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In this concluding chapter, the analysis throughout this book reveals that both Disney and Pixar have a problem with their representation of women, primarily with underrepresentation of women both in speech and total number of characters. Other key points are that female characters are “disproportionately polite”: even though they speak less, they use more of the various markers that highlight a concern with maintaining the social fabric. This chapter also examines the “progress” that Disney and Pixar have made in terms of gender representation. The authors see some promising changes in representation and in talking time. The split between male and female speech in the New Age era is almost exactly 50-50% and some films even have female majority speech (Brave, Frozen II). Unfortunately, most of the other linguistic patterns tracked have not changed at all. Female characters continue to mitigate and apologize while male characters continue to insult and order people around, both in Disney and Pixar films. Finally, this chapter ends with where the authors hope both the future of Disney and Pixar will go, including: a wider range of characters (major and minor) who represent different ethnic, racial, and cultural backgrounds, a wider range of gender identity, more diverse linguistic styles associated with masculinity, and other progressive movements.
This chapter analyses the concept of technological progress in Greek antiquity. It briefly surveys the historiography of technological progress, in particular Moses Finley’s view and its links with his view of the ancient economy, and more recent reactions to Finley. The chapter charts the idea that technology has helped humankind develop from a semi-brutish state to a more civilised condition in some classical Greek sources, including Greek tragedy, and focusses on the case-study of ancient accounts of catapults, which include a history of discovery and of cumulative improvement. The last section is devoted to the ambiguous morality of technological progress.
Since the board game Settlers of Catan was first released in 1995 it has sold more than 25 million copies. It works like this. Play starts after tiles of different land types – mountains producing iron ore, pastures sustaining sheep, and so on – are laid out – and numbers between 2 and 12 are randomly assigned to each tile. Every player picks a spot on the board to establish his or her first village. When the dice is rolled, a player receives a resource that matches the number on the dice if his or her village is located next to that resource. So, if the pasture next to my village has 9 on it, and the two dice thrown add up to 9, I receive one sheep. Those resources I then use to buy roads and villages and cities – and so expand my empire.
Chapter 7 follows Augustine’s argument through books XV–XVIII of The City of God, showcasing humility and pride in action throughout human history, sacred and secular. Augustine presents a long series of exemplars of virtue and vice, including humility and pride, and so invites readers to reflect on these qualities’ roles and ramifications in personal, familial, social, and civic histories.
Individualist normative theories appear inadequate for the complex moral challenges of climate change. In climate ethics, this is especially notable with the relative marginalization of Kant. I argue that Kant’s philosophy, understood through its historical and cosmopolitan dimensions, has untapped potential for the climate crisis. First, I situate Kant in climate ethics and evaluate his marginalization due to perceived individualism, interiority and anthropocentrism. Then, I explore aspects of Kant’s historical and cosmopolitan writings, which present a global, future-orientated picture of humanity. Ultimately, Kant’s philosophy offers a unique take on the climate deadlock capable of sustaining the individual in the collective.
In May 2010, Julián Miranda, an Indigenous Asháninka shaman, died hours after killing a jaguar-shaman. Despite knowing that it could kill him, he killed a jaguar-shaman to protect his cows, an investment to support the much-desired progreso (‘progress’) of his children and grandchildren through education. Julián's choice was one of personal sacrifice driven by the hardships he experienced in the degraded forests of the Bajo Urubamba valley in the Peruvian Amazon. My examination of his decision to kill the jaguar-shaman engages with the multi-disciplinary literature on how local peoples engage with the expanding extractive frontier in Latin America. The emphasis most literature places on social movements and – to a lesser extent – on the ontological characteristics of these conflicts needs to be counterbalanced by individual experiences like Julián's for a deeper understanding of the multiple local experiences of large-scale resource extraction and the different strategies through which people pursue their desired futures.
‘Transport’ was an increasingly complex word in the nineteenth century, linking developments in transport technology to an older sense of being carried away by powerful emotions. This chapter shows how inventively Victorian narrative styles responded to new and established forms of transport, including stagecoach, train and boat, and how much was at stake in those imaginative engagements. Style was a way of responding not only to the rhythms and mechanics of travel but to its many associations, questions about progress and control, challenges to genre and to selfhood, even a rekindling of primal impulses.
The idea of economic and social progress which emerged in the seventeenth century had as its basis the cumulative growth of knowledge. This included not just codified scientific knowledge but also knowledge which was produced and reproduced in the course of the ordinary business of life and embodied in individual humans, in artefacts and in practices. Although the independent role of knowledge in economic growth always had some recognition, in the period between the late eighteenth and twentieth centuries, it was largely subsumed within the accumulation of capital. While this did reflect the substantial embodiment of knowledge in capital equipment, it also meant that wider considerations of the social and cumulative role of knowledge in productive activity became a minority and heterodox pursuit. The paper seeks to recover the longer historical pedigree of this wider understanding of knowledge including some of its specific characteristics such as its non-rival nature, its incomplete excludability, its tacitness and the uncertainties surrounding innovation.
