Andrew Tooke's 1691 English translation of Samuel Pufendorf's De officio hominis et civis, published as The Whole Duty of Man According to the Law of Nature, brought Pufendorf's manual fo statist natural law into English politics at a moment of temporary equilibrium in the unfinished contest between Crown and Parliament for the rights and powers of sovereignty. Drawing on the authors' re-edition of The Whole Duty of Man, this article describes and analyses a telling instance of how--by translation--the core (...) political terms and concepts of the German natural jurist's 'absolutist' formulary were reshaped for reception in the different political culture of late seventeenth-century England. (shrink)
Karl Marx and Abraham Lincoln held very different views on the ‘social question’. This essay explores the way in which they converged in their estimation of slavery during the course of the Civil War; Marx was an ardent abolitionist, and Lincoln came to see this position as necessary. It is argued that the rôle of runaway slaves – called ‘contraband’ – and German-revolutionary ’48ers played a significant rôle in the radicalisation of Lincoln and the direction of the (...) War. (shrink)
This is the first book to offer the best essays, articles, and speeches on ethics and intelligence that demonstrate the complex moral dilemmas in intelligence collection, analysis, and operations. Some are recently declassified and never before published, and all are written by authors whose backgrounds are as varied as their insights, including Robert M. Gates, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; John P. Langan, the Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Professor of Catholic Social Thought at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown (...) University; and Loch K. Johnson, Regents Professor of Political Science at the University of Georgia and recipient of the Owens Award for contributions to the understanding of U.S. intelligence activities. Creating the foundation for the study of ethics and intelligence by filling in the gap between warfare and philosophy, this is a valuable collection of literature for building an ethical code that is not dependent on any specific agency, department, or country. (shrink)
On 22 July, 2011, we were confronted with the horror of the actions of Anders Behring Breivik. The instant reaction, as we have seen with similar incidents in the past—such as the Oklahoma City bombings—was to attempt to explain the incident. Whether the reasons given were true or not were irrelevant: the fact that there was a reason was better than if there were none. We should not dismiss those that continue to cling on to the initial claims of a (...) wider Jihadist plot behind the actions of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols as Islamophobes (or merely lacking common sense): for, it is often easier to rely on reason—no matter how fictional—than not to have anything to cling on at all. In many ways, it is even better if the reason is fictional: for, if grounded in a certain fact, or reality, it can then go away. However, if it is in the realm of the imaginary, it is then always already metaphorical: thus, can be applied to any and every situation. And it is this, if we echo Friedrich Nietzsche, that gives us our “metaphysical comfort”; that we can know what is going on. This is why conspiracy theories are so popular: underlying them is the logic that someone—no matter how implausible—is in control of the situation. One would rather believe that all acts of terror stemmed from Osama bin Laden (and the narrative worked even better when he was in a ‘cave in Afghanistan’) than if they were the actions, and decisions, of singular individuals. For, if there is a head organizing everything, it can be cut off; there is no controlling a mass of singularities. As Jean Baudrillard continues to teach us, the term ‘mass’ is not a concept. It is a leitmotif of political demagogy, a soft, sticky, lumpen-analytical notion. A good sociology would attempt to surpass it with ‘more subtle’ categories: socio-professional ones, categories of class, cultural status, etc. This is wrong: it is by prowling around these soft and acritical notions (like ‘mana’ once was) that one can go further than intelligent critical sociology. Besides, it will be noticed retrospectively that the concepts ‘class’, ‘social relations’, ‘power’, ‘status’, ‘institution’, and ‘social’ itself—all these too-explicit concepts which are the glory of the legitimate sciences—but also only ever been muddled notions themselves, but notions upon which agreement has nevertheless been reached for mysterious ends: those of preserving a certain code of analysis. To want to specify the term ‘mass’ is a mistake—it is to provide meaning for that which has none.1 And it is this lack of meaning—this nothingness of not only the mass, but our inability to