l. There is an antinomy in Hare's thought between Ought-Implies-Can and No-Indicatives-from-Imperatives. It cannot be resolved by drawing a distinction between implication and entailment. 2. Luther resolved this antinomy in the l6th century, but to understand his solution, we need to understand his problem. He thought the necessity of Divine foreknowledge removed contingency from human acts, thus making it impossible for sinners to do otherwise than sin. 3. Erasmus objected (on behalf of Free Will) that this violates Ought-Implies-Can which he (...) supported with Hare-style ordinary language arguments. 4. Luther a) pointed out the antinomy and b) resolved it by undermining the prescriptivist arguments for Ought-Implies-Can. 5. We can reinforce Luther's argument with an example due to David Lewis. 6. Whatever its merits as a moral principle, Ought-Implies-Can is not a logical truth and should not be included in deontic logics. Most deontic logics, and maybe the discipline itself, should therefore be abandoned. 7. Could it be that Ought-Conversationally-Implies-Can? Yes - in some contexts. But a) even if these contexts are central to the evolution of Ought, the implication is not built into the semantics of the word; b) nor is the parallel implication built into the semantics of orders; and c) in some cases Ought conversationally implies Can, only because Ought-Implies-Can is a background moral belief. d) Points a) and b) suggest a criticism of prescriptivism - that Oughts do not entail imperatives but that the relation is one of conversational implicature. 8. If Ought-Implies-Can is treated as a moral principle, Erasmus' argument for Free Will can be revived (given his Christian assumptions). But it does not 'prove' Pelagianism as Luther supposed. A semi-Pelagian alternative is available. (shrink)
Professor Flathman's main aim in this interesting paper is to set forth what we might call the “moderation thesis.” It holds that there may be occasions when the best thing to do, all things considered, is to violate a right – at least if the violation takes the form of what Flathman calls “civil encroachment” or “civil non-enforcement.” Moreover, it would be desirable, in a society whose practices include rights, for this belief to be generally accepted, so that those who (...) engaged with good reason in “civil encroachment” would receive the sympathetic support of the community. Let me begin by trying to explain the source of the problem to which this thesis is a response. As Flathman notes, rights have a discretionary character: if I have a right to do or to have something, it is up to me whether to do it or to have it. Having a right, I am entitled to make a choice. Since we cannot say, in advance, what choice I will make, we cannot say, in advance, what will be the state of the world after I make it. But since it seems plain that some states of the world are more desirable than others, it will always be possible that the consequences of my choice will be worse, on the whole, than the consequences of some other choice that I might have made but did not. To moderate rights is apparently to act in ways that redress or compensate for the undesirable results of their exercise. (shrink)
Charles Beitz rejects two highly influential conceptions of international theory as empirically inaccurate and theoretically misleading. In one, international relations is a Hobbesian state of nature in which moral judgments are entirely inappropriate, and in the other, states are analogous to persons in domestic society in having rights of autonomy that insulate them from external moral assessment and political interference. Beitz postulates that a theory of international politics should include a revised principle of state autonomy based on the justice (...) of a state's domestic institutions, and a principle of international distributive justice to establish a fair division of resources and wealth among persons situated in diverse national societies. (shrink)
Human rights have become one of the most important moral concepts in global political life over the last 60 years. Charles Beitz, one of the world's leading philosophers, offers a compelling new examination of the idea of a human right.
In this revised edition of his 1979 classic Political Theory and International Relations, Charles Beitz rejects two highly influential conceptions of international theory as empirically inaccurate and theoretically misleading. In one, international relations is a Hobbesian state of nature in which moral judgments are entirely inappropriate, and in the other, states are analogous to persons in domestic society in having rights of autonomy that insulate them from external moral assessment and political interference. Beitz postulates that a theory of international (...) politics should include a revised principle of state autonomy based on the justice of a state’s domestic institutions, and a principle of international distributive justice to establish a fair division of resources and wealth among persons situated in diverse national societies. (shrink)
Patronizing the Public is the first detailed and comprehensive examination of how American philanthropy has transformed culture, communication, and the humanities. Drawing on an impressive range of archival and secondary sources, the chapters in the volume shed light on philanthropic foundations have shaped numerous fields, including film, television, radio, journalism, drama, local history, museums, as well as art and the humanities in general.
