Liberalism is commonly believed, especially by its exponents, to be opposed to interference by way of enforcing value judgments or concerning itself with the individual's morality. My concern is to show that this is not so and that liberalism is all the better for this. Many elements have contributed to liberal thought as we know it today, the major elements being the liberalism of which Locke is the most celebrated exponent, which is based upon a belief in natural, human rights; (...) the liberalism of which Kant is the best known exponent, which is based on respect for persons as ends in themselves; and the liberalism of Bentham and the Mills, which is based upon utilitarian ethical theories and most especially with concern for pleasure and the reduction of pain. These different elements of liberalism have led to different emphases and different political and social arrangements, but all have involved a concern to safeguard values and to use force to that end. Today they constitute strands of thought which go to make up liberal thought as we now know it, hence it is not simply a historical fact about liberalism, but a fact about its philosophical basis, that liberalism is firmly involved in certain value and moral commitments. In the remainder of this paper I shall seek to bring this out. (shrink)
Thomas J.J. Altizer is one of the most important theologians of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, and all radical theology must pass through and be conversant with his work and the historical significance of his earlier contributions. This chapter presents Altizer’s essential ideas in a straightforward and accessible manner and provides a guide for the beginning reader.
Since his 1977 The Idol and Distance, Jean-Luc Marion has almost continually drawn upon the work of the 5th-6th century Christian mystic Pseudo-Denys the Areopagite, not only within his explicitly theological considerations, but throughout his Cartesian and phenomenological work as well. The present essay maps out the influence of Denys upon Marion’s thinking, organizing Marion’s career into a three-part periodization, each of which corresponds to a distinct portion of the Dionysian corpus—in Marion’s work of the seventies the Celestial Hierarchy and (...) the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy are foregrounded, in the eighties this emphasis is shifted to the The Divine Names, and in the nineties The Mystical Theology takes center stage. Insofar as these emphases directly correlate to the unique tasks that Marion has set himself in each of these various periods, Dionysius is revealed as a hermeneutical key, unlocking and clarifying crucial aspects of Marion’s theologically-inflected phenomenology. (shrink)
Heinrich Popitz’s Phenomena of Power aims to uncover power as “a universal component in the genesis and operation of human societies”. In order to uncover this “universal” concept of power, Popitz employs Husserl’s method of the “imaginative variation” [Phantasievariation]. Yet, contrary to phenomenology’s traditionally descriptive posture, Phenomena of Power’s project is at once descriptive and normative—seeking not only to describe power, but to also describe the way in which power can be remade. In the present paper it is argued that (...) this normative component of Popitz’s project offers the burgeoning field of critical phenomenology an illustration of the way in which Husserl’s “imaginative variation” might be employed not only as a descriptive tool of pure essences, but also as an instrument in the refashioning of social reality. (shrink)
Quentin Meillassoux’s 2006 After Finitude offered a sharp critique of the phenomenological project, charging that phenomenology was one of the “two principal media” of correlationism—ultimately reducible to an “extreme idealism.” Meillassoux grounds this accusation in an account of givenness that presupposes that “every variety of givenness” finds its genesis within the positing of the subject. However, this critique fails to hit its mark precisely because it presupposes an account of intuitive givenness that is entirely foreign to the phenomenological project. Quite (...) against Meillassoux’s conflation of givenness, the world-for-us, and the positing subject—the very centre of the phenomenological project is the recognition that intuitive givenness cannot be reduced to the constructive activity of the subject. Givenness is marked by a heterogeneity; givenness refers to what is given to us, not to what emerges from us. (shrink)
This study aims to make for a better understanding of the term 'Aspects' in linguistic theory. Its most current application is found in studies on Slavonic languages. In the abundant literature on the contrast between the Durative (or Imperfective) Aspect and the Nondurative (or Perfective) Aspect, their occurrence has been taken to be restricted to Slavonic and some other languages, generally speaking to languages whose Verbal systems are morphologically characte.rized with regard to this opposition. The central hypothesis of transformational-generative theory (...) that a dis- tinction should be made between the deep structure and the surface structure of a language, entails the possibility for morphological systematicity to be nothing more than a manifestation of a general or even universal re- gularity expressed, for example, in the syntactic component of grammers of other languages. It will be shown in this study that the opposition between the two Aspects is present in Dutch, and as can be seen from the translated material, also in English, and that it should be described as the expression of regularities of a primarily syntactic-semantic nature. (shrink)
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The long-term persistence of neurotic symptoms, such as anxiety, poses difficult problems for any psychological theory. An attempt is made to revive the Watson-Mowrer conditioning theory and to avoid the many criticisms directed against it in the past. It is suggested that recent research has produced changes in learning theory that can be used to render this possible. In the first place, the doctrine of equipotentiality has been shown to be wrong, and some such concept as Seligman's “preparedness” is required, (...) that is the notion that certain CS are biologically prepared to be more readily connected with anxiety responses than others. In the second place, the law of extinction has to be amended, and the law of incubation or enhancement added, according to which the exposure of the CS-only may, under certain specified conditions, have the effect of increasing the strength of the CR, rather than reducing it. The major conditions favouring incubation are Pavlovian B conditioning, that is a type of conditioning in which the CR is a drive; a strong UCS, and short exposure of the CS-only. (shrink)
Although the view that punishment is to be justified on utilitarian grounds has obvious appeal, an examination of utilitarianism reveals that, consistently and accurately interpreted, it dictates unjust punishments which are unacceptable to the common moral consciousness. In this rule?utilitarianism is no more satisfactory than is act?utilitarianism. Although the production of the greatest good, or the greatest happiness, of the greatest number is obviously a relevant consideration when determining which punishments may properly be inflicted, the question as to which punishment (...) is just is a distinct and more basic question and one which must be answered before we can determine which punishments are morally permissible. That a retributivist theory, which is a particular application of a general principle of justice, can account more satisfactorily for our notion of justice in punishment is a positive reason in its support. (shrink)