: The semantic fields and root metaphors of "fate" in Classical Greece and pre-Buddhist China are surveyed here. The Chinese material focuses on the Warring States, the Han, and the reinvention of the earlier lexicon in contemporary Chinese terms for such concepts as risk, randomness, and (statistical) chance. The Greek study focuses on Homer, Parmenides, the problem of fate and necessity, Platonic daimons, and the "On Fate" topos in Hellenistic Greece. The study ends with a brief comparative metaphorology of metaphors (...) for the action of fate including command, division or allotment, and wheel or cycles of change. (shrink)
The resercher Ann Talbot presents in this book one of the more complex and in-depth studies ever written about the influence of travel literature on the work of the British philospher John Locke (1632-1704). At the end of the 18th century the study of travel literature was an alternative to academic studies. The philosopher John Locke recommended with enthousiasm these books as a way to comprehend human understanding. Several members of the Royal Society like John Harris (1966-1719) affirmed that the (...) learning that could be obtained through these books was different from the one that provided the educative system of that time. Travel literature could make see the source of the ignorance of the ancients; it stressed the curiosities and extraordinary facts and led to a revision of beliefs and scientific theories of the ancient world. Besides the account of a broad diversity of sujects contributed to the creation of matters of fact, and this was important in order to put rational limits to the descriptions of the world that were commonly accepted. (shrink)
In this article I apply the insights of hermeneutic realism to a practical-theological ethics that addresses the international crisis of families and women’s rights. Hermeneutic realism affirms the hermeneutic philosophy of Hans-Georg Gadamer but enriches it with the dialectic of participation and distanciation developed by Paul Ricoeur. This approach finds a place for sciences such as evolutionary psychology within a hermeneutically informed ethic. It also points to a multidimensional model of practical reason that views it as implicitly or explicitly involving (...) five levels---background metaphysical visions, some principle of obligation, assumptions about pervasive human tendencies and needs, assumptions about constraining social and natural environments, and assumed acceptable rules of conduct. The fruitfulness of this multidimensional view of practical reason is then demonstrated by applying it to practical-theological ethics and the analysis of four theorists of women’s rights---Martha Nussbaum, Susan Moller Okin, Lisa Cahill, and Mary Ann Glendon. Finally, I illustrate the importance and limits of the visional dimension of practical reason by discussing the concept of “Africanity‘ in relation to the family and AIDS crisis of Eastern Africa. (shrink)
Jo Ann Boydston, 2 July 1924 - 25 January 2011Jo Ann Boydston enjoyed a distinguished career as general editor of the Collected Works of John Dewey and director of the Center for Dewey Studies at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Born in Poteau, Oklahoma of Choctaw Indian heritage, she graduated summa cum laude from Oklahoma State University in 1944. She received an M.A. from Oklahoma State (1947), a Ph.D. from Columbia University (1950), and honorary doctorates from Indiana University (1994) and Southern (...) Illinois University (2004).In 1961, Boydston joined the staff of a modest research project at Southern Illinois University called "Co-operative Research on Dewey Publications" as assistant to project .. (shrink)
Lisa Hill’s response to my critique of compulsory voting, like similar responses in print or in discussion, remind me how much a child of the ‘70s I am, and how far my beliefs and intuitions about politics have been shaped by the electoral conflicts, social movements and violence of that period. -/- But my perceptions of politics have also been profoundly shaped by my teachers, and fellow graduate students, at MIT. Theda Skocpol famously urged political scientists to ‘bring the (...) state back in’ to their analyses, and to recognise that political identities, interests and coalitions cannot be read off straightforwardly from people’s socio-economic position. In their different ways, this was the lesson that Suzanne Berger, Charles Sabel and Joshua Cohen tried to teach us, emphasising the ways that political participation and conflict, themselves, can change people’s identities, their sense of what it is desirable and possible, and their ability to recognise, or oppose, the freedom and equality of others. -/- I do not therefore take it as self-evident that the poor and seemingly powerless should be politically apathetic, unwilling to vote, or incapable of imagining a political solution to at least some of the problems confronting them. Nor do I suppose that non-voters are all-of-a-piece, and that their shared interests are, inevitably, more significant, morally or politically, than those which divide them. Such assumptions seem mistaken in the case of voters, and I see no reason why they should be true of non-voters. The people we find in these categories are not predestined to be in one rather than the other; they do not always stay where they start off; and at an individual level, the reasons why people fall into one group, rather than another, are likely to be complex and sometimes unpredictable. -/- Above all I see nothing in a commitment to democratic government, understood realistically or in more idealistic terms, that requires us to treat raising turnout at national elections (once every four years or so) as of such moral or political importance that we should make it legally mandatory. Realistically, it is an open question how far the ballot box is, for most people, the path to empowerment – important though it is that people should have an equal right to vote and to stand as candidates at national elections. On a more idealistic view of democratic politics it is hard to avoid the thought that the importance of national elections to self-government, posited by proponents of compulsory voting, reflects an alienated and alienating view of democracy, in which the choice of our leaders becomes more important than the development and exercise of our own capacities to lead; and in which our awe at the power our leaders might wield is matched only by our inability to imagine less intimidating, distant and centralised forms of politics. -/- But before saying a little more about these points, and their significance for compulsory voting, I would like to dispel some misunderstandings or misrepresentations of my views in Hill’s essay. I do not believe socio-economic disparities in turnout are not worrying for democratic politics, nor do I believe that abstention is generally synonymous with consent. I do not assume that people have a right not to vote, but try to explain why moral and legal rights to abstain are an important part of democratic politics, including electoral politics. (shrink)
This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Theory and Applications of Satisfiability Testing, SAT 2011, held in Ann Arbor, MI, USA in June 2011.The 25 revised full papers presented together with ...
Both Immanuel Kant and Paul Guyer have raised important concerns about the limitations of Lockean thought. Following Guyer, I will focus my attention on questions about the proper ambitions and likely achievements of inquiry into the natural/physical world. I will argue that there are at least two important respects, not discussed by Guyer, in which Locke’s account of natural philosophy is much more flexible and accommodating than may be immediately apparent. (And, I am inclined to think, one of these respects (...) represents a way in which Kant’s system is objectionably constrained, where Locke’s is in principle open.) On my interpretation, however, one crucial source of a too-limited vision of natural philosophy remains in Locke, where he is appropriately criticized by both Kant and Guyer. My method will be to begin with a distinction that Locke draws in the very first draft of the Essay, between what he calls “the sensible object” and, on the other hand, “the uncertain philosophical cause.” I believe that Locke’s notion of “sensible object,” as opposed to uncertain philosophical cause, retains a central place in his thought in the published Essay, despite the fact thateven though this contrast is never made explicitly there. Tracing the evolution of these two concepts in his thought will allow us to track and better understand his developing views about the relation between the project of the.. (shrink)