The late 20th century saw great movement in the philosophy of language, often critical of the fathers of the subject-Gottlieb Frege and Bertrand Russell-but sometimes supportive of (or even defensive about) the work of the fathers. Howard Wettstein's sympathies lie with the critics. But he says that they have often misconceived their critical project, treating it in ways that are technically focused and that miss the deeper implications of their revolutionary challenge. Wettstein argues that Wittgenstein-a figure with whom the critics (...) of Frege and Russell are typically unsympathetic-laid the foundation for much of what is really revolutionary in this late 20th century movement. The subject itself should be of great interest, since philosophy of language has functioned as a kind of foundation for much of 20th century philosophy. But in fact it remains a subject for specialists, since the ideas are difficult and the mode of presentation is often fairly technical. In this book, Wettstein brings the non-specialist into the conversation (especially in early chapters); he also reconceives the debate in a way that avoids technical formulation. The Magic Prism is intended for professional philosophers, graduate students, and upper division undergraduates. (shrink)
This major study examines Thoreau's participation in the economic discourse of his time and place. It focuses on the cultural conditions in the time of Thoreau, his awareness of them, and his responses to them as a literary artist who identified his writing as his vocation.
This book discusses the disruptive power of the concept of taste in the works of a number of important British writers, including poets such as Alexander Pope and Joseph Warton, philosophical historians such as David Hume and Anna Barbauld, and novelists such as Frances Burney and William Beckford.
Discovered one hundred years ago, Aristotle's Athenaion Politeia is invaluable to contemporary understanding of Athenian democracy. As a historical record, however, it has been found to be so unreliable that some have questioned its true authorship, and it has remained largely ignored by those studying philosophy and literature. Keaney uses a literary approach to reassert Aristotle's authorship and to present the Athenaion Politeia as a document that defies the constraints of any particular genre--probably never intended to be a piece of (...) historical writing. He goes beyond the traditional approach of historical analysis to consider the work as characteristic of a new and innovative genre created by Aristotle, that of empirically-based cultural history. (shrink)
Many philosophers believe that the traditional problem of our knowledge of the external world was dissolved by Wittgestein and others. They argue that it was not really a problem - just a linguistic `confusion' that did not actually require a solution. Bruce Aune argues that they are wrong. He casts doubt on the generally accepted reasons for putting the problem aside and proposes an entirely new approach. By considering the history of the problem from Descartes to Kant, Aune shows that (...) analogous arguments create difficulties for the contemporary philosophical consensus. He makes it clear that the problem remains acute, particualarly for our understanding of scientific evidence. The solution he proposes draws upon contemporary philosophy of science and probability theory. (shrink)
Can subjective taste regulate social norms or political practices? This book argues that from the late seventeenth century to the present national cultures have sought to regulate the democratic subject through the academic form of arguments about the proper relations of aesthetics to ethics and politics. In so doing it offers a radical reconsideration of the history of modernity, tracing the emergence of criticism as a socio-cultural practice across all the major European nations, and drawing on an extensive range of (...) European literature and philosophy. (shrink)
The most comprehensive collection of its kind, this unique anthology presents fifty-four readings--many of them not widely available--by the most important and influential Christian, Jewish, and Muslim philosophers of the Middle Ages. The text is organized topically, making it easily accessible to students, and the large selection of readings provides instructors with maximum flexiblity in choosing course material. Each thematic section is comprised of six chronologically arranged readings. This organization focuses on the major philosophical issues and allows a smooth introduction (...) to the material. The topics covered are: (1) The Existence of God, (2) Ethics and the Problem of Evil, (3) God's Foreknowledge and Free Will, (4) Theology, (5) Political Philosophy, 6) Knowledge and Sensation, (7) Universals, (8) Logic and the Philosophy of Language and (9) Physics. Each text is preceded by a biographical note on the author and a brief analytical introduction. Unlike other anthologies, which present sources as a series of truncated excerpts, this collection avoids intrusive editing and includes many selections in their entirety, thus preserving the rich flavor of the medieval mind at work. (shrink)
