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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Beasts, Sovereigns, Pirates: Melville's "Enchanted Isles" Beyond The Picturesque, Gary Shapiro Jan 2017

Beasts, Sovereigns, Pirates: Melville's "Enchanted Isles" Beyond The Picturesque, Gary Shapiro

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Herman Melville's "The Encantadas, or Enchanted Isles," included in his signature set of shorter narratives The Piazza Tales, remains relatively unvisited by readers and critics. So too was the archipelago generally known as the Galapagos, before becoming a chic destination for natural history excursions and eco-tourism. These ten "sketches" relate a narrator's experiences on the Pacific islands, adding a number of travelers' stories, some extrapolated (more or less accurately) from known records, some creatively transformed. One informative, comprehensive handbook suggests that Melville's description of this volcanic archipelago as Encantadas or "enchanted" in the sense of bewitched-uncanny, weird ...


Why We Still Do Not Know What A “Real” Argument Is, G. C. Goddu Jan 2014

Why We Still Do Not Know What A “Real” Argument Is, G. C. Goddu

Philosophy Faculty Publications

In his recent paper, “What a Real Argument is,” Ben Hamby attempts to provide an adequate theoretical account of “real” arguments. In this paper I present and evaluate both Hamby’s motivation for distinguishing “real” from non-“real” arguments and his articulation of the distinction. I argue that neither is adequate to ground a theoretically significant class of “real” arguments, for the articulation fails to pick out a stable proper subclass of all arguments that is simultaneously both theoretically relevant and a proper subclass of all arguments.


States And Nomads: Hegel's World And Nietzsche Earth, Gary Shapiro Jan 2014

States And Nomads: Hegel's World And Nietzsche Earth, Gary Shapiro

Philosophy Faculty Publications

What is Nietzsche's concept of the earth? While "earth" is often taken in a general way to refer to embodied life, to this world rather than to an imaginary and disastrous other world, I propose that the term and concept also have a significant political dimension-a geophilosophical dimension—which is closely related to the radical immanence so central to Nietzsche's thought. I shall argue that he often and pointedly replaces the very term "world" (Welt) with "earth" (Erde) because "world" is tied too closely to ideas of unity, eternity, and transcendence. "World" is a concept with theological affiliations ...


Painting (And Photography), Gary Shapiro Jan 2014

Painting (And Photography), Gary Shapiro

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Two of Foucault's signature essays on painting are especially well known: the analysis of Velazquez's Las Meninas, and an essay on Rene Magritte that includes a striking account of how abstraction displaced representation in Western art. In addition, many of Foucault's texts are studded with acute descriptions of major painters from Breughel to Warhol; he gave lecture courses on quattrocento painting and Manet and published essays on several contemporary artists (Rebeyrolle, Fromanger, Michals). Since one of Foucault's major themes was the relation between visibility and discursivity, it is not surprising to find that painting is a ...


The Pragmatic Picturesque: The Philosophy Of Central Park, Gary Shapiro Feb 2011

The Pragmatic Picturesque: The Philosophy Of Central Park, Gary Shapiro

Philosophy Faculty Publications

New York's Central Park is one of the world's iconic works of landscape architecture. The park has achieved global recognition through its representations in film and photography, it is visited by millions every year and every sunny day sees a procession of engaged or newly married couples having their official photographs taken against the background of its picturesque scenery and monumental structures.

In the twenty-first century it may sound slightly odd to consider Central Park as a form of gardening, but the eighteenth-century founders of modern aesthetics and the philosophy of art would have called it a garden ...


Responsible Believing, Miriam S. Mccormick Jan 2011

Responsible Believing, Miriam S. Mccormick

Philosophy Faculty Publications

In most of our decisions as parents or educators concerning how we should talk to children about difficult subjects, the question turns to what degree we should withhold the truth, how much information we should provide, or what details are appropriate. We, as adults, know the answer to the child's question, and the difficulty arises in figuring out what to convey and how. Questions about death and the afterlife are not like this. We - and by "we;' I mean especially educated adults of the Western world - are often as confused about what we should believe about these matters as ...


