: Writing in the seventeenth century, Mary Astell offers some splendid models of what it can mean to include women in determining the purposes of politics, in marking the boundaries of issues on the political agenda, and in analyzing particular political concepts. A contending voice in early modern philosophy, Astell's contributions to political thought are made more visible here by contrast with Thomas Hobbes, with whom she was familiar and somewhat sympathetic.
Defining an "emphatic" as an intrusion that alters the import of what it intrudes on, Paul Weiss sets the stage for an exquisitely systematic, speculative study of the major themes confronting modern metaphysics. Weiss analyzes emphatics in etiquette, social status, nature, art, conventional behavior, encyclopedias, psychiatry, and religion.
Philosophy in the twentieth century, by and large, has not been interested in comprehensive accounts. This development can be attributed in large part to the breaking of philosophy into schools and the rise of professionalism, both of which have led to the reduction of philosophy as a subject. The task of the philosopher cannot justifiably be so confined. He must attempt to understand all the pivotal realities, what they do, and how they are related. Philosophy is an exploration and adventure. (...) I want to engage in it in order to understand reality, to pay attention to pivotal features, and to the ways in which they are interlocked. Philosophy is a discipline in a constant process of adventurous discovery. (shrink)
We argue that Rousseau's defense of the sex-roled family is not based on biological determinism or simple misogyny. Rather, his advocacy of sexual differentiation is based on his understanding of its ability to bring individuals outside of themselves into interdependent communities, and thus to counter natural independence, self-absorption and asociality, as well as social competitiveness and egoism. This political defense of the sex-roled family needs more critique by feminists.
An internationally renowned philosopher propounds a way to advance beyond appearance to ultimate realities and a final ideal. “One of philosophy’s main functions is to arouse thought, to awaken and redirect. It asks others to think through, to assess, and at the same time to be flexible and steady. Author and reader must, despite the printed page, despite differences in age and experience, training and knowledge, philosophize together,” writes Paul Weiss in his brilliant new book. And this is exactly what (...) the reader will find himself doing as the eminent speculative philosopher directs his attention to that which is beyond appearance—beyond daily living and, ultimately, beyond life itself. In this perhaps richest and finest of Mr. Weiss’s books, the average reader who daily confronts the various aspects of our complicated lives will find an enlivening answer to persisting fundamental questions. Mr. Weiss’s searching analysis of matter and his thought-provoking answers to questions raised provide a thoroughly enlightened examination of the realities of man’s inalienable rights, his identity over the course of a changing career, and his possible immortality. (shrink)