In Steve Jobs and Philosophy, sixteen philosophers take a close look at the inspiring yet often baffling world of Steve Jobs. What can we learn about business ethics from the example of Jobs? What are the major virtues of a creative innovator? How could Jobs successfully defy and challenge conventional business practices? How did Jobs combine values and attitudes previously believed to be unmixable? What does it really mean to “think different”? Can entrepreneurs be made or are they (...) just born? If Jobs didn’t make any major inventions, just what was his contribution? How is Jobs’s life illuminated by Buddhism? How does a counter-culture transform mainstream culture? What does Jobs teach us about the notions of simplicity and functionality in design? How do Jobs’s achievements alter the way we think about technology in relation to human life? (shrink)
When the policies and activities of one country or generation harm both other nations and later generations, they constitute serious injustices. Recognizing the broad threat posed by anthropogenic climate change, advocates for an international climate policy development process have expressly aimed to mitigate this pressing contemporary environmental threat in a manner that promotes justice. Yet, while making justice a primary objective of global climate policy has been the movement's noblest aspiration, it remains an onerous challenge for policymakers. -/- Atmospheric Justice (...) is the first single-authored work of political theory that addresses this pressing challenge via the conceptual frameworks of justice, equality, and responsibility. Throughout this incisive study, Steve Vanderheiden points toward ways to achieve environmental justice by exploring how climate change raises issues of both international and intergenerational justice. In addition, he considers how the design of a global climate regime might take these aims into account. Engaging with the principles of renowned political philosopher John Rawls, he expands on them by factoring in the needs of future generations. Vanderheiden also demonstrates how political theory can contribute to reaching a better understanding of the proper human response to climate change. By showing how climate policy offers insights into resolving contemporary controversies within political theory, he illustrates the ways in which applying normative theory to policy allows us to better understand both. -/- Thoroughly researched and persuasively argued, Atmospheric Justice makes an important step toward providing us with a set of carefully elaborated first principles for achieving environmental justice. (shrink)
This article explores the role of disgust in Kant’s aesthetic philosophy, Derrida’s deconstruction of Kant’s third Critique in his article 'Economimesis,' and the figure of vomit in two films by David Lynch in order to argue for the ethical possibilities of not giving ground relative to one’s disgust—what I term an ethics of the worse than the worst.
There is a growing perception among economists that their field is becoming increasingly irrelevant due to its disregard for reality. Critical realism addresses the failure of mainstream economics to explain economic reality and proposes an alternative approach. This book debates the relative strengths and weaknesses of critical realism, in the hopes of developing a more fruitful and relevant socio-economic ontology and methodology. With contributions from some of the leading authorities in economic philosophy, it includes the work of theorists critical of (...) this approach. In the first part, contributors develop and deepen economics as a realist social theory by considering the work of individuals, various schools of thought, socio- economic phenomena and methodology. In the second part, contributors weigh the strengths and weaknesses of critical realism. (shrink)
Can an event’s blameworthiness distort whether people see it as intentional? In controversial recent studies, people judged a behavior’s negative side effect intentional even though the agent allegedly had no desire for it to occur. Such a judgment contradicts the standard assumption that desire is a necessary condition of intentionality, and it raises concerns about assessments of intentionality in legal settings. Six studies examined whether blameworthy events distort intentionality judgments. Studies 1 through 4 show that, counter to recent claims, intentionality (...) judgments are systematically guided by variations in the agent’s desire, for moral and nonmoral actions alike. Studies 5 and 6 show that a behavior’s negative side effects are rarely seen as intentional once people are allowed to choose from multiple descriptions of the behavior. Specifically, people distinguish between “knowingly” and “intentionally” bringing about a side effect, even for immoral actions. These studies suggest that intentionality judgments are unaffected by a behavior’s blameworthiness. (shrink)
Drawing on several issues and methods in Western philosophy, from analytical philosophy to semiotics and hermeneutics, the author throws new light on the ancient Zhuangzi text. Engaging Daoism and contemporary Western philosophical logic, and drawing on new developments in our understanding of early Chinese culture, Coutinho challenges the interpretation of Zhuangzi as either a skeptic or a relativist, and instead seeks to explore his philosophy as emphasizing the ineradicable vagueness of language, thought and reality. This new interpretation of the Zhuangzi (...) offers an important development in the understanding of Daoist philosophy, describing a world in flux in which things themselves are vague and inconsistent, and tries to show us a Way (a Dao) to negotiate through the shadows of a "chaotic" world. (shrink)
