This article is a collective writing experiment undertaken by philosophers of education affiliated with the PESGB. When asked to reflect on questions concerning the Philosophy of Education in a New Key in May 2020, it was unsurprising that the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on society and on education were foremost in our minds. We wanted to consider important philosophical and educational questions raised by the pandemic, while acknowledging that, first and foremost, it is a human tragedy. With nearly a (...) million deaths reported worldwide to date, and with everyone effected in one way or another by Covid-19, there is a degree of discomfort, and a responsibility to be sensitive, in reflecting and writing about it academically. Members of this ‘Covid Collective’ come from various countries, with perspectives from Great Britain and Ireland well represented, and we see academic practice as a globally connected enterprise, especially since the digital revolution in academic publishing. The concerns raised in this article relate to but move beyond Covid-19, reflecting the impact of neoliberalism [and other political developments] on geopolitics with educational concerns as central to our focus. (shrink)
With the goal of better understanding how science, religion, and poetic art came together in the work of Christopher Southgate, the authors first explore his spiritual poetry. They come away with a better understanding of the author’s commitment to a broad naturalism that contributes, along with his own faith experience, to his prose works in the emerging field of ecotheology. The authors conclude that Southgate’s work is part of the worldwide emergence of a theological rationale that supports environmentalism, the protection (...) of species, and the conservation of biodiversity. The authors find Southgate’s poetry warm, appealing, accessible, and re-readable to good effect, but with a thread of danger and warning throughout. Both features are quite appropriate for the environmental movement in the twenty-first century. (shrink)
This book revives the study of conventional implicatures in natural language semantics. H. Paul Grice first defined the concept. Since then his definition has seen much use and many redefinitions, but it has never enjoyed a stable place in linguistic theory. Christopher Potts returns to the original and uses it as a key into two presently under-studied areas of natural language: supplements and expressives. The account of both depends on a theory in which sentence meanings can be multidimensional. The theory (...) is logically and intuitively compositional, and it minimally extends a familiar kind of intensional logic, thereby providing an adaptable, highly useful tool for semantic analysis. The result is a linguistic theory that is accessible not only to linguists of all stripes, but also philosophers of language, logicians, and computer scientists who have linguistic applications in mind. (shrink)
Aristotle has qualms about the movement of the soul. He contends directly, indeed, that ‘it is impossible that motion should belong to the soul’ (DA 406a2). This is surprising in both large and small ways. Still, when we appreciate the explanatory framework set by his hylomorphic analysis of change, we can see why Aristotle should think of the soul's motion as involving a kind of category mistake-not the putative Rylean mistake, but rather the mistake of treating a change as itself (...) capable of changing. (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.
When recalling events that one personally experienced, sometimes one sees oneself in the remembered scene: from an external, detached 'observer perspective'. In such cases one remembers from-the-outside. Remembering from-the-outside is a common yet curious case of personal memory. This book disentangles the puzzles posed by such memories.
Ad hominem arguments are generally dismissed on the grounds that they are not attempts to engage in rational discourse, but are rather aimed at undermining argument by diverting attention from claims made to assessments of character of persons making claims. The manner of this dismissal however is based upon an unlikely paradigm of rationality: it is based upon the presumption that our intellectual capacities are not as limited as in fact they are, and do not vary as much as they (...) do between rational people. When we understand rationality in terms of intellectual virtues, however, which recognize these limitations and provide for the complexity of our thinking, ad hominem considerations can sometimes be relevant to assessing arguments. (shrink)
Christopher G. Timpson provides the first full-length philosophical treatment of quantum information theory and the questions it raises for our understanding of the quantum world. He argues for an ontologically deflationary account of the nature of quantum information, which is grounded in a revisionary analysis of the concepts of information.
