Few books have so firmly established their place in American literature as The Education of Henry Adams. When it was first published in 1918, it became an instant bestseller and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. More than eighty years later, in an age of self-reflection and exhaustive memoirs, The Education still stands as perhaps the greatest American autobiography. The son of a diplomat, the grandson and great-grandson of two American presidents, a man of extraordinary gifts and learning (...) in his own right, Henry Adams recounts his life from his birth in 1838 and upbringing as a Boston Brahmin, through the Civil War, the nation's industrial expansion, and its emergence as a world power. In the process, he gives us a brilliant history of a changing country as well as a thoughtful, humane, often tender exploration of himself. From the original publisher, this edition of The Education of Henry Adams, newly introduced by Donald Hall, celebrates and honors this classic work on what it means to be an American. (shrink)
This thoughtful new abridgment is enriched by the brilliant commentary which accompanies it. In it, Laurence Dickey argues that the _Wealth of Nations_ contains--and conceals--a great deal of how Smith actually thought a commercial society works. Guided by his conviction that the so-called Adam Smith Problem--the relationship between ethics and economics in Smith's thinking--is a core element in the argument of the work itself, Dickey's commentary focuses on the devices Smith uses to ground his economics in broadly ethical and social (...) categories. An unparalleled guide to an often difficult and perplexing work. (shrink)
This is a reply to de Sousa's 'Emotional Truth', in which he argues that emotions can be objective, as propositional truths are. I say that it is better to distinguish between truth and accuracy, and agree with de Sousa to the extent of arguing that emotions can be more or less accurate, that is, based on the facts as they are.
This edition of John M. Lothian’s transcription of an almost complete set of a student’s notes on Smith’s lectures given at the University of Glasgow in 1762–63 brings back into print not only an important discovery but a valuable contribution to eighteenth-century rhetorical theory.
Adam Świeżyński | : The experience of loneliness is usually seen as a negative aspect of human existence and something to overcome. However, it is worth trying to break free, if only on a trial basis, from the established traditional perception of loneliness, and strive to reduce it immediately from being one of the main sources of human affliction and to rethink its importance in human life. In order to do this, we must first consider the question of the essence (...) of loneliness, and then examine the question of its axiological status, i.e. its value. The ontological dimension and the axiological dimension of the issue should include the opportunity to construct the concept of human loneliness, by taking into account its internal and external aspect. The purpose of this paper is to propose an outline concept of loneliness, which, on the basis of findings on its essence, seeks to determine its axiological nature. The designated point of departure is the biblical image of human loneliness presented in Genesis. | : L’expérience de la solitude est souvent perçue comme un aspect négatif de l’existence humaine, nécessitant d’être surmonté. Il convient cependant d’essayer de se libérer de cette perception figée de la solitude, selon laquelle celle-ci est réduite immédiatement à l’une des sources fondamentales du malheur humain, et d’essayer de revisiter le sens qu’elle a l’égard de la vie humaine. Pour ceci, il est nécessaire dans un premier lieu de considérer l’être de la solitude pour ensuite analyser son statut axiologique. La dimension axiologique et ontologique de la question évoquée devraient ensemble permettre de construire une conception de la solitude considérant sont aspect extérieur et intérieur. L’objet de cet écrit est de proposer une esquisse de la conception de la solitude qui en partant des précisions sur son être a pour objectif de définir son caractère axiologique. L’image de la solitude humaine telle que présentée dans la Genèse sera prise comme point de départ. (shrink)
Alston's perceptual account of mystical experience fails to show how it is that the sort of predicates that are used to describe God in these experiences could be derived from perception, even though the ascription of matched predicates in the natural order are not derived in the manner Alston has in mind. In contrast, if one looks to research on shared attention between individuals as mediated by mirror neurons, then one can give a perceptual account of mystical experience which draws (...) a tighter connection between what is reported in mystical reports and the most similar reports in the natural order. (shrink)
‘The Principles of the Pure Type Theory’ is a translation of Leon Chwistek's 1922 paper ‘Zasady czystej teorii typów’. It summarizes Chwistek's results from a series of studies of the logic of Whitehead and Russell's Principia Mathematica which were published between 1912 and 1924. Chwistek's main argument involves a criticism of the axiom of reducibility. Moreover, ‘The Principles of the Pure Type Theory’ is a source for Chwistek's views on an issue in Whitehead and Russell's ‘no-class theory of classes’ involving (...) the notion of ‘scope’. (shrink)
Recent research on children's worlds has revealed how gender varies in salience across social contexts. Building on this observation, the author examines a highly salient gendered moment of group life among four- and five-year-old children at a youth soccer opening ceremony, where gender boundaries were activated and enforced in ways that constructed an apparently “natural” categorical difference between the girls and the boys. The author employs a multilevel analytical framework to explore how children “do gender” at the level of interaction (...) or performance, how the structured gender regime constrains and enables the actions of children and parents, and how children's gendered immersion in popular culture provides symbolic resources with which children and parents actively create categorical differences. The article ends with a discussion of how gendered interactions, structure, and cultural meanings are intertwined, in both mutually reinforcing and contradictory ways. (shrink)
