The main thesis of this paper is that justice is not a natural law that (re)establishes equilibrium and order in the universe, but a disposition enforced by a fighting will to render to every man his due in line with a regime of rights, powers, or immunities to use, enjoy and control some external goods. Inasmuch as there is no sense, feeling or instinct of justice, it is reasonable to assert that people regulate their conduct under the authority of a (...) legislative authority according to certain ideas of justice, which they adopt and promote through a steady effort of knowledge and will. Critical analysis of the main types of justice − associative justice, punitive justice, corrective justice, restorative justice, functional justice, normative justice, commutative justice and distributive justice − from a liberal democratic perspective highlights the formal requirements of justice in different social arrangements and in relation to various aspects of personal and social life. Because it lacks a natural foundation of justice and people have strong interests in enforcing a certain idea of justice, public debates about justice entail a clash of militant wills. Debaters engage in a struggle for political hegemony trying to exclude from the public sphere the rival ideas about justice. In other words, all substantive debates about justice are carried out in an agonistic public sphere. The more civilized and reasonable the agonistic debates about justice are, the more likely the idea of justice is to fit the vital interests of individuals and society. (shrink)
It is fortunate for my purposes that English has the two words ‘almighty’ and ‘omnipotent’, and that apart from any stipulation by me the words have rather different associations and suggestions. ‘Almighty’ is the familiar word that comes in the creeds of the Church; ‘omnipotent’ is at home rather in formal theological discussions and controversies, e.g. about miracles and about the problem of evil. ‘Almighty’ derives by way of Latin ‘omnipotens’ from the Greek word ‘ pantokratōr ’; and both this (...) Greek word, like the more classical ‘ pankratēs ’, and ‘almighty’ itself suggest God's having power over all things. On the other hand the English word ‘omnipotent’ would ordinarily be taken to imply ability to do everything; the Latin word ‘omnipotens’ also predominantly has this meaning in Scholastic writers, even though in origin it is a Latinization of ‘ pantocratōr ’. So there already is a tendency to distinguish the two words; and in this paper I shall make the distinction a strict one. I shall use the word ‘almighty’ to express God's power over all things, and I shall take ‘omnipotence’ to mean ability to do everything. (shrink)
The main goal of this study is to develop a conceptual framework meant (a) to present the essential traits of persuasion, (b) to explain resistance to persuasion (mainly when the persuader tries to shape, reinforce, or change an attitudinal response), and (c) to provide a feasible strategy to overcome the coping behaviors associated with resistance to persuasion. Defined as the communication process in which “someone makes other people believe or decide to do something, especially by giving them reasons why they (...) should do it, or asking them many times to do it”, persuasion ensures a noncoercive social control by shaping, reinforcing, or changing target audience’s cognitions, feelings, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Persuasion involves volitional behaviors (that are inextricably intertwined with spontaneous, impulsive, mindless, or compulsive behaviors) and a significant cognitive load. Even if persuasion does not elicit negative feelings like various shortcuts to compliance (coercion, bribery, deception, manipulation of the dominant instincts, etc.), it generates ipso facto resistance to persuasion. Public relations specialists and other communication professionals can reduce or cope with resistance to persuasion by creating a low-pressure persuasion context, using evidential reasons, and following evidential rules. (shrink)
The main thesis of my article is that the viability of the European Union does not depend so much on its political structure as on its being anchored in a culture-based public sphere and on the establishment of a cultural European citizenship. The public sphere could be defined as an unique world, characterized by consensus and cooperation, in which only public goods can be sought and acquired, or as an unique world, characterized by rivalry and competition, in which everyone could (...) pursue their private interests, but only if there is a consensus regarding an objective and fair procedure. In any way, we cannot speak of a pluralism of public spheres - like the black public sphere, the LGBT public sphere, etc. - but (at the most) a plurality of interests represented in the public sphere, under the reserve of respecting a fair procedure, which allows the expression of axiological judgments. The EU needs a progressive citizenship, from civil citizenship to cultural citizenship, depending on the acquired skills, behavior and virtues. One deserves cultural citizenship and have the right (or, perhaps the privilege) to manifest - in the public sphere - a way of life and a cultural identity only if promote authentic values: virtues, rationality, free will etc. The problematic aspects of the European media sphere are obstacles on the way to establishing an authentic European cultural citizenship. They can be kept under control by assuming a healthy reactionary attitude and associating every element of change and contingent progress (speed, reductive simplicity, user's solitude, pictoriality, lateralness, data overload, immediacy, segmentation, social amnesia, etc.) with an element of moderation and equilibrium. Only thus can the media contribute in the making of a viable union of the European peoples, grounded on a well articulated European cultural citizenship. (shrink)
A compilation of all previously published writings on philosophy and the foundations of mathematics from the greatest of the generation of Cambridge scholars that included G.E. Moore, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Maynard Keynes.