know in general—that truly scares us. For, if we are never able to legitimately make a generalizing statement, this suggests that we can never actually posit beyond a singular, situational, moment. Hence, we can never claim to know anyone: at best, we can only catch momentary glimpses. It is for this very reason that the insanity plea Breivik’s lawyer will attempt is the one that horrifies us the most. For, if Breivik is insane, this foregrounds our inability to understand, know. And as Aristotle has taught us, it is more important that something is plausible than if something were probable—in this context, we would rather have Breivik as a calculating mass murderer than someone who was completely out of his mind. This is especially ironic in the light of the fact that none of us would say that we have any similarity with Breivik. If that were so, the declaration that he was mad should be no more than a logical consequence. However, we also want Breivik to be accountable for his actions. And in order for that to be so, we need him to be of sound mind. But if that were true, we can then no longer distinguish ourselves from him. And it is precisely this that scares us. For, we are horrified not when there are abnormalities to our way of life. There are usually two different reactions to this—either oppose and destroy it; or subsume it under the dominant logic. We see this most clearly in reactions to immigration: there are either calls for immigrants to ‘pack up and leave’ or pseudo-liberal notions of ‘we are all alike’. Both of which are merely version of “all men are brothers”—the brutal translation of which is that you are my brother if you live the same way as me; otherwise not only are you not my brother, you are also potentially not part of mankind (you might as well be, to echo Giorgio Agamben, bare life ). This is played out in our age of what is commonly termed post-political bio-politics —an instance of horribly awkward theoretical jargon that Slavoj Žižek channeling Agamben unpacks rather elegantly: “ post-politics is a politics which claims to leave behind old ideological struggles and, instead, focus[es] on expert management and administration, while bio-politics designates the regulation of the security and welfare of human lives as its primary goal.”2 Žižek continues: Post-political bio-politics also has two aspects which cannot but appear to belong to two opposite ideological spaces: that of the reduction of humans to ‘bare life,’ to Homo sacer , that so-called sacred being who is the object of expert caretaking knowledge, but is excluded, like prisoners at Guantanamo or Holocaust victims, from all rights; and that of respect for the vulnerable Other brought to an extreme through an attitude of narcissistic subjectivity which experiences the self as vulnerable, constantly exposed to a multitude of potential harassments [….] What these two poles share is precisely the underlying refusal of any higher causes, the notion that the ultimate goal of our lives is life itself. That is why there is no contradiction between the respect for the vulnerable Other and […] the extreme expression of treating individuals as Homini sacer .3 This is why the ones that are harshest towards new immigrants are the recently naturalized citizens of any country. For, if there is no longer any “ideological struggle” and all life is reduced to mere automaton-living, there is the realization that we are all the same—not in a tree-hugging hippie sense—but that the immigrant is the same as us precisely because we are all immigrants. And since all nations, and by extension peoples in a nation (especially those who believe in the notion of nationality, and national identity), have to find some manner, no matter from where or what it is, to distinguish themselves from those around them, the other (in spite, and especially in the light, of its absence) is the most crucial aspect of the discourse of nationality. More precisely, in the interests of what Baudrillard calls “preserving a certain code of analysis” (nationality in this case), what has to be maintained is the absolute otherness of the other. Very rarely is Boris Johnson right: “it is not enough to say he is mad. Anders Breivik is patently mad.”4 However, much like Breivik in his manifesto, he should have stopped whilst he was ahead. By attempting to diagnose Breivik—“the fundamental reasons for their callous behavior lie deep in their own sense of rejection and alienation. It is the ideology that gives them the ostensible cause … that gives them an excuse to dramatize the resentment … and to kill.”