In this book, Michael Arbib, a researcher in artificial intelligence and brain theory, joins forces with Mary Hesse, a philosopher of science, to present an integrated account of how humans 'construct' reality through interaction with the social and physical world around them. The book is a major expansion of the Gifford Lectures delivered by the authors at the University of Edinburgh in the autumn of 1983. The authors reconcile a theory of the individual's construction of reality as a network of (...) schemas 'in the head' with an account of the social construction of language, science, ideology and religion to provide an integrated schema-theoretic view of human knowledge. The authors still find scope for lively debate, particularly in their discussion of free will and of the reality of God. The book integrates an accessible exposition of background information with a cumulative marshalling of evidence to address fundamental questions concerning human action in the world and the nature of ultimate reality. (shrink)
Kant’s arguments for the reality of human freedom and the normativity of the moral law continue to inspire work in contemporary moral philosophy. Many prominent ethicists invoke Kant, directly or indirectly, in their efforts to derive the authority of moral requirements from a more basic conception of action, agency, or rationality. But many commentators have detected a deep rift between the _Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals_ and the _Critique of Practical Reason_, leaving Kant’s project of justification exposed to conflicting (...) assessments and interpretations. In this major re-reading of Kant, Owen Ware defends the controversial view that Kant’s mature writings on ethics share a unified commitment to the moral law’s primacy. Using both close analysis and historical contextualization, Owen Ware overturns a paradigmatic way of reading Kant’s arguments for morality and freedom, situating them within Kant’s critical methodology at large. The result is a novel understanding of Kant that challenges much of what goes under the banner of Kantian arguments for moral normativity today. (shrink)
Kant is well known for claiming that we can never really know our true moral disposition. He is less well known for claiming that the injunction "Know Yourself" is the basis of all self-regarding duties. Taken together, these two claims seem contradictory. My aim in this paper is to show how they can be reconciled. I first address the question of whether the duty of self-knowledge is logically coherent (§1). I then examine some of the practical problems surrounding the duty, (...) notably, self-deception (§2). Finding none of Kant's solutions to the problem of self-deception satisfactory, I conclude by defending a Kantian account of self-knowledge based on his theory of conscience (§3). (shrink)
Should we in the moral community accept the modern business corporation as one of us? French answers 'yes'. In this book, French investigates the metaphysical foundations of the application of our established moral principles to corporations as moral persons.
This history of physics focuses on the question, "How do bodies act on one another across space?" The variety of answers illustrates the function of fundamental analogies or models in physics as well as the role of so-called unobservable entities. Forces and Fields presents an in-depth look at the science of ancient Greece, and it examines the influence of antique philosophy on seventeenth-century thought. Additional topics embrace many elements of modern physics--the empirical basis of quantum mechanics, wave-particle duality and the (...) uncertainty principle, and the action-at-a-distance theory of Wheeler and Feynman. 1961 ed. (shrink)
An in-depth look at the science of ancient Greece, this volume examines the influence of antique philosophy on 17th-century thought. Additional topics embrace many elements of modern physics: the empirical basis of quantum mechanics, wave-particle duality and the uncertainty principle, and the action-at-a-distance theory of Wheeler and Feynman. 1961 edition.
This paper examines the distinction between self-love and self-conceit in Kant's moral psychology. It motivates an alternative account of the origin of self-conceit by drawing a parallel to what Kant calls transcendental illusion.
