This book is a briefer and updated account of the Middle Way Philosophy developed in 'A Theory of Moral Objectivity'. Its starting point is the argument that we are not justified in making any claims about truth, whether moral or scientific, but the idea of truth is still meaningful. Instead of making or denying metaphysical claims about truth, we need to think in terms of incrementally objective justification within experience. This standpoint is related to an account of objectivity (...) as psychological integration, and applied to questions of resposibility, ethics, science, religion and politics. (shrink)
An argument that there is a common pattern in conflict between desires and the dialectical integration of those conflicts, at both individual and socio-political levels. Philosophical, psychological, poltical and Buddhist approaches to integration are brought together here to show how the integration of desire contributes to moral objectivity.
The first of a planned series of 5 volumes on Middle Way Philosophy. Middle Way Philosophy was originally inspired by the Middle Way of the Buddha but is developed in an entirely Western context. It addresses the questions of objectivity, justification, facts and values, and the relationship of philosophy and psychology. It develops the concept of experiential adequacy to provide a non-metaphysical resolution of the dichotomy between absolutism and relativism in both facts and values.
The work explores the historical and intellectual context of Tsongkhapa's philosophy and addresses the critical issues related to questions of development and originality in Tsongkhapa's thought. It also deals extensively with one of Tsongkhapa's primary concerns, namely his attempts to demonstrate that the Middle Way philosophy's de-constructive analysis does not negate the reality of the everyday world. The study's central focus, however, is the question of the existence and the nature of self. This is explored both in (...) terms of Tsongkhapa's de-construction of the self and his re-construction of person. Finally, the work explores the concept of reality that emerges in Tsongkhapa's philosophy, and deals with his understanding of the relationship between critical reasoning, no-self, and religious experience. (shrink)
This paper argues that the central philosophical movement in the complex history of Buddhism that originated with Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha and carried on by Nāgārjuna (among other later Buddhist philosophers) shares some common themes with the pragmatic philosophy of John Dewey. These themes are the rejection of traditional metaphysics as definitive of philosophy, a return to the correct understanding of the nature of experience, and a particular view about the conduct and nature of philosophy. Dewey is (...) used to illuminate such controversial problems in the Buddhist tradition as why the Buddha is silent about metaphysical questions, what it means to say that everything is anitya, and how we are to understand Nāgārjuna's key concepts of prattyasamutpāda and únyatá. (shrink)
The paper is a critical examination of the main attempts at a reconciliation of the two theories of legal punishment: the utilitarian and the retributive. four middle-of-the-road theories of punishment are discussed with hart's theory offering a genuine synthesis of two approaches (negative retribution and positive retribution). (edited).
An inter-disciplinary philosophical treatise (written as an accredited Ph.D. thesis) that attempts to establish a new approach to moral objectivity. Inspired by the Buddha's Middle Way, but arguing from first premises, it challenges widespread and interlinked assumptions in both analytic and continental philosophy, whilst drawing on both these traditions together with psychological, religious and historical evidence. The first section of the book provides a detailed critique of existing approaches to ethics in the Western tradition. The second half then (...) puts forward positive and practical alternatives, and solutions to long-standing philosophical problems. (shrink)
This book is a philosophical critique of the Buddhist tradition (not a scholarly work about the Buddhist tradition), applying the standards of judgement developed in 'A Theory of Moral Objectivity'. It is argued that although the Buddhist tradition provides access to the insights of the Middle Way, many other aspects of Buddhist tradition are inconsistent with this central insight. The sources of justified belief in Buddhism, karma, conditionality, concepts of reality, monasticism and Buddhist ethics are all subjected to the (...) same critique. (shrink)
This book is a survey of practical moral issues applying the Middle Way (as developed in 'A Theory of Moral Objectivity') as the basis of 'Buddhist' Ethics. No appeal is made to Buddhist traditions or scriptures, but instead the Middle Way is applied consistently as a universal philosophical and practical principle to suggest the direction of resolutions to moral debates. Practical ethics topics covered include sexual ethics, medical ethics, environmental ethics, animals, violence, the arts, scientific issues and political (...) ethics. (shrink)