Is ‘Argument’ Subject To The Product/Process Ambiguity?, G. C. Goddu Jan 2011

Is ‘Argument’ Subject To The Product/Process Ambiguity?, G. C. Goddu

Philosophy Faculty Publications

The product/process distinction with regards to “argument” has a longstanding history and foundational role in argumentation theory. I shall argue that, regardless of one’s chosen ontology of arguments, arguments are not the product of some process of arguing. Hence, appeal to the distinction is distorting the very organizational foundations of argumentation theory and should be abandoned


Book Panel Response: Symposium On Ladelle Mcwhorter's Racism And Sexual Oppression In Anglo-America: A Genealogy, Ladelle Mcwhorter Jan 2010

Book Panel Response: Symposium On Ladelle Mcwhorter's Racism And Sexual Oppression In Anglo-America: A Genealogy, Ladelle Mcwhorter

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Unfortunately I do not have space to address individually each issue these four papers raise. Instead, I will first situate my work in relation to identity politics and address fears that my approach is reductive. Then, building on comments from Professors Wilkerson and Al-Saji, I will offer some remarks about aims, methods, and shortcomings.


Governmentality, Biopower, And The Debate Over Genetic Enhancement, Ladelle Mcwhorter Jan 2009

Governmentality, Biopower, And The Debate Over Genetic Enhancement, Ladelle Mcwhorter

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Although Foucault adamantly refused to make moral pronouncements or dictate moral principles or political programs to his readers, his work offers a number of tools and concepts that can help us develop our own ethical views and practices. One of these tools is genealogical analysis, and one of these concepts is “biopower.” Specifically, this essay seeks to demonstrate that Foucault’s concept of biopower and his genealogical method are valuable as we consider moral questions raised by genetic enhancement technologies. First, it examines contemporary debate over the development, marketing, and application of such technologies, suggesting that what passes for ethical ...


Review Of Johanna Oksala's Foucault On Freedom, Ladelle Mcwhorter Nov 2005

Review Of Johanna Oksala's Foucault On Freedom, Ladelle Mcwhorter

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Johanna Oksala has produced a provocative reading of Michel Foucault's work on the issues of freedom and resistance to normalizing oppression. Although many commentators have contended that Foucault's historicization of subjectivity leads to metaphysical determinism and eliminates the very possibility of freedom in human life, Oksala argues that his radical rethinking of both bodies and freedom largely escapes the simplistic criticisms routinely put forward since the early 1980s. She does subject Foucault's work to criticisms of her own, however. While the title of her book leads the reader to expect a tight focus on the question of ...


The Technology Of Biopower: A Response To Todd May's "Foucault Now?", Ladelle Mcwhorter Jan 2005

The Technology Of Biopower: A Response To Todd May's "Foucault Now?", Ladelle Mcwhorter

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Because the occasion for his essay was the inaugural conference of the newly formed Foucault Society in New York City in the spring of 2005, Todd May takes as his point of departure the question of whether Foucault’s work is valuable to the sort of people who have come together to form that society: philosophers, artists, political activists, and in general to concerned citizens today, twenty years after Michel Foucault’s death. As might be expected given the Society’s raison d’être, May answers this question in the affirmative. But exactly how is Foucault’s work still relevant ...


Practicing Practicing, Ladelle Mcwhorter Jan 2004

Practicing Practicing, Ladelle Mcwhorter

Philosophy Faculty Publications

"There is something ludicrous in philosophical discourse," Michel Foucault writes, "when it tries, from the outside, to dictate to others, to tell them where their truth is and how to find it... " (Foucault 1985, 9). In our age of moral relativism and multiculturalism, it is easy to hear in this sentence a simple condemnation of intellectuals who pose as authorities on questions of belief, and it is all too easy to agree; yes, of course, we ought not tell other people what to think. But given the issues, directions, and investments of Foucault's work, especially in The Use of ...


