An attractive form of social stability is realized when the members of a well-ordered society give that society’s organizing principles their free and reflective endorsement. However, many political philosophers are skeptical that there is any requirement to show that their principles would engender this kind of stability. This skepticism is at the root of a number of objections to political liberalism, since arguments for political liberalism often appeal to its ability to be stable in this way. The aim of this (...) paper is to address skepticism about the stability condition by putting forward a novel defense of it. My defense builds on the claim that stable principles are necessary to secure the full autonomy of those who live under them. (shrink)
Sport often seems to teeter on the edge, on one side of the entertainment industry, on the other of cheating violent aggression: from a make-believe simulacrum of serious play to a nasty chemically enhanced descent into a Hobbesian state of nature. Such perversions lend credibility to reductive views of sport itself as a metonymic feature of capitalism. But that sport as entertainment means fixing it to produce exciting outcomes and amplifying capacities to superhuman proportions, while sport as aggression means treating (...) rules as mere obstacles to brute dominance, shows how far we in fact are from these abysses, even in the days of the Coca Cola/Nike Olympics, Vinny Jones and cricket sledging. In this essay, I try to delineate through history— from Homer to … Gomer?—a common culture of sport and sportsmanship that, with its excesses and perversions, continues to operate as one, albeit complex, ideal of human excellence. (shrink)
[Richard Glauser] Shaftesbury's theory of aesthetic experience is based on his conception of a natural disposition to apprehend beauty, a real 'form' of things. I examine the implications of the disposition's naturalness. I argue that the disposition is not an extra faculty or a sixth sense, and attempt to situate Shaftesbury's position on this issue between those of Locke and Hutcheson. I argue that the natural disposition is to be perfected in many different ways in order to be exercised in (...) the perception of the different degrees of beauty within Shaftesbury's hierarchy. This leads to the conclusion that the exercise of the disposition depends, from case to case, on many different cognitive and affective conditions, that are realised by the collaborative functionings of our ordinary faculties. Essential to Shaftesbury's conception of aesthetic experience is a disinterested, contemplative love, that causes (or contains) what we may call a 'disinterested pleasure', but also an interested pleasure. I argue that, within any given aesthetic experience, the role of the disinterested pleasure is secondary to that of the disinterested love. However, an important function of the disinterested pleasure is that, in combination with the interested pleasure, it leads one to aspire to pass from the aesthetic experience of lower degrees of beauty to the experience of higher ones in the hierarchy. /// [Anthony Savile] (1) If Shaftesbury is to be seen as the doyen of modern aesthetics, his most valuable legacy to us may not so much be his viewing aesthetic response as a sui generis disinterested delight as his insistence on its turning 'wholly on [experience of] what is exterior and foreign to ourselves'. Not that we cannot experience ourselves, or what is our own, as a source of such admiration. Rather our responses, favourable or no, are improperly grounded in any essentially reflexive, or first-personal, ways of taking what engages us. The suggestion is tested against the case of Narcissus. (2) Glauser interestingly emphasizes Shaftesbury's neo-Platonic conception of a hierarchy of aesthetic experience that culminates in the joyful contemplation of God. That hierarchy must be something that is less unitary and systematic than Shaftesbury himself had supposed, even when his emphasis on the tie between aesthetic pleasure and contemplative experience is allowed to extend beyond perception and to encompass episodes of thought itself. (shrink)
Madness is a subject that ought to interest philosophers; but they have had surprisingly little to say about it. What they have said, although often interesting and important, has failed to penetrate to the properly philosophical centre of the topic. They have concerned themselves with its causes and effects, with its social and ethical implications, but they have said little that is useful or definitive about what it is in itself. Preoccupied with its accidents, they have failed to engage with (...) its essence. (shrink)
An important work in the debate between materialists and dualists, the public correspondence between Anthony Collins and Samuel Clarke provided the framework for arguments over consciousness and personal identity in eighteenth-century Britain. In Clarke's view, mind and consciousness are so unified that they cannot be compounded into wholes or divided into parts, so mind and consciousness must be distinct from matter. Collins, by contrast, was a perceptive advocate of a materialist account of mind, who defended the possibility that thinking (...) and consciousness are emergent properties of the brain. Appendices include philosophical writings that influenced, and responded to, the correspondence. (shrink)
Whether any property is internal to a particular object may be taken to depend upon the way in which the object is described. Thus it is not an internal property of Scott to have been the author of Waverley, neither is it an internal property of the author of Ivanhoe. But what of the author of Waverley? Is the proposition that the author of Waverley composed Waverley necessarily true? On one interpretation of it it surely is. Even so, one can (...) attach a sense to saying that the person who was in fact the author of Waverley might not have been so. All that is needed for this is that he be capable of being otherwise identified. (shrink)
J. Anthony Blair is a prominent international figure in argumentation studies. He is among the originators of informal logic, an author of textbooks on the informal logic approach to argument analysis and evaluation and on critical thinking, and a founder and editor of the journal Informal Logic. Blair is widely recognized among the leaders in the field for contributing formative ideas to the argumentation literature of the last few decades. This selection of key works provides insights into the history (...) of the field of argumentation theory and various related disciplines. It illuminates the central debates and presents core ideas in four main areas: Critical Thinking, Informal Logic, Argument Theory and Logic, Dialectic and Rhetoric. (shrink)
Rousseau seldom gets a mention as a philosopher in the conventional histories; if he appears at all it is in connection with that strange and rather suspect discipline ‘political philosophy’. Even then there is a tendency to look upon him as an unsystematic thinker, as a ‘ philosophy ’ rather than as a genuine philosopher. His ideas are held to be interesting, but the connections between them are thought to be emotional rather than logical. Again, Émile is read by students (...) of education, but not by those studying philosophy. This is both because the ‘philosophy of education’ is thought not to be of great importance and again because of Rousseau's lack of logical rigour. Now it is true that Rousseau himself was an emotional figure, and from reading his Confessions it is easy to get the idea that there is no point in looking for interesting philosophical points in his works. (shrink)
I first met Norman Malcolm in the fall of 1963 when, as a terrified sophomore, I took his course in Free Will and Determinism at Cornell. I believe I had already heard that Malcolm was a figure of almost legendary proportions.
