Scholars in philosophy, law, economics and other fields have widely debated how science, environmental precaution, and economic interests should be balanced in urgent contemporary problems, such as climate change. One controversial focus of these discussions is the precautionary principle, according to which scientific uncertainty should not be a reason for delay in the face of serious threats to the environment or health. While the precautionary principle has been very influential, no generally accepted definition of it exists and critics (...) charge that it is incoherent or hopelessly vague. This book presents and defends an interpretation of the precautionary principle from the perspective of philosophy of science, looking particularly at how it connects to decisions, scientific procedures, and evidence. Through careful analysis of numerous case studies, it shows how this interpretation leads to important insights on scientific uncertainty, intergenerational justice, and the relationship between values and policy-relevant science. (shrink)
En este artículo presentamos el concepto de vida humana como texto eterno en el pensamiento de Ortega y sus consecuencias para el problema de la interpretación. La filosofía de la razón vital de Ortega se fundamenta en el concepto de vida humana como realidad radical y principio interpretativo universal, y por esta razón se presenta desde el principio como una filosofía hermenéutica de la vida y no como una reducción hacia la conciencia trascendental. Esta hermenéutica se practica especialmente en el (...) ámbito del arte. Pero para Ortega todo texto es hermenéutico y necesita por tanto la interpretación, porque ningún texto posee en sí mismo su verdad. ENGLISH: In this article we present the concept of human life as eternal text in Ortega’s thought, and its consequences for the problem of interpretation. Ortega’s philosophy of vital reason is grounded in the concept of human life as radical reality and universal interpretive principle, and for this reason his philosophy appears from the beginning as a hermeneutic philosophy of life and not as reduction to transcendental consciousness. This hermeneutic is especially carried out in the sphere of art. For Ortega, however, all text is hermeneutic and therefore needs interpretation, because no text has its own truth in itself. (shrink)
Mary Anne Perkins re-examines Coleridge's claim to have developed a "logosophic" system which attempted "to reduce all knowledges into harmony." She pays particular attention to his later writings, some of which are still unpublished. She suggests that the accusations of plagiarism and of muddled, abstruse metaphysics which have been levelled at him may be challenged by a thorough reading of his work in which its unifying principle is revealed. She explores the various meanings of the term "logos," a recurrent (...) theme in every area of Coleridge's thought--philosophy, religion, natural science, history, political and social criticism, literary theory, and psychology. Coleridge was responding to the concerns of his own time, a revolutionary age in which increasing intellectual and moral fragmentation and confusion seemed to him to threaten both individuals and society. Drawing on the whole of Western intellectual history, he offered a ground for philosophy which was relational rather than mechanistic. He is one of those few thinkers whose work appears to become more interesting and his perceptions more acute as the historical gulf widens. This book is a contribution to the reassessment that he deserves. (shrink)
The questions that were purely in the realms of philosophy are now beginning to be answered by science. The second Venice Conference on Cosmology and Philosophy explores the anthropic principle which states that the Universe has the conditions we observe because we are here. Out of all possible universes we can only experience the restricted class that permits observers. This realization has profound implications for cosmology, philosophy and theology; all of which are explored in this book by thirteen contributors (...) who gathered to discuss and share their theories within the context of science. The result is a unique collection of papers of great value to professional astronomers and philosophers interested in the role of observers in the Universe. (shrink)
Five pre-eminent legal theorists tackle a range of fundamental questions on the nature of the philosophy of criminal law. Their essays explore the extent to which and the ways in which our systems of criminal law can be seen as rational and principled. The essays discuss some of the principles by which, it is often thought, a system of law should be structured, and they ask whether our own systems are genuinely principled or riven by basic contradictions, reflecting deeper political (...) and social conflicts. The volume as a whole shows how lively and exciting contemporary legal theory can be. (shrink)
In the United States the relationship between Hegel and Schelling divides into two camps: The first sees Hegel’s critical remarks in the Phenomenology not directed against Schelling himself but against Schelling’s adherents. I provide here detailed arguments for the minority view: Although Hegel did collaborate with Schelling in the early Jena years even opposing Reinhold, he nonetheless worked with Reinhold’s arguments on the origins and systematicity of philosophy differently than did Schelling: The rift between the two giants really goes back (...) to the very early Jena period. (shrink)
This paper analyzes the role of the principle of causality in Cassirer’s account of the coordination of concepts and spatio-temporal objects. We shall see that, in contradistinction to Kantian schematism, Cassirer maintains that this coordination is not achieved by means of a third element, which albeit intellectual is nevertheless also sensible. Rather, in Cassirer’s view, the coordination will take place through a specification of the concepts that should be sought “within the domain of concepts itself.” We shall show that (...) the principle of causality is the ultimate condition upon which the possibility of the coordination of concepts and spatio-temporal objects depends. (shrink)
