This article begins the task of assessing polygamy as a moral ideal. The structure of traditional polygamy, in which only one central spouse may marry multiple partners, necessarily yields two inequalities. The central spouse has greater rights and expectations within each marriage and greater control over the wider family. However, two alternative structures for polygamy can remove these inequalities. In polyfidelity, each spouse marries every other spouse in the family. In “molecular” polygamy, any spouses may marry a new spouse outside (...) the family. These new models of polygamy face additional difficulties, but they can be egalitarian in principle. (shrink)
Presents the early published writings of the distinguished political philosopher Leo Strauss, available here for the first time in English. “Zank places at the reader’s disposal the young Strauss’s passionate advocacy of political Zionism and his early confrontations with Spinoza, consideration of whom helped lead Strauss to formulate his teaching on ‘the quarrel between the ancients and the moderns.’” — National Review.
The first major piece of unpublished work by Leo Strauss to appear in more than thirty years, "Leo Strauss On Plato's "Symposium"" offers the public the unprecedented experience of encountering this renowned scholar as his students did.
Leo Strauss's essays and lectures on Maimonides -- Point of departure: why study medieval thinkers? -- How to study medieval philosophy (1944) -- On Maimonides -- Spinoza's critique of Maimonides (1930) -- Cohen and Maimonides (1931) -- The philosophic foundation of the law: Maimonides' doctrine of prophecy and its sources.
Leo Strauss's introductions to ten writings of Moses Mendelssohn -- Preliminary remark by Alexander Altmann -- Introduction to Pope a metaphysician! -- Introduction to "Epistle to Mr. Lessing in Leipzig" -- Introduction to Commentary on Moses Maimonides' "Logical terms" -- Introduction to Treatise on evidence in metaphysical sciences -- Introduction to Phädon -- Introduction to Treatise on the incorporeality of the human soul -- Introduction to "On a handwritten essay of Mr. de Luc's" -- Introduction to The soul -- (...) Introduction to Morning hours and to the friends of Lessing -- Introduction to God's cause, or providence vindicated. (shrink)
Natural Right and History (Chicago, 1953).Leo Strauss - 1953 - The Correspondence Between Ethical Egoists and Natural Rights Theorists is Considerable Today, as Suggested by a Comparison of My" Recent Work in Ethical Egoism," American Philosophical Quarterly 16 (2):1-15.details
In this classic work, Leo Strauss examines the problem of natural right and argues that there is a firm foundation in reality for the distinction between right and wrong in ethics and politics. On the centenary of Strauss's birth, and the fiftieth anniversary of the Walgreen Lectures which spawned the work, _Natural Right and History_ remains as controversial and essential as ever. "Strauss... makes a significant contribution towards an understanding of the intellectual crisis in which we find (...) ourselves... [and] brings to his task an admirable scholarship and a brilliant, incisive mind."—John H. Hallowell, _American Political Science Review_ Leo Strauss was the Robert Maynard Hutchins Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in Political Science at the University of Chicago. (shrink)
This volume of essays ranges over critical themes that define Strauss's thought: the tension between reason and revelation in the Western tradition, the philsophical roots of liberal democracy, and especially the conflicting yet ...
The essays collected in Persecution and the Art of Writing all deal with one problem--the relation between philosophy and politics. Here, Strauss sets forth the thesis that many philosophers, especially political philosophers, have reacted to the threat of persecution by disguising their most controversial and heterodox ideas.
