Ethical reflection on the practice of war stands in a long tradition in Western philosophy and theology, a tradition which begins with the writings of Plato and Augustine and encompasses accounts of justified warfare offered by writers from the Medieval period to the present. Ethical reflection on nuclear war is of necessity a more recent theme. The past few years have seen an enormous increase in popular as well as scholarly concern with nuclear issues, and philosophers have joined theologians in (...) exploring the moral issues surrounding the harnessing of atomic forces in the service of war. (shrink)
There is a very interesting phenomenon which takes place in philosophy. Theories which appeared ten or fifteen years ago in the literature of, say, the philosophy of language or the philosophy of mind, often make a reappearance in current discussions of problems in the philosophy of religion. As Yogi Berra once remarked, ‘It's déjà vu all over again’. However, there is always a possibility that the transition from the earlier context to the later one will be less than smooth. For (...) sometimes the theory reappears in a slightly distorted form, and, as a result, its bearing on the current discussion is somewhat misconceived. In this paper, an example of this phenomenon, and its potential problems, will be considered. Our purpose is not, of course, to discourage such intra-disciplinary dialogue in philosophy of religion, but rather to recommend that it be undertaken with a considerable measure of care. (shrink)
The distinction between private immorality and public indecency plays a significant and perhaps a crucial role in H. L. A. Hart's argument in Law, Liberty, and Morality . This distinction, and the uses to which he puts it, have, however, been largely overshadowed in the ‘debate’ between Professor Hart and Lord Devlin which has centred around such ‘great’ questions as whether a shared morality is necessary for a society. I shall argue that Hart's position, in so far as it is (...) based on that distinction, is quite untenable, and that even if it were to be a possible position, it would none the less be incompatible with the sort of ‘libertarian’ view of society expressed by John Stuart Mill, whose ‘spirit’, at least, Hart believes himself to be defending. (shrink)
In David Hume’s A Treatise of Human Nature, reason and passion are in constant interaction forming belief. Moral events are distinguished on three levels: moral sentiment, moral action and moral judgment, in which reason and passion interact, although with different functions at each level.
This is a transcription of a debate on the concept of a person conducted in Moscow in 1983. David Bakhurst argues that Evald Ilyenkov's social constructivist conception of personhood, founded on Marx's thesis that the human essence is 'the ensemble of social relations', is either false or trivially true. F. T. Mikhailov, V. S. Bibler, V. A. Lektorsky and V. V. Davydov critically assess Bakhurst's arguments, elucidate and contextualize Ilyenkov's views, and defend, in contrasting ways, the claim that human (...) individuals are socially constituted beings. Issues discussed include: the concepts of activity and community and their relevance to the notions of mind and personhood; self-consciousness and its relation to personal identity; naturalism in Soviet thought. Translated from the Russian. (shrink)
According to Richard Gelwick, one of the fundamental implications of Polanyi’s epistemology is that all intellectual disciplines are inherently heuristic. This article draws out the implications of a heuristic vision of theology latent in Polanyi’s thought by placing contemporary theologian David Brown’s dynamic understanding of tradition, imagination, and revelation in the context of a Polanyian-inspired vision of reality. Consequently, such a theology will follow the example of science, reimagining its task as one of discovery rather than mere reflection on (...) a timeless body of divine revelation. The ongoing development of a theological tradition thus involves the attempt to bring one’s understanding of the question of God to bear on the whole of the human experience. The pursuit of theology as a heuristic endeavor is a bold attempt to construct an integrated vision of nothing less than the entirety of all that is, without absolutizing one’s vision, and without giving up on the question of truth. (shrink)
Although Henry David Thoreau stands outside the Christian canon, his outlook on the relations among spirituality, ecology, and economy highlights how Christian theologians can develop a theological work ethic in our era of economic and ecological precarity. He can furthermore help theologians counter the pro-work bias in much Christian thought. In Walden, Thoreau shows that the best work is an ascetic practice that reveals and reaps the abundance of nature and connects the person to the immanent divine and thereby (...) glimpsing eternity. Thoreau thus offers the outline of a transformed theology of work even as he challenges Protestant vocationalism in the early industrial era. He is therefore a fitting if challenging guide for formulating a theology of the self as agent and product of work, at a moment when the postindustrial ideal of work that is both meaningful and remunerative seems ever more unattainable while the negative impact of our work on nonhuman nature is ever more apparent. (shrink)
