Mediation services arise in contexts where the notions of community cohesion, relationship integrity and social order are valued over their opposites (disorder, dissent, conflict etc). Yet it is not at all clear whether and how the mediation of conflict works to re-establish harmony or consensus. Indeed it is not at all clear that mediation is always effective or just. It has even been suggested that some conflicts (e.g. work-place, commercial and sexual assault) are either not resolved or not resolved justly (...) by mediation. On the other hand, advocates maintain that mediation can bring resolution and repair to ongoing relationships, promote community harmony, and empower people to be self-determining in the construction and maintenance of their resolutions. Whether mediation is adjudged positively or not, all mediation is instantiated in, indeed performed through, talk. In this paper I examine mediations from an Australian mediation program, and use Conversation Analysis to expose the practical methods by which mediators achieve consensus between disputants. I then examine a case in which mediation has failed to produce the sought-after consensus, and explore one way of understanding the failure of mediation in that case. (shrink)
The present essay contends that progressive readings of Smith ignore the influence of theological concepts and religious ideas on his work, notably three distinct strands: first, seventeenth- and eighteenth-century natural theology; second, Jansenist Augustinianism; third, Stoic arguments of theodicy. Taken together, these theological elements help explain why Smith’s moral philosophy and political economy intensifies the secular early modern and Enlightenment idea that the Fall brought about ‘radical evil’ and a ‘fatherless world’ in need of permanent divine intervention. As (...) such, Smith views the market as divine regulation of human sinfulness and an instrument to serve God’s providential plan. Indeed, the ‘invisible hand of the market’ represents a nominalist realm where human cooperation intersects with divine providence, blending private self-interest with the public commonweal. I will also argue that Smith’s conception of a morally neutral market is ultimately incompatible with creedal Christianity, in particular orthodox catholic Christian ideas of the common good in which all can share and the practice of charity for those most in need who have been abandoned by state bureaucracy and the marketplace. The main reason is that Smith, not unlike Calvin, tends to divorce human contract from divine gift by dividing the theo-logic of gratuitous reciprocal giving from the economic logic of contract – a dualism that bears an uncanny resemblance with Suárez’s Baroque scholasticism of which Smith’s friend David Hume was rightly critical. In particular, the Reformation and Counter-Reformation theology of Calvin, Luther and Suárez sunders ‘pure nature’ from the supernatural and develops a ‘two ends’ account of human nature, according to which human beings have a natural end separate from their supernatural finality. So instead of participating in the divine oikonomia of asymmetrical gift-exchange, human society and the economy operate autonomously and are ordered towards a purely natural end. Smith conceptualises the market mechanism as both a fundamental precondition for interpersonal relationality and at the same time separate from the sociality it engenders. Smith’s anthropology hovers half-way between Machiavelli and Mandeville’s homo œconomicus in search for maximal profit, on the one hand, and the diametrically opposed conception of man as a gift-exchanging animal striving for mutual social recognition, on the other hand. By viewing market exchange as separate from the private virtues of benevolence, justice and prudence, he introduces a split between the exercise of moral virtues and the operation of commercial society. Such a divide is wholly foreign to the project of an overarching civil compact in the writings of Smith’s contemporary Antonio Genovesi and other members of the Italian schools of civic humanism and civil economy. In consequence, Smith’s œuvre marks a decisive shift from civil to political economy. (shrink)