Foucault's Political Spirituality, Ladelle Mcwhorter Jan 2003

Foucault's Political Spirituality, Ladelle Mcwhorter

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Recently, while rereading some material in The Essential Works of Foucault, I came upon a passage that pulled me up short and then sent me flying from my English translation to the French original. The passage, from an interview in May, 1978, contains one of Foucault’s infamous attempts to sum up his life’s work. It starts with the assertion that “since the beginning,” Foucault has been asking himself a certain question: “What is history, given that there is continually being produced within it a separation of true and false?” He elaborates, then, expanding that question into four sub-questions ...


Subjecting Dasein, Ladelle Mcwhorter Jan 2003

Subjecting Dasein, Ladelle Mcwhorter

Philosophy Faculty Publications

"Das 'Subjekt' ist eine Fiktion," Nietzsche declares in aphorism 370 of Der Wille zur Macht. There is no such thing as an ego, a unitary center of personhood that can be appraised and approved for its virtue and wisdom or blamed for its premeditated transgressions and irresponsible beliefs. Subjectivity does not exist. Despite Nietzsche's pervasive influence, however, the question of subjectivity - the ontological nature, the ethical status, and the epistemological significance of the human subject - has been a preeminent theme in Continental philosophy for the entirety of the twentieth century. Virtually all Conti­nental philosophers have found it necessary ...


The 'Most Important And Fundamental' Distinction In Logic, G. C. Goddu Jan 2002

The 'Most Important And Fundamental' Distinction In Logic, G. C. Goddu

Philosophy Faculty Publications

In this paper I argue that the debate over the purported distinction between deductive and inductive arguments can be bypassed because making the distinction is unnecessary for successfully evaluating arguments. I provide a foundation for doing logic that makes no appeal to the distinction and still performs all the relevant tasks required of an analysis of arguments. I also reply to objections to the view that we can dispense with the distinction. Finally, I conclude that the distinction between inductive and deductive arguments is not one of the most important and fundamental ideas in logic, but rather is unnecessary.


Scientific Discipline And The Origins Of Race: A Foucaultian Reading Of The History Of Biology, Ladelle Mcwhorter Jan 1995

Scientific Discipline And The Origins Of Race: A Foucaultian Reading Of The History Of Biology, Ladelle Mcwhorter

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Foucault's "power-knowledge" is a controversial concept. Brought into English-speaking theoretical circles less than two decades ago, its meaning and range of applicability are still in dispute. While no one denies that some fields of social scientific knowledge (such as criminology) intersect institutionally with mechanisms of power, these intersections do not seem, to many, to constitute any essential relation of "mutual reinforcement" between knowledge and power. If, in rare cases, politics and scientific research are admitted to be mutually constitutive, the results of their mingling are typically dismissed as propaganda or pseudo-science. A few thinkers are willing to allow the ...


Self-Overcoming In Foucault's Discipline And Punish, Ladelle Mcwhorter Jan 1994

Self-Overcoming In Foucault's Discipline And Punish, Ladelle Mcwhorter

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Prisons are veritable universities of crime. Within them young offenders learn both the values and the techniques of hardened criminals. In addition to these lessons in professional ethics and theory, aspiring criminals also get hands-on experience within prison walls, for prisons are also centers of criminal activity: drug and arms trafficking, rape, gang warfare, and murder. And, like all good universities, prisons help their proteges make the contacts they need to further their budding careers.


Asceticism/Askēsis: Foucault's Thinking Historical Subjectivity, Ladelle Mcwhorter Jan 1992

Asceticism/Askēsis: Foucault's Thinking Historical Subjectivity, Ladelle Mcwhorter

Philosophy Faculty Publications

In the Introduction to The Use of Pleasure Foucault calls his work an askēsis, "an exercise of oneself in the activity of thought." The "living substance of philosophy," Foucault writes, is the essay, "which should be understood as the assay or test by which, in the game of truth, one undergoes changes, and not as the simplistic appropriation of others for the purpose of communication." Foucault's work, then, does not simply report to us his conclusions or theories. Foucault is not primarily interested in imparting information. What he offers instead is a kind of exercise book.


