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1996 program

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Society for Philosophy
in the Contemporary World

1997 Annual Conference


 1997 Annual CONFERENCE PROGRAM

    SUNDAY, AUGUST 10TH
      4:00pm - 5:30pm Registration
      5:30pm - 7:00pm Dinner
      7:30pm - 8:00pm Welcome/Introduction to Society
      8:00pm - 9:30pm Reception

      MONDAY, AUGUST 11TH

      Session I Chair: J. Craig Hanks                                                   9:00am - 11:00am

        Peter Mehl, Matters of Meaning: Authenticity, Autonomy and Authority in Kierkegaard

        Charles Harvey, Authority, Autonomy, Authenticity: An Etiological Understanding

      11:00am - 12:30pm LUNCH

      Session II Chair: Erin Wilkes                                                            12:30pm - 2:30pm
       

        Michael McKenna, A Speaker-Meaning Theory of Moral Responsibility

        James Sauer, Language, Ethics and Meaning: A Phenomenological Correlation of Morality and Self-Conscious Signification
         

      2:30pm - 2:45pm BREAK

      Session III Chair: Jack Weir                                                           2:45pm - 4:45pm
       

      4:45:pm - 7:30pm DINNER

      7:30pm BUSINESS MEETING

      TUESDAY, AUGUST 12TH

      Session IVChair: Richard Cohen                                                   9:00am - 11:00am
       

      Session V                                                                                               Time: TBA
      TAKE YOUR PICK!
        Philosophy on the Mount - We will hike to a summit in the Rockies and hold an informal discussion on environmental philosophy. If we are really lucky, Holmes Rolston and Will Aiken will join us.
        OR

        Environmental Education for the Twenty-first Century - Patricia Thompson will lead a discussion group on her recently edited book, Environmental Education for the Twenty-first Century.
         

      WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13TH

      Session VI Chair: James Sauer                                                       9:00am - 11:00am
       

      11:00am - 12:30pm LUNCH

      Session VII Chair: Sharon E. Hartline                                           12:30pm - 2:30pm
       

      2:30pm - 2:45pm BREAK

      Session VIII Chair: Robert Paul Churchill                                   2:45pm - 4:45pm
       

        Gail Presbey, Akan Chiefs and Queen Mothers in Contemporary Ghana: Examples of Democracy or Accountable Authority

        Jennifer Stiff, The Question of National Autonomy: The Case of Cuba
         

      4:45pm - 7:30pm DINNER

      Session IX                                                                                           7:30pm
       

      THURSDAY, AUGUST 14TH

      Session XChair: J. Craig Hanks                                                   9:00am - 11:30am
       

      11:30pm - 12:30pm LUNCH

      Session XI Chair: Lani Roberts                                               12:30pm - 3:30pm
       

      3:30pm - 3:45pm BREAK

      Session XII Chair: Joe F. Jones                                                       3:45pm - 5:45pm
       

      5:45pm - 7:30pm DINNER

      Session XIII                                                                                           7:30pm
       

      FRIDAY, AUGUST 15th
      7am - 10am FALL'S RIVER ROAD TRIP

      Session XIV                                                                                           10:00am - 12:00pm
       

      12:00pm - 1:30pm LUNCH

      Session XV                                                                                               1:30pm - 4:30pm

        Bentley Davis, Why the Private Sphere

        Andrew Fiala, Liberal Capitalism and the Dissolution of the Public/Private Distinction

        Joe Wagner, A Hollow Core: The Poverty of Conservatism as Political Philosophy
         

      SATURDAY, AUGUST 16th

      Session XVI                                                                                             9:00am - 11:00am
       

        Trudy Conway, Cultural Authority and Autonomy: The Role of the Philosopher in the Contemporary World

        Erin McKenna and Craig Hanks, The Culture of Suburbanization, Housework, and the Fragmentation of Identity

      11:00am - 12:30pm LUNCH

      Session XVII                                                                                           12:30pm - 3:30pm
       

      SUNDAY, AUGUST 17TH                                                                   SAFE TRAVELS!




    MICHAEL BARNHART
    Department of Philosophy
    Kingsborough Community College, CUNY
    Authenticity, Freedom, and the Ethics of Moral Neutrality

    The present paper is part of a much larger examination of the contrast between Confucianism and Buddhist social philosophies in order to ascertain their respective implications for democratic politics. In this context, I examine the concepts of release and freedom (moksa and nirvana) in the Buddhist tradition, particularly as understood in a contemporary setting. These concepts suggest a form of autonomy that contrast interestingly with J. S. Mill's version of liberty and J. L. Mackie's concept of rights in a rights-based moral theory.

    BIO NOT AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME

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    STEPHANIE BAUER

    <slbauer@artsci.wustl.edu>

    Taking Responsibility: A Study of Authority and Self-Transformation

    In both philosophical and political arenas we are bombarded with the call for individuals to take greater responsibility for themselves. Yet, what does this mean? Are there limits to what we should take responsibility for? Are there criteria for how we should take responsibility? Current political rhetoric appears to indicate that there is no end to the good that can be done by individuals taking responsibility for their lives. Philosophical literature has also provided a largely positive view of this activity and remains unhelpful in understanding the conditions of its appropriateness. This paper attempts to begin such a task by examining particular ways that taking responsibility functions in our lives. I consider this approach to be pragmatic. It assumes that the criteria for a practice can only be determined by investigating the purposes and the consequences of that practice in our communities.

    This paper argues that taking responsibility in Western societies is, in part, a claim to and an assertion of a particular type of authority. It is an authority that is intimately related to the possibility of self-transformation, and claiming this authority can do potential harm to both oneself and to others. I will only have time to point towards possible criteria for taking responsibility that emerge at the end of this paper, but I believe this discussion is one step in that direction.

