Self, Other and Lifeworld
10 - 16 1998
YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park, Colorado
Abstracts and biographies
are available at the end of this document
- 5:30pm Registration
- 7:00pm Dinner
- 7:30pm Welcome/Introduction to the Society
- 8:30pm Craig Greenman, "Writing and Ambivalence" (A paper
and Performance of philosophical songs)
- 10:00pm Reception
- 11:30am M. Carmela Epright, Chair
Laura Duhan Kaplan, "Encountering the Face of God: A
Exploration of Theistic Existentialism"
Michael D. Barber, "Levinas and the Idea of Black Philosophy"
Brian E. Bowles, "Face to Face in the Flesh: Alterity,
and Ethics in Levinas and Merleau-Ponty"
- 1:00pm Lunch
- 3:00pm Chair, TBA
Charles Bingham, "Language and Intersubjectivity: Recognizing
Other Without Taking Over or Giving In"
James B. Sauer, "Perception and Meaning: A Realist Account
- 3:15pm Break
- 5:15pm Chair, Craig Hanks, Chair
Mechthild Nagel, "Throwness, Play-in-the World and thQuewstion
Kate Evans, "Are you Married:" Examiningh Intersubjectivity
and Heternormativity in Schools"
- 7:30pm Dinner
- 11:30am J. Craig Hanks, Chair
Andrew Altman, "Racial Prejudice and Vote Dilution: The Meaning
of Equal Electoral Oportunity"
Thomas G. Bowen, "Identity and Difference: The Question of
Katharine Loevy, "Black Identity and the Tie to Africa"
Hike in the Rockies!!
- 11:30am Lani Roberts, Chair
Gertrude D. Conway, "On the Ambiguity of Being Bicultural"
Abolreza Banan, "The Eurocentricity of Economic Development"
John Clark, "Regionalities"
- 1:00 Lunch
- 3:00pm Chair, TBA
Charles Harvey, The Ghosts Within Us, The Others Without:
Father, My Self Reflections on Intersubjectivity, Intimacy
Gary Borjesson, "City Limits: Reflections on the Analogy
Between Soul and City"
- 3:15pm Break
- 5:15pm Chair, TBA
Chris Meyers, "Intersubjectivity and Ethics: Good and
the Multi-Perspective Standpoint"
Noel E. Boulting, "Sartre's Existential Conception of Human
Consciousness and its Implications for a Theory of
River Road Trip, Time TBA
- 3:00 pm -
Charles Harvey, Chair
Andrew W. Schwartz, "Heidegger, Gadamer and the Ethics of
Brent Adkins, "Intersubjectivity and Death in Hegel's Phenomenology
- 3:15pm Break
J. Craig Hanks, "The Family as Facilitator and Obstacle:
Taking Seriously (Some Notion of) Family Values"
Roberts, "Difference and Hierarchy"
- 7:30pm Dinner
pm - ??? Trip to Estes Park Brewery
- 11:30am Chair, TBA
Mary Ann Clark, "Invisible Made Visible: Radical Interpenetration
of the Divine into the Human Lifeworld"
Fiona Steinkamp, "Telepathy, Self and the Other"
James Biundo, "Searching For Self: A Pirandellian Perspective"
11:30am - 1:00pm Lunch
- 3:00 pm Chair, TBA
Chris Nagel, "What is T.V.?"
Juan Ferret, "An Encounter"
- 3:15pm Break
Jordy Rocheleau, "Discourse Ethics and the Politics of Group
Good-Bye Friends! Happy and Safe Travels!
Department of Philosophy
and Death in Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit"
In this paper
I argue that in its articulation of intersubjectivity Hegel's
Phenomenology of Spirit becomes increasingly complex
and these articulations always occur as a more sophisticated
encounter with death. There are four such encounters with
death in Phenomenology. The first encounter is the well-known
and perhaps overused master/slave dialectic which begins with
a life-and-death struggle (Kampf auf Leben und Tod) (187).
While this is a very important inaugural gesture for Hegel
it does not represent either his final or his most complete
consideration of death or intersubjectivity in the Phenomenology.
The second encounter with death happens in the "ethical order."
In the ethical order there is now a twofold consideration
of intersubjectivity and death. One from the point of view
of the state, and one from the point of view of the individual.
From the state's point of view creating situations where individuals
will risk their life is absolutely necessary for the maintenance
of the structures of the state. From the side of the individual
death is no longer a meaningless acquiescence to natural negativity.
