Distinguished contributors take up eminent scholar Daniel R. Schwarz’s reading of modern fiction and poetry as mediating between human desire and human action. The essayists follow Schwarz’s advice, “always the text, always historicize,” thus making this book relevant to current debates about the relationships between literature, ethics, aesthetics, and historical contexts.
_Moral Philosophy: A Contemporary Introduction_ is a compact yet comprehensive book offering an explication and critique of the major theories that have shaped philosophical ethics. Engaging with both historical and contemporary figures, this book explores the scope, limits, and requirements of morality. DeNicola traces our various attempts to ground morality: in nature, in religion, in culture, in social contracts, and in aspects of the human person such as reason, emotions, caring, and intuition.
In short, he is known in a discipline in which he did not teach for a book he did not write. In Becoming Mead, Daniel R. Huebner traces the ways in which knowledge has been produced by and about the famed American philosopher.
In _The Smile of Tragedy_, Daniel Ahern examines Nietzsche’s attitude toward what he called “the tragic age of the Greeks,” showing it to be the foundation not only for his attack upon the birth of philosophy during the Socratic era but also for his overall critique of Western culture. Through an interpretation of “Dionysian pessimism,” Ahern clarifies the ways in which Nietzsche sees ethics and aesthetics as inseparable and how their theoretical separation is at the root of Western nihilism. (...) Ahern explains why Nietzsche, in creating this precursor to a new aesthetics, rejects Aristotle’s medicinal interpretation of tragic art and concentrates on Apollinian cruelty as a form of intoxication without which there can be no art. Ahern shows that Nietzsche saw the human body as the vessel through which virtue and art are possible, as the path to an interpretation of “selflessness,” as the means to determining an order of rank among human beings, and as the site where ethics and aesthetics coincide. (shrink)
This book tries to look at human thought and action from a scientific perspective, and in the process, acquaints the reader with essential concepts about science and its history. It takes a broad look at our present troubles without overlooking some crucial historical, religious, and political causes but places science at the center stage. The author applies what he has learned throughout his career to go beyond science. After an introduction setting the scene and a review of the "scientific temper" (...) and the inexcusable ignorance of science by some leaders and many followers, the author turns his sharp vision to look at other issues. The most significant challenges are critical and global: climate change caused by our activities, stockpiles of nuclear weapons that are a constant threat, population growth, and increasing inequality at all levels. These problems do have a profound ethical character and threaten to end forever with our misery, producing a "catastrophic convergence". Written with rigor for all readers, with many references and infused with relevant quotations, the author's message is clear: we need to change our ways drastically and urgently, now or never. But he offers not much in terms of a solution, something done by many authors to sweeten the pill, because as he argues, beyond lofty declarations, there is no real solution as the clock runs down, leading to his dystopian view of the future. (shrink)