A Critique of Judith Butler from Wittgensteninan Common Sense. A recent movement in Feminism proposes that gender categories in the way

Size: px
Start display at page:

Download "A Critique of Judith Butler from Wittgensteninan Common Sense. A recent movement in Feminism proposes that gender categories in the way"

Transcription

1 Puche 1 Eduardo Puche Carbonell May 6, 2011 Final Paper A Critique of Judith Butler from Wittgensteninan Common Sense Abstract. This paper presents a criticism against Judith Butler s account of gender, arguing for a minimal notion of identity for politics out of Wittgenstenian common sense. Following Wittgenstein s concept of language-games I argue that gender categories should not be eliminated as Butler suggests, but they should only be used in a different way because subverting the categories would be harmful the oppressed groups who need something to be done about their situation. A recent movement in Feminism proposes that gender categories in the way they have been traditionally used are problematic. Judith Butler s view on this has been very influential and generates floods of secondary literature. 1 She proposes that we should eliminate gender categories because they are oppressive. Opposers suggest that a minimal notion of identity is necessary for politics. I propose to look at these issues from a background of Wittgensteinian common sense from which I argue against Butler s account of gender in favour of a minimal notion of gender necessary for politics. Butler s account of gender Judith Butler represents a new movement in feminism that finds that taking women as the subject of feminism is problematic. The problem here arises when one 1 Cadwallader, Jessica. "How Judith Butler Matters." Australian Feminist Studies 24, no. 60 (June 2009): Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed April 18, 2011).

2 Puche 2 examines the question what is a woman? For Butler, the traditional connection between sex and gender does not exist as such but is only a social artifice. There are two main parts to her argument. The first part is that woman is not an effective labels because it is not all encompassing. To determine the identity of one as woman would mean that she has to be defined as woman. She would fit all the characteristics that are typically attributed to them. But in reality, what we have is a person that displays a few (or many) feminine traits, but not all. In the same way, when we speak of a man we envision a particular image of what a man would be like, but then, actual men do not fit that description perfectly. The second part of Butler s argument is that while gender identity terms are not effective in so far as they are descriptive, that are in many ways prescriptive. This is the real source of the problem with gender. Butler suggests that, as de Beauvoir said, One is not born but rather becomes a woman, 2 except she does not think that being born female needs to result in becoming a woman. What happens according to her, is that the infant will be raised in such a way that if she is born female she is treated as a girl and ends up becoming a woman. The way this works for her is that once she is defined as feminine, she is bound by social convention to do what is feminine. For this reason, Butler suggests that gender ends up being performative in a similar way to a theatrical production, where the actor plays someone who he is not. So fan, what Butler is suggesting has a strong intuitive appeal. It is very common to tell children when they are growing up that Boys don t cry for example, 2 De Beauvoir, Simone. Childhood. In Second Sex Vol. 2. Translated by H.M. Parshley

3 Puche 3 or that a lady never sits with her legs open. This type of things are an example of ways in which we are since a young age performing our genders in a theatric-like way, but also these become our habits and the performative aspect in which gender determine our identity. We act in certain ways because it is prescribed by our gender. Wittgenstenian Common Sense Before proceeding to a criticism of Butler s theory, I will go over what I refer to as Wittgenstenian common sense, which is the framework from which the criticism runs. Ludwig Wittgenstein held that we are always ina particular context. For him, we cannot think of ourselves as being in an empty space, but we are always in a certain place at a certain time, etc. In On Certainty, his emphasis is on language: whenever we think or speak something, we always do so in a particular context. He calls them language games. And one is always playing a language game, which contains the rules under which our communication and thought is made coherent. A language game can be taken as a necessarily presupposed framework with the rules that allow for structured thought and intelligible dialogue. For example, if two friends are sitting outside and one says to the other, Look, there s a bird on the tree, they are in a language game where the existence of the tree, for instance cannot be called into question. In their language game, it would make no sense for the other friend to reply, Do you really know that there is a tree there? However, in a philosophical discussion following the reading of Descarte s meditations, one might be playing a different language-game in which doubting the existence of the tree would be appropriate. Wittgenstein writes, I am sitting with a philosopher in the garden; he says again and

4 Puche 4 again "I know that that's a tree", pointing to a tree that is near us. Someone else arrives and hears this, and I tell him: "This fellow isn't insane. We are only doing philosophy." 3 The concept of language games can be also applied to genders. An easy example: if I find myself in a situation where I urgently need to use the restroom in a public place, it does not make sense for me to stand outside the public restroom wondering about the Men and Women sign on the door and be confused as to which one to go into. In urgent need of a bathroom, I would just look for the little man on the sign and walk in. The language-game which I am playing does not allow me to question genders or sexes. In a different language game, however, like one being played in a philosophy class on feminism and queer theory, calling genders into question is perfectly acceptable. Similarly, doubt would be justified in an anatomy class, although the language-game being played there would be very different from the philosophy class. Butler Wittgenstein Digression Butler is going to agree with Wittgenstein at this level. Just as Wittgenstein suggests that we are always in a particular language-game, Butler also thinks that we are always in context and that it is very important. For both philosophers, part of our being in the world is being influenced by it in a way in which we cannot be separated from the world. I mean this in a Heideggerian sense. But in Butler s context, the fact that we are always in a context means that we are never ourselves authentically 3 On Certainty. Reprinted with corrections and indices. Edited by G. E. M. Anscombe and G. H. von Wright. Translated by Danis Paul and G. E. M. Anscombe. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1974.