The central thesis of this article is that populism is a side effect of liberal democracy and a reliable indicator of the relationship between liberal democracy and its polar opposite ‒ illiberal majoritarianism. As long as liberal democracy prevails over illiberal majoritarianism, populism remains dormant. Populism rises and becomes conspicuous only if certain manifestations of illiberal majoritarianism or illiberal elitism reach a critical point in terms of number and impact. More exactly, populism becomes active when there are too few reasonable (...) and effective responses to the growth of illiberal majoritarianism. Illustrating the defense mechanism of compensation, the rise of populism correlates with a cluster of exaggerated or overdone reactions to actions inspired by illiberal majoritarianism. These reactions vary sharply from one society to another according to (a) the specific challenges of illiberal majoritarianism, (b) the reactivity of people who bear the liberal democratic values, and (c) the credibility enjoyed by the mainstream liberal democratic forces in that society. In brief, although illiberal majoritarianism sets off a cluster of populist reactions in any society, the rise of populism always takes distinct forms. Thus, it is confirmed the status of populism as a chameleonistic phenomenon. The argumentative thread has four main parts. Firstly, it is developed a constitutive model of liberal democracy as an ideal political system that is underpinned by the following organizing principles or attractors: inclusiveness, political equality, political participation, predominance of concurrent majority, the containment and predictability of the government power, and the enforcement of the non-aggression principle. Secondly, the attractors of liberal democracy are contrasted against the recent state of affairs in the Euro-Atlantic space to illustrate the assertion presented here that today illiberal majoritarianism tends to prevail over liberal democracy. In the third step, it is argued that the countless definitions of populism only emphasize different symptoms of the rise of populism, depending on the particular circumstances in which society evolves. Finally, it is substantiated the claim that populism and populists can and should be integrated into the democratic political system, in particular into the democratic public sphere. (shrink)
By exercising their (imperfect) capacity to discriminate, people try to recognize and to understand some important differences between things that make them prefer some things to other. In this article I will use my ability to discriminate between people and societies according to a principle which plays the role of attractor, both at individual and societal levels, namely the principle of peaceable conduct. This principle allows us to discriminate at the civic level between the people who have a civilized conduct (...) and those who manifest an aggressive conduct. The category of civilized people includes individuals who (a) respect the life and bodily integrity of their fellows, (b) practice self-control, not control over others and (c) do not claim, through coercive means, the goods that their fellows have obtained by making free and peaceful use of their own faculties and capabilities. The category of aggressive people reunites (a) murderers (those who endanger the lives of their fellow), (b) tyrants (those who beslave their fellows by taking control of some of their faculties) and (c) thieves (those who claim the goods of their fellows without their consent). The civilized conduct requires high standards of action of the people who embrace it and, implicitly, considerable physical and psychical costs. The primary impulses originating in our lower Self blatantly contradict the respect for life, liberty and property of our fellows, so that it seems impossible for them to be controlled only by personal effort. Therefore, it is vital that the energy allotted to peaceable conduct by our higher Self be superior to the energy which it spontaneously mobilizes in support of the primary impulses of our lower Self. This can be achieved by feeding the people with the social energy of certain social emotions in the process of internalizing the norms of peaceable conduct. Among these emotions, contempt and shame, respectively anger and guilt stand out through the predominance of the moral dimension and force of shaping human conduct. They underlie two different moral systems – “shame morality”, and “guilt morality” respectively – that support our peaceable conduct and, ipso facto, our civilized life. (shrink)