Usury is a concept often associated more with religiously based financial ethics, whether Christian or Islamic, than with the secular world of contemporary finance. The problem is compounded by a tendency to interpret riba, prohibited within Islam, as both usury and interest, without adequately distinguishing these concepts. This paper argues that in Christian tradition usury has always evoked the notion of money demanded in excess of what is owed on a loan, disrupting a relationship of equality between people, whereas interest (...) was seen as referring to just compensation to the lender. Although it is often claimed that hostility towards ‘usury’ has been in retreat in the West since the protestant Reformation, we would argue that the crucial break came not with Calvin, but with Jeremy Bentham, whose critique of the arguments of Adam Smith, upholding the reasonableness of the laws against usury, led to the abolition of the usury laws in England in 1854. There has to be a role for law, whether Islamic or secular, in regulating financial relationships. We argue that by retrieving the necessary distinction between demanding usury as illegitimate predatory lending and interest as legitimate compensation, we can discover common ground behind the driving principles of financial ethics within both Islamic and Christian tradition that may still be of relevance today. By re-examining past ethical discussions of the distinction between usury and just compensation, we argue that the world’s religious traditions can make significant contributions to contemporary debate. (shrink)
This book tells the story of modern ethics, namely the story of a discourse that, after the Renaissance, went through a methodological revolution giving birth to Grotius’s and Pufendorf’s new science of natural law, leaving room for two centuries of explorations of the possible developments and implications of this new paradigm, up to the crisis of the Eighties of the eighteenth century, a crisis that carried a kind of mitosis, the act of birth of both basic paradigms of the two (...) following centuries: Kantian ethics and utilitarianism. The new science of natural law carried a fresh start for ethics, resulting from a mixture of the Old and the New. It was, as suggested by Schneewind, an attempt at rescuing the content of Scholastic and Stoic doctrines on a new methodological basis. The former was the claim of existence of objective and universal moral laws; the latter was the self-aware attempt at justifying a minimal kernel of such laws facing skeptical doubt. What Bentham and Kant did was precisely carrying this strategy further on, even if restructuring it each of them around one out of two alternative basic claims. The nineteenth- and twentieth-century critics of the Enlightenment attacked both not on their alleged failure in carrying out their own projects, but precisely on having adopted Grotius’s and Pufendorf’s project. What counter-enlightenment has been unable to spell out is which alternative project could be carried out facing the modern condition of pluralism, while on the contrary, if we takes a closer look at developments in twentieth-century ethics or at on-going discussions on practical issues, we might feel inclined to believe that Grotius’s and Pufendorf’s project is as up-to-date as ever. -/- Table of Contents -/- Preface I. Fathers of the Reformation and Schoolmen 1.1. Luther: passive justice and the good deeds; 1.2. Calvin: voluntarism and predestination; 1.3. Baroque Scholasticism; 1.4. Casuistry and Institutiones morales -/- II Neo-Platonists, neo-Stoics, neo-Sceptics 2.1. Aristotelian, neo-Platonic, neo-Epicurean and neo-Cynic Humanists; 2.2. Oeconomica and the art of living; 2.3. Neo-Stoics; 2.4. Neo-Sceptics; 2.5. Moralistic literature -/- III Neo-Augustinians 3.l. The Jansenists on natura lapsa, sufficient grace, pure love; 3.2. Nicole on the impossibility of self-knowledge; 3.3. Nicole on self-love and charity; 3.4. Nicole against civic virtue, for Christian civility; 3.5. Malebranche on general laws and necessary evil; 3.6. Malebranche on Neo-Augustinianism and Platonism. -/- IV Grotius, Pufendorf and the new moral science 4.1. Grotius against Aristotle and the sceptics; 4.2. Mersenne and Gassendi; 4.3. Descartes on ethics as the last branch of philosophy’s tree; 