"Well-being," "welfare," "utility," and "quality of life," all closely related concepts, are at the center of morality, politics, law, and economics. Griffin's book, while primarily a volume of moral philosophy, is relevant to all of these subjects. Griffin offers answers to three central questions about well-being: what is the best way to understand it, can it be measured, and where should it fit in moral and political thought. With its breadth of investigation and depth of insight, this work (...) holds significance for philosophers as well as for those interested in political and economic theory and jurisprudence. (shrink)
According to Peter van Inwagen, visible inanimate objects do not, strictly speaking, exist. In defending this controversial thesis, he offers fresh insights on such topics as personal identity, commonsense belief, existence over time, the phenomenon of vagueness, and the relation between metaphysics and ordinary language.
_Being and Nothingness_ is without doubt one of the most significant books of the twentieth century. The central work by one of the world's most influential thinkers, it altered the course of western philosophy. Its revolutionary approach challenged all previous assumptions about the individual's relationship with the world. Known as 'the Bible of existentialism', its impact on culture and literature was immediate and was felt worldwide, from the absurd drama of Samuel Beckett to the soul-searching cries of the Beat poets. (...) _Being and Nothingness_ is one of those rare books whose influence has affected the mind-set of subsequent generations. Sixty years after its first publication, its message remains as potent as ever - challenging the reader to confront the fundamental dilemmas of human freedom, responsibility and action. (shrink)
Modern notions of empathy often celebrate its ability to bridge divides, to unite humankind. But how do we square this with the popular view that we can never truly comprehend the experience of being someone else? In this book, Samuel Fleischacker delves into the work of Adam Smith to draw out an understanding of empathy that respects both personal difference and shared humanity. After laying out a range of meanings for the concept of empathy, Fleischacker proposes that what Smith (...) called “sympathy” is very much what we today consider empathy. Smith’s version has remarkable value, as his empathy calls for entering into the perspective of another—a uniquely human feat that connects people while still allowing them to define their own distinctive standpoints. After discussing Smith’s views in relation to more recent empirical and philosophical studies, Fleischacker shows how turning back to Smith promises to enrich, clarify, and advance our current debates about the meaning and uses of empathy. (shrink)
Humanity and the very notion of the human subject are under threat from postmodernist thinking which has declared not only the 'Death of God' but also the 'Death of Man'. This book is a revindication of the concept of humanity, rejecting contemporary social theory that seeks to diminish human properties and powers. Archer argues that being human depends on an interaction with the real world in which practice takes primacy over language in the emergence of human self-consciousness, thought, emotionality (...) and personal identity - all of which are prior to, and more basic than, our acquisition of a social identity. This original and provocative new book from leading social theorist Margaret S. Archer builds on the themes explored in her previous books Culture and Agency (CUP 1988) and Realist Social Theory (CUP 1995). It will be required reading for academics and students of social theory, cultural theory, political theory, philosophy and theology. (shrink)
What is well-being? This is one of humanity's oldest and deepest questions; Valerie Tiberius offers a fresh answer. She argues that our lives go well to the extent that we succeed in what matters to us emotionally, reflectively, and over the long term. So when we want to help others achieve well-being, we should pay attention to their values.
For centuries, philosophers have identified beauty with what brings pleasure. Dominic McIver Lopes challenges this interpretation by offering an entirely new theory of beauty - that beauty engages us in action, in concert with others, in the context of social networks - and sheds light on why aesthetic engagement is crucial for quality of life.