    BIO NOT AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME

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    ANGELA BOLTE
    Department of Philosophy
    Washington University
    <bolte@twinearth.wustl.edu>

    Anger, Love, and Autonomy

    Harry Frankfurt has recently moved away from a split-level conception of autonomy and has begun to grant love a significant role in autonomy. While Frankfurt is correct in moving toward including some emotions into a conception of autonomy, he incorrectly excludes the other emotions that ought to be included in this conception. To illustrate how emotions other than love can play a role in autonomy, I will explore Frankfurt's position on love and autonomy. Second, I will focus on two problematic areas of Frankfurt's position, namely, selflessness and emotions as evaluative judgments. Finally, given that Frankfurt's interpretation of these areas leads to an artificial restriction of the emotions, I will expand Frankfurt's position to the other emotions. This project will illustrate that while Frankfurt is correct to advocate the inclusion of emotions into autonomy, his account ought to be expanded to include other emotions.

    Angela Bolte is a Ph.D. candidate in Philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis. She has written on issues in liberalism and same-sex marriage. She plans to explore issues of autonomy in her dissertation.

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    NOEL BOULTING
    School of Arts and Sciences
    Great Falls University

    Autonomy, Attention and Decreation

    For those thinkers for whom the intellectual bankruptcy of Stalinism did not lead to the abandonment of socialism, the notion of Autonomy has enjoyed a good press. For Habermas, a contemporary neo-representative of the Frankfurt School, and interest in Autonomy and Responsibility coincides with the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake in self-reflection; for Gramsci moral responsibility\ is exercised when the individual constructs a view of the world in a conscious and critical way. Simone Weil, in her later writings at least, seems to reject this apparent advocacy of human Autonomy. My paper attempts to address the question "How can her position be

    explained?" and "How far is her alternative a coherent one?" It tries to do this by distinguishing the different epistemic levels she constructs in her reworking of Plato's philosophy.

    Noel Boulting studied under Richard S. Peters as the London Institute of Education to obtain his Academic Diploma in the Philosophy of Education; under David Hamlyn and Stuart Brown at Birbeck College, London, to obtain his first degree in Philosophy; and under Imre Lakatos and John Watkins at the London School of Economics to obtain his mastership in the Philosophy of Science. He has taught Philosophy for the Extra-Mural Department, University of London, Philosophy of Education at Trent Polytechnic and Educational Studies at Mid-Kent College of Higher and Further Education. His philosophy club, NOBOSS, was formed in 1977 on the basis of initially forwarding an interest in the Philosophy of A. N. Whitehead and, then, in the Philosophy of C. S. Peirce since such interests could not be pursued in English Universities outside of Theology Departments at that time. NOBOSS meets at least twice a year, and professors of Philosophy form America and Germany have attended its sessions. His publications include articles on C. S. Peirce, Edward Bullough and Thomas Hobbes.

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    JOHN CLARK
    <clark@beta.loyno.edu>

    The Future of Social Ecology

    Social ecology is (with deep ecology and ecofeminism) one of the most important new "radical ecologies" to emerge in the field of ecophilosophy. I interpret social ecology as a rich and expansive tradition with roots in holistic, communitarian and dialectical philosophy and social theory. I argue for a social ecology that is philosophically a form of dialectical holism and suggest that this theoretical perspective has far-reaching implications for ontology, ecophilosophy, ethics and value theory, and social and political thought.

    I present a vision of a social ecology that is more radically dialectical, dialogical, open, and self-transformative than the more systematic, programatic and sectarian social position that has been defended by social ecologist Murray Bookchin.

    John P. Clark is Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Environmental Studies Program at Loyola University, New Orleans. His books include Renewing the Earth: The Promise of Social Ecology, (ed.), Liberty, Equality, Geography: The Social Thought of Elisee Reclus, Environmental Philosophy: From Animal Rights to Radical Ecology (co-ed.), and the forthcoming A Social Ecology: Essays in Dialectical Holism.

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    TRUDY CONWAY
    Department of Philosophy
    Mount Saint Mary's College
    <conway@msmary.edu>

    Cultural Autonomy: The Role of the Philosopher in the Contemporary World

    Among the fragments published in Zettel, one finds one of Wittgenstein's most enigmatic comments, namely, that "The philosopher is not a citizen of any community of ideas. That is what makes him into a philosopher." The paper attempts to make sense of this statement in the context of Wittgenstein's work and current philosophical debate regarding cultural pluralism. It explores the role of the philosopher in relation to the authority of cultural tradition and cultural pluralism.

    Trudy Conway is presently Professor of Philosophy at Mount Saint Mary's College in Emmitsburg, Maryland and resides close to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Her scholarly work focuses on twentieth century philosophy, especially that of Wittgenstein and Hermeneutics. She is author of *Wittgenstein on Foundations* (Humanities Press International, 1989) and articles focusing on studies of Wittgenstein and the broad topic of crosscultural understanding and dialogue. She has taught at Pahlavi University in Iran and has special interest in Middle East studies. She has recently received an NEH Professorship for a three year project entitled "Recognizing, Envisioning and Understanding the Other."

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    BENTLEY DAVIS
    Department of Philosophy
    Washington University
    <bentley@twinearth.wustl.edu>

    Why the Private Sphere?

    Since the first rumblings of the second-wave of feminism, writers have examined the private sphere. Many feminist writers have argued that the private sphere has harmful effects and therefore have called for its dissolution or deconstruction. While it may be the case that some interpretations of the private sphere allow for harmful activities, it is not the case that the notion of the private sphere is in and of itself harmful. In fact, given our current political and legal systems, I feel that the only way to create positive change is, at least temporarily, to bolster the notion of the private sphere. In this paper, I will address the following three questions: (1) What is the private sphere? (2) Is the notion of the private sphere harmful? Finally, (3) should we maintain the notion of the private sphere?

