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)
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)
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.
In May 2009 the World Health Assembly passed a resolution on reducing health inequities through action on the social determinants of health, based on the work of the global Commission on Social Determinants of Health, 2005–2008. The Commission's genesis and findings raise some important questions for global health governance. We draw out some of the essential elements, themes, and mechanisms that shaped the Commission. We start by examining the evolving nature of global health and the Commission's foundational inspiration – the (...) universal pattern of health inequity and the imperative, driven by a sense of social justice, to make better and more equal health a global goal. We look at how the Commission was established, how it was structured internally, and how it developed external relationships – with the World Health Organization, with global networks of academics and practitioners, with country governments eager to spearhead action on health equity, and with civil society. We outline the Commission's recommendations as they relate to the architecture of global health governance. Finally, we look at how the Commission is catalyzing a movement to bring social determinants of health to the forefront of international and national policy discourse. (shrink)
A little over a year ago Oxford Studies vol. XIII was reviewed in this journal, and the general character of the series does not need to be reiterated. This year's volume is just a bit longer (up from 296 pages) and a bit more expensive (up from $65.00). But there are only ten contributions, rather than twelve, permitting the editor to include three unusually long articles with no loss in the variety or range of periods covered. Alas, there is still (...) nothing on the Presocratics; one can only hope that this is not an indication that the field has gone moribund. (shrink)
A central aim of Elster's Making Sense of Marx is to recover Marx for methodological individualism, to show that Marx, unlike many of his followers, sought to provide his explanations of macro?phenomena with micro?foundations. Though I largely share Elster's methodological commitments and his view that Marx also (intermittently) adhered to them, I question whether this makes Marx a methodological individualist. In my view, Marx practised in his best work both individualist and structuralist explanation simultaneously. In three briefer remarks I also (...) comment on Marx's and Elster's treatment of the differences between workers? and peasants? propensities for collective action; the primacy in Marx's theories of dynamics internal to a society and his failure to recognize the importance for domestic developments of interactions with other societies and states; and finally Marx's ?progressive? values, which Elster seems to share. (shrink)
Background: This article describes the types of community-wide benefits provided by investigators conducting public health research in South Asia as well as their self-reported reasons for providing such benefits. Methods: We conducted 52 in-depth interviews to explore how public health investigators in low-resource settings make decisions about the delivery of ancillary care to research subjects. In 39 of the interviews respondents described providing benefits to members of the community in which they conducted their study. We returned to our narrative dataset (...) to find answers to two questions: What types of community-wide benefits do researchers provide when conducting public health intervention studies in the community setting, and what reasons do researchers give when asked why they provided community-wide benefits? Findings: The types of community-wide benefits delivered were directed to the health and well-being of the population. The most common types of benefits delivered were the facilitation of access to health care for individuals in acute medical need and emergency response to natural disasters. Respondents' self-reported reasons when asked why they provided such benefits fell into 2 general categories: intrinsic importance and instrumental importance. (shrink)
The Minimum Information for Biological and Biomedical Investigations (MIBBI) project aims to foster the coordinated development of minimum-information checklists and provide a resource for those exploring the range of extant checklists.