In Spinoza’s metaphysics, we encounter many puzzling doctrines that appear to entangle metaphysical notions with cognitive, logical, and epistemic ones. According to him, a substance is that which can be conceived through itself and a mode is that which is conceived through another. Thus, metaphysical notions, substance and mode, are defined through a notion that is either cognitive or logical, being conceived through. He defines an attribute as that which an intellect perceives as constituting the essence of a substance. (...) Intellectual perception, something cognitive, is used to define an attribute, something metaphysical. And he claims that if something exists there is a reason why it exists and if something doesn’t exist there is also a reason why it doesn’t. Thus, a reason, something cognitive or epistemic, is necessary for existence or nonexistence. What are we to make of the intimate connections that Spinoza sees between metaphysical, cognitive, logical, and epistemic notions? Between being and reason? In this book, I argue for what might be called a realist interpretation: although Spinoza is confident that the order of being mirrors the order of reason, he believes that they are two orders, not one. There is inherence over and above conceptual dependence; there is causation in addition to causal explanation; the world has a nature that we can grasp and that our way of grasping it does not interpose an impenetrable conceptual veil between it and us. (shrink)
Psychopathy has been the subject of investigations in both philosophy and psychiatry and yet the conceptual issues remain largely unresolved. This volume approaches psychopathy by considering the question of what psychopaths lack. The contributors investigate specific moral dysfunctions or deficits, shedding light on the capacities people need to be moral by examining cases of real people who seem to lack those capacities. -/- The volume proceeds from the basic assumption that psychopathy is not characterized by a single deficit--for example, the (...) lack of empathy, as some philosophers have proposed—but by a range of them. Thus contributors address specific deficits that include impairments in rationality, language, fellow-feeling, volition, evaluation, and sympathy. They also consider such issues in moral psychology as moral motivation, moral emotions, and moral character; and they examine social aspects of psychopathic behavior, including ascriptions of moral responsibility, justification of moral blame, and social and legal responses to people perceived to be dangerous. -/- As this volume demonstrates, philosophers will be better equipped to determine what they mean by “the moral point of view” when they connect debates in moral philosophy to the psychiatric notion of psychopathy, which provides some guidance on what humans need in order be able to feel the normative pull of morality. And the empirical work done by psychiatrists and researchers in psychopathy can benefit from the conceptual clarifications offered by philosophy. (shrink)
A moral philosopher’s meditations on some of life’s most important questions We’ve all had to puzzle over such profound matters as birth, death, regret, free will, agency, and love. How might philosophy help us think through these vital concerns? In On Being Me, renowned moral philosopher J. David Velleman presents a concise, accessible, and intimate exploration into subjects that we care deeply about, offering compelling insights into what it means to be human. Each of Velleman’s short, personal chapters begins (...) with a theme: “Being Glad I Was Born,” “Wanting to Go On,” “Fearing the End,” “Regretting What Might Have Been,” “Aspiring to Authorship,” “Making Things Happen,” and “Wanting to Be Loved.” Reflecting on how daily life presents us with thorny riddles that need working out, Velleman arrives at unexpected conclusions about survival and personal identity, the self and its future, time and morality, the rationality of regret, free will and personal efficacy, and goodness and love. He shows that we can rely on our own powers of thought to arrive at a better understanding of the most fundamental parts of ourselves—and that the methods of philosophy can help get us there. Beautifully illustrated by New Yorker contributing artist Emily Bernstein, On Being Me invites us to approach life philosophically. (shrink)
"To thine own self be true." From Polonius's words in Hamlet right up to Oprah, we are constantly urged to look within. Why is being authentic the ultimate aim in life for so many people, and why does it mean looking inside rather than out? Is it about finding the "real" me, or something greater than me, even God? Thought-provoking and with an astonishing range of references, On Being Authentic is a gripping journey into the self that begins (...) with Socrates and Augustine. Charles Guignon asks why being authentic ceased to mean being part of some bigger, cosmic picture and with Rousseau, Wordsworth and the Romantic movement, took the strong inward turn alive in today's self-help culture. He also plumbs the darker depths of authenticity, with the help of Freud, Carl Jung and Konrad Lorenz, and reflects on the future of being authentic in a postmodern, global age. He argues ultimately that being authentic is not about what is owed to me but how I depend on others. (shrink)
