Historically, Thomas Aquinas has been controversial for his use of Averroistic-Aristotelian metaphysics. Because of his doctrine of simplicity many of argued that this entails a necessitarian view of nature—a debate that would pass through Spinoza, Descartes, and even to this day. Nevertheless, Thomas would prevail, not only to sainthood, but to become the patron of education and the Teacher of the Church. The task in this paper is to demonstrate that, contrary to many current contentions in Protestant, and especially Evangelical (...) circles, Aristotelian/Thomistic metaphysics remains a suitable, viable, even preferable framework for Christian Theism and, for the purposes of this paper, scientific thought. The specific focus will be on creation metaphysics and the relationship between current science and Christian thought raised by Lydia Jaeger. I will conclude with an example of the ability of radical contingency in Thomas to both satisfy contemporary physics and frame a consistent and coherent Christian Theism. (shrink)
The multiverse hypothesis is the leading alternative to the competing fine-tuning hypothesis. The multiverse dispels many aspects of the fine-tuning argument by suggesting that there are different initial conditions in each universe, varying constants of physics, and the laws of nature lose their known arbitrary values; thus, making the previous single-universe argument from fine- tuning incredibly weak. The position that will be advocated will be that a form of multiverse could exist and that any level of Tegmark's multiverse does not (...) circumvent the fine-tuning argument for the existence of a fine-tuner. An argument will be presented suggesting that the multiverse could strengthen the fine-tuning argument by narrowing down the parameters of the data to a more fundamental description needed for the multiverse to function as it does since it may be the case that some physical descriptions are not the same in every universe. That is, the task of explaining how the multiverse mechanism functions cannot be accounted for by the multiverse itself. Fine-tuning by a mind serves as a sufficient and best explanation for the data. (shrink)
David Lewis has tried to explain what it is for a possible language to be the actual language of a population in terms of his game-theoretical notion of a convention. This explanation of the actual language relation is re-evaluated in the light of some typical episodes of linguistic communication, and it is argued that speakers of a language do not generally stand in the actual language relation to that language if the actual language relation is explicated in Lewis's (...) way. In order to avoid these counterexamples, an alternative account of the actual language relation is proposed which makes use of Lewis's notion of convention in a different way. (shrink)
Pessimists think that there is something wrong with relying on deference for one’s moral beliefs—at least if one is morally mature. Call this no deference. They also tend to think that what explains our aversion to cases of moral deference is the fact that they involve deference about moral claims. Call this moral explanation. Recently, both no deference and moral explanation have come under attack. Against no deference, some philosophers offer purported counterexamples involving moral advice. I argue that proponents of (...) this objection face a trilemma depending on how they spell out the details of their counterexamples. Against moral explanation, some philosophers offer debunking explanations of our aversion to moral deference. They present cases of non-moral deference that are troubling and argue that the feature that explains our aversion to this non-moral deference also explains our aversion to moral deference. I argue that none of these explanations (nor their conjunction) can explain all troubling cases of moral deference and that they face objections of their own. I conclude that we should be optimistic about the prospects of moral deference pessimism. (shrink)
Mona Simion has recently argued for a function-first norm of moral assertion. According to function-first accounts, the norm of any kind of assertion is determined by the function of that kind of assertion. She argues that, on the assumption that moral understanding is the goal of moral inquiry, the function of moral assertion is reliably generating moral understanding in others and that the norm of moral assertion should fall out of that function. In particular, she thinks the norm should be (...) such that satisfying it is the most reliable way for one’s moral assertions to generate moral understanding in others—at least when all else goes well. With this in mind, she proposes The Explanation Proffering Account of Moral Assertion. First, I argue that satisfying EPNMA is not the only or most reliable way for one’s moral assertion to generate moral understanding in one’s audience. I propose an alternative norm on which one must accompany one’s moral assertions with a maieutic speech act, i.e., an utterance in the form of a question or assertion that aims to elicit knowledge or other epistemic states from an audience. Second, I present counterexamples to EPNMA wherein speakers make moral assertions that violate EPNMA and yet they are not intuitively epistemically criticizable for their assertion. I conclude by briefly sketching an alternative account that avoids the pitfalls of EPNMA. (shrink)
In this paper, I offer a novel defense of moderate pessimism about moral deference, i.e., the view that we have pro tanto reason to avoid moral deference. I argue that moral deference fails to give us the epistemic credentials to satisfy plausible norms of moral assertion. I then argue that moral assertions made solely on the basis of deferential moral beliefs violate a plausible epistemic and moral norm against withholding information that one knows, has evidence, or ought to believe will (...) importantly affect another person’s deliberation. Finally, I argue that not only does moral deference fail to put the audience in a good epistemic position it also puts the audience in a bad epistemic and moral position. First, there is a tight connection between outright believing something and being disposed to assert it and so deferential moral beliefs often motivate people to assert something that they don’t have the epistemic credentials to properly assertion. Second, there will often be moral reasons to make assertions—even based on deferential moral beliefs. These assertions, while all-things-considered permissible, will be epistemic impermissible and involve violating a moral norm. (shrink)
Philosophers think that there is something fishy about moral deference. The most common explanation of this fishiness is that moral deference doesn’t yield the epistemic states necessary for certain moral achievements. First, I argue that this explanation overgeneralizes. It entails that using many intuitively kosher belief-formation methods should be off-putting. Second, I argue that moral deference is sometimes superior to these other methods because it puts one in a better position to gain the relevant moral achievements.
The simple knowledge norm of assertion holds that one may assert that p only if one knows that p. Turri :37–45, 2011) and Williamson both argue that more is required for epistemically permissible assertion. In particular, they both think that the asserter must assert on the basis of her knowledge. Turri calls this the express knowledge norm of assertion. I defend SKNA and argue against EKNA. First, I argue that EKNA faces counterexamples. Second, I argue that EKNA assumes an implausible (...) view of permissibility on which an assertion is epistemically permissible only if it is made for a right reason, i.e., a reason that contributes to making it the case that it is epistemically permissible to make that assertion. However, the analogous view in other normative domains is both controversial and implausible. This is because it doesn’t make it possible for one to act or react rightly for the wrong reason. I suggest that proponents of EKNA have conflated requirements for φ-ing rightly with requirements for φ-ing well. Finally, I argue that proponents of SKNA can explain the intuitive defectiveness of asserting on the basis of an epistemically bad reason, even when the asserters know the content of their assertion, by arguing that the asserters are epistemically blameworthy. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to examine the kind of evidence that might be adduced in support of relativist semantics of a kind that have recently been proposed for predicates of personal taste, for epistemic modals, for knowledge attributions and for other cases. I shall concentrate on the case of taste predicates, but what I have to say is easily transposed to the other cases just mentioned. I shall begin by considering in general the question of what kind of (...) evidence can be offered in favour of some semantic theory or framework of semantic theorizing. In other words, I shall begin with the difficult question of the empirical significance of semantic theorizing. In Sect. 2, I outline a relativist semantic theory, and in Sect. 3, I review four types of evidence that might be offered in favour of a relativistic framework. I show that the evidence is not conclusive because a sophisticated form of contextualism can stand up to the evidence. However, the evidence can be taken to support the view that either relativism or the sophisticated form of contextualism is correct. (shrink)
Lewis’ Best System Analysis of laws of nature is often criticized on the grounds that what it means to be the “best” system is too subjective for an analysis of lawhood. Recent proponents of the BSA have embraced the view’s close connection to the particulars of scientific practice despite the objection. I distinguish two compatible versions of the objection: one opposed to mind or subject dependence and the other opposed to relativity. The BSA can answer both. Answering the anti-relative (...) version of Armstrong’s objection requires that the BSA be no more or less relative than is required by scientific practice. A spectrum of relativity is introduced with extremes of minimally and maximally relative variants of the BSA, and extant variants of the BSA are located on it. Lastly, I sketch what work remains to be done with respect to Armstrong’s objection by BSA proponents depending on where in the spectrum of relativity they hope to locate their view. (shrink)
Some philosophers, for example David Lewis, have argued for the need to introduce de se contents or centered contents, i.e. contents of thought and speech the correctness of believing which depends not only on the possible world one inhabits, but also on the location one occupies. Independently, philosophers like Robert Stalnaker (and also David Lewis) have developed the conversational score model of linguistic communication. This conversational model usually relies on a more standard conception of content according to which (...) the correctness of believing a content depends merely on the possible world one occupies. The aim of this paper is to develop a modified conversational score model that operates with centered contents. I begin by explaining how in principle centered contents can figure in the transfer of information from one thinker to another. Here I distinguish the local portability approach from the portable surrogate approach. Then I explain how these modes of information transfer can be exploited in a stalnakerian conversational model involving centered contents, proposing a modified update rule for assertion. (shrink)
In the first part of this paper, I argue against the view that laws of nature are contingent, by attacking a necessary condition for its truth within the framework of a conception of laws as relations between universals. I try to show that there is no independent reason to think that universals have an essence independent of their nomological properties. However, such a non-qualitative essence is required to make sense of the idea that different laws link the same universals in (...) different possible worlds. In the second part, I give a positive argument for the necessity of at least some laws of nature, by showing with the example of a paradigmatic law of association that it consists in an internal relation between two universals which are determinables of the same class of determinates, where this relation is essential to both. Furthermore, I show that the necessity of laws of association could be accommodated within David Lewis' Humean metaphysics, but that it is incompatible with David Armstrong's combinatorialism. (shrink)
In this collection of essays, Max Black has brought together discussions on the language of politics, religion, poetry, law, and even magic. The scholars represented include W. B. Gallie, Aldous Huxley, Gilbert Ryle, Friedrich Waismann, Alan S. C. Ross, Bronislaw Malinowski, Owen Barfield, Samuel Butler, and C. S. Lewis. The selected essays deal with the danger, the power, and the extraordinary versatility of language, and show how "all of us can get our thoughts entangled in metaphors.".