While philosophers of mind have been arguing over the status of mental representations in cognitive science, cognitive scientists have been quietly engaged in studying perception, action, and cognition without explaining them in terms of mental representation. In this book, Anthony Chemero describes this nonrepresentational approach, puts it in historical and conceptual context, and applies it to traditional problems in the philosophy of mind. Radical embodied cognitive science is a direct descendant of the American naturalist psychology of William James and (...) John Dewey, and follows them in viewing perception and cognition to be understandable only in terms of action in the environment. Chemero argues that cognition should be described in terms of agent-environment dynamics rather than in terms of computation and representation. After outlining this orientation to cognition, Chemero proposes a methodology: dynamical systems theory, which would explain things dynamically and without reference to representation. He also advances a background theory: Gibsonian ecological psychology, "shored up" and clarified. Chemero then looks at some traditional philosophical problems through the lens of radical embodied cognitive science and concludes that the comparative ease with which it resolves these problems, combined with its empirical promise, makes this approach to cognitive science a rewarding one. "Jerry Fodor is my favorite philosopher," Chemero writes in his preface, adding, "I think that Jerry Fodor is wrong about nearly everything." With this book, Chemero explains nonrepresentational, dynamical, ecological cognitive science as clearly and as rigorously as Jerry Fodor explained computational cognitive science in his classic work The Language of Thought. (shrink)
Graham N. Stanton, University of Cambridge ?Anthony Thiselton is one of our leading theologians, equally at home in both New Testament studies and in philosophical and theological hermeneutics, and a collection of this major articles will ...
Paul Marshall takes extrovertive mystical experience seriously by providing a metaphysical framework inspired by Plotinus and Leibniz that aims to interpret it non-reductively and to explain it persuasively. However praiseworthy Marshall's intentions, his account fails for a variety of reasons, among them an inability to establish convincingly why natural objects appear as transfigured and alive, characteristics frequently encountered in the reports of nature mystics. An alternative approach, rooted in contemporary pan-experientialist philosophy of mind, is able to take extrovertive mysticism equally (...) seriously while accounting more successfully for its pre-eminent features at a less extravagant metaphysical cost. (shrink)
Much of recent ethics has been thoroughly formalistic in character. In the first place it has confined itself to the investigation of the general logical properties of møral discourse and has largely ignored the broad psychological context of motives and purposes in which that kind of discourse has its life. Secondly, it has sought to distinguish the field of discourse that it takes as its subject-matter in a formalistic way, in terms of such properties as its universalisability, its autonomy and (...) its overridingness, without reference to the concrete and specific human interests with which moral discourse is connected and which it might serve to promote. (shrink)
The following interview of Mark William Westmoreland with Anthony Paul Smith–well-known scholar and translator of François Laruelle –considers both implications and extensions of Laruelle's non-philosophy for contemporary thought. Smith has helped bring about a surge of interest in Laruelle due to his many translations of his texts as well as being the author or co-editor of several books on Laruelle. Discussed are in particular the difficulties and joys of translating and the usefulness of Laruelle's thought for Smith's own work, (...) especially in environmental and animal studies. Also considered are some themes of non-philosophy, the adaptability of Laruelle's thought for various disciplines, as well as new paths for Laruelle studies –new, unforeseen landscapes and uses of non-philosophy –that explore social phenomena such as race, racism, sexism, victim a.o. (shrink)
A discussion on antiquity with Anthony A. Long, one of the most distinguished scholars in the field of ancient philosophy, would be engaging in any case. All the more so, since his two recently published works, Greek Models of Mind and Self and How to be Free: An Ancient Guide to the Stoic Life, provide the opportunity to revisit key issues of ancient philosophy. The former is a lively and challenging work that starts with the Homeric notions of selfhood, (...) and leads the reader all the way through classical and Hellenistic philosophical psychology; the latter is a profound analysis of the Stoic ethics that focuses in particular on its foundation and principles, followed by Long’s re-worked translation of Epictetus’ Encheiridion and carefully selected parts of his Discourses. Anthony Long kindly accepted the invitation to discuss several issues that are in the core of scholarly concern, sharing interpretations and thoughts that originate from his long acquaintance with the ancient literary tradition. (shrink)
Situating the subject -- Hermeneutics and spech-act theory -- Hermeneutics, semantics, and conceptual grammar -- Lexicography, exegesis, and reception history -- Parables, narrative-worlds, and reader-response theories -- Philosophy, language, theology, and postermodernity -- Hermeneutics, history, and theology.