5 Puche 5 because there is a normative aspect to language which contributes to capturing us in performative genders. She rules out the possibility of an isolated self such as Descartes cogito. Here is where Butler turns destructionist and I stop liking her. Butler s theory places too much emphasis on the effects that culture has on people to an extent that does not allow for a real self. What we think of as our self is not really our self s self but Butler thinks it is product of many social artifices. This is problematic because eliminating the self leaves no room for there to be free agency. So we end up with a self that is trapped in performative roles and has no way out of it. Butler s solution to this problem is the use of non-exclusionary language. This seems like a plausible alternative for some because it is true that terms like man or woman are not all encompassing. The problem is that if one takes it as far as Butler suggests, one needs to give up all possible discourse of gender. Her controversial claim which I resist is that there are as many genders as there are people. With this view, there is nothing else to do but to completely eliminate all sort of gender identities, since they are not allowing people to be their authentic selves, but traps them in performative roles. In the same way that gender identity would be eliminated, so should our classifications of ethnicity, nationality, religious affiliation, etc. because they are also not all encompassing terms that impose performative roles on people. I resist the cancelation of gender identity categories. The first reason, which I will not go into in full depth, is that the same method with which it was determined that gender identity is inadequate will result in a total deconstruction of language so

6 Puche 6 that interpersonal communication ends up being impossible. I agree with Butler that gender identity labels are not all encompassing. But most words we use do not happen to be all encompassing in every case. Here I bring back Wittgenstein s language-games to suggest that gender categories are appropriate in some contexts. If we follow Butler s method, for example, we will not be able to classify a particular song under a particular gendre, becausewe might say that the particular song is a rock song, but it has some elements of blues, so then rock is not appropriate genre for the song. Taking this one step further, it seems that no term we use has the exact same complete meaning for everyone, so we should have to eliminate all descriptive category terms. This might sound like a straw man argument because after all, Butler wants to eliminate gender categories because they are constraining to the self, and the fact that the gender terms are not all encompassing is only a part of the issue. Following Wittgenstein, I way that in reality the non-all-encompassingness of a term should not be a problem because we are able to communicate even in absence of actual referents. Wittgenstein imagines a situation in which this becomes evident. He writes: Suppose each person had a box with something inside which we call beetle. Nobody is allowed to look into others boxes; and each person would say he knows what a beetle is just from looking at his beetle. But it could also be that each one has something different (127) 4. 4 Wittgenstein, Ludwig. Philosophische Untersuchungen. Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp, Print.

7 Puche 7 Even if each person had a different thing in their box, and hence a different understanding of what a beetle is, they could still refer to a beetle as whatever is in the box. That is to say, while Butler is concerned with the power of language to subject individuals and the ability of these individuals to appropriate the very language that subjects them, Wittgenstein empazises how communication is possible and understanding exists, even in the absence of actual referents. 5 With this in context I will now move on to an area where the issue of gendered identity is of great Concern for Politics In the opening section of Gender Trouble, Butler addresses the question who should be the subject of feminism? This question is problematic for Butler because she rejects the classic binary gender distinctions so that women cannot easily be taken as the subject of feminism because she suggests that we topple gender identity categories. In an article titled The Politics of Sex and Gender: Benhabib and Butler Debate Subjectivity, Fiona Webster writes that, Gender is performative, according to Butler, in the sense that it is not a stable of fixed point of agency, but rather an identity category created and constituted through a stylized repetition of acts. 6 Butler s suggestion turns out to be very unpractical because without a stable population for feminist politics not much can be done for the current situation of women. The most important criticisms of Butler run along these lines. But there is also a problem with free agency in Butler s theory. This was briefly discussed earlier. Going 5 Schmidt, Gary. "Performing in Handcuffs: Leo Perutz's Zwischen neun und neun." Modern Austrian Literature 43, no. 1 (March 2010): Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed April 18, 2011). P.10 6 Webster, Fiona. The Politics of Sex and Gender: Benhabib and Butler Debate Subjectivity. Hypatia 15, no.1 (winter 2000) Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed April 17, 2011).

8 Puche 8 into more detail, in Butler s theory we are entrapped in performative roles and social constraints so that the authentic self has been completely suppressed. That is to say, Butler places such an importance on culture as a determinant of the self that there is no self left to be involved in the performative roles. The performative roles become the self. This follows the lines of Wittgenstein s suggestion that we are always playing a language-game and there cannot be any thought outside the language-games because coherent, intelligible thought is always in language. And language, according to Butler, has the power to subject individuals so that there ends up being no self that can be completely set aside from all the social constructs. In this way, there is no room for free agency because the individual is so heavily influences by the culture and society. This lack of free agency is problematic for politics, because in many ways free agency needs be presupposed for politics. So a system that does not allow for free agency fails for politics. Also the lack of free agency implies that people are trapped in this perverse situation to which there is no way out. So Butler s theory ends up being quietist. Butler might say that people who claim that are misinterpreting her work. In Gender Trouble she writes If identities were no longer fixed as the premise of a political syllogism, and politics no longer understood as a set of practices derived from the alleged interests that belong to a set of ready-made subjects, a new configuration of politics would surely emerge from the ruins of the old. 7 But this claim does not come off as very well grounded. For once, just consider the practical implications of 7 Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble: Tenth Anniversary Edition. New York: Routledge, 1999

9 Puche 9 what such a change would entail. But mostly, even if Butler does not think so, there is not really much room for free agency in her theory. Picking up on the lack of room for free agency, Martha Nussbaum created a well known argument against Butler s deconstructionism. Nussbaum recognizes the validity of Butler s claim that there is a prescriptive aspect of language that does end up constraining people to performative roles. But she disagrees to the degree to which it happens. For Butler, culture is such an important determinant that she disregard biology for instance, but more important than that, she denies the possibility of free agency. With this in mind Nussbaum writes that "The great tragedy in the new feminist theory in America is the loss of a sense of public commitment... Hungry women are not fed by this, battered women are not sheltered by it, raped women do not find justice in it, gays and lesbians do not achieve legal protections through it." 8 Along similar lines, Seyla Benhabib elaborates a criticism of Butler but she proposes a possible solution with a minimal notion of gender which is necessary in order to conduct feminist politics. She too, agrees with Butler that there is a performative aspect to language, and that gender identity labels are not all encompassing, but she refuses to let everything collapse into Butler s destructionism that cancels all discourse of gender. The real argument runs like this: Butler says that gender labels are oppressive and should be completely subverted, while Benhabib says that all that is necessary is to situate the labels and in that way identify the baggage that they carry with them 8 Nussbaum, Martha. The Professor of Parody. The New Republic Online. February Posted November 2000.

