In his new book the eminent Kant scholar Henry Allison provides an innovative and comprehensive interpretation of Kant's concept of freedom. The author analyzes the concept and discusses the role it plays in Kant's moral philosophy and psychology. He also considers in full detail the critical literature on the subject from Kant's own time to the present day. In the first part Professor Allison argues that at the center of the Critique of Pure Reason there is the foundation (...) for a coherent general theory of rational agency. The second part employs this account of rational agency as a key to understanding Kant's concept of moral agency and associated moral psychology. The third part focuses on Kant's attempt to ground both moral law and freedom in the Groundwork and the Critique of Practical Reason. This is a major contribution to the interpretation of Kant which will be of special interest to scholars and graduate students of Kant's moral theory. (shrink)
This book constitutes one of the most important contributions to recent Kant scholarship. In it, one of the pre-eminent interpreters of Kant, Henry Allison, offers a comprehensive, systematic, and philosophically astute account of all aspects of Kant's views on aesthetics. The first part of the book analyses Kant's conception of reflective judgment and its connections with both empirical knowledge and judgments of taste. The second and third parts treat two questions that Allison insists must be kept distinct: the (...) normativity of pure judgments of taste, and the moral and systematic significance of taste. The fourth part considers two important topics often neglected in the study of Kant's aesthetics: his conceptions of fine art, and the sublime. (shrink)
Henry Allison is one of the foremost interpreters of the philosophy of Kant. This new volume collects all his recent essays on Kant's theoretical and practical philosophy. All the essays postdate Allison's two major books on Kant (Kant's Transcendental Idealism, 1983, and Kant's Theory of Freedom, 1990), and together they constitute an attempt to respond to critics and to clarify, develop and apply some of the central theses of those books. Two are published here for the first time. (...) Special features of the collection are: a detailed defence of the author's interpretation of transcendental idealism; a consideration of the Transcendental Deduction and some other recent interpretations thereof; further elaborations of the tensions between various aspects of Kant's conception of freedom and of the complex role of this conception within Kant's moral philosophy. (shrink)
Henry E. Allison presents a comprehensive commentary on Kant's Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals (1785). It differs from most recent commentaries in paying special attention to the structure of the work, the historical context in which it was written, and the views to which Kant was responding. Allison argues that, despite its relative brevity, the Groundwork is the single most important work in modern moral philosophy and that its significance lies mainly in two closely related factors. The (...) first is that it is here that Kant first articulates his revolutionary principle of the autonomy of the will, that is, the paradoxical thesis that moral requirements (duties) are self-imposed and that it is only in virtue of this that they can be unconditionally binding. The second is that for Kant all other moral theories are united by the assumption that the ground of moral requirements must be located in some object of the will (the good) rather than the will itself, which Kant terms heteronomy. Accordingly, what from the standpoint of previous moral theories was seen as a fundamental conflict between various views of the good is reconceived by Kant as a family quarrel between various forms of heteronomy, none of which are capable of accounting for the unconditionally binding nature of morality. Allison goes on to argue that Kant expresses this incapacity by claiming that the various forms of heteronomy unavoidably reduce the categorical to a merely hypothetical imperative. (shrink)
This literature review of professionalism was prepared by San Jose State University graduate student Marianne Allison as a research committee project of the Mass Communication and Society Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. The project was prepared under the guidance of Professor Diana Stover Tillinghast. It reviews the literature on two approaches to professionalism in general and of the professionalism of journalists in particular: the ?structural?functionalist approach?; and the ?power approach.?; Traditional and recent discussions of the (...) nature of professionalism in occupational sociology are presented. Studies of the professionalism of journalists both in the United States and cross?culturally are critiqued. The paper suggests several areas of fruitful research, and contains an extensive bibliography. (shrink)
Allison, Lyn; Cannold, Leslie It is great to see such a good turnout for this important occasion and I congratulate the Humanist Society again on this award. It really makes a difference to people's lives: when they get the award, when they know about it, when there is publicity for the person concerned. It is an all-round good thing to do and I congratulate you for it.
