Autonomy and Liberalism


Author: Ben Colburn
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136996834
Category: Philosophy
Page: 176
View: 6006
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This book concerns the foundations and implications of a particular form of liberal political theory. Colburn argues that one should see liberalism as a political theory committed to the value of autonomy, understood as consisting in an agent deciding for oneself what is valuable and living life in accordance with that decision. Understanding liberalism this way offers solutions to various problems that beset liberal political theory, on various levels. On the theoretical level, Colburn claims that this position is the only defensible theory of liberalism in current circulation, arguing that other more dominant theories are either self-contradictory or unattractive on closer inspection. And on the practical level, Colburn draws out the substantive commitments of this position in educational, economic, and social policy. Hence, the study provides a blueprint for a radical liberal political agenda which will be of interest to philosophers and to politicians alike.

The Significance of Indeterminacy

Perspectives from Asian and Continental Philosophy
Author: Robert H. Scott,Gregory S. Moss
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351383302
Category: Philosophy
Page: 388
View: 3390
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While indeterminacy is a recurrent theme in philosophy, less progress has been made in clarifying its significance for various philosophical and interdisciplinary contexts. This collection brings together early-career and well-known philosophers—including Graham Priest, Trish Glazebrook, Steven Crowell, Robert Neville, Todd May, and William Desmond—to explore indeterminacy in greater detail. The volume is unique in that its essays demonstrate the positive significance of indeterminacy, insofar as indeterminacy opens up new fields of discourse and illuminates neglected aspects of various concepts and phenomena. The essays are organized thematically around indeterminacy’s impact on various areas of philosophy, including post-Kantian idealism, phenomenology, ethics, hermeneutics, aesthetics, and East Asian philosophy. They also take an interdisciplinary approach by elaborating the conceptual connections between indeterminacy and literature, music, religion, and science.

The Value and Limits of Academic Speech

Philosophical, Political, and Legal Perspectives
Author: Donald Alexander Downs,Chris W. Surprenant
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351064487
Category: Education
Page: 358
View: 9416
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Free speech has been a historically volatile issue in higher education. In recent years, however, there has been a surge of progressive censorship on campus. This wave of censorship has been characterized by the explosive growth of such policies as "trigger warnings" for course materials; "safe spaces" where students are protected from speech they consider harmful or distressing; "micro-aggression" policies that often strongly discourage the use of words that might offend sensitive individuals; new "bias-reporting" programs that consist of different degrees of campus surveillance; the "dis-invitation" of a growing list of speakers, including many in the mainstream of American politics and values; and the prominent "shouting down" or disruption of speakers deemed inconsistent with progressive ideology. Not to be outdone, external forces on the right are now engaging in social media bullying of speakers and teachers whose views upset them. The essays in this collection, written by prominent philosophers, political scientists, sociologists, and legal scholars, examine the issues at the forefront of the crisis of free speech in higher education. The contributors address the broader historical, cultural, legal, and normative contexts of the current crisis, and take care to analyze the role of "due process" in protecting academic freedom and individuals accused of misconduct. Additionally, the volume is unique in that it advances practical remedies to campus censorship, as the editors and many of the contributors have participated in movements to remedy limitations on free speech and open inquiry. The Value and Limits of Academic Speech will educate academic professionals and informed citizens about the phenomenon of progressive censorship and its implications for higher education and the republic.

Consciousness and Physicalism

A Defense of a Research Program
Author: Andreas Elpidorou,Guy Dove
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317402073
Category: Philosophy
Page: 226
View: 1826
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Consciousness and Physicalism: A Defense of a Research Program explores the nature of consciousness and its place in the world, offering a revisionist account of what it means to say that consciousness is nothing over and above the physical. By synthesizing work in the philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and philosophy of science from the last twenty years and forging a dialogue with contemporary research in the empirical sciences of the mind, Andreas Elpidorou and Guy Dove advance and defend a novel formulation of physicalism. Although physicalism has been traditionally understood to be a metaphysical thesis, Elpidorou and Dove argue that there is an alternative and indeed preferable understanding of physicalism that both renders physicalism a scientifically informed explanatory project and allows us to make important progress in addressing the ontological problem of consciousness. Physicalism, Elpidorou and Dove hold, is best viewed not as a thesis (metaphysical or otherwise) but as an interdisciplinary research program that aims to compositionally explain all natural phenomena that are central to our understanding of our place in nature. Consciousness and Physicalism is replete with philosophical arguments and informed, through and through, by findings in many areas of scientific research. It advances the debate regarding the ontological status of consciousness. It will interest students and scholars in philosophy of mind, metaphysics, philosophy of cognitive science, and philosophy of science. And it will challenge both foes and friends of physicalism.

