sábado, 27 de julho de 2013

Conferência:"Cosmopolitan Conditions for Legitimate Sovereignty"

Alguns dos trabalhos apresentados na conferência "Cosmopolitan Conditions for Legitimate Sovereignty" estão disponíveis no site do evento. A conferência ocorreu dias 12 e 13 de julho no Berlin Social Research Center. O encontro teve como proposta a pergunta: a de que modo leis e políticas internacionais podem gerar as condições de legitimidade apropriadas para os Estados soberanos? 

A seguir os trabalhos de Mathias Risse (Harvard), Andrea Sangiovanni (King's College), Matias Kumm (Berlin Social Research), Kai Moller (London School) e o falecido Ronald Dworkin (NYU) - que não chegou a apresentar seu trabalho no evento.

- Risse: "Introducing pluralist Internationalism: An alternative approach to Questions of Global Justice"

- Sangionvanni: "Should we take institutions as they are, or they ideally ought to be?"

- Kumm: "Global constitutionalism and the Cosmopolitan State"

- Möller: "From Constitutional to Human Rights"

- Dworkin: "A New Philosophy for International Law"

quinta-feira, 25 de julho de 2013

Congresso Internacional de Filosofia Moral e Política (UFPEL)

Estão abertas as inscrições para o III Congresso Internacional de Filosofia Moral e Política organizado pelo programa de pós-graduação em filosofia da Universidade Federal de Pelotas. O tema desta edição será "Responsabilidade" e o programa já pode ser consultado aqui. O prazo para o envio dos trabalhos: 5/08 a 12/10.

Mais informações: iiicifmp@gmail.com

quarta-feira, 24 de julho de 2013

Resenha: "Meaning and Normativity"

Christopher Hill (Brown) escreveu uma resenha do livro novo do filósofo Allan Gibbard (Michigan) chamado "Meaning and Normativity". Nessa obra, Gibbard leva adiante seu projeto "naturalista" de interpretar nossos conceitos normativos como expressão de intenções e planos individuais. Em 2007 Gibbard deu uma entrevista para o periódico Theoria na qual ele procurou explicar quais as relações entre  significado linguístico e normatividade, tema central de "Meaning and Normativity"

- Hill: "Meaning and Normativity (Notre Dame Review)

- Björnsson & Bäve (interview): "Meaning as a Normative Concept"

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Normativity and Community
3. Kripke's Wittgenstein on Meaning
4. Correct Belief
5. Horwich on Meaning
6. The Normative Meaning Role
7. Reference, Truth, and Context
8. Meaning and Plans
9. Interpreting Interpretation
10. Expressivism, Non-Naturalism, and Us
Appendix 1: The Objects of Belief
Appendix 2: Schroeder on Expressivism

Meaning and Normativity

Allan Gibbard, Meaning and Normativity, Oxford University Press, 2012, 310pp., $55 (hbk), ISBN 9780199646074.

byChristopher S. Hill, Brown University

Gibbard's book represents the most ambitious and innovative attempt to explain meaning since Paul Horwich and Robert Brandom developed their theories in the nineties. The first half offers richly detailed accounts of word meaning, analyticity, synonymy, reference, truth, and truth conditions, and the second half focuses on normative expressions, updating and extending Gibbard's celebrated expressivist account of the meanings of those terms, and integrating the account with the general theory of meaning that is developed in earlier chapters. In addition to these primary concerns, the book proposes a solution to the Kripkenstein paradox, presents a theory of the norms linking truth to belief, explores the relationships between expressivism and naturalism, argues for a set of views about the connection between believing propositions and accepting sentences, develops a story of the individuation of the objects of belief and thought, and responds to Mark Schroeder's critique of expressivism. It comments in passing on a variety of other topics, almost always in an illuminating way.
Gibbard's main claim is that linguistic meaning is normative. At various points he broadens this claim to apply to the representational contents of concepts and propositional attitudes. Many readers will come to the book with a prior commitment to a quite different view about meaning and content -- specifically, the belief that these notions have their principal home in causal explanations and are therefore largely descriptive or factual in character. This view may lead them to disagree strongly with much that Gibbard says. Even so, I predict that every reader will find the book marvelous, whatever his or her prior commitments. By the end of the book, every reader will have a larger and better grounded view of the main options in various branches of philosophy of language and metaethics, a much more adequate understanding of many smaller topics, and stronger mental muscles. There is a relentless intelligence, guided by wisdom, at work on every page.

