The eminent philosopher Keith Lehrer offers an original and distinctively personal view of central aspects of the human condition, such as reason, knowledge, wisdom, autonomy, love, consensus, and consciousness. He argues that what is uniquely human is our capacity for evaluating our own mental states (such as beliefs and desires), and suggests that we have a system for such evaluation which allows the resolution of personal and interpersonal conflict. The keystone in this system is self-trust, on which reason, knowledge, and (...) wisdom are grounded. (shrink)
Ranging from Joseph Bellamy to Hilary Putnam, and from early New England Divinity Schools to contemporary university philosophy departments, historian Bruce Kuklick recounts the story of the growth of philosophical thinking in the United States. Readers will explore the thought of early American philosphers such as Jonathan Edwards and John Witherspoon and will see how the political ideas of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson influenced philosophy in colonial America. Kuklick discusses The Transcendental Club (members Henry David Thoreau, Ralph (...) Waldo Emerson) and describes the rise of pragmatism centered on Metaphysical Club of Cambridge (and members William James, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Charles Peirce). He examines the profound impact Darwinism had on American philosophy and looks at Idealists such as the Kantian Josiah Royce and the Hegelian John Dewey. The book shows how, in the twentieth century, the Nazi conquest of Europe unleashed a flood of European intellectuals onto these shores, including such major thinkers as Theodore Adorno, Erich Fromm, Rudolph Carnap, and Alfred Tarski. Finally, Kuklick examines the contributions of such contemporary philosophers as Sidney Hook and Willard Quine and such books as John Rawl's A Theory of Justice and Herbert Marcuse's One Dimensional Man. Kuklick pulls no punches in portraying the state of American philosophy today and its contested role in the intellectual life of the nation and the world. The range of philosophical thought in our nation's history has been great, from Edwards's Religious Affections to Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and Bruce Kuklick has captured it all in a book that blends intricate details with sweeping vision. (shrink)
A pathbreaking new study of women and morality How do people decide what is "good" and what is "bad"? How does a society set moral guidelines -- and what happens when the behavior of various groups differs from these guidelines? Martha Saxton tackles these and other fascinating issues in Being Good , her history of the moral values prescribed for women in early America. Saxton begins by examining seventeenth-century Boston, then moves on to eighteenth-century Virginia and nineteenth-century St. Louis. Studying (...) women throughout the life cycle -- girls, young unmarried women, young wives and mothers, older widows -- through their diaries and personal papers, she also studies the variations due to different ethnicities and backgrounds. In all three cases, she is able to show how the values of one group conflicted with or developed in opposition to those of another. And, as the women's testimonies make clear, the emotional styles associated with different value systems varied. A history of American women's moral life thus gives us a history of women's emotional life as well. In lively and penetrating prose, Saxton argues that women's morals changed from the days of early colonization to the days of westward expansion, as women became at once less confined and less revered by their men -- and explores how these changes both reflected and affected trends in the nation at large. (shrink)
Although best known for the hugely influential Anarchy, State, and Utopia (1974), Robert Nozick has eschewed the label ''political philosopher,'' as the vast majority of his writings have focused on other areas. Indeed, the breadth of Nozick's work is perhaps greater than that of any other contemporary philosopher. A. R. Lacey presents the first book to give full and proper discussion of Nozick's philosophy as a whole and of critical reactions to it, spanning areas as diverse as ethics, epistemology, and (...) philosophy of religion. The book begins by examining Anarchy, State, and Utopia and moves on to Nozick's noted work on the theory of knowledge and his notion of ''tracking the truth.'' Lacey explores the philosopher's metaphysical writings, including his ''closest continuer theory'' of personal identity, and his reflections on free will and the existence of God. He addresses the moral basis of Nozick's political philosophy in depth. Later chapters discuss his ideas of ''symbolic utility,'' his evolutionary account of rationality, and his varying treatments of Newcomb's Paradox. The book concludes with more general topics, including Nozick's thoughts on the meaning of life and what those who search for it are really looking for. Given Nozick's reluctance to respond to his critics, the book's discussion of the secondary literature on his work is invaluable. Throughout, Lacey finds themes that unite Nozick's diverse writings, noting, for example, his hostility to coercion of all kinds. Illuminating, informative, and clearly written, the book will be welcomed as an authoritative guide to Nozick's philosophical thinking. (shrink)
Over the past twenty-five years, Thomas Nagel has played a major role in the philosophico-biological debate on subjectivity and consciousness. This extensive collection of published essays and reviews offers Nagel's opinionated views on the philosophy of mind, epistemology, and political philosophy, as well as on fellow philosophers like Freud, Wittgenstein, Rawls, Dennet, Chomsky, Searle, Nozick, Dworkin, and MacIntyre.
