Democracy can be a means to independently valuable ends and/or it can be intrinsically (or non-instrumentally) valuable. One powerful non-instrumental defence of democracy is based on the idea that only it can publicly justify political authority. I contend that this is an argument about the reasonable acceptability of political authority and about the requirements of publicity and that satisfying these requirements has nothing to do with whether a society is democratic or not. Democracy, then, plays no role in publicly justifying (...) political authority. I also show that any non-instrumental defence of democracy must make claims about what justice requires and make several further claims that require substantial justification. (shrink)
The ability of very wealthy individuals (or, as I will call them, the ‘super-rich’) to turn their economic power into political power has been—and remains—an important cause of political inequality. In response, this paper advocates an original solution. Rather than solving the problem through implementing a comprehensive conception of political equality, or through enforcing complex rules about financial disclosure etc., I argue that we should impose a choice on the super-rich. The super-rich must choose between (i) forfeiting the things that (...) make them super-rich, i.e., pay a 100 % tax on their wealth above a certain level, or, (ii) they must forfeit some of their political rights. These rights include entitlements to fund political parties; to stand for office; and to work or volunteer for political parties. The right to vote, though, is not limited. I defend my proposal against non-consequentialist and consequentialist objections. I also argue that it avoids two problems that many attempts to reduce political inequality face; these are the political egalitarian’s dilemma and the problem of political equality’s relative moral importance. (shrink)
This article argues against the claim that democracy is a necessary condition of political legitimacy. Instead, I propose a weaker set of conditions. First, I explain the case for the necessity of democracy. This is that only democracy can address the ‘egalitarian challenge’, i.e. ‘if we are all equal, why should only some of us wield political power?’. I show that if democracy really is a necessary condition of political legitimacy, then (what I label) the problems of domestic justice and (...) of international legitimacy become intractable. I then argue that the egalitarian challenge is addressed where the requirements of (1) horizontal equality, (2) acceptable vertical inequality, and (3) publicity, are met and where (4) citizens have some institutionalized opportunity for a voice in decisions. I show that these conditions can be realized in non-democratic form and conclude by explaining how the four conditions can be employed to make the problems of domestic justice and of international legitimacy more tractable. Overall, my ambitions are limited. I do not offer an all-things-considered case against democracy but I do show that (some) forms of non-democratic government are permissible. (shrink)
Keynes is widely accepted to have proved the existence of a consumption gap as a cause of economic depressions. Such a gap meant that, ironically, depressions could get worse as a result of the greater wealth produced by the modern economy, since, as Keynes argued, the wealthy consumed proportionately less than the lower?income groups. Textual analysis, however, shows that Keynes's arguments amounted to assumptions, not demonstrations. And a survey of the empirical research of the subsequent half?century reveals a lack of (...) convincing evidence of the consumption gap. (shrink)
En el siguiente trabajo expondré las características principales del materialismo de Alfred Schmidt, el cual, debe ser entendido en su vertiente: no dogmática, crítica y dialéctica. Me refiero a la primera característica, en el sentido de que Schmidt, deja de lado la lectura marxista ortodoxa de la ..
Beaucoup plus abondante et variée que ne le laisse croire sa réputation, la référence religieuse joue chez Schopenhauer un rôle d�importance : alors que sa philosophie entend ramener les religions à leur pertinence authentique � c�est-à-dire morale, selon lui �, l�exemplarité religieuse et le discours mystique viennent en effet prendre le relais de l�exposition conceptuelle, à laquelle échappe la réalité toute pratique de la voie du renoncement qu�il entend comme l�aboutissement réel du parcours de sa pensée, ainsi que l�altération qui (...) s�ensuit d�une telle abnégation de l�essence. (shrink)
From its inception in 1890, the journal Ethics declared that it was “Devoted to the Advancement of Ethical Knowledge and Practice.” Although the latter concern may seem anachronistic, the extensive practical work of the Journal’s founders was inspired by an aim shared by many of today’s liberals: establishing a public morality that respects well-intentioned individuals holding a diversity of philosophical and religious commitments. Felix Adler, the guiding force behind the journal and the founder of the Society for Ethical Culture, argued (...) that shared ethical values can be explored, and can have social authority, independent of the truth of any controversial philosophical foundations. In doing so, Adler anticipated Rawls in applying “the principle of toleration to philosophy itself” at the same time that he pursued this idea in practice. (shrink)
Felix Kaufmanns Wissenschaftstheorie Hans-Georg Zilian. X KAUFMANN, DIE ÖKONOMEN UND DAS A PRIORI Bei den österreichischen Grenznutzentheoretikern, mit deren Arbeiten sich Kaufmann vor allem auseinandersetzte, ist von ...
