My object in this paper is to suggest a few reflections on some themes in Bentham's work which others as well as I have noted, without perhaps developing them as fully as might with advantage be done. There will be nothing like full development in the limited compass of what is said here, but what is said may at least indicate possible directions for further exploration. The greater part of the paper will be concerned with the notion of natural authority; (...) but I want to begin by taking a broader, though no doubt rather superficial, view of the role in Bentham's thinking of the concepts of ‘nature’ and ‘the natural’. (shrink)
The object of this article is to examine, with the work of Jeremy Bentham as the principal example, one strand in the complex pattern of European social theory during the second half of the eighteenth century. This was of course the period not only of the American and French revolutions, but of the culmination of the movements of thought constituting what we know as the Enlightenment. Like all great historical episodes, the Enlightenment was both the fulfilment of long-established processes and (...) the inauguration of new processes of which the fulfilment lay in the future. Thus the seminal ideas of seventeenth-century rationalism realized and perhaps exhausted their potentialities in the eighteenth-century Enlightenment. The ideas with which this article is concerned, however—conveniently grouped and labelled as the ideas of utilitarianism—only began to achieve systematic development in these later decades of the eighteenth century. Within that period—during the first half and more of Bentham's long life—attempts to apply those ideas to the solution of social problems met largely with failure and frustration. Yet unrealized potentialities remained, the realization of which was reserved for a time when the world of the philosophes no longer existed. The movements for social and political reform which have played so large a part in modern history since the French Revolution may be judged in widely differing ways; but whatever the verdict, these movements surely cannot be understood without due consideration of that part of their origins which lies in eighteenth-century utilitarianism. (shrink)
By the death, last summer, of Jack Robson, the world of utilitarian studies and a wider world of scholarship on both sides of the Atlantic lost one of their most distinguished figures. It would not be appropriate here, even if it were possible now, to attempt a full and measured assessment of his work. Writing only a few months after the news of his death, while the sense of loss is still so sharp for all his many friends, two things (...) are possible. Something can and should be said to acknowledge and celebrate Robson's achievement as a scholar; and to this can be added some personal recollections of one whose human qualities were as outstanding as his scholarship. (shrink)
The full range of Bentham's engagement with Blackstone's view of law is beyond the scope of a single article. Yet it is important to recognize at the outset, even in a more restricted enquiry into the matter, that the engagement, begun when Bentham, not quite sixteen years of age, started to attend Blackstone's Oxford lectures, was indeed a lifelong affair. Whatever Bentham had in mind when, at the age of eighty, in 1828, he began to write a work entitled ‘A (...) familar view of Blackstone: or say Blackstone familiarized’, the manuscripts at least suffice to prove that ‘Our Author’ was still in the forefront of his mind at that octogenarian but still indefatigably active stage of his career. Every aspect of Bentham's multifarious intellectual activity over the intervening decades had been touched in some measure by his response to Blackstone's ideas. It still seems true to say what was said a dozen years ago: It would be an exaggeration to say that Bentham elaborated his own conception of law by way of a constant and conscious dialectic with the views of Blackstone. But it would be an exaggeration for which the evidence would afford some excuse. (shrink)
This collection of essays, offered in honor of the distinguished career of prominent political philosophy professor Clifford Orwin, brings together internationally renowned scholars to provide a wide context and discuss various aspects of the virtue of “humanity” through the history of political philosophy.
[opening paragraph]: Walter Freeman discusses with Jean Burns some of the issues relating to consciousness in his recent book. Burns: To understand consciousness we need know its relationship to the brain, and to do that we need to know how the brain processes information. A lot of people think of brain processing in terms of individual neurons, and you're saying that brain processing should be understood in terms of dynamical states of populations?
In the two related works in this volume, Bentham offers a detailed critique of William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England. He provides important refelctions on the nature of law, and more particularly on the nature of customary and statute law, and on judicial interpretation.
This article explores the role of nature in two strands of contemporary materialist philosophy: new materialism, and transcendental materialism. Through an analysis of these strands of materialism via the work of Jane Bennett, William E. Connolly, Catherine Malabou, and Adrian Johnston, the article attempts to delineate these perspectives into the opposed camps of monist and dialectical materialisms. The implications of these differing materialist ontologies are then discussed in terms of the theorization of nature as either a vital material force (...) or as a weakness characterizing matter itself. After outlining the importance of nature for these two opposed theories, the lack of serious engagement with the work of F.W.J. Schelling by either group is discussed as a potential middle ground between the Spinozism of the new materialism and the Hegelianism of transcendental materialism, due to its large-scale political analysis, less pessimistic perspective towards the possibility of a contemporary humanism, and embrace of recent advances in the empirical sciences. (shrink)
A historical perspective on the future of the car Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9479-z Authors Peter D. Norton, Department of Science, Technology and Society, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4744, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Human experience manifests a necessary polarity of process and structure. Philosophy and religion, since they are "both human attempts to understand the whole world in which we live," are alike in having to take account of both these fundamental needs. The religions chosen to illustrate this thesis are the Canaanite, Greek, and Christian; the representatives of philosophy are James and Dewey, who, it is argued, had more room in their thought for structure and order than their critics have charged.--J. J.
In this review essay, I first set out and then subject to criticism the main claims advanced by William Talbott in his excellent recent book, “Which Rights Should be Universal?”. Talbott offers a conception of basic universal human rights as the minimally necessary and sufficient conditions to political legitimacy. I argue that his conception is at once too robustly liberal and democratic and too inattentive to key features of the rule of law to play this role. I suggest that (...) John Rawls’s conception of human rights comes closer to hitting the mark Talbott sets for himself and that Talbott incorrectly rejects Rawls’s view. I conclude that what likely divides Talbott and Rawls is that Rawls, but not Talbott, explicitly frames the inquiry into the minimally necessary and sufficient conditions to political legitimacy in terms of a liberal democratic people attempting to determine, as a matter of its just foreign policy, whether or not to recognize other organized polities as independent and self-determining within the international order. (shrink)
Several authors, such as William J. Morgan, John S. Russell and R. Scott Kretchmar, have claimed that the limits between the diverse normative theories of sport need to be revisited. Most of these works are philosophically grounded in Anglo-American philosophical approaches. For instance, William J. Morgan’s proposal is mainly based on Richard Rorty’s philosophy. But he also discusses with some European philosophers like Jürgen Habermas. However, Habermas’ central ideas are rejected by Morgan. The purpose of this paper is (...) to analyse Morgan’s rejection of Habermas’ thought and show that a more appropriate normative of sport that explains better our current sporting world can be achieved by drawing on the German philosopher’s ideas. The plan of this paper is the following. It shall analyse the limits of the distinction between broad internalism and externalism by taking Morgan’s work as its starting point. To do so, firstly, the conventionalist way in which Morgan criticises the limits of interpretivism sha.. (shrink)