• Myths and Misconceptions of the Orthodox View of AIDS in Africa

      Geshekter, Charles (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2007)
      This article rebuts conventional claims that AIDS in Africa is a microbial problem to be controlled through sexual abstinence, behavior modification, condoms, and drugs. The orthodox view mistakenly attributes to sexual activities the common symptoms that define an AIDS case in Africa - diarrhea, high fever, weight loss and dry cough. What has really made Africans increasingly sick over the past 25 years are deteriorating political economies, not people’s sexual behavior. The establishment view on AIDS turned poverty into a medical issue and made everyday life an obsession about safe sex. While the vast, selfperpetuating AIDS industry invented such aggressive phrases as “the war on AIDS” and “fighting stigma,” it viciously denounced any physician, scientist, journalist or citizen who exposed the inconsistencies, contradictions and errors in their campaigns. Thus, fighting AIDS in Africa degenerated into an intolerant religious crusade. Poverty and social inequality are the most potent co-factors for an AIDS diagnosis. In South Africa, racial inequalities rooted in apartheid mandated rigid segregation of health facilities and disproportionate spending on the health of whites, compared to blacks. Apartheid policies ignored the diseases that primarily afflicted Africans - malaria, tuberculosis, respiratory infections and protein anemia. Even after the end of apartheid, the absence of basic sanitation and clean water supplies still affects many Africans in the former homelands and townships. The article argues that the billions of dollars squandered on fighting AIDS should be diverted to poverty relief, job creation, the provision of better sanitation, better drinking water, and financial help for drought-stricken farmers. The cure for AIDS in Africa is as near at hand as an alternative explanation for what is making Africans sick in the first place.
    • Die paradoxe Simultaneität inmitten des Widerfahrnisses

      Yamaguchi, Ichiro (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2011)
      In respect to the issue of ethics, Waldenfels’ position can be located between Levinas’ and Merleau Ponty’s. This “in-between” position allows an enormous enrichment of the phenomenological analysis. This essay aims at a stronger emphasis regarding the analysis of Merleau-Ponty’s “intercorporéité (Zwischenleiblichkeit)”. To this purpose, I am discussing important insights from Husserl’s lecture “Einleitung in die Ethik, 1920 – 24”, and the turn from an egologic interpretation of affection towards an intermonadic interpretation of pre-affection. This approach works towards the establishment of the field of research of ethics in the genetic phenomenology, in which the more wide ranging scope of Waldenfels’ contribution can be shown clearly.
    • Das Bild als Anderer und der Andere als Bild? Zum An-spruch des Anderen als Bild seiner selbst und zum Bild als Anspruch des Anderen

      Stoellger, Philipp (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2011)
      My paper will deal with a topic which interests both hermeneutics and phenomenology, as well as ethics and theory of image. This topic is the request of the Other. Speaking and thinking starting from the request of the Other implies a thinking which conceives of ethics as a "prima philosophia", as Levinas has shown. On its turn, speaking and think-ing starting from the image‟s request implies a thinking which attempts to speak about an image, by responding to its calling. Both these two registers of response are not absolute and solely ethically conceived, as ethos without pathos would be lifeless, and pathos with-out ethos would probably be dubious. Furthermore, both of them cannot do without logos when it comes to making ourselves understandable to others. Of course, it makes a huge difference whether we speak and think starting from one and not the other kind of request. However, Other and image converge on the fact that they both share the character of re-quest, and this to the point that image, indeed, affects us, hits us in a pathic way and even compels us to answer. Hence, one may ask: is the image event a version of the “request of the Other”, a modality of encountering the alien? Or, rather, is the request of the Other a modality between image and the other human being, so that this same modality allows us to think the character of phenomenality that image and Other share? To a “humanist of the Other” this proximity to image would appear dangerous, as the Other could run the risk of being taken “only as an image”. In other words, the risk here is that we might end up dealing only with images instead of dealing with the actual request of the Other. Yet we may ask: does the image event actually hit less than the request of the Other? Of course, there are deep differences between the theory of image and ethics. However, they have one point in common: they both share the pathic and ethical character of event, starting from which one can speak and think. Then: image and Other, image as Other, or Other as image?
    • Pragmatism, critical theory and democratic inclusion

