It is commonly accepted that if an agent wants p, then she has a desire that is satisfied in exactly the worlds where p is true. Call this the ‘Satisfaction-is-Truth Principle’. We argue that this principle is false: an agent may want p without having a desire that is satisfied when p obtains in any old way. For example, Millie wants to drink milk but does not have a desire that is satisfied when she drinks spoiled milk. Millie has a (...) desire whose satisfaction conditions are what we call ways-specific. Fara (2003, 2013) and Lycan (2012, ms) have also argued for this conclusion, but their claims about desire satisfaction rest solely on contested intuitions about when agents get what they want. We set these intuitions to one side, instead arguing that desire satisfaction is ways-specific by appealing to the dispositional role of desire. Because agents are disposed to satisfy their desires, dispositions provide important evidence about desire satisfaction. Our argument further provides new insight on the dispositional role of desire satisfaction. (shrink)
Roger Scruton's 530-page blockbuster The Aesthetics of Music was published by Oxford University Press in 1997. A paperback edition followed two years later. Neither received more than a handful of notices, a few appreciative, but some grudging and some actually hostile. As its quality has come to be recognized, and as the resentments it provoked have either died down or found newer targets, the book has gradually achieved a certain canonical, even classic, status. Students of the subject now seem to (...) feel that, however unpalatable some of its conclusions may have been, it can no longer safely be ignored. The questions, it appears, are the right ones, even if we don't care for Scruton's answers. (shrink)
Don't look for the meaning; look for the use. A few years back the Yale deconstructionist Paul de Man wasposthumously discovered to have written repeatedly for a Belgiancollaborationist journal during the Nazi occupation. So far as I amaware, de Man in his American period espoused no particular politics. Indeed, the Left frequently regarded this as a cause for complaint, since most of them thought of de Man and deconstruction as being their natural allies.
The primary objective of this study is to provide a description of the major ideas about void space within and beyond the world that were formulated between the fourteenth and early eighteenth centuries. The second part of the book - on infinite, extracosmic void space - is of special significance. The significance of Professor Grant's account is twofold: it provides the first comprehensive and detailed description of the scholastic Aristotelian arguments for and against the existence of void space; and (...) it presents (again for the first time) an analysis of the possible influence of scholastic ideas and arguments on the interpretations of space proposed by the nonscholastic authors who made the Scientific Revolution possible. The concluding chapter of the book is unique in not only describing the conceptualizations of space proposed by the makers of the Scientific Revolution, but in assessing the role of readily available scholastic ideas on the conception of space adopted for the Newtonian world. (shrink)
Questioning the usual judgements of political ethics, Ruth W. Grant argues that hypocrisy can actually be constructive while strictly principled behavior can be destructive. _Hypocrisy and Integrity_ offers a new conceptual framework that clarifies the differences between idealism and fanaticism while it uncovers the moral limits of compromise. "Exciting and provocative.... Grant's work is to be highly recommended, offering a fresh reading of Rousseau and Machiavelli as well as presenting a penetrating analysis of hypocrisy and integrity."—Ronald J. Terchek, (...) _American Political Science Review_ "A great refreshment.... With liberalism's best interests at heart, Grant seeks to make available a better understanding of the limits of reason in politics."—Peter Berkowitz, _New Republic_. (shrink)
This volume offers two complementary works, unabridged, in modernized, annotated texts--the only available edition priced for classroom use. Grant and Tarcov provide a concise introduction, a note on the texts, and a select bibliography.
