McClennen addresses a fundamental dilemma facing the claim that it is rational to be guided by rules. Either the practical verdict issued by a rule is the same as that favored by the balance of reasons, in which case the rule is redundant or the verdicts differ, in which case the rule should be abandoned. McClennen argues that we can resolve this dilemma by revising our account of practical reasoning to accord with the prescriptions of a resolute choice model. Agents (...) in societies in which people resolutely follow, for example, a rule to keep their commitments to return favors fare better than agents in societies that lack a commitment mechanism or in which costs are incurred to enforce it. (shrink)
In Morals By Agreement, David Gauthier concludes that under certain conditions it is rational for an agent to be disposed to choose in accordance with a fair cooperative scheme rather than to choose the course of action that maximizes his utility. This is only one of a number of important claims advanced in that book. In particular, he also propounds a distinctive view concerning what counts as a fair cooperative arrangement. The thesis concerning the rationality of adopting a cooperative disposition (...) is, however, logically independent of his substantive view of a fair cooperative scheme and is itself central to the project as a whole. Gauthier's concern is to establish that certain moral principles are those that fully rational, self-interested persons would agree to take as regulative of their dealings with one another – that a contractarian approach, in this sense, can provide an adequate basis for a theory of morality. (shrink)
Trailblazing marine biologist, visionary conservationist, deep ecology philosopher, Edward F. Ricketts has reached legendary status in the California mythos. A true polymath and a thinker ahead of his time, Ricketts was a scientist who worked in passionate collaboration with many of his friends—artists, writers, and influential intellectual figures—including, perhaps most famously, John Steinbeck, who once said that Ricketts's mind “had no horizons.” This unprecedented collection, featuring previously unpublished pieces as well as others available for the first time in their (...) original form, reflects the wide scope of Ricketts’s scientific, philosophical, and literary interests during the years he lived and worked on Cannery Row in Monterey, California. These writings, which together illuminate the evolution of Ricketts’s unique, holistic approach to science, include “Verbatim transcription of notes on the Gulf of California trip,” the basic manuscript for Steinbeck’s and Ricketts’s _Log from the Sea of Cortez;_ the essays “The Philosophy of Breaking Through” and “A Spiritual Morphology of Poetry;” several shorter pieces on topics including collecting invertebrates and the impact of modernization on Mexican village life; and more. An engaging critical biography and a number of rare photographs offer a new and richly detailed view of Ricketts’s life. (shrink)
Practically every contemporary mainstream scientist presumes that all aspects of mind are generated by brain activity. We demonstrate the inadequacy of this picture by assembling evidence for a variety of empirical phenomena which it cannot explain. We further show that an alternative picture developed by F. W. H. Myers and William James successfully accommodates these phenomena, ratifies the common sense view of ourselves as causally effective conscious agents, and is fully compatible with contemporary physics and neuroscience.
In his renowned courses at the Collège de France from 1982 to 1984, Michel Foucault devoted his lectures to meticulous readings and interpretations of the works of Plato, Epictetus, Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius, among others. In this his aim was not, Edward F. McGushin contends, to develop a new knowledge of the history of philosophy; rather, it was to let himself be transformed by the very activity of thinking. Thus, this work shows us Foucault in the last phase of (...) his life in the act of becoming a philosopher. Here we see how his encounter with ancient philosophy allowed him to experience the practice of philosophy as, to paraphrase Nietzsche, a way of becoming who one is: the work of self-formation that the Greeks called _askésis_. Through a detailed study of Foucault's last courses, McGushin demonstrates that this new way of practicing philosophical _askésis_ evokes Foucault's ethical resistance to modern relations of power and knowledge. In order to understand Foucault's later project, then, it is necessary to see it within the context of his earlier work. If his earlier projects represented an attempt to bring to light the relations of power and knowledge that narrowed and limited freedom, then this last project represents his effort to take back that freedom by redefining it in terms of care of the self. Foucault always stressed that modern power functions by producing individual subjects. This book shows how his excavation of ancient philosophical practices gave him the tools to counter this function-with a practice of self-formation, an _askésis. _. (shrink)
In Beyond Physicalism, an interdisciplinary group of physical scientists, behavioral and social scientists, and humanists from the Esalen Institute’s Center for Theory and Research argue that physicalism must be replaced by an expanded scientific naturalism that accommodates something spiritual at the heart of nature.