Rather death can now be recuperated by making it a conscious
action on the part of the individual. Of course, the actions
are done on behalf of the individual by his family. The third
encounter with death occurs in the French Revolution where
consciousness seeks to act only universally. Since no individual
action can represent the universal, everyone is guilty of
betraying the revolution, and the only remedy the state has
is execution. This leads to two consequences. The first is
that death has no meaning, like "lopping off cabbage heads"
in Hegel's words. The second is that this difference in the
encounter with death allows consciousness to move beyond this
stage. Otherwise, the French Revolution risks being just another
war on behalf of the state. The final encounter with death
comes in the Revealed Religion section. No individuals are
risked here. It is God who is risked. The death of god allows
the "Transfiguration of death" according to Hegel. From this
I argue that this transfiguration of death allows a very different
type of intersubjective community from what was possible before.
If natural negativity has been destroyed, then there is no
danger that the activities of the community will degenerate
into some kind of natural order. Rather, they can remain a
spiritual order. This is why the community of absolute knowing
is the highest form of intersubjectivity in the Phenomenology.
is a graduate student at Loyola University Chicago. He
is currently writing a dissertation on the role of death in
Hegel and Heidegger. His other philosophical interests include
contemporary appropriations of Kant and Hegel in light of
psychoanalysis and phenomenology.
Dept of Philosophy
The George Washington
and Vote Dilution: The Meaning of Equal Electoral Opportunity"
At the center
of voting rights law is the principle that citizens must have
equal electoral opportunity regardless of race. The principle
was enshrined in the Fifteenth Amendment but long ignored
throughout the South. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 turned
it into more than a paper guarantee. But the Act's effectiveness
rested on the expansive interpretation of it given by the
Supreme Court. Key to this interpretation was the idea that
districting arrangements can "dilute" the votes of racial
minorities and that such dilution violated equal opportunity.
Yet, the Court has never specified what equal electoral opportunity
is or developed a cogent conception of racial vote dilution.
My aim is to vindicate a broad interpretation of the Act by
developing persuasive accounts of vote dilution and equal
electoral opportunity. The accounts revolve around the idea
that racial prejudice can unfairly distort the democratic
process in ways that violate equal opportunity.
is Professor of Philosophy at The George Washington University.
He is the author of Critical Legal Studies: A Liberal Critique
(Princeton U.P.) and Arguing About Law (Wadsworth).
His articles on legal and political philosophy have appeared
in Philosophy and Public Affairs, Ethics, and American
Philosophical Quarterly, among other journals. His extracurricular
interests include weight lifting and running.
Department of Economics
Mount Saint Mary's
of Economic Development"
This paper considers
aspects of the systematic drive toward globalization of Western
capitalism. It focuses on the failure of economic development
from two perspectives, namely, the perspective of the eurocentricity
of economic development theory and from the Western subordination
of economic development to its national security and political
interests. The paper argues that the blame for the present
Third World underdevelopment rests on faulty prescriptions
driven by the Western mainstream and positive economic theorizing.
It argues that (1) mainstream economics has produced flawed
theories for economic development of the Third World, (2)
these imported flawed theories have lacked fit, resulting
in distorted, biased Third World development, (3) Western
eurocentric theory has ignored these biased theoretic flaws,
and (4) these conditions have resulted in growth without development,
equity or social justice. The paper concludes with the claim
that sound theories of economic development must be constructed
indigenously and inductively and grounded in culture-specific
realities. Sound economic theorizing must be rooted in the
philosophical understanding of cultural norms, practices and
is currently Professor of Economics, Director of the International
Studies Program and Mazur Distinguished Professor at Wilson
College in Chambersburg, PA. He was educated in Vienna, Austria
and previously was a professor at Pahlavi University in his
native Shiraz, Iran. His research interests include problems
of economic development in the Third World, and his current
research focuses on the role of Islamic economics in development.
He has attended SPCW conferences with his spouse, Trudy Conway,
and this is the first time he has given a presentation.
Department of Philosophy
St. Louis University
the Idea of a Black Philosophy"
beliefs are not necessarily associated with gross racial morphological
features, as Appiah argues, then the possibility of a black
philosophy produced by black philosophers becomes problematical.
