Die Untersuchung analysiert deswegen nach einem einleitenden Vorschlag zur Bestimmung des Verhältnisses von Logik und Metaphysik im Anschluss an Leibniz Baumgartens Erkenntnistheorie in ihrer charakteristischen Komplementarität von Ästhetik und Logik, die das gesamte Feld aller möglichen Gewissheit, d. h. des Bewusstseins der Wahrheit der verschiedensten Erkenntnisse, abdecken. Darüber hinaus erörtert sie auch deren mögliche Gegenstände, nämlich die Beschaffenheit der Dinge, wie sie das Wissen Gottes als eine ideale Metaphysik enthielte. Auf der Grundlage einer Ontologie teilweise unbestimmer aktualer Existenz kommt Baumgarten (...) zu einer kosmologischen Theorie monadischer Bewegtheit aller körperlichen Dinge. Sie führt zu einer Psychologie des Erkennens und Handelns, aus der ein indeterministischer Begriff menschlicher Willensfreiheit folgt, die auch von Gottes Allwissen nicht beschränkt wird. (shrink)
Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten grenzt sich in seinem Ius Naturae, das einen knappen Kommentar zu den Exercitationes Iuris Naturalis Heinrich Köhlers darstellt, nach über zwanzigjähriger Auseinandersetzung mit dieser Vorlage entschieden von einer der zentralen Thesen Köhlers ab. Baumgarten löst nämlich dessen Identifikation der Stimmen der Vernunft, des Gewissens, der Natur und Gottes in der Moral auf und zeigt, daß im Gegenteil göttlicher und irdischer Bereich vollständig disjunkt sind.Dies folgt aus der Einsicht in die prinzipielle Ungewißheit eines jeden möglichen moralischen Urteils, (...) das von Menschen gefällt werden kann. Baumgarten begreift solche Urteile als Akte der Zurechnung, die wiederum syllogistische Schlüsse darstellen. Die Gewißheit eines moralischen Urteils hängt demnach von der Gewißheit der Prämissen ab, aus denen es gewonnen wurde. Nun entwickelt Baumgarten hinsichtlich der verschiedenen möglichen Typen moralisch relevanter Handlungen und jeweils in Anschlag zu bringender Gesetze eine differenzierte Theorie zurechnender Instanzen, die er „Foren“ nennt und nach dem Grad der Gewißheit der durch sie möglichen Schlüsse hierarchisiert sind. Dabei zeigt sich, daß keiner jener Zurechnungsschlüsse vollständige Gewißheit beanspruchen kann, auch nicht derjenige, bei der das eigene Gewissen eine eigene Vorstellung unter ein rein aus der Vernunft erkennbares Gesetz bringt. Moralische Urteile über einzelne Handlungen können demzufolge nach Baumgarten immer nur mehr oder weniger wahrscheinlich sein.In his Ius Naturae, which is a short commentary on Heinrich Köhler's Exercitationes Iuris Naturalis, Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten departs significantly from one of Köhler's central theses after spending more than twenty years dealing with this work. Baumgarten dissolves Köhler's identification of the voices of reason, of conscience, of nature, and of God into morality and illustrates, contrary to Köhler's position, that the realms of God and of the earth are completely disjunctive.Baumgarten's position follows from his realization that any possible moral judgment human beings reach is in principle uncertain. Baumgarten characterizes such judgments as acts of imputation, which represent syllogistic conclusions. The certainty of a moral judgment depends, according to Baumgarten, on the certainty of the premises from which it is drawn. Baumgarten develops a differentiated theory of imputing instances, which he calls "fora," depending on the variety of possible types of morally relevant actions and applicable laws. Baumgarten then places these instances in a hierarchy according to the degree of certainty of the conclusions they might reach. He then shows that none of these conclusions on imputation can claim complete certainty, not even one for which one's own conscience subsumes one's own imagination under a law that can be recognized purely from reason. Moral judgments about individual actions can thus be only more or less probable according to Baumgarten. (shrink)
Some of the greatest writers on moral philosophy have claimed that their theories about morality do not run counter to the moral views of ordinary men, but on the contrary are an elucidation of such views, or provide them with a sound philosophical underpinning. Aristotle, for example, made it quite clear that he could not take seriously a moral view that was at odds with the heritage of moral wisdom deeply imbedded in his society. His doctrine of the mean was (...) based on a philosophical consideration of such wisdom. And Immanuel Kant thought that his moral philosophy articulated the moral views of ordinary men. (shrink)
Assuming S5, the main controversial premise in modal ontological arguments is the possibility premise, such as that possibly a maximally great being exists. I shall offer a new way of arguing that the possibility premise is probably true.
