Language, Duty, and Value Jonathan Dancy, J. M. E. Moravcsik James Opie Urmson, Edited by Jonathan Dancy, J. M. E. Moravcsik, and C. C. W. Taylor. reasons in general. This is freedom in the sense of acting on reasons, yet not those ...
This volume, which is part of the Clarendon Aristotle Series, offers a clear and faithful new translation of Books II to IV of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, accompanied by an analytical commentary focusing on philosophical issues. In Books II to IV, Aristotle gives his account of virtue of character in general and of the principal virtues individually, topics of central interest both to his ethical theory and to modern ethical theorists. Consequently major themes of the commentary are connections on the one (...) hand with other relevant Aristotelian texts and on the other with modern writings, both text-related and thematic. -/- Since the main aim of the volume is to make Aristotle's thought as accessible as possible to readers who do not know Greek, considerable care is taken to elucidate both his technical vocabulary and significant features of his Greek idiom. C. C. W. Taylor also provides systematic comparisons with other translations into English and other languages, and frequent references to other commentaries, ancient, medieval, and modern. These features make the work useful to other scholars in the field as well as to students of philosophy, both undergraduate and graduate. -/- In view of the widespread contemporary interest in the topic of virtue, the volume should appeal to students of ethics (even those hitherto unacquainted with ancient thought) and to any reader who is concerned to see how fundamental questions of life and conduct were approached in a culture significantly different from our own. (shrink)
Studies in Greek Philosophy. Gregory Vlastos. Edited by Daniel W. Graham. Princeton NJ, Princeton University Press, 1995. Volume I The Presocratics pp. xxxiv + 389; Volume II Socrates, Plato, and Their Tradition pp. xxiv + 349. 40 per volume (hb.), ISBN 0-691-03310-2, 0-691-03311-0; 14.50 per volume (pb.), ISBN 0-691-01937-1, 0-691-01938-X.
The age of information, media, and virtuality is transforming every aspect of human experience. Questions that have long haunted the philosophical imagination are becoming urgent practical concerns: Where does the natural end and the artificial begin? Is there a difference between the material and the immaterial? In his new work, Mark C. Taylor extends his ongoing investigation of postmodern worlds by critically examining a wide range of contemporary cultural practices. Nothing defines postmodernism so well as its refusal of depth, (...) its emphasis on appearance and spectacle, its tendency to collapse a three-dimensional world in which image and reality are distinct into a two-dimensional world in which they merge. The postmodern world, Taylor argues, is a world of surfaces, and the postmodern condition is one of profound superficiality. For many cultural commentators, postmodernism's inescapable play of surfaces is cause for despair. Taylor, on the other hand, shows that the disappearance of depth in postmodern culture is actually a liberation repleat with creative possibilities. Taylor introduces readers to a popular culture in which detectives--the postmodern heroes of Paul Auster and Dennis Potter--lift surfaces only to find more surfaces, and in which fashion advertising plays transparency against hiding. Taylor looks at the contemporary preoccupation with body piercing and tattooing, and asks whether these practices actually reveal or conceal. Phrenology and skin diseases, the "religious" architecture of Las Vegas, the limitless spread of computer networks--all are brought within the scope of Taylor's brilliant analysis. Postmodernism, he shows, has given us a new sense of the superficial, one in which the issue is not the absence of meaning but its uncontrollable, ecstatic proliferation. Embodying the very tendencies it analyzes, Hiding is unique. Conceived and developed with well-known designers Michael Rock and Susan Sellars, this work transgresses the boundary that customarily separates graphic design from the story within a text. The product of nearly three decades of reflection and writing, Hiding opens a window on contemporary culture. To follow the remarkable course Taylor charts is to see both our present and past differently and to encounter a future as disorienting as it is alluring. (shrink)
This essay is the journal editor's introduction to part 3 of an ongoing symposium on quietism. With reference to writings of James Joyce, Francis Picabia, J. M. Coetzee, Charles Taylor, Alasdair MacIntyre, Elaine Pagels, and Karen King—and with extended reference to Jonathan Lear's study of “cultural devastation,” Radical Hope—Jeffrey Perl explores the possibility that the fear of anomie (“anomiphobia”) is misplaced. He argues that, in comparison with the violence and narrowness of any given social order, anomie may well be (...) preferable, and, in any case, may be no more than another name for quietism. (shrink)
