Imagine first the case of J (who might be anybody, jemand). J used to inhabit a social order, or rather an area within a social order, where socially approved roles were unusually well-defined. Responsibilities were allocated to each such role and each sphere of role-structured activity was clearly demarcated. These allocations and demarcations were embodied in and partly constituted by the expectations that others had learned to have of those who occupied each such role. For those who occupied those roles (...) to disappoint those expectations by failing to discharge their assigned responsibilities was to invite severe disapproval and other sanctions. To refuse to find one's place within the hierarchies of approved roles, or to have been refused a place, because judged unfit for any such role, was to be classified as socially deviant and irresponsible. The key moral concepts that education had inculcated into J were concepts of duty and responsibility. His fundamental moral beliefs were that each of us owes it to others to perform her or his assigned duties and to discharge her or his assigned responsibilities. A good human being performs those duties, discharges those responsibilities, and does not trespass into areas that are not her or his concern. A philosopher who comes across the likes of J will understand his attitudes as cultural parodies, in part of Plato (conceiving of justice as requiring ‘that each do her or his own work and not meddle with many things’ Republic 433a) and in part of Kant (doing one's duty just because it is one's duty and not for the sake of any further end), authors who had influenced J's school teachers. A sociologist will entertain the suspicion that in certain types of social order it may be only in the form of parodies that some types of concept can continue to find expression. But for the moment let us put this thought on one side and return to J. (shrink)
"Every word, like a sacred object, has its place. No _précis_ is possible. This extraordinary book must be read."—Edmund Carpenter, _New York Times Book Review _ "No outline is possible; I can only say that reading this book is a most exciting intellectual exercise in which dialectic, wit, and imagination combine to stimulate and provoke at every page."—Edmund Leach, _Man _ "Lévi-Strauss's books are tough: very scholarly, very dense, very rapid in argument. But once you have mastered him, human history (...) can never be the same, nor indeed can one's view of contemporary society. And his latest book, _The Savage Mind_, is his most comprehensive and certainly his most profound. Everyone interested in the history of ideas _must_ read it; everyone interested in human institutions _should _read it."—J. H. Plumb, _Saturday Review_ "A constantly stimulating, informative and suggestive intellectual challenge."—Geoffrey Gorer, _The Observer_, London. (shrink)
Alasdair MacIntyre has written a selective history of the Catholic philosophical tradition, designed to show how belief in God informed and informs philosophical enquiry in different historical and social settings.
We give a definition, in the ring language, of Zp inside Qp and of Fp[[t]] inside Fp), which works uniformly for all p and all finite field extensions of these fields, and in many other Henselian valued fields as well. The formula can be taken existential-universal in the ring language, and in fact existential in a modification of the language of Macintyre. Furthermore, we show the negative result that in the language of rings there does not exist a uniform definition (...) by an existential formula and neither by a universal formula for the valuation rings of all the finite extensions of a given Henselian valued field. We also show that there is no existential formula of the ring language defining Zp inside Qp uniformly for all p. For any fixed finite extension of Qp, we give an existential formula and a universal formula in the ring language which define the valuation ring. (shrink)
Widely acknowledged to be the perfect introduction to the subject, this important text presents in concise form an insightful yet exceptionally complete history of moral philosophy in the West, from the Greeks to contemporary times.
Against theses of Bernard Williams and Bas C. van Fraassen, it is argued that there are no facts about moral dilemmas, characterizable independently of any moral theory. It is further argued that any adequate theory which denies that there are genuine moral dilemmas must provide a convincing account of how and why moral agents take themselves to be in dilemmatic situations. The ability of rationalist theories, which deny that genuine moral dilemmas occur, to provide such account is examined. Aquinas's contribution (...) receives particular attention. (shrink)
It is shown that the theory of fields with an automorphism has a decidable model companion. Quantifier-elimination is established in a natural language. The theory is intimately connected to Ax's theory of pseudofinite fields, and analogues are obtained for most of Ax's classical results. Some indication is given of the connection to nonstandard Frobenius maps.
When we deny the truth of someone else’s moral beliefs and give our grounds for so doing, we make or imply judgments about the inadequacy of their reasons for belief and about the causes of their belief. And we presuppose a difference between them and us in both respects. In so doing we provide matter for a shared philosophical inquiry about the relevant types of reason and cause. It is a mark of rational disagreement on matters of serious moral import (...) that we who so disagree should be prepared to engage in this inquiry and to recognize its standards as binding on us unqualifiedly. This recognition commits us to a denial of moral relativism. Some of these best examples of rational disagreement are found in some, although only some, of the exchanges between medieval Islamic, Jewish and Christian philosophers. (shrink)
When _After Virtue_ first appeared in 1981, it was recognized as a significant and potentially controversial critique of contemporary moral philosophy. _Newsweek _called it “a stunning new study of ethics by one of the foremost moral philosophers in the English-speaking world.” Since that time, the book has been translated into more than fifteen foreign languages and has sold over one hundred thousand copies. Now, twenty-five years later, the University of Notre Dame Press is pleased to release the third edition of (...) _After Virtue_, which includes a new prologue “_After Virtue_ after a Quarter of a Century.” In this classic work, Alasdair MacIntyre examines the historical and conceptual roots of the idea of virtue, diagnoses the reasons for its absence in personal and public life, and offers a tentative proposal for its recovery. While the individual chapters are wide-ranging, once pieced together they comprise a penetrating and focused argument about the price of modernity. In the Third Edition prologue, MacIntyre revisits the central theses of the book and concludes that although he has learned a great deal and has supplemented and refined his theses and arguments in other works, he has “as yet found no reason for abandoning the major contentions” of this book. While he recognizes that his conception of human beings as virtuous or vicious needed not only a metaphysical but also a biological grounding, ultimately he remains “committed to the thesis that it is only from the standpoint of a very different tradition, one whose beliefs and presuppositions were articulated in their classical form by Aristotle, that we can understand both the genesis and the predicament of moral modernity.”. (shrink)
Edith Stein lived an unconventional life. Born into a devout Jewish family, she drifted into atheism in her mid teens, took up the study of philosophy, studied with Edmund Husserl, the founder of phenomenology, became a pioneer in the women's movement in Germany, a military nurse in World War I, converted from atheism to Catholic Christianity, became a Carmelite nun, was murdered at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1942, and canonized by Pope John Paul II.