The prevailing theoretical framework for theorising about representation construes all representation as involving objective representational contents. This classic framework has tended to drive philosophers either to claim that evaluative judgements are representations and therefore objective, or else to claim that evaluative judgements are not really representations, because they are not objective. However, a more general, already well-explored framework is available, which will allow theorists to treat evaluative judgements as full-fledged representations while leaving open whether they are objective. Such a more (...) general conception of representational content is exemplified, e.g. by Lewis's ‘centred contents’ and Gibbard's framework of ‘contents of judgement’, thus it is not new. I shall start in §1 by introducing the more general framework of perspectival contents and then illustrate in §2 how awareness of it can help expose the fallaciousness of certain widely used forms of argumentation in metaethics. (shrink)
Interest in the metaphysics and logic of possible worlds goes back at least as far as Aristotle, but few books address the history of these important concepts. This volume offers new essays on the theories about the logical modalities held by leading philosophers from Aristotle in ancient Greece to Rudolf Carnap in the twentieth century. The story begins with an illuminating discussion of Aristotle's views on the connection between logic and metaphysics, continues through the Stoic and mediaeval traditions, and then (...) moves to the early modern period with particular attention to Locke and Leibniz. The views of Kant, Peirce, C. I. Lewis and Carnap complete the volume. Many of the essays illuminate the connection between the historical figures studied, and recent or current work in the philosophy of modality. The result is a rich and wide-ranging picture of the history of the logical modalities. (shrink)
Arguing About Language presents a comprehensive selection of key readings on fundamental issues in the philosophy of language. It offers a fresh and exciting introduction to the subject, addressing both perennial problems and emerging topics. Classic readings from Frege, Russell, Kripke, Chomsky, Quine, Grice, Lewis and Davidson appear alongside more recent pieces by philosophers or linguists such as Robyn Carston, Delia Graff Fara, Frank Jackson, Ernie Lepore & Jerry Fodor, Nathan Salmon, Zoltán Szabó, Timothy Williamson and Crispin Wright. Organised (...) into clear sections, readings have been chosen that engage with one another and often take opposing views on the same question, helping students to get to grips with the key areas of debate in the philosophy of language, including: sense and reference definite descriptions linguistic conventions language and behaviour descriptivism and rigidity contextualism vagueness rule-following and normativity fictional discourse. Each article selected is clear, thought-provoking and free from unnecessary jargon. The editors provide lucid introductions to each section in which they give an overview of the debate and outline the arguments of the papers. Arguing About Language is an ideal reader for students looking for a balanced yet up-to-date introduction to the philosophy of language. Darragh Byrne is lecturer in philosophy at the University of Birmingham, UK. Max Kölbel is ICREA Research Professor at the University of Barcelona, Spain. He is the author of Truth without Objectivity (Routledge, 2002) and co-editor of Wittgenstein's Lasting Significance (Routledge, 2004) with Bernhard Weiss, as well as Relative Truth (Oxford, 2008) with Manuel García-Carpintero. (shrink)
The following statement is a report of the Committee on Philosophy in Education of the American Philosophical Association and was approved by the Association's Board of Officers in September, 1959. The Committee was composed of the following: C. W. Hendel, Chairman, H. G. Alexander, R. M. Chisholm, Max Fisch, Lucius Garvin, Douglas Morgan, A. E. Murphy, Charner Perry, and R. G. Turnbull. Primary responsibility for the preparation of this report belonged to a subcommittee composed of Roderick M. Chisholm, Chairman, H. (...) G. Alexander, Lewis Hahn, Paul C. Hayner, and Charles W. Hendel. (shrink)
In this article I address a number of central problems in modern and/or postmodern political and ethical life. I do so largely through an explication and comparison of John Dewey's and Max Weber's theoretical approaches and prescriptions for ethics and political participation. According to both Dewey and Weber, the modern world fragments both the ‘individual' and ‘community'. This fragmentation impairs meaningful political action. Thus, the question becomes, how is the fragmentation on the individual and community level to be reconciled, coherence (...) regained and meaningful action restored? Dewey and Weber have conflicting answers to this set of questions. I argue that however wanting one might find Dewey and Weber's insights, the questions and their insights are still relevant to this day. I argue that the problems brought on by modernity still flourish under ‘postmodern' conditions. Further, I propose that given contemporary conditions a supplemented combination of Weber and Dewey's views is the most suitable and politically efficient response to the demands of the day and would best serve our need for coherence and allow for meaningful political action. The article ends by proposing a blend of their views that is supplemented by the work of Judith Butler.umpty Dumpty sat on a wall:Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.All the King's horses and all the King's menCouldn't put Humpty Dumpty in his place again.– Lewis Carrol, Alice Through the Looking Glass. (shrink)
In this text, a variety of modal logics at the sentential, first-order, and second-order levels are developed with clarity, precision and philosophical insight. All of the S1-S5 modal logics of Lewis and Langford, among others, are constructed. A matrix, or many-valued semantics, for sentential modal logic is formalized, and an important result that no finite matrix can characterize any of the standard modal logics is proven. Exercises, some of which show independence results, help to develop logical skills. A separate (...) sentential modal logic of logical necessity in logical atomism is also constructed and shown to be complete and decidable. On the first-order level of the logic of logical necessity, the modal thesis of anti-essentialism is valid and every de re sentence is provably equivalent to a de dicto sentence. An elegant extension of the standard sentential modal logics into several first-order modal logics is developed. Both a first-order modal logic for possibilism containing actualism as a proper part as well as a separate modal logic for actualism alone are constructed for a variety of modal systems. Exercises on this level show the connections between modal laws and quantifier logic regarding generalization into, or out of, modal contexts and the conditions required for the necessity of identity and non-identity. Two types of second-order modal logics, one possibilist and the other actualist, are developed based on a distinction between existence-entailing concepts and concepts in general. The result is a deeper second-order analysis of possibilism and actualism as ontological frameworks. Exercises regarding second-order predicate quantifiers clarify the distinction between existence-entailing concepts and concepts in general. Modal Logic is ideally suited as a core text for graduate and undergraduate courses in modal logic, and as supplementary reading in courses on mathematical logic, formal ontology, and artificial intelligence. (shrink)
This book offers original accounts of a number of central social phenomena, many of which have received little if any prior philosophical attention. These phenomena include social groups, group languages, acting together, collective belief, mutual recognition, and social convention. In the course of developing her analyses Gilbert discusses the work of Emile Durkheim, Georg Simmel, Max Weber, David Lewis, among others.
What different relativist claims about a given domain are to be distinguished? Which of them is best placed to account for intuitive facts about disagreement in that domain? In a recent paper in this journal, ‘Indexical Relativism versus Genuine Relativism’ (2004), Max Kölbel distinguishes two forms of relativism, andargues that one of them, indexical relativism, faces problems in accounting for disagreement. In the first part of this discussion I present my own taxonomy of relativist positions in a given domain, which (...) is based on David Lewis’s 1980 essay, and I compare it with Kölbel’s and other recent suggestions. In the second part, I argue that the presuppositional defence of indexical relativism against related objections that I have elaborated elsewhere is also effective against Kölbel’s recent charges. (shrink)
Signalling games are popular models for studying the evolution of meaning, but typical approaches do not incorporate vagueness as a feature of successful signalling. Complementing recent like-minded models, we describe an aggregate population-level dynamic that describes a process of imitation of successful behaviour under imprecise perception and realization of similar stimuli. Applying this new dynamic to a generalization of Lewis’s signalling games, we show that stochastic imprecision leads to vague, yet by-and-large efficient signal use, and, moreover, that it unifies (...) evolutionary outcomes and helps avoid sub-optimal categorization. The upshot of this is that we see ‘as-if’-generalization at an aggregate level, without agents actually generalizing. _1_ Introduction _2_ Background _2.1_ Sim-max games and conceptual spaces _2.2_ Vagueness in sim-max games and conceptual spaces _2.3_ Vagueness, functional pressure, and transmission biases _3_ Imprecise Imitation _3.1_ Replicator dynamic in behavioural strategies _3.2_ Noise-perturbed conditional imitation _4_ Exploring Imprecise Imitation _4.1_ Setting the stage _4.2_ Simulation set-up _4.3_ Measures of interest _4.4_ Results _5_ Discussion _5.1_ Levels of vagueness _5.2_ Evolutionary benefits of imprecision _5.3_ Related work _6_ Conclusion Appendix. (shrink)
It is often said that a person P knows the meaning of a sentence S if P knows S’ s truth-conditions, in the sense that given any possible world, P knows whether S is true in that world. This idea of sentence-meaning corresponds fairly closely to what Frege, Russell, Carnap, and other philosophers have had in mind in speaking of the senses, propositional contents, or “locutionary” meanings of sentences; and, not unnaturally, it has encouraged semanticists such as David Lewis, (...) Robert Stalnaker and Max Cresswell to suggest that sentence-meanings or propositions simply are functions from the set of possible worlds onto the truth-values. (shrink)
With a few notable exceptions formal semantics, as it originated from the seminal work of Richard Montague, Donald Davidson, Max Cresswell, David Lewis and others, in the late sixties and early seventies of the previous century, does not consider Wittgenstein as one of its ancestors. That honour is bestowed on Frege, Tarski, Carnap. And so it has been in later developments. Most introductions to the subject will refer to Frege and Tarski (Carnap less frequently) —in addition to the pioneers (...) just mentioned, of course— , and discuss the main elements of their work that helped shape formal semantics in some detail. But Wittgenstein is conspicuously absent whenever the history of the subject is mentioned (usually brieﬂy, if at all). (shrink)
