Introduction, by D. J. Silver.--The issues: Some current trends in ethical theory, by A. Edel. Contemporary problems in ethics from a Jewish perspective, by H. Jonas. What is the contemporary problematic of ethics in Christianity? By J. M. Gustafson. Modern images of man, by J. N. Hartt. Is there a common Judaeo-Christian ethical tradition? By I. M. Blank. Problematics of Jewish ethics, by M. A. Meyer. Revealed morality and modern thought, by N. Samuelson.--The Jewish background: Does Torah mean law? (...) By J. Neusner. Confrontation of Greek and Jewish ethics: Philo: De Decalogo, by S. Sandmel. Reprobation, prohibition, invalidity: an examination of the Halakhic development concerning intermarriage, by L. Silberman. Death and burial in the Jewish tradition, by S. B. Freehof. God and the ethical impulse, by W. G. Plaut.--Social action: Civil disobedience and the Jewish tradition, by S. G. Broude. Religious responsibility for the social order: A Jewish view, by E. L. Fackenheim. Toward a theology for social action, by R. G. Hirsch. The mission of Israel and social action, by E. Lipman. Some cautionary remarks, by J. Kravetz.--The mission of Israel: On the theology of Jewish survival, by S. S. Schwarzchild. Meaning and purpose of Jewish survival, by A. Gilbert. Beyond the apologetics of mission, by D. J. Silver. (shrink)
In Philosophy as Frustration: Happiness Found and Feigned from Greek Antiquity to Present Bruce Silver argues that traditional philosophical views of happiness, as well as recent psychological theories of happiness, are at odds with themselves and with important accounts of a truly happy life.
“But when you meet her again,” he observed, “in Heaven, you, too, will be changed. You will see her spiritualized, with spiritual eyes.”1Dante is not a philosopher, although George Santayana sees him as one among a very few philosophical poets.2 The Divine Comedy deals in terza rima with issues that are philosophically urgent, including the relation between reasoning well and happiness.3And as one of the few great epics in Western literature, the Comedy offers its readers the pleasures of world-class poetry, (...) fabulous beasts from classical literature, good people and sinners from Dante’s Italy, and the prolongation in verse of Thomas Aquinas’s summa Theologiae and Summa contra Gentiles. In some ways, Dante’s epic .. (shrink)
In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission , the US Supreme Court sharply curtailed the ability of the state to limit political speech by for-profit corporations. This new legal situation elevates the question of corporate political involvement: in what manner and to what extent is it ethical for for-profit corporations to participate in the political process in a liberal democratic society? Using Scanlon’s version of contractualism, I argue for a number of substantive and procedural constraints on the political activities of (...) businesses. Central to this contractualist analysis is an identification of the self-governance-based interests of individuals that are affected by corporate political activity and a method for judging the various assignments of social rights, duties and roles according to how they collectively meet those interests. Together, these two features make this contractualist approach distinctive and allow it to generate substantive ethical results. (shrink)
This article examines the way that for-profit businesses should take into account the interests of the citizens in the liberal democratic societies in which they operate. I will show how a contractualist version of stakeholder theory identifies the relevant moral interests of both shareholders and citizen stakeholders, and provides a method for giving their interests appropriate consideration. These include (1) the interests that individuals have with respect to private property, (2) the interests citizens have in receiving equitable consideration in the (...) political process, and (3) citizens' interests which give them the collective right to determine the legal and economic structure of their societies. Using this contractualist analysis, I argue that corporations should consciously take into account the interests of citizen stakeholders when there is no other social mechanism for protecting their interests as citizens. (shrink)
In a recent article, Trenton Mericks argues that psychological continuity analyses of personal identity over time are incompatible with endurantism. We contend that if Merricks’s argument is valid, a parallel argument establishes that PC-analyses of personal identity are incompatible with perdurantism; hence, the correct conclusion to draw is simply that such analyses are all necessarily false. However, we also show that there is good reason to doubt that Merricks’s argument is valid.
This article contributes to an ongoing theoretical effort to extend the insights of relational and network sociology into adjacent domains. We integrate Simmel's late theory of the relational self into the formal analysis of social relations, generating a framework for theorizing forms of association among self-relating individuals. On this model, every "node" in an interaction has relations not only to others but also to itself, specifically between its ideality and its actuality. We go on to integrate this self-relation into a (...) formal model of social relations. This model provides a way to describe configurations of social interactions defined by the forms according to which social relations realize participants' ideal selves. We examine four formal dimensions along which these self-relational relationships can vary: distance, symmetry, scope, and actualization. (shrink)
Originally published 1965. This reprints the 1977 edition which included a new introduction. From the starting point of "popular" charity education, the book traces the dynamic of ideological and social change from the 1790s to the 1830s in terms of attitudes to education and analyzes the range of contemporary opinions on popular education. It also examines some of the channels through which ideas about education were disseminated and became common currency in popular movements.
