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This chapter considers the role of textbooks in constituting the field of medical jurisprudence or ‘law and medical ethics’. This inquiry helps us to understand the importance of Graeme Laurie’s work as the author of Law and Medical Ethics, a leading textbook in this field. The chapter begins by considering the relationship between scholarship and research in academic work in general terms. It then moves to a particular consideration of the nature of the field of medical jurisprudence, and how this arose out of deliberate assemblage by some early scholars in the emerging field of pre-existing legal materials and other academic resources. It focuses especially on the relationship between law and ethics, arguing against an understanding of ethics as a theoretical foundation for law and in favour of seeing principles as emerging through the practice of the common law. It concludes by discussing how textbooks give shape to this material, in the form of what Thomas Kuhn called a ‘paradigm’. In this way, they are essential tools of shaping and passing on the legacy of the field of ‘law and medical ethics’.
In Chapter 2, I draw from pragmatist philosophy and relational sociology to develop a new theory of normativity and institutional change. I propose the concept of a normative configuration as an alternative to the concept of a norm, defined as an arrangement of ongoing, interacting practices establishing action-specific regulation, value-orientation, and avenues of contestation. I argue that situated creativity, problem-solving, and the institutionalisation of action establish normativity within enduring social arrangements. This alternative conception helps clarify the origins of normativity in situations where existing IR theory is limiting, as I show through a review of scholarship on norms drawn both from the field of IR and from the social sciences and humanities more broadly. To develop this new concept, I draw heavily from the work of John Dewey, Hans Joas, and the insights of practice theorists.
Pratt investigates the potential erosion of prohibiting assassination, torture, and mercenarism during the US's War on Terrorism. In examining the emergence and history of the US's targeted killing programme, detention and interrogation programme, and employment of armed contractors in warzones, he proposes that a 'normative transformation' has occurred, which has changed the meaning and content of these prohibitions, even though they still exist. Drawing on pragmatist philosophy, practice theory, and relational sociology, this book develops a new theory of normativity and institutional change, and offers new data about the decisions and activities of security practitioners. It is both a critical and constructive addition to the current literature on norm change, and addresses enduring debates about the role of culture and ethical judgement in the use of force. It will appeal to students and scholars of foreign and defence policy, international relations theory, international security, social theory, and American politics.
Organizational actors spend a tremendous amount of time and energy trying to intentionally change their routines. We conceptualize these intentional changes as routine design—intentional efforts to change one or more aspects of a routine to create a preferred situation. We review existing routines research on intentional change by showing how different perspectives on routines have generated different insights about the relationship between intentional change and design. We highlight a cognitive perspective, a practice perspective, and an ontological process perspective on routine design. We then draw on two perspectives inspired by design studies. Simon’s scientific perspective on design suggests that routines scholars study the effects and implications of designing artifacts. Schön’s reflective practice perspective on design suggests that routines scholars can examine how actors set the problem, engage in (re)framing, and in reflection-in-action. These design studies perspectives offer routines scholars a better understanding of efforts to intentionally change routines. Based on these insights from design studies, we develop a future research agenda for routine design.
The ideas of classical pragmatists receive increasing attention by scholars working in diverse fields, who realize their fertility in addressing contemporary theoretical and practical challenges. Pragmatism, as a philosophical perspective, embraces a processual view of the world according to which what really exists is ‘in the making,’ in a process of becoming, and places great attention to action and its meaningful experience. In this chapter, I introduce the common themes in the work of the founding figures of classical pragmatism and examine their convergence with the theoretical assumptions underpinning routine dynamics theorizing. I trace the influence of pragmatism in routine dynamics research and suggest that pragmatist thinking has much to offer to the study of routines as dynamic, processual phenomena.
The relation between Kantian transcendental philosophy and Jamesian pragmatism is both historically and systematically crucial for the conception of pragmatism and truth developed in the book. Chapter 3 first introduces the basic idea of "transcendental pragmatism" - the integration of pragmatist, or pragmatically naturalized, and Kantian-inspired transcendental arguments identifying conditions for the possibility of things we take to be actual in our practices - and then offers a critical comparison between some of Kant's and James's key ideas, especially elaborating on their pessimistic conception of the human being and suggesting that Jamesian empirical meliorism (as distinguished from both optimism and pessimism) needs to be built upon Kantian transcendental pessimism about the limits of the human condition. Based on this development of transcendental pragmatism, the relation between ethics and religion - analogous in Kant and James - is critically considered: if religion can only be based on ethics, we will have to ask whether (ethically) legitimate religious faith inevitably remains insincere.
The introduction summarizes overall argument unfolding through the six main chapters of the book and provides basic motivation for pursuing the pragmatist considerations of the volume. It emphasizes that the concept of truth may seem to have become seriously threatened in our culture - especially due to familiar political events and the active use of the social media today. As pragmatism, particularly Jamesian pragmatism, might be considered partly responsible for these developments, a novel critical exploration of pragmatist resources for dealing with the issues concerning the responsible pursuit of truth across a wide range of human practices is needed. The introduction also offers preliminary reasons why the argument of the book moves through a rather complex discussion of Kantian transcendental philosophy (and transcendental pragmatism) instead of merely "directly" utilizing the classical pragmatists' views on truth as such.