Guilt As Management Technology: A Call To Heideggerian Reflection, Ladelle Mcwhorter Jan 1992

Guilt As Management Technology: A Call To Heideggerian Reflection, Ladelle Mcwhorter

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Martin Heidegger was born in 1889 in Messkirch, Germany, a small town in the Black Forest. He died in 1976. As these dates indicate, Heidegger lived through a time when Western civilization was undergoing a series of upheavals probably now only dimly imaginable to those of us who are the products of them. His life spanned a technological revolution that changed even the most basic patterns of human (and certainly not only human) life in the industrialized world.


Foucault's Move Beyond The Theoretical, Ladelle Mcwhorter Jan 1989

Foucault's Move Beyond The Theoretical, Ladelle Mcwhorter

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Theory plays an important role in virtually every academic discipline currently vital. The specific functions of theory may differ from discipline to discipline, but it is difficult to think of any serious discipline that is able to dispense with it entirely; for theory, we usually assume, is quite simply the name of all instances of systematic speculation, all attempts at rational explication. Ordered mentation, most of us unwaveringly believe, is and must be theoretical. All that is not theoretical is either confused thinking – or, more positively, perhaps it is poetic – or it is not thinking at all, but rather a ...


To Philosophize Is To Learn To Die, Gary Shapiro Jan 1989

To Philosophize Is To Learn To Die, Gary Shapiro

Philosophy Faculty Publications

As the quintessential man of letters, Roland Barthes had the genial gift of being able to sympathize with an endless variety of discourses, texts, myths, and semiotic systems. The profusion of apparent subjects-Japan, Brecht, Balzac, photography, "mythologies," classical writing, the theater-is perhaps calculated to provoke the purist who insists on the values of thoroughness and well-grounded inquiry. At the same time, one would have to be obtuse to fail to recognize the critical projects that animate the many books, essays, and studies; these are explorations that put into question the often closed and crabbed commitment of the scholar or critic ...


Some Genres Of Post-Hegelian Philosophy, Gary Shapiro Jul 1982

Some Genres Of Post-Hegelian Philosophy, Gary Shapiro

Philosophy Faculty Publications

There are a number of important texts, sometimes treated as philosophical and sometimes as literary works, which do not usually find an appropriate audience. Paradigms of what I have in mind are: Kierkegaard's pseudonymous writings, almost all of Nietzsche, Marx's narratives of capital and class-struggle, Sartre's complex series of fictions, plays, treatises, critical performances and autobiography, and Heidegger's hypnotic meditations and textual exegeses. Responses by philosophers, especially Anglo-American ones, seldom take account of the specific literary forms of these works or of their authors’ very self-conscious concern with the problems and strategies of writing. It is ...


Styling Nietzsche: A Review Essay Of Jacques Derrida Spurs: Nietzsche's Styles, Gary Shapiro Jan 1981

Styling Nietzsche: A Review Essay Of Jacques Derrida Spurs: Nietzsche's Styles, Gary Shapiro

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Any examination of a text by Derrida challenges us to begin with an inquiry into its style. ''The Question of Style" was in fact the originally announced title of this essay which Derrida has since changed to Spurs: Nietzsche's Styles (Èperons: Les Styles de Nietzsche). Style is often regarded as a somewhat extraneous aspect of the philosophical enterprise; it is thought to be a variable form or container which may obstruct our comprehension of the matter or spirit of philosophical communication. Now it is well known that Derrida's whole enterprise involves a challenge to the "logocentric" tradition of ...


Habit And Meaning In Peirce's Pragmatism, Gary Shapiro Jan 1973

Habit And Meaning In Peirce's Pragmatism, Gary Shapiro

Philosophy Faculty Publications

The pragmatic movement has often been misunderstood; the most frequent misconceptions, which assimilated the philosophies of Peirce and James in particular to forms of positivism, reductionism, or crude voluntarism seem to be on the wane. Peirce's scholastic realism, his doctrine of signs, and his conception of truth as the unique and destined goal of inquiry now tend to receive the attention that was formerly reserved for his empiricism and pragmatism. A similar change in the estimation of James seems to be taking place insofar as his theory of truth is seen as much less simplistic than was formerly supposed ...