10 Puche 10 and work from there. 9 So in that way, we can have gender identities but break their power to subject individuals on grounds that they are only being used as a minimum notion in order to allow for discourse of politics and ethics regarding the situation of women. Because what Benhabib proposes is only a minimal notion, the terms would not be intended to be all inclusive and she does not fall into the downsides of using non-exclusionary language. This minimal notion of gender identity works from the perspective of Wittgenstenian common sense. What Benhabib calls is for a slight modification in the rules of certain language-games. The referents to gender cannot practically be dropped because there are many language-games that necessitate them. So, agreeing with Butler to a degree, one could say that gender labels might not be good words in a language-game of determining one self, but in some others like politics, it is very harmful to suppress such categories. In some cases these terms are necessary if anything is going to be done about the situation of the oppressed. 9 Guerra Palmero, Maria Jose. Subvertir o Situar la Identidad?: Sopesando las estrategias feministas de Judith Butler y Seyla Benhabib. Daimon Revista de Filosofía. No. 14 (1999):

11 Puche 11 Works Cited Beauvoir, Simone de. Childhood. In Second Sex Vol. 2. Translated by H.M. Parshley Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble: Tenth Anniversary Edition. New York: Routledge, 1999 Guerra Palmero, Maria Jose. Subvertir o Situar la Identidad?: Sopesando las estrategias feministas de Judith Butler y Seyla Benhabib. Daimon Revista de Filosofía. No. 14 (1999): Cadwallader, Jessica. "How Judith Butler Matters." Australian Feminist Studies 24, no. 60 (June 2009): Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed April 18, 2011). Nussbaum, Martha. The Professor of Parody. The New Republic Online. February Posted November Schmidt, Gary. "Performing in Handcuffs: Leo Perutz's Zwischen neun und neun." Modern Austrian Literature 43, no. 1 (March 2010): Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed April 18, 2011). Webster, Fiona. The Politics of Sex and Gender: Benhabib and Butler Debate Subjectivity. Hypatia 15, no.1 (winter 2000) Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed April 17, 2011). Wittgenstein, Ludwig On Certainty. Reprinted with corrections and indices. Edited by G. E. M. Anscombe and G. H. von Wright. Translated by Danis Paul and G. E. M. Anscombe. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, Philosophische Untersuchungen. Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp, 1967.

1/10. Descartes 2: The Cogito and the Mind

1/10. Descartes 2: The Cogito and the Mind 1/10 Descartes 2: The Cogito and the Mind Recap: last week we undertook to follow Descartes path of radical doubt in order to attempt to discover what, if anything, can be known for certain. This path

More information

ST ANSELM S VERSION OF THE ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT Anselm s argument relies on conceivability :

ST ANSELM S VERSION OF THE ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT Anselm s argument relies on conceivability : Michael Lacewing The ontological argument St Anselm and Descartes both famously presented an ontological argument for the existence of God. (The word ontological comes from ontology, the study of (-ology)

More information

REASONS FOR HOLDING THIS VIEW

REASONS FOR HOLDING THIS VIEW Michael Lacewing Substance dualism A substance is traditionally understood as an entity, a thing, that does not depend on another entity in order to exist. Substance dualism holds that there are two fundamentally

More information

THE KNOWLEDGE ARGUMENT

THE KNOWLEDGE ARGUMENT Michael Lacewing Descartes arguments for distinguishing mind and body THE KNOWLEDGE ARGUMENT In Meditation II, having argued that he knows he thinks, Descartes then asks what kind of thing he is. Discussions

More information

Lecture Notes, October 30. 0. Introduction to the philosophy of mind

Lecture Notes, October 30. 0. Introduction to the philosophy of mind Philosophy 110W - 3: Introduction to Philosophy, Hamilton College, Fall 2007 Russell Marcus, Instructor email: rmarcus1@hamilton.edu website: http://thatmarcusfamily.org/philosophy/intro_f07/course_home.htm

More information

Overview In this lecture we will focus on the difference between sex and gender, and review the emergence of the study of gender as a discipline.

Overview In this lecture we will focus on the difference between sex and gender, and review the emergence of the study of gender as a discipline. 3. Gender Theory Overview In this lecture we will focus on the difference between sex and gender, and review the emergence of the study of gender as a discipline. Objectives By the end of this topic you

More information

Descartes : The Epistemological Argument for Mind-Body Distinctness. (Margaret Wilson)

Descartes : The Epistemological Argument for Mind-Body Distinctness. (Margaret Wilson) Descartes : The Epistemological Argument for Mind-Body Distinctness Detailed Argument Introduction Despite Descartes mind-body dualism being the most cited aspect of Descartes philosophy in recent philosophical

More information

Kant s deontological ethics

Kant s deontological ethics Michael Lacewing Kant s deontological ethics DEONTOLOGY Deontologists believe that morality is a matter of duty. We have moral duties to do things which it is right to do and moral duties not to do things

More information

1/8. Descartes 4: The Fifth Meditation

1/8. Descartes 4: The Fifth Meditation 1/8 Descartes 4: The Fifth Meditation Recap: last time we found that Descartes in the 3 rd Meditation set out to provide some grounds for thinking that God exists, grounds that would answer the charge

More information

Sexual Attitudes, Values, and Beliefs

Sexual Attitudes, Values, and Beliefs Wiederman 1 Sexual Attitudes, Values, and Beliefs Most people are too focused on sexual activity they think it is more important than it really is. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? What is

More information

Reality in the Eyes of Descartes and Berkeley. By: Nada Shokry 5/21/2013 AUC - Philosophy

