Retrospective rule-making has few supporters and many opponents. Defenders of retrospective laws generally do so on the basis that they are a necessary evil in specific or limited circumstances, for example to close tax loopholes, to deal with terrorists or to prosecute fallen tyrants. Yet the reality of retrospective rule making is far more widespread than this, and ranges from ’corrective’ legislation to ’interpretive regulations’ to judicial decision making. The search for a rational justification for retrospective rule-making necessitates a reconsideration (...) of the very nature of the rule of law and the kind of law that can rule, and will provide new insights into the nature of law and the parameters of societal order. This book examines the various ways in which laws may be seen as retrospective and analyses the problems in defining retrospectivity. In his analysis Dr Charles Sampford asserts that the definitive argument against retrospective rule-making is the expectation of individuals that, if their actions today are considered by a future court, the applicable law was discoverable at the time the action was performed. The book goes on to suggest that although the strength of this ’rule of law’ argument should prevail in general, exceptions are sometimes necessary, and that there may even be occasions when analysis of the rule of law may provide the foundation for the application of retrospective laws. (shrink)
Software piracy is an instance of unauthorized duplication of information goods where laws and norms are not agreed-upon. This article presents a content analysis of articles from the five highest circulating U.S. newspapers 1989-2004 as evidence of the prevailing social environment surrounding software piracy. The rationales in the news articles are analyzed as evidence of the social and psychological underpinnings of attitudes toward software piracy. An expanded version of Sykes and Matza's (American Sociological Review 22, 664-670, 1957); Zamoon and (...) class='Hi'>Curley (Working paper, Kuwait University, Kuwait, 2007) neutralization framework is applied to analyze the content of the articles. We found that rationales condoning piracy showed a more balanced use of neutralization approaches, and less moral intensity toward the behavior. In contrast, rationales condemning piracy mostly promoted the injury aspect of software piracy, and suggested higher moral intensity. The discrepancies have practical implications as a barrier to the ability to connect the two sides of the debate concerning software piracy. (shrink)
Designed to meet the needs of both student and scholar, this edition of _Leviathan_ offers a brilliant introduction by Edwin Curley, modernized spelling and punctuation of the text, and the inclusion, along with historical and interpretive notes, of the most significant variants between the English version of 1651 and the Latin version of 1668. A glossary of seventeenth-century English terms, and indexes of persons, subjects, and scriptural passages help make this the most thoughtfully conceived edition of _Leviathan_ available.
Does the real difference between non-consequentialist and consequentialist theories lie in their approach to value? Non-consequentialist theories are thought either to allow a different kind of value (namely, agent-relative value) or to advocate a different response to value ('honouring' rather than 'promoting'). One objection to this idea implies that all normative theories are describable as consequentialist. But then the distinction between honouring and promoting collapses into the distinction between relative and neutral value. A proper description of non-consequentialist theories can only (...) be achieved by including a distinction between temporal relativity and neutrality in addition to the distinction between agent-relativity and agent-neutrality. (shrink)
This paper considers the question of whether predictions of wrongdoing are relevant to our moral obligations. After giving an analysis of ‘won’t’ claims (i.e., claims that an agent won’t Φ), the question is separated into two different issues: firstly, whether predictions of wrongdoing affect our objective moral obligations, and secondly, whether self-prediction of wrongdoing can be legitimately used in moral deliberation. I argue for an affirmative answer to both questions, although there are conditions that must be met for self-prediction to (...) be appropriate in deliberation. The discussion illuminates an interesting and significant tension between agency and prediction. (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)
In this article I attempt to survey work on Hobbes within the period from 1975 to 1989. The text is restricted almost exclusively to work in English on topics in moral and political philosophy. The bibliography is more comprehensive, including work on other aspects of Hobbes’ philosophy and work written in a variety of other languages.The central questions on which the text focuses are these: what psychological assumptions underlie Hobbes’ moral and political conclusions? in particular, what roles do egoism, the (...) striving for self-preservation, and the desire for glory play in his system? to what extent is Hobbes committcd to the claim that the state of nature is a war or all against all? does that war stem from human rationality or from human irrationality? does Hobbes view morality as entirely a human invention, a creation of the state? if people had the psychology Hobbes assumes in justifying the institution of a sovereign, would they be able to institute one? to what extent does Hobbes regard rebellion as justifiable?I devote an attention some people may find excessive to recent works by Greg Kavka and Jean Hampton. I share Gautier’s view that they will prove landmarks in Hobbes scholarship. But I do try also to pay attention to other interesting work by authors like Richard Tuck, Tom Sorell, and David Johnston, and I have many criticisms to make of Kavka and Hampton. (shrink)
In this paper, I examine the thought of Descartes and Spinoza regarding the immortality of the soul. I conclude that Descartes’s argument(s) for the immortality of the soul—or at least the argument(s) that one can construct based on Descartes’s texts—are disappointing, and that Spinoza’s thought on the soul and its relation to the body leaves little room for the traditional doctrine of personal immortality.