Modal Platonism utilizes "weak" logical possibility, such that it is logically possible there are abstract entities, and logically possible there are none. Modal Platonism also utilizes a non-indexical actuality operator. Modal Platonism is the EASY WAY, neither reductionist nor eliminativist, but embracing the Platonistic language of abstract entities while eliminating ontological commitment to them. Statement of Modal Platonism. Any consistent statement B ontologically committed to abstract entities may be replaced by an empirically equivalent modalization, MOD(B), not so ontologically committed. This (...) equivalence is provable using Modal/Actuality Logic [email protected] Let MAX be a strong set theory with individuals. Then the following Schematic Bombshell Result (SBR) can be shown: MAX logically yields [T is true if and only if MOD(T) is true], for scientific theories T. The proof utilizes Stephen Neale's clever model-theoretic interpretation of Quantified Lewis S5, which I extend to [email protected] (shrink)
TWENTIETH-CENTURY ETHICS. AFTER NIETZSCHE -/- Preface This book tells the story of twentieth-century ethics or, in more detail, it reconstructs the history of a discussion on the foundations of ethics which had a start with Nietzsche and Sidgwick, the leading proponents of late-nineteenth-century moral scepticism. During the first half of the century, the prevailing trends tended to exclude the possibility of normative ethics. On the Continent, the trend was to transform ethics into a philosophy of existence whose self-appointed task was (...) that of describing the human condition as consisting of choices, as unavoidable as arbitrary, without any attempt at providing criteria for making such choices. In the Anglo-Saxon countries, the heir of ethics was a philosophy of morality, that is, an analysis of the language of morality that intended to clarify valuations without trying to justify them. 1958 was the year of the normative turn that led to the Rehabilitation of practical philosophy, a turn followed by decades of controversies between distinct kinds of normative ethics: utilitarian, Kantian, virtue ethics. While the controversy was raging, a quiet revolution took place, that of applied ethics which surprisingly dissolved the controversy's very subject matter by providing methods for making convergence possible on intermediate principles even when no agreement was available about first principles. The normative turn and the revolution of applied ethics have led us, at the turn of the century, to a goal that was quite far from the starting point. Instead of scepticism and relativism that was the fashion at the beginning of the century, at the beginning of the third millennium impartial and universal moral arguments seem to hold the spot being supported, if not by a final rational foundation, at least by reasonableness, the most precious legacy of the Enlightenment. -/- ● TABLE OF CONTENTS -/- ● I Anglo-Saxon philosophy: naturalism 1. Dewey beyond evolutionism and utilitarianism 2. Dewey and anti-essentialist moral epistemology 3. Dewey and naturalist moral ontology 4. Dewey and normative ethics of conduct and function 5. Perry and semantic naturalism -/- ● II Anglo-Saxon philosophy: ideal utilitarianism and neo-intuitionism 1. Moore's critique of utilitarian empiricism 2. Moore on the naturalistic fallacy 3. Moore on the nature of intrinsic value 4. Moore on ideal utilitarianism 5. Prichard on the priority of the right over the good 6. Ross's coherentist moral epistemology 7. Ross's moral ontology: realism, pluralism, and non-naturalism 8. Ross's normative ethics of prima facie duties -/- The chapter reconstructs the background of ideas, concerns and intentions out of which Moore's early essays, the preliminary version, and then the final version of Principia Ethica originated. It stresses the role of religious concerns, as well as that of the Idealist legacy. It argues that PE is more a patchwork of somewhat diverging contributions than a unitary work, not to say the paradigm of a new school in Ethics. -/- ●III Anglo-Saxon philosophy: non-cognitivism 1. The Scandinavian School, the Vienna circle and proto-emotivism 2. Wittgenstein and the ineffability of ethics 3. Russell's and Ayer's radical emotivism 4. Stevenson and moderate emotivism 5. Stevenson and the pragmatics of moral language 6. Stevenson and the methods for solving ethical disagreement 7. Hare and prescriptivism The chapter reconstructs first the discussion after Moore. The naturalistic-fallacy argument was widely accepted but twisted to prove instead that the intuitive character of the definition of 'good', its non-cognitive meaning, in a first phase identified with 'emotive' meaning. Alfred Julius Ayer is indicated as a typical proponent of such non-cognitivist meta-ethics. More detailed discussion is dedicated to Bertrand Russell's ethics, a more nuanced and sophisticated doctrine, arguing that non-cognitivism does not condemn morality to arbitrariness and that the project of rational normative ethics is still possible, heading finally to the justification of a kind of non-hedonist utilitarianism. Stevenson's theory, another moderate version of emotivism is discussed at some length, showing how the author comes close to the discovery of the role of a pragmatic dimension of language as a basis for ethical argument. A section reconstructs the discussion from the Forties about Hume's law, mentioning Karl Popper's argument and Richard Hare's early non-cognitivist but non-emotivist doctrine named prescriptivism. -/- ●IV Anglo-Saxon philosophy: critics of non-cognitivism 1. Neo-naturalism and its objections to the naturalistic fallacy argument 2. Objections to Hume's law 3. Clarence Lewis and the pragmatic contradiction 4. Toulmin and the good reasons approach 5. Baier and moral reasons 5. Baier, social moralities and the absolute morality 6. Baier and the moral point of view 7. Baier and the contents of absolute ethics -/- ● V Continental philosophy: the philosophy of values 1. Max Weber and the polytheism of values 2. Phenomenology against psychologism and rationalism 3. Reinach and the theory of social acts 4. Scheler and the material ethics of values 5. Hartmann and the ontology of values 6. Plessner, Gehlen and the Philosophische Anthropologie -/- The chapter illustrates first the idea of phenomenology and the Husserl's project of a phenomenological ethic as illustrated in his 1908-1914 lectures. The key idea is dismissing psychology and trying to ground a new science of the apriori of action, within which a more restricted field of inquiry will be the science of right actions. Then the chapter illustrates the criticism of modern moral philosophy conducted in the 1920 lectures, where the main target is naturalism, understood in the Kantian meaning of primacy of common sense. The third point illustrate is Adolph Reinach's theory of social acts as a key the grounding of norms, a view that sketches the ideas 'discovered' later by Clarence I. Lewis, John Searle, Karl-Otto Apel and Jürgen Habermas. A final section discusses Nicolai Hartman, who always refused to define himself a phenomenologist and yet developed a more articulated and detailed theory of 'values' – with surprising affinities with George E. Moore - than philosophers such as Max Scheler, who claimed to be Husserl's legitimate heirs. -/- ● VI Continental philosophy: the critics of the philosophy of values 1. Freud, the Superego and Civilization 2. Heidegger on original ethos against ethics 3. Sartre and de Beauvoir on authenticity and ambiguity 4. Adorno and Horkheimer on emancipation and immoralism -/- ●VII Post-liberal theologians and religious thinkers 1. Barth on the autonomy of faith from ethics 2. Developments of Reformed moral theology after Barth 3. Bonhoeffer on the concrete divine command and ethics of penultimate realities 4. Developments of Reformed and Catholic moral theology after world war II 5. Baeck and the transformation of liberal Judaism 6. Rosenzweig against liberal Judaism 7. Buber and religion as the vital lymph of morality 8. Heschel and Judaism as a science of actions -/- The chapter examines the main protagonists of Christian theology and Jewish religious thinking in the twentieth century. It stresses how the main dilemmas of contemporary philosophical ethics lie at the root of the various path of inquiry taken by these thinkers. -/- ● VIII Normative ethics: neo-Utilitarianism 1. The discussion on act and rule utilitarianism 2. Hare on two-tiered preference utilitarianism 3. Harsanyi, Gauthier and rational choice ethics 4. Parfit, utilitarianism and the idea of a person 5. Brandt and indirect conscience utilitarianism -/- The chapter addresses the issue of the complex process of self-transformation Utilitarianism underwent after Sidgwick's and Moore's fatal criticism and the unexpected Phoenix-like process of rebirth of a doctrine refuted. Two examples give the reader a glimpse at this uproarious process. The first is Roy Harrod Wittgensteinian transformation of utilitarianism in pure normative ethics depurated from hedonism as well as from whatsoever theory of the good. This transformation results in preference utilitarianism combined with a 'Kantian' version of rule utilitarianism. The second is Richard Hare's two-level preference utilitarianism, where act utilitarianism plays the function of the eventual rational justification of moral judgments and rule-utilitarianism that of an action-guiding practical device. -/- ● IX Normative ethics: neo-Aristotelianism and virtue ethics 1. Hannah Arendt, action and judgement 2. Hans-Georg Gadamer and phronesis 3. Alasdair MacIntyre on practices, virtues, and traditions 5. Stuart Hampshire on deliberation 6. Bernard Williams and moral complexity 7. Feminist ethics -/- Sect 1 reconstructs the post-war rediscovery of ethics by many German thinkers and its culmination in the Sixties in the movement named 'Rehabilitation of practical philosophy' is described. Heidegger's most brilliant disciples were the promoters of this Rehabilitation. Hans-Georg Gadamer is a paradigmatic example. His reading of Aristotle's lesson I reconstructed, starting with Heidegger's lesson but then subtly subverting its outcome thanks to the recovery of the significant role of the notion of phronesis. Sect 3 discusses the three theses defended by Anscombe in 'Modern Moral Philosophy'. It argues that: a) her answer to the question "why should I be moral?" requires a solution of the problem of theodicy, and ignores any attempts to save the moral point of view without recourse to divine retribution; b) her notion of divine law is an odd one more neo-Augustinian than Biblical or Scholastic; c) her image of Kantian ethics and intuitionism is the impoverished image manufactured by consequentialist opponents for polemical purposes and that she seems strangely accept it; d) the difficulty of identifying the "relevant descriptions" of acts is not an argument in favour of an ethics of virtue and against consequentialism or Kantian ethics, and indeed the role of judgment in