Political Freedom By George G. Brenkert Routledge, 1991. Pp. 278. ISBN 0?415?03372?1. £35 hbk. Wittgenstein: A Bibliographical Guide By Guido Frongia and Brian McGuinness Basil Blackwell, 1990. Pp. x + 438. ISBN 00631?13765?3. £60.00. Metaphysics By Peter van Inwagen Oxford University Press, 1993. Pp. xiii + 222. ISBN 0?19?8751400. £11.95 pbk. The Nature of Moral Thinking By Francis Snare Routledge, 1992. Pp. 187. ISBN 0?415?04709?9. £9.99 pbk. Filosofía analitica hoy: Encuentro de tradiciones Edited by Mercedes Torrevejano Servicio de Publications Universidade (...) de Santiago de Compostela, 1991. Pp. 284. ISBN 84?7191?722?X. $15.5 pbk. The Puzzle of Experience By J.J. Valberg Clarendon Press, 1992. Pp. 227. ISBN 0?19?824291?3. £25. Religion and Philosophy Edited by Martin Warner Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement: 31 Cambridge University Press, 1992. Pp. vi + 155. ISBN 0?521?42951?X. £10.95 pbk. The Uses of Philosophy By Mary Warnock Blackwell, 1992. Pp. 256. ISBN 0?631?18038?9. £35.00 hbk. £11.95 pbk. The Disappearance of Time: Kurt Godel and the Idealistic Tradition in Philosophy By Palle Yourgrau Cambridge University Press, 1991. Pp. x + 182. ISBN 0?521?41012?6. £27.50. (shrink)
Logical positivism is widely associated with an illiberal technocratic view of politics. This view is a caricature. Some members of the left Vienna circle were explicit in their criticism of this conception of politics. In particular, Neurath's work attempted to link the internal epistemological pluralism and tolerance of logical empiricism with political pluralism and the rejection of a technocratic politics. This paper examines the role that unified science played in Neurath's defence of political and social pluralism. Neurath's project of unified (...) science addressed problems that lie at the centre of recent debates around liberalism concerning the possibility of social co-operation in conditions of pluralism. His response is distinctive in calling upon an empiricist tradition that differs from Kantian proceduralist approaches that have predominated in recent liberalism. While Neurath's position has problems, it deserves reconsideration, especially in so far as it questions the Kantian assumption that a thin language of abstract rights provides the best basis for the cosmopolital lingua franca required by conditions of social pluralism. An investigation of the role that unified science plays in Neurath's politics also gives reasons for revising common misconceptions about the nature of the unity of science programme itself. (shrink)
Stroud's interpretation of hume leaves unexplained (1) 'necessity', In particular causal judgments where no general causal principle is known and (2) why a regular sequence of psychological events, But not of physical events, Can give rise to an idea of compulsion or inevitability.
This review essay looks at two important recent books on the empirical social science of inequality, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett's The Spirit Level and John Hills et al .'s Towards a More Equal Society? , situating these books against the important work of Michael Marmot on epidemiology and health inequalities. I argue that political philosophy can gain a great deal from careful engagement with empirical research on the nature and consequences of inequality, especially in regard to empirical work (...) on the relationship between socioeconomic inequality, status, self-respect, domination, autonomy, the quality of social relations, and societal health outcomes. The essay also raises some methodological questions about the approach taken by Wilkinson and Pickett, as well as questioning the ways in which their argument is (or is not) best understood as being fundamentally egalitarian in character. It concludes with some reflections, prompted by Hills et al ., on the lessons that should be learned by egalitarians from the experience of the Blair and Brown governments in the UK. (shrink)
This article seeks to defend prioritarianism against a pair of challenges from Michael Otsuka and Alex Voorhoeve. Otsuka and Voorhoeve first argue that prioritarianism makes implausible recommendations in one-person cases under conditions of risk, as it fails to allow that it is reasonable to act to maximize expected utility, rather than expected weighted benefits, in such cases. I show that, in response, prioritarians can either reject Otsuka and Voorhoeve's claim, by means of appealing to a distinction between personal and (...) impersonal value, or alternatively they can harmlessly accommodate it, by means of appealing to the status of prioritarianism as a view about the moral value of outcomes, rather than as an account of all-things-considered reasonable action. Otsuka and Voorhoeve secondly claim that prioritarianism fails to explain a divergence in our considered moral judgement between one-person and many-person cases. I show that the prioritarian has two alternative, and independently plausible, lines of response to this charge, one more concessive and the other more unyielding. Hence, neither of Otsuka and Voorhoeve's challenges need seriously trouble the prioritarian. (shrink)
This article investigates a significant problem in contemporary critical theory, namely its failure to address effectively the possibility that a campaign of political violence may be a legitimate means of fighting grave injustice. Having offered a working definition of 'political violence', I argue that critical theory should be focused on experiences of in justice rather than on ideals of justice. I then explore the reasons as to why, save for some intriguing remarks on retrospective legitimation, J rgen Habermas has not (...) addressed this issue directly. While Axel Honneth's recognition theory may have greater potential here, the absence of explicit consideration of the matter by him leaves considerable work to do. I introduce five questions in the concluding section that provide a starting point in setting out an appropriately stringent, normative test for claims that support violent action against injustice. (shrink)
Contemplating Suicide: The Language and Ethnics of Self Harm By Gavin J. Fairbairn Routledge, 1995. Pp. xxx. ISBN 415?10606. £12.95(pbk). Religious Transformation in Western Society. The End of Happiness By Harvie Ferguson, Routledge, 1992. Pp. xvi + 269. ISBN 0?415?02574?5. £XX.xx. Feminism and the Self: The Web of Identity By Morwenna Griffiths Routledge, 1995. Pp. 191. ISBN 0?415?09821?1. £12.99 (pbk). Faith, Scepticism and Personal Identity. A Festschrift for Terence Penelhum Edited by J.J. Macintosh and H. A. Meynell University of Calgary (...) Press, 1994. Pp. vii + 304. CAN$27.95. The Shape of Space (second edition) By Graham Nerlich Cambridge University Press, 1994. ISBN 0?521?45645?2. Logical Learning Theory: A Human Teleology and its Empirical Support By Joseph F. Rychlak University of Nebraska Press, 1994. Pp. 387. ISBN 0?8032?3904?1. £32.95 Philosophical Idealism and Christian Belief By Alan P.F. Sell University of Wales Press, 1995. Pp. x + 338. (shrink)
Emmanuel Levinas is well known to students of twentieth-century continental philosophy and especially French philosophy. But he is largely unknown within the circles of Anglo-American philosophy. In Discovering Levinas, Michael L. Morgan shows how this thinker faces in novel and provocative ways central philosophical problems of twentieth century philosophy and religious thought. He tackles this task by placing Levinas in conversation with philosophers such as Donald Davidson, Stanley Cavell, John McDowell, Onora O'Neill, Charles Taylor, and Cora Diamond. He (...) also seeks to understand Levinas within philosophical, religious, and political developments in the history of twentieth-century intellectual culture. Morgan demystifies Levinas by examining in illuminating ways his unfamiliar and surprising vocabulary, interpreting texts with an eye to clarity, and arguing that Levinas can be understood as a philosopher of the everyday. Morgan also shows that Levinas's ethics is not morally and politically irrelevant nor is it excessively narrow and demanding in unacceptable ways. Neither glib dismissal nor fawning acceptance, this book provides a sympathetic reading that can form a foundation for a responsible critique. (shrink)