4.4. Hobbes on scepticism and the new moral science; 4.5. Spinoza on the new moral science as a descriptive science;4.6. Locke on voluntarism and probabilism; 4.7. Pufendorf on natural law as an exact science; 4.8. Pufendorf on physical and moral entities; 10. Pufendorf on self-preservation -/- V The empiricist version of the new moral science: from Cumberland to Paley 5.1. Cumberland against Hobbesian voluntarism; 5.2. Cumberland and theological consequentialism; 5.3. Cumberland on universal benevolence and self-love; 5.4. Shaftesbury on the moral sense; 5.5. Hutcheson on natural law and moral faculties; 5.6. Gay, Brown, Paley and theological consequentialism. -/- VI The rationalist version of the new moral science: from Cudworth to Price 6.1. The Cambridge Platonists; 6.2. Shaftesbury on the moral sense; 6.3. Butler and a third way between voluntarism and scepticism; 6.4. Price and the rational character of moral truths; -/- VII Leibniz’s compromise between the new moral science and Aristotelianism 1.Leibniz against voluntarism; 2.Leibniz against the division between the physical and the moral good; 3.Leibniz on la place d’autrui and theological consequentialism; 4.Thomasius, Wolff, Crusius -/- VIII French eighteenth-century philosophers without the new moral science 8.1. The genealogy of our ideas of virtue and vice; 8.2. Maupertuis and moral arithmetic 8.3. The philosophes and the harmony of interests; 8.4. Rousseau on corruption, self-love, and virtue; 8.5. Sade on the merits of vice -/- IX Experimental moral science: Hume and Adam Smith 9.1. Mandeville’s paradox; 9.2. Hutcheson on the law of nature and moral faculties; 9.3. Hume on experimental moral philosophy and the intermediate principles; 9.4. Hume’s Law; 9.5. Hume on the fellow-feeling; 9.6. Hume on natural and artificial virtues and disinterested pleasure for utility; 9.7. Adam Smith’s anti-realist metaethics; 9.8. Adam Smith on self-deception and the paradox of happiness; 9.9. Adam Smith on sympathy and the impartial spectator; 9.10. Adam Smith on the twofold criterion for moral judgement and its paradox; 9.11. Reid on the refutation of scepticism and the self-evidence of duty -/- X Kantian ethics 10.1. Kantian metaethics: moral epistemology; 10.2. Kantian metaethics: moral ontology; 10.3. Kantian metaethics: moral psychology; 10.4. Kantian normative ethics; 10.5. Kant on the impracticability of applied ethics; 10.6. Kantian moral anthropology; 10.7. Civilisation and moralisation; 10.8. Theology on a moral basis and the origins of evil; 10.9. Fichte and the transformation of theoretical philosophy into practical philosophy XI Bentham and utilitarianism 11.1. Bentham’s linguistic theory; 11.2. Bentham’s moral ontology, psychology, and theory of action; 11.3. The principle of greatest happiness; 11.4. The critique of religious ethics; 11.5. The new morality; 11.6. Interest and duty; 11.7. Virtues; 11.8. Private ethics and legislation -/- XII Followers of the Enlightenment: liberal Judaism and Liberal Theology 12.1. Mendelssohn; 12.2. Salomon Maimon; 12.3. Haskalā and liberal Judaism; 12.4. Liberal Theology. -/- XIII Counter-Enlighteners 13.1.Romanticism and the fulfilment of individuality as the Summum Bonum; 13.2. Hegel on history as the making of liberty; 13.3. Hegel on the unhappy consciousness and the beautiful soul; 13.4. Hegel on Morality and Sittlichkeit; 13.5. Marx on ideology, alienation, and praxis; 13.6. Schopenhauer on compassion; 13.7. Kierkegaard on faith beyond ethics. -/- XIV Followers of the Enlightenment: intuitionists and utilitarian 14.1 Whewell‘s criticism of utilitarianism; 14.2 Whewell on morality and the philosophy of morality; 14.3 Whewell on the Supreme Norm; 14.4 Whewell on the conflict between duties; 14.5 Mill and the proof of the principle of utility; 14.6 Mill’s eudemonistic utilitarianism; 14.7 Mill on rules -/- XV Followers of the Enlightenment: neo-Kantians and positivists 15.1. French spiritualism; 15.2. Neo-Kantians: the Marburg school; 15.3. Neo-Kantians: the Marburg school; 15.4. Comte’s positivism and the invention of altruism; 15.5. Social Darwinism; 15.6. Wundt and an ethic of humankind -/- XVI Post-enlighteners: Sidgwick 16.1. Criticism of intuitionism; 16.2. On ethical egoism; 16.3. Criticism of utilitarianism -/- XVII Post-enlighteners: Durkheim 17.1. Sociology as physics of customs; 17.2. Morality as physics of customs and as practical science; 17.3. On Kantian ethics and utilitarianism; 17.4. The variability of moralities;17.5. Social solidarity as end and justification of morality; 17.6. Secular morality as “sociodicy”; XVIII Post-enlighteners: Nietzsche 18.1. On the Dionysian; 18.2. On the deconstruction of the world of values 18.3 On the twofold genealogy of moralities; 18.4. On ascetics and nihilism; 18.5. Normative ethics of self-fulfilment -/- Bibliography / Index of names / Index of concepts -/- . (shrink)
