In J. B. Schneewind's The Invention of Autonomy we are given a monumental history of moral philosophy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a history more comprehensive and richer in detail than one would have thought possible in a single volume. Though the daunting erudition, agreeably unobtrusive, inspires confidence, it is Schneewind's gift of narrative that makes his book such a pleasure and his story so compelling. Schneewind originally conceived the book, he tells us, to "broaden our historical comprehension of (...) Kant's moral philosophy by relating it to the earlier work to which it was a response", but he does much, much more as he charts the fitful transition from morality as obedience to the later and now widely accepted conception of morality as self-governance. In its broad outline, the story is familiar, beginning with Montaigne's skepticism, moving through modern natural law theory, rationalist, perfectionist, and moral sense responses and ending with Bentham and Kant. But Schneewind adds to acute and deeply informed discussions of Hobbes, Locke, Clarke, Hume, and Kant, clear, often arresting summaries, in varying degrees of detail, of Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Machiavelli, Suarez, Charron, Grotius, Cumberland, Pufendorf, Thomasius, DuVair, Justus Lipsius, Herbert of Cherbury, Descartes, Gassendi, Whichcote, John Smith, More, Cudworth, Spinoza, Leibniz, Barbeyrac, Malebranche, Nicole, Bayle, Harrington, Shaftesbury, Mandeville, Butler, Price, Adam Smith, Reid, Paley, Hartley, Helvetius, d'Holbach, Bentham, de Sade, Wolff, Crusius, Voltaire, La Mettrie, Diderot, Rousseau, and others. If, as no doubt they will, some readers will fault some of Schneewind's interpretations, none will fail to admire his achievement in ferreting out and combining in such a fascinating narrative the leading ideas of this host of thinkers. It is safe to predict, moreover, that this study will inspire others to explore some of these less-read authors and to produce more fine-grained monographs, and further to deepen our understanding of the period and of the way we have come to think of ourselves. (shrink)
We describe some of the signs and symptoms of left visuo-spatial neglect. This common, severe and often long-lasting impairment is the most striking consequence of right hemisphere brain damage. Patients seem to (over-)attend to the right with subsequent inability to respond to stimuli in contralesional space. We draw particular attention to how patients themselves experience neglect. Furthermore, we show that the neglect patient's loss of awareness of left space is crucial to an understanding of the condition. Even after left space (...) has been brought into the patient's consciousness (either by local cueing on the left or by an emphasis on global properties of the scene as a whole), this awareness of left space rapidly declines. We suggest that much of the symptomology of left neglect can be interpreted as a disconnection between brain mechanisms that are relatively specialized for local (detail) visual processing and global (panoramic) processing. This failure of communication between functional (subpersonal) mechanisms then has consequences for how perceptual and representational content enters into awareness. Failure of the local contents of left space to be consciously accessed is, in turn, an important aspect of why left neglect is so difficult to remediate. Patients can ''know'' that they have neglect but are cut off from the perceptual awareness that would enable them to overcome their attentional bias to the right. (shrink)
This book is a major intellectual and cultural history of intolerance and toleration in early modern and early Enlightenment Europe. John Marshall offers an extensive study of late seventeenth-century practices of religious intolerance and toleration in England, Ireland, France, Piedmont and the Netherlands and the arguments that John Locke and his associates made in defence of 'universal religious toleration'. He analyses early modern and early Enlightenment discussions of toleration, debates over toleration for Jews and Muslims as well as for Christians, (...) the limits of toleration for the intolerant, atheists, 'libertines' and 'sodomites', and the complex relationships between intolerance and resistance theories including Locke's own Treatises. This study is a significant contribution to the history of the 'republic of letters' of the 1680s and the development of early Enlightenment culture and is essential reading for scholars of early modern European history, religion, political science and philosophy. (shrink)
The often turbulent but nevertheless short history of psychology as a science reveals a strange and often strained relationship with its parent, philosophy. Martin Heidegger played a prominent role in the developing dialogue between philosophy and psychology in this country. As such, he was identified as a principal contributor to the philosophy of existentialism. And Ludwig Binswanger was seen as being the bridge between existential philosophy and psychotherapy. Heidegger's method of inquiry, meticulously thought through and developed, has become an eloquent (...) expression of man's never-ending search for knowledge and the clarification of what "is." This method, along with the scope of his questioning, has generated the development of a phenomenological foundation for medicine and psychology. In this paper, the author attempts to demonstrate Heidegger's work as remarkably poignant for the human condition. He shows how Binswanger, seeing and sensing these new insights, nevertheless remained captive to traditional expressions of thought. And, he shows how Medard Boss, having access to Heidegger himself in dialogue, has expressed the need for a new type of thinking in a frenetic world which tenaciously holds onto and refines one world-relationship to the neglect of others as the only avenue to truth. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
Typically, egoism is formulated as the thesis that each of us ought to perform some action if and only if our so doing would maximize our own self-interest. This formulation is not unambiguous, however. We might interpret it as a Kantian assertoric hypothetical imperative. Perhaps some defenders of egoism have conceived their view in just this way. So understood, however, egoism fails at once to be very controversial or very interesting. Egoism as I understand it is the view that each (...) of us ought to make our own happiness our sole, ultimate aim. It is evident that this "ought" is not that of a hypothetical imperative. In this paper I argue that rational egoism cannot be formulated in a way that is both consistent and egoistic. (shrink)
More modest than the title would suggest, the aim of this book is not to refute consequentialism, but to identify a rationale for familiar anti-consequentialist intuitions and to motivate a novel moral conception, a hybrid, intermediate between consequentialism and deontology. The basis of this rationale is the fact that persons are naturally independent and distinct; the rationale itself is that this independence is directly significant for morality.