Nihilism, Nietzsche and the Doppelganger Problem Was Nietzsche a nihilist? Yes, because, like J. L. Mackie, he was an error-theorist about morality, including the elitist morality to which he himself subscribed. But he was variously a diagnostician, an opponent and a survivor of certain other kinds of nihilism. Schacht argues that Nietzsche cannot have been an error theorist, since meta-ethical nihilism is inconsistent with the moral commitment that Nietzsche displayed. Schacht’s exegetical argument parallels the substantive argument (advocated in recent years (...) by Wright and Blackburn) that Mackie’s error theory can’t be true because if it were, we would have to give up morality or give up moralizing. I answer this argument with a little bit of help from Nietzsche. I then pose a problem, the Doppelganger Problem, for the meta-ethical nihilism that I attribute to Mackie and Nietzsche. (If A is a moral proposition then not-A is a moral proposition: hence not all moral propositions can be false.) I solve the problem by reformulating the error theory and also deal with a variant of the problem, the Reinforced Doppelganger, glancing at a famous paper of Ronald Dworkin’s. Thus, whatever its demerits, the error theory, is not self-refuting, nor does it require us to give up morality. (shrink)
Throughout his philosophical career, Eric Voegelin had much to say about literature in both his published work and his private letters. Many of his most trenchant comments regarding the analysis of literature appear in his correspondence with critic Robert Heilman, and, through his familiarity with that exchange, Charles Embry has gained extraordinary insight into Voegelin’s literary views. _The Philosopher and the Storyteller_ is the first book-length study of the literary dimensions of Voegelin’s philosophy—and the first to use his philosophy (...) to read specific novels. Bringing to bear a thorough familiarity with both Voegelin and great literature, Embry shows that novels—like myths, philosophy, and religious texts—participate in the human search for the truth of existence, and that reading literature within a Voegelinian framework exposes the existential and philosophical dimensions of those works. Embry focuses on two key elements of Voegelin’s philosophy as important for reading literature: metaxy, the in-between of human consciousness, and metalepsis, human participation in the community of being. He shows how Voegelin’s philosophy in general is rooted in literary-symbolic interpretation and, therefore, provides a foundation for the interpretation of literature. And finally he explores Voegelin’s insistence that the soundness of literary criticism lies in the consciousness of the reader. Embry then offers Voegelinian readings that vividly illustrate the principles of this approach. First he considers Graham Swift’s _Waterland_ as an example of the human search for meaning in the modern world, then he explores the deformation and recovery of reality in Heimito von Doderer’s long and complex novel _The Demons,_ and finally he examines how Flannery O’Connor’s _The Violent Bear It Away_ mythically expresses the flux of divine presence in what Voegelin calls the Time of the Tale. _The Philosopher and the Storyteller_ unites fiction and philosophy in the common quest to understand our nature, our world, and our cosmos. A groundbreaking exploration of the connection between Voegelin and twentieth-century literature, this book opens a new window on the philosopher’s thought and will motivate readers to study other novels in light of this approach. (shrink)
The collapse of historicism was not merely the demise of an academic tradition but signified a shift in the understanding of hermeneutics and metaphysics. Whereas earlier books have explored the rise and dominance of historicism within academic history, this is the first to trace its collapse and to show how it was shaped by larger philosophical and scientific concerns. Charles R. Bambach's lucid account of the demise of historicism within the context of German metaphysics provides a rich new perspective (...) on the development of the young Heidegger's concept of "historicity" and on the origins of postmodern thought. Bambach reconstructs the methodological debates arising from a pervasive sense of crisis among German philosophers in the late nineteenth century. He details the divergent attempts by the Neo-Kantians, Nietzsche, and Dilthey to overcome the limitations of historical relativism. Heidegger's view of "historicity," Bambach shows, radically transforms the problematic of historicism into a discourse concerning the crisis of philosophical modernity. (shrink)
The essays in this collection honor Professor Ellis Sandoz, Hermann Moyse Jr. Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Louisiana State University, and founding director of the Eric Voegelin Institute for American Renaissance Studies, an institute located at Louisiana State University and devoted to research and publication in the fields of political philosophy, constitutional law, and Voegelin studies. Without the tireless leadership—both academic and economic—of Ellis Sandoz, who was one of Eric Voegelin’s early students and his first American doctoral candidate at the (...) University of Munich, the thirty-four volumes of _The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin _would never have neared completion within only twenty years of Voegelin’s death. The authors of the essays, some of the most respected scholars in the field of political philosophy, hail from Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, and the United States. They have known Sandoz in a variety of ways: as former students, as beneficiaries of his work on constitutionalism, as fellow participants in the publication of _The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin_, as philosophical colleagues, as participating members of the Eric Voegelin Society, and finally as friends. The essays, each written especially for this volume, are grouped into the disciplines of philosophy, literature, and politics and range widely across these subjects, exploring writers as diverse as Xenophon, Natsume Soseki, Freud, and George Santayana and topics ranging from the leadership style of François Mitterrand and the Velvet Revolution to the nature of the Law and of the Political. _Philosophy, Literature, and Politics _is a fitting tribute to a man whose life’s work has been formed by commitment to the philosophical enterprise and by a conviction in Eric Voegelin’s contribution to that enterprise. The seventeen essays in this collection will be of particular interest to scholars of politics, comparative government, Japanese studies, political philosophy, and literary criticism. (shrink)
These essays supply a theoretical grounding for the reading of novels, poems, and plays and reveal how the Voegelinian perspective exposes the existential and philosophical dimensions of the literary works themselves.
