For Machiavelli, religion is valued not by the importance of its founder, the content of its teachings, the truth of its dogmas or the significance of its rites. It is not the essence of what really matters but its function and importance for collective life. Religion teaches to recognize and respect political rules through the religious commandments. This collective norm could assume the outer coercive aspect of the military discipline as well as the inner persuasive character of civic and moral (...) education for the production of collective consensus. -/- Para Maquiavel, o que confere valor a uma religião não é a importância de seu fundador, o conteúdo dos ensinamentos, a verdade dos dogmas ou a significação dos mistérios e ritos. Importa não a essência da religião e sim sua função e importância para a vida coletiva. A religião ensina a reconhecer e a respeitar as regras políticas a partir do mandamento religioso. Essa norma coletiva pode assumir tanto o aspecto coercivo exterior da disciplina militar ou da autoridade política quanto o caráter persuasivo interior da educação moral e cívica para a produção do consenso coletivo. (shrink)
This study brings light to the concepts of State and Government in the thought of Marsilio de Padua pointing out to profoundly modern institutions present in the reflection of this medieval philosopher. We attempt to show that Marsilio de Padua reflects based on Aristotle´s categories, but proposes a State and Government conception different from that common place of medieval politics as he insists on the need of the popular consent as a criterion of political legitimacy. -/- O estudo explicita os (...) conceitos de Estado e de Governo no pensamento de Marsílio de Pádua apontando as intuições profundamente modernas presentes na reflexão desse filósofo medieval. Procuramos mostrar que Marsílio reflete com categorias aristotélicas, mas propõe uma concepção de Estado e de Governo que se distancia do lugar comum da reflexão política medieval ao insistir na necessidade do consentimento dos súditos como critério de legitimidade política. (shrink)
One of the Machiavelli's most famous and innovative thesis states that good laws arise from social conflicts, according to the Roman Empire example of the opposition between plebs and nobles. Conflicts are able to bring about order in virtue of the characteristic constrictive force of necessity, which prevents the ambition to prevail. Nonetheless, law does not neutralize the conflict; just give it a regulation. So, law is subjected to history, to the continuous change, which means that it is potentially corruptible. (...) On this account, Machiavelli says that a State can only maintain its authority through a continuous return to the originary moment, viz. to the revival of the experiences of "fear", "terror" and "punishment" lived in the originary event of the foundation. For that reason, in the origin of law is also the violence, whose combined function is to provide legitimacy to its exercise by the State apparatus as the only form to preserve political life from ruin.Uma das mais famosas e inovadoras teses de Maquiavel é a afirmação de que as boas leis nascem dos conflitos sociais, segundo o exemplo romano das oposições entre plebe e nobres. Os conflitos são capazes de produzir ordem por conter a força constritiva própria da necessidade, que impede a ambição de reinar. Contudo, a lei não neutraliza o conflito, mas apenas lhe dá uma ordenação. A lei está, pois, exposta à história, à contínua mudança, o que significa dizer que é potencialmente corruptível. Por causa desta possibilidade, Maquiavel afirma que um Estado somente mantém sua autoridade por meio de um retorno contínuo ao momento da origem, isto é, à revivência da experiência do "medo", do "terror" e da "punição" do acontecimento originário da fundação. Assim, na origem da lei está a violência, cuja função é proporcionar a legitimação de seu exercício pelo aparato estatal como única forma de preservar da ruína a vida política. (shrink)
In the second edition of this groundbreaking text in non-Western philosophy, sixteen experts introduce some of the great philosophical traditions in the world. The essays unveil exciting, sophisticated philosophical traditions that are too often neglected in the western world. The contributors include the leading scholars in their fields, but they write for students coming to these concepts for the first time. Building on revisions and updates to the original, this new edition also considers three philosophical traditions for the first time—Jewish, (...) Buddhist, and South Pacific philosophy. (shrink)