Discursive liberal democracy might not be the best of all possible forms of government, yet in Europe it is largely accepted as such. The attractors of liberal democracy (majority rule, political equality, reasonable self-determination and an ideological framework built in a tentative manner) as well as an adequate dose of secularization (according to the doctrine of religious restraint) provide both secularist and educated religious people with the most convenient ideological framework. Unfortunately, many promoters of ideological secularization take too strong a (...) stance against the manifestation of religiosity in the public sphere. They claim that people may discuss, debate or adopt (coercive) laws and regularities only by means of secular public reasons and secular motivation. We argue that these secular restraints on the ideological framework are unfairly biased against religion, counterproductive and unreasonable. The exaggerated secular restrictions create a strict secular public sphere that appears to be a Pickwickian world suitable just for inoffensive, dull and lethargic people. Deliberately separated from the idea of truth, secular public reasons cannot sustain a complex adaptive system like discursive liberal democracy. Liberal democracy needs citizens with a strong sense of truth and with a sufficient will-power to follow both a personal ideal and a collective ideal. Religious beliefs provide people with just such a sense of truth and with the desire to have a certain kind of character. In the secularized public sphere of liberal democracy, people can manifest just educated religious beliefs that correspond to the real world and respect the principle of peaceable conduct. In the final part of the article we support the assertion that believers could and should educate their religious belief before expressing them in the public sphere. Educated religious beliefs have a wide enough propositional content, obey the moral imperative of William Clifford, are purged from all propositional components against which there is strong evidence and are consciously cultivated by the mechanism of suggestion. (shrink)
The paper argues that the balanced relationship between freedom and justice enables man to achieve the social good ontologically speaking, i.e. the one that holds together everything that exists. Reflecting the ontological Good on a social level is made on zoon politikon translated by “being together with the others,” where freedom and justice coexist in equilibrium. Justice and thus lay contribute to the achievement of ontological Good by the fair sharing of the existing goods on a social level and by (...) human equality before courts. (shrink)
Das Anliegen der vorliegenden Studie ist der Entwurf eines wirklichkeitstreuen Modells der Kommunikation. Ebenfalls hat uns interessiert, die konstitutiven Regeln der Kommunikation zu bestimmen und einige Wirksamkeitsnormen und moralische Normen, die mit wünschenswerten sozialen Kommunikationsformen assoziierbar sein könnten, zu identifizieren. Die Kommunikation ist ein facettenreiches und zugleich interpretationsoffenes Phänomen, welches zahlreiche unterschiedliche theoretische Modelle erlaubt. Sie kann von den Psychologen als selbstständigen Verhaltenstyp, von den Soziologen als entscheidenden Sozialisierungsfaktor, von den Anthropologen als kulturhervorbringendes und -verbreitendes Mittel, von den Semiologen als (...) Prozess der (Um-)Konfiguration der verschiedenen Bedeutungen von Bedeutungsträgern usw. gedeutet werden. Das vorliegende Interpretationsmodell der Kommunikation ist allgemein, zum Teil auch hermeneutisch, indem es a) den Kommunikationsprozess als solchen und nicht etwa als eine gesonderte Instanz desselben berücksichtigt, b) eine einzige, nämlich die interaktive Perspektive auf die Kommunikation hervorhebt und c) zweckgemäß die Kommunikation in einen normativen, intelligiblen Rahmen überträgt, wobei sich eine empirische Beschreibung der Kommunikationsfakten zwecks Feststellung allgemeingültiger Gesetze von selbst erübrigt. Diesem theoretischen Modell entsprechend ist die Kommunikation eine Interaktion oder eine wechselseitige semiotische Interaktion, innerhalb derer die involvierten Personen mithilfe von Zeichen komplementäre Verhalten manifestieren, die bestimmten (sozialen) Regeln unterworfen sind. Demzufolge ist die Kommunikation kein individuelles Spiel, sondern ein Team-Spiel. Ihre Protagonisten spielen alle genauso wichtige Rollen, und von ihrer Teilnahme hängt beides, Gelingen und Misslingen der Kommunikation, gleichermaßen ab. Nachdem wir den Begriff der Kommunikation im allgemeinen erklärt hatten, galt unser Interesse der Definition und der Klassifizierung der exklusiven Ausführungsmittel des oben beschriebenen Prozesses, das heißt, der Zeichen. Die semiotische Literatur behandelt die