Professor Maurice Cranston, who died suddenly on 5 November 1993, was a man of many talents. Pre-eminent as a biographer of Locke and Rousseau, he was also distinguished for his own contribution to political philosophy and for his capacity to expound the political thought of others in clear, simple language. He did this with great success not only in the lecture room but also in numerous broadcast talks and discussions, notably on the Third Programme of the BBC. In his academic (...) work he was particularly well informed on French political thought, contemporary as much as classical, and he wrote extensively on Sartre and more briefly on Camus and Foucault. He was himself fluent in the French language and he translated Rousseau's Social Contract and Discourse on Inequality for the Penguin Classics series. He was proficient in German and Italian too, and he knew enough Danish to translate a book on Wittgenstein written in that language. His love of literature often led him to illustrate philosophical points with apt examples from classical novels. He even wrote a couple of novels himself in his youth. It will be plain from this brief catalogue that he was an eminently civilized person. He was, in addition, an exceptionally friendly man and engagingly modest about his own abilities. (shrink)
In 1966 the U.S. Supreme Court wrote, “The basic purpose of a trial is the determination of truth.” This is Larry Laudan's guiding premise in his “essay on legal epistemology.” Without ascertaining the facts about a crime, he writes, it is impossible to achieve justice, since a just resolution crucially depends on correctly figuring out who did what to whom. Thus, he continues, “it is entirely fitting to ask whether the procedures and rules that govern a trial are genuinely truth-conducive.” (...) In chapter 1 of the book, Laudan identifies one of the most important and legitimate methods for finding truth, namely, ensuring that the jury hears all and only relevant evidence. Laudan bemoans the fact, however, that “legal texts and the practices of courts routinely flout” this principle. Much of the rest of the book is devoted to the other tests for admissibility that the system imposes, tests that Laudan often regards as misguided. (shrink)
In the introductory chapter of his essay on Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill says his aim is to contribute towards the understanding of utilitarianism and towards ‘such proof as it is susceptible of’. He immediately adds that ‘this cannot be proof in the ordinary and popular meaning of the term’ because ‘ultimate ends are not amenable to direct proof’. A proof that something is good has to show that it is ‘a means to something admitted to be good without proof’. But, (...) he goes on, this does not imply that a formula of ultimate ends can only be accepted on ‘blind impulse, or arbitrary choice’. It can be rationally discussed and subjected to proof in a wider sense of that word. ‘Considerations may be presented capable of determining the intellect either to give or withhold its assent to the doctrine; and this is equivalent to proof.’. (shrink)
D. D. Raphael examines the moral philosophy of Adam Smith (1723-90), best known for his famous work on economics, The Wealth of Nations, and shows that his thought still has much to offer philosophers today. Raphael gives particular attention to Smith's original theory of conscience, with its emphasis on the role of 'sympathy' (shared feelings).