In J. B. Schneewind's The Invention of Autonomy we are given a monumental history of moral philosophy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a history more comprehensive and richer in detail than one would have thought possible in a single volume. Though the daunting erudition, agreeably unobtrusive, inspires confidence, it is Schneewind's gift of narrative that makes his book such a pleasure and his story so compelling. Schneewind originally conceived the book, he tells us, to "broaden our historical comprehension of (...) Kant's moral philosophy by relating it to the earlier work to which it was a response", but he does much, much more as he charts the fitful transition from morality as obedience to the later and now widely accepted conception of morality as self-governance. In its broad outline, the story is familiar, beginning with Montaigne's skepticism, moving through modern natural law theory, rationalist, perfectionist, and moral sense responses and ending with Bentham and Kant. But Schneewind adds to acute and deeply informed discussions of Hobbes, Locke, Clarke, Hume, and Kant, clear, often arresting summaries, in varying degrees of detail, of Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Machiavelli, Suarez, Charron, Grotius, Cumberland, Pufendorf, Thomasius, DuVair, Justus Lipsius, Herbert of Cherbury, Descartes, Gassendi, Whichcote, John Smith, More, Cudworth, Spinoza, Leibniz, Barbeyrac, Malebranche, Nicole, Bayle, Harrington, Shaftesbury, Mandeville, Butler, Price, Adam Smith, Reid, Paley, Hartley, Helvetius, d'Holbach, Bentham, de Sade, Wolff, Crusius, Voltaire, La Mettrie, Diderot, Rousseau, and others. If, as no doubt they will, some readers will fault some of Schneewind's interpretations, none will fail to admire his achievement in ferreting out and combining in such a fascinating narrative the leading ideas of this host of thinkers. It is safe to predict, moreover, that this study will inspire others to explore some of these less-read authors and to produce more fine-grained monographs, and further to deepen our understanding of the period and of the way we have come to think of ourselves. (shrink)
Concerned with criticizing representational theories of knowledge by developing alternative concepts of knowing and communicating, Ian Angus and Lenore Langsdorf bring together eight essays that are united by a common theme: the convergence of philosophy and rhetoric. In the first chapter, Angus and Langsdorf illustrate the centrality of critical reasoning to the nature of questioning itself, arguing that human inquiry has entered a "new situation" where "the convictions and orientations that have traditionally marked the separation of rhetoric and philosophy—the concern (...) for truth and the focus on persuasion—have begun to converge on a new space that can be defined through the central term _discourse._"_ _In these essays, this convergence of rhetoric and philosophy is addressed as it presents itself to a variety of interests that transcend the traditional boundaries of these fields. The two editors, Raymie E. McKerrow, Michael J. Hyde and Craig R. Smith, James W. Hikins and Kenneth S. Zagacki, Calvin O. Schrag and David James Miller, and Richard L. Lanigan map this new space, recognizing that such mapping "simultaneously _constitutes _the territory mapped.". (shrink)
Benjamin Whichcote.--Benjamin Whichcote and Jeremy Taylor.--John Smith.--Ralph Cudworth.--Henry More.--Richard Cumberland.--Nathanael Culverwel.--George Rust.--Edward Stillingfleet.--Additional notes: John Calvin.--Lancelot Andrewes: Excerpt on the candle of the Lord.--William Laud: Excerpt on Scripture.
