Patočka’s text from 1946, right after World War II and before the Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia, analyzes the important historical events he was living through from a philosophical perspective. Patočka describes the crisis in Enlightenment-based social humanism, which even though having won the war, was left battered and distrusted for not preventing the disaster. With this branch of social humanism being discredited, people turned towards its Eastern manifestation, i.e., Socialism or Communism. Patočka distinguishes the various aspects of Socialism that exist (...) undifferentiated within the term: the concept of Man, ideology, and the Idea. The liberation of the Idea is twisted when combined with a material concept of Man as just one force among other forces, which the ideology then uses and abuses for an external aim. (shrink)
In this essay, Domenico Jervolino summarizes twenty years of Ricoeur’s reading of Patočka’s work, up to the Neapolitan conference of 1997. Nowhere is Ricoeur closer to Patočka’s a-subjective phenomenology. Both thinkers belong, together with authors like Merleau-Ponty and Levinas, to a third phase of the phenomenological movement, marked by the search for a new approach to the relation between human beings and world, beyond Husserl and Heidegger. In the search for this approach, Patočka strongly underlines the relation between body, temporality (...) and sociality. Central to this new encounter of Patočka and Ricoeur is the discovery of an idea of inter-human community based on a a-subjective conception of 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)
Ce premier numéro des Cahiers Eric Weil contient deux textes d'Eric Weil: une réédition de "Violence et langage" de 1967 et un inédit de 1974: "L'avenir de la philosophie". Il contient également des études sur la philosophie de Weil.Ont...
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)
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.
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)
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)
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)
Based on anthropological fieldwork conducted in the Eastern Cape, the paper explores the interconnections between dreams (amathongo, amaphupha) and medicines (amayeza, imithi, amachiza) as aspects of the Xhosa diviner’s culture, knowledge and experience. Background information is provided in the introduction, inter alia, on the Xhosa patrilineal clan (isiduko), divination (imvumisa, evumiso) and religious and cultural change. The ability to dream, inter alia of the ancestors and medicines, is central to the diviner’s intuition and professional stock-in-trade, which are part and parcel (...) of a religious healing tradition. Examples of dreams involving the ancestors (iminyanya), diviners, clients and medicinal plants are presented and analysed in relation to relevant case material. The ritual significance of dreams is explored in some detail. The distinctions between diviner (igqirha lokuvumisa) and herbalist (ixhwele), and between medicines and charms (amakhubalo), receive attention in the section on medicines. The underlying purpose of traditional Xhosa religious ideology is discussed in the conclusion. (shrink)
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)
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)
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.
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)
Erwin Schrödinger’s 1944 publication What is Life? is a classic of twentieth century science writing. In his book, Schrödinger discussed the chromosome fibre as the seat of heredity and variation thanks to a hypothetical aperiodic structure – a suggestion that famously spurred on a generation of scientists in their pursuit of the gene as a physico-chemical entity. While historical attention has been given to physicists who were inspired by the book, little has been written about its biologist readers. This paper (...) examines the case of the English evolutionary botanist and cytologist Irène Manton, who took an interest in What is Life? for its relevance to her own research in chromosome structure as a clue to plant phylogeny. Drawing on recently discovered correspondence between Manton and Schrödinger, the paper reconstructs Manton ‘s path to the book and her response to it by way of throwing new light on a pivotal moment in the history of the debate on chromosome structure. (shrink)
This article discusses the British Nationalization of Labour Society , a group formed in response to the political ideas brought forth by Edward Bellamy’s novel Looking Backward. The article traces the roots of this group in British radicalism in general, and in campaigns for land nationalization and the works of Henry George in particular. The NLS were grounded in a deeply materialist and rationalist worldview and the influence of this on their political ideas and practice is shown. Relationships between the (...) ideas of the British Bellamyites and the ideas of British socialists are also discussed. (shrink)
