In the United States, people are deeply divided along lines of race, class, political party, gender, sexuality, and religion. Many believe that historical grievances must eventually be left behind in the interest of progress toward a more just and unified society. But too much in American history is unforgivable and cannot be forgotten. How then can we imagine a way to live together that does not expect people to let go of their entrenched resentments? Living with Hate in American Politics (...) and Religion offers an innovative argument for the power of playfulness in popular culture to make our capacity for coexistence imaginable. Jeffrey Israel explores how people from different backgrounds can pursue justice together, even as they play with their divisive grudges, prejudices, and desires in their cultural lives. Israel calls on us to distinguish between what belongs in a raucous “domain of play” and what belongs in the domain of the political. He builds on the thought of John Rawls and Martha Nussbaum to defend the liberal tradition against challenges posed by Frantz Fanon from the left and Leo Strauss from the right. In provocative readings of Lenny Bruce’s stand-up comedy, Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint, and Norman Lear’s All in the Family, Israel argues that postwar Jewish American popular culture offers potent and fruitful examples of playing with fraught emotions. Living with Hate in American Politics and Religion is a powerful vision of what it means to live with others without forgiving or forgetting. (shrink)
Several years before the recent French-American diplomatic squabble, Saul Bellow and Philip Roth, arguably America’s two greatest novelists, wrote major works of a markedly anti-French tenor. Indeed, both Ravelstein and The Human Stain, with their disparate griefs against the French, share a remarkably similar plot: against a back-drop of Gallic treachery, a courageously conservative academic, condemned to death by his sexual excesses, asks, before dying, a novelist friend to write the story of his life. Framed by a consideration of (...) an idiosyncratic work of American sculpture that appears to depict the sexual servicing of Abraham Lincoln and an evocation of the career of William Bullitt, Freud’s collaborator on a study of Woodrow Wilson and America’s ambassador to Paris during the fall of France, this essay offers a reading of both novels and raises the question of American sanctimony and the price France may be expected to pay for it. (shrink)
Edited by Marthe Chandler and Ronnie Littlejohn, this work is a collection of expository and critical essays on the work of Henry Rosemont, Jr., a prominent and influential contemporary philosopher, activist, translator, and educator in the field of Asian and Comparative Philosophy. The essays in this collection take up three major themes in Rosemont's work: his work in Chinese linguistics, his contribution to the theory of human rights, and his interest in East Asian religion. Contributions include works by the leading (...) scholars in Chinese philosophy in the Western world and Rosemont's close associates: Roger T. Ames, Bao Zhiming, Mary Bockover, Marthe Chandler, Ewing Y. Chinn, Erin M. Cline, Fred Dallmayr, Jeffrey Dippmann, Herbert Fingarette, Harrison Huang, Eric Hutton, Philip J. Ivanhoe, David Jones, William La Fleur, Ronnie Littlejohn, Ni Peimin, Michael Nylan, Harold Roth, Sumner Twiss, Tu Weiming, David Wong, with responses from Henry Rosemont, Jr. and a brief Reminiscence by Noam Chomsky. (shrink)
The article starts from an examination of the authorship of the ‘Geleitwort’, the programmatic statement which appeared in the Archiv für Sozialwissenschaft when it came under new editors in 1904. Recently scholars have begun to view it as an important text by Max Weber recovered from obscurity, but this is a mistake. Examination of major contemporary works by Weber and Werner Sombart – the obvious co-author – as well as the first public disclosure of an entirely new MS. by Weber, (...) show that in all probability the text was drafted by Sombart and then revised fairly lightly by Weber. This story of a combined, if unequal, authorship leads into two broader seams of intellectual history: the relationship between Weber and Sombart, and the history of the Archiv as a journal. An unusual starting point thus casts fresh and unexpected light on some of the most central figures and episodes in German social science at the beginning of the 20th century, not least Weber's seminal essay on “Objectivity” in social science. ☆ This paper relies on intellectual interchange and the generosity of colleagues to a quite unusual degree. I note three particular debts: to Prof. Friedrich Lenger, for a copy of Sombart's important 1897 essay on ‘Social Scientific Journals’; to Prof. Guenther Roth for letter transcripts bearing on the Archiv from and to Edgar Jaffé, and for showing me in draft his ground-breaking work ‘Edgar Jaffé and Else von Richthofen: a biographical essay based on the family archive of Christopher Jeffrey’ [hereafter ‘Biographical Essay]; and to Dr. Edith Hanke and Prof. Rainer Lepsius (on behalf of the Max Weber Gesamtausgabe). Dr. Hanke brought to my notice the existence of the MS. which I have called Weber's draft Editorial Notice (see §.IV below), and Prof. Lepsius then gave permission for me to see and to cite from this document. — Some abbreviations: AfSS for Archiv für Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik; AfGS for Archiv für Soziale Gesetzgebung und Statistik; Lebensbild for Marianne Weber, Max Weber. Ein Lebensbild  (Tübingen, 1989); MWG for Max Weber Gesamtausgabe ed. Horst Baier et al. (Tübingen, 1984-). Letters by Weber within the MWG are cited as Briefe; ‘Nachlaß Max Weber’ for unpublished letters in the Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz, VI. HA Nachlaß Max Weber. (shrink)
