Mill says that the object of his essay On Liberty is to defend a certain principle, which I will call the ‘liberty principle’, and will take to say the following: ‘It is permissible, in principle, for the state or society to control the actions of individuals “only in respect to those actions of each, which concern the interest of other people”’. The liberty principle is a prescription of intermediate generality. Mill intends it to support more specific political prescriptions, such as (...) liberty of conscience, of expressing and publishing opinions, of framing a plan of life to suit our own character, and of combination for any purpose not involving harm to others. The liberty principle is more general than these prescriptions but less general than its possible moral foundations, such as utilitarianism. My concern will be with attempts to defend the liberty principle by showing it to be supported by an acceptable moral position. (shrink)
In this essay an ‘objective’ account of intrinsic value is proposed and partly defended. It is claimed that a kind of value exists which is, or may reasonably be supposed to be, a property of certain objects. The presence of such value is not to be wholly accounted for as the ‘projection’ of certain human feelings elicited by the object thought to be of value, nor by the object's meeting certain operative human conventions prescribing what is to be admired, nor (...) by its being conformable, in some way, to human needs or desires. Hume, of course, would have none of this. It is hoped to show that if one adopts Hume's account, then his attempt to show that there nevertheless will be convergence in the long run as to what is of aesthetic value is forced and unsuccessful. By contrast, on the ‘objective’ account convergence is to be expected. This, of course, only shows the superiority of the ‘objective’ account so long as there is an expectation of long-term convergence. This is not an expectation of most contemporary value ‘subjectivists’, and therefore the argument will not be directly relevant to their positions. (shrink)
If the world were wholly just, the following inductive definition would exhaustively cover the subject of justice in holdings. 1. A person who acquires a holding in accordance with the principle of justice in acquisition is entitled to that holding. 2. A person who acquires a holding in accordance with the principle of justice in transfer, from someone else entitled to the holding, is entitled to the holding. 3. No one is entitled to a holding except by applications of i (...) and 2. The complete principle of distributive justice would say simply that a distribution is just if everyone is entitled to the holdings they possess under the distribution. (shrink)
A great deal of modern Protestant theology looks very much like an attempt to conduct a salvage operation which is designed to make clear how it is possible to retain belief in Jesus Christ, and at the same time remain intellectually honest. For the same sceptical challenge which faces the secular historian also faces the theologian. If Christians are correct in arguing that the locus of God's revelation to man is in Jesus of Nazareth, then in order to know about (...) this supposed revelation, it is necessary to know about a period of time in the past; it is necessary to know the history of the man's life and actions. Theologians are therefore faced with the question: how, if at all, is it possible to bridge the logical gap between statements describing what Jesus of Nazareth said and did, and statements describing the evidence for what Jesus of Nazareth said and did. The solution found to this question by theologians tends to be determined by their conscious and unconscious philosophical presuppositions; just as it did in the examples discussed above of secular critical philosophies of history. (shrink)
In the current debates about zoosemiotics its relations with the neighbouring disciplines are a relevant topic. The present article aims to analyse the complex relations between zoosemiotics and cognitive ethology with special attention to their establishers: Thomas A. Sebeok and Donald R. Griffin. It is argued that zoosemiotics and cognitive ethology have common roots in comparative studies of animal communication in the early 1960s. For supporting this claim Sebeok’s works are analysed, the classical and philosophical periods of his zoosemiotic (...) views are distinguished and the changing relations between zoosemiotics and cognitive ethology are described. The animal language controversy can be interpreted as the explicit point of divergence of the two paradigms, which, however, is a mere symptom of a deeper cleavage. The analysis brings out later critical differences between Sebeok’s and Griffin’s views on animal cognition and language. This disagreement has been the main reason for the critical reception and later neglect of Sebeok’s works in cognitive ethology. Sebeok’s position in this debate remains, however, paradigmatic, i.e. it proceeds from understanding of the contextualisation of semiotic processes that do not allow treating the animal mind as a distinct entity. As a peculiar parallel to Griffin’s metaphor of “animal mind”, Sebeok develops his understanding of “semiotic self” as a layered structure, characterised by an ability to make distinctions, foremost between itself and the surrounding environment. It appears that the history of zoosemiotics has two layers: in addition to the chronological history starting in 1963, when Sebeok proposed a name for the field, zoosemiotics is also philosophically rooted in Peircean semiotics and German biological philosophy. It is argued that the confrontation between zoosemiotics and cognitive ethology is related to different epistemological approaches and at least partly induced by underlying philosophical traditions. (shrink)
Letters to Doubting Thomas is an exchange of letters between two characters on the existence of God; it provides a cumulative case for Theism (the belief that God exists). Chapter by chapter, theism is compared with Naturalism (roughly, the view that there is no God and that ultimate reality is physical reality), concluding that Theism (on balance) provides a better explanation of the world and human life than does Naturalism.