Leo Strauss articulates the conflict between reason and revelation as he explores Spinoza's scientific, comparative, and textual treatment of the Bible. Strauss compares Spinoza's Theologico-political Treatise and the Epistles, showing their relation to critical controversy on religion from Epicurus and Lucretius through Uriel da Costa and Isaac Peyrere to Thomas Hobbes. Strauss's autobiographical Preface, traces his dilemmas as a young liberal intellectual in Germany during the Weimar Republic, as a scholar in exile, and as a leader of (...) American philosophical thought. "[For] those interested in Strauss the political philosopher, and also those who doubt whether we have achieved the 'final solution' in respect to either the character of political science or the problem of the relation of religion to the state." -- Journal of Politics "A substantial contribution to the thinking of all those interested in the ageless problems of faith, revelation, and reason." -- Kirkus Reviews Leo Strauss (1899-1973) was the Robert Maynard Hutchins Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of political science at the University of Chicago. His contributions to political science include The Political Philosophy of Hobbes, The City and the Man, What is Political Philosophy?, and Liberalism Ancient and Modern. (shrink)
"All political action has . . . in itself a directedness towards knowledge of the good: of the good life, or of the good society. For the good society is the complete political good. If this directedness becomes explicit, if men make it their explicit goal to acquire knowledge of the good life and of the good society, political philosophy emerges. . . . The theme of political philosophy is mankind's great objectives, freedom and government or empire--objectives which are capable (...) of lifting all men beyond their poor selves. Political philosophy is that branch of philosophy which is closest to political life, to non-philosophic life, to human life."--From "What Is Political Philosophy?" What Is Political Philosophy? --a collection of ten essays and lectures and sixteen book reviews written between 1943 and 1957--contains some of Leo Strauss's most famous writings and some of his most explicit statements of the themes that made him famous. The title essay records Strauss's sole extended articulation of the meaning of political philosophy itself. Other essays discuss the relation of political philosophy to history, give an account of the political philosophy of the non-Christian Middle Ages and of classic European modernity, and present his theory of esoteric writing. (shrink)
Leo Strauss argued that the most visible fact about Machiavelli's doctrine is also the most useful one: Machiavelli seems to be a teacher of wickedness. Strauss sought to incorporate this idea in his interpretation without permitting it to overwhelm or exhaust his exegesis of The Prince and the Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy . "We are in sympathy," he writes, "with the simple opinion about Machiavelli [namely, the wickedness of his teaching], not only because it (...) is wholesome, but above all because a failure to take that opinion seriously prevents one from doing justice to what is truly admirable in Machiavelli: the intrepidity of his thought, the grandeur of his vision, and the graceful subtlety of his speech." This critique of the founder of modern political philosophy by this prominent twentieth-century scholar is an essential text for students of both authors. (shrink)
● Sergio Cremaschi, The non-existing Island. I discuss the way in which the cleavage between the Continental and the Anglo-American philosophies originated, the (self-)images of both philosophical worlds, the converging rediscoveries from the Seventies, as well as recent ecumenic or anti-ecumenic strategies. I argue that pragmatism provides an important counter-instance to both the familiar self-images and to the fashionable ecumenic or anti-ecumenic strategies. My conclusions are: (i) the only place where Continental philosophy exists (as Euro-Communism one decade ago) is America; (...) (ii) less obviously, also analytic philosophy does not exist, or does no more exist as a current or a paradigm; what does exist is, on the one hand, philosophy of language and, on the other, philosophy of mind, that is, two disciplines; (iii) the dissolution of analytic philosophy as a school has been extremely fruitful, precisely in so far as it has left room for disciplines and research programmes; (iv) what is left, of the Anglo-American/Continental cleavage is primarily differences in styles, depending partly on intellectual traditions, partly owing to sociology, history, institutional frameworks; these differences should not be blurred by rash ecumenism; besides, theoretical differences are alive as ever, but within both camps; finally, there is indeed a lag (not a difference) in the appropriation of intellectual techniques by most schools of 'Continental' philosophy, and this should be overcome through appropriation of what the best 'analytic' philosophers have produced. -/- ● Michael Strauss, Language and sense-perception: an aspect of analytic philosophy. To test an assertion about one fact by comparing it with perceived reality seems quite unproblematic. But the very possibility of such a procedure is incompatible with the intellectualistic basis of logical positivism and atomism (as it is for example to be found in Russell's Analysis of Mind). According to the intellectualistic approach pure sensation is meaningless. Sensation receives its meaning and order from the intellect through interpretation, which is performed with the help of linguistic tools, i.e. words and