Celebrating the remarkable career of jurist Harold J. Berman, the essays in this volume demonstrate that Berman's contributions to Russian studies, international trade law, legal history, philosophy of law, and law and religion have firmly established him as part of the tradition of our greatest American jurists.
Scepticism, a philosophical tradition that casts doubt on our ability to gain knowledge of the world and suggests suspending judgment in the face of uncertainty, has been influential since its beginnings in ancient Greece. Harald Thorsrud provides an engaging, rigorous introduction to the central themes, arguments, and general concerns of ancient Scepticism, from its beginnings with Pyrrho of Elis to the writings of Sextus Empiricus in the second century A.D. Thorsrud explores the differences among Sceptics and examines in (...) particular the separation of the Scepticism of Pyrrho from its later form—Academic Scepticism—the result of its ideas being introduced into Plato's Academy in the third century B.C. Steering an even course through the many differences of scholarly opinion surrounding Scepticism, the book also provides a balanced appraisal of the philosophy's enduring significance by showing why it remains so interesting and how ancient interpretations differ from modern ones. _Copub: Acumen Publishing Limited _. (shrink)
This is a modern, annotated translation of antiquity's only extant commentary on Plato's moral and political dialogue Gorgias , in which the author defends ancient Greek philosophy and culture at a time when Christianity has almost replaced it. The first translation into any modern language of a central work in Platonic studies is accompanied by annotations which guide the reader in understanding the obscurities of the text, an introduction to the main issues raised by it, and a bibliography of the (...) modern literature. (shrink)
The danger of being a gentleman : reflections on the ruling class in England.-On the study of politics.-Law and justice in soviet Russia.-The judicial function.-The English constitution and French public opinion,1789-1794.-Nationalism and the future of civilization.-Mr. Justice Holmes: for his eighty-ninth birthday.
I distinguish two varieties of ancient skepticism on the basis of their competing attitudes towards reason. Pyrrhonian skeptics, according to Sextus Empiricus, not only doubt our ability to arrive at true beliefs, but also the value of doing so, whereas the Academics, as portrayed by Cicero, are committed to the view that true beliefs are as beneficial as they are difficult to acquire. Next, I examine Academic epistemology, focusing on one of Cicero's most important and problematic philosophical coinages---probabilitas . He (...) offers this term as the Academic's fallible criterion of judgment and as an alternative to the Stoic criterion which even more problematically guarantees certainty. The Academic, following Plato's Socrates, subjects his beliefs to close scrutiny in order to see whether they can survive refutation. By seeking out these 'dialectical survivors' the Academic seeks to eliminate the false beliefs from the set of beliefs that seem probabile. ;After discussing Academic epistemology, I examine some ethical implications of this view. The Stoics claim that no amount of non-moral goods can add to the eudaimonia of the sage, for he is in possession of the only genuine good, virtue. And virtue, for the Stoics is the healthy state of the psyche which results from deep, systematic knowledge. Here again, Cicero offers an Academic alternative. He maintains the Stoic's naturalistic ethical formula that a virtuous life is one lived in accordance with nature, but his interpretation reflects his epistemic modesty. To live in accordance with nature turns out to mean 'insofar as it is morally intelligible'. ;Finally, I argue for the plausibility of Cicero's claim to practice a method which originates with Socrates and after its revival in the third century BCE continuosly flourished to his own age . I conclude that Cicero's account of the Academy is both historically plausible and philosophically interesting; and thus Cicero should be taken seriously as a philosopher in his. own right and not merely as a doxographer. (shrink)
Harald Thorsrud - Cicero on his Academic Predecessors: the Fallibilism of Arcesilaus and Carneades - Journal of the History of Philosophy 40:1 Journal of the History of Philosophy 40.1 1-18 Cicero on his Academic Predecessors: the Fallibilism of Arcesilaus and Carneades Harald Thorsrud IN AN IMPORTANT PAPER, Couissin argued for what has come to be called the dialectical interpretation of Academic skepticism. On this interpretation, Arcesilaus and Carneades practiced the same, purely dialectical method -- they would elicit assent (...) to premises characteristic of their interlocutor's position and then derive unacceptable consequences exclusively on the basis of those premises. This method allowed them to remain uncommitted to the premises as well as the conclusions of their arguments. They would simply draw logical consequences from their opponents' own premises for the sake of refutation. This is in keeping with the current consensus that an ancient skeptic is one who has no beliefs, or at least no beliefs of a problematically dogmatic sort. Consequently, the methods of ancient skeptics, including Academic skeptics, are thought to be strictly negative, seeking only the elimination of belief. So when we come to Cicero's Philonian version of Academic methodology and find that it explicitly includes provisions for the acquisition of fallible beliefs, it is no surprise that commentators who are sympathetic to the dialectical interpretation tend to view.. (shrink)
