This paper re-examines the question of whether quirks of early human foetal development tell against the view (conceptionism) that we are human beings at conception. A zygote is capable of splitting to give rise to identical twins. Since the zygote cannot be identical with either humanbeing it will become, it cannot already be a humanbeing. Parallel concerns can be raised about chimeras in which two embryos fuse. I argue first that there are (...) just two ways of dealing with cases of fission and fusion and both seem to be available to the conceptionist. One is the Replacement View according to which objects cease to exist when they fission or fuse. The other is the Multiple Occupancy View – both twins may be present already in the zygote and both persist in a chimera. So, is the conceptionist position tenable after all? I argue that it is not. A zygote gives rise not only to a humanbeing but also to a placenta – it cannot already be both a humanbeing and a placenta. Neither approach to fission and fusion can help the conceptionist with this problem. But worse is in store. Both fission and fusion can occur before and after the development of the inner cell mass of the blastocyst – the entity which becomes the embryo proper. The idea that we become human beings with the arrival of the inner cell mass leads to bizarre results however we choose to accommodate fission and fusion. (shrink)
Kaiho Seiry (1755-1817) is probably the first Japanese thinker to proclaim the contractual nature of human relationships. I examine in this paper the view of human beings that led him to this conclusion. Giving up previous definitions of humans, Seiry focuses on the faculty of practical reason. While this leads him to recognize a hierarchy of humans, some having more humanity than others, it also allows him to develop the most modern understanding of social relationship available in his (...) time. His radical reinterpretation of what it is to be a humanbeing is all the more remarkable because it was done with the concepts and ideas provided by the Chinese Classics. Establishing new connections, giving new life to ideas that were never exploited, Seiry showed it was possible to make sense of modernity without using foreign concepts. (shrink)
Recently David S. Oderberg has tried to refute three arguments that have been advanced in favour of the view that a humanbeing does not begin to exist at fertilization. These arguments turn on the absence of differentiation between the embryoblast and trophoblast, the possibility of monozygotic twinning, and the totipotency of the cells during the first days after fertilization. It is here contended that Oderberg fails to rebut these arguments, though it is conceded that the first two (...) arguments are not conclusive. They do, however, make it at least as reasonable to deny this early origination as to affirm it. It should be noticed that this is all that is needed by those who have used these arguments to dispute that something with a special moral status exists right from fertilization. Nonetheless, it will be seen that the third argument could be developed to the point of giving a conclusive reason to believe that a humanbeing does not begin to exist at fertilization. (shrink)
This broad, ambitious study is about human nature, but human nature treated in a way quite different from the scientific account that influences so much of contemporary philosophy. Drawing on certain basic ideas of Heidegger the author presents an alternative to the debate waged between dualists and materialists in the philosophy of mind that involves reconceiving the way we usually think about 'mental' life. Olafson argues that familiar contrasts between the 'physical' and the 'psychological' break down under closer (...) scrutiny. They need to be replaced by a conception of humanbeing in which we are not entities compounded out of body and mind, but unitary entities that are distinguished by 'having a world', which is very different from simply being a part of the world. (shrink)
The most original aspect of Hedwig Conrad-Martius’ research is her interpretation of nature, performed through the phenomenological method. She pinpoints the very essences of the natural phenomena, discovering entelechies inside them and a trans-physical dimension. She reads the evolution of nature in a new way, against the deterministic interpretation of it. Inside nature one can discover many levels, qualitatively different. The humanbeing participates to all of them, but his/her peculiarity is linked to the mental–spiritual life.