the latter is a response to the difficulties raised by the case of judgment concerning future action. The chapter gives a short look at further developments in the neo-naturalist current trough a reconstruction of Philippa Foot's and Peter Geach's critiques to the naturalist-fallacy argument and Alasdair MacIntyre's grand reconstruction of the origins and allegedly inevitable failure of the Enlightenment project of an autonomous ethic. -/- ● X Normative ethics: Kantian and rights-based ethics 1. Dialogical constructivism 2. Apel, Habermas and discourse ethics 3. Gewirth and rights-based ethics 4. Nagel on agent-relative reasons 5. Donagan and persons as ends in themselves Parallel to the neo-Aristotelian trend, there was in the Rehabilitation of practical philosophy a Kantian current. This current started with the discovery of the pragmatic dimension of language carried out by Charles Peirce and the Oxford linguistic philosophy. On this basis, Karl-Otto Apel singled out as the decisive proponent of the linguistic and Kantian turn in German-speaking ethics, worked out the performative-contradiction argument while claiming that this was able to provide a new rational and universal basis for normative ethics. The chapter offers an examination of his argument in some detail, followed by a more cursory reconstruction of Jürgen Habermas's elaboration on Apel's theory. -/- ● XI The applied ethics renaissance 1. Elisabeth Anscombe on the atom bomb 2. From medical ethics to bioethics 3. Rawls and public ethics 3. Nozick, Dworkin and further developments of public ethics 5. Sen and the revival of economic ethics -/- The chapter presents the revolution of applied ethics while stressing its methodological novelty, exemplified primarily by Beauchamp and Childress principles approach and then by Jonsen and Toulmin's new casuistry. The chapter argues that Rawls's distinction between a "political" and a "metaphysical" approach to the theory of justice, one central part of ethical theory, is a formulation of the same basic idea at the root of both the principles approach and the new casuistry, both discussed in the following chapter. The idea is that it is possible to reach an agreement concerning positive moral judgments even though the discussion is still open – and in Rawls' view never will be close – on the essential criteria for judgment. -/- ● XII Fin-de-siècle metaethics 1. Deontic logics 2. Anti-realism 3. External realism 4. Internal realism 5. Kantian constructivism -/- The chapter illustrates the fresh start of meta-ethical discussion in the Eighties and Nineties and the resulting new alignments: metaphysical naturalism, internal realism, anti-realism, and constructivism. (shrink)
This unique volume gathers Weber's writings on a broad array of themes, from the nature of work, to the political culture of democracy, to the uniqueness of the West, to the character of the family and race relations, to the role of science and the fate of ethical action in the modern world. Gathers Weber’s writings in a comprehensive collection, organized by topic. Rejuvenates a central, pivotal theme of Weberian thought: "How do we live?" and "How can we live in (...) the industrial society?” Connects Weber’s writings to contemporary issues through modern essays and editorial introductions. (shrink)
With a few notable exceptions formal semantics, as it originated from the seminal work of Richard Montague, Donald Davidson, Max Cresswell, David Lewis and others, in the late sixties and early seventies of the previous century, does not consider Wittgenstein as one of its ancestors. That honour is bestowed on Frege, Tarski, Carnap. And so it has been in later developments. Most introductions to the subject will refer to Frege and Tarski (Carnap less frequently) —in addition to the pioneers (...) just mentioned, of course— , and discuss the main elements of their work that helped shape formal semantics in some detail. But Wittgenstein is conspicuously absent whenever the history of the subject is mentioned (usually brieﬂy, if at all). Of course, if one thinks of Wittgenstein’s later work, this is obvious: nothing, it seems, could be more antithetic to what formal semantics aims for and to how it pursues those aims than the views on meaning and language that Wittgenstein expounds in, e.g., Philosophical Investigations, with its insistence on particularity and diversity, and its rejection of explanation and formal modelling. But what about his earlier work, the Tractatus (henceforth )? At ﬁrst sight, that seems much more congenial, as it develops a conception of language and meaning that is both general and uniform, explanatory.. (shrink)
Luther, A. R. The articulated unity of being in Scheler's phenomenology : basic drive and spirit.--Funk, R. L. Thought, values, and action.--Emad, P. Person, death, and world.--Smith, F. J. Peace and pacifism.--Scheler, M. Metaphysics and art.--Scheler, M. The meaning of suffering.
_A collection of illuminating observations on life and art, from an acclaimed Swiss modernist_ Revered by Bertolt Brecht and Max Frisch as one of Switzerland’s most commanding writers, Ludwig Hohl spent most of his waking hours with a pen in hand, collecting quotes from others and recording ruminations of his own. Composed between 1934 and 1936 during his residence in the Netherlands in a state of “extreme spiritual desolation,” _The Notes_ is Hohl’s magnum opus: an assemblage of his epiphany-like observations, (...) disparate in subject yet threaded together by a relentless exploration of the nature and origins of creativity. Inspired by Spinoza, Goethe, and many others, _The Notes_ contends with the purpose of work, the vitality of art, and the inevitability of death—a valiant, uncompromising exercise in hope against the devastating backdrop of twentieth-century Europe. This abridged edition, expertly translated by Tess Lewis and with an illuminating foreword by Joshua Cohen, introduces the reader to this remarkable work and its writer. (shrink)
Second part of the translation into Spanish of David Lewis' "New Work for a Theory of Universals", corresponding to the last sections of the original paper. || Segunda parte de la traducción al español del trabajo de David Lewis "New Work for a Theory of Universals", correspondiente a últimas secciones del artículo original. Artículo original publicado en: Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 61, No. 4, Dec. 1983, pp. 343-377.
This book presents the current thinking of some of the most famous people in the intellectual world. Two opening essays by Lewis Mumford and Robert Theobald discuss the role of technology in history, man and technology, and technological possibilities for the future. Other contributors include such well-known figures as Max Lerner, Edgar Z. Friedenberg, Seymour Melman, Seymour Martin Lipset, and Ashley Montagu. Essays center around key issues in the study of technology, its relationship to authority or leadership elites, its (...) potential impact on forms of social organization, its effect in producing counter-culture alternatives and its relationship to humanism. (shrink)
Part 1. FOUNDERS AND FIRSTCOMERS1: David Zimmerman: 'Protests Butter no Parsnips': Lord Beveridge and the Rescue of Refugee Academics from Europe, 1933-19382: William Lanouette: A Narrow Margin of Hope: Leo Szilard in the Founding Days of CARA3: Paul Weindling: From Refugee Assistance to Freedom of Learning: the Strategic Vision of A. V. Hill, 1933-19644: Gustav Born: Refugee Scientists in a New Environment5: Georgina Ferry: Max Perutz and the SPSLPART 2. TESS - THE LINCHPIN6: Paul Broda: Esther Simpson: A Correspondence7: (...) class='Hi'>Lewis Elton: Eva and EstherPART 3. ASSOCIATES AND ALLIES8: Gerald Kreft: 'Dedicated to Represent the True Spirit of the German Nation in the World': Philipp Schwartz , Founder of the Notgemeinschaft9: Tibor Frank: Organized Rescue Operations in Europe and the United States, 1933-194510: Susan Cohen: In Defence of Academic Women Refugees: The British Federation of University Women11: Stina Lyon: Karl Mannheim and Viola Klein: Refugee Sociologists in Search of Social Democratic PracticePART 4. REVERSING THE GAZE12: Christian Fleck: Austrian Refugee Social Scientists13: Antoon de Baets: Plutarch's Thesis: The Contribution of Refugee Historians to Historical Writing, 1945-201014: Marina Yu Sorokina: Within Two Tyrannies: The Soviet Academic Refugees of the Second World War15: Antonín Kostlán and Soña Strbáñová: Czech Scholars in Exile, 1948-198916: Shula Marks: 'Bending the rules': South African Refugees in the UK, 1960-198017: Alan Phillips: Refugee Academics from Chile: WUS-SPSL CollaborationLucia Muñoz: Postscript. (shrink)
The book reconstructs the history of Western ethics. The approach chosen focuses the endless dialectic of moral codes, or different kinds of ethos, moral doctrines that are preached in order to bring about a reform of existing ethos, and ethical theories that have taken shape in the context of controversies about the ethos and moral doctrines as means of justifying or reforming moral doctrines. Such dialectic is what is meant here by the phrase ‘moral traditions’, taken as a name for (...) threads of moral discourse, made in turn of other interwoven threads, including transmission of shared codes, appeals to reform of prevailing custom, rational argument about the justification of some precept on the basis of some shared general teaching or principle, and rational argument about the ultimate basis for principles and justification of authoritative teaching. That is, the approach adopted to the reading of ethical texts depends on a firm belief in the fact that philosophers hardly created any ethical doctrine out of nothing. The main point this book tries to highlight is how different philosophical theories emerged and followed each other as a result of attempts at accounting for what was going on in the world of moral traditions. Changes were propelled by controversies between different schools, and highly abstract arguments were the unintended effects of moves made by controversialists forced to transform (and occasionally to turn upside down) their own doctrines in order to face the challenge posed by other arguments. This is the reason why the book examines not only texts that already enjoy pride of place in the history of philosophy (Aristotle, Kant, Hegel), but also other texts usually treated in the histories of religions (the Bible, the Talmud, the Quran), and others considered to be much less philosophical (Plutarchus, Pufendorf). -/- 1. Plato and a response to ethical scepticism. Two different traditions of morality in VI-V century Greece are described. The birth of philosophical questioning of traditional morality and temporal and spatial variation of custom is described within the context of the v century crisis, the demise of traditional aristocratic and tyrannical rule and the birth of democracy. Two conflicting answers to the challenge are reconstructed, namely conventionalist or immoralist theories formulated by the Sophists and the eudemonist and intellectualist Socratic theory. Plato’s own reformulation of Socrates answer to the Sophists is reconstructed. His psychological views, his classification of the four cardinal virtues and his political theory are described as parts of a unitary system, culminating in an extremely realist moral ontology identifying the idea of