Metaethical constructivism aims to explain morality’s authority and relevance by basing it in agency, in a capacity of the creatures who are in fact morally bound. But constructivists have struggled to wring anything recognizably moral from an appropriately minimal conception of agency. Even if they could, basing our reasons in our individual agency seems to make other people reason-giving for us only indirectly. This paper argues for a constructivism based on a social conception of agency, on which our capacity to (...) recognize ourselves as having reasons ties us inescapably to others. It argues that mutual recognition is a pervasive feature of linguistic concepts, and builds this into a view called transformative expressivism. (shrink)
This groundbreaking handbook of character strengths and virtues is the first progress report from a prestigious group of researchers who have undertaken the systematic classification and measurement of widely valued positive traits. Character Strengths and Virtues classifies twenty-four specific strengths under six broad virtues that consistently emerge across history and culture. This book demands the attention of anyone interested in psychology and what it can teach about the good life.
In this analytically oriented work, Peterson articulates and defends five moral principles for addressing ethical issues related to new and existing technologies: the cost-benefit principle, the precautionary principle, the sustainability principle, the autonomy principle, and the fairness principle.
In this groundbreaking work, Christa Davis Acampora offers a profound rethinking of Friedrich Nietzsche’s crucial notion of the agon. Analyzing an impressive array of primary and secondary sources and synthesizing decades of Nietzsche scholarship, she shows how the agon, or contest, organized core areas of Nietzsche’s philosophy, providing a new appreciation of the subtleties of his notorious views about power. By focusing so intensely on this particular guiding interest, she offers an exciting, original vantage from which to view this (...) iconic thinker: Contesting Nietzsche. Though existence—viewed through the lens of Nietzsche’s agon—is fraught with struggle, Acampora illuminates what Nietzsche recognized as the agon’s generative benefits. It imbues the human experience with significance, meaning, and value. Analyzing Nietzsche’s elaborations of agonism—his remarks on types of contests, qualities of contestants, and the conditions in which either may thrive or deteriorate—she demonstrates how much the agon shaped his philosophical projects and critical assessments of others. The agon led him from one set of concerns to the next, from aesthetics to metaphysics to ethics to psychology, via Homer, Socrates, Saint Paul, and Wagner. In showing how one obsession catalyzed so many diverse interests, Contesting Nietzsche sheds fundamentally new light on some of this philosopher’s most difficult and paradoxical ideas. (shrink)
The imposing scope and penetrating insights of German philosopher Nicolai Hartmann’s work have received renewed interest in recent years. The Neo-Kantian turned ontological realist established a philosophical approach unique among his peers, and it provides a wealth of resources for considering contemporary philosophical problems. The chapters included in this volume examine his ethics, ontology, aesthetics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of nature. They explore his ontology of values, autonomy and human enhancement, and law; his theory of levels of reality, space-time (...) and geometry, the categories of temporality, causality, and “life,” the question of realism, and social ontology. Others take inspiration from his aesthetic theory, ideas about education,and his embrace of the Socratic pathos of wonder. They bring his philosophy into conversation with that of his contemporaries, including Roman Ingarden and Konrad Lorenz’s appropriation of Hartmann, as well as with the history of philosophy, including Plato’s theory of recollection, pre-Socratic philosophy, and that of his Russian teacher Nikolai Lossky. Those familiar with Hartmann’s wide-ranging systematic philosophy will benefit from these new engagements with his work, and those new to it will find them relevant to a number of current philosophical debates. (shrink)
