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101. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 4 > Issue: 9
Paolo Parrini Methodology and Truth: Analogies Between Hermeneutics and Post-Positivist Philosophy of Science
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For a long time–--maybe starting from the well known 1929 meeting in Davos–--the philosophy of exact and natural sciences deriving from Neo-positivism and hermeneutics followed separate ways. Post-positivistic philosophy of science and epistemology, though, saw the emerging of theses showing the existence of some affinities between the empirical method and the hermeneutical method. The paper singles these affinities out and discusses their consequences from the point of view of the problems of objectivity and truth. In particular, it supports the ideas of objectivity as achievement and of truth as empty regulative ideal.
102. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 4 > Issue: 9
Andrew Hadfield Some Current Issues in Contemporary Criticism of Renaissance Literature
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This essay provides an overview of some recent issues in criticism of early modern English literature. For some scholars the early modern period can only be understood if we accept its irreducible difference; for others, people have always been more or less the same and so reading the past involves knowledge but not a vast leap of faith. Often these differences result in scholars using exactly the same material to reach diametrically opposed conclusions, as examples drawn from the study of early sixteenth-century literature demonstrate. Debates about love and allegory also reveal significant differences between scholars who want to see erotic language in allegorical terms and those who point out that there is a danger is missing the literal reading. Debates about the nature of print and publishing, how writers perceived their careers, how texts should be edited and what methods are appropriate for the study of early modern literature are also discussed. The article does not attempt to resolve all these important debates but shows that differences often stem from diverse conceptions of what literature actually is and what it does, indicating that the importance of such arguments ranges beyond the immediate object of study.
103. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 5 > Issue: 12
Colin Irvine A Land-Based Approach to Postcolonial, Post-Modern Novels
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With an eye on how post-colonial novels by authors Chinua Achebe and Ngugi Wa Thiong’o address aesthetic and environmental problems that preceded the Modern period, the intent of this essay is to emphasize how their fiction connects readers with a pre-industrial, premodern, and, strangely enough, radically new ways of thinking about books and the living world beyond them. To this end, the essay looks at this non-western literature through the lens of ecologist Aldo Leopold’s land-based ideas regarding epistemology, ethics, and ecology.
104. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 5 > Issue: 12
Paul Kintzele Voyaging Out: The Woolfs and Internationalism
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This article contends that no understanding of Virginia Woolf’s fiction is complete without an examination of the political environment in which Woolf operated, particularly with regard to the perennially vexing but urgent question of international relations. Leonard Woolf’s involvement with the creation of the League of Nations and his lifelong commitment to internationalist politics bear direct relevance to Woolf’s novels, which further that same project by enlarging the political imagination and by demonstrating the profound, if often overlooked, interconnectedness of human activity. It is through this mixing of registers–the politics of the abstractly large and the mundanely small–that Virginia Woolf’s fiction resonates most powerfully and carries its strongest anti-nationalistic charge.
105. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 5 > Issue: 12
John F. DeCarlo The Poisoning of Hamlet’s Temporal Subjectivity
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The paper addresses the question: why and how does Hamlet lose track of time in the Prayer-Closet scene sequence? While Deleuze aptly notes the poetic formula “the time is out of joint” is indicative of time no longer being subordinate to cyclical rhythms of nature, or as Polonius asserts: “Time is time”(II.ii.88), but rather movement being subordinated to time, it is argued that the HAMLET text goes further in its pre-figuration of Kant’s concept that time is a mysteriously autonomous form. More specifically, it is explicated that in a Kantian sense Hamlet's temporary identification with the Ghost’s categorical sense of whatis possible and impossible in accordance with the passage of outer time is what causes Hamlet’s temporal confusion.
106. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 5 > Issue: 12
Anita Alkhas Heidegger in Plain Sight: “The Origin of the Work of Art” and Marcel Duchamp
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Duchamp’s aspiration to become more philosophical in his art mirrors Heidegger’s aspiration to become more poetical in his philosophy. Their shared mistrust of subjectivity led them to question the continued viability of art on the one hand and of philosophy on the other. This article examines Heidegger’s essay in juxtaposition to Duchamp’s work, highlighting Heidegger’s (often underappreciated) playful approach to his weighty task, and, in regard to Duchamp, revealing just how serious art can be when it doesn’t appear to take itself too seriously.
107. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 5 > Issue: 12
Kwame Anthony Appiah Cosmopolitism and Issues of Ethical Identity
108. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 5 > Issue: 12
Kelly Oliver Media Representations of Women and the “Iraq War”
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This essay examines media images of women in recent conflicts in the Middle East. From the Abu Ghraib prison abuses to protests in Iran, women have become the public face of violence, carried out and suffered. Women’s bodies are figured as sexual and violent, a potent combination that stirs public imagination and feeds into stereotypes of women as femme fatales or “bombshells.”
109. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 5 > Issue: 12
Jerome McGann The Crisis in the Humanities
110. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 6 > Issue: 14
Áine Kelly “A Mind of Winter”: The Poetic Form of Stevens’ Philosophy
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Of the major modernist poets, T.S. Eliot received the most extended academic training in philosophy, yet it is Wallace Stevens whose work has been most scrutinized from a philosophical perspective. Attempting to highlight those salient features which facilitate or advance philosophical thought, I question whether there is a significant development (between his first volume of poetry, Harmonium [1923], and his final volume, The Rock [1954]), of Stevens’ philosophical voice. Continuing with an analysis of the most recent and influential attempts to read Stevens’ poetry philosophically (Simon Critchley’s Things Merely Are [2005], Stanley Cavell’s “Reflections on Wallace Stevens at Mount Holyoke” [2006] and Gregory Brazeal’s “Wallace Stevens’ Philosophical Evasions” [2007]), I argue that these readings raise interesting questions not only about philosophical poetry but about philosophical form as it is traditionally perceived.
111. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 6 > Issue: 14
John Decarlo Mother and Son: The Dynamics of Hamlet’s Cartesian Madness
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Contrary to Eliot’s charge that Hamlet is lacking in literary form, the philosophical form of the Cartesian Cogito, which Hamlet embodies in terms of the instability of the Cogito’s determined reason and determined madness, and complicates in terms of not having the theological backing that is offered to the Cogito’s philosophical “blind spot,” provides insight into Hamlet’s response to his mother’s sexual behavior. Correspondingly, Erikson’s insight that doubt is the brother of shame explains how Hamlet, burdened by his unguarded philosophical doubts about the ontological and moral nature of the Ghost and its command of revenge, negatively projects his sense of shame into his perception of his mother’s behavior; thus filling the gap of Eliot’s objective correlative.
112. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 6 > Issue: 14
Tracy Bealer “The Innsmouth Look”: H. P. Lovecraft’s Ambivalent Modernism
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“The Innsmouth Look: H. P. Lovecraft’s Ambivalent Modernism” explores how horror writing responds to the anxieties and possibilities presented by historical modernity. Lovecraft, in his short story “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” translated contemporary concerns about immigration, industrialization and racial difference into a plot about a young traveler encountering a terrifying alien population in a small New England town. The essay examines the ways that this story both demonstrates how the dehumanization of the racialized “other” operated during the modern period, and exposes the inherent fallacy in such objectification. Though the aliens in the story are physically distinct, and the visual difference provokes disgust and withdrawal in the narrator, this “Innsmouth look” also reveals the way the objectified other is always looking back, a subject in his or her own right.
113. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 6 > Issue: 14
Fred Evans 9/11: Group Rights and “The Clash of Civilizations”
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I argue that an icon in the immediate aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Center, the “circle of candles” represents an alternative to Samuel Huntington’s “clash of civilization” thesis. But I also put forward a public policy that initially may seem to contradict this alternative: group or cultural rights, beyond, and even sometimes conflicting with, individual rights. Such rights at first blush appear to ensconce the same sort of walled-in, homogeneous and exclusionary cultural entities that Huntington’s thesis implies I begin by stating Huntington’s thesis and the opposition to it that Amartya Sen has voiced in a recent book. I then provide a way of understanding the circle of candles that reinforces but also goes beyond the multi-identity type of multiculturalism that Sen places in opposition to Huntington’s warring monocultures. This understanding of the circle of candles, I will argue, shows how group or cultural rights, properly construed, can be incorporated into the type of hybrid society–what I call a “multivoiced body”– that constitutes a compelling alternative to the exclusionist responses to 9/11. My argument is reinforced by consideration of the current Zapatistas movement and their demands for group rights.
114. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 6 > Issue: 14
John Murray Nationalism, Patriotism, and New Subjects of Ideological Hegemony
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This essay traces threads of nationalist sentiment from three different historical periods of 19th Century Britain, to pre-World War II Germany, to the United States of post-9/11, and evidences how even most noble expressions of nationalism and patriotism might be corrupted by the dominant cultural hegemonies. The term “nationalism” is frequently considered a synonym of “patriotism.” Although the terms emphasize the value of self-determination and solidarity among members of nation-states, nationalism is the governing principle that unifies disparate social entities through a common national identity that is made accessible to many but not all members of the public. Patriotism is the attitudes and behaviors we exhibit within a public forum to validate our placement within national discourse. How we synchronize nationalist agendas with patriotic fervor determines our success in nation-building and in the creation of a global community responsive to needs and interests of our human condition, a condition that dwarfs and precedes all other ideologies and modes of classification. The prefigurations of culture and society predispose us toward assuming a normalized subjectivity that predicts potential patterns of behavior and attitudes in response to hegemonic domination. In seeking to refine and preserve national identity, each of these societies has embraced the replication of hegemony and situated oppositional narratives within coercive doctrines of patriotism and national unity.
115. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 6 > Issue: 14
Martin Hägglund Radical Atheism and “The Arche-Materiality of Time”
116. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 16
Sandor Goodhart “The Self and Other People: Reading Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation with René Girard and Emmanuel Levinas”
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In the interest of moving conflict resolution toward reconciliation, theorists have turned to René Girard whose understanding of scapegoating and imitative desire acquires special importance. But Girardian thinking offers no unique ethical solution, and so theorists have turned to Emmanuel Levinas for such an account. Four ideas especially from Levinas appear helpful: his criticism of totality (and, concomitantly, his substitution of the idea of the infinite); the face as an opening (or gateway) to the infinite; the Other (or other individual) and my infinite (or unlimited) responsibility toward her (or him); and language as the dire as opposed to the dit, the saying (or “to say”) as opposed to the said, as one modality in which this openness to the other individual takes place. Combining Girard’s analysis of the sacrificial with Levinas’s analysis of the ethical may offer conflict resolution theorists an account as thoroughgoing and as old as Biblical scripture, and one to which, in the interest of moving toward reconciliation, they would do well to pay heed.
117. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 16
Darrell Arnold Hegel and Ecologically Oriented System Theory
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Building on the views of Kant and early nineteenth century life scientists, Hegel develops a view of systems that is a clear precursor to the developments in Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s general system theory, as well as the thinking of the ecologically minded system thinkers that built upon the foundation Bertalanffy laid. Hegel describes systems as organic wholes in which the parts respectively serve as means and ends. Further, in the Encyclopedia version of the logic Hegel notes that such systems are comprised of three processes: gestalt, the process of assimilation, and regeneration. In Hegel’s texts, he describes both natural and social systems as organic wholes with such systematic processes. In this paper, these processes and systems are described and it is argued that Hegel quite consistently applies views developed in the logic when describing systems. The paper shows how this parallels later developments in systems theory and goes on to show some distinctions between Hegel’s view of systems and that of later ecologically minded system thinkers.
118. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 16
Robert JC Young Interventions: Postcolonial, Agency and Resistance
119. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 16
Kelly Oliver Deconstructing “Grown versus Made”: A Derridean Perspective on Cloning
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In this essay, I consider what happens to debates over genetic enhancement when we “deconstruct” the opposition between “grown and made” and the notion of freedom of choice that comes with it. Along with the binary grown and made comes other such oppositions at the center of these debates: chance and choice, accident and deliberation, nature and culture. By deconstructing the oppositions between grown versus made (chance versus choice, or accident versus deliberate), and free versus determined, alternative routes through these bioethical thickets start to emerge.
120. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 16
Johanna Drucker Stéphane Mallarmé’s Un Coup de Dés and the Poem and/as Book as Diagram
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Modern poetics takes one crucial turn through Ezra Pound’s notion of the “ideogram,” a concept that had a lasting impact through the Imagists andtheir influence. The ideogram borrows from Pound’s ideas about Chinese characters, their ability to condense complex representation into a figuredform in an economic but resonant image. By contrast, the compositional technique embodied in French poet Stéphane Mallarmé’s unique work, UnCoup de Dés, can be characterized as “diagrammatic,” driven by semantic relations expressed spatially in a distributed field. This essay explores thatdiagrammatic work and it implications as a compositional technique.