According to the approach developed by Thomas A. Sebeok (1921–2001) and his ‘global semiotics,’ semiosis and life converge. This leads to his cardinal axiom: ‘semiosis is the criterial attribute of life.’ His global approach to sign life presupposes his critique of anthropocentrism and glottocentrism. Global semiotics is open to zoosemiotics, indeed, even more broadly, biosemiotics which extends its gaze to semiosis in the whole living universe to include the realms of macro- and microorganisms. In Sebeok’s conception, the sign science (...) is not only the study of communication in culture, but of communicative behaviour from a biosemiotic perspective. (shrink)
Several of Thomas Aquinas's proofs for the existence of God rely on the claim that causal series cannot proceed in infinitum. I argue that Aquinas has good reason to hold this claim given his conception of causation. Because he holds that effects are ontologically dependent on their causes, he holds that the relevant causal series are wholly derivative: the later members of such series serve as causes only insofar as they have been caused by and are effects of the (...) earlier members. Because the intermediate causes in such series possess causal powers only by deriving them from all the preceding causes, they need a first and non-derivative cause to serve as the source of their causal powers. (shrink)
The title of Thomas James's 2011 In Face of Reality: The Constructive Theology of Gordon D. Kaufman echoes the title of Gordon Kaufman's 1993 In Face of Mystery: A Constructive Theology. Kaufman's theology evolved over his long career, but mystery became his principal metaphor for God. In substituting reality for mystery, James signals his central project, which is to argue that Kaufman's theology offers an objective God who "really acts in the world" (1).For James, God's providential activity is a (...) touchstone of Christian theology. However, he asserts, contemporary science has left little space for God to act. Most theologians have responded by: 1) limiting interaction with scientific findings to preserve .. (shrink)
Letters to Doubting Thomas is an exchange of letters between two characters on the existence of God; it provides a cumulative case for Theism . Chapter by chapter, theism is compared with Naturalism , concluding that Theism provides a better explanation of the world and human life than does Naturalism.
This article seeks to justify the claim that Thomas Aquinas proposed a concept of natural law which is immune to the argument against the recognition of an objective grounding of the good formulated by a well-known representative of the liberal tradition, Isaiah Berlin, in his famous essay “Two Concepts of Freedom.” I argue that Aquinas’s concept of freedom takes into account the very same values and goals that Berlin set out to defend when he composed his critique of natural (...) law. In particular, the article suggests that Aquinas recognizes freedom as a greater perfection of man than rationality, and that this freedom is realized, among other things, through the co-construction of the good that gives a goal and a shape to human action and to the whole of a person’s life. I argue that the co-construction of such a good involves the co-construction of natural law in the strict sense of the term. Indeed, the content of natural law can be understood as a set of goods which are goals that inform human action. From a human perspective, natural law is not a pre-existing recipe which has merely to be “read.” Defining the concrete content of natural law is an ongoing process. The process of defining natural law’s content takes humanly knowable, objective elements into account, and so draws on knowledge. Yet free choice also plays an important part in this process. When speaking of the process of defining the content of natural law, therefore, and in determining what here-and-now is to be done, it is reasonable to describe man as a creator of the natural law, or as a legislator, just as the members of a parliament are the creators of civil law — bearing in mind that only a just law is truly law and therefore the creation of both civil and natural law reaches only as far is the scope of just actions directed by these laws. From the perspective of human action, we may speak of each person’s free choice to establish a given good as the end of a specific act, and in so doing to declare that action proper under natural law in the strict sense of the term (which differs from the rules of natural law). An appreciation of what is particular and individual (particulare et individuum), and an appreciation of free choice that goes hand-in-hand with this, is deeply embedded in Thomas’s system of thought. Particularity and individuality has its basis in an especially excellent way of human existence. (shrink)
Jesus Christ may be regarded as the chief spirit of agitation and innovation. He himself declared, “I come not to bring peace, but a sword.” One cannot delve seriously into the centuries of activism and scholarship against racism, Jim Crowism, and the terrorism of lynching without encountering the legacies of Timothy Thomas Fortune and Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Black scholars from the 19th century to the present have been inspired by the sociological and economic works of Fortune and Wells. Scholars (...) of American philosophy, however, continue to ignore their writings, their theoretical contributions and their ethical aspirations, preferring instead the insipid declarations of white turn of the century .. (shrink)
