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This chapter begins by showing why Hegel thinks that recognition depends on sociality, on shared forms of “ethical life” (Sittlichkeit). Drawing on a comparison with Rahel Jaeggi’s conceptions of “social practices” and “forms of life,” I consider the central elements of the social theory advanced in the Phenomenology. I show that “ethical life,” in particular when understood as a configuration of “spirit,” both provides the terms for individual self-understanding and secures the conditions for equality and reciprocity with other subjects. At the same time, I demonstrate that relations of reciprocal intersubjective recognition will not be possible in all forms of social life. While social forms that entrench relations of domination and inequality among their members are among the primary threats to the achievement of reciprocal recognition, I argue that, in the Phenomenology, Hegel makes a unique argument that it is possible for a form of social life to be structured so that no one is recognized within them, in which even one-sided configurations of recognition are impossible. I conclude by pointing to Hegel’s proposed solution to this problem, a universal conception of the self that is explicitly articulated within a shared way of life.
The term ‘social exclusion’ appears to have originated in France in the 1970s and had a significant influence on European social policy before being taken up by the UK’s New Labour Government in the 1990s. This chapter outlines the concepts of social exclusion and some of the competing discourses associated with the term. Several notable definitions of the term are discussed before we settle on the CASE definition of ‘An individual is socially excluded if he or she does not participate in key activities of the society in which he or she lives’. The concepts of social exclusion may provide added value to discussing the more traditional concepts of poverty and deprivation. It is a relational concept and thus is of importance for developing a social psychiatric perspective. The relationship between Social Exclusion and Social Inclusion is complex and they are not necessarily polar opposites; rather, they may be viewed as a continuum, but a continuum of several dimensions which may differ over time and place. The chapter sets out a framework for examining the social exclusion of people with mental health conditions.
This chapter outlines concepts related to social exclusion that are relevant to people with mental health conditions. These concepts highlight the political and civil nature of exclusion (citizenship, equality and human rights, choice); the importance of material (poverty and deprivation), social (social capital, stigma, and discrimination) and individual factors (participation, choice, and agency); and a means of identifying and describing causal factors for social exclusion (agency and process, dynamic dimensions, multifactorial causes, life course, and longitudinal perspectives). It also covers personal recovery, which provides a bridge between the literature on social exclusion and that on mental health conditions.
Disability of varying kinds permeates Wallace’s writing, which persistently displayed varying degrees of emotional, cognitive, physical or metaphysical disability. Although having no discernible interest in disabilities studies as an academic discipline, Wallace’s writing evidences a persistent conception that persons are definitionally disabled by the motor, volitional and agentive impediments posed by the simple but universal fact of embodiment, with which, he argues, we all “crave” to be “reconciled.” Employing various approaches from phenomenology (Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Edmund Husserl) to disabilities studies (Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Lennard J. Davis), this chapter offers illustrative examples of the three primary forms of atypicality in Wallace’s works: anomalous bodies, cognitive disability, and textual malformation. Through these, this chapter provides a context of disability within which Wallace’s works are situated and which enables insights into his wider literary and humanistic concerns.
This chapter considers the growth of what we characterise as a transitional public sphere that bridged the private domains of individual struggles against racial attacks, racist practice, and far-right politics with the public domain of mainstream politics. Struggles against racism have often shared an ongoing ambivalence about the imperative to raise profile and move from the margins to the centre of political debate. The need for political autonomy and agency sits, at times, in tension, with the need to build broad alliances and political efficacy. Campaigns demand profile but are always liable to charges of co-optation. The struggle for unity over racial dilemmas sits alongside recognition of the pluralities of intersectional struggles in gender, class, sexuality, diverse ethnicities, and religious faith that at times cross over with linked considerations of legal status of migrants and refugees. In this context, the emergence of a transitional public sphere of antiracism in the 1980s and 1990s is considered through a detailed analysis of this sphere of political action.
This chapter explores how the EU (European Union) managed the multiple crises that it confronted during the decade from 2010 to 2020, the extent to which these crises provoked its disintegration or closer integration and – primarily – how far the EU’s crisis management policies were structurally determined or shaped by agency. It argues that the decisions made by the EU in the Eurozone and coronavirus crises – decisions that forged closer political integration – were largely structurally determined, whereas those that culminated in political disintegration either involved a combination of structural and agency-related causes, as with the refugee crisis, or, as with the Brexit crisis, were the result of a sequence of decisions that were taken by political actors who possessed agency and that therefore could well have been different.
The need to engage students in thinking about the politics of law, especially in a time of escalating climate and other crises, is increasingly urgent. In this paper, we discuss a series of place-based teaching strategies designed to foster critical legal thinking, but also hope and a sense of agency. Inspired by a range of scholars – Bruno Latour, Doreen Massey, Henry Giroux and J.K. Gibson-Graham – we use context in an effort to cultivate what Giroux calls ‘educated hope’. Our starting point is what the law does (and also what law does not do and what it could do), not what the law is. Instead of taking a field of law and then using examples to illustrate how it works in context, we discuss three courses that start with the context of a particular place. Our courses cover a range of laws that work together to shape that place, spanning multiple fields, and emphasise their peopled and place-based specificity. After discussing teaching and assessment strategies that we have found productive, we reflect on implications beyond our courses, and the potential for broader place-based legal pedagogies.