With no precise boundaries, always on the move and too complex to be defined by space and time, is it possible to map the human subject? This book attempts to do just this, exploring the places of the subject in contemporary culture. The editors approach this subject from four main aspects--its construction, sexuality, limits and politics--using a wide ranging review of literature on subjectivity across the social and human sciences. The first part of the book establishes the idea that the (...) subject is constructed through detailed histories of the subject. The second part shows that sexuality cannot be assumed to be natural through the contributors' research on the place of sexuality in subjectivity and subjectivity in sexuality. The essays in the third part take issue with the idea of a singular, self-contained identity. Power relations and the effects of power are consistent themes throughout the book and the final section deals explicitly with relations of power, whether organized around gender, race, class or other kinds of difference. Contributors: Steve Pile, Nigel Thrift, Miles Ogborn, Carolyn Steedman, David Matless, David Sibley, David Bell, Julia Cream, Vic Seidler, Hester Parr, Chris Philo, Marcus Doel, Paul Rodaway, Nigel Rapport, Stephen Frosh, Valerie Walkerdine, Gillian Rose and Michael Keith. (shrink)
This work discusses whether Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions was revolutionary. Steve Fuller argues that Kuhn held a profoundly conservative view of science and how one ought to study its history.
Thomas Kuhn's _The Structure of Scientific Revolutions_ is one of the best known and most influential books of the twentieth century. Whether they adore or revile him, critics and fans alike have tended to agree on one thing: Kuhn's ideas were revolutionary. But were they? Steve Fuller argues that Kuhn actually held a profoundly conservative view of science and how one ought to study its history. Early on, Kuhn came under the influence of Harvard President James Bryant Conant, who (...) had developed an educational program intended to help deflect Cold War unease over science's uncertain future by focusing on its illustrious past. Fuller argues that this rhetoric made its way into _Structure,_ which Fuller sees as preserving and reinforcing the old view that science really is just a steady accumulation of truths about the world. Fuller suggests that Kuhn, deliberately or not, shared the tendency in Western culture to conceal possible negative effects of new knowledge from the general public. Because it insists on a difference between a history of science for scientists and one suited to historians, Fuller charges that _Structure_ created the awkward divide that has led directly to the "Science Wars" and has stifled much innovative research. In conclusion, Fuller offers a way forward that rejects Kuhn's fixation on paradigms in favor of a conception of science as a social movement designed to empower society's traditionally disenfranchised elements. Certain to be controversial, _Thomas Kuhn_ must be read by anyone who has adopted, challenged, or otherwise engaged with _The Structure of Scientific Revolutions._ "Structure will never look quite the same again after Fuller. In that sense, he has achieved one of the main aims of his ambitious and impressively executed project."—Jon Turney, _Times Higher Education Supplement_ "Philosophies like Kuhn's narrow the possible futures of inquiry by politically methodizing and taming them. More republican philosophies will leave the future open. Mr. Fuller has amply succeeded in his program of distinguishing the one from the other."—William R. Everdell, _Washington Times_. (shrink)
This book criticizes the common belief that we are entitled to exploit animals for our benefit because they are not as rational as people. After discussing the moral (in)significance of reason in general, the author proceeds to develop a clear, commonsensical conception of what "animal rights" is about and why everyday morality points toward the liberation of animals as the next logical step in Western moral progress. The book evaluates criticisms of animal rights that have appeared in recent philosophical literature (...) and explains the consequences of animal liberation for our diet, science, and treatment of the environment.The issue of animal rights has become of increasing philosophical and popular importance over the past decade. Morals. Reason, and Animals is the first extensive, second-generation contribution to this debate. Focusing exclusively on the fundamental philosophical issues, Sapontzis both undermines the arguments that have been raised against animal rights and constructs a rebuttal that avoids the pitfalls encountered by earlier defenses. Author note: S. F. Sapontzis is Professor of Philosophy at California State University, Hayward. (shrink)
Steve Sherlock’s The Performativity of Value: On the Citability of Cultural Commodities explores how social identity is increasingly constructed through the citation of cultural commodities—a process that has become “performative” of the U.S. cultural economy. Sherlock extends the work of Butler, Derrida, and the Bakhtin Circle to describe how the regeneration of exchange value involves the continual re-commodification of language.
