There are obvious benefits to be gained from the study of logic: heightened ability to express ideas clearly and concisely, increased skill in defining one's terms, enlarged capacity to formulate arguments rigorously and to analyze them critically. But the greatest benefit, in my judgment, is the recognition that reason can be applied in every aspect of human affairs.
With a new preface by the authorWhat is meaning in life? Does anything really matter? How can a life achieve lasting significance? How can we explain the human propensity to struggle for ideals? How is meaning related to contentment, happiness, joy? Is meaning something we discover, or do we create it? What is the nature of value, and what are its sources in human experience? Can there be a meaning in life without religious faith? What is the meaning of death? (...) Is life worth living? What would enable us to have a love of life?"Meaning in life," writes philosopher Irving Singer, "and the meaning in our own lives, results from creative efforts on our part. It is not a prior reality awaiting our discovery. Though we talk about a 'search' for meaning, what we are seeking is primarily a mode of creativity that will make our lives meaningful." In The Creation of Value, the first volume of his Meaning in Life trilogy, Singer studies the nature of imagination, idealization, and love in the context of humanity's attempt to define itself through the pursuit of meanings and values that it creates. Singer confronts life's most troubling problems: the meaning of death, the presence of anxiety in daily existence, the conditions needed for us to have a life worth living, and the possibility of a love of life in others as well as in ourselves.Irving Singer Library. (shrink)
... Press for their editorial perspicacity, to the National Institutes of Health for the partial financial support they gave me while I was writing some of the chapters, and to Donald Michie for suggesting the title Good Thinking.
This book elucidates T. F. Torrance’s reconstruction of natural theology as it appears within its intellectual context and broader Christological method. Irving argues that Torrance’s work on natural theology is an important affirmation of the priority of grace in theological method and knowledge alongside the integrity of human agency.
In this philosophical exploration of creativity, Irving Singer describes the many different types of creativity and their varied manifestations within and across all the arts and sciences. Singer's approach is pluralistic rather than abstract or dogmatic. His reflections amplify recent discoveries in cognitive science and neurobiology by aligning them with the aesthetic, affective, and phenomenological framework of experience and behavior that characterizes the human quest for meaning. Creativity has long fascinated Singer, and in Modes of Creativity he carries forward (...) investigations begun in earlier works. Marshaling a wealth of examples and anecdotes ranging from antiquity to the present, about persons as diverse as Albert Einstein and Sherlock Holmes, Singer describes the interactions of the creative and the imaginative, the inventive, the novel, and the original. He maintains that our preoccupation with creativity devolves from biological, psychological, and social bases of our material being; that creativity is not limited to any single aspect of human existence but rather inheres not only in art and the aesthetic but also in science, technology, moral practice, as well as ordinary daily experience. (shrink)
Introduction to Logic is a proven textbook that has been honed through the collaborative efforts of many scholars over the last five decades. Its scrupulous attention to detail and precision in exposition and explanation is matched by the greatest accuracy in all associated detail. In addition, it continues to capture student interest through its personalized human setting and current examples. The 14th Edition of Introduction to Logic, written by Copi, Cohen & McMahon, is dedicated to the many thousands of students (...) and their teachers - at hundreds of universities in the United States and around the world - who have used its fundamental methods and techniques of correct reasoning in their everyday lives. (shrink)
In 1984, Irving Singer published the first volume of what would become a classic and much acclaimed trilogy on love. Trained as an analytical philosopher, Singer first approached his subject with the tools of current philosophical methodology. Dissatisfied by the initial results, he turned to the history of ideas in philosophy and the arts for inspiration. He discovered an immensity of speculation and artistic practice that reached wholly beyond the parameters he had been trained to consider truly philosophical. In (...) his three-volume work The Nature of Love, Singer tried to make sense of this historical progression within a framework that reflected his precise distinction-making and analytical background. In this new book, he maps the trajectory of his thinking on love. It is a "partial" summing-up of a lifework: partial because it expresses the author's still unfolding views, because it is a recapitulation of many published pages, because love--like any subject of that magnitude--resists a neatly comprehensive, all-inclusive formulation. Adopting an informal, even conversational, tone, Singer discusses, among other topics, the history of romantic love, the Platonic ideal, courtly and nineteenth-century Romantic love; the nature of passion; the concept of merging ; ideas about love in Freud, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Dewey, Santayana, Sartre, and other writers; and love in relation to democracy, existentialism, creativity, and the possible future of scientific investigation. Singer's writing on love embodies what he has learned as a contemporary philosopher, studying other authors in the field and "trying to get a little further." This book continues his trailblazing explorations. (shrink)
Preface to the Irving Singer library edition -- Preface -- Introduction: Love and meaning -- Two myths about love -- Persons, things, ideals -- Sexual love -- Love in society -- Religious love -- Civilization and autonomy -- Love, and do as you will.
