Butler refused to be satisfied with just one leading principle, or rational basis for human action, but in the end settled for three: self-love, to provide for our ‘own private good’; benevolence, to consider ‘the good of our fellow creatures’ ; and conscience, ‘to preside and govern’ over our lives as a whole . By so doing he hoped to ensure a completeness to our ethical scheme, so that nothing would be omitted from our moral deliberations. Yet by so doing (...) he also exposed himself to severe criticism. For any such appeal to a plurality of principles, as Green remarked, is ‘repugnant both to the philosophic craving for unity, and to that ideal of “singleness of heart” which we have been accustomed to associate with the highest virtue’. More specifically, by appealing to a plurality of principles Butler faced the charges of circularity, where the principles come to define and defend each other; inconsistency, where the principles ‘take turns’ at being primary and hence render each other superfluous; and incompleteness, where the ‘primary principle’ is itself undefined or undefended. As the tale has been told Butler stands accused of all three of these errors. (shrink)
There is a classic problem which confronts any attempt to assign death a value. On the assumption that death is personal annihilation, death deprives evil of a requisite subject, for no misfortune can befall something which does not exist. Recent efforts to provide a reasonable basis for counting death as a bad thing have centered on an analysis of the loss of life's goods which it brings. So long as the analysis assumes that death is a simple state, loss can (...) be explained only by reference to a realm of possible things which exist after death. An alternative analysis of death is offered in which death is defined as a limit on life. That analysis provides a basis for evaluative judgements about death, while avoiding any commitment to post-mortem existence. (shrink)
Reviews : Clare O'Farrell, Foucault—Historian or Philosopher? ; James W. Bernauer, Michel Foucault's Force of Flight: Toward an Ethics for Thought ; Paul Rabinow, French Modern: Norms and Forms of the Social Environment ; Jonathon Crary, Techniques of the Observer: On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century.
Profit is a concept that both causes and manifests deep conflict and division. It is not merely that people disagree over whether it is good or bad. The very meaning of the concept and its role in competing theories necessitates the deepest possible disagreement; people cannot agree on what profit is. Still, simply learning the starkly different sentiments expressed about profit gives us some feel for the depth of the conflict. Friends of capitalism have praised profit as central to the (...) achievement of prosperity and to civilized modern life. Calvin Coolidge, that silent sentinel of American business, said, “Profit and civilization go hand in hand.” F. A. Hayek tells us that in the evolution of the structure of human activities, profitability works as a signal that guides selection towards what makes man more fruitful; only what is more profitable will, as a rule, nourish more people, for it sacrifices less than it adds. (shrink)
The United States has never been culturally or religiously homogeneous, but its diversity has greatly increased over the last century. Although the U.S. was first a multicultural nation through conquest and enslavement, its present diversity is due equally to immigration. In this paper I try to explain the difference it makes for one area of thought and policy – equal opportunity – if we incorporate cultural and religious pluralism into our national self-image. Formulating and implementing a policy of equal opportunity (...) is more difficult in diverse, pluralistic countries than it is in homogeneous ones. My focus is cultural and religious diversity in the United States, but my conclusions will apply to many other countries – including ones whose pluralism is found more in religion than in culture. (shrink)
Our aim in this article, after providing the general framework of the reception of William James in Spain, is to trace the reception of The Varieties of Religious Experience through Unamuno’s reading of this book.
El artículo pretende mostrar la relectura que van Fraassen propone en varios artículos recientes de algunas ideas relevantes de W. James. En concreto sobre los tópicos relacionados con el diseño de un nuevo empirismo y sus relaciones con el Pragmatismo. Esta perspectiva permite desarrollar una imagen diferente de algunos temas centrales de la Filosofía de la Ciencia. Nos centraremos en los elementos y el contexto en que tiene lugar un cambio racional de opinión como el que se produce en (...) un proceso de revolución científica. (shrink)
Connections between W. James and L. Wittgenstein have been widely highlighted in recent scholarship: his mature reflections on the philosophy of psychology found in James a major source of inspiration. This paper gives reason of Wittgenstein's refusal to being labelled "pragmatist" and stresses -against Schulte- the influential role of James in the development of Wittgenstein's thought.