Evolutionary debunking arguments against morality come in a variety of forms that differ both in how they take evolution to be problematic for morality and in their specific target of morality i.e. objectivity, realism, justification for moral beliefs, etc. For the purpose of this paper, I will first articulate several recent debunking approaches and highlight what they take to be problematic features of evolutionary history for morality. In doing so I will be forced to abstract from some of the specific (...) arguments offered, although I will provide replies to particular aspects of the arguments offered by Michael Ruse, Sharon Street and Richard Joyce. Then, I will show that theists have independent reasons for rejecting certain, core assumptions of these debunking approaches, thus deflating the major thrust of debunking worries for morality. While there may be good responses available to the non-theist realist with respect to several of the worries raised below, this paper will simply show why the theist need not be troubled by contemporary debunking approaches against morality. (shrink)
This major volume assembles leading scholars to address and explain the significance of Paul Ricoeur's extraordinary body of work. Ricoeur's work is of seminal importance to the development of hermeneutics, phenomenology, and ideology critique in the human sciences. Opening with three key essays from Ricoeur himself--on Europe, fragility and responsibility, and love and justice--this fascinating volume offers a tour of his work ranging across topics such as the hermeneutics of action, narrative force, and the other and deconstruction, while discussing (...) his work in the context of such contemporary thinkers as Heidegger, Levinas, Arendt, and Gadamer. Offering a very useful overview of Paul Ricoeur's enormous contribution to modern thought, Paul Ricoeur will be invaluable for students and academics across the social and human sciences and philosophy. (shrink)
I explore some of the ways that assumptions about the nature of substance shape metaphysical debates about the structure of Reality. Assumptions about the priority of substance play a role in an argument for monism, are embedded in certain pluralist metaphysical treatments of laws of nature, and are central to discussions of substantivalism and relationalism. I will then argue that we should reject such assumptions and collapse the categorical distinction between substance and property.
The self-portrait of an intellectual reveals his childhood in Vienna, wounds at the Russian front in the German army, encounters with the famous, innumerable love affairs, four marriages, and refusal to accept a "petrified and tyrannical ...
The paper discusses some aspects of the relationship between Feyerabend and Kuhn. First, some biographical remarks concerning their connections are made. Second, four characteristics of Feyerabend and Kuhn's concept of incommensurability are discussed. Third, Feyerabend's general criticism of Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions is reconstructed. Forth and more specifically, Feyerabend's criticism of Kuhn's evaluation of normal science is critically investigated. Finally, Feyerabend's re-evaluation of Kuhn's philosophy towards the end of his life is presented.
Jean-Paul Sartre is one of the most famous philosophers of the twentieth century. The principal founder of existentialism, a political thinker and famous novelist and dramatist, his work has exerted enormous influence in philosophy, literature, politics and cultural studies. Jean-Paul Sartre: Basic Writings is the first collection of Sartre's key philosophical writings and provides an indispensable resource for readers of his work. Stephen Priest's clear and helpful introductions make the volume an ideal companion to those coming to Sartre's (...) writing for the first time. (shrink)
This collection of essays by philosophers and educationalists of international reputation, all published here for the first time, celebrates Paul Hirst's professional career. The introductory essay by Robin Barrow and Patricia White outlines Paul Hirst's career and maps the shifts in his thought about education, showing how his views on teacher education, the curriculum and educational aims are interrelated. Contributions from leading names in British and American philosophy of education cover themes ranging from the nature of good teaching (...) to Wittgensteinian aesthetics. The collection concludes with a paper in which Paul Hirst sets out his latest views on the nature of education and its aims. The book also includes a complete bibliography of works by Hirst and a substantial set of references to his writing. (shrink)
The paper contains two yet unknown letters that Feyerabend wrote to Kuhn in 1960 or 1961 on a draft of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. In these letters, Feyerabend criticises both details of Kuhn's book and its general direction. The letters anticipate many of the arguments that were put forward in the public controversy against Kuhn's position, including some of the (numerous) misunderstandings. Feyerabend's assertions and arguments are very characteristic of his position in the early sixties.