Resisting Biopolitics

Philosophical, Political, and Performative Strategies
Author: S.E. Wilmer,Audronė Žukauskaitė
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317655842
Category: Philosophy
Page: 318
View: 1134
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The topic of biopolitics is a timely one, and it has become increasingly important for scholars to reconsider how life is objectified, mobilized, and otherwise bound up in politics. This cutting-edge volume discusses the philosophical, social, and political notions of biopolitics, as well as the ways in which biopower affects all aspects of our lives, including the relationships between the human and nonhuman, the concept of political subjectivity, and the connection between art, science, philosophy, and politics. In addition to tracing the evolving philosophical discourse around biopolitics, this collection researches and explores certain modes of resistance against biopolitical control. Written by leading experts in the field, the book’s chapters investigate resistance across a wide range of areas: politics and biophilosophy, technology and vitalism, creativity and bioethics, and performance. Resisting Biopolitics is an important intervention in contemporary biopolitical theory, looking towards the future of this interdisciplinary field.

Facts and Values

The Ethics and Metaphysics of Normativity
Author: Giancarlo Marchetti,Sarin Marchetti
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317354672
Category: Philosophy
Page: 312
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This collection offers a synoptic view of current philosophical debates concerning the relationship between facts and values, bringing together a wide spectrum of contributors committed to testing the validity of this dichotomy, exploring alternatives, and assessing their implications. The assumption that facts and values inhabit distinct, unbridgeable conceptual and experiential domains has long dominated scientific and philosophical discourse, but this separation has been seriously called into question from a number of corners. The original essays here collected offer a diversity of responses to fact-value dichotomy, including contributions from Hilary Putnam and Ruth Anna Putnam who are rightly credited with revitalizing philosophical interest in this alleged opposition. Both they, and many of our contributors, are in agreement that the relationship between epistemic developments and evaluative attitudes cannot be framed as a conflict between descriptive and normative understanding. Each chapter demonstrates how and why contrapositions between science and ethics, between facts and values, and between objective and subjective are false dichotomies. Values cannot simply be separated from reason. Facts and Values will therefore prove essential reading for analytic and continental philosophers alike, for theorists of ethics and meta-ethics, and for philosophers of economics and law.

Epistemic Rationality and Epistemic Normativity


Author: Patrick Bondy
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1315412519
Category: Philosophy
Page: 168
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The aim of this book is to answer two important questions about the issue of normativity in epistemology: Why are epistemic reasons evidential and what makes epistemic reasons and rationality normative? Bondy's argument proceeds on the assumption that epistemic rationality goes hand in hand with basing beliefs on good evidence. The opening chapters defend a mental-state ontology of reasons, a deflationary account of how kinds of reasons are distinguished, and a deliberative guidance constraint on normative reasons. They also argue in favor of doxastic voluntarism—the view that beliefs are subject to our direct voluntary control—and embrace the controversial view that voluntarism bears directly on the question of what kinds of things count as reasons for believing. The final three chapters of the book feature a noteworthy critique of the instrumental conception of the nature of epistemic rationality, as well as a defense of the instrumental normativity of epistemic rationality. The final chapter defends the view that epistemic reasons and rationality are normative for us when we have normative reason to get to the truth with respect to some proposition, and it provides a response to the swamping problem for monistic accounts of value.

Voicing Dissent

The Ethics and Epistemology of Making Disagreement Public
Author: Casey Rebecca Johnson
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351721569
Category: Philosophy
Page: 202
View: 3620
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Disagreement is, for better or worse, pervasive in our society. Not only do we form beliefs that differ from those around us, but increasingly we have platforms and opportunities to voice those disagreements and make them public. In light of the public nature of many of our most important disagreements, a key question emerges: How does public disagreement affect what we know? This volume collects original essays from a number of prominent scholars—including Catherine Elgin, Sanford Goldberg, Jennifer Lackey, Michael Patrick Lynch, and Duncan Pritchard, among others—to address this question in its diverse forms. The book is organized by thematic sections, in which individual chapters address the epistemic, ethical, and political dimensions of dissent. The individual contributions address important issues such as the value of disagreement, the nature of conversational disagreement, when dissent is epistemically rational, when one is obligated to voice disagreement or to object, the relation of silence and resistance to dissent, and when political dissent is justified. Voicing Dissent offers a new approach to the study of disagreement that will appeal to social epistemologists and ethicists interested in this growing area of epistemology.

