Das Buch "Der kleine Hobbit" gilt als Vorläufer der wichtigsten Fantasy-Bücher aller Zeiten - den drei Bänden von "Der Herr der Ringe". Mit diesem Buch über die Abenteuer des Hobbits Bilbo Beutlin, zusammen mit 13 Zwergen und dem Zauberer Gandalf, schuf J.R.R. Tolkien schon jene Fantasiewelt, die uns alle später beim "Herrn der Ringe" nachhaltig beeindruckte. Elben, Trolle, Orks und ein Drache halten kleine und große Leser schon seit Jahren in Atem. Man stelle sich folgende Geschichte vor: Ein Mensch wohnt (...) in einer Höhle und lebt dort ein ruhiges, geordnetes und unaufgeregtes Leben, das schon seit Geburt an in den gleichen Bahnen verläuft. Eines Tages verlässt der Mensch seine Höhle und geht hinaus in die Welt. Dort sieht und erfährt er Dinge, die ihn nachhaltig verändern und reifen lassen. Er wird nach dieser Reise nie wieder derselbe sein wie vorher. Es ist nicht ungewöhnlich, wenn das bekannt klingt: Es handelt sich dabei um Platons Höhlengleichnis - eines der wichtigsten Gleichnisse bzw. Beispiele der Philosophie, genauer der Erkenntnistheorie. Die Handlung passt aber auch genau auf die Geschichte eines anderen Autors: J.R.R. Tolkien und sein Buch "Der kleine Hobbit". Auch hier verlässt eine Person die sichere und geordnete Umgebung des Auenlandes und zieht in die Welt hinaus. Diese abenteuerliche Reise wird ihn verändern und - wie wir alle wissen - mit dem Fund des EINEN Ringes für Mittelerde weitere große Folgen nach sich ziehen. Es ergibt also Sinn, den "kleinen Hobbit" mit seinen Inhalten unter der philosophischen Linse zu betrachten. Es ist nicht nur eine Kindergeschichte, sondern eine Auseinandersetzung mit Werten wie Mut, Freundschaft, Demut, Gnade und Weisheit - um nur einige zu nennen. (shrink)
Why do we need government? A common view is that government is necessary to constrain people's conduct toward one another, because people are not sufficiently virtuous to exercise the requisite degree of control on their own. This view was expressed perspicuously, and artfully, by liberal thinker James Madison, in The Federalist, number 51, where he wrote: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” Madison's idea is shared by writers ranging across the political spectrum. It finds clear expression in (...) the Marxist view that the state will gradually wither away after a communist revolution, as unalienated “communist man” emerges. And it is implied by the libertarian view that government's only legitimate function is to control the unfortunate and immoral tendency of some individuals to violate the moral rights of others. (shrink)
It is commonplace to suppose that the theory of individual rational choice is considerably less problematic than the theory of collective rational choice. In particular, it is often assumed by philosophers, economists, and other social scientists that an individual's choices among outcomes accurately reflect that individual's underlying preferences or values. Further, it is now well known that if an individual's choices among outcomes satisfy certain plausible axioms of rationality or consistency, that individual's choice-behavior can be interpreted as maximizing expected utility (...) on a utility scale that is unique up to a linear transformation. Hence, there is, in principle, an empirically respectable method of measuring individuals' values and a single unified schema for explaining their actions as value maximizing. (shrink)
Gregory of Nyssa made important contributions to both theological thought and the understanding of the spiritual life. He was especially significant in adapting the thought of Origen to fourth century orthodoxy. The early treatise on the inscriptions of the Psalms shows the early stages of the development of Gregory's thought. This book presents the first translation of the treatise in a modern language. The annotations show Gregory's indebtedness to the thought of classical antiquity as well as to (...) the Bible. The Introduction sets forth the structure of Gregory's treatise, and places it in the context of earlier Christian commentaries on the Psalms. It shows how his hermeneutical approach was influenced by both Iamblichus the Neo-Platonist and Origen. Finally, Dr Heine compares Gregory's understanding of the stages of the spiritual life in the treatise with that in his later and more widely known writings on the life of Moses and the Song of Songs. (shrink)
It is, perhaps, a propitious time to discuss the economic rights of disabled persons. In recent years, the media in the United States have re-ported on such notable events as: students at the nation's only college for the deaf stage a successful protest campaign to have a deaf individual ap-pointed president of their institution; a book by a disabled British physicist on the origins of the universe becomes a best seller; a pitcher with only one arm has a successful rookie (...) season in major league baseball; a motion-picture actor wins an Oscar for his portrayal of a wheelchair-bound person, beating out another nominee playing another wheelchair-bound person; a cancer patient wins an Olympic gold medal in wrestling; a paralyzed mother trains her children to accept discipline by inserting their hands in her mouth to be gently bitten when punishment is due; and a paraplegic rock climber scales the sheer four-thousand-foot wall of Yosemite Valley's El Capitan. Most significantly, in 1990, the United States Congress passed an important bill – the Americans with Disabili-ties Act – extending to disabled people employment and access-related protections afforded to members of other disadvantaged groups by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (shrink)
In fact, it requires two major social institutions--morality and government--working in a coordinated fashion to do so. This is one of the main themes of Hobbes's philosophy that will be developed in this book.
