The most recent commentators on Edmund Burke have renewed the charge that his political thought lacks the consistency and coherency necessary to even claim the status of a political philosophy and that he is indeed a "utilitarian." They mark him off as an "ideologist," a "rhetorician," and a "deliberate propagandist." Even Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France, his most profound statement of a political philosophy, is regarded by some as a work of mere "persuasion," not "philosophy." All (...) this occurs in spite of the seminal work of Stanlis, Canavan, and Wilkins, who in the 1950s and ‘60s, demonstrated the natural law foundations of Burke’s politics. Burke revisionists, forced to acknowledge his use of the "natural law," label such use as a rhetorical means for utilitarian ends. Directly opposed to this renewed "utilitarian" interpretation of Burke is Joseph Pappin’s work The Metaphysics of Edmund Burke. Not only does this work challenge the "utilitarian" view of Burke, it sets out, as not other work on Burke has attempted to do, "to make explicit the implicit metaphysical core of Burke’s political thought." Pappin does this by examining both Burke’s critics and Burke’s own attack on a rationalist, ideologically inspired metaphysics. Drawing from Burke’s vast writings, Pappin establishes as his goal "to demonstrate that Burke’s political philosophy is grounded in a realist metaphysic, one that is basically consonant with the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition." Does the author succeed? According to Francis Canavan, in his Foreword to this work, the "explanatory key" of a realist metaphysics grounding Burke’s politics "is a key that fits the lock better than any other that scholars have offered." Canavan further holds that the author offers "us a more thorough analysis of Burke’s understanding of God, the creation, nature, man, and society than has previously appeared.". (shrink)
Was Joseph de Maistre a conservative thinker?; an actor who might at any time switch roles with his alleged British counterpart Edmund Burke in a show called “Reactions to the French Revolution”? Or was de Maistre (as Sir Isaiah Berlin saw him) a milestone on mankind’s rush to the “Age of Unreason” in general, and to the Nazi folly in particular? To answer this controversy, Professor Michael Shafir called on the witness’ stand an unexpected expert in conservatism and (...) the folly of revolutions: Romanian playwright Ion Luca Caragiale. Using as evidence before the court Caragiale’s famous farce “Master Leonida Facing Reaction”, this exercise in literary counterfactualism demonstrates, according to Shafir, the fig of reason and faith is too small to cover the wastelands of unreason and Social-Darwinist-like psychopathology. (shrink)
Joseph Raz has argued that the problem of the amoralist is misconceived. In this paper, I present three interpretations of what his argument is. None of these interpretations yields an argument that we are in a position to accept.
Working within the tradition of continental philosophy, this article argues in favour of a phenomenological understanding of language as a crucial component of bioethical inquiry. The authors challenge the ‘commonsense’ view of language, in which thinking appears as prior to speaking, and speech the straightforward vehicle of pre-existing thoughts. Drawing on Maurice Merleau-Ponty's (1908–1961) phenomenology of language, the authors claim that thinking takes place in and through the spoken word, in and through embodied language. This view resituates bioethics as (...) a matter of bodies that speak. It also refigures the meaning of ethical self-reflexion, and in so doing offers an alternative view on reflexivity and critique. Referring to the Kantian critical tradition and its reception by Hannah Arendt and Michel Foucault, we advance a position we call ‘critical ethical reflexivity’. We contend that Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology of language offers valuable insight into ethical reflexivity and subject formation. Moreover, his understanding of language may foster new qualitative empirical research in bioethics, lead to more nuanced methods for interpreting personal narratives, and promote critical self-reflexion as necessary for bioethical inquiry. (shrink)
Journalist, literary critic, novelist and essayist, Maurice Blanchot has always questioned the uncertain limit between philosophical and fictional languages. The purpose of this article is to underline his constant inquiry of the connection between his own writing activity and political participation, through which he managed to describe, theorize and realize a true dissolution of subject.