This collection by a distinguished group of philosophers, psychologists, and physiologists reflects an interdisciplinary approach to the central question of cognitive science: how do we model the mind? Among the topics explored are the relationships (theoretical, reductive, and explanatory) between philosophy, psychology, computer science, and physiology; what should be asked of models in science generally, and in cognitive science in particular; whether theoretical models must make essential reference to objects in the environment; whether there are human competences that are resistant, (...) in principle, to modelling; whether simulated thinking and intentionality are really thinking and intentionality; how semantics can be generated from syntactics; the meaning of the terms "representations" and "modelling;" whether the nature of the "hardware" matters; and whether computer models of humans are "dehumanizing." Contributors include Donald Davidson, Daniel C. Dennett, Margaret A. Boden, Adam Morton, Dennis Noble, T. Poggio, Colin Blakemore, K.V. Wilkes, P.N. Johnson-Laird, and Jonathan St. B.T. Evans. (shrink)
This history of theories and theorists of economic growth elucidates the economic theory, economic history, and public policy observations of the renowned scholar W. W. Rostow. Looking at the economic growth theories of the classic economists up to 1870, Rostow compares Hume and Adam Smith, Malthus and Ricardo, and J.S. Mill and Karl Marx. He then examines the period 1870-1939 and its economic theorists, including Schumpeter, Colin Clark, Kuznets, and Harrod, and surveys the three forms of growth analysis in the (...) postwar era: formal models, statistical morphology, and development theories. This authoritative overview also includes an agenda of unresolved problems in growth analysis and a description of the five major tasks statesmen will confront over the next several generations. (shrink)
This monograph examines the past, present, and potential relationship between American pragmatism and communication research. The contributors provide a bridge between communication studies and philosophy, subjects often developed somewhat in isolation from each other. Addressing topics, such as qualitative and quantitative research, ethics, media research, and feminist studies, the chapters in this volume: *discuss how a pragmatic, Darwinian approach to inquiry has guided and might further guide communication research; *advocate a functional view of communication, based on Dewey's mature notion of (...) transaction; *articulate a pragmatist's aesthetics and connect it to Deweyan democracy; *discuss the similarities and differences between Dewey's notion of inquiry and the philosophical hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer; *apply accommodation theory, linked to symbolic interactionism and more generally to the social behaviorism of George H. Mead and his followers, to media research; *interpret media-effects evidence in light of pragmatist ideas about inquiry; and *argue that pragmatism theorizes about despair and life's sense of the tragic. This book is written to be readily accessible to students and professional academics within and outside the field of communication studies without extensive training in specialized areas of communication study. (shrink)
In the first book-length study of American philosophy at the turn of the century, Daniel J. Wilson traces the formation of philosophy as an academic discipline. Wilson shows how the rise of the natural and physical sciences at the end of the nineteenth century precipitated a "crisis of confidence" among philosophers as to the role of their discipline. Deftly tracing the ways in which philosophers sought to incorporate scientific values and methods into their outlook and to redefine philosophy itself, Wilson (...) moves between close analysis of philosophical texts and consideration of professional careers of illustrative philosophers, such as Charles Sanders Peirce, John Dewey, and Josiah Royce. The author situates the emergence of professional philosophy in the context of the professionalization of American higher education and articulates, in the case of philosophy, the structures and values of a professional discipline. One of the most important consequences of this transformation was a new emphasis on communal theories of truth. Peirce, Dewey, and Royce all developed sophisticated and important theories of community as they were engaged in reshaping and redefining the limits of philosophy. This book will be of great importance for those interested in the history of philosophy, the rise of professions, and American intellectual and educational history, and to all those seeking to understand the contemporary revival of pragmatic thought and theories of community. (shrink)
Taking as its starting point the long-standing characterization of Milton as a "Hebraic" writer, Milton and the Rabbis probes the limits of the relationship between the seventeenth-century English poet and polemicist and his Jewish ...
This book is a major contribution to the study of the philosopher F. H. Bradley, the most influential member of the nineteenth-century school of British Idealists. It offers a sustained interpretation of Bradley's Principles of Logic, explaining the problem of how it is possible for inferences to be both valid and yet have conclusions that contain new information. The author then describes how this solution provides a basis for Bradley's metaphysical view that reality is one interconnected experience and how this (...) gives rise to a new problem of truth. (shrink)
Louis Pojman and Robert Westmoreland have compiled the best material on the subject of equality, ranging from classical works by Aristotle, Hobbes and Rousseau to contemporary works by John Rawls, Thomas Nagel, Michael Walzer, Harry Frankfurt, Bernard Williams and Robert Nozick; and including such topics as: the concept of equality; equal opportunity; Welfare egalitarianism; resources; equal human rights and complex equality.
