Historical materialism I take to be the view expressed in the well-known Preface to the Critique of Political Economy and exemplified in Capital and in many other writings by Marx and by Marxists. I shall begin with a few introductory remarks, next sketch in the theory, and finally contend that, despite real attractions, it too far limits the scope of legitimate historical enquiry to be ultimately acceptable.
The idea of absolute goodness and the idea of an absolute requitement tend nowadays to be viewed with suspicion in the world of English-speaking philosophy. The tendency is well rooted and has not just arisen by osmosis from the temper of the times. There are various lines of thought, all of them attractive, by which a recent or contemporary academic practitioner of the subject could have been induced into scepticism about an ethics of absolute conceptions.
This Companion provides a fresh and comprehensive account of this outstanding work, which remains among the most frequently read works of Greek philosophy, indeed of Classical antiquity in general. The sixteen essays, by authors who represent various academic disciplines, bring a spectrum of interpretive approaches to bear in order to aid the understanding of a wide-ranging audience, from first-time readers of the Republic who require guidance, to more experienced readers who wish to explore contemporary currents in the work’s interpretation. The (...) three initial chapters address aspects of the work as a whole. They are followed by essays that match closely the sequence in which topics are presented in the ten books of the Republic. Since the Republic returns frequently to the same topics by different routes, so do the authors of this volume, who provide the readers with divergent yet complementary perspectives by which to appreciate the Republic’s principal concerns. (shrink)
ALTHOUGH THE IDEA OF A VIOLATION OF NATURAL LAW IS NOT NECESSARILY INVOLVED IN THE IDEA OF THE MIRACULOUS, THERE IS "ONE KIND" OF MIRACLE WHICH SEEMS TO INVOLVE IT. HUME’S DISCUSSION OF THE EVIDENCE FOR MIRACLES RELATES TO THIS KIND AND IS INTERPRETABLE AS AN ARGUMENT AGAINST ITS POSSIBILITY. ALSO THERE IS AN ARGUMENT THAT THE EXPRESSION "VIOLATION OF NATURAL LAW" SIGNIFIES A CONFUSION IN WHICH THE IDEAS OF NATURAL LAW AND LEGAL LAW COLLAPSE INTO EACH OTHER. NEITHER OF (...) THESE ARGUMENTS IS EFFICACIOUS. FURTHERMORE, THE CONTENTION THAT THERE CAN BE NO SUCH THING AS ESTABLISHING THE "ABSENCE" OF A NATURAL CAUSE IS OPEN TO OBJECTION. HOWEVER, TO BE CONCEIVED AS A VIOLATION OF NATURAL LAW, A MIRACLE MUST BE THOUGHT OF AS AN OCCURRENCE WHICH IS BOTH EMPIRICALLY CERTAIN AND CONCEPTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE--WHICH OUGHT TO MAKE THE NOTION RIDICULOUS. AND YET IT NEED NOT. (shrink)
Beginning with a group of essays on education, the author shows the constricting and limiting effects of empirical assumptions. In his essays on values, he makes it clear that the ethics of empiricism so pervade modern moral philosophy that it can find no place for the notion of absolute value.
The question of what counts as a successful outcome of the process of genetics counselling has recently become central because of the increasing calls for efficiency in health care, and for means of measuring efficiency. Angus Clarke has drawn attention to this trend, and has argued against both a measure in terms of the number of terminations of pregnancy performed as a result of counselling, and an assessment in terms of the contribution of genetics counselling to a national eugenics policy. (...) He suggests instead a measure of workload. There are good arguments for supporting Clarke's position up to a point. In looking for an appropriate measure, much turns on how genetics counselling is defined. It is here understood in the context of an autonomy model of health care. It is argued that there is a contradiction between such an interpretation and the termination measure of outcome. The political philosophy underlying this outcome is also defective. Workload is not sufficient as a measure of outcome however; it is essential to look at the proper goals of an activity. It is argued that these must be connected in some way with the genetic health of the population; that the promotion of reproductive autonomy itself is not sufficient as a goal. The concern for genetic health, however, is interpreted in a way that avoids Clarke's concerns about a national eugenics policy. (shrink)
The idea of freedom plays a key role in Plato's moral and political thought. In the Republic justice is shown to be beneficial because the just man alone is truly free. There are parallels here with modern discussions of freedom. The Laws argues that to be free a city must avoid the extremes of liberty and of authoritarianism. The legislator should rely on persuasion, not force, so that people willingly obey his laws. The underlying idea is that we are free (...) if we willingly follow the demands of reason rather than being coerced by external forces or by unruly desires. (shrink)
„My sole purpose in this paper is to try and correct what I take to be a common misinterpretation of Hume’s opinions on mathematics. I shall not enquire whether he was right or wrong in holding these opinions. Nor shall I offer opinions of my own.“.