This long-awaited study of the most enigmatic figure of Greek philosophy reclaims Socrates' ground-breaking originality. Written by a leading historian of Greek thought, it argues for a Socrates who, though long overshadowed by his successors Plato and Aristotle, marked the true turning point in Greek philosophy, religion and ethics. The quest for the historical figure focuses on the Socrates of Plato's earlier dialogues, setting him in sharp contrast to that other Socrates of later dialogues, where he is used as a (...) mouthpiece for Plato's often anti-Socratic doctrine. At the heart of the book is the paradoxical nature of Socratic thought. But the paradoxes are explained, not explained away. The book highlights the tensions in the Socratic search for the answer to the question 'How should we live?' Conceived as a divine mandate, the search is carried out through elenctic argument, and dominated by an uncompromising rationalism. The magnetic quality of Socrates' personality is allowed to emerge throughout the book. Clearly and forcefully written, philosophically sophisticated but entirely accessible to non-specialists, this book will be of major importance and interest to all those studying ancient philosophy and the history of Western thought. (shrink)
This is the companion volume to Gregory Vlastos' highly acclaimed work Socrates: Ironist and Moral Philosopher. Four ground-breaking papers which laid the basis for his understanding of Socrates are collected here, in revised form: they examine Socrates' elenctic method of investigative argument, his disavowal of knowledge, his concern for definition, and the complications of his relationship with the Athenian democracy. The fifth chapter is a new and provocative discussion of Socrates' arguments in the Protagoras and Laches. The epilogue 'Socrates (...) and Vietnam' suggests that Socrates was not, as Plato claimed, the most just man of his time. The papers have been prepared for publication by Professor Myles Burnyeat with the minimum of editorial intervention. (shrink)
In a well-known article, 1 John Hick argues that the proposition ‘God exists' is, in principle, verifiable but is not falsifiable. Essentially, his argument is that while no experience in this life could conclusively disprove the existence of the Christian God, certain experiences one might have in the after-life would conclusively verify the existence of the Christian God. In particular, he argues that post mortem experiences of Christ ruling in the Kingdom of God would constitute a verification of the existence (...) of the Christian God. In this paper, I shall argue that on Hick's own assumptions, the existence of the Christian God turns out to be falsifiable, in principle, as well as verifiable. (shrink)
According to Brentano in a much-quoted passage, Every psychological phenomenon is characterized by…intentional inherent existence of … an object… In the idea something is conceived, in the judgement something is recognized or discovered, in loving loved, in hating hated, in desiring desired, and so on.
Recreative Minds develops a philosophical theory of imagination that draws upon the latest work in psychology. This theory illuminates the use of imagination in coming to terms with art, its role in enabling us to live as social beings, and the psychological consequences of disordered imagination. The authors offer a lucid exploration of a fascinating subject.