I argue that on an understanding of imagination that relates it to an individual's environment rather than her mental contents imagination is essential to emotion, and brings together affective, cognitive, and representational aspects to emotion. My examples focus on morally important emotions, especially retrospective emotions such as shame, guilt, and remorse, which require that one imagine points of view on one's own actions. PUBLISHER'S BLURB: Recent years have seen an enormous amount of philosophical research into the emotions and the imagination, (...) but as yet little work has been done to connect the two. In his engaging and highly original new book, Adam Morton shows that all emotions require some form of imagination and goes on to fully explore the link between these two important concepts both within philosophy and in everyday life. We may take it for granted that complex emotions, such as hope and resentment, require a rich thinking and an engagement with the imagination, but Morton shows how more basic and responsive emotions such as fear and anger also require us to take account of possibilities and opportunities beyond the immediate situation. Interweaving a powerful tapestry of subtle argument with vivid detail, the book highlights that many emotions, more than we tend to suppose, require us to imagine a situation from a particular point of view and that this in itself can be the source of further emotional feeling. Morton goes on to demonstrate the important role that emotions play in our moral lives, throwing light on emotions such as self-respect, disapproval, and remorse, and the price we pay for having them. He explores the intricate nature of moral emotions and the challenges we face when integrating our thinking on morality and the emotions. This compelling and thought-provoking new book challenges many assumptions about the nature of emotion and imagination and will appeal to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the role that these concepts play in our lives. The book also has far reaching implications that will spark debate amongst scholars and students for some time to come. (shrink)
Policymakers, employers, insurance companies, researchers, and health care providers have developed an increasing interest in using principles from behavioral economics and psychology to persuade people to change their health-related behaviors, lifestyles, and habits. In this article, we examine how principles from behavioral economics and psychology are being used to nudge people (the public, patients, or health care providers) toward particular decisions or behaviors related to health or health care, and we identify the ethically relevant dimensions that should be considered for (...) the utilization of each principle. (shrink)
The foundation for a system of morals, this 1749 work is a landmark of moral and political thought. Its highly original theories of conscience, moral judgment, and virtue offer a reconstruction of the Enlightenment concept of social science, embracing both political economy and theories of law and government.
In On the Genealogy of Color , Zed Adams challenges widely held philosophical views about the nature of color, exploring the relevance of the history of color science for contemporary debates in color realism/anti-realism and philosophy of mind. Adams argues that the two sides of the contemporary debate on the problem of color realism, Cartesian anti-realism and Oxford realism, are both predicated on an assumption that the concept of color perception is ahistorical and unrevisable. Adams takes issue (...) with this premise and traces the development of theories of color in order to undermine this assumption and open up the conversation about our perception of color. This book makes a significant contribution to recent debates on philosophical methodology by demonstrating the efficacy of using the genealogical method to explore philosophical concepts, and will appeal to philosophers of perception, philosophers of mind, and metaphysicians. (shrink)
In bioethics, the predominant categorization of various types of influence has been a tripartite classification of rational persuasion (meaning influence by reason and argument), coercion (meaning influence by irresistible threats—or on a few accounts, offers), and manipulation (meaning everything in between). The standard ethical analysis in bioethics has been that rational persuasion is always permissible, and coercion is almost always impermissible save a few cases such as imminent threat to self or others. However, many forms of influence fall into the (...) broad middle terrain—and this terrain is in desperate need of conceptual refining and ethical analysis in light of recent interest in using principles from behavioral science to influence health decisions and behaviors. This paper aims to address the neglected space between rational persuasion and coercion in bioethics. First, I argue for conceptual revisions that include removing the “manipulation” label and relabeling this space “nonargumentative]influence,” with two subtypes: “reason-bypassing” and “reason-countering.” Second, I argue that bioethicists have made the mistake of relying heavily on the conceptual categories themselves for normative work and instead should assess the ethical permissibility of a particular instance of influence by asking several key ethical questions, which I elucidate, that relate to (1) the impact of the form of influence on autonomy and (2) the relationship between the influencer and the influenced. Finally, I apply my analysis to two examples of nonargumentative influence in health care and health policy: (1) governmental agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) trying to influence the public to be healthier using nonargumentative measures such as vivid images on cigarette packages to make more salient the negative effects of smoking, and (2) a physician framing a surgery in terms of survival rates instead of mortality rates to influence her patient to consent to the surgery. (shrink)