In this fascinating exploration of justice, eminent philosopher D. D. Raphael presents the culmination of a lifetime's study of its evolution, from ancient times to the late twentieth century. His aim is not just historical but philosophical: to illuminate our true understanding of justice. His unique approach examines not only classic texts by such philosophers as Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Mill, and Rawls but also the Bible and Greek tragedy, as well as some neglected but important thought from the modern era. (...) Lucid and stimulating, this work can be enjoyed by anyone interested in moral and political thought, even by those with little to no knowledge of political theory or philosophy. (shrink)
In this new and enlarged edition of a standard introduction to moral philosophy, Raphael shows in clear and simple language the connections between abstract ethics and practical problems in law, government, medicine, and the social sciences in general. Moral Philosophy deals with six main areas. First, it looks at the two opposed traditions of naturalism and rationalism, and considers more recent discussion in terms of logic and language. Next, it explores the attractions and defects of Utilitarianism, and then turns to (...) its main rival, Kantian ethics, which Raphael favors in a modified form. The third section shows how different moral views are related to different theories about justice and liberty. The fourth examines the problem of free will and determinism in the context of the presuppositions of science, especially in the social sciences. This second edition enlarges the relation of moral philosophy to other concerns, with two new chapters: one on ethics and evolution, the other on medical ethics. (shrink)
Many authors argue that conscious experience involves a sense of self or self-consciousness. According to the strongest version of this claim, there can be no selfless states of consciousness, namely states of consciousness that lack self-consciousness altogether. Disagreements about this claim are likely to remain merely verbal as long as the target notion of self-consciousness is not adequately specified. After distinguishing six notions of self-consciousness commonly discussed in the literature, I argue that none of the corresponding features is necessary for (...) consciousness, because there are states of consciousness in which each of them is plausibly missing. Such states can be said to be at least partially selfless, since they lack at least one of the ways in which one could be self-conscious. Furthermore, I argue that there is also preliminary empirical evidence that some states of consciousness lack all of these six putative forms of self-consciousness. Such states might be totally selfless, insofar as they lack all the ways in which one could be self-conscious. I conclude by addressing four objections to the possibility and reportability of totally selfless states of consciousness. (shrink)
In recent years, the scientific study of meditation and psychedelic drugs has seen remarkable developments. The increased focus on meditation in cognitive neuroscience has led to a cross-cultural classification of standard meditation styles validated by functional and structural neuroanatomical data. Meanwhile, the renaissance of psychedelic research has shed light on the neurophysiology of altered states of consciousness induced by classical psychedelics, such as psilocybin and LSD, whose effects are mainly mediated by agonism of serotonin receptors. Few attempts have been made (...) at bridging these two domains of inquiry, despite intriguing evidence of overlap between the phenomenology and neurophysiology of meditation practice and psychedelic states. In particular, many contemplative traditions explicitly aim at dissolving the sense of self by eliciting altered states of consciousness through meditation, while classical psychedelics are known to produce significant disruptions of self-consciousness, a phenomenon known as drug-induced ego dissolution. In this article, we discuss available evidence regarding convergences and differences between phenomenological and neurophysiological data on meditation practice and psychedelic drug-induced states, with a particular emphasis on alterations of self-experience. While both meditation and psychedelics may disrupt self-consciousness and underlying neural processes, we emphasize that neither meditation nor psychedelic states can be conceived as simple, uniform categories. Moreover, we suggest that there are important phenomenological differences even between conscious states described as experiences of self-loss. As a result, we propose that self-consciousness may be best construed as a multidimensional construct, and that “self-loss,” far from being an unequivocal phenomenon, can take several forms. Indeed, various aspects of self-consciousness, including narrative aspects linked to autobiographical memory, self-related thoughts and mental time travel, and embodied aspects rooted in multisensory processes, may be differently affected by psychedelics and meditation practices. Finally, we consider long-term outcomes of experiences of self-loss induced by meditation and psychedelics on individual traits and prosocial behavior. We call for caution regarding the problematic conflation of temporary states of self-loss with “selflessness” as a behavioral or social trait, although there is preliminary evidence that correlations between short-term experiences of self-loss and long-term trait alterations may exist. (shrink)
