This book offers a new interpretation of Heidegger's major work, Being and Time. Unlike those who view Heidegger as an idealist, Taylor Carman argues that Heidegger is best understood as a realist. Amongst the distinctive features of the book are an interpretation explicitly oriented within a Kantian framework (often taken for granted in readings of Heidegger) and an analysis of Dasein in relation to recent theories of intentionality, notably those of Dennett and Searle. Rigorous, jargon-free and deftly argued this (...) book will be necessary reading for all serious students of Heidegger. (shrink)
This article offers an overview of the structure and significance of Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology. Neither a psychological nor an epistemological theory, Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception is instead an attempt to describe perceptual experience as we experience it. Although he was influenced heavily by Husserl, Heidegger, and Gestalt psychology, his work departs significantly from all three. Particularly original is his account of our bodily, precognitive experience of other persons, which he argues is essentially more primitive than any belief or doubt we can (...) raise concerning the contents or even the existence of their minds. I conclude with a discussion of the differences between Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology and Alva Noë's more recent 'enactive' theory of perception. (shrink)
Moral anti-realism comes in two forms – noncognitivism and the error theory. The noncognitivist says that when we make moral judgments we aren’t even trying to state moral facts. The error theorist says that when we make moral judgments we are making statements about what is objectively good, bad, right, or wrong but, since there are no moral facts, our moral judgments are uniformly false. This development of moral anti-realism was first seriously defended by John Mackie. In this paper I (...) explore a dispute among moral error theorists about how to deal with false moral judgments. The advice of the moral abolitionist is to stop making moral judgments, but the contrary advice of the moral fictionalist is to retain moral language and moral thinking. After clarifying the choice that arises for the moral error theorist, I argue that moral abolitionism has much to recommend it. I discuss Mackie’s defense of moral fictionalism as well as a recent version of the same position offered by Daniel Nolan, Greg Restall, and Caroline West. Then I second some remarks Ian Hinckfuss made in his defense of moral abolitionism and his criticism of “the moral society.” One of the worst things about moral fictionalism is that it undermines our epistemology by promoting a culture of deception. To deal with this problem Richard Joyce offers a “non-assertive” version of moral fictionalism as perhaps the last option for an error theorist who hopes to avoid moral abolitionism. I discuss some of the problems facing that form of moral fictionalism, offer some further reasons for adopting moral abolitionism in our personal lives, and conclude with reasons for thinking that abolishing morality may be an essential step in achieving the goals well-meaning moralists and moral fictionalists have always cherished. (shrink)
Dennett’s eliminativist theory of consciousness rests on an implausible reduction of sensory seeming to cognitive judgment. The “heterophenomenological” testimony to which he appeals in urging that reduction poses no threat to phenomenology, but merely demonstrates the conceptual indeterminacy of small-scale sensory appearances. Phenomenological description is difficult, but the difficulty does not warrant Dennett’s neo-Cartesian claim that there is no such thing as seeming at all as distinct from judging.
The central question in Heidegger's philosophy, early and late, is that concerning the meaning of being. Recently, some have suggested that Heidegger himself interprets being to mean presence (Anwesen, Anwesenheit, Praesenz), citing as evidence lectures dating from the 1920s to the 1960s. I argue, on the contrary, that Heidegger regards the equation between being and presence as the hallmark of metaphysical thinking, and that it only ever appears in his texts as a gloss on the philosophical tradition, not as an (...) expression of his own ontological commitments. In his early work Heidegger seeks to confront and even correct the traditional interpretation of being by challenging its narrow preoccupation with presence and the present. By the 1930s, however, he abandons the idea that there is anything to?be intrinsically right or wrong about with regard to the meaning of being and turns his attention instead to what he calls ?appropriation? (Ereignis) or the truth of being, that is, the essentially ahistorical condition for the possibility of all historically contingent interpretations of being, including the metaphysical interpretation of being as presence. (shrink)
Richard Moran's Authority and Estrangement offers a subtle and innovative account of self-knowledge that lifts the problem out of the narrow confines of epistemology and into the broader context of practical reasoning and moral psychology. Moran argues convincingly that fundamental self/other asymmetries are essential to our concept of persons. Moreover, the first- and the third-person points of view are systematically interconnected, so that the expression or avowal of one's attitudes constitutes a substantive form of self-knowledge. But while Moran's argument is (...) wide-ranging and compelling, he relies throughout on an overly intellectualized conception of first-person attitudes as attitudes of reflection or deliberation. That conception is at once implausible and unnecessary to the main current of his argument, whose goal is to demonstrate that our self-conception as persons depends on both the distinctness and the interconnectedness of our first- and third-person perspectives on ourselves. (shrink)