Why should we seek and tell the truth? Does anyone know what truth is? Many are skeptical about the relevance of truth. Truth Matters endeavours to show why truth is important in a world where the very idea of truth is contested. Putting philosophers in conversation with educators, literary scholars, physicists, political theorists, and theologians, Truth Matters ranges across both analytic and continental philosophy and draws on the ideas of thinkers such as Aquinas, Balthasar, Brandom, Davidson, Dooyeweerd, Gadamer, Habermas, Kierkegaard, (...) Plantinga, Ricoeur, and Wolterstorff. Some essays attempt to provide a systematic account of truth, while others wrestle with the question of how truth is told and what it means to live truthfully. Contributors address debates between realists and anti-realists, explore issues surrounding relativism and constructivism in education and the social sciences, examine the politics of truth telling and the ethics of authenticity, and consider various religious perspectives on truth. Most scholars agree that truth is propositional, being expressed in statements that are subject to proof or disproof. This book goes a step farther: yes, propositional truth is important, but truth is more than propositional. To recognize how it is more than propositional is crucial for understanding why truth truly matters. Contributors include Doug Blomberg, Allyson Carr, Jeffrey Dudiak, Olaf Ellefson, Gerrit Glas, Gill K. Goulding, Jay Gupta, Clarence Joldersma, Matthew J. Klaassen, John Jung Park, Pamela J. Reeve, Amy Richards, Calvin Seerveld, Ronnie Shuker, Adam Smith, John Van Rys, Darren Walhof, Matthew Walhout, and Lambert Zuidervaart. (shrink)
That’s Bill Calvin, whose brain is worthy of study in its own right. Technically, he’s a theoretical neurophysiologist and affiliate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington. But he’s also known as a scientist with a wide-ranging intellect and a prolific (and accessible) writer who constantly offers remarkable insights about the world around him. As I sat down to interview Calvin in his book-lined Seattle home last Fall, I recalled the comments of someone who (...) had come to GBN to hear Calvin speak. He said that he didn’t know—or care—what Calvin was going to talk about because everything that Bill Calvin said was not only interesting, but worth learning about. After more than three hours of conversation with Calvin, I couldn’t agree more. (shrink)
& A college development officer is offered a generous gift by a donor whose identity would embarrass the institution. Should the development officer accept? & A volunteer lies about his level of giving, but classmates believe him and match his "gift." Should donors be told the truth? & A development officer must explain to a donor the difference between naming an endowed chair and selecting the person to fill the chair. Where is the line between reasonable donor expectations and intrusion? (...) "There was a time, barely a generation ago, when most college fund raising was a placid, back-porch operation... That pattern, like so much in higher education, began to change dramatically... On the heels of all this change comes this splendid volume by Deni Elliot. The new fund-raising environment raises a host of ethical questions that were largely unknown or unrecognized by earlier generations of fund raisers... The great value of this book is that it provides some clear-eyed guidance through the ethical thicket that is modern higher education fund raising. The great charm of the book is that it provides this important service with such eloquence and good taste... Anyone involved in modern fund raising will find something of value in this book." -- G. Calvin MacKenzie, Academe "This volume provides college and university development officers and administrators practical help with recognizing difficult ethical situations and discerning the correct ethical response. It can also serve as a guide for donors who wonder what's reasonable for them to expect from fund raisers." -- Resources in Education Contributors: Allen Buchanan, James A. Donahue, Marilyn Batt Dunn, Deni Elliott, Bernard Gert, Judith M. Gooch, Bruce R. Hopkins, Frank Logan, Mary Lou Siebert, Holly Smith, and Eric B. Wentworth. (shrink)