Canadians have relatively few binding national myths, but one of the most pervasive and enduring is the conviction that the country is doomed. In 1965 George Grant passionately defended Canadian identity by asking fundamental questions about the meaning and future of Canada’s political existence. In Lament for a Nation he argued that Canada – immense and underpopulated, defined in part by the border, history, and culture it shares with the United States, and torn by conflicting loyalties to Britain, Quebec, (...) and America – had ceased to exist as a sovereign state. Lament for a Nation became the seminal work in Canadian political thought and Grant became known as the father of Canadian nationalism. This edition includes a major introduction by Andrew Potter that explores Grant’s arguments in the context of changes in ethnic diversity, free trade, globalization, post-modernism, and 9/11. Potter discusses the shifting uses of the terms “liberal” and “conservative” and closes with a look at the current state of Canadian nationalism. (shrink)
The Critical Imagination is a study of metaphor, imaginativeness, and criticism of the arts. Since the eighteenth century, many philosophers have argued that appreciating art is rewarding because it involves responding imaginatively to a work. Literary works can be interpreted in many ways; architecture can be seen as stately, meditative, or forbidding; and sensitive descriptions of art are often colourful metaphors: music can 'shimmer', prose can be 'perfumed', and a painter's colouring can be 'effervescent'. Engaging with art, like creating it, (...) seems to offer great scope for imagination. Hume, Kant, Oscar Wilde, Roger Scruton, and others have defended variations on this attractive idea. In this book, James Grant critically examines it. The first half explains the role imaginativeness plays in criticism. To do this, Grant answers three questions that are of interest in their own right. First, what are the aims of criticism? Is the point of criticizing a work to evaluate it, to explain it, to modify our response to it, or something else? Second, what is it to appreciate art? Third, what is imaginativeness? He gives new answers to all three questions, and uses them to explain the role of imaginativeness in criticism. The book's second half focuses on metaphor. Why are some metaphors so effective? How do we understand metaphors? Are some thoughts expressible only in metaphor? Grant's answers to these questions go against much current thinking in the philosophy of language. He uses these answers to explain why imaginative metaphors are so common in art criticism. The result is a rigorous and original theory of metaphor, criticism, imaginativeness, and their interrelations. (shrink)
George Grant's magnificent four-part meditation sums up much that is central to his own thought, including a critique of modern liberalism, an analysis of John Rawls's Theory of Justice, and insights into the larger Western philosophical ...
Separated from its anchorage in religion, ethics has followed the social sciences in seeing human beings as fundamentally characterized by self-interest, so that altruism is either naively idealistic or arrogantly self-sufficient. Colin Grant contends that, as a modern secular concept, altruism is a parody on the self-giving love of Christianity, so that its dismissal represents a social levelling that loses the depths that theology makes intelligible and religion makes possible. The Christian affirmation is that God is characterized by self-giving (...) love, then expected of Christians. Lacking this theological background, the focus on self-interest in sociobiology and economics, and on human realism in the political focus of John Rawls or the feminist sociability of Carol Gilligan, finds altruism naive or a dangerous distraction from real possibilities of mutual support. This book argues that to dispense with altruism is to dispense with God and with the divine transformation of human possibilities. (shrink)
What makes feminist theory feminist? How did so many different feminisms come to exist? In Fundamental Feminism, Judith Grant addresses these questions by offering a critical exploration of the evolution of feminist theory and the state of feminist thinking today. Grant provides a lively assessment of the major problems of contemporary feminist thought and identifies a set of common assumptions that link the wide variety of feminist theories in existence. Fundamental Feminism calls for nothing less than a substantial (...) revision of the core concepts responsible for shaping feminist theory as we now know it. Grant identifies and critiques three core concepts of feminist theory--"woman," "experience," and "personal politics"--from their origins in pamphlets and writings from the early women's liberation movement to their current construction in feminist thought. She then connects a number of major debates in feminism today to the longstanding influence of these core assumptions. These debates include the hegemony of the white female perspective, the tension between anti-pornography and pro-sex feminists, and the discussions surrounding the challenges presented by postmodernism. Grant gives readers valuable insight into the dilemma facing feminist theory today. Fundamental Feminism is a thorough and provocative analysis that will be essential reading for anyone interested in the future of feminist theory and the power of feminist politics. (shrink)
Grant and Quiggin suggest that agents employ heuristics to constrain the set of acts under consideration before applying standard decision theory, based on their restricted model of the world to the remaining acts. The aim of this paper is to provide an axiomatic foundation, and an associated representation theorem, for the preference model proposed by Grant and Quiggin. The unawareness of the agent is encoded both in the specification of the states and in an elaboration of the set (...) of consequences. We illustrate how the representation can be applied to rationalize two notions of the precautionary principle that were proposed and discussed in Grant and Quiggin. (shrink)