The series, founded in 1970, publishes works which either combine studies in the history of philosophy with a systematic approach or bring together systematic studies with reconstructions from the history of philosophy. Monographs are published in English as well as in German. The founding editors are Erhard Scheibe (editor until 1991), Günther Patzig (until 1999) and Wolfgang Wieland (until 2003). From 1990 to 2007, the series had been co-edited by Jürgen Mittelstraß, and from 2005 to 2020 by Jens Halfwassen.
According to Adam Smith, the acquisition of moral conscience is an essential part of a person’s moral education. I argue that moral conscience as conceived by Smith enables a person to intentionally take the role of an impartial spectator. I trace the process of moral education from the child in its family, to interaction with peers to learning and then to a self-evaluation, learning to become one’s own spectator and judge. This is a move from uncritical trust to external guidance (...) to acquiring the faculty of conscience. Smith recommends most people to rely on the ‘common rules of morality’ rather than on sympathetic processes alone. But such reliance represents merely a second best procedure for reaching a properly impartial moral judgment. While the ‘wise and virtuous’ may well improve on the impartiality of the ‘common rules of morality’, even their moral judgments will never be perfectly impartial or certain beyond doubt. (shrink)
Can we have objective knowledge of the world? Can we understand what is morally right or wrong? Yes, to some extent. This is the answer given by Adam Smith and Edmund Husserl. Both rejected David Hume s skeptical account of what we can hope to understand. But they held his empirical method in high regard, inquiring into the way we perceive and emotionally experience the world, into the nature and function of human empathy and sympathy and the role of the (...) imagination in processes of intersubjective understanding. The challenge is to overcome the natural constraints of perceptual and emotional experience and reach an agreement that is informed by the facts in the world and the nature of morality. This collection of philosophical essays addresses an audience of Smith- and Husserl scholars as well as everybody interested in theories of objective knowledge and proper morality which are informed by the way we perceive and think and communicate.". (shrink)
This collection examines the instrumental role of intersubjectivity in Husserl's philosophy and explores the potential for developing novel ways of addressing and resolving contemporary philosophical issues on that basis. This is the first time Iso Kern offers an extensive overview of this rich field of inquiry for an English-speaking audience. Guided by his overview, the remaining articles present new approaches to a range of topics and problems that go to the heart of its core theme of intersubjectivity and methodology. Specific (...) topics covered include intersubjectivity and empathy, intersubjectivity in meaning and communication, intersubjectivity pertaining to collective forms of intentionality and extended forms of embodiment, intersubjectivity as constitutive of normality, and, finally, the central role of intersubjectivity in the sciences. The authors' perspectives are strongly influenced by Husserl's own methodological concerns and problem awareness and are formed with a view to applicability in current debates - be it within general epistemology, analytic philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, meta-ethics or philosophy of science. With contributions written by leading Husserl scholars from across the Analytic and Continental traditions, Husserl's Phenomenology of Intersubjectivity is a clear and accessible resource for scholars and advanced students interested in Husserl's phenomenology and the relevance of intersubjectivity to philosophy, sociology, and psychology. (shrink)
We are often pressed to forgive or in need of forgiveness: Wrongdoing is common. Even after a perpetrator has been taken to court and punished, forgiveness still has a role to play. How should a victim and a perpetrator relate to each other outside the courtroom, and how should others relate to them? Communicating about forgiveness is particularly urgent in cases of civil war and crimes against humanity inside a community where, if there were no forgiveness, the community would fall (...) apart. Forgiveness is governed by social and, in particular, by moral norms. Do those who ask to be forgiven have to fulfil certain conditions for being granted forgiveness? And what does the granting of forgiveness consist in? We may feel like refusing to forgive those perpetrators who have committed the most horrendous crimes. But is such a refusal justified even if they repent their crimes? Could there be a duty for the victim to forgive? Can forgiveness be granted by a third party? Under which conditions may we forgive ourselves? The papers collected in the present volume address all these questions, exploring the practice of forgiveness and its normative constraints. Topics include the ancient Chinese and the Christian traditions of forgiveness, the impact of forgiveness on the moral dignity and self-respect of the victim, self-forgiveness, the narrative of forgiveness as well as the limits of forgiveness. Such limits may arise from the personal, historical, or political conditions of wrongdoing or from the emotional constraints of the victims. (shrink)
