Hartshorne (emeritus, U. of Texas), possibly the foremost living American philosopher, offers less a chronological autobiography than an anecdotal memoir and meditation associating his philosophical beliefs with specific life situations.
This book argues that science and metaphysics are closely and inseparably interwoven in the work of Descartes, such that the metaphysics cannot be understood without the science and vice versa. In order to make his case, Thomas Vinci offers a careful philosophical reconstruction of central parts of Descartes' metaphysics and of his theory of perception, each considered in relation to Descartes' epistemology. Many authors of late have written on the relation between Descartes' metaphysics and his physics, especially insofar as the (...) former was intended to justify the latter. Vinci's work does not focus on this relation. It takes as a broad interpretive principle that Descartes wanted to justify a certain picture of matter with his metaphysics, but it focuses its own efforts on the way in which metaphysics and science meet in Descartes' theory of sense-perception. Vinci aims to show that Descartes gave an important positive role to sense-perception in his epistemology, and also that he used his reflections on sense-perception to frame his criticism of previous theories of the sensory qualities of objects. (shrink)
Philosopher, theologian, educational theorist, feminist and political pamphleteer, Mary Astell was an important figure in the history of ideas of the early modern period. Among the first systematic critics of John Locke's entire corpus, she is best known for the famous question which prefaces her Reflections on Marriage: 'If all men are born free, how is it that all women are born slaves?' She is claimed by modern Republican theorists and feminists alike but, as a Royalist High Church Tory, the (...) peculiar constellation of her views sits uneasily with modern commentators. Patricia Springborg's study addresses these apparent paradoxes, recovering the historical and philosophical contexts to her thought. She shows that Astell was not alone in her views; rather, she was part of a cohort of early modern women philosophers who were important for the reception of Descartes and who grappled with the existential problems of a new age. (shrink)
The _Dictionary of World Philosophy_ covers the diverse and challenging terminology, concepts, schools and traditions of the vast field of world philosophy. Providing an extremely comprehensive resource and an essential point of reference in a complex and expanding field of study the _Dictionary_ covers all major subfields of the discipline. Key features: * Cross-references are used to highlight interconnections and the cross-cultural diffusion and adaptation of terms which has taken place over time * The user is led from specific terms (...) to master entries which provide valuable historical and cultural context * Each master entry is followed by at least two suggestions for further reading on the subject, creating a substantial bibliography of world philosophy * References extend beyond philosophy to related areas such as cognitive science, computer science, language and physics Subdisciplines covered include:* aesthetics * ethics * sociopolitical philosophy * the philosophy of law * epistemology * logic * the philosophy of science * the philosophy of mind * the philosophy of culture and history * metaphysics * the philosophy of religion Entries are drawn from West Africa, Arabic, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Jewish, Korean, Latin American, Maori and Native American philosophy including the important and so far largely neglected instance of Pre-Hispanic thought: Nahua philosophy. (shrink)
Ramon Llull (1232-1316), born on Majorca, was one of the most remarkable lay intellectuals of the thirteenth century. He devoted much of his life to promoting missions among unbelievers, the reform of Western Christian society, and personal spiritual perfection. He wrote over 200 philosophical and theological works in Catalan, Latin, and Arabic. Many of these expound on his "Great Universal Art of Finding Truth," an idiosyncratic dialectical system that he thought capable of proving Catholic beliefs to non-believers. This study offers (...) the first full-length analysis of his theories about rhetoric and preaching, which were central to his evangelizing activities. It explains how Llull attempted to synthesize commonplace advice about courtly speech and techniques of popular sermons into a single program for secular and sacred eloquence that would necessarily promote love of God and neighbor. Llull's work is remarkable testimony to the diffusion of clerical culture among educated lay-people of his era, and to their enthusiasm for applying that knowledge in the pursuit of learning and piety. This book should find a place on the shelf of every scholar of medieval history, religion, and rhetoric. (shrink)
This collection of new essays locates Boethius' Consolatio Philosophiae in the medieval context of Latin learning and vernacular translations. The first part is devoted to the Latin commentary tradition, while the other parts explore the vernacular traditions.