This dialogue between Paul Ricoeur and Sorin Antohi took place in Budapest on March 10, 2003 at Pasts, Inc., Center for Historical Studies, which is affiliated with Central European University . Ricoeur was the honorary president of Pasts, Inc., and its spiritus rector. On March 8, he had given a lecture on “History, Memory, and Forgetting” in the context of an international conference entitled “Haunting Memories? History in Europe after Authoritarianism,” and organized by Pasts Inc. and the Körber Foundation. (...) On March 9, Ricoeur had received the first Honoris Causa doctorate ever granted by CEU. Ricoeur had already visited Hungary in 1933. At the time, he was participating in a Boy Scouts European jamboree at Gödöllö . After WWII, he went back to Hungary to meet with Lukács. Mona Antohi has transcribed and edited the recording of the dialogue. The two interlocutors have then made some minor revisions. The original text, in French, is available on the website of Pasts, Inc. . This English version, translated and annotated by Gil Anidjar, will be included in Sorin Antohili’s book, Talking History. Making Sense of Pasts, forthcoming in 2006 from CEU Press. His own Romanian translation of the dialogue was published in the Iasi-based journal, Xenopoliana , as was the Hungarian translation by Réka Toth, which appeared in the Budapest-based journal, 2000. (shrink)
In recent years the doctrine that God exists in a timeless eternity has achieved something of the status of philosophical heterodoxy, if not of downright heresy. The arguments against the idea of God's timeless eternity come from two sources. The first of these is Professor Kneale's paper ‘Time and Eternity in Theology’ in which, alluding to the famous definition of eternity by Boethius as ‘the complete possession of eternal life at once’ Professor Kneale confesses ‘I can attach no meaning to (...) the word “life” unless I am allowed to suppose that what has life acts… life must at least involve some incidents in time and if, like Boethius, we suppose the life in question to be intelligent, then it must involve also awareness of the passage of time’. (shrink)
Having acknowledged the recurrent theme of education in Stanley Cavell's work, the discussion addresses the topic of scepticism, especially as this emerges in the interpretation of Wittgenstein. Questions concerning rule‐following, language and society are then turned towards political philosophy, specifically with regard to John Rawls. The discussion examines the idea of the social contract, the nature of moral reasoning and the possibility of our lives' being above reproach, as well as Rawls's criticisms of Nietzschean perfectionism. This lays the way for (...) the broaching of questions of race and America. The theme of the ordinary, which emerges variously in Cavell's reflections on Emerson, Wittgenstein and Austin, is taken up and extended into a consideration of Thoreau's ‘experiment in living’. The conversation closes with brief remarks about happiness. (shrink)
The Dalai Lama is fond of quoting a statement in which the Buddha is said to have asserted that no one should accept his word out of respect for the Buddha himself, but only after testing it, analysing it ‘ as a goldsmith analyses gold, through cutting, melting, scraping and rubbing it’. The Dalai Lama is often referred to as the temporal and spiritual leader of Tibet, but in truth as a spiritual figure His Holiness, while respected, indeed revered by (...) almost all Tibetans, usually speaks from within the perspective of one particular tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, that of the dGe lugs . Founded in the late fourteenth century by Tsong kha pa, the dGe lugs has always stressed the importance of reasoning, analytic rationality, on the spiritual path. This dGe lugs perspective is by no means shared by all Buddhists, at least not in the form it there takes. Nevertheless it does represent an important direction in Buddhist thinking on reasoning and the spiritual path which can be traced back in Indian Buddhism a very long way indeed, and it is in the light of dGe lugs thought that I want to contemplate two points which seem to be crucial in Raimundo Panikkar's approach to interreligious dialogue and understanding: first, that Reality, Being, transcends the intelligible, the range of consciousness, and second, that understanding this is the only basis for tolerance, not seeking in one way or another to overcome the other. (shrink)
In the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant makes a distinction between duties of virtue and the obligation to be virtuous. For a number of reasons, it may seem as if the latter does not actually require any actions of us not already required by the former. This essay argues that Kant does succeed in describing obligations that we have to prepare for virtuous conduct that are different from simply fulfilling specific duties of virtue, and that in so doing he describes an (...) important element of the moral life. (shrink)
Paul Horwich gives the definitive exposition of a prominent philosophical theory about truth, `minimalism'. His theory has attracted much attention since the first edition of Truth in 1990; he has now developed, refined, and updated his treatment of the subject, while preserving the distinctive format of the book. This revised edition appears simultaneously with a new companion volume, Meaning; the two books demystify central philosophical issues, and will be essential reading for all who work on the philosophy of language.