Mooney (philosophy, Sonoma State U.) explores Kierkegaard's creative invention, the contemporary relevance of his contrasts between resignation and faith, and his conceptual analysis of aesthetic, moral, and religious psychology and life ...
In ____Selves in Discord and Resolve__, Edward Mooney examines the Wittgensteinian and deconstructive accounts of subjectivity to illuminate the rich legacy left by Kierkegaard's representation of the self in modes of self-understanding and self-articulation. Mooney situates Kierkegaard in the context of a post-Nietzschean crisis of individualism, and evokes the Socratric influences on Kierkegaard's thinking and shows how Kierkegaard's philsophy relies upon the Socratic care for the soul. He examines Kierkegaard's work on Judge Wilhelm, from _Either/Or,_ Socrates, in the _Postscript_ (...) and Abraham and Job in _Repetition_ and _Fear and Trembling_. (shrink)
It Starts in the Classroom addresses the needs of P-12 teachers in nineteen chapters focusing on different aspects of character education. Included are a selection of pertinent references, research, and no-prep resources for teachers to use to bring life skills into the classroom that have been proven to increase student academic achievement.
Ethics, Love, and Faith in Kierkegaard collects essays from 13 leading scholars that center on key themes that characterize Kierkegaard's philosophy of religion. With their unique focus on notions of the self, views on the command to love one's neighbor, thoughts on melancholy and despair, and the articulation of religious vision, the essays in this volume cover the breadth and depth of Kierkegaard's philosophical and religious writings. Poised at the intersection of Kierkegaard's moral psychology and its religious significance, they offer (...) vivid testimony to the ongoing power of his unique and fervent religious spirit. Students and scholars alike will find new light shed on questions that define Kierkegaard's philosophy and religion today. (shrink)
Contemporary discussions of the positive relation between rational choice and moral theory are a special case of a much older tradition that seeks to show that mutual agreement upon certain moral rules works to the mutual advantage, or in the interests, of those who so agree. I make a few remarks about the history of discussions of the connection between morality and self-interest, after which I argue that the modern theory of rational choice can be naturally understood as a continuation (...) of this older tradition. I then go on to argue for a controversial three-fold thesis: (1) that grounding a theory of morality in terms of rational self-interest is the only epistemologically respectable way to proceed with the justification of moral principles; (2) that despite this, most of the contemporary explorations of rational choice foundations for moral principles do not work—that the models of rational choice to which they appeal yield less than the substantial results that they are intended to yield; but (3) that if one rethinks just what it means to be rational, one can find in fact a promising way to connect the two—specifically through the development of a theory of genuinely cooperative activity. (shrink)
The kind of commitment to moral rules that characterizes effective interaction between persons in, among others places,manufacturing and commercial settings is characteristically treated by economists and game theorists as a public good, the securing ofwhich requires the expenditure of scarce resources on surveillance and enforcement mechanisms. Alternatively put, the view is that,characteristically, rational persons cannot voluntarily guide their choices by rules, but can only be goaded into acting in accordancewith such rules by the fear of social and formal sanctions. On (...) this way of thinking, rational individuals are condemned to having to settlefor the "second-best" results that are thereby implied. This conclusion rests not only on an appeal to a consequentialist perspective, butalso a separability principle. Against this, it is argued that consequentialism itself offers a basis for the rejection of the separability principle, and a defense of the thesis that, for a wide range of realistic cases, being disposed to voluntarily guide one's choice by rules (on the condition that others can be expected to do so as well) is a necessary condition of engaging in rational interaction. (shrink)
Subjectivity: exposure, care, response -- On self, others, goods, and final faith -- On style and pseudonymity -- A faith that defies self-deception -- On reflexivity, vision, and the self -- On faith, the maternal, and postmodernism -- Socratic self-sufficiency, Christian dependency -- On authenticity -- The garden of death: faith as interpersonal -- When is death?.
