“Lambeth Palace is my Washpot. Over Fulham have I cast my breeches.” So declared the novelist and secularist H. G. Wells in a letter to his mistress, Rebecca West, in May 1917. His claim was that, because of him, Britain was “full of theological discussion” and theological books were “selling like hot cakes”. He was lunching with liberal churchmen and dining with bishops.Certainly, the first of the books published during Wells’s short “religious period”, the novel Mr. Britling Sees It Through, (...) had sold very well on both sides of the Atlantic and made Wells financially secure. Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy wrote that, “Everyone ought to read Mr. H. G. Wells’s great novel, Mr. Britling Sees It Through. It is a gallant and illuminating attempt to state the question, and to answer it. His thought has brought him to a very real and living faith in God revealed in Jesus Christ, and has also brought relief to many troubled minds among the officers of the British Army.” Yet, Wells’s God was explicitly a finite God, and his theology was far from orthodox. How can we account for his boast and for the clerical affirmation which he certainly did receive?This article examines and re-evaluates previous accounts of the responses of clergy to Wells’s writing, correcting some narratives. It discusses the way in which many clergy used Mr. Britling as a means by which to engage in a populist way with the question of theodicy, and examines the letters which Wells received from several prominent clerics, locating their responses in the context of their own theological writings. This is shown to be key to understanding the reaction of writers such as Studdert Kennedy to Mr. Britling Sees It Through. Finally, an assessment is made of the veracity of Wells’s boasting to his mistress, concluding that his claims were somewhat exaggerated.“Lambeth Palace is my Washpot, Over Fulham have I cast my breeches.” Mit diesen Worten erklärte der literarisch außergewöhnlich erfolgreiche und entschieden säkular denkende, kirchenkritische Schriftsteller und Science-Fiction-Pionier Herbert George Wells seiner Geliebten, dass seinetwegen Großbritannien “full of theological discussion” sei. Nicht ohne Eitelkeit schrieb er es seinem im September 1916 mit Blick auf den Krieg geschriebenen und stark autobiographisch gefärbten Roman Mr. Britling Sees it Through von knapp 450 Seiten zu, dass theologische Bücher reißenden Absatz fänden. Auch war er stolz darauf, liberale Kleriker zum Lunch zu treffen und von Bischöfen zum abendlichen Dinner eingeladen zu werden.In einer kurzen Phase seines Lebens war – oder inszenierte sich – Wells als ein frommer, gläubiger Mensch. Sein damals veröffentlichter Roman Mr. Britling Sees It Through verkaufte sich sowohl in Nordamerika als auch im Heimatland so gut, dass der Autor nun definitiv finanziell gesichert war. Der anglikanische Priester und Dichter Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy, der im Ersten Weltkrieg Woodbine Willie genannt wurde, weil er verletzten und sterbenden Soldaten in den Phasen der Vorbereitung auf den Tod Woodbine-Zigaretten anbot, empfahl die Lektüre von Wells’ “great novel” Mr. Britling mit den Worten: “It is a gallant and illuminating attempt to state the question, and to answer it. His thought has brought him to a very real and living faith in God revealed in Jesus Christ, and has also brought relief to many troubled minds among the officers of the British Army.” Allerdings war H. G. Wells’ Gott ein durchaus endlicher Gott, und seine Theologie war alles andere als orthodox. Wie lassen sich dennoch seine evidente Prahlerei und die emphatische Zustimmung zu seinem Roman in den britischen Klerikereliten erklären?Im Aufsatz werden zunächst einige ältere Deutungen der Zustimmung führender Kleriker zu Wells’ Roman untersucht und einige der dabei leitenden Deutungsmuster kritisch infrage gestellt. Deutlich wird, dass nicht wenige anglikanische Geistliche Mr. Britling dazu nutzten, um höchst populistisch das umstrittene Theodizeeproblem anzusprechen. Auch werden die Briefe prominenter Geistlicher an Wells analysiert, mit Blick auf ihre eigenen Publikationen. Diese Reaktionen haben stark Studdert Kennedys Haltung zu Mr. Britling Sees It Through beeinflusst. Besonders aufrichtig war Wells mit Blick auf sich selbst allerdings nicht. Die Selbstinszenierung gegenüber seiner Geliebten war einfach nur peinliche Übertreibung. (shrink)