Chapter 1 examines the moralization of work and stigmatization of laziness in the works of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Ottoman moralists between the first and the second constitutional period (the 1870s to 1908). At the center of this chapter are Ottoman morality texts, a genre, yet to be fully explored, reconfigured in the nineteenth century. These texts articulated many emerging discourses and anxieties of the Ottoman reform period on a normative level. After an overview of the question of laziness in Ottoman thinking, attention is drawn to how a novel kind of knowledge was produced in the field of morality, expressing a new subjectivity in relation to modern citizenship; the normative nature of morality texts and the way these texts moralized, nationalized, and even Islamized productivity is then studied. Ottoman moralists identified certain beliefs and practices as handicaps for productivity and declared them un-Islamic and antithetical to progress. This chapter rethinks the construction of morality and Islamic knowledge in modern times, by examining deontological discourses on work that later produced the neologism of the “Islamic work ethic.”
Emanuel Adler’s 1997 article ‘Seizing the Middle Ground: Constructivism in World Politics’ is the most highly cited effort to position constructivism on a terrain between the dominant mainstream theories of neorealism and neoliberalism and their critical theoretic challengers. More than this, it is a constellation point for ideas Adler had advanced in earlier writings, and that he would develop to great effect over the coming two decades, most notably in his magnum opus, A Social Theory of Cognitive Evolution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018). This chapter explores the difficulties of holding the middle ground through a reading of Emanuel’s writings over the past three decades. I draw a distinction between two different approaches to seizing the middle ground, which I term, for want of better words, singular and dualist. The former, as part one details, is found in Martin Wight’s tripartite distinction between realism, rationalism, and revolutionism. This distinction is noteworthy because it is at once a typology of different ontological positions, arraying theories with very different assumptions about the nature of the political universe, and a classification of different views of the potential for normative change, or progress. The second, dualist approach separates questions of ontology from those of progress, imagining two middle grounds. Exemplified in Alder’s work, the first middle ground is between the ideal and the material and the individual and structural. But when Adler discusses progress, which is a prominent and enduring theme in his work, he introduces a second, less remarked upon, middle ground. In his early work he called this position ‘humanist realism’, locating it between stasis, on the one hand, and utopianism, on the other. The difficulties of holding the middle ground in singular approaches is apparent in Hedley Bull’s constant back and forth over the relative priority of the values of order and justice, a relationship central to rationalism’s location between realism and revolutionism. The difficulties of the dualist approach are evident in Emanuel’s shifting reconciliations between his two middle grounds. In his early work, reconciliation was to come through a condominium between constructivism and communitarian normative theory. In his most recent work, it comes through the concept of practice. Neither of these reconciliations are entirely satisfactory, however, and I conclude by suggesting three possible ways of better combining the ontological and the normative.
This chapter provides an overview of how Adler’s social theory of cognitive evolution helps us study international orders. First, we compare and contrast world ordering theory with its main alternatives in International Relations, starting with Ikenberry’s. Second, we elaborate on the key building blocks of cognitive evolution theory, including evolution and process, communities of practice, creativity and learning, social order and bounded progress. Third and finally, we raise a number of critical questions about Adler’s theory, in order to chart new avenues for future research. We ask about the role of material forces, the interaction of multiple orders, the conceptualization of power and agency, the place of communication and the normative extensions that the theory suggests. We conclude by presenting the following chapters in the book.
J. S. Mill’s protest at ‘vulgar’ uses of the past gave way in the 1830s to an eclectic science of history which drew on Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the Saint-Simonians, and Auguste Comte. Book VI of A System of Logic (1843) sketched a theoretical outline of progress whose scientific conversion came about when it was connected, indirectly, to the ultimate laws of psychology. The triumph of sociology reflected Mill’s settled view that society was increasingly a historical phenomenon, shaped less and less by the psychological laws from which Thomas Hobbes, Bentham, and the ‘geometric’ reasoners had deduced their political ideas. This realisation, Barrell argues, pulled in two directions. While it provided a logic and vocabulary of historical relativism, its theoretical sketch of progress was neither relative nor concretely historical because it encompassed the ‘whole previous history of humanity’ as a progressive chain of causes and effects. This double consciousness, I have argued, can be profitably situated within German historicism, French science sociale, and English utilitarianism, all of which acknowledged the logical dissonance between historical facts and their theoretical reconstruction.