The nature of well-being is one of the most enduring and elusive subjects of human inquiry. Well-Being draws upon the latest scientific research to transform our understanding of this ancient question. With contributions from leading authorities in psychology, social psychology, and neuroscience, this volume presents the definitive account of current scientific efforts to understand human pleasure and pain, contentment and despair. The distinguished contributors to this volume combine a rigorous analysis of human sensations, emotions, and moods with a (...) broad assessment of the many factors, from heredity to nationality, that bear on our well-being. Using the tools of experimental science, the contributors confront the puzzles of human likes and dislikes. Why do we grow accustomed and desensitized to changes in our lives, both good and bad? Does our happiness reflect the circumstances of our lives or is it determined by our temperament and personality? Why do humans acquire tastes for sensations that are initially painful or unpleasant? By examining the roots of our everyday likes and dislikes, the book also sheds light on some of the more extreme examples of attraction and aversion, such as addiction and depression. Among its wide ranging inquiries, Well-Being examines systematic differences in moods and behaviors between genders, explaining why women suffer higher rates of depression and anxiety than men, but are also more inclined to express positive emotions. The book also makes international comparisons, finding that some countries' populations report higher levels of happiness than others. The contributors deploy an array of methods, from the surveys and questionnaires of social science to psychological and physiological experiments, to develop a comprehensive new approach to the study of well-being. They show how the sensory pleasures of the body can tells us something about the higher pleasures of the mind and even how the effectiveness of our immune system can depend upon the health of our social relationships. (shrink)
Opposing a long-standing orthodoxy of the Western philosophical tradition running from ancient Greek thought until the late nineteenth century, Frege argued that psychological laws of thought--those that explicate how we in fact think--must be distinguished from logical laws of thought--those that formulate and impose rational requirements on thinking. Logic does not describe how we actually think, but only how we should. Yet by thus sundering the logical from the psychological, Frege was unable to explain certain fundamental logical truths, most notably (...) the psychological version of the law of non-contradiction--that one cannot think a thought and its negation simultaneously. Irad Kimhi's Thinking and Being marks a radical break with Frege's legacy in analytic philosophy, exposing the flaws of his approach and outlining a novel conception of judgment as a two-way capacity. In closing the gap that Frege opened, Kimhi shows that the two principles of non-contradiction--the ontological principle and the psychological principle--are in fact aspects of the very same capacity, differently manifested in thinking and being. As his argument progresses, Kimhi draws on the insights of historical figures such as Aristotle, Kant, and Wittgenstein to develop highly original accounts of topics that are of central importance to logic and philosophy more generally. Self-consciousness, language, and logic are revealed to be but different sides of the same reality. Ultimately, Kimhi's work elucidates the essential sameness of thinking and being that has exercised Western philosophy since its inception.--. (shrink)
Well-Being and Death addresses philosophical questions about death and the good life: what makes a life go well? Is death bad for the one who dies? How is this possible if we go out of existence when we die? Is it worse to die as an infant or as a young adult? Is it bad for animals and fetuses to die? Can the dead be harmed? Is there any way to make death less bad for us? Ben Bradley defends (...) the following views: pleasure, rather than achievement or the satisfaction of desire, is what makes life go well; death is generally bad for its victim, in virtue of depriving the victim of more of a good life; death is bad for its victim at times after death, in particular at all those times at which the victim would have been living well; death is worse the earlier it occurs, and hence it is worse to die as an infant than as an adult; death is usually bad for animals and fetuses, in just the same way it is bad for adult humans; things that happen after someone has died cannot harm that person; the only sensible way to make death less bad is to live so long that no more good life is possible. (shrink)
In Being and Worth Andrew Collier argues that beings both in the natural and human worlds have worth in themselves, whether we recognize it or not. He builds on recent work in critical realism to provide a reassessment of Spinoza's philosophy of mind and ethics. Conclusions are developed with particular reference to environmental ethics.