—Johnson falls into the same trap that he accuses others of: “to try to advance any other explanation for their actions … is simply to play their self-important game.” More crucially, and this is the point that Johnson completely misses, attempting to rationalize Breivik’s actions—to rehabilitate reason—is a desperate attempt at maintaining his otherness. In fact, we’ll end up going one step further, insist on Breivik’s sanity, put him on the stand, and hope that he will display such a difference from all of us that we can rest safe that we are unlike him and his kind. That, in itself, is a dangerous game to play. One should not forget that the turning point in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is in the central part of her novel where she lets the monster speak. At that moment, the monster moves from an ‘it’ to a fully subjectivized person; with his own stories, historicities, emotions, and so on. In Slavoj Žižek’s reading of Frankenstein , this is the moment where “the ultimate criminal is thus allowed to present himself as the ultimate victim. The monstrous murderer reveals himself to be a deeply hurt and desperate individual, yearning for company and love.”5 But, in the case of Breivik, this goes beyond just a risk of us feeling for him: for, no right-minded person should ever deny another the opportunity to put forth her or his own case. The problem lies with us trying to deny the madness of Breivik’s act by putting him back under reason. The problem is in our inability to differentiate the act from the person; the singular from the universal.6 In our desperation to preserve the notion that we are rational beings incapable of becoming monsters, we’ve had to deny the meaninglessness—in the strict sense of it lying outside of reason—of Breivik’ act; we’ve had to “provide meaning where there is none.” For, if this act were a moment of madness—a moment that comes from elsewhere—we cannot say that it will not descend upon us one day. If Breivik’s actions were that of a sane person, one who is in control of his being, his self, we can then locate the otherness in his being. More importantly, this would allow us to distinguish ourselves from that said being. Breivik’s sanity is the only thing that allows us to say that ‘this act of terror is borne out of one with an ultra-right ideology’; and ‘since I am not of that ideology, I would never do such a thing’. By doing that, we attempt to protect ourselves by claiming that people who share Breivik’s ideology are foreign to us, other to us. However, if Breivik’s act was a moment of insanity, his otherness is no longer locatable: and the notion of ‘us and them’ shifts from a geographical, physical, religious, or cultural notion, to one in the realm of ideas. And this is what truly scares us. For, if what is foreign is not phenomenological, then it cannot be seen, detected, sensed. Anders Behring Breivik, Timothy McVeigh, and Terry Nichols, terrify us not merely for the fact that they were white in a white society, but more pertinently that their skin color did not matter: we would not be able to spot them even if they were blue, even if they were right next to us, even if we had known them all our lives. Even as we are grappling with holding Breivik accountable by declaring him of sound mind, what truly terrifies us is that deep down we know that Breivik’s act is a moment of madness; beyond all comprehensibility. And this means that we would not be able to spot the idea; even if it were in our heads at this very moment. We have gone to lengths to rehabilitate Breivik, McVeigh, Nichols, and such perpetrators of massive incomprehensible violence, in order to preserve our difference from them. What we have really been trying to deny is the fact that everyone, at any given moment, could have a moment of madness. And this is the true radicality of Mary Shelley: in allowing us to momentarily enter the head of the monster, she shows us not just the fact that he is like any one of us, but that any one of us could, in the right (or wrong) circumstance, be like him. Perhaps here, there is a lesson to be learned from Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street . The most dangerous thing that one could do on Elm Street was to mention Freddy’s name—once you had knowledge of him, you were open to the possibility of a visit during your dreams. This suggests that Freddy is a combination of externalities (after all, when you die, he survives) and your self (if you have never heard of him, he cannot come for you). In this sense, Freddy would be the manifestation par excellence of what Avital Ronell calls a “killer text”—it is one’s relationality with the text (and the ideas, notions, in the said text) that opens oneself to it, to the lessons of the text, to being changed, affected, even to the dangers of the text. After all, one should never forget Plato’s warning that ideas can corrupt, can be perilous. To compound matters, as Ronell reminds us, “the connection to the other is a reading—not an interpretation, assimilation, or even a hermeneutic understanding, but a reading.”7 Thus, in attempting to differentiate ourselves from Breivik by concocting some reason(s) why we are not like