Philosophical attention to problems about global justice is flourishing in a way it has not in any time in memory. This paper considers some reasons for the rise of interest in the subject and reflects on some dilemmas about the meaning of the idea of the cosmopolitan in reasoning about social institutions, concentrating on the two principal dimensions of global justice, the economic and the political.
Proponents of the view that social structures are ontologically distinct from the people in whose actions they are immanent have assumed that structures can stand in causal relations to individual practices. Were causality to be no more than Humean concomitance correlations between structure and practices would be unproblematic. But two prominent advocates of the ontological account of structures, Bhaskar and Giddens, have also espoused a powers theory of causality. According to that theory causation is brought about by the activity of (...) particulars, in the social psychological case, individuals of some sort. Consistence would demand that structure be those individuals. But neither Giddens nor Bhaskar wish to reify structure to the extent that would fit it for a role as a powerful particular. If only human beings can be powerful particulars in these contexts, the only way that structures can be real must be as properties of conversational interactions. Human action is social just in so far as people direct themselves to engage well in joint activities with others. (shrink)
My first paper on the Is/Ought issue. The young Arthur Prior endorsed the Autonomy of Ethics, in the form of Hume’s No-Ought-From-Is (NOFI) but the later Prior developed a seemingly devastating counter-argument. I defend Prior's earlier logical thesis (albeit in a modified form) against his later self. However it is important to distinguish between three versions of the Autonomy of Ethics: Ontological, Semantic and Ontological. Ontological Autonomy is the thesis that moral judgments, to be true, must answer to a realm (...) of sui generis non-natural PROPERTIES. Semantic autonomy insists on a realm of sui generis non-natural PREDICATES which do not mean the same as any natural counterparts. Logical Autonomy maintains that moral conclusions cannot be derived from non-moral premises.-moral premises with the aid of logic alone. Logical Autonomy does not entail Semantic Autonomy and Semantic Autonomy does not entail Ontological Autonomy. But, given some plausible assumptions Ontological Autonomy entails Semantic Autonomy and given the conservativeness of logic – the idea that in a valid argument you don’t get out what you haven’t put in – Semantic Autonomy entails Logical Autonomy. So if Logical Autonomy is false – as Prior appears to prove – then Semantic and Ontological Autonomy would appear to be false too! I develop a version of Logical Autonomy (or NOFI) and vindicate it against Prior’s counterexamples, which are also counterexamples to the conservativeness of logic as traditionally conceived. The key concept here is an idea derived in part from Quine - that of INFERENCE-RELATIVE VACUITY. I prove that you cannot derive conclusions in which the moral terms appear non-vacuously from premises from which they are absent. But this is because you cannot derive conclusions in which ANY (non-logical) terms appear non-vacuously from premises from which they are absent Thus NOFI or Logical Autonomy comes out as an instance of the conservativeness of logic. This means that the reverse entailment that I have suggested turns out to be a mistake. The falsehood of Logical Autonomy would not entail either the falsehood Semantic Autonomy or the falsehood of Ontological Autonomy, since Semantic Autonomy only entails Logical Autonomy with the aid of the conservativeness of logic of which Logical Autonomy is simply an instance. Thus NOFI or Logical Autonomy is vindicated, but it turns out to be a less world-shattering thesis than some have supposed. It provides no support for either non-cognitivism or non-naturalism. (shrink)
"The Moral Standing of States" is the title of an essay Michael Walzer wrote in response to four critics of the theory of nonintervention defended in "Just and Unjust Wars." It states a theme to which he has returned in subsequent work. Beitz offers four sets of comments.