This essay argues that the key to understanding Kant's transcendental idealism is to understand the transcendental realism with which he contrasts it. It maintains that the latter is not to be identified with a particular metaphysical thesis, but with the assumption that the proper objects of human cognitions are “objects in general” or “as such,” that is, objects considered simply qua objects of some understanding. Since this appears to conflict with Kant's own characterization of transcendental realism as the view that (...) (mistakenly) regards appearances as if they were things in themselves, the essay explicates the connection between the concepts of an object (or thing) considered as such and a thing considered as it is in itself. In light of this, it maintains that Kant's transcendental idealism is compatible with a robust empirical realism and that many of its critics are tacitly committed to a misguided transcendental realism. (shrink)
This paper contains a critical analysis of the interpretation of Kant?s second edition version of the Transcendental Deduction offered by Be ´atrice Longuenesse in her recent book: Kant and the Capacity to Judge. Though agreeing with much of Longuenesse?s analysis of the logical function of judgment, I question the way in which she tends to assign them the objectifying role traditionally given to the categories. More particularly, by way of defending my own interpretation of the Deduction against some of her (...) criticisms, I argue that Longuenesse fails to show how either part of the two-part proof may be plausibly thought to have established the necessity of the categories (as opposed to the logical functions). Finally, I question certain aspects of her ?radical? interpretation of the famous footnote at B160-1, where Kant distinguishes between ?form of intuition? and ?formal intuition? (shrink)
Guyer argues for four major theses. First, in his early, pre-critical discussions of morality, Kant advocated a version of rational egoism, in which freedom, understood naturalistically as a freedom from domination by both one's own inclinations and from other people, rather than happiness, is the fundamental value. From this point of view, the function of the moral law is to prescribe rules best suited to the preservation and maximization of such freedom, just as on the traditional eudaemonistic account it is (...) to prescribe rules for the maximization of happiness. Second, in the Groundwork, Kant abandoned this naturalistic approach and while retaining the same substantive thesis as his early moral philosophy, "namely that freedom is the value that is realized by adherence to the moral law" (Guyer 455), attempted to provide a non-naturalistic (transcendental) grounding for this valuation of freedom. Third, this took the form of a transcendental deduction, closely modeled on that of the first Critique, which was intended to demonstrate that we are in fact (noumenally) free and the moral law is the "causal law" of this freedom. Fourth, this deduction is a disaster, indeed, one of Western philosophy's "most spectacular train wrecks" (Guyer 445). I shall discuss each in turn, devoting the bulk of my attention to the last. (shrink)
Training in the responsible conduct of research (RCR) is required for many research trainees nationwide, but little is known about its effectiveness. For a preliminary assessment of the effectiveness of a short-term course in RCR, medical students participating in an NIH-funded summer research program at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) were surveyed using an instrument developed through focus group discussions. In the summer of 2003, surveys were administered before and after a short-term RCR course, as well as to (...) alumni of the courses given in the summers of 2002 and 2001. Survey responses were analyzed in the areas of knowledge, ethical decision-making skills, attitudes about responsible conduct of research, and frequency of discussions about RCR outside of class. The only statistically significant improvement associated with the course was an increase in knowledge, while there was a non-significant tendency toward improvements in ethical decision-making skills and attitudes about the importance of RCR training. The nominal impact of a short-term training course should not be surprising, but it does raise the possibility that other options for delivering information only, such as an Internet-based tutorial, might be considered as comparable alternatives when longer courses are not possible. (shrink)
In this volume comprised of sixteen essays and rebuttals, author and professor of philosophy Susan Haack responds to her fellow philosophers and her critics on a wide range of topics that involve much more than the esoteric nature of contemporary philosophy. Instead, as is Haack's forte, she asserts her views on important current issues such as how scientists conduct their work, the ethics of affirmative action and the pitfalls of preferential hiring, and how the distorted reality the postmodern thinkers (...) have presented has corrupted legal thinking. Her charge is to bring clarity, precision, integrity, and most of all, practicality to her field of study. (shrink)