"Koltun-Fromm’s reading of Hess is of crucial import for those who study the construction of self in the modern world as well as for those who are concerned with Hess and his contributions to modern thought.... a reading of Hess that is subtle, judicious, insightful, and well supported." —David Ellenson Moses Hess, a fascinating 19th-century German Jewish intellectual figure, was at times religious and secular, traditional and modern, practical and theoretical, socialist and nationalist. Ken Koltun-Fromm’s radical (...) reinterpretation of his writings shows Hess as a Jew struggling with the meaning of conflicting commitments and impulses. Modern readers will realize that in Hess’s life, as in their own, these commitments remain fragmented and torn. As contemporary Jews negotiate multiple, often contradictory allegiances in the modern world, Koltun-Fromm argues that Hess’s struggle to unite conflicting traditions and frameworks of meaning offers intellectual and practical resources to re-examine the dilemmas of modern Jewish identity. Adopting Charles Taylor’s philosophical theory of the self to uncover Hess’s various commitments, Koltun-Fromm demonstrates that Hess offers a rich, textured, though deeply conflicted and torn account of the modern Jew. This groundbreaking study in conceptions of identity in modern Jewish texts is a vital contribution to the diverse fields of Jewish intellectual history, philosophy, Zionism, and religious studies. Jewish Literature and Culture—Alvin H. Rosenfeld, editor Published with the generous support of the Koret Foundation. (shrink)
While the Enlightenment brought about an unprecedented growth in freedom, it also gave rise to a set of dichotomies that Hegel's philosophy helps to overcome. In this book, Timothy C. Luther examines Hegel's contribution to polical philosophy and his attempt to resolve tensions in political philosophy and democracy_particularly, his reconciliation of individual liberty and community. Hegel's dialectic preserves what he sees as valuable in liberalism while reformulating it in a way that is more sensitive to community and historical context.
The Healing Virtues explores the intersection of psychotherapy and virtue ethics - with an emphasis on the patient's role within a healing process. It considers how the common ground between the therapeutic process and the cultivation of virtues can inform the efforts of both therapist and patient. Within this book, the Duff R. Waring argues that there is a case for patient virtues that are crucially relevant to working through the problems in living that arise in psychotherapy, e.g., honesty, (...) courage, humility, perseverance. The central idea is that treatment may need to build virtues while it ameliorates problems. Hence, the patient's work in psychotherapy can both challenge character strengths and result in their further development. (shrink)
Owen Ware here develops and defends a novel interpretation of Fichte’s moral philosophy as an ethics of wholeness. While virtually forgotten for most of the twentieth century, Fichte’s System of Ethics is now recognized by scholars as a masterpiece in the history of post-Kantian thought and a key text for understanding the work of later German idealist thinkers. This book provides a careful examination of the intellectual context in which Fichte’s moral philosophy evolved and of the specific arguments he offers (...) in response to Kant and his immediate successors. A distinctive feature of this study is a focus on the foundational concepts of Fichte’s ethics—freedom, morality, feeling, conscience, community—and their connection to his innovative but largely misunderstood theory of drives. By way of conclusion, the book shows that what appears to be two conflicting commitments in Fichte’s ethics—a commitment to the feelings of one's conscience and a commitment to engage in open dialogue with others—are two aspects of his theory of moral perfection. The result is a sharp understanding of Fichte's System of Ethics as offering a compelling resolution to the personal and interpersonal dimensions of moral life. (shrink)
While Kant’s claim that the moral law discloses our freedom to us has been extensively discussed in recent decades, the reactions to this claim among Kant’s immediate successors have gone largely overlooked by scholars. Reinhold, Creuzer, and Maimon were among three prominent thinkers of the era unwilling to follow Kant in making the moral law the condition for knowing our freedom. Maimon went so far as to reject Kant’s method of appealing to our everyday awareness of duty on the grounds (...) that common human understanding is susceptible to error and illusion. In this paper I shall examine how these skeptical reactions to Kant’s position shaped the background for Fichte’s method of moral justification, leading up to his own deduction of the moral law in the System of Ethics. By way of conclusion, I shall propose a new interpretation of how consciousness of the moral law serves as an entry-point to Fichte’s form of idealism. (shrink)
It is often assumed that Fichte's aim in Part I of the System of Ethics is to provide a deduction of the moral law, the very thing that Kant – after years of unsuccessful attempts – deemed impossible. On this familiar reading, what Kant eventually viewed as an underivable 'fact' (Factum), the authority of the moral law, is what Fichte traces to its highest ground in what he calls the principle of the 'I'. However, scholars have largely overlooked a passage (...) in the System of Ethics where Fichte explicitly invokes Kant's doctrine of the fact of reason with approval, claiming that consciousness of the moral law grounds our belief in freedom (GA I/5:65). On the reading I defend, Fichte's invocation of the Factum is consistent with the structure of Part I when we distinguish (a) the feeling of moral compulsion from (b) the moral law itself. (shrink)
This volume explores new and urgent applications of collective action theory, such as global poverty, the race and class politics of urban geography, and culpable conduct in organizational criminal law. It draws attention to new questions about the status of corporate agents and new approaches to collective obligation and responsibility.
