La differenza tra i concetti di sa?s?ra e nirv??a stabilita dal Buddha (VI-V sec. a.C.) nel suo primo sermone sembra essere messa in discussione dall’equiparazione dei due termini effettuata da N?g?rjuna (II sec. d.C.) in un passaggio-chiave delle sue MK2. Questo articolo, in primo luogo, difende la tesi che la contraddizione sia soltanto apparente e che la relazione, di differenza o di identità, tra le due dimensioni dipende dal registro filosofico, rispettivamente epistemologico e ontologico, usato – in entrambi i casi (...) per finalità soteriologiche – dal Buddha e da N?g?rjuna. In secondo luogo, cercheremo di provare che, in ogni caso, l’ontologia di N?g?rjuna, lungi dall’essere una novità filosofica o un’evoluzione rispetto al pensiero del fondatore del buddhismo è, al contrario, una delle possibili applicazioni della dottrina del non-sé (an?tma-v?da) – probabilmente il contributo più importante e originale del pensiero buddhista alla storia della filosofia universale – esposta dal Buddha nel suo secondo sermone. (shrink)
Trisvabh vanirdeśa (Treatise on the Three Natures) is Vasubandhu's most mature and explicit exposition of the Yogc c ra doctrine of the three natures and their relation to the Buddhist idealism Vasubandhu articulates. Nonetheless there are no extent commentaries on this important short test. The present work provides an introduction to the text, its context and principal philosophical theses; a new translation of the text itself; and a close, verse-by-verse commentary on the text explaining the structure of Yogacara/Cittamatra idealism and (...) comparing it to Western versions of transcendental idealism. In particular, I show how the doctrine of the three natures is used to make idealism coherent in a Buddhist context and how it sheds light on the structure and evolution of transcendental idealism in Europe. (shrink)
Résumé Je me propose de faire un bref aperçu des traductions bulgares de l’œuvre de Condorcet : son nom apparaît au début du XXe siècle grâce à la traduction de l’Esquisse d’un tableau historique des progrès de l’esprit humain par le juriste Tzvetan Vassilev Poupechkov. L’œuvre est à nouveau publiée dans les années 1940 pour répondre aux besoins idéologiques des milieux socialistes et communistes. L’article s’emploie à définir les motifs du traducteur bulgare Dimităr Ivanov Polyanov, poète « du prolétariat » (...) éduqué en France, et à éclairer l’intérêt des éditeurs et des chercheurs des deux dernières décennies pour l’œuvre de Condorcet. (shrink)
Eh bien ! Tu es quoi toi, dit le Pigeon ? Je vois bien que tu essaies de me raconter des histoires ! Je. Je suis une petite fille, dit Alice, pas très sûre d'elle car tous les changements qu'elle avait subis ce jour-là lui revenaient à l'esprit. En voilà une bonne, vraiment ! dit le Pigeon d'un ton plus que dédaigneux. Les Aventures d'Alice au Pays des merveilles. En juin 1992 s'est tenu à Amsterdam, dans les deux universités, le (...) premier colloque international sur les jeunes filles.. (shrink)
Al-Ghazālı̄ famously claims in the Incoherence of the Philosophers that al-Fārābī and Avicenna are unbelievers because they hold philosophical positions that conflict with Islam. What is less well-known, however, is that Averroës claims in the Decisive Treatise that al-Fārābī and Avicenna are not unbelievers; rather, al-Ghazālı̄ is the true unbeliever for writing the Incoherence of the Philosophers. In this paper, my aim is to present a sustained reconstruction of Averroës’ legal and philosophical argument for why al-Ghazālı̄ is an unbeliever. The (...) crux of Averroës’ argument is that al-Ghazālı̄ has expressed false allegorical interpretations of scripture to unqualified persons, which has led them into unbelief. By being causally responsible for other people’s unbelief, al-Ghazālı̄ is an unbeliever as well. (shrink)
As the editor noted in the last number Freddie Ayer, or Professor Sir Alfred Ayer, played a considerable part in launching the vast enterprise of the Bentham edition. It is fitting, therefore, that something be said in Utilitas about his achievement as a philosopher and the extent to which he falls within the same broad empiricist and utilitarian tradition to which Bentham and J. S. Mill belonged.
