The ideas of the German philosopher Martin Heidegger have been described as an intellectual time bomb, as some of the most revolutionary thought in western history. Despite the enormous amount of secondary scholarship available on Heidegger, it is–due to the complexity of his thought and the density of his writing–difficult for the curious beginner to gain an insight into Heidegger’s philosophy. Heidegger For Beginners serves as an entry into the ideas of one of the 20th century’s most important thinkers, situating (...) Heidegger’s thought within its philosophical and historical context–alongside such thinkers as Plato, Descartes, Kant, Nietzsche, Husserl and Sartre. Heidegger For Beginners explicates many of Heidegger’s central ideas, including the Nothing , average everydayness, care, existence, be-in-the-world, the One , the critique of technology, anxiety, and most importantly, Being –a notion which may offer us the key to understanding the very mystery of our own existence. (shrink)
Eric Voegelin (1901-1985) was one of the most original philosophers of our time, working throughout his life to account for the endemic political violence of the twentieth century, in an effort variously referred to as a philosophy of politics, history, or consciousness. Drawing from the University of Missouri Press's thirty-four-volume edition of his collected works, Charles Embry and Glenn Hughes have assembled a selection of Voegelin's representative writings, satisfying the need for a single volume that can serve as a (...) general introduction to his philosophy. The selection demonstrates the range and creativity of Voegelin's thought, including writings that show his thinking as it developed historically in his long search for order in human society. (shrink)
Was sind wir? Wie immer man sich zu dieser Frage stellt, eines scheint offenkundig: Wir sind Tiere, genauer gesagt: menschliche Tiere, Mitglieder der Art Homo sapiens. Dabei mag es überraschen, daß viele Philosophen diese vermeintlich banale Tatsache abstreiten. Plato, Augustinus, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant und Hegel, um nur einige herausragende zu nennen, waren alle der Meinung, wir seien keine Tiere. Es mag zwar sein, daß unsere Körper Tiere sind. Doch sind wir nicht mit unseren Körpern gleichzusetzen. Wir sind etwas (...) anderes als Tiere. Kaum anderer Meinung sind Denker nicht-westlicher Traditionen. Und rund neun von zehn Philosophen, die heutzutage über Probleme der personalen Identität nachdenken, vertreten Ansichten, die ausschließen, daß wir Tiere sind. (shrink)
On October 1, 1988, thirty-five years after co-discovering the structure of the DNA molecule, Dr. James Watson launched an unprecedented experiment in American science policy. In response to a reporter's question at a press conference, he unilaterally set aside 3 to 5 percent of the budget of the newly launched Human Genome Project to support studies of the ethical, legal, and social implications of new advances in human genetics. The Human Genome Project, by providing geneticists with the molecular maps of (...) the human chromosomes that they use to identify specific human genes, will speed the proliferation of a class of DNA-based diagnostic and risk-assessment tests that already create professional ethical and health-policy challenges for clinicians. “The problems are with us now, independent of the genome program, but they will be associated with it,” Watson said. “We should devote real money to discussing these issues.” By 1994, the “ELSI program” had spent almost $20 million in pursuit of its mission, and gained both praise and criticism for its accomplishments. (shrink)
In this essay I propose to explicate and defend a new and improved version of a Lockean proviso—the self-ownership proviso . I shall presume here that individuals possess robust rights of self-ownership. I shall take it that each individual has strong moral claims over the elements which constitute her person, e.g., her body parts, her talents, and her energies. However, in the course of the essay, I shall be challenging what I take to be the standard conception of self-ownership and (...) proposing an enrichment of that conception. The SOP is presented and in part justified as an implication of the right of self-ownership as it is more richly conceived—hence its designation as the self-ownership proviso. As an implication of the right of self-ownership which is also compatible, in theory and practice, with extensive and robust private property rights, the SOP is offered as an integral element of classical-liberal political theory. (shrink)
In this paper I offer three main challenges to James (2011). All three turn on the nature of philosophy and secure knowledge in Spinoza. First, I criticize James's account of the epistemic role that experience plays in securing adequate ideas for Spinoza. In doing so I criticize her treatment of what is known as the ‘conatus doctrine’ in Spinoza in order to challenge her picture of the relationship between true religion and philosophy. Second, this leads me into a criticism of (...) her account of the nature of philosophy in Spinoza. I argue it is less piecemeal and less akin to what we would recognize as ‘science’ than she suggests. Third, I argue against James's core commitment that Spinoza's three kinds of knowledge differ in degree; I claim they differ in kind. My argument will offer a new interpretation of Spinoza's conception of ‘common notions’. Moreover, I argue that Spinozistic adequate knowledge involves something akin to angelic disembodiment. (shrink)
an anarchist critique of Bolshevism, drawing on Walter Benjamin. The translation and commentary published as "Theories of Justice, Profane and Prophetic: Gershom Scholem on the Bolshevik Revolution" in Gershom Scholem: In memoriam, Vol. 2, Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Thought, 21, 2007.