Irrational beliefs are often associated with poor mental health and are seen as costly beliefs that should be eliminated or replaced when possible. Building on decades of empirical research, we argue that irrational beliefs are widespread in human cognition and not confined to people with poor mental health. Moreover, recent philosophical research has emphasized that irrational beliefs can be beneficial to the person holding them, not only psychologically but also epistemically, which suggests that in some cases elimination or replacement is not the most appropriate course of action. The problem emerging is how we decide when an agent’s irrational belief needs to be challenged: in this chapter, we point to the importance of the social context surrounding the agent by discussing one case of everyday confabulation whose effects vary across contexts.
The conclusion of this book considers China's role in international legal order on the basis of the history recounted in the preceding chapters and the realities of its current integration in global institutions. It suggests that China's increasingly “central” role has locked in a high degree of participation in international legal institutions, albeit one that sometimes leads to tensions over constraints of agency.
Climate activists across generations and borders demonstrate in the streets, while people also take climate actions via everyday professional efforts at work. In this dispersal of climate actions, the pursuit of personal politics is merging with civic, state and corporate commitment to the point where we are witnessing a rebirth of togetherness and alternative ways of collective organising, from employee activism, activist entrepreneurship, to insider activism, shareholder activism and prosumer activism. By empirically investigating this diffuse configuration of the environmental movement with focus on renewable energy technology, the commercial footing of climate activism is uncovered. The book ethnographically illustrates how activism goes into business, and how business goes into activism, to further trace how an ‘epistemic community’ emerges through co-creation of lay knowledge, not only about renewables, but political action itself. No longer tied to a specific geographical spot, organisation, group or even shared political identity, many politicians and business leaders applaud this affluent climate ‘action’, in their efforts to reach beyond mere climate ‘adaptation’ and speed up the energy transition. Conclusively, climate activism is no longer a civic phenomenon defined by struggles, pursued by the activist as we knew it, but testament of feral proximity and horizontal organising.
This chapter considers Romantic surgery from the patient’s perspective. It uses Astley Cooper’s rich archive of personal correspondence to explore the complex emotions associated with the experience of surgical illness and its treatment, as well as the ways in which emotional expression functioned as a form of agency within the private surgical relationship. In addition to considering private patients, this chapter also examines how emotions expressed and mediated agency within what, following Michel Foucault, we might consider the ‘disciplinary’ space of the hospital. The pre-anaesthetic surgical patient was a deeply unstable and ‘messy’ ontological entity whose pre-operative health and post-operative recovery were determined by a complex melding of constitutional, nervous, and emotional factors. Thus, as this chapter demonstrates, the patient’s own body could exert an unconscious material agency, often frustrating both surgical intervention and the patient’s own will, something that was most evident in the associations between irritability and obstreperousness that characterised contemporary discourses on amputation and its discontents.
This chapter begins defending the 3d account of powers, which combines directedness (i.e., intentionality) and data (i.e., information) as essential ingredients of dispositions (i.e., powers). The first thesis in the 3d account is the Physical Intentionality Thesis, and it is introduced here. Two supporting arguments for this thesis are previewed: the Argument from the Marks of intentionality (to be elaborated in Chapters 4 and 5) and the Argument from the Unity of Nature (to be elaborated in Chapter 8). Then historical precursors to physical intentionality are discussed, including Brentano’s thesis, the primary model for the Physical Intentionality Thesis. Lastly, an epistemic (versus a metaphysical) interpretation of physical intentionality is critiqued, a teleological view of powers is compared to the Physical Intentionality Thesis, and other related views are explored.
The idea of progress is a product of historical thinking. It is a bold interpretation of history that combines understandings of the past, perceptions of the present and expectations of the future. This Element examines the shifting scale of this past, present and future configuration from antiquity to the present day. It develops five categories that reveal the conceptual features of progress together with the philosophies of history in which they have been enmeshed, from temporal outlooks that held no notion of progress to universal histories that viewed progress as a law of nature, from speculation on the meaning and direction of history to the total rejection of all historical constructions. Global in scope and conversant with present-day debates in the theory and philosophy of history, the argument throughout is that the scale on which we conceive history plays a determining role in how we think about progress.