This book collects some 75 texts from the history of American thought, starting with the colonial religious background, and arranged into 6 historically oriented chapers. Each chapter has a general introduction and ends with suggestions for further readings; and each of the texts is prefaced by a short explanatory paragraph. Overall, the book provides an historical introduction to central ethical themes of American thought.
A comprehensive and systematic reconstruction of the philosophy of Charles S. Peirce, perhaps America's most far-ranging and original philosopher, which reveals the unity of his complex and influential body of thought. We are still in the early stages of understanding the thought of C. S. Peirce (1839-1914). Although much good work has been done in isolated areas, relatively little considers the Peircean system as a whole. Peirce made it his life's work to construct a scientifically sophisticated and logically rigorous philosophical (...) system, culminating in a realist epistemology and a metaphysical theory ("synechism") that postulates the connectedness of all things in a universal evolutionary process. In The Continuity of Peirce's Thought, Kelly Parker shows how the principle of continuity functions in phenomenology and semeiotics, the two most novel and important of Peirce's philosophical sciences, which mediate between mathematics and metaphysics. Parker argues that Peirce's concept of continuity is the central organizing theme of the entire Peircean philosophical corpus. He explains how Peirce's unique conception of the mathematical continuum shapes the broad sweep of his thought, extending from mathematics to metaphysics and in religion. He thus provides a convenient and useful overview of Peirce's philosophical system, situating it within the history of ideas and mapping interconnections among the diverse areas of Peirce's work. This challenging yet helpful book adopts an innovative approach to achieve the ambitious goal of more fully understanding the interrelationship of all the elements in the entire corpus of Peirce's writings. Given Peirce's importance in fields ranging from philosophy to mathematics to literary and cultural studies, this new book should appeal to all who seek a fuller, unified understanding of the career and overarching contributions of Peirce, one of the key figures in the American philosophical tradition. (shrink)
Ramsey presents a new analysis and interpretation of the religious views of the nineteenth-century American philosopher William James. He argues that James was primarily motivated by religious concerns in his writings and that this fact has been obscured by the artificial scholarly division of his "philosophy," "psychology," and "religion"-- a symptom of the professionalization which James himself strenuously resisted in his own time.
This unique textbook--the first to offer balanced, comprehensive coverage of all major perspectives on the rational justification of religious belief--includes twenty-four key papers by some of the world's leading philosophers of religion. Arranged in six sections, each representing a major approach to religious epistemology, the book begins with papers by noted atheists, setting the stage for the main theistic responses--Wittgensteinian Fideism, Reformed epistemology, natural theology, prudential accounts of religious beliefs, and rational belief based in religious experience--in each case offering a (...) representative sample of papers by leading exponents, a critical paper, and a substantial bibliography. A comprehensive introductory essay and ample cross-references help students to contrast and evaluate the different approaches, while the overall arrangement encourages them to assess the full range of philosophical positions on the issue. Carefully selected to provide both a comprehensive overview of current work and a series of modern perspectives on many classic sources--Swinburne's detailed discussion of Hume's critique of the design argument, for example, as well as an entire section evaluating and extending Pascal's famous Wager--the essays also provide a uniquely readable survey that will be useful in a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses in philosophy of religion and epistemology. (shrink)
The cogito ergo sum of Descartes is one of the best-known of all philosophical formulations, but ever since it was first propounded it has defied any formal accounting of its validity. How is it that so simple and important an argument has caused such difficulty and such philosophical controversy? In this pioneering work, Jerrold Katz argues that the problem with the cogito lies where it is least suspected--in a deficiency in the theory of language and logic that Cartesian scholars have (...) brought to the study of the cogito. Katz contends that the laws of traditional logic have distorted Descartes's reasoning so that it no longer fits either Descartes's own account of the cogito in his writings or the role he assigns it in his project. Katz proposes that the cogito can be understood as an example of "analytic entailment," a concept in the philosophy of language whereby a statement can be a formally valid inference without depending on a law of logic. Developing and defending his thesis, he shows us that by grappling with an historical philosophical problem it is possible to make an original contribution to the advance of contemporary philosophy. (shrink)
These letters - the vast majority of which have never been published before - illustrate many aspects of Bentham's public and private life. The composition, editing, printing, publishing, and reception of several of his writings are discussed, while the correspondence with his secretary and protégé John Herbert Koe gives a unique insight into Bentham's working methods. The proposed Chrestomathic School is the subject of many of the letters of 1820, though even in that year Bentham's involvement in the world of (...) radical politics emerges clearly. The volume also testifies to his burgeoning international reputation, and to his interest in reform in North and South America, Russia, Spain, France, and Geneva. (shrink)
This book takes a middle ground between the topical and historical approaches to Western ethics. The chapters are topically arranged, but preserve the flow of history in two ways. First, each chapter explains the historical development of the topic under consideration. Second, most chapters focus on a specific famous philosopher who championed a particular tradition, such as Aristotle, Locke, or Kant, and the chapters are chronologically ordered based on when these key philosophers lived.