    Bentley Davis is a graduate student pursuing her Ph.D. in Philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis.

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    VIRGINIA DE OLIVEIRA-ALVES
    Department of Philosophy
    Loyola University

    Race, Culture, and Justice: Separatism or Integration?

    This paper addresses the separatism-versus-integration debate within the problematic of race and race relations. I argue in favor of integration, showing that racial minorities are disadvantaged by institutions or the normal practices of society. My position is that, since disadvantage is structural, that is, since it is an effect of social practices, it cannot be addressed adequately by separatist approaches. A solution to this problem must involve structural transformations, which affect both the disadvantaged and the privileged. As such, it also promotes integration. But integration can be respectful of cultural difference nonetheless, precisely by being directed at the political domain: by enabling racial minorities to exercise equal citizenship and thus making it possible for them to preserve their cultural traditions themselves, if they so desire. I draw on Jurgen Habermas's model of rights to clarify how, given the requirement for equal treatment, an integrationist solution can address structural inequality, while leaving it up to those concerned whether to preserve cultural styles, and the manner in which these are to be preserved.

    Virginia de Oliveira-Alves is a graduate student in Philosophy at Loyola University in Chicago. Her areas of research include social and political philosophy, Habermas, feminism, and race relations. She is currently writing her dissertation on issues of equal treatment with respect to race- and gender-based disadvantage, based on Jurgen Habermas's theory of rights.

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    RICHARD DeTAR
    <RDetar@aol.com>

    Just Following Orders: Revisited

    In this paper, I argue that the practice of "just following orders" is not the definition or quintessence of evil in the twentieth century but is, rather, ethically neutral. Its goodness and evil depends largely on the nature of the orders themselves which are being followed.

    Richard DeTar is from rural Indiana. He has a B.A. in Political Science from Kalamazoo College and an M.A. in the same subject from Western Michigan University. He is currently studying for a Ph.D. in Philosophy at Southern Illinois University in

    Carbondale and is writing his dissertation, entitled "Scientific Materialism and the Roman Catholic Religion in the Early Santayana" which he expects to finish this year. He currently lives in Denver, Colorado where he has been employed by the Social Security Administration for 21 years. He is married to Judith James, an attorney who is studying interior design. They just bought a big, old house in downtown Denver, and they have three cats. This will be Richard's third SPCW conference.

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    MICHAEL ELDRIDGE
    Philosophy Department
    University of North Carolina at Charlotte
    <mleldrid@unccvm.uncc.edu>

    Toward a Deweyan Political Technology

    John Dewey's proposal to intelligize our common practices has often been criticized for being unworkable: In the partisan, power-driven society in which we live one's approach must be much more realistic and tougher than Dewey's mushy proposal to identify common problems, develop possible resolutions, and then choose collectively the solution that survives a collaborative, experimental process. While Deweyan educators are talking things over, the power players will be dividing up the spoils -- and underfunding education. I expand on this criticism, then use a recent book by an activist lawyer, Randy Shaw, to supply enough of the needed political technology to suggest that Dewey's proposal is feasible at the local level. I also draw from Shaw's book and a history of neighborhood organizing by Robert Fisher a hybrid organizational model--social service-plus-political education--that provides what is needed to sustain the activism Shaw describes. My aim, then, is to contribute to the rounding out of the Deweyan project of social intelligence by exploiting Shaw and Fisher's work and situating the resulting political technology in the Deweyan philosophical context.

    Michael Eldridge teaches philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. A former Protestant minister and community and political organizer, Eldridge has also taught at Spring Hill College (Mobile) and Queens College (Charlotte). He is currently revising a manuscript, "Transforming Experience: John Dewey's Cultural Instrumentalism", which is scheduled to be published by Vanderbilt University Press in 1998. He holds degrees from Yale University (B.D.) Columbia University (M.A.), and the University of Florida (Ph.D.).

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    M. CARMELA EPRIGHT
    Department of Philosophy
    Loyola University, Chicago
    <ceprigh@orion.it.luc.edu>

    Freedom and Ambiguity: The Ethics of Simone de Beauvoir

    Until very recently, studies of Simone de Beauvoir have presented her either as the lifelong confidant, editor, and companion of Jean-Paul Sartre, or as an early (and, some argue, dated and privileged) feminist and author of The Second Sex. Beauvoir's significance is thought to stem primarily (if not exclusively) from the exemplary nature of her struggle to free herself from the constraints of a class-bound, restrictive upbringing; from her ability to write compellingly about the situation of the middle-class women of her own time; and finally, from her dedication to the principles of existentialist philosophy -- as those principles were dictated by her lover, Sartre. Although Beauvoir's own philosophical writings include two monographs and numerous essays, articles, and letters, her contribution to the discipline has largely been ignored or dismissed as a mere footnote to Sartrean existentialism.

    This paper seeks to reverse this trend by examining Beauvoir's contribution to philosophical ethics through a consideration of two of her essays, "Pyrrhus et Cineas" and "The Ethics of Ambiguity." While Beauvoir's ethical approach is clearly existentialist, it differs in important ways from that offered by Sartre. By closely comparing Sartre and Beauvoir's writing on such key issues as intersubjectivity, freedom and one's moral obligation to others, I will outline the specific ways in which Beauvoir departed from Sartrean existentialism, and argue that ultimately, it was Beauvoir ideas that influenced Sartre's thought with regard to ethics.