This is my review of Howard B. Radest's book on Felix Adler and Ethical Culture. The book involves interesting comparisons of Adler to Emerson and to the pragmatists, and Radest is well qualified to tell the history of Adler's work and its influence.
1 A Versatile Mediator 2 Theory and Method in the Social Sciences 3 Kaufmann and Logical Empiricism 4 Kaufmann and the Liberal Wing of Viennese Late Enlightenment 5 Kaufmann and Popper 6 Kaufmann in the United States 7 Rediscovering Kaufmann's Methodology.
This collection of original essays on political and legal theory concentrates on themes dealt with in the work of Felix Oppenheim, including fundamental political and legal concepts and their implications for the scope of morality in politics and international relations. Among the issues addressed are the relationship between empirical and normative definitions of "freedom", "power", and "interests", whether governments are free to act against the national interest, and whether they can ever be morally obliged to do so.
In October 2015 I supervised a series of séances in Hanau, Germany with Felix Circle physical medium Kai Mügge. The purpose was to try to obtain better documentation of Kai’s table levitations than my team was able to achieve in Austria in 2013. Although that goal was not met over the course of four séances, we nevertheless witnessed some interesting phenomena that are difficult to explain away normally given the control conditions imposed at the time. These include object movements beyond (...) the reach of the sitters, a very strange “exploding” sound from the séance table, and some extended levitations in which the table seemed to sway or swim in mid-air. But what may be most interesting about this series of séances is the way the phenomena reflect the complex, and tortured, underlying psychodynamics of the occasion. Indeed, what readers need to know about the FEG phenomena has as much to do with personalities involved as with the phenomena themselves. As a result, this report focuses as much on the background to the investigation as on the investigation itself. (shrink)
This paper chronicles my introduction to and subsequent investigation of the Felix Experimental Group and its exhibitions of classical physical mediumship. It’s been nearly a century since investigators have had the opportunity to carefully study standard spiritistic phenomena, including the extruding of ectoplasm, and the FEG is the only current physical mediumistic circle permitting any serious controls. The paper details a progressively stringent, personally supervised series of séances, culminating in some well-controlled experiments with video documentation in a secure and private (...) location belonging to one of the investigators. Regrettably, recent indications of fraud have tarnished the case as a whole. However, it remains unclear how extensive the fraud has been. Accordingly, this paper evaluates the arguments both for and against the paranormality of the phenomena displayed under the author’s supervision. (shrink)
In “Supralapsarianism, or ‘O Felix Culpa,’” Alvin Plantinga turns from defensive apologetics to the project of Christian explanation and offers a supralapsarian theodicy: the reason God made us in a world like this is that God wanted to create a world including the towering goods of Incarnation and atonement—goods which are appropriate only in worlds containing a sufficient amount of sin, suffering, and evil as well. Plantinga’s approach makes human agents and their sin, suffering and evil, instrumental means to the (...) end of God’s cosmic aims. I press the objection that means/end conceptuality is inadequate to explain how God is loving and merciful towards human sinners and sufferers. Plantinga’s theodicy remains under-developed without an explanation of how Incarnation and atonement benefit them. (shrink)
In the disciplines of political science and international relations, Machiavelli is unanimously considered to be “the first modern realist.” This essay argues that the idea of a realist tradition going from the Renaissance to postwar realism founders when one considers the disrepute of Machiavelli among early international relations theorists. It suggests that the transformation of Machiavelli into a realist thinker took place subsequently, when new historical scholarship, informed by strategic and political considerations related to the transformation of the US into (...) a global power, generated a new picture of the Renaissance. Focusing on the work of Felix Gilbert, and in particular hisMachiavelli and Guicciardini, the essay shows how this new interpretation of Machiavelli was shaped by the crisis of the 1930s, the emergence of security studies, and the philanthropic sponsorship of international relations theory. (shrink)