In this volume, leading philosophers of psychiatry examine psychiatric classification systems, including the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, asking whether current systems are sufficient for effective diagnosis, treatment, and research. Doing so, they take up the question of whether mental disorders are natural kinds, grounded in something in the outside world. Psychiatric categories based on natural kinds should group phenomena in such a way that they are subject to the same type of causal explanations and respond similarly to (...) the same type of causal interventions. When these categories do not evince such groupings, there is reason to revise existing classifications. The contributors all question current psychiatric classifications systems and the assumptions on which they are based. They differ, however, as to why and to what extent the categories are inadequate and how to address the problem. Topics discussed include taxometric methods for identifying natural kinds, the error and bias inherent in DSM categories, and the complexities involved in classifying such specific mental disorders as "oppositional defiance disorder" and pathological gambling. -/- Contributors George Graham, Nick Haslam, Allan Horwitz, Harold Kincaid, Dominic Murphy, Jeffrey Poland, Nancy Nyquist Potter, Don Ross, Dan Stein, Jacqueline Sullivan, Serife Tekin, Peter Zachar. (shrink)
When the whole is greater than the sum of the parts--indeed, so great that the sum far transcends the parts and represents something utterly new and different--we call that phenomenon emergence. When the chemicals diffusing in the primordial waters came together to form the first living cell, that was emergence. When the activities of the neurons in the brain result in mind, that too is emergence. In The Emergence of Everything, one of the leading scientists involved in the study of (...) complexity, Harold J. Morowitz, takes us on a sweeping tour of the universe, a tour with 28 stops, each one highlighting a particularly important moment of emergence. For instance, Morowitz illuminates the emergence of the stars, the birth of the elements and of the periodic table, and the appearance of solar systems and planets. We look at the emergence of living cells, animals, vertebrates, reptiles, and mammals, leading to the great apes and the appearance of humanity. He also examines tool making, the evolution of language, the invention of agriculture and technology, and the birth of cities. And as he offers these insights into the evolutionary unfolding of our universe, our solar system, and life itself, Morowitz also seeks out the nature of God in the emergent universe, the God posited by Spinoza, Bruno, and Einstein, a God Morowitz argues we can know through a study of the laws of nature. Written by one of our wisest scientists, The Emergence of Everything offers a fascinating new way to look at the universe and the natural world, and it makes an important contribution to the dialogue between science and religion. (shrink)
Another title in the reissued Oxford Classic Texts in the Physical Sciences series, Jeffrey's Theory of Probability, first published in 1939, was the first to develop a fundamental theory of scientific inference based on the ideas of Bayesian statistics. His ideas were way ahead of their time and it is only in the past ten years that the subject of Bayes' factors has been significantly developed and extended. Until recently the two schools of statistics were distinctly different and set apart. (...) Recent work has changed all that and today's graduate students and researchers all require an understanding of Bayesian ideas. This book is their starting point. (shrink)
Revolutionizing received opinion of Taoism's origins in light of historic new discoveries, Harold D. Roth has uncovered China's oldest mystical text--the original expression of Taoist philosophy--and presents it here with a complete translation and commentary. Over the past twenty-five years, documents recovered from the tombs of China's ancient elite have sparked a revolution in scholarship about early Chinese thought, in particular the origins of Taoist philosophy and religion. In _Original Tao,_ Harold D. Roth exhumes the seminal text of (...) Taoism--_Inward Training _--not from a tomb but from the pages of the _Kuan Tzu,_ a voluminous text on politics and economics in which this mystical tract had been "buried" for centuries. _Inward Training_ is composed of short poetic verses devoted to the practice of breath