him, we have done nothing but read him, open a connection to him. *** Bang bang, he shot me down Bang bang, I hit the ground Bang bang, that awful sound Bang bang, my baby shot me down. “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” Sonny Bono, 1966. This is the part that we all know and remember. Whilst never quite remembering that this is a song that is not so much about violence, love, but about remembering. For, after the bridge comes the accusatory stanza: “Now he's gone, I don't know why/ And till this day, sometimes I cry/ He didn't even say goodbye/ He didn't take the time to lie.” Bang Bang is a game that the two lovers used to play; and all she has now is the memory of the game to remember him by. And the only reason she has to recall this game is: he never provided her a reason for his leaving, his death. Not that she will, can, ever get that satisfactory answer. This is precisely the game we are playing with Anders Behring Breivik. Even though he has left a 1500 page manifesto, even though we will allow him to use the court-room as his platform, we will continue screaming at him “tell me why …” For, what we want him to say is that we are not like him: what we really want him to do is, “take the time to lie …” Perhaps here, we should allow the echo of the infans to resound in baby . As Christopher Fynsk reminds us, the infans is one that is pre-language, pre-knowing, pre-understanding: it is the very finitude, and exteriority, of relationality itself.8 And thus, it is a position of openness to the fullness of possibility—and nothing else. This would be, in Ronell’s terms, a “connection to the other” that knows nothing other than the fact that it is a connection. The true horror of 22 July, 2011, is the fact that it is not Anders Behring Breivik who is mad, but the act itself that is. And this is precisely why only “my baby” that could have “shot me down.” For, it is an act that is from beyond, a sheer act of madness that—as Plato warns us—is whispered into our ears (and can so easily be mistaken for inspiration, and even wisdom), an act that can both seize, and cease, us at the same time. And what can this utter openness to an other, the other, be but a moment of love, a true ‘falling in love’. At the moment of whispering, nothing can be known as we are babies as our baby shoots us down …. Hence, all attempts at analyzing this event (including this one) are not only futile, but border on the farcical. The real tragedy is that we forget that all of us have the possibility of becoming Breivik. NOTES Jean Baudrillard. In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities . Trans. Paul Foss, John Johnston, Paul Patton, & Andrew Berardini. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2007. p. 37. Slavoj Žižek. Violence: Six Sideway Reflections . London: Profile Books, 2009. p. 34 Ibid: 35-36. Boris Johnson. “ Anders Breivik: There is nothing to study in the mind of Norway’s mass killer .” The Telegraph . (25 July, 2011): Slavoj Žižek. Violence: Six Sideway Reflections . London: Profile Books, 2009. p.39. What is killing us is the notion that Breivik’s act is beyond reason, beyond knowing, outside understanding itself. This is why Boris Johnson’s plea was for us to ignore Breivik as a madman. But to do so, Johnson conflates the notion of the act and the person; the singular and the universal. This is exactly the same gesture as insisting on his sanity: the ‘madman’ is merely the absolute other, one that we are not. Avital Ronell. The Telephone Book: Technology, Schizophrenia, Electric Speech . Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1989: 380. Christopher Fynsk. Infant Figures: The Death of the Infans and Other Scenes of Origin . Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000.  . (shrink)
Andrew Collier is the boldest defender of objectivity - in science, knowledge, thought, action, politics, morality and religion. In this tribute and acknowledgement of the influence his work has had on a wide readership, his colleagues show that they have been stimulated by his thinking and offer challenging responses. This wide-ranging book covers key areas with which defenders of objectivity often have to engage. Sections are devoted to the following: 'objectivity of value', 'objectivity and everyday knowledge', 'objectivity in political (...) economy', 'objectivity and reflexivity', 'objectivity, postmodernism and feminism', 'objectivity and nature'. The diverse contributions range from social and political thought to philosophy, reflecting the central themes of Collier's work. (shrink)
We invited five Cavell scholars to write on this topic. What follows is a vibrant exchange among Paola Marrati, Andrew Norris, Jörg Volbers, Cary Wolfe and Thomas Dumm addressing the question whether, in the contemporary political context, Cavell’s skepticism and his Emersonian perfectionism amount to a politics at all.