Preface Introduction Christopher J. Berry: Adam Smith: Outline of Life, Times, and Legacy Part One: Adam Smith: Heritage and Contemporaries 1: Nicholas Phillipson: Adam Smith: A Biographer's Reflections 2: Leonidas Montes: Newtonianism and Adam Smith 3: Dennis C. Rasmussen: Adam Smith and Rousseau: Enlightenment and counter-Enlightenment 4: Christopher J. Berry: Adam Smith and Early Modern Thought Part Two: Adam Smith on Language, Art and Culture 5: Catherine Labio: Adam Smith's Aesthetics 6: James (...) Chandler: Adam Smith as Critic 7: Michael C. Amrozowicz: Adam Smith: History and Poetics 8: C. Jan Swearingen: Adam Smith on Language and Rhetoric: The Ethics of Style, Character, and Propriety Part Three: Adam Smith and Moral Philosophy 9: Christel Fricke: Adam Smith: The Sympathetic Process and the Origin and Function of Conscience 10: Duncan Kelly: Adam Smith and the Limits of Sympathy 11: Ryan Patrick Hanley: Adam Smith and Virtue 12: Eugene Heath: Adam Smith and Self-Interest Part Four: Adam Smith and Economics 13: Tony Aspromourgos: Adam Smith on Labour and Capital 14: Nerio Naldi: Adam Smith on Value and Prices 15: Hugh Rockoff: Adam Smith on Money, Banking, and the Price Level 16: Maria Pia Paganelli: Commercial Relations: from Adam Smith to Field Experiments Part Five: Adam Smith on History and Politics 17: Spiros Tegos: Adam Smith: Theorist of Corruption 18: David M. Levy & Sandra J. Peart: Adam Smith and the State: Language and Reform 19: Fabrizio Simon: Adam Smith and the Law 20: Edwin van de Haar: Adam Smith on Empire and International Relations Part Six: Adam Smith on Social Relations 21: Richard Boyd: Adam Smith, Civility, and Civil Society 22: Gavin Kennedy: Adam Smith on Religion 23: Samuel Fleischacker: Adam Smith and Equality 24: Maureen Harkin: Adam Smith and Women Part Seven; Adam Smith: Legacy and Influence 25: Spencer J. Pack: Adam Smith and Marx 26: Craig Smith: Adam Smith and the New Right 27: Tom Campbell: Adam Smith: Methods, Morals and Markets 28: Amartya Sen: The Contemporary Relevance of Adam Smith. (shrink)
The theory of Gestalt qualities arose from the attempt to explain how a melody is distinct from the collection of the tones which it comprehends. In this essay from 1890 Christian von Ehrenfels coined the term 'Gestaltqualität' to capture the idea of a pattern which is comprehensible in a single experience. This idea can be applied not only to melodies and other occurrent patterns, but also to continuant patterns such as shapes and colour arrays such as the array of a (...) chess board. Ehrenfel's essay gave birth to the Gestalt movement in psychology. (shrink)
Psychology's fascination with memory and its imperfections dates back further than we can remember. The first careful experimental studies of memory were published in 1885 by German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus, and tens of thousands of memory studies have been conducted since. What has been learned, and what might the future of memory be?
Neurobiologist William Calvin explores the human brain, positing that the neurons in the brain operate in an accelerated version of biological evolution, evolving ideas through random variations and selections, and supports his hypothesis with numerous ca.