This chapter discusses the flaws of Clark’s extended mind hypothesis. Clark’s hypothesis assumes that the nature of the processes internal to an object has nothing to do with whether that object carries out cognitive processing. The only condition required is that the object is coupled with a cognitive agent and interacts with it in a certain way. In making this tenuous connection, Clark commits the most common mistake extended mind theorists make; alleging that an object becomes cognitive once it is (...) connected to a cognitive agent is a “coupling-constitution fallacy.” From this fallacy, many hastily proceed to the conclusion that the object or process constitutes part of the agent’s cognitive apparatus or cognitive processing. (shrink)
It is a pleasure to be able to pay tribute to Adam Potkay’s interesting and impressive book on two of the most important figures in the eighteenth century. It brings together the philosophical and the literary, the “anatomist” and the “painter” of the passions and the moral life, integrating worlds that, however isolated they may have become in the twentieth century, were not seen as all that distinct in the eighteenth. Having said this, the most remarkable feature of Potkay’s book (...) is that it unites two figures usually thought to be opposed—the irascible, domineering, and deeply Christian Johnson and the dispassionate, moderate, and pagan Hume. (shrink)
The phenomenon of ambivalence is an important one for any philosophy of action. Despite this importance, there is a lack of a fully satisfactory analysis of the phenomenon. Although many contemporary philosophers recognize the phenomenon, and address topics related to it, only Harry Frankfurt has given the phenomenon full treatment in the context of action theory - providing an analysis of how it relates to the structure and freedom of the will. In this paper, I develop objections to Frankfurt's account, (...) all revolving around the charge that his account contains a serious ambiguity between willing and identifying. With such objections in place, I then develop an analysis that avoids the difficulties and ambiguities that Frankfurt's analysis is prey to. I briefly distinguish ambivalence from other types of internal conflict. This paper aims to offer conceptual clarification on the phenomenon of ambivalence, which will then allow for discussions about the normative merits and demerits of ambivalence, the effects of ambivalence on autonomous action, and methods of resolution of ambivalence. (shrink)
Bioethicists often draw sharp distinctions between hope and states like denial, self-deception, and unrealistic optimism. But what, exactly, is the difference between hope and its more suspect cousins? One common way of drawing the distinction focuses on accuracy of belief about the desired outcome: Hope, though perhaps sometimes misplaced, does not involve inaccuracy in the way that these other states do. Because inaccurate beliefs are thought to compromise informed decision making, bioethicists have considered these states to be ones where intervention (...) is needed either to correct the person’s mental state or to persuade the person to behave differently, or even to deny the person certain options. In this article, we argue that it is difficult to determine whether a patient is really in denial, self-deceived, or unrealistically optimistic. Moreover, even when we are confident that beliefs are unrealistic, they are not always as harmful as critics contend. As a result, we need to be more permissive in our approach to patients who we believe are unrealistically optimistic, in denial, or self-deceived—that is, unless patients significantly misunderstand their situation and thus make decisions that are clearly bad for them, we should not intervene by trying to change their mental states or persuade them to behave differently, or by paternalistically denying them certain options. (shrink)
Cognitive scientists have identified a wide range of biases and heuristics in human decision making over the past few decades. Only recently have bioethicists begun to think seriously about the implications of these findings for topics such as agency, autonomy, and consent. This article aims to provide an overview of biases and heuristics that have been identified and a framework in which to think comprehensively about the impact of them on the exercise of autonomous decision making. I analyze the impact (...) that these biases and heuristics have on the following dimensions of autonomy: understanding, intentionality, absence of alienating or controlling influence, and match between formally autonomous preferences or decisions and actual choices or actions. (shrink)
Bodily pain strikes many philosophers as deeply paradoxical. The issue is that pains seem to bear both physical characteristics, such as a location in the body, and mental characteristics, such being mind-dependent. In this paper I clarify and address this alleged paradox of pain. I begin by showing how a further assumption, Objectivism, the thesis that what one feels in one’s body when one is in pain is something mind-independent, is necessary for the generation of the paradox. Consequently, the paradox (...) can be avoided if one rejects this idea. However, doing so raises its own difficulties, for it is not obvious how anything can possess all of the features we typically associate with bodily pain. To address this puzzle and finally put the paradox of pain to rest, I develop the Embodied View, a novel metaphysical account on which pains are constitutively mind-dependent features of parts of a subject’s body. (shrink)
Counter to the popular impression that Adam Smith was a champion of selfishness and greed, Jerry Muller shows that the Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations maintained that markets served to promote the well-being of ...
An account of the virtues of limitation management: intellectual virtues of adapting to the fact that we cannot solve many of the problems that we can describe. I argue that the best response to many problems depends not on the most rationally promising solution, but on the most likely route to success. I argue against techniques that assume that one will fulfil ones intentions, and distinguish between failures of rationality and failures of intelligence. I describe the trap of supposing that (...) one will be capable of following the plan that would best exploit ones limited resources. (shrink)