At first glance there seem to be many similarities between Thomas S. Kuhn’s and Ludwik Fleck’s accounts of the development of scientific knowledge. Notably, both pay attention to the role played by the scientific community in the development of scientific knowledge. But putting first impressions aside, one can criticise some philosophers for being too hasty in their attempt to find supposed similarities in the works of the two men. Having acknowledged that Fleck anticipated some of Kuhn’s later theses, there (...) seems to be a temptation in more recent research to equate both theories in important respects. Because of this approach, one has to deal with the problem of comparing the most notable technical terms of both philosophers, namely ‘‘thought style’’ and ‘‘paradigm’’. This paper aims at a more thorough comparison between Ludwik Fleck’s concept of thought style and Thomas Kuhn’s concept of paradigm. Although some philosophers suggest that these two concepts are essentially equal in content, a closer examination reveals that this is not the case. This thesis of inequality will be defended in detail, also taking into account some of the alleged similarities which may be responsible for losing sight of the differences between these theories. (shrink)
In contemporary positive law there are legal institutions, such as conscientious objection in the context of military service or “conscience clauses” in medical law, which for the sake of respect for judgments of conscience aim at restricting legal obligations. Such restrictions are postulated to protect human freedom in general. On the basis of Thomas Aquinas’ philosophy, it shall be argued that human dignity, understood as the existential perfection of a human being based on special unity, provides a foundation for (...) imposing limitations on the scope of legal obligations in general. Human freedom plays a crucial role in understanding dignity as perfection based on the special individuality of a personal being, which in turn is based on the free choice to pursue a unique way of life. Therefore, Aquinas’ argumentation is, at its core, liberal – the perfection rather than the imperfection of a human being underlies the requirement to limit legal obligations. Dignity understood as the special unity of a person also provides the basis for limiting obligations in the case of conscientious objection; however, in that case, such limitations aim at safeguarding internal integrity rather than the individualisation of a given way of life. _This project was financed with funds from the National Science Centre allocated on the basis of the decision number DEC-2013/09/B/HS5/04232._. (shrink)
Abstract Thomas Kuhn is the most famous historian and philosopher of science of the last century. He is also among the most controversial. Since Kuhn's death, his corpus has been interpreted, systematized, and defended. Here I add to this endeavor in a novel way by arguing that Kuhn can be interpreted as a global response-dependence theorist. He can be understood as connecting all concepts and terms in an a priori manner to responses of suitably situated subjects to objects in (...) the world. Further, I claim, this interpretation is useful for three reasons. First, it allows us to systematize and defend Kuhn's views. We can therefore better appreciate him as a thinker in his own right. Second, it deepens our understanding of both the uniqueness of Kuhn's views and the continuity of those views with those of others. We can therefore better appreciate his place in history. And third, as I explain in the paper, my interpretation affords us the only example of an ethnocentric global response-dependence theory. We can therefore better appreciate the versatility of response-dependence itself. (shrink)
In two recent essays, Thomas Pogge addresses the question of how research and development of essential drugs should be incentivized. Essential drugs are drugs for diseases that ruin human lives. The current incentivizing scheme for such drugs is, according to Pogge, a significant causal factor in bringing about a state of affairs in which millions of people die or suffer from lack of access to essential drugs. Pogge, therefore, suggests a reform plan for how to incentivize research and development (...) of these drugs, and he is of the opinion that implementation of this plan will have a significant positive impact on the global disease burden. This paper is a critical examination of Pogge's reform plan. In the first part of the paper, Pogge's reasons for being dissatisfied with the current incentivizing scheme are spelled out. The reform plan is then presented, and in the final part of the paper, it is argued that the reform plan is flawed at a number of levels. (shrink)
Thomas Metzinger’s self-model theory offers a frame¬work for naturalizing subjective experiences, e.g. first-person perspective. These phenomena are explained by referring to representational contents which are said to be interrelated at diverse levels of consciousness and correlated with brain activities. The paper begins with a consideration on naturalism and anti-naturalism in order to roughly sketch the background of Metzinger’s claim that his theory renders philosophical speculations on the mind unnecessary . In particular, Husserl’s phenomenological conception of consciousness is refuted as (...) uncritical and inadequate. It will be demonstrated that this critique is misguided. . The main deficiencies of Metzinger’s theory will be elucidated by referring to the conception of phenomenal transparency which will be compared to a phenomenological idea of transparency . Then we shall enlarge our critical horizon by focusing on some implications of representationalism, including reification of consciousness, brain-Cartesianism, and exclusion of the social dimension . Finally, we shall take up our meta-theoretical reflections on the naturalism debate. (shrink)
Thomas Pogge’s "World Poverty and Human Rights: Cosmopolitan responsibilities and Reforms" is a seminal contribution to the debate on global justice. In this review paper, I undertake a kind of stock-taking exercise in which the main components of Pogge’s position on global justuce and world poverty are outlined. I then critically discuss some important criticisms of Pogge's position.
