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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Hull House, The Pullman Strike, And Tolstoy: Documenting The Work Of Jane Addams, Marilyn Fischer Jan 2019

Hull House, The Pullman Strike, And Tolstoy: Documenting The Work Of Jane Addams, Marilyn Fischer

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Review:

Mary Lynn McCree Bryan, Maree de Angury, and Ellen Skerrett, editors. The Selected Papers of Jane Addams, Volume III: Creating Hull-House and an International Presence, 1889-1900. University of Illinois Press, 2019.

The sheer amount of material packed into the nearly 1,000 pages of The Selected Papers of Jane Addams, volume 3, is breath-taking. In this volume the editors, Mary Lynn McCree Bryan, Maree de Angury, and Ellen Skerrett include a generous selection of Addams’s correspondence and writings during the first decade of Hull House’s existence, supplemented by extensive endnotes and commentary. This continues the pattern the ...


Review: 'Improvising Improvisation: From Out Of Philosophy, Music, Dance, And Literature', Aili W. Bresnahan Sep 2018

Review: 'Improvising Improvisation: From Out Of Philosophy, Music, Dance, And Literature', Aili W. Bresnahan

Philosophy Faculty Publications

This book review attempts to interpret the meaning and value of Gary Peters’ book in a way that is true to the kind of book, an experimental improvisation, that it purports to be. As such, it grapples with the difficulties of evaluating the merits of a philosophical discussion within a book that claims not to be philosophy and case studies in performance that beg the question of whether they accurately exemplify the (non-)philosophy they are meant to support. Despite these difficulties, this review ends with the conclusion that this book does, in fact, convey something essential about the nature ...


“The Moral Equivalent Of War”: William James’S Minor Variation On Common Themes, Marilyn Fischer Apr 2018

“The Moral Equivalent Of War”: William James’S Minor Variation On Common Themes, Marilyn Fischer

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Unlike other scholars who interpret William James’s “The Moral Equivalent of War” in light of the author’s other writings, I read the essay as James’s contribution to conversations being held within the pre-World War One international peace movement. The essay shares the vocabulary, images, and patterns of reasoning widely employed by others in the movement. James’s analysis of violence described a standard frame of mind at that time. Like many of his contemporaries, he assumed that war had contributed to social cohesion and strenuousness in the past, but that this was no longer the case. Like ...


Diversified Philosophy, Aili W. Bresnahan Jan 2018

Diversified Philosophy, Aili W. Bresnahan

Philosophy Faculty Publications

In this essay, Aili Bresnahan notes that institutions and many others are working to diversify the field of philosophy, in terms of the persons who count as philosophers, what counts as a legitimate philosophical methodology, and which phenomena and entities it handles. She writes that this is a positive development that will enrich and enliven the field so that, ultimately, philosophy survives.


Review: 'Embodied Philosophy In Dance: Gaga And Ohad Naharin’S Movement Research', Aili W. Bresnahan Jul 2017

Review: 'Embodied Philosophy In Dance: Gaga And Ohad Naharin’S Movement Research', Aili W. Bresnahan

Philosophy Faculty Publications

This book is an original and complex philosophy of dance that Katan (now Katan-Schmid) has extrapolated from a close examination of and studio-based engagement with Gaga, Ohad Naharin’s style of contemporary dance movement. It is culled from Katan’s first-hand experience as a participant in the training and as a researcher in conversation with Naharin and Gaga-engaged dancers. Gaga is both practiced alone as somatic movement research (one which studies internal, bodily perception and experience) and exhibited in dances that are choreographed by Naharin and other collaborators for the Batsheva Dance Company of Tel-Aviv, Israel. The philosophy provided here ...


Dancing In Time, Aili W. Bresnahan Jan 2017

Dancing In Time, Aili W. Bresnahan

Philosophy Faculty Publications

This chapter will analyze the experience and, in particular the conscious experience, of dancing in time from the perspective of the trained dancer while performing. The focus is thus on the experience and consciousness of a dancer who is moving her body in time rather than on the experience of a seated audience member or dance appreciator who is watching a dancer move. The question of how temporality is experienced in dance by the appreciator will therefore not be addressed here.

