This book provides an entry-level introduction to philosophical ethics, theories of moral reasoning, and selected issues in applied ethics. Chapter 1 describes the importance of philosophical approaches to ethical issues, the general dialectical form of moral reasoning, and the broad landscape of moral philosophy. Chapter 2 presents egoism and relativism as challenges to the presumed objectivity and unconditionality of morality. Chapters 3, 4 and 5 discuss utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics, respectively. Each chapter begins with a general overview of the (...) characteristic theory of value and moral reasoning and proceeds to present a more refined account based on a prominent historical source (Mill, Kant, and Aristotle, respectively). It then discusses strengths and weaknesses of the theory from a contemporary perspective, including more recent developments, defenses, and critiques. Each chapter includes an appendix in which secondary, less prominent, or more complex issues are discussed. Chapters 6-9 address in detail a prominent area of applied ethics: 6. abortion, 7. assisted dying, 8. Biotechnology, 9. Animals and eating. Each of these chapters presents an introduction to the topic, including definitions, historical and contemporary developments and contexts, etc.; the various questions and issues involved; and an application of each theory from multiple points of view. Each chapter also includes a set of primary readings along with an extensive bibliography. Chapter 10 discusses four more areas of applied ethics: War, Torture, and Terrorism; Capital Punishment; Environmental Ethics; and Same-Sex Marriage. The treatment of these topics focuses mainly on the introductory material. While there is some discussion of the various ethical arguments, it is less comprehensive or detailed compared to other chapters. However, several primary resources are listed to supplement the discussion in the textbook. (shrink)
F. H. Bradley (1846-1924) was considered in his day to be the greatest British philosopher since Hume. For modern philosophers he continues to be an important and influential figure. However, the opposition to metaphysical thinking throughout most of the twentieth century has somewhat eclipsed his important place in the history of British thought. Consequently, although there is renewed interest in his ideas and role in the development of Western philosophy, his writings are often hard to find. This collection unites (...) all of his published works, much of which has long been out of print, together with selected notebooks, articles, and correspondence from his previously unpublished remains. The set therefore provides the opportunity to view his entire philosophy, both in the breadth of its scope - from critical history and ethics through logic to metaphysics and epistemology - and in its historical development - from the earliest Hegelian writings to the later more psychological and pragmatic work. In addition the set features introductions to Bradley's writings, life and character, providing the framework to assess his permanent importance in the history of philosophy. --the first ever publication of all Bradley's works --includes 5 volumes of reset material, mostly never before published --a collecton that all serious philosophy libraries should have --extremely comprehensive new editorial matter --volumes 4 & 5 are indexed by subject and name --collects Bradley's correspondence, spanning 50 years, with Russell, Samuel Alexander, Bosanquet, Haldane, William James, Andrew Seth Pringle-Pattison, and many others --includes Bradley's notes on Green's lectures on ethics, selected undergraduate essays, notebooks preparatory of his major works, lists of what Bradley read, essays that never reached publication, inventory of Bradley's papers, and a catalogue of Bradley's personal library. (shrink)
In Bradley, I offered an analysis of Sleeping Beauty and the Everettian interpretation of quantum mechanics. I argued that one can avoid a kind of easy confirmation of EQM by paying attention to observation selection effects, that halfers are right about Sleeping Beauty, and that thirders cannot avoid easy confirmation for the truth of EQM. Wilson agrees with my analysis of observation selection effects in EQM, but goes on to, first, defend Elga’s thirder argument on Sleeping Beauty and, second, (...) argue that the analogy I draw between Sleeping Beauty and EQM fails. I will argue that neither point succeeds. 1 Introduction2 Background3 Wilson’s Argument for ⅓ in Sleeping Beauty4 Reply: Explaining Away the Crazy5 Wilson's Argument for the Breakdown of the Analogy6 Reply: The Irrelevance of Chance7 Conclusion. (shrink)
In this comprehensive study of Wittgenstein's modal theorizing, Bradley offers a radical reinterpretation of Wittgenstein's early thought and presents both an interpretive and a philosophical thesis. A unique feature of Bradley's analysis is his reliance on Wittgenstein's Notebooks, which he believes offer indispensable guidance to the interpretation of difficult passages in the Tractatus. Bradley then goes on to argue that Wittgenstein's account of modality--and the related notion of possible worlds--is in fact superior to any of the currently (...) popular theories in this area. In this context, he examines and critiques the work of such figures as Adams, Carnap, Hintikka, Lewis, Rescher, and Stalnaker. (shrink)
Fischer on death and unexperienced evils Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9667-0 Authors Ben Bradley, Philosophy Department, Syracuse University, 541 Hall of Languages, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
This work combines two early pamphlets by F. H. Bradley , the foremost philosopher of the British Idealist movement. The first essay, published in 1874, deals with the nature of professional history, and foreshadows some of Bradley's later ideas in metaphysics. He argues that history cannot be subjected to scientific scrutiny because it is not directly available to the senses, meaning that all history writing is inevitably subjective. Though not widely discussed at the time of publication, the pamphlet (...) was influential on historian and philosopher R. G. Collingwood. The second pamphlet is Bradley's critique of Henry Sidgwick's The Methods of Ethics. Sidgwick was the first to propose the paradox of hedonism, which is the idea in ethics that pleasure can only be acquired indirectly. Published in 1877, this work is divided into three parts, treating Sidgwick's definitions, arguments, and his view of ethical science. (shrink)
Bradley contends that the semiology of Charles Sanders Peirce , the founder of pragmatism, is a standing challenge as much to Gadamerian hermeneutics as to Saussure’s structuralism and its deconstructionist progeny. For Peirce physical matter itself is one specific mode of the activity of semiosis or sign interpretation. The paper outlines the central point and purpose of Peirce’s general metaphysics and describe the basic features of his theory of signs.