Serious work in history of philosophy requires doing something very difficult: conducting a hypothetical dialogue with dead philosophers. Is it worth devoting to it the time and energy required to do it well? Yes. Quite apart from the intrinsic interest of understanding the past, making progress toward solving philosophical problems requires a good grasp of the range of possible solutions to those problems and of the arguments which motivate alternative positions, a grasp we can only have if we understand well (...) philosophy's past. Philosophers who concentrate too much on the present are apt to assume too simple a view of alternative theories and of important philosophical arguments. Ryle and Austin offer instructive examples of how it is possible to go wrong by ignoring or misrepresenting historical figures. (shrink)
InThe God of the Philosophers Anthony Kenny argues that the concept of God which has dominated Christian philosophical theology is incoherent. I don’t think he shows that it is incoherent, but he certainly raises a question worthy of our curiosity: is it in fact possible to demonstrate that this concept involves a contradiction?
The central thesis of Spinoza’s Theological-Political Treatise is that the state not only can permit freedom of philosophizing without endangering piety or the public peace, but that it must do so if it is not to destroy piety and the public peace. Spinoza’s argument is not limited to religious toleration, but is an argument for freedom of philosophizing generally. Nevertheless, freedom of philosophizing in religion is the central case. In making such an argument, he contributed greatly toward the transformation of (...) Western culture with respect to toleration and religious liberty. As an historian, I want to understand how this transformation came about and what role Spinoza played in it. As a philosopher, I also want to know whether any of the arguments philosophers made in favor of religious toleration deserved to be effective in bringing about this transformation. (shrink)
Reply to Professor Martinich The editor of this journal has invited me to reply to Professor Martinich's reply to my reply to his reply to my article, on the condition that I should be brief. I shall try to be very brief. Our discussion has probably reached a point at which we can expect dimin- ishing returns. I shall try also to avoid even the slightest hint of irony, though I am not sure I can succeed in that. I am (...) surprised that Prof. Martinich, who sees so little irony in Hobbes, should find so much in "Calvin and Hobbes." I did think his definition of "orthodoxy" was plausible, taking the term "plausible" in the sense of "having an appearance or show of truth, reasonableness or worth" . That's also, of course, perfectly consistent with thinking the criterion of the creeds too weak. The Church of England, from the time of Elizabeth, has made acceptance of the Nicene and Aposdes' Creeds one of the 39 Articles which define membership in that Church. But Martinich exaggerates when he says that that was the criterion of orthodoxy used by the Church. The 39 Articles cover many other issues as well, including God's incorpo- reality. As a somedme member of that Church, I wonder if Martinich has given thor- ough consideration to all that it requires of its adherents. I welcome Martinich's clarification of his use of the term "Calvinist." It was silly of me to think that he intended it to imply.. (shrink)
This article surveys work on descartes, Spinoza, Malebranche, And leibniz, Between 1960 and 1972, With particular attention to hintikka, Frankfurt, Kenny, Gueroult, Robinet, Rescher, Parkinson, Ishiguro, And mates. It is accompanied by an extensive bibliography.
This article explores the grounds which Leibniz might have offered for his theory that all truths are analytic, by considering the reasons his predecessors seem to have had for advancing similar formulas. I take Descartes and Spinoza to be the predecessors who came closest to Leibniz's theory. In spite of Leibniz's own indications to the contrary, his theory seems to be fundamentally opposed to Aristotelian theories of truth. I suggest that Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz were inclined toward this kind of (...) theory largely because they needed a theory which would explain how a sentence might be true even if it was about things which do not exist, as mathematical truths sometimes are. (shrink)
This paper deals critically with Stanley Cavell’s Pursuits of Happiness, a study of seven film comedies from the 30’s and 40’s, among them The Philadelphia Story, His Girl Friday, Adam’s Rib, and It Happened One Night. Negatively, I argue that Cavell’s interpretations of the films he deals with are often extravagant, if held to any objective standard; that his conception of the genre of the comedy of remarriage is highly arbitrary, both in its inclusions and exclusions, and in its contention (...) that the genre does not have a history; and that the philosophy of marriage implicit in Cavell’s criticism is unsatisfactory in implying the illegitimacy of most existing marriages. Positively, I support his contentions that the genre has its roots in Shakespearean comedy and that the films often (sometimes quite consciously) raise the very difficult philosophical questions Cavell takes them to raise. Though I find much to disagree with, I contend that Cavell is writing criticism of the highest order. (shrink)
A análise da correspondência entre Espinosa e L. van Velthuysen pode ser bastante útil para aperfeiçoar nossa compreensão do Tractatus theologico-politicus e da filosofia de Espinosa em geral. Em sua correspondência, Espinosa é freqüentemente evasivo e lento para ver (ou, ao menos, para reconhecer) um ponto. É uma questão interessante como deveríamos dar conta destas deficiências em suas respostas, e sua correspondência com Velthuysen seria uma boa oportunidade para provar a perspectiva de Bennett. O artigo está dividido em três partes: (...) 1) Velthuysen antes de Espinosa e o contexto de suas críticas; 2) um exame das Cartas 42 e 43; e 3) o debate em torno do deísmo e do ateísmo. (shrink)