    Carmela Epright is STILL a graduate student at Loyola University of Chicago, although this paper stems from the final chapter of her dissertation (Hurrah!). Her areas of specialization include, contemporary ethical theory, applied ethics, social and political philosophy and feminist theory. Her recent work has included papers on the Impartialism/Contextualism debate in ethics; traditional medical ethics approaches and the moral self; and social justice and care ethics.

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    ANDREW ESHLEMAN
    Department of Philosophy
    University of California, Riverside

    Identification and Responsibility for Character

    In this paper I seek to develop the suggestion that one is responsible for one's character traits, not in virtue of being the original author of those traits, but insofar as one takes responsibility for them. One takes responsibility for one's character when one identifies oneself with those motivations which constitute one's dispositions thereby making them more genuinely one's own. I borrow the notion of identification from proponents of the "split-level" account of motivation. According to such an account, persons have the unique capacity, not only to desire various courses of action (at the first-order level), but also to care (at the second-order level) about which desires lead them to act. On this view, one identifies with a first-order motivation when one forms a second-order desire to have, or be moved to act by, some first-order desire.

    I first argue that the notion of identification employed in split-level accounts has typically been understood either too weakly or too robustly. When understood weakly, it simply marks the absence of conflict in one's highest-order preferences and this fails to capture an important sense in which making a motivation one's own requires that one be active in relation to the motivation. When interpreted more robustly, one's identifications result from critical reflection on one's conception of the good. This would entail that only the most reflective of persons could identify with and thereby take responsibility for their character traits. Alternatively, I propose that to identify with a dispositional trait in the relevant sense is to make a second-order judgment that it is acceptable or good to lead one's life so disposed. I next argue that certain split-level theorists have been wrong to associate an agent's responsibility for her character with her present identifications, maintaining instead that responsibility for one's character traits rests on the exercise of one's capacity for judgment in the course of their development.

    Andrew Eshleman is currently completing his doctoral degree at the University of California, Riverside. His research focuses on issues in moral philosophy and philosophy of religion. He is author of "Alternative Possibilities and the Free Will Defense", forthcoming in Religious Studies.

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    ANDREW FIALA
    <Fialaag@Ctrvax.Vanderbilt.edu>

    Liberal Capitalism and the Dissolution of the Public/Private Distinction

    ABSTRACT AND BIO NOT AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME

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    J. CRAIG HANKS
    <hanksj@email.uah.edu>

    The Culture of Suburbanization, Housework, and the Fragmentation of Identity

    ABSTRACT AND BIO NOT AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME

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    SHARON HARTLINE
    Philosophy and Religious Studies Department
    Radford University
    <shartlin@runet.edu>

    Improvisations: Ahimsa and The Authentic Self

    The Ghandian concept of Ahimsa involves both positive and negative dimensions. On the one hand, it is the negative injunction to do no harm and the positive injunction to love. I will examine the concepts of nobility and detachment in order to explicate these two dimensions of Ghandi's principle. My aim will be to uncover the conception of the authentic human self that underlies Ghandi's viewpoint.

    In order to better understand this conception of the authentic self and the associated principle of Ahimsa, it is helpful to imagine oneself confronted by certain situations in which issues of violence and non-violence are central. Toward this end, I will invite members of the conference to participate in a series of improvisations involving role playing in conflict situations and conclude with a discussion of the improvisations.

    Sharon Hartline is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Radford University in Virginia where she teaches ethics and modern philosophy, chairs the Peace and World Securities Studies program, and advises the Philosophy club. Most of her research and writing focusses on the role of ethics within violent interpersonal relationships. At the end of this conference she will celebrate her first wedding anniversary with her sweetheart, Christian d'Orgeix, a herpetologist and exotic chicken breeder extraordinaire. At home she enjoys yoga, making vegetarian food taste good, and organic gardening with the chickens, including Constance, Manfred, Kenji, Sadako, Mirabelle, Norbert Jr., and Penelope, among others.

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    CHARLES HARVEY
    Philosophy Department
    University of Central Arkansas
    <Charlesh@mail.uca.edu>

    Authority, Autonomy, Authenticity: An Etiological Understanding

    In this essay I attempt to understand the search for authenticity in terms of the breakdown of authority in the modern world. The sense of autonomy, I argue, emerges from the need to choose the authorities one will accept. The ever-increasing difficulty of choosing from among authorities is internalized and experienced as a difficulty of choosing (or "finding") oneself. (The shattered authorities on the outside, become a fragmented self on the inside.) The search for the (authentic) self, then, is the search for an authority on the inside that has been broken and lost on the outside. I offer a sketch of what the authentic self would be (if only it could be).

    Charles Harvey is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Central Arkansas. His areas of specialty are 19th and 20th century continental philosophy. His recent publications include "Paradise Well Lost: Communitarian Nostalgia and the Lonely Logic of the Liberal

    Self," in Philosophy in the Contemporary World, v. 1, No. 1., "The Malice of Inanimates," in Phenomenological Inquiry, and "Liberal Indoctrination and the Problem of Community," in Synthese. He is interested in problems of the self and social life and using personal narrative to access philosophical problems.

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    LUCAS INTRONA
    <L.INTRONA@lse.ac.uk>
    Being-In-Cyberspace: Self and Hyperreality

    Can I be in cyberspace? Is cyberspace a new frontier for the realization of self? For Taylor and Saarinen, and the psychologist Turkle, cyberspace is the practical manifestation of postmodern reality, or rather, hyperreality (Baudrillard). In hyperreal cyberspace I can 'change my self as easily as I change my clothes.' This paper will argue using the work of Martin Heidegger, that our being is being-in-the-world. To be-in-the-world means to be involved in the world; to have an involvement whole that is the always

    already present sense of what I do. The paper will argue that cyberspace as a hyperreal world will always, to a greater or lesser extent, be occurrent (ready-at-hand). It will argue that as an already present-at-hand world cyberspace cannot function as an involvement whole, it will always be inauthentic. This inauthenticity cannot be escaped. Any cyber-traveller will eventually have to deal with the fact of being in the world.