sábado, 20 de julho de 2013

O triunfo da culpa

O "Forum" da última edição da Boston Review trouxe o texto da professora de direito Barbara Fried (Stanford) "Beyond Blame" no qual ela questiona o valor excessivo atribuido à responsabilidade individual  -tanto pelos fundamentos do sistema penal como da economia política. Para Fried, as idéias tradicionais de "culpa" e "castigo" disseminadas pela moralidade deotológica (cara ao libertarianismo) são contrárias ao conhecimento atual sobre agência moral e o papel das circunstâncias sociais e biológicas em nossas escolhas. Entre os comentadores do texto, os filósofos Thomas Scanlon, Christine Korsgaard e Brian Leiter, e o psicólogo Paul Bloom.

But most have simply assumed that whatever kind and degree of freedom is required for moral responsibility, all of us, except for a small class of “abnormal” people, have it once we reach seventeen years of age.
The reality is that we are all at best compromised agents, whether by biology, social circumstance, or brute luck. The differences among us are differences of degree that do not admit of categorical division into the normal and the abnormal. A morally serious inquiry into the requisite meaning of free will needs to face some basic facts about this society—for starters, that in the United States parental income and education are the most powerful predictors of whether a three-year-old will end up in the boardroom or in prison; that most abusive parents were themselves victims of abuse and neglect; that the norms of one’s peer group when growing up are powerful determinants of behavior; and that traits of emotional reactivity and impulsiveness, which have a large genetic component, are among the more robust predictors of criminal behavior. Such an inquiry would also need to address what evidence would suffice to conclude that Smith could have behaved differently. Is it enough that someone in a similar situation once pulled herself up by her own bootstraps? That the average person does? And how can we be sure that the situations are in fact similar in relevant ways?

Beyond Blame
by Barabara Fried

In an article published shortly before his death, the political scientist James Q. Wilson took on the large question of free will and moral responsibility: 
Does the fact that biology determines more of our thinking and conduct than we had previously imagined undermine the notion of free will? And does this possibility in turn undermine, if not entirely destroy, our ability to hold people accountable for their actions?
Wilson’s answer was an unequivocal no.
He has lots of company, which should come as a surprise given what scientific research into the determinants of human behavior has told us over the past four decades. Most of that research, as Wilson says, points to the same conclusion: our worldviews, aspirations, temperaments, conduct, and achievements—everything we conventionally think of as “us”—are in significant part determined by accidents of biology and circumstance. The study of the brain is in its infancy; as it advances, the evidence for determinism will surely grow.
One might have expected those developments to temper enthusiasm for blame mongering. Instead, the same four decades have been boom years for blame. 
Retributive penal policy, which has produced incarceration rates of unprecedented proportions in the United States, has been at the forefront of the boom. But enthusiasm for blame is not confined to punishment. Changes in public policy more broadly—the slow dismantling of the social safety net, the push to privatize social security, the deregulation of banking, the health care wars, the refusal to bail out homeowners in the wake of the 2008 housing meltdown—have all been fueled by our collective sense that if things go badly for you, you’ve got no one to blame but yourself. Mortgage under water? You should have thought harder about whether you could really afford that house before you bought it. Trouble paying back your college loans? You should have looked more carefully at job prospects for sociology majors before you took out the loans. Unless of course “you” are “me,” in which case the situation tends to look a bit more complicated. 
This has also been a boom time for blame in moral and political philosophy, partially in reaction to John Rawls’s A Theory of Justice (1971), which is widely credited with reviving these fields. Rawls focused not on personal responsibility but on ensuring fair conditions that would create opportunities for everyone to pursue their aims. Within a decade, however, Rawls’s theory was under attack from the left and right for giving insufficient attention to personal responsibility and associated attitudes toward blame. On the right, Robert Nozick’s 1974 Anarchy, State, and Utopia heralded a major libertarian revival, centered on individual rights and individual responsibility. On the left, Ronald Dworkin proposed an alternative to Rawls’s vision of liberal egalitarianism, one that brought personal responsibility into the egalitarian fold. On the one hand, Dworkin argued, our fate should not be shaped by “brute luck”—circumstances, whether social or biological, not subject to our control. But as to anything that results from our choices, blame away. As the philosopher G. A. Cohen said of Dworkin’s argument, it has “performed for egalitarianism the considerable service of incorporating within it the most powerful idea in the arsenal of the anti-egalitarian right: the idea of choice and responsibility.”
Why exactly are we trying so hard to make the world safe for blame? What have we gained and what have we lost in the effort? And is there an alternative?