Reviewing "The Ethics of Gender, Feminism and Christian Ethics," and "The Cambridge Companion to Feminist Theology," the author suggests that Susan Parsons responds to questions postmodernism has posed to both feminism and Christian ethics by using insights gained from various accounts of the moral subject found in feminist philosophy, ethics, and theology. Hesitant to embrace postmodernism's critique of the possibility of ethics, Parsons redefines ethics by establishing a moral point of view within discursive communities. Yet in her brief treatment (...) of Emmanuel Levinas, Parsons does not explore the postmodern option he offers feminists: an understanding of moral responsibility that can be critical of ethics. Parsons also ignores some feminist perspectives in the physical and natural sciences, thereby missing valuable insights of feminists who insist upon the materiality of the body. (shrink)
[Susan Hurley] I argue that the aim to neutralize the influence of luck on distribution cannot provide a basis for egalitarianism: it can neither specify nor justify an egalitarian distribution. Luck and responsibility can play a role in determining what justice requires to be redistributed, but from this we cannot derive how to distribute: we cannot derive a pattern of distribution from the 'currency' of distributive justice. I argue that the contrary view faces a dilemma, according to whether it (...) understands luck in interpersonal or counterfactual terms. /// [Richard J. Arneson] Does it make sense to hold that, if it is bad that some people are worse off than others, it is worse if those who are worse off come to be so through sheer bad luck that it is beyond their power to control? In her contribution to this symposium, Susan Hurley cautions against a closely related fallacy: from the fact that people have come to an unequal condition through unchosen bad luck, it does not follow that, if we aim to undo the influence of unchosen luck, we ought to institute equality of condition. Forswearing the fallacy that Hurley analyses is compatible with answering the question affirmatively, and more generally with holding that principles of distributive justice should be sensitive to the distinction between chosen and unchosen bad luck. This essay explores how this might be done. (shrink)
In this paper I lay out what I take to be the crucial insights in Susan Bordo's "Feminist Skepticism and the 'Maleness' of Philosophy" and point out some additional difficulties with the skeptical position. I call attention to an ambiguity in the nature or content of the "maleness" of philosophy that Bordo identifies. Finally, I point out that, unlike some feminist skeptics, Bordo never loses sight in her work of women's lived experiences.
Kant's use of the leading thread of his table of logical forms of judgment to analyze judgments of taste yields more results than Allison's account allows. It reveals in judgments of taste the combination of two judgments: a descriptive judgment about the object, and a normative judgment about the judging subjects. Core arguments of Kant's critique of taste receive new light from this analysis.
In response to Henry Allison?s and Sally Sedwick?s comments on my recent book, Kant and the Capacity to Judge, I explain Kant?s description of the understanding as being essentially a ?capacity to judge?, and his view of the relationship between the categories and the logical functions of judgment. I defend my interpretation of Kant?s argument in the Transcendental Deduction of the Categories in the B edition. I conclude that, in my interpretation, Kant?s notions of the ?a priori? and the (...) ?given? are more complex and flexible than is generally perceived. Nevertheless, Kant maintains a strict distinction between receptivity and spontaneity, the ?passive? and the ?active aspects of our representational capacities. This separates him from his German idealist successors, most notably Fichte and Hegel. Contrary to Sedgwick?s and Allison?s suggestions, I do not think that my interpretation tends to blur this distinction. (shrink)
In this paper I take issue with Allison's ‘two aspect’ view of Kant's transcendental distinction between appearances and things-in-themselves. Unlike those of Allison's critics, who criticize him, and by implication Kant, based on some form of the ‘two world’ view, I argue that, even Allison's methodological, more moderate interpretation, nevertheless includes an excessive commitment to the role of things-in-themselves in Kant's theoretical philosophy, a commitment which is both unnecessary and incompatible with Kant's text. I offer an alternative (...) interpretation which, in my view, is at once more accurate, and more defensible against the familiar claim that Kant's philosophy is either incompatible with itself or it inevitably leads to idealism. (shrink)
Consider Susan Hurley's depiction of mainstream views of the mind: "The mind is a kind of sandwich, and cognition is the filling" (p. 401). This particular sandwich (with perception as the bottom loaf and action as the top loaf) tastes foul to Hurley, who devotes most of "Consciousness in Action" to a systematic and sometimes extraordinarily detailed critique of what has otherwise been dubbed "classical" models of the mind. This critique then provides the basis for her alternative proposal, in (...) which perception, action and environment are deeply intertwined. (shrink)
Susan Wolf, Meaning in Life and Why it Matters Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s10677-011-9321-8 Authors Simon Derpmann, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Philosophisches Seminar, Domplatz 23, 48143 Münster, Germany Journal Ethical Theory and Moral Practice Online ISSN 1572-8447 Print ISSN 1386-2820.
