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Philosophy's traditional man of reason--independent, neutral, unemotional--is an illusion. That's because the man of reason ignores one very important thing--the woman. Representing Reason: Feminist Theory and Formal Logic collects new and old essays that shed light on the underexplored intersection of logic and feminism. Visit our website for sample chapters!
Although the study of reasons plays an important role in both epistemology and moral philosophy, little attention has been devoted to the question of how, exactly, reasons interact to support the actions or conclusions they do. In this book, John F. Horty attempts to answer this question by providing a precise, concrete account of reasons and their interaction, based on the logic of default reasoning. The book begins with an intuitive, accessible introduction to default logic itself, and then argues that this logic can be adapted to serve as a foundation for a concrete theory of reasons. Horty then shows that the resulting theory helps to explain how the interplay among reasons can determine what we ought to do by developing two different deontic logics, capturing two different intuitions about moral conflicts. In the central part of the book, Horty elaborates the basic theory to account for reasoning about the strength of our own reasons, and also about the related concepts of undercutting defeaters and exclusionary reasons. The theory is illustrated with an application to particularist arguments concerning the role of principles in moral theory. The book concludes by introducing a pair of issues new to the philosophical literature: the problem of determining the epistemic status of conclusions supported by separate but conflicting reasons, and the problem of drawing conclusions from sets of reasons that can vary arbitrarily in strength, or importance.
In eighteenth-century France, the ability to lose oneself in a character or scene marked both great artists and ideal spectators. Yet it was thought this same passionate enthusiasm, if taken to unreasonable extremes, could also lead to sexual deviance, mental illness—even death. Women and artists were seen as especially susceptible to these negative consequences of creative enthusiasm, and women artists, doubly so. Mary D. Sheriff uses these very different visions of enthusiasm to explore the complex interrelationships among creativity, sexuality, the body and the mind in eighteenth-century France. Drawing on evidence from the visual arts, literature, philosophy, and medicine, she portrays the deviance ascribed to both inspired men and women. But while various mythologies worked to normalize deviance in male artists, women had no justification for their deviance. For instance, the mythical sculptor Pygmalion was cured of an abnormal love for his statue through the making of art. He became a model for creative artists, living happily with his statue come to life. No happy endings, though, were imagined for such inspired women writers as Sappho and Heloise, who burned with erotomania their art could not quench. Even so, Sheriff demonstrates, the perceived connections among sexuality, creativity, and disease also opened artistic opportunities for creative women took full advantage of them. Brilliantly reassessing the links between sexuality and creativity, artistic genius and madness, passion and reason, Moved by Love will profoundly reshape our view of eighteenth- century French culture.
First published in 1998. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
We fear that the growing threat of violent attack has upset the balance between existential concepts of political power, which emphasize security, and traditional notions of constitutional limits meant to protect civil liberties. We worry that constitutional states cannot, during a time of war, terror, and extreme crisis, maintain legality and preserve civil rights and freedoms. David Williams Bates allays these concerns by revisiting the theoretical origins of the modern constitutional state, which, he argues, recognized and made room for tensions among law, war, and the social order. We traditionally associate the Enlightenment with the taming of absolutist sovereign power through the establishment of a legal state based on the rights of individuals. In his critical rereading, Bates shows instead that Enlightenment thinkers conceived of political autonomy in a systematic, theoretical way. Focusing on the nature of foundational violence, war, and existential crises, eighteenth-century thinkers understood law and constitutional order not as constraints on political power but as the logical implication of that primordial force. Returning to the origin stories that informed the beginnings of political community, Bates reclaims the idea of law, warfare, and the social order as intertwining elements subject to complex historical development. Following an analysis of seminal works by seventeenth-century natural-law theorists, Bates reviews the major canonical thinkers of constitutional theory (Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau) from the perspective of existential security and sovereign power. Countering Carl Schmitt's influential notion of the autonomy of the political, Bates demonstrates that Enlightenment thinkers understood the autonomous political sphere as a space of law protecting individuals according to their political status, not as mere members of a historically contingent social order.
This provocative study revives a classical idea about rationality by developing analogies between the structure of personality and the structure of society in the context of contemporary work in the philosophy of mind, ehtics, decision theory, and social choice theory.

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