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Our focus is on three key aspects of self-identity, continuity, uniqueness, and agency. They have been researched from a diverse range of theoretical and methodological perspectives. Our aim is to articulate the different ways in which these intangible qualities have been translated into objects of research and knowledge, and the assumptions that researchers make in the service of that translation. Our broader aim is to use studies taken from the wide-ranging literature to show the correspondence between theoretical assumptions and the rationale for asking certain kinds of questions; between assumptions made about the ontology of each phenomenon and the methodology used to render it researchable. For example, questions about why we think we are stable or how we balance needs for uniqueness and sameness presuppose that stability is merely a perception, or that we are biological or cognitive beings. Furthermore, different epistemological assumptions determine what kind of object is researched: a measurable “psychological object,” a discursive practice, or an experience. They determine whether it is located within the person, in narratives or interactions, or beyond the discourse. Showing how assumptions are realized brings into sharp relief the important subjective element in researching self-identity which is manifested in the choices and the decisions we make. In conclusion, we outline two key challenges for identity researchers: one is to make explicit the assumptions and decisions that drive the research, and the second is to consider whose interests are addressed; the researcher’s conceptual or participants’ practical concerns.
Interrogating the development and conceptual framework of economic thought in the Islamic tradition pertaining to ethical, philosophical, and theological ideas, this book provides a critique of modern Islamic economics as a hybrid economic system. From the outset, Sami Al-Daghistani is concerned with the polyvalent methodology of studying the phenomenon of Islamic economic thought as a human science in that it nurtures a complex plentitude of meanings and interpretations associated with the moral self. By studying legal scholars, theologians, and Sufis in the classical period, Al-Daghistani looks at economic thought in the context of Sharī'a's moral law. Alongside critiquing modern developments of Islamic economics, he puts forward an idea for a plural epistemology of Islam's moral economy, which advocates for a multifaceted hermeneutical reading of the subject in light of a moral law, embedded in a particular cosmology of human relationality, metaphysical intelligibility, and economic subjectivity.
Kant's Mathematical World aims to transform our understanding of Kant's philosophy of mathematics and his account of the mathematical character of the world. Daniel Sutherland reconstructs Kant's project of explaining both mathematical cognition and our cognition of the world in terms of our most basic cognitive capacities. He situates Kant in a long mathematical tradition with roots in Euclid's Elements, and thereby recovers the very different way of thinking about mathematics which existed prior to its 'arithmetization' in the nineteenth century. He shows that Kant thought of mathematics as a science of magnitudes and their measurement, and all objects of experience as extensive magnitudes whose real properties have intensive magnitudes, thus tying mathematics directly to the world. His book will appeal to anyone interested in Kant's critical philosophy -- either his account of the world of experience, or his philosophy of mathematics, or how the two inform each other.
Benedict (Baruch) de Spinoza (1632–1677) was one of the most systematic, inspiring, and influential philosophers of the early modern period. From a pantheistic starting point that identified God with Nature as all of reality, he sought to demonstrate an ethics of reason, virtue, and freedom while unifying religion with science and mind with body. His contributions to metaphysics, epistemology, psychology, ethics, politics, and the analysis of religion remain vital to the present day. Yet his writings initially appear forbidding to contemporary readers, and his ideas have often been misunderstood. This second edition of The Cambridge Companion to Spinoza includes new chapters on Spinoza's life and his metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of religion, and biblical scholarship, as well as extensive updates to the previous chapters and bibliography. A thorough, reliable, and accessible guide to this extraordinary philosopher, it will be invaluable to anyone who wants to understand what Spinoza has to teach.
Neoclassical economics has become the predominant school of economic thought, influencing scholarship on management, organizations, and business ethics. However, many feminist economists challenge the individualist and positivist foundations of neoclassical economic epistemology, arguing instead that purportedly gender-neutral and value-free methods routinely and systematically leave out and undervalue women. Extending this proposition, this article introduces the epistemic foundations of feminist economics and illustrates how they can produce novel insights relevant for business ethics. In particular, by examining economic phenomena from the point of view of the people they affect, feminist economic epistemology is able to elucidate the ways in which power asymmetries and gender norms that constitute the social world can be reflected in business practices. I apply this methodological insight to three case studies of global supply chains to challenge the neoclassical assertion that including women in labor markets necessarily catalyzes gender equality.