      Calder, Gideon (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2011-06-03)
      This article explores ideas from Richard Rorty and Nancy Fraser on the justification of democracy. It considers both as exemplary of what, following Michael Walzer, we can call philosophizing “in the city” – eschewing any aim to adopt a generalised, metaphysical perspective on questions of social justice, and seeking instead to locate these, in their conception and elaboration, in the thick of lived social practice. For such approaches, as for other treatments of democracy, issues around inclusion will be key: whose voices should count in the democratic conversation, and how? I address Rorty’s claim that democracy is “prior” to philosophy, rather than requiring philosophical backup, and Fraser’s notion of “participatory parity”. Endorsing Kevin Olson’s diagnosis in the latter of a “paradox of enablement”, I consider the inclusion of the disabled as a way of addressing how this paradox might work in practice. I conclude in section 4 by suggesting that escaping the paradox seems to require venturing to a vantage point further from the city than either Rorty or Fraser would prefer. I suggest that a capabilities-based approach would be one way of doing this – but that this, indeed, involves deeper “traditional”-style philosophical commitments than pragmatists will be happy to support.
    • Guests Editors’ Preface. Pragmatist and Democracy: an overview

      Frega, Roberto; Trifirò, Fabrizio (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2011-06-03)
    • Education’s Role in Democracy: The Power of Pluralism

      Thayer-Bacon, Barbara J. (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2011-06-03)
      My task in Beyond Liberal Democracy in Schools (2008) was to develop a relational, pluralistic social political theory that moves beyond liberal democracy. I find Dewey is a key source to help us find our way out of liberal democracy’s assumptions and show us how to move on. He (1949/1960) offers us the possibilities of moving beyond individualism, with his theory of social transaction and he (1938/1955) shows us how to move beyond rationalism in his arguments for truths as warranted assertions. A transactional description of selves-in-relation-with-others describes us as becoming individuals out of our social settings. At the same time that we are becoming individuals within a social setting, we are continually affecting that social setting. Individuals are not aggregates with separate boundaries that have no relation to one another. In fact, the ‘self’ is fictive, and contingent. Our ‘selves’ are multifarious and fractured, due to repressive forces imposed upon us by others as well as supportive forces offered to us by others. Others bind us and help us become free at the same time. The democratic theory I develop is a radical democratic theory that represents feminist and multicultural concerns. This theory is radical because of my efforts to present an anti-racist theory that critiques basic foundational-level assumptions embedded within both individualism and collectivism. The theory moves beyond modernism and critical theory as it seeks to address postmodern concerns of power and exclusionary practice without appealing to grand narratives such as Reason, the Scientific Method, or Dialogue. I follow Dewey’s social transactional lead and describe our world as one that is pluralistic, relational, and in process as we continually contribute to the on-going constructing of knowing. I argue, in agreement with Dewey (1916/1996), that a democracy is a mode of associated living, not just a view of political democracy, and that it needs to be struggled for on all fronts, with all our social institutions, including: political, economic, educational, scientific, artistic, religious, and familial. This comprehensive view of democracy is consistent with the transactional relational assumption I describe, for it recognizes that social institutions are no more autonomous and separate from each other than individuals are separate from each other. For this essay, I explore education’s role in helping us understand how connected we all are to each other, moving us closer to living in a world we may someday call a democracy.
    • Saving Pragmatist Democratic Theory (from Itself)

      Talisse, Robert (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2011-06-03)
      Deweyan democracy is inherently comprehensive in the Rawlsian sense and therefore unable to countenance the fact of reasonable pluralism. This renders Deweyan democracy nonviable on pragmatic grounds. Given the Deweyan pragmatists’ views about the proper relation between philosophy and politics, unless there is a viable pragmatist alternative to Deweyan democracy, pragmatism itself is jeopardized. I develop a pragmatist alternative to Deweyan democracy rooted in a Peircean social epistemology. Peircean democracy can give Deweyan pragmatists all they should want from a democratic theory while avoiding the anti-pluralistic implications of Dewey’s own democratic theory. After presenting the arguments against Deweyan democracy and for Peircean democracy, I address a criticism of Peircean democracy recently posed by Matthew Festenstein.
    • What Pragmatism means by Public Reason

      Frega, Roberto (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2011-06-03)
      In this article I examine the main conceptions of public reason in contemporary political philosophy (Rawls, Habermas, critical theory) in order to set the frame for appreciating the novelty of the pragmatist understanding of public reason as based upon the notion of consequences and upon a theory of rationality as inquiry. The approach is inspired by Dewey but is free from any concern with history of philosophy. The aim is to propose a different understanding of the nature of public reason aimed at overcoming the limitations of the existing approaches. Public reason is presented as the proper basis for discussing contested issues in the broad frame of deep democracy.
    • Self-gouvernement et pragmatisme ; Jefferson, Thoreau, Tocqueville, Dewey