This slender volume is the twentieth member of a series entitled “Toward Ecological Civilization,” organized under the leadership of distinguished process philosopher and process theologian John B. Cobb, Jr. It grew directly from the 10th Whitehead International Conference, held in Claremont, California, in June 2015, and more particularly from a single conference track devoted specifically to various kinds of “extraordinary experiences” that directly challenge the materialist/physicalist worldview which arose in the 17th century and still dominates the contemporary scientific, educational, and (...) cultural mainstream. The central premises of the series as a whole, the 2015 conference, and the present volume are that postmodern civilization faces life-threatening crises rooted in that impoverished physicalist worldview, that we desperately need a more commodious, life-affirming, and ecologically sound alternative to it, and that Whitehead’s metaphysical vision can help take us in the needed direction. Like Stanley Krippner in the book’s brief Foreword, I am strongly sympathetic to these views. (shrink)
In this essential companion to the classic The Inward Morning, sixteen distinguished contemporary philosophers celebrate Henry Bugbee’s remarkable philosophy. The essays trace his explorations of thought, emotion, and the need for a sense of place attuned to wilderness. Representing a range of traditions, the thinkers included here touch on an equally broad spectrum of inquiry, including existential philosophy, religion, and environmental studies. The essays progress from general introductions to considerations of more specific themes in Bugbee’s philosophy to reflections on the (...) man as teacher, mentor, and friend. Provocative in their own right, these contributions provide a commentary on The Inward Morning. This volume thus becomes a valuable tool for the careful reader seeking to fully appreciate the vivid text that has inspired it while at the same time offering insight into contemporary issues in the philosophy of nature. (shrink)
The Moral Weight of Ecology: Public Goods, Cooperative Duties, and Environmental Politics is a meticulous examination of the beliefs held by environmentalists and anti-environmentalists alike. It is unique in the “environmental philosophy” genre insofar as it defends positions beholden to neither the mainstream or radical environmental movement nor their libertarian and “free-market” policy counterparts.
Building on the groundbreaking research of Irreducible Mind and Beyond Physicalism, Edward Kelly and Paul Marshall gather a cohort of leading scholars to address the most recent advances in the psychology of consciousness.
Psychical researchers have long recognized the difficulties posed for interpretation of ostensible evidence of postmortem survival by paranormal interactions and other psychological processes involving only living persons. Myers, for example, says It became gradually plain to me that before we could safely mark off any group of manifestations as definitely implying an influence from beyond the grave, there was need of a more searching review of the capacities of man’s incarnate personality than psychologists... had thought it worth their while to (...) undertake. Myers himself of course became convinced that he had obtained compelling evidence of survival, but others in his own circle, familiar with most if not quite all of the same evidence, remained unpersuaded. That early episode pretty much set the pattern for the subsequent history of the subject: Despite the advent of more and better evidence of types Myers and his colleagues already knew about, and additional kinds of evidence not as well-known or even unknown to them such as drop-in mediumistic communicators and cases of the reincarnation type, serious and open-minded students of the survival literature have remained deeply divided right to the present day as to whether the available evidence justifies rational belief in the possibility of survival, and if so to what degree. (shrink)
These two complementary works give the reader a unique insight into the breadth and substance of Kierkegaard's thought. One reads like a novel and the other a Platonic dialogue but both concern the nature of love, faith, and happiness. These are the first translations to convey the literary quality and philosophical precision of the originals.
For a long time readers of Descartes’s Meditations have argued about whether or not they are to be taken as spiritual exercises. In this paper I show that the later work of Michel Foucault provides us with a new way of approaching this problem. To situate Foucault’sapproach and to reveal his originality, I summarize two influential discussions of the meditational character of Descartes’s Meditations. I then turn to the work of Foucault, give a brief explanation of his idiosyncratic definition of (...) spiritual exercises, and show how his approach permits a deeper appreciation of how the Meditations, as meditations, operate. My argument, following Foucault, is that reading the Meditations as spiritual exercises allows us a fuller grasp of the text precisely because it displaces our “Cartesian” form of subjectivity. (shrink)