Zeichen sowohl als (stoffliche, mentale oder gemischte) Objekte als auch als Funktionen. Für unsere Demarche haben wir es vorgezogen, die Zeichen als in Wirklichkeit existierende Reize zu beschreiben, die auf Grund von sozialen Konventionen stets auf „etwas Anderes” als auf sich selbst hinweisen. Dieses gemeinte „Andere“, die Bedeutung des Zeichens, ist nichts anderes als die Gesamtheit seiner Anwendungen. Die Natur des Verhältnisses von Zeichen und (willkürlicher, notwendiger, durch Analogie oder Ähnlichkeit begründeter) Bedeutung hat uns dann erlaubt, vier Zeichenkategorien auszumachen und zu beschreiben: Wörter, Indizien, Bilder und Sinnbilder. Was die Erläuterung der konstitutiven Faktoren der Kommunikation anbetrifft, haben wir im Einklang mit den Forschungen angesehener Semiotiker mit sechs grundlegenden Parametern gerechnet: Sender, Empfänger, Mitteilung, Code, Kommunikationssituation und Kommunikationskanal. Doch war das wirklich die einzige treffliche Option? Hätte der Kommunikationsprozess nicht ausgehend von anderen – wenigeren oder mehreren – Faktoren analysiert werden können? Gewiss kann die Kommunikation auch mittels weiterer Variablen verstanden werden – und die Fachliteratur ist nicht müde geworden, die Vorzüge anderer Beschreibungsmuster zu zeigen –; von den sechs semiotischen, von Roman Jakobson eingeführten Parametern kann man indes nicht wegsehen. Sie erlauben allemal eine ziemlich genaue Bestimmung der durch die Protragonisten der Kommunikation durchgeführten Handlungen. In Übereinstimmung mit der allgemeinen Methode der Handlungstheorie haben wir jeden konstitutiven Faktor der Kommunikation mit je einem Handlungspaar korreliert, zum einen beim Sender, zum anderen beim Empfänger. Die Berücksichtigung der Sprache und implizite der Kommunikation im Kontext der Handlungstheorie ist keine bahnbrechende Unternehmung, da sie unter anderem schon John Austin, John Searle und Jürgen Habermas als Ausgangspunkt ihrer Analyse der Sprechakte gedient hat. Auch die Korrelation der Kommunikationsparameter mit einer Handlung ist kein Novum, indem sie auf analoge Weise bereits durch die Versuche einiger Semiotiker wie Roman Jakobson und Karl Bühler, die Funktionen der Sprache bzw. des linguistischen Zeichens zu systematisieren, unternommen wurde. Unser origineller Beitrag besteht aus der Korrelation jedes Faktors der Kommunikation mit einer Interaktion, das heißt mit einem Paar von komplementären Handlungen, so dass jeder Handlung des Senders eine Handlung des Empfängers entspricht. In diesem Sinne haben wir Sender, Empfänger, Mitteilung, Code, Kommunikationssituation und Kommunikationskanal in spezifischen Interaktionstypen (Sichentlarven – Nachvollziehen, Einflussnahme – Antwort, Sendung – Empfang, syntaktische Informierung – syntaktisches Verständnis, Bezeichnung – „Mitbezeich-nung“ bzw. Anknüpfung einer soziale Beziehung – Beibehaltung einer soziale Beziehung) inszeniert. Nachdem wir den Kommunikationsprozess als Totalität von sechs Interaktionstypen beschrieben hatten, haben wir auf drei mögliche Ordnungen der Kommunikationsformen verwiesen, wobei die Einteilungskriterien jeweils die verschiedenen gebrauchten Zeichentypen, die Art der Beziehung zwischen Sender und Empfänger bzw. der sich spontan manifestierende soziale Abstand zwischen den Kommunizierenden waren. Indem unsere Demarche darauf abzielte, die Eigentümlichkeiten verbaler vs. nonverbaler, formaler vs. informaler, der individuell, gruppenweise oder öffentlich stattfindenden Kommunikation auszumachen, haben wir die Akzente auf die Pragmatik der Kommunikation gesetzt und somit einige Hinweise auf den Erwerb spezifischer Kommunikationsfähigkeiten geben können. Das von uns vorgeschlagene theoretische Modell hat also nicht nur ein besseres Verständnis der Kommunikation beabsichtigt, sondern auch die Feststellung eines vollständigen Regelwerks der Kommunikation. Diese Regeln wurden als Formen des zu erwartenden sozialen Verhaltens behandelt – sowohl im normativen als auch im antizipativen Sinne – und wurden im Gefolge von John Searle in zwei Hauptklassen eingeteilt: konstitutive und normative Regeln. Die konstitutiven Regeln bestimmen die von ihnen logisch-abhängigen Verhaltensweisen und legen die Bedingungen der Kommunikationsakte fest, während die normativen Regeln die vorgegebenen, unabhängigen Verhaltensweisen berücksichtigen und die wünschenswerten Bedingungen für ihre Vollziehung festlegen. Um die konstitutiven Regeln ausmachen zu können, sind wir davon ausgegangen, dass der Prozess der menschlichen Kommunikation kein naturhafter, sondern ein institutioneller ist. Mit anderen Worten ist die Kommunikation das Ergebnis einer sozialen Vereinbarung und eben kein unabhängiges Phänomen, das nur von