According to common interpretations of mill's 'proof' of utility (chapter 4 utilitarianism), The conclusion, "the general happiness is desirable", Is said to be a simple maximizing conception and to ignore the competing desirability or deontic claims of justice. I offer a construction of the 'proof' such that the term "general happiness" in the conclusion is seen to include equitable distribution of happiness among persons as a rational condition of goodness. This construction turns crucially on the idea that each person has (...) an equal rational claim for as much happiness as possible; accordingly, As a consequence of resolving the conflict of rational claims, The general happiness is conceived as that state of affairs in which each person gains as much happiness as possible compatible with a like result for all others. (shrink)
This is a splendid book. A valuable contribution to Mill scholarship in its own right, it should be especially useful to students both for the clarity of its exegesis and commentary and for the introductory chapters on Mill’s life and his critique of a priori ethical theories. In the remaining five chapters, with ample attention to Mill’s critics, West argues as follows: that Mill is correct to claim that on the point of their qualitative differences, some pleasures are superior to (...) others; that Mill is neither an act- nor a rule-utilitarian; that Mill, rejecting Bentham’s strict psychological egoism, offers a much improved account of moral motivation; that, when properly understood, Mill’s proof of utility is quite plausible; that Mill has a good response to the charge that utilitarianism does not take seriously the separateness of persons. (shrink)
In this important study Nicholas Wolterstorff interprets and discusses the ethics of belief which Locke developed in the latter part of Book IV of his "Essay Concerning Human Understanding." After lengthy discussion on the origin of ideas, the nature of language, and the nature of knowledge, Locke got around to arguing what he indicated in the opening Epistle to the Reader to be his overarching aim: how we ought to govern our belief, especially (though by no means only) on matters (...) of religion and morality. Professor Wolterstorff shows that what above all placed this topic on Locke's agenda was the collapse, in his day, of a once-unified moral and religious tradition in Europe into warring factions. Locke's epistemology was thus a culturally and socially engaged one; it was his response to the cultural crisis of his day. Convinced also that of genuine knowledge we human beings have very little, Locke argued that instead of following tradition we ought to turn "to the things themselves" and let "Reason be your guide." This view of Locke, in which centrality is given to the last book of the "Essay," invites an interpretation of the origins of modern philosophy different from most of the current ones. Accordingly, after discussing Hume's powerful attack on Locke's recommended practice, Wolterstorff argues for Locke's originality and discusses his contribution to the modernity of post-sixteenth-century philosophy. (shrink)
How should we proceed to resolve ethical dilemmas? A. S. Cua is well known not only for his many studies in the history of early Chinese--more specifically, Confucian--thought, but also for his contributions to contemporary moral philosophy. His historical inquiries are in large part inspired, however, by his philosophical interests. In the present book, in which he examines and reconstructs the moral epistemology of Hsun Tzu, his aim is to illuminate an important type of ethical reasoning--and so to help us (...) to answer the question just posed. Here only a sketch of the reconstruction can be given; this must omit most of the philosophically interesting detail as well as suppress much of the arresting novelty of interpretation. (shrink)
Irreverence for law, Lyons says in his preface, is the dominant theme of this collection of ten essays. This irreverence is distinct from the virtually commonplace critical attitude of those who agree that law is fallible. Lyons's irreverence goes deeper. When he reflects on the sad history of legal systems, especially those in which law has been the instrument of genocide, chattel slavery, and other forms of injustice and inhumanity, he finds it difficult to be as complacent as, he argues, (...) most other legal theorists--positivists, natural lawyers, and even Ronald Dworkin--seem to be. What legal theorists tend by and large to overlook, Lyons believes, is the basic truth that "someone whose conduct is regulated by a system of law has a right to be treated by the government in a morally defensible way". It is possible, Lyons argues, that a judicial decision be justified in every other relevant way yet still be morally indefensible. This is arguably what occurred in Dred Scott vs. Sandford. What is more, Lyons continues, it seems true that any legal system as such may be properly held to this standard. This follows not from a controversial claim concerning what law ought to be, but, as Lyons sees it, from a clear understanding of what law is. (shrink)
We outline some ways in which motor neglect (the underutilization of a limb despite adequate strength) and hysterical paralysis (failure to move a limb despite no relevant structural damage or disease) may throw light on the pathophysiology of catatonia. We also comment on the manifold inadequacies of distinguishing too firmly between symptoms of “neurologic origin” and of “psychiatric origin.”.
Wynn's claims are, in principle, entirely reasonable; although, as always, the devil is in the details. With respect to Wynn's discussion of the cultural evolution of artifactual symmetry, we provide a few more arguments for the utility of mirror symmetry and extend the enquiry into the tacit and explicit processing of natural and artifactual symmetry.