1. Introduction . In the chapter which he devotes to the applications of his principle of individual liberty, Mill considers the question ‘how far liberty may legitimately be invaded for the prevention of crime, or of accident’. On the latter topic, he writes:—‘… it is a proper office of public authority to guard against accidents. If either a public officer or anyone else saw a person attempting to cross a bridge which had been ascertained to be unsafe, and there were (...) no time to warn him of his danger, they might seize him and turn him back, without any real infringement of his liberty; for liberty consists in doing what one desires, and he does not desire to fall into the river.”. (shrink)
Human conflict and its resolution is obviously a subject of great practical importance. Equally obviously, it is a vast subject, ranging from total war at one end of the spectrum to negotiated settlement at its other end. The literature on the subject is correspondingly vast and, in recent times, technical, thanks to the valuable contributions made to it by game theorists, economists, and writers on industrial and international relations. In this essay, however, I shall discuss only one familiar form of (...) conflict-resolution. There is room for such a discussion, because philosophers have lately neglected compromise, despite the interest shown in it by the aforementioned experts, and despite the classic treatments of it by Halifax, Burke and Morley. Truly, ‘…compromise is not so widely discussed by philosophers as one might expect’, and ‘…the idea of compromise has been largely neglected by Anglo-American jurisprudence’. (shrink)
The philosophical problems of liberty may be classified as those of definition, of justification and of distribution. They are so complex that there is a danger of being unable to see the wood for the trees. It may be helpful, therefore, to provide an aerial photograph of a large part of the wood, namely, the liberty ofindividual persons. But it is, of course, a photograph taken from an individual point of view, as Leibniz would have put it.
In disproof of the materialist principle, that common things exist unperceived, and in defence of the New Principle, Philonous here objects that it is inconceivable that a common thing should do so. Hylas replies that, on the contrary, we can and do think of, e.g., a tree standing alone as opposed to a tree being perceived by an observer. But Philonous counter-objects to this reply that it contains a contradiction, since it asserts that we can think of something which is (...) not thought of. (shrink)
According to Berkeley, then, the unconscious process of inference of the scientist goes as follows. He notices that, when he does not have his house within visual range, he cannot see it just by wishing to; and that, when he does have it within visual range and his eyes open, he cannot prevent himself from seeing it just by wishing not to. He therefore infers that he is not the efficient cause of these sensations. But, since he holds that they (...) must have some efficient cause, he concludes that this is a congeries of "material substances," which are numerically distinct and partly dissimilar from the sensations, and which exist even when unperceived, or "externally to the mind." As a psychological theory, this seems to be at any rate plausible. (shrink)
Hitherto, the standard edition of Berkeley's works has been A. C. Fraser's of 1901, published by the Oxford University Press. The chief differences between the two editions are these. Professors Luce and Jessop give of each text the latest edition published by Berkeley himself, adding all significant variations in any earlier editions in footnotes, whereas Fraser followed no uniform procedure, and sometimes combined different editions. This difference is obviously an improvement. Further, Professor Luce's edition of Berkeley's pair of notebooks, which (...) he calls Philosophical Commentaries and which Fraser called Commonplace Book of occasional metaphysical thoughts, differs radically from Fraser's; Professor Luce has also given a different, and better, text of the Theory of Vision Vindicated. Finally, Volume II of the new edition amplifies Berkeley's brief correspondence with the American philosopher, Samuel Johnson, since it contains Johnson's letters to Berkeley, in which he questions some points in Berkeley's system, whereas Fraser published Berkeley's replies only. The editors' notes and introductions are brief, and have been written with the primary aim of presenting an accurate text. This policy is welcome, since it remains all too true that, as Professor Jessop remarks, "hitherto Berkeley has been read far too little, and his expositors far too much"; which, in the case of so excellent a writer as Berkeley, is doubly a pity. (shrink)
Some affirm, but others deny, that works of fine art, or at any rate certain sorts of them, should be true or probable. This is the question which I investigate in the present essay. It has been debated by philosophers from Plato on, and much can still be learnt from earlier writers, particularly Aristotle. But I have found some recent discussions especially helpful; namely, what Strawson and Hart say about and in connexion with presupposition; Hospers' and Harris' remarks about truth-to (...) and plausibility respectively; and Beardsley's treatment of these matters in his admirable survey of the problems of aesthetics. (shrink)
Moral dilemmas, or moral conflicts, present a leading problem in Ethics. Ross calls them the problem of conflicting prima facie moral obligations. Lemmon calls them ‘moral dilemmas’, and Sinnott-Armstrong in his recent book discusses them thoroughly and provides extensive references to relevant literature.