In drawing on my own research and collaborative work with Karl Pribram, I show that love and power play a central role in psychosocial evolution. When these relations are coupled in a self-regulating system of cooperative interactions, brain growth is stimulated, mind and agency develop, and stable forms of collective social organization are generated. Focusing on the endogenous dynamics of social collectives, the article is organized in four parts. Part I summarizes evidence from developmental neuropsychology and social science to show (...) that stable psychosocial organization, across the human life span, is associated with social interaction organized along two dimensions. One dimension involves love, positive affective attachment, and the second involves power, social regulation of the aroused affective energy. Part II draws on Piaget's theory of cooperation and Bradley and Pribrams' theory of communication to describe how mind and agency are generated, and how stable organization is produced, respectively, from the relations involved in the arousal and regulation of affective energy. Combining elements of the two theories, Part III presents a sketch of a holographic model of collective organization in which goal-directed behavior is generated by a feed-forward process involving imaging and information processing of interaction along the two dimensions. Part IV shows how the model accounts for the emergence of human agency within the context of a more general evolutionary theory, such as Laszlo's. The article concludes with a discussion of my approach for building a "fully human theory of evolution.". (shrink)
This selection from the writings of the great English idealist philosopher F.H. Bradley, on truth, meaning knowledge, and metaphysics, provides within covers of a single volume a selection of original texts that will enable the reader to obtain a firsthand and comprehensive grasp of his thought. In addition, the editors have contributed general introductions to Bradley's logic and metaphysics and particular introductions to specific topics. These provide a systematic explanation of his thought and relate it to developments wihin (...) the recent history of analytical philosophy, giving the reader a framework in which to read and appreciate this important and sometimes difficult writing. Admirably suited for use both as a textbook in taught courses on recent philosophy and for individual study, this introduction comes at a time when Bradley's thought is being reassessed and the importance o his work appreciated once more. As one of only two volumes of Bradley's works available, it is sure to become an essential Bradley reader. (shrink)
Textual evidence normally quoted to justify the claim that F. H. Bradley rejects subject - predicate judgements has other functions: namely to reject concrete interpretations of subject - predicate judgements. Bradley has his own view of subject - predicate judgement: in a judgement subject and predicate forma an adjetive which is predicated of the whole reality.
A striking feature of Bradley’s thought is its dialectical structure. This is evident in all his writings especially Ethical Studies in which he investigates the topic of self-realization within the larger context of the question of the nature of morality. In the Ethical Studies Bradley looks at different accounts of morality vis-à-vis the demand of self realization and finds none of them absolutely adequate albeit one is relatively adequate than the other. For this reason he condemns the “ethics (...) of pleasure for pleasure sake” and rates it lower than “ethics of duty for duty sake” even though from a larger standpoints he finds “ethics of duty for duty sake” equally inadequate whereas it takes it that the “ethics of my stations and duties” fares better than “ethics of duty for duty sake” even if it does not offer us any resting place. Although the structure of Bradley’s Ethical Studies is dialectical and to this extent is Bradley’s most Hegelian writing it is a mistake not to pay attention to Bradley’s divergence from Hegelianism which is already evident in Ethical Studies especially with regard to what he makes of the relationship between morality, religion and philosophy. What this means that despite his sympathy to dialectical thinking, Bradley’s relation to dialectics in the end is ambivalent. (shrink)
This article makes a distinction between pure and naturalized metaphysics and characterized F. H. Bradley's metaphysics as the former, according to which pure reason alone independent of the natural sciences discovers the true nature of reality. Bradley's view is critically evaluated via the the naturalized views of A. N. Whitehead and W. V. Quine.
