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)
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)
This is the first clear and non-technical introduction to philosophy through the works of the 18th century philosopher, David Hume. It covers every major philosophical issue commented upon by Hume, from epistemology, philosophy of mind, and metaphysics, to ethics and political philosophy, and the philosophy of religion.
Different religious traditions offer apparently very different pictures of the world. How are we to make sense of this radical diversity of religious belief? In this book, Professor Godlove argues that religions are alternative conceptual frameworks, the categories of which organise experience in diverse ways. He traces the history of this idea from Kant to Durkheim, and then proceeds to discuss two constraints on the diversity of all human judgment and belief: first that human experience is made possible by shared, (...) a priori rules, and second, that as language-users we must presuppose that we hold the vast bulk of our beliefs in common. Given these unavoidable constraints, it is clear how religions may offer encompassing symbolic systems that often diverge dramatically from one another. 'An original and brilliant critique of Durkheim and Kant from within the framework of Davidson's semantic theory. This book is required reading for anyone interested in the academic study of religion, and the problems of relativism and the diversity of belief.' -- Hans H. Penner, Dartmouth CollegeDifferent religious traditions offer apparently very different pictures of the world. How are we to make sense of this radical diversity of religious belief? In this book, Professor Godlove argues that religions are alternative conceptual frameworks, the categories of which organise experience in diverse ways. He traces the history of this idea from Kant to Durkheim, and then proceeds to discuss two constraints on the diversity of all human judgment and belief: first that human experience is made possible by shared, a priori rules, and second, that as language-users we must presuppose that we hold the vast bulk of our beliefs in common. Given these unavoidable constraints, it is clear how religions may offer encompassing symbolic systems that often diverge dramatically from one another. 'An original and brilliant critique of Durkheim and Kant from within the framework of Davidson's semantic theory. This book is required reading for anyone interested in the academic study of religion, and the problems of relativism and the diversity of belief.' -- Hans H. Penner, Dartmouth College. (shrink)
Manifest Activity presents and critically examines the model of human power, the will, our capacities for purposeful conduct, and the place of our agency in the natural world of one of the most important and traditionally under-appreciated philosophers of the 18th century: Thomas Reid. For Reid, contrary to the view of many of his predecessors, it is simply manifest that we are active with respect to our behaviours; it is manifest, he thinks, that our actions are not merely remote products (...) of forces that lie outside of our control. Reid holds, instead, that actions are all and only those events that spring from active power and he produces insightful and imaginative arguments for the claim that only a creature with a mind is capable of having active power. He believes that only human beings, and creatures 'above us', are capable of directing events towards ends, of endowing them with purpose or direction, the distinctive feature of action. However, he also holds that all events, and not merely human actions, are products of active power, power possessed either by human beings or by God. This collection of theses leads Reid to the view that human behaviour and the progress of nature are both essentially teleological. Patterns in nature are the products of laws of which God is the author; patterns in human conduct are the products of character and the laws that individuals set for themselves. Manifest Activity examines Reid's arguments for this view and the view's implications for the nature of character, motivation and the special kind of causation involved in the production of human behavior. (shrink)
Classics of Political and Moral Philosophy provides in one volume the major writings from nearly 2,500 years of political and moral philosophy. The most comprehensive collection of its kind, it moves from classical thought (Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Cicero) through medieval views (Augustine, Aquinas) to modern perspectives (Machiavelli, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Rousseau, Hume, Adam Smith, Kant). It includes major nineteenth-century thinkers (Hegel, Bentham, Mill, Nietzsche) as well as twentieth-century theorists (Rawls, Nozick, Nagel, Foucault, Habermas, Nussbaum). Also included are numerous essays from (...) The Federalist Papers and a variety of notable documents and addresses, among them Pericles' Funeral Oration, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and speeches by Edmund Burke, Abraham Lincoln, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, John Dewey, and Martin Luther King, Jr. The readings are substantial or complete texts, not fragments. An especially valuable feature of this volume is that the works of each author are introduced with a substantive and engaging essay by a leading contemporary authority. These introductions include Richard Kraut on Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and Cicero; Paul J. Weithman on Augustine and Aquinas; Roger D. Masters on Machiavelli; Jean Hampton on Hobbes; Steven B. Smith on Spinoza and Hegel; A. John Simmons on Locke; Joshua Cohen on Rousseau and Rawls; Donald W. Livingston on Hume; Charles L. Griswold, Jr., on Smith; Bernard E. Brown on Hamilton and Madison; Jeremy Waldron on Bentham and Mill; Paul Guyer on Kant; Richard Miller on Marx and Engels; Richard Schacht on Nietzsche; Thomas Christiano on Nozick; John Deigh on Nagel; Thomas A. McCarthy on Foucault and Habermas; and Eva Feder Kittay on Nussbaum. Offering unprecedented breadth of coverage, Classics of Political and Moral Philosophy is an ideal text for courses in social and political philosophy, moral philosophy, or surveys in Western civilization. (shrink)
