At a time of great and increasing interest in the work of Emmanuel Levinas, this volume draws readers into what Levinas described as "philosophy itself"--"a discourse always addressed to another." Thus the philosopher himself provides the thread that runs through these essays on his writings, one guided by the importance of the fact of being addressed--the significance of the Saying much more than the Said. The authors, leading Levinas scholars and interpreters from across the globe, explore the philosopher's relationship to (...) a wide range of intellectual traditions, including theology, philosophy of culture, Jewish thought, phenomenology, and the history of philosophy. They also engage Levinas's contribution to ethics, politics, law, justice, psychoanalysis and epistemology, among other themes. In their radical singularity, these essays reveal the inalienable alterity at the heart of Levinas's ethics. At the same time, each essay remains open to the others, and to the perspectives and positions they advocate. Thus the volume, in its quality and diversity, enacts an authentic encounter with Levinas's thought, embodying an intellectual ethics by virtue of its style. Bringing together contributions from philosophy, theology, literary theory, gender studies, and political theory, this book offers a deeper and more thorough encounter with Levinas's ethics than any yet written. (shrink)
Some 14 years ago, I published an article in which I identified a prime site for bioethicists to ply their trade: medical responses to requests for hormonal and surgical interventions aimed at facilitating transgendered people’s transition to their desired genders. Deep issues about the impact of biotechnologies and health care practices on central aspects of our conceptual system, I argued, were raised by how doctors understood and responded to people seeking medical assistance in changing their gender, and there were obviously (...) significant issues of regulation involved as well. Yet mainstream bioethics was conspicuous by its relative absence from the discussion. Here, I return to the matter and find that, while the conceptual issues are just as profound and their connection to health care practice and policy just as intimate, even as transgender issues have become much more socially visible, bioethical engagement with gender reassignment has increased only slightly. I set the little movement that has occurred against the backdrop of the situation as I saw it in 1998 and conclude, once again, by trying to make the bait for bioethicists inviting. (shrink)
Earthcare: Readings and Cases in Environmental Ethics presents a diverse collection of writings from a variety of authors on environmental ethics, environmental science, and the environmental movement overall. Exploring a broad range of world views, religions and philosophies, David W. Clowney and Patricia Mosto bring together insightful thoughts on the ethical issues arising in various areas of environmental concern.
There is a perception that among medieval philosophers John Buridan is one who, as he becomes better known, will be generally counted along with Abelard, Aquinas, Scotus, and Ockham as a philosopher of the first rank. Despite his being the most famous and influential philosopher of his time, Jack Zupko says that “the real impact of Buridan on western thought has yet to be appreciated”. As an editor, translator, and student of Buridan, Zupko is well suited to document this impact, (...) and he does so in John Buridan: Portrait of a Fourteenth-Century Arts Master. The “portrait” Zupko paints is a thoroughly philosophical one. The result is not an introductory work, although it is lucidly written and meets the informed reader more than halfway. Buridan is studied as much for his style of philosophizing as for his doctrinal contribution and innovations. (shrink)
This paper examines Aquinas’s epistemological treatment of the disembodied soul in order to reveal (1) its relationship to the person it once was, and (2) the nature and extent of its self-knowledge. I argue first that disembodiment entails not only loss of personhood, but severe restriction of one’s concept of self. Consequently, individual self-consciousness is minimized. By contrast, I argue that the soul’s knowledge of its nature is likely to be realized more perfectly in the separated state, not so much (...) because of freedom from the body as the infusion of pure intelligibles. Thus, the roles of these two types of self-knowledge (particular and universal) are reversed from the case of the embodied soul, where self-consciousness is an effortless concomitant to thought and self-knowledge requires a painstaking labor. I conclude by wondering whether the cognition enjoyed in the separated state has some utility for the soul’s future, re-embodied existence. (shrink)