The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill was directed by an editorial committee appointed from the Faculty of Arts and Science of the University of Toronto and from the University of Toronto Press, and it was published from 1963 to 1991 in thirty-three hardcover volumes. The primary aim of the edition is to present fully collated, accurate texts of those works which exist in a number of versions, both printed and manuscript, and to provide accurate texts of those works (...) previously unpublished or which had become relatively inaccessible. Liberty Fund is pleased to make available in paperback eight volumes of Mill's writings that remain most relevant to liberty and responsibility in the twenty-first century. Mill's Autobiography gives a vivid account of his life, especially his unique education. The Principles of Political Economy, a compendium of economic theory and fact, was the leading economic textbook for decades. Primarily of interest to economists, his Essays on Economics and Society nevertheless contains material of interest to all students of the politics and society of nineteenth-century England. The most indispensable work in understanding his thought is A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive, which was the first serious attempt to methodize induction in relation to deduction. Essays on Ethics, Religion and Society, one of the most important volumes in the Collected Works, includes the major documents for an assessment of Mill's response to Benthamite utilitarianism and for understanding his development of an independent moral position. Book jacket. (shrink)
Over the last fifty years, traditional farming has been replaced by industrial farming. Unlike traditional farming, industrial farming is abhorrently cruel to animals, environmentally destructive, awful for rural America, and wretched for human health. In this essay, I document those facts, explain why the industrial system has become dominant, and argue that we should boycott industrially produced meat. Also, I argue that we should not even kill animals humanely for food, given our uncertainty about which creatures possess a right to (...) life. In practice, then, we should be vegetarians. To underscore the importance of these issues, I use statistics to show that industrial farming has caused more pain and suffering than the Holocaust. (shrink)
Autobiography of John Stuart Mill by John Stuart Mill John Stuart Mill was an English philosopher, political economist and civil servant. One of the most influential thinkers in the history of liberalism, he contributed widely to social theory, political theory and political economy. He has been called "the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century." Mill's conception of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state control. Mill expresses his view on freedom (...) by illustrating how an individual's drive to better their station, and for self-improvement, is the sole source of true freedom. Only when an individual is able to attain such improvements, without impeding others in their own efforts to do the same, can true freedom prevail. Mill's linking of freedom and self-improvement has inspired many. By establishing that individual efforts to excel have worth, Mill was able to show how they should achieve self-improvement without harming others, or society at large. (shrink)
British philosopher and economist John Stuart Mill is the author of several essays, including Utilitarianism - a defence of Jeremy Bentham's principle applied to the field of ethics - and The Subjection of Women, which advocates legal equality between the sexes. This work, arguably his most famous contribution to political philosophy and theory, was first published in 1859, and remains a major influence upon contemporary liberal political thought. In it, Mill argues for a limitation of the power of government (...) and society over the individual, and defines liberty as an absolute individual right. According to the still much debated 'harm principle', power against the individual can only be exercised to prevent harm to others. Full of contemporary relevance, this essay also defends freedom of speech as a necessary condition of social and intellectual progress. (shrink)
Mill predicted that "[t]he Liberty is likely to survive longer than anything else that I have written...because the conjunction of [Harriet Taylor’s] mind with mine has rendered it a kind of philosophic text-book of a single truth, which the changes progressively taking place in modern society tend to bring out in ever greater relief." Indeed, On Liberty is one of the most influential books ever written, and remains a foundational document for the understanding of vital political, philosophical and social issues. (...) In addition to its many useful appendices, this new edition includes a chronology, bibliography, and a substantial introduction which outlines Mill’s life and works, and sets this central work of 1859 in the context of both his own intellectual development and of the play of ideas and political forces in Victorian society. (shrink)
Bentham.--Coleridge.--M. de Tocqueville on democracy in America.--On liberty.--Utilitarianism.--From Considerations on representative government.--From An examination of Sir William Hamilton's philosophy, volume 1.--From Three essays on religion.--John Stuart Mill, a select bibliography (p. -530).
Advertising and Consumption: Advertising and Social Change by Ronald Berman, Beverley Hills and London: Sage, , 1981, pp 159, £11.95 and £5.50 The Hidden Persuaders by Vance Packard, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1981 pp 248, £1.75 Conspicuous Consumption by Roger S Mason, Farnbrough: Gower, 1981, pp x + 156, £9.50 Channels of Desire by Stuart Ewen and Elizabeth Ewen, New York and London: McGraw-Hill, 1982, pp viii + 312, $7.95.