The Tanner Lectures on Human Values is the annual publication of lectures given at Clare Hall, Cambridge University; Brasenose College, Oxford University; Harvard University; Yale University; the University of California; Stanford University; the University of Michigan; and the University of Utah as well as other locations. Established to reflect upon the scholarly and scientific learning relating to human values, the lectureships are international and intercultural, and transcend ethnic, national, religious, and ideological distinctions. This Volume X, first published in 1989, includes: (...) ALBERT O. HIRSCHMAN 'Two Hundred Years of Reactionary Rhetoric: The Case of the Perverse Effect'; ROBERT A. DAHL 'The Pseudodemocratization of the American Presidency'; JAVIER MUGUERZA 'The Alternative of Dissent'; WILLIAM THEODORE DE BARY 'The Trouble with Confucianism'; ANTHONY QUINTON 'The Varieties of Value'; BARRY STROUD 'The Study of Human Nature and the Subjectivity of Value'. (shrink)
_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)
In response to the so-called “paradox of deontology,” many have argued that the agent-relativity of deontological constraints accounts for why an agent may not kill one in order to prevent five others from being killed. Constraints provide reasons for particular agents not to kill, not reasons to minimize overall killings. In this paper, I tease out the significance of an underappreciated aspect of this agent-relative position, i.e. it provides no guidance as to what an agent ought to do when faced (...) with the prospect of killing one in order to prevent herself from killing five. After rejecting mere agent-relativity, the view that agents are morally permitted to violate constraints in order to minimize their overall violations, I offer a view that this is both agent- and time-relative, and show how this view exemplifies the underlying motivations for deontological constraints while successfully responding to both the inter- and intra-personal paradoxes of deontology. (shrink)
In Plato's Apology, Socrates says he spent his life examining and questioning people on how best to live, while avowing that he himself knows nothing important. Elsewhere, however, for example in Plato's Republic, Plato's Socrates presents radical and grandiose theses. In this book Sandra Peterson offers a hypothesis which explains the puzzle of Socrates' two contrasting manners. She argues that the apparently confident doctrinal Socrates is in fact conducting the first step of an examination: by eliciting his interlocutors' reactions, (...) his apparently doctrinal lectures reveal what his interlocutors believe is the best way to live. She tests her hypothesis by close reading of passages in the Theaetetus, Republic and Phaedo. Her provocative conclusion, that there is a single Socrates whose conception and practice of philosophy remain the same throughout the dialogues, will be of interest to a wide range of readers in ancient philosophy and classics. (shrink)
Two interpretations of the precautionary principle are considered. According to the normative interpretation, the precautionary principle should be characterised in terms of what it urges doctors and other decision makers to do. According to the epistemic interpretation, the precautionary principle should be characterised in terms of what it urges us to believe. This paper recommends against the use of the precautionary principle as a decision rule in medical decision making, based on an impossibility theorem presented in Peterson . However, (...) the main point of the paper is an argument to the effect that decision theoretical problems associated with the precautionary principle can be overcome by paying greater attention to its epistemic dimension. Three epistemic principles inherent in a precautionary approach to medical risk analysis are characterised and defended. (shrink)
Agon as analytic, diagnostic, and antidote -- Contesting Homer: the poiesis of value -- Contesting Socrates: Nietzsche's (artful) naturalism -- Contesting Paul: toward an ethos of agonism -- Contesting Wagner: how one becomes what one is.
A thorough academic discussion of Jordan Peterson’s work has been conspicuously absent—until now. Despite being addressed to an academic audience, Myth, Meaning, and Antifragile Individualism, by Marc Champagne, is written in a well-crafted, straightforward style accessible to the informed layperson. The book’s first part offers an invaluable introduction to Peterson’s work within an academic framework. The second part offers critiques of Peterson’s work, some of which are prudent and others of which are weaker. The book is an (...) essential contribution to anyone who wants to better understand Peterson’s ideas and scrutinize them in a rational context. (shrink)
This commentary critically examines a recent qualitative study, published in this issue of Neuroethics, on the attitudes of family caregivers toward evidence of covert consciousness in brain-injured patients.