Reality in the Eyes of Descartes and Berkeley. By: Nada Shokry 5/21/2013 AUC - Philosophy Reality in the Eyes of Descartes and Berkeley By: Nada Shokry 5/21/2013 AUC - Philosophy Shokry, 2 One person's craziness is another person's reality. Tim Burton This quote best describes what one finds

More information

In Defense of Kantian Moral Theory Nader Shoaibi University of California, Berkeley

In Defense of Kantian Moral Theory Nader Shoaibi University of California, Berkeley In Defense of Kantian Moral Theory University of California, Berkeley In this paper, I will argue that Kant provides us with a plausible account of morality. To show that, I will first offer a major criticism

More information

Gender Identity and Expression and Simone de Beauvoir. One is not born, but rather becomes, woman. 1 This is perhaps the line most

Gender Identity and Expression and Simone de Beauvoir. One is not born, but rather becomes, woman. 1 This is perhaps the line most Gender Identity and Expression and Simone de Beauvoir One is not born, but rather becomes, woman. 1 This is perhaps the line most often quoted from Simone de Beauvoir s groundbreaking work The Second Sex,

More information

GENDER and SEX A sample of definitions Emily Esplen and Susie Jolly December 2006

GENDER and SEX A sample of definitions Emily Esplen and Susie Jolly December 2006 GENDER and SEX A sample of definitions Emily Esplen and Susie Jolly December 2006 BRIDGE (gender and development) Institute of Development Studies University of Sussex Brighton BN1 9RE, UK Tel: +44 (0)

More information

ON EXTERNAL OBJECTS By Immanuel Kant From Critique of Pure Reason (1781)

ON EXTERNAL OBJECTS By Immanuel Kant From Critique of Pure Reason (1781) ON EXTERNAL OBJECTS By Immanuel Kant From Critique of Pure Reason (1781) General Observations on The Transcendental Aesthetic To avoid all misapprehension, it is necessary to explain, as clearly as possible,

More information

Book Review of Rosenhouse, The Monty Hall Problem. Leslie Burkholder 1

Book Review of Rosenhouse, The Monty Hall Problem. Leslie Burkholder 1 Book Review of Rosenhouse, The Monty Hall Problem Leslie Burkholder 1 The Monty Hall Problem, Jason Rosenhouse, New York, Oxford University Press, 2009, xii, 195 pp, US $24.95, ISBN 978-0-19-5#6789-8 (Source

More information

Descartes Meditations Module 3 AQA. Meditation I Things which can be called into Doubt

Descartes Meditations Module 3 AQA. Meditation I Things which can be called into Doubt Descartes Meditations Module 3 AQA Meditation I Things which can be called into Doubt Descartes rejects all his beliefs about the external world because they are doubtful and he wants to find a foundation

More information

1/9. Locke 1: Critique of Innate Ideas

1/9. Locke 1: Critique of Innate Ideas 1/9 Locke 1: Critique of Innate Ideas This week we are going to begin looking at a new area by turning our attention to the work of John Locke, who is probably the most famous English philosopher of all

More information

Descartes Handout #2. Meditation II and III

Descartes Handout #2. Meditation II and III Descartes Handout #2 Meditation II and III I. Meditation II: The Cogito and Certainty A. I think, therefore I am cogito ergo sum In Meditation II Descartes proposes a truth that cannot be undermined by

More information

Class 13 - March 2 Locke s Theory of the Self

Class 13 - March 2 Locke s Theory of the Self Philosophy 110W: Introduction to Philosophy Spring 2011 Hamilton College Russell Marcus Class 13 - March 2 Locke s Theory of the Self I. Body and Soul We have discussed two accounts of personal identity:

More information

Equal marriage What the government says

Equal marriage What the government says Equal marriage What the government says Easy Read Document Important This is a big booklet, but you may not want to read all of it. Look at the list of contents on pages 3, 4 and 5. It shows what is in

More information

Descartes. Philosophy and Good Sense

Descartes. Philosophy and Good Sense Perspectives in Philosophy Rene Descartes Descartes Philosophy is the search for certainty the search to know, for yourself, what is really true and really false to know which beliefs are reliable. However,

More information

This is because the quality of extension is part of the essence of material objects.

This is because the quality of extension is part of the essence of material objects. UNIT 1: RATIONALISM HANDOUT 5: DESCARTES MEDITATIONS, MEDITATION FIVE 1: CONCEPTS AND ESSENCES In the Second Meditation Descartes found that what we know most clearly and distinctly about material objects

More information

Skepticism about the external world & the problem of other minds

Skepticism about the external world & the problem of other minds Skepticism about the external world & the problem of other minds So far in this course we have, broadly speaking, discussed two different sorts of issues: issues connected with the nature of persons (a

More information

Descartes Fourth Meditation On human error

Descartes Fourth Meditation On human error Descartes Fourth Meditation On human error Descartes begins the fourth Meditation with a review of what he has learned so far. He began his search for certainty by questioning the veracity of his own senses.

More information

Th e ontological argument distinguishes itself from the cosmological

Th e ontological argument distinguishes itself from the cosmological Aporia vol. 18 no. 1 2008 Charles Hartshorne and the Ontological Argument Joshua Ernst Th e ontological argument distinguishes itself from the cosmological and teleological arguments for God s existence

More information

Perfect being theology and modal truth

Perfect being theology and modal truth Perfect being theology and modal truth Jeff Speaks February 9, 2016 Perfect being theology is the attempt to use the principle that God is the greatest possible being to derive claims about the divine

More information

Locke s psychological theory of personal identity

Locke s psychological theory of personal identity Locke s psychological theory of personal identity phil 20208 Jeff Speaks October 3, 2006 1 Identity, diversity, and kinds............................. 1 2 Personal identity...................................