We introduce a linear analogue of Läuchli's semantics for intuitionistic logic. In fact, our result is a strengthening of Läuchli's work to the level of proofs, rather than provability. This is obtained by considering continuous actions of the additive group of integers on a category of topological vector spaces. The semantics, based on functorial polymorphism, consists of dinatural transformations which are equivariant with respect to all such actions. Such dinatural transformations are called uniform. To any sequent in Multiplicative Linear Logic (...) , we associate a vector space of“diadditive” uniform transformations. We then show that this space is generated by denotations of cut-free proofs of the sequent in the theory MLL + MIX. Thus we obtain a full completeness theorem in the sense of Abramsky and Jagadeesan, although our result differs from theirs in the use of dinatural transformations.As corollaries, we show that these dinatural transformations compose, and obtain a conservativity result: diadditive dinatural transformations which are uniform with respect to actions of the additive group of integers are also uniform with respect to the actions of arbitrary cocommutative Hopf algebras. Finally, we discuss several possible extensions of this work to noncommutative logic.It is well known that the intuitionistic version of Läuchli's semantics is a special case of the theory of logical relations, due to Plotkin and Statman. Thus, our work can also be viewed as a first step towards developing a theory of logical relations for linear logic and concurrency. (shrink)
This volume critically and constructively discusses philosophical questions which have particular bearing on the formulation of educational aims. The book is divided into three major parts: the first deals with the nature of education, and discusses the various general aims, such as 'mental health', 'socialization' and 'creativity' which have been thought to characterize it; the second section is concerned with the nature of reason and its relationship to feeling, will and action; finally the development of different aspects of reason in (...) an educational context is considered. (shrink)
The "problem of counterfactuals," as proposed by Goodman and Chisholm, cannot be solved. However, a similar program, pioneered by Hiż and Mrs. Milmed, but largely neglected, can be completed and promises a satisfactory analysis of subjunctive conditionals.
Tracing a central theme of Plato's Republic , G. R. F. Ferrari reconsiders in this study the nature and purpose of the comparison between the structure of society and that of the individual soul. In four chapters, Ferrari examines the personalities and social status of the brothers Glaucon and Adeimantus, Plato's notion of justice, coherence in Plato's description of the decline of states, and the tyrant and the philosopher king—a pair who, in their different ways, break with the terms of (...) the city-soul analogy. In addition to acknowledging familiar themes in the interpretation of the Republic —the sincerity of its utopianism, the justice of the philosopher's return to the Cave—Ferrari provocatively engages secondary literature by Leo Strauss, Bernard Williams, and Jonathan Lear. With admirable clarity and insight, Ferrari conveys the relation between the city and the soul and the choice between tyranny and philosophy. City and Soul in Plato's Republic will be of value to students of classics, philosophy, and political theory alike. (shrink)
Hume regards the will as an impression which normally is followed by an appropriate bodily movement. It is unclear why he adopts this theory instead of saying that passions are directly followed by actions (a view which would in some respects suit him better). I suggest that he needs impressions of the will to explain our knowledge of our own acts. They thus play an indispensible role in hume's newtonian science of the mind.
This paper describes the ‘idealist liberalism’ of R.F.A. Hoernlé (1880-1843), who taught in Britain, the United States, but also at the South African College and at the University of the Witwatersrand. I argue that this liberalism was strongly influenced by the British idealism of Bernard Bosanquet and T.H. Green, but also by key features of Hoernlé's South African experience. Hoernlé's idealist liberalism, I maintain, not only offered a response to the challenges of living in a multi-ethnic and multi-racial state such (...) as South Africa in the first half of the 20th century, but bears on similar challenges found in contemporary liberal democracies. (shrink)