Locke's insistence on the limits of knowledge and the ‘mediocrity’ of our epistemological equipment is well understood; it is rightly seen as integrated with his causal theory of ideas and his theory of judgment. Less attention has been paid to the mediocrity theme as it arises in his theory of moral agency. Locke sees definite limits to human willpower. This is in keeping with post-Puritan theology with its new emphasis on divine mercy as opposed to divine justice and (...) recrimination. It also reflects his view that human beings are essentially material machines. (shrink)
This article is concerned with developing a philosophical approach to a number of significant changes to academic publishing, and specifically the global journal knowledge system wrought by a range of new digital technologies that herald the third age of the journal as an electronic, interactive and mixed-media form of scientific communication. The paper emerges from an Editors' Collective, a small New Zealand-based organisation comprised of editors and reviewers of academic journals mostly in the fields of education and philosophy. The paper (...) is the result of a collective writing process. (shrink)
Van de Vliert embraces a model of human needs, underplaying a model whereby individuals, motivated by psychological needs, develop coping strategies that help them meet their personal goals and collectively exert an influence on social and economic systems. Undesirable climates may inflate the value of financial capital, but they also boost the value of social capital.
This landmark study examines the role played by the rediscovery of the writings of the ancient atomists, Epicurus and Lucretius, in the articulation of the major philosophical systems of the seventeenth century, and, more broadly, their influence on the evolution of natural science and moral and political philosophy. The target of sustained and trenchant philosophical criticism by Cicero, and of opprobrium by the Christian Fathers of the early Church, for its unflinching commitment to the absence of divine supervision and the (...) finitude of life, the Epicurean philosophy surfaced again in the period of the Scientific Revolution, when it displaced scholastic Aristotelianism. Both modern social contract theory and utilitarianism in ethics were grounded in its tenets. Catherine Wilson shows how the distinctive Epicurean image of the natural and social worlds took hold in philosophy, and how it is an acknowledged, and often unacknowledged presence in the writings of Descartes, Gassendi, Hobbes, Boyle, Locke, Leibniz, Berkeley. With chapters devoted to Epicurean physics and cosmology, the corpuscularian or "mechanical" philosophy, the question of the mortality of the soul, the grounds of political authority, the contested nature of the experimental philosophy, sensuality, curiosity, and the role of pleasure and utility in ethics, the author makes a persuasive case for the significance of materialism in seventeenth-century philosophy without underestimating the depth and significance of the opposition to it, and for its continued importance in the contemporary world. Lucretius's great poem, On the Nature of Things, supplies the frame of reference for this deeply-researched inquiry into the origins of modern philosophy. (shrink)
Epicureanism is commonly associated with a carefree view of life and the pursuit of pleasures, particularly the pleasures of the table. However it was a complex and distinctive system of philosophy that emphasized simplicity and moderation, and considered nature to consist of atoms and the void. Epicureanism is a school of thought whose legacy continues to reverberate today.In this Very Short Introduction, Catherine Wilson explains the key ideas of the School, comparing them with those of the rival Stoics and (...) with Kantian ethics, and tracing their influence on the development of scientific and political thought from Locke, Newton, and Galileo to Rousseau, Marx, Bentham, and Mill. She discusses the adoption and adaptation of Epicurean motifs in science, morality, and politics from the 17th Century onwards and contextualises the significance of Epicureanism in modern life. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable. (shrink)
