The centrepiece of Cicero's De re publica is a discussion of justice. This discussion, which evokes the theme of the Platonic dialogue after which it was named, consists of a set of three speeches. It begins with a speech opposing justice, placed in the mouth of L. Furius Philus and alleged by him to be modelled on the second of a pair of speeches for and against justice delivered in Rome in 155 B.C. by the Greek Academic philosopher Carneades. Philus' (...) speech lays the dialectical foundation for the two subsequent speeches, a defence of justice as the prerequisite for government by C. Laelius, and an explanation of its role in various forms of government by Scipio Aemilianus. (shrink)
Twenty-five years ago Paul Wilpert called for a thorough re-examination of our knowledge of the content of Aristotle's lost workDe Philosophia. Expressing his reservations about the validity of our current reconstruction of the work, he wrote: ‘On the basis of attested fragments, we form for ourselves a picture of the content of a lost writing, and this picture in turn serves to interpret new fragments as echoes of that writing. So our joy over the swift growth of our collection of (...) fragments is clouded by the thought that we are not thereby really nearing the original character of the work, but we are entangling ourselves ever more tightly in a picture we ourselves have created.’ As a corrective Wilpert called for a critical retracing of our steps since 1830 to establish a more secure reconstruction of this important lost work.Since then there have been numerous, searching analyses of the ideas and fragments ofDe Philosophia, but at least one venerable old theory has escaped critical reappraisal: namely, the theory that inDe PhilosophiaAristotle discussed his doctrine of a fifth element, i.e. his belief that the heavenly bodies are composed of an element distinct from the four earthly elements, earth, water, air, and fire. This theory has become so widely accepted that it has virtually become a fact. When support is needed, most modern authors simply cite one or both of the two modern authorities on the early Aristotle, namely W. Jaeger and E. Bignone. The more meticulous restate the traditional evidence with complete confidence that this evidence proves their case. If Wilpert's hope for a firmly grounded reconstruction of theDe Philosophiais ever to be achieved, one of the importantdesideratatoday is a critical re-examination of the evidence for the fifth element in this work. (shrink)
Teases out from assumptions underlying Polybius's constitutional theory an otherwise unknown subjectivist, agent-relative utilitarian theory of well-being. In contrast to other ancient theories, other-concern is assumed to be rooted in nonrational human nature and without moral value. Moral concepts arise within a social community from rational reflection on personal experience and lead to socially constructed moral values and political institutions that promote cooperative over competitive behaviors. The assumptions meet Arcesilaus's skeptical objections to dogmatic ethics. Polybius, some of whose political associates (...) studied under Arcesilaus, may have derived his theory from current antiskeptical justifications of normative ethics and politics. (shrink)
In 1929, doubtless to the discomfort of his logical positivist host Moritz Schlick, Wittgenstein remarked, ‘To be sure, I can understand what Heidegger means by Being and Angst ’ . I return to what Heidegger meant and Wittgenstein could understand later. I begin with that remark because it has had an instructive career. When the passage which it prefaced was first published in 1965, the editors left it out—presumably to protect a hero of ‘analytic’ philosophy from being compromised by an (...) expression of sympathy for the arch-fiend of ‘continental’ philosophy. It was as if a diary of Churchill's had been discovered containing admiring references to Hitler. This was the period, after all, when Heidegger was, as Michael Dummett recalls, a ‘joke’ among Oxford philosophers, the paradigm of the sort of metaphysical nonsense Wittgenstein had dedicated himself to exposing. (shrink)
???Everyone agrees that the moral features of things supervene on their natural features??? , 22). Everyone is wrong, or so I will argue. In the first section, I explain the version of moral supervenience that Smith and others argue everyone should accept. In the second section, I argue that the mere conceptual possibility of a divine command theory of morality is sufficient to refute the version of moral supervenience under consideration. Lastly, I consider and respond to two objections, showing, among (...) other things, that while DCT is sufficient to refute this version of moral supervenience it is not necessary. (shrink)
The week, twenty-five years ago, of the Apollo spacecraft's return visit to the moon was described by Richard Nixon as the greatest since the Creation. Across the Atlantic, a French Academician judged the same event to matter less than the discovery of a lost etching by Daumier. Attitudes to technological achievement, then, differ. And they always have. Chuang-Tzu, over 2,000 years ago, relates an exchange between a Confucian passer-by and a Taoist gardener watering vegetables with a bucket drawn from a (...) well. ‘Don't you know that there is a machine with which 100 beds are easily watered in a day?’—‘How does it work?’—‘It's a counterbalanced ladle’—‘too clever to be good … all machines have to do with formulae, artificiality [which] destroy native ingenuity … and prevent the Tao from residing peacefully in one's heart’. ‘Engines of mischief, in the words of the Luddite song, or testaments to ‘the nobility of man [as] the conqueror of matter’, in those of Primo Levi, the products of technology continue to inspire phobia and philia. (shrink)
This excellent collection contains 13 essays from Gadamer's _Kleine Schriften, _dealing with hermeneutical reflection, phenomenology, existential philosophy, and philosophical hermeneutics. Gadamer applies hermeneutical analysis to Heidegger and Husserl's phenomenology, an approach that proves critical and instructive.
Aside from aperçus of Kant, Nietzsche, and of course, Aristotle, metaphor has not, until recently, received its due. The dominant view has been Hobbes': metaphors are an ‘abuse’ of language, less dangerous than ordinary equivocation only because they ‘profess their inconstancy’.
Not long after the historian, Seeley, had defined ‘perfect liberty’ as ‘the absence of all government’, Oscar Wilde wrote that a man can be totally free even in that granite embodiment of governmental constraint, prison. Ten years after Mill's famous defence of civil freedoms, On Liberty , Richard Wagner declaimed: I'll put up with everything—police, soldiers, muzzling of the press, limits on parliament… Freedom of the spiriti is the only thing for men to be proud of and which raises them (...) above animals. (shrink)
Characterizations of philosophy abound. It is ‘the queen of the sciences’, a grand and sweeping metaphysical endeavour; or, less regally, it is a sort of deep anthropology or ‘descriptive metaphysics’, uncovering the general presuppositions or conceptual schemes that lurk beneath our words and thoughts. A different set of images portray philosophy as a type of therapy, or as a spiritual exercise, a way of life to be followed, or even as a special branch of poetry or politics. Then there is (...) a group of characterizations that include philosophy as linguistic analysis, as phenomenological description, as conceptual geography, or as genealogy in the sense proposed by Nietzsche and later taken up by Foucault. (shrink)
Personal values have long been associated with individual decision behavior. The role played by personal values in decision making within an organization is less clear. Past research has found that managers tend to respond to ethical dilemmas situationally. This study examines the relationship between personal values and the ethical dimension of decision making using Partial Least Squares (PLS) analysis. The study examines personal values as they relate to five types of ethical dilemmas. We found a significant positive contribution of altruistic (...) values to ethical decision making and a significant negative contribution of self-enhancement values to ethical decision making. (shrink)