Over the last century, psychoanalysis has transformed the ways in which we think about our relationships with others. Psychoanalytic concepts and methods, such as the unconscious and dream analysis, have greatly impacted on social, cultural and political theory. Reinterpreting the ways in which geography has explored people's mental maps and their deepest feelings about places, The Body and the City outlines a new cartography of the subject. Mapping key coordinates of meaning, identity and power across the sites of body and (...) city, author Steve Pile explores a wide range of critical thinking, particularly the work of Lefebvre, Freud and Lacan to present a pathbreaking psychoanalysis of space. (shrink)
Compassion is a word we use frequently but rarely precisely. One reason we lack a philosophically precise understanding of compassion is that moral philosophers today give it virtually no attention. Indeed, in the predominant ethical traditions of the West, compassion tends to be either passed over without remark or explicitly dismissed as irrelevant. And yet in the predominant ethical traditions of Asia, compassion is centrally important: All else revolves around it. This is clearly the case in Buddhist ethics, and compassion (...) plays a similarly indispensable role in Confucian and Daoist ethics. In Compassion and Moral Guidance, Steve Bein seeks to explain why compassion plays such a substantial role in the moral philosophies of East Asia and an insignificant one in those of Europe and the West. The book opens with detailed surveys of compassion’s position in the philosophical works of both traditions. The surveys culminate in an analysis of the conceptions of self and why the differences between these conceptions serve either to celebrate or marginalize the importance of compassion. Bein moves on to develop a model for the ethics of compassion, including a chapter on applied ethics seen from the perspective of the ethics of compassion. The result is a new approach to ethics, one that addresses the Rawlsian and Kantian concern for fairness, the utilitarian concern for satisfactory consequences, and the concern in care ethics for the proper treatment of marginalized groups. Bein argues that compassion’s capacity to address all of these makes it a primary tool for ethical decision-making. (shrink)
Robert Pirsig wrote of Steve Hagen's first book, Why the World Doesn't Seem to Make Sense, "For those who are certain that objectivity and intellect are the ground floor of all knowledge, this can be a valuable trip to the sub-basement." Now, in The Grand Delusion, Hagen drills deeper, into the most basic strengths, assumptions, and limitations of religion and belief, philosophy and inquiry, science, and technology. In doing so, he shines new light on the question Why is there (...) Something rather than Nothing?-and shines this light from an entirely unexpected (and largely unexplored) direction. Using a provocative mix of examples from physics, philosophy, religion, myth, neuroscience, and mathematics-and a clever, shade-throwing Socratic dialogue between Hagen and his foil, "ANYONE"-this book also offers a fresh perspective on other questions that science, philosophy, and religion have long grappled with. Such topics include: · What does it mean to exist? · What is mind? · What constitutes a measurement? · What exactly is motion? Layer by layer, Hagen examines the questions we ask, the way we ask them, the assumptions and beliefs we hold dear, and the ways in which we separate ourselves from the very answers we seek. In the process, he draws on sources that include Huang Po, Richard Feynman, Sir Arthur Eddington, Hui-Neng, Susan B. Anthony, Daniel Dennett, Joseph Campbell, Dogen, Emily Dickinson, Nagarjuna, Ikkyu, William I. McLaughlin, Sam Harris, and Henry David Thoreau. Ultimately, this book reveals how all of these fundamental questions-and many, many more-stem from a single error, a single unwarranted belief, a single Grand Delusion. The Grand Delusion helps readers move past this delusion into insight that can settle these age-old and seemingly intractable questions. (shrink)
Coutinho respects the multiplicity of Daoist philosophies while also revealing a distinctive philosophical sensibility, and he provides clear explanations of these complex texts without resorting to oversimplification.