a short text on the concept of justice by Walter Benjamin. The text was preserved by Gershom Scholem on 8 October 1916, the same method by which most of Benjamin's early writings have reached us. However, this piece somehow remained undetected by the editors of the Gesammelte Schriften. It first appeared in German and English in Metaphysics of the Profane, New York: Columbia University Press, 2003, pp. 166-169, with permission of the German publishers Suhrkamp Verlag. It is presented here with (...) a typographical error corrected. (shrink)
To the student of the recent history of theological ideas in the West, it sometimes seems as though, of all the ‘new’ subjects that have been intro duced into theological discussion during the last hundred or so years, only two have proved to be of permanent significance. One is, of course, biblical criticism, and the other, the subject which in my University is still called ‘comparative religion’—the dispassionate study of the religions of the world as phenomena in their own right.
David Silver has argued that there is an illegitimate circularity in Plantinga's account of how a Christian theist can defend herself against the potential defeater presented by Paul Draper's formulation of the problem of evil. The way out of the circle for the theist, thinks Silver, would be by adopting a kind of evidentialism: she needs to make an appeal to evidence that is independent of the reasons she has for holding theistic belief in the first place. I shall argue (...) that Silver's argument is unsuccessful, mainly because he does not get Plantinga's thought right. Silver's confusion is in taking causes of belief as reasons for belief, and in failing to account for the impact of belief holism and our web of beliefs on the very hope for independent reasons. (shrink)
My goal in this essay is to say something helpful about the philosophical foundations of deontic restraints, i.e., moral restraints on actions that are, roughly speaking, grounded in the wrongful character of the actions themselves and not merely in the disvalue of their results. An account of deontic restraints will be formulated and offered against the backdrop of three related, but broader, contrasts or puzzles within moral theory. The plausibility of this account of deontic restraints rests in part on how (...) well this account resolves the puzzles or illuminates the contrasts which make up this theoretical backdrop. (shrink)
1. Introduction This essay deals with the hard topic of the permissible killing of the innocent. The relevance of this topic to the morality of war is obvious. For even the most defensive and just wars, i.e., the most defensive and just responses to existing or imminent large-scale aggression, will inflict harm upon – in particular, cause the deaths of – innocent bystanders. 1 The most obvious and relevant example is that of innocent Soviet noncombatants who would be killed by (...) even the most precise defensive strike against Soviet strategic weapons or troop formations that is now possible. Should there be no vindication or, at least, no excuse for some killings of such innocent bystanders, morality would dictate that even defensive counterforce measures against largescale attacks should be renounced. (shrink)
Do you dream in color? If you answer Yes, how can you be sure? Before you recount your vivid memory of a dream featuring all the colors of the rainbow, consider that in the 1950s researchers found that most people reported dreaming in black and white. In the 1960s, when most movies were in color and more people had color television sets, the vast majority of reported dreams contained color. The most likely explanation for this, according to the philosopher (...) class='Hi'>Eric Schwitzgebel, is not that exposure to black-and-white media made people misremember their dreams. It is that we simply don't know whether or not we dream in color. In Perplexities of Consciousness, Schwitzgebel examines various aspects of inner life and argues that we know very little about our stream of conscious experience. Drawing broadly from historical and recent philosophy and psychology to examine such topics as visual perspective, and the unreliability of introspection, Schwitzgebel finds us singularly inept in our judgments about conscious experience. (shrink)
When we say we 'act for a reason', what do we mean? And what do reasons have to do with being good or bad? Introducing readers to a foundational topic in ethics, Eric Wiland considers the reasons for which we act. You do things for reasons, and reasons in some sense justify what you do. Further, your reasons belong to you, and you know the reasons for which you act in a distinctively first-personal way. Wiland lays out and critically (...) reviews some of the most popular contemporary accounts of how reasons can function in all these ways, accounts such as psychologism, factualism, hybrid theories, constitutivist theories, and finally Anscombean views of reasons. Reasons also includes a brief guide to further reading to help readers master this important topic in contemporary writing in ethics and the philosophy of action. (shrink)
"This edited collection is the result of a workshop organised in March 2014 at the University of Birmingham's Institute for Advanced Studies, entitled: Hybridity: Exploring Power, Social Structures, and Institutions Beyond the Liberal West.--ECIP introduction.