The essence of Dussel's thought is presented through the concept of "ethical hermeneutics" which seeks to interpret reality from the viewpoint of what Emmanuel Levinas presents as the "other" - those who are vanquished, forgotten, or excluded from existent socio-political or cultural systems. Barber traces Dussel's development toward Levinas' philosophy through his discussion of the Hegelian dialectic and through the stages of Dussel's own ethical theory.
This book contains the collected papers of Alan Donagan on topics in the philosophy of religion. Donagan was respected as a leading figure in American moral philosophy. His untimely death in 1991 prevented him from collecting his philosophical reflections on religion, particularly Christianity, and its relation to ethics and other concerns. This collection, therefore, constitutes the fullest expression of Donagan's thought on Christianity and ethics, in which it is possible to discern the outlines of a coherent, overarching theory. Editor Anthony (...) Perovich has supplied a useful introduction, which brings Donagan's work into focus and brings out the unifying themes in the essays. (shrink)
Why do Americans, and so often, American writers, profess moral sentiments and yet write so little in the traditionally "moralistic" genres of maxim and fable? What is the relation between "moral" concerns and literary theory? Can any sort of morality survive the supposed nihilism of deconstruction? Jefferson Humphries undertakes a discussion of questions like these through a comparative reading of the ways in which moral issues surface in French and American literature. Humphries takes issue with the "amoral" view of deconstruction (...) espoused by many of its detractors, arguing that the debate between the theory's advocates and opponents comes down to two opposing literary and moral traditions. While the American tradition views morality as a rigid system capable of being enforced by injunctions along the lines of "Thou shalt" and "Thou shalt not," the French tradition conceives of morality as a function of a relentless and unsentimental pursuit of truth, and finally, an admission that "truth" is not a static thing, but rather an ongoing process of rigorous thought. (shrink)
Carl Gustav Hempel (1905-1997) was one of the preeminent figures in the philosophical movement of logical empiricism. He was a member of both the Berlin and Vienna circles, fled Germany in 1934 and finally settled in the US where he taught for many years in New York, Princeton, and Pittsburgh. The essays in this collection come from the early and late periods of Hempel's career and chart his intellectual odyssey from a rigorous commitment to logical positivism in the 1930s (when (...) Hempel allied himself closely with Carnap) to a more sociological approach close in spirit to the work of Neurath and Kuhn. The collection brings together essays which have up till now been difficult to find, four of which are appearing in English for the first time. Cumulatively they offer a fresh perspective on Hempel's intellectual development and on the rise and demise of logical empiricism. (shrink)
One of the most influential contemporary philosophers, Hilary Putnam's involvement in philosophy spans philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, ontology and epistemology and logic. This edited volume explores Putnam's contribution to the contemporary realist and pragmatist debate and includes Putnam's comments on each issue raised.