Toleration and Freedom from Harm

Liberalism Reconceived
Author: Andrew Jason Cohen
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351804650
Category: Philosophy
Page: 218
View: 4028
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Toleration matters to us all. It contributes both to individuals leading good lives and to societies that are simultaneously efficient and just. There are personal and social matters that would be improved by taking toleration to be a fundamental value. This book develops and defends a full account of toleration—what it is, why and when it matters, and how it should be manifested in a just society. Cohen defends a normative principle of toleration grounded in a new conception of freedom as freedom from harm. He goes on to argue that the moral limits of toleration have been reached only when freedom from harm is impinged. These arguments provide support for extensive toleration of a wide range of individual, familial, religious, cultural, and market activities. Toleration Matters will be of interest to political philosophers and theorists, legal scholars, and those interested in matters of social justice.

Reflective Equilibrium and the Principles of Logical Analysis

Understanding the Laws of Logic
Author: Jaroslav Peregrin,Vladimír Svoboda
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1315453916
Category: Philosophy
Page: 186
View: 8747
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This book offers a comprehensive account of logic that addresses fundamental issues concerning the nature and foundations of the discipline. The authors claim that these foundations can not only be established without the need for strong metaphysical assumptions, but also without hypostasizing logical forms as specific entities. They present a systematic argument that the primary subject matter of logic is our linguistic interaction rather than our private reasoning and it is thus misleading to see logic as revealing "the laws of thought". In this sense, fundamental logical laws are implicit to our "language games" and are thus more similar to social norms than to the laws of nature. Peregrin and Svoboda also show that logical theories, despite the fact that they rely on rules implicit to our actual linguistic practice, firm up these rules and make them explicit. By carefully scrutinizing the project of logical analysis, the authors demonstrate that logical rules can be best seen as products of the so called reflective equilibrium. They suggest that we can profit from viewing languages as "inferential landscapes" and logicians as "geographers" who map them and try to pave safe routes through them. This book is an essential resource for scholars and researchers engaged with the foundations of logical theories and the philosophy of language.

Nature and Normativity

Biology, Teleology, and Meaning
Author: Mark Okrent
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351997157
Category: Philosophy
Page: 238
View: 786
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Nature and Normativity argues that the problem of the place of norms in nature has been essentially misunderstood when it has been articulated in terms of the relation of human language and thought, on the one hand, and the world described by physics on the other. Rather, if we concentrate on the facts that speaking and thinking are activities of organic agents, then the problem of the place of the normative in nature becomes refocused on three related questions. First, is there a sense in which biological processes and the behavior of organisms can be legitimately subject to normative evaluation? Second, is there some sense in which, in addition to having ordinary causal explanations, organic phenomena can also legitimately be seen to happen because they should happen in that way, in some naturalistically comprehensible sense of ‘should’, or that organic phenomena happen in order to achieve some result, because that result should occur? And third, is it possible to naturalistically understand how human thought and language can be legitimately seen as the normatively evaluable behavior of a particular species of organism, behavior that occurs in order to satisfy some class of norms? This book develops, articulates, and defends positive answers to each of these questions.

The Essence of the Self

In Defense of the Simple View of Personal Identity
Author: Geoffrey Madell
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317584139
Category: Philosophy
Page: 154
View: 1564
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In this volume, Geoffrey Madell develops a revised account of the self, making a compelling case for why the "simple" or "anti-criterial" view of personal identity warrants a robust defense. Madell critiques recent discussions of the self for focusing on features which are common to all selves, and which therefore fail to capture the uniqueness of each self. In establishing his own view of personal identity, Madell proposes (a) that there is always a gap between ‘A is f and g’ and ‘I am f and g’; (b), that a complete description of the world offered without recourse to indexicals will fail to account for the contingent truth that I am one of the persons described; and (c), that an account of conscious perspectives on the world must take into account what it means for an apparently arbitrary one of these perspectives to be mine. Engaging with contemporary positions on the first person, embodiment, psychological continuity, and other ongoing arguments, Madell contends that there can be no such thing as a criterion of personal identity through time, that no bodily or psychological continuity approach to the issue can succeed, and that personal identity through time must be absolute, not a matter of degree. Madell’s view that the nature of the self is substantively different from that of objects in the world will generate significant discussion and debate among philosophers of mind.