In Kant's HumanBeing, Robert B. Louden continues and deepens avenues of research first initiated in his highly acclaimed book, Kant's Impure Ethics. Drawing on a wide variety of both published and unpublished works spanning all periods of Kant's extensive writing career, Louden here focuses on Kant's under-appreciated empirical work on human nature, with particular attention to the connections between this body of work and his much-discussed ethical theory. Kant repeatedly claimed that the question, "What is the (...)humanbeing" is philosophy's most fundamental question, one that encompasses all others. Louden analyzes and evaluates Kant's own answer to his question, showing how it differs from other accounts of human nature. -/- This collection of twelve essays is divided into three parts. In Part One (Human Virtues), Louden explores the nature and role of virtue in Kant's ethical theory, showing how the conception of human nature behind Kant's virtue theory results in a virtue ethics that is decidedly different from more familiar Aristotelian virtue ethics programs. In Part Two (Ethics and Anthropology), he uncovers the dominant moral message in Kant's anthropological investigations, drawing new connections between Kant's work on human nature and his ethics. Finally, in Part Three (Extensions of Anthropology), Louden explores specific aspects of Kant's theory of human nature developed outside of his anthropology lectures, in his works on religion, geography, education ,and aesthetics, and shows how these writings substantially amplify his account of human beings. -/- Kant's HumanBeing offers a detailed and multifaceted investigation of the question that Kant held to be the most important of all, and will be of interest not only to philosophers but also to all who are concerned with the study of human nature. (shrink)
This essay explores the conception of the individual in Dewey's democratic writings. Following Dewey's lead, I argue that it is human individuality, including our impulses, habits, and capacities, along with an appropriate environment, that represents the uniqueness and power of every individual. In achieving our individuality, we form habits to live and to grow; we strive toward a fully realized humanbeing, while we perform a unique function in keeping the community growing. Dewey's theory of self-construction provides (...) a theoretical foundation for an active-individual as-a-societal-contributor-always-in-the -making that in turn contributes to the improvement of educational opportunities for all people. (shrink)
When considering the nature of the humanbeing, Descartes holds two main claims: he believes that the humanbeing is a genuine unity and he also holds that it is comprised of two distinct substances, mind and body. These claims appear to be at odds with one another; it is not clear how the humanbeing can be simultaneously two things and one thing. The details of Descartes' metaphysics of substance exacerbates this problem. Because (...) of various theological and epistemological commitments, Descartes frames his metaphysics of substance in a way that ensures mind and body's real distinction from one another. Articulated from this perspective, the problem becomes one wherein it is not clear that two completely separate substances can come together to form one entity. The aim of this thesis is to show how Descartes can hold real distinction and true union without contradiction. To this end, I will first detail the problem and outline a variety of solutions that have already been presented. Then I will outline important concepts relating to Descartes' metaphysics of substance and attributes. This not only reveals the depth of the problem but also lays the groundwork for my proposed solution. I argue that the key to understanding how these two claims are consistent and in accord with Descartes' philosophy is through a comment Descartes makes to his contemporary Henricus Regius where he urges that the union of mind and body is achieved through a "mode of union." I substantiate this claim by arguing for the intelligibility of understanding union as a modal attribute within Descartes' framework. Finally, I show how Descartes can hold real distinction and true union with consistency. When union is understood as a mode, mind and body are able to exist apart from one another, ensuring real distinction. Moreover, union construed as a mode does not allow the complete separability of mind and body. Thus, when united, mind and body achieve the kind of unity Descartes desires for the humanbeing. (shrink)
I rejoinder to Ingmar Persson’s reply to my paper ‘The Metaphysical Status of the Embryo: Some Arguments Revisited’. I argue that Persson, having conceded a large part of my case, has still misunderstood or not fully appreciated the force of that case when he claims the arguments I criticize still make it reasonable to think that a humanbeing does not come into existence at fertilization. In addition, his appeal to the totipotency argument as remaining unscathed by my (...) critique does not succeed. (shrink)
The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), designed by the WHO, attempts to provide a holistic model of functioning and disability by integrating a medical model with a social one. The aim of this article is to analyze the ICF’s claim to holism. The following components of the ICF’s complexity are analyzed: (1) health condition, (2) body functions and structures, (3) activity, (4) participation, (5) environmental factors, (6) personal factors, and (7) health. Although the ICF claims to be (...) holistic, it presupposes a monistic materialistic ontology. We indicate some limitations of this ontology, proposing instead: (a) a pluralistic–holistic ontology (PHO) and (b) a multidimensional view of the humanbeing, with individual and environmental aspects, in relation to three levels of reality implied by the PHO. For the ICF to attain its holistic claim, the interactions between its components should be based on (a) and (b). (shrink)
This paper discusses Maharal’s conception of the humanbeing and its four major aspects, namely body, soul, intellect, and tselem (image or form). I suggest that some of his apparently inconsistent remarks concerning the human body may be reconciled by distinguishing two different senses of badness or evil. Secondly, I show that Maharal embraces what might be termed “moderate rationalism.” Thirdly, I elucidate his conception of the tselem by discussing parallel ideas in Kabbalistic literature.