segunda-feira, 15 de julho de 2013

Os treze mandamentos do neoliberalismo

O filósofo da ciência Philip Mirowski (Notre Dame) apresentou no blog The Utopian alguns dos argumentos do seu último livro Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown. No livro, Mirowski procura mostrar como a doutrina neoliberal se estabeleceu entre a elite intelectual e política anglo-americana de tal que se mostrou praticamente "irrefutável" mesmo diante de evidências empíricas patentemente adversas - como a crise de 2008. Veja a seguir os "treze mandamentos" da ortodoxia econômica segundo Mirowski.

The Thirteen Commandments of Neoliberalism

by Philip Miroswki

Throughout the second half of the twentieth century, the neoliberal project stood out from other strains of right-wing thought in that it was self-consciously constituted as an entity dedicated to the development, promulgation, and popularization of doctrines intended to mutate over time. It was a moveable feast, and not a catechism fixed at the Council of Trent. It is very important to have some familiarity with neoliberal ideas, if only to resist simple-minded characterizations of the neoliberal approach to the financial crisis as some form of evangelical “market fundamentalism.”
Although many secondhand purveyors of ideas on the right might wish to crow that “market freedom” promotes their own brand of religious righteousness, or maybe even the converse, it nonetheless debases comprehension to conflate the two by disparaging both as “fundamentalism”—a sneer unfortunately becoming commonplace on the left. It seems very neat and tidy to assert that neoliberals operate in a modus operandi on a par with religious fundamentalists: just slamThe Road to Serfdom (or if you are really Low-to-No Church, Atlas Shrugged) on the table along with the King James Bible, and then profess to have unmediated personal access to the original true meaning of the only (two) book(s) you’ll ever need to read in your lifetime. Counterpoising morally confused evangelicals with the reality-based community may seem tempting to some; but it dulls serious thought. It may sometimes feel that a certain market-inflected personalized version of Salvation has become more prevalent in Western societies, but that turns out to be very far removed from the actual content of the neoliberal program.
Neoliberalism does not impart any dose of Old Time Religion. Not only is there no ur-text of neoliberalism; the neoliberals have not themselves opted to retreat into obscurantism, however much it may seem that some of their fellow travelers may have done so. You won’t often catch them wondering, “What Would Hayek Do?” Instead they developed an intricately linked set of overlapping propositions over time — from Ludwig Erhard’s “social market economy” to Herbert Giersch’s cosmopolitan individualism, from Milton Friedman’s “monetarism” to the rational-expectations hypothesis, from Hayek’s “spontaneous order” to James Buchanan’s constitutional order, from Gary Becker’s “human capital” to Steven Levitt’s “freakonomics,” from the Heartland Institute’s climate denialism to the American Enterprise Institute’s geo-engineering project, and, most appositely, from Hayek’s “socialist calculation controversy” to Chicago’s efficient-markets hypothesis. Along the way they have lightly sloughed off many prior classical liberal doctrines — for instance, opposition to corporate monopoly power as politically debilitating, or skepticism over strong intellectual property, or disparaging finance as an intrinsic source of macroeconomic disturbance — without coming clean on their reversals.
Clearly, neoliberals do not navigate with a fixed static Utopia as the astrolabe for all their political strivings. They could not, since they don’t even agree on such basic terms as “market” and “freedom” in all respects. One can even agree with Robert Brenner and Naomi Klein that crisis is the preferred field of action for neoliberals, since that offers more latitude for introduction of bold experimental “reforms” that only precipitate further crises down the road.  Nevertheless, Neoliberalism does not dissolve into a gormless empiricism or random pragmatism. There persists a certain logic to the way it approaches crises; and that is directly relevant to comprehending its unexpected strength in the current global crisis.
Under that supposition, we endeavor here to provide a necessarily non-canonical characterization of the temporary configuration of doctrines that neoliberals had arrived at by roughly the 1980s. These Thirteen Commandments below are chosen because they have direct bearing upon unfolding developments during the period of the crisis from 2007 onwards. 

