Issue 10 | November 2022
— Chloe Davies
Carol Gilligan articulates an ethics of care framework that suggests an alternative model to the widely understood and used ethics of justice framework. In this essay, Chloe Davies aims to link women’s use of this care framework to their experience of injustice in public discourse in the West, arguing that the general public’s lack of awareness of an ethics of care framework explains some of the hermeneutical injustices suffered by women in public discourse. Chloe contends that this particular argument allows us to articulate the current limitations of projects of equality in discursive spaces and the possible steps that could be taken to move towards a genuine equality.
— Ruby Allen
This essay poses the question “if slurs and their neutral correlates are both used to describe the same referent, why is one term considered harmful and the other not?” Ruby Allen argues that while slurs may have the same referent as their neutral correlates, they cannot have the same meaning. This is because slurs are created with the intent to discriminate and threaten the group being described, while neutral correlates simply classify and describe such groups. Ruby uses the terms “lesbian” and “dyke” to illustrate this point: while both words refer to the same group of people, their meanings are drastically and intrinsically different. This example is analysed using Christopher Hom’s “combinatorial externalism” and Luvell Anderson’s “deflationary theory”.
— Luke Gavin
In this essay, Luke Gavin discusses Descartes’s foundationalism with respect to the indubitability of foundational ideas, offering a scenario where conceivable doubt might be placed on awareness of one’s mental states (one of the foundational beliefs). Luke responds to an objection that offers immediate acquaintance of mental states as a reason for privileging these beliefs on the basis of the origin of the mental/sensory apparatus.
— Fraser Gray
Comedians are constantly scrutinised for the kinds of jokes they tell, as some jokes are perceived as derogatory, offensive, and even harmful. However, many comedians argue that these condemnations are unwarranted. After all, for them and many others, jokes are just jokes. Is there anything to the argument that “jokes are just jokes” and that jokes are, therefore, exempt from questions of morality? That is, is there something about the form of jokes–their structure–which makes them exempt from having moral implications? Is it ever ethically wrong to laugh at or tell a joke? In this essay, Fraser Gray examines these questions from the perspective of Henri Bergson’s theory of humour, arguing that a certain sub-set of jokes that trade in racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic, or other such attitudes are morally wrong to tell and laugh at.
— Lily Elston-Leadbetter
Immanuel Kant develops a philosophy that values human freedom and provides an account of citizenship that remains relevant today. In this essay, Lily Elston-Leadbetter argues that the edifice of citizenship is fundamentally based on structural violence which excludes women and propertyless workers by delegitimising their labour. The limitations of Kant’s account of citizenship will be examined with specific emphasis on domestic labour, refuting his claim that birth is not a limiting factor to citizenship and revealing how the implicit structural violence of his theory has continued into the present.
— David Fan
Luce Irigaray is a well-known critic of phallocentrism in the Western philosophical tradition, as well as an advocate of a new culture or philosophy which respects the specificity of the feminine. In this essay, David Fan argues that for Irigaray, the question of sexual difference is the foundation from which philosophy can be radically transformed. This essay examines how Irigaray reimagines philosophy as an intersubjective wisdom of love, through her construction of a culture of “Two.”
— Andrew Millar
In this essay, Andrew Millar explores Simone de Beauvoir’s re-configuration of the Other from traditional Sartrean existentialist notions of the Other, specifically focusing on her thesis of Woman as Other. Andrew highlights that Beauvoir’s thesis is an essential amendment to existentialist conceptions of Otherness in the way that she centres lived sexual experience in her ontology. Additionally, Andrew explores Beauvoir’s project of “authentic love” as a way of living harmoniously with Otherness by returning to the concept of a Heideggerian Mitsein as a means of dissolving an Otherness based in conflict.
— Conor Jedam
In this essay, Conor Jedam interrogates Martin Heidegger’s theory of art as it appears in his essay, originally published in 1950, “The Origin of the Work of Art”. Conor explains Heidegger’s phenomenological analysis of artwork which reveals art as “truth of beings setting itself to work,” meaning that artworks disclose the particular Being of beings through the necessary conflict between world and earth. Then, through examining Heidegger’s own examples of Vincent van Gogh’s painting of shoes and the Greek temple, Conor criticises Heidegger’s account and argues instead that the coming forth of world in art discloses some truth of the viewer’s Being.