With his insightful and wide-ranging theory of recognition, Axel Honneth has decisively reshaped the Frankfurt School tradition of critical social theory. Combining insights from philosophy, sociology, psychology, history, political economy, and cultural critique, Honneth’s work proposes nothing less than an account of the moral infrastructure of human sociality and its relation to the perils and promise of contemporary social life. This book provides an accessible overview of Honneth’s main contributions across a variety of fields, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of (...) his thought. Christopher Zurn clearly explains Honneth’s multi-faceted theory of recognition and its relation to diverse topics: individual identity, morality, activist movements, progress, social pathologies, capitalism, justice, freedom, and critique. In so doing, he places Honneth’s theory in a broad intellectual context, encompassing classic social theorists such as Kant, Hegel, Marx, Freud, Dewey, Adorno and Habermas, as well as contemporary trends in social theory and political philosophy. Treating the full range of Honneth’s corpus, including his major new work on social freedom and democratic ethical life, this book is the most up-to-date guide available. _Axel Honneth_ will be invaluable to students and scholars working across the humanities and social sciences, as well as anyone seeking a clear guide to the work of one of the most influential theorists writing today. (shrink)
Recent work in argumentation theory has emphasized the nature of arguers and arguments along with various theoretical perspectives. Less attention has been given to the third feature of any argumentative situation - the audience. This book fills that gap by studying audience reception to argumentation and the problems that come to light as a result of this shift in focus. Christopher W. Tindale advances the tacit theories of several earlier thinkers by addressing the central problems connected with audience considerations in (...) argumentation, problems that earlier philosophical theories overlook or inadequately accommodate. The main tools employed in exploring the central issues are drawn from contemporary philosophical research on meaning, testimony, emotion and agency. These are then combined with some of the major insights of recent rhetorical work in argumentation to advance our understanding of audiences and suggest avenues for further research. (shrink)
What is the relation between the nature of the things you think about, and the ways you think about them? Christopher Peacocke argues that meaning is never prior to metaphysics - to the nature of the world. He shows that this view holds for a wide range of topics, including magnitudes, time, the self, and abstract objects such as numbers.
One of the most noteworthy features of David Gauthier's rational choice, contractarian theory of morality is its appeal to self-interested rationality. This appeal, however, will undoubtedly be the source of much controversy and criticism. For while self-interestedness is characteristic of much human behavior, it is not characteristic of all such behavior, much less of that which is most admirable. Yet contractarian ethics appears to assume that humans are entirely self-interested. It is not usually thought a virtue of a theory that (...) its assumptions are literally false. What may be said on behalf of the contractarian? (shrink)
Plongé au cœur des nanos, Christophe Vieu souligne la diversité des secteurs touchés par l’approche nano. À l’idée d’une convergence des secteurs scientifiques, il oppose l’image d’une espèce invasive. Il se sent de ce fait investi d’une responsabilité de l’ensemble des technosciences.
Christopher Peacocke’s A Study of Concepts is a dense and rewarding work. Each chapter raises many issues for discussion. I know three different people who are writing reviews of the volume. It testifies to the depth of Peacocke’s book that each reviewer is focusing on a quite different set of topics.