      Zask, Joëlle (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2011-06-03)
      The main idea of this paper is that self-government should be regarded as a principle whose basic meaning is that people, in order to fulfill their aspirations and pursue a life worth living, must have the right and power to influence their individual and social circumstances. When applied to political theory such principle allows to draw the outlines of what John Dewey called “radical liberalism” or “radical democracy”, a political culture that presents some fondamental differences when compared to the two dominant contemporary alternative standpoints, liberalism and communitarism. Considering the works of Jefferson, Thoreau, Tocqueville and Dewey as belonging to a same political family the paper traces its main constitutive traits.
    • The importance of pragmatism for liberal democracy: an anti-foundationalist and deliberative approach to multiculturalism

      Trifirò, Fabrizio (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2011-06-03)
      The paper illustrates the desirability of an anti-foundationalist approach to normativity for the fullest realization of the liberal democratic project. The first section defends the viability, epistemic and normative, of an anti-foundationalism inspired to the antimetaphysical and anti-sceptical legacy of the founders of American pragmatism. The second section, drawing on the deliberative turn in democratic theory and the capability approach to autonomy, introduces what I regard to be the normative core of liberal democracy. The third section fleshes out the desirability argument by looking at how a pragmatist approach to normativity allows liberal democracies to address in a fully deliberative spirit the challenges posed by the growing cultural diversity of contemporary societies associated with contemporary processes of globalization.
    • Cracks in the Pragmatic Façade: F. C. S. Schiller and the Nature of Counter-Democratic Tendencies

      Porrovecchio, Mark (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2011-06-03)
      The “pragmatist philosophical tradition” is often described as an American and democratic one. There are, however, a number of purposeful and/or accidental erasures in the history of pragmatism that make this tale possible; namely, the elision of pragmatism’s international cast in its formative years. This essay will focus on one of the most prominent of these forgotten figures and point out how he complicates the assumptions underlying pragmatism’s relationship to democracy. F. C. S. Schiller (1864-1937), the foremost British pragmatist of the early 1900s, championed a Jamesian approach to pragmatism. Schiller’s humanistic approach to pragmatism is all the more striking given that he championed eugenics and authoritarian governments. These two tendencies—espoused in popular and philosophical essays and books—press hard against a causal acceptance that democratic practice is warranted by pragmatism. Schiller, excised from the intellectual history of pragmatism, is relevant precisely because he provides a useful counter to those who would assume as a matter of faith that pragmatism-as-method is the best representation of democratic ideals in philosophical thought. Schiller also suggests what is to be gained by reevaluating the narratives that have allowed such generalizations to gain ground and flourish.
    • Dewey and Goodin on the Value of Monological Deliberation

      Ralston, Shane (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2011-06-06)
      Most contemporary deliberative democrats contend that deliberation is the group activity that transforms individual preferences and behavior into mutual understanding, agreement and collective action. A critical mass of these deliberative theorists also claims that John Dewey’s writings contain a nascent theory of deliberative democracy. Unfortunately, very few of them have noted the similarities between Dewey and Robert Goodin’s theories of deliberation, as well as the surprising contrast between their modeling of deliberation as a mixed monological-dialogical process and the prevalent view expressed in the deliberative democracy literature, viz., that deliberation is predominantly a dialogical process. Both Dewey and Goodin have advanced theories of deliberation which emphasize the value of internal, monological or individual deliberative procedures, though not to the exclusion of external, dialogical and group deliberation. In this paper I argue that deliberative theorists bent on appropriating Dewey’s theory of moral deliberation for political purposes should first consider Goodin’s account of ‘deliberation within’ as a satisfactory if not superior proxy, an account of deliberation which has the identical virtues of Dewey’s theory— imaginative rehearsal, weighing of alternatives and role-taking—with the addition of one more, namely, that it operates specifically within the domain of the political.
    • Emerson, l’éducation et la démocratie

      Laugier, Sandra (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2011-06-06)
      The paper aims to present and defend Cavell’s reading of moral perfectionism as an alternative political approach. For several decades, Stanley Cavell has been working to make Emerson’s voice reheard in the core of American philosophy. This activity, though, is not simply historical rehabilitation. What appears very clearly in, e.g., his 2003 collection Emerson’s Transcendental Etudes, but as early as in the 1990 work Conditions Handsome and Unhandsome, is that Cavell also wants to make heard the present-day political pertinence of Emerson’s thinking and conception of democracy. Cavell wants to criticize either the interpretation of Emerson’s tonality which would make him a precursor of liberal individualism, or a precursor of progressive rhetoric, à la Dewey. Cavell has given himself the task of clearly differentiating Emerson from these trends. The author wants to show, however, that transcendentalism and pragmatism together as inheritors of Emerson’s voice allow us to rediscover something essential to democracy: possession of one’s voice – a question equally at the heart of Emerson’s philosophy, under the form of our capacity to speak, to stand up and speak, for oneself or for others as the very demand to trust oneself, which Cavell later calls the “arrogation of voice”.
    • The Pragmatics of Parenthood: Rorty and West on the Politics of the Family

