A mugging can overwhelm our ability to apply moral principles. When words fail, we still need advice that allows us to remain moral in the face of an attack. Self-defense offers just such advice and can be supported by utilitarian, deontological, and virtue approaches to ethics. Self-defense increases safety and security that enhance our freedom and well-being, which, in turn, allow us to survive and flourish as moral agents. Self-defense must, however, itself be qualified because its violent treatment of muggers (...) may produce human time bombs that reduce the safety and security of society.The martial art of Aikido trains our hand to act morally in the face of a physical attack when our mind is otherwise occupied. Aikido teaches self-defense, but it goes beyond self-centeredness to also protect the attacker. Such concern helps build community because it reduces vectors of resentment that spread when violence is perpetuated. The defense-only nature of Aikido teaches virtues in an embodied form on the mat. It offers philosophers an experiential and kinesthetic view of moral conduct that supplements and complements an exclusively intellectual approach. Moral philosophy cannot demand that we learn a martial art since it is only one of many possibilities to assist us in living a moral life; nevertheless, a reasonable attention to those conditions necessary for freedom and well-being entails an awareness of self-defense. (shrink)
Oxford Readings in Philosophy -/- The aim of this series is to bring together important recent writings in major areas of philosophical inquiry, selected from a variety of sources, mostly periodicals, which may not be conveniently available to the university student or the general reader. The editors of each volume contribute an introductory essay on the items chosen and on the questions with which they deal. A selective bibliography is appended as a guide to further reading. -/- This new volume (...) in the successful Oxford Readings in Philosophy series presents fifteen recently published articles on the main topics in Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding. The increased interest in Locke's philosophy over the past twenty years has resulted in more rigorous, better informed, and more philosophically sophisticated studies than ever before. The essays included here represent the best of this recent work. Each article covers one or more major issues in Locke's Essay. Together they cover all the key themes, including: innate ideas, ideas and perception, primary and secondary qulaities, free will, substance, personal identity, language, essence, knowledge, and belief. The authors include some of the world's leading Locke scholars: Michael R. Ayers, Margaret Atherton, J.L. Mackie, John Campbell, Vere Chappell, Martha Brandt Bolton, Jonathan Bennett and Kenneth P. Winkler. Their essays exemplify the best - and most accessible - recent scholarship on Locke, making it essential for students and specialists. (shrink)
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