P. M. Asaro: What should We Want from a Robot Ethic? G. Tamburrini: Robot Ethics: A View from the Philosophy of Science B. Becker: Social Robots - Emotional Agents: Some Remarks on Naturalizing Man-machine Interaction E. Datteri, G. Tamburrini: Ethical Reflections on Health Care Robotics P. Lin, G. Bekey, K. Abney: Robots in War: Issues of Risk and Ethics J. Altmann: Preventive Arms Control for Uninhabited Military Vehicles J. Weber: Robotic warfare, Human Rights & The Rhetorics of Ethical Machines T. (...) Nishida: Towards Robots with Good Will R. Capurro: Ethics and Robotics. (shrink)
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Plato's Doctrine of the Psyche as a Self-Moving Motion RAPHAEL DEMOS I WILLXSXTHEREADERto ignore for the time being what he has gleaned about the soul from the reading of the Phaedo and the Republic. In these dialogues Plato speaks of the soul sometimes as wholly rational, as having three parts, and so forth. But in these dialogues he is t~lklng of the human soul, which is a special case, (...) whereas in this essay I am de~Hng with the wider role and the concept of the soul as the efficient cause of motion, change, and all becoming everywhere in the cosmos. My cardinal texts in this exposition are the Sophist (246a-249d), the Phaedrus (245c, d), and a considerable portion of Laws, X. Consider the Phaedo, a dialogue with at least four motifs: it is a dramatic evocation of the last day in the life of Socrates, it is an argument for the immortality of the soul and for the reality of the world of ideas, it is a myth of the nether world, and finally, it is a theory of the cosmos as ruled by purpose--all in all, one of the great pieces of literature of the Western world. For the reader, it is an evocation of an attitude to life, based on Plato's conception of the soul--an attitude expressed in the famous phrase that the wise man spends his life meditating on death. As contrasted with what may be called his existential concern with the soul, in the other dialogues on which I will comment, Plato approaches the topic of the soul as part of his explanation of the cosmos. In these his attitude is objective and quasi-scientific. It is to this side of Plato's thought that I wish to call attention in this essay, where the establishment of the immortality of the soul is incidental to the more basic doctrine that the soul is an arche, a primary factor and an ontological principle. In the,Sophist, we find Plato playing the music of his philosophy in a new key. He refers to the "friends of the forms" as though he, himself, were an outsider looking in; then, too, he asserts that motion is really real in contrast to his derogatory references to motion in the Cratylus, the Phaedo, and the Republic.I In these (and other) dialogues, Plato contrasts change and changing things with the timeless forms in respect of reality: the former are said, at best, to be semi-real; only the latter are really real. But in the Sophist he changes his tune, arguing that total reality (~o ~v, to' ~a~rE~ By) includes both motion and rest (248e 8; 249d 3-4). What does he mean by these two words? That by 'rest' he means the realm of ideas is indicated (if not proved) by his references to the forms in the same context (247b 1But in the Theaeteius,he classifiesmotions in a semi-scientific fashion, leaving the impression on the reader that he regards motion as a reality.  134 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY 1-2; 249b, 10, c 1).2 As for motion, Plato makes it clear that the term covers not only (a) physical motion but also (b) life, (c) psyche, and (d) phronesis or naus (249b 5). All these are said to be forms of kinesis; how this is so--how life, soul, mason may be described as motions or changes--is a matter for later comment. What is more to the point is Plato's insistence that motion and what is moved are onta (beings, 249b 2, d 3). Plato uses change (metabol$) interchangeably with kinesis; anticipating the Phaedrus, I will include activity under change. And anticipating the Laws, I will characterize some of this activity as mental; indeed the Sophist, includes within change nous, phronesis, and episteme; that is to say, understanding (in the sense of an activity, 249a, b, c).s Plato offers various reasons in support of his contention that change is real. He may also be offering a special demonstration as follows. The philosopher who denies that change is real is engaged in a mental activity, in short... (shrink)
There has been much written of late on the topic of panentheism. Dissatisfied with many contemporary descriptions of “panentheism” and the related “pantheism,” which we feel arise out of theistic presuppositions, we produce our own definition of sorts, rooted in and paying respect to the term’s etymology and the concept’s roots in Indian religion and western philosophy. Furthermore, we consider and comment on the arguments and comments concerning panentheism’s definition and plausibility put forth by Göcke, Mullins, and Nickel.
This book introduces the student to active philosophical thinking about political ideas, offering a more stimulating approach to the subject than traditional chronological surveys. The first edition was hailed by The Times Literary Supplement as 'the best introduction to political philosophy for a long time'. This thoroughly revised second edition brings its coverage up-to-date for the 1990s, with material reorganised to be fully accessible for the beginner.