However, such gross morpohological features, subsumed within
a culture, become the basis for racial discrimination whose
victims in their turn offer creative resistance -- and the
processes become the focus of various black studies, including
back philosophy. Emmanuel Levinas' philosophy provides a general
theoretical framework that informs West's idea of a black
philosophy, responsive to its Other, the black underclass;
that guides and unifies diverse black philosophers and methodologies;
that permits non-blacks to contribute to a black philosophy
that takes its cue not from its author's skin color but from
the plight and struggle of the victim of racism; that precludes
any racist counter-response to racism; and that founds racial
solidarity on ethics rather than on discredited racialist
Associate professor of Philosophy, at St. Louis University
has authored several articles and fourbooks: Social Typification
and the Elusive Others, The Place of Sociology of Knowledge
in Alfred Schutz's Phenomenology: Guardian of Dialogue,
Max Scheler's Phenomenology: Sociology of Knowledgeand
Philosophy of Love; Ethical Hermeneutics: Rationality
in Enrique Dussel's Philosophy of Liberations; and Equality
and Alterity: Phenomenological Investigations of Discrimination.
Department of Education
University of Washington
Intersubjectivity: Recognizing the Other Without Taking Over
or Giving In"
In this paper
I look at the role speech plays in intersubjectivity. I begin
with a traditional phenomenological definition of intersubjectivity.
Intersubjectivity is the ability of the self or recognize
a self-conscious other. Phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty
has argued that speech is the bedrock of this brand of intersubjectivity,
but I find severe limitations withhis view of language. Specifically,
Merleau-Ponty does not account for our compulsion to keep
speaking with and other once we have recognized her autonomous
otherness. Nor does he account for the use of speech when
the other is repulsive to the self, or when the other threatens
to overcome the self's autonomy. Why would we wan to keep
speaking in such cases? I argue that the intersubjectivity
position of psychoanalysis helps to account for the limitations
of Merleau-Ponty's notion of intersubjectivity speech. Because
intersubjectivity psychoanalysis accounts for the symbolic
qualities of speech, we can better understand the role of
speech as an ongoing project, and as a mode of avoiding domination
and submission. I use the work of Jessica Benjamin to illustrate
intersubjective psychoanalysis. Benjamin's analysis of symbolic
speech reminds us that speech is more than simply a bedrock
of intersubjectivity. Language enables us to keep a healthy
tension between the other as we represent him psychically,
and the other as we represent him concretely as an autonomous
is currently completing his doctoral degree in Philosophy
of Education at the University of Washington. His dissertation
topic is "Dialogue and Recognition," which furthers his interest
in dialogue relations, how we come to recognize an other through
discourse. He is author of "The Goals of Language, the Language
of Goals: Nietzsche's Rhetoric and Its Implications for Education,"
which will appear shortly in Educational Theory. He
spent his formative years as an educator in a small village
in South Africa.
Thomas G. Bowen
Department of Philosophy
Difference: The Question of Community"
It has been said
that the question of community is one of the most pressing
of our time. The importance of this question is presented
most powerfully in the recent history of the collapse of communism.
With political ideology no longer a sufficient binding force,
many of the old nations of the Soviet Bloc have fractured
along ethnic, religious and ancient nationalist lines. In
the Balkans, and especially the former Yugoslavia, this has
been most apparent and tragic. Where once Serbs, Croats, Muslims
and Christians lived and worked side by side in community,
now they stand apart and engage in ethnic cleansing structuring
their communities along ethnic and religious lines, and reviving
long past memories of long dead nations. Even here, in the
United States, many have bemoaned the seeming balkanization
of American politics with the emergence of political groups
and interests that structure themselves chiefly along lines
of strict identities whether these are identities solidified
by race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion which call
into question conceptions of a larger American Community,
whether multi-, or mono-cultural. These events bring to the
fore many questions concerning the nature of communities:
how they are formed, how they dissolve, the role of the concepts
of identity and difference in their structure, and how the
manner in which they are conceived alters conceptions of rights,
justice and citizenship.
two paradigms of community dominate attempts to analyze and
understand these phenomena. On the one hand, neo-Kantian liberals
like John Rawls continue the classical tradition of conceiving
community as a contract. Individuals are viewed as fundamentally
separate and independent of one another, and community is
structured instrumentally geared towards the furtherance of,
and refereeing of, individual interests and pursuits. On this
model, community is external and accidental to the individual.