The primary kind of “experience” that will be the focus of my discussion of temporal experience comes from classical ...


[Not] Buying It: Prostitution As Unwanted Sex, Rebecca Whisnant Jan 2017

[Not] Buying It: Prostitution As Unwanted Sex, Rebecca Whisnant

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Noting the relative invisibility of prostitution buyers, or Johns, in discussions of the morality of prostitution, this article criticizes Johns’ behavior on the grounds that they are culpably involved in causing the typical harms of prostitution in the lives of the women whom they pay for sex. Those harms are, at bottom, the result of being habitually subjected to unwanted sex, and they are exacerbated rather than mitigated by such sex being bought and paid for. Efforts to normalize and legalize sex-buying should therefore be resisted.


Appreciating Dance: The View From The Audience, Aili W. Bresnahan Jan 2017

Appreciating Dance: The View From The Audience, Aili W. Bresnahan

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Dance can be appreciated from all sorts of perspectives: For instance, by the dancer while dancing, by the choreographer while watching in the wings, by the musician in the orchestra pit who accompanies the dance, or by the loved-one of a dancer who watches while hoping that the dancer performs well and avoids injury. This essay will consider what it takes to appreciate dance from the perspective of a seated, non-moving audience member. A dance appreciator in this position is typically someone who can hear and see, who can feel vibrations of sound through their skin, and who can have ...


Pornography, Humiliation, And Consent, Rebecca Whisnant Jul 2016

Pornography, Humiliation, And Consent, Rebecca Whisnant

Philosophy Faculty Publications

This article considers the role of humiliation in contemporary pornography, arguing that it constitutes a severe form of harm to many female pornography performers. It further contends that the apparently consensual nature of much humiliating pornography exacerbates its harm to the humiliated performers.


Dancing Philosophy: What Happens To Philosophy When Considered From The Point Of View Of A Dancer, Aili W. Bresnahan Jun 2016

Dancing Philosophy: What Happens To Philosophy When Considered From The Point Of View Of A Dancer, Aili W. Bresnahan

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Western philosophical aesthetics tends to answer the question, “What is art?” by starting with the perspective of the art appreciator. What does the spectator perceive in the artistic entity at issue? For example, are these properties formal and tangible, an arrangement of lines and colors as provided by Clive Bell’s theory of significant form? Are they contextual—are they, for example, the expression of the experience of a particular culture? Or are these properties relational in the sense of being a comment on or response to another art-historical movement, such as Cubism?

Starting from this perspective, the methodology tends ...


Review: 'Neurobiology: A Functional Approach', Paul Tibbetts Jun 2016

Review: 'Neurobiology: A Functional Approach', Paul Tibbetts

Philosophy Faculty Publications

The focus of this volume is on how nervous systems work and why they work as they do in the context of “the problems that brains help organisms solve” (p. xix). Accordingly, throughout this 16-chapter publication, the focus of the author is more on neural architecture and functioning at the circuitry and systems levels of analysis than on cellular and genetic factors. Actually, I found a nicely balanced and constantly interwoven discussion of all of these levels of analysis. The opening chapter is an overview of neuroanatomy and organization, neural circuitry, and functional architecture.

In order, the following chapters cover ...


'But What About Feminist Porn?' Examining The Work Of Tristan Taormino, Rebecca Whisnant Apr 2016

'But What About Feminist Porn?' Examining The Work Of Tristan Taormino, Rebecca Whisnant

Philosophy Faculty Publications

This article examines the work of Tristan Taormino, a prominent self-described feminist pornographer, in order to illustrate themes and commitments common among those who produce, perform in, and/or support feminist pornography. I argue that her work is burdened by thin and limited conceptions of feminism, authenticity, and sexual ethics, as well as by the profit-based exigencies of producing “feminist porn” within the mainstream pornography industry. I conclude that, if indeed feminist pornography is possible, Taormino’s work falls far short of the mark. Public Health Significance Statement: This study suggests that Taormino’s pornographic films are unlikely to have ...