This paper compares Pierre Hadot’s work on the history of philosophy as a way of life to the work of Albert Camus. I will argue that in the early work of Camus, up to and including the publication of The Myth of Sisyphus , there is evidence to support the notions that, firstly, Camus also identified these historical moments as obstacles to the practice of ascesis, and secondly, that he proceeded by orienting his own work toward overcoming these obstacles, (...) and thus toward a modern rehabilitation of ascesis. Moreover, in contrast to Hadot’s Platonism, Camus located the source of this practice in the pre-philosophical stage of Athenian tragedy. This points to a further contrast between these two figures, which has historical and cultural precedents, in the distinction between this pre-Platonic form of ascesis - favoured by Camus - and the latter Christian form of asceticism - favoured by Hadot, with the status of Platonic ascesis rendered in terms of prefiguring this Christian form of asceticism. (shrink)
For nearly two thousand years Buddhism has mystified and captivated both lay people and scholars alike. Seen alternately as a path to spiritual enlightenment, an system of ethical and moral rubrics, a cultural tradition, or simply a graceful philosophy of life, Buddhism has produced impassioned followers the world over. The Buddhist saint Nagarjuna, who lived in South India in approximately the first century CE, is undoubtedly the most important, influential, and widely studied Mahayana Buddhist philosopher. His many works include (...) texts addressed to lay audiences, letters of advice to kings, and a set of penetrating metaphysical and epistemological treatises. His greatest philosophical work, the Mulamadhyamikakarika--read and studied by philosophers in all major Buddhist schools of Tibet, China, Japan, and Korea--is one of the most influential works in the history of Indian philosophy. Now, in The Foundations of the Philosophy of the Middle Way, Jay L. Garfield provides a clear and and eminently readable translation of Nagarjuna's seminal work, offering those with little of no prior knowledge of Buddhist philosophy a view into the profound logic of the Mulamadhyamikakarika. Translated from the Tibetan, the tradition through which Nagarjuna's philosophical influence has largely been transmitted, Garfield presents a superb translation of Mulamadhyamikakarika in its entirety. Illuminating the systematic character of Nagarjuna's reasoning, as well as the works profundity, Garfield shows how Nagarjuna develops his doctrine that all phenomena are empty of inherent existence and essenceless. But, he argues, phenomena nonetheless exist conventionaly, and that indeed conventional existence and ultimate emptiness are in fact the same thing. This represents the radical understanding of the Buddhist doctrine of the two truths, or two levels of reality. Nagarjuna reinterprets all of Buddhist metaphysics and epistemology through this analytical framework--"a systematic and beautifully elegant philosophical dissection of reality." In turn, Garfield goes on to offer the only verse-by-verse commentary based upon the Indo-Tibetan Prasangika-Madhyamika reading of Nagarjuna, the school most influential in the development of Mahayana philosophy in Tibet, China, Korea, and Japan. Written specifically for the Western reader, the commentary explains Nagarjuna's positions and arguments in the language of Western metaphysics and epistemology, and connects Nagarjuna's concerns tho those of Western philosophers such as Sextus, Hume, and Wittgenstein. A fascinating and accessible translation of the foundational text for all Mahayana Buddhism text, The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way will enlighten all those in search of the essence of reality. (shrink)
All lineages of Tibetan Buddhism today claim allegiance to the philosophy of the Middle Way, the exposition of emptiness propounded by the second-century Indian master Nagarjuna. But not everyone interprets it the same way. A major faultline runs through Tibetan Buddhism around the interpretation of what are called the two truths-the deceptive truth of conventional appearances and the ultimate truth of emptiness. An understanding of this faultline illuminates the beliefs that separate the Gelug descendents of Tsongkhapa from contemporary (...) Dzogchen and Mahamudra adherents.The Two Truths Debate digs into the debate of how the two truths are defined and how they are related by looking at two figures, one on either side of the faultline, and shows how their philosophical positions have dramatic implications for how one approaches Buddhist practice and how one understands enlightenment itself. (shrink)
