AN ANALYSIS OF JEAN-LUC NANCYS:
BEING SINGULAR PLURAL
By Yoland Wildman
Jean-Luc Nancys book, Being Singular Plural, is considered by contemporary
philosophers to be the embodiment of original thinking and unique in its modern outlook on
Main goal: trying to develop an ethical framework or theory based on the feeling
of care i.e. that takes care as the fundamental feeling motivating ethical action
Emphasis on moral attitude or impulse, not moral judgment, for Gilligan
Singers Famine, Affluence, and Morality
Suffering and death from lack of food, shelter, and medical care are bad.
(Implicit premise) It is in our power to prevent suffering and death from
lack of food, shelter, and medical
Hampton, Selflessness and the Loss of Self
Morality is about staying out of other peoples way
Think of yourself first
Sounds kind of Locke (who emphasized human rights in his moral
thinking) and also kind of like Kant (which
1. Descartes is seeking a certain foundation for his edifice of knowledge.
2. His assaults on the senses and the apriori show that knowledge from these sources
cannot be known with certainty.
3. Ultimately, the only thing we can know wi
1. Freedom and determinism are compatible. We are both free and determined.
2. Freedom = Moral Freedom (the ability to do what you want).
Problems with Compatibilism
1. Strategy for Challenging Compatibilism-Attack the idea that doing what y
1. Suffering and death from lack of food, shelter, and medical attention are very bad
2. If we can prevent very bad things from happening, without sacrificing something
of comparable (any) moral value, then we are morally require
1. John Locke (1632-1704)
Major thinker in metaphysics, epistemology, and political
Our Lockean Roots-One can see Locke's influence in the US
2. Rejecting Descartes' Rationalism for an Empiricist Picture
Introduction to Epistemology
1. In epistemology, we explore our access to the truth; examine human reason,
perception, and knowledge.
2. We will study three greater philosophers and their different epistemologies:
Descartes, Locke, and Berkeley.
1. Making Philosophy Relevant for our Lives-Many people complain that
philosophy is irrelevant to how we live our lives. In this section of the course, we
will look at a philosophical argument that calls us to a radical change in our
1. John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)
2. From Philosophy Prodigy to Burnout-Mill was an excellent philosopher and
student at a very young age, but he also tired of his studies at a young age.
Formulation of the Doctrine
1. Mill's Formulation-"Actions
Introduction to Ethics
1. The Importance of Careful Reasoning with Respect to Ethics-The consequences
of bad ethical thought can be severe because of what is at stake in many ethical
questions (e.g., abortion, euthanasia).
2. Two Critical Questions:
Divine Command Theory
1. Divine Command Theory is an attempt to ground morality through theological
An act is right if and only if God permits it.
An act is wrong if and only if God forbids it.
Problems with Divin
Ontological Argument - Objections and Replies
Review: The Ontological Argument
1. God Exists In The Understanding
2. God Is A Possible Being
3. If Something Exists Only In The Understanding And Could Have Existed In Reality,
Then It Could Have Been Greate
Introduction to Philosophy of Religion and Ontological Argument
Philosophy of Religion: Preliminary Issues
1. Agreement vs. Tolerance
a. Agreement is not required for tolerance; people who have different beliefs can
disagree while still tolerating one ano
1. Introduction to Central Themes of Philosophy
a. Repository For Unanswered Questions
Is There A God?
What Makes An Action Right?
Do We Have Free Will?
How Do We Know What Is Real?
b. Focus On Topics in Metaphysics, Ethics and Epistemology
1. Logic: A Calculus for Good Reason
2. Clarification, Not Obfuscation-In order to accomplish this goal, philosophers make
distinctions and attempt to disambiguate concepts.
3. Examples and Counterexamples
a. Examples and Counte
The Cosmological Argument: Background
1. Aquinas: 1225-1274; Clarke: 1675-1729
2. Sources of Explanations: Three Options
a. Explained by Other
b. Explained by Nothing
c. Explained by Self
3. Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR):
a. Individual things and e
Identity Theory (Basic Materialism)
Key Question: What Makes Something a Mental State?
Reductionism in Science
Example: Water Is H20
1.c.Core Assumption: To Discover the Essence of Something, We Focus Upon
Its Physical Composition
The Knowledge Argument
1. Mary knows all physical facts about color vision.
Suppose that Mary is a brilliant neuro-scientist who has learned
everything that goes on in the brain when color vision occurs. She knows
all of the physical facts about color vis
The Mind-Body Problem
1. An Inconsistent Tetrad
Mind is non-material (spiritual).
Body is material (physical).
1.c.Mind and body interact.
Material and non-material do not interact.
2. Possible Solutions: Dualism and the Varieties of Materi
The Teleological Argument: Background
1. Aquinas, Paley (1743-1805)
2. Teleology = Purpose; this is the argument for God's existence from the apparent
purposefulness found in the universe.
3. Arguments by Analogy
a. Ex. Aspects of dogs are like cats. Dogs
Freedom and Determinism
1. There seems to be a clash between a modern account of thought on the one hand,
and free will, human agency and moral responsibility on the other.
2. We will set out the problem and some proposed solutions by considering the
Length: 892 words
Ethics are very important to all business people. Yet, many neglect ethics as an important
concept that has a major impact upon a person's success as an entrepreneur and investor.
Consider something as simple as sales. Many would-be entr
Professor Glady Levy
December 20 2012
Rights of Gay and Lesbian
A 2011 statistic shows that about 3.8 percent of Americans have identified
themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. This means that approximately 9
Attention-Grabbing introduction: According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a
recent government survey shows that over 98 million Americans over the age of 12 have tried
marijuana at least once in their lifetime.