According to a view assumed by many scientists and philosophers of science and standardly found in science textbooks, it is controlled ex perience which provides the basis for distinguishing between acceptable and unacceptable theories in science: acceptable theories are those which can pass empirical tests. It has often been thought that a certain sort of test is particularly significant: 'crucial experiments' provide supporting empiri cal evidence for one theory while providing conclusive evidence against another. However, in 1906 Pierre Duhem argued (...) that the falsification of a theory is necessarily ambiguous and therefore that there are no crucial experiments; one can never be sure that it is a given theory rather than auxiliary or background hypotheses which experiment has falsified. w. V. Quine has concurred in this judgment, arguing that "our statements about the external world face the tribunal of sense experience not indi vidually but only as a corporate body". Some philosophers have thought that the Duhem-Quine thesis gra tuitously raises perplexities. Others see it as doubly significant; these philosophers think that it provides a base for criticism of the foundational view of knowledge which has dominated much of western thought since Descartes, and they think that it opens the door to a new and fruitful way to conceive of scientific progress in particular and of the nature and growth of knowledge in general. (shrink)
A renowned philosopher of the mind, also known for his groundbreaking work on Buddhism and cognitive science, Evan Thompson combines the latest neuroscience research on sleep, dreaming, and meditation with Indian and Western philosophy of the mind, casting new light on the self and its relation to the brain. Thompson shows how the self is a changing process, not a static thing. When we are awake we identify with our body, but if we let our mind wander or daydream, we (...) project a mentally imagined self into the remembered past or anticipated future. As we fall asleep, the impression of being a bounded self distinct from the world dissolves, but the self reappears in the dream state. If we have a lucid dream, we no longer identify only with the self within the dream. Our sense of self now includes our dreaming self, the "I" as dreamer. Finally, as we meditate--either in the waking state or in a lucid dream--we can observe whatever images or thoughts arise and how we tend to identify with them as "me." We can also experience sheer awareness itself, distinct from the changing contents that make up our image of the self. Contemplative traditions say that we can learn to let go of the self, so that when we die we can witness its dissolution with equanimity. Thompson weaves together neuroscience, philosophy, and personal narrative to depict these transformations, adding uncommon depth to life's profound questions. Contemplative experience comes to illuminate scientific findings, and scientific evidence enriches the vast knowledge acquired by contemplatives. (shrink)
Prologue: Toward a new Enlightenment -- From bounded to relational being -- Bounded being -- In the beginning is the relationship -- The relational self -- The body as relationship : emotion, pleasure and pain -- Relational being in everyday life -- Multi-being and the adventure of everyday life -- Bonds, barricades, and beyond -- Relational being in practice -- Knowledge as co-creation -- Education in a relational key -- Therapy as relational recovery -- Organizing (...) : the precarious balance -- From the moral to the sacred -- Beyond moral pluralism -- All our relations, approaching the sacred -- Epilogue: The coming of relational consciousness. (shrink)
On Being With Others is an outstanding and compelling work that uncovers one of the key questions in philosophy: how can we claim to have knowledge of minds other than our own? Simon Glendinning's fascinating analysis of this problem argues that it has polarized debate to such an extent that we do not know how to meet Wittgenstein's famous challenge that "to see the behavior of a living thing is to see its soul". This book sets out to discover (...) whether Wittgenstein's remark can be justified by drawing on both the analytic and continental traditions. (shrink)
From political scandals at the highest levels to inflated repair bills at the local garage, we are seemingly surrounded with unethical behavior, so why should we behave any differently? Why should we go through life anchored down by rules no one else seems to follow? Writing with wit and elegance, Simon Blackburn tackles such questions in this lively look at ethics, highlighting the complications and doubts and troubling issues that spring from the very simple question of how we ought to (...) live. Blackburn dissects many common reasons why we are skeptical about ethics. Drawing on all-too-familiar examples from history, politics, religion and everyday personal experience, he shows how cynicism and self-consciousness can paralyze us into considering ethics a hopeless pursuit. But ethics is neither futile nor irrelevant, he assures us, but an intimate part of the nitty gritty issues of living--of birth, death, happiness, desire, freedom, pleasure, justice. Indeed, from moral dilemmas about abortion and euthanasia, to our obsession with personal rights, to our longing for a sense of meaning in life, our everyday struggles are rife with ethical issues, whether we notice it or not. Blackburn distills the arguments of Hume, Kant and Aristotle down to their essences, to underscore the timeless relevance of our voice of conscience, the pitfalls of complacency, and our concerns about truth, knowledge and human progress. Blackburn's rare combination of depth, rigor and sparkling prose, and his distinguished ranking among contemporary philosophers, mark Being Good as an important statement on our current disenchantment with ethics. It challenges us to take a more thoughtful reading of our ethical climate and to ponder more carefully our own standards of behavior. (shrink)
Internalism and externalism disagree about whether agents who are internally the same can differ in their mental states. But what is it for two agents to be internally the same? Standard formulations take agents to be internally the same in virtue of some metaphysical fact, for example, that they share intrinsic physical properties. Our aim in this chapter is to argue that such formulations should be rejected. We provide the outlines of an alternative formulation on which agents are internally the (...) same in virtue of facts about their epistemic capacities. The resulting formulation is one on which internalism and externalism are views about the extent to which an agent’s mental states can vary independently of the capacity for introspective discrimination. We suggest that this epistemic formulation of internalism and externalism picks out a substantive disagreement in philosophical theorizing about the nature of the mind. (shrink)
G. E. R. Lloyd explores the amazing diversity of views that humans have held on being, humanity, and understanding. In a cross-cultural study that ranges from ancient to modern times, he asks how far we are bound by the conceptual systems to which we belong, and explores topics such as ontology, morality, philosophy of language, and communication.