The Oxford Monographs On Criminal Law And Justice series aims to cover all aspects of criminal law and procedure including criminal evidence. the scope of the series is wide, encompassing both practical and theoretical works. Series Editor: Professor Andrew Ashworth, Vinerian Professor of English Law, All Souls College, Oxford. This volume is a thematic collection of essays on sentencing theory by leading writers. The essays fall into three groups. Part I considers the underlying justifications for the imposition of punishment (...) by the State, and examines the relationship between victims, offenders and the State. Part II addresses a number of areas of sentencing policy that have given rise to particular difficulty, such as the sentencing of drug offenders, the rationale for discounting sentences for multiple offenders, the existence of special sentencing for young offenders, and cases where the injury done to the victim is of a different magnitude from what might have been expected. Part III raises various questions about the unequal impact on offenders of different sentencing measures, and examines the extent to which sentences should be adjusted to take account of these different impacts and of broader social inequalities. This volume is dedicated to Professor Andrew von Hirsch, whose continuing work on sentencing theory provided the stimulus for the collection. (shrink)
Book Symposium on Andrew Feenberg’s Between Reason and Experience: Essays in Technology and Modernity Content Type Journal Article Pages 203-226 DOI 10.1007/s13347-011-0017-8 Authors Inmaculada de Melo-Martín, Division of Medical Ethics, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY 10065, USA David B. Ingram, Loyola University Chicago, 6525 North Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL 60626, USA Sally Wyatt, e-Humanities Group, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) & Maastricht University, Cruquiusweg 31, 1019 AT Amsterdam, The Netherlands Yoko Arisaka, Forschungsinstitut für Philosophie (...) Hannover, Gerberstrasse 26, 30169 Hannover, Germany Andrew Feenberg, School of Communication, Simon Fraser University at Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 5K3, Canada Journal Philosophy & Technology Online ISSN 2210-5441 Print ISSN 2210-5433 Journal Volume Volume 24 Journal Issue Volume 24, Number 2. (shrink)
This important collection of essays by Andrew Feenberg presents his critical theory of technology, an innovative approach to philosophy and sociology of technology based on a synthesis of ideas drawn from STS and Frankfurt School Critical Theory. The volume includes chapters on citizenship, modernity, and Heidegger and Marcuse.
This paper is about teaching philosophy to high school students through Lincoln-Douglas (LD) debate. LD, also known as “values debate,” includes topics from ethics and political philosophy. Thousands of high school students across the U.S. debate these topics in class, after school, and at weekend tournaments. We argue that LD is a particularly effective tool for teaching philosophy, but also that LD today falls short of its potential. We argue that the problems with LD are not inevitable, and we (...) offer strategic recommendations for improving LD as a tool for teaching philosophy. Ultimately, our aim is to create a dialogue between LD and academic philosophy, with the hope that such dialogue will improve LD’s capacity to teach students how to do philosophy. (shrink)
Andrew Wayne discusses some recent attempts to account, within a Bayesian framework, for the "common methodological adage" that "diverse evidence better confirms a hypothesis than does the same amount of similar evidence". One of the approaches considered by Wayne is that suggested by Howson and Urbach and dubbed the "correlation approach" by Wayne. This approach is, indeed, incomplete, in that it neglects the role of the hypothesis under consideration in determining what diversity in a body of evidence is relevant (...) diversity. In this paper, it is shown how this gap can be filled, resulting in a more satisfactory account of the evidential role of diversity of evidence. In addition, it is argued that Wayne's criticism of the correlation approach does not indicate a serious flaw in the approach. (shrink)
In his paper, ‘A critique of religious fictionalism’, Benjamin Cordry raises a series of objections to a fictionalist form of religious non-realism that I proposed in my earlier paper, ‘Can an atheist believe in God?’. They fall into two main categories: those alleging that an atheist would be unjustified in adopting fictionalism, and those alleging that fictionalism could not be successfully implemented, or practised communally. I argue that these objections can be met.
