This book, which inaugurates the Princeton Monographs in Philosophy series, starts from Plato's analogy in the Republic between conflict in the soul and conflict in the city. Plato's solution required reason to impose agreement and harmony on the warring passions, and this search for harmony and agreement constitutes the main tradition in political philosophy up to and including contemporary liberal theory. Hampshire undermines this tradition by developing a distinction between justice in procedures, which demands that both sides in a conflict (...) should be heard, and justice in matters of substance, which will always be disputed. Rationality in private thinking consists in adversary reasoning, and so it does in public affairs. Moral conflict is eternal, and institutionalized argument is its only universally acceptable restraint and the only alternative to tyranny.In the chapter "Against Monotheism," Hampshire argues that monotheistic beliefs are only with difficulty made compatible with pluralism in ethics. In "Conflict and Conflict Resolution," he argues that socialism, seen as the proposal of extended political solutions for natural human ills, is still a relevant, yet strongly contested, ideal. (shrink)
Stuart Hampshire, one of the most eminent British philosophers of the twentieth century, will be perhaps best remembered for his work on the seventeenth-century philosopher Spinoza, all of which is gathered now in this volume. Among the great thinkers of modern times, only Spinoza created a complete system of philosophy that rivals Plato's, with crucial contributions to every major philosophical topic. Hampshire 's classic 1951 book Spinoza remains the best introduction to this thinker, and it is reprinted here. But what (...) gives particular interest to this new volume is the first publication of Hampshire 's last work ' Spinoza and Spinozism', an extended presentation of a Spinozist philosophical worldview. Hampshire 's influential 1962 essay ' Spinoza and the Idea of Freedom ' is also included. Spinoza and Spinozism is thus an ideal companion to the study and interpretation of this great philosopher. (shrink)
In this article the author is concerned with the justification of the knowledge of other minds by virtue of statements of other people's feelings based upon inductive arguments of any ordinary pattern as being inferences from the observed to the unobserved of a familiar and accepted form. The author argues that they are not logically peculiar or invalid, When considered as inductive arguments. The author also proposes that solipsism is a linguistically absurd thesis, While at the same time stopping to (...) explain why it is a thesis which tempts those who confuse epistemological distinctions with logical distinctions. (staff). (shrink)
In this expanded version of his Thank-Offering to Britain Fund lectures, delivered at the British Academy in February 1976, Stuart Hampshire compares two radically different conceptions of morality, those of Aristotle and Spinoza, authors, he claims, of the most plausible of all moral philosophies. He discusses the relation between moral intuitions and moral theory, and the contrasting ideas of moral normality and moral conversion. Spinoza's theory of the relation between mind and body is expounded and its relevance to recent theories (...) is explained. (shrink)
“Socrates spent many of his prime years fighting the most vicious, pitiless wars. I think that has a huge impact. I wonder if his central interest in the good is because actually he saw a lot that was very bad all around him.”.
It may sometimes be useful in philosophy to state a method of argument in very simple and even over-simplified terms; it may at a certain stage be useful to ignore for the moment the details and difficulties of particular philosophical arguments, and to try to state simply what is commonly assumed in a variety of different and even opposing arguments.
Freedom of mind.--Subjunctive conditionals.--Multiply general sentences.--Dispositions.--Fallacies in moral philosophy.--Ethics: A defense of Aristotle.--Ryle's the Concept of mind.--The analogy of feeling.--On referring and intending.--Feeling and expression.--Disposition and memory.--Spinoza and the idea of freedom.--A kind of materialism.--Sincerity and single-mindedness.
1. It is a commonplace that contemporary empiricism, or antimetaphysical philosophy, at least in this country, is a re-statement of the essentials of Hume's position with the aid of the more complete analysis of a priori reasoning provided by logicians within the last fifty years; what logical empiricism has most substantially added to Hume's sceptical method is the means of stating and applying his distinction between purely analytic sentences and sentences conveying information about matters of fact more precisely than he (...) was able to state or apply it. It was Hume's governing purpose in every part of his writing to defend what is now generally called the language of common-sense, which is essentially what he called natural belief, against every kind of philosophical theory, whether rationalist or professedly sceptical. By “philosophical theory” is meant in this context any attempt by the use of logical or a priori arguments either to justify or to amend our common-sense beliefs or assertions; Hume tries to show that all such attempts are mistaken in logic and ineffective in fact. The work of the genuine sceptic, who is the true philosopher, is repeatedly to draw attention to the limits of human reason; to draw attention to the limits of human reason is to point to the logical impossibility of answering philosophical demands for some general, and therefore non-empirical, justification of our natural beliefs; such demands involve the substituting of some single, imposed criterion of justification in the place of the various and shifting criteria which we in fact habitually use. (shrink)
The prescription that lays down how one ought to reason in moral matters is normally supported by a more general account of reasoning, which suggests limits upon what can be counted as reasoning of any kind, whether practical or theoretical. If, for example, one accepts, or presupposes, a Cartesian theory of reasoning, the normal case of reasoning is apt to be represented as conscious and explicit inference from one more or less clear idea to another in a set of distinguishable (...) steps. The distinguishable steps are the feature that I wish to stress now. Given this Cartesian account, the normal case of rational deliberation before decision will also be represented as more or less explicit inference from one idea, or proposition, to another in successive, distinct steps. (shrink)
It has always been recognized that proposals about the sense of 'reason' and 'rationality' will have moral and political implications. I shall argue that it has been a misfortune that the term 'reason' was interpreted by Plato and Aristotle as referring to a faculty of the divided soul. The parallel between the city/social order, rightly conceived and planed, and the soul, put in order by nature, is carefully worked out. In it, political choice is to be guided by the analogy (...) with the natural subordinations recognized in the soul. I suggest that, reversing the tradition, we start at the other end of the analogy and proceed in the opposite direction, and look at the ways that natural rational processes have both a public and inner mental use. Key Words: emotion rationality reason soul strife. (shrink)