"Being and Logos" is... a philosophical adventure of rare inspiration.... Its power to illuminate the text..., its ecumenicity of inspiration, its methodological rigor, its originality, and its philosophical profundity—all together make it one of the few philosophical interpretations that the philosopher will want to re-read along with the dialogues themselves. A superadded gift is the author's prose, which is a model of lucidity and grace." —International Philosophical Quarterly "Being and Logos is highly recommended for those who wish to (...) learn how a thoughtful scholar approaches Platonic dialogues as well as for those who wish to consider a serious discussion of some basic themes in the dialogues." —The Academic Reviewer. (shrink)
_How not to be a hypocrite: _the indispensable guide to school choice that morally perplexed parents have been waiting for. Many of us believe in social justice and equality of opportunity - but we also want the best for our kids. How can we square our political principles with our special concern for our own children? This marvellous book takes us through the moral minefield that is school choice today. Does a commitment to social justice mean you have to send (...) your children to the local comprehensive - regardless of its academic results? Is it hypocritical to disapprove of private schools and yet send your child to one? Some parents feel guilty but shouldn't. Others should feel guilty but don't. Read _How Not to be a Hypocrite_, then answer the questionnaire, and work out where you stand on this crucial issue. (shrink)
Philosophy, Socrates declared, is the art of dying. This book underscores that it is also the art of learning to live and share the earth with those who have come before us. Burial, with its surrounding rituals, is the most ancient documented cultural-symbolic practice: all humans have developed techniques of caring for and communicating with the dead. The premise of Being with the Dead is that we can explore our lives with the dead as a cross-cultural existential a priori (...) out of which the basic forms of historical consciousness emerge. Care for the dead is not just about the symbolic handling of mortal remains; it also points to a necropolitics, the social bond between the dead and living that holds societies together—a shared space or polis where the dead are maintained among the living. Moving from mortuary rituals to literary representations, from the problem of ancestrality to technologies of survival and intergenerational communication, Hans Ruin explores the epistemological, ethical, and ontological dimensions of what it means to be with the dead. His phenomenological approach to key sources in a range of fields gives us a new perspective on the human sciences as a whole. (shrink)
This article analyses the philosophical status and ground of biomimicry's most distinctive principle: nature as measure. Starting with the argument that this principle is ethically normative, I go on to compare the ecological ethic it embodies with Aldo Leopold's land ethic. In so doing, I argue that the ultimate measure against which the ethical rightness of our actions should be judged is the way of being of Gaia, which is to let be her present inhabitants. I then explore the (...) idea that taking as measure Gaia's way of being provides powerful responses to a number of longstanding problems in environmental ethics, including the question of its 'centre', duties to preserve and restore nature, and duties to present and future beings. (shrink)
You recognize when you know something for certain, right? You "know" the sky is blue, or that the traffic light had turned green, or where you were on the morning of September 11, 2001--you know these things, well, because you just do. In On Being Certain , neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" something comes from sources beyond our control (...) and knowledge. In fact, certainty is a mental sensation, rather than evidence of fact. Because this "feeling of knowing" seems like confirmation of knowledge, we tend to think of it as a product of reason. But an increasing body of evidence suggests that feelings such as certainty stem from primitive areas of the brain, and are independent of active, conscious reflection and reasoning. The feeling of knowing happens to us; we cannot make it happen. Bringing together cutting edge neuroscience, experimental data, and fascinating anecdotes, Robert Burton explores the inconsistent and sometimes paradoxical relationship between our thoughts and what we actually know. Provocative and groundbreaking, On Being Certain , will challenge what you know (or think you know) about the mind, knowledge, and reason. ROBERT BURTON, M.D. graduated from Yale University and University of California at San Francisco medical school, where he also completed his neurology residency. At age 33, he was appointed chief of the Division of