Le XIVe siècle peut sans nul doute être considéré comme «l’âge d’or» de la mystique en Angleterre. Parmi les noms de R. Rolle, W. Hilton, J. de Norwich, l’auteur du Nuage d’Inconnaissance occupe une place importante, gardant un anonymat manifestement recherché. Il apparaît très vraisemblable que cet Anonyme ait longtemps et assidûment fréquenté les milieux cartusiens, s’il n’a pas été lui-même chartreux, avant peut-être de choisir une vie plus radicalement érémitique. Le but de son œuvre est l’union à Dieu par (...) le détachement absolu, union au Tout-Autre selon le mode apophatique légué par Denys le pseudo-Aréopagite dont il se réclame explicitement, et auquel il emprunte le titre de son principal ouvrage. Il revendique également l’influence de Grégoire de Nysse, de saint Augustin, de Richard de Saint-Victor dont il traduira en anglais le Benjamin minor, et laisse clairement entendre qu’il a lu Thomas d’Aquin, saint Bernard et Guillaume de Saint-Thierry. Mais il est une influence profonde et non avouée qu’il nous a semblé intéressant de dégager ici; il s’agit de celle du Miroir des Simples âmes anéanties de Marguerite Porete. (shrink)
The influence of J. L. Austin on contemporary philosophy was substantial during his lifetime, and has grown greatly since his death, at the height of his powers, in 1960. Philosophical Papers, first published in 1961, was the first of three volumes of Austin's work to be edited by J. O. Urmson and G. J. Warnock. Together with Sense and Sensibilia and How to do things with Words, it has extended Austin's influence far beyond the circle who knew him or read (...) the handful of papers he published in journals. (shrink)
Chris Tucker's paper on the hiddenness argument seeks to turn aside a way of defending the latter which he calls the value argument. But the value argument can withstand Tucker's criticisms. In any case, an alternative argument capable of doing the same job is suggested by his own emphasis on free will.
What if human joy went on endlessly? Suppose, for example, that each human generation were followed by another, or that the Western religions are right when they teach that each human being lives eternally after death. If any such possibility is true in the actual world, then an agent might sometimes be so situated that more than one course of action would produce an infinite amount of utility. Deciding whether to have a child born this year rather than next is (...) a situation wherein an agent may face several alternatives whose effects could well ramify endlessly on such suppositions, for the child born this year would be a different person—one who preferred different things, performed different actions, and had different descendants—from a child born next year. It has recently been suggested that traditional utilitarianism stumbles on such cases of infinite utility. Specifically, utilitarianism seems to require, for its application, that all experience of pleasure and pain cease at some time in the future or asymptotically approach zero.2 If neither of these conditions holds, then the utility produced by each of two alternative actions may turn out to be infinite, and utilitarianism thus loses its ability to discriminate morally between them. (shrink)
Mark McCreary has argued that I cannot consistently advance both the hiddenness argument and certain arguments for religious scepticism found in my book The Wisdom to Doubt . This reaction was expected, and in WD I explained its shortsightedness in that context. First, I noted how in Part III of WD , where theism is addressed, my principal aim is not to prove atheism but to show theists that they are not immune from the scepticism defended in Parts I and (...) II. To the success of this aim, McCreary's arguments are not so much as relevant, for a thoroughgoing scepticism embracing even the hiddenness argument is quite compatible with its success. But I also explained how someone convinced that the hiddenness argument does prove atheism escapes the grip of religious scepticism because of that argument's reliance on apparent conceptual truths. McCreary's critique obscures this point but does not defuse it. (shrink)
However much the Catholic Church may wish to free the peoples of the world from the excessive atheistic rationalism of the Englihtenment that has pitted science against religion, it is still in most other ways solidly on the side of modernity.Centesimus Annus endorses aform of democracy, akind of capitalism, asort of technological development, all of which are strongly undergirded by a resolute belief in human beings as rights-bearing individuals possessed of individual autonomy and a legitimate appetite for private property. The (...) themes of liberal democracy, capitalist free enterprise, and the proliferation of rational technologies form the common focus of both the Enlightenment and Anti-Enlightenment sensibilities.From a Chinese perspective, these culturally alien themes are viewed with suspicion. The Chinese are increasingly troubled by the corrosive effects upon their culture and social fabric associated with and embedded in the modernizing impulse. But, for a variety of reasons, it certainly seems that China will have little choice but to accommodate modernity in some sense, whatever the risks. The serious question is: Will China remainChinese under the conditions of modernization? (shrink)