außen zu beschreiben wäre. Je nachdem, wie die notwendigen Regeln, welche die soziale Vereinbarung definieren, respektiert oder verletzt werden, haben wir fünf mögliche Situationen identifiziert: die vollkommene Kommunikation, die teilweise geglückte Kommunikation, die Nonkommunikation, die relative und die absolute Antikommunikation, wobei man hinzufügen muss, dass die erste und die letzte Situation Grenzerfahrungen ohne jegliche Referenz darstellen. Die konstitutiven Regeln der Kommunikation wurden mit allen sechs spezifischen Interaktionstypen korreliert (Sichentlarven – Nachvollziehen, Einflussnahme – Antwort, Sendung – Empfang, syntaktische Informierung – syntaktisches Verständnis, Bezeich-nung – „Mitbezeichnung“ bzw. Anknüpfung einer soziale Beziehung – Beibehaltung einer soziale Beziehung), so dass sie wenigstens aus einem bestimmten Gesichtspunkt ein konsistentes und vollständiges System bilden können. Im Unterschied zum System der konstitutiven Regeln sind hier die Kommunikationsnormen nicht erschöpfend behandelt worden. So wurden aus der Vielfalt der Vorschriften, die zu erwünschten Ergebnissen in der Kommunikation führen könnten, nur einige im Rahmen der vorliegenden Studie angegangen. Diese betreffen die Wirksamkeit und die moralischen Aspekte der Kommunikation und wurden ihrerseits mit den oben angeführten sechs Interaktionstypen korreliert. Dabei waren nicht so sehr die unausweichlichen Lücken im Inventarisieren der Normen, welche die Genauigkeit und die Ökonomie der Kommunikation gewähren, am problematischsten, sondern vielmehr der Grad an moralischer Relevanz, den die Kommunikationsakte beanspruchen können. Wir sind fest davon überzeugt, dass die Handlungen der Kommunizierenden eher davon abhängen, inwiefern sie moralische Verpflichtungen eingehen, und eben nicht davon, was für einen Gewinn sie dadurch erzielen, da keine der berücksichtigten Handlungen sich der Moral gänzlich entziehen können. Ob „neutrale Metaregeln“ für den Fall, dass einige moralische Eingrenzungen mit den Wirksamkeitsnormen kollidieren, vonnöten sind, sei dahin gestellt. Ein theoretisches Modell kann nur dann als nützlich bezeichnet werden, wenn es neue Forschungsansätze bringt und neue Forschungswege ermöglicht. Unter diesem Blickwinkel hat die vorliegende Studie zwei mögliche Fortsetzungen: die Ergänzung der Gesamtheit der normativen Regeln der Kommunikation (im allgemeinen), bzw. das Unterteilen des allgemeinen Modells der Kommunikation in stereotypen Mustern wie der politischen oder didaktischen Kommunikation usw. Schließlich hängen Gelingen und Anwendbarkeit der vorliegenden Studie in pragmatischer Sicht eben davon ab, inwiefern sie dem Leser / Benutzer als Wekzeug zur Verbesserung seiner Kommunikationsleistungen dienen kann. (shrink)
The central thesis of my article is that people live a life worthy of a human being only as self-ruling members of some autarchic (or self-governing) communities. On the one hand, nobody is born as a self-ruling individual, and on the other hand, everybody can become such a person by observing progressively the non-aggression principle and, ipso facto, by behaving as a moral being. A self-ruling person has no interest in controlling her neighbors, but in mastering his own impulses, needs, (...) wishes, desires, behaviors, etc. Inasmuch as he is an imperfect being who lives in an imperfect world, he needs to share certain interests, beliefs, values, customs and other characteristics with other people, i.e. to be involved in some communities. Depending on the following four criteria – the regulatory principle, the essential resources, the specific feedback and the fundamental values –, the countless and manifold human communities can be grouped in three categories: (1) affinity communities, (2) economic communities, and (3) civic communities. In other words, every community or human behavior has an affinity, an economic, and a civic dimension. If a civic community is merely a state shaped society, it can be called a political community. All communities are intrinsically variable. Throughout time, they ceaselessly change their composition, values, interpersonal processes and relations, territory, etc. Interestingly enough, the variability is unanimously recognized and accepted in affinity and communities economic, but is denied or abusively interpreted in the case of state shaped societies. If we confuse two types of order − cosmos and taxis – and two types of rule – nomos and thesis –, as well as we exaggerate the importance of certain type of community we bring some social maladies, namely the traditionalism, the commercialism and the civism, (with the worst form of it – the politicality). Whatever the communities they are involved in, all