Renewing Our Common World: Essays On Hannah Arendt And Education is the first book to bring together a collection of essays on Hannah Arendt and education. The contributors contend that Arendt offers a unique perspective, one which enhances the liberal and critical traditions' call for transforming education so that it can foster the values of democratic citizenship and social justice. They focuses on a wide array of Arendtian concepts— such as natality, action, freedom, public space, authority and judgment— which are (...) particularly relevant for education in a democratic society. Teachers, educators, and citizens in general who are interested in democratic or civic education would benefit from reading this book. (shrink)
The cogito ergo sum of Descartes is one of the best-known--and simplest--of all philosophical formulations, but ever since it was first propounded it has defied any formal accounting of its validity. How is it that so simple and important an argument has caused such difficulty and such philosophical controversy? In this pioneering work, Jerrold Katz argues that the problem with the cogito lies where it is least suspected--in a deficiency in the theory of language and logic that Cartesian scholars have (...) brought to the study of the cogito. Katz contends that the laws of traditional logic have distorted Descartes's reasoning so that it no longer fits either Descartes's own account of the cogito in his writings or the role he assigns it in his project. Katz proposes that the cogito can be understood as an example of "analytic entailment," a concept in the philosophy of language whereby a statement can be a formally valid inference without depending on a law of logic. Developing and defending his thesis, he shows us that by grappling with an historical philosophical problem it is possible to make an original contribution to the advance of contemporary philosopy. (shrink)
Alienation and Connection addresses social constructs that perpetuate alienation through suffering. The contributors discuss how alienation through suffering in a variety of contexts can be transformed into connection and reconnection: human relationship with the environment, economic and social systems that disconnect and reconnect, cultural constructs that divide or can heal, encountered difference that brings opportunity, and various manifestations of personal pain that can be survived and even overcome.
