Philosophy is one of the most intimidating and difficult of disciplines, as any of its students can attest. This book is an important entry in a distinctive new series from Routledge: The Great Philosophers . Breaking down obstacles to understanding the ideas of history's greatest thinkers, these brief, accessible, and affordable volumes offer essential introductions to the great philosophers of the Western tradition from Plato to Wittgenstein. In just 64 pages, each author, a specialist on his subject, places the philosopher (...) and his ideas into historical perspective. Each volume explains, in simple terms, the basic concepts, enriching the narrative through the effective use of biographical detail. And instead of attempting to explain the philosopher's entire intellectual history, which can be daunting, this series takes one central theme in each philosopher's work, using it to unfold the philosopher's thoughts. (shrink)
The twelve essays in this volume are not only introductions to some of the most influential thinkers in human history but are also invitations for the reader to participate in a living debate. "What is justice?" "What is truth?" These questions, first posed by Socrates two and a half millennia ago, have lost none of their power to baffle. And while many philosophers have claimed to answer them, ultimately the questions return, compelling us once again. The authors of these essays (...) are distinguished philosophers in their own right. They engage with philosophical ideas rather than merely relaying them. By choosing a specific aspect of their subject's work, they liberate the great philosophers from textbook cliche;s--revealing them in all their freshness and originality. (shrink)
D. D. Raphael examines the moral philosophy of Adam Smith (1723-90), best known for his famous work on economics, The Wealth of Nations, and shows that his thought still has much to offer philosophers today. Raphael gives particular attention to Smith's original theory of conscience, with its emphasis on the role of 'sympathy' (shared feelings).
In this fascinating exploration of justice, eminent philosopher D. D. Raphael presents the culmination of a lifetime's study of its evolution, from ancient times to the late twentieth century. His aim is not just historical but philosophical: to illuminate our true understanding of justice. His unique approach examines not only classic texts by such philosophers as Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Mill, and Rawls but also the Bible and Greek tragedy, as well as some neglected but important thought from the modern (...) era. Lucid and stimulating, this work can be enjoyed by anyone interested in moral and political thought, even by those with little to no knowledge of political theory or philosophy. (shrink)
Selected and edited with comparative notes and analytical index by Raphael. The British Moralists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries form a remarkable tradition of continuous philosophical debate, reaching its high point in the ethical writings of Hume. Many of the works included in this collection are unavailable in modern editions, and those that are available can be seen to better advantage here, in the context of their historical development. This new selection differs appreciable from its predecessor, Selby-Bigge's British (...) Moralists, in the choice of authors and excerpts, in extending the scope of the authors included, and in adding comparative notes. The analytical index enables the reader to trace influences and locate notable arguments and positions. (shrink)
In this new and enlarged edition of a standard introduction to moral philosophy, Raphael shows in clear and simple language the connections between abstract ethics and practical problems in law, government, medicine, and the social sciences in general. Moral Philosophy deals with six main areas. First, it looks at the two opposed traditions of naturalism and rationalism, and considers more recent discussion in terms of logic and language. Next, it explores the attractions and defects of Utilitarianism, and then turns (...) to its main rival, Kantian ethics, which Raphael favors in a modified form. The third section shows how different moral views are related to different theories about justice and liberty. The fourth examines the problem of free will and determinism in the context of the presuppositions of science, especially in the social sciences. This second edition enlarges the relation of moral philosophy to other concerns, with two new chapters: one on ethics and evolution, the other on medical ethics. (shrink)
Following Wallace’s suggestion, Darwin framed his theory using Spencer’s expression “survival of the fittest”. Since then, fitness occupies a significant place in the conventional understanding of Darwinism, even though the explicit meaning of the term ‘fitness’ is rarely stated. In this paper I examine some of the different roles that fitness has played in the development of the theory. Whereas the meaning of fitness was originally understood in ecological terms, it took a statistical turn in terms of reproductive success throughout (...) the 20th Century. This has lead to the ever-increasing importance of sexually reproducing organisms and the populations they compose in evolutionary explanations. I will argue that, moving forward, evolutionary theory should look back at its ecological roots in order to be more inclusive in the type of systems it examines. Many biological systems (e.g. clonal species, colonial species, multi-species communities) can only be satisfactorily accounted for by offering a non-reproductive account of fitness. This argument will be made by examining biological systems with very small or transient population structures. I argue this has significant consequences for how we define Darwinism, increasing the significance of survival (or persistence) over that of reproduction. (shrink)
Nuestro tiempo es el de la caída en el presente. Es imposible construir nuevos pactos sociales y, por tanto, las oportunidades para imaginar el futuro son pocas. No hay utopías, sólo un pragmatismo que apuesta por lo útil. Nuestra sociedad sufre el desencanto de la democracia, la lógica del mercado y la globalización, incapaz de producir ideas para el porvenir ¿Cuál es la salida? Richard Rorty diría: no es la razón lo que cambia las cosas, sino la imaginación. A partir (...) de este principio, este libro hace un elogio del optimismo desencantado, donde las preguntas son más importantes que las respuestas ¿Cuál es el papel que las palabras juegan en el actual estado del arte? ¿De qué modo están conectados el mundo y la llamada República de las Letras? ¿Qué idea de generación tienen los escritores nacidos a partir de la década de los setenta? ¿Por qué niegan el concepto de colectivo? ¿Cuál es la relación entre política y literatura? ¿En qué momento el crítico se convirtió en redactor de obituarios? ¿La literatura forma parte del espectáculo? Éste es un ensayo sobre el lenguaje, la idea de generaciones y las estéticas de la literatura contemporánea; pero también es una denuncia que señala los mecanismos que han provocado el distanciamiento entre la creación y la acción, la ética y la estética, la literatura y el espacio público. (shrink)
Raphael Meldola (1849–1915), an industrial chemist and keen naturalist, under the influence of Darwin, brought new German studies on evolution by natural selection that appeared in the 1870s to the attention of the British scientific community. Meldola’s special interest was in mimicry among butterflies; through this he became a prominent neo-Darwinian. His wide-ranging achievements in science led to appointments as president of important professional scientific societies, and of a local club of like-minded amateurs, particularly field naturalists. This is an (...) account of Meldola’s early scientific connections and studies related to entomology and natural selection, his contributions to the study of mimicry, and his promotion in the mid-1890s of a more theory driven approach among entomologists. (shrink)
The Internet and Internet applications such as cloud computing continue to grow at an extraordinary rate, enabled by the Internet's open architecture and the vibrant lightly regulated Internet service provider (ISP) market. Proposals to hold ISPs responsible for content and software shared by their customers would dramatically constrain the openness and innovation that has been the hallmark of the Internet to date. Rather than taking the kind of approach favored by Raphael Cohen-Almagor, government should enlist the assistance of other (...) intermediaries such as credit card companies in targeted actions against illegal activities online. In addition, they should foster improved online authentication, which could support “zones of trust” on the Internet. (shrink)
Dans le silence qui entoure la question du temps et des temporalités dans l’espace oriental, l’ouvrage Les Ottomans et le temps constitue une contribution novatrice et précieuse. On ne peut que regretter qu’il ait fallu attendre près de dix ans pour prendre connaissance des résultats de travaux commencés dès 2003-2004 dans le cadre d’un séminaire de l’École des hautes études en sciences sociales, inscrit dans la continuité du travail fondateur de Louis Bazin sur Les systèmes chronologiques d..