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Full-Text Articles in Arts and Humanities

The Cosmological Significance Of Animal Generation, Devin Henry Dec 2104

The Cosmological Significance Of Animal Generation, Devin Henry

Devin Henry

This paper explores the relation between Aristotle’s mature theory of animal generation and his broader cosmology.


Queer Terror: Life, Death, And Desire In The Settler Colony, C. Heike Schotten Jul 2018

Queer Terror: Life, Death, And Desire In The Settler Colony, C. Heike Schotten

C. Heike Schotten

https://cup.columbia.edu/book/queer-terror/9780231187473


The Difference Principle: Rawls’S Two Oversights, Adam White Jul 2018

The Difference Principle: Rawls’S Two Oversights, Adam White

Adam White

John Rawls’s Difference Principle demands that basic social institutions be ordered such that the prospects of the worst off office are maximized, even if it constrains the prospects of all the better off offices.  This is a conservative demand, at odds with an obligation to maximize total welfare.  Rawls defends against this concern by arguing that as cooperative schemes evolve the worst off office should not make concessions before the better off offices do.  Or, this is my reading of Rawls’s schematic illustrations of the difference principle. 

The aim of this paper is to point out two important ...


Crime Futures Market, Adam White Jul 2018

Crime Futures Market, Adam White

Adam White

Responding to the legally guilty is typically presented as a choice between incarceration and rehabilitation.  This paper suggests a third option: preemptive rehabilitation.  The argument presents an innovative institutional approach and a unique moral justification.  The vision is a crime futures market that transfers the risk of potential crime away from undeserving victims and into the portfolios of willing investors.  Instead of taxpayers paying exclusively for prisons, the proposal would allow young adults to sign contracts to not get involved in crime, but pay the award only upon their future success.  Because the contracts represent a future payment they are ...


Term Accountability, Adam White Jun 2018

Term Accountability, Adam White

Adam White

Democratic constitutions allow citizens to hold officeholders accountable via election. Legislative elections are typically held either by the calendar or at the legislature’s own discretion, i.e., “no confidence”. But both are inferior to a third option: having citizens decide when the next election will be. This procedure, “Term Accountability”, optimally aligns policymaker motivations with citizen interests. Ideally, pathological legislatures would serve short terms while productive legislatures would serve long terms.

Our generation is familiar with contesting and perfecting constitutional practices as they pertain to citizen rights. But there is an apparent intellectual bias against institutional revision. This supports ...


Corruption Cop Proposal, Adam White Jun 2018

Corruption Cop Proposal, Adam White

Adam White

Corruption is a primary descriptor of politics, and of course corruption is bad on its merits. But what is wrong about the practice it is the lack of an adequate response. Assume then that corruption persists, not primarily because of bad moral character on the part of officers, but because of poor constitutional design.

It is curious however that contemporary constitutional theory resists innovation. This paper takes up the challenge by proposing a new, fourth constitutional branch and office: a “corruption cop”. A corruption cop possesses the exclusive authority to remove corrupt officers from public office.

The authority to remove ...


The Architecture Of Law: Building Law In The Classical Tradition, Brian M. Mccall May 2018

The Architecture Of Law: Building Law In The Classical Tradition, Brian M. Mccall

Brian M McCall

The Architecture of Law explores the metaphor of law as an architectural building project, with eternal law as the foundation, natural law as the frame, divine law as the guidance provided by the architect, and human law as the provider of the defining details and ornamentation. Classical jurisprudence is presented as a synthesis of the work of the greatest minds of antiquity and the medieval period, including Cicero, Artistotle, Gratian, Augustine, and Aquinas; the significant texts of each receive detailed exposition in these pages.
Along with McCall’s development of the architectural image, he raises a question that becomes a ...


The Property Question.Pdf, William A. Edmundson Apr 2018

The Property Question.Pdf, William A. Edmundson

William A. Edmundson

The “property question” is the constitutional question whether a society’s basic resources are to be publicly or privately owned; that is, whether these basic resources are to be available to private owners, perhaps subject to tax and regulation, or whether instead they are to be retained in joint public ownership, and managed by democratic processes.  James Madison’s approach represents a case in which prior holdings are taken for granted, and the property question itself is kept off of the political agenda.  By contrast, John Rawls approach abstracts from any actual pattern of holdings, while putting the property question ...