Kant’s philosophy of science takes on sharp contour in terms of his interaction with the practicing life scientists of his day, particularly Johann Blumenbach and the latter’s student, Christoph Girtanner, who in 1796 attempted to synthesize the ideas of Kant and Blumenbach. Indeed, Kant’s engagement with the life sciences played a far more substantial role in his transcendental philosophy than has been recognized hitherto. The theory of epigenesis, especially in light of Kant’s famous analogy in the first Critique , posed (...) crucial questions regarding the ‘looseness of fit’ between the constitutive and the regulative in Kant’s theory of empirical law. A detailed examination of Kant’s struggle with epigenesis between 1784 and 1790 demonstrates his grave reservations about its hylozoist implications, leading to his even stronger insistence on the discrimination of constitutive from regulative uses of reason. The continuing relevance of these issues for Kant’s philosophy of science is clear from the work of Buchdahl and its contemporary reception.Author Keywords: Epigenesis; Empirical law; Kant; Blumenbach; Buchdahl; Girtanner. (shrink)
This article provides an overview of controversies in the history of Chinese philosophy concerning the diversity of meanings of the term Li , as well as the comparative issues raised in various attempts by modern Chinese and Western interpreters to come to terms with this diversity of meanings. Revisiting the earliest pre-philosophical uses of the term, an attempt is then made to synthesize the insights of previous interpreters and open up a new path for investigating its distinctive implications in classical (...) Chinese thought, Chinese Buddhism, and Neo-Confucianism. (shrink)
In Chapter 4 of his essay Utilitarianism , “Of what sort of Proof the Principle of Utility is susceptible,” J. S. Mill undertakes to prove , in some sense of that term, the principle of utility. It has very commonly been argued that in the course of this “proof” Mill commits two very obvious fallacies. The first is the naturalistic fallacy which he is held to commit when he argues that since “the only proof capable of being given (...) that an object is visible, is that people actually see it. The only proof that a sound is audible is that people hear it: and so of the other sources of our experience. In like manner … the sole evidence it is possible to produce that anything is desirable, is that people do actually desire it.” 1 Here Mill appears to hold that “X is desirable ”—a value judgment—follows deductively from “People desire x”—a factual statement. And the second is the fallacy of composition which seems to be involved in Mill'zs argument that since “each person's happiness is a good to that person … the general happiness , therefore, a good to the aggregate of all persons.” 2. (shrink)
I argue that Descartes takes true representation by means of concepts (or clear and distinct ideas) to involve resemblance between those concepts andtheir extra-mental objects. On the basis of analysis of a wide range of important Cartesian texts, I contend we must attribute to Descartes a doctrine of conceptualor intellectual resemblance, according to which ideas or concepts represent objects by resembling them. This doctrine of resemblance entails a further doctrine of property-sharing which, though inherently problematic for Cartesian ontology generally, is (...) nonetheless supported by Descartes’ use of the scholastic distinctionbetween formal and objective reality. (shrink)
In Part I of this discussion I considered the nature and validity of the principle of respect for persons as distinguished from its practical import and application. Before I proceed to that second topic let me draw together in summary fashion the main points of the view I have put forward.
Recent research both on the Kyoto School and on the contemporary New Confucians suggests significant similarities between these two modern East Asian philosophies. Still missing is, however, an explanation of the shared philosophical ideas that serve as the foundation for comparative studies. For this reason, I analyze the basic theories of the two distinctly East Asian philosophies of Nishida Kitarō (1870-1945) and Mou Zongsan (1909-95) so as to identify and extract the same type of argument. This is an alternative to (...) the analyses provided by the previous studies of their philosophies, which inevitably regard their theories as an East Asian assimilation of modern European philosophy in the Kantian, Neo-Kantian, or phenomenological tradition, or else as the traditional tenets under the guise of philosophical speculation, without being able to clarify how these theories contribute to philosophy. My analysis shows that both the logic of basho and the theory of perfect teaching formulate the same type of theory, the ontological or topological-onto-topological-turn from the act of consciousness to its basho or its vertical enfolding, which constitutes the bedrock of East Asian philosophy. (shrink)
The principle of right is Kant's main formulation of the rules of politics, and it has obvious affinities with the moral law. Do we have moral reasons to obey the principle? I argue that we may have moral reasons to obey the principle ourselves, but not coercively to enforce it. Do we have prudential reasons to obey the principle? I argue that we do not have reasons based on happiness, but that we may have prudential reasons (...) of a wholly different, but distinctively Kantian kind. These may be reasons both to obey the principle ourselves and to enforce it. (shrink)
Fichte founded a revolutionary philosophical movement and invented an entirely new kind of philosophy; and he did so knowingly and intentionally. Yet, paradoxically, he did all this merely in the course of attempting to complete the philosophical project of Kant and protect critical philosophy against the possibility of skeptical..
Increasingly skillful forgery of Marxism and increasingly skillful disguise of various antimaterialist theories as Marxism are the characteristics of modern revisionism in political economy, tactics, and general philosophy ." In this remark, Lenin unmistakably pointed out the old tricks of the various revisionists who frenziedly attacked Marxism. In philosophy, veteran revisionists such as Bernstein and his ilk who followed on the tail of bourgeois professors of philosophy called for "return to Kant," integration of Marxism with Kantianism, and replenishment of Marxism (...) with Kantianism. Russian revisionists such as Bogdanov and his ilk advocated integration of Marxism with Machism and of socialism with religion and replenishment of Marxism with Machism. In short, they disguised various idealist theories as Marxist philosophy and used these theories to "replenish" or supersede Marxist philosophy while at the same time saying that this was the development of Marxist philosophy. (shrink)