In _A Companion to David Lewis_, Barry Loewer and Jonathan Schaffer bring together top philosophers to explain, discuss, and critically extend Lewis's seminal work in original ways. Students and scholars will discover the underlying themes and complex interconnections woven through the diverse range of his work in metaphysics, philosophy of language, logic, epistemology, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, ethics, and aesthetics. The first and only comprehensive study of the work of David Lewis, one of the most systematic (...) and influential philosophers of the latter half of the 20th century Contributions shed light on the underlying themes and complex interconnections woven through Lewis's work across his enormous range of influence, including metaphysics, language, logic, epistemology, science, mind, ethics, and aesthetics Outstanding Lewis scholars and leading philosophers working in the fields Lewis influenced explain, discuss, and critically extend Lewis's work in original ways An essential resource for students and researchers across analytic philosophy that covers the major themes of Lewis's work. (shrink)
David Phillips’s Sidgwickian Ethics is a penetrating contribution to the scholarly and philosophical understanding of Henry Sidgwick’s The Methods of Ethics. This note focuses on Phillips’s understanding of (aspects of) Sidgwick’s argument for utilitarianism and the moral epistemology to which he subscribes. In § I, I briefly outline the basic features of the argument that Sidgwick provides for utilitarianism, noting some disagreements with Phillips along the way. In § II, I raise some objections to Phillips’s account of the epistemology (...) underlying the argument. In § III, I reply to the claim that there is a puzzle at the heart of Sidgwick’s epistemology. In § IV, I respond to Phillips’s claim that Sidgwick is unfair in his argument against the (deontological) morality of common sense. (shrink)
David Friedman posed a number of libertarian philosophical problems (Friedman 1989). This essay criticizes Walter Block’s Rothbardian responses (Block 2011) and compares them with J C Lester’s critical-rationalist, libertarian-theory responses (Lester  2012). The main issues are as follows. 1. Critical rationalism and how it applies to libertarianism. 2.1. How libertarianism is not inherently about law and is inherently about morals. 2.2. How liberty relates to property and can be maximized: carbon dioxide and radio waves. 2.3. Applying the theory (...) to flashlights. 2.4. Applying the theory to the probability of imposed risks. 2.5. “Homesteading” or initial acquisition. 2.6 What is “essential” for a “true libertarian.” 2.7. Crime and punishment. 2.8. Extent of punishment. 2.9. The libertarian response to a madman with a gun. 2.10. How contradictions in rights are possible. 2.11. The draft. 3.1. Utilitarian libertarianism and “nose counting”. 3.2. How interpersonal comparisons of utility are possible and utility monsters are not a threat. 3.3. Why it is not utilitarian in practice to kill an innocent prisoner to prevent a riot. 3.4. Why David Friedman should not be forced to give up one of his eyes. 3.5. How utilitarians can be libertarians. Conclusion: a proper theory of liberty combined with critical rationalism offers superior solutions to Friedman’s problems. Appendix: replies to two commentators. (shrink)
Many authors writing about global justice seem to take national responsibility more or less for granted. Most of them, however, offer very little argument for their position. One of the few exceptions is David Miller. He offers two models of collective responsibility: the like-minded group model and the cooperative practice model. While some authors have criticized whether these two models are applicable to nations, as Miller intends, my criticism is more radical: I argue that these two models fail as (...) accounts of collective responsibility as such. This result should not surprise us (liberals): there simply is no such thing as collective responsibility (in a strict sense), there is only individual responsibility. Thus individuals are not automatically responsible for the actions of their groups, nations or states, not even if they do not actively dissociate themselves from those actions. (shrink)
Norman Kemp Smith's The Philosophy of David Hume continues to be unsurpassed in its comprehensive coverage of the ideas and issues of Hume's Treatise. Now, after years of waiting, this currently out-of-print and highly sought-after classic is being re-issued. This ground-breaking book has long been regarded as a classic study by scholars in the field, yet a new introduction by Don Garrett places the book in its contemporary context, showing Humes's continuing importance in the field.