This essay considers eighteenth-century Anglican thinker Joseph Butler's view of the role of natural emotions in moral reasoning and action. Emotions such as compassion and resentment are shown to play a positive role in the moral life by motivating action and by directing agents toward certain good objects—for example, relief of misery and justice. For Butler, moral virtue is present when these natural affections are kept in proper proportion by the "superior" principles of the moral life—conscience, self-love, and benevolence—which (...) involve the capacity for reasonable reflection. For contemporary thinkers, Butler's approach suggests that natural emotion should not be viewed as the enemy of moral reasoning; in fact, it challenges ethicists to pay attention to and account for the significant role of the emotions in the moral life. (shrink)
Accounts of the relation between theories and models in biology concentrate on mathematical models. In this paper I consider the dual role of models as representations of natural systems and as a material basis for theorizing. In order to explicate the dual role, I develop the concept of a remnant model, a material entity made from parts of the natural system(s) under study. I present a case study of an important but neglected naturalist, Joseph Grinnell, to illustrate the extent (...) to which mundane practices in a museum setting constitute theorizing. I speculate that historical and sociological analyses of institutions can play a specific role in the philosophical analysis of model-building strategies. (shrink)
Constitutional liberal practices are capable of being normatively grounded by a number of different metaphysical positions. Kant provides one such grounding, in terms of the autonomously derived moral law. I argue that the work of Edmund Burke provides a resource for an alternative construal of constitutional liberalism, compatible with, and illumined by, a broadly Thomistic natural law worldview. I contrast Burke's treatment of the relationship between truth and cognition, prudence and rights, with that of his contemporary, Kant. We (...) find that in each case where Kant's system is constructed from the first principle of autonomy, Burke's thought is oriented toward an end that is not of our making. Readings of Burke as a natural law thinker are currently out of fashion among Burke commentators; without relying, for the main thesis, on historical claims about Burke's "Thomism," I nonetheless explore and challenge some of the assumptions that underlie the current orthodoxy. (shrink)
Professor Sir Joseph Rotblat was one of the most distinguished scientists and peace campaigners of the post second world war period. He made significant contributions to nuclear physics and worked on the development of the atomic bomb. He then became one of the world’s leading researchers into the biological effects of radiation. His life from the early 1950s until his death in August 2005 was devoted to the abolition of nuclear weapons and peace. For this he was awarded the (...) Nobel Peace Prize, together with Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs (that he helped found) in 1995. His work in this area ranked with that of Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell and this article is an attempt to summarise his life, achievements, but in particular outline his views on the moral responsibilities of the scientist. He is a towering intellectual figure and his contributions to mankind should be better known and more widely understood. (shrink)
Professor Sir Joseph Rotblat made significant contributions to nuclear physics and worked on the development of the atomic bomb. He walked out of the Manhattan Project after working there for less than a year, the only scientist to do so. Rotblat gave a comprehensive account of his time at Los Alamos. His Archive is now becoming available and papers contained therein are inconsistent with some aspects of his account. The reasons as to how such anomalies and contradictions could occur (...) are considered. (shrink)
People discussing science and religion usually frame their conversations in terms of essentialist assumptions about science, assumptions requiring the existence (but not the specification) of criteria according to which science can be distinguished from other forms of inquiry. However, criteria functioning at a level of generality appropriate to such discussions may not exist at all. Essentialist assumptions may be avoided if science is understood within a broader context of human practices. In a philosophy of practices, to label a practice as (...) “scientific” is to make a practically motivated provision for a way of speaking. Charles Taylor and Joseph Rouse have produced complementary philosophies of practice that promote this kind of understanding. In this essay I review the work of Taylor and Rouse, identify apparent residues of essentialism that each seems to harbor, and offer a resolution to some of their disagreements. I also criticize a form of essentialism commonly employed in Christian circles and outline an anti-essentialist view of science that may be helpful in science-and-religion discussions. (shrink)
Le missionnaire et ethnologue Maurice Leenhardt affirme que le sujet n’existe pas dans la culture kanak précoloniale de Nouvelle Calédonie, et que seule la conversion au christianisme en assure l’émergence. La faille méthodologique de cet auteur consiste à induire des carences cognitives à partir de faits linguistiques. En réalité, le statut de sujet n’est pas absent de l’univers kanak, mais ce sont ses modalités d’expression et d’assomption qui sont inédites pour un regard occidental.