Section 1 of this essay distinguishes between four interpretations of Socratic intellectualism, which are, very roughly: a version in which on any given occasion desire, and then action, is determined by what we think will turn out best for us, that being what we all, always, really desire; a version in which on any given occasion action is determined by what we think will best satisfy our permanent desire for what is really best for us; a version formed by the (...) assimilation of to, labelled the ‘standard’ version’ by Thomas C. Brickhouse and Nicholas D. Smith, and treated by them as a single alternative to their own interpretation; and Brickhouse and Smith’s own version. Section 2 considers, in particular, Brickhouse and Smith’s handling of the ‘appetites and passions’, which is the most distinctive feature of interpretation. Section 3 discusses Brickhouse and Smith’s defence of ‘Socratic studies’ in its historical context, and assesses the contribution made by their distinctive interpretation of ‘the philosophy of Socrates’. One question raised in this section, and one that is clearly fundamental to the existence of ‘Socratic studies’, is how different Brickhouse and Smith’s Socrates turns out to be from Plato himself, i.e., the Plato of the post-‘Socratic’ dialogues; to which the answer offered is that on Brickhouse and Smith’s interpretation Socratic moral psychology becomes rather less distinguishable from its ‘Platonic’ counterpart—as that is currently understood—than it is on the interpretation they oppose. (shrink)
It has been shown that the thirteenth-century Dominican friar, St Thomas Aquinas, was an important theological influence on John Owen, the seventeenth-century English puritan theologian, chaplain to Oliver Cromwell, and Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, especially in the areas of the divine being, grace and Chalcedonian Christology. Suzanne McDonald has argued that, while Aquinas is unmistakably a source for Owen's doctrine of the beatific vision, Owen surpassed Aquinas's doctrine in a manner she judges to be correct, theologically speaking, and which (...) exposes the deficiency of Aquinas's account. Owen achieved this particular ‘Reforming’ or rather ‘re-forming’ of Aquinas's doctrine, she argues, by way of a ‘Christological re-orientation of the doctrine’ in terms of what is seen in the beatific vision and how it is seen, that is, its content and means. This article replies to McDonald from a Catholic and Thomist perspective, in response to her suggestion that Owen's account of the beatific vision opens up possibilities for ecumenical dialogue. The article attempts to achieve this first by reassessing the Christological contrasts McDonald draws between Owen and Aquinas in terms of content and means, and then by offering several suggestions as to why one might want to prefer Aquinas's account over Owen's. (shrink)
In this essay, I demonstrate the value of the Bildungsroman for philosophy of education on the grounds that these narratives raise and explore educational questions. I focus on a short story in the Bildungsroman tradition, Thomas Hardy’s “A Mere Interlude”. This story describes the maturation of its heroine by narrating a series of events that transform her understanding of what it means to lead a human life. I connect her conceptual shift with two paradigms for leading a human life. (...) One stresses the exercise of distinct human capacities like agency and autonomy, whereas the other stresses human vulnerability to fate or moral luck. I conclude by offering important reasons for educators to adopt the later paradigm over the former. (shrink)