Utilitarian ethics and metaphysical idealism, especially of a Bradleyan sort, are not usually thought of as natural allies. Yet when one considers that it is a crucial part of utilitarian doctrine that the only genuine value is experienced value and almost the definition of idealism that for it the only genuine reality is experienced reality one should surely suspect that the two views have a certain affinity. The essential impulse behind utilitarianism is the sense that the only criterion of something (...) really being intrinsically good is that it feels good. To the ordinary man to say that something feels good is much the same as saying that it is a pleasure, so that for him it is a small step from identifying good with what feels good to identifying it with pleasure. It suggests itself, then, that the utilitarian is essentially one who thinks that, so far as the good goes, esse ispercipi. In that case the utilitarian is an idealist about value. It does not follow that he should be an idealist about things in general, but it does suggest the converse, that the idealist about things in general might be expected to be a utilitarian in his ethics. (shrink)
Reichenbachian approaches to indexicality contend that indexicals are "token-reflexives": semantic rules associated with any given indexical-type determine the truth-conditional import of properly produced tokens of that type relative to certain relational properties of those tokens. Such a view may be understood as sharing the main tenets of Kaplan's well-known theory regarding content, or truth-conditions, but differs from it regarding the nature of the linguistic meaning of indexicals and also regarding the bearers of truth-conditional import and truth-conditions. Kaplan has criticized these (...) approaches on different counts, the most damaging of which is that they make impossible a "logic of demonstratives". The reason for this is that the token-reflexive approach entails that not two tokens of the same sentential type including indexicals are guaranteed to have the same truth-conditions. In this paper I rebut this and other criticisms of the Reichenbachian approach. Additionally, I point out that Kaplan's original theory of "true demonstratives" is empirically inadequate, and claim that any modification capable of accurately handling the linguistic data would have similar problems to those attributed to the Reichenbachian approach. This is intended to show that the difficulties, no matter how real, are not caused by idiosincracies of the "token-reflexive" view, but by deep facts about indexicality. (shrink)
My purpose in what follows is not so much to defend the basic principle of utilitarianism as to indicate the form of it which seems most promising as a basic moral and political position. I shall take the principle of utility as offering a criterion for two different sorts of evaluation: first, the merits of acts of government, social policies, and social institutions, and secondly, the ultimate moral evaluation of the actions of individuals. I do not take it as implying (...) that the individual should live his life on the basis of constant evaluations of this sort. For there are different levels of decision making each with its appropriate criteria. For example, we each inevitably make many of our decisions from the point of view of our own personal self-fulfilment and this cannot regularly take a directly utilitarian form, nor should the utilitarian want it to do so. His claim is at most that we should sometimes review our life from the point of view of a kind of impersonal moral truth of a universalistic utilitarian character. (shrink)
Can philosophy offer reasonable grounds for the existence of a God possessing genuine religious significance and not proposed simply as the solution to a purely intellectual philosophical problem? Certainly many contemporary thinkers have insisted that no genuine religion could be based upon metaphysics. In this book, however, T. L. S. Sprigge examines sympathetically the most notable metaphysical systems of the last four centuries which purport to put religion on a rational footing and, after a thorough examination of their claims, considers (...) what kind of religious outlook they might support and how they actually affected the lives of their proponents. The thinkers studied include Spinoza, Hegel, T. H. Green, Bernard Bosanquet, Josiah Royce, A. N. Whitehead, and Charles Hartshorne, concluding with an exposition of the author's own viewpoint and a general discussion on the relation between metaphysics and religion. There is also a chapter on Kierkegaard as the most important critic of metaphysical religion. (shrink)
It would be pleasant to start with a paradox. Santayana was an American philosopher, but he was not an American, and he was not a philosopher. The first of these two qualifying propositions is legally true, the second is a glaring, but sometimes asserted, falsehood.
John Stuart Mill's essay On Liberty, published in 1859, has had a powerful impact on philosophical and political debates ever since its first appearance. This volume of essays covers the whole range of problems raised in and by the essay, including the concept of liberty, the toleration of diversity, freedom of expression, the value of allowing 'experiments in living', the basis of individual liberty, multiculturalism and the claims of minority cultural groups. Mill's views have been fiercely contested, and they are (...) at the centre of many contemporary debates. The essays are by leading scholars, who systematically and eloquently explore Mill's views from various perspectives. The volume will appeal to a wide range of readers including those interested in political philosophy and the history of ideas. (shrink)
The relationship between Bentham's ‘enunciative principle’ and his ‘censorial principle’ is famously problematic. The problem's solution is that each person has an overwhelming interest in living in a community in which they, like others, are liable to punishment for behaviour condemned by the censorial principle either by the institutions of the state or by the tribunal of public opinion. The senses in which Bentham did and did not think everyone selfish are examined, and a less problematic form of psychological hedonism (...) than Bentham's is proposed. (shrink)
In this paper I shall speak sympathetically of a hedonistic theory of intrinsic value which, ignoring any other such theories, I shall simply call the hedonistic theory of value. How far I am finally committed to it will partly appear at the end.