In his celebrated 'Good and Evil' (l956) Professor Geach argues as against the non-naturalists that ‘good’ is attributive and that the predicative 'good', as used by Moore, is senseless.. 'Good' when properly used is attributive. 'There is no such thing as being just good or bad, [that is, no predicative 'good'] there is only being a good or bad so and so'. On the other hand, Geach insists, as against non-cognitivists, that good-judgments are entirely 'descriptive'. By a consideration of what (...) it is to be an A, we can determine what it is to be a good A, even where the ‘A’ in question is ‘human being’. These battles are fought on behalf of naturalism, indeed, of an up-to-date Aristotelianism. Geach plans to 'pass' from the 'purely descriptive' man to good/bad man, and from human act to good/bad human act. I argue: (l) That the predicative 'good' does have a genuine sense and that it is a mistake to suppose that ‘good’ is a purely attributive adjective. This does not entail that the predicative good (as used by Moore) denotes a non-natural property, but his mistake, if any is metaphysical or ontological not conceptual. (2) That the attributive 'good' cannot be used to generate a naturalistic ethic. It is difficult to extract a set of biologically based requirements out of human nature that are a) reasonably specific; b) rationally binding or at least highly persuasive; and c) morally credible. -/- On the way I protest against Geach’s tendency to try to win arguments by affecting not to understand things. -/- My views to some extent anticipate those of Kraut in *Against Absolute Goodness*. (shrink)
The myth of the homeland -- The Nietzschean self-assertion of the German University -- The geo-politics of Heidegger's Mitteleuropa -- Heidegger's Greeks and the myth of autochthony -- Heidegger's "Nietzsche".
The paper reconstructs Moore's Open Question Argument (OQA) and discusses its rise and fall. There are three basic objections to the OQA: Geach's point, that Moore presupposes that ?good? is a predicative adjective (whereas it is in fact attributive); Lewy's point, that it leads straight to the Paradox of Analysis; and Durrant's point that even if 'good' is not synonymous with any naturalistic predicate, goodness might be synthetically identical with a naturalistic property. As against Geach, I argue that 'good' has (...) both predicative and attributive uses and that in moral contexts it is difficult to give a naturalistic account of the attributive 'good'. To deal with Lewy, I reformulate the OQA. But the bulk of the paper is devoted to Durrant's objection. I argue that the post-Moorean programme of looking for synthetic identities between moral and naturalistic properties is either redundant or impossible. For it can be carried through only if 'good' expresses an empirical concept, in which case it is redundant since naturalism is true. But 'good' does not express an empirical concept (a point proved by the reformulated OQA). Hence synthetic naturalism is impossible. I discuss direct reference as a possible way out for the synthetic naturalist and conclude that it will not work. The OQA may be a bit battered but it works after a fashion. (shrink)
We present a probabilistic extension to active path analyses of token causation (Halpern & Pearl 2001, forthcoming; Hitchcock 2001). The extension uses the generalized notion of intervention presented in (Korb et al. 2004): we allow an intervention to set any probability distribution over the intervention variables, not just a single value. The resulting account can handle a wide range of examples. We do not claim the account is complete --- only that it fills an obvious gap in previous active-path approaches. (...) It still succumbs to recent counterexamples by Hiddleston (2005), because it does not explicitly consider causal processes. We claim three benefits: a detailed comparison of three active-path approaches, a probabilistic extension for each, and an algorithmic formulation. (shrink)
James's Fairness in Trade seeks to offer an account of fair trade that is “internal” to an existing practice he describes as “mutual market reliance.” This paper distinguishes several senses of the distinction between “internal” and “external” that occur in the book and asks how, in its various senses, the distinction shapes and influences judgments about the fairness of the practice.