      Duff, Brian (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2011-06-06)
      In this article I argue that ideas about parenthood have become a point of connection where the neopragmatist theorists Richard Rorty and Cornel West have sought to intertwine two of the primary responsibilities of democratic citizenship. Both Rorty and West turn to parenthood as a reliable lodestar of virtue that allows citizens to navigate the challenging waters of contest. I argue that this strategy exacerbates rather than mitigates the problems that accompany the political uses of parenthood. When the experience of parenthood is used to circumscribe the realm of political contest, the substance of political debate can become shallow and contribute to political stagnation. When the virtuous citizenship that parenthood is meant to instill is subject to challenge, insecurities are exacerbated and the temptation to turn to undemocratic solutions intensifies.
    • School and Democracy: A Reassessment of G. H. Mead’s Educational Ideas

      Carreira da Silva, Filipe (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2011-06-06)
      In this paper I wish to provide a re-examination of G. H. Mead’s educational ideas and their radical democratic import. Drawing on both published and unpublished materials, I discuss how Mead applies his social psychological insights to a number of educational matters. In particular, I will focus on the relation between the family and the school, the role model performed by the problem-solving attitude of experimental science for teaching activities, the relation between the school and the industrial world, the importance of schooling to a participative conception of democratic politics, and Mead’s conception of the university as a scientific institution devoted not to vocational training, but to fundamental research.
    • John Dewey on the Public Responsibility of Intellectuals

      Stikkers, Kenneth W. (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2011-06-06)
      What is a “public intellectual”? And, what is the public responsibility of intellectuals? I wish to place these issues at the intersection of John Dewey’s notion of “publics” and his call for a recovery of philosophy, which I take to be a broader call for a recovery of intellectual life generally. My analysis from such a perspective will suggest the public responsibility of intellectuals to be at least three-fold: 1) to identify and maintain citizens’ focus on the concrete problems that define publics, thereby facilitating the bringing of publics into being and maintaining them as long as they continue to be useful for solving such problems; 2) to aid in the creation of experimental methods whereby social intelligence and resources might be better directed to those problems’ resolutions; and 3) to bring publics to self awareness through the redirection of traditional symbols and the forging of new ones so as to create shared meanings and feelings of common interest, i.e., to aid in the transformation of the Great Society into the Great Community.
    • Democracy and Law: Situating Law within John Dewey’s Democratic Vision

      Butler, Brian (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2011-06-06)
      In this paper I argue that John Dewey developed a philosophy of law that follows directly from his conception of democracy. Indeed, under Dewey’s theory an understanding of law can only follow from an accurate understanding of the social and political context within which it functions. This has important implications for the form law takes within democratic society. The paper will explore these implications through a comparison of Dewey’s claims with those of Richard Posner and Ronald Dworkin; two other theorists that intimately link law and democracy. After outlining their theories I will use the recent United States Supreme Court case, Citizens United, to discuss how practitioners of the three theories would decide a case that implicates both the rule of law and democratic procedures. In order to do this judges following each theory, “Dews, Dworks and Poses,” are imagined. Ultimately this paper will show that drastically different results to Citizens United would follow. The (tentative) conclusion of the paper is that Dewey’s conception of the relationship between democracy and law is a superior option to either that of Dworkin or Posner.
    • Teodicee: una nota su S. Nadler, Il migliore dei mondi possibili

      Morfino, Vittorio (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2011-06-07)
      The book of Steven Nadler, The Best of all possible World. A Story of Philosophers, God and Evil gives an account of the philosophical discussions among Leibniz, Malebranche and Arnauld about the freedom of God and the problem of evil. Starting from an imaginary encounter of the three philosopher in Paris, Nadler reconstructs the complex web of intellectual relations between Leibniz and Malebranche about the Theodicy, between Malebranche and Arnauld about the Treatise on the nature and grace, and between Leibniz and Arnauld about the Discourse of metaphysics. From this reconstruction emerges a sketch of the controversy in which Leibniz’s and Malebranche’s conceptions of God are characterized by the primacy of the intellect over will, whereas Arnauld’s conception of God, according to Descartes’ perspective, states the absolute freedom of God’s will. According to Nadler, Arnauld’s battle against Malebranch’s and Leibniz’s rationalist conception of God is subterraneously guided by his feeling of great proximity between these conceptions and the position about God expressed by Spinoza in the Ethics: a God without will and understanding, a power that simply produces the world in a necessary, meaningless way.