Reason in History provides theoretical clarity and conceptual analysis that is well a propos, considering the potential and actual societal changes we are witnessing. Has there ever been or can there be a structural change that would thereby reveal an internal dynamic in African societies? For us, the elements determining the forms and law of social changes are less interesting than the possibility of change itself. Is change universal of just a property of a certain type of social totality? Hegel's (...) theories seem to do Africa justice or simply match the true reality of traditional African societies. Africa is not and has never been static. The book also fosters a greater appreciation of the grandeur and complexity of Hegel's dialectic: he is still judging our world despite what postmodernist scholars and ethnophilosophers think. (shrink)
This collection presents some of the most vital and original recent writings on Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz, the three greatest rationalists of the early modern period. Their work offered brilliant and distinct integrations of science, morals, metaphysics, and religion, which today remain at the center of philosophical discussion. The essays written especially for this volume explore how these three philosophical systems treated matter, substance, human freedom, natural necessity, knowledge, mind, and consciousness. The contributors include some of the most prominent writers (...) in the field, including Jonathan Bennett, Michael Della Rocca, Jan A. Cover, Catherine Wilson, Stephen Voss, Edwin Curley, Don Garrett, and Margaret D. Wilson. (shrink)
Although known as the founder of modern utilitarianism and the source of analytical jurisprudence, Bentham today is infrequently read but often caricatured. The present book offers a reinterpretation of Bentham's main philosophical doctrines, his principle of utility and his analysis of law, philosophical doctrines, as they are developed in Bentham's most important works. A new reading is also given to his theory of law, which suggests Bentham's insight, originality, and continued interest for philosophers and legal theorists. First published in 1973, (...) this revised edition contains a new Preface, a revised Bibliography, and two new Indexes, one of Names and one of Subjects, which together replace the original index. (shrink)
Is life different from the non-living? If so, how? And how, in that case, does biology as the study of living things differ from other sciences? These questions are traced through an exploration of episodes in the history of biology and philosophy. The book begins with Aristotle, then moves on to Descartes, comparing his position with that of Harvey. In the eighteenth century the authors consider Buffon and Kant. In the nineteenth century the authors examine the Cuvier-Geoffroy debate, pre-Darwinian geology (...) and natural theology, Darwin and the transition from Darwin to the revival of Mendelism. Two chapters deal with the evolutionary synthesis and such questions as the species problem, the reducibility or otherwise of biology to physics and chemistry, and the problem of biological explanation in terms of function and teleology. The final chapters reflect on the implications of the philosophy of biology for philosophy of science in general. (shrink)
Although known as the founder of modern utilitarianism and the source of analytical jurisprudence, Bentham today is infrequently read but often caricatured. The present book, based on a study of Bentham's most important works, offers a reinterpretation of Bentham's main philosophical doctrines, his principle of utility and his analysis of law. The evidence indicates that Bentham was no `universalist' in morals, but embraced a dual standard - in politics the community's interest, in `private ethics' the agent's interest - which may (...) in turn be based on the idea that government should serve the interests of those who are `governed'. The argument challenges many common assumptions about Bentham's view of human nature and of political institutions. A new reading is also given to his theory of law, which suggests Bentham's insight, originality, and continued interest for philosophers and legal theorists. In the Interest of the Governed was first published in 1973. This revised edition contains a new Preface, a revised Bibliography, and two new Indexes, one of Names and one of Subjects, which together replace the original index. (shrink)
How can women’s rights be seen as a universal value rather than a Western value imposed upon the rest of the world? Addressing this question, Eileen Hunt Botting offers the first comparative study of writings by Mary Wollstonecraft and John Stuart Mill. Although Wollstonecraft and Mill were the primary philosophical architects of the view that women’s rights are human rights, Botting shows how non-Western thinkers have revised and internationalized their original theories since the nineteenth century. Botting explains why this revised (...) and internationalized theory of women’s human rights—grown out of Wollstonecraft and Mill but stripped of their Eurocentric biases—is an important contribution to thinking about human rights in truly universal terms. (shrink)
The work of Donald Davidson (1917-2003) transformed the study of meaning. Ernie Lepore and Kirk Ludwig, two of the world's leading authorities on Davidson's work, present the definitive study of his widely admired and influential program of truth-theoretic semantics for natural languages, giving an exposition and critical examination of its foundations and applications.
This volume collects David Lyons' well-known essays on Mill's moral theory and includes an introduction which relates the essays to prior and subsequent philosophical developments. Like the author's Forms and Limits of Utilitarianism (Oxford, 1965), the essays apply analytical methods to issues in normative ethics. The first essay defends a refined version of the beneficiary theory of rights against H.L.A. Hart's important criticisms. The central set of essays develops new interpretations of Mill's moral theory with the aim of determining how (...) far rights can be incorporated in a utilitarian framework. They Mill's analysis of moral concepts promises to accommodate the argumentative force of rights, and also provide a significant new reading of Mill's theory of liberty. The last essay argues that the promise of Mill's theory of justice cannot be fulfilled. Utilitarianism is unable to account for crucial features of moral rights, or even for the moral force of legal rights whose existence might be justified on utilitarian grounds. (shrink)
This collected volume of leading specialists in this field offers not only a comprehensive understanding of the medieval concept of nature, but also instructive information for our environment crisis because of continuity and discontinuity between these two ages.