We are interested in the relations among shame, guilt, and embarrassment and especially in how each relates to judgments of character. We start by analyzing the distinction between being and feeling guilty, and unearth the role of shame as a guilt feeling. We proceed to examine shame and guilt in relation to moral responsibility and to flaws of character. We address a recent psychological finding that shame is both destructive and in so far as it has a social function could (...) be replaced by guilt. We reinterpret the guilt culture/shame culture distinction in terms of our way of distinguishing these emotions. Finally we examine embarrassment as distinct from shame and find the difference to lie not so much in the phenomenology of the participant as it is in context, and in which elements of the context the speaker describing the emotion wishes to stress. We conclude by defending shame despite its psychological troubles. (shrink)
Georg Simmel’s final work, The View of Life, concludes his lifelong engagement with Immanuel Kant by ‘inverting’ Kant’s Categorical Imperative to produce an ethics of authentic individuality. While Kant’s moral imperative is universal to all individuals but particular to their discrete acts, Simmel’s Law of the Individual is particular to each individual but universal to all the individual’s acts. We assess the significance of Simmel’s formulation of the Law of the Individual in three steps: First, as an articulation of an (...) ethical moment consonant with his relational approach to formal sociology, hinted at earlier in Sociology but not developed as such. Second, as a completion of the framework for Simmel’s formal sociology: the Law of the Individual conceptualizes a decisive but under-theorized relationship in Simmel’s vision of ‘society’ that is a woven fabric of social relationships, namely one’s relationship with oneself. We follow with a third proposal about how Simmel might have continued the line of thought he opens in The View of Life, suggesting that we can take the Law of the Individual as an invitation to fold the self-relation back into analysis of social relations, and to theorize how forms of association are shaped by forms of self-relation. We thus narrow the theoretical gulf between Simmel’s vitalism and his sociology, which commentators usually hold apart. And in so doing, we sketch a distinctively Simmelian approach to an ethics of individuality in sociological inquiry. (shrink)
Are emotions like sneezes, unwilled, mechanical, or are they like judgments; are they entirely social constructions? Harré and Gillett believe that emotions are exclusively judgments. We argue that their view misses something important. Imagine a person quaking in anger. Both we and Harré and Gillett believe that he is angry only if he has made an implicit judgment, such as I have been transgressed against. But it is the quaking, not the judgment, that gives authenticity and force to the expression (...) of anger. The quaking does not clarify what the actor means but rather it clarifies the relation of the actor to the meaning of his display. What makes it a genuine expression of anger and not a joke or performance is that the quaking is beyond the will. Bodily displays are not necessary to make expressions authentic; anything that shows that the expression is beyond the will will do, for instance, obsessive thoughts, intrusions, or an inability to concentrate. For Harré and Gillett emotions both as displays and feelings do not merely embody judgments but are also speech acts. We argue that an expression, a feeling or flitting through the mind, cannot be a speech act since only the overt can fit into the convention, the strictures of a community. Nor is the display merely a speech act. Since for an emotional display to be genuine it must slip from the lips unbidden. Further, a speech act account makes the emotions arbitrary; they imply that the set of possible emotions is open. We think, on the other hand, that only some sorts of judgments can become part of an emotion; judgments that relate to things that are important enough in a particular culture that judgment display and feeling are linked together involuntarily. (shrink)
The Patient's Charter has been in effect for nearly five years. This article considers the purpose and value of the document through a comparison with the New Jersey Patient Bill of Rights. Patient rights statements have been posted in American hospitals for more than twenty years. However, the New Jersey document and the patient rights programme it established seven years ago, have proven to be economically effective, successful in their representation of patients and enforceable, due to the adoption of state (...) legislation and regulation to oversee the process. Several examples of how the programme works are included in the comparison, with a similar review of The Patient's Charter. In the comparison the author argues that for the programme to succeed as it has done in New Jersey, the government will need to develop legislative backing to ensure enforcement, and an efficient system for monitoring compliance. The programme will need to become credible in the eyes of the health service user. The author suggests this may be best achieved by developing an efficient, accessible and user-friendly means of redress, should the patient consider his or her rights have been violated. A "mish-mash" of quality assurance standards and levels of care which patients can "expect" from the health service providers only serves to distract the health service user from the government's failure to commit the resources that would empower the patients rights portion of The Patient's Charter. (shrink)
Max Weber's fragmentary writings on social status suggest that differentiation on this basis should disappear as capitalism develops. However, many of Weber's examples of status refer to the United States, which Weber held to be the epitome of capitalist development. Weber hints at a second form of status, one generated by capitalism, which might reconcile this contradiction, and later theorists emphasize the continuing importance of status hierarchies. This article argues that such theories have missed one of the most important forms (...) of contemporary status: celebrity. Celebrity is an omnipresent feature of contemporary society, blazing lasting impressions in the memories of all who cross its path. In keeping with Weber's conception of status, celebrity has come to dominate status “honor,” generate enormous economic benefits, and lay claim to certain legal privileges. Compared with other types of status, however, celebrity is status on speed. It confers honor in days, not generations; it decays over time, rather than accumulating; and it demands a constant supply of new recruits, rather than erecting barriers to entry. (shrink)
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