It is appropriate that a lecture in a series on ‘Philosophy and Practice’ should open by considering Bentham's ideas on imprisonment. For Bentham, incontestably a philosopher, was equally incontestably a practical reformer. This, indeed, is a received idea among philosophers; that is to say, most philosophers know that Bentham designed ‘a model prison of novel design’, but few have actually considered the design, its implications or its effects. Most are content, like Warnock, with observing that the panopticon plan was formally (...) rejected, before passing on to the abstraction of Bentham's felicific calculus, his notion of utility, and his ideas about the foundations of law. Yet, strange as it may seem, the underlying idea of the panopticon has never been completely abandoned. One aspect of the idea pervades penal thinking, even while prison practice is still influenced by Bentham's practical proposals; moreover, the panoptic ideal has taken root far beyond the walls of actual prisons. Here is philosophy in practice, and yet, in many ways, practically and intellectually a failure. (shrink)
K. Anthony Appiah, the author of the internationally best-selling Cosmopolitanism, analyzes what causes societies to end cruelty and injustices - such as slavery, foot binding, or honor killing. Can a government through its laws halt egregious violations of human decency and can mere moral instruction bring an end to human suffering? No, says Appiah, demonstrating how reform succeeds only when it enlists the primal human sense of honor. When it comes to morality, honor is the lever arm that connects (...) what we know to what we do. (shrink)
Introduction Although Anthony Giddens describes his approach as “social” rather than “critical” theory, and although there is little obvious Frankfurt School influence in his writing, he believes “social theory is inevitably critical theory.”1 While he might aim at such a critical position, it is far from obvious that he succeeds. On the contrary, his later writings have become an apology for the status quo.2 Failing to consider his prejudices, perhaps because he thinks critique is inevitable, Giddens has increasingly vindicated (...) predominant relations of domination. He celebrates the rise of post-traditional individuals, who have the freedom of choice to create and…. (shrink)
Emotions are Janus-faced: their focus may switch from how a person is feeling deep inside her, to the busy world of actions, words, or gestures whose perception currently affects her. The intimate relation between the ‘inside’ and the ‘outside’ seems to call for a redrawing of the traditional distinction of mental states between those that can look out to the world, and those that are, supposedly, irredeemably blind.
Anthony Everett gives a philosophical defence of the common-sense view that there are no such things as fictional people, places, and things. He argues that our talk and thought about such fictional objects takes place within the scope of a pretense, and that we gain little but lose much by accepting fictional realism.
Wittgenstein was unreliable as an historian of philosophy. When he criticised other philosophers he rarely gave chapter and verse for his criticism, and on the rare occasions on which he quoted verbatim he did not always do justice to the authors quoted. I will illustrate this first in the comparatively unimportant case of Augustine and then in the more serious case of Frege.
Bare plural generic sentences pervade ordinary talk. And yet it is extremely controversial what semantics to assign to such sentences. In this paper, I achieve two tasks. First, I develop a novel classification of the various standard uses to which bare plurals may be put. This “variety data” is important—it gives rise to much of the difficulty in systematically theorizing about bare plurals. Second, I develop a novel account of bare plurals, the radical account. On this account, all bare plurals (...) fail to express propositions. The content of a bare plural has to be pragmatically “completed” by a speaker in order for her to make an assertion. At least the content of a quantifier expression has to be supplied. But sometimes, the content of a sentential operator or modal verb is also supplied. The radical account straightforwardly explains the variety data: Speakers’ communicative intentions vary wildly across different contexts. (shrink)
A major treatise on moral philosophy by Aristotle, this is the first time the Eudemian Ethics has been published in its entirety in any modern language. Equally important, the volume has been translated by Sir Anthony Kenny, one of Britain's most distinguished academics and philosophers, and a leading authority on Aristotle. In The Eudemian Ethics , Aristotle explores the factors that make life worth living. He considers the role of happiness, and what happiness consists of, and he analyzes various (...) aspects that contribute to it: human agency, the relation between action and virtue, and the concept of virtue itself. Aristotle classifies and examines the various moral and intellectual virtues, and he considers the roles of friendship and pleasure in a life well lived. Kenny's superb translation is accompanied by a fine introduction, in which he highlights the similarities and differences between this book and the better-known Nicomachean Ethics , with which it holds three books in common. There are also many useful explanatory notes which clarify the arguments and allusions that Aristotle makes. (shrink)