Neurology at Mt. Zion-UCSF Hospital, where he subsequently became Associate Chief of the Department of Neurosciences. His non-neurology writing career includes three critically acclaimed novels. He lives in Sausalito, California. Visit his website at http://www.rburton.com/ “What do we do when we recognize that a false certainty feels the same as certainty about the sky being blue? A lesser guide might get bogged down in nail-biting doubts about the limits of knowledge. Yet Burton not only makes clear the fascinating beauty of this tangled terrain, he also brings us out the other side with a clearer sense of how to navigate. It's a lovely piece of work; I'm all but certain you'll like it. “ --David Dobbs, author of Reef Madness; Charles Darwin, Alexander Agassiz, and the Meaning of Coral “Burton has a great talent for combining wit and insight in a way both palatable and profound.” --Johanna Shapiro PhD, professor of Family Medicine at UC Irvine School of Medicine “A new way of looking at knowledge that merits close reading by scientists and general readers alike.” -- Kirkus “This could be one of the most important books of the year. With so much riding on ‘certainty,’ and so little known about how people actually reach a state of certainty about anything, some plain speaking from a knowledgeable neuroscientist is called for. If Gladwell's Blink was fascinating but largely anecdotal, Burton's book drills down to the real science behind snap judgments and other decision-making.” -- Howard Rheingold, futurist and author of Smart Mobs “A fascinating read. Burton’s engaging prose takes us into the deepest corners of our subconscious, making us question our most solid contentions. Nobody who reads this book will walk away from it and say ‘I know this for sure’ ever again.” --Sylvia Pagán Westphal, science reporter, The Wall Street Journal “Burton provides a compelling and though-provoking case that we should be more skeptical about our beliefs. Along the way, he also provides a novel perspective on many lines of research that should be of interest to readers who are looking for a broad introduction to the cognitive sciences.” -- Seed Magazine. (shrink)
Julian Dodd offers an original approach to the controversial concept of authenticity in musical performance. He argues that the fundamental norm is not historical authenticity but interpretive authenticity: being faithful to the work by evincing a profound, far-reaching, or sophisticated understanding of it.
This chapter serves as an introduction to the edited collection of the same name, which includes chapters that explore digital well-being from a range of disciplinary perspectives, including philosophy, psychology, economics, health care, and education. The purpose of this introductory chapter is to provide a short primer on the different disciplinary approaches to the study of well-being. To supplement this primer, we also invited key experts from several disciplines—philosophy, psychology, public policy, and health care—to share their thoughts on (...) what they believe are the most important open questions and ethical issues for the multi-disciplinary study of digital well-being. We also introduce and discuss several themes that we believe will be fundamental to the ongoing study of digital well-being: digital gratitude, automated interventions, and sustainable co-well-being. (shrink)
U radu se nudi opis konteksta unutar kojeg je formuliran poznati dokaz za nužnost identiteta. Iznosi se formalni prikaz ovog dokaza kako ga je formulirao poznati filozof i logičar Saul Kripke. Također se razmatra gledište filozofa Allana Gibbarda koji nasuprot Kripkeu brani tvrdnju da neki iskazi identiteta mogu biti kontingentni. Osnovni cilj rada je upoznati domaćeg čitatelja s formalnim aspektom rasprave o nužnosti identiteta te dati kratki pregled konteksta unutar kojeg su formulirani argumenti za nužnost identiteta. In the paper, we (...) offer an overview of the context within which the well-known proof of the necessity of identity is formulated. A formal account of this proof is presented as formulated by the renowned philosopher and logician Saul Kripke. Furthermore, we discuss the account of the philosopher Allan Gibbard, who defends the claim that some statements of identity can be contingent. The main goal of the paper is to acquaint the readers who understand the Croatian language with the formal aspect of the discussion on the necessity of identity and to give a brief overview of the context within which the arguments for the necessity of identity are formulated. (shrink)
Alison Stone investigates how human existence is conditioned by the fact that it begins with birth. How does birth shape the way we are in the world, and the meaning of our lives? Philosophers have written much about death, but neglected birth. Stone brings natality into philosophical view, offering fascinating insights into the human condition.
