The concepts of pleasure and good, both separately and in their relation to one another, have for centuries been a favourite and fruitful subject of philosophical discussion. The contrasting concepts of pain and evil, however, though by no means entirely neglected, have been, and still are, less popular among philosophers. The reason for this disparity is not altogether clear. The title of a recent autobiography, “Philosophers lead sheltered lives,” might support the explanation that philosophers are reluctant to write on matters (...) of which they have little or no first-hand knowledge. Pleasure and good, it may be said, form part of their own personal experience: but their academic seclusion has little place for either pain or evil. A more serious reason is the assumption, often made but rarely defended, that, since pain and pleasure, evil and good, are in some sense pairs of “opposites,” a full discussion of all four concepts is unnecessary. The nature of pain, it is thought, can easily be inferred from the nature of pleasure, and that of evil from that of good. But even if this were true, it ought not to be taken for granted; the belief that these concepts are symmetrically disposed opposites ought to be held only after an investigation into all of them. And in fact the belief is not true. It does not need profound insight or observation to see that we cannot construct a simple hedonic scale on which pleasure appears as a plus, and pain as a minus quantity. Contemporary hedonists have often paid more attention to the psychological complexities involved in this problem than did their classical predecessors. A. L. Hilliard, for example, distinguishes carefully between pain and unpleasantness. Pain he describes as a sensitivity, “correlated with the excitation of specific receptors in the nervous system”: unpleasantness is an affectivity to which physiological correlates, though they must be assumed to exist, have not yet been discovered. (shrink)
It would be an exaggeration to say that the Victorian age in England was philosophically barren; but it would not be a great exaggeration. By this somewhat uncomplimentary opening, I do not mean to imply that Victorian England contained no competent philosophers at all. Indeed, if one considers thinkers of the second and lower ranks only, their literary productivity was probably greater than those of any previous period in English, or even British, history, even if in sheer numbers they can (...) hardly compete with the prolific hordes of our own century. It is at the very highest level of philosophical greatness and originality that one finds the Victorian age wanting. The great period of British philosophy, which runs roughly from the 1630s to the 1770s, contains at least three thinkers who cannot be matched in the succeeding 140 years, Hobbes, Locke and Hume. (shrink)
This book offers both theoretical overviews and practical approaches for educators, academics, education students and parents who are interested in transforming schools. It encourages reinvigorating approaches to learning and teaching that can easily be integrated into both public and private K-12 school classrooms, with many ideas also applicable to higher education. It supports an educational system based on the beliefs that heart and spirit are intertwined with mind and intellect, and that inner peace, wisdom, compassion, and conscience can be developed (...) together with academic content and skills. (shrink)
The author's purpose is to show that the traditional ways of dealing with problems in the subject of art, Namely, Through discovering "(a) what is the common property in all works of art which distinguishes them from things that are not works of art, And (b) what is the common property in all good works of art which distinguishes them from bad or mediocre ones" are unsatisfactory. (staff).
First published in 1949. This title provides an introduction into the subject of aesthetics, and the problems associated with it. Aesthetics is not strictly a criterion or rule for production or appreciation, and cannot directly alter our aesthetic experiences, but only helps us to understand them. _An Introduction to Aesthetics _explores this theory, and will be of interest to students of both art and philosophy.
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