In this essay I describe how contractarianism might approach interspecies welfare conflicts. I start by discussing a contractarian account of the moral status of nonhuman animals. I argue that contractors can agree to norms that would acknowledge the “moral standing” of some animals. I then discuss how the norms emerging from contractarian agreement might constrain any comparison of welfare between humans and animals. Contractarian agreement is likely to express some partiality to humans in a way that discounts the welfare of (...) some or all animals. While the norms emerging from the contract might be silent or inconsistent in some tragic or catastrophic cases, in most ordinary conflicts of welfare, contractors will agree to norms that produce some determinate resolution. What the agreement says can evolve depending upon how the contractors or the circumstances change. I close with some remarks on contractarian indeterminacy. (shrink)
Andrew Dickson White played a pivotal role in constructing the image of a necessary, and even violent, confrontation between religion and science that persists to this day. Though scholars have long acknowledged that his position is more complex, given that White claimed to be saving religion from theology, there has been no attempt to explore what this means in light of his overwhelming attack on existing religions. This essay draws attention to how White's role as a historian was decisive (...) in allowing him to posit a future for religion purified of dogma by science. It argues, furthermore, that this effort is better understood as religious innovation, rather than a plea for strictly secular science. In so doing it hopes to lay the foundation for a more fruitful historical treatment of White, and a range of other figures whose devotion to science has otherwise been difficult to grasp. (shrink)
Andrew Feenberg's Questioning Technology (1999) is his third book in a series of studies which undertake to provide critical theoretical and democratic political perspectives to engage technology in the contemporary era. In Critical Theory of Technology (1991), Feenberg draws on neo-Marxian and other critical theories of technology, especially the Frankfurt School, to criticize determinist and essentialist theories. In this ground-breaking work (which will go into its second edition in 2001), he discusses both how the labor process, science, and technology (...) are constituted as forms of domination of nature and human beings, and how they could be democratically transformed as part of a program of radical social transformation. In Alternative Modernity (1995), Feenberg turns to focus on constructivist theories and the ways in which individuals and groups can reconstruct technology to make it serve more humane and democratic goals. His most recent book draws on his earlier work while polemically developing his own positions within contemporary debates over technology. (shrink)
There are many advantages of teaching ethics in connection with detailed biographical studies of historical figures; Lincoln is a particularly good subject for this sort of exercise. This paper describes a course on Lincoln’s ethics. I give suggestions for those who are interested in teaching such a course or in using aspects of Lincoln’s life as examples in ordinary ethics classes. I offer suggestions about readings and a list of fruitful and interesting topics for debate and discussion (...) that connect Lincoln’s biography with issues in ethical theory. (shrink)
This essay examines the funeral sermon given by the Baptist theologian Andrew Fuller for his friend and deacon Beeby Wallis in 1792 as a vantage-point from which to pursue reflection on Fuller’s concept of heaven and the beatific vision. The sermon has two main themes: the rest and rewards of those who die in Christ. The essay examines how Fuller interprets both of these phrases and then, looking at the rest of Fuller’s corpus, notes that ultimately God himself is (...) the believer’s reward. (shrink)
Andrew H. Gleeson has written an essay commenting on an exchange between Dewi Z. Phillips and me, arguing that I was mistaken to dismiss Phillips’ criticism of the standard definition of omnipotence as unsuccessful. Furthermore, he charges Swinburne, me, and analytic theists in general, with an excessive anthropomorphism that obliterates the distinction between Creator and creature. In response, I contend that all of Gleeson’s criticisms are unsound.