persons relate (implicitly or explicitly) to the libertarian non-aggression principle, living their life in strict accordance with the logical implications of the position they adopt. People who respect the non-aggression axiom necessarily manifest self-control, consideration for the life and property of the others, commitment to offer value for value, love of freedom and a high level of individual responsibility. By contrast, people who violate this axiom – the villains and the statists – invariably strive to control their neighbors, behave as parasites or predators, prefer forced exchanges, reject the personal responsibility (at most accepting the idea of social responsibility), and apply double moral standards. The first category of people generates a libertarian civic discourse as a spontaneous order, and the second creates a political/ statist civic discourse as a result of the human design and will to power. As a spontaneous order, the libertarian civic discourse implies free involvement, peaceful coordination, free expression, free reproduction of ideas and the power of one. Every communication performance in the frame of the libertarian civic discourse is important and has relevant results. All participants to the libertarian civic discourse are automatically members of some self-governing communities (at least members of the general libertarian community). The most important thing for these communities is to be connected to a communicational infrastructure which would make possible free involvement, free expression and the free reproduction of ideas. Inasmuch as today democracy means the tyranny of majority and participatory democracy the tyranny of majority plus the power of vested (and illegitimate) interests, only the emergence of self-governing communities by libertarian discourse offers us a little hope. It’s high time to fall in love (again) with liberty and to embrace the non-aggression principle. We don’t have to create a perfect world, but we can strive to develop our human nature. (shrink)
The problem of self-governing of a community (more precisely, the involvement of its members in collective actions directed towards achieving a common goal) is extremely important. In our opinion, it is necessary to give honest answers to the following questions: (a) What are the constituents of collective actions meant to help obtaining public goods and how should they be determined? (b) How useful, rational and legitimate are civic actions (in general) and the measures of self-government of a community (in particular)? (...) (c) What are the resources, rights and duties in a self-governing community? (d) What parts can professional communicators play, in order to stimulate their fellow citizens’ participation in the art of self-governing? Civic participation in realizing the common good has several aspects, starting with voting participation and ending with the community’s self-mobilization. Professional communicators (in this case, public relations specialists) may contribute to building a self-governing society by playing six parts: the town crier, the steward, the traffic manager, the conductor, the creator and the facilitator. (shrink)
This is the twenty-sixth volume in the Library of Living Philosophers, a series founded by Paul A. Schilpp in 1939 and edited by him until 1981, when the editorship was taken over by Lewis E. Hahn. This volume follows the design of previous volumes. As Schilpp conceived this series, every volume would have the following elements: an intellectual autobiography of the philosopher, a series of expository and critical articles written by exponents and opponents of the philosopher's thought, replies to these (...) critics and commentators by the philosopher, and as nearly complete a bibliography of the published work of the philosopher as possible. (shrink)
In recent years philosophers have given much attention to the ‘ontological problem’ of events. Donald Davidson puts the matter thus: ‘the assumption, ontological and metaphysical, that there are events is one without which we cannot make sense of much of our common talk; or so, at any rate, I have been arguing. I do not know of any better, or further, way of showing what there is’. It might be thought bizarre to assign to philosophers the task of ‘showing what (...) there is’. They have not distinguished themselves by the discovery of new elements, new species or new continents, nor even of new categories, although there has often been more dreamt of in their philosophies than can be found in heaven or earth. It might appear even stranger to think that one can show what there actually is by arguing that the existence of something needs to be assumed in order for certain sentences to make sense. More than anything, the sober reader will doubtlessly be amazed that we need to assume , after lengthy argument, ‘that there are events’. (shrink)