sentences. Before being interpreted, sensation is not a picture or a representation, it is neither true nor false, neither an illusion nor knowledge; it does not tell us anything; it is a lifeless and order-less matter. But how can a thought (or a proposition) be compared with such a lifeless matter? This difficulty confronts the intellectualist, if on the one hand he admits the necessity of comparing thought with sense-perception, and on the other hand presupposes that we possess only intellectual and no immediate perceptual understanding of what we see and hear. In this paper I give a critical exposition of three attempts, made by Russell, Neurath and Wittgenstein, to solve this problem. The first attempt adheres to strict conventionalism, the second tends to naturalism and the third leads to an amended, very moderate version of conventionalism. This amended conventionalism looks at sense impressions as being a peculiar language, which includes primary symbols, i.e. symbols not founded on convention and not being in need of interpretation. -/- ● Ernst Tugendhat, Phenomenology and language analysis. The paper, first published in German in 1970, by which Tugendhat gave a start to the German rediscovery of analytic philosophy. The author stages a confrontation between phenomenology and language analysis. He argues that language analysis does not differ from phenomenology as far as the topics dealt with are concerned; instead, both currents are quite different in method. The author argues that language-analytic philosophy does not simply lay out of the mainstream of transcendental philosophy, but that instead it challenges this tradition on the very level of foundations. The author criticizes the linguistic-analytic approach centred on the subject as well as any object-centred approach, while proposing inter-subjective understanding through language as the new universal framework. This is, when construed in so general terms, the same program of hermeneutics, though in a more basic version. -/- ● Jürgen Habermas, Language game, intention and meaning. On a few suggestions by Sellars and Wittgenstein. -/- The paper, first published in German in 1975, in which Habermas announces his own linguistic turn through a discovery of speech acts. In this essay the author wants to work out a categorical framework for a communicative theory of society; he takes Wittgenstein's concept of language game as a Leitfade and, besides, he takes advantage also of Wilfried Sellars's quasi-transcendental account of the genesis of intentionality. His goal is to single out the problems connected with a theory of consciousness oriented in a logical-linguistic sense. -/- ● Zvie Bar-On, Isomorphism of speech acts and intentional states. -/- This essay presents the problem of the formal relationship between speech acts and intentional states as an essential part of the perennial philosophical question of the relation between language and thought. I attempt to show how this problem had been dealt with by two prominent philosophers of different camps in our century, Edmund Husserl and John Searle. Both of them wrote extensively about the theory of intentionality. I point out an interesting, as it were unintended, continuity of their work on that theory. Searle started where Husserl left off 80 years earlier. Their meeting point could be used as the first clue in our search. They both adopted in effect the same distinction between two basic aspects of the intentional experience: its content or matter, and its quality or mode. Husserl did not yet have the concept of a speech act as contradistinguished from an intentional state. The working hypothesis, however, which he suggested, could be used as a second clue for the further elaboration of the theory. The relationship of the two levels, the mental and the linguistic, which remained for Husserl in the background only, became the cornerstone of Searle' s inquiry. He employed the speech act as the model and analysed the intentional experience by means of the conceptual apparatus of his own theory of speech acts. This procedure enabled him to mark out a number of parallelisms and correlations between the two levels. This procedure explains the phenomenon of the partial isomorphism of speech acts and intentional states. -/- ● Roberta de Monticelli, Ontology. A dialogue among the linguistic philosopher, the naturalist, and the phenomenological philosopher. -/- This paper proposes a comparison between two main ways of conceiving the role and scope of that fundamental part of philosophy (or of "first" philosophy) which is traditionally called "ontology". One way, originated within the analytic tradition, consists of two main streams, namely philosophy of language and (contemporary) philosophy of mind, the former yielding "reduced ontology" and the latter "neo-Aristotelian ontology". The other way of conceiving ontology is exemplified by "phenomenological ontology" (more precisely, the Husserlian, not the Heideggerian version). Ontology as a theory of reference ("reduced" ontology, or ontology as depending on semantics) is presented and justified on the basis of some classical thesis of traditional philosophy of language (from Frege to Quine). "Reduced ontology" is shown to be identifiable with one level of a traditional, Aristotelian ontology, namely the one which corresponds to one of the four "senses of being" listed in Aristotle's Metaphysics: "being" as "being true". This identification is justified on the basis of Franz Brentano's "rules for translation" of the Aristotelian table of judgements in terms of (positive and negative) existential judgments such as are easily translatable into sentences of first order predicate logic. The