Forgiveness typically becomes an issue where an offender has wronged a victim. What the offender and his victim are concerned with when engaging in a process of asking for and granting forgiveness includes the social relations that previously existed between them. It is against the background of these relations that the question arises whether there can be a duty for a victim to forgive and a right for an offender to be forgiven. I suggest distinguishing between personal and moral relations (...) between people; the latter bind every rational agent to the community of all moral agents, whereas the former are a personal matter. Accordingly, I distinguish between personal and moral forgiveness. And I argue that the offender has a right to be morally forgiven, either by the victim herself or by another member of the community of moral agents; but the victim does not have a duty to forgive the offender personally. (shrink)
This chapter presents a short biography of Immanuel Kant. It then reviews his particular thoughts on musical philosophy. Kant was born on April 22, 1724 in Königsberg. He never married and died in his house on February 12, 1804. He placed the theory of cognition at the beginning of his critical transcendental philosophy, in Critique of Pure Reason. His theory of art was pointed toward identifying the place that the judgment of beautiful objects in nature and art occupies in his (...) system of transcendental philosophy. Kant accorded to music the status of a fine art, whose works engage the cognitive powers in a state of free play. Critique of Judgment occupied a unique position in regard to the reception of Kantian transcendental philosophy. The basis for an understanding of the semiotic character of absolute music was provided by Kant's transcendental philosophy and his cognitivist aesthetics. (shrink)
Die Theorie der ethischen Gefühle erfährt seit einigen Jahren zunehmende Beachtung, die den bisher vornehmlich als Nationalökonomen bekannten Adam Smith als eigenständigen Moralphilosophen würdigt. Die vielfältigen Perspektiven, aus denen seine Theorie heute besonderes Interesse verdient, dokumentiert der vorliegende Band mit Beiträgen namhafter Moralphilosophen und Adam Smith-Forscher.
We read Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments as a critical response to David Hume's moral theory. While both share a commitment to moral sentimentalism, they propose different ways of meeting its main challenge, that is, explaining how judgments informed by (partial) sentiments can nevertheless have a justified claim to general authority. This difference is particularly manifest in their respective accounts of ‘moral optics’, or the way they rely on the analogy between perceptual and moral judgments. According to Hume, making (...) perceptual and moral judgments requires focusing on frequently co-occurring impressions (perceptions of objects or reactive sentiments) for tracking an existing object with its perceptual properties or an agent's character traits. Smith uses visual perception for the purpose of illustrating one source of the partiality of the sentiments people feel in response to actions. Before making a moral judgment, people have to disregard this partiality and accept that they are all equally important. Smith and Hume's different ways of relying on the same analogy reveals the still-overlooked and yet profound differences between their moral theories. (shrink)
Moral principles are universally valid, valid for all human beings in so far as they are mature, responsible and of a sound mind – this idea is an essential part of our understanding of morality. Moral principles do not allow for any exceptions. Therefore, we expect from every person we take for mature and responsible to do her or his moral duty. This does not mean that we are naive about the moral goodness of human beings. We just cannot give (...) up this expectation without considering a person as immature and irresponsible, as not being provided with a sound mind so that we cannot blame her or him for any moral failure. Any analysis of moral motivation therefore has to explain both that all responsible persons can and must have a disposition to moral agency and that for all of them this disposition is somehow privileged so that, in a case of confl icting dispositions of volition and action, it is the moral dispositions that finally determine the aim or purpose of the action. On this background, the theories of moral motivation provided by David Hume, Immanuel Kant, and Adam Smith are compared. Whereas Hume seems to give up the whole idea of universal validity of moral principles and moral obligation, both Kant and Smith try to explain how dispositions to moral agency can be as omnipresent and motivationally strong as they should be – given the implication of our moral expectations. However, both theories meet with essential difficulties because they cannot exclude the influence of contingent factors on the moral motivation of a responsible person. (shrink)