Here we have, for the first time in a single volume, diverse perspectives on the meaning, conditions, and goals of critical reasoning in contemporary culture. Part One emphasizes critical reasoning and education, engaging the debate over the connection between critical reasoning skills and the learning of the content. Part Two offers analyses of the theoretical, methodological, and historical debates concerning critical reasoning abilities. The authors represent a variety of disciplines and theoretical approaches which lend the book valuable intellectual pluralism. The (...) book evaluates other aspects of critical thinking such as creativity, insight, questioning, learning, practical thought, interpretation, intellectual prejudice, and the historical and temporary aspects of thought. (shrink)
Rare is the scholarship that does not somewhere refer to Hobbes's philosophy as a system, but nowhere does Hobbes refer to his philosophy by this term. Since Hobbes in most recognized for his moral and political philosophy, and since the interpretation of his moral and political concepts varies with the variety of views about the systematic relationship between his political and natural philosophy, the issue of system is the most crucial in Hobbes interpretation. ;The standard interpretation is that Hobbes's anthropology (...) is the direct logical result of his mechanistic materialism, that his thoroughly modern moral and political philosophy is the logical consequence of that anthropology. Taylor and Strauss for different reasons denied a systematic relationship between Hobbes's political and natural philosophy, thus ushering in almost fifty years of Hobbes research following their insights, as well as a new generation of scholars who sought to render Hobbes's philosophy systematic by finding in his works new principles of systematization. But as late as 1982, even Willms noted that a comprehensive book on system had not yet emerged. ;This dissertation attempts to show that Hobbes's political philosophy is demonstrative, as he intended it to be, only if it is based upon his natural philosophy. Chapter one traces the history of the system concept to the Seventeenth Century to find an historically accurate operational description of system against which to view Hobbes's philosophy. Chapter Two spells out the systematicity in Hobbes's philosophy and shows how the formal concept of system developed in Chapter One applies accurately to Hobbes's philosophy. Chapter Three confirms the view of Hobbes's system established in Chapter Two by showing that Hobbes's view of Aristotle depends upon his own view of philosophic system. Chapter Four argues that Hobbes did intend a system in which the political philosophy depends upon the natural and that, as a result, Hobbes's moral and political concepts, particularly natural right and natural law, are not "moral" in any traditionally recognized sense. (shrink)
Successful critical thinking in ethics does not proceed directly to an evaluation of ethical phenomena, but rather necessitates the evaluation of one’s own ethical paradigm for truth. This requires the making explicit of one’s own ethical paradigm, something best achieved through a process of comparing and contrasting it with alternative ethical paradigms. This paper presents a pedagogical strategy for making explicit a very basic set of assumptions: those of the Western, liberal, individualist tradition. The author argues that Glaucon’s position in (...) Plato’s Republic is essentially that of the liberal individualist and that, following Glaucon’s speech in Book II, the work presents an alternative to this position. In this light, Plato’s text is a helpful and illuminating counterpoint to Western liberal values. Reading the Republic as a foil to canonical liberal individualist authors (e.g. Hobbes, Locke, Madison) offers a unique opportunity to thematize some of our most fundamental moral assumptions and to help students gain the perspective necessary to perform the objective, critical work of ethics. (shrink)
This study is meant to provide a means of understanding the change of philosophic perspective from the naive classical view that natures manifest themselves to mind to the modern view that they do so only as mediated by thought or speech. it does so by tracing the emergence of the early modern concept that philosophy must be presented as a system of propositions or laws in order to be scientific. it is argued that certain early moderns adopted the term "system" (...) from the stoic definition of art and that they clearly delineated the essential characteristics of systematicity but spoke only of systems of individual sciences. regis first applied the term to philosophy as a whole, but hobbes before him conceived of system in regis's sense. the conclusion is a more precise understanding of the origin of the modern use of the term and of the meaning of the early modern concept of philosophic system. (shrink)
Robert Kraynak's study of Hobbes's use of history is a genuine contribution to a neglected area of Hobbes scholarship. His book also offers a unique view of Hobbes's influence on modernity and of the unity of Hobbes's philosophy.