Thomas Aquinas’s theory of self-knowledge stands out among medieval theories for its conceptual sophistication, yet it remains less studied than many other areas of his thought. Here I consider a significant philosophical critique of Aquinas on self-knowledge and respond to it. Anthony Kenny alleges that Aquinas does not sufficiently account for the individuation of thought in the knower. But Kenny’s analysis of how Aquinas individuates thought ironically confuses Aquinas’s account with that of Averroes, whose explanation Aquinas rejected. A closer reading (...) of Aquinas’s texts reveals that intelligible species, not phantasms, individuate thought. Kenny’s central objection to Aquinas’s account of self-knowledge is thus resolved, but I leave open whether Aquinas’s account could be usefully supplemented by modern treatments of self-knowledge. (shrink)
This paper examines Aquinas’s epistemological treatment of the disembodied soul in order to reveal its relationship to the person it once was, and the nature and extent of its self-knowledge. I argue first that disembodiment entails not only loss of personhood, but severe restriction of one’s concept of self. Consequently, individual self-consciousness is minimized. By contrast, I argue that the soul’s knowledge of its nature is likely to be realized more perfectly in the separated state, not so much because of (...) freedom from the body as the infusion of pure intelligibles. Thus, the roles of these two types of self-knowledge are reversed from the case of the embodied soul, where self-consciousness is an effortless concomitant to thought and self-knowledge requires a painstaking labor. I conclude by wondering whether the cognition enjoyed in the separated state has some utility for the soul’s future, re-embodied existence. (shrink)
Unless one already knows the phrase ‘The Divine Sense’, which Williams borrows from Origen , the reader might think that the intellect in question here is divine. But this book is as much about the human intellect as the divine. Williams approaches her subject through selective treatment of figures ranging from apostolic fathers to fifth-century monastic authors. Her first chapter deals with Justin, Irenaeus, and Tertullian, who presage later thought by their attention to human mind as mirror of the divine (...) . From there she moves to Clement and Origen as “early Alexandrians” , for whom knowledge of God has salvific power. The central and longest chapter deals with the two Gregories, “Nyssen” and Nazianzen. Chapters 2 and 3 offer a detailed comparison of the two theologians. The exposition goes far beyond the intellect—divine or human—to embrace topics implied by intellect; not only knowledge, thought, and contemplation, but for an embodied being, the relation of soul and body, passions, virtue, and for the Christian, grace. Chapter 4 treats of Augustine, who brings love to the fore, though intellect is no less central. And chapter 5 deals with “monastic writings,” most notably those by Evagrius and. (shrink)
The fifteen essays in this volume represent the state of the art when it comes to the contemporary study of medieval philosophy of mind. The contributors are well-established scholars in the field who build on their previous work, and most advance an original argument in these essays. The focus is on western Christian philosophers and theologians from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and “the intricacies and varieties of the conceptual relationships among intentionality, cognition, and mental representation” in their thought. As (...) editor Gyula Klima points out, intentionality plays a role in non-cognitive as well as cognitive processes for the medievals. But when these thinkers attempted to explain the.. (shrink)
In this book John Leslie presents Spinozistic pantheism in contemporary dress and argues for its compatibility with what we already know and believe. Building on his earlier work, Leslie now suggests that there may be infinitely many infinite minds each worth calling divine. The reader is invited to contemplate a universe along lines that fit a con temporary Spinozism, even if one begins with the suspicion that pantheism is bizarre or absurd.
Let me make it clear from the outset that my main point is not either of the following: one, that there should be more women economists and research on “women's issues”, or two, that women as a class do, or should do, economics in a manner different from men. My argument is different and has to do with trying to gain an understanding of how a certain way of thinking about gender and a certain way of thinking about economics have (...) become intertwined through metaphor – with detrimental results – and how a richer conception of human understanding and human identity could broaden and improve the field of economics for both female and male practitioners. (shrink)
An article by Luigino Bruni and Robert Sugden published in this journal argues that market relations contain elements of what they call ‘fraternity’. This Response demonstrates that my own views on interpersonal relations and markets – which originated in the feminist analysis of caring labour – are far closer to Bruni and Sugden's than they acknowledge in their article, and goes on to discuss additional important dimensions of sociality that they neglect.
