MORALITY is an area of culture that is highly susceptible to philosophical skepticism. This has been so at least since the time of the Greek Sophists. But modern Western civilization seems to be especially prone to philosophical doubts about the moral enterprise because of widely shared assumptions and views in the modern age about the knowledge-yielding powers of the human mind. This particular trouble spot in the culture has received extensive philosophical attention ever since the seventeenth century, but activity in (...) moral philosophy has never been greater than in our own time. (shrink)
While agreeing with Poteat that the modern Western culture has gone awry in a humanly destructive way, the paper contends tha the culprit was not, as Poteat claims, Enlightenment critical philosophy, but the materialistic values of the bourgeois form of life and the puritanical view of knowledge and the naturalistic worldview that they generated. Accordingly, the solution proposed is not Poteat's unreflected experience and commonsense worldview but a shift to a humanistic culture-generating stance and a critical humanistic philosophy.
The purpose of the article is to challenge widely accepted views of the relationship among rationality, morality, and prudence. It contends that we cannot understand either the rational or the moral enterprise without a correct philosophical view of the human self, and that such a view of the self is impossible without taking account of the rational and the moral enterprises themselves. The paper concludes that the moral point of view is anchored in the nature of selfhood so that one (...) can be neither rational and immoral nor prudent and immoral. (shrink)
Perhaps the central categories of the practical area are 'intention' and 'intentional action.' As Hampshire says, "The notion of the will, of action, the relation of thought and action, the relation of a person's mind and body, the difference between observing a convention or rule and merely having a habit--all these problems find their meeting place in the notion of intention". Certainly if 'intention' and 'intentional action' are clarified the whole practical field will be illuminated. Miss Anscombe thinks that 'intention' (...) itself can best be got at by concentrating on 'intentional action.'. (shrink)
This book is good reading. It is the song of man and philosophy, more especially the song of America and American philosophy. Although there are intimations of latter-day weariness and cynicism, the spirit of this work is the spirit of America in her youth, conscious of her newness, with visions of unlimited possibilities--the America of Emerson, Whitman, James, and Dewey.