the good with the essence of the (moral and extra-moral) world itself. -/- 2. Aristotle and the invention of practical philosophy. Aristotle’s invention of practical philosophy as a field separated from first philosophy is shown to be an implication of his break with Plato moral ultra-realism. Aristotle’s agenda in his moral works is arguably dependent on a polemical intention, namely dismantling Socratic intellectualism. The semi-inductive or virtuously circular method of practical philosophy is illustrated, starting with the received opinions of the better and wiser individuals and trying dialectically to sift what is left of mistake and inconsistence in such opinions, finally trying to correct mistakes and make the overall practical science more consistent. The chapter illustrates then the relationship of individual ethics, or ‘monastics’, with the art and the science of the pater familias, or ‘economics’, and the science of the ruler and citizen, or politics. The nature of virtues, or better, excellences of character, is discussed, highlighting the basic role of hexis, or ‘disposition’. Prudence, or better practical wisdom, is the focus of the chapter. Its relationship with bouleusis or deliberation is examined, and its autonomous status vis-à-vis theoretical knowledge is stressed. -/- 3. Diogenes and philosophy as a way of life. The chapter provides an overview of Hellenistic ethics, which almost amounts to Hellenistic schools of philosophy, in so far as ‘philosophy’ became in these centuries primarily the name for a way of life. The typical character of the Cynical movement is highlighted, that of a school of life, not a school aimed at providing any kind of intellectual training was to be provided. -/- 4. Epicurus and ethics as self-care. The peculiar character of the Epicurean school is described, a combination of a science of well-being aiming, more than at pleasure as in the popular view, at reduction of useless suffering, of unnecessary needs, and at a balanced selection of pleasures of the best and most durable kind. -/- 5. Epictetus and ethics as therapy of the passions. The various phases of Stoicism are described, and the shifting place given to ethics in the Stoic system of idea, culminating in the paradoxical view of ethics, its impossibility in principle notwithstanding, as the only truly significant and necessary part of philosophy. Cicero is treated, showing how his own synthesis of various Hellenistic trends is as a truly philosophical enterprise, deserving serious consideration after one or two centuries when he was confined to the role of literate. Epictetus is chosen as the best example of what the Stoic tradition could yield, an art of living based on sophisticated introspection, in turn aimed at making a kind of cognitive therapy possible, dismantling obnoxious passions at their root by systematically correcting false representations. -/- 6. Philo and the reconciliation of Torah and Platonism. A reconstruction of basic ideas from a few books of the Hebrew Bible is provided, starting with the Prophetic tradition and the focus on God’s mercy as the source of motivation and standard for human behaviour. Then a comparative analysis is undertaken of a parallel tradition, namely the three codifications of the Torā (Law or, better, Instruction), highlighting how a core of moral ideas may be recognized as a basis and preamble of codification of civil law, cultural practice, and regulation of ritual purity. The importance of Leviticus is stressed as the turning point when emphasis mercy, typical of the Prophetic tradition, is combined with the legal tradition, yielding the change in sensibility of the Second Temple time. Philo of Alexandria is described as one of the three leading figures – together with Rabbi Hillel and Rabbi Yeshua – at the apex the emergence of the mentioned new sensibility, gradually including mercy as an essential part of justice and establishing the starting point of both the Rabbinic and the Christian tradition. This consists precisely in the precept of one’s neighbour’s love or of the golden rule, two eventually identical precepts whose meaning is arguably more sober and sensible than the long-lasting Christian tradition deriving from John and Augustine has made us believe and no novelty vis-à-vis so-called Ancient-Testament teachings. -/- 7. Augustine and Christianity as Neo-Platonism. The first section examines the moral doctrines of so-called 'ethical Treaties' from the Talmud, a group of treaties, among which the best known is Pirqé Avot, that were left out of the six "orders" of the canon as they did not fit in any of the six groups of issues ritual or legal on which the division was based. According to Maimonides, their peculiar theme is provided by the Deòt, 'opinions', i.e., mental dispositions, that is, the translation of the Greek term hexeis and Arab akhlak (in turn providing in this language the name for ethics as such). The three topics I reconstruct are: i) the notion of Torah: The Torah is understood as the world order itself, or as the ‘Wisdom’ that existed even before creation and was ‘the tool by which the world was built’; however, the Torah is an earthly and human entity, as it was "received" by humans, and from that very moment belongs to them; ii) the relationship between love of God and love of neighbour; the treaties require us to study and practice the Torah ‘for its own sake’, that is, require us to act out of love, not out of fear or hope of reward; iii) the idea of sanctification of daily life: having disappeared with the destruction of the Temple the possibility of any conflict between liturgical service and everyday life, the latter is assumed to be in itself divine service: to give food to the poor has the same value as sacrifices in the Temple, and as an implication, the insistence become recurrent on the goodness of created things in themselves along with a polemic against ascetic currents. The conclusions drawn are: i) the moral teachings of the Talmud and those of Yeshua are, rather than similar, virtually identical; one may safely say that the precept of love and the golden rule are central ones for all Talmudic rabbis, that mercy plays an indispensable role alongside with justice, and the latter is not a different thing from one’s neighbour’s love; ii) a peculiarity of Talmud rabbis facing Yeshua is the idea of study as worship, and knowledge as a source of justice; but this is an idea of Judaism after the Temple's destruction that cannot be attributed to the Pharisees of Yeshua’s time; iii) the relation of study and practice in the Talmud parallels that between faith and deeds in Paul's epistles, that is, respectively faith or learning are a necessary and sufficient condition to be recognized as righteous , but deeds are the inevitable effect of either faith or learning. The sayings ascribed to Yeshua are examined first, yielding the conclusion that a close equivalent may be found for every saying in Talmudic literature and yet the whole is ascribed to one rabbi, with rather consistent stress on God’s mercy and unconditional forgiving as the mark of true imitation of God. Thus, Yeshua’s teaching is pure Judaism. The third section describes briefly the galaxy of Gnostic currents and Manichaeism, trying to sketch the profile of moral teachings resulting from an encounter of Asian spiritual traditions, Hellenistic lore and sparks of teachings from apocalyptic Jewish currents. The last section summarizes the turbulent history of several encounters between Christian currents and Hellenistic philosophical schools. The first one was with late Cynicism. Recent, rather controversial, literature discovered the jargon and a few topics from the Stoic-Cynical popular philosophy in a few books from the New Testament itself. This, far from proving that Rabbi Yeshua had been influenced by cynic preachers, is a proof of the necessity felt by Christian preachers to translate the original ‘Christian’ teaching into a Greek lexicon deeply impregnated with cynic terminology. The second was with Platonism, yielding the mild and temperate moral teaching of Clemens of Alexandria, teaching the sanctity of nature and the human body, the joy of moderate fruition of ‘natural’ kinds of pleasures, and the beauty of the marital life – in short, the opposite of the standard picture of Medieval Christianity. Ambrose of Milan brings about a different kind of synthesis, namely with Middle Platonism, where Stoic themes prevail. The most shocking case is Augustine, where an early Manichean education is overcome in a former phase by a synthesis of Plotinian Neo-Platonism and Christian preaching, yielding a sustained polemic with the Manicheans and rather optimistic views on life and Creation, the body and sexuality, and Hebrew-Judaic tradition not far from Clemens of Alexandria. In a later phase, occasioned by controversy on the opposite front, with such Christian currents as the Pelagians and Donatists, Augustine comes back to heavily anti-Judaic and world-denying ascetic attitudes where is earlier Manichean upbringing seems to emerge again. The tragedy of medieval Christianity will be the later Augustine’s overwhelming influence. A final section is dedicated to the monastic tradition where a curious mixture of world-denying asceticism with an astonishingly penetrating ‘science’ of introspection emerges. -/- 8. Al Farabi and the reconciliation of Islam and Platonism. The Qurān and the qadit, that is, collections of sayings ascribed to the prophet Muhammad contain a wealth of precepts and catalogues of virtues mirroring moral contents from the Jewish and the Christian traditions, among them the basic notion of imitation of the Deity, where mercy is assumed to be its basic trait. An important tradition within Islam, namely Sufism, stressed to the utmost degree the role of mercy, turning Islam into a mystic doctrine centred on retreat from the world, abandonment to God’s will, and a peaceful and fraternal attitude to our fellow-beings. A secular literary tradition originating in the Sassanid Empire, the literature of advice to the Prince had for a time a widespread influence in the newly constituted Arabic-Islamic commonwealth. In a later phase, the legacy of Hellenic philosophy made its way into the intellectual elite of the Islamic world. The first important legacy was Platonic, and the Republic became the main text for Islamic Platonism. Al-Farabi wrote an enjoyable remake of the Platonic Republic, arguing that the citizen’s virtues were the basis on which the political building needs to rest. The secular lawgiver is enlightened by the light of reason in his everyday practice of governance, but room is made for the Prophet as the voice of revealed truth that confirms and completes the rational truth that philosophy may afford. In a second phase also Aristotelian and Stoic influence were assimilated. Miskawayh’s treatise was the masterwork at the time Arabic philosophy reached its Zenith. It is a treatment of the soul’s diseases and their remedies, combining the Aristotelian doctrine of the golden mean with the Stoic doctrine of the passions and elements of Galenic medicine. Towards the eleventh-twelve centuries a war raged among theologians and philosophers, finally won by the former with disappearance of philosophy as such. The newly established mainstream, yet, was no kind of intolerant fanaticism. It drew from the work