This book examines Rousseau’s ideas about the natural transparency of human intention, the loss of this transparency in the opaque cities of Europe, and the possibility of its restoration within small republican communities. The author weaves together Rousseau’s provocative conjectures about transparency and opaqueness to provide an original interpretation of Rousseau’s political thought and its bearing on several contemporary controversies. He also argues that civic cooperation in Rousseau’s model republic requires mutual surveillance; that Hobbes’s argument for a sovereign state assumes (...) the natural opacity of human intention; and that Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” cannot efficiently coordinate the self-interested choices of opaque traders. (shrink)
'the whole work is remarkably fresh, vivid and attractively written psychologists will be grateful that a work of this kind has been done ... by one who has the scholarship, science, and philosophical training that are requisite for the task' - Mind This renowned three-volume collection records chronologically the steps by which psychology developed from the time of the early Greek thinkers and the first writings on the nature of the mind, through to the 1920s and such modern preoccupations as (...) criminal and animal psychology. It is only in relatively recent times that psychology has been considered an empirical science independent of philosophy. Brett's account is thus concerned with the broadest definition of psychology, taking in such philosophical aspects as the relation of mind and body, thought processes, etc. For each period he gives an account of the state of the sciences which influenced psychology, the state of psychology itself, the influence psychology had on other areas, and the applications of psychological theories. Examining a huge range of figures, he describes their attitudes on fundamental questions and their contribution to the progress of the subject, as well as the history of the different methods of inquiry. The thinkers he discusses range from Aristotle, Democritus, Socrates, Plato, and Xenocrates to Proclus, the Arabian teachers, Magnus, Duns Scotus, and Ockham from Galileo, Descartes, Gassendi, and Cudworth to Locke, Berkeley, Condillac, and Kant from Reid, Stewart, Herbart, and Schopenhauer to Bain, Spencer, Mill and Darwin. Surprisingly clear and easy to read, Brett's account succeeds in illuminating the nature of psychology as well as its history. It remains a classic overview of the subject from its broad roots in philosophy through to the independent empirical science of the modern era. --a scarce work, rarely found as a complete set --a classic work - all historians of psychology and philosophy should have A History of Psychology. (shrink)
Eugene Marshall presents an original, systematic account of Spinoza's philosophy of mind, in which the mind is presented as an affective mechanism that, when rational, behaves as a spiritual automaton. He explores key themes in Spinoza's thought, and illuminates his philosophical and ethical project in a striking new way.
Medical ethics changed dramatically in the past 30 years because physicians and humanists actively engaged each other in discussions that sometimes led to confrontation and controversy, but usually have improved the quality of medical decision-making. Before then medical ethics had been isolated for almost two centuries from the larger philosophical, social, and religious controversies of the time. There was, however, an earlier period where leaders in medicine and in the humanities worked closely together and both fields were richer for it. (...) This volume begins with the 18th century Scottish Enlightenment when professors of medicine such as John Gregory, Edward Percival, and the American, Benjamin Rush, were close friends of philosophers like David Hume, Adam Smith, and Thomas Reid. They continually exchanged views on matters of ethics with each other in print, at meetings of elite intellectual groups, and at the dinner table. Then something happened, physicians and humanists quit talking with each other. In searching for the causes of the collapse, this book identifies shifts in the social class of physicians, developments in medical science, and changes in the patterns of medical education. Only in the past three decades has the dialogue resumed as physicians turned to humanists for help just when humanists wanted their work to be relevant to real-life social problems. Again, the book asks why, finding answers in the shift from acute to chronic disease as the dominant pattern of illness, the social rights revolution of the 1960's, and the increasing dissonance between physician ethics and ethics outside medicine. The book tells the critical story of how the breakdown in communication between physicians and humanists occurred and how it was repaired when new developments in medicine together with a social revolution forced the leaders of these two fields to resume their dialogue. (shrink)
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)
Sir Anthony Kenny's engaging new multi-volume history of Western philosophy now advances into the modern era. The Rise of Modern Philosophy captures the fascinating story of the emergence, from the early sixteenth to the early nineteenth century, of the great ideas and intellectual systems that shaped modern thought. Kenny introduces us to some of the world's most original and influential thinkers and helps us gain an understanding of their famous works. The great minds we meet include Rene Descartes, traditionally seen (...) as the founder of modern philosophy; the great British philosophers Hobbes, Locke, and Hume; continental thinkers such as Spinoza, Liebniz, and Hegel; and the towering figure of Immanuel Kant, who perhaps more than any other made philosophy what it is today. Kenny first tells the story of modern philosophy chronologically: his lively, accessible narrative brings the philosophers to life and fills in the historical and intellectual background to their work. It is ideal as the first thing to read for someone new to this wonderfully creative period. Kenny then backtracks to look closely at each of the main areas of philosophical exploration in this period: knowledge and understanding; the nature of the physical universe; metaphysics (the most fundamental questions there are about existence); mind and soul; the nature and content of morality; political philosophy; and God. The book also features many intriguing and beautiful illustrations which evoke the human and social side of philosophy. Anyone who is interested in the evolution of modern thought will find this a book a treasure. (shrink)