American legal theorists frequently ask whether and how theorists, citizens, lawmakers, judges, and other public officials can attain truth, correctness, or certainty in their legal and moral views. This essay discusses the views of contemporary liberal legal theorists who have attempted to answer these questions in a way that is neither objectivist nor formalist, on the one hand, nor subjectivist or relativist, on the other, referring to authors that make up this group as theorists of the "middle way." The (...) essay suggests areas in which such legal thinkers might profit from studying Aristotle's writings about ethics and politics. Two approaches of contemporary liberal legal theory of the middle way are discussed. The first is characterized by a reluctance to have recourse to substantive moral and political principles that exist independently of a particular legal order. Because of their reluctance to import substantive standards external to a nation?s legal system into legal reasoning, this approach advocates to a much greater degree than the second approach reliance on communal deliberation and various structural, procedural, and related devices to constrain deliberations about human values and conduct. This study outlines some of the central beliefs of this process-oriented approach to practical knowledge and then analyzes how Aristotle might react to them. The beliefs discussed are the place and method of communal reasoning about practical matters; self governance and consent; self-governance and transformative political participation; and the emphasis on ideal speech conditions to legitimate the products of communal deliberation. The second approach of contemporary liberal legal theory of the middle way discussed in the essay is characterized by a belief that moral or political philosophy can arrive at some measure of truth about principles and values having to do with the lives of individuals and the conduct of communities. With one exception, the theorists discussed in this part of the essay are willing to recognize and incorporate such principles and values into practical reasoning that takes place within the confines of a particular legal system such as our own. These thinkers disagree about the degree to which and the occasions on which recourse to values external to a political community should occur. This essay discusses how Aristotle might react to the major ideas common to these thinkers. The ideas discussed in this part are the sources of external substantive values that legal reasoning might incorporate; the relative roles of consent and habit in securing obedience to the law; and the connection between deliberation and character. (shrink)
Charting a "middle way" between the extremes represented by Alvin Plantinga and Richard Swinburne, Garth Hallett explores the thesis that if belief in other minds is rational and true (as it surely is), so too is belief in God. He makes a strong case that when this parity claim is appropriately restricted to a single, sound other-minds belief, belief in God and belief in other minds do prove epistemically comparable. This result, and the distinctive path that leads to it, (...) will interest students and scholars in philosophy of religion and theology. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Images of Chaos: An Introduction * Tactic I: Desertion (chaotic movement) * First Annihilation: Fall of Being, Burial of the Real * Tactic II: Contagion (chaotic transmission) * Second Annihilation: Betrayal, Fracture, and the Poetic Edge * Tactic III: Shadow-Becoming (chaotic appearance) * Chaos-Consciousness: Towards Blindness * Tactic IV: The Inhuman (chaotic incantation) * Epilogue: Corollaries of Emergence.
What have modern Buddhist ethicists to say about abortion and is there anything to be learned from it? A number of writers have suggested that Buddhism (particularly Japanese Buddhism) does indeed have something important to offer here: a response to the dilemma of abortion that is a 'middle way' between the pro-choice and pro-life extremes that have polarised the western debate. I discuss what this suggestion might amount to and present a defence of its plausibility.
Duhem attempted to find a middle way between two positions he regarded as extremes, the conventionalism of Poincaré and the scientific realism of the majority of his scientific colleagues. He argued that conventionalism exaggerated the arbitrariness of scientific formulations, but that belief in atoms and electrons erred in the opposite direction by attributing too much logical force to explanatory theories. The instrumentalist sympathies so apparent in Duhem's writings on the history of astronomy are only partially counterbalanced by his view (...) that science is progressing toward a natural classification of the world. (shrink)
When did modern science begin? -- Science and the medieval university -- The condemnation of 1277, God's absolute power, and physical thought in the late Middle Ages -- God, science, and natural philosophy in the late Middle Ages -- Medieval departures from Aristotelian natural philosophy -- God and the medieval cosmos -- Scientific imagination in the Middle Ages -- Medieval natural philosophy : empiricism without observation -- Science and theology in the Middle Ages (...) -- The fate of ancient Greek natural philosophy in the Middle Ages : Islam and western Christianity -- What was natural philosophy in the Middle Ages? -- Aristotelianism and the longevity of the medieval worldview. (shrink)
This study is the first modern account of the development of philosophy during the Carolingian Renaissance. In the late eighth century, Dr Marenbon argues, theologians were led by their enthusiasm for logic to pose themselves truly philosophical questions. The central themes of ninth-century philosophy - essence, the Aristotelian Categories, the problem of Universals - were to preoccupy thinkers throughout the Middle Ages. The earliest period of medieval philosophy was thus a formative one. This work is based (...) on a fresh study of the manuscript sources. The thoughts of scholars such as Alcuin, Candidus, Fredegisus, Ratramnus of Corbie, John Scottus Eriugena and Heiric of Auxerre is examined in detail and compared with their sources; and a wide variety of evidence is used to throw light on the milieu in which these thinkers flourished. Full critical editions of an important body of early medieval philosophical material, much of it never before published, are included. (shrink)