This is the first complete, one-volume English translation of the ancient Chinese text Xunzi, one of the most extensive, sophisticated, and elegant works in the tradition of Confucian thought. Through essays, poetry, dialogues, and anecdotes, the Xunzi articulates a Confucian perspective on ethics, politics, warfare, language, psychology, human nature, ritual, and music, among other topics. Aimed at general readers and students of Chinese thought, Eric Hutton's translation makes the full text of this important work more accessible in English than (...) ever before. Named for its purported author, the Xunzi has long been neglected compared to works such as the Analects of Confucius and the Mencius. Yet interest in the Xunzi has grown in recent decades, and the text presents a much more systematic vision of the Confucian ideal than the fragmented sayings of Confucius and Mencius. In one famous, explicit contrast to them, the Xunzi argues that human nature is bad. However, it also allows that people can become good through rituals and institutions established by earlier sages. Indeed, the main purpose of the Xunzi is to urge people to become as good as possible, both for their own sakes and for the sake of peace and order in the world. In this edition, key terms are consistently translated to aid understanding and line numbers are provided for easy reference. Other features include a concise introduction, a timeline of early Chinese history, a list of important names and terms, cross-references, brief explanatory notes, a bibliography, and an index. (shrink)
According to Eric Olson, the Thinking Animal Argument (TAA) is the best reason to accept animalism, the view that we are identical to animals. A novel criticism has been advanced against TAA, suggesting that it implicitly employs a dubious epistemological principle. I will argue that other epistemological principles can do the trick of saving the TAA, principles that appeal to recent issues regarding disagreement with peers and experts. I conclude with some remarks about the consequence of accepting these modified (...) principles, drawing out some general morals in defending animalism. (shrink)
Climate change and justice are so closely associated that many people take it for granted that a global climate treaty should--indeed, must--directly address both issues together. But, in fact, this would be a serious mistake, one that, by dooming effective international limits on greenhouse gases, would actually make the world's poor and developing nations far worse off. This is the provocative and original argument of Climate Change Justice. Eric Posner and David Weisbach strongly favor both a climate change agreement (...) and efforts to improve economic justice. But they make a powerful case that the best--and possibly only--way to get an effective climate treaty is to exclude measures designed to redistribute wealth or address historical wrongs against underdeveloped countries. In clear language, Climate Change Justice proposes four basic principles for designing the only kind of climate treaty that will work--a forward-looking agreement that requires every country to make greenhouse--gas reductions but still makes every country better off in its own view. This kind of treaty has the best chance of actually controlling climate change and improving the welfare of people around the world. (shrink)
Most philosophers writing about personal identity in recent years claim that what it takes for us to persist through time is a matter of psychology. In this groundbreaking new book, Eric Olson argues that such approaches face daunting problems, and he defends in their place a radically non-psychological account of personal identity. He defines human beings as biological organisms, and claims that no psychological relation is either sufficient or necessary for an organism to persist. Olson rejects several famous thought-experiments (...) dealing with personal identity. He argues, instead, that one could survive the destruction of all of one's psychological contents and capabilities as long as the human organism remains alive--as long as its vital functions, such as breathing, circulation, and metabolism, continue. (shrink)
In recent years there has been an increased interest in the research dedicated to the ethics and morality of supply chains. The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) dominates the literature on supply chain ethics in management education. The objective of this paper is to develop some propositions to complement and look more broadly and differently at these management concepts. Supplementing these concepts with the fundamental questions on the meaning of ‘what a moral supply chain is’ and ‘what moral supply (...) chain ought to be,’ we develop some descriptive and normative propositions for management education on the ethics of supply chains. Against a descriptive viewpoint, we propose that judgments on the morality of supply chains should be viewed from multiple perspectives, often conflicting. Against a normative viewpoint, we propose some reflections on how to apply Aristotelian practical wisdom in management education on supply chain ethics. (shrink)
Is there an explanatory gap between raw feels and raw material? Some philosophers argue, and many other people believe, that scientific explanations of conscious experience cannot be as satisfying as typical scientific explanations elsewhere, even in our wildest dreams. The underlying philosophical claims are.