In 1986, David Esterly won a competition to carve a replacement of a Grinling Gibbons “wall drop” for Hampten Court Palace, in East Molesey, England. His task was an onerous one: Gibbons invented a style of carving that has been matched by few, and surpassed by still fewer. Esterly is one of the latter few; his technique is superb. -/- The Lost Carving gives us an account of those fateful days at Hampton Court. Interwoven with memories of recreating the (...) Gibbon’s piece, Esterly explains how he got involved with the esoteric field of limewood carving. Although he successfully completed his Ph.D. in English literature, he chose to avoid academia. Gibbons got to him instead, thanks to a chance encounter with one of his carvings in the 1970’s. Ever since, Esterly has struggled to understand, if not reach beyond, Gibbon’s vision and talent. (shrink)
There are good moral reasons to support euthanasia, and these reasons are fundamentally of a utilitarian root. There are few moral reasons to oppose euthanasia in its strict sense, and they are clearly outweighed by the reasons argumented from a utilitarian perspective. Such teleological and consequentialist good reasons were originally advanced by David Hume in his brief and brilliant essay "Of Suicide" (1757), the true source for current Bioethics. Hume's arguments have been expanded in scope by some contemporary utilitarians, (...) especially by Peter Singer. Both the classical arguments of Hume as the most current by Singer (and by some other utilitarian thinkers) are evaluated here, holding, in conclusion, that, regardless of specific criticisms, and of some important discrepancies between the different kinds of utilitarianists, however, the utilitarian ethical position is a strong and solid support for the defense of the "good voluntary death" as an individual right (in fact, a legitimate interest that demands legal protection) with a dominant force over other rights or interests, both individual or collective. (shrink)
A tribute, originally given at David Armstrong's retirement in 1991 as Challis Professor of Philosophy at Sydney University. Stove recalls Armstrong's role in the "Sydney disturbances" of the 1970s when under attack from Marxists.
David Lewis  offers a possible worlds approach to a theory of counterfactuals. He attempts to specify necessary and sufficient conditions according to which a given counterfactual is true or false. This MA Thesis surveys Lewis's theory of counterfactuals in detail. Although for the most part I defend Lewis's account from several objections, in the final chapter I reason that his theory is susceptible to skepticism, which threatens any philosophical theory that relies on Lewis's theory to distinguish between non-paradigmatically (...) true and false counterfactuals. As for the more sympathetic portion of my project, while I show how Lewis's canonical account cannot handle some paradigmatically false counterfactuals--viz., those containing true components--I try to repair his analysis in the spirit of Alan Penczek . I then discuss Lewis's extension or enhancement to his original theory, which he gives in order to foil an objection advanced by Kit Fine  and Jonathan Bennett . Finally, I outline and raise several worries inherent in Bennett's rival theory. As for the less then sympathetic section of this paper, I exploit arguments put forward by G. Lee Bowie  as well as by Daniel Krasner and Mark Heller , which are designed to undermine any systematic procedure to circumscribe Lewis's crucial three-place comparative similarity relation between possible worlds. (shrink)
No discussion of academic freedom, research integrity, and patient safety could begin with a more disquieting pair of case studies than those of Nancy Olivieri and David Healy. The cumulative impact of the Olivieri and Healy affairs has caused serious self examination within the biomedical research community. The first part of the essay analyses these recent academic scandals. The two case studies are then placed in their historical context—that context being the transformation of the norms of science through increasingly (...) close ties between research universities and the corporate world. After a literature survey of the ways in which corporate sponsorship has biased the results of clinical drug trials, two different strategies to mitigate this problem are identified and assessed: a regulatory approach, which focuses on managing risks associated with industry funding of university research, and a more radical approach, the sequestration thesis, which counsels the outright elimination of corporate sponsorship. The reformist approach is criticised and the radical approach defended. (shrink)
David and Mary Norton present the definitive scholarly edition of Hume's Treatise, one of the greatest philosophical works ever written. This set comprises the two volumes of texts and editorial material, which are also available for purchase separately. -/- David Hume (1711 - 1776) is one of the greatest of philosophers. Today he probably ranks highest of all British philosophers in terms of influence and philosophical standing. His philosophical work ranges across morals, the mind, metaphysics, epistemology, religion, and (...) aesthetics; he had broad interests not only in philosophy as it is now conceived but in history, politics, economics, religion, and the arts. He was a master of English prose. -/- The Clarendon Hume Edition will include all of his works except his History of England and minor historical writings. It is the only thorough critical edition, and will provide a far more extensive scholarly treatment than any previous editions. This edition (which has been in preparation since the 1970s) offers authoritative annotation, bibliographical information, and indexes, and draws upon the major advances in textual scholarship that have been made since the publication of earlier editions - advances both in the understanding of editorial principle and practice and in knowledge of the history of Hume's own texts. (shrink)
Absolutely no one still believes that every physical interactionconsists of material bodies bumping into each other. Those who have tried to work out a completely mechanistic physics have been unable to explain common phenomena like liquidity, gravitation and magnetism. In fact, there is great reason to doubt that such a physics could ever account for attractive forces in general.