Over the last few decades there has been a strong narrative turn within the humanities and social sciences in general and educational studies in particular. Especially Jerome Bruner’s theory of narrative as a specific ‘mode of knowing’ was very important for this growing body of work. To understand how the narrative mode works Bruner proposes to study narratives ‘at their far reach’—as an art form—and on several occasions he refers to the dramatistic pentad as an important method for ‘unpacking’ narratives. (...) The pentad proposed by Bruner to study narratives was developed by the American philosopher and rhetorician Kenneth Burke and is embedded in his general linguistic theory of dramatism. From an educational perspective Bruner’s reference to the work of Burke has not been elaborated upon thus far. In this paper we aim to take Bruner’s suggestion at hand and explore how his educational theory of narrative as a mode of knowing can indeed be enriched by Kenneth Burke’s theory and method of dramatism. We claim that specifically the rhetorical framework that is developed by dramatism offers an important perspective about perspectives for education in a context that is increasingly confronted with a plurality of interpretive frameworks. (shrink)
During the 1840s and the 1850s botanist Joseph Hooker developed distinct notions about the proper characteristics of a professional man of science. While he never articulated these ideas publicly as a coherent agenda, he did share his opinions openly in letters to family and colleagues; this private communication gives essential insight into his and his X-Club colleagues' public activities. The core aspiration of Hooker's professionalization was to consolidate men of science into a dutiful and centralized community dedicated to national (...) well-being. The nation in turn owed the scientific community for its ministration. When the government bestowed funds and status on men of science it was rewarding science -- not purchasing it. His proposed reforms were piecemeal, immediate, and above all practical. He harbored no taste for vast millenarian transformation, and rested his conception of scientific professionalism upon a respectable High Victorian foundation of patronage and pillars of duty, reciprocity, intimacy, and inequality. The process of professionalization he envisioned was as much shrewd compromise between existing interests as a vindication of principle. His power and prestige from the mid-1850s onward gave him considerable ability to carry out his reform program, although his general success did occasion some undesired consequences for the status of natural-history pursuits. (shrink)
Joseph Hooker first learned that Charles Darwin believed in the transmutation of species in 1844. For the next 14 years, Hooker remained a "nonconsenter" to Darwin's views, resolving to keep the question of species origin "subservient to Botany instead of Botany to it, as must be the true relation." Hooker placed particular emphasis on the need for any theory of species origin to support the broad taxonomic delimitation of species, a highly contentious issue. His always provisional support for special (...) creation waned during the 1850s as he lost faith in its expediency for coordinating the study of plant geography, systematics and physiology. In 1858, Hooker embraced Darwin's "considerable revolution in natural history," but only after Darwin had carefully molded his transmutationism to meet Hooker's exacting specifications. (shrink)
Although Kant (wrongly) holds that the universal communicability of aesthetic judgments logically follows from the disinterested character of the pleasure upon which they are based, Kant's emphasis on the a priori validity of judgments of beauty can be viewed as a rebuttal of the kind of empiricist arguments that Burke offers to justify the social nature of the experience of beauty. I argue that the requirement of universal communicability is not a mere addition to the requirement of universal validity (...) and is far more relevant to an adequate characterisation of the beautiful than has customarily been assumed. I further argue that the 'exemplary necessity' of pure judgments of taste, if understood correctly, reveals beauty's primordial social significance, enabling us to become alive to a profound universal solidarity among aesthetic subjects. (shrink)