By offering readings from different traditions, " American Philosophies: An Anthology" offers an informed view of the past. This anthology promotes a new vision: American Philosophy as complex and constantly changing, enlivened by historically marginalized, yet never silent, voices. American Philosophies is an ambitious book full of the contradictory and clashing voices that have shaped American thought. Rather than force too much unanimity, the editors have opted to feature a wide array of American writers, from freed slaves to founding fathers (...) to scholars. (shrink)
American philosophy and the tradition. Therapists, bootstrappers, infantry ; Parsing America ; Great white men and the Ivy League cavalcade ; Rorty's revolution -- Abandoning toothless truth : other white males muscle in. Persuasion and the brows ; Psychologists and psychiatrist ; The literary critics ; The political theorists ; Linguist, mathematician, neurologist ; The casual wisemen ; The print journalists ; The broadcasters -- The rising outsiders. African Americans ; Women ; Native Americans ; Gays -- Gutenberg's revenge : (...) the explosion of cyberphilosophy. The book lives! ; Cyberpolitics ; Cyberreligion ; Cyberliterature ; Cybercynics -- Isocrates : a man, not a typo. Busting Isocrates ; Isocrates's life ; Images and clichés of Isocrates ; Sophists and sophistry ; Rhetoricians and rhetoric ; Isocrates, philosopher ; Isocrates, Greece and America -- Just saying no to justification : the magnificent failure of John Rawls. Not since John Stuart Mill ; A lucky life ; Just another word for nothing left to argue about ; Rawls on justification ; "The theory is not successful" -- Epilogue. Obama, philosopher in chief. (shrink)
This collection of essays aims to mark a place for American philosophy as it moves into the twenty-first century. Taking their cue from the work of Peirce, James, Santayana, Dewey, Mead, Buchler, and others, the contributors assess and employ philosophy as an activity taking place within experience and culture. Within the broad background of the American tradition, the essays reveal a variety of approaches to the transition in which American philosophy is currently engaged. Some of the pieces argue from an (...) historical dialogue with the tradition, some are more polemically involved with American philosophy’s current status among the contemporary philosophical "schools," and still others seek to reveal the possibilities for the future of American philosophy. In thus addressing past, present, and future, the pieces, taken together, outline a trajectory for American philosophy that reinvents its importance from a new angle of vision. (shrink)
While well-known for his book-length work, philosopher Peter Unger's articles have been less widely accessible. These two volumes of Unger's Philosophical Papers include articles spanning more than 35 years of Unger's long and fruitful career. Dividing the articles thematically, this first volume collects work in epistemology and ethics, among other topics, while the second volume focuses on metaphysics. Unger's work has advanced the full spectrum of topics at the heart of philosophy, including epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of language and philosophy of (...) mind, and ethics. Unger advances radical positions, going against the so-called "commonsense philosophy" that has dominated the analytic tradition since its beginnings early in the twentieth century. In epistemology, his articles advance the view that nobody ever knows anything and, beyond that, argue that nobody has any reason to believe anything--and even beyond that, they argue that nobody has any reason to do anything, or even want anything. In metaphysics, his work argues that people do not really exist--and neither do puddles, plants, poodles, and planets. But, as Unger has often changed his favored positions, from one decade to the next, his work also advances the opposite, "commonsense" positions: that there are in fact plenty of people, puddles, plants and planets and, quite beyond that, we know it all to be true. On most major philosophical questions, both of these sides of Unger's significant work are well represented in this major two volume collection. Unger's vivid writing style, intellectual vitality, and fearlessness in the face of our largest philosophical questions, make these volumes of great interest not only to the philosophical community but to others who might otherwise find contemporary philosophy dry and technical. (shrink)
In these previously uncollected essays, Smith argues that American philosophers like Peirce, James, Royce, and Dewey have forged a unique philosophical tradition--one that is rich and complex enough to represent a genuine alternative to the analytic, phenomenological, and hermeneutical traditions which have originated in Britain or Europe. "In my judgment, John Smith has no equal today in combining two scholarly qualities: the analysis of philosophical texts with penetration and rigor, and the discernment of what it is in these texts that (...) matters. These qualities are in evidence throughout the essays in America's Philosophical Vision. Whether he is evaluating Rorty's view of Dewey the pragmatic theory of experience and truth theories of freedom, creativity, and the self Royce's conception of community or synoptic philosophic visions, Smith always succeeds in uniting a comprehensive understanding of philosophic writings with a sure grasp of their import for human culture and aspiration. It is a great benefit to students of American thought that these papers have now been collected into one volume."--James Gouinlock, Emory University. (shrink)
The struggle against liberalism in the totalitarian view of the state.--The concept of essence.--The affirmative character of culture.--Philosophy and critical theory.--On hedonism.--Industrialization and capitalism in the work of Max Weber.--Love mystified; a critique of Norman O. Brown and a reply to Herbert Marcuse by Norman O. Brown.--Aggressiveness in advanced industrial society.