In bioethical discussions of human cloning there are sometimes employed definitions broadening the denotation of the term humanbeing to include also, on an equal footing, human embryos. Also, the fact of beinghuman is being equated with being a person. Consequently, embryos are treated as having dignity and calls are heard in the name of justice to protect the rights and interests of embryos whenever these clash with the interests of mature (...)human beings. The author, being a layman in the area of human cloning, limits himself to indicating views he agrees with and those he finds doubtful. He expects human cloning will be taking place, albeit on a small scale, regardless of any bans which would only force the practice to become clandestine. Arguments in favor of controlled human cloning include not only the need to preserve freedom in scientific research, but also hopes for minimizing the adverse effects of cloning. The author indicates factors of an emotional nature which hamper discussions of cloning. He also argues that objections to experiments with humans and demands to make them conditional on prior consent of the people being experimented on are ineffective and often impossible to satisfy. The author also believes that it is impossible to unconditionally obey the commandment "You shall not kill". He does not see any threats posed by the fact that the clone and the cloned person will be identical. While not overlooking the potential dangers to clones (such as genetic defects), the author also sees potential advantages of cloning and transplantology (therapeutic, psychic, social). (shrink)
HumanBeingHuman explores the classical question What is a humanbeing? and produces original and challenging insights in the process of providing an answer. In examining our humanbeing, Christopher Hauke challenges the notion of human nature, questions the assumed superiority of human consciousness and rational thinking and pays close attention to the contradiction of living simultaneously as an autonomous individual and a member of the collective community. The main chapters (...) include: Whose in Charge Here? Knowledge, Power and HumanBeing That Thinking Feeling Is Modern Consciousness Different? Modern Consciousness and the Quest for Spirituality Endings, the Unconscious and Time Orpheus, Dionysus and Popular Culture The book is also structured around brief panel essays with a distinctly personal tone, such as: The Rise of revulsion: Spitting and The Stones, What is the Double When the Original is Gone? And "I lived with the speaking clock". All these themes are amplified by examples drawn from psychotherapy, film, literature and popular culture, and illustrated with many evocative photographs and film stills. HumanBeingHuman provides an original perspective on what it is to be a humanbeing, the value of popular culture, the relationship between the individual and the collective and our assumptions about truth, reality and power. Written in a highly accessible style, this book is both intellectually and emotionally satisfying and will fascinate anyone interested in contemporary psychology, cultural studies, film and media, social history and psychotherapy. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1 The Problem of Subjectivism -- 2 The Self: Dispersion and Constancy -- 3 Decentering the Subject: Works of Art as Heroes -- 4 Practice, Language, and Poetry -- 5 Language: The Transcendental Path -- 6 Language as a Web -- 7 The HumanBeing as Speaker and Mortal -- 8 BeingHuman in the Age of Technology.
By analysis of the connection between the "lower" man and the "higher" man within the human person, I have endeavored to show their "coincidence" in the unfolding of the novum or a good conscience. I have also endeavored to show that it can be aroused by the discovery of "homo absconditus" or of "Deus Absconditus." In this way we become able to approach the Divine. Moreover, in each infrastructure there appears the tendency towards "personalization" by "right" of its reality (...) or existence within the personal humanbeing. (shrink)
The paper discusses a possibility of integral combination of various approaches for the adequate understanding of humanbeing. In this regard, I analyze the feeling of love in the context of rational cognition and also suggest a secular interpretation of religious images and symbols that allow us to understand well-known heuristic and moral notions in a new light.
The cultural activities of humanbeing are to be mediated by physical elements. These are, as a matter of fact, the natural things. There is allowed no other way for humanbeing to realize his mental work but than in and through the nature. So, generally speaking, culture in ordinary sense consists in the human mind "objectified" in the natural reality. It remains within the boundary of human activities, which themselves cannot transcend the nature.