Der Jenenser Philosoph Heinrich Köhler versucht in seinen Exercitationes Juris Naturalis, eiusque cumprimis cogentis, methodo systematica propositi eine rationalistische Begründung des Naturrechts auf der Basis der Metaphysik von Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Die Rekonstruktion dieser metaphysischen Begründung, die mit dem Aufweiß der Erkennbarkeit des obersten Prinzips des Naturrechts rein aus der Vernunft zusammenfällt, ist Gegenstand der vorliegenden Studie. Ausgehend von der Identifikation jenes Erkenntnisgrundes mit der Natur des Menschen zeigt sich vermittels einer Analyse der von Köhler in Anschlag gebrachten Methode, daß (...) diese Begründung unter Ausschluß bloßer empirischer Erkenntnis auf einen metaphysisch fundierten teleologischen Begriff der menschlichen Natur führt. Der verpflichtende Charakter des Naturrechtsprinzips erwächst demnach daraus, daß seine Achtung dem Menschen eine artgemäße Existenz aller erst ermöglicht. Vor diesem Hintergrund erweist sich auch die Schwäche einer solchen Theorie bei der Beurteilung einzelner Handlungen als moralisch, auf die Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten in seinem Ius Naturae indirekt und kritisch aufmerksam macht. In his Exercitationes Juris Naturalis, eiusque cumprimis cogentis, methodo systematica propositi , the Jena philosopher Heinrich Köhler attempts to provide a rational foundation for natural law based on Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz's metaphysics. This paper examines a reconstruction of this metaphysical foundation, which coincides with demonstrating that pure reason can recognize the supreme principle of natural law. Assuming that this recognition can be identified with human nature, an analysis of Köhler's methodology shows that if mere empirical recognition is excluded his foundation leads to a metaphysically based teleological concept of human nature. The principle of natural law imposes obligations because only through respecting it can a human being live in a manner adequate for his species. Against this background, the weakness of this type of theory for determining whether an act is moral becomes apparent, which Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten indirectly and critically notes in his Ius Naturae. (shrink)
This is a rewarding book. In terms of area, it has one foot firmly planted in metaphysics and the other just as firmly set in the philosophy of science. Nature's Metaphysics is distinctive for its thorough and detailed defense of fundamental, natural properties as essentially dispositional and for its description of how these dispositional properties are thus suited to sustain the laws of nature as (metaphysically) necessary truths.
Social and behavioral scientists — that is, students of human nature — nowadays hardly ever use the term ‘human nature’. This reticence reflects both a becoming modesty about the aims of their disciplines and a healthy skepticism about whether there is any one thing really worthy of the label ‘human nature’. For some feature of humankind to be identified as accounting for our ‘nature’, it would have to reflect some property both distinctive of our species and systematically influential enough to (...) explain some very important aspect of our behavior. Compare: molecular structure gives the essence or the nature of water just because it explains most of its salient properties. Few students of the human sciences currently hold that there is just one or a small number of such features that can explain our actions and/or our institutions. And even among those who do, there is reluctance to label their theories as claims about ‘human nature’. Among anthropologists and sociologists, the label seems too universal and indiscriminant to be useful. The idea that there is a single underlying character that might explain similarities threatens the differences among people and cultures that these social scientists seek to uncover. Even economists, who have explicitly attempted to parlay rational choice theory into an account of all human behavior, do not claim that the maximization of transitive preferences is ‘human nature’. I think part of the reason that social scientists are reluctant to use ‘human nature’ is that the term has traditionally labeled a theory with normative implications as well as descriptive ones. (shrink)
Some, notably Peter van Inwagen, in order to avoid problems with free will and omniscience, replace the condition that an omniscient being knows all true propositions with a version of the apparently weaker condition that an omniscient being knows all knowable true propositions. I shall show that the apparently weaker condition, when conjoined with uncontroversial claims and the logical closure of an omniscient being's knowledge, still yields the claim that an omniscient being knows all true propositions.