sexta-feira, 12 de julho de 2013


Nova entrada sobre "Cosmopolitismo" na Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy - para quem ainda não conhece a Stanford, ela é uma enciclopédia on-line de filosofia escrita por especialistas convidados e sem fins lucrativos mantida pelo centro de estudos da linguagem e da informação da Universidade de Standford. Podemos afirmar que se trata, no momento, de uma das melhores obras de referência na área!

 Pauline Kleingeld (Gronigen) e Eric Brown (Washington) atualizaram o conteúdo do verbete, aumentando a bibliografia, classificando diferentes formas de cosmopolitismo e apresentando as principais objeções às teses cosmopolitas. 

- Kleingeld & Brown: "Cosmopolitism" (Stanford)

(para quem quiser uma versão para impressão, ver aqui)

quinta-feira, 11 de julho de 2013

Jeremy Waldron: Jurisprudência para ouriços

Novo artigo de Jeremy Waldron no SSRN: "Jurisprudence for Hedgehogs". O artigo é uma interpretação da a teoria da jurisprudência desenvolvida por Donald Dworkin em seu último livro Justice for Hedgehogs. De acordo com Waldron, em sua última formulação da teoria da jurisprudência, Dworkin não apenas reformulou suas posições iniciais sobre o papel dos principios morais nos juízos legais, como tornou essa relação ainda mais forte. 

- Waldron: "Jurisprudence for Hedgehogs"


The aims of this essay are, first, to present the jurisprudential position that Ronald Dworkin set out in his penultimate book, Justice for Hedgehogs (2011); and, secondly, to elaborate it a little further than Dworkin himself was able to. The position is a distinctive and interesting one. Although Professor Dworkin argued in all his earlier work that moral facts (about rights and justice) were among the truth conditions of legal propositions, now in Justice for Hedgehogs he argued that law is itself a branch of morality. This is a bolder and more radical claim and it requires some quite careful exposition to see how it might be made plausible.

segunda-feira, 8 de julho de 2013

Hannah Arendt o filme

Estréia do filme sobre a filósosa alemã Hannah Arendt no país. O filme dirigido por Margareth von Trota recria o papel (e a reflexão) de Arendt no julgamento do ex-oficial nazista Adolf Eichmman em 1961. Como sabemos, a "cobertura jornalística" da filósofa pela revista The New Yorker acabou virando o clássico livro Eichmann em Jerusalém.

O diretor do centro Hannah Arendt Roger Berkowitz escreveu um pequeno ensaio para o blog The Stone sobre a recepção do filme:


quinta-feira, 4 de julho de 2013

Scanlon: "What's morality?"

O filósofo Thomas Scanlon (Harvard) ministrou a Guelph Lecture na Universidade de Guelph (Canada). O título da palestra é "What's morality?" e retoma as teses de Scanlon sobre a objetividade de nossos padrões morais. Scanlon desenvolveu de maneira sistemática o tema em suas Locke Lectures (Oxford) de 2009 - o livro será publicado ano que vem como Being Realistic About Reasons, mas os manuscritos já se encontram disponíveis.

Thomas Scanlon: "What's Morality?"

Abstract: Why should we care about whether what we do is right or wrong? What are the costs of caring, or not caring, about this? The lecture will discuss possible answers to these questions, with reference to Herman Melville's story, ‘Bartleby the Scrivener’, seen as a story about the failure of moral communication.

