Environmentalists can make individuals more eco-friendly by dispelling many of the myths and misconceptions about the natural world. By learning what in nature is and is not dangerous, and in what contexts the danger is real, individuals can come to aesthetically appreciate seemingly unappreciable nature. Since aesthetic attraction can be an extremely valuable tool for environmentalists, with potentialbeyond that of scientific education, the quest for an eco-friendly is neither unnecessary nor redundant. Rather, an eco-friendly aesthetic ought to be pursued in (...) conjunction with other efforts to protect nature. (shrink)
In this article, I consider the standard interpretation of the superiority theory of humor attributed to Plato, Aristotle, and Hobbes, according to which the theory allegedly places feelings of superiority at the center of humor and comic amusement. The view that feelings of superiority are at the heart of all comic amusement is wildly implausible. Therefore textual evidence for the interpretation of Plato, Aristotle, or Hobbes as offering the superiority theory as an essentialist theory of humor is worth careful consideration. (...) Through textual analysis I argue that not one of these three philosophers defends an essentialist theory of comic amusement. I also discuss the way various theories of humor relate to one another and the proper place of a superiority theory in humor theory in light of my analysis. (shrink)
Land art requires careful evaluation when assessing its aesthetic and ethical value. Critics of land art charge that it is unethical in that it uses nature without such use being justified by some future good. Other critics charge that land art harms nature aesthetically. In this essay, the author canvasses these charges and argues that some land art is ethically and aesthetically defensible, and that some has great and rare potential in both realms.
In this paper, I argue that one of the most intense ways women are encouraged to enjoy sublime experiences is via attempts to control their bodies through excessive dieting. If this is so, then the societal-cultural contributions to the problem of eating disorders exceed the perpetuation of a certain beauty ideal to include the almost universal encouragement women receive to diet, coupled with the relative shortage of opportunities women are afforded to experience the sublime.
Feminist philosophy has taken too long to engage seriously with aesthetics and has been even slower in confronting natural beauty in particular. There are various possible reasons for this neglect, including the relative youth of feminist aesthetics, the possibility that feminist philosophy is not relevant to nature aesthetics, the claim that natural beauty is not a serious topic, hesitation among feminists to perpetuate women's associations with beauty and nature, and that the neglect may be merely apparent. Discussing each of these (...) possibilities affords a better understanding of, but none justify the neglect of natural beauty in feminist aesthetics. (shrink)
An interesting phrase in a letter of Caelius to Cicero in 51 BC, especially relevant to the standing of injured socii or their non-Roman representatives in the quaestio de repetundis at this time, has been frequently misinterpreted by commentators on Cicero. Caelius is telling Cicero of the outcome of the condemnation of C. Claudius Pulcher after his governorship of Asia and the effect this had on an associate of Claudius, M. Servilius.
Philosophical inquiry into pregnancy, childbirth, and mothering is a growing area of interest to academic philosophers. This volume brings together a diverse group of philosophers to speak about topics in this reemerging area of philosophical inquiry, taking up new themes, such as maternal aesthetics, and pursuing old ones in new ways, such as investigating stepmothering as it might inform and ground an ethics of care. The theoretical foci of the book include feminist, existential, ethical, aesthetic, phenomenological, social and political theories. (...) These perspectives are then employed to consider many dimensions of pregnancy, childbirth, and mothering, which are of central importance to human existence, but are only rarely discussed in philosophical cannons. Topics include pregnancy and embodiment, breast-feeding, representations – or the lack thereof – of pregnant and birthing women, adoption, and post-partum motherhood. (shrink)
There are two main types of question which arise from Aristotle's treatment of democracy, as from all other major topics which we find in that part of the Politics which is related to empirical data about political behaviour . One type is primarily philosophical: ‘Is Aristotle's analysis logically coherent, is it consistent with his data, is it convincing?’ The other is more historical, though it has philosophical importance too: ‘From where does he derive his data, from where his views ? (...) Has he done justice to the historical events that he adduces and to the opinions of men that he cites as evidence for political and ethical norms?’ Although in this paper I have a special interest in questions of the second type regarding the nature of the data, they cannot be tackled satisfactorily without considering the nature and validity of the analysis of democracy. (shrink)