Formal Epistemology and Cartesian Skepticism

In Defense of Belief in the Natural World
Author: Tomoji Shogenji
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351336541
Category: Philosophy
Page: 194
View: 6411
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This book develops new techniques in formal epistemology and applies them to the challenge of Cartesian skepticism. It introduces two formats of epistemic evaluation that should be of interest to epistemologists and philosophers of science: the dual-component format, which evaluates a statement on the basis of its safety and informativeness, and the relative-distance format, which evaluates a probabilistic model on the basis of its complexity and goodness of fit with data. Tomoji Shogenji shows that the former lends support to Cartesian skepticism, but the latter allows us to defeat Cartesian skepticism. Along the way, Shogenji addresses a number of related issues in epistemology and philosophy of science, including epistemic circularity, epistemic closure, and inductive skepticism.

New Directions in the Philosophy of Memory


Author: Kourken Michaelian,Dorothea Debus,Denis Perrin
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351660012
Category: Philosophy
Page: 354
View: 9358
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Although philosophers have explored memory since antiquity, recent years have seen the birth of philosophy of memory as a distinct field. This book—the first of its kind—charts emerging directions of research in the field. The book’s seventeen newly commissioned chapters develop novel theories of remembering and forgetting, analyze the phenomenology and content of memory, debate issues in the ethics and epistemology of remembering, and explore the relationship between memory and affectivity. Written by leading researchers in the philosophy of memory, the chapters collectively present an exciting vision of the future of this dynamic area of research.

Using Words and Things

Language and Philosophy of Technology
Author: Mark Coeckelbergh
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 1315528568
Category: Philosophy
Page: 296
View: 1555
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This book offers a systematic framework for thinking about the relationship between language and technology and an argument for interweaving thinking about technology with thinking about language. The main claim of philosophy of technology—that technologies are not mere tools and artefacts not mere things, but crucially and significantly shape what we perceive, do, and are—is re-thought in a way that accounts for the role of language in human technological experiences and practices. Engaging with work by Wittgenstein, Heidegger, McLuhan, Searle, Ihde, Latour, Ricoeur, and many others, the author critically responds to, and constructs a synthesis of, three "extreme", idealtype, untenable positions: (1) only humans speak and neither language nor technologies speak, (2) only language speaks and neither humans nor technologies speak, and (3) only technology speaks and neither humans nor language speak. The construction of this synthesis goes hand in hand with a narrative about subjects and objects that become entangled and constitute one another. Using Words and Things thus draws in central discussions from other subdisciplines in philosophy, such as philosophy of language, epistemology, and metaphysics, to offer an original theory of the relationship between language and (philosophy of) technology centered on use, performance, and narrative, and taking a transcendental turn.

Subjectivity and the Political

Contemporary Perspectives
Author: Gavin Rae,Emma Ingala
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351966227
Category: Philosophy
Page: 250
View: 9483
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Despite, or quite possibly because of, the structuralist, post-structuralist, and deconstructionist critiques of subjectivity, master signifiers, and political foundations, contemporary philosophy has been marked by a resurgence in interest in questions of subjectivity and the political. Guided by the contention that different conceptions of the political are, at least implicitly, committed to specific conceptions of subjectivity while different conceptions of subjectivity have different political implications, this collection brings together an international selection of scholars to explore these notions and their connection. Rather than privilege one approach or conception of the subjectivity-political relationship, this volume emphasizes the nature and status of the and in the ‘subjectivity’ and ‘the political’ schema. By thinking from the place between subjectivity and the political, it is able to explore this relationship from a multitude of perspectives, directions, and thinkers to show the heterogeneity, openness, and contested nature of it. While the contributions deal with different themes or thinkers, the themes/thinkers are linked historically and/or conceptually, thereby providing coherence to the volume. Thinkers addressed include Arendt, Butler, Levinas, Agamben, Derrida, Kristeva, Adorno, Gramsci, Mill, Hegel, and Heidegger, while the subjectivity-political relation is engaged with through the mediation of the law-political, ethics-politics, theological-political, inside-outside, subject-person, and individual-institution relationships, as well as through concepts such as genius, happiness, abjection, and ugliness. The original essays in this volume will be of interest to researchers in philosophy, politics, political theory, critical theory, cultural studies, history of ideas, psychology, and sociology.