The main purpose of this article is to tackle the problem of living together – as dignified human beings – in a certain territory in the field of social philosophy, on the theoretical grounding ensured by some remarkable exponents of the Austrian School − and by means of the praxeologic method. Because political tools diminish the human nature not only of those who use them, but also of those who undergo their effects, people can live a life worthy of a (...) human being only as members of some autarchic or self-governing communities. As a spontaneous order, every autarchic community is inherently democratic, inasmuch as it makes possible free involvement, peaceful coordination, free expression and the free reproduction of ideas. The members of autarchic communities are moral individuals who avoid aggression, practice self-control, seek a dynamical efficiency and establish a democratic public discourse. (shrink)
Gheorghe Sferlea | : Cet article examine les premières tentatives d’interprétation théologique du titre marial Theotokos au IVe siècle. Au coeur de cette histoire on retrouve Apollinaire, évêque de Laodicée et figure importante du camp pro-nicéen, qui a élaboré une théorie controversée sur l’unité du Christ, notamment en excluant l’intellect humain de la constitution du Sauveur. C’est dans le cadre de cette préoccupation plus large qu’il vit l’opportunité de tenter une appropriation théologique du titre Theotokos et qu’il en fit (...) un outil polémique dans la stratégie d’ériger sa propre position en orthodoxie christologique. L’idée que je défends ici est que Diodore de Tarse, Grégoire de Nazianze, Grégoire de Nysse et Théodore de Mopsueste se sont tous confrontés à l’interprétation proposée par Apollinaire et ont cherché les meilleurs moyens d’y réagir. | : This article examines the first attempts of theological interpretation of Marian title Theotokos in the fourth Century. At the centre of this history stands Apollinarius, bishop of Laodiceea and a significant character of the pro-Nicene movement, who elaborated a controversial account on the unity of Christ that excluded human intellect from Saviour’s constitution. It was within this broader concern that he saw the opportunity of attempting a theological appropriation of title Theotokos and made it a polemical tool in the strategy of establishing his own Christological stance as authoritative. My contention is that Diodore of Tarsus, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa and Theodore of Mopsuestia all found themselves confronted with Apollinarius’ interpretation and searched ways of reacting to it. (shrink)
Throughout its history philosophy has been thought to be a member of a community of intellectual disciplines united by their common pursuit of knowledge. It has sometimes been thought to be the queen of the sciences, at other times merely their under-labourer. But irrespective of its social status, it was held to be a participant in the quest for knowledge – a cognitive discipline.
My topic is personal identity, or rather, our identity. There is general, but not, of course, unanimous, agreement that it is wrong to give an account of what is involved in, and essential to, our persistence over time which requires the existence of immaterial entities, but, it seems to me, there is no consensus about how, within, what might be called this naturalistic framework, we should best procede. This lack of consensus, no doubt, reflects the difficulty, which must strike anyone (...) who has considered the issue, of achieving, just in one's own thinking, a reflective equilibrium. The theory of personal identity, I feel, provides a curious contrast. On the one side, it seems highly important to know what sort of thing we are, but, on the other, it is hard to find any answer which has a ‘solid’ feel. (shrink)
Wittgenstein’s Private Language Argument was received within the Pittsburgh School of Philosophy as raising new and interesting difficulties for the traditional empiricist model of knowledge justification. While McDowell’s attempt to solve the difficulties in question is still debated, I claim that a different solution to the same difficulties might have been suggested by Wittgenstein himself in On Certainty.
The paper contains a conceptual proposal, its key idea being that the successful functioning of a rule embedding artifact designed to regulate a practice (not pertaining to its use) produces the same result as the successful performance of the rule-invoking non-communicative actions belonging to the practice in case.