This chapter continues the discussion of pragmatism and truth from the first chapter by further investigating pluralism about truth in the context of the philosophy of religion, particularly focusing on the debates on religious diversity. Arguing that pragmatism should firmly side with religious inclusivism instead of exclusivism, the chapter compares Jamesian pragmatic pluralism and individualism to Hannah Arendt's more politically framed conception of natality, i.e., human beings' capacity of spontaneously creating novelties into the world, of beginning something anew. This Jamesian-Arendtian entanglement of individuality and novelty can, the chapter proposes, be illuminated by means of holistic pragmatism (indebted to Morton White). The chapter also contains a critical discussion of Naoko Saito's views on what she calls "philosophy as translation" offering a distinctive perspective on pragmatist views on acknowledging diversity, pluralism, and otherness. A defense of Jamesian meliorism, as distinguished from Saito's Cavell-inspired "perfectionism", is also included.
Our practices of pursuing the truth and engaging in ethical or existential commitments, analyzed from a pragmatist perspective in the previous chapters, are inherently normative. This chapter considers the transcendental question concerning the very possibility of normativity - that is, the possibility of our engaging in the normative practices we do engage in, including practices of truth-seeking presupposing individual ethical sincerity - from the point of view of a pragmatist transcendental philosophy (as developed in the earlier chapters). It is suggested that such a transcendental question about normativity belongs to philosophical anthropology, as it examines the most basic aspects of the human condition. It is argued that no contingent and naturalizable matters of fact, such as psychological acts of recognition, can adequately ground the possibility of normativity in the transcendental sense. A pragmatist commitment to sincerity thus also entails a commitment to irreducible (but not therefore mystical or supernatural) normativity. A pragmatic and transcendental form of humanism emerges as the only way of making sense of normativity in our lives and practices.
The first chapter asks whether there is a threatening slippery slope from William James's pragmatist conception of truth (as presented in his 1907 work, Pragmatism), via Richard Rorty's radical neopragmatism, to Donald Trump's and other populists' fragmentation of the concept of truth, or even ultimately to the destruction of truth depicted in George Orwell's dystopic novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), whose character O'Brien was interestingly analyzed by Rorty in a 1989 essay on Orwell, arguing for the primacy of freedom over truth. The chapter criticizes Rortyan pragmatism by arguing that the concept of freedom also presupposes the concept of truth (and not just the other way round), also suggesting that, despite the unclarity of some of James's original ideas about truth, there is a sound core to the Jamesian conception of the pursuit of truth. It is, furthermore, suggested that the concept of truth may itself receive a plurality of interpretations within a (meta-level) pragmatist understanding of truth, one of them being the realistic correspondence account, which remains highly relevant, e.g., in the context of combatting post-truth politics.
It is commonly believed that populist politics and social media pose a serious threat to our concept of truth. Philosophical pragmatists, who are typically thought to regard truth as merely that which is 'helpful' for us to believe, are sometimes blamed for providing the theoretical basis for the phenomenon of 'post-truth'. In this book, Sami Pihlström develops a pragmatist account of truth and truth-seeking based on the ideas of William James, and defends a thoroughly pragmatist view of humanism which gives space for a sincere search for truth. By elaborating on James's pragmatism and the 'will to believe' strategy in the philosophy of religion, Pihlström argues for a Kantian-inspired transcendental articulation of pragmatism that recognizes irreducible normativity as a constitutive feature of our practices of pursuing the truth. James himself thereby emerges as a deeply Kantian thinker.
This chapter explores how Gadamer’s hermeneutics has influenced important strands of contemporary philosophy and has converged with other philosophical school of thought. Mostly importantly, this chapter considers the relation of Gadamer’s thought to the thought of Rorty and Davidson. Rorty is influenced by Gadamer. Davidson shows no direct influence but is a case of overlap and convergence. Rorty aims to show the internal exhaustion of the twentieth–century epistemological–psychological tradition. He uses criticisms from within that tradition, including Gadamer. Philosophy is seen by Rorty, much like Gadamer, to a matter of joining a conversation. Rorty’s importation of Gadamer’s hermeneutic model is not without is difficulties. Rorty embraces incommensurability and Gadamer rejects it. Gadamer attempts an ontology and Rorty rejects ontology. Rorty cites Gadamer. Davidson never does and shows no signs of being influenced by Gadamer. Yet there some remarkable convergences. Davidson’s principle of charity and the communality of understanding and interpreting align very well with Gadamer.
