The paper analyzes, from a perspective which is itself existential-ontological, the way in which in an early text of Martin Heidegger, Phänomenologische Interpretationen zu Aristoteles (Anzeige der hermeneutischen Situation)  – which had already outlined some determinative elements of the ideas expounded in Being and Time –, the meditation on the always living and current conditions and hermeneutical situation of philosophizing expanded in fact into an inquiry about the origins, grounds, essence and sense of philosophy as such. Meditation in (...) and through which philosophy identifies itself and is founded on the one hand exactly as a mode of existence of the mortal “human Dasein” (menschliches Dasein), that is a factic mode of existence of this, philosophy, on the other hand, itself originates from and in man’s factic life exactly with the aim of being the modality through which this being – namely ourselves – returns towards the problematization of his existential possibilities even by taking upon himself the burden and “weight” of radical interrogation. Which therefore goes and must go itself and resolutely – because if this entirely “without God” and consequently a-theist – to the historical and ontological roots of a present con-temporarized (mitzeitigt) both with the past and the future existential horizons of the assumed factic possibilities. (shrink)
Malebranche's Dialogues on Metaphysics and on Religion is in many ways the best introduction to his thought, and provides the most systematic exposition of his philosophy as a whole. In it, he presents clear and comprehensive statements of his two best-known contributions to metaphysics and epistemology, namely, the doctrines of occasionalism and vision in God; he also states his views on such central issues as self-knowledge, the existence of the external world and the problem of theodicy. His skilful handling of (...) the dialogue form enables the reader to see how he responds to objections made to his earlier work The Search after Truth. This edition presents a translation of the text which is clear, readable and more accurate than any of its predecessors, together with an introduction that analyses Malebranche's central teachings and explains the importance of the Dialogues in the context of seventeenth-century philosophy. (shrink)
This is the first ever English rendition of the classic statement of divine right absolutism, published in 1707. Jacques-Benigne Bossuet argues in the Politics that a general society of the entire human race, governed by Christian charity, has given way (after the Fall) to the necessity of politcs, law, and absolute hereditary monarchy. That monarchy - seen as natural, universal and divinely ordained (beginning with David and Solomon) is defended in the first half of the book. The last part, added (...) soon before Bossuet's death, goes on to take up the rights of the Church, the distinction between absolutism and arbitrariness, and causes of just war. Patrick Riley has provided full supporting materials including a chronology, guide to further reading, and a lucid introduction placing Bossuet in his historical and intellectual context. (shrink)
The search for God is dictated not from without but from a profound sense of one's own moral being and worthiness to be happy. The core of Immanuel Kant's argument remains relevant to the experience of ordinary men and women. He wished to strengthen, not undermine, belief in God and in the spiritual nature of humankind. This 1763 essay is imporrtant in understanding the development of Kant's thought. It exposed the flaw in the Cartesian argument that the existence of a (...) perfect being could be deduced from an idea or concept of such. Similarly, Kant saw the problem inherent in the Leibnizian view of a philosophical system modeled on mathematics: a philosopher who, like a mathematician, began with an arbitrary definition remained trapped in a circle of words. In The One Possible Basis for a Demonstration of the Existence of God , Kant diverged from the familiar forms of ontological argument. The result was a brilliant approach to divine being that anticipated his mature Critique of Pure Reason. With this Bison Book edition, The One Possible Basis appears in paperback for the first time. Gordon Treash's English translation, the only modern one, faces pages containing the original German. Treash, who is a professor of philosophy at Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick, edited, with Paul A. Bogaard, Metaphysics as Foundation: Essays in Honor of Ivor Leclerc . Also available as a Bison Book is Kant's last major essay, The Conflict of the Faculties (1992). (shrink)
This volume not only provides the first critical edition with an English translation of the famous correspondence of Nicholas of Autrecourt (c. 1300-1369), but also an assessment of his views and the views of those to whom the letters were ...