_Being Human _examines the complex connections among conceptions of human nature, attitudes toward non-human nature, and ethics. Anna Peterson proposes an "ethical anthropology" that examines how ideas of nature and humanity are bound together in ways that shape the very foundations of cultures. Peterson discusses mainstream Western understandings of what it means to be human, as well as alternatives to these perspectives, and suggests that the construction of a compelling, coherent environmental ethics will revise our ideas not only about nature (...) but also about what it means to be human. (shrink)
Despite the recent ferocious public debate about belief, the concept most central to the discussion—God—frequently remains vaguely and obscurely described. Are those engaged in these arguments even talking about the same thing? In a wide-ranging response to this confusion, esteemed scholar David Bentley Hart pursues a clarification of how the word “God” functions in the world’s great theistic faiths. Ranging broadly across Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Vedantic and Bhaktic Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism, Hart explores how these great intellectual traditions treat humanity’s (...) knowledge of the divine mysteries. Constructing his argument around three principal metaphysical “moments”—being, consciousness, and bliss—the author demonstrates an essential continuity between our fundamental experience of reality and the ultimate reality to which that experience inevitably points. Thoroughly dismissing such blatant misconceptions as the deists' concept of God, as well as the fundamentalist view of the Bible as an objective historical record, Hart provides a welcome antidote to simplistic manifestoes. In doing so, he plumbs the depths of humanity’s experience of the world as powerful evidence for the reality of God and captures the beauty and poetry of traditional reflection upon the divine. (shrink)
Since the 1980s, the discipline of International Relations has seen a series of disputes over its foundations. However, there has been one core concept that, although addressed in various guises, had never been explicitly and systematically engaged with in these debates: the human. This volume is the first to address comprehensively the topic of the human in world politics. It comprises cutting-edge accounts by leading scholars of how the human is theorized across the entire range of IR theories, old and (...) new. The authors provide a solid foundation for future debates about how, why, and to which ends the human has been or must be built into our theories, and systematically lay out the implications of such moves for how we come to see world politics and humanity's role within it. (shrink)
John Henry Newman was an English priest and theologian, whose highly publicised and controversial conversion to Catholicism helped to dispel prejudice towards Catholics in Victorian society. After graduating from Trinity College, Oxford, Newman was ordained as an Anglican deacon in 1824. He gradually became more conservative in his beliefs, becoming a member of the Oxford Movement before converting to Catholicism and being received into the Roman Catholic Church in 1845; he was made a cardinal in 1879. This volume, first (...) published in 1864, contains Newman's classic religious autobiography. Writing in response to a perceived attack on Catholicism by historian and novelist Charles Kingsley, Newman describes his changing religious beliefs between 1833 and 1845 and discusses his spiritual motivations for converting. Newman's emotional sensitivity and clear style ensured the popularity of this volume, which was extremely influential in establishing him as the leading exponent of Catholicism in Victorian England. (shrink)
Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad offers illuminating new perspectives on contemporary phenomenological theories of body and subjectivity, based on studies of diverse classical Indian texts. He argues for a 'phenomenological ecology' of bodily subjectivity in health, gender, contemplation, and lovemaking.