    BIO NOT AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME

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    JOE F. JONES, III
    Religion and Philosophy Department
    Barton College
    (919) 399-6448
    <jjones@e-mail.barton.edu>

    Interpretation and Its Objects

    This will be a selective review of Michael Krausz's recent work as it relates to the issue of realism versus conventionalism. Michael's position is conventionalist, but with some recent compromises which make for an interesting and thoughtful position. Joe Jones is a realist, with interpretational compromises toward conventionalism. The question is whether epistemology takes priority over ontology, or ontology over epistemology. Do we construct the world in which we live, or find it? Are there examples which challenge decisions either way? The format will be for Joe to present an overview and criticism of Michael's position, and for Michael to respond, with free discussion and commentary following.

    Joe Frank Jones, III is Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Barton College in Wilson, NC. He is married to Polly and has one child named Jesse Leandra. He is the interim editor of the SPCW journal.

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    JEFFREY JORDON
    <jjjordon@UDel.Edu>

    A New Argument for Vegetarianism

    ABSTRACT AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME

    Jeffrey Jordon is an associate professor at the University of Delaware. He is co-author and editor of Gambling on God: Essays on Pascal's Wager (1994), co-editor of Faith, Freedom, and Rationality (1996), and has published articles in Analysis, Hume Studies, Journal of Social Philosophy, and Philosophia as well as other journals.

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    MICHAEL KRAUSZ
    Department of Philosophy
    Bryn Mawr College
    <mkrausz@brynmawr.edu>

    Interpretation and Its Objects

    This will be a selective review of Michael Krausz's recent work as it relates to the issue of realism versus conventionalism. Michael's position is conventionalist, but with some recent compromises which make for an interesting and thoughtful position. Joe Jones is a realist, with interpretational compromises toward conventionalism. The question is whether epistemology takes priority over ontology, or ontology over epistemology. Do we construct the world in which we live, or find it? Are there examples which challenge decisions either way? The format will be for Joe to present an overview and criticism of Michael's position, and for Michael to respond, with free discussion and commentary following.

    Michael Krausz is the Milton C. Nahm Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Bryn Mawr College. He is the author of Rightness and Reasons and Varieties of Relativism (with Rom Harre), as well as contributing editor of numerous volumes on such topics as relativism, interpretation, interpretation of music, creativity in science and art, cultural identity, and the philosophy of R.G. Collingwood. Krausz has been visiting professor at Georgetown, Oxford, Ulm, the India Institute for Advanced Study among other institutions. As well, Krausz is a painter whose works have appeared in eleven one-person shows in galleries in the U.S. and the U.K.

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    ALEX KUKAS
    National University
    <azukas@nunic.nu.edu>

    EcoMarxist-Feminism and the Cuban Agricultural Collective
    (A joint presentation with Louisa Moon)

    In this presentation we would like to talk about one Cuban agricultural collective, the UBPC's, from an Ecofeminist interpretive stance, as it is informed by our research and our recent experience in Cuba. Our experience was that some hierarchies are more intractable than others. Using excerpts from interviews we conducted and slides of photographs we took, we will discuss our revised vision of the effects of the reversal of the green revolution in Cuba on relations of power and authority based on socio-economic class, across gender and species, and between humans and nonhuman animals. We will also discuss how our findings impact on Ecofeminism and Ecomarxism. Does the fact that socialization of production doesn't necessarily entail a less sexist or speciest worldview mean that Ecomarxism doesn't go far enough? Why doesn't a closer relationship with the land and respect for the knowledge of indigenous peoples translate into a closer relationship with nonhuman animals? If Cuba were to embrace Ecofeminism would this translate into a flattening of all hierarchical relations of authority between humans and nonhuman nature? The evidence seems to suggest that despite the increase in the status of women, hierarchical relations based on species, for example, persist. Does this imply that Ecofeminism alone does not go far enough to break down these hierarchies? In the end we will propose a theory, based on our findings, which incorporates both Ecofeminism and Ecomarxism into a more comprehensive Social Ecology which includes the best elements of each -- a sort of Eco-Marxist-feminism.

    BIO NOT AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME

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    KEVIN MAGILL
    <fa1918@wlv.ac.uk>

    Free Will as Doing What You Want

    ABSTRACT AND BIO NOT AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME

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    ERIN MCKENNA
    Department of Philosophy
    Pacific Lutheran University
    <mckenne@plu.edu>

    The Culture of Suburbanization, Housework, and the Fragmentation of Identity

    ABSTRACT NOT AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME

    Erin McKenna is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Chair of Women's Studies at Pacific Lutheran University. Her recent work includes papers on Charlotte Perkins Gilman, concepts of home and self, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, John Dewey, and feminism and vegetarianism. She spends her free time with my horse and two dogs.

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    MICHAEL S. MCKENNA
    Philosophy Department
    Ithaca University
    <MMCKENNA@ithaca.edu>

    A Speaker Meaning Theory of Moral Responsibility

    Theories of moral responsibility have traditionally attempted to show that some metaphysical fact about an agent obtains in order to show that a person is a morally responsible agent. As an alternative to this approach, many philosophers have sought refuge in P.F. Strawson's account of responsibility by appeal to the reactive attitudes. Recently, many have acknowledged problems with Strawson's account and have tried to advance Strawson's thesis by appeal to various theoretical conditions which an agent must satisfy in order to be an "appropriate object of the morally reactive attitudes."