Thomism is solidly based on the assumption that we know the world first through our senses and then through concepts formed on the basis of our sense experience. In this informally discursive introduction to St. Thomas Aquinas, Ralph McInerny shows how this basic assumption contrasts with dominant modern alternative views and is developed by Thomas into a coherent view of ourselves, of knowledge, and of God. McInerny first places Thomism in context within philosophical inquiry, discussing the relationship between (...) philosophy and theology, and between modern and classical views of philosophy. He then describes the challenges Thomas faced with the introduction of Aristotle’s works into the Christian West. The reader is subsequently guided through such key concepts as art, nature, causes, and motion and shown how Thomas used these concepts to resolve the problems presented by Aristotle. Each chapter is tied to a specific Thomistic text, providing a sample froma number of Thomas’s works. In addition to articles from both _Summas_, there are sections from the Disputed Questions and the Commentaries, among others. McInerny also provides an annotated list of the writings of Thomas available in English. Bibliographical notes provivded by the author, grouped by subject and following his general chapter divisions, will be particularly helpful for further reading. (shrink)
Aristotelian philosophers have been always puzzled by the ambiguous status of essences: it is not clear whether an Aristotelian should admit that an essence, taken in itself, is real, even though essences do not exist over and above particular things, as Platonists posit; furthermore, it is not clear whether an Aristotelian should endorse the view that essences have a certain unity, even if they are taken in themselves, namely, by abstracting from the individuals of which they are essences. I tackle (...)Thomas Cajetan’s analysis of this problem: this analysis is more sophisticated than that developed by Aquinas—whose texts had been commented upon by Cajetan. Cajetan distinguishes two senses of “real” and of “unity,” in order to speak of the reality and of the unity of essences, taken in themselves, though not endorsing a Platonist’s ontology. I suggest that his solution is appealing for the contemporary debate about this problem. (shrink)
O objetivo desse artigo é mostrar de que modo um problema no domínio da teoria contemporânea do direito suscita questões que podem encontrar esclarecimentos na filosofia de Thomas Hobbes. Para tanto, será primeiramente analisada uma decisão da Suprema Corte norte-americana que retoma um debate constitucional aberto há já quase vinte anos e que versa sobre os direitos civis1. Nesse contexto, a noção de República em Hobbes será apresentada enquanto fornecendo uma teoria sobre a interpretação jurídica que permite apanhar o (...) bom lado nesse debate. (shrink)
« On ne comprend pas vraiment le thomisme tant qu’on n’y sent pas la présence de saint Thomas lui-même, ou plutôt de frère Thomas avant qu’il ne fût devenu un saint fêté au calendrier, bref de l’homme avec son tempérament, son caractère, ses sentiments, ses goûts et jusqu’à ses passions. Car il en eût au moins une. Au niveau de la nature humaine pure et simple, Thomas eut la passion de l’intelligence ».Comprendre ensemble le philosophe et le (...) croyant en Thomas, c’est en ces termes qu’Étienne Gilson invite le lecteur à entrer dans la pensée complexe, mais incontournable, du Docteur angélique. Tel est aussi l’esprit qui anime cette étude systématique, visant au cœur même du thomisme et guidée par le souci constant de manifester l’unité de la doctrine à travers le déploiement de cette « passion de l’intelligence » – cette puissance contemplative, qui embrasse dans un même élan rationnel les grandes questions théologiques, ontologiques et anthropologiques : l’existence de Dieu, l’être et l’essence, la nature et la causalité physique, la connaissance, la vie humaine.Dans l’œuvre immense d’Étienne Gilson, cet ouvrage occupe une place centrale : non seulement parce que Le Thomisme aura accompagné son auteur durant toute sa carrière, à travers les remaniements et amplifications de six éditions successives; mais encore, parce que cette magistrale introduction à la philosophie de saint Thomas aura contribué de manière décisive à définir une méthode historiographique : celle d’une histoire doctrinale unitaire et cohérente, par delà tous les clivages philosophiques et théologiques. (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.
