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)
This book centers around a new translation of Aristotle’s small treatise, On Memory. It is preceded by three essays by Sorabji and is followed by a section of notes. The treatise treats of the distinction between memory and recollection and what each is. Memory is "the having of an image regarded as a copy of that which it is an image" and it belongs to "the primary perception part [of the soul] and that with which we perceive time." Here the (...) key ideas, finely modulated, are image as in itself and as copy, and time perception. Recollection is distinct from memory; it is the natural or habitual succession of given image: starting from one image and moving to something similar, opposite or neighboring, until the required image is present. Recollecting is "a sort of search" requiring deliberation and peculiar to men, whereas remembering is common to many higher animals. An interesting point regarding the act of remembering is, besides the succession of images, the attendant perception of proportioned time-lapses, so much so, that "when exercising his memory a person cannot think he is not doing so and fail to notice that he is doing so." The section of notes contains many illuminative remarks on the translator’s choice of words for all the major phrases as well as helpful explanations of the structure and meaning of the textual arguments. The three essays by Sorabji, on memory, mnemonic techniques and recollection, are critical accounts of Aristotle’s doctrine, taking into account the teachings of thinkers ranging from Plato and Berkeley to the Australian materialists and William James. Here Sorabji is most helpful in demonstrating the importance and relationship of the doctrines of On Memory to the larger Aristotelian teaching on thinking and on dialectical reasoning. The essay on recollection centers around Aristotle’s relationship to Plato on the same topic and on the systematic problem of association of ideas. All in all, Aristotle on Memory is an excellent little book, illuminating the larger context and satisfying in itself.—W. A. F. (shrink)
An interpretative introduction to the major themes of classic American philosophy and five of its major figures: Peirce, James, Royce, Dewey and Whitehead. Smith shows sympathy and insight into these men and their ideas, making an excellent choice of basic themes for discussion. Running throughout the book is a sustained argument for a renewal of the breadth of philosophic interest and the sound empirical basis displayed by Pragmatism at its best. Smith is concerned that this "Spirit of American Philosophy" (...) be rescued from the neglect it has suffered over the past decades and be recalled to the attention of the philosophic community. His book is an admirable step in that direction.--W. G. E. (shrink)
In the preface to this work, Thayer explains that his purpose is to present "the classic writings of pragmatism" defined as "the original and formative expressions of this philosophy articulated by its most eminent spokesmen." The selections are from Peirce, James, and Dewey as well as brief readings from Mead and C. I. Lewis. Each selection is accompanied by a brief introduction. In addition to these selectional introductions, there is also a two-part general introduction. The first part is a (...) short historical piece by Thayer situating pragmatism in the context of western thought. The second part is a 1931 article by Dewey outlining the development of pragmatism in Peirce and James. These informative introductions should be of value to the philosophical novice who finds himself in many anthologies afloat on the sea of primary sources without the aid of the historical context necessary to fix his position. The individual selections have been carefully chosen and well coordinated. Insofar as they cluster about the central theme of the epistemological nature of pragmatism, they avoid the pitfall of attempting to elucidate the entire philosophy of many thinkers in one volume. The Peirce section includes in addition to the usual articles, "The Fixation of Belief" and "How to Make Our Ideas Clear," selections from Peirce's later writings including the 1905 article, "What Pragmatism Is" in which he differentiates his pragmatism from that of James. The section on James incorporates important sections from The Principles of Psychology together with the famous essay "The Will to Believe" and two lectures on the pragmatic concept of meaning and truth from Pragmatism. The Dewey selection provides a judicious collection of his writings from the 1896 article on the "Reflex Arc Concept" advocating the integration of organism and action to the general analysis of intelligent action in his 1938 book, Logic: The Theory of Inquiry. Also included is a chapter from The Quest for Certainty describing the application of pragmatic method to the realm of moral value. The contents of this volume are rounded out with a piece by Mead on social consciousness and the social self and an article by C. I. Lewis on the pragmatic conception of the a priori. Thayer has produced an excellent anthology of pragmatic philosophy well suited to any course in classical American philosophy emphasizing an epistemological approach.--W. J. L. (shrink)
The main aim of this paper is to explain and analyze the debate between W. K. Clifford ("The Ethics of Belief", 1877) and William James ("The Will to Believe", 1896). Given that the main assumption shared by Clifford and James in this debate is doxastic voluntarism –i.e., the claim that we can, at least in some occasions, willingly decide what to believe–, I will explain the arguments offered by Bernard Williams in his “Deciding to Believe” (1973) against doxastic (...) voluntarism. Finally, I will explain what happens with the debate between Clifford and James once we accept Bernard Williams’s arguments and refuse to accept doxastic voluntarism. (shrink)
At present, Third World countries owe over one trillion dollars to the developed Western nations; much of the debt is held by the leading international commercial banks. The debt of six Latin American countries alone — Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela — is over $330 billion, of which $240 billion is owed to commercial banks. Let us immediately narrow our focus to loans made by the major international commercial banks to Third World governments. We shall not be concerned (...) with government-to-government loans, or private-party-to-private-party loans, or with debt owed to the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund. The bank-to-government loans — the so-called “sovereign loans” — are the most economically troublesome and morally interesting. The largest lenders, at least with respect to the Latin American countries, are the American banks Citibank, Chase Manhattan, Bank of America, Manufacturers Hanover, and Chemical Bank. About fifteen Third World countries have serious debt problems, including the largest: Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina. (shrink)
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)
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.
In this paper I comment on the debate between W. K. Clifford ("The Ethics of Belief", 1877) and William James ("The Will to Believe", 1896). I argue that both authors assume doxastic voluntarism -i.e., the claim that we can, at least in some occasions, willingly decide what to believe- and I argue that doxastic voluntarism is unacceptable.
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)