This book is a sustained examination of issues in the philosophy of ecology that have been a source of controversy since the emergence of ecology as an explicit scientific discipline. The controversies revolve around the idea of a balance of nature, the possibility of general ecological knowledge and the role of model-building in ecology. The Science of the Struggle for Existence is also a detailed treatment of these issues that incorporates both a comprehensive investigation of the relevant ecological literature and (...) the development of an explicit theoretical framework in the philosophy of science. It addresses issues in the philosophy of ecology that are of particular importance for the deployment of ecology in the solution of environmental problems. It will have a cross-disciplinary appeal and will interest students and professionals in science, the philosophy of science, and environmental studies as well as policy-makers. (shrink)
John Dewey, widely known as "America's philosopher," provided important insights into education and political philosophy, but surprisingly never set down a complete moral or ethical philosophy. Gregory Fernando Pappas presents the first systematic and comprehensive treatment of Dewey's ethics. By providing a pluralistic account of moral life that is both unified and coherent, Pappas considers ethics to be key to an understanding of Dewey's other philosophical insights, especially his views on democracy. Pappas unfolds Dewey's ethical vision by looking carefully (...) at the virtues and values of ideal character and community. Showing that Dewey's ethics are compatible with the rest of his philosophy, Pappas corrects the reputation of American pragmatism as a philosophy committed to skepticism and relativism. Readers will find a robust and boldly detailed view of Dewey's ethics in this groundbreaking book. (shrink)
Philosophers have recently argued that self-fulfilling beliefs constitute an important counter-example to the widely accepted theses that we ought not and cannot believe at will. Cases of self-fulfilling belief are thought to constitute a special class where we enjoy the epistemic freedom to permissibly believe for pragmatic reasons, because whatever we choose to believe will end up true. In this paper, I argue that this view fails to distinguish between the aim of acquiring a true belief and the aim of (...) believing what is true. While one cannot usually fail to establish that one will acquire a true belief without establishing the truth of the believed proposition, in the case self-fulfilling belief the two can come apart. I argue that insofar as the aim of belief has to do with determining whether the believed proposition is true, it will be both impossible and impermissible to believe for pragmatic reasons. (shrink)
This paper examines the view that desires are beliefs about normative reasons for action. It describes the view, and briefly sketches three arguments for it. But the focus of the paper is defending the view from objections. The paper argues that the view is consistent with the distinction between the direction of fit of beliefs and desires, that it is consistent with the existence of appetites such as hunger, that it can account for counterexamples that aim to show that beliefs (...) about reasons are not sufficient for desire, such as weakness of will, and that it can account for counterexamples that aim to show that beliefs about reasons are not necessary for desire, such as addiction. The paper also shows how it is superior to the view that desires are appearances of the good. (shrink)
A popular view in philosophy of science contends that scientific reasoning is objective to the extent that the appraisal of scientific hypotheses is not influenced by moral, political, economic, or social values, but only by the available evidence. A large body of results in the psychology of motivated-reasoning has put pressure on the empirical adequacy of this view. The present study extends this body of results by providing direct evidence that the moral offensiveness of a scientific hypothesis biases explanatory judgment (...) along several dimensions, even when prior credence in the hypothesis is controlled for. Furthermore, it is shown that this bias is insensitive to an economic incentive to be accurate in the evaluation of the evidence. These results contribute to call into question the attainability of the ideal of a value-free science. (shrink)
An analysis of phaedo 96c-606c seeks to demonstrate that when forms are cited as either "safe" or "clever" aitiai they are not meant to function as either final or efficient causes, But as logico-Metaphysical essences which have no causal efficacy whatever, But which do have definite (and far-Reaching) implications for the causal order of the physical universe, For it is assumed that a causal statement, Such as "fire causes heat" will be true if, And only if, The asserted physical bond (...) between fire and heat instantiates the eternal and logically necessary relation of entailment between the instantiated forms, Fire, Heat. (shrink)