The present volume is the fifth out of eight total projected for the Clarendon Edition of the Works of David Hume. Its editor, Tom Beauchamp, is one of the general editors of the Clarendon Hume, together with David Fate Norton and M. A. Stewart. Beauchamp served as the editor for the Clarendon editions of An Enquiry concerning the Principle of Morals and An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, both of which have garnered critical acclaim. Like the previous volumes, this (...) new edition of A Dissertation on the Passions and The Natural History of Religion has been prepared with erudition and meticulous attention to detail. It becomes without question the definitive critical edition of these. (shrink)
David Lewis cautions that although a no-collapse interpretation of quantum mechanics entails immortality for trans-world selves, the nature of the branching leaves us crippled, lonely, deathly ill, and mentally infirm, meaning that immortal life, on such terms, amounts to an existence in eternal torment. This paper argues that the problem Lewis points to is in fact one of individuation and that a synthesis of Lewis’ own notion of perdurance and Robert Nozick’s closest continuer theory, when cast in the mould (...) of a deterministic multiverse, individuates trans-world selves in such a way as to allow to prune the infinitesimal expectation of a miserable eternal existence from the histories of most trans-world agents. Thus, contrary to Lewis’ warning that if personal identity is a trans-world notion, then we should all shake in our shoes, this paper argues that even if we are trans-world selves, we almost certainly have nothing to worry about. (shrink)
This appreciative response to David Rutledge’s review of my book, Radical Embodiment, deals with the natureof categorization/generalization with respect to and in light of postmodernism, with the issue of the articulation of tacit knowledge, with Mark C. Taylor’s current a/theological stance regarding the concept of God, and finally with my model of divine embodiment that rejects special providence and revelation.
David and Mary Norton present the definitive scholarly edition of Hume's Treatise, one of the greatest philosophical works ever written. This second volume contains their historical account of how the Treatise was written and published; an explanation of how they have established the text; an extensive set of annotations which illuminate Hume's texts; and a comprehensive bibliography and index.
David Lewis is widely credited with the first formulation of common knowledge and the first rigorous analysis of convention. However, common knowledge and convention entered mainstream game theory only when they were formulated, later and independently, by other theorists. As a result, some of the most distinctive and valuable features of Lewis' game theory have been overlooked. We re-examine this theory by reconstructing key parts in a more formal way, extending it, and showing how it differs from more recent (...) game theory. In contrast to current theories of common knowledge, Lewis' theory is based on an explicit analysis of the modes of reasoning that are accessible to rational individuals and so can be used to analyse the genesis of common knowledge. Lewis' analysis of convention emphasises the role of inductive reasoning and of salience in the maintenance of conventions over time. Footnotes Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the 13th Amsterdam Colloquium at the University of Amsterdam, at a workshop on social norms at Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and at seminars at Tilburg University and the University of Bristol. We are grateful for comments from participants at those meetings, from two anonymous referees, and from Michael Bacharach, Nick Bardsley, Cristina Bicchieri, Luc Bovens, Simon Grant, David McCarthy, Shepley Orr, Brian Skyrms, Peter Vanderschraaf, Peter Wakker and Jörgen Weibull. Robert Sugden's work was supported by the Leverhulme Trust. (shrink)
In his article “The State At Dusk” David MacGregor provides, in this writer’s view, a somewhat odd rendering of the significance of Minerva’s Owl as it relates to Hegel’s view of philosophy, and in particular to his philosophy of civil society. I am especially puzzled by MacGregor’s choosing to see dusk as the hour of prophecy at which Hegel the theorist is taken “to discern in the shape of the present the promise of a different way of life”. Is (...) this what Hegel intends in the preface to the Philosophy of Right where he says “that only in the ripeness of actuality does the ideal appear over against the real, and that only then does this ideal comprehend this same real world in its substance and build it up for itself into the configuration of an intellectual realm”? (shrink)
This contribution is a criticism of some points David Carr brings forward both in his 1991 book (Educating the Virtues) but even more so in his 1996 article in this journal (After Kohlberg: Some Implications of an Ethics of Virtue for the Theory of Moral Education and Development). With the help of a virtue approach Carr tries to solve the moral objectivism-moral relativism dilemma and the deontologism-consequentialism dilemma in ethics. I will argue that his attempt, though very interesting, suffers (...) from some serious flaws and that, either, Carr's position is much closer to a Kantian approach than Carr thinks, or Carr's position needs a good deal of clarification. (shrink)