McCarthy develops a theory of radical interpretation--the project of characterizing from scratch the language and attitudes of an agent or population--and applies it to the problems of indeterminacy of interpretation first described by Quine. The major theme in McCarthy's study is that a relatively modest set of interpretive principles, properly applied, can serve to resolve the major indeterminacies of interpretation.
Respect, Pluralism, and Justice is a series of essays which sketches a broadly Kantian framework for moral deliberation, and then uses it to address important social and political issues. Hill shows how Kantian theory can be developed to deal with questions about cultural diversity, punishment, political violence, responsibility for the consequences of wrongdoing, and state coercion in a pluralistic society.
This book is the first to offer a detailed analysis of Aristotelian and Kantian ethics together, in a way that remains faithful to the texts and responsive to debates in contemporary ethics. Recent moral philosophy has seen a revival of interest in the concept of virtue, and with it a reassessment of the role of virtue in the work of Aristotle and Kant. This book brings that re-assessment to a new level of sophistication. Nancy Sherman argues that Kant preserves a (...) notion of virtue in his moral theory that bears recognisable traces of the Aristotelian and Stoic traditions, and that his complex anthropology of morals brings him into surprising alliance with Aristotle. She develops her argument through close readings of major texts by both Aristotle and Kant, illustrating points of congruence and contrast. (shrink)
Culture After Humanism asks what happens to the authority of traditional Western modes of thought in the wake of postcolonial theory. Iain Chambers investigates moments of tension, interruptions which transform our perception of the world and test the limits of language, art and technology. In a series of interlinked discussions, ranging in focus from Susan Sontag's novel The Volcano Lover to the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, Jimi Hendrix and Baroque architecture and music, Chambers weaves together a critique of Western humanism, (...) exploring issues of colonization and migration, language and identity. Culture After Humanism offers a new approach to cultural history, a 'post-humanist' perspective which challenges our sense of a world in which the subject is sovereign language, the transparent medium of its agency, and truth, the product of reason. (shrink)
Aristotle is widely regarded as the greatest of all philosophers; indeed, he is traditionally referred to simply as `the philosopher'. Today, after more than two millennia, his arguments and ideas continue to stimulate philosophers and provoke them to controversy. In this book J.L. Ackrill conveys the force and excitement of Aristotle's philosophical investigations, thereby showing why contemporary philosophers still draw from him and return to him. He quotes extensively from Aristotle's works in his own notably clear English translation, and a (...) picture emerges of a lucid, lively, subtle and tough-minded thinker of astonishing range and penetration. Professor Ackrill identifies many striking connections between Aristotle's ideas and ideas in recent philosophy; he also raises philosophical questions of his own, and exemplifies the way in which Aristotle can still be argued with and learned from. (shrink)
This book is concerned with the role of economic philosophy ("ideas") in the processes of belief-formation and social change. Its aim is to further our understanding of the behavior of the individual economic agent by bringing to light and examining the function of non-rational dispositions and motivations ("passions") in the determination of the agent's beliefs and goals. Drawing on the work of David Hume and Adam Smith, the book spells out the particular ways in which the passions come to affect (...) our ordinary understanding and conduct in practical affairs and the intergenerational and interpersonal transmission of ideas through language. Concern with these problems, it is argued, lies at the heart of an important tradition in the British moral philosophy. This emphasis on the non-rational nature of our belief-fixation mechanisms has important implications: it helps to clarify and qualify the misleading claims often made by utilitarian, Marxist, Keynesian, and neo-liberal economic philosophers, all of whom stress the overriding power of ideas to shape conduct, policy, and institutions. (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)
The Neoplatonist philosophers who flourished between the third and sixth centuries AD had a profound influence on western philosophy, on both Christian and Islamic literature and the visual arts from the Renaissance to modern times. This extensively revised and updated second edition of Neoplatonists provides a valuable introduction to the thought of four central Neoplatonic philosophers, Plotinus, Porphyry, Proclus and Iamblichus. John Gregory presents new translations of a selection of key passages from Neoplatonist writings, an introduction that puts in context (...) the writings, and an epilogue detailing the legacy and influence of Neoplatonist thought. (shrink)