The study examined the influence of the Pond Report on the teaching of medical ethics in the London medical schools. A questionnaire was given to both medical students and college officers. All medical colleges reported that ethics was included in the curriculum. However, from students' replies, it seems that attendance of optional courses is low and that not all current final year medical students have had any formal teaching in medical ethics. Stronger guidelines are necessary to ensure appropriate ethical training (...) in London medical schools. (shrink)
Causation is at once familiar and mysterious. Neither common sense nor extensive philosophical debate has led us to anything like agreement on the correct analysis of the concept of causation, or an account of the metaphysical nature of the causal relation. Causation: A User's Guide cuts a clear path through this confusing but vital landscape. L. A. Paul and Ned Hall guide the reader through the most important philosophical treatments of causation, negotiating the terrain by taking a set of examples (...) as landmarks. They clarify the central themes of the debate about causation, and cover questions about causation involving omissions or absences, preemption and other species of redundant causation, and the possibility that causation is not transitive. Along the way, Paul and Hall examine several contemporary proposals for analyzing the nature of causation and assess their merits and overall methodological cogency.The book is designed to be of value both to trained specialists and those coming to the problem of causation for the first time. It provides the reader with a broad and sophisticated view of the metaphysics of the causal relation. (shrink)
There at least three ways of thinking about rationality: instrumental, substantive, and intentional. By far, the instrumental account is most influential. This essay proposes that intentional rationality can provide substantive accounts with room to breathe, and in a way that is facially distinct from instrumental accounts. I suggest that the intentionality of a judgment is made up of what it is about and the orientation through which it is judged, while irrationality is the subversion of a strict supporting connection between (...) the judgment and its corresponding set of coordinated attitudes (reasons). It follows that irrational intentionality is made up of episodic states where a judgment is subverted because of a misalignment between what it is about and the way the judge is oriented towards its contents. Four examples of irrational intentionality are considered: passivity towards ends, constitutive ignorance towards facts, delirious paranoia towards objects, and a disjunctive orientation towards categorizations. (shrink)
The very idea of promulgation has been given little to no treatment in the philosophy of law. In this exploratory essay, I introduce three possible theories of promulgation: the ‘no-theory theory’ (which treats promulgation as a matter of particular contexts), the ‘conveyance theory’ (which treats promulgation as a function of intellectual good faith interpreters), and ‘agonistic theory’ (which treats promulgation as indistinguishable from propaganda). I suggest that (at least) three kinds of models are consistent with the theories, and can potentially (...) help us understand when law is successfully promulgated in particular legal contexts: the spread model, the chain model, and the memetic model. I end the paper by comparing the two theories with respect to a case study. Throughout I will show that the conveyance and agonistic theories have a serious advantage over the no-theory theory, in that they allow us to comparatively examine the epistemic weaknesses of diverse theories about the grounding of law on the basis of their contents. (shrink)
Despite Schelling’s recognized influence upon a wide spectrum of sciences and arts, only a small amount of his work has been translated into English. Earlier, Robert Brown’s The Later Schelling opened up a significant dimension to our understanding of Schelling. Now, with this first translation of The Deities of Somothrace, Brown has added substantially to the thin shelf of Schelling’s works now available to the English-language reader.
Even a decade after the end of the 1914–1918 war, economic theory assumed that the world was tranquil and orderly. By 1939 an economic slump without parallel, allied to the re-emergence of military ambition in Europe, had brought economic theorists face to face with reality. In this classic book, first published in 1967, Professor Shackle provides a study, in exact and professional language, of the precise nature, structure, presuppositions, language and inter-relations of the theories which were formulated in these fourteen (...) years - unparalleled in the whole history of economics except perhaps by the years of the Physiocrats and Adam Smith. These theories are not prototypes on the way to something better but are of essential and permanent importance. (shrink)
This classic study of Santayana was the first book to appear in the _Arguments of the Philosophers_ series. Growing interest in the work of this important American philosopher has prompted this new edition of the book complete with a new preface by the author reassessing his own ideas about Santayana and reflecting the new interest in the philosopher's work. A select bibliography of works published about Santayana since the book's first appearance is also included.