For Jizang (549−623), a prominent philosophical exponent of Chinese Madhyamaka, all things are empty of determinate form or nature. Given anything X, no linguistic item can truly and conclusively be applied to X in the sense of positing a determinate form or nature therein. This philosophy of ontic indeterminacy is connected closely with his notion of the Way (dao 道), which seems to indicate a kind of ineffable principle of reality. However, Jizang also equates the Way with nonacquisition as (...) a conscious state of freedom from any attachment and definite understanding whatsoever. The issue then becomes pressing as to how we are to understand Jizang’s notion of the Way. Does it indicate some metaphysical principle or reality? Is it actually a skilful expedient to lead one to the consummate state of complete spiritual freedom? How is this issue related to Jizang’s conception of ontic indeterminacy? In this paper, I examine Jizang’s key writings in an attempt to clarify his ontological position. (shrink)
A ideia de beleza - e sua consequente fruição estética - variou conforme as transformações das sociedades humanas, no tempo. Durante a Idade Média, coexistiram diversas concepções de qual era o papel do corpo na hierarquia dos valores estéticos, tanto na Filosofia quanto na Arte. Nossa proposta é apresentar a estética do corpo medieval que alguns filósofos desenvolveram em seus tratados (particularmente Isidoro de Sevilha, Hildegarda de Bingen, João de Salisbury, Bernardo de Claraval e Tomás de Aquino), além de algumas (...) representações corporais nas imagens medievais (iluminuras e esculturas), e assim analisar o tema em três vertentes: a) o corpo como cárcere da alma, b) o corpo como instrumento, e c) o corpo como desregramento. The concept of beauty, and its consequent aesthetic enjoyment, has varied according the transformations of human societies over time. During the Middle Ages there were different conceptions, in both philosophy and art, of what the role of the body is in the hierarchy of aesthetic values. Our purpose is to present the aesthetic of the body that some medieval philosophers developed in their treatises (especially Isidore of Seville, Hildegard of Bingen, John of Salisbury, Bernard of Clairvaux and Thomas Aquinas), as well as some bodily representations of medieval images (illuminations and sculptures). We thus examine the issue in three ways: a) the body as a prison of the soul, b) the body as an instrument, and c) the body as degradation. (shrink)
Michel Foucault surveyed the history of Western philosophy in terms of the Delphic ‘Know thyself’ and the Socratic ‘care of the self’. The former generates academic philosophy as we know it today whereas the latter conceives of philosophy as a ‘way of life’. At issue are competing notions of ‘truth’ and the philosophical relevance of the discursive/nondiscursive domains. Comparing this account with a similar but distinct reading of the same Greek texts by Greco-Roman historian Pierre Hadot, I (...) underscore the ‘existentialist’ tenor of this distinction and assess the challenges and liabilities of pursuing philosophy as a ‘way of life’. (shrink)
For decades, liberal democracy has been extolled as the best system of governance to have emerged out of the long experience of history. Today, such a confident assertion is far from self-evident. Democracy, in crisis across the West, must prove itself. In the West today, the authors argue, we no longer live in "industrial democracies," but "consumer democracies" in which the governing ethos has ended up drowning households and governments in debt and resulted in paralyzing partisanship. In contrast, the long-term (...) focus of the decisive and unified leadership of China is boldly moving its nation into the future. But China also faces challenges arising from its meteoric rise. Its burgeoning middle class will increasingly demand more participation, accountability of government, curbing corruption and the rule of law. As the 21st Century unfolds, both of these core systems of the global order must contend with the same reality: a genuinely multi-polar world where no single power dominates and in which societies themselves are becoming increasingly diverse. The authors argue that a new system of "intelligent governance" is required to meet these new challenges. To cope, the authors argue that both East and West can benefit by adapting each other's best practices. Examining this in relation to widely varying political and cultural contexts, the authors quip that while China must lighten up, the US must tighten up. This highly timely volume is both a conceptual and practical guide of impressive scope to the challenges of good governance as the world continues to undergo profound transformation in the coming decades. (shrink)