    In this paper, I argue that the alternatives explored as a means of advancing Strawson's theory are misguided. In particular, they make what it is to be a morally responsible agent depend upon whether members of a moral community are willing to see a person as a responsible agent (and thus react to, and treat her as one). Alternatively, I argue that responsible moral agency can be advanced along the lines Strawson has advised by understanding a competent moral agent on analogy with a competent speaker's use of a language. I argue that the kinds of social conventions required to situate meaning by a speaker in a language are useful in elucidating competent moral agency as well. Most importantly, this kind of theoretical underpinning invites no untoward metaphysical assumptions, thereby insulating an account of moral responsibility form nervous worries about the specter of determinism.

    Michael S. McKenna is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Ithaca College. He has published various articles on free will and moral responsibility. He also has been known to ride a man mountain bike.

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    PETER MEHL
    Department of Philosophy
    University of Central Arkansas
    <peterm@mail.uca.edu>

    Matters of Meaning: Authenticity, Autonomy and Authority in Kierkegaard

    I argue that at least some of Kierkegaard's authorship is designed to make a case for religious and specifically Christian existence; he is not a total fideist. He argues that anything short of the existential stance of the "strong spiritual/moral evaluator" is despair. To overcome this we are compelled to reach for religious or transcendent sources of meaning; the authentic life is one of autonomous engagement grounded in the authority of God. But my question is how Kierkegaard justifies the stance of the strong evaluator in the first place? I argue that he crafts an existential and pragmatic case for it, but that such an approach does not have the strength Kierkegaard thinks. Indeed I argue that because this defense reflects his own 19th century Christian context, his case for Christian existence (as an existence of strong evaluation) is seriously weakened.

    Peter Mehl is currently Associate Professor of Philosophy and Assistant Dean in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Central Arkansas. He has a long-standing interest in Kierkegaard's thought as well as in philosophy of religion and ethics. He has written for the Journal of Religious Ethics, the International Journal of Applied Philosophy and has an essay in a volume of International Kierkegaard Commentary (Mercer Univ. Press).

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    LOUISA MOON
    Mira Costa College
    <lmoon@miracosta.cc.ca.us>

    EcoMarxist-Feminism and the Cuban Agricultural Collective
    (A joint presentation with Alex Kukas)

    In this presentation we would like to talk about one Cuban agricultural collective, the UBPC's, from an Ecofeminist interpretive stance, as it is informed by our research and our recent experience in Cuba. Our experience was that some hierarchies are more intractable than others. Using excerpts from interviews we conducted and slides of photographs we took, we will discuss our revised vision of the effects of the reversal of the green revolution in Cuba on relations of power and authority based on socio-economic class, across gender and species, and between humans and nonhuman animals. We will also discuss how our findings impact on Ecofeminism and Ecomarxism. Does the fact that socialization of production doesn't necessarily entail a less sexist or speciest worldview mean that Ecomarxism doesn't go far enough? Why doesn't a closer relationship with the land and respect for the knowledge of indigenous peoples translate into a closer relationship with nonhuman animals? If Cuba were to embrace Ecofeminism would this translate into a flattening of all hierarchical relations of authority between humans and nonhuman nature? The evidence seems to suggest that despite the increase in the status of women, hierarchical relations based on species, for example, persist. Does this imply that Ecofeminism alone does not go far enough to break down these hierarchies? In the end we will propose a theory, based on our findings, which incorporates both Ecofeminism and Ecomarxism into a more comprehensive Social Ecology which includes the best elements of each -- a sort of Eco-Marxist-feminism.

    BIO NOT AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME

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    JADA PRANE
    University of Oregon
    <jprane@darkwing.uoregon.edu>

    Homelessness ... Considerations on Redirecting the Blame

    In the contemporary world a new philosophical problem has emerged. It is a practical, ethical, and social question whether a person's inalienable right to shelter should triumph over built America's right to be aesthetically, economically, and environmentally protected from illegally constructed dwellings. An inalienable right to shelter used to be assumed by early America. It is only since the inception of planning and zoning regulations and building codes, i.e. their omission of shelter language, their unacknowledged skew of the word "public", and their increasingly higher minimum building standards, that has squashed certain individuals inalienable right to protect themselves form the elements. Redefining the planning and zoning word "building" to include the term "shelter" and defining home by Clare Cooper Marcus' description as literally a "self-extension into personalizable space" can re-open the possibility for considering shelter-making as an inalienable right, rather than merely a right or a privilege. As an inalienable right each and every person is entitled to make shelter for themselves.

    Jada Prane is a philosophical counselor with interests in concepts of selfhood, the study of philosophy of psychopathology, and clinical work with persons suffering from chronic mental illness. These interests in conjunction with many years working with city, county, and state agencies as a real estate broker and developer has combined to prompt her interest in the topic of homeless selves. Jada is in the final stages of completing her dissertation about the philosophical underpinnings of multiple personality disorder entitled, The Bloodletting of the Ontologically Challenged. She expects to complete her Ph.D. from the University of Oregon in December 1997.

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    GAIL PRESBEY
    Philosophy Department
    Marist College
    <JZNH@MARISTB.MARIST.EDU>

    Akan Chiefs and Queen Mothers in Contemporary Ghana: Examples of Democracy, or Accountable Authority?