In 1929 Ernst Cassirer and Martin Heidegger participated in a momentous debate in Davos, Switzerland, which is widely held to have marked an important division in twentieth-century European thought. Peter E. Gordon’s recent book, Continental Divide: Heidegger, Cassirer, Davos, centers on this debate between these two philosophical adversaries. In his book Gordon examines the background of the debate, the issues that distinguished the respective positions of Cassirer and Heidegger, and the legacy of the debate for later decades. Throughout the work, (...) Gordon concisely portrays the source of disagreement between the two adversaries in terms of a difference between Cassirer’s philosophy of spontaneity and Heidegger’s philosophy of receptivity, or of “thrownness” , into a situation that finite human beings can never hope to master. Although it recognizes that this work provides an important contribution to our understanding of the Davos debate and to twentieth-century European thought, this review essay subjects Gordon’s manner of interpreting the distinction between Cassirer and Heidegger to critical scrutiny. Its purpose is to examine the possibility that important aspects of the debate, which do not conform to the grid imposed by Gordon’s interpretation, might have been set aside in the context of his analysis. (shrink)
Hobbes conception of reason as computation or reckoning is significantly different in Part I of De Corpore from what I take to be the later treatment in Leviathan. In the late actual computation with words starts with making an affirmation, framing a proposition. Reckoning then has to do with the consequences of propositions, or how they connect the facts, states of affairs or actions which they refer tor account. Starting from this it can be made clear how Hobbes understood the (...) crucial application of this conception to natural law, identified as 'right reason'. (shrink)
The interview reconstructs Jeffrey Schnapp's brilliant career from his origins as a scholar of Dante and the Middle Ages to his current multiple interdisciplinary interests. Among other things, Schnapp deals with knowledge design, media history and theory, history of the book, the future of archives, museums, and libraries. The main themes of the interview concern the relationships between technology and pedagogy, the future of reading, and artificial intelligence.
In his introduction, Jeffrey Metzger states that “at some point in the past 20 or 30 years … Nietzsche’s name [became] no longer associated primarily with nihilism” (1). Metzger is pointing to the increasing contemporary scholarly interest in Nietzsche’s epistemology, naturalism, and metaethics. The worthy aim of this volume is to ask us to examine once again the underlying philosophical problem to which these views are a response, namely, nihilism. This volume helpfully reminds us that Nietzsche’s philosophical motivation still (...) requires clarification, and that we can only fully understand Nietzsche’s particular views by grasping Nietzsche’s fundamental philosophical aims.As with so many edited volumes on .. (shrink)
To claim that Hayden White has yet to be read seriously as a philosopher of history might seem false on the face of it. But do tropes and the rest provide any epistemic rationale for differing representations of historical events found in histories? As an explanation of White’s influence on philosophy of history, such a proffered emphasis only generates a puzzle with regard to taking White seriously, and not an answer to the question of why his efforts should be worthy (...) of any philosophical attention at all. For what makes his emphasis on narrative structure and its associated tropes of philosophical relevance? What, it may well be asked, did any theory that draws its categories from a stock provided by literary criticism contribute to explicating problems with regard to the warranting of claims about knowledge, explanation, or causation that represent those concerns that philosophy typically brings to this field? Robert Doran’s anthologizing of previously uncollected pieces, ranging as they do over a literal half-century of White’s published work, offers an opportunity to identify explicitly those philosophical themes and arguments that regularly and prominently feature there. Moreover, White’s essays in this volume demonstrate a credible knowledge of and interest in mainstream analytic philosophers of his era and also reveal White as deeply influenced by or well acquainted with other important philosophers of history. White thus invites a reading of his work as philosophy, and this volume presents the opportunity for accepting it as such. (shrink)