On the other hand, the so-called communitarians have attempted
to retrieve certain pre-modern conceptions of community as
respublica. Here the emphasis is on the way in which
individual identities are constructed in and by community.
Rather than instrumental and external to the individual, this
is a constitutive community, one which is bound together by
a shared good or shared self-understanding around which the
community is organized. While the differences between the
liberal and communitarian conceptions of community are important,
their similarities are equally telling. Both paradigms construct
community on the basis of identity. Either the substantive
identity of a common good or self-understanding, or the abstract
identity of individuals as rights-bearers, the legal construction
of personhood. Hence, the important question for each of these
paradigms is what to do with difference or the other.
have turned to the work of Hegel in order to find a path between
these two paradigms. Generally focusing on the concept of
recognition, they believe that Hegel offers a way to reconcile
the communitarian with the liberal conceptions of community.
My paper will examine whether Hegel in fact offers any new
possibilities for understanding community that can steer clear
of the dangers of the liberal Scylla and the communitarian
Charybdis. Specifically, I will argue that while Hegel does
offer some new insights into the nature of community, nevertheless
the concept of recognition and Hegel s use of it, cannot be
the final answer. The question of difference remains still
in Hegel s work, and to find an answer to this question we
must turn elsewhere.
at time of program printing.
Brian E. Bowles
"Face to face
in the flesh: Alterity, Ontology, and Ethics in Levinas and
on the priority of the face in the ethical encounter goes
a first step toward realizing the ethical dimensions of the
human body. However, his sharp separation of ethics and ontology
hampers his ultimate goal of getting at the meaning of ethics
by robbing the individual of any concrete means of responding
to the other as concrete other. In his endeavors to show that
the face of the other is the infinite, meaning that it cannot
be comprehended or that it does not have a horizon within
which it becomes significant, what Levinas seems to require
is a meaningfulness of the face without any possibility of
being comprehended or recognized as a face. But, as others
have already pointed out, Levinas does not give an account
of how it is possible to respond to the other as other without
first understanding the being of the other as other. That
is, in order to respond appropriately to the other in the
face to face encounter I must first recognize the other as
other and not, for example, as a lampshade. But in this case
I have understood in some sense the being of the other, and
consequently an ontology is already present. Ultimately, Levinas'
separation of ethics and ontology proves insufficient in understanding
the ethical encounter in so far as the face risks becoming
purely formal by being separated from any existing being.
For these reasons, I will argue in this paper that despite
his claims to the contrary, Levinas must rely on an ontology
in order to complete his goal of establishing the importance
of the ethical relation. Towards this end, I will contrast
his exclusively ethical understanding of the face (which of
course follows from his insistence on the separation of ethics
and ontology) with Merleau-Ponty's ontological understanding
of flesh and the ësocialí relation. In working
out his radically new ontology of the flesh, Merleau-Ponty
strove to respect alterity without reducing it to a moment
of sameness. I will show that we would do better to understand
the face of the other where the face is the body of the other
in its ethical significance, its ethical dimensions, or in
its capacity to oblige meóusing Merleau-Ponty's ontological
notions of flesh and reversibility rather than in the exclusively
ethical terms that Levinas sets forth. The actual obligation
or responsibility to the face of the other, and thus the significance
of ethics, is first made intelligible given the ontological
thesis of the reversibility of the flesh. Levinas' face of
the Other is inadequate because it is too formal, because
it is not of this world (it has no being, it is not) and thus
unrecognizable, and because it is mute until it is the face
of a concrete other. Reversing a statement by Levinas, we
could say that the Other is not an interlocutor first and
an object of recognition second. The two relations are intertwined.
In other words, the invocation of the Other is inseparable
from the recognition of him or her. As Merleau-Ponty would
likely say, just as "pure thought" does not mean anything
except by coming to words, a "pure command of the face" does
not oblige except by reference to a specific situation.
is a graduate student at Loyola University Chicago who will
soon begin work on his dissertation. He studied philosophy
and German at the University of Missouri in Columbia, as well
as at the University of Tbingen in Germany. His research interests
include Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Levinas, the philosophy
of the body, Gilles Deleuze and environmental philosophy.
Publications include a book review to be appearing in The
Review of Metaphysics, along with a translation of an address
by Heidegger forthcoming in Supplements: Texts in Heidegger's
Assistant to the
President for University Relations
for Self: A Pirandellian Perspective"