Many libertarians believe that self-ownership is a separate matter from ownership of extra-personal property. “No-proviso” libertarians hold that property ownership should be free of any “fair share” constraints, on the grounds that the inability of the very poor to control property leaves their self-ownership intact. By contrast, left-libertarians hold that while no one need compensate others for owning himself, still property owners must compensate others for owning extra-personal property. What would a “self” have to be for these claims to be (...) true? I argue that both of these camps must conceive of the boundaries of the self as including one's body but no part of the extra-personal world. However, other libertarians draw those boundaries differently, so that self-ownership cannot be separated from the right to control extra-personal property after all. In that case, property ownership must be subject to a fair share constraint, but that constraint does not require appropriators to pay compensation. This view, which I call “right libertarianism,” differs importantly from the other types primarily in its conception of the self, which I argue is independently more plausible. (shrink)
In Plato's Gorgias, Gorgias of Leontini, a famous teacher of rhetoric, has come to Athens to recruit students, promising to teach them how to become leaders in politics and business. A group has gathered at Callicles' house to hear Gorgias demonstrate the power of his art. This dialogue blends comic and serious discussion of the best human life, providing a penetrating examination of ethics, the foundations of knowledge, and the nature of the good.
In Happiness for Humans , Daniel C. Russell takes a fresh look at happiness from a practical perspective: the perspective of someone trying to solve the wonderful problem of how to give himself a good life. From this perspective, "happiness" is the name of a solution to that problem for practical deliberation. Russell's approach to happiness falls within a tradition that reaches back to ancient Greek and Roman philosophers--a tradition now called "eudaimonism." Beginning with Aristotle's seminal discussion of (...) the role of happiness in practical reasoning, Russell asks what sort of good happiness would have to be in order to play the role in our practical economies that it actually does play. Looking at happiness from this perspective, Russell argues that happiness is a life of activity, with three main features: it is acting for the sake of ends we can live for, and living for them wisely; it is fulfilling for us, both as humans and as unique individuals; and it is inextricable from our connections with the particular persons, pursuits, and places that make us who we are. By returning to this ancient perspective on happiness, Russell finds new directions for contemporary thought about the good lives we want for ourselves. (shrink)
I present and discuss three previously unpublished manuscripts written by Bertrand Russell in 1903, not included with similar manuscripts in Volume 4 of his Collected Papers. One is a one-page list of basic principles for his “functional theory” of May 1903, in which Russell partly anticipated the later Lambda Calculus. The next, catalogued under the title “Proof That No Function Takes All Values”, largely explores the status of Cantor’s proof that there is no greatest cardinal number in the (...) variation of the functional theory holding that only some but not all complexes can be analyzed into function and argument. The final manuscript, “Meaning and Denotation”, examines how his pre-1905 distinction between meaning and denotation is to be understood with respect to functions and their arguments. In them, Russell seems to endorse an extensional view of functions not endorsed in other works prior to the 1920s. All three manuscripts illustrate the close connection between his work on the logical paradoxes and his work on the theory of meaning. (shrink)
Andre Willis argues that although Hume is generally credited with being a “devastating critic” of religion, it is a mistake to view Hume solely in these terms or to present him as an “atheist.” This not only represents a failure to appreciate Hume’s “middle path” between “militant atheists and evangelical theists”, it denies us an opportunity to “enhance” our understanding and appreciation of the positive, constructive value of religion through a close study of Hume’s views. Willis’s study presents Hume as (...) committed to a “bifurcated approach to religion” that rests on the fundamental distinction between “false religion” and “true religion”. False religion, which includes Christianity, is a... (shrink)