Standard animalists are committed to a stringent form of restricted composition, thereby denying the existence of brains, hands, and other proper parts of an organism . One reason for positing this near-nihilistic ontology comes from various challenges to animalism such as the Thinking Parts Argument, the Unity Argument, and the Argument from the Problem of the Many. In this paper, I show that these putatively distinct arguments are all instances of a more general problem, which I call the ‘Too Many (...) Candidates Problem’ . Given my formulation of the problem, it is evident that standard animalists are mistaken in believing that restricting composition is the only solution. I show that there is another option for solving the TMC. The advantage of such a position, which I call ‘unrestricted animalism’, is that it is compatible with unrestricted composition and the existence of brains and other proper parts of an organism. I conclude by sketching several strategies one can take regarding this latter solution to the TMC. (shrink)
New communication technologies such as the microcomputer, videotex/teletext systems, the videocassette recorder, and satellite receiving dishes have been available to farmers since the early 1980s. This longitudinal study examines ethical issues associated with the impact that differential patterns of adoption and use of these technologies have had on inequalities among farmers from 1982 to 1989. The results demonstrate a strong adoption and use bias toward larger scale farmers who already have well-developed skills for handling information. This bias is especially strong (...) for microcomputer and videotex/teletext systems, and it isincreasing over time. Although the same farmers are not adopting all communication innovations, there is a strong tendency toward the already information-rich making the most use of the innovations they adopt. The article concludes with several recommendations that would help minimize some of these information inequalities. (shrink)
The Prudence of Love focuses upon the intersection of philosophical, theological, and psychological issues related to love. Eric Silverman defends an account of love derived from the views of Thomas Aquinas and argues that love provides numerous psychological and relational benefits that increase the lover's happiness. Furthermore, he argues that love is beneficial according to all major contemporary accounts of happiness.
Johann Christoph Gottsched gehört unbestritten zu den zentralen Figuren der deutschen Frühaufklärung. Wie wohl kein anderer vor und nach ihm hat er die Entwicklung der deutschsprachigen Sprach-, Rede-, Dicht- und Bühnenkunst geprägt, geleitet von der festen Absicht, diesen Künsten wo möglich eine wissenschaftliche Begründung, eine überschaubare kritische Historie sowie eine klare und elegante Darstellung zu verleihen. Über diese Bemühungen hinaus, hat sich insbesondere die neuere Forschung weiteren Facetten seines riesigen Werkes zugewendet. So erscheint Gottsched als Vorbild zahlreicher Zeitschriftenprojekte, als wichtiger (...) Popularisator der Leibnizschen und Wolffschen Philosophie, als zentraler Reformer der zeitgenössischen Homiletik, als Drehscheibe bei der Vermittlung europäischer Dichtung und Gelehrsamkeit. Die Beiträge des vorliegenden Bandes tragen der gesamten Breite der Gottsched-Forschung Rechnung, prüfen alte Erkenntnisse und stellen neue Einschätzungen zur Diskussion. Darüber wird die Aufmerksamkeit auch auf weniger bekannte Aspekte des Gottschedschen Oeuvres gelenkt, so etwa auf Beiträge zu den Naturwissenschaften und der Staatslehre, auf die akademische Lehrtätigkeit und auf das zunehmende Interesse an anthropologischen und ästhetischen Fragen. MIT BEITRÄGEN VON: Erich Achermann, Thomas Althaus, Detlef Döring, Frank Grunert, Gerda Hassler, Peter Hesselmann, Hanspeter Marti, Christian Meierhofer, Dagmar Mirbach, Merio Scattola, Oliver Scholz, Tomas Sommadossi, Holger Steinmann, Gideon Stiening, Andres Strassberger, Dietmar Till, Klaus Weimar und Jan-Henrik Witthaus. (shrink)
Is God dead? -- The western split : transcendent, deity, desacralised nature -- The western split : God's otherness, humanity's degradation -- The western split : gender discrimination, its origins, and its consequences -- Energy and divinity -- Divinity within -- The Christian doctrine of incarnation : restricted immanence -- Incarnation and atonement mythology -- Creativity, divine, and human -- Divinity and ethics -- Religion and science -- The problem of evil : providence -- Death and beyond.