second part of the paper is concerned with "neo-Aristotelian ontology", i.e. with naturalism and physicalism as the main ontological options underlying most of contemporary discussion in the philosophy of mind. The qualification of such options as "neo-Aristotelian" is justified; the relationships between "neo-Aristotelian ontology" and "reduced ontology" are discussed. In the third part the fundamental tenet of "phenomenological ontology" is identified by the thesis that a logical theory of existence and being does capture a sense of "existing" and "being" which, even though not the basic one, is grounded in the basic one. An attempt is done of further clarifying this "more basic" sense of "being". An argument making use of this supposedly "more basic" sense is advanced in favour of a "phenomenological ontology". -/- ● Kuno Lorenz, Analytic Roots in Dialogic Constructivism. -/- Both in the Vienna Circle ad in Russell's early philosophy the division of knowledge into two kinds (or two levels), perceptual and conceptual, plays a vital role. Constructivism in philosophy, in trying to provide a pragmatic foundation - a knowing-how - to perceptual as well as conceptual competences, discovered that this is dependent on semiotic tools. Therefore, the "principle of method" had to be amended by the "principle of dialogue". Analytic philosophy being an heir of classical empiricism, conceptually grasping the "given", and constructive philosophy being an heir of classical rationalism, perceptually providing the "constructed", merge into dialogical constructivism, a contemporary development of ideas derived especially from the works of Charles S. Peirce (his pragmatic maxim as a means of giving meaning to signs) and of Ludwig Wittgenstein (his language games as tools of comparison for understanding ways of life). -/- 7. Albrecht Wellmer, "Autonomy of meaning" and "principle of charity" from the viewpoint of the pragmatics of language. -/- In this essay I present an interpretation of the principle of the autonomy of meaning and of the principle of charity, the two main principles of Davidson's semantic view of truth, showing how both principles may fit in a perspective dictated by the pragmatics of language. I argue that (I) the principle of the autonomy of meaning may be thoroughly reformulated in terms of the pragmatics of language, (ii) the principle of charity needs a supplement in terms of pragmatics of language in order to become really enlightening as a principle of interpretation. Besides, I argue that: (i) on the one hand, the fundamental thesis of Habermas on the pragmatic theory of meaning ("we understand a speech act when we know what makes it admissible") is correlated with the seemingly intentionalist thesis according to which we understand a speech act when we know what a speaker means; (ii) on the other hand, to say that the meaning competence of a competent speaker is basically a competence about a potential of reasons (or also of possible justifications) which is inherently connected with the meaning of statements, or with their use in utterances. -/- ● Rüdiger Bubner, The convergence of analytic and hermeneutic philosophy -/- This paper argues that the analytic philosophy does not exist, at least as understood by its original programs. Differences in the analytic camp have always been bigger than they were believed to be. Now these differences are coming to the fore thanks to a process of dissolution of dogmatism. Philosophical analysis is led by its own inner logic towards questions that may be fairly qualified as hermeneutic. Recent developments in analytic philosophy, e.g. Davidson, seem to indicate a growing convergence of themes between philosophical analysis and hermeneutics; thus, the familiar opposition of Anglo-Saxon and Continental philosophy might soon belong to history. The fact of an ongoing appropriation of analytical techniques by present-day German philosophers may provide a basis for a powerful argument for the unity of philosophizing, beyond its strained images privileging one technique of thinking and rejecting the remainder. Actual philosophical practice should take the dialogue between the two camps more seriously; in fact, the processes described so far are no danger to philosophical work. They may be a danger for parochial approaches to philosophizing; indeed, contrary to what happens in the natural sciences, Thomas Kuhn's "normal science" developing within the framework of one fixed paradigm is not typical for philosophical thinking. And in philosophy innovating revolutions are symptoms more of vitality than of crisis. -/- ● Karl-Otto Apel, The impact of analytic philosophy on my intellectual biography. -/- In my paper I try to reconstruct the history of my Auseinandersetzung mit - as I called it - "language-analytical" philosophy (including even Peircean semiotics) since the late Fifties. The heuristics of my study was predetermined by two main motives of my beginnings: the hermeneutic turn of phenomenology and the transformation of "transcendental philosophy" in the light of the "language a priori". Thus, I took issue with the early and the later Wittgenstein, logical positivism, and post-Wittgensteinian and post-empiricist philosophy of science (i.e. G.H. von Wright and the renewal of the "explanation vs understanding controversy" as well as the debate between Th. Kuhn and Popper/Lakatos); besides, with speech act theory and the debate about "transcendental arguments" since Strawson. The "pragmatic turn", started already by C.L. Morris and the later Carnap, led me to study also the relationship between Wittgensteinian "use" theory of meaning and of truth. This resulted on my side in something like a program of "transcendental semiotics", i.e. "transcendental pragmatics" and "transcendental hermeneutics". -/- ● Ben-Ami Scharfstein, A doubt on both their houses: the blindness to non-western philosophies. The burden of my criticism is that contemporary European philosophers of all kinds have continued to think as if there were no true philosophy but that of the West. For the most part, the existentialists have been oblivious of their Eastern congeners; the hermeneuticians have yet to stretch their horizons beyond the most familiar ones; and the analysts remain unaware of the analyses and linguistic sensitivities of the ancient non-European philosophers. Briefly, ignorance still blinds almost all contemporary Western philosophers to the rich, variegated philosophical traditions outside of their familiar orbit. Both Continental and Anglo-Americans have lost the breadth of view that once characterized such thinkers as Herder and the Humboldts. The blindness that has resulted is not simply that of individual Western philosophers but of our whole, still parochial philosophical culture. (shrink)
Les Lois ne sont pas le dialogue de Platon le plus connu, ni a fortiori le plus commenté. Strauss nous en donne ici un commentaire magistral : serré, il épouse toutes les sinuosités du texte et en révèle toute la subtilité. Ce commentaire, publié après la mort de l’auteur, mais entièrement terminé, est le fruit d’une vie entière de méditation de l’œuvre de Platon. A ce titre, il constitue un exemple privilégié de l’« art de lire » les textes (...) de l’antiquité de Leo Strauss. Le dialogue des Lois, en tant qu’il traite les questions de la loi politique et de la loi divine, a très tôt alimenté les réflexions de Strauss sur le problème théologico-politique qui est central dans ses recherches. (shrink)
This is a follow-up article of Strauss 2011. In order to transcend the shortcomings present in the dialectical legacy regarding normativity, this article further explores key elements within the dialectical tradition focused on the basic motive of nature and freedom and the effect it had on modern social contract theories which aimed at reconstructing human society from its “atoms,” the individuals . The transition to an alternative approach commences with a discussion of the distinction between conditions and what is (...) conditioned. It concerns a correlation found within all aspects of reality, namely that between the law side or norm side on the one hand and the factual side on the other. The basic assumption of this alternative view is found in the idea of ontic normativity which is rooted in a non-reductionist ontology. Against this broader background shortcomings in Kelsen’s theory of law are briefly traced to the dialectic of the causal and non-causal , before a positive characterization of the concept of a principle is given. It turned out that it is a compound basic concept in which terms from different modal aspects of reality are encapsulated at once. The recognition of ontic normativity therefore also enables a distinct methodology, the transcendental-empirical method, which makes it possible to distinguish between the pre-positive nature of a principle, as a universal and constant starting-point for human action, and the historically varying ways in which such a principle can be made valid, ( enforced ) through a competent organ disposing over an accountable will and capable to interpret the unique historical circumstances in which the principle has to be positivized (given a positive form or shape ). The nature of modal norms is highlighted in terms of various examples, such as jural, historical, logical and aesthetic principles, with special reference to Derrida’s understanding of credit as economic trust or economic faith. In order to make this transcendental-empirical method understandable a more detailed account of the nature of modal aspects is given. The emphasis on ontic normativity also helps us to steer clear of conceptions of natural law , historicism and the shortcomings present in the idea of a social construction of the world . The guiding perspective flowing from this analysis is that modal norms can be articulated through an analysis of analogical structural moments on the law sides of the normative aspects. The last part of this article briefly introduces the distinction between modal and typical norms without entering into a discussion of the latter. (shrink)
By taking serious a remark once made by Paul Bernays, namely that an account of the nature of rationality should begin with concept-formation, this article sets out to uncover both the restrictive and the expansive boundaries of rationality. In order to do this some implications of the perennial philosophical problem of the “coherence of irreducibles” will be related to the acknowledgement of primitive terms and of their indefinability. Some critical remarks will be articulated in connection with an over-estimation of rationality (...) – concerning the influence of Kant's view of human understanding as the formal law-giver of nature (the supposedly “rational structure of the world”), and the apparently innocent (subjectivist) habit to refer to experiential entities as 'objects'. The other side of the coin will be highlighted with reference to those kinds of knowledge transcending the limits of concept-formation – culminating in formulating the four most basic idea-statements philosophy can articulate about the universe. What is found “in-between” these (restrictive) and (expansive) boundaries of rationality will then briefly be placed within the contours of a threefold perspective on the self-insufficiency of logicality – as merely one amongst many more dimensions conditioning human