This volume offers clear and forceful contemporary translations of the most important of Seneca's 'Moral Essays': On Anger, On Mercy, On the Private Life and the first four books of On Favours. They give an attractive, full picture of the social and moral outlook of an ancient Stoic thinker intimately involved in the governance of the Roman empire in the mid first century of the Christian era. A general introduction describes Seneca's life and career and explains the fundamental ideas underlying (...) the Stoic moral, social and political philosophy that informs the essays. Individual introductions, footnotes and biographical notes place the essays in their historical and philosophical contexts, and further assistance to students is provided by section headings in the translations which organize the principal transitions in the argument and the more unfamiliar aspects of Seneca's writing. (shrink)
In 1746 the French philosophe Condillac published his Essay on the Origin of Human Knowledge , one of many attempts during the century to determine how we organize and validate ideas as knowledge. In investigating language, especially written language, he found not only the seriousness he sought but also a great deal of frivolity whose relation to the sober business of philosophy had to be addressed somehow. If the mind truly reflects the world, and language reflects the mind, why is (...) there so much error and nonsense? Whence the distortions? How can they be remedied? In The Archeology of the Frivolous , Jacques Derrida recoups Condillac's enterprise, showing how it anticipated--consciously or not--many of the issues that have since stymied epistemology and linguistic philosophy. If anyone doubts that deconstruction can be a powerful analytic method, try this. (shrink)
The book demonstrates a new method for reading the texts of Aristotle by revealing a continuous line of argument running from the Physics to De Caelo. The author analyzes a group of arguments that are almost always treated in isolation from one another, and reveals their elegance and coherence. She concludes by asking why these arguments remain interesting even though we now believe they are absolutely wrong and have been replaced by better ones. The book establishes the case that we (...) must rethink our approach to Aristotle's physical science and Aristotelian texts, and as such will provoke debate and stimulate new thinking amongst philosophers, classicists, and historians of science. (shrink)
This volume is the first of three which will contain all of Locke's extant writings on philosophy which relate to An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, other than those contained in volumes of the Clarendon Edition of John Locke such as the Correspondence. The book contains the two earliest known drafts of the Essay, both written in 1671, and provides for the first time an accurate version of Locke's text together with a record of virtually all his changes, in notes at (...) the foot of each page. (shrink)
Although utterly convinced of the truth of Christianity, Anselm of Canterbury struggled to make sense of his religion. He considered the doctrines of faith an invitation to question, to think, and to learn; and he devoted his life to confronting and understanding the most elusive aspects of Christianity. His writings on matters such as free will, the nature of truth, and the existence of God make Anselm one of the greatest theologians and philosphers in history, and this translation provides readers (...) with their first opportunity to read his most important works within a single volume. (shrink)
John Milton was not only the greatest English Renaissance poet but also devoted twenty years to prose writing in the advancement of religious, civil and political liberties. The height of his public career was as chief propagandist to the Commonwealth regime which came into being following the execution of King Charles I in 1649. The first of the two complete texts in this volume, The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, was easily the most radical justification of the regicide at the (...) time. In the second, A Defence of the People of England, Milton undertook to vindicate the Commonwealth's cause to Europe as a whole. They are central to an understanding both of the development of Milton's political thought and the climax of the English Revolution itself. This is the first time that fully annotated versions have been published together in one volume, and incorporates a wholly new translation of the Defence. The introduction outlines the complexity of the ideological landscape which Milton had to negotiate, and in particular the points at which he departed radically from his sixteenth-century predecessors. Further aids to students include a full chronology of Milton's life and important contemporary events, a select bibliography and biographies of persons mentioned in the text. (shrink)
James Harrington (1611-77) was a pioneer in applying the methods of Machiavelli and other civic humanists to English political society and its landed structure. In the century after his death, his ideas were adapted to become an important ingredient in the vocabulary of both English and American political opposition to the methods of Hanoverian parliamentary monarchy. There has been no complete edition of Harrington's writings since 1771, or of Oceana, his best-known work, since 1924. This is a modernised edition, and (...) includes all of his prose works on political subjects. The critical introduction attempts to revalue the evidence concerning Harrington's life and writings, to locate them in the context of Civil War, Commonwealth and Puritan thinking and to trace the development of Harringtonian and neo-Harringtonian ideology during subsequent generations. (shrink)
Patriarcha -- The freeholder's grand inquest touching the king and his parliament -- Observations upon Aristotle's politiques touching forms of government -- Directions for obedience to government in dangerous or doubtful times -- Observations concerning the originall of government -- The anarchy of a limited or mixed monarchy -- The necessity of the absolute power of all kings.
