In 1911 Gerald F. Shove, later to become a leading Cambridge economist, submitted to King's College a fellowship dissertation on the application of G.E. Moore's ethical philosophy to political theory. In the article the dissertation, hitherto unpublished, is discussed with reference to both the acceptance and elaboration of Moore's Principia Ethica by the members of the Apostles and Bloomsbury groups and Shove's intellectual and personal biography. The thesis tackles some major concepts in political theory like the nature of human (...) societies, self-government, justice and freedom. (shrink)
In his central educational work, The Science of Education (1806), J.F. Herbart did not explicitly develop a theory of listening, yet his concept of the teacher as a guide in the moral development of the learner gives valuable insight into the moral dimension of listening within teacher-student interaction. Herbart's theory radically calls into question the assumed linearity between listening and obedience to external authority, not only illuminating important distinctions between socialization and education, but also underscoring consequences for our understanding of (...) the role of listening in educational relations. In this inquiry, Andrea English argues that critical listening in teaching contributes to the moral education and development of the learner. To do this, she examines Herbart's view of the teacher's task as a moral guide in the realm of moral education. English contends that reexamining Herbart's theory of education (a theory that is, for the most part, no longer discussed in Anglo-American educational philosophy) can productively inform our understanding of moral education in democratic and pluralist societies. (shrink)
In his concept of an anthropological physiology, F.J.J. Buytendijk has tried to lay down the theoretical and scientific foundations for an anthropologically-oriented medicine. The aim of anthropological physiology is to demonstrate, empirically, what being specifically human is in the most elementary physiological functions. This article contains a sketch of Buytendijk''s life and work, an overview of his philosophical-anthropological presuppositions, an outline of his idea of an anthropological physiology and medicine, and a discussion of some episternological and methodological problems. It is (...) demonstrated that Buytendijk''s design of an anthropological physiology is fragmentary and programmatic and that his methodology offers few points of contact for specific anthropological experimental research.Notwithstanding, it is argued that Buytendijk''s description of the subjective, animated body forms a pre-eminent point of reference for all research in physiology and psychology in which the specific human aspect is not ignored beforehand. (shrink)
This book provides the English-speaking world with a comprehensive account of the still largely unknown work of Schelling’s philosophy of mythology and revelation. Its achievement, however, is not archival but philosophical, elucidating the relation between Schelling and onto-theology. It explains how Schelling dealt with the problem of nihilism and onto-theology well before Nietzsche and Heidegger, arguing that Schelling surpasses onto-theology or the philosophy of presence a century prior to Heidegger. Overall, the author provocatively suggests that Heidegger is perhaps Schelling’s genuine (...) heir and by comprehensively interpreting Schelling’s multifaceted late lectures he analyzes issues as diverse as the Ancient relation between thinking and Being, the Medieval debate between voluntarism and intellectualism, the overcoming of modern subjectivism and German Idealism as well as many themes in contemporary philosophy. (shrink)
F.W.J. Schelling, one of the essential thinkers in the development of German Idealism, formed his own thought not only in a critical dialogue with Kant's and Fichte's transcendentalism and Hegel's earlier conception of thinking, but also in an intensive discussion with Plato and Aristotle. Over and above that, Neoplatonism - especially Plotinus, Proclus and the Christian Dionysius the Areopagite - played a decisive role in Schelling's reception and transformation of ancient philosophy.Selecting the manifold aspects which could be reflected on in (...) this field, I want to make plausible as a transcendental analogy to Plotinus' concept of self-knowledge Schelling's requirement for a raising-up and transformation of the finite 'I' into the form of the Absolute, whose central features converge with the goal of the Plotinian self - transformation of thought into a timeless self-thinking and its ground.A main part of this paper discusses Schelling's and Plotinus' concept of nature as a dynamic process constituted by an immanent 'creating theoria'. Furthermore we find in Schelling's theory of the Absolute as the 'utterly One' a union of Plotinus' notion of a pure One beyond Being with that of the reflexive self-presence of nous, so that this Absolute can be understood as an All-Unity which grounds and embraces all actuality - because it is in itself the most unifying self-affirmation or self-mediation. What follows is a reflection on the anagogical function of art, especially from the viewpoint of Plotinus' non-Platonic rehabilitation of art as an imitation of nature. The last perspectives focus on Schelling's concept of matter and emanation - as different from and at the same time coherent with that of Plotinus - and on Schelling's theory of an absolute self - willing will in connection with Plotinus' Enneads VI.8, 'On free will and the will of the One' as a causa sui. (shrink)
Rosen argues that Bentham's utilitarian doctrine was sensitive to distributive concerns and would not countenance sacrifice of fundamental individual interests for aggregate gains in happiness in society. This essay seeks to extend and deepen Rosen's argument. It is argued that Bentham's equality-sensitive principle of utility is an expression of an individualist conception of human happiness which contrasts sharply with the orthodox utilitarian abstract conception. Evidence for this interpretation of the basic motivation of Bentham's doctrine is drawn from his view of (...) the relationship between happiness and expectations, from various expressions of his ‘each to count for one’ formula, and from his reformulations of the principle of utility itself late in his career. (shrink)
The situationist challenge to global character traits claims that on the basis of findings in social psychology, we should only accept at most the existence of local or context-sensitive traits. In this article I explore a neglected area of J. S. Mill's work to outline an account of context-sensitive traits. This account of traits, coupled with a sophisticated consequentialist ethical framework, suggests an interesting view on which persons govern the circumstances of their actions in order to best promote overall well-being.