A. G. Baumgarten's foundation of aesthetics as a branch of philosophical reflection is itself deeply rooted in Leibnizian metaphysics. From this starting-point Baumgarten comes to a kind of monadological concept of the work of art, that gets now an inexhaustible and thruthrepresenting meaning. This truth of the work of art however cannot be recognized rationally, for it is impossible for human beings to be aware of a beautiful object's 'metaphysical truth', which can only be perceived by the senses as - (...) to quote Baumgarten - 'aesthetical truth'. Still it is possible, by rational and scientific hermeneutics, to transfer some aspects of aesthetical to logical truth. The interest in art is therefore at the same time an interest in the cognition of the metaphysical cosmic order, and Baumgarten's aesthetics similarly are the first foundation of philosophical hermeneutics of art. (shrink)
The free-will defence holds that the value of significant free will is so great that God is justified in creating significantly free creatures even if there is a risk or certainty that these creatures will sin. A difficulty for the FWD, developed carefully by Quentin Smith, is that God is unable to do evil, and yet surely lacks no genuinely valuable kind of freedom. Smith argues that the kind of freedom that God has can be had by creatures, without a (...) risk of creatures doing evil. I shall show that Smith's argument fails – the case of God is disanalogous to the case of creatures precisely because creatures are creatures. (shrink)
This volume contains the Arabic translations of a lost treatise by Alexander of Aphrodisias (c. AD 200) "On the Principles of the Universe" with English translation, introduction and commentary. It also includes an Arabic and Syriac glossary. The introduction and commentary deal in detail with the manuscripts, the translators and the exegetical tendencies of the text, as well as with its reception in Arabic philosophy. The main theme of the work is the motion of the heavenly bodies and their (...) influence on the physical world. (shrink)
Is a government required or permitted to redistribute the gains and losses that differences in biological endowments generate? In particular, does the fact that individuals possess different biological endowments lead to unfair advantages within a market economy? These are questions on which some people are apt to have strong intuitions and ready arguments. Egalitarians may say yes and argue that as unearned, undeserved advantages and disadvantages, biological endowments are never fair, and that the market simply exacerbates these inequities. Libertarians may (...) say no, holding that the possession of such endowments deprives no one of an entitlement and that any system but a market would deprive agents of the rights to their endowments. Biological endowments may well lead to advantages or disadvantages on their view, but not to unfair ones. I do not have strong intuitions about answers to these questions, in part because I believe that they are questions of great difficulty. To begin, alternative answers rest on substantial assumptions in moral philosophy that seem insufficiently grounded. Moreover, the questions involve several problematical assumptions about the nature of biological endowments. Finally, I find the questions to be academic, in the pejorative sense of this term. For aside from a number of highly debilitating endowments, the overall moral significance of differences between people seems so small, so I interdependent and so hard to measure, that these differences really will 1 not enter into practical redistributive calculations, even if it is theoretically i permissible that they do so. Before turning to a detailed discussion of biological endowments and their moral significance, I sketch my doubts about the fundamental moral theories that dictate either the impermissibility or the obligation to compensate for different biological endowments. (shrink)
In the Museum of Science and Technology in San Jose, California, there is a display dedicated to advances in biotechnology. Most prominent in the display is a double helix of telephone books stacked in two staggered spirals from the floor to the ceiling twenty-five feet above. The books are said to represent the current state of our knowledge of the eukaryotic genome: the primary sequences of DNA polynucleotides for the gene products which have been discovered so far in the twenty (...) years since cloning and sequencing the genome became possible. (shrink)
Despite wide acceptance that the attributes of living creatures have appeared through a cumulative evolutionary process guided chiefly by natural selection, many human activities have seemed analytically inaccessible through such an approach. Prominent evolutionary biologists, for example, have described morality as contrary to the direction of biological evolution, and moral philosophers rarely regard evolution as relevant to their discussions. -/- The Biology of Moral Systems adopts the position that moral questions arise out of conflicts of interest, and that moral systems (...) are ways of using confluences of interest at lower levels of social organiation to deal with conflicts of interest at higher levels. Moral systems are described as systems of indirect reciprocity: humans gain and lose socially and reproductively not only by direct transactions, but also by the reputations they gain from the everyday flow of social interactions. -/- The author develops a general theory of human interests, using senescence and effort theory from biology, to help analye the patterning of human lifetimes. He argues that the ultimate interests of humans are reproductive, and that the concept of morality has arisen within groups because of its contribution to unity in the context, ultimately, of success in intergroup competition. He contends that morality is not easily relatable to universals, and he carries this argument into a discussion of what he calls the greatest of all moral problems, the nuclear arms race. (shrink)
“Ex nihilo nihil fit,” goes the classic adage: nothing comes from nothing. Parmenides used the Principle of Sufficient Reason to argue that there was no such thing as change: If there was change, why did it happen when it happened rather than earlier or later? “Nothing happens in vain, but everything for a reason and under necessitation,” claimed Leucippus. Saint Thomas insisted in the.