Paul Ricoeur has been hailed as one of the most important thinkers of the century. Oneself as Another, the clearest account of his "philosophical ethics," substantiates this position and lays the groundwork for a metaphysics of morals.
The purpose of Pope John Paul''s encyclicalCentesimus Annus (CA) is to propound the foundations of a just economic order and to sketch its essential characteristics. As such he essentially provides an orientation or moral compass for the political economy rather than a precise road map. This article first reviews the principal components of CA and then analyzes and evaluates its central contentions on both cultural and economic grounds.
How should we make choices when we know so little about our futures? L. A. Paul argues that we must view life decisions as choices to make discoveries about the nature of experience. Her account of transformative experience holds that part of the value of living authentically is to experience our lives and preferences in whatever ways they evolve.
According to the distinguished philosopher Richard Wollheim, an emotion is an extended mental episode that originates when events in the world frustrate or satisfy a pre-existing desire. This leads the subject to form an attitude to the world which colours their future experience, leading them to attend to one aspect of things rather than another, and to view the things they attend to in one light rather than another. The idea that emotions arise from the satisfaction or frustration of desires—the (...) ‘match-mismatch’ view of emotion aetiology—has had several earlier incarnations in the psychology of emotion. Early versions of this proposal were associated with the attempt to replace the typology of emotion found in ordinary language with a simpler theory of drives and to define new emotion types in terms of general properties such as the frustration of a drive. The match-mismatch view survived the demise of that revisionist project and is found today in theories that accept a folk-psychological-style taxonomy of emotion types based on the meaning ascribed by the subject to the stimulus situation. For example, the match-mismatch view forms part of the subtle and complex model of emotion episodes developed over many years by Nico Frijda. According to Frijda, information about the ‘situational antecedents’ of an emotion—the stimulus in its context, including the ongoing goals of the organism—is evaluated for its relevance to the multiple concerns of the organism. Evaluation of match-mismatch—the degree of compatibility between the situation and the subject's goals—forms part of this process. (shrink)
To claim that Hayden White has yet to be read seriously as a philosopher of history might seem false on the face of it. But do tropes and the rest provide any epistemic rationale for differing representations of historical events found in histories? As an explanation of White’s influence on philosophy of history, such a proffered emphasis only generates a puzzle with regard to taking White seriously, and not an answer to the question of why his efforts should be worthy (...) of any philosophical attention at all. For what makes his emphasis on narrative structure and its associated tropes of philosophical relevance? What, it may well be asked, did any theory that draws its categories from a stock provided by literary criticism contribute to explicating problems with regard to the warranting of claims about knowledge, explanation, or causation that represent those concerns that philosophy typically brings to this field? Robert Doran’s anthologizing of previously uncollected pieces, ranging as they do over a literal half-century of White’s published work, offers an opportunity to identify explicitly those philosophical themes and arguments that regularly and prominently feature there. Moreover, White’s essays in this volume demonstrate a credible knowledge of and interest in mainstream analytic philosophers of his era and also reveal White as deeply influenced by or well acquainted with other important philosophers of history. White thus invites a reading of his work as philosophy, and this volume presents the opportunity for accepting it as such. (shrink)