The problems of evil and suffering have been extensively discussed in Jewish philosophy, and much of the discussion has centred on the Book of Job. In this study Oliver Leaman poses two questions: how can a powerful and caring deity allow terrible things to happen to obviously innocent people, and why have the Jewish people been so harshly treated throughout history, given their status as the chosen people? He explores these issues through an analysis of the views of Philo, Saadya, (...) Maimonides, Gersonides, Spinoza, Mendelssohn, Hermann Cohen, Buber, Rosenzweig, and post-Holocaust thinkers, and suggests that a discussion of evil and suffering is really a discussion about our relationship with God. (shrink)
The Foundations of Cognitive Science is a set of thirteen new essays on key topics in this lively interdisciplinary field, by a stellar international line-up of authors. Philosophers, psychologists, and neurologists here come together to investigate such fascinating subjects as consciousness; vision; rationality; artificial life; the neural basis of language, cognition, and emotion; and the relations between mind and world, for instance our representation of numbers and space. The contributors are Ned Block, Margaret Boden, Susan Carey, Patricia Churchland, Paul Churchland, (...) Antonio Damasio, Hanna Damasio, Donald Davidson, Daniel Dennett, Ilya Farber, James Higginbotham, Christopher Peacocke, Will Peterman, Zenon Pylyshyn, John Searle. Anyone interested in the exploration of the human mind will enjoy this book. (shrink)
The research that I have carried out on the sense of hearing in the Aristotelian ambit is based on a personal interest in the medical aspects that can be found in the treaties of the Stagirite. If, on the one hand, there has always been very deep attention by the scholars to the phenomenon of perception, and still there is, on the other hand, although not ignored, hearing remains perhaps somewhat neglected or, however, not sufficiently investigated so far, despite its (...) importance; but, above all, the effort to consider all its various implications together and the whole Corpus Aristotelicum has not been accomplished up to today. This is the intent that I have purposed and which I hope to have at least partially achieved. Of course, it was a constant need to refer also to the other senses and, in general, to Aristotle's theory of perception; I have, however, tried to point out every possible aspects, which could explain the peculiarities of hearing. Without claiming in any way to draw up a rank list of the senses, since each of them, according to the different points of view, seems more or less to aspire to a kind of primacy, I was able to demonstrate the extraordinary importance of hearing and, within certain limits, his preferability. After an introductory chapter on the position of hearing among the other senses, I have proposed a rather long one, in which I more specifically dealt with the anatomical, physiological and pathological aspects (and, finally, even some physical-mathematical considerations, that I think of great philosophical and scientific relevance); then, it has been given ample space (and could not be otherwise) to the complex issue of the relationship between hearing and language, which made it possible to highlight, thanks to the comparative approach of the Aristotelian investigations in the biological ambit, the differences between sound, voice and speech, and to show the key role of hearing in order to learning (also animal) and intellectual development (especially human). In a final articulated chapter I approached what I consider the further possible implications of hearing, always clinging to the Aristotelian treatment: in addition to the physical phenomena of echo, roar, resonance and the psychophysicist ones of acoustic illusions, I could not exempt myself from talking about music, also in "technical" terms (as my limited skills in the field have allowed me to), but especially because of its educational features examined in the paragraph Emotions, morality and education, where hearing is reported as undisputed protagonist in the ethical, aesthetic, rhetorical, political ambits; the chapter, and the dissertation itself, are closed by some remarks about the relations of hearing with memory and recollection and with dream: apart from the latter, where sight seems to dominate, with the first two the auditory role is on the contrary of primary importance, despite still today people are often inclined to mention visual memory more frequently. Even from these few notes I think I can state that it was really worthwhile to dedicate a research to the sense of hearing, especially in regard to a Corpus so broad, rich, varied and complex, such as the Aristotelian one. (shrink)
Why is death bad for us, even on the assumption that it involves the absence of experience? Whom should we save from death if we cannot save everyone? Kamm considers these questions, critically examining some answers other philosophers have given. She also examines specifically what differences between persons are relevant to the distribution of any scarce resources, e.g. bodily organs for transplantation.