More information

Divine command theory

Divine command theory Today we will be discussing divine command theory. But first I will give a (very) brief overview of the semester, and the discipline of philosophy. Why do this? One of the functions of an introductory

More information

Last time we had arrived at the following provisional interpretation of Aquinas second way:

Last time we had arrived at the following provisional interpretation of Aquinas second way: Aquinas Third Way Last time we had arrived at the following provisional interpretation of Aquinas second way: 1. 2. 3. 4. At least one thing has an efficient cause. Every causal chain must either be circular,

More information

Sexual Orientation. p Sexual Orientation. By Joan Buccigrossi and Delyte Frost wetware, Inc. Rochester, NY.

Sexual Orientation. p Sexual Orientation. By Joan Buccigrossi and Delyte Frost wetware, Inc. Rochester, NY. Sexual Orientation In inclusive organizations, individuals who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender are able to be themselves, without fear of discrimination or recrimination. They bring their full

More information

The psychological theory of persons

The psychological theory of persons The psychological theory of persons Last week were discussing dualist views of persons, according to which human beings are immaterial things distinct from their bodies. We closed by discussing some problems

More information

Scientific Method and Research Ethics. Part 2. Anna Petronella Foultier

Scientific Method and Research Ethics. Part 2. Anna Petronella Foultier Scientific Method and Research Ethics Part 2 Anna Petronella Foultier Pyrrhus et Cinéas, 1944 Pour une morale de l ambiguïté, 1947 ( The Ethics of Ambiguity ) Le Deuxième Sexe, 1949 (The Second Sex, 2011)

More information

The Character Assassination of Jordan Baker in The Great Gatsby

The Character Assassination of Jordan Baker in The Great Gatsby Jonathan T. Dillon Professor Andrew Strombeck English 3060-02 April 4, 2013 The Character Assassination of Jordan Baker in The Great Gatsby Within literary circles, Jordan Baker's sexuality in The Great

More information

Philosophical argument

Philosophical argument Michael Lacewing Philosophical argument At the heart of philosophy is philosophical argument. Arguments are different from assertions. Assertions are simply stated; arguments always involve giving reasons.

More information

EMPOWERING YOURSELF AS A COMMITTEE MEMBER

EMPOWERING YOURSELF AS A COMMITTEE MEMBER 1 EMPOWERING YOURSELF AS A COMMITTEE MEMBER Bernice R. Sandler Senior Scholar Women s Research and Education Institute www.bernicesandler.com 202 833-3331 On virtually all campuses, committees are the

More information

Sartre and Freedom. Leo Franchi. Human freedom is undoubtedly one of the most fundamental ideas that has driven the

Sartre and Freedom. Leo Franchi. Human freedom is undoubtedly one of the most fundamental ideas that has driven the Sartre and Freedom Leo Franchi Human freedom is undoubtedly one of the most fundamental ideas that has driven the development of democratic politics in the last few hundred years. Freedom is taught in

More information

Gender: Participants define gender and discuss ways it influences their lives.

Gender: Participants define gender and discuss ways it influences their lives. Gender: Participants define gender and discuss ways it influences their lives. Lesson Plans: 1. Just Because --Stereotypes 2. Gender Lesson: Just Because Stereotypes (adapted from TKF) ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS:

More information

Scanlon and the claims of the many versus the one

Scanlon and the claims of the many versus the one 288 michael otsuka the Kantian principle is true, so is Weak PAP; and Frankfurter s known arguments in opposition to PAP are in conflict with this basic Kantian moral intuition. 5 Bar-Ilan University Ramat

More information

Last May, philosopher Thomas Nagel reviewed a book by Michael Sandel titled

Last May, philosopher Thomas Nagel reviewed a book by Michael Sandel titled Fourth Quarter, 2006 Vol. 29, No. 4 Editor s Watch Sandel and Nagel on Abortion Last May, philosopher Thomas Nagel reviewed a book by Michael Sandel titled Public Philosophy in The New York Review of Books.

More information

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning RESOURCE GUIDE

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning RESOURCE GUIDE Office of Mentoring, Advocacy and Peer Support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning RESOURCE GUIDE The University of Central Missouri is committed to supporting a diverse campus community.

More information

The Slate Is Not Empty: Descartes and Locke on Innate Ideas

The Slate Is Not Empty: Descartes and Locke on Innate Ideas The Slate Is Not Empty: Descartes and Locke on Innate Ideas René Descartes and John Locke, two of the principal philosophers who shaped modern philosophy, disagree on several topics; one of them concerns

More information

TEACHER IDENTITY AND DIALOGUE: A COMMENT ON VAN RIJSWIJK, AKKERMAN & KOSTER. Willem Wardekker VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands

TEACHER IDENTITY AND DIALOGUE: A COMMENT ON VAN RIJSWIJK, AKKERMAN & KOSTER. Willem Wardekker VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands International Journal for Dialogical Science Spring 2013. Vol. 7, No. 1, 61-65 Copyright 2013 by Willem Wardekker TEACHER IDENTITY AND DIALOGUE: A COMMENT ON VAN RIJSWIJK, AKKERMAN & KOSTER Willem Wardekker

More information

IQ Testing: A critique for parents of children with developmental disabilities

IQ Testing: A critique for parents of children with developmental disabilities IQ Testing: A critique for parents of children with developmental disabilities by Bruce Uditsky Part one of a three-part critique One of the most common assessments parents are told they need in order

More information

Introduction to quantitative research

Introduction to quantitative research 8725 AR.qxd 25/08/2010 16:36 Page 1 1 Introduction to quantitative research 1.1. What is quantitative research? Research methods in education (and the other social sciences) are often divided into two

More information

it is no surprise that God, in creating me, should have placed this idea in me to be, as it were, the mark of the craftsman stamped on his work.

it is no surprise that God, in creating me, should have placed this idea in me to be, as it were, the mark of the craftsman stamped on his work. THIRD MEDITATION The existence of God So far Descartes sceptical arguments have threatened all knowledge but the knowledge of self provided in the cogito. But instead of turning now to the question of

More information

Writing Thesis Defense Papers

Writing Thesis Defense Papers Writing Thesis Defense Papers The point of these papers is for you to explain and defend a thesis of your own critically analyzing the reasoning offered in support of a claim made by one of the philosophers

More information

You will by now not be surprised that a version of the teleological argument can be found in the writings of Thomas Aquinas.