On 6 January 1795, the twenty-year-old Schelling—still a student at the Tübinger Stift—wrote to his friend and former roommate, Hegel: “Now I am working on an Ethics à la Spinoza. It is designed to establish the highest principles of all philosophy, in which theoretical and practical reason are united”. A month later, he announced in another letter to Hegel: “I have become a Spinozist! Don’t be astonished. You will soon hear how”. At this period in his philosophical development, Schelling had (...) been deeply under the spell of Fichte’s new philosophy and the Wissenschaftslehre. The text Schelling was writing at the time was the early Vom Ich als Prinzip der Philosophie, though his characterization of this text would much better fit the somewhat later work which is the focus of the current paper: Schelling’s 1801 Darstellung meines System der Philosophie (hereafter: Presentation). The Presentation is a text written more geometrico, following the style of Spinoza’s Ethics. While Spinoza’s influence and inspiration is stated explicitly and unmistakably in Schelling’s preface, the content of this composition might seem quite foreign to Spinoza’s philosophy, so much so, in fact, that Michael Vater—the astute translator and editor of the recent English translation of the text—has contended that “despite the formal similarities between Spinoza’s geometrical method and Schelling’s numbered mathematical-geometrical constructions, Schelling’s direct debts to Spinoza are few”. The Presentation is an extremely dense and difficult text, and while I agree that at first glance Schelling’s engagement with the concept of reason (Vernunft) and the identity formula ‘A=A’ seems to have little if anything to do with Spinoza (especially since Spinoza’s key terminology of ‘God’, ‘causa sui’, ‘substance’, ‘attribute’, and ‘mode’ is barely mentioned in the Presentation), I suspect that at a deeper level Schelling is attempting to transform Spinoza’s system by replacing God, Spinoza’s ultimate reality, with reason. Though this might at first seem bizarre, I believe it can be profitably motivated and explained upon further reflection. It is this transformation of Spinoza’s God into (the early) Schelling’s reason that is the primary subject of this study. I develop this paper in the following order. In the first part I provide a very brief overview of Schelling’s lifelong engagement with Spinoza’s philosophy, which will prepare us for my study of the 1801 Presentation. In the second part, I consider the formal structure and rhetoric of the Presentation against the background of Spinoza’s Ethics, and show how Schelling regularly imitates Spinoza’s tiniest rhetorical gestures. In the third and final part I turn to the opening of the Presentation, and argue that Schelling attempts there to distance himself from Fichte by developing a conception of reason as the absolute, or the identity of the subject and object, just as the thinking substance and the extended substance are identified in Spinoza’s God. (shrink)
F. J. J.Buytendijk died on October 21st 1974 at the age of 87. His important contribution to the study of animal behaviour is analyzed here in relation to the historical development of animal psychology and ethology. The detailed study of his scientific production suggests, according to the authors, that some important findings, although largely not paid attention to in present-day literature, are akin to the conceptual and methodological evolution of comparative ethology.
These are bleak days for moral theory in mainstream professional philosophy. At the heart of the matter lies our inability, within contemporary liberal democracies, to come to a consensus on the deep issue of what we are as human beings and where our true good lies. Because of this, any moral theory built on a rich view of human nature and of the good for human beings is automatically viewed with suspicion. And, in fact, there are few such theories around. (...) Instead, the lack of agreement on the deep issue is typically taken as a sign that moral theory should proceed as if there were no philosophical anthropology that yields a true and detailed account of human nature and the good for human beings. The reasoning goes like this: Either there is no such account or, at the very least, no such account has the degree of certitude required for philosophical inquiry. (shrink)
while kant's transcendental philosophy as expounded in the Critique of Pure Reason and the Prolegomena has been extraordinarily influential over the past two centuries, its transcendental methodology has continued to puzzle commentators. Recently, Colin Marshall, in an article entitled "Does Kant Demand Explanations for All Synthetic A Priori Claims?," has brought one of the central problems for any interpretation of Kant's methodology to the fore again.1 In his paper, Marshall discusses what he calls "the Regress Puzzle": Several commentators have noted (...) that there is a puzzle about how the positive part of Kant's project could work. The puzzle, which I will call the "Regress Puzzle," arises when we ask: If Kant... (shrink)
Kant’s body offered a constant target for his own remarks, both in correspondence and during his lunchtime conversations. Several good descriptions of Kant’s body have come down to us over the centuries, as well as a number of visual representations, but these are remarkably limited, given his stature in the world of ideas. A new description of Kant, written by a novelist who visited Kant while passing through Königsberg, has recently come to light. It is reproduced here — in English (...) translation as well as the original German — and earlier descriptions of Kant are briefly recounted. (shrink)
The debate on universals is, generally speaking, a well-known subject in the history of philosophy, but views on universals from the end of the sixteenth to the mid-seventeenth century—the object of Heider’s welcome contribution—are quite neglected. Such views are extremely sophisticated, drawing on the established traditions of Thomism and Scotism, in particular, but bringing them to a new level of technicality. Heider investigates three major positions: those of Francisco Suárez, João Poinsot, and the joint position of Bartolomeo Mastri and Bonaventura (...) Belluto. The three views are chosen to.. (shrink)