Leo Strauss and his alleged political influence regarding the Iraq War have in recent years been the subject of significant media attention, including stories in the _Wall Street Journal _and _New York Times._ _Time_ magazine even called him “one of the most influential men in American politics.” With _The Truth about Leo Strauss_, Michael and Catherine Zuckert challenged the many claims and speculations about this notoriously complex thinker. Now, with _Leo Strauss and the Problem of Political Philosophy_, they turn (...) their attention to a searching and more comprehensive interpretation of Strauss’s thought as a whole, using the many manifestations of the “problem of political philosophy” as their touchstone. For Strauss, political philosophy presented a “problem” to which there have been a variety of solutions proposed over the course of Western history. Strauss’s work, they show, revolved around recovering—and restoring—political philosophy to its original Socratic form. Since positivism and historicism represented two intellectual currents that undermined the possibility of a Socratic political philosophy, the first part of the book is devoted to Strauss’s critique of these two positions. Then, the authors explore Strauss’s interpretation of the history of philosophy and both ancient and modern canonical political philosophers, including Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Locke. Strauss’s often-unconventional readings of these philosophers, they argue, pointed to solutions to the problem of political philosophy. Finally, the authors examine Strauss’s thought in the context of the twentieth century, when his chief interlocutors were Schmitt, Husserl, Heidegger, and Nietzsche. The most penetrating and capacious treatment of the political philosophy of this complex and often misunderstood thinker, from his early years to his last works, _Leo Strauss and the Problem of Political Philosophy_ reveals Strauss’s writings as an attempt to show that the distinctive characteristics of ancient and modern thought derive from different modes of solving the problem of political philosophy and reveal why he considered the ancient solution both philosophically and politically superior. (shrink)
Inspired by the work of prominent University of Notre Dame political philosophers Catherine Zuckert and Michael Zuckert, this volume of essays explores the concept of natural right in the history of political philosophy. The central organizing principle of the collection is the examination of the idea of natural justice, identified in the classical period with natural right and in modernity with the concept of individual natural rights. Contributors examine the concept of natural right and rights in all the manifold (...) and interdisciplinary dimensions associated with the Zuckerts’ oeuvre. Part I explores the theme of natural right in the ancient and medieval political philosophy of Plato, Xenophon, Aristotle, and St. Augustine. Part II examines the early modern break from the classical tradition in the work of Montaigne, Spinoza, Montesquieu, Locke, and Hegel as well as the legacy of the modern natural rights tradition as explored by Leo Strauss and Pope John Paul II. Part III treats the theme of natural rights from the Puritans through the Founding period in such figures as Thomas Jefferson and Gouverneur Morris and up to the Progressive era with Booker T. Washington and Theodore Roosevelt. Part IV addresses questions of natural justice in literature, including works of Euripides, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Edith Wharton, and Tom Stoppard. "In this collection compiled in honor of Catherine and Michael Zuckert, the contributors address a wonderful variety of serious issues in important literary and philosophic texts. Their topics range from Plato on piety to Stoppard on socialist utopianism, and from Aristotle and Augustine to Euripides, Locke, Hegel, Shakespeare, and Booker T. Washington. The volume stands as an impressive introduction to the liberal arts and a lively introduction to many great issues of liberalism, Christianity, justice, and liberty; it is also a tribute to the Zuckerts' breadth of study, teaching, and influence." —_Robert K. Faulkner, Boston College_. (shrink)
The 13th-15th centuries were witness to lively and broad-ranging debates about the nature of persons. In this paper, I look at how the uses of ‘person’ in logical/grammatical, legal/political, and theological contexts overlap in the works of 13th-15th century contemplatives in the Latin West, such as Hadewijch, Meister Eckhart, and Catherine of Siena. After explicating the key concepts of individuality, dignity, and rationality, I show how these ideas combine with the contemplative use of first- and second-person perspectives, personification, and (...) introspection to yield a concept of 'person' that both prefigures Locke's classic 17th century definition and deeply influences the development of personalism. (shrink)
This paperback edition reproduces the complete text of the Essay as prepared by professor Nidditch for The Clarendon Edition of the Works of John Locke. The Register of Formal Variants and the Glossary are omitted and Professor Nidditch has written a new foreword.