We humans can enhance some of our mental and physical abilities above the normal upper limits for our species with the use of particular drug therapies and medical procedures. We will be able to enhance many more of our abilities in more ways in the near future. Some commentators have welcomed the prospect of wide use of human enhancement technologies, while others have viewed it with alarm, and have made clear that they find human enhancement morally objectionable. The Ethics of (...) Human Enhancement examines whether the reactions can be supported by articulated philosophical reasoning, or perhaps explained in terms of psychological influences on moral reasoning. An international team of ethicists refresh the debate with new ideas and arguments, making connections with scientific research and with related issues in moral philosophy. (shrink)
An international team of ethicists refresh the debate about human enhancement by examining whether resistance to the use of technology to enhance our mental and physical capabilities can be supported by articulated philosophical reasoning, or explained away, e.g. in terms of psychological influences on moral reasoning.
“Purifying Zen: Watsuji Tetsuro’s Shamon Dogen makes available in a clear and fluid translation an early classic in modern Japanese philosophy. Steve Bein’s annotations, footnotes, introduction, and commentary bridge the gap separating not only the languages but also the cultures of its original readers and its new Western audience.” —from the Foreword by Thomas P. Kasulis In 1223 the monk Dogen Kigen came to the audacious conclusion that Japanese Buddhism had become hopelessly corrupt. He undertook a dangerous pilgrimage to (...) China to bring back a purer form of Buddhism and went on to become one of the founders of Soto Zen, still the largest Zen sect in Japan. Seven hundred years later, the philosopher Watsuji Tetsuro also saw corruption in the Buddhism of his day. Watsuji’s efforts to purify the religion sent him not across the seas but searching Japan’s intellectual past, where he discovered writings by Dogen that had been hidden away by the monk’s own sect. Watsuji later penned Shamon Dogen , which single-handedly rescued Dogen from the brink of obscurity, reintroducing Japan to its first great philosophical mind. Purifying Zen is the first English translation of Watsuji’s landmark book. A text intended to reacquaint Japan with one of its finest philosophers, the work delves into the complexities of individuals in social relationships, lamenting the stark egoism and loneliness of life in an increasingly Westernized Japan. In addition to an introduction that provides biographical details on Watsuji and Dogen, the translation is supplemented with a brief guide to the themes and ideas of Shamon Dogen, beginning with a consideration of the nature of faith and the role of responsibility in Watsuji’s vision of Dogen’s Zen. It goes on to examine the technical terms of Dogen’s philosophy and the role of written language in Dogen’s thought. (shrink)
How are justifications for religious violence developed and dothey differ from secular justifications for violence? Can liberalsocieties tolerate potentially violent religious groups? Can thosewho accept religious justifications for violence be dissuaded fromacting violently? Including six in-depth contemporary case studies,The Justification of Religious Violence is the first book toexamine the logical structure of justifications of religiousviolence. The first book specifically devoted to examining the logicalstructure of justifications of religious violence Seeks to understand how justifications for religious violenceare developed and how or (...) if they differ from ordinary secularjustifications of violence Examines 3 widely employed premises used in religiousjustifications of violence – ‘cosmic war’, theimportance of the afterlife, and ‘sacred values’ Considers to what extent liberal democratic societies shouldtolerate who hold that their religion justifies violent acts Reflects on the possibility of effective policy measures topersuade those who believe that violent action is justified byreligion, to refrain from acting violently Informed by recent work in psychology, cognitive science,neuroscience and evolutionary biology Part of the Blackwell Public Philosophy Series. (shrink)
Nick Bostrom's book *Superintelligence* outlines a frightening but realistic scenario for human extinction: true artificial intelligence is likely to bootstrap itself into superintelligence, and thereby become ideally effective at achieving its goals. Human-friendly goals seem too abstract to be pre-programmed with any confidence, and if those goals are *not* explicitly favorable toward humans, the superintelligence will extinguish us---not through any malice, but simply because it will want our resources for its own purposes. In response I argue that things might not (...) be as bad as Bostrom suggests. If the superintelligence must *learn* complex final goals, then this means such a superintelligence must in effect *reason* about its own goals. And because it will be especially clear to a superintelligence that there are no sharp lines between one agent's goals and another's, that reasoning could therefore automatically be ethical in nature. (shrink)