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)
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).
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 main objectives of the bibliography are to incorporate women's publications into the main body of philosophical thought, to increase the visibility and use of publications created by women, and to indicate the variety of approaches, concepts, and theories embodied in these works. Women Philosophers brings together women's works, ideas, and theories from all branches of philosophy and compiles them into a comprehensive bibliography. More than 2,800 monographs, series, and volumes written or edited by women are listed. An author index (...) with more than 1,900 names is also included. (shrink)
My topic may seem a bizarre mixture of epistemology and value theory; and perhaps it is best to acknowledge this oddity at once. I should also, perhaps, confess that such a mixture has always seemed something to aspire to. Any philosopher who has made it seem that feeling strongly about something, valuing it highly, is an inevitable consequence of the nature of human understanding , that from the facts of knowledge or perception one can derive the inescapable facts of emotion (...) or desire, any such philosopher has always deeply appealed to me. I am therefore a confessed perpetrator of the naturalistic fallacy. Indeed I go further, and say that I love the fallacy. So Spinoza, Hume and Sartre all seem to me to be real philosophers, on the grounds that for them this connexion between knowing and wanting seemed inevitable. My aim is to illustrate this kind of connexion by suggesting that the human imagination is such that we ought to value it and respect it more highly than anything else; and that therefore, if it can be educated and improved, it is to this education that we should give priority, if we are concerned with education at all. It may seem on the face of it absurd to say that we ought to value any particular human faculty or capacity. It may be thought that this is not the kind of object or evaluation with which at any rate philosophers should be concerned. But the fact is, of course, that we do value very highly indeed all kinds of capacities that we have, such as sight, and hearing and understanding. And being unashamedly naturalistic, I have no hesitation in saying not only that we do value them, but that we ought to; they are, in every sense, valuable. (shrink)
Everybody recognizes that most of the problems in medical ethics arise, these days, from innovations in medical technology. We would not have had to lay down laws or ethical guidelines about assisted reproduction had it not been for the new technology of in vitro fertilization, which produced the first IVF baby in 1978. We would not be currently anxious about the ethics of possible human cloning, had it not been for the production in Edinburgh of Dolly, the lamb whose birth (...) resulted from the removal of a mammary gland cell from an adult sheep. So the question is whether there is some research into developing technology that is too dangerous, that will lead to consequences too dramatic for humanity, for the research itself to be permitted. Should there be control over what technological innovation should be permitted? (shrink)