The Neo-Aristotelian ethical naturalism of Philippa Foot and Rosalind Hursthouse purports to establish a naturalistic criterion for the virtues. Specifically, by developing a parallel between the natural ends of nonhuman animals and the natural ends of human beings, they argue that character traits are justified as virtues by the extent to which they promote and do not inhibit natural ends such as self-preservation, reproduction, and the well-being of one’s social group. I argue that the approach of Foot and Hursthouse cannot (...) provide a basis for moral universalism, the widely-accepted idea that each human being has moral worth and thus deserves significant moral consideration. Foot and Hursthouse both depict a virtuous agent as implicitly acting in accord with moral universalism. However, with respect to charity, a virtue they both emphasize, their naturalistic criterion at best provides a warrant for a restricted form of charity that extends only to a limited number of persons. There is nothing in the natural ends of human beings, as Foot and Hursthouse understand these, that gives us a reason for having any concern for the well-being of human beings as such. (shrink)
In this interview, Christopher Norris discusses a wide range of issues having to do with postmodernism, deconstruction and other controversial topics of debate within present-day philosophy and critical theory. More specifically he challenges the view of deconstruction as just another offshoot of the broader postmodernist trend in cultural studies and the social sciences. Norris puts the case for deconstruction as continuing the 'unfinished project of modernity' and—in particular—for Derrida's work as sustaining the values of enlightened critical reason in various spheres (...) of thought from epistemology to ethics, sociology and politics. Along the way he addresses a number of questions that have lately been raised with particular urgency for teachers and educationalists, among them the revival of creationist doctrine and the idea of scientific knowledge as a social, cultural, or discursive construct. In this context he addresses the 'science wars' or the debate between those who uphold t. (shrink)
In Modal Logic as Metaphysics, Timothy Williamson claims that the possibilism-actualism (P-A) distinction is badly muddled. In its place, he introduces a necessitism-contingentism (N-C) distinction that he claims is free of the confusions that purportedly plague the P-A distinction. In this paper I argue first that the P-A distinction, properly understood, is historically well-grounded and entirely coherent. I then look at the two arguments Williamson levels at the P-A distinction and find them wanting and show, moreover, that, when the N-C (...) distinction is broadened (as per Williamson himself) so as to enable necessitists to fend off contingentist objections, the P-A distinction can be faithfully reconstructed in terms of the N-C distinction. However, Williamson’s critique does point to a genuine shortcoming in the common formulation of the P-A distinction. I propose a new definition of the distinction in terms of essential properties that avoids this shortcoming. (shrink)
Kant actively struggles with the problem of how to conceive of God's creative action in relation to human freedom. He comes to the view that human freedom can only be protected if God withdraws in certain ways from the created world. The two pillars of Kant's mature philosophy - transcendental idealism and freedom - are in part shaped and motivated by Kant's need to provide a solution to his theological problem. The medieval and early modern theological tradition conceives of divine (...) action as unlike the action of any created being. When the creature acts, God directly causes this action, but without reducing the creature's freedom. Kant explicitly discusses and rejects this account of divine and human concursus. This rejection has significant and surprising ramifications for Kant's wider philosophy, explaining otherwise incomprehensible claims in his critical philosophy. Christopher J. Insole presents a definitive study in the history of ideas, engaging with a wide range of Kant's texts from 1749 until the early 1800s. Many of these texts have received little or no attention in Kant studies to date. Insole places Kant's thought in relation to numerous historical and traditional positions and illuminates these positions by a close engagement with recent debates in analytical philosophy and systematic theology. Kant is unrelentingly honest when grappling with the difficulty of relating divine and human freedom. This study, of Kant's theological struggle and legacy, goes to the heart of the problem in the modern reception of what the Christian tradition has affirmed about human freedom. As such, the book throws light on one of the defining fault-lines in modern theology and philosophy. (shrink)
The sovereignty of the people, it is widely said, is the foundation of modern democracy. The truth of this claim depends on the plausibility of attributing sovereignty to “the people” in the first place, and I shall express skepticism about this possibility. I shall suggest as well that the notion of popular sovereignty is complex, and that appeals to the notion may be best understood as expressing several different ideas and ideals. This essay distinguishes many of these and suggests that (...) greater clarity at least would be obtained by focusing directly on these notions and ideals and eschewing that of sovereignty. My claim, however, will not merely be that the notion is multifaceted and complex. I shall argue as well that the doctrine that the people are, or ought to be, sovereign is misleading in potentially dangerous ways, and is conducive to a misunderstanding of the nature of politics, governance, and social order. It would be well to do without the doctrine, but it may be equally important to understand its errors. Our understandings and justifications of democracy, certainly, should dispense with popular sovereignty. (shrink)