Amongst Kant's lesser known early writings is a short treatise with the curious title Dreams of a Spirit-Seer Explained by Dreams of Metaphysics , in which, with considerable acumen and brilliance, and not a little irony, Kant exposes the empty pretensions of his contemporary, the Swedish visionary and Biblical exegete, Emanuel Swedenborg, to have access to a spirit world, denied other mortals. Despite his efforts, it must be feared, however, that Kant did not, alas, succeed in laying the spirit of (...) Swedenborg himself to rest once and for all, for there has arisen in our own day, and within philosophy itself, a movement of thought, if such it can be called, which, like that of Swedenborg, is founded upon an unbridled and unhealthy exercise of the imagination, and apparently believes that philosophical problems can be discussed and resolved by the elaboration of fantastical, and at times repulsive, examples; if we require a name for this contemporary pretence at philosophy, we could take as our model the Italian word for science fiction, fantascienza , and call it ‘fantaphilosophy’: it is my aim to show that this fantaphilosophy is a phantom philosophy. (shrink)
William Alston's Perceiving God: The Epistemology of Religious Experience is a most significant contribution to the philosophy of religion. The product of 50 years' reflection on its topic , this work provides a very thorough explication and defence of what Alston calls the ‘mystical perceptual practice’ – the practice of forming beliefs about the Ultimate on the basis of putative ‘direct experiential awareness’ thereof . Alston argues, in particular, for the rationality of engaging in the Christian form of MP . (...) On his view, those who participate in CMP are justified in forming beliefs as they do because their practice is ‘socially established’, has a ‘functioning overrider system’ and a ‘significant degree of self-support’; and because of the ‘lack of sufficient reasons to take the practice as unreliable’. (shrink)
In many places and times, and for many people, God's existence has been rather less than a clear fact. According to the hiddenness argument, this is actually a reason to suppose that it is not a fact at all. The hiddenness argument is a new argument for atheism that has come to prominence in philosophy over the past two decades. J. L. Schellenberg first developed the argument in 1993, and this book offers a short and vigorous statement of its central (...) claims and ideas. Logically sharp but so clear that anyone can understand, the book addresses little-discussed issues such as why it took so long for hiddenness reasoning to emerge in philosophy, and how the hiddenness problem is distinct from the problem of evil. It concludes with the fascinating thought that retiring the last of the personal gods might leave us nearer the beginning of religion than the end. (shrink)
This book is the one to put into the hands of those who have been over-impressed by Austin 's critics....[Warnock's] brilliant editing puts everybody who is concerned with philosophical problems in his debt.
There are doubtless many with personal experience of suffering, or of comforting others in distress, who would agree with Milton thus far that philosophic argument is powerless to satisfy those who in their anguish ask the question ‘Why did it happen to me?’ Yet to think so is to underestimate both the necessity and the power of reason: clarity of mind and the disposition to argue are commonly enhanced rather than diminished by suffering; and if reason is an essential part (...) of man's nature, it should serve him, if anywhere, in the trials of life. We have every justification, therefore, despite common opinion, for seeking a rational answer to the question proposed. It must, however, be admitted at the outset that there is no direct answer to the question which can both withstand critical scrutiny and bring genuine comfort to the afflicted, an answer, that is, which accepts the question as it stands with its attendant presuppositions; but there is an indirect answer, which, precisely by rejecting one or more of these presuppositions and restating the question, can indeed satisfy these two requirements. Before such an answer can be outlined, however, the question in its traditional form must be examined and the traditional answers to it critically reviewed. (shrink)
A comprehensive one-year graduate (or advanced undergraduate) course in mathematical logic and foundations of mathematics. No previous knowledge of logic is required; the book is suitable for self-study. Many exercises (with hints) are included.