Maturity and Modernity examines Nietzsche, Weber and Foucault as a distinct trajectory of critical thinking within modern thought which traces the emergence and development of genealogy in the form of imminent critique. David Owen clarifies the relationship between these thinkers and responds to Habermas' (and Dews') charge that these thinkers are nihilists and that their approach is philosophically incoherent and practically irresponsible by showing how genealogy as a practical activity is directed toward the achievements of human autonomy. The scope of (...) the book covers the critical methodologies developed by these thinkers with respect to the analysis of how we have become what we are and the implication which they draw for the possibility of human autonomy in the present. It proceeds by detailed analysis of each thinker in turn showing the structure of their approach, their historical account of the emergence of modernity, and the politics of their attempts to facilitate the achievement of human autonomy. (shrink)
Hannah Arendt's approach to politics focuses on action and conduct, rather than institutions, constitutions, and states. In light of Arendtian conceptions of politics, essays in this book challenge conventional IR theories. The contributions on agency explore concepts and categories of political action that enable individuals to act politically and to re-make the world in new, unpredictable ways. The contributions on structure explore how Arendt provides new critical purchase upon often reified structures and categories.
This Oxford Reader seeks to introduce some of the main philosophical questions raised by the Greek and Roman philosophers of classical antiquity. Selections from the writings of ancient philosophers are interspersed with Terence Irwin's incisive commentary, and sometimes with contributions from modern philosophers expounding relevant philosophical positions or discussing particular aspects of classical philosophy. The arrangement of the book is thematic, rather than chronological, allowing the reader to focus on philosophical problems and ideas, but a general introduction places philosophers and (...) schools within their historical context. Irwin brings together contributions which shaped debates about knowledge, freedom, ethics, politics, and religious belief - debates which continue to be contested today, 2500 years from their conception. (shrink)
In fact, it requires two major social institutions--morality and government--working in a coordinated fashion to do so. This is one of the main themes of Hobbes's philosophy that will be developed in this book.
The Skeptic’s Oakeshott poses the thesis that Michael Oakeshott’s political philosophy is best understood from the vantage point of his skepticism and his intellectual affinity to Hobbes. Margaret Thatcher based much of her political philosophy on Oakeshott’s theories, but Gerencser shows how she widely misinterpreted his work. He argues persuasively against those who understand Oakeshott in terms of the influence of British idealism. Instead, Gerencser argues that Oakeshott adopts and softens Hobbes' idea of consent as the basis of political authority. (...) By insisting that political authority has its source in acknowledgement and recognition, Oakeshott’s philosophy opens the doors to democratic politics. The book ends with persuasive criticisms of Oakeshott. (shrink)
Kant denies that Reason is intuitive, but demands that we must - in some way - 'make' Reason intuitive, and follow its guidance, particularly in matters of morality. In this book, a group of scholars attempt to analyze and explore this central paradox within Kantian thought. Each essay explores the question from a different perspective - from political philosophy, ethics and religion to science and aesthetics. The essays thus also reformulate the core question in different forms, for example, how are (...) we to realize the moral good in personal character, political arrangements, or religious institutions? (shrink)
Free Public Reason examines the idea of public justification, stressing its importance but also questioning the coherence of the concept itself. Although public justification is employed in the work of theorists such as John Rawls, Jeremy Waldron, Thomas Nagel, and others, it has received little attention on its own as a philosophical concept. In this book Fred D'Agostino shows that the concept is composed of various values, interests, and notions of the good, and that no ranking of these is possible. (...) The notion of public justification itself is thus shown to be contestable. In demonstrating this, D'Agostino undermines many current political theories that rely on this concept. Having broken down the foundations of public justification, D'Agostino then offers an alternative model of how a workable consensus on its meaning might be reached through the interactions of a community of interpreters or delegates at a constitutional convention. (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)