This is a major new study of Thomas Aquinas, the most influential philosopher of the Middle Ages. The book offers a clear and accessible guide to the central project of Aquinas' philosophy: the understanding of human nature. Robert Pasnau sets the philosophy in the context of ancient and modern thought, and argues for some groundbreaking proposals for understanding some of the most difficult areas of Aquinas' thought: the relationship of soul to body, the workings of sense and intellect, the (...) will and the passions, and personal identity. Structured around a close reading of the treatise on human nature from the Summa theologiae and deeply informed by a wide knowledge of the history of philosophy and contemporary philosophy, this study will offer specialists a series of novel and provocative interpretations, while providing students with a reference commentary on one of Aquinas' core texts. (shrink)
In a recent article Mark Ian Thomas Robson argues that there is a clear contradiction between the view that possible worlds are a part of God's nature and the theologically pivotal, but philosophically neglected, claim that God is perfectly beautiful. In this article I show that Robson's argument depends on several key assumptions that he fails to justify and as such that there is reason to doubt the soundness of his argument. I also demonstrate that if Robson's argument were (...) sound then this would be a problem for all classical theists and not just those who hold the possible worlds view. (shrink)
In a recent article in this journal, Alan Thomas presents a novel defence of what I call ‘Rawlsian Institutionalism about Justice’ against G. A. Cohen’s well-known critique. In this response I aim to defend Cohen’s rejection of Institutionalism against Thomas’s arguments. In part this defence requires clarifying precisely what is at issue between Institutionalists and their opponents. My primary focus, however, is on Thomas’s critical discussion of Cohen’s endorsement of an ethical prerogative, as well as his appeal (...) to the institutional framework of a ‘property-owning democracy’ in his elaboration of the precise institutional requirements of Rawlsian Institutionalist justice, and his related claim that Cohen’s rejection of Institutionalism involves an objectionable ‘double counting’ of the demands of justice. I argue that once we are clear about both the kind of justification that can be given for a prerogative within a plausible ethical theory, and about the key points of departure between Institutionalist views and their rivals, Cohen’s rejection of Institutionalism appears well-motivated, and Thomas’s claim that his view is guilty of double counting the demands of justice can be seen to be mistaken. (shrink)
For the first time in three centuries, this book brings back into print three discourses now confirmed to have been written by the young Thomas Hobbes. Their contents may well lead to a resolution of the long-standing controversy surrounding Hobbes's early influences and the subsequent development of his thought. The volume begins with the recent history of the discourses, first published as part of the anonymous seventeenth-century work, Horae Subsecivae . Drawing upon both internal evidence and external confirmation afforded (...) by new statistical "wordprinting" techniques, the editors present a compelling case for Hobbes's authorship. Saxonhouse and Reynolds present the complete texts of the discourse with full annotations and modernized spellings. These are followed by a lengthy essay analyzing the pieces' significance for Hobbes's intellectual development and modern political thought more generally. The discourses provide the strongest evidence to date for the profound influences of Bacon and Machiavelli on the young Hobbes, and they add a new dimension to the much-debated impact of the scientific method on his thought. The book also contains both introductory and in-depth explanations of statistical "wordprinting.". (shrink)
Leaving so few traces of himself behind, Thomas Aquinas seems to defy the efforts of the biographer. Highly visible as a public teacher, preacher, and theologian, he nevertheless has remained nearly invisible as man and saint. What can be discovered about Thomas Aquinas as a whole? In this short, compelling portrait, Denys Turner clears away the haze of time and brings Thomas vividly to life for contemporary readers—those unfamiliar with the saint as well as those well acquainted (...) with his teachings. Building on the best biographical scholarship available today and reading the works of Thomas with piercing acuity, Turner seeks the point at which the man, the mind, and the soul of Thomas Aquinas intersect. Reflecting upon Thomas, a man of Christian Trinitarian faith yet one whose thought is grounded firmly in the body’s interaction with the material world, a thinker at once confident in the powers of human reason and a man of prayer, Turner provides a more detailed human portrait than ever before of one of the most influential philosophers and theologians in all of Western thought. (shrink)
Today’s globalized economy cannot be governed by legal strictures alone. A combination of self-interest and regulation is not enough to avoid the recurrence of its systemic crises. We also need virtues and a sense of corporate responsibility in order to assure the sustained success of the global economy. Yet whose virtues shall prevail in a pluralistic world? The moral theory of Thomas Aquinas meets the present need for a business ethics that transcends the legal realm by linking the ideas (...) of justice and virtue in an ingenious way. While allowing for, and incorporating, the specificities of region and religion, industry and culture, Thomas’s virtue theory coordinates private and public activities through a set of context-invariant, justice-oriented norms with conceptual appeal to contemporary questions of global business ethics.In our article, we first sketch how Aquinas’s theory can be also of relevance to a non-confessional audience through its appeal to the ‘natural light of reason.’ Then we explain how his theory of ‘natural law’ aligns his ideas of virtue and justice. From this vantage point, we address the tension between cultural diversity and moral uniformity in the economic sphere in general and in today’s globalized business world in particular. Throughout the article, we aim to show that by interpreting the virtue-dimension of business in light of the idea of social justice, Aquinas’s conception of virtuous business conduct gains inter-personal and inter-cultural validity that establishes social justice as the global virtue of business. (shrink)