This is a small book on a large subject: What is special about human beings? Hamlet mused, ?What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! how like a god!? but went on to speak of ?this quintessence of dust?. Helen Oppenheimer prefers to start with the dust and move to the glory: we really are animals ? and from these animals has come Shakespeare. People are indeed ?miserable sinners? ? and also magnificent creatures. The author does (...) not disguise that she is a Christian theologian whose subject is ethics, but she writes equally for non-Christians. Her invitation to the reader is: Here is a way of looking at things that I find exciting and convincing ? I hope you do too. (shrink)
The consequentialist project for human rights -- Exceptions to libertarian natural rights -- The main principle -- What is well-being? What is equity? -- The two deepest mysteries in moral philosophy -- Security rights -- Epistemological foundations for the priority of autonomy rights -- The millian epistemological argument for autonomy rights -- Property rights, contract rights, and other economic rights -- Democratic rights -- Equity rights -- The most reliable judgment standard for weak paternalism -- Liberty rights and (...) privacy rights -- Clarifications and responses to objections -- Conclusion. (shrink)
Now I continue the investigation, begun in Homo Quaerens: The Seeker and the Sought, into the generic traits of persons from a philosophic point of view. I treat such special topics of my method, set forth in that book, as bear upon the person's intrapersonal aspects: namely, his body and such of its functions as contribute to his preconscious acts. In particular, I deal with those aspects insofar as they may be construed as straining, so to speak, toward that self-transcendence (...) which culminates in the veridical person - in effect, strands of subpersonal events which contribute to and converge upon his consummate personhood. In consequence, I explore the ontology of the person under the perspective of his naturalistically interpreted makeup; and I conceive my enterprise as propaedeutic to more generalized ontologic topics which I shall take up in subsequent books. (shrink)
What is the point of art, and why does it matter to us human beings? The answer that I will give in this paper, following on from an earlier paper on the same subject, is that art matters because our being actively engaged with art, either in its production or in its appreciation, is part of what it is to live well. The focus in the paper will be on the dispositions—the virtues of art production and of art (...) appreciation—that are necessary for this kind of active engagement with art. To begin with, I will argue that these dispositions really are virtues and not mere skills. Then I will show how the virtues of art, and their exercise in artistic activity, interweave with the other kinds of virtue which are exercised in ethical and contemplative activity. And finally, I will argue that artistic activity affords, in a special way, a certain kind of emotional sharing that binds us together with other human beings. (shrink)
Jean-Paul Sartre argues that human beings are fundamentally incomplete. Self-consciousness brings with it a presence-to-self. Human beings consequently seek two things at the same time: to possess a secure and stable identity, and to preserve the freedom and distance that come with self-consciousness. This is an impossible ideal, since we are always beyond what we are and we never quite reach what we could be. The possibility of completion haunts us and we continue to search for it even (...) when we are convinced it can never be achieved. Sartre suggests that we have to continue seeking this ideal in the practical sphere, even when our philosophical reflection shows it to be an impossibility. Sartre puts this existential dilemma in explicitly theological terms. 'God' represents an ideal synthesis of being and consciousness which remains a self-contradictory goal. This dilemma remains unresolved in his thinking. (shrink)
It is argued that the question of whether or not one is required to be or become a strict vegetarian depends, not upon a rule or ideal that endorses vegetarianism on moral grounds, but rather upon whether one's own physical, biological nature is adapted to maintaining health and well-being on a vegetarian diet. Even if we accept the view that animals have rights, we still have no duty to make ourselves substantially worse off for the sake of other rights-holders. (...) Moreover, duties to others, such as fetuses and infants, may require one to consume meat or animal products. Seven classes of individuals who are not required to be or become vegetarians are identified and their examption is related to nutritional facts; these classes comprise most of the earth's population. The rule of vegetarianism defines a special or provisional duty rather than any general or universal rule, since its observance it based upon the biological capacities of individual humans whose genetic constitution and environment makes them suitably herbivorous. It is also argued that generalizing the vegetarian ideal as a social goal for all would be wrongful because it fails to consider the individual nutritional needs of humans at various stages of life, according to biological differences between the sexes, and because it would have the eugenic effect of limiting the adaptability of the human species. The appeal to the natural interests of omnivores will not justify any claim that humans may eat amounts of meat or animal products in excess of a reasonable safety margin since animals have rights-claims against us. (shrink)