El problema de la teodicea ha sido una de las grandes preocupaciones del pensamiento religioso en Occidente: si Dios es absolutamente bueno y omnipotente, ¿cómo puede existir el mal en el mundo?, y ¿por qué sufren los virtuosos y gozan los impíos? En la Antigüedad, el Libro de Job intentó ofrecer una respuesta que perduró hasta tiempos modernos. En el siglo XVII, Leibniz ofreció una respuesta mucho más racionalizada, propia de los tiempos modernos. Joseph de Maistre, un contrarrevolucionario del (...) siglo XIX, hizo de la teodicea uno de sus temas centrales. El siguiente artículo es un estudio de la forma en que De Maistre aborda este tema. (shrink)
The life of Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817-1911) provides an invaluable lens through which to view mid-Victorian science. A biographical approach makes it clear that some well-established narratives about this period need revising. For example, Hooker's career cannot be considered an example of the professionalisation of the sciences, given the doubtful respectability of being paid to do science and his reliance on unpaid collectors with pretensions to equal scientific and/or social status. Nor was Hooker's response to Darwin's theories either straightforward (...) or contradictory; it only makes sense as carefully crafted equivocation when seen in the context of his life and career. However, the importance of Hooker's life is ultimately its typicality; what was true of Hooker was true of many other Victorian men of science. (shrink)
The present paper begins with an analysis of a letter from Edmund Burke written in January 1790, the moment when the statesman declared himself against the French Revolution, in order to conjoin the letter with other texts from the author where the organic and hereditary aspects of civil society, as well as the forming and deforming role of words in political activity, are discussed. The second part of the text consists in the translation and notes of the aforesaid letter.
This paper aims at discussing the relations between religion and revolution according to Edmund Burke’s and Alexis de Tocqueville’s considerations on the unleashment of the French Revolution. There is a rare dialog between both authors made by the French thinker, mainly in his book The Old Regime and the Revolution. Nonetheless, I intend to deepen this dialog. This procedure will make it possible to review the comparisons – between the English and the French Revolutions – made by both authors (...) and the distinct role played by religion in each process. Finally, I try to identify the main proximities and distances in the analysis of both authors on the theme. (shrink)
This article—part of a larger project that examines the place of the human in contemporary thought after the critique of the subject—takes as its point of departure the problematic of the author in Maurice Blanchot. If the author is “sacrificed to language,” it is argued, this is not to be conceived as the mere negation of authorial subjectivity; rather, the author, as a sacrificial figure, answers to the exigency of a figuration that would enable the a priori condition of (...) signification in general to be exposed. In a word, the human is not dispensed with, for Blanchot, but engaged by language at its limits. On the basis of this analysis, La folie du jour is construed as a narrative of what is called “the narrative voice.”. (shrink)
The monarchic, and aristocratical, and popular partisans have been jointly laying their axes to the root of all government, and have in their turns proved each other absurd and inconvenient. In vain you tell me that artificial government is good, but that I fall out only with the abuse. The thing! the thing itself is the abuse! ~ Edmund Burke, 1756..