You will by now not be surprised that a version of the teleological argument can be found in the writings of Thomas Aquinas. The design argument The different versions of the cosmological argument we discussed over the last few weeks were arguments for the existence of God based on extremely abstract and general features of

More information

The Cosmological Argument

The Cosmological Argument Cosmological Argument Page 1 of 5 The Cosmological Argument (A) Discuss the key features of the Cosmological Argument. The Cosmological Argument has several forms, but is fundamentally a proof for the

More information

Neutrality s Much Needed Place In Dewey s Two-Part Criterion For Democratic Education

Neutrality s Much Needed Place In Dewey s Two-Part Criterion For Democratic Education Neutrality s Much Needed Place In Dewey s Two-Part Criterion For Democratic Education Taylor Wisneski, Kansas State University Abstract This paper examines methods provided by both John Dewey and Amy Gutmann.

More information

BUILDING YOUR RELATIONSHIP ON A FALSE FOUNDATION Sylvester Onyemalechi

BUILDING YOUR RELATIONSHIP ON A FALSE FOUNDATION Sylvester Onyemalechi BUILDING YOUR RELATIONSHIP ON A FALSE FOUNDATION Sylvester Onyemalechi Every relationship if it is to be successful must be built on a strong and solid foundation. The foundation of every building determines

More information

How should we think about the testimony of others? Is it reducible to other kinds of evidence?

How should we think about the testimony of others? Is it reducible to other kinds of evidence? Subject: Title: Word count: Epistemology How should we think about the testimony of others? Is it reducible to other kinds of evidence? 2,707 1 How should we think about the testimony of others? Is it

More information

Program Level Learning Outcomes for the Department of Philosophy Page 1

Program Level Learning Outcomes for the Department of Philosophy Page 1 Page 1 PHILOSOPHY General Major I. Depth and Breadth of Knowledge. A. Will be able to recall what a worldview is and recognize that we all possess one. B. Should recognize that philosophy is most broadly

More information

CONCEPTUAL CONTINGENCY AND ABSTRACT EXISTENCE

CONCEPTUAL CONTINGENCY AND ABSTRACT EXISTENCE 87 CONCEPTUAL CONTINGENCY AND ABSTRACT EXISTENCE BY MARK COLYVAN Mathematical statements such as There are infinitely many prime numbers and 2 ℵ 0 > ℵ 0 are usually thought to be necessarily true. Not

More information

Practical Jealousy Management

Practical Jealousy Management Florida Poly Retreat 2006 Practical Jealousy Management Part 1: On the Nature of Jealousy Jealousy is an unusual emotion in that it is an emotion rooted in other emotions. Often, the root of jealousy lies

More information

Responding to Arguments against the Existence of God Based on Evil

Responding to Arguments against the Existence of God Based on Evil Responding to Arguments against the Existence of God Based on Evil By INTRODUCTION Throughout the history of western thought, numerous philosophers and great thinkers have struggled with what is known

More information

The Crux Chapter 5 One Way (John 14:1-17)

The Crux Chapter 5 One Way (John 14:1-17) BIBLE STUDY (John 14:1-17) What s This Passage All About? Who is Jesus? Most people know about Jesus but not everyone has stopped to examine the claims Jesus makes about Himself. In John 14:1-17, Jesus

More information

Social Contract Theory. What's the Key to Understanding Ethics?

Social Contract Theory. What's the Key to Understanding Ethics? Social Contract Theory 1 What's the Key to Understanding? Some say ethics found in an appeal to God ethics found in altruistic behavior and seeking the good of humankind overall ethics found in laws of

More information

LEGAL POSITIVISM vs. NATURAL LAW THEORY

LEGAL POSITIVISM vs. NATURAL LAW THEORY LEGAL POSITIVISM vs. NATURAL LAW THEORY There are two natural law theories about two different things: i) a natural law theory of morality, or what s right and wrong, and ii) a natural law theory of positive

More information

Honours programme in Philosophy

Honours programme in Philosophy Honours programme in Philosophy Honours Programme in Philosophy The Honours Programme in Philosophy offers students a broad and in-depth introduction to the main areas of Western philosophy and the philosophy

More information

Chapter 15. Social Contract. 15.1 Homework. 15.2 Introduction. Readings EMP 10, RTD 6, SLB 15. Study Questions :

Chapter 15. Social Contract. 15.1 Homework. 15.2 Introduction. Readings EMP 10, RTD 6, SLB 15. Study Questions : Chapter 15 Social Contract 15.1 Homework Readings EMP 10, RTD 6, SLB 15 Study Questions : 1. What would be our lives in a state of nature according to Hobbes? 2. What are the four basic facts about the

More information

Read this syllabus very carefully. If there are any reasons why you cannot comply with what I am requiring, then talk with me about this at once.

Read this syllabus very carefully. If there are any reasons why you cannot comply with what I am requiring, then talk with me about this at once. LOGIC AND CRITICAL THINKING PHIL 2020 Maymester Term, 2010 Daily, 9:30-12:15 Peabody Hall, room 105 Text: LOGIC AND RATIONAL THOUGHT by Frank R. Harrison, III Professor: Frank R. Harrison, III Office:

More information

Explain and critically assess the Singer Solution to Global Poverty

Explain and critically assess the Singer Solution to Global Poverty 1 Explain and critically assess the Singer Solution to Global Poverty Introduction In this essay, I will summarise Singer's solution to world poverty, and then consider some of the objections that may

More information

The Refutation of Relativism

The Refutation of Relativism The Refutation of Relativism There are many different versions of relativism: ethical relativism conceptual relativism, and epistemic relativism are three. In this paper, I will be concerned with only

More information

Arguments and Dialogues

Arguments and Dialogues ONE Arguments and Dialogues The three goals of critical argumentation are to identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments. The term argument is used in a special sense, referring to the giving of reasons

More information

Session 8 Smith, Is There A Prima Facie Obligation to Obey the Law?