Rethinking philosophy of history we see that the main concepts must be revised or specified especially and . It’s very important to use adequate notions. The world history is an integral process having dialectically contradictory tendencies. Humanism is an objective tendency of the world history but the alienated tendency prevails in the epoch of globalization. Collisions between civilizations are outcomes of the alienated capitalist world system. Many problems both in practice and in theory are connected with (...) a fortune of humanism and a problem of mutual understanding between representatives of different cultures is among them. So philosophy of history must be revised in humanistic way and we must do our best to put the humanistic tendency into practice. (shrink)
: Most of us tend to be Aristotelians when it comes to anger. While admitting that uncontrolled anger is harmful and ought to be avoided, we reject as undesirable a state of being that would not allow us to express legitimate outrage. Hence, we seem to find a compelling moral attitude in Aristotle’s belief that we should get angry at the right time and for the right reasons and in the right way. Buddhism and Stoicism, however, carve out a position (...) on the issue of anger that stands in marked contrast to the Aristotelian conception. This article considers the similarities between these two views of anger, contrasts the Buddhist with the much more common (at least in the West) Aristotelian one, and, finally, considers the objections of a prominent Western scholar to this shared Buddhist/Stoic conception. (shrink)
In Tibet, the negative dialectics of Madhyamaka are typically identified with Candrakīrti’s interpretation of Nāgārjuna, and systematic epistemology is associated with Dharmakīrti. These two figures are also held to be authoritative commentators on a univocal doctrine of Buddhism. Despite Candrakīrti’s explicit criticism of Buddhist epistemologists in his Prasannapadā, Buddhists in Tibet have integrated the theories of Candrakīrti and Dharmakīrti in unique ways. Within this integration, there is a tension between the epistemological system-building on the one hand, and “deconstructive” negative dialectics (...) on the other. The integration of an epistemological system within Madhyamaka is an important part of Mipam’s (’ju mi pham rgya mtsho, 1846–1912) philosophical edifice, and is an important part of understanding the place of Yogācāra in his tradition. This paper explores the way that Mipam preserves a meaningful Svātantrika-Prāsaṅgika distinction while claiming both Yogācāra and Prāsaṅgika as legitimate expressions of Madhyamaka. Mipam represents Prāsaṅgika-Madhyamaka as a discourse that emphasizes what transcends conceptuality. As such, he portrays Prāsaṅgika as a radical discourse of denial. Since the mind cannot conceive the “content” of nonconceptual meditative equipoise, Prāsaṅgika, as the representative discourse of meditative equipoise, negates any formulation of that state. In contrast, he positions Yogācāra as a discourse that situates the nonconceptual within a systematic (conceptual) structure. Rather than a discourse that re-presents the nonconceptual by enacting it (like Prāsaṅgika), the discourse of Yogācāra represents the nonconceptual within an overarching system, a system (unlike Prāsaṅgika) that distinguishes between the conceptual and the nonconceptual. (shrink)
This paper offers an explanation of how philosophy of science in the second half of the 20th century came to be so conspicuously silent on the problem of how to explain the applicability of mathematics. It examines the idea of the early logicists that the analyticity of mathematics accounts for its applicability, and how this idea was transformed during Carnap's efforts to establish a consistent and substantial philosophy of mathematics within the larger framework of Logical Empiricism. I argue (...) that at the end point of this development, philosophical discussion of the applicability problem was terminated although important aspects of the logicists' original response to the applicability problem had had to be sacrificed along the way. (shrink)
An important idea in antiquity was that to engage in philosophy meant more than the theoretical inquiry into fundamental questions, it was also conceived of as a way of life modelled on the philosophical life of Socrates. In a recent article, John Cooper defends the thesis that, for Socrates and his all successors, the philosophical life meant to live according to reason, understood as the exercising of one’s capacity for argument and analysis in pursuit of the truth – which (...) he conceives of as wisdom. It is our contention that an inclusion and close reading of Xenophon’s testimony casts doubt on Cooper’s unified model of Socrates and his conception of philosophy as a way of life. Xenophon’s Socrates, we argue, conceived of the philosophical life as essentially the exercise of one’s capacity for self-mastery. Moreover, as we interpret Xenophon, it is this self-mastery, not wisdom, which seems to form the basis or core of Socratic ethics. We try to show that for several of Socrates’ philosophical successors living a philosophical life meant something much closer to Xenophon’s picture of that life than the one Cooper describes. (shrink)