This first comprehensive account of the utilitarians' historical thought intellectually resituates their conceptions of philosophy and politics, at a time when the past acquired new significances as both a means and object of study. Drawing on published and unpublished writings - and set against the intellectual backdrops of Scottish philosophical history, German and French historicism, romanticism, positivism, and the rise of social science and scientific history - Callum Barrell recovers the depth with which Jeremy Bentham, James Mill, George Grote, and John Stuart Mill thought about history as a site of philosophy and politics. He argues that the utilitarians, contrary to their reputations as ahistorical and even antihistorical thinkers, developed complex frameworks in which to learn from and negotiate the past, inviting us to rethink the foundations of their ideas, as well as their place in - and relationship to - nineteenth-century philosophy and political thought.
This paper addresses the following questions about Plato’s concept of ‘history’: (a) is there a ‘philosophy of history’ in Plato’s thought?; (b) if this concept exists, do the dialogues lay out a single, cohesive understanding of ‘history’ or does it vary from text to text?; (c) how does Plato understand the word ‘history’? This inquiry also addresses the role of ‘progress’ in some of the main Platonic dialogues. An in-depth analysis of these texts can also help us find a solution to the problem of the end of ‘history’, when a civilization either physically collapses (due to a catastrophic event) or morally decays (because of the corruption of its citizens and politicians). I argue that Plato’s ‘philosophy of history’ is not necessarily Sisyphean, but that it attempts to work out how to avoid the entropic decay of civilization and to preserve cultural – almost ‘genetic’ – ‘memory’ in order to counter the danger of cyclical regression.
The application of the word ‘development’ to a fully formulated principle of temporal Order becomes ubiquitous in Rousseau’s Emile. The biologist Buffon, the psychologist Condillac and particularly Bonnet all influenced this seminal treatise. But where they had written of development only occasionally and in an abstract sense, with Rousseau it becomes normative and the main descriptor of the structured lifespan of the individual. Rousseau retains the older sense of development as the ‘unfolding’ of an already existing, preformed structure; nevertheless, he also reveals in outline the modern human sciences’ presupposition that the child is an incomplete being. Thanks to Bayle and Diderot, Rousseau derived his concept of a political General Will, irrespective of the individual will, from that of God’s general will to save humankind that does not take individual behaviours into account; this has its psychological equivalent in Rousseau’s creation of ‘the abstract man’, against whose developmental norms the individual must be measured.
Following the revolutions across Europe in 1848, nationalist conceptions of Europe became increasingly dominant, culminating in the founding of the new nation states of Italy (1861) and Germany (1871). The period also saw an intensification of European colonialism, culminating in the “scramble for Africa” towards the end of the nineteenth century. European nationalism and colonialism were increasingly shaped by an ethnological idea of the European, with racial theories of Homo Europaeus justifying colonial barbarism (as exposed by Joseph Conrad at the end of the century). Alongside this particularly dark period in the history of the idea of Europe, Chapter 5 also considers the work of those who sought to champion a cosmopolitan idea of Europe, including Victor Hugo’s calls for a United States of Europe and Friedrich Nietzsche’s notion of the “good European,” most fully embodied for Nietzsche by Western Europe’s Jewish population. As this chapter reveals, however, Hugo’s idea of Europe was profoundly Francocentric, while Nietzsche’s incorporated deeply disturbing elements of the emerging race theory. The chapter concludes with an assessment of growing sense of European decadence at the end of the century, as articulated by writers such as Max Nordau and Georges Sorel.
The British Enlightenment grappled with the concept of “modern history”: what it should contain and what kind of guide to the world it should be. This chapter examines the decline of neoclassical assumptions about history writing in the context of Britain’s rapid social transformation and the emergence of its robust commercial society. A new pressure for historiography to acknowledge this modern world led historians to profound questions about the relation between present and past. How was the eighteenth-century world different from what came before it? When and where did its modernity begin? Asking and answering these questions produced not only new kinds of history writing but also new readers and writers of history. Setting aside the history of great men, new kinds of histories made clear that everyone is a historical actor, opening the door for women and men who would never be statesmen to tell their stories. New histories took many forms, and the chapter’s sections focus on the different answers to questions about the past—and how to represent it-- provided by philosophical history writing, antiquarianism, and the novel.
Is there progress in evolution? Many, including Erasmus Darwin (grandfather of Charles), Herbert Spencer, Julian Huxley, and Richard Dawkins think there is. Others are not so sure. Some, like Charles Darwin himself, sit on the fence. It is hard enough getting progress, let alone putting up barriers like the non-directedness of the Darwinian evolutionary process. One problem is that of defining evolutionary progress. Often it is done in the name of complexity, but as paleontologist Dan McShea points out, to define complexity is a far from easy process and it is not always the case that complex means desirable. The backbone of the whale is simply but highly adapted for life in the deep. A number of possible progress-supported mechanisms are introduced and discussed – arms races, morphological convergence, and even some natural unguided processes simply emerging. The drunkard is going to fall off the sidewalk eventually, even though he doesn’t plan it. All are found lacking, as one might have predicted. Darwinian theory is drained of absolute value judgements. Progress is of absolute value. Hence, it cannot be derived from Darwinian theory.