Jean-Guillaume-César-Alexandre-Hippolyte de Colins (1783-1859), a Belgian baron who lived mainly in Paris, sought to develop a position—rational socialism—intermediate between the extremes of full capitalism (with only private property) and full communism (with only collective property). All persons fully own themselves and the artifactual wealth that they produce, and they are entitled to an equal share of the natural resources and of the assets inherited from previous generations. Gifts and bequests are to be subject to heavy taxation (although at less (...) than 100% of their value, for efficiency reasons). Natural resources are subject to a rent-tax. A warning about the following reading: Colins writes in many places as if he held that an unrestricted right to make gifts and bequests is both necessary for efficient social functioning and required by justice. His ultimate view, however, is that efficient social functioning requires only some kind of weak (partially restricted) right to make gifts and bequest, and that justice does not require any such right. More specifically, he holds that justice requires that gifts and bequests be taxed as much as compatible with efficient social functioning. (shrink)
Left-libertarian theories of justice hold that agents are full self-owners and that natural resources are owned in some egalitarian manner. Unlike most versions of egalitarianism, leftlibertarianism endorses full self-ownership, and thus places specific limits on what others may do to one’s person without one’s permission. Unlike the more familiar right-libertarianism (which also endorses full self-ownership), it holds that natural resources—resources which are not the results of anyone's choices and which are necessary for any form of activity—may be privately appropriated only (...) with the permission of, or with a significant payment to, the members of society. Like right-libertarianism, left-libertarianism holds that the basic rights of individuals are ownership rights. Such rights can endow agents—as liberalism requires—with spheres of personal liberty where they may each pursue their conceptions of “the good life”. Left-libertarianism is promising because it coherently underwrites both some demands of material equality and some limits on the permissible means of promoting this equality. It is promising, that is, because it is a form of liberal egalitarianism. Left-libertarian theories have been propounded for over two centuries. Early exponents of some form of self-ownership combined with some form of egalitarian ownership of natural resources include: Hugo Grotius (1625), Samuel Pufendorf (1672), John Locke (1690), William Ogilvie (1781), Thomas Spence (1793), Thomas Paine (1795), Hippolyte de Colins (1835), François Huet (1853), Patrick E. Dove (1850, 1854), Herbert Spencer (1851), Henry George (1879, 1892), and Léon Walras (1896).1 It is striking how much of the current debate about equality, liberty, and responsibility has already been addressed by these authors. (shrink)
This four-volume set presents an unrivalled collection of the key literature in European sociology. The prestigious texts range across the European tradition from enlightenment to contemporary theory. The collection explodes the myth that the European tradition in sociology is a debate with the ghosts of Karl Marx and Max Weber, demonstrating that the tradition is far more deeply rooted and broadly based. Volume 1 is devoted to the emergence of European sociology. The contribution of classical political economy and the Enlightenment (...) is examined. Commentaries on the work of Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, Taine, Rousseau, de Tocqueville, Comte and St. Simon are included. The volume creates a vivid and compelling picture of the origins of European sociology. Volume 2 covers the rise of the classical period in social theory. It includes commentaries on the contribution of Marx, Spencer, Dilthey, Weber, Durkheim and Simmel. An overview of the main contributions of the founding fathers is also included. Volume 3 moves on to explore the main developments in the first half of the twentieth century. The contributions of the Durkheimian Tradition, Mauss, Mannheim, Lukacs, Gramsci and British sociology are presented. The volume provides a synoptic view of the diversity and emerging complexity of European sociology. Volume 4 identifies the main developments from post-industrial theory to the present day. The volume includes commentaries on the work of Aron, Foucault, Habermas, Giddens, Bourdieu, Boudon and Gellner. Selections on structuralism, polysemy, the positivist dispute and the neo-liberal tradition widen out the picture. The collection is the benchmark work for understanding the history, contribution and dilemmas of the European tradition. Full account is taken of the reference needs of students as well as of academics. Each hardcover volume of 416 pages is bound to the highest standards. The lettering on the cover is gold embossed. The slip case for the four volumes is also embossed. The volumes are not available separately. (shrink)