European philosophy from the late seventeenth century through most of the eighteenth is broadly conceived as the "Enlightenment," a period of empricist reaction to the great seventeeth century Rationalists. This volume begins with Herbert of Cherbury and the Cambridge Platonists and with Newton and the early English Enlightenment. Locke is a key figure, as a result of his importance both in the development of British and Irish philosophy and because of his seminal influence in the Enlightenment as a whole. British (...) Philosophy and the Age of the Enlightenment includes discussion of the Scott Enlightenment and its influence on the German Aufklaring , and consequently on Kant. The French Enlightenment, which in turn affected the late radical Enlightenment, especially Bentham, is also considered here. This survey brings together clear, authorative chapters from leading experts and provides a scholarly introduction to this period in the history of philosophy. It includes a glossary of technical terms and a chronological table of important political, philosophical, scientific and other cultural events. (shrink)
This is the first book to explore the relationship between Martin Heidegger's work and modern anthropology. Heidegger attracts much scholarly interest among social scientists, but few have explored his ideas in relation to current anthropological debates. The discipline's modernist foundations, the nature of cultural constructionism and of art ñ even what an anthropology of art must include ñ are all informed and illuminated by Heidegger's work. The author argues that many contemporary anthropologists, in their concern to return subjectivity and 'voice' (...) to their interlocutors, neglect to recognize that language and other representational practices conceal the world and human subjectivity as much as reveal it. The author also suggests that Heidegger's critique of western technology provides the basis for a return to anthropology's sociological foundations. Emerging from over ten years of original research, and drawing on a rich knowledge of Australian and Melanesian ethnography, this book reassesses the underlying framework of modern and, particularly, visual anthropology. Innovative and provocative, it will be of interest to all anthropologists, philosophers and students of art and culture. (shrink)
Why is postmodernist discourse so biased against the Enlightenment? Indeed, postmodern theory challenges the validity of the rational basis of modern historical scholarship and the Enlightenment itself. Rather than avoiding this conflict, the contributors to this vibrant collection return to the philosophical roots of the Enlightenment, and do not hesitate to look at them through a postmodernist lens, engaging issues like anti-Semitism, Utopianism, colonial legal codes, and ideas of authorship. Dismissing the notion that the two camps are ideologically opposed and (...) thus incompatible, these essays demonstrate an exciting new scholarship that confidently mixes the empiricism of Enlightenment thought with a strong postmodernist skepticism, painting a subtler and richer historical canvas. (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)
Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy focuses on the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries--the extraordinary period of intellectual flourishing that begins, very roughly, with Descartes and his contemporaries and ends with Kant. It also publishes papers on thinkers or movements outside of that framework, provided they are important in illuminating early modern thought.
This accessible and practical edition of Kant's best introduction to his own work is designed especially for students. Assuming no prior knowledge of the Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics, esteemed scholar Gunter Zoller provides an extensive introduction that covers Kant's life, the origin and reception of the Prolegomena, the organization of the work, its principal arguments, and its philosophical significance. Detailed notes, a chronology, a glossary, an annotated bibliography, and two reviews of the Critique of Pure Reason--which establishes the specific (...) intellectual background of the Prolegomena--are also included. (shrink)
In this work, Henry Vyverberg traces the evolution and consequences of a crucial idea in French Enlightenment thought--the idea of human nature. Human nature was commonly seen as a broadly universal, unchanging entity, though perhaps modifiable by geographical, social, and historical factors. Enlightenment empiricism suggested a degree of cultural diversity that has often been underestimated in studies of the age. Evidence here is drawn from Diderot's celebrated Encyclopedia and from a vast range of writing by such Enlightenment notables as Voltaire, (...) Rousseau, and d'Holbach. Vyverberg explains not only the age's undoubted fascination with uniformity in human nature, but also its acknowledgment of significant limitations on that uniformity. He shows that although the Enlightenment's historical sense was often blinkered by its notions of a uniform human nature, there were also cracks in this concept that developed during the Enlightenment itself. (shrink)
'Two things', wrote Kant, 'fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe: the starry heavens above and the moral law within'. Many would argue that since Kant's day, the study of the starry heavens has advanced while ethics has stagnated, and in particular that Kant's ethics offers an empty formalism that tells us nothing about how we should live. In Acting on Principle Onora O'Neill shows that Kantian ethics has practical as well as philosophical importance. First published (...) in 1975, the book is regarded as a classic account and defence of the Kantian ethical position. It addresses Kant's account of reasoning about action, in particular his controversial claim that the Categorical Imperative guides action and is basic to ethics and justice. This second edition offers a substantial new introduction and updated bibliography, and will be valuable for a wide readership in Kant studies and those studying ethics. (shrink)