In this article, I argue that in his 1838 De l'habitude, Félix Ravaisson uses the analysis of habit to defend a Leibnizian monadism. Recent commentators have failed to appreciate this because they read Ravaisson as a typically post-Kantian philosopher, and underemphasize the distinct context in which he developed his work. I explore three key claims made by interpreters who argue that Ravaisson should be read as a Schellingian, and show [i] that these claims are incompatible with the text of (...) De l'habitude and [ii] how they have obscured from view the monadism at the heart of this work. This article is divided into two sections. First, I explain the importance of Victor Cousin and Maine de Biran for the development of nineteenth-century French philosophy. Second, I argue that to understand the structure of De l'habitude, it should be read as a critique of Cousin's philosophical method and a demonstration of the superiority of Biran's Leibniz-inspired introspective method. Like Biran, Ravaisson believes tha.. (shrink)
La ingente obra mediática de Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente en relación con las ciencias naturales nos permite explorar detenidamente los procesos de generación, circulación y gestión de conocimiento científico-tecnológico en un contexto particularmente convulso de la historia reciente de España, el final de la dictadura de Franco. Con un enfoque centrado en las relaciones entre los seres humanos y su entorno, el trabajo multidimensional de Rodríguez de la Fuente, como cetrero, naturalista, activista y comunicador, aportó un excepcional componente (...) científico-técnico a los procesos de transformación social, política y cultural de España en esos años. El objetivo de este trabajo es mostrar cómo este componente científico-técnico estaba frecuentemente ligado, y entre otros aspectos, a la definición y contextualización de España y su patrimonio natural tanto dentro de sus fronteras como en el escenario internacional. (shrink)
At the turn of the 1980s, Félix Guattari became interested in the Free Radio movement . He then became directly associated between 1986 and 1991 with the Minitel service entitled “3615 ALTER”, initiated by the a collective including C31, an association of critical IT specialists currently editing the journal Terminal. Contrary to the traditional Left, Félix Guattari was less interested in a critique of the content of the media and of their political instrumentalization than in their form and (...) mode of social organization. The proliferation of machine-arrangements was expected to make possible new technological articulations likely to generate innovative assemblings. (shrink)
Arguably, two of the most important forces affecting contemporary global culture are the growing awareness of ecological crises and the rapid spread of digital media. Félix Guattari's unfinished concept of ecosophy suggests the basis of a theoretical framework for constructing productive syntheses between the ecological and the digital. Moreover, a Guattarian rethinking of the ecological turn in the humanities challenges the philosophical basis of the pedagogy of Nature appreciation that has characterised the eco-humanities landscape since the 1970s. Guattari's ecosophy (...) gestures towards a transversal eco-humanities, which would be rhizomatically rooted in autopoiesis and becoming-other, rather than defined by static allegiance to the ideals of ‘Self-realisation’ postulated by the deep ecology movement. (shrink)
In May 1968, Gilles Deleuze was an established philosopher teaching at the innovative Vincennes University, just outside of Paris. Félix Guattari was a political militant and the director of an unusual psychiatric clinic at La Borde. Their meeting was quite unlikely, yet the two were introduced in an arranged encounter of epic consequence. From that moment on, Deleuze and Guattari engaged in a surprising, productive partnership, collaborating on several groundbreaking works, including _Anti-Oedipus_, _What Is Philosophy?_ and _A Thousand Plateaus_. (...) François Dosse, a prominent French intellectual known for his work on the Annales School, structuralism, and biographies of the pivotal intellectuals Paul Ricoeur, Pierre Chaunu, and Michel de Certeau, examines the prolific if improbable relationship between two men of distinct and differing sensibilities. Drawing on unpublished archives and hundreds of personal interviews, Dosse elucidates a collaboration that lasted more than two decades, underscoring the role that family and historyparticularly the turbulent time of May 1968play in their monumental work. He also takes the measure of Deleuze and Guattari's posthumous fortunes and the impact of their thought on intellectual, academic, and professional circles. (shrink)
This paper intends to develop the idea of a political ontology implicitly developed within the political reflections that are an important part of the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. In this research a political ontology means a specific reflection about the political construction of the social reality which also involves a questioning of the nature of the political. To what extent, in Deleuze and Guattari´s philosophy, ontology is related to a theoretical and practical engagement with politics? How relevant (...) is conceptual creation to the political practice? The main research´s hypothesis is that political ontology is intertwined with the kind of conceptual creation, which the authors conceive as philosophy´s specific task. Taking as our starting point previous discussions from Deleuze and Guattari´s scholars, this article develops a reading of their political philosophy through the relation between the political and conceptual construction. (shrink)