    The paper is based on my research last summer in Ghana, where I interviewed chiefs and Queen Mothers about their leadership role in their communities. My interest was framed by an existing debate found in the works of Ghanaian philosophers Kwame Gyekye and Kwasi Wiredu. They suggested that Ghana did not need Western models of democracy, because the traditional Akan governing system was inherently democratic. Anthony Appiah as well had written that Ghana worked best when its official "Western" government was temporarily defunct and the remaining social organizations coordinated life on a voluntary basis, being popularly accepted by the people. To argue that the Akan system is "democratic" seems to fly in the face of evidence that the traditional structure is a hierarchy, as pointed out by Emmanuel Eze. I suggest that based on my interviews, the Akan system is more aptly called an authoritarian system that gains its acceptability by its many relations with community members. It however falls short of an ideal democracy in the same way that Western democracies fall short - the discrediting or marginalization of some people's voices. However, in its cultural context, it clearly succeeds where Western style democracy falls short.

    Gail Presbey is Assistant. Professor of Philosophy at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. She recently spent a year-long sabbatical in eight different countries in Africa. She has published several articles on African Philosophy, and is first editor of a textbook, "The Philosophical Quest: A Cross-Cultural Reader" published with McGraw-Hill.

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    LANI ROBERTS
    Department of Philosophy
    Oregon State University
    <robertsl@cla.orst.edu>

    One Oppression or Many?

    In spite of the wide-ranging consequences of institutionalized domination, there are few theories of models in philosophy characterizing the structure of oppression. From a myriad of differences, whether real or imagined, a few aspects of who humans are become the basis for what Philip Hallie calls "institutional cruelty." Some of these differences in our society include, but are not limited to, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, social and economic class, religious belief, disability and age.

    Although existing philosophical analyses differ at one level, that is, according to the various target groups, they also share considerable common features. In spite of theoretical similarities, they is a strong presupposition to the effect that each form of systematic domination is essentially distinct from the others. Sexism is something different than racism, which is clearly distinct from classism. My question is whether there are many oppressions or one. This question, to my knowledge, has yet to be raised and this paper will try to do just this.

    Lani Roberts teaches philosophy at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. She counts herself as a moral philosopher and focusses her attention primarily on the philosophy of oppression, teaching feminist philosophies, ethics of diversity and moral theory courses. She has been on the faculty of the University Honors College for the past two years and has begun a term as a Master Teacher in the College of Liberal Arts.

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    WILLIAM L. ROWE
    Philosophy Department
    Purdue University
    <wlrowe@purdue.edu>

    The Metaphysics of Freedom: Reid's Theory of Agent Causation

    A libertarian theory of human freedom requires attributing a power to the agent to determine what he shall will to do, not just a power to do what he wills to do. This power is best thought of as a causal power the agent has over the determination of her will. Thomas Reid developed a sophisticated theory wherein this power is the power an agent has to cause or not cause a particular volition to perform a certain act. In this paper I first explain his theory of agent causation and defend that theory against some important objections philosophers have advanced against it.

    William L. Rowe is Professor of Philosophy at Purdue University. He has taught at the University of Illinois and held visiting appointments at Wayne State University and the University of Michigan. His publications include Religious Symbols and God, The Cosmological Argument, Philosophy of Religion, Thomas Reid on Freedom and Morality, and numerous articles. He has held a Guggenheim Fellowship, been a fellow at the National Humanities Center, and is a past president of the Central Division of the American Philosophical Association.

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    JAMES SAUER
    St. Mary's University
    San Antonio, Texas
    <philjim@stmarytx.edu>

    Language, Ethics, and Meaning: A Phenomenological Correlation of Morality and Self-Conscious Signification

    In this paper I am taking up an underdeveloped argument of Charles Taylor that linguisticality is constitutive of moral agency. Taylor's argument is part of a set of contemporary position that argues that language, especially as dialogue or discourse, is the normative framework that grounds or validates fundamental norms or values. There is little question that Taylor's contribution to this "dialogical turn" is substantial and innovative; however, it is not without weakness. What I am going to argue is that language does ground morality as a distinctively human way of creating meaning that is, as Taylor argues, constitutive of the self and self-understanding. Such self-understanding or the appropriation of moral self-consciousness is what is meant by authenticity and autonomy that are constitutive of moral authority.

    James Sauer is an associate professor of philosophy at St. Mary's University where he specialized in ethics and applied ethics. His particular fields of concern are environmental and economic philosophy.

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    JENNIFER STIFF
    <jastiff@artsci.wustl.edu> The Question of National Autonomy: The Case of Cuba

    The United States is a country which places a high value on political autonomy and self-government. In this paper I argue that since the United States values and accepts autonomy and self-government for itself that it should also recognize the autonomous self-government of other nations. After establishing this I tackle the difficult case of Cuba, a nation which is considered by many to be illiberal. I consider whether it matters that Cuba's autonomous self-government is in danger and on what grounds Cuba should have autonomy in government.

    BIO NOT AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME

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    PATRICIA J. THOMPSON
    Women's Studies and Education
    Lehman College, CUNY

    Hestianeutics: A Challenge for Feminist Standpoint Theory

    Last year at Estes Park the paper "Re-claiming Hestia, Goddess of Everyday Life" proposed a feminist re-thinking of the oikos/polis split that occurred in classical antiquity. The split shaped subsequent philosophical discourse -- subordinating the domestic economy (oikonomeia) to the political economy. This paper builds on the proposed dual systems Hestian/Hermean paradigm that schematizes the relation of the oikos to the polis and the private/public dichotomy, arguing that it warrants further investigation and explication.

    This paper examines the effect of this paradigm shift on discourse, text, and epistemology. As a contrast with the masculist "hermeneutic" approach, it suggest an alternative interpretive standpoint, namely a "hestianeutic" as a way to deepen textual understanding. The two standpoints are viewed as complementary "takes" on social reality and social phenomena. I suggest that the Hestian standpoint offers a consistent approach for the deconstruction of patriarchal (Hermean) discourse that feminists argue has historically been silenced. By contrasting hestianeutic/hermeneutic interpretative standpoints it moves "beyond gender" toward a "nonsexist" humanism appropriate for both males and females in both the private/public domains.

