_Imagination_ is an outstanding contribution to a notoriously elusive and confusing subject. It skillfully interrelates problems in philosophy, the history of ideas and literary theory and criticism, tracing the evolution of the concept of imagination from Hume and Kant in the eighteenth century to Ryle, Sartre and Wittgenstein in the twentieth. She strongly belies that the cultivation of imagination should be the chief aim of education and one of her objectives in writing the book has been to put forward reasons (...) why this is so. Purely philosophical treatment of the concept is shown to be related to its use in the work of Coleridge and Wordsworth, who she considers to be the creators of a new kind of awareness with more than literary implications. The purpose of her historical account is to suggest that the role of imagination in our perception and thought is more pervasive than may at first sight appear, and that the thread she traces is an important link joining apparently different areas of our experience. She argues that imagination is an essential element in both our awareness of the world and our attaching of value to it. (shrink)
Existentialism enjoyed great popularity in the 1940s and 1950s, and has probably had a greater impact upon literature than any other kind of philosophy. The common interest which unites Existentialist philosophers is their interest in human freedom. Readers of Existentialist philosophy are being asked, not merely to contemplate the nature of freedom, but to experience freedom, and to practise it. In this survey, Mary Warnock begins by considering the ethical origins of Existentialism, with particular reference to Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, and (...) outlines the importance of a systematic account of man's connection with the world as expounded by Husserl. She discusses at length the common interests and ancestry of Existentialism in the works of Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Sartre, and offers some conclusions about the current nature and future of this committed and practical philosophy. This revised edition includes a postscript reviewing the status of Existentialism in the 1990s, and has a thoroughly updated bibliography. (shrink)
Mary Warnock steers a clear path through the web of complex issues underlying the use of new reproductive technologies. She begins by analysing what it means to claim something as a 'right', and goes on to discuss the cases of different groups of people. She also examines the ethical problems faced by particular types of assisted reproduction, including artificial insemination, in-vitro fertilization, and surrogacy, and argues that in the future human cloning may well be a viable and acceptable form of (...) treatment for some types of infertility. (shrink)
This book, first published in 1965, is a critical exposition of the philosophical doctrines of Jean-Paul Sartre. His contribution to ethical and political theory, and to metaphysics and ontology, is reviewed against the background of German idealism and phenomenology, and his arguments are presented clearly so that readers may assess their philosophical value in their own right.
Fundamental principles : the nature of the dispute -- Types of euthanasia -- Psychiatric assisted suicide -- Neonates -- Incompetent adults -- Human life is sacred -- The slippery slope -- Medical views -- Four methods of easing death and their effect on doctors -- Looking further ahead.
All religion and much philosophy has been concerned with the contrast between the ephemeral and the eternal. Human beings have always sought ways to overcome time, and to prove that death is not the end. This book consists then in an exploration of certain closely related ideas: personal identity, time, history and our commitment to the future, and the role of imagination in life.
Though religious belief may be the foundation for private morality and therefore supply such morality with inviolable principles, it has no such role in the case of public policy-making, even where the policy is concerned with matters agreed to be matters of morality. It could have such a role only if the certainty of the principles supplied by religion were generally shared, or were held themselves to be enforceable by law (i.e. in a theocratic state).
Nature and Mortality is a challenging look at some of the major public issues of our time through the eyes of one of our most influential and probing liberal humanists. It is a frank account on where we stand today on such controversial matters as human embryology, genetic engineering, euthanasia and abortion. Warnock's views may seem like a red rag to a bull to some, but her contribution to the debate is always stimulating. Enlivened by autobiographical anecdote and some delicious (...) side-swipes, Nature and Mortality is Mary Warnock at her most perceptive, wise and entertaining. (shrink)
There is an argument often deployed by those who object to the rapid advances in technology, whether in agriculture and animal husbandry or in medicine, that some procedure is ‘unnatural’, and therefore should not be actually prohibited. An attempt is made to analyse and appraise the moral force, if any, of the dichotomy ‘natural’/‘unnatural’, especially in the area of assisted conception. The emotional resonances of the concept of Nature are partially explored, and found to be deep-seated and various, but not (...) of themselves the source of moral imperatives. Footnotes1 Royal Institute of Philosophy Annual Lecture, 2002. (shrink)
The Critique of Dialectical Reason was first published in France twenty years ago, in 1960. The book, we know from Simone de Beauvoir, was flung together in a hurry, written virtually without correction during the height of the Algerian war, a period, for Sartre, of stress and anxious stock-taking of his position as a Marxist and a long-term non-joiner of the Communist Party. The whole sense in which, in 1960, Sartre was a Marxist, the question of precisely how eccentric his (...) kind of Marxism was, is centred on his theory of historical explanation. I do not propose to raise many detailed questions about the relation of Sartre's views on history to those of Marx himself, still less to those of other Marxists. Ignorance alone would rule out such a course. I would like if I can, however, to consider Sartre's own view of historical explanation as it appears in the Critique, and leave it to others if they wish to fit it into the Marxist tradition, or exclude it. In order to perform this relatively modest expository task, it will be necessary for me to refer, from time to time, to Sartre's earlier philosophical views. But this will come in incidentally. (shrink)
On 18–19 May 2018, a symposium was held in the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies at the University of Aberdeen to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the death of Ronald W. Hepburn (1927–2008). The speakers at this event discussed Hepburn’s oeuvre from several perspectives. For this book, the collection of the revised versions of their talks has been supplemented by the papers of other scholars who were unable to attend the symposium itself. Thus this volume contains contributions from (...) eighteen notable scholars of different disciplines, ranging from contemporary aesthetics and art theory through to philosophical approaches to religion, education and social anthropology. It also includes a bibliography of Hepburn’s writings. The essays were first published in two special issues of the Journal of Scottish Thought, vols. 10–11 (2018–2019). -/- Ronald William Hepburn was born in Aberdeen on 16 March 1927. He went to Aberdeen Grammar School, then he graduated with an M.A. in Philosophy (1951) and obtained his doctorate from the University of Aberdeen (1955). His tutor at Aberdeen was Donald MacKinnon (1913– 1994), a Scottish philosopher and theologian, the author of A Study in Ethical Theory (1957) and The Problem of Metaphysics (1974). Hepburn taught as Lecturer at the Department of Moral Philosophy at Aberdeen (1956–60), and he was also Visiting Associate Professor of Philosophy at New York University (1959–60). He returned from the United States as Professor of Philosophy at Nottingham University. In 1964, he was appointed as a Chair in Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh and between 1965 and 1968 he was also Stanton Lecturer in the Philosophy of Religion at the University of Cambridge. From 1975 until his retirement in 1996, he held the Professorship of Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh. He died in Edinburgh on 23 December 2008. His philosophical interests ranged from theology and the philosophy of religion through moral philosophy and the philosophy of education to art theory and aesthetics. Notably, Hepburn is widely regarded as the founder of modern environmental and everyday aesthetics as a result of the influence of papers in the 1960s which pioneered a new approach to the aesthetics of the natural world. (shrink)