Avoiding The Asymmetry Problem, Travis Timmerman Feb 2018

Avoiding The Asymmetry Problem, Travis Timmerman

Travis Timmerman

If earlier-than-necessary death is bad because it deprives individuals of additional good life, then why isn't later-than-necessary conception bad for the same reason? Deprivationists have argued that prenatal non-existence is not bad because it is impossible to be conceived earlier, but postmortem non-existence is bad because it is possible to live longer. Call this the Impossibility Solution. In this paper, I demonstrate that the Impossibility Solution does not work by showing how it is possible to be conceived earlier in the same senses it is possible to live longer. I then offer a solution to the Asymmetry Problem by ...


Raising Revenue For Persons With Disabilities, Joel P. Dittmer Feb 2018

Raising Revenue For Persons With Disabilities, Joel P. Dittmer

Joel P. Dittmer

Whereas right-libertarians do not think that it is a requirement of justice that we raise revenues for persons with disabilities, both left-libertarians and liberal egalitarians think that there is such a requirement. An issue remains for the latter two theorists—how ought we to raise this revenue? Liberal egalitarians typically endorse either universal taxation or taxation of the wealthy. Left-libertarians, on the other hand, cannot so easily appeal to the methods of universal taxation and taxation of the wealthy, as they are illegitimately coercive. One such method left open to the left-libertarian is one proposed by Michael Otsuka. He argues ...


How To Solve Hume’S Problem Of Induction, Alexander Jackson Jan 2018

How To Solve Hume’S Problem Of Induction, Alexander Jackson

Alexander Jackson

This paper explains what’s wrong with a Hume-inspired argument for skepticism about induction. Hume’s argument takes as a premise that inductive reasoning presupposes that the future will resemble the past. I explain why that claim is not plausible. The most plausible premise in the vicinity is that inductive reasoning from E to H presupposes that if E then H. I formulate and then refute a skeptical argument based on that premise. Central to my response is a psychological explanation for how people judge that if E then H without realizing that they thereby settled the matter rationally.


Democracy And Scientific Expertise: Illusions Of Political And Epistemic Inclusion, J.D. Trout Jan 2018

Democracy And Scientific Expertise: Illusions Of Political And Epistemic Inclusion, J.D. Trout

J.D. Trout

Realizing the ideal of democracy requires political inclusion for citizens. A legitimate democracy must give citizens the opportunity to express their attitudes about the relative attractions of different policies, and access to political mechanisms through which they can be counted and heard. Actual governance often aims not at accurate belief, but at nonepistemic factors like achieving and maintaining institutional stability, creating the feeling of government legitimacy among citizens, or managing access to influence on policy decision-making. I examine the traditional relationship between inclusiveness and accuracy, and illustrate this connection by discussing empirical work on how group decision-making can improve accuracy ...


The Nature Of Nature: Concerning The Efficacy Of Natural Law Reasoning Dec 2017

The Nature Of Nature: Concerning The Efficacy Of Natural Law Reasoning

Thomas V. Gourlay

Recourse to natural law reasoning has long been a part of how Catholics and Christians engage in debates about issues of public and private morality with people and communities of people who do not share the Catholic/Christian faith. But with the rise of modernity, the scientific revolution, and the relative success of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, many Catholics have begun to question traditional natural law reasoning. Some, including theorists like Germain Grisez, and John Finnis have sought to modify traditional natural law reasoning and continue to employ it within debates concerning public and private ethics, while others ...


Michaud Varieties Of Spiritual Sense Cusanus And John Smith, Derek A. Michaud Dec 2017

Michaud Varieties Of Spiritual Sense Cusanus And John Smith, Derek A. Michaud

Derek Michaud

No abstract provided.


Introduction To Discourse, Structure And Linguistic Choice By T. Price Caldwell, Robert J. Stainton Dec 2017

Introduction To Discourse, Structure And Linguistic Choice By T. Price Caldwell, Robert J. Stainton

Robert J. Stainton

No abstract provided.


Two Questions About Interpretive Effects, Robert J. Stainton, Christopher Viger Dec 2017

Two Questions About Interpretive Effects, Robert J. Stainton, Christopher Viger

Robert J. Stainton

We discuss central themes in Lepore and Stone's Imagination and Convention. We begin by laying out their view, and then pose both empirical and methodological criticisms.