Scanlon: "Being Realistic About Reasons (2009 Locke Lectures)":

Lecture 1: Introduction
Lecture 2: Normativity and Metaphysics
Lecture 3: Motivation and the Appeal of Expressivism
Lecture 4: Epistemological Problems
Lecture 5: Normative Structure

segunda-feira, 1 de julho de 2013

Louis Seidman e David Cole sobre "desobediência constitucional"

O professor de direito constitucional Louis Seidman (Universidade Georgetown) recentemente iniciou um debate caloroso entre acadêmicos e autoridades norte-americanas ao retomar argumentos políticos contra a natureza "anti-democrática" da constituição do país. Em seu livro "Constitutional Desobedience", Seidman argumenta que não apenas não seria razoável os norte-americanos aterem-se às precauções dos pais fundadores, como que as principais reformas nos Estados Unidos ("abolição", "new deal", luta pelos direitos civis, etc.) foram feitas contra empecilhos legais impostos pelo texto constitucional original:

Our obsession with the Constitution has saddled us with a dysfunctional political system, kept us from debating the merits of divisive issues and inflamed our public discourse. Instead of arguing about what is to be done, we argue about what James Madison might have wanted done 225 years ago.

(ver o artigo de Seidman para o NY Times "Let's give up on the Constitution"). 

Os argumentos de Seidman são analisados pelo também professor de direito David Cole no NY Books:

Should we discard the Constitution?
by David Cole

Does the US Constitution do more harm than good? Last year, the most important social welfare legislation since the New Deal, the Affordable Care Act, was nearly invalidated by the Supreme Court on grounds that Congress does not have the power to require people who can afford to purchase health insurance to do so or pay a tax. This term, the Court may strike down both the University of Texas’s affirmative action program and a Voting Rights Act provision that has had a central part in curtailing racially discriminatory voting practices in the South. Three years ago, in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Court ruled that the Constitution bans limits on corporate spending on elections. And who can forget Bush v. Gore, in which five conservative members of the Court invoked the Constitution to stop a Florida recount and effectively installed George W. Bush as president?
These and other decisions, coupled with the experience of several decades under a Supreme Court controlled by conservative justices, have led many liberal legal scholars to question the value of constitutional judicial review in our democratic system. Harvard Law School’s Mark Tushnet and former Stanford Law Dean Larry Kramer have argued that we should “take the constitution away from the courts” and instead empower “the people” to make constitutional decisions—a curious prescription in light of the fact that the Constitution was designed as much to check “the people” as to limit government.
Others, such as NYU Law School’s Barry Friedman, have argued that the Court really only follows the election returns, and therefore does not in fact serve to protect liberty against intolerant majorities. And Harvard Law School Professor Michael Klarman has maintained that when courts do get out ahead of the main currents of opinion, as in Roe v. Wade, they often set off a conservative backlash that does more harm than good for the right for which protection is sought.
Louis Michael Seidman, one of the country’s leading constitutional scholars and my colleague at Georgetown Law, seeks to raise the stakes. In his latest book, On Constitutional Disobedience, he argues that we should give up on the Constitution altogether. He maintains that we need to question not just individual decisions of the conservative Supreme Court, and not just the Court’s power to have the last word on constitutional questions, but the entire enterprise of constitutionalism. He contends that little good and much evil flows from our perceived obligation to be bound by the Constitution. It has rarely protected civil liberties. It distracts us from the “merits” of a given law or action, since we argue instead about whether it accords with what a small and exclusive group of men thought more than two centuries ago. And it is responsible for today’s overheated partisan rhetoric, because constitutional arguments cast opponents as traitors to the political community. We would be better off, he concludes, without a Constitution.
Seidman concedes that “a proposal that we systematically ignore the Constitution will strike many as stupid, evil, dangerous, or all three.” In the end, I find his argument unconvincing, but certainly not stupid, evil, or dangerous. Its chief benefit, however, is not, as Seidman hopes, to free us from the chains of constitutional obligation, but to provoke us to defend more adequately why the Constitution should bind us in the first place.
Seidman put his case against constitutionalism most pithily in a New York TimesOp-Ed that he recently published in conjunction with his new book. There, he asked:
Imagine that after careful study a government official—say, the president or one of the party leaders in Congress—reaches a considered judgment that a particular course of action is best for the country. Suddenly, someone bursts into the room with new information: a group of white propertied men who have been dead for two centuries, knew nothing of our present situation, acted illegally under existing law and thought it was fine to own slaves might have disagreed with this course of action. Is it even remotely rational that the official should change his or her mind because of this divination?1