It is widely accepted that divine creation of human beings is compatible with evolutionary theory, except perhaps in regard of the human soul, and that neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory provides an explanation of speciation and of complex features of organisms that undercuts Paley-style teleological arguments, whether or not the evolutionary mechanisms are truly random or deterministic. I will argue that a plausible understanding of the doctrine of creation of human beings is either logically or rationally incompatible with full evolutionary theory, even (...) if one does not take souls into account. Consequently, a theist needs to move to a weaker version either of the creation doctrine or of evolutionary theory, or both. (shrink)
A recombinationist like the earlier Armstrong (1989) claims that logically possible worlds are recombinations of items found in the actual world, with some items reduplicated if need be and others deleted. An immediate consequence of this is that if an..
Can there be grounding without necessitation? Can a fact obtain wholly in virtue of metaphysically more fundamental facts, even though there are possible worlds at which the latter facts obtain but not the former? It is an orthodoxy in recent literature about the nature of grounding, and in first-order philosophical disputes about what grounds what, that the answer is no. I will argue that the correct answer is yes. I present two novel arguments against grounding necessitarianism, and show that grounding (...) contingentism is fully compatible with the various explanatory roles that grounding is widely thought to play. (shrink)
Weintraub is not really interested in whether economics is “science” or not. “Economists are not so unsophisticated as to think that calling economics a ‘science’ says anything about what economists do or should do”. But can it really be a matter of indifference to him whether the subject has the character of chemistry as opposed to literary criticism?
This book presents some of the most recent trends and developments in Presocratic scholarship. A wide range of topics are covered - from the metaphysical to the moral to the methodological - as well as a broad a range of authors: from recognized figures such as Heraclitus and Parmenides to Sophistic thinkers whose place has traditionally been marginalized, such as Gorgias and the author of the Dissoi Logoi. Several of the pieces are concerned with the later reception and influence of (...) the Presocratics on ancient philosophy, an area of study important both for the light it sheds on our evidence for Presocratic thought and for understanding the philosophical power of their ideas. Drawing together contributions from distinguished authorities and internationally acclaimed scholars of ancient philosophy, this book offers new challenges to traditional interpretations in some areas of Presocratic philosophy and finds new support for traditional interpretations in other areas. (shrink)
The production of a number of vaccines involves the use of cell-lines originally derived from fetuses directly aborted in the 1960s and 1970s. Such cell-lines, indeed sometimes the very same ones, are important to on-going research, including at Catholic institutions. The cells currently used are removed by a number of decades and by a significant number of cellular generations from the original cells. Moreover, the original cells extracted from the bodies of the aborted fetuses were transformed to produce the cell (...) lines, since otherwise they would be incapable of the kind of culturing that is required. (shrink)
The cosmos is filled with evil that seemingly has no redeeming value. Granted, some evils do lead to greater goods, sometimes goods that could not exist without the evils. Thus, the exercise of courage is a good that requires either an actual evil to stand firm in the face of or the illusion of an evil—and an illusion is a kind of evil, too. But many evils appear to serve no such purpose. Philosophers call an evil that a supremely good (...) God would have insufficient reason to permit to exist a gratuitous evil. A particularly powerful form of the argument from evil against the existence of the God of Western monotheism is, thus, that there.. (shrink)
I argue that an examination of the analogy between the notion of a bug and that of a genetic defect supports an analogy not just between a computer program and DNA, but between a computer program designed by a programmer and DNA. This provides an analogical teleological argument for the existence of a highly intelligent designer.