Against the background of the Second World War and post-war cultural change in Australia, this review article discusses the establishment of the profession of art history and art curatorial scholarship in Australia in the 1940s and 1950s. The key figures in this transformation were Franz Philipp and Ursula Hoff (European ‘savant’ refugees from Nazism and anti-Semitism), and the British scholar JosephBurke (appointed as Herald Professor of Fine Arts at Melbourne University). These figures played pivotal roles in Sir (...) Keith Murdoch's ‘civilizing mission’ to reform Australian culture – a mission centred on Melbourne University and the National Gallery of Victoria under its new director, Daryl Lindsay. Within the context of the ‘culture wars’ dividing the Australian art world at this time, these reformers and pioneering scholars found themselves opposed by a radical art avant-garde under the leadership of the art patron John Reed. The work of key modernist Australian artists, above all Sidney Nolan and Russell Drysdale, became touchstones for radical and conservative positions in this conflict. (shrink)
Merleau-Ponty was a pivotal figure in twentieth century French philosophy. He was responsible for bringing the phenomenological methods of the German philosophers, Husserl and Heidegger, to France and instigated a new wave of interest in this approach. His influence extended well beyond the boundaries of philosophy and can be seen in theories of politics, art and language. This is the first volume to bring together a comprehensive selection of Merleau-Ponty's writing and presents a cross-section of his work which shows the (...) historical progression of his ideas and influence. (shrink)
The thirty-three essays in <I>Relativism: A Contemporary Anthology</I> grapple with one of the most intriguing, enduring, and far-reaching philosophical problems of our age. Relativism comes in many varieties. It is often defined as the belief that truth, goodness, or beauty is relative to some context or reference frame, and that no absolute standards can adjudicate between competing reference frames. Michael Krausz's anthology captures the significance and range of relativistic doctrines, rehearsing their virtues and vices and reflecting on a spectrum of (...) attitudes. Invoking diverse philosophical orientations, these doctrines concern conceptions of relativism in relation to facts and conceptual schemes, realism and objectivity, universalism and foundationalism, solidarity and rationality, pluralism and moral relativism, and feminism and poststructuralism. Featuring nine original essays, the volume also includes many classic articles, making it a standard resource for students, scholars, and researchers. <B>Table of Contents:</B> Foreword by Alan Ryan Preface Introduction Michael Krausz <B>Part I. Orienting Relativism</B> 1. Mapping Relativisms Michael Krausz 2. A Brief History of Relativism Maria Baghramian <B>Part II. Relativism, Truth, and Knowledge</B> 3. Subjective, Objective, and Conceptual Relativisms Maurice Mandelbaum 4. “Just the Facts, Ma’am!” Nelson Goodman 5. Relativism in Philosophy of Science Nancy Cartwright 6. The Truth About Relativism Joseph Margolis 7. Making Sense of Relative Truth John MacFarlane 8. On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme Donald Davidson 9. Truth and Convention: On Davidson’s Refutation of Conceptual Relativism Hilary Putnam 10. Conceptual Schemes Simon Blackburn 11. Relativizing the Facts Paul A. Boghossian 12. Targets of Anti-Relativist Arguments Harvey Siegel 13. Realism and Relativism Akeel Bilgrami <B>Part III. Moral Relativism, Objectivity, and Reasons</B> 14. Moral Relativism Defended Gilbert Harman 15. The Truth in Relativism Bernard Williams 16. Pluralism and Ambivalence David B. Wong 17. The Relativity of Fact and the Objectivity of Value Catherine Z. Elgin 18. Senses of Moral Relativity David Wiggins 19. Ethical Relativism and the Problem of Incoherence David Lyons 20. Understanding Alien Morals Gopal Sreenivasan 21. Value: Realism and Objectivity Thomas Nagel 22. Intuitionism, Realism, Relativism, and Rhubarb Crispin Wright 23. Moral Relativism and Moral Realism Russ Schafer-Landau <B>Part IV. Relativism, Culture, and Understanding</B> 24. Anti Anti-Relativism Clifford Geertz 25. Solidarity or Objectivity? Richard Rorty 26. Relativism, Power, and Philosophy Alasdair MacIntyre 27. Internal Criticism and Indian Rationalist Traditions Martha C. Nussbaum and Amartya Sen 28. Phenomenological Rationality and the Overcoming of Relativism Jitendra N. Mohanty 29. Understanding and Ethnocentricity Charles Taylor 30. Relativism and Cross-Cultural Understanding Kwame Anthony Appiah 31. Relativism, Persons, and Practices Amélie Oksenberg Rorty 32. One What? Relativism and Poststructuralism David Couzens Hoy 33. Must a Feminist Be a Relativist After All? Lorraine Code List of Contributors Index. (shrink)