One health suggests that human and animal health are comparable, but in practice, the concept aligns with the principles of public health ethics. One health ethics, as such, appears to eschew connotations of equality for the natural world. A theory of agency revises that anthropocentric assumption. This article begins with a critique of environmental dualism: the idea that human culture and nature are separate social realms, thus justifying public health as a (unifying) purpose. In response, this article argues that, first, a neuroethics of one health might equally regard humans and (some) animals, which have comparable mental states, as rational agents. Second, rational agency should ground our moral connections to nature in terms of the egalitarian interests we have (as coinhabitants) in the health of the planet. While this article makes a moderate case for interspecific rights (as the first argument asserts), neuroscience is unlikely for now to change how most public institutions regard nonhuman animals in practice. However, the second argument asserts that rational agency is also grounds for philosophical environmentalism. One health ethics, therefore, is a theory of equality and connects culture to nature, and, as such, is a separate, but coextensive approach to that of public health.
This article explores the question of human agency in military targeting. Targeting is one of the key drivers of war. When studied by academic disciplines, much interest has been devoted to the ethics and effects of military targeting. Less debated, but focused here, is the question of the conditions of human agency within military targeting. In the literature that does exist on this topic, there is a questioning of the traditional conception of human agency but at the same time a lack of closer conceptualisation of different kinds of articulations of human agency in the targeting process. In this article, we propose a recentring of human agency in critical scholarship on military targeting. With inspiration from Theodore Schatzki's work on ‘practice’, by analytically approaching targeting as a practice, and through various examples from Operation Iraqi Freedom, the article develops and illustrates a framework for the conceptualisation of human agencies in targeting. This framework distinguishes articulations of agency based on whether they furthered the (temporary) ordering of the targeting practice or challenged its internal organising elements. The study of military targeting is significant not least since the phenomenon is one of the key ‘engines’ and drivers of war's constant becoming.
This chapter expands upon Chapter 1 by examining whether those who were appointed at the helm of the ‘Jewish Councils’ constituted a continuation or discontinuation of pre-war structures. It sets the conduct of the organisations’ leaders in the pre-war and wartime social contexts, and demonstrates the wide social variation in the organisations’ central board membership. The Germans were keen to appoint Jews who already held a leading role in the communities. This proved more difficult in Belgium and France than in the Netherlands. It is argued that the relatively well-integrated pre-war position of the Dutch Council leadership in combination with a relatively stable Jewish community resulted in a more confident self-perception of their role compared with that of their Belgian and French counterparts. In addition to examining how far Jewish leaders (felt they) represented the Jewish communities, this chapter also contextualises their acceptance by these communities. The Jewish leaders’ confidence, or lack thereof, determined their choices at later stages. These different attitudes help to explain organisational divergences, including why some of the leaders in Belgium and France were replaced, while the Dutch leadership remained in place until the Jewish Council was dismantled in 1943.
Divine determinism has been an unpopular topic in recent theology – widely dismissed, habitually avoided. One might wonder, therefore, what a theological contribution to understanding this possibility might look like. Some have proposed that reflection on divine transcendence helps us avoid misunderstandings that put secondary, creaturely agency in competition with God’s. I argue that this “non-competitive” approach offers limited insight into the agential and theodical problems raised by divine determinism. Drawing on doctrines of election, I then explore the possibility that divine love itself might require determinism. If, having imagined specific characters in a particular story, God loves them and desires to bring them to life, God might find it necessary for history to take the directions required for them to come to be. This possibility challenges caricatures of a determining God as tyrannical and suggests that even divine authorship may face constraints in eliminating evil.
Paul’s gospel of divine self-sacrifice, according to this chapter, is rejectable by humans. In fact, many people do reject it, for various reasons, even after careful reflection. Most scholarly attention to Paul on God focuses on his position on divine grace and promised triumph, in a way that neglects his position on divine frustration and failure in redemptive purpose. This chapter counters that neglect with a presentation of Paul’s case for human frustration of God and God’s redemptive aim. It identifies how this case bears on Paul’s understanding of the divine redemption of humans, and it observes how many commentators have missed the important role of human frustration of God in Paul’s theology. The chapter thus acknowledges a role for human power in redemption, according to Paul, as a response to the gospel of divine self-sacrifice. The result does not compromise, however, Paul’s understanding of redemption by divine grace through faith in God. The human power in question enables God to be blameless, by Paul’s lights, in the human frustration of the intended divine redemption for humans. The chapter identifies how divine election works in this context.
In a democracy the people are said to lead. And yet within Australia’s liberal democracy, the people elect individuals to represent them. This sets up a unique role for political leadership. Debates about leadership churn are especially relevant in Australia given the number of political leaders that were replaced in the decade following the 2007 federal election.
Understanding the friction between leadership and liberal democracy provides us with a deeper grasp of our institutional setup. In considering political leadership in Australia, this chapter begins by considering the tension that exists between leaders in liberal democracies and the democratic institutions they work within. It then outlines some of the theories about leaders and leadership. It goes on to investigate and discuss Australian political leadership by considering the different types of political leadership in Australia. Following this, debates about recent leadership failure and supposed ‘poor leaders’ in Australia will take place. This chapter also deals with questions related to structure and agency as well as the political leadership gender gap in Australia.