of mystic theologian Al-Ghazālī, the best heir of Sufism, teaching a tolerant and peaceful attitude to our fellow-beings and a passive attitude to destiny as an expression of the Divine will. -/- 9. Moshe ben Maimon and the reconciliation of Torah and Aristotelian ethics. The encounter between the Talmudic tradition and Hellenic philosophy had taken place a first time in Alexandria at the time of Philo but the two traditions had parted way again. In fact, the kind of Platonic Judaism founded by Philo survived only within Christianity, in the fourth Gospel and then in writings by Clemens of Alexandria. The Talmudic literature had absorbed just less striking traits from the Hellenic Philosophy, namely an idea of ethics as care of the self and a role for the education of character as propaedeutic to theoretical knowledge. In the Arabic-Islamic world, a second round started when Jewish authors writing in Arabic undertook the task to prove the full compatibility of the tradition deriving from Torah and Platonic philosophy. The culmination of this attempt is provided by Moshe ben Maimon who tried to use Aristotelian ethics as a language into which the teaching from the Pirké Avot could be translated. -/- 10. Thomas Aquinas and the reconciliation of Christian morality and Aristotelian ethics. In the first section the fresh start is described of philosophical ethics in Latin Europe at the turn of the Millennium. In a first phase, Anselm and Peter Abelard built on a Platonic and Augustinian legacy. In this phase. remarkable innovations are introduced, including Abelard’s claim of the obliging character of erring consciousness. In a second phase, the rediscovery of Nicomachean Ethics thanks to Latin translation of Arabic versions gives birth to a new wave of ethical studies, recovering the very idea of Aristotelian practical philosophy, with the potential implication of full legitimization of natural morality, i.e. ethics without Revelation. Aquinas’s ethics is a theological ethics out of which it would be vain to try to extract a self-contained philosophical ethics. His treatment of topics in philosophical ethics, yet, does not boil down to repetition of Aristotelian arguments but is rather a creative reshaping of such arguments. For example, he introduces also in the practical philosophy a first principle parallel to the principle of non-contradiction; and he also carries out a synthesis of Aristotelianism, Stoicism, and neo-Platonism. Even though it is essentially moral theology, Aquinas’s doctrine - unlike Augustine – grants full citizenship to "natural" morality, firstly by rejecting the claim that the corruption of human nature due to the original sin is so radical as to leave "pure nature" incapable of moral goodness. The doctrine is presented in a more sophisticated formulation in a few of the Quaestiones, such as De Malo and De Veritate, in the Summa contra Gentes and in the commentaries to Aristotle than in the famous Summa Theologica, but the latter work includes the only or the largest exposition of some decisive part of the theory. Thus, the Summa Theologica should be read for what it is more than criticized for not being what it was not meant to be. It was not meant to be the brilliant synthesis of all that Reason he had been able to produce with what Revelation had added about which the Neo-Thomists used to dream, but rather a manual for the training of preachers and confessors, where theoretical claims are not too demanding and a few serious tensions are left. Besides a jump between the Prima Secundae and the Secunda Secundae, being the former an essay in virtue theory and the latter a handbook for confessors, the most serious tension is perhaps the one between the ethics of right reason presented in most of Ia-IIae and the eudemonistic ethics developed in quaestiones 1-5 of the same part; the alternative ethical theory which also may be found in Augustine, the Stoic view of a cosmic reason eventually coincident with the moral law, was believed by Anselm (followed by John Duns Scotus and William of Ockham) to be incompatible with eudemonism. It is questionable whether Thomas could reduce the tension proving that it is just an apparent tension, in so far as the right reason and bliss derived from knowledge of God tend to coincide, but this is just a conjecture. Thomas’s ethics is a virtue ethic, not a law-based one, and moral judgment focuses on the virtues, particularly charity, not on the commandments and even less on absolute prohibitions; Thomas, however, would not have considered a drastic alternative between law and the virtues such as the one which has been advanced in late twentieth-century philosophy to be justified. Nonetheless, when it discusses ‘special’ virtues, it ceases to be an ethics of virtue and becomes a disappointing and often contradictory discussion of legal and illegal acts. Such a discussion takes most of the time ‘reasonable’ middle positions on controversial issues but not the alternative approach that Aristotelianism would have made possible; even when some occasional Aristotelian claim shows up, such as money’s barrenness as a reason against usury, this seems to be made by an author who apparently ignores the Aristotelian Thomas of the Prima Secundae. It is an ethic of human autonomy which recognizes the binding character of the individual conscience and, potentially, even a duty to disobey unjust laws. It is true that what Thomas writes in his discussion of death penalty and persecution of heretics is simply disgusting, and yet we should blame Thomas the man, not Thomist ethical theory. Finally, Thomas’s ethics is not ethical ‘absolutism’, as both traditionalist Catholic theologians and secularist enemies of dogmatic morality tend to believe. It is instead an ethic of prudential judgment. Exceptions to this approach – or better results of logical fallacies – are such claims as the absolute character of negative precepts and of the existence of "intrinsically evil acts", claims that simply cease to make sense in the light of Thomas’s own distinction between human act and natural act, carrying consequences Thomas did not live long enough to draw or was not consistent enough to dare to draw. -/- 11. Francisco de Vitoria and casuistry. The first topic illustrated is the discussion about the notion of pura natura, namely the human condition after the original sin and before divine revelation. The core notion was already there in Aquinas but was later developed by Caietanus (Thomas de Vio) with a number of interesting implications: firstly a view of human nature as such much more positive than Augustine’s and his followers’ view, including both Calvinists and Jansenists; secondly, the implication that the philosopher’s morality, as opposed to the Christian’s morality, is a quite respectable kind of morality; thirdly, that theocracy and prosecution of the unfaithful lacked justification, with more far-fetching consequences than Aquinas himself had dared to draw. The second topic is casuistry, a new name for a comparatively older way of thinking, which was already there in late Stoicism and Cicero as well as in the Talmudic literature. This is an approach aimed at yielding probable enough solutions for doubtful cases even in absence of completely safe staring points. The genre developed from medieval reference books for confessors and became by the sixteenth-century a sophisticated tool-box for dealing with various fields of applied ethics. Francisco Vitoria, the main authority of Baroque Scholasticism, was a controversial figure, among the proponents of the new discipline of casuistry and a consistent proponent of more separation between the religious and the civil authority, stricter limits to the legitimacy of war, innate rights of non-Christian nations in the New World based on the notion of pura natura, providing a standard of ‘natural’ goodness, previous to revelation, on which the Indian nations were judged to live in a naturally good condition, provided with the institutions of family, justice, and religion had accordingly a right to full respect by Christian sovereigns. Bartolomé de Las Casas, arguing along similar lines, was the leader of a historical battle in defence of the rights of the Indios. -/- 12. Michel de Montaigne and the art of living. A short description of one of the Renaissance Phyrronism, one of the classical philosophies revived in the fifteenth and sixteenth century. Montaigne combines the sceptical epistemology with an understanding of ethics – indeed of philosophy as a whole – in terms of an art of living inspired by two basic ideas, sagesse, that is, practical wisdom as the only kind of rationality available after theology, science, and tradition have declared bankrupt, and an aesthetic ideal of self-transformation through the art of writing and introspection. -/- 13. Pierre Nicole and neo-Augustinianism. The chapter illustrates first the vicissitudes of Augustinianism newly born after the late medieval triumph of Thomist Aristotelianism in the alternative Protestant and Catholic versions processed by the Calvinists and the Jansenists. Then it illustrates the doctrines of Pierre Nicole, Blaise Pascal’s best disciple, on the impossibility of introspection, on the ubiquity of self-deception, on the incurably evil character of the passion of love, and on the two moralities, the one of the man of the world, the morality of honesty which is indispensable for granting peace and order but devoid of any true value for eternal salvation, since the same external behaviour may be prompted by opposite motivations, and the morality of charity, the only true one but also useless to society. The third topic is Pierre Malebranche’s view of self-deception as a ubiquitous phenomenon accounting for human action and responsibility and his reformulated theory of self-love, no less ubiquitous than for Nicole and yet not as incurably evil, given the distinction between morally indifferent and even necessary amour de soi and vicious amour proper, a distinction on which the whole of Rousseau’s moral and political theory rests. -/- 14. Samuel von Pufendorf and the new science of morality. The chapter is dedicated to the discovery of the idea of a ‘new moral science’. Hugo Grotius is discussed first highlighting the real character of his project, much closer to the Thomist idea of a natural law accessible to non-corrupted human reason when human beings are living in a state of pura natura. Then Hobbes’s combination of scepticism, voluntarism, and conventionalism is described and both the continuity with Grotius’s new science, in the search for non-revealed rational morality, and the break with him, in the adoption of voluntarism and refusal of an intellectualist view of natural law, are illustrated. Pufendorf’s work is illustrated as a synthesis of the two previous attempts and the – up to Schneewind underestimated – paradigmatic example of the new science of morality. -/- 15. Richard Cumberland and consequentialist voluntarism. The chapter gives an overview of eighteenth-century Anglican ethics, noticing how the Cambridge tradition gave special weight to natural theology as opposed to positive or revealed theology – and how two Cambridge fellows, John Gay and Thomas Brown, elaborated on Cumberland’s (and Malebranche’s, as well as Leibniz’s) strategy for finding a third way between intellectualist view and voluntarist view of the laws of nature. The result of their elaboration was a kind of a rational-choice account of the origins of natural laws, where a law-giver God chooses among a number possible sets of laws on a maximizing criterion, and God’s maximandum is happiness for his creatures. The chapter notices also how such a solution aimed at solving at once the problem of evil and that of the foundation of moral obligation by proving how God’s choice was justified as far as it was the one minimising the amount of suffering in the world. 