In trying to establish the view that there are no non-living macrophysical objects, Trenton Merricks has produced an influential argument—the Overdetermination Argument—against the causal efficacy of composite objects. A serious problem for the Overdetermination Argument is the ambiguity in the notion of overdetermination that is being employed, which is due to the fact that Merricks does not provide any theory of causation to support his claims. Once we adopt a plausible theory of causation, viz. interventionism, problems with the Overdetermination will (...) become evident. After laying out the Overdetermination Argument and examining one extant objection to it, I will explicate the relevant aspects of an interventionist theory of causation and provide a characterization of overdetermination that follows from such an account. From this, I will argue that the Causal Principle that undergirds the Overdetermination Argument is false and hence the argument is invalid; and I claim that the only other available characterization of overdetermination would render a key premise in the argument false. Thus, the Overdetermination Argument fails to provide us with any reason to deny the causal efficacy of macrophysical objects, and therefore provides no reason to doubt their existence. (shrink)
"The king is dead. Long live the king!" In early modern Europe, the king's body was literally sovereign—and the right to rule was immediately transferrable to the next monarch in line upon the king's death. In The Royal Remains, Eric L. Santner argues that the "carnal" dimension of the structures and dynamics of sovereignty hasn't disappeared from politics. Instead, it migrated to a new location—the life of the people—where something royal continues to linger in the way we obsessively track (...) and measure the vicissitudes of our flesh. Santner demonstrates the ways in which democratic societies have continued many of the rituals and practices associated with kingship in displaced, distorted, and usually, unrecognizable forms. He proposes that those strange mental activities Freud first lumped under the category of the unconscious—which often manifest themselves in peculiar physical ways—are really the uncanny second life of these "royal remains," now animated in the body politic of modern neurotic subjects. Pairing Freud with Kafka, Carl Schmitt with Hugo von Hofmannsthal,and Ernst Kantorowicz with Rainer Maria Rilke, Santner generates brilliant readings of multiple texts and traditions of thought en route to reconsidering the sovereign imaginary. Ultimately, The Royal Remains locates much of modernity—from biopolitical controversies to modernist literary experiments—in this transition from subjecthood to secular citizenship. This major new work will make a bold and original contribution to discussions of politics, psychoanalysis, and modern art and literature. (shrink)
Born in Bolton on 13 July 1938, the son of a mill-worker, Martin William Doyle was educated at St Joseph's R.C. primary school and then, having obtained an academic scholarship, at Thornleigh Salesian College. He entered the Order of Friars Minor at the age of 16, made his solemn profession the day after his twenty-first birthday and was ordained to the priesthood on 16 July 1961, which required a dispensation in view of his young age. This was followed by studies (...) in Rome at the Athenaeum Antonianum, 1962-64, where Doyle trained as an ecclesiastical historian and where he received his doctorate summa cum laude, obtaining maximum possible marks.Inspired by Vatican Council II Doyle was at the forefront of the renewal... (shrink)
This volume contains ten new essays focused on the exploration and articulation of a narrative that considers the notion of order within medieval and modern philosophy--its various kinds (natural, moral, divine, and human), the different ways in which each is conceived, and the diverse dependency relations that are thought to obtain among them.
This is a book about Kant's views on causality as understood in their proper historical context. Specifically, Eric Watkins argues that a grasp of Leibnizian and anti-Leibnizian thought in eighteenth-century Germany helps one to see how the critical Kant argued for causal principles that have both metaphysical and epistemological elements. On this reading Kant's model of causality does not consist of events, but rather of substances endowed with causal powers that are exercised according to their natures and circumstances. This (...) innovative conception of Kant's view of causality casts a light on Kant's philosophical beliefs in general, such as his account of temporality, his explanation of the reconciliation of freedom and determinism, and his response to the skeptical arguments of Hume. (shrink)