life. Although the meaning of the most basic logical principles – such as the logical principles of identity, non-contradiction and sufficient reason – will surface in our analysis, exploring some of the complex issues in this respect, such as the relationship between thought and language, will not be analysed. The important role of solidarity – as the basis of critique – will be explained and related both to the role of immanent criticism in rational conversation and the importance of acknowledging what is designated as the principle of the excluded antinomy (which in an ontic sense underlies the logical principle of non-contradiction). The last section of our discussion will succinctly illuminate the proper place of the inevitable trust we ought to have in rationality – while implicitly warning against the rationalistic over-estimation of it (its degeneration into a rationalist “faith in reason”). Our intention is to enhance an awareness of the reality that rationality is embedded in and borders on givens which are not open to further “rational” exploration – givens that both condition (in a constitutive sense) and transcend the limits of conceptual knowledge. Some of the distinctions and insights operative in our analysis are explained in Strauss 2000 and 2003. Yet, most of the systematic perspectives found in this analysis of rationality are only developed in this article for the first time. Since a different study is required to discuss related problems and results found within cognitive science, it cannot be discussed within one article. S. Afr. J. Philos. Vol.22(3) 2003: 247–266. (shrink)
This is a follow-up article of Strauss 2011. In order to transcend the shortcomings present in the dialectical legacy regarding normativity, this article further explores key elements within the dialectical tradition focused on the basic motive of nature and freedom and the effect it had on modern social contract theories which aimed at reconstructing human society from its “atoms,” the individuals. The transition to an alternative approach commences with a discussion of the distinction between conditions and what is conditioned. (...) It concerns a correlation found within all aspects of reality, namely that between the law side or norm side on the one hand and the factual side on the other. The basic assumption of this alternative view is found in the idea of ontic normativity which is rooted in a non-reductionist ontology. Against this broader background shortcomings in Kelsen’s theory of law are briefly traced to the dialectic of the causal and non-causal, before a positive characterization of the concept of a principle is given. It turned out that it is a compound basic concept in which terms from different modal aspects of reality are encapsulated at once. The recognition of ontic normativity therefore also enables a distinct methodology, the transcendental-empirical method, which makes it possible to distinguish between the pre-positive nature of a principle, as a universal and constant starting-point for human action, and the historically varying ways in which such a principle can be made valid, through a competent organ disposing over an accountable will and capable to interpret the unique historical circumstances in which the principle has to be positivized . The nature of modal norms is highlighted in terms of various examples, such as jural, historical, logical and aesthetic principles, with special reference to Derrida’s understanding of credit as economic trust or economic faith. In order to make this transcendental-empirical method understandable a more detailed account of the nature of modal aspects is given. The emphasis on ontic normativity also helps us to steer clear of conceptions of natural law, historicism and the shortcomings present in the idea of a social construction of the world. The guiding perspective flowing from this analysis is that modal norms can be articulated through an analysis of analogical structural moments on the law sides of the normative aspects. The last part of this article briefly introduces the distinction between modal and typical norms without entering into a discussion of the latter. (shrink)
Fiona Nicoll and Melissa Gregg met on the job at a new university having both moved from Sydney to Brisbane to take up their appointments. Here they share reflections on teaching a cultural theory course that they inherited from a prominent Australian Professor of Cultural Studies, offering the perspectives of two consecutive generations of cultural studies theorists now teaching in the field since the early 1990s. This situation gives rise to new interpretations regarding the value and uses of theory (...) in the classroom. Noting the subtle differences involved in teaching the same theoretical material in different cities, the ironies of teaching radical cultural theory in a conservative institutional environment, and the specific opportunities and challenges of teaching cultural studies theory as opposed to others, the article considers some of the silences teachers must also contend with in their classroom practice, drawing on and expanding the terrain established by Thorkelson's thesis. (shrink)
Most conceptions of human rights rely on metaphysical or theological assumptions that construe them as possible only as something imposed from outside existing communities. Most people, in other words, presume that human rights come from nature, God, or the United Nations. This book argues that reliance on such putative sources actually undermines human rights. Benjamin Gregg envisions an alternative; he sees human rights as locally developed, freely embraced, and indigenously valid. Human rights, he posits, can be created by the (...) average, ordinary people to whom they are addressed, and that they are valid only if embraced by those to whom they would apply. To view human rights in this manner is to increase the chances and opportunities that more people across the globe will come to embrace them. (shrink)