Throughout the medieval and modern periods, in various sacred and secular guises, the unification of all forms of knowledge under the rubric of ‘science’ has been taken as the prerogative of humanity as a species. However, as our sense of species privilege has been called increasingly into question, so too has the very salience of ‘humanity’ and ‘science’ as general categories, let alone ones that might bear some essential relationship to each other. After showing how the ascendant Stanford School in (...) the philosophy of science has contributed to this joint demystification of ‘humanity’ and ‘science’, I proceed on a more positive note to a conceptual framework for making sense of science as the art of beinghuman. My understanding of ‘science’ is indebted to the red thread that runs from Christian theology through the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment to the Humboldtian revival of the university as the site for the synthesis of knowledge as the culmination of self-development. Especially salient to this idea is science‘s epistemic capacity to manage modality (i.e. to determine the conditions under which possibilities can be actualised) and its political capacity to organize humanity into projects of universal concern. However, the challenge facing such an ideal in the twentyfirst century is that the predicate ‘human’ may be projected in three quite distinct ways, governed by what I call ‘ecological’, ‘biomedical’ and ‘cybernetic’ interests. Which one of these future humanities would claim today’s humans as proper ancestors and could these futures co-habit the same world thus become two important questions that general philosophy of science will need to address in the coming years. (shrink)
The global crisis is heralding change within collective consciousness and humanity will be challenged to transform behaviors to co-create a sustainable future. Ervin Laszlo's Akashic Field could inspire such an archetypal shift, as exemplified in C.G. Jung's individuation process. Jung's encounters with the archetypes from the collective unconscious led him to connect deeply with Akashic experiences, which resulted in him expressing his human potential through renewed ways of doing and being. Humanity has an opportunity to develop and integrate (...) transpersonal consciousness through engaging archetypal and Akashic experiences, which could inspire collective action for the co-creation of an improved future. (shrink)
After a clarification of the concept of concept the project of analysing the concept of man is defended (I), and it is concluded that to be human involves being both of a certain anatomical structure and a member of a race most of whose members are capable of theoretical and practical reasoning (II). Since further the development of essential capacities is necessary for members of a species to flourish, the ability to exercise the essential human capacities for (...) theoretical and practical reasoning is necessary for a man to live well (III). Besides its bearing on ideals of human flourishing, this conclusion would have a crucial bearing on moral issues, were it granted that there is an internal relation between morality and human flourishing (IV). Finally the conclusions of III are sustained against further objections (V). Educational and other practical implications of these conclusions are remarked upon throughout. (shrink)
This paper discusses three questions concerning the ethics of performance enhancement in sport. The first has to do with the improvement to policy and argues that there is a need for policy about doping to be re-constituted and to question the conceptual priority of ‘anti’ doping. It is argued that policy discussions about science in sport must recognise the broader context of sport technology and seek to develop a policy about ‘performance’, rather than ‘doping’. The second argues that a quantitative (...) enhancement to a sporting performance has no value and is, thus, unethical, unless the motivation behind using it implies something meaningful about beinghuman. Thus, unless the use of the technology is constitutive of our humanness, then it is not a justifiable method of altering (rather than enhancing) performance. This rules out the legitimacy of using performance enhancement to gain an advantage over other competitors, who do not have access to similar means. Finally, the third argument claims that sport ethics has had only a limited discourse and has failed to recognise broader theoretical ideas in relation to performance modification, which might be found in the philosophy of technology and bioethics . Collectively, these positions articulate important concerns about the role of science in sport and the ethical discussions arising from them. (shrink)