Violent conflict between individuals and groups was as common in the ancient world as it has been in more recent history. Detested in theory, it nevertheless became as frequent as war between sovereign states. The importance of such ‘_stasis_’ was recognised by political thinkers of the time, especially Thucydides and Aristotle, both of whom tried to analyse its causes. Violence, Civil Strife and Revolution in the Classical City, first published in 1982, gives a conspectus of _stasis_ in the societies of (...) Greek antiquity, and traces the development of civil strife as city-states grew in political, social and economic sophistication. Aristocratic rivalry, tensions between rich and poor, imperialism and constitutional crisis are all discussed, while special consideration is given to the attitudes of the participants and the theoretical explanations offered at the time. In conclusion, civil strife in the ancient world is compared to more recent conflicts, both domestic and international. (shrink)
Whether it's the 2010 BP oil spill or mountaintop removal in the Appalachians, it is clear that nature has been degraded and human activity threatens further degradation. Sound theoretical guidance is desperately needed to inform sound practice. Environmental philosophy is a good place to look for guidance, particularly to debates concerning restoration. These debates often focus on values promulgated via restoration. Questions are asked about the value produced by restoration efforts: Does restored nature have the same quality or quantity of (...) value as pre-degraded nature? About the value arising in the process of restoration activity: Does participating in restoration activity encourage increased respect for .. (shrink)
In 88 B.C. the dying embers of the Social War kindled an even more dangerous civil war. Violence with gangs was no longer the final solution in Roman political struggles, but war with a regular army took its place. The link between the two wars and the critical escalation of political conflict was created by the tribunate of P. Sulpicius Rufus. Most modern accounts differ little in describing the sequence of events in his tribunate, though they vary in the interpretation (...) of his motives and policy. They agree because they accept the common basis to the narratives of Appian, Plutarch, and Velleius as true, even though they usually discard the Tendenz in these authors, through which Sulpicius is portrayed as an unscrupulous man who put his services at Marius’ disposal. It is the aim of this paper to propose that the wheat in these authors cannot be so easily separated from the chaff: that in fact the bias, which is most obvious in Plutarch’s Lives, and there can be largely ascribed to the influence of Sulla’s fjown memoirs, has not only distorted motives but misplaced and misrepresented facts. Important inconsistencies in Appian, when taken in conjunction with the little information we have outside these sources, suggest a different outline for Sulpicius’ tribunate—one which involves more uncertainties than the commonly accepted view, because it is obtained by rejecting the validity of more of our scanty source material, but which may enable us to judge more fairly not only Sulpicius and Marius but also Sulla himself. (shrink)
In a recent article, ‘An Epistemic Dilemma for Actual Intentionalism’, Saam Trivedi argues that the way we ought to interpret artworks is best understood using the model proposed by hypothetical intentionalism. Trivedi alleges that actual intentionalism faces a serious dilemma, the upshot of which is that actual intentionalists must choose between redundancy and indeterminacy. Largely on the basis of this dilemma, he concludes that even if actual intentionalism is descriptively accurate, it is prescriptively untenable. In this essay, I focus on (...) this alleged dilemma and argue that, contra Trivedi, it fails to undermine the prescriptive legitimacy of moderate actual intentionalism. That is, Trivedi's dilemma does not offer us a good reason to refrain from working to understand works of art under the methodological guidance of actual intentionalism. (shrink)
From a purely historical point of view Lucan's epic is important, because it represents an intermediate stage between the contemporary account by Caesar of his defeat of the Pompeians and the later versions in Plutarch, Appian, and Cassius Dio. However, it does not merely show us the development of the historical tradition about the war, in particular that part of it which did not stem ultimately from Caesar himself. It is a milestone in the development of Roman ideas about the (...) fall of the Republic. For, while we can only tentatively deduce the attitude which Augustan writers, especially Pollio and Livy, adopted towards this war, Lucan represents the views of those who had not only lived under the monarchy which was the final product of the conflict begun in 49 B.c., but had experienced its less agreeable consequences under the later Julio-Claudians. (shrink)
Trinvndinvm, best known as the minimum interval prescribed between the promulgatio and rogatio of a law by the Lex Caecilia Didia of 98 B.C., but also employed in a number of other constitutional and legal contexts, is generally supposed now to mean a period of 24 days R : in other words, it is held to be three Roman eight-day weeks.