While philosophers debate the precise articulation of philosophical theory to achieve a desirable change in environmental attitudes, they may be neglecting the fountainhead of social change. Insofar as ordinary people are concemed, it is religion which is the greatest factor in determining morality. In order to achieve an enlightened environmental ethics, we need what can only be termed a “religious experience.” While not denying the efficacy of other religious persuasions, I explore the contribution of an informed modem Pantheism to environmental (...) ethics. The conceptual division of the holy and theworld is rectified by pantheism. As a form of “nature mysticism,” pantheism promotes a theological basis for achieving oneness with God through knowledge, devotion, and works, all of which establish an enlightened theory for environmental ethics. A modem pantheism bears investigation by those advocating new ethical approaches toward the environment. (shrink)
Taxation and government policy related to it have only episodic appearance in classical Protestant ethical sources. Of the early sixteenth century reformers, Luther gave most attention to the subject, justifying taxation in general as necessary for the just service of government to the public good and calling the princes to spend tax monies for that good rather than their own luxury. Calvin made much the same claims but called more clearly for official church scrutiny of all government than did Luther. (...) Two centuries later John Wesley criticized English tax policy, appealing to standards of economic efficiency and compassion for the poor with little reference overtly to theology. The churches of colonial and post-revolutionary America developed no systematic, theologically rooted rationale for taxation ethics, either; but official Protestant denominational concern for such ethics has grown measurably in the most recent fifteen years. After a survey of these recent national church statements, and on the basis of them and the slender Protestant heritage on this issue, we end by posing four questions which we see as worthy of much serious thinking by contemporary American Protestant ethicists and church bodies. (shrink)
Two perennial doubts can linger in the minds of people working in the history of philosophy. Those who approach philosophical problems in a systematic, analytic spirit may come to think that work in the history of philosophy fails to amount to genuine philosophy; and those who are more historically-minded may come to think that the very same work fails to amount to genuine history. In this rich and rewarding new book, Allen Wood nevertheless succeeds in delivering a defense of (...) Kantian ethics that should satisfy, in terms of its philosophical credentials, any philosopher interested in ethics; and it should also satisfy, in terms of its historical credentials, anyone interested in the ethical thought of Immanuel Kant himself. (shrink)
This entirely new translation of Critique of Pure Reason by Paul Guyer and Allan Wood is the most accurate and informative English translation ever produced of this epochal philosophical text. Though its simple, direct style will make it suitable for all new readers of Kant, the translation displays a philosophical and textual sophistication that will enlighten Kant scholars as well. This translation recreates as far as possible a text with the same interpretative nuances and richness as the original.
Man has always hoped to survive his bodily death, and it is a central tenet of many religions that such survival is a reality. It has been supposed by many that one form such survival might take is reincarnation in another body. Subscribers to this view include Pythagoras, Plato sometimes, and a large number of Eastern thinkers. Other thinkers have, of course, disputed that reincarnation is a fact, and some have even denied that it is a possibility. But seldom has (...) it been claimed by its opponents that reincarnation is a logical impossibility. (shrink)
It is commonly thought that exploitation is unjust; some think it is part of the very meaning of the word ‘exploitation’ that it is unjust. Those who think this will suppose that the just society has to be one in which people do not exploit one another, at least on a large scale. I will argue that exploitation is not unjust by definition, and that a society might be fundamentally just while nevertheless being pervasively exploitative. I do think that exploitation (...) is nearly always a bad thing, and wul try to identify the moral belief which makes most of us think it is. But I will argue that its badness does not always consist in its being unjust. (shrink)
Fichte’s Ethical Thought follows a format familiar to those who have read Allen Wood’s books on the ethical thought of Immanuel Kant and G. W. F. Hegel: Wood integrates Johann Gottlieb Fichte’s work into topical chapters, each discussing an important component of Fichte’s ethical system. The text he focuses on, of course, is Fichte’s 1798 System of Ethics, but Fichte scholars will likely be pleased to find that Wood discusses a wide range of Fichte’s Jena-era writings. (...) class='Hi'>Wood makes use of Addresses to the German Nation, The Closed Commercial State, and earlier works such as Some Lectures Concerning the Scholar’s Vocation, especially in the final two chapters, which cover Fichte’s thought on public life, the... (shrink)
In this article, I explicate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s account of emancipatory history and activism by examining the influence of G. W. F. Hegel’s account of world-historical individuals on his thought. Both thinkers, I argue, affirm that history’s spiritual destiny works through individuals who are driven by the contingencies of their subjective character and given situation to undertake particular actions, and yet who nevertheless freely and decisively break the new from the old by forsaking subjective satisfaction to spur events forward (...) to a more rational state of affairs. This synthetic unity of abstract freedom and concrete embodiment reflects the ‘civil war’ between the universal and infinite essence, and particular and finite passions, that King and Hegel identify as equally constitutive of human will. Through an examination of King’s account of Rosa Parks’ pivotal arrest, I develop the consequences of this ‘Hegelian’ view for our understanding of political action and historical progress. (shrink)
(2005). George R. Lucas, Jr. & W. Rick Rubel's (Eds) Ethics and the Military Profession: The Moral Foundations of Leadership and Case Studies in Military Ethics. Journal of Military Ethics: Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 214-219. doi: 10.1080/15027570500197453.