A Pluralistic Universe In Twenty Years, Marilyn Fischer Apr 2016

A Pluralistic Universe In Twenty Years, Marilyn Fischer

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Placed side by side, James' A Pluralistic Universe and Addams’s Twenty Years at Hull-House seem to have little in common. James’s critique of absolute idealism is written for intellectuals comfortable with philosophical abstractions. Twenty Years is full of stories about the lives of poor people and immigrants. Yet, sometime after April 1909, when A Pluralistic Universe appeared, and before November 1910, when Twenty Years was published, Addams inserted a few telling quotations into her manuscript. I will give a reading of Twenty Years as a presentation in real time of James’s pluralistic universe, with both form and ...


Power, Virtue, And Vice, Peggy Desautels Apr 2016

Power, Virtue, And Vice, Peggy Desautels

Philosophy Faculty Publications

I approach virtue theory in a way that avoids idealized social ontologies and instead focuses on social hierarchies that include relations of power. I focus on the virtues tied to improving social environments—what I refer to as social-ethic virtues—and examine how the development of social-ethic virtues is influenced by motivations for and situations involving power. I draw on research in social and personality psychology to show that persons motivated by power and persons holding powerful social positions tend to behave in ways that correlate with certain virtuous and vicious patterns of behavior. I maintain that patterns of moral ...


Beyond Dualism And Monism: Bergson’S Slanted Being, Messay Kebede Jan 2016

Beyond Dualism And Monism: Bergson’S Slanted Being, Messay Kebede

Philosophy Faculty Publications

There is an old but still unresolved debate pertaining to the question of Bergsonian monism or dualism. Scholars who think that Bergson is ultimately monist clash with those who claim that he has consistently maintained a dualist position. Others speak of contradiction and point out his failure to reconcile dualism with monism. What feeds on the debate is Bergson’s undeniable change of direction: while his first book is flagrantly dualist, his second book takes a sharp turn toward monism. Without denying the intricacy generated by the change of direction, this paper argues that the originality of his position is ...


Aristotle On The Metaphysics Of Emotions, Myrna Gabbe Jan 2016

Aristotle On The Metaphysics Of Emotions, Myrna Gabbe

Philosophy Faculty Publications

This article explores the nature of Aristotelian emotions and the body-soul metaphysics required to undergird them. The point of departure is an oft-cited argument that appeals to our experience of fear and anger to show the inseparability of the soul. My claim is that this argument is commonly misunderstood: that the intended target is not a separable soul, but an embodied soul.

Reinterpreted, we find that Aristotle is driven by an interest to integrate the sentient body with the intellect. And while, on this interpretation, the argument does not support a functionalist reading of Aristotle on the soul, it does ...


Ecological Laws And Their Promise Of Explanations, Viorel Pâslaru Jan 2016

Ecological Laws And Their Promise Of Explanations, Viorel Pâslaru

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Marcel Weber (1999) argued that the principle of competitive exclusion is a law of ecology that could explain phenomena (1) by direct application, or (2) by describing default states. Since he did not offer an account of explanation by direct application of laws, I offer an interpretation of explanation by direct application of laws based on a proposal by Elgin and Sober (2002). I show that in both cases it is the descriptions of mechanisms that explain phenomena, and not the laws. Lev Ginzburg and Mark Colyvan (2004) argued Malthus’ Law of Exponential Growth is the first law of ecology ...


Pornography And Humiliation, Rebecca Whisnant Oct 2015

Pornography And Humiliation, Rebecca Whisnant

Philosophy Faculty Publications

In discussions about pornography, the boundary of the harmful and unacceptable is, for many, the lack of consent. But my brief analysis here shows that this is a dangerous simplification. Images of women who accept and even welcome their own humiliation and degradation are deeply destructive, not only for the women portrayed, but for women in general.