If literature isn’t everything, it’s not worth a single hour of some-one’s trouble.whenever we discuss literature, it is likely that at some point, we find the conversation turning to its sister discipline, philosophy. Both forms of expression offer interpretations of our experience delivered through the performance of language. Moreover, the relationship between philosophy and literature is reinforced by the obvious but seldom-stated fact that philosophers are not just thinkers; they are also writers. And our finest storytellers, the ones who transform (...) and deepen our understanding of the world, are not just writers; they, too, are engaged in the adventure of ideas, to borrow a phrase from Alfred North Whitehead.... (shrink)
The investigation of probabilistic causality has been plagued by a variety of misconceptions and misunderstandings. One has been the thought that the aim of the probabilistic account of causality is the reduction of causal claims to probabilistic claims. Nancy Cartwright (1979) has clearly rebutted that idea. Another ill-conceived idea continues to haunt the debate, namely the idea that contextual unanimity can do the work of objective homogeneity. It cannot. We argue that only objective homogeneity in combination with a causal interpretation (...) of Bayesian networks can provide the desired criterion of probabilistic causality. (shrink)
Patrick Stokes has argued that although many conspiracy theories are true, we should reject the policy of particularism (that is, the policy of investigating conspiracy theories if they are plausible and believing them if that is what the evidence suggests) and should instead adopt a policy of principled skepticism, subjecting conspiracy theories – or at least the kinds of theories that are generally derided as such – to much higher epistemic standards than their non-conspiratorial rivals, and believing them only if (...) they are proven up to the hilt. The reason is that although some conspiracy theories are true (or otherwise epistemically kosher) there is a widespread practice of conspiracy theorizing which leads to the social acceptance of conspiracy theories which (much like Lord Byron) are mad, bad and dangerous to ‘know’, leading to radically false beliefs about the natural and political worlds (for instance to Trump’s claim that Global Warming is a ‘Chinese Hoax’). Thus Stokes is a defender of the epistemic status quo in which the punditocracy routinely dismisses and sneers at ‘conspiracy theories’, simply because they are conspiracy theories, whilst admitting sotto voce that once in a blue moon there are some conspiracy theories that are true. It is just the he would prefer the epistemic policy of the punditocracy to be the policy of the populace at large. Stokes seems to be suggesting that although particularism looks like a sensible epistemic policy (and might indeed be the correct policy in an ideal world), if it were put into practice at the level of public debate it would give a specious air of plausibility to many false and dangerous conspiracy theories with pernicious social effects. I reply that the actual moral costs of conspiracy ‘skepticism’ (as it is currently practiced) exceed the likely costs of particularism, especially if it is informed by some sensible heuristics, ruling out some conspiracy theories as crazy and ruling in others as relatively sane. For the conspiracy ‘skepticism’ as currently practiced is highly selective, pouring scorn and contempt on conspiracy theories which threaten current elites whilst giving the conspiratorial concoctions of those elites something close to a free pass. (shrink)
Taking my cue from Michael Smith, I try to extract a decent argument for non-cognitivism from the text of the Treatise. I argue that the premises are false and that the whole thing rests on a petitio principi. I then re-jig the argument so as to support that conclusion that Hume actually believed (namely that an action is virtuous if it would excite the approbation of a suitably qualified spectator). This argument too rests on false premises and a begged question. (...) Thus the Motivation Argument fails BOTH as an argument for noncognitivism AND as an argument for what Hume actually believed, that moral distinctions are not derived from reason and that moral properties are akin to secondary qualities. So far as the Motivation Argument is concerned, both cognitivists and rationalists can rest easy. Themes: 1) Hume’s Slavery of Reason thesis is only defensible if passions are not only desires but sometimes dispositions to acquire desires (DTADs). 2) A desire for our good on the whole, which Humeans need to posit to fend off apparent counterexamples to the Slavery of Reason Thesis, does not sit well with the Humean theory of how novel desires arise (an objection due originally to Reid). 3) Hume is wrong to suppose that ‘abstract or demonstrative reasoning never influences any of our actions, but only as it directs our judgment concerning causes and effects’ as the examples of Russell and Hobbes convincingly demonstrate. This ironic as both Russell and Hobbes subscribed to the Slavery of Reason Thesis. 4) I critique Michael Smith’s critique of motivational externalism. (shrink)
This volume explores the role of some of the most prominent twentieth-century philosophers and political thinkers as teachers. It examines what obstacles they confronted as teachers and how they overcame them in conveying truth to their students in an age dominated by ideological thinking.
Hebb's conception of instinctive behavior permits the conclusion that it is just not human nature to be instinctive: while the ant brain is built for instinctive behavior, the human brain is built for intelligent behavior. Since drives cannot be instincts, even when a human driver becomes driven, human motives are not instincts either. This understanding allows us to dismiss the determinism of the old instinctivism found in Freud's bio-psychological unconscious, and of the new instinctivism, exemplified by Wilson's sociobiology. The latter (...) entails an explanatory shift from instincts to genes, in which the deterministic character of instincts is carried over to genes. Since genes are not instincts this is a mistake. (shrink)
Global Basic Rights brings together many of the most influential contemporary writers in political philosophy and international relations to explore some of the most challenging theoretical and practical questions provoked by Henry Shue's classic book Basic Rights.
Five faculty members in the College of Business at Northern Illinois University received a grant from the James S. Kemper Foundation to integrate ethics into the graduate business curriculum. This was the second phase of a comprehensive program to integrate ethics into the business curriculum. Each faculty member taught a required course in the MBA program. The faculty members represented each of the five functional departments in the College of Business.This paper describes the ethics content, materials, and approaches that were (...) used to cover ethics by each of the five faculty members. Hopefully, this description will help other faculty and universities integrate ethics more effectively into the business curriculum. (shrink)