Stuart Kauffman here presents a brilliant new paradigm for evolutionary biology, one that extends the basic concepts of Darwinian evolution to accommodate recent findings and perspectives from the fields of biology, physics, chemistry and mathematics. The book drives to the heart of the exciting debate on the origins of life and maintenance of order in complex biological systems. It focuses on the concept of self-organization: the spontaneous emergence of order that is widely observed throughout nature Kauffman argues that self-organization (...) plays an important role in the Darwinian process of natural selection. Yet until now no systematic effort has been made to incorporate the concept of self-organization into evolutionary theory. The construction requirements which permit complex systems to adapt are poorly understood, as is the extent to which selection itself can yield systems able to adapt more successfully. This book explores these themes. It shows how complex systems, contrary to expectations, can spontaneously exhibit stunning degrees of order, and how this order, in turn, is essential for understanding the emergence and development of life on Earth. Topics include the new biotechnology of applied molecular evolution, with its important implications for developing new drugs and vaccines; the balance between order and chaos observed in many naturally occurring systems; new insights concerning the predictive power of statistical mechanics in biology; and other major issues. Indeed, the approaches investigated here may prove to be the new center around which biological science itself will evolve. The work is written for all those interested in the cutting edge of research in the life sciences. (shrink)
Despite protestations to the contrary, philosophers have always been renowned for espousing theories that do violence to common-sense opinion. In the last twenty years or so there has been a growing number of philosophers keen to follow in this tradition. According to these philosophers, if a story of pure fic-tion tells us that an individual exists, then there really is such an individual. According to these realists about fictional characters, ‘Scarlett O’Hara,’ ‘Char-lie Brown,’ ‘Batman,’ ‘Superman,’ ‘Tweedledum’ and ‘Tweedledee’ are not (...) denotationless terms, but names that really refer. What is truly surprising about this situation is that almost no one has inveighed against this unfortunate real-ist tendency. My aim here will be to challenge this new orthodoxy, and to defend an anti-realist position against the arguments proffered by the realist. (shrink)
This collection covers the breadth of Mill's work in social theory and political economy, including his ethics, liberalism, theory of government, methodology and feminism, showing the depth of scholarly criticism of Mill's social thought.
Stephen Nathanson's clear-sighted abridgment of Principles of Political Economy, Mill's first major work in moral and political philosophy, provides a challenging, sometimes surprising account of Mill's views on many important topics: socialism, population, the status of women, the cultural bases of economic productivity, the causes and possible cures of poverty, the nature of property rights, taxation, and the legitimate functions of government. Nathanson cuts through the dated and less relevant sections of this large work and includes significant material omitted in (...) other editions, making it possible to see the connections between the views Mill expressed in Principles of Political Economy and the ideas he defended in his later works, particularly On Liberty. Indeed, studying Principles of Political Economy, Nathanson argues in his general Introduction, can help to resolve the apparent contradiction between Mill's views in On Liberty and those in Utilitarianism, making it a key text for understanding Mill’s philosophy as a whole. (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)
The defects of any form of government may be either negative or positive. It is negatively defective if it does not concentrate in the hands of the authorities power sufficient to fulfil the necessary offices of a government; or if it does not sufficiently develop by exercise the active capacities and social feelings of the individual citizens. On neither of these points is it necessary that much should be said at this stage of our inquiry.
This volume argues for a new image of science that understands both natural and social phenomena to be the product of mechanisms, casting the work of science as an effort to understand those mechanisms. Glennan offers an account of the nature of mechanisms and of the models used to represent them in physical, life, and social sciences.