Improvisation In The Arts, Aili W. Bresnahan Sep 2015

Improvisation In The Arts, Aili W. Bresnahan

Philosophy Faculty Publications

This article focuses primarily on improvisation in the arts as discussed in philosophical aesthetics, supplemented with accounts of improvisational practice by arts theorists and educators. It begins with an overview of the term improvisation, first as it is used in general and then as it is used to describe particular products and practices in the individual arts. From here, questions and challenges that improvisation raises for the traditional work-of-art concept, the type-token distinction and the appreciation and evaluation of the arts will be explored. This article concludes with the suggestion that further research and discussion on improvisation in the arts ...


Philosophers On Prostitution’S Decriminalization, Rebecca Whisnant Aug 2015

Philosophers On Prostitution’S Decriminalization, Rebecca Whisnant

Philosophy Faculty Publications

The decriminalization of sex work is currently being discussed around the world. Daily Nous invited a number of philosophers to join this public discussion here, with brief contributions that clarify some of its central issues and disputes.

The idea of the “Philosophers On” series is to prompt further discussion among philosophers about issues and events of current public interest, and also to explore the ways in which philosophers can add, with their characteristically insightful and careful modes of thinking, to the public conversation.


The Ethiopian Student Movement: A Rejoinder To Bahru Zewde’S The Quest For Socialist Utopia, Messay Kebede Apr 2015

The Ethiopian Student Movement: A Rejoinder To Bahru Zewde’S The Quest For Socialist Utopia, Messay Kebede

Philosophy Faculty Publications

My intention is not to defend the right of philosophers to theorize on social movements and changes; nor is it to defend the value of my work against Bahru’s attacks. Rather, I want to show that his criticisms of my book are either contradictory or express an inability to analyze from a level surpassing mere narration. In thus exposing the theoretical poverty of Bahru’s book, as well as the inconsistency of his project of shielding the student movement from criticism, I will explicate how and why Bahru intentionally misreads my book. I add that what Bahru calls “dismissive ...


Review: 'Gendered Readings Of Change', Marilyn Fischer Apr 2015

Review: 'Gendered Readings Of Change', Marilyn Fischer

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Clara Fischer casts a wide net in seeking a conception of change with which to understand feminist transformation of both self and social institutions. She explores metaphysical, epistemological, ethical, and political theories of change in developing a feminist-pragmatist approach. Writing clearly and carefully, Fischer employs her knowledge of relevant primary and secondary texts deftly. She has a particularly admirable ability to appreciate what various philosophers have to offer while honestly appraising and seeking remedies for weaknesses in their theories.


Review: 'Mullā Ṣadrā And Eschatology: Evolution Of Being', Sayeh Meisami Jan 2015

Review: 'Mullā Ṣadrā And Eschatology: Evolution Of Being', Sayeh Meisami

Philosophy Faculty Publications

One of the hallmarks of Mullā Ṣadrā’s (d. 1050/1640) intellectual agenda is his attempt to reconcile rational thought with certain issues of theological sensitivity. Among such issues, the Qurʾanic doctrine of ‘the Return’ (maʿād) of the individual human soul united with the body in the afterlife has always attracted the attention of Muslim intellectuals and become one of the points of conflict between philosophers and theologians. Abū ʿAlī ibn Sīnā’s (d. 428/1037) pronouncement of disappointment with the possibility of rational arguments for bodily resurrection (al-maʿād al-jismānī) and Abū Ḥāmid Muḥammad Ghazālī’s (d. 505/1111) dismissal ...


Building Feminism, Resisting Porn Culture: Where To From Here, Rebecca Whisnant Jan 2015

Building Feminism, Resisting Porn Culture: Where To From Here, Rebecca Whisnant

Philosophy Faculty Publications

In this chapter, I discuss the key elements that radical feminism can contribute to the rebuilding of a powerful movement for women's liberation in the era of porn culture.

First things first, we need more people, more of the time, out there presenting radical feminist critique. I happen to know, for instance, that many bright and well-intentioned young people are toeing the third wave, sexual libertarian line because it's all they've been taught in their women's studies classes. And, of course, many people outside the academy have very little exposure to feminist critiques of virtually anything ...