Thomas Aquinas, in his Summa contra Gentiles, cites by name and quotes Avicenna seventeen times explicitly. A detailed examination of all these passages reveals that Thomas sometimes, although rarely—in fact, only with regard to the discussion of the divine attributes of truth and liberality—makes a positive assessment of Avicenna’s ideas. Much more often, Thomas is highly critical of the latter’s doctrines. It comes as no surprise that Thomas strongly opposes Avicenna’s theories of emanation and of knowledge (...) acquisition by an illumination of the agent intellect. However, it is astonishing that he qualifies Avicenna as a “Platonist.” This understanding seems to result partly from Averroistic influences, partly from Thomas’s desire to make Avicenna’s system—in spite of the presence of obvious tensions in it—completely coherent, and partly from some rewordings which fit better Thomas’s own system. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that Avicenna was for Thomas a real “auctoritas.”. (shrink)
_A concise and illuminating introduction to the elusive Thomas Aquinas, the man and the saint_ Leaving so few traces of himself behind, Thomas Aquinas seems to defy the efforts of the biographer. Highly visible as a public teacher, preacher, and theologian, he nevertheless has remained nearly invisible as man and saint. What can be discovered about Thomas Aquinas as a whole? In this short, compelling portrait, Denys Turner clears away the haze of time and brings Thomas (...) vividly to life for contemporary readers—those unfamiliar with the saint as well as those well acquainted with his teachings. Building on the best biographical scholarship available today and reading the works of Thomas with piercing acuity, Turner seeks the point at which the man, the mind, and the soul of Thomas Aquinas intersect. Reflecting upon Thomas, a man of Christian Trinitarian faith yet one whose thought is grounded firmly in the body’s interaction with the material world, a thinker at once confident in the powers of human reason and a man of prayer, Turner provides a more detailed human portrait than ever before of one of the most influential philosophers and theologians in all of Western thought. (shrink)
One of the most significant political philosophers of the twentieth century, Carl Schmitt is a deeply controversial figure who has been labeled both Nazi sympathizer and modern-day Thomas Hobbes. First published in 1938, The Leviathan in the State Theory of Thomas Hobbes used the Enlightenment philosopher’s enduring symbol of the protective Leviathan to address the nature of modern statehood. A work that predicted the demise of the Third Reich and that still holds relevance in today’s security-obsessed society, this (...) volume will be essential reading for students and scholars of political science. “Carl Schmitt is surely the most controversial German political and legal philosopher of this century. . . . We deal with Schmitt, against all odds, because history stubbornly persists in proving many of his tenets right.”— Perspectives on Political Science “[A] significant contribution. . . . The relation between Hobbes and Schmitt is one of the most important questions surrounding Schmitt: it includes a distinct, though occasionally vacillating, personal identification as well as an association of ideas.”— Telos. (shrink)
i l l ustrat es t he di ffi cul t y of providing a purely physical characterisation of phenomenal experi ence wi t ha vi vi d exampl e about a bat ’ s sensory apparatus. Whi l e a number of obj ect i ons have al ready been made to Nagel.
In recent years, direct brain interventions have shown increased success in manipulating neurobiological processes often associated with moral reasoning and decision-making. As current DBIs are refined, and new technologies are developed, the state will have an interest in administering DBIs to criminal offenders for rehabilitative purposes. However, it is generally assumed that the state is not justified in directly intruding in an offender’s brain without valid consent. Thomas Douglas challenges this view. The state already forces criminal offenders to go (...) to jail without their consent. This represents a serious interference with an offender’s rights. If criminal offenders are already morally liable to incarceration, why is the state not also entitled to administer DBIs without consent for the purposes of rehabilitation? Douglas argument focuses on the right to ‘bodily integrity’. He argues that there is no compelling reason to believe that bodily rights that protect an offender from non-consensual DBIs are stronger than rights that protect an offender from incarceration. This paper will extend Douglas’ analysis. It will consider the more fundamental right to ‘mental integrity’. The right to mental integrity defends an inner sphere of liberty. It protects critical capacities necessary for the exercise of autonomous human agency—without which a vast majority of moral rights could not exist. Thus, the right to mental integrity is ultimately more important for a moral assessment of DBIs. The right strongly suggests that both presently, and in the future, there may be many cases in which the state is not entitled to administer DBIs to criminal offenders without valid consent. (shrink)