This paper discusses ἐπιβολαὶ τῆς διανοίας, which later Epicureans are supposed to have elevated to a fourth criterion of truth to complement perceptions, preconceptions and feelings. By examining Epicurus’ extant writings, the paper distinguishes three different senses of the term: ‘thought in general’, ‘act of attention’ and ‘mental perception’. It is argued that only the sense ‘mental perception’ yields a plausible reading of ἐπιβολαί as a criterion of truth. The paper then turns to the textual evidence on ἐπιβολαί in later authors. While the term ἐπιβολή (or its Latin equivalent) is not used by Cicero, Lucretius and Philodemus in the sense of mental perception, it is argued that this still is the most plausible way of understanding ἐπιβολή as a criterion of truth.
The introduction explains the aims of the book, its timeliness, and its relevance, and it specifies a number of commitments that I work with: a true-belief view of knowledge, a realist conception of truth, justification as truth aiming, and the notion that writing is acting. It is explained that the book’s scope is wide in that it treats the epistemology of reading texts across literary genres, while it is at the same time exclusively focused on the interpretation of texts.
Reading and textual interpretation are ordinary human activities, performed inside as well as outside academia, but precisely how they function as unique sources of knowledge is not well understood. In this book, René van Woudenberg explores the nature of reading and how it is distinct from perception and (attending to) testimony, which are two widely acknowledged knowledge sources. After distinguishing seven accounts of interpretation, van Woudenberg discusses the question of whether all reading inevitably involves interpretation, and shows that although reading and interpretation often go together, they are distinct activities. He goes on to argue that both reading and interpretation can be paths to realistically conceived truth, and explains the conditions under which we are justified in believing that they do indeed lead us to the truth. Along the way, he offers clear and novel analyses of reading, meaning, interpretation, and interpretative knowledge.
A commitment to truth requires that you are open to receiving new evidence, even if that evidence contradicts your current beliefs. You should be open to changing your mind. However, this truism gives rise to the paradox of empathy. The paradox arises with the possibility of mental corruption through transformative change, and has consequences for how we should understand tolerance, disagreement, and the ability to have an open mind. I close with a discussion of how understanding this paradox provides a new explanation for a certain kind of standoff between the believer and the skeptic with regard to religious belief.
Contra assumptions regarding Bishop’s privileging of perspicacity as interlinked subject and method, this essay reflects on the persistence within her poems of a haptic incessancy pursued as though for the pleasure of its own sake. The affinity between Bishop’s formulation of peninsulas taking up the water that surrounds them “like women feeling for the smoothness of yard-goods” and the appearance in a late essay by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick of an identical gesture, what Sedgwick invokes as the weaver’s handshake, opens onto a consideration in both writers of an exacting inexactness resistant, for Sedgwick, to paranoid reading’s opposite tendency toward a clarity too often – in both queer theory and queer readings of Bishop’s work – treated as self-evident. Returning to Bishop’s under-examined engagement with Poe illuminates her own frequent challenging of epistemology’s queer promise, inviting our appreciation for a poetic wavering capable of withstanding even our best-intentioned corrections.
The development of data-driven personalisation in medicine, as exemplified by the ‘P4’ approach formulated by Leroy Hood and colleagues, may be viewed as consistent with a particular understanding of law’s role in respect of health, and with the dominant ethical principle of autonomy which underpins this. This chapter maps the direction of travel of health law in the UK in recent times against the evolution of personalised medicine. It notes, however, that this offers merely a partial account of the function of law in this context, as well as of the reach of this sub-discipline as a scholarly endeavour.
Predictive technologies have become an inseparable part of counterterrorism decision-making. In the past decades, the United Nations Security Council has advanced and legitimized this reliance on predictive technologies, including the substandard levels of certainty and proof they entail, justifying opaque predictive epistemology in counter-terrorism decision-making both within and outside the SC sanction regime. Based on an interdisciplinary scholarship on law, science, and technology, as well as empirical observations from concrete battlefield operations, this chapter identifies three problems stemming from the reliance on predictive technologies in counter-terrorism decision-making. First, the outputs of predictive technologies - often perceived as objective, complete, and neutral - mask the subjective and speculative elements involved in their production. Second, the combination of predictive technologies and opaque epistemology embraces uncertainty as the baseline for knowledge, resulting in a transition from juridical to administrative decision-making process. Third, erroneous decisions often remain unaccounted for, as technology systems are being blamed for mistaken, technology-assisted, human decisions. The chapter develops concrete recommendations to mitigate these problems, and advises the SC to consider the effects of its legitimation of opaque evidentiary standards in the context of the sanctions regime, on the justification of these problematic norms in the context of counter-terrorism battlefield operations.
