Perceptual experience: both relational and contentful

We are pleased to invite you to the 2012 Mark Sacks lecture:
Perceptual experience: both relational and contentful
John McDowell

It seems right to say that perceptual experience puts experiencing subjects in (direct or immediate) relation with items in their environments. It is increasingly widely held that there is an inconsistency between that claim and the idea that perceptual experience has content. John McDowell will argue that there is no such inconsistency.

The paper from this lecture will be published in an upcoming issue of the European Journal of Philosophy and the lecture will be recorded and made available as a free podcast.

Date and time: 5.30pm, Friday 15th June 2012
Venue: Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield, 34 Gell Street, S3 7QY, UK

All are welcome to attend the lecture which will be followed by a drinks reception hosted by Wiley-Blackwell.

The texts of previous lectures in this series (formerly known as the EJP Annual Lectures) have been published as follows:

2011: Identity, Individuation and Substance, David Wiggins

2010: Why Are You Betraying Your Class?, Avishai Margalit

2009: Danish Ethical Demands and French Common Goods: Two Moral Philosophies, Alasdair MacIntyre

2008: Ethics for Communication, Onora O’Neill

> View the full list.

Tradition and Politics

Detail from James Gillray's 'New Morality'. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

‘Without a tradition, everything is impermanence and flux.’ Thus writes David Brooks in a New York Times piece giving advice to the rebellious and dissatisfied youth of today. If you are one of these youth, Brooks’ advice is that your rebellion should be grounded in a past tradition:

‘If I could offer advice to a young rebel, it would be to rummage the past for a body of thought that helps you understand and address the shortcomings you see. Give yourself a label. If your college hasn’t provided you with a good knowledge of countercultural viewpoints — ranging from Thoreau to Maritain — then your college has failed you and you should try to remedy that ignorance.’

Continue reading “Tradition and Politics”

Punking the BNP

Scientific_racism_irishK-Punk (aka writer Mark Fisher) writes about possible responses to the BNP on his blog:

“Much of the BNP’s appeal derives from its granting of legitimacy to those feelings of resentment and aggrievement – yes, it says, you’re right to feel angry and betrayed…Here, class emerges…But this brief flash of class antagonism is immediately subsumed by race-logic”.

Later on he notes that any effective response to the BNP cannot simply argue with the BNP within the current framework, but seek to undermine the framework itself, this thing that sublimates class differences into racial differences. He describes this process using a particularly philosophically-loaded term: Narrative.

Narrative is that which gives structure to everyday human existence – it is historical, social. In After Virtue, Alasdair Macintyre argues that the self is a “narrative self” (as opposed to an “emotive self”) – identity is constructed by the myriad roles an individual plays in multiple systems. The good for an individual must therefore be “the good for one who inhabits these roles” (AV, 220). If Macintyre’s argument holds water, this means that social critiques – such as the one detailed in the previous paragraph – have not only political implications, but moral ones.

Related articles:

Contemporary virtue ethics
By Karen Stohr, Georgetown University
(Vol. 1, February 2006)
Philosophy Compass

Race, Colorblindness, and Continental Philosophy
By Michael J. Monahan , Marquette University
(Vol. 1, September 2006)
Philosophy Compass