The Reasonableness of Christianity is a major work by one of the greatest modern philosophers. Published anonymously in 1695, it entered a world upset by fierce theological conflict and immediately became a subject of controversy. At issue were the author’s intentions. John Edwards labelled it a Socinian work and charged that it was subversive not only of Christianity but of religion itself others praised it as a sure preservative of both. Few understood Locke’s intentions, and perhaps no one fully. (...) This new collection describes the background to Locke’s book and documents the disputes that followed its publication. Providing an invaluable insight into the context of its conception and reception, it includes contributions by Samuel Bold, John Edwards, Charles Blount, and Daniel Waterland, bringing the discussion up to the eighteenth century. Also included is a review of the Reasonableness found among Locke’s unpublished papers and published here for the first time. The volume will be of interest to philosophers of religion and theologians as well as historians. (shrink)
Not long ago, historians of philosophy realized with some excitement the canonical texts of the early modern period could be rendered increasingly intelligible if they were read not as discussing a series of atemporal “purely philosophical” questions, but as embedded in the issues raised by contemporaneous events such as the scientific revolution. To take an often-discussed example, it was hoped that, so contextualized, Locke’s notoriously puzzling distinction between primary and secondary qualities would fall into place as an expression of (...) his colleague Boyle’s corpuscularianism. But even so contextualized, Locke’s texts and many others remained puzzling. Part of the problem, we are now learning, is that the very concept of the scientific revolution itself needs to be contextualized. Historians of philosophy relied too heavily on an understanding of the scientific revolution constructed with an eye to our present-day understanding of science which overprivileges the physical sciences and papers over differences flourishing in the early modern period. In The Invisible World, Catherine Wilson, a philosopher, takes matters into her own hands and, through an examination of the history of the microscope, contributes important evidence for the need to enrich our understanding of the nature of science in the period from 1620 to 1720. (shrink)
Berkeley's Theory of Vision, or Visual Language Showing The Immediate Presence and Providence of A Deity, Vindicated And Explained was published in 1733, occasioned by an anonymous letter of the previous year to the London Daily Post Boy . The letter criticized Berkeley's New Theory of Vision , which had been published in 1709, but which had been appended to Berekely's Alciphron , published in 1732. No one has ever identified the author whose criticisms led Berkeley to his Theory of (...) Vision Vindicated . Circumstantial evidence presented here suggests that the author was Catherine Trotter Cockburn. Part of the evidence is the brilliance of her interpretation of Locke, whose position is defended in the letter against Berkeley. (shrink)
A scholarly edition of The Clarendon Edition of the Works of John Locke: Some Thoughts Concerning Education by John W. Yolton and Jean S. Yolton. The edition presents an authoritative text, together with an introduction, commentary notes, and scholarly apparatus.
Locke lived at a time of heightened religious sensibility, and religious motives and theological beliefs were fundamental to his philosophical outlook. Here, Victor Nuovo brings together the first comprehensive collection of Locke's writings on religion and theology. These writings illustrate the deep religious motivation in Locke's thought.
This is the first of three volumes which will contain all of Locke's extant philosophical writings relating to An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, not included in other Clarendon editions like the Correspondence. It contains the earliest known drafts of the Essay, Drafts A and B, both written in 1671, and provides for the first time an accurate version of Locke's text. Virtually all his changes are recorded in footnotes on each page. Peter Nidditch, whose highly acclaimed edition of (...) An Essay Concerning Human Understanding was published in this series in 1975, used pioneering editorial techniques in his compilation of Volume 1. Most of the work was completed before his tragically early death in 1983. Volumes 2 and 3, almost wholly the work of G. A. J. Rogers will contain the third extant draft of the Essay, the Epitome and the Conduct of the Understanding. They will also include a History of the Writing of the Essay, together with other shorter writings by Locke. (shrink)
Locke’s account of personal identity has been highly influential because of its emphasis on a psychological criterion. The same consciousness is required for being the same person. It is not so clear, however, exactly what Locke meant by ‘consciousness’ or by ‘having the same consciousness’. Interpretations vary: consciousness is seen as identical to memory, as identical to a first personal appropriation of mental states, and as identical to a first personal distinctive experience of the qualitative features of one’s (...) own thinking. There is wide agreement, however, that Locke’s theory of personal identity is meant to complement his moral and theological commitments to a system of divine punishment and reward in an afterlife. But these commitments seem to require also a metaphysical criterion, and Locke is insistent that it cannot be substance. The difficulty reconciling the psychological and metaphysical requirements of the theory has led, at worst, to charges of incoherence and, at best, to a slew of interpretations, none of which is widely accepted. (shrink)
This first octavo edition of John Locke's Works has set the pattern for all subsequent English Works editions until the present time. It contains all the famous philosophical writings, as well as a life of the author based on that of Le Clerc but using a large number of unpublished letters. For the first time all correspondence is placed together, and the non-correspondence items in Desmaizeaux's Collection are repositioned to follow the relevant works. Set in context with a new (...) introduction by Locke scholar John Yolton, this edition remains the preferred choice for many academics today. (shrink)