Why is ethics part of philosophy? Stephen Darwall's Philosophical Ethics introduces students to ethics from a distinctively philosophical perspective, one that weaves together central ethical questions such as "What has value?" and "What are our moral obligations?" with fundamental philosophical issues such as "What is value?" and "What can a moral obligation consist in?"With one eye on contemporary discussions and another on classical texts,Philosophical Ethics shows how Hobbes, Mill, Kant, Aristotle, and Nietzsche all did ethical philosophy how, for example, they (...) sought to gain insight into what has value through understanding what value itself is. After an introductory section, and one on main approaches to metaethics, chapters discuss "modern" philosophical moralists Hobbes, Mill, and Kant and pre- and postmodern philosophical approaches to ethics in Aristotle, Nietzsche, and the ethics of care. Throughout, the reader is invited to do rather than just read about philosophical ethics and, in doing so, to think through questions that face all thoughtful human beings. Themes include the nature of value and moral obligation, freedom and choice, human flourishing, excellence and merit, radical critiques of morality, and the importance of relationships for human life. (shrink)
A. J. Ayer was one of the foremost analytical philosophers of the twentieth century, and was known as a brilliant and engaging speaker. In essays based on his influential Dewey Lectures, Ayer addresses some of the most critical and controversial questions in epistemology and the philosophy of science, examining the nature of inductive reasoning and grappling with the issues that most concerned him as a philosopher. This edition contains revised and expanded versions of the lectures and two additional essays. Ayer (...) begins by considering Hume's formulation of the problem of induction and then explores the inferences on which we base our beliefs in factual matters. In other essays, he defines the three kinds of probability that inform inductive reasoning and examines the various criteria for verifiability and falsifiability. In his extensive introduction, Graham Macdonald discusses the arguments in _Probability and Evidence_, how they relate to Ayer's other works, and their influence in contemporary philosophy. He also provides a brief biographical sketch of Ayer, and includes a bibliography of works about and in response to _Probability and Evidence_. (shrink)
We take rights to be fundamental to everyday life. Rights are also controversial and hotly debated both in theory and practice. Where do rights come from? Are they invented or discovered? What sort of rights are there and who is entitled to them? In this comprehensive introduction, Tom Campbell introduces and critically examines the key philosophical debates about rights. The first part of the book covers historical and contemporary theories of rights, including the origin and variety of rights and standard (...) justifications of them. He considers challenges to rights from philosophers such as Bentham, Burke and Marx. He also examines different theories of rights, such as natural law, social contract, utilitarian and communitarian theories of rights and the philosophers and political theorists associated with them, such as John Stuart Mill, John Rawls, Robert Nozick and Michael Sandel. The second part of the book explores the role of rights-promoting institutions and critically assesses legal rights and international human rights, including the United Nations. The final part of the book examines how philosophies of rights can be applied to freedom of speech, issues of social welfare and the question of self-determination for certain groups or peoples. _Rights: A Critical Introduction_ is essential reading for anyone new to the subject of rights and any student of political philosophy, politics and law. (shrink)
Wesley Cooper opposes the traditional view of William Jamesís philosophy which dismissed it as fragmented or merely popular, arguing instead that there is a systematic philosophy to be found in James's writings. His doctrine of pure experience is the binding thread that links his earlier psychological theorizing to his later epistemological, religious, and pragmatic concerns.
From 1789 onwards there sprang up a fervent revolutionary cult of Rousseau, and at each stage in the subsequent unfolding of the drama of the Revolution historians have seen Rousseau's influence at work. Mrs McDonald seeks in this study to trace the development of the cult and to define the nature of the influence by means of a detailed survey of the appeals made to the authority of Rousseau in books, pamphlets and accounts of speeches put forth by revolutionary and (...) counter-revolutionary writers between 1762 and 1791, and she reaches conclusions more complex than those which have been commonly accepted. She is able to show that most of the writers on the revolutionary side who invoked Rousseau's name did so in order to put forward their own views and used arguments that were often in direct contradiction with those which he had formulated; the Social Contract was not widely read in these years, and those revolutionaries who did actually study it were often critical of what they found there. By contrast, the most careful analysis of Rousseau's political theory is to be found in the pamphlets written by aristocratic critics of the Revolution in protest against the misuse to which his name had been put. (shrink)