These reflections on Andrew Grosso’s recent book Personal Being highlight his philosophical construction of a concept of personhood based on themes from the writings Of Michael Polanyi and his use of this conception to express creatively elements of the traditional Christian doctrines on the trinity. Additional clarifications are sought regarding his formulations on the divine personhood of Jesus, the adequacy of his formulations on the intra-trinitarian relations, and the insightfulness of the absolute personhood of the divine. This study is (...) a helpful model for extending Polanyian insights into the realm of dogmatic theology. (shrink)
What a pleasure to have such subtle thinkers and scholars as Bill Martin and Andrew Cutrofello reflect on the relation of irony and comedy to politics and philosophy through their commentary on my new book. To set the tone, Martin begins with a koan, or a parody of one, “What if a tree told a joke in the woods and there was no one there to hear it?” He means, I believe, to sound a warning on the limits of (...) irony in our serious, or perhaps, Martin would say, our seriously idiotic, times. By the end of his discussion, Martin wonders if perhaps a politics of irony might not lead to greater cynicism in our morally upside-down times and if those Wall Street rip-off artists merit something more than satire—they may .. (shrink)
By what steps, historically, did morality emerge? Our remote ancestors evolved into social animals. Sociality requires, among other things, restraints on disruptive sexual, hostile, aggressive, vengeful, and acquisitive behavior. Since we are innately social and not social by convention, we can assume the biological evolution of the emotional equipment – numerous predispositions to want, fear, feel anxious or secure – required for social living, just as we can assume cultural evolution of various means to control antisocial behavior and reinforce the (...) prosocial kind. Small clans consisting, say, of several extended families whose members cooperated in hunting, gathering, defense, and child-rearing could not exist without a combination of innate and social restraints on individual behavior. I shall argue for a naturalistic theory of morality, by which I do not mean the definitional claims G.E. Moore sought to refute, but a broader and more complex theory that maintains that a sufficient understanding of human nature, history, and culture can fully explain morality; that nothing is left hanging. A theory that coherently brings together the needed biological, psychological, and cultural facts I shall call a philosophical anthropology; it is a theory that: 1) takes the good for humans – both an ultimate good and other important goods – to depend on human nature; 2) argues that a rudimentary but improving scientific and philosophical theory of human nature now exists, and thus denies that people are “essenceless”; 3) takes this theory to be evolutionary and historical, making the question “How did morality originate?” pivotal for ethical theory, but leaves open the empirical question of the relative importance of biological and cultural evolution; and 4) takes the origin of the moral ideas to be explainable in terms of human nature and history. (shrink)
Intellectual historian Andrew Jewett sets an enormous task for himself: to trace the history and context of science and values relations over the course of some hundred-odd years of U.S. history. He does this to further an argument that science was once explicitly connected to the study of human values, and that the story that explains how science became value neutral is a contingent one. It could have happened differently, he argues, and it should have. Furthermore, because that history (...) is contingent, we are free to still change our academic habits and to allow the social sciences to be sciences alongside the natural and physical sciences. The reason this would be worth doing, according to Jewett, is.. (shrink)
In his essay On the History of Religion and Philosophy in Germany, of 1834, Heinrich Heine suggested to his French audience that the German propensity for ‘metaphysical abstractions’ had led many people to condemn philosophy for its failure to have a practical effect, Germany having only had its revolution in thought, while France had its in reality. Heine, albeit somewhat ironically, refuses to join those who condemn philosophy: ‘German philosophy is an important matter, which concerns the whole of humanity, and (...) only the last grandchildren will be able to judge whether we should be blamed or praised for working out our philosophy before our revolution.’ He then makes the following prognosis: the German revolution will not be more mild and more gentle because it was preceded by Kantian critique, Fichtean transcendental idealism and even philosophy of nature. Revolutionary forces have developed via these doctrines which are just waiting for the day when they can break out and fill the world with horror and admiration. … Don't smile at my advice, the advice of a dreamer who warns you about Kantians, Fichteans and philosophers of nature. Don't smile at the fantast who expects the same revolution in the realm of appearance as took place in the realm of spirit. … A play will be performed in Germany in comparison with which the French Revolution could appear just as a harmless idyll. (shrink)