Since the mid-1970s, some artists have portrayed Jesus Christ in female form. The depiction of a female Christ crucified is a particularly controversial representation that challenges theological orthodoxies and upsets the gender symbolism ingrained upon the Christian cross. The controversy and ecclesiastical censure that such works often provoke indicates the emotive power of gender subversion. This study provides a detailed account of five images of the female-Christ form in art, considers their function as theological symbols, and assesses their contribution to (...) feminist theology. It will be suggested that the Christa offers a subversive feminist strategy of representation. And—while such representations do not remove the unanswered theological difficulties associated with divine suffering, the problem of evil and the mystery of salvation—the graphic portrayal of female suffering powerfully exposes the reality of the cross as a site of patriarchal violence. (shrink)
Debates over postmodernism, analyses of knowledge and power, and the recurring issue of Heidegger's Nazism have all deepened questions about the relation between philosophy and the social roles of intellectuals. Against such postmodernist rejections of philosophical theory as mounted by Rorty and Lyotard, Richard Peterson argues that precisely reflection on rationality, in appropriate social terms, is needed to confront urgent political issues about intellectuals. After presenting a conception of intellectual mediation set within the modern division of labor, he offers (...) an account of postmodern politics within which postmodern arguments against critical reflection are themselves treated socially and politically. Engaging thinkers as diverse as Kant, Hegel, Marx, Habermas, Foucault, and Bahktin, Peterson argues that a democratic conception and practice of philosophy is inseparable from democracy generally. His arguments about modern philosophy are tied to claims about the relation between liberalism and epistemology, and these in turn inform an account of impasses confronting contemporary politics. Historical arguments about the connections between postmodernist thought and practice are illustrated by discussions of the postmodernist dimensions of recent politics. (shrink)
The science-religion debate is a hot topic in academic circles and contemporary culture, and evolution makes the subject particularly contentious. Does modern science tip the scales toward atheism? Or does religion have resources to support its credibility and relevance? And how does evolution influence both worldviews?Comprehensive, balanced, and engaging, Science, Evolution, and Religion provides a dynamic yet respectful introduction to the science-religion debate, framed as a conflict between theism and atheism and structured around the impact of evolution on both perspectives. (...) Philosophers Michael Peterson and Michael Ruse argue for theism and atheism, respectively. Peterson occasionally draws from Christian doctrine to supplement theism; Ruse often supports his atheism with elements drawn from the larger context of philosophical naturalism. The result is a rich dialogue on the nature and history of science, cosmic origins, biological origins, the anthropic principle, the foundations of morality, human uniqueness, the meaning of life, and other important topics in this area. (shrink)
In this astonishingly rich volume, experts in ethics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, political theory, aesthetics, history, critical theory, and hermeneutics bring to light the best philosophical scholarship on what is arguably Nietzsche's most rewarding but most challenging text. Including essays that were commissioned specifically for the volume as well as essays revised and edited by their authors, this collection showcases definitive works that have shaped Nietzsche studies alongside new works of interest to students and experts alike. A lengthy introduction, annotated (...) bibliography, and index make this an extremely useful guide for the classroom and advanced research. (shrink)
This book integrates insights from philosophy, gender studies, political theory, and media studies to present an in depth analysis of masculinity politics in contemporary U.S. culture. While primarily a philosophical work, this book also creates a discussion committed to feminist theory and progressive gender politics.
This volume explores the role of both "mere habits" and sophisticated habitus in the formation of moral character and the virtues, incorporating perspectives from philosophy, theology, psychology, and neuroscience.
