This article examines the arguments used by Robert Watts, a contemporary of John Stuart Mill, in his criticism of Mill's Utilitarianism. The pamphlet in which Watts expresses his views is a scarce and neglected work. Pioneering studies by J.C. Rees and J.B. Schneewind emphasize the importance of Mill's early critics for historians of nineteenth-century ethics and politial thought. Rees, however, confines his study to the responses to Mill's On Liberty. Schneewind's work is more comprehensive and does mention Watts, but (...) without examining in detail the actual arguments that Watts uses. Further, while Watts criticizes Mill's ethical views from a theological standpoint the arguments he uses are philosophical in character. Watts should not be thought of as a major philosophical critic of Mill, but his relative neglect leaves a gap in the study of the reception of Mill's thought which this article is intended to fill. (shrink)
The contributors to The Moral of the Story, all preeminent political theorists, are unified by their concern with the instructive power of great literature. This thought-provoking combination of essays explores the polyvalent moral and political impact of classic world literatures on public ethics through the study of some of its major figures-including Shakespeare, Dante, Cervantes, Jane Austen, Henry James, Joseph Conrad, Robert Penn Warren, and Dostoevsky. Positing the uniqueness of literature's ability to promote dialogue on salient moral and intellectual (...) virtues, editor Henry T. Edmonson III has culled together a wide-ranging exploration of such fundamental concerns as the abuse of authority, the nature of good leadership, the significance of "middle class virtues" and the needs of adolescents. This collection reinvigorates the study of classic literature as an endeavor that is not only personally intellectually satisfying, but also an inimitable and unique way to enrich public discourse. (shrink)
Is there any moral obligation to improve oneself, to foster and develop various capacities in oneself? From a broadly Kantian point of view, Self-Improvement defends the view that there is such an obligation and that it is an obligation that each person owes to him or herself. The defence addresses a range of arguments philosophers have mobilized against this idea, including the argument that it is impossible to owe anything to yourself, and the view that an obligation to improve onself (...) is overly 'moralistic'. Robert N. Johnson argues against Kantian universalization arguments for the duty of self-improvement, as well as arguments that bottom out in a supposed value humanity has. At the same time, he defends a position based on the notion that self- and other-respecting agents would, under the right circumstances, accept the principle of self-improvement and would leave it up to each to be the person to whom this duty is owed. (shrink)
A method now popular for fixing the scopes of arguments involves a covert movement operation, named QR (for Quantifier Rule) by Robert May. May envisioned QR as a kind of adjunction operation, attaching the arguments so affected to phrases dominating that argument. From the surface representation in (1a), for instance, QR can fashion the representations in (1b) and (1c) by adjoining the object and/or subject argument to IP. (1) a. [IP Someone [VP loves everyone ]]. b. [IP everyone1 [IP (...) someone [VP loves t1 ]]]. c. [IP someone2 [IP everyone1 [IP t2 [VP loves t1 ]]]] As the representations in (1a,b) suggest, QR has syntactic consequences rather like those displayed by Topicalization, the process that derives (2b) from (2a). (shrink)
A history of the UC San Diego (UCSD) Philosophy Department from its founding in 1963 through approximately 2004; significant publications until 2011 are also noted. The history was produced for the sake of the celebrations on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of UCSD (in 2013).