After canvassing with good grace the make-up of cyberspace Andrew Murray wonders, in his recent book The Regulation of Cyberspace, which role traditional lawmakers are left to play in the new cyber-regulatory environment. Murray describes the static `command and control' regulatory model as disruptive and ineffective, and supports instead a dynamic, complimentary, and symbiotic regulatory model, which he presents under the features of an autopoietic environment and systems dynamics theory.Regulatory models, explains Andrew Murray in his recent book The (...) Regulation of Cyberspace, intervene when a `disruptive innovation', such as the Internet, creates a regulatory vacuum. As cyberpaternalists suggest, however, the lack of traditional legal-regulatory control systems does not mean total freedom within cyberspace . On the contrary, as the author contends, `regulators of all forms rush to fill in this vacuum' so that the traditional regulatory mechanism is replaced by private regulatory systems acting, as Joel Reidenberg exposed, as `proxies' to the traditional regulatory system . Murray shares this point, but also gives credit to the views of cyberlibertarians. Cyberlibertarians argue that traditional command and control models are at last ineffective, even when they operate through proxies. In cyberspace, so they claim, regulators and regulatees mingle with each other to such an unheard-of extent that regulatory interventions cannot be effective unless regulatees co-operate actively.In his book, professor Andrew Murray treasures the sound arguments advanced by the cyberlibertarian and cyberpaternalist camps, and draws lessons from both in order to build a dialectic confrontation between static instrument and dynamic instrument thinking in the regulation of cyberspace. He consecrates the pars destruens of his work to explain why lawmakers should eschew the static approach and adheres to the pars construens to expand on a more dynamic and `smarter' regulatory model. (shrink)
During the Cold War, the spread and fear of communism furnished the overarching ideological rationale for American foreign policy and for the deployment of United States military forces and resources. Subscribing to the domino theory and its potential impact on Southeast Asia, the Johnson Administration committed the United States to the Vietnam War. Following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, and the commencement of the Global War on Terrorism, Washington once again set a national agenda rooted in (...) a simplistic analysis reminiscent of Vietnam and the domino theory. Ignorant of Iraq’s mammoth sectarian, historical, ethnic, and global strategic complexities, the Bush Administration launched Operation Iraqi Freedom. The absence of critical analysis, contrarian viewpoints, and sound judgment characterized the US policy and strategy for both the Vietnam War and OIF, exhibiting the lack of moral courage that the national security enterprise seeks, but seldom attains. Faced with this challenge, this article draws attention to the ethical lessons we can learn from the dissent of William Fulbright and Andrew Bacevich. (shrink)
The neuroscientists Eugene d'Aquili and Andrew Newberg, in addition to defending an empirically fruitful model of mystical experiences, argue that such experiences constitute evidence for the existence of a transcendent reality, which they call "Absolute Unitary Being." D'Aquili and Newberg point out that mystical experiences carry with them a vivid sense of reality, and that they involve characteristic forms of brain activity, just like perceptions of objects in ordinary waking consciousness. Their argument for Absolute Unitary Being fails, however, since (...) the vivid sense of reality of an experience is not the sole criterion by which to judge its veridicality, since the object of mystical experiences cannot be confirmed by independent observers, and since there is no evidence for a mechanism by which mystics experience a transcendent reality. (shrink)
This essay explores Heidegger’s “The Origin of the Work of Art” and Andrew Goldsworthy’s artworks. Both Heidegger and Goldsworthy can be seen as refashioning our ontological bearings towards nature through the work of art. After introducing a set of distinctions (e.g., world/earth) in the context of Heidegger’s conception of the artwork as the event of truth, I argue that Heidegger’s releasing of the work of art from metaphysical notions of “the thing” illuminates the ambiguous status of Goldsworthy’s artworks as (...) things. Goldsworthy’s crafting of artworks from natural materials exemplifies Heidegger’s concept of technē as the bringing forth of a work in the midst of phūsis, or beings that arise of their own accord. (shrink)
Andrew Benjamin’s book Disclosing Spaces (2004) presents a theory of painting. The theory is developed via a meticulous analysis of a series of individual artworks. The pivot of Benjamin’s theory of painting is the idea of relationality. The theory is critically reviewed with reference to the works of Edward Hopper, Gerhard Richter and Jacques-Louis David.
A paradox adapted from the well-known ‘paradox of increase’ has been formulated against composite Christology in recent literature. I argue that concrete-composite Christologists can reply by denying the premise that the pre-incarnate divine nature=the Second Person of the Trinity. This denial can be made by modifying a hylomorphic theory of individuals. Using an analogy from material coinciding objects, this modified theory provides an illuminating account of how a person can gain parts over time but remain numerically identical, and it demonstrates (...) that concrete nature and person are not the same thing. (shrink)