Trope theory is the view that the world is a world of abstract particular qualities. But if all there is are tropes, how do we account for the truth of propositions ostensibly made true by some concrete particular? A common answer is that concrete particulars are nothing but tropes in compresence. This answer seems vulnerable to an argument (first presented by F. H. Bradley) according to which any attempt to account for the nature of relations will end up either (...) in contradiction, nonsense, or will lead to a vicious infinite regress. I investigate Bradley’s argument and claim that it fails to prove what it sets out to. It fails, I argue, because it does not take all the different ways in which relation and relata may depend on one another into account. If relations are entities that are distinct from yet essentially dependent upon their relata, the Bradleyan problem is solved. We are then free to say that tropes in compresence are what make true propositions ostensibly made true by concrete particulars. (shrink)
Much of the recent metaphysical literature on the problem of the relational unity of complexes leaves the impression that Bradley (or some Bradleyan argument) has uncovered a serious problem to be addressed. The problem is thought to be particularly challenging for trope theorists and realists about universals. In truth, there has been little clarity about the nature and import of the original Bradley’s regress arguments. In this paper, I offer a careful analysis and reconstruction of the arguments in (...)Bradley’s Appearance and Reality (1893). The analysis reveals that no less than three regress arguments against relations can be found. I show that none of them are compelling. I argue that, as a result, it is a serious misstep for philosophers today to offer metaphysical theses based on the unchallenged assumption that Bradley has established his regress result. I further analyze the underpinnings of the Bradley problem as it is frequently cast in contemporary literature and show that they rely on certain confusions and biases, which once brought to light, make current Bradley-inspired arguments against relations unconvincing. (shrink)
Bradley has argued that a truth-conditional semantics for conditionals is incompatible with an allegedly very weak and intuitively compelling constraint on the interpretation of conditionals. I argue that the example Bradley offers to motivate this constraint can be explained along pragmatic lines that are compatible with the correctness of at least one popular truth-conditional semantics for conditionals.
Different interpretations of Bradley’s regress argument are considered. On the basis of textual evidences, it is argued that the most persuasive is the one that sees the argument as primarily addressing the general issue of unity or connectedness.
I shall investigate in this contribution some solutions to Bradley's well-known regress. Moreover, I shall evaluate such solutions in light of the principle of ontological parsimony: all other things being equal, do not multiply entities (and types of entities) beyond necessity. This will show the advantages of accepting one peculiar solution to the regress, i.e., the one based on modes (particular properties that also ontologically depend on their " bearers "). In section 1, I shall present Bradley's regress. (...) In section 2, I shall delve into some solutions to it. In section 3, I shall introduce my own favourite solution, i.e., the mode solution, and I shall cope with some preliminary difficulties. In section 4 I shall introduce and clarify the principle of ontological parsimony. Finally, in section 5, I shall recall the solutions and I shall evaluate their degrees of parsimony. The overall conclusion of my argument will be that the mode solution is the most ontologically parsimonious solution to Bradley's regress. (shrink)
Most philosophers reject what we might call "penal pluralism": the idea that punishment can and should encompass multiple penal goals or principles. This is rejected because it is often held that different penal goals or principles will conflict: the goal of punishing an offender to the degree deserved may differ and even undermine the goal of enabling deterrence or rehabilitation. For this reason, most philosophers argue that we must make a choice, such as choosing between retribution and its alternatives. In (...) "Some Remarks on Punishment," F. H. Bradley re-examines the justification of punishment in light of a critique of Darwinism's importance for ethics. My primary focus is on how Bradley's substantive discussion of punishment only because it is here that this article's arguments have most relevance for us today. (shrink)
La thèse du présent article est que l’opposition factice entre James, repré- sentant supposé des « relations externes », d’une part, et Bradley, représen- tant supposé des « relations internes », d’autre part, est due à une mauvaise appréhension des thèses de ce dernier. Ce premier contresens conduit alors à manquer le propos même de James.