We all think that science is special. Its products—its technological spin-off—dominate our lives which are thereby sometimes enriched and sometimes impoverished but always affected. Even the most outlandish critics of science such as Feyerabend implicitly recognize its success. Feyerabend told us that science was a congame. Scientists had so successfully hood-winked us into adopting its ideology that other equally legitimate forms of activity—alchemy, witchcraft and magic—lost out. He conjured up a vision of much enriched lives if only we could free (...) ourselves from the domination of the ‘one true ideology’ of science just as our ancestors freed us from the domination of the Church. But he told us these things in Switzerland and in California happily commuting between them in that most ubiquitous product of science—the aeroplane. (shrink)
Calvin's view on the legitimacy of interest has had a great impact on the economic development of Western society. Although Calvin took a fundamentally positive attitude to interest, he also proposed several restrictions on the charging of interest. In this article, we investigate the relevance of these restrictions to the current credit crisis. We find that each of them provides a relevant interpretation of what went wrong in the buildup of the credit crisis and gives directions to improve (...) policies of banks and governments as well. (shrink)
Notes and Discussions Calvin and Hobbes, or, Hobbes as an Orthodox Christian Three years ago, in the proceedings of an Italian conference on Hobbes and Spinoza, I published an article arguing that Hobbes was at best a deist, and most likely an atheist? In a recent book on Hobbes, A. P. Martinich devoted an appendix to criticizing that article, as part of his case that Hobbes is not merely a theist, but an orthodox Christian, and specifically, that he had (...) "a strong commitment" to the Calvinist branch of the Church of England.' It has been suggested that I respond to Martinich's rebuttal, and I think I should. Martinich's work is arguably the best available book of its kind.3 Pursuing the issues this book raises may help us to see why it is worth our while to be curious about the differences between the English text of Leviathan, first published in 165 x, and the Latin text of that work, first published in 1668. This is a topic generally ignored in English-language discussions of Hobbes and one in which I have a special interest.4 The great virtue of Martinich's book is that he is very precise about what his thesis See '"I Durst Not Write So Boldly' or, How to Read Hobbes' Theological-Political Treatise," in Hobbes e Spinoza, Atti del Convegno Internazionale, Urbino, i4-~ 7 ottobre, 1988 , ed. by Daniela Bostrenghi, intro, by Emilia Giancotti . By 'deist' I understand someone who believes in a personal God, but rejects divine.. (shrink)
Paul Helm looks at how Calvin worked at the interface of theology and philosophy and in particular how he employed medieval ideas to do so. Connections are made between his ideas and contemporary philosophical theology, and there is a careful examination of the appeal that current `Reformed' epistemologists make to Calvin.
An exploration of the consequences of various ideas in the thought of John Calvin, and the influence of his ideas on later theologians. The emphasis is on philosophical ideas within Calvin's theology, dealing in turn with epistemological, metaphysical, and ethical issues. Helm provides a fresh perspective on Calvin's theological context and legacy.
How does science work? Does it tell us what the world is "really" like? What makes it different from other ways of understanding the universe? In Theory and Reality , Peter Godfrey-Smith addresses these questions by taking the reader on a grand tour of one hundred years of debate about science. The result is a completely accessible introduction to the main themes of the philosophy of science. Intended for undergraduates and general readers with no prior background in philosophy, Theory (...) and Reality covers logical positivism the problems of induction and confirmation Karl Popper's theory of science Thomas Kuhn and "scientific revolutions" the views of Imre Lakatos, Larry Laudan, and Paul Feyerabend and challenges to the field from sociology of science, feminism, and science studies. The book then looks in more detail at some specific problems and theories, including scientific realism, the theory-ladeness of observation, scientific explanation, and Bayesianism. Finally, Godfrey-Smith defends a form of philosophical naturalism as the best way to solve the main problems in the field. Throughout the text he points out connections between philosophical debates and wider discussions about science in recent decades, such as the infamous "science wars." Examples and asides engage the beginning student a glossary of terms explains key concepts and suggestions for further reading are included at the end of each chapter. However, this is a textbook that doesn't feel like a textbook because it captures the historical drama of changes in how science has been conceived over the last one hundred years. Like no other text in this field, Theory and Reality combines a survey of recent history of the philosophy of science with current key debates in language that any beginning scholar or critical reader can follow. (shrink)