Although mind-wandering occupies up to half of our waking thoughts, it is seldom discussed in philosophy. My paper brings these neglected thoughts into focus. I propose that mind-wandering is unguided attention. Guidance in my sense concerns how attention is monitored and regulated as it unfolds over time. Roughly speaking, someone’s attention is guided if she would feel pulled back, were she distracted from her current focus. Because our wandering thoughts drift unchecked from topic to topic, they are unguided. One motivation (...) for my theory is what I call the “Puzzle of the Purposeful Wanderer”. On the one hand, mind-wandering seems essentially purposeless; almost by definition, it contrasts with goal-directed cognition. On the other hand, empirical evidence suggests that our minds frequently wander to our goals. My solution to the puzzle is this: mind-wandering is purposeless in one way—it is unguided—but purposeful in another—it is frequently caused, and thus motivated, by our goals. Another motivation for my theory is to distinguish mind-wandering from two antithetical forms of cognition: absorption and rumination. Surprisingly, previous theories cannot capture these distinctions. I can: on my view, absorption and rumination are guided, whereas mind-wandering is not. My paper has four parts. Section 1 spells out the puzzle. Sections 2 and 3 explicate two extant views of mind-wandering—the first held by most cognitive scientists, the second by Thomas Metzinger. Section 4 uses the limitations of these theories to motivate my own: mind-wandering is unguided attention. (shrink)
Christian Democracy, which may briefly be defined as organised political action by Catholic democrats, has been a major political force in Western Europe since the Second World War, not least in France. The aim of this book, first published in 1973, is to trace the Development of Christian Democracy in France from its origins in the 1830s to the present day, discussing its theories and its importance in French history and politics, with particular reference to the Fourth Republic when the (...) MRP was one of the key centre parties. Dr Irving provides a thorough analysis of MRP, its economic, foreign and colonial policies, and gives reasons for the relative decline of French Christian Democracy in the 1960s. This French movement has been little understood in Britain and a throrough history has been badly needed. This study will be valuable to all those who, in the context of a United Europe, wish to understand the political forces at work at its conception. It will be valuable especially to students of modern history and politics. (shrink)
A milestone in Wittgenstein scholarship, this collection of essays ranges over a wide area of the philosopher's thought, presenting divergent interpretations of his fundamental ideas. Different chapters raise many of the central controversies that surround current understanding of the Tractatus, providing an interplay that will be particularly useful to students. Taken together, the essays present a broader and more comprehensive view of Wittgenstein's intellectual interests and his impact on philosophy than may be found elsewhere.The thirteen chapters treat topics from both (...) periods of Wittgenstein's work: More than half are devoted to his early thought, the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus of 1921, reflecting a growing interest today among philosophers in reexamining this seminal book, while three chapters treat the Philosophical Investigations, published posthumously in 1953. The remaining chapters discuss such "nonstandard" topics as philosophy of religion, aesthetics, and anthropology.Contents: The Early Wittgenstein and the Middle Russell, Kenneth Blackwell; Frege and Wittgenstein, Michael Dummett; Wittgenstein and the Theory of Types, Hide Ishiguro; The So-called Realism of Wittgenstein's Tractatus, Brian McGuinness; The Logical Independence of Elementary Propositions, David Pears; The Rise and Fall of the Picture Theory, Peter Hacker; The Picture Theory and Wittgenstein's Later Attitude to It, Erik Stenius; Wittgenstein's Early Philosophy of Mind, Anthony Kenny; A Theory of Language?, G. E. M. Anscombe; Im Anfang war die Tat, Peter Winch; Wittgenstein's Full Stop, D. Z. Phillips; Quote: Judgments from Our Brain, Paul Ziff; Wittgenstein and the Fire Festivals, Frank Cioffi, Index.Irving Block is Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department at The University of Western Ontario. (shrink)