Susan Haack presents a striking and appealing figure in contemporary Anglo-American philosophy. In spite of British birth and education, she appears to bridge the gap between analytic philosophy and American pragmatism, with its more diverse influences and sources. Well known for her writings in the philosophy of logic and epistemology, she fuses something of the hard-headed debunking style of a Bertrand Russell with a lively interest in Peirce, James and Dewey.
Susan Stebbing’s paper “Logical Positivism and Analysis” (March 1933) was unusually critical of Wittgenstein. It put up a sharp opposition between Cambridge analytic philosophy of Moore and Russell and the positivist philosophy of the Vienna Circle to which she included Wittgenstein from 1929–32. Above all, positivists were interested in analyzing language, analytic philosophers in analyzing facts. Moreover, whereas analytic philosophers were engaged in directional analysis which seeks to illuminate the multiplicity of the analyzed facts, positivists aimed at final analysis (...) which “proves” that there are simples. Stebbing’s paper urged Wittgenstein to recast his philosophy and 1933 abandon those components of it that linked him to the Vienna Circle. (shrink)
In his very rich and insightful book, Kant's Theory of Freedom, Henry Allison argues that in the first Critique Kant's reason for rejecting Humean compatibilism in favor of an incompatibilist conception of practical freedom stems, not from a specific concern to ground morality, as many have supposed, but from his general conception of rational agency, which Allison explicates in terms of the idea of practical spontaneity. Practically spontaneous rational agency is subject to imperatives and therefore distinct from Humean (...) agency. But it is not necessarily subject to the categorical imperative and hence is distinct from fully spontaneous (transcendentally free) moral agency. A conception thus emerges of an agent with limited spontaneity, subject to hypothetical but not categorical imperatives. A doubt may be raised, however, as to whether Kant's view can accommodate this conception of limited practical spontaneity. Reflection on Kant's notion of a hypothetical imperative suggests that the idea of limited spontaneity is in danger of either collapsing into the Humean picture or else turning out to be equivalent to the conception of full spontaneity appropriate to moral agency. There is thus reason to suppose that, for Kant, we would not be bound by imperatives at all if we were not bound by the categorical imperative. (shrink)
This article responds to henry allison's criticisms of the author's claim that kant's incongruent counterparts argument supports his critical conclusions that things in themselves must be both non-Spatial and unknowable. The first part of the article treats four objections allison raises. The second part discusses differences between allison's and the author's readings of kant's claims about things in themselves.
Forthright and wryly humorous, philosopher Susan Haack deploys her penetrating analytic skills on some of the most highly charged cultural and social debates of recent years. Relativism, multiculturalism, feminism, affirmative action, pragmatisms old and new, science, literature, the future of the academy and of philosophy itself—all come under her keen scrutiny in Manifesto of a Passionate Moderate.