Isn’t that Clever

A Philosophical Account of Humor and Comedy
Author: Steven Gimbel
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351622617
Category: Philosophy
Page: 196
View: 8094
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Isn’t That Clever provides a new account of the nature of humor – the cleverness account – according to which humor is intentional conspicuous acts of playful cleverness. By defining humor in this way, answers can be found to longstanding questions about humor ethics (Are there jokes that are wrong to tell? Are there jokes that can only be told by certain people?) and humor aesthetics (What makes for a good joke? Is humor subjective?). In addition to humor in general, Isn’t That Clever asks questions about comedy as an art form such as whether there are limits to what can be said in dealing with a heckler and how do we determine whether one comedian has stolen jokes from another.

Aspect Perception after Wittgenstein

Seeing-As and Novelty
Author: Michael Beaney,Brendan Harrington,Dominic Shaw
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317556224
Category: Philosophy
Page: 202
View: 9863
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This volume brings together new essays that consider Wittgenstein’s treatment of the phenomenon of aspect perception in relation to the broader idea of conceptual novelty; that is, the acquisition or creation of new concepts, and the application of an acquired understanding in unfamiliar or novel situations. Over the last twenty years, aspect perception has received increasing philosophical attention, largely related to applying Wittgenstein’s remarks on the phenomena of seeing-as, found in Part II of Philosophical Investigations (1953), to issues within philosophical aesthetics. Seeing-as, however, has come to occupy a broader conceptual category, particularly in philosophy of mind and philosophical psychology. The essays in this volume examine the exegetical issues arising within Wittgenstein studies, while also considering the broader utility and implications of the phenomenon of seeing-as in the fields of aesthetics, philosophical psychology, and philosophy of mathematics, with a thematic focus on questions of novelty and creativity. The collection constitutes a fruitful interpretative engagement with the later Wittgenstein, as well as a unique contribution to considerations of philosophical methodology.

Trust in the World

A Philosophy of Film
Author: Josef Früchtl
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351781111
Category: Philosophy
Page: 182
View: 8511
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This book examines the theory, originally raised in Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy of film, that cinema has the power to restore our trust in the world. Früchtl demonstrates that cinema does this in three main ways: by restoring our belief in the absurd, in the body and in a sceptical abstention from judging and acting. Cinema shares this ability with other arts, but what sets it apart in particular is that it evokes Modernity and its principle of subjectivity. This book further develops the idea of trust and cinema by synthesizing the philosophies of complementary thinkers such as Kant, Nancy, Agamben, Benjamin and Rancière. It concludes with examination of Cavell’s solution to the problem of scepticism and a synthesis of Kantian aesthetic theory with Cavellian pragmatism. Originally published in German under the title Vertrauen in die Welt, this English-language translation features a new introduction that situates Früchtl’s work within contemporary analytical philosophy of film. It will be of interest to scholars working in Continental aesthetics, philosophy of film, and film theory.

Aesthetic Disinterestedness

Art, Experience, and the Self
Author: Thomas Hilgers
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317444884
Category: Philosophy
Page: 200
View: 1436
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The notion of disinterestedness is often conceived of as antiquated or ideological. In spite of this, Hilgers argues that one cannot reject it if one wishes to understand the nature of art. He claims that an artwork typically asks a person to adopt a disinterested attitude towards what it shows, and that the effect of such an adoption is that it makes the person temporarily lose the sense of herself, while enabling her to gain a sense of the other. Due to an artwork’s particular wealth, multiperspectivity, and dialecticity, the engagement with it cannot culminate in the construction of world-views, but must initiate a process of self-critical thinking, which is a precondition of real self-determination. Ultimately, then, the aesthetic experience of art consists of a dynamic process of losing the sense of oneself, while gaining a sense of the other, and of achieving selfhood. In his book, Hilgers spells out the nature of this process by means of rethinking Kant’s and Schopenhauer’s aesthetic theories in light of more recent developments in philosophy–specifically in hermeneutics, critical theory, and analytic philosophy–and within the arts themselves–specifically within film and performance art.