On reading Fichte's Addresses to the German Nation (1806?7), one is struck by the numerous references to religion it contains. The religious aspect of Fichte's writing is interesting in itself as it touches upon wider issues of theology and political thought, but it is also surprising given that Fichte had been labeled an atheist. The purpose of this article is to explore the ?religious? aspect of the Addresses looking specifically at the relationship between Fichte's work and the idea of ?a (...) chosen people.? I argue that though not restricted to Reformed theology or even to the Christian faith, the idea of a chosen people can be found in Fichte's work but that it cannot be understood in a Lutheran nor Calvinistic manner but rather through the teachings of Jacob Arminius and the Remonstrants. (shrink)
Those who have emphasised Nietzsche’s naturalism have often claimed that he emulates natural scientific methods by offering causal explanations of psychological, social, and moral phenomena. In order to render Nietzsche’s method consistent with his methodology, such readers of Nietzsche have also claimed that his objections are based on a limited scepticism concerning the veracity of causal explanations. My contention is that proponents of this reading are wrong about both Nietzsche’s methodology and his method. I argue for this by: first, showing (...) that Nietzsche was suspicious of causal explanations not only on sceptical grounds but also for reasons provided by his psychological analysis of our tendency to look for causes; and second, arguing for a non-causal interpretation of Nietzsche’s approach to psychological explanation. (shrink)
Over the last 20 years, organizations have attempted numerous innovations to create more openness and to increase ethical practice. However, adult students in business classes report that managers are generally bureaucratically oriented and averse to constructive criticism or principled dissent. When organizations oppose dissent, they suffer the consequences of mistakes that could be prevented and they create an unethical and toxic environment for individual employees. By distinguishing principled dissent from other forms of criticism and opposition, managers and leaders can perceive (...) the dissenter as an important organizational voice and a valued employee. The dissenter, like the whistleblower, is often highly ethically motivated and desires to contribute to the organization’s wellbeing. Recognizing and protecting principled dissent provides the means of transforming organizations. By restoring dignity to the individual, organizations gain more productive and loyal employees, and they create an environment that promotes critical thinking, learning, and a commitment to ethics. (shrink)
Sometimes in philosophy one view engenders another. If you hold the first, chances are you hold the second. But it’s not always because the first entails the second. Sometimes the tie is less clear, less clean. One such tie is between substance dualism and anti-criterialism. Substance dualism is the view that people are, at least in part, immaterial mental substances. Anti-criterialism is the view that there is no criterion of personal identity through time. Most philosophers who hold the first view (...) also hold the second. In fact, many philosophers just assume that substance dualists ought to, or perhaps even have to, accept anti-criterialism. But I aim to show that this assumption is baseless. Substance dualism doesn’t entail, suggest, support, or in any way motivate anti-criterialism, and anti-criterialism confers no benefit on dualism. Substance dualists have no special reason—and, indeed, no good reason at all—to accept anti-criterialism. Or so I shall argue. My aim isn’t to defend substance dualism, nor is it to attack anti-criterialism. My aim is to show that, contrary to a long-standing trend, dualists needn’t be anti-criterialists. Nor, as it will turn out, should they be. (shrink)
We argue that probability effects on P300 amplitude are the product of an automatic frequency detector not subject to voluntary control and relatively inaccessible to consciousness. related to P300 therefore appear to be passive, perceptual ones. If probability-based expectancies do become conscious, they are inversely related to P300, supporting the view of Donchin & Coles (1988).
The history of the emotions first developed as a field of inquiry in Europe. It took root in the United States only in the 1980s. Today, the field has expanded dramatically. Historians of the emotions share the conviction that culture gives some shape to emotional life and that consequently, feelings vary across time and culture. Working on that assumption, recent historical works have investigated the changing role of emotions in politics, economics, and private life. There are a number of contentious (...) issues within the field, including the much debated relationship between words and feelings, the pace and direction of change in emotional culture, and the question of the continuity of emotional experience and categories over centuries. (shrink)
Paul Bloomfield’s latest book, The Virtues of Happiness, is an excellent discussion of what constitutes living the Good Life. It is a self-admittedly ambitious book, as he seeks to show that people who act immorally necessarily fall short of living well. Instead of arguing that immorality is inherently irrational, he puts it in terms of it being inherently harmful in regards to one’s ability to achieve the Good Life. It’s ambitious because he tries to argue this starting from grounds which (...) the immoralist (usually an egoist) would accept. He starts from premises about our desire to be happy, and how happiness is inconsistent with a lack of self-respect, which he claims are premises even an egoist would accept. His key argument is then that self-respect is tied to one’s respect for others, so that being happy is therefore inconsistent with a disrespect for others. He then goes on to argue about the necessity of virtue for truly being as happy as we can be. -/- Bloomfield’s book is an interesting synthesis of the traditional Greek focus on eudaimonia (i.e. living well) with the Kantian concern of a respect for persons. I found myself in agreement with much of what he had to say, making this review a bit challenging. Nevertheless, I will endeavor to point out areas where, despite my agreement on his conclusions, I think his arguments could be challenged and would require further support. (shrink)
Matthew Goldspan was faced with a series of coincidental personnel issues that tested both his fairness and integrity. He had been a branch manager of a financial services operation for three years, where he oversaw thirty five employees. In one instance, a clerical employee protested salary differences she discovered; in another, his affirmative action record, as well as his right to make hiring decisions, was in question; and thirdly, he had to decide how to respond to theft by a temporary (...) employee who happened to be the son of a prized member of his staff. In each case, employees were looking for Matt to demonstrate appropriate leadership and sound judgment. (shrink)
Libertarian Papers is pleased to announce that Matt McCaffrey, a PhD candidate at the University of Angers, Mises Institute fellow, and winner of the 2010 Lawrence W. Fertig Prize in Austrian Economics, has agreed to serve as the journal’s Assistant Editor.
Libertarian Papers is pleased to announce that Matthew McCaffrey has agreed to serve as the journal’s Editor. A PhD candidate at the University of Angers, Mises Institute fellow, and winner of the 2010 Lawrence W. Fertig Prize in Austrian Economics, Matt previously served as the journal’s Managing Editor. He may be reached here. Stephan Kinsella [...].
Matt Mortellaro’s “Causation and Responsibility: A New Direction” is a brilliant Rothbardian analysis that makes numerous new and important points. It also critiques some of my own previous publications. In this piece I focus on Mortellaro’s rejoinders to me, and set forth a defense of my own positions.
Gers (Biol Philos, 2011) provides a positive and constructive view of the project to generalise Darwinian principles in Geoffrey Hodgson and Thorbjørn Knudsen’s Darwin’s Conjecture. We note considerable overlap with his work and ours, and also with important recent work of Godfrey-Smith ( 2009 ), which Gers cites extensively. But we also note that there are differences in research objectives between Gers and Godfrey-Smith, on the one hand, and ourselves, on the other. Gers and Godfrey-Smith focus on the elucidation of (...) the most general principles possible. Our aim is to derive principles that are sufficiently abstract to span the natural and human social worlds, and then add additional principles to help understand the Darwinian evolution of human society. Furthermore, Gers and Godfrey-Smith critique a replicator concept that is different from ours. Once these points are made apparent, the criticisms are essentially disabled, and we end up in a position with different but complementary and overlapping research projects. (shrink)