In den historiographischen Debatten über die verschiedenen Ideologien der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts wird der Begriff „katholischer Faschismus“ gelegentlich verwendet, um eine spezifische Version des Faschismus in den 1920ern, 1930ern und 1940ern Jahren zu bezeichnen. Im vorliegenden Aufsatz wird dieses Konzept in historischer und historiographischer Perspektive analysiert. Dabei geht es v. a. um den religiösen Hintergrund, die verschiedenen begrifflichen Unterscheidungen, die wichtigsten Ereignisse und die ideologischen Zusammenhänge. Der protestantische Faschismus sowie das Konfliktfeld zwischen Katholizismus und faschistischer Ideologie werden auch (...) thematisiert.In the historiographical debates about the different streams of ideology in the first half of the 20th century, the term “Catholic fascism” has been used on occasion to refer to a specific version of fascism and Catholicism in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. The following article analyzes this concept in historical and historiographical perspective, drawing attention to the religious background, the various conceptual distinctions, key events and ideological interrelationships. Protestant fascism is also addressed along with the ideological conflict between Catholicism and fascist ideology. Before turning to these themes, however, the critical role of papal theological and cultural analysis will be addressed. (shrink)
In diesem Aufsatz werden die Veröffentlichungen des Jesuiten Erich Przywara und der sehr einflussreichen jesuitischen Zeitschrift Stimmen der Zeit aus den frühen 193oern Jahren und besonders aus dem Jahr 1933 analysiert. In diesem Zusammenhang antworte ich auch meinen Kritikern. Außerdem werden die Hintergründe und Quellen der spezifischen Form des Antisemitismus dargestellt, die in den Stimmen der Zeit vertreten wurde. Deutsche Jesuiten propagierten 1933 durchaus radikale Positionen in der Zeitschrift. In dem katholischen Blatt liest man u. a., dass die Juden dem (...) deutschen Volk mehr Schaden als Nutzen brächten. Es wurde damals auch die nordische Rasse als für Herrschaft besonders geeignet bezeichnet. Im letzten Teil dieses Aufsatzes werden Przywaras spätere Briefe an Carl Schmitt, den gläubigen antisemitischen deutschen Katholiken, analysiert. Sie zeigen, dass Przywara von dessen antidemokratischer politischer Theorie der 1930er Jahre zutiefst beeindruckt war und die Ideen des Kronjuristen des Dritten Reiches sogar noch in der Zeit nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg verbreiten wollte. (shrink)
The monthly magazine Hochland was probably the most influential Catholic cultural periodical in Germany in the Weimar Period. According to Georg Cardinal von Kopp’s assessment in 1911, it was “unfortunately the most read periodical in all of the educated circles of Germany, Austria and German Switzerland”. Moving beyond the simple rejection of modern culture in Germany, the journal tried to follow a new program of mediatory engagement, although it did continue to hold to traditional positions in many regards. In this (...) article the reception of modern, Enlightenment-affirmative philosophy of religion in the journal is introduced with reference to reviews and essays from the later 1910s to the early 1930s. The journal’s treatment of a few critical subject areas is given close interpretive analysis, including the journal’s treatment of Gertrud Simmel’s Über das Religiöse, individually conceptualized forms of personalist moral theory, and the general shift to phenomenological discourses and the individual in the philosophy of religion. The fundamental rejections of these ideas and these schools of thought in reviews and essays, which are also found in the journal at this time, are not addressed in this article. The article thus sheds light on an often-forgotten and relatively small minority phenomenon in German Catholic intellectual circles of the Weimar Period, namely the positive embrace of Enlightenment-oriented modern thought. By promoting these ideas at this time, this group made themselves highly vulnerable to disciplinary measures by the Catholic Church. (shrink)
In these skeptical and disillusioned times, there are still groups of people scattered throughout the world who are trying to live out utopian dreams. These communities challenge the inevitability and morality of dominant political and economic models. By putting utopian religious ethics into practice, they attest to the real possibility of social alternatives. In Seeds of the Kingdom, Anna L. Peterson reflects on the experiences of two very different communities, one inhabited by impoverished former refugees in the mountains of (...) El Salvador and the other by Amish farmers in the Midwestern U.S. What makes these groups stand out among advocates of environmental protection, political justice, and sustainable development is their religious orientation. They aim, without apology, to embody the reign of God on earth. The Salvadoran community is grounded in Roman Catholic social thought, while the Amish adhere to Anabaptist tradition. Peterson offers a detailed portrait of these communities' history, social organization, religious life, environmental values, and agricultural practices. She discovers both practical and ideological commonalities in these two comparatively successful and sustainable communities, including a strong collective identity, deep attachment to local landscapes, a desire to preserve non-human as well as human lives, and, perhaps unexpectedly, a utopian horizon that provides both goals and the hope of reaching them. By examining the process by which people struggle to live according to a transcendent value system, she sheds light on both the actual and the potential place of religion in public life. Peterson argues that the Amish and Salvadoran communities, geographically and culturally removed from the industrialized West, have relevance for the political and environmental problems of the developed world. These communities have succeeded in the face of significant internal and external challenges, offering important practical and theoretical lessons on how to achieve ecological sustainability and social justice in the wider world. (shrink)