Elinor Mason draws on ethics and responsibility theory to present a pluralistic view of both wrongness and blameworthiness. Mason argues that our moral concepts, rightness and wrongness, must be connected to our responsibility concepts. But the connection is not simple. She identifies three different ways to be blameworthy, corresponding to different ways of acting wrongly. The paradigmatic way to be blameworthy is to act subjectively wrongly. Mason argues for an account of subjective obligation that is connected to the notion of (...) trying - to act rightly is try to do well by morality, to act wrongly (and to be blameworthy) is to fail to try hard enough. Trying involves understanding morality, those who do not grasp morality are in a different category. So agents might also be blameworthy for being oriented away from what really matters. In that case, agents are blameworthy in a different sense, the detached sense. Finally, we can become blameworthy by taking responsibility in cases where our agency is ambiguous. In the final section, Mason gives us an account of taking responsibility and agues that that is an important art of our responsibility practices. (shrink)
Knowing how to be good, or knowing how to go about trying to be good, is of immense theoretical and practical importance. And what goes for trying to be good oneself, goes also for trying to provide others with ways of being good, and for trying to make them good whether they like it or not. This is what is meant by 'moral enhancement'. John Harris explores the many proposed methodologies or technologies for moral enhancement: traditional ones like good (...) parenting and education; newer ones like chemical or biological intervention; modifying the environment to make bad outcomes of all sorts less likely; experimentation with political and social systems. The issue of whether and to what extent moral enhancement is possible is the subject of this book. (shrink)
[David Charles] Aristotle, it appears, sometimes identifies well-being with one activity, sometimes with several, including ethical virtue. I argue that this appearance is misleading. In the Nicomachean Ethics, intellectual contemplation is the central case of human well-being, but is not identical with it. Ethically virtuous activity is included in human well-being because it is an analogue of intellectual contemplation. This structure allows Aristotle to hold that while ethically virtuous activity is valuable in its own right, the best (...) life available for humans is centred around, but not wholly constituted by, intellectual contemplation. /// [Dominic Scott] In Nicomachean Ethics X 7-8, Aristotle distinguishes two kinds of eudaimonia, primary and secondary. The first corresponds to contemplation, the second to activity in accordance with moral virtue and practical reason. My task in this paper is to elucidate this distinction. Like Charles, I interpret it as one between paradigm and derivative cases; unlike him, I explain it in terms of similarity, not analogy. Furthermore, once the underlying nature of the distinction is understood, we can reconcile the claim that paradigm eudaimonia consists just in contemplation with a passage in the first book requiring eudaimonia to involve all intrinsic goods. (shrink)
There is no specific trans perspective on romantic love. Trans people love and do not love, fall in love and fall out of love, just like everyone else. Trans people inhabit different sexual identities, different relationship types, and different kinds of loving. When it comes to falling in love as or with a trans person, however, things can get more complicated, as questions of gender and sexual identity emerge. In a study by Blair & Hoskin from 2018, 87.5% of the (...) interviewed participants said they would not consider dating a trans person (Blair & Hoskin, 2018). Among those who were open to dating trans people, a pattern emerged: the subjects were disproportionately willing to date trans men but not trans women, even if this preference did not match their own sexual identity; for example, a woman who identifies as a lesbian may be open to dating a trans man but not a trans woman. This seems like a clash of sexual and gender identities: why are women who identify as lesbians willing to date men? This chapter aims to analyze this phenomenon: love between clashing sexual and gender identities – e.g., the love between a man, who identifies as being romantically interested in men, and a trans woman, – and thereby evaluates the limits of romantic love for trans people. Limits of love, in this chapter, are conceived of as normative restrictions on whom and how we love. By exploring cases of clashing sexual and gender identities in romantic love, this chapter analyzes how trans people’s opportunities for love are often limited. (shrink)
It is generally assumed that Descartes invokes “objective being in the intellect” in order to explain or describe an idea’s status as being “of something.” I argue that this assumption is mistaken. As emerges in his discussion of “materially false ideas” in the Fourth Replies, Descartes recognizes two senses of ‘idea of’. One, a theoretical sense, is itself introduced in terms of objective being. Hence Descartes can’t be introducing objective being to explain or describe “ofness” understood (...) in this sense. Descartes also appeals to a pretheoretical sense of ‘idea of’. I will argue that the notion of objective being can’t serve to explain or describe this “ofness” either. I conclude by proposing an alternative explanation of the role of objective being, according to which Descartes introduces this notion to explain the mind’s ability to attain clear and distinct ideas. (shrink)
What is the importance of the notion 'human being'? The contributors to this collection have radically different approaches, some accepting and others denying its validity for a proper understanding of what a person is and for our ethical thought about each other. Contributors on both sides of the divide eloquently defend their views in ways that stand in sharp contrast to some current work in moral philosophy and philosophy of mind. Epistemological and theological issues are also raised in the (...) provocative and wide-ranging discussions stimulated by the volume's theme. (shrink)