16. Richard Price and intuitionism. The chapter describes first the doctrines of the Cambridge Platonists, an example of hyper-rationalist reaction to Calvinism. Secondly it describes the sophisticated and universally ignored – from Sidgwick to Anscombe –version of what was later labelled ‘ethical intuitionism’ – showing how it escapes familiar objections and misrepresentations of intuitionism – from Mill to Rawls – in grounding its argument on transcendental arguments while carefully avoiding recourse to introspection and psychological evidence, which has been taken as a too easy target by critics of intuitionism. Thirdly, the chapter discusses Whewell’s ‘philosophy of morality’, as opposed to ‘systematic morality’, not unlike Kant’s distinction between a pure and an empirical moral philosophy. Whewell worked out a systematization of traditional normative ethics as a first step before its rational justification; he believed that the point in the philosophy of morality is justifying a few rational truths about the structure of morality such as to rule hedonism, eudemonism, and consequentialism; yet a system of positive morality cannot be derived solely from such rational truths but requires consideration of the ongoing dialectics between idea and fact in historically given moralities. Whewell’s intuitionism turns out closer to Kantian ethics than commentators have made us believe until now, and quite different from what Sidgwick meant by intuitionism. -/- 17. Adam Smith and the morality of role-switch. The chapter describes first, Hutcheson’s attempt at basing the ‘new science’ of natural law on different bedrock than Pufendorf and the English Platonists, namely a moral sense, a faculty whose existence is assumed to be proved on an empirical basis. The second step is a reconstruction of Hume’s rejoinder in terms of a new science of man including morality on an ‘experimental’ basis, that is, a ‘Newtonian’ hypothetical-deductive approach, distinguished from Hutcheson’s allegedly uncritical descriptive approach to human nature. The third step is a reconstruction of Adam Smith theory of morality understood as emerging from a spontaneous interplay of exchanges of situations (the most basic meaning of the word ‘sympathy’ as construed by this author). -/- 18. Jeremy Bentham and utilitarianism. The bulk of the chapter is dedicated to the doctrines of Jeremy Bentham. The Enlightenment spirit that suggested the idea of a new morality, free from religion, is illustrated. The notion of utility is illustrated as well as the subsequent formulations of the principle of utility. The idea of felicific calculus is discussed, showing how its inner difficulties prompted several reformulations of the principle of utility in order to avoid undesirable implications of proposed formulations. The role of the thesis of spontaneous convergence between interest and duty is discussed, showing how it left numberless questions open, and the distinction between the virtues of prudence, justice and beneficence is described as a way out of the deadlocks of classical utilitarianism. After Bentham, Mill’s reformed utilitarianism is reconstructed, showing how it is a kind of mixed system – as closer to common sense as it gives up Bentham’s claims to consistency and simplicity – resulting as unintended consequences from the controversies in which Mill was too keen to engage. The hidden agenda of the controversy between Utilitarianism and Intuitionism, going beyond the image of the battle between Prejudice and Reason, is described, showing how both competing philosophical outlooks turn out to be more research programs than self-contained doctrinal bodies, and such programs appear to be implemented, and indeed radically transformed while in progress thanks to their enemies no less than to their supporters. -/- 19. Immanuel Kant, practical reason and judgment. The chapter argues that Kant took from Moses Mendelssohn the idea of a distinction between geometry of morals and a practical ethic. He was drastically misunderstood by his followers precisely on this point. He had learned from the sceptics and the Jansenists the lesson that men are prompted to act by deceptive ends, and he was aware that human actions are also empirical phenomena, where laws like the laws of Nature may be detected. His practical ethics made room for judgment as a holistic procedure for assessing the saliency of relevant moral qualities in one given situation; this procedure yields the same results as the geometry of morals does for abstract cases but does so immediately and without balancing conflicting duties with each other, since what makes for the salient quality of a situation is perceived from the very beginning. Kant's practical philosophy is richer than the received image, making room for an ‘empirical moral philosophy’ or moral anthropology including treatment of commerce, needs, value and price, happiness and well-being; the overall social theory and philosophy of history is less different from Adam Smith's than the received image makes believe; the paradox of happiness is central to Kant's philosophy; a distinction between happiness and well-being is clearly drawn; the distinction plays a basic role in establishing a link between the economic and the moral life. -/- 20. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and the critique of abstract universalism. The chapter describes first the Romantic movement and the implications some of its concerns, rescuing passions, community, tradition, the individual as the bearer of a unique destiny, and the longing for organic unity between the individual, mankind and nature. Hegel’s contribution is discussed then, highlighting how, on the one hand, he shared a number of these concerns and on the other he had more rationalist leanings. The notion of morality is the pivotal point of the reconstruction, highlighting how Hegel construes this notion as a key to his own diagnosis of the malaise of modernity – the separation of individual and Gemeinschaft – and how his attack on Kant turns around this very idea. -/- 21. Friedrich Nietzsche against Christianity and the Enlightenment. The chapter illustrates first the idea of deconstruction of the back-world of values. Nietzsche claims to be legitimate heir of the French moralists, Leibniz, Kant and Hegel, in so far as he allegedly carries out to its deepest implications their discovery of what lies behind traditional naïve belief in the existence of an objective realm of values just waiting for description by the philosopher. The two exemplars form which genealogy draws inspiration are the classical philologist’s historical reconstructions of lost meanings and the chemist’s decomposition of elements. Then the genealogy of the notions of good and evil carried out in the first dissertation of Genealogy of morals is illustrated with its paradoxical conclusion that will to power is in fact the only ‘genuine’ kind of goodness. The third point illustrated is the dialectic of ascetism and self-realization with its ambiguous outcome. The suggested interpretation of such outcome is that Nietzsche’s normative ethics is a kind of virtue ethics taking an aesthetic ideal as a normative standard -/- 22. George Edward Moore and ideal utilitarianism. The chapter discusses the ideas of common sense and common-sense morality in Sidgwick. I argue that, far from aiming at overcoming common-sense morality, Sidgwick aimed purposely at grounding a consist code of morality by methods allegedly taken from the natural sciences to reach, also in ethics, the same kind of “mature” knowledge as in the natural sciences. His whole polemics with intuitionism was vitiated by the a priori assumption that the widespread ethos of the educated part of humankind, not the theories of the intuitionist philosophers, was what was worth considering as the expression of intuitionist ethics. In spite of a naïve positivist starting-point, Sidgwick was encouraged by his own approach in exploring the fruitfulness of coherentist methods for normative ethics. Thus, Sidgwick left an ambivalent legacy to twentieth-century ethics: the dogmatic idea of a “new” morality of a consequentialist kind, and the fruitful idea that we can argue rationally in normative ethics albeit without shared foundations. Then it reconstructs the background of ideas, concerns and intentions out of which Moore’s early essays, the preliminary version, and then the final version of Principia Ethica originated. I stress the role of religious concerns, as well as that of the Idealist legacy. I argue that PE is more a patchwork of rather diverging contributions than a unitary work, not to say the paradigm of a new school in Ethics. I add a comparison with Rashdall’s almost contemporary ethical work, suggesting that the latter defends the same general claims in a different way, one that manages to pave decisive objections in a more plausible way. I end by suggesting that the emergence of Analytic Ethics was a more ambiguous phenomenon than the received view would make us believe, and that the wheat (or some other gluten-free grain) of this tradition, that is, what logic can do for philosophy, should be separated from the chaff, that is, the confused and mutually incompatible legacies of Utilitarianism and Idealism. -/- 23. Edmund Husserl and the a-priori of action. The chapter illustrates first the idea of phenomenology and the Husserl’s project of a phenomenological ethic as illustrated in his 1908-1914 lectures. The key idea is dismissing psychology and trying to ground a new science of the a priori of action, within which a more restricted field of inquiry will be the science of right actions. Then the chapter illustrates the criticism of modern moral philosophy carried out in the 1920 lectures, where the main target is naturalism, understood in the Kantian meaning of primacy of common sense. The third point illustrate is Adolph Reinach’s theory of social acts as a key the grounding of norms, a view that basically sketches the very ideas ‘discovered’ later by Clarence I. Lewis, John Searle, Karl-Otto Apel and Jürgen Habermas. A final section is dedicated to Nicolai Hartman, who always refused to define himself a phenomenologist and yet developed a more articulated and detailed theory of ‘values’ – with surprising affinities with George E. Moore - than philosophers such as Max Scheler who claimed to Husserl’s legitimate heirs. -/- 24. Bertrand Russell and non-cognitivism. The chapter reconstructs first the discussion after Moore. The naturalistic-fallacy argument was widely accepted but twisted to prove instead that the intuitive character of the definition of ‘good’, its non-cognitive meaning, in a first phase identified with ‘emotive’ meaning. Alfred Julius Ayer is indicated as a typical proponent of such non-cognitivist meta-ethics. More detailed discussion is dedicated to Bertrand Russell’s ethics, a