Robert C. Solomon saw spirituality and emotion as interpenetrating themes. I will summarize his views on spirituality and then introduce the articles in the special issue in his honor. Relating emotional integrity to spirituality, Bob argues that it is precisely through engagement - throwing ourselves into relationships and endeavors - that we come to recognize ourselves as part of something much larger than ourselves. Spirituality is an on-going adventure according to Bob, and it recommends itself in the way (...) that all adventures do. It is exciting and fun, a matter of an overflowing passionate life. (shrink)
I have been arguing, for almost thirty years now, that emotions have been unduly neglected in philosophy. Back in the seventies, it was an argument that attracted little sympathy. I have also been arguing that emotions are a ripe for philosophical analysis, a view that, as evidenced by the Manchester 2001 conference and a large number of excellent publications, has now become mainstream. My own analysis of emotion, first published in 1973, challenged the sharp divide between emotions and rationality, insisted (...) that we reject the established notion that the emotions are involuntary, and argued, in a brief slogan, that ‘emotions are judgments.’ Since then, although the specific term ‘judgment’ has come under considerable fire and my voluntarist thesis continues to attract incredulousness the general approach I took to emotions has been widely accepted in both philosophy and the social sciences. When Paul Griffiths took on what he misleadingly characterized as ‘propositional attitude’ theories of emotion as the enemy of all that was true and scientifically worthy, I knew that we had made it. Such ferocious abuse is surely a sign that we had shifted, in Kuhnian terms, from being revolutionary to becoming the ‘normal’ paradigm. The current counter-revolution of affect programmes and neuro-reductionism says a lot about who we are and how far we have come. (shrink)
I would like to defend a conception of life that many of us in philosophy practice but few of us preach, and with it a set of virtues that have often been ignored in ethics. In short, I would like to defend what philosopher Sam Keen, among many others, has called the passionate life. It is neither exotic nor unfamiliar. It is a life defined by emotions, by impassioned engagement and belief, by one or more quests, grand projects, embracing affections. (...) It is also sometimes characterized in terms of frenzy, vaulting ambition, essentially insatiable goals, impossible affections. I want to contrast this conception of life with ordinary morality and “being a good person,” although for obvious reasons I do not want to say that one must give up the latter in pursuing the former. This is a mistake that Nietzsche often suggests with his “immor-alist” posturing and warrior metaphors, but I am convinced—on a solid textual basis—that he intended no such result. Nor do I want to dogmatically assert any superiority of a passionate, engaged life over a life that is more calm and routine. On the other hand, I do want to raise the question whether mere proper living, obedience to the law, utilitarian “rational choice” calculations, respect for others' rights and for contracts, and a bit of self-righteousness is all there is to a good life, even if one “fills in” the nonmoral spaces with permissible pleasures and accomplishments. Even a greatly enriched version of Kant, in other words, such as that recently defended by Barbara Herman, unfairly denigrates a kind of life that many of us deem desirable. (shrink)
Give style to your character, a great and rare art. Nietzsche Gay Science What are we to make of Nietzsche? There has been an explosion of scholarship over the past twenty years, much of it revealing and insightful, a good deal of it controversial if not polemical. The controversy and polemics are for the most part straight from Nietzsche, of course, and the scholarly disputes over what he ‘really’ meant are rather innocuous and often academic compared with what Nietzsche meant (...) with his conscientiously inflammatory rhetoric and hyperbole. We have been treated to extended debates about Nietzsche's politics, his attacks on Christianity and morality, his famed notion of the übermensch and his less lampooned doctrine of the ‘eternal recurrence’. We have recently heard Nietzsche reinterpreted as an analytic philosopher, as a deconstructionist, as a feminist, even as a closet Christian and a liberal. Stephen Aschheim suggests in his recent book that Nietzsche provides us with something like a Rorschach test, inviting readers with amazingly different commitments and ideologies to ‘make their own Nietzsche’. But there is another approach to Nietzsche, something quite different from interpreting him in terms of his various ‘theses’ and positions, unpacking his ‘system’ or repeating unhelpfully that he displayed no such coherence and consistency, something more than finding out ‘who’ Nietzsche is as opposed to what we have made out of him. The simplest way of getting at this alternative approach might be to ask, what Nietzsche would make of us? I grant that this is a bit cryptic, and it invites a variety of unflattering answers. But I think it is very much in the spirit of what he are all about. It is an intimately personal approach to Nietzsche, an approach that will, no doubt, be somewhat different for each and every one of us. But that, too, of course, is just what Nietzsche would have demanded. (shrink)