Session 8 Smith, Is There A Prima Facie Obligation to Obey the Law? Session 8 Smith, Is There A Prima Facie Obligation to Obey the Law? Identifying the Question Not: Does the fact that some act is against the law provide us with a reason to believe (i.e. evidence) that

More information

Chapter 4. Descartes, Third Meditation. 4.1 Homework

Chapter 4. Descartes, Third Meditation. 4.1 Homework Chapter 4 Descartes, Third Meditation 4.1 Homework Readings : - Descartes, Meditation III - Objections and Replies: a) Third O and R: CSM II, 132; 127-8. b) Fifth O and R: CSM II, 195-97, 251. c) First

More information

PRONOUNS You, Me, I, Myself

PRONOUNS You, Me, I, Myself Just between you and me. PRONOUNS You, Me, I, Myself Or should it be "Just Between You and I"? Are you sure? Well, let s settle it by saying "Just Between Us." There s no question about that, it couldn

More information

A. The Three Main Branches of the Philosophical Study of Ethics. 1. Meta-ethics. 2. Normative Ethics. 3. Applied Ethics

A. The Three Main Branches of the Philosophical Study of Ethics. 1. Meta-ethics. 2. Normative Ethics. 3. Applied Ethics A. The Three Main Branches of the Philosophical Study of Ethics 1. Meta-ethics 2. Normative Ethics 3. Applied Ethics 1 B. Meta-ethics consists in the attempt to answer the fundamental philosophical questions

More information

Cultural Anthropology Theories, Perspectives & Methodologies. Different ways of examining and understanding different cultures

Cultural Anthropology Theories, Perspectives & Methodologies. Different ways of examining and understanding different cultures Cultural Anthropology Theories, Perspectives & Methodologies Different ways of examining and understanding different cultures Cultural Materialism Material stuff drives cultural change more than ideas

More information

Justice and Ethics. Jimmy Rising. October 18, 2002

Justice and Ethics. Jimmy Rising. October 18, 2002 Justice and Ethics Jimmy Rising October 18, 2002 1 Introduction Utilitarianism is an ethical system. John Stuart Mill s use of Utilitarianism to determine what is just and what is injustice may seem natural,

More information

HOW TO WRITE A CRITICAL ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY. John Hubert School of Health Sciences Dalhousie University

HOW TO WRITE A CRITICAL ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY. John Hubert School of Health Sciences Dalhousie University HOW TO WRITE A CRITICAL ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY John Hubert School of Health Sciences Dalhousie University This handout is a compilation of material from a wide variety of sources on the topic of writing a

More information

Chapter 5. Socialization

Chapter 5. Socialization Chapter 5 Socialization I. Social Experience: The Key to Our Humanity. A. Socialization is the lifelong social experience by which individuals develop their human potential and learn culture. B. Social

More information

QUESTION 60. An Angel's Love or Affection

QUESTION 60. An Angel's Love or Affection QUESTION 60 An Angel's Love or Affection We next have to consider the act of the will, which is love, i.e., affection (amor sive dilectio). For every act of an appetitive power stems from love, i.e., affection.

More information

Gender in the Armed Forces Lessons from Norway

Gender in the Armed Forces Lessons from Norway Gender in the Armed Forces Lessons from Norway Anita Schjølset, PhD aschjolset.mil@gmail.com Former gender advisor at the Norwegian Command and Staff College Talk prepared for the Gender in Peacebuilding

More information

basic coaching skills

basic coaching skills basic coaching skills e-course Lesson 1 Listening Skills The objective of the lesson To confidently develop and practice your listening skills as a basis for developing your coaching skills. The areas

More information

Introduction to Philosophy, Fall 2015 Test 2 Answers

Introduction to Philosophy, Fall 2015 Test 2 Answers 1. Descartes, Locke and Berkeley all believe that Introduction to Philosophy, Fall 2015 Test 2 Answers a. nothing exists except minds and the ideas in them. b. we can t ever be justified in believing in

More information

Ethical Egoism. 1. What is Ethical Egoism?: Let s turn to another theory about the nature of morality: Ethical Egoism.

Ethical Egoism. 1. What is Ethical Egoism?: Let s turn to another theory about the nature of morality: Ethical Egoism. Ethical Egoism 1. What is Ethical Egoism?: Let s turn to another theory about the nature of morality: Ethical Egoism. Ethical Egoism: The morally right action is the one that best promotes the agent s

More information

Chapter 12: Gender and Sexuality

Chapter 12: Gender and Sexuality Chapter 12: Gender and Sexuality Objective s for Today s Class: The difference between sex and gender Influences on gender Gender roles and stereotypes WHAT DO WE MEAN BY GENDER? Sex: Designates the biological

More information

Intro South Carolina very different big the foundation Our home in SC coastal island above ground concrete slab Primary reason?

Intro South Carolina very different big the foundation Our home in SC coastal island above ground concrete slab Primary reason? Intro: Before we moved here my family, we lived in South Carolina. Our homes in each place, here and SC very different. One of the big differences the foundation of each home. Our home in SC. On a coastal

More information

Alexy's Thesis of the Necessary Connection between Law and Morality*

Alexy's Thesis of the Necessary Connection between Law and Morality* Ratio Juris. Vol. 13 No. 2 June 2000 (133±137) Alexy's Thesis of the Necessary Connection between Law and Morality* EUGENIO BULYGIN Abstract. This paper criticizes Alexy's argument on the necessary connection

More information

A review on Daniel Hausman (2012): Preference, value, choice, and welfare, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Aki Lehtinen

A review on Daniel Hausman (2012): Preference, value, choice, and welfare, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Aki Lehtinen A review on Daniel Hausman (2012): Preference, value, choice, and welfare, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Aki Lehtinen Preferences as total subjective comparative evaluations I always look forward