Paulo Freire : the educator, his oeuvre, and changing contexts -- Holistic interpretations of Freire's work : a critical review -- Critical literacy, praxis, and emancipatory politics -- "Remaining on the same side of the river" : neo-liberalism, party movements, and the struggle for greater coherence -- Reinventing Freire in a Southern context : the Mediterranean -- Engaging with practice : a Freirean reflection on different pedagogical sites.
In this lively look at current debates in American philosophy, leading philosophers talk candidly about the changing character of their discipline. In the spirit of Emerson's The American Scholar , this book explores the identity of the American philosopher. Through informal conversations, the participants discuss the rise of post-analytic philosophy in America and its relations to European thought and to the American pragmatist tradition. They comment on their own intellectual development as well as each others' work, charting the course of (...) American philosophy over the past few decades. Giovanna Borradori, in her substantial introduction, explains the history of the analytic movement in America and the home-grown reaction against it. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, American philosophy was a socially engaged interdisciplinary enterprise. In transcendentalism and pragmatism, then the dominant currents in American thought, philosophy was connected to history, psychology, and public issues. But in the 1930s, the imported European movement of logical positivism redefined philosophical discourse in terms of mathematical logic and theory of language. Under the influence of this analytic view, American philosophy became a professionalized discipline, divorced from public debate and intellectual history and antagonistic to the other, more humanistic tradition of continental thought. The American Philosopher explores the opposition between analytic and continental thought and shows how recent American work has begun to bridge the gap between the two traditions. Through a reexamination of pragmatism, and through an attempt to understand philosophy in a more hermeneutical way, the participants narrow the distance between America's distinctly scientific philosophy and Europe's more literary approach. Moving beyond classical analytic philosophy, the participants confront each other on a number of topics. The logico-linguistic orientations of Quine and Davidson come up against the more discursive, interdisciplinary agendas of Rorty, Putnam, and Cavell. Nozick's theory of pluralist anarchism goes face-to-face with the aesthetic neo-foundationalism of Danto. And Kuhn's hypothesis of paradigm shifts is measured against MacIntyre's ethics of "virtues." Borradori's conversations offer an unconventional portrait of the way philosophers think about their work scholars and students will not be its only beneficiaries, so will everyone who wonders about the current state of American philosophy. (shrink)
Contemporary Philosophy in Focus will offer a series of introductory volumes to many of the dominant philosophical thinkers of the current age. Each volume will consist of newly commissioned essays that will cover all the major contributions of a preeminent philosopher in a systematic and accessible manner. Author of such groundbreaking and influential books as Consciousness Explained and Darwin's Dangerous Idea, Daniel C. Dennett has reached a huge general and professional audience that extends way beyond the confines of academic philosophy. (...) He has made significant contributions to the study of consciousness, the development of the child's mind, cognitive ethnology, explanation in the social sciences, artificial intelligence, and evolutionary theory. This volume is the only truly introductory collection that traces these connections, explores the implications of Dennett's work, and furnishes the non-specialist with a fully-rounded account of why Dennett is such an important voice on the philosophical scene. (shrink)
This is an introductory volume to Robert Nozick, one of the dominant philosophical thinkers of the current age. It is part of a new series, Contemporary Philosophy in Focus. Each volume in the series will consist of newly commissioned essays that will cover all the major contributions of a preeminent philosopher in a systematic and accessible manner. Robert Nozick is one of the most creative and individual philosophical voices of the last 25 years. His most famous book, Anarchy, State and (...) Utopia (1974), presents the classic defense of the libertarian view that only a minimal state is just. Nozick has also made significant contributions in later publications to such areas as rational choice theory, ethics, epistemology and philosophy of mind. Outside philosophy the book will be of particular interest to professionals and students in political science, law, economics, sociology and psychology. (shrink)
A definitive study of the intellectual movement in 19th-century Spain of harmonic rationalism propounded by the German Karl Christian Friedrich Krause which was dedicated to an ideal of universal brotherhood.