Existe-il une corrélation entre le pouvoir d’un organe et le rang hiérarchique de ses normes ? La théorie réaliste de l’interprétation pourrait sembler indiquer le contraire. En effet, si, comme elle l’enseigne, c’est l’interprète d’un énoncé qui en détermine la signification, les agents de l’administration qui mettent en œuvre les politiques publiques devraient exercer un pouvoir plus important que le législateur qui les élabore. L’auteur de l’article soutient toutefois qu’une semblable conclusion serait erronée car les organes qui produisent les énoncés (...) juridiques généraux et abstraits peuvent généralement mobiliser des ressources qui leur permettent de contraindre les organes de concrétisation à prendre leurs préférences en considération. La représentation du droit comme étant constitué d’un ensemble de normes hiérarchisées confère certaines des ressources dont ils disposent. Celles-ci doivent être identifiées et leur efficacité évaluée afin de déterminer dans quels cas il existe.. (shrink)
This book offers a unique perspective on Zionism. The author, a geneticist by training, focuses on science, rather than history. He looks at the claims that Jews constitute a people with common biological roots. An argument that helps provide justification for the aspirations of this political movement dedicated to the return of the Jewish people to their homeland. His study explores two issues. The first considers the assertion that there is a biology of the Jews. The second deals with attempts (...) to integrate this idea into a consistent history. Both issues unfolded against the background of a romantic national culture of Western Europe in the 19th century: Jews, primarily from Eastern Europe, began to believe these notions and soon they took the lead in the re-formulation of Jewish and Zionist existence. The author does not intend to present a comprehensive picture of the biological literature of the origins of a people and the blood relations between them. He also recognizes that the subject is emotionally-loaded. The book does, however, present a profound mediation on three overlapping questions: What is special or unique to the Jews? Who were the genuine Jews? And how can one identify Jews? This volume is a revised and edited English version of Tzionut Vehabiologia shel Hayehudim, published in 2006. (shrink)
Aristotle's Eudemian Ethics has been unjustly neglected in comparison with its more famous counterpart the Nicomachean Ethics. This is in large part due to the fact that until recently no complete translation of the work has been available. But the Eudemian Ethics is a masterpiece in its own right, offering valuable insights into Aristotle's ideas on virtue, happiness and the good life. This volume offers a translation by Brad Inwood and Raphael Woolf that is both fluent and exact, and an (...) introduction in which they help the reader to gain a deeper understanding both of the Eudemian Ethics and of its relation to the Nicomachean Ethics and to Aristotle's ethical thought as a whole. The explanatory notes address Aristotle's many references to other works, people and events. The volume will be of interest to students and scholars of the history of ethics, ancient and moral philosophy, and Aristotle studies. (shrink)
There is a paradox lying at the heart of the study of heredity. To understand the ways in which features are passed down from one generation to the next, we have to dig deeper and deeper into the ultimate nature of things - from organisms, to genes, to molecules. And yet as we do this, increasingly we find we are out of focus with our subjects. What has any of this to do with the living, breathing organisms with which we (...) started? Organisms are living. Molecules are not. How do we relate one to the other? In Genetic Analysis, one of the most important empirical scientists in the field in the twentieth century attempts, through a study of history and drawing on his own vast experience as a practitioner, to face this paradox head-on. His book offers a deep and innovative understanding of our ways of thinking about heredity. (shrink)
This dissertation investigates how art, truth, and politics are tightly integrated in Raphael's historical narratives in the Stanza d'Eliodoro. ;The first chapter argues for the importance of paying careful attention to pictorial structure--that close analysis of painting can make a strong contribution to the social history of art. The second chapter begins this interpretive path. It first describes the room's decorative ensemble as a whole and how the histories are located within its complex figurative scheme. Then, drawing upon Martin Heidegger's (...) analysis of postmedieval processes of Vorstellung, it defines the pictorial narratives themselves as representations and concludes that as pictorial representations these narratives appear unable to ground the truth of sacred history. ;Chapter 3 focuses on the Expulsion of Heliodorus, a mural replete with self-referential models of both its own mode of authorship and mode of reception. These self-referential cues help define what it means for the Heliodorus to be not only a pictorial representation but more extensively a work of