This article defends the existence of _borderline consciousness._ In borderline consciousness, conscious experience is neither determinately present nor determinately absent, but rather somewhere between. The argument in brief is this. In considering what types of systems are conscious, we face a quadrilemma. Either nothing is conscious, or everything is conscious, or there’s a sharp boundary across the apparent continuum between conscious systems and nonconscious ones, or consciousness is a vague property admitting indeterminate cases. Assuming mainstream naturalism about consciousness, we ought (...) to reject the first three options, which forces us to the fourth, indeterminacy. Standard objections to the existence of borderline consciousness turn on the inconceivability of borderline cases. However, borderline cases are only inconceivable by an inappropriately demanding standard of conceivability. I conclude with some plausible cases and applications. (shrink)
This paper presents an examination of the Fellowship of the New Life, a pioneering British socialist organization from the 1880s and 1890s. The paper outlines the organizations and some of the prominent individuals involved in the Fellowship, presents an overview of Fellowship analyses of existing society, and details their political programmes and actions. It shows that in both their analysis and their activities the Fellowship were very much of the socialist mainstream in their day. They rejected the dichotomies of their (...) society, such as individual-society, ends-means and materialism- ethicalism, and they sought to combine these facets of life in both their thought and their political campaigns. The conclusion reached is that this complex, resourceful and potent group have been ill-served by being given the simplistic and pejorative label of 'ethical' socialism. (shrink)
There continues to be a vigorous public debate in our society about the status of climate science. Much of the skepticism voiced in this debate suffers from a lack of understanding of how the science works - in particular the complex interdisciplinary scientific modeling activities such as those which are at the heart of climate science. In this book Eric Winsberg shows clearly and accessibly how philosophy of science can contribute to our understanding of climate science, and how it (...) can also shape climate policy debates and provide a starting point for research. Covering a wide range of topics including the nature of scientific data, modeling, and simulation, his book provides a detailed guide for those willing to look beyond ideological proclamations, and enriches our understanding of how climate science relates to important concepts such as chaos, unpredictability, and the extent of what we know. (shrink)
Parisinus 1672, executed at the instigation of Maximus Planudes, is the only manuscript which contains all seventy-eight extant moralia of Plutarch. It may be dated soon after 1302, the year in which Planudes appended to his manuscript of the Greek Anthology a πίναξ Πλουτρχου containing the titles of the first sixty-nine of the seventy-eight treatises and concluding with the words τατα πντα εὑρθη. The addition of nine further treatises to the Corpus was made possible by the discovery of two further (...) sources, one containing Nos. 70–7 and the other No. 78. The tradition of No. 78 is established beyond doubt: we are concerned here only with the remaining eight, Nos. 70–7. (shrink)
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)
Removing the Commons defends a Lockean Left-Libertarian account of the moral conditions in which people may remove, either via use or appropriation, natural resources from the commons. I conclude that self-owning agents may remove natural resources from the commons just so long as they leave others the competitive value of their removal in a way that best affords others an equal opportunity for welfare.
Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, which began as The Children’s Corner in 1953 and terminated in 2001, left its mark on America. The show’s message of kindness, simplicity, and individual uniqueness made Rogers a beloved personality, while also provoking some criticism because, by arguing that everyone was special without having to do anything to earn it, the show supposedly created an entitled generation. -/- In Mister Rogers and Philosophy, thirty philosophers give their very different takes on the Neighborhood phenomenon.
We often rely on others for guidance about what to do. But wouldn't it be better to rely instead on only your own solo judgment? Deferring to others about moral matters, after all, can seem to conflict what Enlightenment demands. In Guided by Voices, however, Eric Wiland argues that there is nothing especially bad about relying on others in forming your moral views. You may rely on others for forming your moral views, just as you can your views about (...) anything else. You can accept moral testimony without loss. Furthermore, there are several distinctive social goods attainable by being guided by what others say. Thus, it can be better to be guided by moral testimony than by your own moral lights. Wiland also argues that relying on others for moral advice has one advantage over relying on others for moral testimony. For when you trust your adviser's advice, you both thereby form a joint agent that can achieve autonomy, moral understanding, and morally worthy action. Sometimes taking another's advice is your only way to act well. Arguing against the presumption that moral reasoning is ideally done alone, Guided by Voices is the first book to significantly address both moral testimony and advice. (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)
Introduction -- Sanctioning models : theories and their scope -- Methodology for a virtual world -- A tale of two methods -- When theories shake hands -- Models of climate : values and uncertainties -- Reliability without truth -- Conclusion.
