depends greatly on the amount and frequency of women’s income and the family’s level of indebtedness. Families with a male breadwinner having a regular income source tended to offer a more cooperative environment to women’s work than those with a breadwinner involved in casual labor. Women’s work as a second regular income source can make their work more visible and contribute to their families’ upward mobility. (shrink)
Factory floors throughout the global economy are rapidly transforming themselves into potentially fertile laboratories for research in the cognitive sciences. The information revolution has challenged our understanding of perception and cognition. Innovations in information technologies have also provided us with new methods and environments for the study of cognition. On the business and economic front, information technology is supporting the development of new corporate information systems-Enterprise Systems-that will revolutionize the decision-making, reporting and reward environments in corporations. These systems are pervasive (...) and transforming. At all levels, employees will be presented with potentially unlimited amounts of accurate, real-time information and will be expected to use that information effectively. The possibilities for research, especially for modeling the learning and decision-making processes, are unparalleled. Research conducted in these environments offers extraordinary opportunities to address research questions formerly requiring limited synthetic environmental situations. Data collected in firms as they deploy enterprise information systems can be more extensive and accurate and more easily quantified than data from traditional synthetic experiments. Research programs in these settings can also address more complex problems of human interaction and collaborativity. This article describes the aspects of enterprise systems that will be of greates interest to cognitive scientists. It also outlines the nature of potential collaboration between economists and cognitive scientists and offers a list of outstanding questions for systems design and development. (shrink)
The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights has recently handed down its judgement in the case of three women contesting the abortion law in the Republic of Ireland, which has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world. Although the Court ruled that Ireland had to clarify the current law following the success of one of the three claims, the failure of the other two claims allows Ireland to continue to enforce its law, which has (...) an adverse effect on women's health. This paper, therefore, proposes an amendment to abortion legislation in the Republic of Ireland that would be compatible with safeguarding women's health, highlighting several circumstances in which the continuation of a pregnancy may have a detrimental impact on a woman's physical and/or mental health. (shrink)
Abstract: Thought experiments about the self seem to lead to deeply conflicting intuitions about the self. Cases imagined from the 3rd person perspective seem to provoke different responses than cases imagined from the 1st person perspective. This paper argues that recent cognitive theories of the imagination, coupled with standard views about indexical concepts, help explain our reactions in the 1st person cases. The explanation helps identify intuitions that should not be trusted as a guide to the metaphysics of the self.
A growing body of ethics research investigates gender diversity and governance on corporate boards, at individual and firm levels, in single country studies. In this study, we explore the environmental context of female representation on corporate boards of directors, using data from 43 countries. We suggest that women's representation on corporate boards may be shaped by the larger environment, including the social, political and economic structures of individual countries. We use logit regression to conduct our analysis. Our results indicate that (...) countries with higher representation of women on boards are more likely to have women in senior management and more equal ratios of male to female pay. However, we find that countries with a longer tradition of women's political representation are less likely to have high levels of female board representation. (shrink)
The critique of anthrocentrism has been one of the major tasks of ecophilosophy, whose characteristic general thesis has been that our frameworks of morality and rationality must be challenged to include consideration of nonhumans. But the core of anthrocentrism is embattled and its relationship to practical environmental activism is problematic. I shall argue here that although the criticisms that have been made of the core concept have some justice, the primary problem is not the framework challenge or the core concept (...) itself, but rather certain problematic understandings of it which have developed in environmental philosophy. In the case of the intrinsic/instrumental distinction, much of the criticism turns on unrealistic expectations about what the distinction means and what it can do; in the case of anthropocentrism, a perverse reading which I will call cosmic anthrocentrism has invited many of the criticisms which have been widely seen as fatal to the concept. Using concepts and models originating in feminist theory and other liberation critiques, I outline an alternative, feminist rereading of anthrocentrism. I argue that this model is theoretically illuminating and capable of meeting major objections that the perverse readings have invited. Critics of the core distinctions have almost universally identified the two core concepts and issues of anthrocentrism and instrumental/intrinsic value. The analysis I present will show how these concepts and issues are connected, but also why there is more to anthrocentrism than the failure to recognise the intrinsic value of nature, and why anthrocentrism rather that intrinsic value should be the major conceptual focus of environmental critique. It will also show why the framework challenge is of practical importance to the green movement and why anthrocentrism is a serious problem in contemporary life. (shrink)
: The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Report issued in April 2005 shows how severely our civilisation is degrading and overstressing the natural systems that support human life and all other lives on earth. An important critical challenge, especially for the eco-humanities, is to help us understand the conceptual frameworks and systems that disappear the crucial support provided by natural systems and prevent us from seeing nature as a field of agency. This paper considers the currently popular concept of a cultural landscape (...) as an example of a concept that downplays natural agency, and discusses the epistemology of nature scepticism and nature cynicism that often accompanies its vogue in the humanities. Can some philosophical disentangling of senses of nature (often considered the most complex term in the language) allow sceptics their main points without placing them on such a strong collision course with the requirements of commonsense and survival? (shrink)