Human conflict and its resolution is obviously a subject of great practical importance. Equally obviously, it is a vast subject, ranging from total war at one end of the spectrum to negotiated settlement at its other end. The literature on the subject is correspondingly vast and, in recent times, technical, thanks to the valuable contributions made to it by game theorists, economists, and writers on industrial and international relations. In this essay, however, I shall discuss only one familiar form of (...) conflict-resolution. There is room for such a discussion, because philosophers have lately neglected compromise, despite the interest shown in it by the aforementioned experts, and despite the classic treatments of it by Halifax, Burke and Morley. Truly, ‘…compromise is not so widely discussed by philosophers as one might expect’, and ‘…the idea of compromise has been largely neglected by Anglo-American jurisprudence’. (shrink)
Abstract. The strong similarity between the use of ostension and that of a simple demonstrative to predicate something of an object seems to conflict with equally strong intuitions according to which, while “this” does usually refer to an object, the gesture of holding an object in your hand and showing it to an audience does not refer to the demonstrated object. This paper argues that the problem is authentic and provides a solution to it. In doing so, a more general (...) thought is given support by the approach used. Namely, the thought that our abilities to directly refer to things require some basic referential abilities exhibited in ostension and the use of demonstratives which, in their turn, rest upon our abilities to cooperate in performing non-communicative actions on our environment. Several concepts introduced in order to solve the initial problem can be used to articulate this thought in more detail. (shrink)
With a book as wide ranging and insightful as Barry's Justice as Impartiality, it is perhaps a little churlish to criticize it for paying insufficient attention to one's own particular interests. That said, in what follows I am going to do just that and claim that in an important sense Barry does not take utilitarianism seriously. Utilitarianism does receive some discussion in Barry's book, and in an important section which I will discuss he even appears to concede that utilitarianism provides (...) a rival though ultimately inadequate theory of justice. Nevertheless, utilitarianism is not considered a rival to ‘justice as impartiality’ in the way that ‘justice as mutual advantage’ and ‘justice as reciprocity’ are. One response, and perhaps the only adequate response, would be to construct a rival utilitarian theory. I cannot provide such a theory in this paper, and I certainly would be very cautious about claiming that I could provide such a theory elsewhere. What I want to suggest is that utilitarianism is a genuine third theory to contrast with ‘justice as mutual advantage’ and ‘justice as impartiality’ – ‘justice as reciprocity’ being merely a hybrid of ‘justice as mutual advantage’, at least as Barry presents it. I also want to argue that it poses a more significant challenge to a contractualist theory such as Barry's than his discussion of utilitarianism reveals. (shrink)
In medieval writers an important distinction was drawn between two applications of the term ‘ logica ’: there was logica utens , the practice of thinking logically about this or that subject-matter, and there was logica docens , the construction of logical theory. Of course the English word ‘logic’ and its derivative ‘logical’ have a corresponding twofold meaning, and we ignore the distinction at the risk of serious confusion. ‘Logical thought’ may mean thinking that is being commended as orderly, consistent, (...) and consequent, whatever its subject-matter; or it may mean the thinking of logicians about logic, which alas has not always exhibited these virtues. Similarly for ‘teaching logic’: there is trying to get people, by precept and example, to be orderly, consistent, and consequent in their thinking, and there is the endeavour to train logicians for the next generation. In any respectable philosophy department there will be someone teaching logic in the first sense; in my own university there are very many first-year undergraduates who do a course called Reason and Argument with this aim. But we hold that the teacher of such logica utens must himself have a sufficient skill in logica docens if he is to do his job properly; and we undertake the further task of training people in logical theory so that some of them, who have sufficient native ability and motivation, may take up the torch from their teachers. (shrink)
Paul Sheehy has argued that the modal realist cannot satisfactorily allow for the necessity of God's existence. In this short paper I show that she can, and that Sheehy only sees a problem because he has failed to appreciate all the resources available to the modal realist. God may be an abstract existent outside spacetime or He may not be: but either way, there is no problem for the modal realist to admit that He exists at every concrete possible world.
Traditionally Hume is seen as offering an ‘empiricist’ critique of ‘rationalism’. This view is often illustrated – or rejected – by comparing Hume's views with those of Descartes'. However the textual evidence shows that Hume's most sustained engagement with a canonical ‘rationalist’ is with Nicolas Malebranche. The author shows that the fundamental differences between the two on the self and causal power do indeed rest on a principled distinction between ‘rationalism’ and ‘empiricism’, and that there is some truth in the (...) traditional story. This, however, is very far from saying that Hume's general orientation is an attack on something called ‘rationalism’. (shrink)