For nearly half a century, Quentin Skinner has been the world's foremost interpreter of Thomas Hobbes. When the contextualist mode of intellectual history now known as the “Cambridge School” was first asserting itself in the 1960s, the life and writings of John Locke were the primary topic for pioneers such as Peter Laslett and John Dunn. At that time, Hobbes was still the plaything of philosophers and political scientists, virtually all of whom wrote in an ahistorical, textual-analytic manner. Hobbes had (...) not been the subject of serious contextual research for decades, since the foundational writings of Ferdinand Tönnies. For Skinner, he was thus an ideal subject, providing a space for original research on a major figure, and an occasion for some polemically charged methodological manifestos. Both of these purposes animated his 1965 article “History and Ideology in the English Revolution,” and his 1966 article “The Ideological Context of Hobbes's Political Thought”. The latter of these remains to this day one of the most widely cited scholarly articles in the fifty-year run of Cambridge's Historical Journal. Among other results of these early efforts was the scholarly controversy during which Howard Warrender chided Skinner for having reduced the “classic texts in political philosophy” to mere “tracts for the times”. (shrink)
In Zadig, published in 1748, Voltaire wrote of “the great principle that it is better to run the risk of sparing the guilty than to condemn the innocent.” At about the same time, Blackstone noted approvingly that “the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.” In 1824, Thomas Fielding cited the principle as an Italian proverb and a maxim of English law. John Stuart Mill endorsed it in an address to Parliament (...) in 1868. General acceptance of this maxim continues into our own period, yet it is difficult to find systematic attempts to defend the maxim. It is treated as a truism in no need of defense. But the principle within it is not at all obvious; and since it undergirds many of our criminal justice policies, we should be sure that it is justifiable. First, however, we must clarify what the principle means. (shrink)
Sandra Field, Jeffrey Flynn, Stephen Macedo, Longxi Zhang, and Martin Powers discussed Powers’ book China and England: The Preindustrial Struggle for Social Justice in Word and Image at the American Philosophical Association’s 2020 Eastern Division meeting in Philadelphia. The panel was sponsored by the APA’s “Committee on Asian and Asian-American Philosophers and Philosophies” and organized by Brian Bruya.
Basic issues in the recent ‘death-of-God’ movement can be illuminated by comparison and contrast with the relevant ideas of two American philosophers, John Dewey and William James. Dewey is an earlier spokesman for ideas that are central to the ‘radical theology’ of Thomas J. J. Altizer, William Hamilton, and Paul Van Buren. His reasons for rejecting theism closely resemble propositions maintained by these ‘death-of-God’ theologians. James, on the other hand, points toward a theological alternative. He takes cognizance of ideas similar (...) to those in the ‘radical theology’, but he does not opt for either a metaphorical or real elimination of God. Thus, the contentions of this paper are that there has been a version of the ‘death-of-God’ perspective in American thought before, and that there are resources in the American tradition that suggest a viable option to this perspective. (shrink)
A fascinating study of moral languages and their discontents, Ethics after Babel explains the links that connect contemporary moral philosophy, religious ethics, and political thought in clear, cogent, even conversational prose. Princeton's paperback edition of this award-winning book includes a new postscript by the author that responds to the book's noted critics, Stanley Hauerwas and the late Alan Donagan. In answering his critics, Jeffrey Stout clarifies the book's arguments and offers fresh reasons for resisting despair over the prospects of (...) democratic discourse. (shrink)
Kant and Education brings together sixteen essays by an international group of scholars. The range of topics covered in the anthology is impressive. Kant's contribution to contemporary theories of education is central, as well as Kant's intellectual debt to Rousseau, the role of education in Kant's normative theories, and the impact of Kant's ideas on subsequent generations. Add to this the relative shortness of each essay (ten to fifteen pages), and one is left with an accessible introduction to a fascinating, (...) but often neglected, topic of Kant's ethical theory. The editors, Klas Roth and Chris W. Surprenant, have done an admirable job. (shrink)
Physicalism is a program for building a unified system of knowledge about the world on the basis of the view that everything is a manifestation of the physical aspects of existence. Jeffrey Poland presents a systematic and comprehensive exploration of the philosophical foundations of this program. He investigates the core ideas, motivating values, and presuppositions of physicalism; the constraints upon an adequate formulation of physicalist doctrine; the epistemological and modal status, the scope, and the methodological roles of physicalist principles. (...) He reviews and evaluates major objections to the program, and considers its significance for philosophy, science, society, and individual persons. He also examines the relations between physicalism and other philosophical positions, such as realism, empiricism, and relativism, and suggests that physicalism is compatible with a tolerant pluralism in the philosophical, cultural, and personal domains. (shrink)