Suppose you ask yourself whether your father's record collection includes a certain recording of The Trout and venture to find out. At that time, you embark on an inquiry into whether your father owns the relevant recording. Your inquiry is a project with a specific goal: finding out whether your father owns the recording. This fact about your inquiry generalizes: inquiry is a goal-directed enterprise. A specific inquiry can be individuated by the question it aims to answer and by who (...) aims to answer the question. Your inquiry into whether your father owns the recording differs from your inquiry into how many records your father owns because different questions are being asked. Your inquiry into whether your father owns the recording differs from my inquiry into whether he does because different people are inquiring. The goal of inquiry into a given question by an agent, α, can be characterized, neutrally, as α's having the answer to that question. I will here focus only on inquiries into whether questions and characterize the goal of inquiry into whether φ by α as α's having the answer to the question whether φ. (shrink)
1915 ist Ernst Troeltsch nach Berlin gezogen, wo er Professor für Philosophie wurde. Sein Wechsel aus der Heidelberger Theologischen Fakultät in die Philosophische Fakultät der Berliner Universität und sein zunehmendes Interesse am Historismus hat ihn nicht daran gehindert, theologische Studien fortzuführen. Ein Ergebnis dieser Studien war eine noch in Heidelberg geschriebene detaillierte Untersuchung über Augustins Theologie und im besonderen über De Civitate Dei. Troeltsch hat diese Studie unternommen, um zum einen eine Lücke in seinen Soziallehren der christlichen Kirchen und Gruppen (...) zu füllen und zum anderen wegen seinem zunehmenden Interesse an Augustins Philosophie. Das Ergebnis dieser Untersuchung ist Troeltschs Buch Augustin, die christliche Antike und das Mittelalter. Dieses Buch ist aus vielen Gründen ein bemerkenswertes Werk, unter anderem, weil es eine objektive und eine prägnante Untersuchung über Ethik und Naturgesetz darstellt. Troeltschs Buch über Augustin ist sehr wichtig zu untersuchen, aber genauso wichtig ist der Prozess, der ihn dazu geführt, es zu schreiben. Dabei handelt es sich um mehrere Rezensionen, die Troeltsch über Bücher zu Augustins Theologie, Ethik und politischer Philosophie geschrieben hat. Indem wir Troeltschs Rezensionen und sein Buch Augustin studieren, lernen wir nicht nur, was in seiner Sicht besonders wertvoll sei in den Schriften des großen Kirchenvaters, sondern wir lernen auch Troeltschs eigenes Denken zu Ethik, Geschichte und sogar Politik besser kennen.By 1915 Ernst Troeltsch had moved to Berlin where he became professor of philosophy. His move from the Faculty of Theology to philosophy and his increasing concern with historicism did not hinder him from continuing with his theological studies. One of the results of these studies was his detailed investigation of Augustine’s theology and he focused specifically on de Civitate Dei. Troeltsch undertook this study partially to rectify an omission in his Soziallehren der christlichen Kirchen und Gruppen and partially because of his increasing interest in Augustine’s philosophy. The result of this study was Troeltsch’s book Augustin, die christliche Antike und das Mittelalter. This is a remarkable work for many reasons, including that it was an objective and appreciative investigations on ethics and natural law – and it was written by a prominent Protestant theologian. However, this book has been mostly neglected which is unfortunate. Troeltsch’s book on Augustine is well-worth exploring but so is the process which led him to write it. That entails consulting the numerous reviews that Troeltsch wrote about a number of books devoted to certain aspects of Augustine’s theology, ethics, and political philosophy. By studying Troeltsch’s book reviews and his Augustin, we not only learn what Troeltsch regarded as so valuable in the writings of this particular Church Father, but we also learn about Troeltsch’s own thinking about ethics, history, and even politics. (shrink)
What is involved in the consciousness of a conscious, "occurrent" propositional attitude, such as a thought, a sudden conjecture or a conscious decision? And what is the relation of such consciousness to attention? I hope the intrinsic interest of these questions provides sufficient motivation to allow me to start by addressing them. We will not have a full understanding either of consciousness in general, nor of attention in general, until we have answers to these questions. I think there are constitutive (...) features of these states which can be identified by broadly philosophical investigation, and in the early part of this paper I will try to do some of that identification. -/- Beyond the intrinsic interest of the topic, the nature of such conscious attitudes is highly pertinent to a philosophical account of psychological self-knowledge. So I will also say something about the significance of the constitutive features of these conscious attitudes for a philosophical account of how it can be that a thinker has a distinctive kind of knowledge of some of his mental states. The general challenge in this area is to find anything intermediate between the unexceptionable but uninformative, on the one hand, and the absolutely unbelievable on the other. (shrink)
In Rights Forfeiture and Punishment, Christopher Heath Wellman argues that those who seek to defend the moral permissibility of punishment should shift their focus from general justifying aims to moral side constraints. On Wellman's view, punishment is permissible just in case the wrongdoer has forfeited her right against punishment.