In Human Well-Being and the Natural Environment, Partha Dasgupta explores ways to measure the quality of life. In developing quality-of-life indices, he pays particular attention to the natural environment, illustrating how it can be incorporated, more generally, into economic reasoning in a seamless manner. Professor Dasgupta puts the theory that he develops to use in extended commentaries on the economics of population, poverty traps, global warming, structural adjustment programmes, and free trade, particularly in relation to poor countries. The (...) result is a treatise that goes beyond quality-of-life measures and offers a comprehensive account of the newly emergent subject of ecological economics. -/- With the publication of this new paperback edition, Professor Dasgupta has taken the opportunity to update and revise his text in a number of ways, including developments to facilitate its current use on a number of gradate courses in environmental and resource economics. The treatment of the welfare economics of imperfect economies has been developed using new findings, and the Appendix has been expanded to include applications of the theory to a number of institutions, and to develop approximate formulae for estimating the value of environmental natural resources. (shrink)
This essay represents a critical reading, appreciation and assessment of responses written by Susan Abraham, Conrad T. Gromada, and Michael Barnes to my book On BeingHuman: U.S Hispanic and Rahnerian Perspectives (Orbis Books, 2001). The essay addresses the following three themes: 1) Rahner’s Ignatian heritage and its relation to the U.S. Hispanic appropriation of the preferential option for the poor and marginalized, 2) Rahner’s understanding of one mediator and many human mediations, and 3) Rahner’s transcendental theological (...) approach in relation to the experience of contemporary manifestations of atheism in the U.S. These themes highlight aspects of my book that Abraham, Gromada, and Barnes found fertile ground for engaging in theological conversation. First, with respect to Rahner’s Ignatian spirituality, I argue that the Ignatian understanding of indiferencia can be correlated with the preferential option for the poor and marginalized. Second, with respect to Rahner’s understanding of one mediator and many mediations, I explore other ways in which my book could contextualize Rahner’s approach. Finally, I underscore the historical moment in Rahner’s transcendental theological approach (the mystery of God encountered in, with, and under historical realities) and point to a contemporary implication of this understanding (e.g., practical atheism). (shrink)
Humanity and the very notion of the human subject are under threat from postmodernist thinking which has declared not only the 'Death of God' but also the 'Death of Man'. This book is a revindication of the concept of humanity, rejecting contemporary social theory that seeks to diminish human properties and powers. Archer argues that beinghuman depends on an interaction with the real world in which practice takes primacy over language in the emergence of (...) class='Hi'>human self-consciousness, thought, emotionality and personal identity - all of which are prior to, and more basic than, our acquisition of a social identity. This original and provocative new book from leading social theorist Margaret S. Archer builds on the themes explored in her previous books Culture and Agency (CUP 1988) and Realist Social Theory (CUP 1995). It will be required reading for academics and students of social theory, cultural theory, political theory, philosophy and theology. (shrink)
Using the ideas of Clifford Geertz, Adolf Portmann, Charles Taylor, and others, I seek to develop and expand Polanyi’s account of language and its role in our human way of being bodily mindful in the world. The expansion of Polanyi’s ideas on language in the evolutionary rise of Homo sapiens and in the moral and mental development of the child does two things that I believe are important: (1) obviates the need to appeal to an incorporeal thinking substance (...) - i.e., dualism - to ground the reality of human transcendence, and (2) highlights the place of natural language in the irreducibility of human mentality. (shrink)
A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-40), David Hume's comprehensive attempt to base philosophy on a new, observationally grounded study of human nature, is one of the most important texts in Western philosophy. It is also the focal point of current attempts to understand 18th-century philosophy. -/- The Treatise first explains how we form such concepts as cause and effect, external existence, and personal identity, and to form compelling but unconfirmable beliefs in the entities represented by these concepts. It (...) then offers a novel account of the passions, explains freedom and necessity as they apply to human choices and actions, and concludes with detailed explanations of how we distinguish between virtue and vice and of the different kinds of virtue. Hume's Abstract of the Treatise, also included in the volume, outlines his 'chief argument' regarding our conception of, and belief in, cause and effect. -/- The texts printed in this volume are those of the critical edition of Hume's philosophical works now being published by the Clarendon Press. The volume includes a substantial introduction explaining the aims of the Treatise as a whole and of each of its ten parts, extensive annotations, a glossary of terms, a comprehensive index, and suggestions for further reading. (shrink)