O texto a seguir, intitulado “Ensaio Histórico sobre a Cavalaria e a Honra dos Modernos”, foi escrito durante a juventude de David Hume, certamente antes da publicação do Tratado da Natureza Humana. Ainda não há consenso inabalável sobre o ano em que esse ensaio foi produzido. John Hill Burton, que o publicou pela primeira vez, em 1846, considera que Hume o teria escrito em 1727, logo após deixar o Edimburgh College. J. Y. T. Greig propõe uma conjectura um pouco (...) mais, por assim dizer, elástica, considerando que o texto deve ter sido escrito no período de 1729 a 1734. (shrink)
In this pathbreaking book, which includes a powerful new translation of Hesiod's Works and Days by esteemed translator David Grene, Stephanie Nelson argues that a society's vision of farming contains deep indications about its view of the human place within nature, and our relationship to the divine. She contends that both Hesiod in the Works and Days and Vergil in the Georgics saw farming in this way, and so wrote their poems not only about farming itself, but also about (...) its deeper ethical and religious implications. Hesiod, Nelson argues, saw farming as revealing that man must live by the sweat of his brow, and that good, for human beings, must always be accompanied by hardship. Within this vision justice, competition, cooperation, and the need for labor take their place alongside the uncertainties of the seasons and even of particular lucky and unlucky days to form a meaningful whole within which human life is an integral part. Vergil, Nelson argues, deliberately modeled his poem upon the Works and Days, and did so in order to reveal that his is a very different vision. Hesiod saw the hardship in farming; Vergil sees its violence as well. Farming is for him both our life within nature, and also our battle against her. Against the background of Hesiods poem, which found a single meaning for human life, Vergil thus creates a split vision and suggests that human beings may be radically alienated from both nature and the divine. Nelson argues that both the Georgics and the Works and Days have been misread because scholars have not seen the importance of the connection between the two poems, and because they have not seen that farming is the true concern of both, farming in its deepest and most profoundly unsettling sense. (shrink)
David and Mary Norton present the definitive scholarly edition of Hume's Treatise, one of the greatest philosophical works ever written. The first volume contains the critical text of David Hume's Treatise of Human Nature , followed by the shortin which Hume set out the key arguments of the larger work; the volume concludes with A Letter from a Gentleman to his Friend in Edinburgh , Hume's later defence of the Treatise.
David and Mary Norton present the definitive scholarly edition of Hume's Treatise, one of the greatest philosophical works ever written. The first volume contains the critical text of David Hume's Treatise of Human Nature, followed by the shortand concluding with A Letter from a Gentleman to his Friend in Edinburgh.
David and Mary Norton present the definitive scholarly edition of Hume's Treatise, one of the greatest philosophical works ever written. This volume contains their account of how the Treatise was written and published; an explanation of how they established the text; an extensive set of annotations; and a detailed bibliography and index.
A Humean Critique of David Hume's Theory of Knowledge provides the first full-length Aristotilian-Thomistic critique of Hume's most mature and familiar work. While giving Hume proper respect and appreciation for his achievement, Jeremy White engages in a thoughtful critique through an approach based in Hume's own method.
Combining the methods of the modern philosopher with those of the historian of ideas, Knud Haakonssen presents an interpretation of the philosophy of law which Adam Smith developed out of - and partly in response to - David Hume's theory of justice. While acknowledging that the influences on Smith were many and various, Dr Haakonssen suggests that the decisive philosophical one was Hume's analysis of justice in A Treatise of Human Nature and the second Enquiry. He therefore begins with (...) a thorough investigation of Hume, from which he goes on to show the philosophical originality of Smith's new form of natural jurisprudence. At the same time, he provides an over all reading of Smith's social and political thought, demonstrating clearly the exact links between the moral theory of The Theory of Moral Sentiments, the Lectures on Jurisprudence, and the sociohistorical theory of The Wealth of Nations. This is the first full analysis of Adam Smith's jurisprudence; it emphasizes its normative and critical function, and relates this to the psychological, sociological, and histroical aspects which hitherto have attracted most attention. Dr Haakonssen is critical of both purely descriptivist and utilitarian interpretations of Smith's moral and political philosophy, and demonstrates the implausibility of regarding Smith's view of history as pseudo-economic or 'materialist'. (shrink)