This paper discusses the philosophical significance of 'September 11' by relating it to attempts that have been made throughout the history of philosophy to read particular events as symbols of conceptual change. It draws especially on Susan Neiman's Evil in Modern Thought and Giovanna Borradori's dialogues with Derrida and Habermas, in her Philosophy in a Time of Terror, to relate 'September 11' to Kant's versions of Progress, Providence and Cosmopolitanism.
For the first time in three centuries, this book brings back into print three discourses now confirmed to have been written by the young Thomas Hobbes. Their contents may well lead to a resolution of the long-standing controversy surrounding Hobbes's early influences and the subsequent development of his thought. The volume begins with the recent history of the discourses, first published as part of the anonymous seventeenth-century work, Horae Subsecivae . Drawing upon both internal evidence and external confirmation afforded (...) by new statistical "wordprinting" techniques, the editors present a compelling case for Hobbes's authorship. Saxonhouse and Reynolds present the complete texts of the discourse with full annotations and modernized spellings. These are followed by a lengthy essay analyzing the pieces' significance for Hobbes's intellectual development and modern political thought more generally. The discourses provide the strongest evidence to date for the profound influences of Bacon and Machiavelli on the young Hobbes, and they add a new dimension to the much-debated impact of the scientific method on his thought. The book also contains both introductory and in-depth explanations of statistical "wordprinting.". (shrink)
In the past 250 years, David Hume probably had a greater impact on the field of philosophy of religion than any other single philosopher. He relentlessly attacked the standard proofs for God's existence, traditional notions of God's nature and divine governance, the connection between morality and religion, and the rationality of belief in miracles. He also advanced radical theories of the origin of religious ideas, grounding such notions in human psychology rather than in divine reality. In the last decade of (...) his life Hume wrote 'I cou'd cover the Floor of a large Room with Books and Pamphlets wrote against me'. Indeed, most of these targeted his writings on religion. This, the third part of the Early Responses to Hume series, and perhaps the most eagerly awaited, collects responses to Hume's writings on religion published during his life, namely, 'Of Miracles', 'Of a Particular Providence and a Future State', The Natural History of Religion , and the posthumously published works Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion , 'Of Suicide' and 'Of the Immortality of the Soul'. The set covers a wide range of the replies Hume's writings provoked, including contributions by Philip Skelton, William Adams, Thomas Rutherforth, William Warburton, Anthony Ellys, John Douglas, John Leland, Thomas Stona, Voltaire, George Campbell, Herman Andrew Pistorius, Duncan Shaw, William Samuel Powell, Thomas Hayter, Joseph Milner, William Paley, Charles Moore, Richard Joseph Sulivan, John Hey, Samuel Vince, Lord Brougham and Thomas De Quincey. (shrink)
Immanuel Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals ranks alongside Plato's Republic and Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics as one of the most profound and influential works in moral philosophy ever written. In Kant's own words its aim is to search for and establish the supreme principle of morality, the categorical imperative. Kant argues that every human being is an end in himself or herself, never to be used as a means by others, and that moral obligation is an expression of (...) the human capacity for autonomy or self-government. This edition presents the acclaimed translation of the text by Mary Gregor, together with an introduction by Christine M. Korsgaard that examines and explains Kant's argument. (shrink)
Plotinus (c. AD 205-270) can be regarded as the greatest Greek philosopher of late Antiquity, and as the father of Neoplatonism. His Enneads (`the nines') are now recognised as seminal works in the development of Western thought. This book is the only detailed scholarly commentary available on this part of Plotinus' work, and should be invaluable to all scholars interested in ancient philosophy and early Christian theology. All Greek in the commentary is translated.
Introduction : "The idea of divine providence in Orosius, Augustine, and Dante" -- "Destined lands and chosen fathers: Virgil, Livy, and the Bible" -- "Orosius defends the Roman Empire" -- "Augustine's theology of history" -- "Dante's monarchia with and against Augustine" -- "Dante's Commedia and the ascent to incarnational history" -- Conclusion : "The hand of God".