In this paper, I will give a presentation of Bradley's two main arguments against the reality of relations. Whereas one of his arguments is highly specific to Bradley's metaphysical background, his famous regress argument seems to pose a serious threat not only for ontological pluralism, but especially for states of affairs as an ontological category. Amongst the proponents of states-of-affairs ontologies two groups can be distinguished: One group holds states of affairs to be complexes consisting of their particular (...) and universal constituents alone, the other holds that there has to be a "unifying relation" of some sort to establish the unity of a given state of affairs. Bradley's regress is often conceived to be a compelling argument against the first and for the latter. I will argue that the latter approaches have no real advantage over the simpler theories—neither in the light of Bradley's regress nor in other respects. (shrink)
In his magnum opus, Process and Reality, Alfred North Whitehead claims a special affinity to Oxford philosopher Francis Herbert Bradley. McHenry clarifies exactly how much of Whitehead's metaphysics is influenced by and accords with the main principles of Bradley's "absolute idealism." He argues that many of Whitehead's doctrines cannot be understood without an adequate understanding of Bradley, in terms of both affinities and contrasts. He evaluates the arguments between them and explores several important connections with William James, (...) Josiah Royce, George Santayana, Bertrand Russell, and Charles Hartshorne. (shrink)
T. S. Eliot left Harvard during his third year of study in the department of philosophy and went to England. Forty-six years later he authorized the publication of his doctoral dissertation. Here we have a reprint of his sympathetic but not entirely uncritical study of the English idealist philosopher F. H. Bradley.
The influence of James’s anti-intellectualism on his reading of Bradley is clearest in his “Bradley or Bergson?,” an article James contributed to the Journal of Philosophy in 1910. The fact that the article appeared late in James’s career makes it an important document. But aside from this, the article is also important for the light it casts on the assumptions behind James’s portrait of Bradley as an intellectualist. As the article intimates, James is fully aware of the (...) affinity between him and Bradley. Indeed, for the most part one finds James celebrating the so-called affinity. But he is also aware of the divergence between them, except that one gets the impression that James is at a loss as to why such a divergence should exist. As far as I can see, the article evinces a dual level narrative: an “is” discourse, as distinguished from an “ought” discourse. An “is” discourse articulates what is the case without the implication of a prescriptive burden, while the hallmark of an “ought” discourse is its prescriptivism, in the sense that it not only articulates a promise, but also implies that the prevalent order does not measure up to the prescribed ideal. It is just this type of discourse that we find in “Bradley or Bergson?” Both levels of discourse are integrated into a unified narrative to the extent that the entire story is aimed at advancing a supposedly paradigmatic interpretation of the relation between Bradley’s philosophy and James’s. If “Bradley or Bergson?” is a complex and tricky document the clue lies in its prescriptivism, which gravitates on the implicit dual level narrative that drives it. Perhaps also it is the key to unravelling the truth about the logic of James’s rejection of Bradley’s Absolutism. (shrink)
After more than a decade teaching ancient Greek history and philosophy at University College, Oxford, British philosopher and political theorist Bernard Bosanquet resigned from his post to spend more time writing. He was particularly interested in contemporary social theory, and was involved with the Charity Organisation Society and the London Ethical Society. He wrote numerous articles before beginning this book, which was his first and was published in 1885 as a response to the Principles of Logic, published in 1883, by (...) his contemporary F. H. Bradley . Bosanquet, who was deeply influenced by the German philosopher Hegel , argues that there are 'signs of a philosophical movement in this country which may assimilate what is really great in European philosophy, without forfeiting the distinctive merits of English thought'. With this as the framework, the book examines the relationship of judgment and logic to knowledge. (shrink)
After more than a decade teaching ancient Greek history and philosophy at University College, Oxford, British philosopher and political theorist Bernard Bosanquet resigned from his post to spend more time writing. He was particularly interested in contemporary social theory, and was involved with the Charity Organisation Society and the London Ethical Society. He wrote numerous articles before beginning this book, which was his first and was published in 1885 as a response to the Principles of Logic, published in 1883, by (...) his contemporary F. H. Bradley. Bosanquet, who was deeply influenced by the German philosopher Hegel, argues that there are 'signs of a philosophical movement in this country which may assimilate what is really great in European philosophy, without forfeiting the distinctive merits of English thought'. With this as the framework, the book examines the relationship of judgment and logic to knowledge. (shrink)