A study of the political philosophy of Herbert Spencer, this book examines the thought of the man considered by many to be the greatest philosopher of Victorian Britain, and the ideas of the Individualists, a group of political thinkers inspired by him to uphold the policy of laissez-faire during the 1880s and 1890s. Despite their important contribution to nineteenth-century political debate, these thinkers have been neglected by historians, who Taylor argues have concentrated instead on the advocates of an enhanced (...) role for government in economic and social affairs. Offering the first comprehensive view of free-market conservatism in an historical context, Taylor provides an original perspective on Spencer's political philosophy as well as the nature of late Victorian political argument in general. (shrink)
This paper reports on an ongoing ARC Discovery Project that is conducting design research into learning in collaborative virtual worlds (CVW).The paper will describe three design components of the project: (a) pedagogical design, (b)technical and graphics design, and (c) learning research design. The perspectives of each design team will be discussed and how the three teams worked together to produce the CVW. The development of productive failure learning activities for the CVW will be discussed and there will be an interactive (...) demonstration of the project's CVW. (shrink)
I present the foundational structure for a life-centered theory of environmental ethics. The structure consists of three interrelated components. First is the adopting of a certain ultimate moral attitude toward nature, which I call “respect for nature.” Second is a belief system that constitutes a way of conceiving of the natural world and of our place in it. This belief system underlies and supports the attitude in a way that makes it an appropriate attitude to take toward the Earth’s natural (...) ecosystems and their life communities. Third is a system of moral rules and standards for guiding our treatment of those ecosystems and life communities, a set of normative principles which give concrete embodiment or expression to the attitude of respect for nature. The theory set forth and defended here is, I hold, structurally symmetrical with a theory of human ethics based on the principle of respect for persons. (shrink)
This essay explores the treatment of the relation between nature (phusis) and norm or convention (nomos) in Democritus and in certain Platonic dialogues. In his physical theory Democritus draws a sharp contrast between the real nature of things and their representation via human conventions, but in his political and ethical theory he maintains that moral conventions are grounded in the reality of human nature. Plato builds on that insight in the account of the nature of morality in the myth in (...) the Protagoras. That provides material for a defense of morality against the attacks by Callicles in the Gorgias and Thrasymachus and Glaucon in the Republic, all of whom seek to use the nature-convention contrast to devalue morality. (shrink)
Gene Spitler has raised certain objections to my views on the biocentric outlook: (1) that a factual error is involved in the assertion that organisms pursue their own good, (2) that there is an inconsistency in the biocentric outlook, (3) that it is impossible for anyone to adopt that outlook, and (4) that the outlook entails unacceptable moral judgments, for example, that killing insects and wildfiowers is as morally reprehensible as killing humans. I reply to each of these points, showing (...) that the biocentric outlook on nature is not only a possible, but also a reasonable world view. (shrink)
The essays in this volume explore current work in central areas of philosophy, work unified by attention to salient questions of human action and human agency. They ask what it is for humans to act knowledgeably, to use language, to be friends, to act heroically, to be mortally fortunate, and to produce as well as to appreciate art. The volume is dedicated to J. O. Urmson, in recognition of his inspirational contributions to these areas. All the essays but one have (...) been specially written for this volume. (shrink)
While claiming to refute locke's theory of abstract ideas, Berkeley himself accepts a form of abstractionism. Locke's account of abstraction is indeterminate between two doctrines: 1) abstract ideas are representations of paradigm instances of kinds, 2) abstract ideas are schematic representations of the defining features of kinds. Berkeley's arguments are directed exclusively against 2, And refute only a specific version of it, Which there is no reason to ascribe to locke; berkeley himself accepts abstract ideas of the former type. Locke's (...) theory suffers from circularity and redundancy, Berkeley's from conflation of thought with imagination. (shrink)
Louis G. Lombardi’s arguments in support of the claim that humans have greater inherent worth than other living things provide a clear account of how it is possible to conceive of the relation between humans and nonhumans in this way. Upon examining his arguments, however, it seems that he does not succeed in establishing any reason to believe that humans actually do have greater inherent worth than animals and plants.
Davidson poses the problem via three propositions p1-P3, Each persuasive but apparently inconsistent. His solution, That the three are consistent, Merely re-Phrases the problem. We should rather reject p2; if an agent judges that it would be better to do "x" than to do "y", Then he wants to do "x" more than he wants to do "y". Plato accepts p2 because he thinks all agents predominantly self-Interested, And hare because he thinks that evaluative judgments imply desires; both are criticized. (...) An alternative to p2, Consistent with p1 and p3, Makes a subtler connection between judgment, Desire and behaviour. (shrink)