more nuanced and sophisticated doctrine, arguing that non-cognitivism does not condemn morality to arbitrariness and that the project of a rational normative ethics is still possible, heading finally to the justification of a kind of non-hedonist utilitarianism. Stevenson’s theory, another moderate version of emotivism is discussed at some length, showing how the author comes close to the discovery of the role of a pragmatic dimension of language as a basis for ethical argument. Last of all, the discussion from the Forties about Hume’s law is described, mentioning Karl Popper’s argument and Richard Hare’s early non-cognitivist but non-emotivist doctrine named prescriptivism. -/- 25. Elizabeth Anscombe and the revival of virtue ethics. The chapter discusses the three theses defended by Anscombe in 'Modern Moral Philosophy'. I argue that: a) her answer to the question "why should I be moral?" requires a solution of the problem of theodicy, and ignores any attempts to save the moral point of view without recourse to divine retribution; b) her notion of divine law is an odd one more neo-Augustinian than Biblical or Scholastic; c) her image of Kantian ethics and intuitionism is the impoverished image manufactured by consequentialist opponents for polemical purposes and that she seems strangely accept it; d) the difficulty of identifying the "relevant descriptions" of acts is not an argument in favour of an ethics of virtue and against consequentialism or Kantian ethics, and indeed the role of judgment in the latter is a response to the difficulties raised by the case of judgment concerning future action. A short look at further developments in the neo-naturalist current is given trough a reconstruction of Philippa Foot’s and Peter Geach’s critiques to the naturalist-fallacy argument and Alasdair MacIntyre’s grand reconstruction of the origins and allegedly unavoidable failure of the Enlightenment project of an autonomous ethic. -/- 26. Richard Hare and neo-Utilitarianism. The chapter addresses the issue of the complex process of self-transformation Utilitarianism underwent after Sidgwick’s and Moore’s fatal criticism and the unexpected Phoenix-like process of rebirth of a doctrine definitely refuted. A glimpse at this uproarious process is given through two examples. The first is Roy Harrod Wittgensteinian transformation of Utilitarianism in pure normative ethics depurated from hedonism as well as from whatsoever theory of the good. This results in preference utilitarianism combined with a ‘Kantian’ version of rule utilitarianism. The second is Richard Hare’s two-level preference utilitarianism where act utilitarianism plays the function of eventual rational justification of moral judgments and rule-utilitarianism that of action-guiding practical device. -/- 27. Hans-Georg Gadamer and rehabilitation of practical philosophy. The post-war rediscovery of ethics by many German thinkers and its culmination in the Sixties in the movement named ‘Rehabilitation of practical philosophy’ is described. Among the actors of such rehabilitation there were a few of Heidegger’s most brilliant disciples, and Hans-Georg Gadamer is chosen as a paradigmatic example. His reading of Aristotle’s lesson I reconstructed, starting with Heidegger’s lesson but then subtly subverting its outcome thanks to the recovery of the central role of the notion of phronesis. -/- 28. Karl-Otto Apel and the revival of Kantian ethics. Parallel to the neo-Aristotelian trend, there was in the Rehabilitation of practical philosophy a Kantian current. This started, instead than the rehabilitation of prudence, with the discovery of the pragmatic dimension of language carried out by Charles Peirce and the Oxford linguistic philosophy. On this basis, Karl-Otto Apel singled out as the decisive proponent of the linguistic and Kantian turn in German-speaking ethics, worked out the performative-contradiction argument while claiming that this was able to provide a new rational and universal basis for normative ethics. An examination of his argument is some detail is offered, followed by a more cursory reconstruction of Jürgen Habermas’s elaboration on Apel’s theory. -/- 29. John Rawls and public ethics as applied ethics. Rawls’s distinction between a “political” and a “metaphysical” approach to one central part of ethical theory, namely the theory of justice, is interpreted as a formulation of the same basic idea at the root of both the principles approach and neo-casuistry, both discussed in the following chapter, namely that it is possible to reach an agreement concerning positive moral judgments even though the discussion is still open – and in Rawls’ view never will be close – on the basic criteria for judgment. -/- 30. Beauchamp and Childress and bioethics as applied ethics. The chapter presents the revolution of applied ethics while stressing its methodological novelty, exemplified primarily by Beauchamp and Childress principles approach and then by Jonsen and Toulmin’s new casuistry. -/- . (shrink)
This volume presents the first comprehensive survey of the entire corpus of John Dewey’s work—almost one thousand items—and groups all these writings in twelve logical categories, so that the user can gain insight into_ _interrelationships among areas of Dewey’s thought and into Dewey’s total contribution to American letters. By arranging and analyzing_ _the complete body of Dewey’s published writings within the twelve areas, each with an introductory essay and bibliography, the book thus combines a thorough study of Dewey’s thought with (...) valuable reference material. The distinguished scholars contributing essays to the volume are: Herbert W. Schneider, Lewis E. Hahn, Gail Kennedy, Darnell Rucker, Wayne A. R. Leys, Bertram Morris, S. Morris Eames, Horace L. Friess, William W. Brickman, George E. Axtelle, Joe R. Burnett, Max H. Fisch, and Ou Tsuin-chen. (shrink)
This volume presents the first comprehensive survey of the entire corpus of John Dewey’s work—almost one thousand items—and groups all these writings in twelve logical categories, so that the user can gain insight into_ _interrelationships among areas of Dewey’s thought and into Dewey’s total contribution to American letters. By arranging and analyzing_ _the complete body of Dewey’s published writings within the twelve areas, each with an introductory essay and bibliography, the book thus combines a thorough study of Dewey’s thought with (...) valuable reference material. The distinguished scholars contributing essays to the volume are: Herbert W. Schneider, Lewis E. Hahn, Gail Kennedy, Darnell Rucker, Wayne A. R. Leys, Bertram Morris, S. Morris Eames, Horace L. Friess, William W. Brickman, George E. Axtelle, Joe R. Burnett, Max H. Fisch, and Ou Tsuin-chen. (shrink)
Though the title is a bit misleading, this is a splendid collection of essays, five of which are insightful philosophical commentaries on specific American philosophers and one an exercise in philosophical analysis by a distinguished living American philosopher. W. V. Quine maintains that philosophical inquiry should begin with "clear words" rather than "clear ideas" and it would seem that it also ends with words. In an essay remarkable for both its economy and clarity, Quine charts a path which begins with (...) "observation sentences" and the "primacy of bodies," passes through a "brave new ontology" in which bodies disappear and ends with a nonreductionist linguistic physicalism. Quine states that the "physicalist does not insist on an exclusively corporeal ontology. He is content to declare bodies to be fundamental to nature in somewhat this sense: There is no difference in the world without a difference in the position of states of bodies." The crucial question, as Quine readily acknowledges, is "what to count as states of bodies." Physics seems to point in the direction of a "field theory" in which "bodies themselves go by the board" leaving us with a "brave new ontology"—"the purely abstract ontology of set theory, pure mathematics." To which Quine’s response seems to be that this is so much the worse for ontology. Having earlier stressed that "all entities are theoretical," Quine now asserts that "sentences, in their truth and falsity, are what runs deep; ontology is by the way." While his physicalism is admittedly unfinished and incomplete, the direction is set—to reformulate physicalism "by reference not to physical objects but to physical vocabulary." Roland A. Delattre explores "the political implications and resonances" of Edwards’s metaphysics of beauty. Inasmuch as "beauty" is central to the Edwardean vision, Delattre contends that it must have a bearing upon politics. Admittedly going beyond "anything explicitly offered by Edwards," Delattre convincingly argues that "the logic of this vision of reality is to relativize the claim that the political order is to be understood religiously as the scene for a movement through history towards the kingdom of God." A. Robert Caponigri argues quite persuasively that transcendentalism, as expressed by Emerson and Thoreau, affirms an individualism which allows for the state only as a necessary evil. Brownson, however, rescues transcendentalism by distinguishing "civil society" from both the government and the abstract individual and showing how it serves to mediate "the claim and obligation" between state and citizen. In a delightful and informative essay, Max H. Fisch traces pragmatism backwards and forwards from James’s 1898 address to the Philosophical Union of the University of California. It was in this address that the word "pragmatism" was first used publicly but Fisch supplies compelling evidence that the structure of Peirce’s pragmatism was in print as early as 1868. In sketching the development of "pragmatism from Peirce to C. I. Lewis, Fisch gives us perceptive indications of the varieties of pragmatism. Santayana, according to Frederick A. Olafson makes some telling points against a rationalism which isolates reason from its natural conditions and continuities. But Olafson forcefully argues that Santayana jeopardizes the autonomy and significance of reason by reducing it to an esthetic epiphenomenon. Peter Fuss continues his incisive and controversial interpretation of Royce. Centering on Royce’s analysis of Hegel, Fuss maintains that while Royce occasionally flirts with the "correct" understanding of Hegel’s Absolute, he finally surrenders the view of the Absolute as an all-inclusive unity of a community of finite selves in favor of the outmoded view of the Absolute as a transcendent entity. In an unusually clear and focused introduction, the editors have provided useful mini-versions of each essay.—E.F. (shrink)
This article examines the recent work of the sociologist Arpad Szakolczai as he attempts to conceptualize the programme of ‘reflexive historical sociology’ in the ‘life-works’ of Max Weber, Eric Voegelin and Michel Foucault as well as Norbert Elias, Lewis Mumford and Franz Borkenau. Particular attention is paid to the innovative manner in which the work of the anthropologist Victor Turner is used to explore the biographies of these social theorists as in effect performative life-works in which crucial liminal periods (...) and experiences are seen as facilitating new understandings. It is suggested that the life-work approach to social theory adds an important reflexive dimension to the analysis of social thought. (shrink)