The article explores the Legon School of International Relations (LSIR) which is the research, teaching, and academic programming of International Relations (IR) at the University of Ghana, Legon. The LSIR came out of attempts to decolonise knowledge production, dissemination, and academic programing in Ghana in early 1960s. The article shows that the LSIR is decolonial in theoretical perspective, grounded in southern epistemologies, relational in ontology, qualitative in methodology, practice-based, and it is equity-oriented. Although the LSIR scholarship as a package is distinctive, some of its ideas overlap with the work of several contemporary IR communities in the West. The article highlights implications of the LSIR story for the IR communities in the West and the value of paying close attention to the works of IR centres of scholarship in Africa.
In order to reconstruct the nature and place of the natural sciences in Early Modern Moroccan thought, this chapter reviews biobiogragraphical dictionaries, intellectual autobiographies, and works on the categorization and transmission of the sciences from the sixteenth–eighteenth centuries. This survey reveals that the natural sciences were an accepted, if minority pursuit, and that prominent scholars such as al-Yūsī saw them as divinely revealed and playing an important role in furthering the good of the Muslim community.
Thomas Kuhn's Structures of Scientific Revolutions provides a way to think of the development of the natural sciences in the Muslim world as differing from the path taken in Europe while also reflecting broad engagement with the sciences. This excursus argues for a weak version of Kuhn's paradigm to better understand the divergent fate of the natural sciences in the Muslim world.
Given Socratic motivational intellectualism, self-improvement in the ethical domain requires self-improvement in the epistemic domain. Gives the details of Socratic epistemology and indicates the ways in which Socrates supposes we can improve our cognitive conditions. Explains the different sources of ignorance and how these can be controlled. Shows how some etiologies of belief-formation are more reliable than others, and how Socrates thinks we can learn to rely more on the more reliable ones and less on those that are less reliable. Explains how the Socratic “search for definitions” and elenctic refutations are exercises in cognitive self-improvement, which does not simply produce repeated failures, but instead greater comprehension of ethical concepts – even if such comprehension is never complete or perfect for a human being.
In this book, Vasilis Politis argues that Plato's Forms are essences, not merely things that have an essence. Politis shows that understanding Plato's theory of Forms as a theory of essence presents a serious challenge to contemporary philosophers who regard essentialism as little more than an optional item on the philosophical menu. This approach, he suggests, also constitutes a sharp critique of those who view Aristotelian essentialism as the only sensible position: Plato's essentialism, Politis demonstrates, is a well-argued, rigorous, and coherent theory, and a viable competitor to that of Aristotle. This book will appeal to students and scholars with an interest in the intersection between philosophy and the history of philosophy.
In this chapter the influence of Hellenistic philosophy on Roman law is continued in terms of method: from Hellenistic epistemology the Roman jurists, like the grammarians, took over the notion of rule: they started to use it initially as a mnemotechnical device in order to get to grips with their growing legal output.
The first chapter contextualizes Forster’s ‘rhythm’ in Aspects of the Novel within the contemporary currency of the term in evolutionary discourses on non-Western cultures, arguing that his conception of ‘rhythm’ as an aesthetics of fiction is preceded by his use of the term to interrogate the conditioning of epistemology in cross-cultural encounters. Analysing two articles on music Forster wrote in Egypt, a 1912 essay by Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson about Anglo-India, as well as A Passage to India, it proposes that Forster was alert to the many problems of subjectivity, perspective, and language in delineating the racial other, and that his representations of rhythm in the novel suggest a significant, and previously unacknowledged, negotiation of the plurality of musical cultures. The chapter thus challenges the critical notion of rhythm as reflective purely of modernist fascination with form and intermediality. Complicating the long-held dichotomy of aesthetics and politics in modernist scholarship, it recovers the racial connotations of Forster’s ‘rhythm’ in Aspects, offering a new understanding of his aspiration for ‘expansion’ as a reconfiguration of the racial other.
In eighteenth-century Britain, philosophy was a broader subject than it is today and included many subjects covered elsewhere in this book, such as science, political theory, and theology. This chapter focuses chiefly on those eighteenth-century topics in philosophy that have most shaped present-day philosophical discussion. The first of these is epistemology or the theory of knowledge: the study of what we know and how we know. John Locke, David Hume, and Thomas Reid called this the study of the human mind or understanding. We will also consider another area where the contributions of eighteenth-century British philosophers are widely recognized today: the work in moral and ethical philosophy of a group of thinkers commonly called the ‘British moralists’. From the ancient Greeks and Romans, eighteenth-century thinkers inherited an understanding of philosophy as a way of life and a guide to living well. On what basis do we arrive at moral principles of right and wrong, and what motivates us to follow those principles in our actions: our reason or our feelings? These questions concerned such thinkers as Samuel Clarke, the earl of Shaftesbury, Francis Hutcheson, and Adam Smith.