In this paper I investigate the prospects of integrated history and philosophy of science, by examining how philosophical issues concerning experimental practice and scientific realism can enrich the historical investigation of the careers of "hidden entities", entities that are not accessible to unmediated observation. Conversely, I suggest that the history of those entities has important lessons to teach to the philosophy of science. My overall aim is to illustrate the possibility of a fruitful two-way traffic between history and (...)philosophy of science. (shrink)
Zhong 中 is a very important philosophical concept in early Confucianism. Both the received ancient Confucian classics and the newly discovered ancient bamboo manuscripts tell us that adhering to the principle of zhong was an important charge that had been transmitted and inherited by early ancient Chinese political leaders from generation to generation. Confucius and his followers adopted the concept of zhong and further developed it into a sophisticated doctrine, which is usually called zhongdao 中道 (the Way of zhong) or (...) zhongyong 中庸. Being a polysemous word, zhong has several different but philosophically related meanings. However, for a long time, people usually understood zhong in the sense of only one of its meanings, and zhongdao or zhongyong has been commonly interpreted as “the doctrine of the mean.” My argument in this paper is that a synthetic interpretation, which includes all the semantic meanings of zhong is necessary in order to acquire a deep and well-rounded comprehension of the philosophical significance of the Way of zhong. The Way of zhong features a dialectal view of the relationship between heaven and human beings, mind and materials, subjective desire and the available objective conditions, self and others, centrality and diversity, and so on. The Way of zhong has become a widely applied philosophical methodology in Confucianism, as well as a political principle and a kind of personal moral merit in early Confucian doctrines. Today, it still has relevance in contemporary Chinese social and cultural contexts. (shrink)
(2012). Is R.S. Peters' way of mentioning women in his texts detrimental to philosophy of education? Some considerations and questions. Ethics and Education: Vol. 7, Creating spaces, pp. 291-302. doi: 10.1080/17449642.2013.767002.
É corrente se afirmar que antes da Modernidade não há registro de mulheres na construção do pensamento erudito. Que, se tomarmos, po exemplo, a Filosofia e a Teologia, que foram as duas áreas do conhecimento que mais produziram intelectuais, durante a Idade Média, não encontraremos aí a presença de mulheres. Entretanto, apesar de todas as evidências, se vasculharmos a construção do Pensamento Ocidental, veremos que é possível identificar a presença de algumas mulheres já nos tempos remotos, na Antiguidade Clássica e (...) na Patrística (ou Alta Idade Média). Mas é na Escolástica (Baixa Idade Média) que encontramos as primeiras Pensadoras, responsáveis por um sistema autônomo, distinguindo-se como fecundas escritoras, donas de obras tão profundas e importantes quanto as produzidas pelos homens de seu tempo, com os quais muitas vezes dialogaram em pé de igualdade. Dentro desse maravilhoso universo feminino de intelectuais, destacamos, na Escolástica, a figura de Hildegarda de Bingen (1098-1165), da qual trataremos um pouco neste artigo. It is common to say that before modernity there is no record of women in the construction of classical thought. What if we take, for example, to philosophy and theology, which were the two areas of knowledge that produced more intellectuals during the Middle Ages, we find there the presence of women. However, despite all the evidence, if we search the construction of Western Thought, we see that it is possible to identify the presence of some women already in ancient times, in Classical Antiquity and Patristics (or Middle Ages). But it is in Scholastic (Middle Ages) we find the first thinkers, responsible for an autonomous system, especially as fertile writers, owners of works so profound and important as those produced by men of his time, who often conversed on an equal footing. In this wonderful universe of female intellectuals, highlight, in Scholastic, the figure of Idelgarda of Bingen (1098-1165), which is discussed a bit in this article. (shrink)
Traditional human–computer interaction (HCI) allowed researchers and practitioners to share and rely on the ‘five E’s’ of usability, the principle that interactive systems should be designed to be effective, efficient, engaging, error tolerant, and easy to learn. A recent trend in HCI, however, is that academic researchers as well as practitioners are becoming increasingly interested in user experiences, i.e., understanding and designing for relationships between users and artifacts that are for instance affective, engaging, fun, playable, sociable, creative, involving, meaningful, exciting, (...) ambiguous, and curious. In this paper, it is argued that built into this shift in perspective there is a concurrent shift in accountability that is drawing attention to a number of ethical, moral, social, cultural, and political issues that have been traditionally de-emphasized in a field of research guided by usability concerns. Not surprisingly, this shift in accountability has also received scarce attention in HCI. To be able to find any answers to the question of what makes a good user experience, the field of HCI needs to develop a philosophy of technology. One building block for such a philosophy of technology in HCI is