Robert Roth, among the first few Catholics to write favorably, even if critically, about American pragmatism, presents here a creative piece of comparative philosophy in which he achieves a long-term goal of attempting a reconciliation between pragmatism and a classical spiritual and religious perspective. The title, Radical Pragmatism, is an adaptation of William James’s "radical empiricism." James had argues that the classical empiricists, Locke and Hume, did not go far enough in their account of experience. They missed some of its (...) most important aspects, namely connections and relations, and as a result they were left with discrete sense data and sense objects. (shrink)
Hamner seeks to discover what makes pragmatism uniquely American. She argues that the inextricably American character of pragmatism of such figures as C.S. Peirce and William James lies in its often understated affirmation of America as a uniquely religious country with a God-given mission and populated by God-fearing citizens.
In 2000, the world of anthropology was rocked by a high-profile debate over the fieldwork performed by two prominent anthropologists, Napoleon Chagnon and James V. Neel, among the Yanamamo tribe of South America. The controversy was fueled by the publication of Patrick Tierney's incendiary Darkness in El Dorado which accused Chagnon of not only misinterpreting but actually inciting some of the violence he perceived among these "fierce people". Tierney also pointed the finger at Neel as the unwitting agent of a (...) deadly measles outbreak. Attracting a firestorm of attention, Tierney's book went straight to the heart of anthropology's most pressing questions: What are the right ways to study a tribal people? How can scientists avoid unduly influencing those among whom they live? What guidelines should govern the interactions - economic, social, medical, and sexual - between a scientist in the field and the people being studied? This volume represents anthropology's thoughtful, measured reply to the issues raised by this heated controversy. Placing the dispute within the context of ongoing debates over the ethics of biomedical research among human populations, the contributors to this volume discuss how the interaction between investigators and their subjects can most sensibly be governed. They consider the responsibility of the media in disseminating anti-scientific and pseudo-scientific views, and how scientists might best educate journalists to enable them to effectively educate others. In the wake of what was widely construed as a major scientific scandal, this landmark volume lays out in detail the principles and ground rules of anthropological and scientific fieldwork. (shrink)
The American Medical Association enacted its Code of Ethics in 1847, the first such national codification. In this volume, a distinguished group of experts from the fields of medicine, bioethics, and history of medicine reflect on the development of medical ethics in the United States, using historical analyses as a springboard for discussions of the problems of the present, including what the editors call "a sense of moral crisis precipitated by the shift from a system of fee-for-service medicine to a (...) system of fee-for-system medicine, better known as 'managed care.'" The authors begin with a look at how the medical profession began to consider ethical issues in the 1800s and subsequent developments in the 1900s. They then address the sociological, historical, ethical, and legal aspects of the practice of medicine. Later chapters discuss current and future challenges to medical ethics and professional values. Appendixes display various versions of the AMA's Code of Ethics as it has evolved over time. Contributors: George J. Annas, J.D., M.P.H., Arthur Isak Applbaum, Ph.D., Robert B. Baker, Ph.D., Chester R. Burns, M.D., Ph.D., Arthur L. Caplan, Ph.D., Alexander Morgan Capron, J.D., Christine K. Cassel, M.D., Linda L. Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D., Eliot L. Freidson, Ph.D., Albert R. Jonsen, Ph.D., Stephen R. Latham, J.D., Ph.D., Susan E. Lederer, Ph.D., Florencia Luna, Ph.D., Edmund D. Pellegrino, M.D., Charles E. Rosenberg, Ph.D., Mark Siegler, M.D., Rosemary A. Stevens, Ph.D., Robert M. Tenery, Jr., M.D., Robert M. Veatch, Ph.D., John Harley Warner, Ph.D., Paul Root Wolpe, Ph.D. (shrink)