The Politics of Constructionism presents a broadranging and critical overview of the many themes of social constructionism and its relevance to contemporary social and political issues. Clearly structured and bringing together leading international contributors from across the social sciences, it offers an invaluable may through this rich body of literature. Major questions and topics explored in its critique and application of constructionist ideas include the theory and practice of scientific method, the development of social and political policy, the use of (...) social science statistical methods, self-identity and the politics of collective identities, and technological advances in reproductive medicine. Drawing on insights from psychology, sociology, politics, philosophy, cultural, gender, and social studies, The Politics of Constructionism links the discourse of constructionism to the wider social and political world and offers much to suggest that, contrary to the final impoverishment claimed by some of postmodernism, social science is witnessing the beginning of a new enrichment. It will be essential reading for all students and academics interested in social constructionism and contemporary issues and debates across the social sciences. (shrink)
Film is the supreme medium for mythmaking. The gods and heroes of mythology are both larger than life and deeply human; they teach us about the world, and they tell us a good story. Similarly, our experience of film is both distant and intimate. Cinematic techniques--panning, tracking, zooming, and the other tools in the filmmaker's toolbox--create a world that is unlike reality and yet realistic at the same time. We are passive spectators, but we also have a personal relationship with (...) the images we are seeing. In Cinematic Mythmaking, Irving Singer explores the hidden and overt use of myth in various films and, in general, the philosophical elements of a film's meaning. Mythological themes, Singer writes, perform a crucial role in cinematic art and even philosophy itself. Singer incisively disentangles the strands of different myths in the films he discusses. He finds in Preston Sturges's The Lady Eve that Barbara Stanwyck's character is not just the biblical Eve but a liberated woman of our times; Eliza Doolittle in the filmed versions of Shaw's Pygmalion is not just a statue brought to life but instead a heroic woman who must survive her own dark night of the soul. The protagonist of William Wyler's The Heiress and Anieszka Holland's Washington Square is both suffering Dido and an awakened Amazon. Singer reads Cocteau's films--including La Belle et la Bête, Orphée, and The Testament of Orpheus--as uniquely mythological cinematic poetry. He compares Kubrickean and Homeric epics and analyzes in depth the self-referential mythmaking of Federico Fellini in many of his movies, including 8½. The aesthetic and probing inventiveness in film, Singer shows us, restores and revives for audiences in the twenty-first century myths of creation, of the questing hero, and of ideals--both secular and religious--that have had enormous significance throughout the human search for love and meaning in life. (shrink)
Although Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, and Jean Renoir do not pontificate about "eternal verities or analytical niceties," as Irving Singer remarks in Three Philosophical Filmmakers, each expresses, through his work, his particular vision of reality. In this study of these great directors, Singer examines the ways in which meaning and technique interact within their different visions.Singer's account reveals Hitchcock, Welles, and Renoir to be not only consummate artists and inspired craftsmen but also sophisticated theorists of film and its place (...) in human experience. They left behind numerous essays, articles, and interviews in which they discuss the nature of their own work as well as more extensive issues. Singer draws on their writings, as well as their movies, to show the pervasive importance of what they did as dedicated filmmakers.Hitchcock used his mastery of contrived devices not as mere formalism divorced from content, Singer notes, but in order to evoke emotional responses that are meaningful in themselves and that matter greatly to millions of people. Singer's discussion of Hitchcock's work analyzes, among other things, his ideas about suspense, romance, and the comic. Singer also makes a detailed comparison of the original Psycho with Gus Van Sant's recent remake. Considering the work of Welles, Singer shows how and why the theme of vanished origins -- "the myth of the past" -- recurs in many of his films, starting with the Rosebud motif in Citizen Kane and continuing much later in his little-known masterpiece The Immortal Story. Expanding upon Renoir's comment that his own films were "always the same film," Singer studies his entire work as a coherent though evolving search for contact and "conversation" with the audience. While recognizing the primacy of technique, Renoir used cinematic artifice in the service of that humanistic aspiration. (shrink)