Frederick Olafson criticizes Hubert Dreyfus’s interpretation of BEING AND TIME on a number of points, including the meaning of being, the nature of intentionality, and especially the role of das Man in Heidegger’s account of social existence. But on the whole Olafson’s critique is unconvincing because it rests on an implausible account of presence and perceptual intuition in Heidegger’s early philosophy, and because Olafson maintains an overly individuated notion of Dasein and consequently a one-sided conception of the role of das (...) Man. Unfortunately, since Dreyfus confines his commentary exclusively to Division I, he in effect forgoes any attempt to explain how das Man might be understood as playing the simultaneously constitutive and destructive role Heidegger evidently envisioned for it. I conclude by arguing that the conformity and the conformism represented by das Man are bound together by Heidegger’s notion of standoffishness (Abständigkeit). (shrink)
The terminological boxes into which we press the history of philosophy often obscure deep and important differences among major figures supposedly belonging to a single school of thought. One such disparity within the phenomenological movement, often overlooked but by no means invisible, separates Merleau-Pontys Phenomenology of Perception from the Husserlian program that initially inspired it. For Merleau-Pontys phenomenology amounts to a radical, if discreet, departure not only from Husserls theory of intentionality generally, but more specifically from his account of the (...) intentional constitution of the body and its role in perceptual experience. (shrink)
Maurice Merleau-Ponty was described by Paul Ricoeur as "the greatest of the French phenomenologists." The new essays in this volume examine the full scope of Merleau-Ponty's philosophy, from his central and abiding concern with the nature of perception and the bodily constitution of intentionality to his reflections on science, nature, art, history, and politics. The authors explore the historical origins and context of his thought as well as its continuing relevance to contemporary work in phenomenology, philosophy of mind, cognitive science, (...) biology, art criticism and political and social theory. (shrink)
Jacob Burckhardt's The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy is "read" as a nineteenth century conceptualization of modernity. Its method is one of induction from a dense mass of details drawn from the literature, historiography, and art of the Renaissance. In some respects, Burckhardt anticipates Weber and parallels Marx, but he also includes certain elements of modernity that are absent from the other theorists, such as the emergence of modernity from the interstices of the political order, the formation of the (...) totalitarian state, the cult of celebrity, and the tendency toward crime. He is particularly concerned with Renaissance society as a transitional form of society, and thus implicitly, with the nature of transitions. (shrink)
This is an extensively re-written second edition of a well regarded and much cited text on the issue of animal protection. It remains the only text to combine an examination of the philosophy and politics of the issue. Its central argument is that the philosophical debate is central to an understanding and evaluation of the substantive issues involving animals and the nature of the movement for change. The book has been thoroughly revised to include major theoretical and empirical developments. Specifically, (...) the "second generation" of animal ethics literature is examined in detail, and attention is paid to the campaigns and public controversy over the export of live animals and the use of animals in research, the impact of genetic engineering on the welfare of animals and the latest developments in the controversy over hunting. (shrink)
The goal of tranquility through non-Assertion, Advocated by sextus empiricus, Is examined and his method criticized. His understanding of non-Assertion is compared with that of seng-Chao (383-414) and chi-Tsang (549-623). Zen buddhism shares the quest for tranquility, But offers more than sextus did to help us attain it, And avoids the excessively metaphysical thought of these two chinese buddhists. Wittgenstein, Whose goal was that philosophical problems completely disappear, And austin, Who rejected many standard western dichotomies, Offer a method superior to (...) that of sextus, Or to that of chi-Tsang and seng-Chao, But an ideal short of the tranquility sought by all the rest. The thought that zen buddhism and ordinary language philosophy may be looking in the same direction is supported by appealing to john canfield's article "wittgenstein and zen" and his analysis of "understanding without thought.". (shrink)
The ethics literature has identified moral motivation as a factor in ethical decision-making. Furthermore, moral identity has been identified as a source of moral motivation. In the current study, we examine religiosity as an antecedent to moral identity and examine the mediating role of self-control in this relationship. We find that intrinsic and extrinsic dimensions of religiosity have different direct and indirect effects on the internalization and symbolization dimensions of moral identity. Specifically, intrinsic religiosity plays a role in counterbalancing the (...) negative impact of extrinsic religiosity on the internalization of moral identity. Further, intrinsic religiosity also counterbalances the negative and indirect impact of extrinsic religiosity on symbolization of moral identity via self-control. Lastly, self-control does not play a mediating role in the impact of religiosity on the internalization dimension of moral identity. We conclude that this study presents important findings that advance our understanding of the antecedents of moral identity, and that these results may have implications for the understanding of ethical decision-making. (shrink)
This bibliography is the culmination of four years' work by a team of noted scholars; its annotated entries are organized by religious tradition and cover each tradition's central concepts, offering a judicious selection of primary and secondary works as well as recommendations of cross-cultural topics to be explored. Specialists in the history and literature of religions and comparative religion will find this bibliography a valuable research tool.
This paper proposes that global peace should be a professional concern because the issues are complex and require critical and creative thinking, and because professionals have status enabling them to convey information to empower others. Professionals must examine priorities in society's needs for application of their particular knowledge areas, and must each make their own unique contribution towards a more peaceful, less threatened planet.