In this groundbreaking new study, Ben Ware carries out a bold reassessment of the relationship between modernism and ethics, arguing that modernist literature and philosophy offer more than simply a snapshot of the moral conflicts of the past: they provide a crucial point of reference for today’s emancipatory struggles. Modernism in this assessment is characterized not only by a concern with language and aesthetic creativity, but also by a preoccupation with the question of how to live. Investigating ethical ideas in (...) Wittgenstein, Beckett, Kierkegaard, Kant, Cavell, Marx, Henry James and Lacan, Ware demonstrates how these thinkers can bring us to a new understanding of a constellation of issues which contemporary radical thought must re-visit: utopia, repetition, perfectionism, subtraction, negativity, critique, absence, duty, revolution and political love. The result is a timely and provocative intervention, which re-draws the boundaries for future debates on the ethics and politics of modernism. (shrink)
One of the most controversial issues to emerge in recent studies of Fichte concerns the status of his normative ethics, i.e., his theory of what makes actions morally good or bad. Scholars are divided over Fichte’s view regarding the ‘final end’ of moral striving, since it appears this end can be either a specific goal permitting maximizing calculations (the consequentialist reading defended by Kosch 2015), or an indeterminate goal permitting only duty-based decisions (the deontological reading defended by Wood 2016). While (...) I think each interpretive position contains an element of truth, my aim in this paper is to defend a third alternative, according to which Fichte’s normative ethics presents us with a unique form of social perfectionism. (shrink)
In the recent case of Nike v. Kasky both sides argued that their standard for distinguishing commercial speech from political speechwould create the better policy for ensuring accurate and complete disclosure of social information by corporations. Using insights frominformation economics, we argue that neither standard will achieve the policy goal of optimal truthful disclosure. Instead, we argue that the appropriate standard is one of optimal truthful disclosure—balancing the value of speech against the costs of misinformation. Specifically, we argue that an (...) SEC-sanctioned safe harbor available under a closely supervised system for social reporting will bring about optimal truthful disclosure. The scheme is intended to enhance stakeholder confidence in corporate social and political commentary, while at the same time encouraging corporations to provide accurate information in a fair playing field of public debate. (shrink)
In a pair of recent essays, William Lane Craig has argued that certain open theist understandings of the nature of the future are both semantically and modally confused. I argue that this is not the case and show that, if consistently observed, the customary semantics for counterfactuals Craig relies on not only undermine the validity of his complaint against the open theist, they actually support an argument for the openness position.
The fictitious controversy turns around the question of how to know what Jesus meant by 'Kingdom of God'. Nietzsche pretended this kingdom to be merely interior and to be found only there, whereas elsewhere he declared God to be "dead". For Luther, the Kingdom of God is located in faith and the pure grace of God. On the other hand, Luther, due to his bible literalism, justifies the persecution of Jews and insurgent peasants, and this in flagrant contradiction (...) to Jesus' commandment of Love. The idea of 'Kingdom of God' has been of considerable impact and significance in the history of mind-. (shrink)
This small book packs a considerable theoretical and practical punch. Alan Ware challenges much received wisdom about the dynamics of two party politics. In the process, he adds considerably to contemporary discussion of the intersection of structure and agency in the development and adaptation of political systems. Ware picks out two party systems for concentrated attention because of their relative tractability in his words: these systems are ideal for analysing the capacity of parties to pursue their interests in the (...) face of both other actors within the political system and also of elements within the party itself. (shrink)