The translation and the commentary of Mr. Muresan are 2 times welcomed. The translation will make known to Romanian reader this important philosopher. The commentary,parts of which I have read in the English translation, is one extremely original and critic,in the scholar sense of the term, a result of a detailed knowledge of ethical works and other works of Mill; he uses the rich critical literature elaborated mostly in the last years and especially by English language philosophers. Mr. Muresan transmits (...) the spirit of this critical tradition; but he surpasses it at the same time with his own daring interpretations. His book is a subtle contribution to research on Mill and on ethics in general, being useful not just in Romania, but anywhere it may be accessible in the philosophical world. (shrink)
As my title implies, I think the verifiability criterion is indeed a criterion of something. I do not intend, therefore, merely to commemorate it. On the other hand I am not sure that those who put it forward in its more liberal forms as a criterion of ‘factual significance’ or ‘literal meaningfulness’ were right in what they identified as the consequence of a sentence's failing to satisfy it. What I want to argue for, in a somewhat reductionist spirit, is a (...) resurrected version of the ‘weak’ verifiability criterion. My resurrected version will certainly appear more rarefied, in so far as it is independent of empiricism. It will, I hope, also be purified of some of the mortal blemishes from which the criterion, as construed by members of the Vienna Circle, seems not to have recovered. (shrink)
This two-volume work, first published in 1843, was John Stuart Mill's first major book. It reinvented the modern study of logic and laid the foundations for his later work in the areas of political economy, women's rights and representative government. In clear, systematic prose, Mill disentangles syllogistic logic from its origins in Aristotle and scholasticism and grounds it instead in processes of inductive reasoning. An important attempt at integrating empiricism within a more general theory of human knowledge, the work (...) constitutes essential reading for anyone seeking a full understanding of Mill's thought. Continuing the discussion of induction, Volume 2 concludes with Book VI, 'On the Logic of the Moral Sciences', in which Mill applies empirical reasoning to human behaviour. A crucial early formulation of his thinking regarding free will and necessity, this book establishes the centrality of 'the social science' to Mill's philosophy. (shrink)
"It may be that I have stumbled upon an adequate description of life itself." These modest yet profound words trumpet an imminent paradigm shift in scientific, economic, and technological thinking. In the tradition of Schrödinger's classic What Is Life?, Kauffman's Investigations is a tour-de-force exploration of the very essence of life itself, with conclusions that radically undermine the scientific approaches on which modern science rests--the approaches of Newton, Boltzman, Bohr, and Einstein. Building on his pivotal ideas about order and evolution (...) in complex life systems, Kauffman finds that classical science does not take into account that physical systems--such as people in a biosphere--effect their dynamic environments in addition to being affected by them. These systems act on their own behalf as autonomous agents, but what defines them as such? In other words, what is life? Kauffman supplies a novel answer that goes beyond traditional scientific thinking by defining and explaining autonomous agents and work in the contexts of thermodynamics and of information theory. Much of Investigations unpacks the progressively surprising implications of his definition. Significantly, he sets the stages for a technological revolution in the coming decades. Scientists and engineers may soon seek to create autonomous agents--both organic and mechanical--that can not only construct things and work, but also reproduce themselves! Kauffman also lays out a foundation for a new concept of organization, and explores the requirements for the emergence of a general biology that will transcend terrestrial biology to seek laws governing biospheres anywhere in the cosmos. Moreover, he presents four candidate laws to explain how autonomous agents co-create their biosphere and the startling idea of a "co-creating" cosmos. A showcase of Kauffman's most fundamental and significant ideas, Investigations presents a new way of thinking about the fundamentals of general biology that will change the way we understand life itself--on this planet and anywhere else in the cosmos. (shrink)
In this paper I offer an analysis of causation based upon a theory of mechanisms-complex systems whose internal parts interact to produce a system's external behavior. I argue that all but the fundamental laws of physics can be explained by reference to mechanisms. Mechanisms provide an epistemologically unproblematic way to explain the necessity which is often taken to distinguish laws from other generalizations. This account of necessity leads to a theory of causation according to which events are causally related when (...) there is a mechanism that connects them. I present reasons why the lack of an account of fundamental physical causation does not undermine the mechanical account. (shrink)
Philosophers of science typically associate the causal-mechanical view of scientific explanation with the work of Railton and Salmon. In this paper I shall argue that the defects of this view arise from an inadequate analysis of the concept of mechanism. I contrast Salmon's account of mechanisms in terms of the causal nexus with my own account of mechanisms, in which mechanisms are viewed as complex systems. After describing these two concepts of mechanism, I show how the complex-systems approach avoids certain (...) objections to Salmon's account of causal-mechanical explanation. I conclude by discussing how mechanistic explanations can provide understanding by unification. (shrink)