Contents: Issue 6

Issue 6: September 2018


The Connection Between Non-thinking and Evil 

— Arden Rushwood

Arendt suggests that the “banality of evil” manifests in non-thinking, and thus that thinking itself may be sufficient to prevent evil. In this essay, Arden Rushwood explores Arendt’s conception of ‘thinking’ and argues that, while thinking may in some sense be necessary for the prevention of evil, it may not be in itself sufficient, as there are other factors that may need to be confronted. He suggests two other factors in addition to nonthinking—namely, ideology, and a crowd mentality—that may also need to be minimised for the successful prevention of evil.


Revising Inauthenticity: Beauvoir’s ‘Moral Fault’ and ‘Oppression’ Distinction

—  Codie Pia Condos

In The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir undergoes a philosophical investigation of the notion of freedom and authenticity; her identification of woman as ‘Other’ signifies the complexity of women’s existence and, as Codie Pia Condos contends, the vital move to acknowledge a difference between ‘moral fault’ and ‘oppression’. Accordingly, she explores this distinction through Beauvoir’s analysis of the cultural naturalisation of women’s reproductive role, their idolisation of man in (heterosexual) ‘romantic love’, and lastly, the means for overcoming their Othered position through their intersubjective relations.


Is Quantum Entanglement the Answer to a Paradigm Shift in Quantum Physics?

—  Devmi Epaarachchi

This critical analysis explores the issue of quantum entanglement, and whether the anomalous observations within it can lead to a paradigm shift within the field of Quantum Mechanics. Devmi Epaarachchi argues that a paradigm shift is much overdue, as the anomalies regarding quantum entanglement have reached a critical mass, and this predictably casts doubt on the accuracy of the paradigm.


Lorde’s Theory of Difference: Ecofeminism and the Feminisation of Politics

—  Grace Dunn

In 1984, self-described ‘forty-nine-year-old Black lesbian feminist socialist mother of two, including one boy, and member of an interracial couple’ Audre Lorde, proposed that developing new definitions of power and means of relating across difference were crucial among women. In this paper, Grace Dunn engages with advances in feminist ideology and practice that have challenged hetero-patriarchal constructions of power and considered the role of difference in influencing oppression, to ultimately argue that Lorde’s notion remains contemporarily relevant. By considering aspects of her own identity and conviction, she critically engages with: the emergence of intersectionality; the feminisation of politics; and ecofeminism, in order to ultimately highlight both the adoption of, and need for, Lorde’s theory of difference.


Adaptive Preferences: Assuming an Account of the Good 

—  Jemimah Thompson

Attempts to discern when an agent’s preferences have been inappropriately adapted to suit oppressive conditions embroil the political agendas of feminism in a conflict with value pluralism and respect for agents’ preferences. Jemimah Thompson argues that this conflict ensues in consequence to political aims that cannot succeed without appealing to an objective account of the good. Distinguishing three broad approaches to identifying adaptive preferences—appeals to agents’ internal conditions, external options, and unjust conditions—she outlines a progression whereby each approach collapses into the next when required to account for the hard cases of preference formation. Where the purportedly value-neutral approaches fail to fulfil their political aims, they lead inevitably to more stringent requirements upon agents’ autonomy conditions, and ultimately to an account of the good. Jemimah attributes this progression to an assumption that underlies the feminist concern with adaptive preferences: that an agent cannot autonomously prefer what is not conducive to his or her good. As such, all attempts to identify adaptive preferences rest upon claims as normatively loaded as agents’ own attempts to justify the preferences they hold.


Freedom and Resistance to Power: Reconciling Foucault and Spinoza

— Julian Roney

Foucault is heralded as a prominent figure in the development of post-modern philosophy. Though his work is comprised of a complicated set of arguments which turn on each other as his thought progresses, this essay by Julian Roney seeks to clarify and attend to the plausibility of his account of resistance to the normalising and violent pressures of the modern world. His intertextual reading of Foucault and Spinoza illuminates the relevance of enlightenment thinking for personal empowerment and assists in determining an ethics for the bio-politics of affective life.


Do We Really Need Metaphysics?

Kaitlin Smalley

Is the traditional methodology of metaphysics acceptable and what is and/or ought to be the relationship between metaphysics and science? In this paper, Kaitlin outlines the current state of the debate surrounding the fundamental question: can science answer all metaphysical questions? She explores what makes a question metaphysical, and explain why most philosophers seem inclined to believe that science fails to answer all metaphysical questions.


To Speak Femininities from Within: Beyoncé as Irigaray’s Mimesis

— Kristy Kaden

The work of philosophers such as Luce Irigaray is fundamentally important to our perception of society, though can sometimes be difficult to apply to ‘real life’ outside of academia and literature. However, as Kristy Kaden argues, Irigaray’s strategy of mimesis can be seen at work in many cases, particularly in mainstream music artists such as Beyoncé. Through her most recent two albums, Beyoncé demonstrates a way in which women can successfully occupy the position of the feminine—using it to their advantage in achieving personal success while also working to dismantle harmful feminine stereotypes from within.


Women of Colour in Coalition: a Plurilogue with Lorde, Mohanty and Lugones

— Lucy Rykers

In this paper, Lucy Rykers addresses the contemporary relevance of Audre Lorde’s theory of difference. To do so she draws upon Shireen Roshanravan’s conceptualisation of plurilogue as a tool for positioning Lorde’s theory in relation to two other ‘Women of Colour’ (WOC) theorists, Maria Lugones and Chandra Mohanty. Firstly, she considers how Lorde’s theory as an analytical framework for understanding inequality is enhanced when connected to both Lugones’ and Mohanty’s theories. She then goes on to examine how their collective works continue to offer the way forward in terms of emancipatory and resistance strategies. Ultimately, she argues that conceiving Lorde’s work in coalition with other contemporary WOC theorists ensures the enduring relevance of her theory of difference in 2018.

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Every Day and Ordinary: Agamben’s State of Exception

— Samuel Brabham

Here Samuel Brabham discusses Giorgio Agamben’s claim that the state of exception has become a fixture of contemporary politics. He examines how Carl Schmitt, arguing against Walter Benjamin, elevates the sovereign state above the juridical body. Using two contemporary examples, he assess Agamben’s claim that the state of exception has become the norm. While there is evidence to support Agamben’s claim, Samuel disagrees with his final assessment of the situation and turns to Arendt’s proposition; that the formation of a totalitarian state, while possible, is not inevitable due to the regulatory power existent in contemporary judiciary systems.


At the (Dinner) Table: Cultural Creation is a Lever for Social Change

— Souhail Arfaoui

In this article Souhail Arfaoui approaches Table Art as the place that marks social change. As he argues, the (dinner) table is also the place which marks togetherness, as well as the ability to translate culture and class and to determine the social and relational stratification between social forces that are in conflict within a given field.


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