Henry Allison [1983; cf. 1990, 1996] criticizes and rejects naturalism because the idea of freedom is constitutive of rational spontaneity, which alone enables and entitles us to judge or to act rationally, and only transcendental idealism can justify our acting under the idea of freedom. Allison’s critique of naturalism is unclear because his reasons for claiming that free rational spontaneity requires transcendental idealism are inadequate and because his characterization of Kant’s idealism is ambiguous. Recognizing this reinforces the importance (...) of the question of whether only transcendental idealism “can ground the right to the conceptual space” that we occupy when thinking spontaneously or acting under the idea of freedom. Only with a clear answer to this question can Kant’s idea of freedom provide a basis for assessing today’s naturalist orthodoxy. (shrink)
Susan James, in her recent work Passion and Action: The Emotions in Seventeenth-Century Philosophy (Oxford: Clarendon 1997), prefaces her investigation of emotions in the seventeenth century with a series of remarks about the earlier career of the emotions, in particular their treatment in the Middle Ages. In brief, she takes the ‘new’ analyses of the passions put forward in the seventeenth century to be a philosophical sideshow to the main event: the dethronement of Aristotelian natural philosophy and metaphysics (22). (...) She describes the consequences for psychology as follows.. (shrink)
In a way that is rarely even attempted, and even more rarely actually pulled off, Susan Hurley, in her book Consciousness in Action, brings scientific ideas into contact with mainstream philosophy. It is not at all unusual for empirical results from cognitive science, psychology, and neuroscience to be raised in discussion of issues in philosophy of science and philosophy of mind--Dennett and the Churchlands, for example, have been doing so for years. But Hurley attempts to draw empirical results even (...) closer to the center of philosophy, using them to make points about metaphysics and epistemology more broadly, especially PutnamÂ’s Twin Earth cases. We are very fond of Hurley's book, and we agree with nearly all of her conclusions. We do think, though, that there are two important cases where Hurley has misunderstood scientific work. First, we think she misunderstand dynamical systems theory; second, we think her criticism of ecological psychology is misplaced. In neither case do these misunderstandings derail HurleyÂ’s overall project--indeed, the former of them makes her conclusions all the more plausible. We consider them in order. (shrink)
The late Susan Moller Okin was a leading political theorist whose scholarship integrated political philosophy and issues of gender, the family, and culture. Okin argued that liberalism, properly understood as a theory opposed to social hierarchies and supportive of individual freedom and equality, provided the tools for criticizing the substantial and systematic inequalities between men and women. Her thought was deeply informed by a feminist view that theories of justice must apply equally to women as men, and she was (...) deeply engaged in showing how many past and present political theories failed to do this. She sought to rehabilitate political theories--particularly that of liberal egalitarianism, in such a way as to accommodate the equality of the sexes, and with an eye toward improving the condition of women and families in a world of massive gender inequalities. In her lifetime Okin was widely respected as a scholar whose engagement went well beyond the world of theory, and her premature death in 2004 was considered by many a major blow to progressive political thought and women's interests around the world. -/- This volume stems from a conference on Okin, and contains articles by some of the top feminist and political philosophers working today. They are organized around a set of themes central to Okin's work, namely liberal theory, gender and the family, feminist and cultural differences, and global justice. Included are major figures such as Joshua Cohen, David Miller, Cass Sunstein, Alison Jaggar, and Iris Marion Young, among others. Their aim is not to celebrate Okin's work, but to constructively engage with it and further its goals. (shrink)
Questions about the relation between mind and world have long occupied philosophers of mind. In _Consciousness in Action_ Susan Hurley invites us to adopt a ninety-degree shift and consider the relation between perception and action. The central theme of the book is an attack on what Hurley dubs the _Input-Output Picture_ of perception and actionthe picture of perceptions as sensory inputs to the cognitive system and intentions as motor outputs from it, with the mind occupying the buffer zone in (...) between. Hurley argues that this picture confuses the personal level of normatively constrained mental contents and the subpersonal level of causal processes sustaining the mind. The notions of perception and action belong to the former, those of input and output to the latter. In place of the Input-Output picture, Hurley proposes a _Two-level _ _Interdependence View_. At the subpersonal level, she points out, there are not only one-way processes from input to output but also a host of feedback loops from output to inputsome internal to the central nervous system, some of wider orbit, involving proprioception, for example, or visual feedback on movement. The system as a whole can be seen as a _dynamical singularity_a tangle of sensorimotor feedback loops centred on the organism but extending out into the world beyond. The processes at this level are the vehicles of perceptions and actions, but, Hurley insists, the two levels cannot be mapped onto each other in a simple way. Changes on the output side may affect the content of perceptions, and changes on the input side may affect that of intentions. Perception and intention are in this way _interdependent_. The point here is not the uncontroversial one that perceptions and intentions can _cause_ changes in each other. That would be compatible with the Input-Output Picture. The dependency, in Hurleys view, is not instrumental, but _constitutive_: the contents of perceptions and intentions are each constituted by processes involving both inputs and outputs.. (shrink)