How Artistic Creativity Is Possible For Cultural Agents, Aili W. Bresnahan Jan 2015

How Artistic Creativity Is Possible For Cultural Agents, Aili W. Bresnahan

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Joseph Margolis holds that both artworks and selves are ”culturally emergent entities." Culturally emergent entities are distinct from and not reducible to natural or physical entities. Artworks are thus not reducible to their physical media; a painting is thus not paint on canvas and music is not sound.

In a similar vein, selves or persons are not reducible to biology, and thought is not reducible to the physical brain. Both artworks and selves thus have two ongoing and inseparable ”evolutions”—one cultural and one physical. Rather than having fixed ”natures” that remain stable for any purpose other than numerical identity ...


Causal And Mechanistic Explanations, And A Lesson From Ecology, Viorel Pâslaru Jan 2015

Causal And Mechanistic Explanations, And A Lesson From Ecology, Viorel Pâslaru

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Jani Raerinne and Lindley Darden argue that causal claims are not sufficiently explanatory, and causal talk should be replaced with mechanistic talk. I examine several examples from ecological research, two of which rely on causal models and structural equation modeling, to show that the assertions of Raerinne and of Darden have to be reconsidered.


Mullā Ṣadrā On The Efficacy Of Prayer, Sayeh Meisami Jan 2015

Mullā Ṣadrā On The Efficacy Of Prayer, Sayeh Meisami

Philosophy Faculty Publications

This article presents the manner in which Mullā Ṣadrā explains the influence of prayer (duʿā) on the world, drawing as he does on Ibn ʿArabī’s ideas against the backdrop of his own dynamic metaphysical psychology. Mullā Ṣadrā eventually distances himself from Ibn Sīnā’s position on the passive nature of prayer, and instead opts for Ibn ʿArabī’s reading of the intimate divine–human interplay in prayer itself. In doing so, Mullā Ṣadrā provides a formulation of prayer in which the supplicant plays an active role in eliciting the divine response to her prayer. For Mullā Ṣadrā, prayer therefore ...


Not Your Father’S Playboy, Not Your Mother’S Feminist Movement: Feminism In A Porn Culture, Rebecca Whisnant Jan 2015

Not Your Father’S Playboy, Not Your Mother’S Feminist Movement: Feminism In A Porn Culture, Rebecca Whisnant

Philosophy Faculty Publications

This chapter is about the state of contemporary feminism and how it relates to the porn culture that surrounds us. This is important because whatever porn culture is, and there are a variety of definitions, it's not what feminists, or women, or anybody with a lick of sense, ever meant by "sexual liberation." There have, however, been contentious debates between radical and liberal feminists about the relationship between pornography, power and choice. I aim to unravel some of those debates here and highlight how liberal notions of "choice," favored by self-proclaimed "third-wave feminists," confuse and undermine our thinking not ...


Response To Comments On 'Addams On Cultural Pluralism, European Immigrants, And African Americans', Marilyn Fischer Oct 2014

Response To Comments On 'Addams On Cultural Pluralism, European Immigrants, And African Americans', Marilyn Fischer

Philosophy Faculty Publications

The author thanks Denise James and Charlene Haddock Seigfried for their thoughtful comments on her paper. Although they respond in different ways, they both picked up on questions and uncertainties that arose as she wrote the paper.

For some years, she has been trying to write about essays Addams addressed to African American audiences. For this paper, she decided to deal only with Addams’s writings between 1900 and 1910 in order to compare her essays for African American audiences with what she wrote at the same time for wider audiences. This approach enabled her to sort out when Addams ...


Addams On Cultural Pluralism, European Immigrants, And African Americans, Marilyn Fischer Oct 2014

Addams On Cultural Pluralism, European Immigrants, And African Americans, Marilyn Fischer

Philosophy Faculty Publications

In this paper, I will restrict the discussion to Addams’s writings during the twentieth century’s first decade, when she developed most of her thinking on cultural pluralism. By 1910, Dewey had not yet moved to cultural pluralism, Boas’s cultural relativism had not yet penetrated the intellectual world, and Mendelian genetics had not yet replaced Lamarckian assumptions regarding heredity.The Great War was yet to shatter illusions about Western civilization’s strength and rightness.