Most philosophers writing about personal identity in recent years claim that what it takes for us to persist through time is a matter of psychology. In this groundbreaking new book, Eric Olson argues that such approaches face daunting problems, and he defends in their place a radically non-psychological account of personal identity. He defines human beings as biological organisms, and claims that no psychological relation is either sufficient or necessary for an organism to persist. Olson rejects several famous thought-experiments (...) dealing with personal identity. He argues, instead, that one could survive the destruction of all of one's psychological contents and capabilities as long as the human organism remains alive--as long as its vital functions, such as breathing, circulation, and metabolism, continue. (shrink)
Abstract Socrates, as an Athenian living in the 5th century BC, belonged to a very different world from that of 20th century Britain. However, his moral example and thought do not therefore become foreign. This is not only because the West is, as a matter of fact, heir to the influence of Plato. It is also because morality, like science, knows no boundaries; although in both cases cultural factors will affect understanding, interpretation, implications etc., morality, like science, soccer or anything (...) else must retain certain characteristics or become something different (rather than a different version of the same thing). Education is not the same thing as training, socialization, indoctrination, etc. This now familiar truth is in danger of losing its cutting edge. But people had better recognize the distinctions referred to by such terms and decide firmly what it is they want: do they in fact want moral education? Or is it rather effective training and socialization they require? I firmly champion moral education, albeit superimposed on a degree of moral training and socialization. But where does the provision of such a programme of moral upbringing leave the reality of competing/perhaps conflicting life styles and values, hostile and/or bad behaviour, racist attitudes etc.? It certainly does not solve our problems as, in this respect, they might be by more restrictive and totalitarian approaches, which are not open to us. However, it is a programme that seeks to provide understanding of both different traditions and the fact that vividly different practices, when they are moral practices, are merely different interpretations, given different circumstances, of essentially similar principles and conceptions of moral behaviour. Such understanding is a necessary condition of a situation in which people are both morally committed and able to tolerate diversity. It is to be preferred to, e.g., values clarification exercises, purely descriptive or historical accounts of moral belief, or confusion with religious education. (shrink)
The axiological structure of man is by its nature defined by its relation to values. Its main task consists in their “implementation.” In this sense, the axiological structure has a teleological character. Its most important determining factor is the attitude of its subjects, man, towards values, or, to be more precise, towards the choice of values and their realisation within oneself. The arguments present a proposition of a multi-aspect stude of man in the context of values. It is remarkable that (...) so far this background has not been taken into consideration, or at least not satisfactorily enough, in attempts aiming at explaining the essence of personality. Yet it does seem that what we call “man’s axiological structure” significantly affects an individual’s personality, and possibily constitutes it. (shrink)
Writers, philosophers, and theologians have oft made the comparison between being a mature humanbeing and a masterpiece work of art or design. Employing the analogy between the creation of artistic value and the creation of full-fledged human value, this paper stakes out a middle ground between pro-choice and pro-life by considering a more general account of value and the relationship between being a potential X and a mature implementation of X's potential. I argue that (...) the value of a potential X is a function of a number of factors, most importantly, what I call the "accessibility relation" between a potential X and a full-fledged instantiation of this potential. The value is as much intrinsic to the “seed” as to some future implementation of the seed’s potential. This approach inclines even a secular humanist to reasonably confer a significant degree of moral value to a human conceptus, and even more to an early term fetus. (shrink)
This is a highly original study with fresh insights into many aspects of Nietzsche's corpus, ranging from the second untimely meditation on history and the unpublished "Truth and Lies" essay to On the Genealogy of Morality. The aim of the book is to provide the first systematic treatment of the animal in Nietzsche's philosophy. The author wants to show "that the animal is neither a random theme nor a metaphorical device, but rather that it stands at the center of Nietzsche's (...) renewal of the practice and meaning of philosophy itself" (1). This involves Lemm in a wide-ranging treatment of key motifs in Nietzsche's corpus, including illuminating his views on culture and civilization, morality and politics, history .. (shrink)
The animal in Nietzsche's philosophy -- Culture and civilization -- Politics and promise -- Culture and economy -- Giving and forgiving -- Animality, creativity, and historicity -- Animality, language, and truth -- Biopolitics and the question of animal life.