The intersection of biology and religion has spawned exciting new areas of academic research that raise issues central to understanding our own humanity and the living world. In this comprehensive and accessible survey, Michael L. Peterson and Dennis R. Venema explain the engagement between biology and religion on issues related to origins, evolution, design, suffering and evil, progress and purpose, love, humanity, morality, ecology, and the nature of religion itself. Does life have a chemical origin - or must there (...) be a divine spark? How can religious claims about divine goodness be reconciled with widespread predation, suffering, and death in the animal kingdom? Peterson and Venema develop a philosophical discussion around such controversial questions. The book situates each topic in its historical, scientific, and theological context, making it the perfect introduction for upper-level undergraduates, graduate students, scholars, and the interested general reader. (shrink)
Works Righteousness explores the ways that different ethical theories relate to what people actually do. Peterson argues that the most dominant philosophical and religious approaches have largely ignored practice, assuming that internal mental states are what matter for ethics and that ideas and practices are related in a simple, linear fashion. However, some alternative models, including pragmatism, Marxism, and religious pacifism, present a more complex view of the relations between values and practices. These traditions show how attention to practices (...) opens up new ways of thinking about moral theory and concrete issues like hate speech, euthanasia, and climate change. (shrink)
Romano Guardini was one of the most important intellectuals of German Catholicism in the twentieth century. He influenced nearly an entire generation of German Catholic theologians and was the leading figure of the German Catholic youth movement as it grew exponentially in the 1920s. Yet there are many open questions about his early intellectual development and his academic contribution to religious, cultural, social and political questions in the Weimar Republic and in National Socialist Germany. This article draws upon Guardini’s publications, (...) the secondary literature on Guardini and on some archival material, seeking to outline his early development and his engagement with the ideological context following World War I and in National Socialist Germany. Here Guardini’s criticisms of the modern age are presented. Besides this many other issues are addressed, such as his criticism of the women’s movement, his understanding of the youth movement, reception of Carl Schmitt, views of race, interpretation of the controversial Volk-concept, contribution to a Jewish journal in 1933, and his basic positions on the issues of obedience, order and authority. While Guardini was viewed critically by some National Socialists in the Third Reich, the administrative correspondences on him in the 1940s actually show that there was an internal debate about him among the National Socialist officials. This involved different figures, including a diplomat who came to Guardini’s defense. The internal disagreements were made more complicated because Guardini’s brothers were apparently members of the Fascist Party in Italy at this time. (shrink)
Moderate deontologists hold that while it is wrong to kill an innocent person to save, say, five other individuals, it is indeed morally permissible to kill one if, say, millions of lives are at stake. A basic worry concerning the moderate’s position is whether the view boils down to mere philosophical wishful thinking. In permitting agents to ever kill an innocent, moderates require that agents treat persons as means, in opposition to traditional deontological motivations. Recently Tyler Cook argued that deontologists (...) can be moderate. However, there remains a gap in the literature concerning how such a view might function in practice, as well as why a deontologist might (or perhaps, should) hold the view. This paper works to fill these gaps. I first develop the view that agents can be constrained from an action even though there are instances in which an infringement of this constraint is permissible. Crucially, I appeal to the moral emotions that are fitting in cases of constraint infringements. I then go on to show how this view can be grounded in traditional deontological foundations. Respect for the dignity of persons, I argue, requires not only that we not treat others in certain ways, but also that we acknowledge the direct and indirect effects our actions and inactions have on all persons. This deontological motivation, in turn, leads to a moderate constraint on the actions of agents. (shrink)
A transformative decision rule transforms a given decision probleminto another by altering the structure of the initial problem,either by changing the framing or by modifying the probability orvalue assignments. Examples of decision rules belonging to thisclass are the principle of insufficient reason, Isaac Levi'scondition of E-admissibility, the de minimis rule, andthe precautionary principle. In this paper some foundationalissues concerning transformative decision rules are investigated,and a couple of formal properties of this class of rules areproved.