Wright wrote and published poetry throughout his career, culminating in the remarkable collection of “projections in the haiku manner” which he composed in the last years of his life. This analysis contextualizes Wright’s late turn to haiku in relation to his larger body of work; his reading of scholarship on haiku and Japanese Buddhism; his involvement with the Partisan Review during the 1930s; his revisionary engagement with modernist poetry, including Ezra Pound’s haiku-inspired imagism as well as T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land; and his affirmation of Emersonian pragmatism. I conclude by exploring the transmission of Wright’s legacy to contemporary African American poets such as Sonia Sanchez, whose liberating experiments with haiku have resulted in new expressive possibilities.
In this chapter, I argue that the local paths of reception of proportionality by French and English lawyers in the field of the convention are shaped by local patterns of cultural change. In the monist and rationalist French system, proportionality and European human rights standards have been received as already inherent in domestic concepts and methods. In contrast, English dualism and analytical formalism long impeded the application of proportionality as a human rights principle in common law cases. Differences in domestic lawyers’ reactions to proportionality affect the ways in which proportionality deploys its acculturation dynamic in the field of convention rights. In France, the institutional/procedural aspect of proportionality has generally been neglected by domestic lawyers. The employment of proportionality as a European standard in judicial reasoning is residual and accomplishes a rather symbolic function. Since its reception under the HRA, on the contrary, proportionality has systematically served the fulfilment of the UK’s international obligations. Proportionality as a European principle generates an important cultural shift in English public law.
This chapter analyzes the significant changes that have taken place in Danish aid since the 1990s. The historical analysis shows that Denmark forms an exception to “Scandinavian exceptionalism,” with its approach historically much more characterized by pragmatism, mercantilism and subservience to international trends. Though sometimes presented as such, Danish aid today appears neither altruistic, idealist, nor driven by exceptional motives of humanitarianism. We thus show that Danish aid is less a reflection of a political ambition to brand Denmark internationally as a humanitarian frontrunner, and more a by-product of unfolding domestic political priorities influenced by international events and contingent changes. More so than the end of aid then, today is what we may call a new time of pragmatic ambiguity, drawing on “old” ideas, whether self-interest, tied aid or (domestic) political instrumentalization of aid.
Non-judicial control mechanisms are international monitoring proceedings where the monitoring body has no competence to give opinions on individual petitions. Non-judicial control mechanisms are not characterised by the systemic deficiencies of judicial mechanisms that hinder their availability for individuals. Their procedure is more flexible and open ratione personae to address recommendations to States and non-state actors involved in the territorial situation. The chapter claims that non-judicial control mechanisms can establish a constructive dialogue with States and non-State actors controlling territory and follow a holistic approach, monitoring the conduct of all international law subjects implicated in the area.
What does Darwin’s theory have to say about human evolution? To answer this question, we turn first to philosophical discussions on the nature of rationality, specifically those of David Hume and Immanuel Kant. They both argue that the mind is preformed for thinking, with certain norms about mathematics and causality a priori for the individual human. Darwin argues that this is all a product of selection. Those proto-humans who took mathematics and causality seriously survived and reproduced, and those that did not, did not. This is Pragmatism, as we see from a brief consideration of the thinking of C. S. Peirce in the nineteenth century and Richard Rorty in the twentieth. We are not stuck in relativism, because the scientific evidence is that there is little genetic variation between humans. What we do not have, because Darwinism is within the mechanism paradigm, is any way of extracting absolute value from science and hence the natural world. Darwinian science cannot prove human superiority. This is preparing the way for existentialism.
Pragmatists believe that philosophical inquiry must engage closely with practice to be useful and that practice serves as a source of social norms. As a growing alternative to the analytic and continental philosophical traditions, pragmatism is well suited for research in business ethics, but its role remains underappreciated. This article focuses on Richard Rorty, a key figure in the pragmatist tradition. We read Rorty as a source of insight about the ethical and political nature of business practice in contemporary global markets, focusing specifically on his views about moral sentiments, agency, and democratic deliberation. Importantly for business ethicists, Rorty’s approach sets in stark relief our moral responsibility as useful, practical thinkers in addressing the societal challenges of our time. We use “modern slavery” as an empirical context to highlight the relevance of Rorty’s approach to business ethics.
The chapter summarizes the book’s main findings, underscoring the reverberations of the research on the fields of transitional justice and cultural heritage law, and set out questions for future research in other contexts. It ties together the multiple strings of truth, accountability, reparations, and guarantees of non-repetition (the four key transitional justice mechanisms), and their relationship to heritage, as well as the influence of human rights on both transitional justice and cultural heritage law. Bringing together the fields of transitional justice and cultural heritage law creates powerful opportunities for pragmatically rebuilding societies, and cultural heritage is a part of reshaping identity for the future.
This chapter returns to the main normative claims of the book, by re-engaging, in more depth, the debates around anti-impunity in the law around transitional justice. The chapter offers cultural heritage law as a space where more pragmatic engagement with transitional justice mechanisms is possible and necessary in the law. In doing so, it also engages with the need for pragmatism around cultural heritage, beyond the conservation paradigm, given the malleable nature of the narratives of history, nation, and identity that are made through cultural heritage. It uses the development of memory laws in countries like Poland as a case study of the far-reaching consequences of neglecting the connection between law and memory and cultural identity.