Aristotle attaches particular significance to the homonymy of many central concepts in philosophy and science: that is, to the diversity of ways of being common to a single general concept. His preoccupation with homonymy influences his approach to almost every subject that he considers, and it clearly structures the philosophical methodology that he employs both when criticizing others and when advancing his own positive theories. Where there is homonymy there is multiplicity: Aristotle aims to find the order within this multiplicity, (...) and believes that doing so is crucial to scientific inquiry and philosophical progress.Christopher Shields investigates and evaluates Aristotle's approach to questions about homonymy, characterizing the metaphysical and semantic commitments necessary to establish the homonymy of a given concept. Then, in a series of case-studies, Shields examines in detail some of Aristotle's principal applications of homonymy--to the body, sameness and oneness, life, goodness, and being. Shields's aim is not only to give a fuller understanding of Aristotle's methodology and to illuminate his specific doctrines in a variety of areas, but to show that this methodology remains fruitful today. (shrink)
The normative notion of fittingness figures saliently in the work of a number of ethical theorists writing in the late nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries and has in recent years regained prominence, occupying an important place in the theoretical tool kits of a range of contemporary writers. Yet the notion remains strikingly undertheorized. This article offers a (partial) remedy. I proceed by canvassing a number of attempts to analyze the fittingness relation in other terms, arguing that none is fully adequate. In (...) explaining why various analyses of fittingness fail, I draw into relief certain of the relation’s constitutive features and spotlight some of its interesting and important connections to various other properties. Along the way, I highlight the relation’s relevance to a number of ongoing debates in normative and metanormative philosophy. I conclude by indicating some directions for further research. (shrink)
First published in 2005, A Theory of Secession: The Case for Political Self-Determination offers an unapologetic defense of the right to secede. Christopher Heath Wellman argues that any group has a moral right to secede as long as its political divorce will leave it and the remainder state in a position to perform the requisite political functions. He explains that there is nothing contradictory about valuing legitimate states, while permitting their division. Once political states are recognized as valuable because of (...) the functions that they are uniquely suited to perform, it becomes apparent that the territorial boundaries of existing states might permissably be redrawn as long as neither the process, nor the result of this reconfiguration, interrupts the production of the crucial political benefits. Thus, if one values self-determination, then one has good reason to conclude that people have a right to determine their political boundaries. (shrink)
Should the democratic exercise of authority that we take for granted in the realm of government be extended to the managerial sphere? Exploring this question, Christopher McMahon develops a theory of government and management as two components of an integrated system of social authority that is essentially political in nature. He then considers where in this structure democratic decision making is appropriate. McMahon examines the main varieties of authority: the authority of experts, authority grounded in a promise to obey, and (...) authority justified as facilitating mutually beneficial cooperation. He also discusses the phenomenon of managerial authority, the authority that guides nongovernmental organization, and argues that managerial authority is best regarded not as the authority of a principal over an agent, but rather as authority that facilitates mutually beneficial cooperation among employees with different moral aims. Viewed in this way, there is a presumption that managerial authority should be democratically exercised by employees. Originally published in 1994. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905. (shrink)