Adam Ferguson has received little of the renewed attention that contemporary philosophers have given to the philosophers of the Scottish Enlightenment, most notably David Hume, Thomas Reid and Adam Smith. There are good reasons for this difference. Yet, the conception of moral philosophy at work in Ferguson's writings can nevertheless be called upon to throw important critical light on the current enthusiasm for philosophical ethics and applied philosophy. Eighteenth century ‘moral science’ took its significance from a context that modern philosophers (...) who seek to be practically ‘relevant’ need, but lack. (shrink)
_The Internet: A Philosophical Inquiry_ develops many of the themes Gordon Graham presented in his highly successful radio series, _The Silicon Society_. Exploring the tensions between the warnings of the Neo-Luddites and the bright optimism of the Technophiles, Graham offers the first concise and accessible exploration of the issues which arise as we enter further into the world of Cyberspace. This original and fascinating study takes us to the heart of questions that none of us can afford to ignore: how (...) does the Internet affect our concepts of identity, moral anarchy, censorship, community, democracy, virtual reality and imagination? Free of jargon and full of stimulating ideas, this is essential reading for anyone wishing to think clearly and informatively about the complexities of our technological future. (shrink)
In this paper it is argued that neither the simple majority rule conception of democracy nor representative democracy can be shown to be politically valuable in themselves. Certain arguments of brian barry's to the effect that democracy is special are examined and found wanting. A conclusion is that democratic institutions are valuable only as constitutional checks and balances, And whether this is so in any particular case is a contingent question.
_Ethics and International Relations_, Second Edition, offers a comprehensive introduction to the philosophical issues raised by international politics. Presupposing no prior philosophical knowledge and deliberately avoiding the use of technical language, it is ideally suited for political philosophy, applied ethics and international relations courses. Revised and updated, new material includes coverage of the war on terror, the impact of globalization, and ideas of cosmopolitan governance. Clearly and thoughtfully organized, it proceeds logically from general morality and international relations to issues surrounding (...) just war theory and global justice A crisp, analytical treatment presented with a student-sensitive approach and informed by real world issues Covers a wide array of subtopics. (shrink)
'It's all in the genes'. Is this true, and if so, _what_ is all in the genes? _Genes: A Philosophical Inquiry_ is a crystal clear and highly informative guide to a debate none of us can afford to ignore. Beginning with a much-needed overview of the relationship between science and technology, Gordon Graham lucidly explains and assesses the most important and controversial aspects of the genes debate: Darwinian theory and its critics, the idea of the 'selfish' gene, evolutionary psychology, memes, (...) genetic screening and modification, including the risks of cloning and 'designer' babies. He considers areas often left out of the genes debate, such as the environmental risks of genetic engineering and how we should think about genes in the wider context of debates on science, knowledge and religion. Gordon Graham asks whether genetic engineering might be introducing God back into the debate and whether the risks of a brave new genetic world outweigh the potential benefits. Essential reading for anyone interested in science, technology, and philosophy, _Genes: A Philosophical Inquiry_ is ideal for those wanting to find out more about the ethical implications of genetics and the future of biotechnology. (shrink)
Research assessment exercises, teaching quality assessment, line management, staff appraisal, student course evaluation, modularization, student fees — these are all names of innovations in modern British universities. How far do they reflect a more conscientious approach to the effective promotion of higher education, and how far do they constitute a significant departure from traditional academic concerns and values? Using some themes of Cardinal Newman's classic _The Idea of a University_ as a springboard, this extended essay aims to address these questions.
This paper first elaborates ‘Art’ and the aesthetic as these concepts emerged in the eighteenth century, and uncovers the conflict between the resulting ideal of ‘art for art’s sake’ and the increasing use ‘art therapy’ for personal and social purposes. Taking this conflict to be a reason for the rejection of ‘Art’, it considers two accounts of ‘the end of Art’, one by Arthur Danto and the other by Nicholas Wolterstorff. The paper argues that both accounts fall short of adequately (...) recognizing the presence of the aesthetic in everyday life, and that once we do acknowledge the properly aesthetic character of ‘Design’, a way of thinking is opened up that can make better sense of art therapy. The paper concludes with a brief indication of where the next philosophical question about art therapy lies. (shrink)
This is a philosophical exploration of the role of art and religion as sources of meaning in an increasingly material world dominated by science. Relating themes in the history of European philosophy to topics in contemporary philosophy, Gordon Graham investigates the idea that art has the potential to re-enchant an irreligious world.
Eight Theories of Ethics is a comprehensive introduction to the fundamental theories of ethics . Gordon Graham begins by introducing fundamental issues that underpin the concept of ethics, such as relativism and objectivity, before introducing eight major theories: * Egoism * Hedonism * Naturalism and Virtue Theory * Existentialism * Kantianism * Utilitarianism * Contractualism * Religion The author brings often abstract issues to life by drawing on examples from the great moral philosophers, including Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Mill, Nietzsche, Kant (...) and Sartre. Contemporary examples, such as Darwinism, debates over human nature, the environment and citizenship are given. (shrink)
This paper draws on some lines of thought in Kant’s Critique of Judgment to construct an aesthetic counterpart to the moral argument for the existence of God that Kant formulates in the Critique of Practical Reason. The paper offers this aesthetic version as a theistic way of explaining how the natural world can be thought valuable independently of human desires and purposes. It further argues that such an argument must commend itself to anyone who is as deeply committed to the (...) preservation of nature as to the promotion of justice. (shrink)
This essay explores the major conflict between doing the best for indigents requiring health care and not unfairly imposing burdens on those who pay for that care through cost-shifting. The author argues that there is in fact no dilemma or conflict of duties presented here, but only because the doctor's concern with justice in bearing the burden of health care requires a system within which different levels of health care are available and in which indigent care is provided in a (...) manner that minimizes the cost of providing that care. (shrink)
1. The appearance of Islam upon the stage of international politics hasbeen greeted by some commentators as a return to the Middle Ages. Preciselywhat they mean by this is not very clear, to themselves no less than their readers perhaps. In part, no doubt, they refer to the kinds of punishment Islamic law requires, which have a brutality associated in the common mind with medieval Europe. In part too there is the feeling that the phenomena of religion in politics, inquisitions, (...) holy wars, government by clergy, are things of the past and that the undesirability of theocracy is a question long since settled. (shrink)