This book presents the first systematic typological analysis of applicatives across African, American Indian, and East Asian languages. It is also the first to address their functions in discourse, the derivation of their semantic and syntactic properties, and how and why they have changed over time.Applicative constructions are typically described as transitivizing because they allow an intransitive base verb to have a direct object. The term originates from the seventeenth-century missionary grammars of Uto-Aztecan languages. Constructions designated as prepositional, benefactive, and (...) instrumental may refer to the same or similar phenomena. Applicative constructions have been deployed in the development of a range of syntactic theories which have then often been used to explain their functions, usually within the context of Bantu languages. Dr Peterson provides a wealth of cross-linguistic information on discourse-functional, diachronic, and typological aspects of applicative constructions. He documents their unexpected synchronic variety and the diversity of diachronic sources about them. He argues that many standard assumptions about applicatives are unfounded, and provides a clear guide for future language-specific and cross-linguistic research and analysis. (shrink)
This book interrogates the nature and state of African American citizenship through the prism of Social Contract Theory. Challenging the United States’ commitment to African American citizenship, this book explores the idea of Social Nullification, the decision to reject, revoke and re-define the social contract with a state and society. Charles F. Peterson surveys the history of Social Contract Theory, examines Nullification as political and legal theory, argues public policy as a measure of the state’s commitment to the contractarian (...) relationship and frames the writings and activism of Martin R. Delany, Ida B. Wells-Barnett and the African American Reparations Movement as examples of Social Nullification and challenges to the terms of Black life in America. (shrink)
This article offers a hybrid rhetorical-qualitative discourse analysis of the FDA’s 2011 Avastin Hearing, which considered the revocation of the breast cancer indication for the popular cancer drug Avastin. We explore the multiplicity of stakeholders, the questions that motivated deliberations, and the kinds of evidence presented during the hearing. Pairing our findings with contemporary scholarship in rhetorical stasis theory, Mol’s construct of multiple ontologies, and Callon, Lascoumes, and Barthe’s “hybrid forums,” we demonstrate that the FDA’s deliberative procedures elides various sources (...) of evidence and the potential multiplicity of definitions for “clinical benefit.” Our findings suggest that while the FDA invited multiple stakeholders to offer testimony, there are ways that the FDA might have more meaningfully incorporated public voices in the deliberative process. We conclude with suggestions for how a true hybrid forum might be deployed. (shrink)
ABSTRACTRecent critics have suggested that character education is overly individualised and, as a result, fails to engage adequately with the political. In this paper, I offer an account of character education which takes issue with such criticisms, and seeks to make clear connections between the moral and the political necessary for character formation and expression. Drawing on an Aristotelian understanding of the political, I argue that individuals are intimately connected with their social associations, which in contemporary plural, westernised democracies include (...) the sort of engagement with the political advocated by critics of character education. Through a focus on civic virtue and deliberative engagement, it is argued that an Aristotelian-inspired account of character addresses the precise concerns, including recognising and challenging social injustices and deliberative engagement with difference, which critics suggest are lacking from character education. (shrink)
Although some attention has been devoted to assessing the attitudes and concerns of businesspeople toward ethics, relatively little attention has focused on the attitudes and concerns of tomorrow's business leaders, today's college students. In this investigation a national sample was utilized to study college students' attitudes toward business ethics, with the results being analyzed by academic classification, academic major, and sex. Results of the investigation indicate that college students are currently somewhat concerned about business ethics in general, and that female (...) students in particular are more concerned about ethical issues than are their male counterparts. (shrink)