Background: In Switzerland, non-medical right-to-die organisations such as Exit Deutsche Schweiz and Dignitas offer suicide assistance to members suffering from incurable diseases.Objectives: First, to determine whether differences exist between the members who received assistance in suicide from Exit Deutsche Schweiz and Dignitas. Second, to investigate whether the practices of Exit Deutsche Schweiz have changed since the 1990s.Methods: This study analysed all cases of assisted suicide facilitated by Exit Deutsche Schweiz and Dignitas between 2001 and 2004 and investigated by the University (...) of Zurich’s Institute of Legal Medicine. Furthermore, data from the Exit Deutsche Schweiz study which investigated all cases of assisted suicide during the period 1990–2000 were compared with the data of the present study.Results: More women than men were assisted in both organisations. Dignitas provided more assistance to non-residents, younger persons : D: 64.5 ; E: 76.6 ; p = 0.001), and people suffering from fatal diseases such as multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Lethal medications were more often taken orally in cases assisted by Dignitas. The number of women and the proportion of older people suffering from non-fatal diseases among suicides assisted by Exit Deutsche Schweiz has increased since the 1990s : 69.3 to 76.9, p = 0.000), non-fatal diseases: 22% to 34%, p = 0.026).Conclusions: Weariness of life rather than a fatal or hopeless medical condition may be a more common reason for older members of Exit Deutsche Schweiz to commit suicide. The strong over-representation of women in both Exit Deutsche Schweiz and Dignitas suicides is an important phenomenon so far largely overlooked and in need of further study. (shrink)
C.M. Concepcion's review of “Pornography: An Uncivil Liberty?” fundamentally misconstrues the position defended in that article. This paper examines possible sources of this misconstrual, focusing critical attention on the narrowly crafted, morally loaded notion of “pornography” that figures centrally in the original argument under review. Pornography is not a category of speech that can be characterized as having one crucial meaning or message, nor is the message of pornography easily identifiable in instances of pornographic speech. This raises the problem of (...) interpretive privilege, which haunts many of the antipornography arguments being offered in the contemporary debate, including the author's own earlier argument. (shrink)
Background: In Switzerland, non-medical right-to-die organisations such as Exit Deutsche Schweiz and Dignitas offer suicide assistance to members suffering from incurable diseases. Objectives: First, to determine whether differences exist between the members who received assistance in suicide from Exit Deutsche Schweiz and Dignitas. Second, to investigate whether the practices of Exit Deutsche Schweiz have changed since the 1990s. Methods: This study analysed all cases of assisted suicide facilitated by Exit Deutsche Schweiz (E) and Dignitas (D) between 2001 and 2004 and (...) investigated by the University of Zurich’s Institute of Legal Medicine (E: n = 147; D: n = 274, total: 421). Furthermore, data from the Exit Deutsche Schweiz study which investigated all cases of assisted suicide during the period 1990–2000 (n = 149) were compared with the data of the present study. Results: More women than men were assisted in both organisations (D: 64%; E: 65%). Dignitas provided more assistance to non-residents (D: 91%; E: 3%; p = 0.000), younger persons (mean age in years (SD): D: 64.5 (14.1); E: 76.6 (13.3); p = 0.001), and people suffering from fatal diseases such as multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (D: 79%; E: 67%; p = 0.013). Lethal medications were more often taken orally in cases assisted by Dignitas (D: 91%; E: 76%; p = 0.000). The number of women and the proportion of older people suffering from non-fatal diseases among suicides assisted by Exit Deutsche Schweiz has increased since the 1990s (women: 52% to 65%, p = 0.031; mean age in years (SD): 69.3 (17.0) to 76.9 (13.3), p = 0.000), non-fatal diseases: 22% to 34%, p = 0.026). Conclusions: Weariness of life rather than a fatal or hopeless medical condition may be a more common reason for older members of Exit Deutsche Schweiz to commit suicide. The strong over-representation of women in both Exit Deutsche Schweiz and Dignitas suicides is an important phenomenon so far largely overlooked and in need of further study. (shrink)