We live in an era of constitution-making. New constitutions are appearing in historically unprecedented numbers, following regime change in some countries, or a commitment to modernization in others. No democratic constitution today can fail to recognize or provide for gender equality. Constitution-makers need to understand the gendered character of all constitutions, and to recognize the differential impact on women of constitutional provisions, even where these appear gender-neutral. This book confronts what needs to be considered in writing a constitution when gender (...) equity and agency are goals. It examines principles of constitutionalism, constitutional jurisprudence, and history. Its goal is to establish a framework for a 'gender audit' of both new and existing constitutions. It eschews a simple focus on rights and examines constitutional language, interpretation, structures and distribution of power, rules of citizenship, processes of representation, and the constitutional recognition of international and customary law. It discusses equality rights and reproductive rights as distinct issues for constitutional design. (shrink)
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Este artigo procura lidar com as batalhas travadas pela memória na pós-transição democrática vivenciada pelo Chile a partir da análise do filme “Não”, de Pablo Larraín. O objetivo é pensar nas produções audiovisuais como um lugar privilegiado de disputa pela memória. Examinaremos como a obra, terceira de uma trilogia sobre a ditadura civil-militar chilena, procura retratar as campanhas do SIM e do NÃO antes do plebiscito de 1988, em que se decidiu sobre o destino da ditadura de Pinochet. Será analisada, (...) igualmente, a mistura que o filme faz de diferentes épocas históricas através de um amálgama entre imagens arquivísticas, personagens reais e cenas da ficção. (shrink)
Perhaps the central question in action theory is this: what ingredient of bodily action is missing in mere behavior? But what is an analogous question for mental action? I ask this: what ingredient of active, goal-directed thought is missing in mind-wandering? My answer: attentional guidance. Attention is guided when you would feel pulled back from distractions. In contrast, mind-wandering drifts between topics unchecked. My unique starting point motivates new accounts of four central topics about mental action. First, its causal basis. (...) Mind-wandering is a case study that allows us to tease apart two causes of mental action––guidance and motivation. Second, its experiential character. Goals are rarely the objects of awareness; rather, goals are “phenomenological frames” that carve experience into felt distractions and relevant information. Third, its scope. Intentional mind-wandering is a limit case of action where one actively cultivates passivity. Fourth, my theory offers a novel response to mental action skeptics like Strawson. (shrink)
Metaphysicians, ethical theorists and philosophers of law squabble endlessly about what it is for a person to act — or perhaps even to ‘will’ — more or less freely. A vital issue in this controversy is how we should analyse two obvious but surprisingly problematical contrasts. The first antithesis is between things we do because we are forced, and deeds we perform because we want to — sometimes after having discovered preponderant reasons in their favour. The other polarity is more (...) general. In most situations, if I act on my desire, I act more freely than if I had not had the desire. But what if my attitude is the product of childhood conditioning — or later brainwashing, brain surgery, hypnosis, behaviour modification, alcoholisim, narcotics addiction, neurosis, psychosis or worse? Then isn't my autonomy diminished? What is it about these latter desires, or their origin, that differentiates them from their unthreatening congeners? (shrink)