In this wide-ranging study, Quinn argues that human moral autonomy is compatible with unqualified obedience to divine commands. He formulates several versions of the crucial assumptions of divine command ethics, defending them against a battery of objections often expressed in the philosophical literature.
Warren Quinn was widely regarded as a moral philosopher of remarkable talent. This collection of his most important contributions to moral philosophy and the philosophy of action has been edited for publication by Philippa Foot. Quinn laid out the foundations for an anti-utilitarian moral philosophy that was critical of much contemporary work in ethics, such as the anti-realism of Gilbert Harman and the neo-subjectivism of Bernard Williams. Quinn's own distinctive moral theory is developed in the discussion of (...) substantial, practical moral issues. For example, there are important pieces here on the permissibility of abortion, the justification (if any) of punishing criminals when no particular good seems likely to result, and on the distinction between killing and allowing to die, a distinction crucial to the subject of euthanasia and other topics in medical ethics. The volume would be ideally suited to upper-level undergraduate courses and graduate seminars on the foundations of ethics. (shrink)
This volume brings together fourteen of the best papers by the late PhilipQuinn, one of the world's leading philosophers of religion. It covers the following topics: religious epistemology, religious ethics, religion and tragic dilemmas, religion and political liberalism, topics in Christian philosophy, and religious diversity.
These essays are the fruit of many years' research by one of the world's leading Hobbes scholars. Noel Malcolm offers not only succinct introductions to Hobbes's life and thought, but also path-breaking studies of many different aspects of his political philosophy, his scientific and religious theories, his relations with his contemporaries, the sources of his ideas, the printing history of his works, and his influence on European thought.
Ludwig Wittgenstein, who died in Cambridge in 1951, is one of the most powerful influences on contemporary philosophy, yet he shunned publicity and was essentially a private man. His friend Norman Malcolm (himself an eminent philosopher) wrote this remarkably vivid personal memoir of Wittgenstein, which was published in 1958 and was immediately recognized as a moving and truthful portrait of this gifted, difficult man. -/- This edition includes also the complete text of the fifty-seven letters which Wittgenstein wrote to (...)Malcolm over a period of eleven years. Apart from the quotations in the Memoir these letters are previously unpublished. They reveal how much friendships mattered to Wittgenstein, and how concerned he was for the health and well-being of his friends. His human qualities become evident; he advises, warns, jokes. and is grateful and affectionate. -/- The volume also features a concise biographical sketch by another leading philosopher who was a friend of Wittgenstein, Georg Henrik von Wright. -/- Much has been published about Wittgenstein since his death, but nothing brings us closer to the man himself than this modest classic of philosophical biography. -/- . (shrink)
Acclaimed writer and historian Noel Malcolm presents his sensational discovery of a new work by Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679): a propaganda pamphlet on behalf of the Habsburg side in the Thirty Years' War, translated by Hobbes from a Latin original. Malcolm's book explores a fascinating episode in seventeenth-century history, illuminating both the practice of early modern propaganda and the theory of "reason of state".
In this book, Malcolm presents a new and radical interpretation of Plato's earlier dialogues. He argues that the few cases of self-predication contained therein are acceptable simply as statements concerning universals, and that therefore Plato is not vulnerable in these cases to the Third Man Argument. In considering the middle dialogues, Malcolm takes a conservative stance, rejecting influential current doctrines which portray the Forms as being not self-predicative. He shows that the middle dialogues do indeed take Forms to (...) be both universals and paradigms, and thus to exemplify themselves. The author goes on to consider why Plato should have been unsuccessful in avoiding self-predication. He shows that Plato's concern to explain how the truths of mathematics can indeed be true played an important role in his postulation of the Form as an Ideal Individual. The author concludes with the claim that reflection on the ambiguity of the notion of the "Standard Yard" may help us to appreciate why Plato failed to distinguish Forms as universals from Forms as paradigm cases. (shrink)
An attempt is made to answer the question why wittgenstein might have found the analogy between speaking and playing games philosophically exciting. It is argued that on the face of it the two are strikingly disanalogous, But that on reflecting further one can find various features of games (9 are distinguished in all) which are also features of some speech episodes, And the awareness of which could be philosophically significant.
Philippa Foot is one of the most original and widely respected philosophers of our time; her work has exerted a lasting influence on the development of moral philosophy. In tribute to her, twelve leading philosophers from both sides of the Atlantic have contributed essays exploring the various topics in moral philosophy to which she has made a distinctive contribution--virtue ethics, naturalism, non-cognitivism, relativism, categorical requirements, and the role of rationality in morality.
This paper compares Wittgenstein's conception of ?objective certainty? with Descartes's ?metaphysical certainty?. According to both conceptions if you are certain of something in these senses, then it is inconceivable that you are mistaken. But a striking difference is that for Descartes, if you are metaphysically certain of something it follows both that the something is so and that you know it is so; whereas on Wittgenstein's conception neither thing follows. I try to show that there is a form of ?scepticism? (...) in Wittgenstein's outlook on the concept of certainty, although it is not the familiar Philosophical Scepticism. The Appendix takes issue with a recent essay by John Cook which argues that the ?hinge propositions? of On Certainty are based on ?the metaphysics of phenomenalism? (shrink)
This essay outlines an account of virtue ethics applied to the profession of journalism. Virtue ethics emphasizes character before consequences, requires the "good" prior to the "right," and allows for agent-relative as well as agent-neutral values. This essay offers an exploration of the internal characteristics of a good journalist by focusing on moral virtues crucial to journalism. First, the essay outlines the general tenets of Aristotelian virtue ethics. Second, it offers arguments touting virtue ethics in comparison with other popular normative (...) theories such as Mill's utilitarianism and Kant's deontology. Finally, an original account of journalistic virtue ethics is offered, with an emphasis on the virtues of justice and integrity. (shrink)
These comments consist of reflections on the papers Anastasios Brenner and R. N. D. Martin presented at the Conference on Pierre Duhem: Historian and Philosopher of Science. I argue they present nicely complementary accounts of Duhem's turn to history of science: Brenner emphasizes reasons internal to Duhem's philosophical concern with scientific methodology while Martin highlights reasons derived from the broader context of Duhem's engagement with religious controversies of his culture. I go on to suggest that seeing Duhem in this broader (...) perspective can help us cope with the conflicts between science and religion in our own culture. (shrink)
Good journalism is based—and to some extent thrives—on a diversity of perspectives from those who supply information and informed opinions to the public. New media journalism is a contemporary newsgathering and disseminating method with enormous communication potential because it is an online forum that can connect a great number of diverse contributors and audiences. Citizen journalism—performed on a global level through the Web—is a potential marvel because of its wide reach and range of diversity. This paper offers an examination and (...) philosophical analysis that shows which facets of new media information ethics and epistemology can be reconciled with universal ethical and epistemological principles and which, if any, cannot. To that end, we wish to provide groundwork for the description and critical evaluation of universal ethical and epistemic standards consistent with the phenomenon of new media journalism. (shrink)