art. It is Raphael's art of representation that shows forth and validates the metaphysical truth of papal history. ;The latter part of Chapter 3 and all of Chapter 4 offer readings of the Heliodorus as well as the three other histories--the Liberation of St. Peter, Mass at Bolsena, and Repulse of Attila--construing them as theologico-political narratives of the divinity of papal power. All four histories express at the level of narrative form the dilemma of the papacy's contemporary political trajectory only for this predicament to find imaginative "resolution" through the movement of the narrative action. This chapter expounds upon the configurations of historical time in the decorative scheme and how this projects the political unconscious of papal desire. Yet the fifth and final chapter concludes that the Eliodoro narratives are not simply collective wishfulfillments but more properly public symbols that rhetorically address a beholder so to persuade him to accept as true the papacy's desired self-image of its own historical mission. Raphael's art of representation was essential towards this end. (shrink)
Cicero's philosophical works introduced Latin audiences to the ideas of the Stoics, Epicureans and other schools and figures of the post-Aristotelian period, thus influencing the transmission of those ideas through later history. While Cicero's value as documentary evidence for the Hellenistic schools is unquestioned, Cicero: The Philosophy of a Roman Sceptic explores his writings as works of philosophy that do more than simply synthesize the thought of others, but instead offer a unique viewpoint of their own. In this volume Raphael (...) Woolf describes and evaluates Cicero's philosophical achievements, paying particular attention to his relation to those philosophers he draws upon in his works, his Romanizing of Greek philosophy, and his own sceptical and dialectical outlook. The volume aims, using the best tools of philosophical, philological and historical analysis, to do Cicero justice as a distinctive philosophical voice. Situating Cicero's work in its historical and political context, this volume provides a detailed analysis of the thought of one of the finest orators and writers of the Roman period. Written in an accessible and engaging style, Cicero: The Philosophy of a Roman Sceptic is a key resource for those interested in Cicero's role in shaping Classical philosophy. (shrink)
There is converging evidence that high doses of hallucinogenic drugs can produce significant alterations of self-experience, described as the dissolution of the sense of self and the loss of boundaries between self and world. This article discusses the relevance of this phenomenon, known as “drug-induced ego dissolution (DIED)”, for cognitive neuroscience, psychology and philosophy of mind. Data from self-report questionnaires suggest that three neuropharmacological classes of drugs can induce ego dissolution: classical psychedelics, dissociative anesthetics and agonists of the kappa opioid (...) receptor (KOR). While these substances act on different neurotransmitter receptors, they all produce strong subjective effects that can be compared to the symptoms of acute psychosis, including ego dissolution. It has been suggested that neuroimaging of DIED can indirectly shed light on the neural correlates of the self. While this line of inquiry is promising, its results must be interpreted with caution. First, neural correlates of ego dissolution might reveal the necessary neurophysiological conditions for the maintenance of the sense of self, but it is more doubtful that this method can reveal its minimally sufficient conditions. Second, it is necessary to define the relevant notion of self at play in the phenomenon of DIED. This article suggests that DIED consists in the disruption of subpersonal processes underlying the “minimal” or “embodied” self, i.e., the basic experience of being a self rooted in multimodal integration of self-related stimuli. This hypothesis is consistent with Bayesian models of phenomenal selfhood, according to which the subjective structure of conscious experience ultimately results from the optimization of predictions in perception and action. Finally, it is argued that DIED is also of particular interest for philosophy of mind. On the one hand, it challenges theories according to which consciousness always involves self-awareness. On the other hand, it suggests that ordinary conscious experience might involve a minimal kind of self-awareness rooted in multisensory processing, which is what appears to fade away during DIED. (shrink)
Pour Lagneau, la philosophie coïncide avec la métaphysique. Cette thèse, Lagneau la veut solidaire de l’idée selon laquelle le travail philosophique fondamental pourrait et devrait être indépendant de tout engagement politique. À rebours, le présent article vise à promouvoir une lecture matérialiste et critique de l’histoire de la métaphysique ; il étudie les réflexions cosmologiques, psychologiques et théologiques de Lagneau afin de faire apparaître leur solidarité avec le positionnement naturaliste, « libéral-conservateur », paternaliste et antidémocratique de la métaphysique de Lagneau.