Lost Expectations: On Derrida's Abraham, Mary-Jane V. Rubenstein Dec 2017

Lost Expectations: On Derrida's Abraham, Mary-Jane V. Rubenstein

Mary-Jane Rubenstein


This chapter undertakes a critical analysis of Jacques Derrida’s reading of Fear and Trembling (Frygt og Bæven) in The Gift of Death (Donner la mort). In a gesture that might be called a faithful betrayal, Derrida seeks in this text to “go further” than de Silentio, pushing Abraham’s singular near-sacrifice of Isaac into “the most common” experience of decision, his absolute relation to the Absolute into every relation to any other. Composed largely of anonymous fragments, the essay at hand evaluates the theo-ethico-political stakes of this deconstruction, seeking to re-read Derrida’s tout autre in light of the ...


The Property Question.Pdf, William A. Edmundson Dec 2017

The Property Question.Pdf, William A. Edmundson

William A. Edmundson

for presentation at the Property and Political Economy Conference at the Smith Institute,
Chapman University, April 20-21, 2018
The “property question” is the constitutional question whether a society’s basic resources are
to be publicly or privately owned; that is, whether these basic resources are to be available to
private owners, perhaps subject to tax and regulation, or whether instead they are to be
retained in joint public ownership, and managed by democratic processes. James Madison’s
approach represents a case in which prior holdings are taken for granted, and the property
question itself is kept off of the political ...


Buddhism And Zhu Xi’S Epistemology, Stephen C. Angle Dec 2017

Buddhism And Zhu Xi’S Epistemology, Stephen C. Angle

Stephen C. Angle

There are at least superficial reasons for thinking that Zhu Xi’s epistemology is significantly influenced by Chinese Buddhism. For one thing, in his youth Zhu studied with Kaishan Daoqian 開善道謙 (d. 1150?), a leading disciple of the most influential Chan teacher of the era, Dahui Zonggao大慧宗杲 (1089-1163). For another, his discussions of epistemology lean heavily on terms like “genuine knowing 真知” that also figure significantly in Buddhist discussions. As is well known, subsequent critics of the Daoxue movement with which Zhu was centrally associated regularly accused it of being strongly colored by Buddhism. Finally, modern scholars have also ...


Tian As Cosmos In Zhu Xi's Neo-Confucianism, Stephen C. Angle Dec 2017

Tian As Cosmos In Zhu Xi's Neo-Confucianism, Stephen C. Angle

Stephen C. Angle


Tian” is central to the metaphysics, cosmology, and ethics of the eight-hundred-year-long Chinese philosophical tradition we call “Neo-Confucianism,” but there is considerable confusion over what tian means—confusion which is exacerbated by its standard translation into English as “Heaven.” This essay analyzes the meaning of tian in the works of the most influential Neo-Confucian, Zhu Xi (1130-1200), presents a coherent interpretation that unifies the disparate aspects of the term’s meaning, and argues that “cosmos” does an excellent job of capturing this meaning, and therefore should be adopted as our translation of tian.


White Male Nostalgia In Contemporary North American Literature, Tim Engles Dec 2017

White Male Nostalgia In Contemporary North American Literature, Tim Engles

Tim Engles

White Male Nostalgia in Contemporary North American Literature charts the late twentieth-century development of reactionary emotions commonly felt by resentful, yet often goodhearted white men. Examining an eclectic array of literary case studies in light of recent work in critical whiteness and masculinity studies, history, geography, philosophy and theology, Tim Engles delineates five preliminary forms of white male nostalgia—as dramatized in novels by Sloan Wilson, Richard Wright, Carol Shields, Don DeLillo, Louis Begley and Margaret Atwood—demonstrating how literary fiction can help us understand the inner workings of deluded dominance. These authors write from identities outside the defensive domain ...


Human Rights In Chinese Tradition, Stephen C. Angle Dec 2017

Human Rights In Chinese Tradition, Stephen C. Angle

Stephen C. Angle

This chapter -- prepared for Sarah Biddulph and Joshua Rosenzweig , eds., Handbook on human rights in China (Edward Elgar, forthcoming) -- examines three different approaches: the Chinese tradition is (1) an obstacle to human rights, (2) an alternative to human rights, or (3) a source of human rights. While some scholars have insisted on one or another of these approaches, I will argue here that there is truth in all of them. Nothing about the Chinese tradition determines, once-and-for-all, what modern Chinese must think about human rights, but there is no question that it has had, and will continue to have, varying ...


John Smith On The Immortality Of The Soul, Derek A. Michaud Dec 2017

John Smith On The Immortality Of The Soul, Derek A. Michaud

Derek Michaud

No abstract provided.