In close collaboration with the late Matthew Lipman, Ann Margaret Sharp pioneered the theory and practice of ‘the community of philosophical inquiry’ (CPI) as a way of practicing ‘Philosophy for Children’ and prepared thousands of philosophers and teachers throughout the world in this practice. In Community of Inquiry with Ann Margaret Sharp represents a long-awaited and much-needed anthology of Sharp’s insightful and influential scholarship, bringing her enduring legacy to new generations of academics, postgraduate students and researchers in the fields of (...) education, philosophy, philosophy of education, Philosophy for Children and philosophy of childhood. -/- Sharp developed a unique perspective on the interdependence of education, philosophy, personhood and community that remains influential in many parts of the world. This perspective was shaped not only by Sharp’s work in philosophy and education, but also by her avid studies in literature, feminism, aesthetic theory and ecumenical spirituality. Containing valuable contributions from senior figures in the fields in which Sharp produced her most focused scholarship, the chapters in this book present a critical overview of how Sharp’s ideas relate to education, philosophy of education, and the Philosophy for Children movement as a whole. -/- The historical and philosophical nature of this collection means that it will be a vital resource for philosophers and educators. It should also be of great interest to teacher educators and those involved in the study of pragmatism and feminism, as well as the history of education across the globe, particularly in the United States of America. (shrink)
This essay presents results about a deviation from independence measure called focused correlation . This measure explicates the formal relationship between probabilistic dependence of an evidence set and the incremental confirmation of a hypothesis, resolves a basic question underlying Peter Klein and Ted Warfield's ‘truth-conduciveness’ problem for Bayesian coherentism, and provides a qualified rebuttal to Erik Olsson's claim that there is no informative link between correlation and confirmation. The generality of the result is compared to recent programs in Bayesian epistemology (...) that attempt to link correlation and confirmation by utilizing a conditional evidential independence condition. Several properties of focused correlation are also highlighted. Introduction Correlation Measures 2.1 Standard covariance and correlation measures 2.2 The Wayne–Shogenji measure 2.3 Interpreting correlation measures 2.4 Correlation and evidential independence Focused Correlation Conclusion Appendix CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Recent articles on teaching controversial topics in schools have employed Michael Hand's distinction between “directive teaching,” in which teachers attempt to persuade students of correct positions on topics that are not rationally controversial, and “nondirective teaching,” in which teachers avoid persuading students on topics that are rationally controversial. However, the four methods of directive teaching discussed in the literature — explicit directive teaching, “steering,” “soft-directive teaching,” and “school ethos endorsement” — make rational persuasion problematic, if not self-defeating. In this essay, (...) Maughn Rollins Gregory argues that “procedurally directive teaching” offers an alternative to such approaches because it derives from the intention to guide inquiry rather than to persuade. He demonstrates that the conceptual frameworks of perfectionism and antiperfectionism, which have been proposed for directive teaching on same-sex marriage, can instead be used to generate open questions for student inquiry, as can a third, civil rights framework. Given these considerations, Gregory maintains that pedagogical guidance on this topic should be procedurally directive rather than substantively directive. Further, the fact that legal, political, and ethics scholars disagree about which framework is more appropriate to the issue of same-sex marriage indicates that such arguments cannot be dispositive of the pedagogical issue of how to frame classroom discussions about it. Rather, students should inquire into this meta-level framing dispute for themselves. (shrink)
Based on a qualitative survey among 203 US workers active on the microwork platform Amazon Mechanical Turk, we analyze potential biases embedded in the institutional setting provided by on-demand crowdworking platforms and their effect on perceived workplace fairness. We explore the triadic relationship between employers, workers, and platform providers, focusing on the power of platform providers to design settings and processes that affect workers’ fairness perceptions. Our focus is on workers’ awareness of the new institutional setting, frames applied to the (...) mediating platform, and a differentiated analysis of distinct fairness dimensions. (shrink)
The Oxford Companion to the Mind is a classic. Published in 1987, to huge acclaim, it immediately took its place as the indispensable guide to the mysteries - and idiosyncracies - of the human mind. In no other book can the reader find discussions of concepts such as language, memory, and intelligence, side by side with witty definitions of common human experiences such as the 'cocktail-party' and 'halo' effects, and the least effort principle. Richard Gregory again brings his wit, (...) wisdom, and expertise to bear on this most elusive of subjects. Research into the mind and brain has moved on in bounds in recent years, and interest in the subject has never been so high. There has been a shift in focus away from Freud's concept of the unconscious onto consciousness itself. The new edition of the Companion includes three 'mini symposia' - on consciousness, brain scanning, and artificial intelligence - with contributions from a number of specialists, and encompassing a range of approaches. Cultural as well as scientific in approach, this accessible book offers authoritative descriptions and analysis. With new entries on controversial topics such as artificial life, attachment theory, caffeine, cruetly, drama, extra-terrestrial intelligence, genetics of mental illness, imagination, lying, puzzles, and twins, this highly-anticipated second edition explores the most intriguing of subjects. (shrink)