This books examines the conditions under which scientists compromised the ideals of science, and elucidates these with reference to the challenges of profit motives and national security concerns. The book also offers suggestions for changing the political and economic conditions under which the integrity of science and its ethos can be practiced.
It is widely assumed that ordinary conscious experience involves some form of sense of self or consciousness of oneself. Moreover, this claim is often restricted to a ‘thin’ or ‘minimal’ notion of self-consciousness, or even ‘the simplest form of self-consciousness’, as opposed to more sophisticated forms of self-consciousness which are not deemed ubiquitous in ordinary experience. These formulations suggest that self-consciousness comes in degrees, and that individual subjects may differ with respect to the degree of self-consciousness they exhibit at a (...) given time. In this article, I critically examine this assumption. I consider what the claim that self-consciousness comes in degrees may mean, raise some challenges against the different versions of the claim, and conclude that none of them is both coherent and particularly plausible. (shrink)
Many authors claim that being conscious constitutively involves being self-conscious, or conscious of oneself. This claim appears to be threatened by reports of `selfless' episodes, or conscious episodes lacking self-consciousness, recently described in a number of pathological and nonpathological conditions. However, the credibility of these reports has in turn been challenged on the following grounds: remembering and reporting a past conscious episode as an episode that one went through is only possible if one was conscious of oneself while undergoing it. (...) Call this the Memory Challenge. This paper argues that the Memory Challenge fails to undermine the credibility to reports of selfless episodes, because it rests on problematic assumptions about episodic memory. The paper further argues that we should distinguish between several kinds of self-representation that may be involved in the process of episodic remembering, and that once we do so, it is no longer mysterious how one could accurately remember and report a selfless episode as an episode that one went through. Thus, we should take reports of this kind seriously, and view them as credible counter-examples to the claim that consciousness constitutively involves self-consciousness. (shrink)
This text was conceived as a synthetic introduction to the present-day situation of metaphysics and of ontology, to their stakes and their practices in the world and in France, by way of a preamble to the activities of the Atelier de métaphysique et d’ontologie contemporaines [Workshop on Contemporary Metaphysics and Ontology] at the École normale supérieure. It certainly does not claim to replace the more informed and complete works on which it rests, and which are indicated in the bibliography. Nor (...) was it written with the intention of being polemical against whatever conception of metaphysics, even if it goes without saying that the question is approached in a necssarily partisan, though resolutely conciliatory, manner. (shrink)
À partir de Merleau-Ponty, Henry et Sartre, ce livre montre comment chaque expérience perceptive est susceptible d'accroître ou d'affaiblir la capacité des individus à se laisser affecter en profondeur par leur situation et à l'endurer.
In recent years, a debate has emerged on whether bodily sensations are typically accompanied by a sense of body ownership, namely a distinctive experience of one's body or body part as one's own. Realists about the sense of body ownership heavily rely on evidence from experimentally-induced bodily illusions (e.g., the rubber hand illusion) and pathological disownership syndromes (e.g. somatoparaphrenia). In this chapter, I will introduce novel evidence regarding body disownership syndromes induced by psychoactive drugs rather than pathological conditions, and discuss (...) its relevance to the debate on the sense of body ownership. (shrink)
A cost analysis of the utilization of new expensive vascular grafts is performed, applying the methodology of decision analysis to the theoretical case of a sixty year old male patient undergoing femoropopliteal grafting for limb threatening ischemia. The problem is presented graphically as a decision tree, uncertainties are quantified in terms of probabilities and end outcomes are evaluated in monetary terms. This informations is then utilized to calculate cost values associated with alternative actions.Based on initial cumulative patency figures of the (...) new more expensive grafts and the known performance of the older grafts, the initial high expense for the new grafts is justified economically, if the saphenous vein is not available. This analysis, apart from giving an answer to a specific clinical problem, can be viewed as a general model for cost analysis of surgical procedures. (shrink)