Stuart Hampshire, one of the most eminent British philosophers of the twentieth century, will be perhaps best remembered for his work on the seventeenth-century philosopher Spinoza, all of which is gathered now in this volume. Among the great thinkers of modern times, only Spinoza created a complete system of philosophy that rivals Plato's. Few other thinkers have felt so strongly 'the desire to have a unitary view of the world and of man's place within it' - a desire that led (...) Spinoza to make crucial contributions to every major philosophical topic: the nature of knowledge and freedom, the existence of God, ethics and politics, mind and matter, pleasure and perception. -/- Hampshire's classic 1951 introductory book Spinoza pioneered the revival of interest in him in the English-speaking world. It remains the best introduction, and it is reprinted here in its revised edition. But what gives particular interest to this new volume is the first publication of Hampshire's last work 'Spinoza and Spinozism', an extended presentation of a Spinozist philosophical worldview. To complete the picture, Hampshire's influential 1962 essay 'Spinoza and the Idea of Freedom' is also included. -/- Spinoza and Spinozism is thus an ideal companion to the study and interpretation of this great philosopher. (shrink)
It has always been recognized that proposals about the sense of 'reason' and 'rationality' will have moral and political implications. I shall argue that it has been a misfortune that the term 'reason' was interpreted by Plato and Aristotle as referring to a faculty of the divided soul. The parallel between the city/social order, rightly conceived and planed, and the soul, put in order by nature, is carefully worked out. In it, political choice is to be guided by the analogy (...) with the natural subordinations recognized in the soul. I suggest that, reversing the tradition, we start at the other end of the analogy and proceed in the opposite direction, and look at the ways that natural rational processes have both a public and inner mental use. Key Words: emotion rationality reason soul strife. (shrink)
“Socrates spent many of his prime years fighting the most vicious, pitiless wars. I think that has a huge impact. I wonder if his central interest in the good is because actually he saw a lot that was very bad all around him.”.
How far can we apply the same moral principles to both public and private behaviour. In the interests of effective political action, are we right to accept acts of deceit, exploitation or force which we would regard as unacceptable in private relations with individuals? What means can be properly adopted in the promotion of great public causes? The problem of 'dirty hands' in politics was posed most strikingly by Machiavelli. It has re-emerged this century in a pressing and, to some (...) extent, a new form, in connection with the two World Wars and more recently the Vietnam War, where the political decisions and the destruction, and risks of destruction, have been of a scale and character not previously experienced. The contributors, including Bernard Williams, Thomas Nagel, T. M. Scanlon, and Ronald Dworkin, examine the background to this problem in moral and political theory. (shrink)
In this expanded version of his Thank-Offering to Britain Fund lectures, delivered at the British Academy in February 1976, Stuart Hampshire compares two radically different conceptions of morality, those of Aristotle and Spinoza, authors, he claims, of the most plausible of all moral philosophies. He discusses the relation between moral intuitions and moral theory, and the contrasting ideas of moral normality and moral conversion. Spinoza's theory of the relation between mind and body is expounded and its relevance to recent theories (...) is explained. (shrink)
Freedom of mind.--Subjunctive conditionals.--Multiply general sentences.--Dispositions.--Fallacies in moral philosophy.--Ethics: A defense of Aristotle.--Ryle's the Concept of mind.--The analogy of feeling.--On referring and intending.--Feeling and expression.--Disposition and memory.--Spinoza and the idea of freedom.--A kind of materialism.--Sincerity and single-mindedness.