On Ordered Liberty goes beyond the liberal and conservative divide, asking its readers to think about the proper ends of human choice and actions in a free society. Beginning with the insights of Alexis de Tocqueville and some natural law sources, author Samuel Gregg suggests that integral law must be distinguished from most contemporary visions of freedom. This requires, he believes, a complete repudiation of utilitarian ideas as incompatable with human nature and further analysis of the basic but often (...) neglected-question: what is man? (shrink)
Les époques d’instabilité et de désordre politique coïncident généralement avec un développement de la science politique. En atteste une fois de plus la Correspondance qu’entretiennent ces « deux géants de la science politique », Léo Strauss et Eric Voegelin, tous deux contraints par la révolution national-socialiste à s’exiler aux États-Unis. Dans la cinquantaine de lettres échangées, dont le cœur se constitue au cous des années 1942-1953, le lecteur assiste à le gestation des deux grands théoriciens politiques de ce début (...) de siècle.Mais le désaccord irréductible entre les deux penseurs porte bien évidemment sur le rôle de la foi et de la philosophie politique, ainsi qu’en témoigne le sous-titre de cette Correspondance, désaccord dont le lecteur trouvera témoignage dans les quatre essais, datant de la période de la maturité des deux auteurs, dont trois inédits, qui composent la seconde partie de ce volume.La troisième partie rassemble huit esais d’éminents spécialistes de l’un ou l’autre penseur, commentant les problèmes soulevés dans la Correspondance et, plus généralement, dans l’œuvre des deux auteurs. (shrink)
Volition and Valuation is a typology of valuations, and conflicts between values, using a phenomenological approach that treats the difference between cognitive-thinking and value-thinking as a difference in the mode of intentionality towards the objects. It also suggests a method for axiology to bracket the validity of the values described, acknowledge that the observation of phenomena of consciousness goes beyond empirical observation, and has a character of pure intuition or an intuition of essences which are a source of metavaluative knowledge. (...) Michael Strauss explores the origins and nature of values, focusing on the norms and rules of valuations, called valuative values. He argues that valuative values cannot be reduced to a single value-type, nor do they always arise from a sensation or feeling, but can be created, chosen, and established. Strauss also refutes the method for measuring values devised by Plato in his Protagoras dialogue, and suggests middle ground between relativism and absolutism and between subjectivism and objectivism. (shrink)
One of the most certain truths in the world is Descartes' "I think, therefore I am". Descartes was so certain of the existence of some kind of essential _self_ that others have coined the term "Cartesian theater" to describe the sense that we all have of being the audience enjoying the rich play of our experiences. We tend to believe in an enduring self, independent of our individual percepts. Sometimes this virtual "self" in our mind, sitting in the audience of (...) the Cartesian theater who watches our thoughts is referred to as a homunculus. This is not necessarily to imply that most of us believe that the self or homunculus is an identifiable region of the brain like the pineal gland, just that at some level of organization, we assume that there is a self that is separate from the stuff that self experiences, remembers, thinks about, etc. (shrink)
Roger Penrose, in _The Emperor's New Mind_ (1989), writes about the way Mozart perceived music. Mozart did not play a piece in his mind in real time, or even speeded up, but could hold it before him all at once. We all do this, although usually for much shorter riffs than entire symphonies. I have argued that the all-at-onceness of our thoughts and perceptions is at least as inexplicable as what it is like to see red; I think the aural/temporal (...) all-at-onceness makes the point at least as vividly as the visual/spatial all-at-onceness of the curl of smoke in an art nouveau poster. (shrink)
There is a biological controversy of long standing between proponents of the Wilsonian view that all organisms of a certain class have at least one part that is a cell and proponents of the contradictory, or Dobellian, view that some organisms in the same class have no parts that are cells. The controversy is considered from the standpoint of the methodology of explication. It is concluded that on the grounds of prevalent biological usage, precision, utility and generality the Wilsonian view (...) may be defended successfully against attacks that have been made upon it. (shrink)
In "On Denoting" behauptet Russell, Freges "Sinn" sei so beschaffen, daß beim Versuch, von ihm - genauer: von einer bestimmten Sinn-Einheit - etwas auszusagen, eine Verwirrung entsteht. Er macht verschiedene Versuche, von dem Sinn einer hindeutenden Phrase zu sprechen, und es stellt sich immer wieder heraus, daß etwas anderes als das Beabsichtigte besprochen wurde. Im Folgenden will ich zeigen, daß diese Verwirrung nicht in Freges Unterscheidung zwischen Sinn und Bedeutung ihren Ursprung hat, sondern in einem Fehler, den Russell in seinen (...) Versuchen begeht; er verwendet nämlich zwei Zeichen, wo drei nötig sind. (shrink)