We humans and other animals continuously construct and main- tain our grasp of the world by using astonishingly small snippets of sensory information. Recent studies in nonlinear brain dynamics have shown how this occurs: brains imagine possible futures and seek and use sensory stimulation to select among them as guides for chosen actions. On the one hand the scientific explanation of the dynamics is inaccessible to most of us. On the other hand the philosophical foundation from which the sciences grew (...) is accessible through the work of one of its originators, Thomas Aquinas. The core concept of intention in Aquinas is the inviolable unity of mind, brain and body. All that we know we have constructed within ourselves from the unintelligible fragments of energy impacting our senses as we move our bodies through the world. This process of intention is transi- tive in the outward thrust of the body in search of desired future states; it is intransitive in the dynamic construction of predictions of the states in the sensory cortices by which we recognize suc- cess or failure in achievement. The process is phenomenologically experienced in the action-perception cycle. Enactment is through the serial creation of neurodynamic activity patterns in brains, by which the self of mind-brain-body comes to know the world first by shaping the self to an approximation of the sought-for input, and then by assimilating those shapes into knowledge and meaning. This conception of the self as closed, autonomous, and self- organizing, devised over 700 years ago and shelved by Descartes, Leibniz and Spinoza 300 years ago, is now re-emerging in philos- ophy and re-establishes the meaning of intention in its original sense. The core Aquinian concept of the unity of brain, body and soul/mind, which had been abandoned by mechanists and replaced by Brentano and Husserl using the duality inherent in representa- tionalism, has been revived by Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty, but in phenomenological terms that are opaque to neurscientists. In my experience there is no extant philosophical system than that of Aquinas that better fits with the new _ndings in nonlinear brain dynamics. Therefore, a detailed reading and transcription of basic terms is warranted, comparing in both directions the significance of key words across 700 years from medieval metaphysics to 21st century brain dynamics. (shrink)
The relationship between perceptual experience and memory can seem to pose a chal- lenge for conceptualism, the thesis that perceptual experiences require the actualization of conceptual capacities. Since subjects can recall features of past experiences for which they lacked corresponding concepts at the time of the original experience, it would seem that a subject’s conceptual capacities do not impose a limit on what he or she can experience perceptually. But this conclusion ignores the fact that concepts can be composed of (...) other simpler concepts that a subject possessed earlier, and that de- monstrative capacities can explain how a subject can experience a particular feature of her environment, even when she lacks a fully general concept for that feature. Using these resources, conceptualism can explain the relation between perceptual experience and memory. Nevertheless, a puzzle remains for the defender of conceptualism. A cer- tain view about the relation between perceptual experience and mental imagery in epi- sodic memory – that imagery in recall matches the experience retained in it – can make it difficult to understand how conceptualism could be true. For if a subject’s conceptual capacities determine what the phenomenology of an experience (or memory of it) is like, then one would expect a perceptual experience and its recall in memory to differ in phenomenology if they involve different concepts. In this essay, I solve this puzzle for conceptualism by undermining the assumption that there is a match between im- agery in episodic memory and the phenomenal character of experience. (shrink)
Rodolphe Gasché, The Tain of the Mirror: Derrida and the Philosophy of Reflection. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1986. 348 pp. Irene E. Harvey, Derrida and the Economy of Différance. Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986. xv & 285 pp. John Llewelyn, Derrida on the Threshold of Sense. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1986. xiii & 137 pp.
THE TAIN OF THE MIRROR: DERRIDA AND THE PHILOSOPHY OF REFLECTION by Rodolphe Gasché Cambridge: Hanard University Press, 1986. 356 pp., $25.00, $12.95 (paper) DERRIDA ON THE THRESHOLD OF SENSE by John Llewelyn New York: St. Martin's Press, 1986. 137 pp., $27.50, $10.95 (paper).