If someone abstains from meat-eating for reasons of taste or personal economics, no moral or philosophical question arises. But when a vegetarian attempts to persuade others that they, too, should adopt his diet, then what he says requires philosophical attention. While a vegetarian might argue in any number of ways, this essay will be concerned only with the argument for a vegetarian diet resting on a moral objection to the rearing and killing of animals for the human table. The vegetarian, (...) in this laense, does not merely require us to change or justify our eating habits, but to reconsider our attitudes and behaviour towards members of other species across a wide range of practices. (shrink)
This book presents a defense of the reality of God in the sense in which Nietzsche proclaimed His death. It explores various contemporary versions of Nietzsche's maxim God is dead and proposes an alternative to them. Philip E.Devine critically examines three views that, in one way or another, accept the death of God and take it as central to the intellectual life: pragmatism, which asserts that the only end of the intellectual life is the pursuit of worldly goods other than (...) truth; relativism', which admits a multiplicity of truths corresponding to the modes of life pursued by human beings; and nihilism, to which the pursuit of truth is a deception. Devine then defends his own position on the nature of God and religion and argues for a convergence between the concerns of faith and philosophy. (shrink)
SEX AND GENDER: A SPECTRUM OF VIEWS provides a medium for discussion and debate about today's most provocative issues concerning human sexuality and the relationships between masculinity and femininity. Including a spectrum of views that ranges from the stridently conservative to the progressively feminist, this anthology engages students in these subjects using a wider range of standpoints than is typical of such readers.
Many of us want to say that there is an absolute—or at least a virtually absolute—prohibition on torturing people. But we live in a world in which firm moral restraints of all sorts are hard to defend. Neither contemporary conventional morality, nor any of the available moral theories, provides adequate support for the deliverances of the “wisdom of repugnance” in this area. Nor do they support casuistry capable of distinguishing torture from forms of rough treatment. I here make some suggestions (...) concerningthe improvement of this situation. (shrink)
This paper examines interpretations of the doctrine that "exists" is not a predicate (existence is not a property). None, it is concluded, is both true and a refutation of St. Anselm's "ontological" argument for the existence of God.
I here criticize the use of science-fiction examples in ethics, chiefly, though not solely, by defenders of abortion. We have no reliable intuitions concerning such examples—certainly nothing strong enough to set against the strong intuition that infanticide is virtually always wrong.