Retributive restrictions are principles of justice according to which what a criminal deserves on account of his individual conduct and character restricts how states are morally permitted to treat him. The main arguments offered in defense of retributive restrictions involve thought experiments in which the state punishes the innocent, a practice known as telishment. In order to derive retributive restrictions from the wrongness of telishment, one must engage in moral argument from generalization. I show how generalization arguments of the same (...) form can be used subversively to derive morally unacceptable conclusions from other scenarios in which the state intentionally inflicts undeserved coercion. For example, our considered moral convictions approve of punishment policies that inflict collateral damage, such as the ubiquitous policy of excluding the family members of inmates from prison facilities outside visiting hours. I present a generalization argument for the conclusion that these policies are seriously unjust. If we firmly believe that these policies are not unjust, then we should put less stock in generalization arguments. We should not use them to support retributive restrictions. This conclusion has broad implications for the theory and practice of criminal justice. (shrink)
While it may be a datum of common sense that perceptual experiences can justify beliefs, there is no clear consensus about how they can do so. According to what I call “inferentialism,” perceptual experiences can justify beliefs because perceptual experiences have propositional contents and thus can serve as reasons for belief. A critical commitment of inferentialism is that justification requires the obtaining of a nonarbitrary or nonaccidental semantic relation between justifier and justified, a requirement that I call semantic appropriateness (SA). (...) By contrast, reliabilists reject SA and argue that perceptual experiences can justify beliefs because perceptual experiences are part of a reliable belief‐forming process. In this paper, I explore whether a commitment to SA inevitably leads to a commitment to inferentialism. This exploration is largely motivated by doubts over whether perceptual experiences have propositional contents. If those doubts prove to be well‐founded, then it seems either that perceptual experiences cannot justify beliefs or that some form of reliabilism is true. I argue that although we should take the doubts seriously, there is a way to make sense of SA that does not require inferentialism. (shrink)
Le réel, travaillé par une structure dissimulée sous le discours scientifique, technique et marchand que l'auteur érige à la dignité de concept sous le sigle "STM", impose sans vergogne les trouvailles les plus incertaines : équations financières douteuses, nucléaire civil et militaire, chaînes de Ponzi, génie génétique, NBIC etc. aboutissant en plus des inégalités, à la pollution industrielle planétaire de l'air, de l'eau et des aliments, du dépérissement des plantes, des animaux et des hommes. Supposant un sujet dont le discours (...) "STM" veut toujours se débarrasser, c'est le rôle de la psychanalyse de ne pas céder sur l'éthique, chacun ayant à répondre de la responsabilité de son inconscient non seulement là où ça parle, mais également là où ça revient sous la forme d'un réel répétitif et traumatique, celui de la catastrophe. (shrink)
Wattles offers a comprehensive survey of the history of the golden rule, "Do unto others as you want others to do unto you". He traces the rule's history in contexts as diverse as the writings of Confucius and the Greek philosophers, the Bible, modern theology and philosophy, and the American "self-help" context. He concludes by offering his own synthesis of these varied understandings.
"Knowing and History" charts the development of Hegelian philosophy of history in France from the 1930s through the postwar period, and critically assesses its significance for an understanding of our cultural present and of the possibilities for making meaning out of change over time. Michael Roth provides detailed analyses of the works of three of the most important Hegelian thinkers: Jean Hyppolite, Alexandre Kojève, and Eric Weil. These philosophers turned to history as the source of truths and criteria of (...) judgment: they forged connections between history and knowing as a means of confronting key modem philosophical problems, and of engaging their contemporary political concerns. According to Roth, the French Hegelians' work illuminates the power and limitations of the philosophical approach to history. Further, he finds in the development of their philosophies one of the crucial transformations in modem intellectual history: the shift from a concern with questions of significance to a concern with questions of use or function. Relevant to a wide variety of disciplines, "Knowing and History" will appeal to those specializing in intellectual history and political theory, as well as philosophers of history, critical theorists, and students of modem French thought and culture. (shrink)
Heidegger's Being and Time is an underappreciated venue for pursuing work on the role narrative plays in self‐understanding and self‐constitution, and existing work misses Heidegger's most interesting contribution. Implicit in his account of Dasein (an individual human person) is a notion of the narrative self more compelling than those now on offer. Bringing together an adaptive interpretation of Heidegger's notion of “thrown projection”, Wolfgang Iser's account of “the wandering viewpoint”, and more recent Anglo‐American work on the narrative self, I argue (...) that we read our ongoing existences in the same way that, mid‐story, we read a narrative. Reading is a better master metaphor than authorship, narration, plot, or character to guide investigations of narrative's relation to the self. It is not merely a metaphor, however, as the hermeneutic structures involved in interpreting existence and a narrative from the middle are the same. (shrink)