presented. Albert Borgmann argues that we need to be cautious and rethink the relationship as well as the often-assumed correspondence between what we consider useful and what we think of as good in technology. This junction—that some technologies may be both useful and good, while some technologies that are useful for some purposes might also be harmful, less good, in a broader context—is at the heart of Borgmann’s understanding of technology. Borgmann’s notion of the device paradigm is a valuable contribution to HCI as it points out that we are increasingly experiencing the world with, through, and by information technologies and that most of these technologies tend to be designed to provide commodities that effortlessly grant our wishes without demanding anything in return, such as patience, skills, or effort. This paper argues that Borgmann’s work is relevant and makes a valuable contribution to HCI in at least two ways: first, as a different way of seeing that raises important social, cultural, ethical, and moral issues from which contemporary HCI cannot escape; and second, as providing guidance as to how specific values might be incorporated into the design of interactive systems that foster engagement with reality. (shrink)
This essay attempts to contextualize the importance of Wang Yangming’s 王陽明 philosophy in terms of world philosophy in the manner of Goethe’s innovative plan for “world literature” (Weltliteratur). China has the long history of philosophizing rather than non-philosophy contrary to the glaring and inexcusable misunderstanding of Hegel the Eurocentric universalist or monist. In today’s globalizing world of multicultural pluralism, ethnocentric universalism has become outdated and outmoded. Transversality, which is at once intercultural, interspecific, interdisciplinary, and intersensorial, is a (...) far more befitting response than universality. In this context, what is focused and emphasized in Wang’s world philosophy is mainly fourfold. First, there is the unity or circularity of knowledge and action, that is, knowledge is the beginning of action, and action is the consummation of knowledge. Second, sincerity is the moral soul of Sinism as it is the enabling act of making perform all other virtues, including ren 仁. Third, in Sinism, including Wang’s philosophy, there is no Cartesian dualism in that the mind and the body are inseparable soulmates. Fourth, if ethics is prima philosophia, then geophilosophy is ultima philosophia to sustain and perpetuate all life-forms on earth (geo). (shrink)
The contention in this paper is that central to Sellars’s famous attempt to fuse the “manifest image” and the “scientific image” of the human being in the world was an attempt to marry a particularly strong form of scientific naturalism with various modified Kantian a priori principles about the unity of the self and the structure of human knowledge. The modified Kantian aspects of Sellars’s view have been emphasized by current “left wing” Sellarsians, while the scientific naturalist aspects have been (...) championed by “right wing” Sellarsians, the latter including William Rottschaefer’s constructive criticisms of my own reconciling interpretation of Sellars. In this paper I focus first on how (1) Sellars’s Kantian conception of the necessary a priori unity of the thinking self does not conflict with his ideal scientific naturalist conception of persons as “bundles” or pluralities of scientifically postulated processes. This then prepares the way for a more comprehensive discussion of how (2) Sellars’s modified Kantian account of the substantive a priori principles that make possible any conceptualized knowledge of a world does not conflict with his simultaneous demand for an ideal scientific explanation and evolutionary account of those same conceptual capacities. Sellars’s own attempted via media synthesis—what I call his “Kantian scientific naturalism”—merits another look from both the left and the right. (shrink)
This work is a substantial contribution to the history of philosophy. Its subject, the ninth-century philosopher John Scottus Eriugena, developed a form of idealism that owed as much to the Greek Neoplatonic tradition as to the Latin fathers and anticipated the priority of the subject in its modern, most radical statement: German idealism. Moran has written the most comprehensive study yet of Eriugena's philosophy, tracing the sources of his thinking and analyzing his most important text, the (...) Periphyseon. This volume will be of special interest to historians of mediaeval philosophy, history, and theology. (shrink)
This book surveys the vast body of medieval Jewish philosophy, devoting ample discussion to major figures such as Saadiah Gaon, Maimonides, Abraham Ibn Ezra, Judah Halevi, Abraham Ibn Daoud, and Gersonides, as well as presenting the ancillary texts of lesser known authors. Sirat quotes little-known texts, providing commentary and situating them within their historical and philosophical contexts. A comprehensive bibliography directs the reader to the texts themselves and to recent studies.
An analysis of the Jain metaphysics of non-absolutism (anekāntavāda) shows how the epistemological theory of points of view (nayavāda) and the sevenfold schema of predication (saptabhaṅgī) provide a foundation for the central Jain principle of nonviolence (ahiṃsā).