A Puzzle For Modal Realism, Daniel Graham Marshall Dec 2017

A Puzzle For Modal Realism, Daniel Graham Marshall

Prof. MARSHALL Daniel Graham

Modal realists face a puzzle. For modal realism to be justified, modal realists need to be able to give a successful reduction of modality. A simple argument, however, appears to show that the reduction they propose fails. In order to defend the claim that modal realism is justified, modal realists therefore need to either show that this argument fails, or show that modal realists can give another reduction of modality that is successful. I argue that modal realists cannot do either of these things and that, as a result, modal realism is unjustified and should be rejected.


The U.S. Embargo Against Cuba And The Diplomatic Challenges To Extraterritoriality, C. Joy Gordon Nov 2017

The U.S. Embargo Against Cuba And The Diplomatic Challenges To Extraterritoriality, C. Joy Gordon

Joy Gordon

Many analysts have criticized the U.S. embargo against Cuba as an anachronistic holdover from the Cold War. Yet its problems go well beyond that. In many regards, the U.S. embargo against Cuba represents a caricature of the various American misapplications of economic sanctions: if the goal is to end the Castro regime this policy has not only failed, but has spent half a century doing so. If the intent is to support Cubans in their aspirations for a different political system the sanctions have failed in that regard as well, since even the most vocal dissidents in Cuba ...


Ethics In International Relations: Expanding The Contributions Of Latin American Scholars, Joy Gordon Nov 2017

Ethics In International Relations: Expanding The Contributions Of Latin American Scholars, Joy Gordon

Joy Gordon

No abstract provided.


The Sword Of Damocles: Revisiting The Question Of Whether The United Nations Security Council Is Bound By International Law, C. Joy Gordon Nov 2017

The Sword Of Damocles: Revisiting The Question Of Whether The United Nations Security Council Is Bound By International Law, C. Joy Gordon

Joy Gordon

This article considers whether the United Nations Security Council is bound by international humanitarian law in the context of Chapter VII, which authorizes the Council to use force in response to aggression, threats to peace, and breaches of the peace. In the early 1990s, the Council took unprecedented measures that were seen by many as overreaching, raising the possibility that the leading institution of global governance might abuse its power. At the present moment, it seems that the matter is resolved politically and judicially. But it is not resolved constitutionally, and the abuse of power by the Security Council remains ...


The Status Of Animals In Biblical And Christian Thought: A Study In Colliding Values, Rod Preece, David Fraser Nov 2017

The Status Of Animals In Biblical And Christian Thought: A Study In Colliding Values, Rod Preece, David Fraser

David Fraser, Ph.D.

A common contemporary view is that the Bible and subsequent Christian thought authorize humans to exploit animals purely as means to human ends. This paper argues that Biblical and Christian thought have given rise to a more complex ethic of animal use informed by its pastoralist origins, Biblical pronouncements that permit different interpretations, and competing ideas and doctrines that arose during its development, and influenced by the rich and often contradictory features of ancient Hebrew and Greco-Roman traditions. The result is not a uniform ethic but a tradition of unresolved debate. Differing interpretations of the Great Chain of Being and ...


A ‘‘Practical’’ Ethic For Animals, David Fraser Nov 2017

A ‘‘Practical’’ Ethic For Animals, David Fraser

David Fraser, Ph.D.

Drawing on the features of ‘‘practical philosophy’’ described by Toulmin (1990), a ‘‘practical’’ ethic for animals would be rooted in knowledge of how people affect animals, and would provide guidance on the diverse ethical concerns that arise. Human activities affect animals in four broad ways: (1) keeping animals, for example, on farms and as companions, (2) causing intentional harm to animals, for example through slaughter and hunting, (3) causing direct but unintended harm to animals, for example by cropping practices and vehicle collisions, and (4) harming animals indirectly by disturbing life-sustaining processes and balances of nature, for example by habitat ...


Speaking Of Genocide: Double Binds And Political Discourse, Benjamin Meiches Nov 2017

Speaking Of Genocide: Double Binds And Political Discourse, Benjamin Meiches

Benjamin Meiches

Genocide scholars have always argued over the best definition of genocide. However, recent genocide studies have begun to emphasize both the ‘contestable’ nature of genocide and, paradoxically, call for clear or rigid definitions of the term. This article evaluates this tension by examining the act of defining genocide as a type of epistemological practice. Placing the act of definition in the context of a complex socio-linguistic system, the article shows how genocide discourse is subject to a variety of demands and pressures. These pressures, internal to genocide discourse, inadvertently promote restrictive and paradoxical formulations of the concept. To illustrate this ...