meditation, and to the insights about the nature of human beings and the form of the cosmos derived from this practice. In its poetic form and tone, the work closely resembles the _Tao-te Ching_; moreover, it clearly evokes Taoism's affinities to other mystical traditions, notably aspects of Hinduism and Buddhism. Roth argues that _Inward Training_ is the foundational text of early Taoism and traces the book to the mid-fourth century B.C.. These verses contain the oldest surviving expressions of a method for mystical "inner cultivation," which Roth identifies as the basis for all early Taoist texts, including the _Chuang Tzu_ and the world-renowned _Tao-te Ching._ With these historic discoveries, he reveals the possibility of a much deeper continuity between early "philosophical" Taoism and the later Taoist religion than scholars had previously suspected. _Original Tao_ contains an elegant and luminous complete translation of the original text. Roth's comprehensive analysis explains what _Inward Training_ meant to the people who wrote it, how this work came to be "entombed" within the _Kuan Tzu,_ and why the text was largely overlooked after the early Han period. (shrink)
From the celebrated author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People , a profound and practical book about doing well by doing good. For decades now, from the pulpit and through his writing, Harold Kushner has been helping people navigate the rough patches of life: loss, guilt, crises of faith. Now, in this compelling new work, he ad-dresses an equally important issue: our craving for significance, the need to know that our lives and our choices mean something. We (...) sometimes do great things, and sometimes terrible things, to reassure ourselves that we matter to the world. We sometimes confuse fame, power, and wealth with true achievement. But finally we need to think of ourselves as good people, and we are troubled when we compromise our integrity in the pursuit of what we think of as success. Harold Kushner tells us that the path to a truly successful and significant life is through friendship, through family, and through acts of generosity and self-sacrifice. He describes how, in affecting the life of even one person in a positive way, we make a difference in the world, and prove that we do in fact matter. Persuasive and sympathetic, anecdotal and commonsensical, Living a Life That Matters inspires and uplifts. (shrink)
David Furley's work on the cosmologies of classical antiquity is structured around what he calls "two pictures of the world." The first picture, defended by both Plato and Aristotle, portrays the universe, or all that there is (to pan), as identical with our particular ordered world-system. Thus, the adherents of this view claim that the universe is finite and unique. The second system, defended by Leucippus and Democritus, portrays an infinite universe within which our particular kosmos is only one of (...) countless kosmoi. Aristotle's argument in De caelo I.9 that the world is necessarily unique is an important contribution to this debate. This argument holds interest because it shows Aristotle wrestling with an apparent inconsistency in his own philosophy, as deeply-held convictions within his cosmology collide with an equally deeply-held conviction within his metaphysics. The following three principles, each of which Aristotle appears committed to, are inconsistent: -/- The cosmic uniqueness principle. The world is necessarily unique. The cosmic form principle. The world is an ordered, structured unity. As such, the world has a form. The possibility of multiple instantiation principle. For all F, if F is a form, it is possible that there exist multiple Fs. In De caelo I.9, Aristotle argues that we can establish the uniqueness of the universe, reject the multiple instantiation principle, yet still retain the distinction between 'this world' and 'world in general,' if the following is true (as it is): the world takes up all the matter that exists. Aristotle illustrates this argument with one of the stranger analogies in his corpus: imagine an aquiline nose that takes up all the flesh in the universe. If this were so, then there could not exist any other aquiline objects whatsoever. (For this reason, we dub the De caelo I.9 argument the 'Cosmic Nose argument.') This paper is an interpretation of how this argument is supposed to proceed and an assessment of its success. The first section states the problem Aristotle is confronted with, sorts through Aristotle's various statements of the Cosmic Nose argument, which exhibit some sloppiness, and reconstructs charitably a single argument. We also spend some time examining the significance of Aristotle's example of a gigantic aquiline nose. We argue that, even charitably reconstructed, the argument appears to commit a serious modal fallacy. The remainder of the paper explores whether this modal fallacy can be overcome. We conclude that, although not a cogent argument for the uniqueness of the world (as this would require a significant revision of our current astronomy), the Cosmic Nose argument does succeed on its own terms. However, it should not be regarded as a free-standing argument for the uniqueness of the world. Instead, it depends crucially on the earlier argument in De caelo I.8 for the universe's uniqueness; De caelo I.9 should be viewed as an attempt to extend the conclusion of De caelo I.8 and to show how this conclusion can be made consistent with Aristotle's metaphysical principles about the nature of form. (shrink)