The idea of a 'logic of quantum mechanics' or quantum logic was originally suggested by Birkhoff and von Neumann in their pioneering paper . Since that time there has been much argument about whether, or in what sense, quantum 'logic' can be actually considered a true logic (see, e.g. Bell and Hallett , Dummett , Gardner ) and, if so, how it is to be distinguished from classical logic. In this paper I put forward a simple and natural semantical framework (...) for quantum logic which reveals its difference from classical logic in a strikingly intuitive way, viz. through the fact that quantum logic admits (suitably formulated versions of) the characteristic quantum-mechanical notions of superposition and incompatibility of attributes. That is, precisely the features that distinguish quantum from classical physics also serve, within this framework, to distinguish quantum from classical logic. Some light is shed on the question of whether quantum logic is a genuine logical system by introducing a natural entailment relation for quantum-logical formulas with the implication symbol. The novelty is that, although implication behaves as it should (i.e. the 'deduction theorem' holds), the order of introduction of premises is significant. The fact that a reasonable entailment relation can be formulated for quantum logic supports the view that it is a genuine logical system and not merely an algebraic formalism. (shrink)
Analytical philosophers, if they are true to their training, never forget the first lesson of analytical philosophy: philosophers have no moral authority. In so far as analytical philosophers believe this, they find it easy to live with. For them even to assert, let alone successfully lay claim to, moral authority would require, first, hard work of some non-analytical and probably mistaken kind and, secondly, personality traits of leadership or confidence or even charisma, which philosophers may accidentally have but which they (...) are certainly not trained to have and had better not rely upon, while they live by analytical standards. Yet a further reason why analytical philosophers find the denial of their moral authority easy to accept is that they never forget the second lesson of analytical philosophy, either: nobody else has any moral authority. (shrink)
2. The Contingency and A posteriority Constraint: A formulation of the thesis must make physicalism come out contingent and a posteriori. First, physicalism is a contingent truth, if it is a truth. This means that physicalism could have been false, i.e. there are counterfactual worlds in which physicalism is false, for example, counterfactual worlds in which there are miracle -performing angels. Moreover, if physicalism is true, our knowledge of its truth is a posteriori. This is to say that there are (...) ways the world could turn out to be such that physicalism is false. For example, if there are miracle -performing angels, then physicalism is false. So there are worlds considered as actual in which physicalism is false. For short, call this ‘the a posteriority constraint’.. (shrink)
Ultimism and the aims of human immaturity -- Faith without details, or how to practice skeptical religion -- Simple faith and the complexities of tradition -- The structure of faith justification -- How skeptical faith is true to reason -- Anselm's idea -- Leibniz's ambition -- Paley's wonder -- Pascal's wager -- Kant's postulate -- James's will -- Faith is positively justified : the many modes of religious vision.
According to evolutionary accounts of distinct emotions, these emotions are shaped by natural selection to adjust the physiological, psychological, cognitive, and behavioral parameters of an organism to facilitate its capacity to respond adaptively to threats and opportunities present in the environment. This account has a number of implications, most notably: each distinct emotion serves, or served, an adaptive function, and emotions are comprised of multiple components, all of which should be functional. In this article, I briefly outline an evolutionary approach (...) to understanding distinct emotions, then explain how this approach could be falsified, how one’s own emotion experience differs from the observation of an emotion experience in someone else, and why variability in emotional responding should be expected. (shrink)
1. Causal knowledge is an indispensable element in science. Causal assertions are embedded in both the results and the procedures of scientific investigation. 2. It is therefore worthwhile to investigate the meaning of causal statements and the ways in which we can arrive at causal knowledge.
This work sets out Austin's conclusions in the field to which he directed his main efforts for at least the last ten years of his life. Starting from an exhaustive examination of his already well-known distinction between performative utterances and statements, Austin here finally abandons that distinction, replacing it with a more general theory of 'illocutionary forces' of utterances which has important bearings on a wide variety of philosophical problems.
Prologue: Deep Time Religion -- Half a Revolution -- First Among Unequals? -- Evolutionary Skepticism -- The New Pessimism -- The New Optimism 6. Imagination is Key -- The "Chief Objections" -- Religion for Pioneers -- Epilogue: Darwin's Door and Hegel's Hinge.