    Patricia J. Thompson is currently Professor of Women's Studies and Education at Lehman College, City University of New York. She has lectured widely throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe (Russia, Germany, and Finland) on Hestian feminism. She is the author of Bringing Feminism Home (1992) and The Hestian Synthesis (1988) published by the UPEI Publishing Collective, Charlottetown, PEI, Canada. Her articles have appeared in Hypatia, Themis, and the CUNY Women's Coalition Journal. Recent chapters have appeared in The Knowledge Explosion (Athene Series - TC Press, 1992), edited by Cheris Kramarae and Dale Spender, and The Education Feminism Reader (Routledge, 1994), edited by Lynda Stone. Articles have also appeared in German, Finnish, and Greek publications. Her current research interests are in feminist theory, gender equity, women and the environment, and the reconceptualization of the disciplines. She has recently edited Environmental Education for the Twenty-first Century, published by Peter Lung.

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    JOSEPH WAGNER
    Political Science Department
    Colgate University
    <JWAGNER@CENTER.COLGATE.EDU>

    A Hollow Core: The Poverty of Conservativism as Political Philosophy

    This paper focusses on the nature of conservatism as a political philosophy, but do so in very different ways. I argue that the chief defect of conservativism as a philosophical position is that it cannot honor the authority of reason or argument. In particular, I look critically at conservative responses to liberal theory, to see if I can explain why conservatives seem not to understand the philosophical assumptions that undergird liberalism. These assumptions are essentially epistemic and they derive in a direct fashion from the Enlightenment. At issue are fundamental questions about ontology, teleology and essence and more particularly the way in which these notions relate to ideas about 'good' and 'right.' In the analysis, I explore the defects of natural law and natural rights theories with the intent of explaining why such theories are seductive to conservatives. Finally, this paper attempts to speak in a fresh way to the relationship between conservatism, religion and the state.

    Joseph Wagner is a Professor of political science at Colgate University. His work and his interests are analytic and theoretical. His published articles treat issues of affirmative action, tolerance, mass media, public opinion, multiculturalism, liberal arts education, moral psychology, moral development and the nature of rationality. Professor Wagner's degree is in Interdisciplinary Social Science and his dissertation concentrated on linguistic analysis. He is currently completing a manuscript on moral psychology that reflects an ongoing interest in ethics, philosophy of mind, neuro-psychology, Kant, Darwin and Wittgenstein.

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    JACK WEIR
    Philosophy Department
    Morehead State University
    <j.weir@morehead-st.edu>

    Utilitarianism, Animals, and the Environment

    In this paper, I analyze the relationship of recent environmental and animal ethics to utilitarianism. John Passmore, Elliott Sober, Peter Singer, Val Plumwood, and Richard Sylvan are examined. I conclude that utilitarianism makes important contributions to an adequate theory of animals and the environment, but that more is needed. Some suggestions are made for developing an adequate theory.

    Jack Weir is Professor of Philosophy at Morehead State University in Kentucky. His recent writing has been primarily in environmental ethics. Before coming to Morehead, he taught at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. He is the founding Editor of the Society's journal, Philosophy in the Contemporary World, and is currently the Editor of the Newsletter of the International Society for Environmental Ethics.

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    FORREST WOOD, JR.
    Philosophy and Religion Department
    University of Southern Mississippi
    <fwood@ocean.st.usm.edu>

    Hunting: Three Views

    Recently three books have been published on the nature of hunting: Cartmill's A View To A Death In The Morning (1993) which is an anti-hunting position, Swan's In Defense of Hunting (1996) which is pro-hunting, and my book, The Delights and Dilemmas of Hunting (1997) which presents the arguments for both sides and evaluates them. I make a distinction between the motivations and the justifications of hunters. Cartmill's position against hunting (really against meat-eating) is argued in two ways. The first is his continuity/rights argument and the second is his killing is not necessary argument. I argue that his claim of the connection of continuity and rights does not hold. I also argue that his killing is not necessary argument is macrocentric and therefore fails.

    Forrest Wood, Jr. is Professor of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has taught at USM for 31 years and is currently serving as Chair of the Department. He has published a book in philosophy of religion, Whiteheadian Thought As A Basis For A Philosophy of Religion (1986), a book on the philosophy of hunting, The Delights and Dilemmas of Hunting: The Hunting versus Anti-hunting Controversy (1997), and many articles in philosophical journals. He has also published nature articles in Mississippi Outdoors and Magnolia Turkey Tales. A native Texan, he was educated at Baylor University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Tulane University. He taught in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. He is one of those people Aldo Leopold referred to as those who cannot live without wild things. He has sought to understand a boyhood passion for hunting, an adult's love of the land and an old man's vision of enspoiled nature. The delights and dilemmas of this quest continue to engage him.




SOCIETY FOR PHILOSOPHY IN THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD
    SPCW was founded in August 1993. As a society, we are committed to the application of philosophy to understanding and solving contemporary social problems broadly conceived. At the same time, we are equally committed to a continuing dialogue about the best ways philosophy might be applied in the contemporary world. Hence, SPCW promotes work in applied philosophy, philosophy and public policy, philosophy of the professions, race and gender studies, environmental philosophy, educational philosophy, and a range of multicultural issues.
1997 PROGRAM COMMITTEE

J. CRAIG HANKS
SHARON E. HARTLINE
Program Co-chair Program Co-chair

LAURA KAPLAN ERIN MCKENNA

Program Committee Program Committee

LANI ROBERTS JAMES SAUER

Program Committee Program Committee
 

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