Since the epistemological turn initiated by Descartes at the start of the modern period and subsequently cemented by Kant's Copernican revolution in epistemology, attention has focused more on the issue of criteria of truth than the essence of truth. This is especially true in respect of discussions in philosophy of truth in contemporary philosophy. While Bradley recognizes the importance of the issue of criteria as far as the problem of truth is concerned, he is nonetheless more concerned with the (...) question of the nature of truth in his engagement with the problem of truth. Bradley sees a fundamental continuity between both concerns, to the extent that in the final analysis truth cannot be divorced from reality, so that truth is not merely a property of propositions as many contemporary theories of truth maintain, but rather a feature of reality. Bradley's approach is peculiar, no doubt, but I argue that it helps to correct certain imbalances associated with contemporary philosophies of truth. (shrink)
Many commentators regard Ethical Studies as the most Hegelian of Bradley’s writings. The common perception is that the Fifth essay of that work, which articulates an ethics of “My Station and its Duties”, expresses Bradley’s position on the question of the nature of morality. Nonetheless when the dialectical structure of Ethical Studies is taken into account, the common perception is not only questionable, but it also emerges that, in interrogating the nature of morality, Bradley’s concern is beyond (...) matters merely ethical, in so far as, on Bradley’s view, the question of the nature of morality inevitably implicates the larger question as to the relation of morality to religion, and of religion to philosophy. Thus in accentuating the claim of ideal morality in the Sixth Essay against the apotheosis of social morality, Bradley’s attempt is to offer a larger perspective on the being of morality itself, as it bears on the question of the nature of ultimate reality. Paradoxically, Bradley concludes by way of anti-climax that the highest viewpoint on morality is still inadequate to the matter, given that morality is inherently self-contradictory. Given the often confused environment of much of the contemporary debates on the nature of morality in which communitarianism is dualistically opposed to individualism, and ethical relativism pitched against ethical objectivism, the relevance of Bradley’s accentuation of the ideality of morality is beyond question, as it provides useful resources for thinking together personal and social morality without reducing one to the other. (shrink)
-/- Bradley is one of the most important philosophers in the 20th century. He contributed to virtually every area of the philosophical discipline. However, he is mostly known for his work in metaphysics which finds a systematic exposition in his magnum opus: Appearance and Reality: An Essay in Metaphysics (1893). Bradley’s concept of metaphysics is implicit in all his writings, especially in his account of morality as self-realization in Ethical Studies and of course the theory of judgement and (...) inference he develops in the Principles of Logic. Same is true in respect of his discussion of the problem of truth and allied matters in Essays on Truth and Reality. Nonetheless it is in Appearance and Reality that his concept of metaphysics receives its explicit articulation. Bradley holds metaphysics in high esteem, seeing a close affinity between religion, mysticism and metaphysics. Hence he regards metaphysics as one of the highest vocations to which a human being is called. As a form of thinking, metaphysics provides us with an important avenue for understanding the nature of things as they are in themselves rather than merely in terms of their accidental determinations, that is to say, rather than merely as appearances. (shrink)
The aim of this dissertation is to present a systematic account of F. H. Bradley's philosophy in so far as it is relevant to an understanding of his conception of the nature and criterion of truth. I argue that, for Bradley, the nature of truth is the identity of thought with reality given in immediate experience. There is no absolute separation between thought and its object. Bradley therefore rejects both the correspondence theory and epistemological realism. Thought is (...) not just a mirror which reflects an independently existing reality. ;Concerning the criterion of truth, I argue that his criterion for our ordinary and scientific beliefs is practice, and the criterion for philosophical positions is a kind of coherence based on the doctrine of relative truth. For Bradley, some positions are truer than others, and the best philosophy is a comprehensive system which contains the truth of all different positions. ;Bradley does not accept the coherence theory of justification as it is understood today, since it is based on the standard account of negation and the doctrine of absolute truth. Bradley has a different approach to negation and inconsistency, according to which there are no absolutely inconsistent beliefs. Further, he insists that truth is not absolute but "relative," a matter of degree. All philosophical positions contain some truth, and none is completely false. The truth in philosophy is a position which accounts for the whole of reality and includes all apparently inconsistent positions within it. ;I explain Bradley's place in the history of philosophy and show his connections with the British empiricist tradition. I believe one of Bradley's central concerns is to explain the nature and criterion of truth in philosophy within the constraints of empiricism. I also contrast Bradley's positions on important issues with those of philosophers in the Anglo-American analytic tradition, such as Russell, Moore, Ayer, Tarski, Quine, Churchland, Lehrer and Campbell. I argue that most recent commentators on Bradley overlook the importance of understanding his philosophy as a system constructed according to the doctrine of relative truth. (shrink)