More information

Same-Sex Marriage: Breeding Ground for Logical Fallacies

Same-Sex Marriage: Breeding Ground for Logical Fallacies 1 Same-Sex Marriage: Breeding Ground for Logical Fallacies One cannot offer any disagreement that same-sex marriage has gained a great deal of publicity in the recent years. While the issue played a large

More information

Murder in the classroom: Teacher s notes

Murder in the classroom: Teacher s notes Murder in the classroom: Teacher s notes Skills: Reading, speaking, listening Grammar: Past tenses, past continuous action interrupted by a past simple action. Level: Pre-intermediate + Age group: Teens/young

More information

THE MORAL AGENDA OF CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION

THE MORAL AGENDA OF CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION THE MORAL AGENDA OF CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION Graham Haydon Institute of Education University of London UK Confusion About Morality My starting point is that as a society we are deeply confused about the very

More information

Critical Study David Benatar. Better Never To Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006)

Critical Study David Benatar. Better Never To Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006) NOÛS 43:4 (2009) 776 785 Critical Study David Benatar. Better Never To Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006) ELIZABETH HARMAN Princeton University In this

More information

Rethinking the Haverford College Chemistry Department: Curriculum and Teaching Methods

Rethinking the Haverford College Chemistry Department: Curriculum and Teaching Methods Introduction to Critical Feminist Studies Paper #3 December 8, 2008 Rethinking the Haverford College Chemistry Department: Curriculum and Teaching Methods About the Author: This is written from the perspective

More information

Gender Politics in Caryl Churchill s Cloud Nine

Gender Politics in Caryl Churchill s Cloud Nine 203 P a g e Gender Politics in Caryl Churchill s Cloud Nine *Sanjoy Kr. Seal Gender is to be distinguished from essential conceptions of sexual IDENTITY or SUBJECTIVITY founded on a natural core of biological

More information

or conventional implicature [1]. If the implication is only pragmatic, explicating logical truth, and, thus, also consequence and inconsistency.

or conventional implicature [1]. If the implication is only pragmatic, explicating logical truth, and, thus, also consequence and inconsistency. 44 ANALYSIS explicating logical truth, and, thus, also consequence and inconsistency. Let C1 and C2 be distinct moral codes formulated in English. Let C1 contain a norm N and C2 its negation. The moral

More information

Killing And Letting Die

Killing And Letting Die [This essay originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ethics, 2nd edition, ed. Lawrence Becker and Charlotte Becker (New York: Routledge, 2001), vol. 2, pp. 947-50.] Killing And Letting Die Is it worse

More information

ANOTHER GENERATION OF GENERAL EDUCATION

ANOTHER GENERATION OF GENERAL EDUCATION ANOTHER GENERATION OF GENERAL EDUCATION Peter K. Bol Charles H. Carswell Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations I was asked to set forth some personal reflections rather than to summarize

More information

Diversity Experiences of First Year Students: Findings from the NECASL Panel Study of the Class of 2010 June 2009. Introduction

Diversity Experiences of First Year Students: Findings from the NECASL Panel Study of the Class of 2010 June 2009. Introduction Diversity Experiences of First Year Students: Findings from the NECASL Panel Study of the Class of 2010 June 2009 Introduction This analysis focuses primarily on a set of questions about diversity asked

More information

The Dream Argument and Descartes First Meditation

The Dream Argument and Descartes First Meditation 1 The Dream Argument and Descartes First Meditation Peter Simpson It is a standard criticism of Descartes dream argument that it must necessarily fail because it is inconsistent with itself: it has to

More information

everyone and has a wonderful plan for his/her life. But the Bible contradicts that notion

everyone and has a wonderful plan for his/her life. But the Bible contradicts that notion Book Report: Predestination by Gordon H. Clark John Robbins in his Forward states that false ideas of God prevail in many socalled Christian churches. He states, Nominally Christian churches teach that

More information

Free Will. Freedom: To possess freedom of choice is to possess the ability to do otherwise.

Free Will. Freedom: To possess freedom of choice is to possess the ability to do otherwise. Free Will Freedom: To possess freedom of choice is to possess the ability to do otherwise. Furthermore, if one is NOT able to do otherwise (i.e., if one is not free), then one is not responsible for their

More information

Ethics Handout 20 Singer, Famine, Affluence, and Morality

Ethics Handout 20 Singer, Famine, Affluence, and Morality 24.231 Ethics Handout 20 Singer, Famine, Affluence, and Morality General Question: How much does morality demand of us? And how far short of living up to those demands do most of us fall? Singer argues

More information

Role of husbands and wives in Ephesians 5

Role of husbands and wives in Ephesians 5 Role of husbands and wives in Ephesians 5 Summary The aim of this study is to help us think about relationships between men and women. It is meant to get us thinking about how we should behave in intimate

More information

Social & Political Philosophy. Karl Marx (1818-1883) Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844

Social & Political Philosophy. Karl Marx (1818-1883) Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 Marx 1 Karl Marx (1818-1883) Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 Estranged Labor Marx lays out here his theory on the alienation of labor Marx s thesis would advance the view put forth by Rousseau

More information

Creating Online Professional Development for Educators

Creating Online Professional Development for Educators Teaching the ESL Learner Transcript of Speaker II. Methods of Sheltered English Introduction, Ruth DeCrescentis, Satrina Chargualaf, Vicki Duerre, Lori Garcia Welcome, everyone. We are going to spend the

More information

T H E B A S I C S PRIMARY TRUTH God created all things to please and glorify Himself.

T H E B A S I C S PRIMARY TRUTH God created all things to please and glorify Himself. CORRESPONDING LEVEL WEB #s Defenders: 040504 Detectives: 040504 Developers: 040504 GOD S CREATION MATERIALS NEEDED Bible; Teacher Preparation Guide (optional supplements: K4T songbook and PowerPoint files

More information