When Adam Smith published his celebrated writings on economics and moral philosophy he famously referred to the operation of an invisible hand. Adam Smith's Political Philosophy makes visible the invisible hand by examining its significance in Smith's political philosophy and relating it to similar concepts used by other philosophers, revealing a distinctive approach to social theory that stresses the significance of the unintended consequences of human action. This book introduces greater conceptual clarity to the discussion of the (...) invisible hand and the related concept of unintended order in the work of Smith and in political theory more generally. By examining the application of spontaneous order ideas in the work of Smith, Hume, Hayek and Popper, Adam Smith's Political Philosophy traces similarities in approach and from these builds a conceptual, composite model of an invisible hand argument. While setting out a clear model of the idea of spontaneous order the book also builds the case for using the idea of spontaneous order as an explanatory social theory, with chapters on its application in the fields of science, moral philosophy, law and government. (shrink)
Twentieth century philosophers introduced the distinction between “objective rightness” and “subjective rightness” to achieve two primary goals. The first goal is to reduce the paradoxical tension between our judgments of what is best for an agent to do in light of the actual circumstances in which she acts and what is wisest for her to do in light of her mistaken or uncertain beliefs about her circumstances. The second goal is to provide moral guidance to an agent who may be (...) uncertain about the circumstances in which she acts, and hence is unable to use her standard moral principle directly in deciding what to do. This paper distinguishes two important senses of “moral guidance”; proposes criteria of adequacy for accounts of subjective rightness; canvasses existing definitions for “subjective rightness”; finds them all deficient; and proposes a new and more successful account. It argues that each comprehensive moral theory must include multiple principles of subjective rightness to address the epistemic situations of the full range of moral decision-makers, and shows that accounts of subjective rightness formulated in terms of what it would reasonable for the agent to believe cannot provide that guidance. (shrink)
Adam Smith wrote two books, one about economics and the other about morality. How do these books go together? How do markets and morality mix? James Otteson provides a comprehensive examination and interpretation of Smith's moral theory and demonstrates how his conception of morality applies to his understanding of markets, language and other social institutions. Considering Smith's notions of natural sympathy, the impartial spectator, human nature and human conscience, the author addresses whether Smith thinks that moral (...) judgments enjoy a transcendent sanction. (shrink)
Many societies have norms of equity – that those who make symmetric social contributions deserve symmetric rewards. Despite this, there are widespread patterns of social inequity, especially along gender and racial lines. It is often the case that members of certain social groups receive greater rewards per contribution than others. In this article, we draw on evolutionary game theory to show that the emergence of this sort of convention is far from surprising. In simple cultural evolutionary models, inequity is much (...) more likely to emerge than equity, despite the presence of stable, equitable outcomes that groups might instead learn. As we outline, social groups provide a way to break symmetry between actors in determining both contribution and reward in joint projects. (shrink)
There are many actions that we attribute, at least colloquially, to states. Given their size and influence, states are able to inflict harm far beyond the reach of a single individual. But there is a great deal of unclarity about exactly who is implicated in that kind of harm, and how we should think about responsibility for it. It is a commonplace assumption that democratic publics both authorize and have control over what their states do; that their states act in (...) their name and on their behalf. In Not In Their Name, Holly Lawford-Smith approaches these questions from the perspective of social ontology, asking whether the state is a collective agent, and whether ordinary citizens are members of that agent. If it is, and they are, there’s a clear case for democratic collective culpability. She explores alternative conceptions of the state and of membership in the state; alternative conceptions of collective agency applied to the state; the normative implications of membership in the state; and both culpability (from the inside) and responsibility (from the outside) for what the state does. Ultimately, Lawford-Smith argues for the exculpation of ordinary citizens and the inculpation of those working in public services. (shrink)
Adam Smith is respected as the father of contemporary economics for his work on systemizing classical economics as an independent field of study in The Wealth of Nations. But he was also a significant moral philosopher of the Scottish Enlightenment, with its characteristic concern for integrating sentiments and rationality. This article considers Adam Smith as a key moral philosopher of commercial society whose critical reflection upon the particular ethical challenges posed by the new pressures and possibilities of commercial (...) society remains relevant today. The discussion has three parts. First I address the artificial separation between self-interest and morality often attributed to Smith, in which his work on economics is stripped of its ethical context. Second I outline Smith’s ethical approach to economics, focusing on his vigorous but qualified defence of commercial society for its contributions to prosperity, justice, and freedom. Third I outline Smith’s moral philosophy proper as combining a naturalistic account of moral psychology with a virtue ethics based on propriety in commercial society. (shrink)