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)
Legal theorists seek to persuade other jurists of certain theories: Textualism or purposivism; formalism or realism; natural law theory or positivism; prison reform or abolition; universal or particular human rights? Despite voluminous literature about these debates, tremendous uncertainty remains about which views experts endorse. This Article presents the first-ever empirical study of American law professors about legal theory questions. A novel dataset of over six hundred law professors reveals expert consensus and dissensus about dozens of longstanding legal theory debates. -/- (...) Law professors also debate questions about the nature of the legal academy. Descriptively, which subjects (e.g. constitutional law) and methods (e.g. law & economics) are most central within the legal academy today? And prescriptively, should today’s legal academy prioritize additional areas (e.g. legislation) or methods (e.g. critical race theory)? There is great interest in these questions but no empirical dataset of experts’ views; this results in uncertainty about which views experts endorse. This Article’s empirical study also clarifies these questions, documenting law professors’ evaluation of over one-hundred areas of law. -/- The legal theory and legal academy findings support implications for legal scholarship, education, and practice. Clearly, debates about law and the legal academy’s evolution should not be settled by a survey. Nevertheless, insofar as law professors are experts about these issues, it is instructive to discover and carefully examine what views those experts hold, so as to help determine which views are most likely to be true and how the legal academy ought to develop. (shrink)
Here is a thoroughly updated edition of a classic in palliative medicine. Two new chapters have been added to the 1991 edition, along with a new preface summarizing where progress has been made and where it has not in the area of pain management. This book addresses the timely issue of doctor-patient relationships arguing that the patient, not the disease, should be the central focus of medicine. Included are a number of compelling patient narratives. Praise for the first edition "Well (...) written. . .should be read by everyone in medical practice or considering a career in medicine."---JAMA. "Memorable passages, important ideas, and critical analysis. This is a book that clinicians and educators should read."---New England Journal of Medicine. (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)
It is impossible to hold patently contradictory beliefs in mind together at once. Why? Because we know that it is impossible for both to be true. This impossibility is a species of rational necessity, a phenomenon that uniquely characterizes the relation between one person's beliefs. Here, Eric Marcus argues that the unity of the rational mind--what makes it one mind--is what explains why, given what we already believe, we can't believe certain things and must believe certain others in this (...) special sense. What explains this is that beliefs, and the inferences by which we acquire them, are constituted by a particular kind of endorsement of those very states and acts. This, in turn, entails that belief and inference are essentially self-conscious: to hold a belief or to make an inference is at the same time to know that one does. An examination of the nature of belief and inference, in light of the phenomenon of rational necessity, reveals how the unity of the rational mind is a function of our knowledge of ourselves as bound to believe the true. Rational self-consciousness is the form of mental togetherness. (shrink)
Augustine—for all of his influence on Western culture and politics—was hardly a liberal. Drawing from theology, feminist theory, and political philosophy, Eric Gregory offers here a liberal ethics of citizenship, one less susceptible to anti-liberal critics because it is informed by the Augustinian tradition. The result is a book that expands Augustinian imaginations for liberalism and liberal imaginations for Augustinianism. Gregory examines a broad range of Augustine’s texts and their reception in different disciplines and identifies two classical themes which (...) have analogues in secular political theory: love—and related notions of care, solidarity, and sympathy—and sin—as well as related notions of cruelty, evil, and narrow self-interest. From an Augustinian point of view, Gregory argues, love and sin constrain each other in ways that yield a distinctive vision of the limits and possibilities of politics. In providing a constructive argument for Christian participation in liberal democratic societies, Gregory advances efforts to revive a political theology in which love’s relation to justice is prominent. _Politics and the Order of Love _will provoke new conversations for those interested in Christian ethics, moral psychology, and the role of religion in a liberal society. (shrink)