The strong word and stance issue only from a strict will, a will that dares the error of reading all of reality as a text, and all prior texts as openings for its own totalizing and unique interpretations. Strong poets present themselves as looking for truth in the world, searching in reality and in tradition, but such a stance, as Nietzsche said, remains under the mastery of desire, of instinctual drives. So, in effect, the strong poet wants pleasure and not (...) truth; he wants what Nietzsche named as "the belief in truth and the pleasurable effects of this belief." No strong poet can admit that Nietzsche was accurate in this insight, and no critic need fear that any strong poet will accept and so be hurt by demystification. The concern of this book, as of my earlier studies in poetic misprision, is only with strong poets, which in this series of chapters is exemplified by the major sequence of High Romantic British and American poets: Blake, Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, Tennyson, Browning, Yeats, Emerson, Whitman, and Stevens, but also throughout by two of the strongest poets in the European Romantic tradition: Nietzsche and Freud. By "poet" I therefore do not mean only verse-writer, as the instance of Emerson also should make clear. Harold Bloom is DeVane Professor of the Humanities at Yale University. This article is the first chapter of his new book, Poetry and Repression, to be published by the Yale University Press. The book completes a tetralogy, of which the earlier volumes are The Anxiety of Influence, A Map of Misreading, and Kabbalah and Criticism. See also: "Formalism, Savagery, and Care; or, The Function of Criticism Once Again" by Jerome J. McGann in Vol. 2, No. 3; "The Poet as Elaborator: Analytical Psychology as a Critical Paradigm" by David D. Cooper in Vol. 6, No. 1. (shrink)
A scientific theory is originally based on a particular set of observations. How can it be extended to apply outside this original range of cases? This question, which is fundamental to natural philosophy, is considered in detail in this book, which was originally published in 1931, and first published as this third edition in 1973. Sir Harold begins with the principle that 'it is possible to learn from experience and to make inferences from beyond the data directly known to (...) sensation'. He goes on to analyse this principle, discuss its status and investigate its logical consequences. The result is a book of importance to anyone interested in the foundations of modern scientific method. His thesis provides a consistent account of how the theories proposed by physicists have been derived from, and are supported by, experimental data. (shrink)
Revolutionizing received opinion of Taoism's origins in light of historic new discoveries, Harold D. Roth has uncovered China's oldest mystical text -- the original expression of Taoist philosophy -- and presents it here with a complete translation and commentary. Over the past twenty-five years, documents recovered from the tombs of China's ancient elite have sparked a revolution in scholarship about early Chinese thought, in particular the origins of Taoist philosophy and religion. In _Original Tao,_ Harold D. Roth exhumes (...) the seminal text of Taoism -- _Inward Training _ -- not from a tomb but from the pages of the _Kuan Tzu,_ a voluminous text on politics and economics in which this mystical tract had been "buried" for centuries. _Inward Training_ is composed of short poetic verses devoted to the practice of breath meditation, and to the insights about the nature of human beings and the form of the cosmos derived from this practice. In its poetic form and tone, the work closely resembles the _Tao-te Ching_; moreover, it clearly evokes Taoism's affinities to other mystical traditions, notably aspects of Hinduism and Buddhism. Roth argues that _Inward Training_ is the foundational text of early Taoism and traces the book to the mid-fourth century B.C.. These verses contain the oldest surviving expressions of a method for mystical "inner cultivation," which Roth identifies as the basis for all early Taoist texts, including the _Chuang Tzu_ and the world-renowned _Tao-te Ching._ With these historic discoveries, he reveals the possibility of a much deeper continuity between early "philosophical" Taoism and the later Taoist religion than scholars had previously suspected. _Original Tao_ contains an elegant and luminous complete translation of the original text. Roth's comprehensive analysis explains what _Inward Training_ meant to the people who wrote it, how this work came to be "entombed" within the _Kuan Tzu,_ and why the text was largely overlooked after the early Han period. (shrink)