Let me first explain what I am not attacking in this paper. I am not attacking, for instance, the right of free speech or any of the other specific rights listed in the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights or the United Nations' Charter. I am, rather, attacking any specific right's being called a ‘human right’. I mean to show that any such designation is not only fraudulent but, in case anyone might want to say that there can be noble lies, (...) grossly wicked, amounting indeed to genocide. (shrink)
In the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights a quite large number of things are said to be ‘human rights’ and though in that Declaration the term ‘inalienable’ is not used to describe the rights in question it has been so used by commentators—at least with respect to some of the rights enumerated. I shall forgo asking the prior question as to whether any such thing as a human right exists and ask simply whether any such thing as an (...) inalienable right exists. My intention will be to show that it does not. (shrink)
Various proponents of animal rights—for example, H. J. McCloskey— maintain that while brute animals cannot have; moral rights they can have legal rights. Indeed, McCloskey himself goes so far as to maintain that even inanimate objects are able to have legal rights. 1 And why should not inanimate objects be able to? After f all, for there to be a legal right is anything more required than that whatever agency is empowered to issue legal rights simply legislate or proclaim that (...) so-and-so has that legal right? (shrink)
In his recent work, The Significance of Philosophical Scepticism , Barry Stroud proposes to carry out an in-depth critique of the attempt by philosophers to invalidate all knowledge of an external world on the basis of Descartes' dream argument. His more particular aims in this endeavour are to uncover significant features of any such scepticism and to disclose in the process fundamental aspects of ‘human knowledge’ itself. Thus, among other features of knowledge that his study discloses, he thinks, is, echoing (...) Kant, the idea ‘that a completely general distinction between everything we get through the senses, on the one hand, and what is true or not true of the external world, on the other, would cut us off forever from knowledge of the world around us.’ And a significant feature of Cartesian dream scepticism he believes to have uncovered is that its ‘effectiveness’ rests upon the philosopher's traditional assumption of an objectively existent world that is understandable ‘from a detached “external” viewpoint.’. (shrink)
The Clarke/Rowe version of the Cosmological Argument is sound only if the Principle of Sufficient Reason is true, but many philosophers, including Rowe, think that there is not adequate evidence for the principle of sufficient reason. I argue that there may be indirect evidence for PSR on the grounds that if we do not accept it, we lose our best justification for an important principle of metaethics, namely, the Principle of Universalizability. To show this, I argue that all the other (...) justifications of the Principle of Universalizability on offer, including Richard Hare's, are inadequate. (shrink)
This article is not intended to state what I positively believe to be true, but to make a suggestion which I think it well-worth working out. The suggestion is not altogether unfamiliar, but it has certain implications that seem to have been so far overlooked, or at any rate have never been developed. I do not think that it is the duty of a philosopher to confine himself in his publications to working out theories of the truth of which he (...) is convinced.… It is a part of a philosopher's work, as it is of a scientist's, to try out tentative hypotheses and examine their advantages and disadvantages. (shrink)
Russell said that physics drove him to a position not unlike that of Berkeley —by which he meant subjectivism or solipsism. ‘As regards metaphysics’, he tells us in his Autobiography , ‘when, under the influence of Moore, I first threw off the belief in German idealism, I experienced the delight of believing that the sensible world is real. Bit by bit, chiefly under the influence of physics, this delight has faded, and I have been driven to a position not unlike (...) that of Berkeley, without his God and his Anglican complacency’. (shrink)
Pre-analytically at least some of our inductions seem to be possessed of rational justification. This comment would apply, for instance, to my present induction, ‘If that climber high on the Flatirons falls he will be killed,’ not to mention such more momentous inductions as, ‘If a full-scale nuclear war breaks out there will be greater destruction than in World War II.’ Notoriously, however, a few Humean reflections seem to strip even the most plausible of our inductions of all possible rational (...) justification, leaving them mere bare psychological faits accomplis : in effect, section V of the Enquiry's ‘Sceptical Solution of these Doubts.’. (shrink)