Must no one at all, then, be called happy while he lives; must we, as Solon says, see the end? Even if we are to lay down this doctrine, is it also the case that a man is happy when he is dead ? Or is not this quite absurd, especially for us who say that happiness is an activity? But if we do not call the dead man happy, and if Solon does not mean this, but that one can (...) then safely call a man blessed, as being at last beyond evils and misfortunes, this also affords matter for discussion; for both evil and good are thought to exist for a dead man, as much as for one who is alive but not aware of them; e.g. honours and dishonours and the good or bad fortunes of children, and in general of descendants. And this also presents a problem; for though a man has lived happily until old age and has had a death worthy of his life, many reverses may befall his descendants—some of them may be good and attain the life they deserve, while with others the opposite may be the case; and clearly too the degrees of relationship between them and their ancestors may vary indefinitely. It would be odd, then, if the dead man were to share in these changes and become at one time happy, at another wretched; while it would also be odd if the fortunes of the descendants did not for some time have some effect on the happiness of their ancestors. (shrink)
Historically, the productive aspect of the aesthetic experience can be described as a process during which aesthetic practice freed itself step by step from restrictions imposed on productive activity in both the classical and the biblical tradition. If one understands this process as the realization of the idea of creative man, it is principally art which actualizes this idea.1 First, when the poietic capacity is still one and undivided, it asserts itself subliminally; later, in the competition between technical and artistic (...) creation, it explicitly claims to be a production of a special kind. It is in that history of the concepts labor and work that the restrictions become most palpable.2 In the Greek tradition, all producing remains subordinate to practical action . As the activity of slaves who are rigorously excluded from the exercise of the virtues, poiesis occupies the lowest rank in social life. In the Christian tradition, handiwork is cursed, which means that man is meant to maintain himself only by toiling against a resistant nature ; salvation can only be found beyond his activity in this world. But in both the classical and the Christian conceptual fields relating to labor, we already encounter ambivalent definitions which could introduce and justify an upward revaluation of man's labor.1. See Hans Blumenberg, "'Nachahmung der Natur': Zur Vorgeschichte des schöpferischen Menschen," Studium Generale 10 : 266-83, still unexcelled. I also base my discussion on Jürgen Mittelstrass, Neuzeit und Aufklärung; Studien zur Entstehung der neuzeitlichen Wissenchaft und Philosophie , and to the results of two seminars at Constance held jointly and to which I owe essential insights.2. See Werner Conze, "Arbeit," in Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe: Historiches Lexikon zur politisch-sozialen Sprache in Deutschland, ed. Conze, Otto Brunner, and Reinhart Koselleck, 4 vols. , 1:154-215, and Walther Bienert, Die Arbeit nach der Lehre der Bibel ; an abbreviated version appears in Bienert's "Arbeit," Die Religion in Gescheichte und Gegenwart .Hans Robert Jauss is professor of literary criticism and Romance philology at the University of Constance. He is the author of many books and articles, including two works forthcoming in English, Toward an Aesthetic of Reception and Aesthetic Experience and Literary Hermeneutics, from which the present essay is taken. Michael Shaw has translated many works, among them Max Horkheimer's Dawn and Decline. (shrink)
In the 1980s and 1990s the discipline of philosophy of education had an impact on schooling and the public service in New Zealand because of the contracted work of James Marshall and Michael Peters. This personal reﬂection by RobertShaw is a tribute to James Marshall and provides insight into the relationship between Ministry ofﬁcials, the community, and educational researchers.