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61. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Rosemarie Tong Out-of-Body Gestation: In Whose Best Interests?
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This article revisits the question of ectogenesis (out-of-body gestation) as our neonatal care and biogenetic technologies bring us closer to the possibility. In 1923, J.B.S. Haldane wrote approvingly of ectogenesis as a eugenic technique, using a science fiction format. In the 1970s and 1980s, feminists debated whether ectogenesis, if possible, would be liberating or oppressive for women. Given current legal and bioethical issues, we must now take seriously the possible costs of ectogenesis: the possibility of growing bodies for use as spare parts, the erosion of the autonomy of women in the reproductive process, the denigration of the body through the loss of the physicality of pregnancy and childbirth. (Abstract prepared by Aaron Lee.)
62. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Margrit Shildrick Reconfiguring the Bioethics of Reproduction
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The paper contends that, despite critiquing certain aspects of modernist thought feminist bioethics has become stuck in its own inadequate paradigms that pay insufficient attention to either the theoretical insights of postmodernism, or to the capacities of biotechnology in the postmodern era to disrupt prior certainties. In the face of an incalculable expansion of both theoretical and material possibilities, feminist bioethicists working in the field of reproduction have remained largely unwilling to reconfigure notions such as embodiment, subjectivity, agency, and so on. There is little recognition of a need for an openness to the shifting complexities, or to think without prior determination. Starting with a brief critique of the normative values of one governmental body concerned with biotechnology, I move on to suggest how postmodernism mightframe an appropriate bioethical response, both to the explicit material issues, and to a rethinking of ethics itself.
63. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Pia C. Kontos Local Biology: Reclaiming Body Matter
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The biological body has remained peripheral to much feminist theory which is the consequence of a legitimate critique of biologicaldeterminism. However, rejecting the biological body altogether runs the risk of treating the body as a sociopolitical effect. It is my argument that corporeal reality can be theorized without lapsing into the totalizing perspectives of essentialism or relativism. To do so Ipropose drawing upon Judith Butler’s analysis of the productive effect of power relations that materialize the body’s sex, and Margaret Lock’s notion of local biology which introduces the notion that biological matter has dynamism of its own that is not reducible to discourse/power. Bringing together these two perspectives on the body holds the prospect of capturing the complex interrelationship between biology, culture, social structure, and power.
64. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Mary Walsh Narratives of the Unsaid: Reading Sexual Difference in a Post Foundational Millennium
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Debates between Anglo-American and Continental feminist theorists of the body appear to have been largely settled as we move into the new millennium. The result has been that a particular Anglo-American perspective (represented by Butler) has gained authoritative ascendency over the continental perspective (represented by Irigaray and Braidotti). This paper draws upon these theorist’s main works as well as a series of interviews and a reading of Freud to raise some key questions about the often unacknowledged complexities of the interplays between patriarchalism and phallocentrism present in a great deal of contemporary international feminist theorizations of the body. This has implications for the types of feminist subjects that can emerge and the political direction of international feministtheorizations of the body into the future.
65. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
M. Carmela Epright Honoring Feminism’s Past, Approaching on Embodied Future: An Afterword
66. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Chienchih Chi A Mistaken Sense in Consciousness
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There is a mistaken sense in consciousness or phenomenal property. I propose that as a general term phenomenal property has no ontological status. When we understand consciousness as phenomenal properties in general to claim the irreducibility of the mind, we simply fall into a trap constructed by a mistaken concept.
67. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Forrest Clingerman Beyond the Flowers and the Stones: “Emplacement” and the Modeling of Nature
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Using the example of a small oak savanna located in Iowa, I begin by presenting some of the problems that confront us in attempting to describe nature. Finding ourselves in a paradox in an attempt to model nature, I then suggest that modeling nature through the use of the concept of “emplacement” offers us the best way forward. To better define “emplacement,” the argument then turns to an exposition of Paul Ricoeur’s idea of “emplotment.” I conclude by detailing how one might use “emplacement” to construct a model of a specific place of nature.
68. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Kevin Dodson Omission, Commission, and Blowback: A Response to Honderich
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The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 have generated a number of responses by philosophers, perhaps the most controversial of which has been Ted Honderich’s book After the Terror. There Honderich inquires into the question of American responsibility for the events of September 11, 2001. Honderich argues that due to our acts of both commission and omission, we Americans bear partialresponsibility for the terrorist atrocities committed on that day. In this paper, I shall take issue with Honderich’s argument and propose an alternative to it based on the concept of blowback.
69. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Michael Forest Hierarchy and the Animals
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Thomism and hierarchical metaphysical systems generally have rejected the moral status of animals. This paper demonstrates that a commitment to a hierarchical system involves the twin claim of being and goodness. This implies that grades of goodness perfuse the created order and also implies the proportional goodness of animals and other living beings. These implications have been consistently overlooked in traditional treatments of our moral relations to animals, yet such hierarchical systems provide an optimal grounding for such evaluations. An application is made to the practice of killing animals for food and a prescription for vegetarianism is advocated.
70. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Thorsten Botz-Borstein Virtual Reality and Dreams: Towards the Autistic Condition?
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The virtual annuls all suspension of time that could, through its tragic or stylistic character, confer to time an existential value. This condition is contrasted with time as it functions in dreams. On the grounds of these observations it is shown that there are resemblances between “autistic” symptoms and the virtual world.