Why did Hume drop sympathy as a key concept of his moral philosophy, and why—on the other hand—did Smith make it into the ‘didactic principle’ of his Theory of Moral Sentiments? These questions confront us with the basic issue of ethical theory concerning human nature. My point in dealing with these questions is to show what views of human nature their respective choices involved. And my procedure will be to take a close look at the revisions they made to their (...) ethical theories to bring out the contrasting aspects of their views of human nature. (shrink)
The use of genomic selection in agricultural animal breeding is in academic literature generally considered an ethically unproblematic development, but some critical views have been offered. Our paper shows that an important preliminary question for any ethical evaluation of genomic selection is how the scope of discussion should be set, that is, which ethical issues and perspectives ought to be considered. This scope is determined by three partly overlapping choices. The first choice is which ethical concepts to include: an ethical (...) discussion of genomic selection approaches may draw on concepts central to applied ethics, but some critical views have been based on concepts from critical animal studies and continental philosophy. A related choice is to what extent discussion should focus on new ethical issues raised or on existing ethical issues that will be ameliorated, perpetuated or aggravated by an innovation in genomic selection. The third choice is to treat an innovation in genomic selection either as a technique on itself or as a part of specific practices. We argue that ethical discussion should not limit attention to new issues or ignore the implications of particular ways of applying genomic selection in practice, and this has some consequences for which ethical concepts ought to be included. Limiting the scope of discussion may be defensible in some contexts, but broader ethical discussion remains necessary. (shrink)
Watts wishes to engage in a "metatheology" whereby Christianity is looked at from the standpoint of Hindu myth. Viewed in this way, the Christian emphasis on the value of individuality and the absolute separation of creature and Creator is seen as the supreme example of God's maya, the act whereby the Absolute believes itself to be finite and individual. Watts believes that this approach can lead to a mutual enrichment of the two religious traditions. Through most of the book he (...) claims merely to be comparing the Hindu and Christian world-myths; in the end, however, he suggests that the comparison may also have philosophic significance. Though he explicitly denies having written a scholarly book, Watts is often both provocative and perceptive.—P. F. L. (shrink)
Selections representing a wide range of 20th century thought, in a book intended primarily for introductory courses in contemporary philosophy. Individual selections are generally well chosen. The short editorial commentaries on the various thinkers and positions are both fair and perceptive.--P. F. L.
This book, one of the "Great American Thinkers" series, seems primarily intended for the reader with no previous knowledge of James or of philosophy in general. The author discusses James's psychology, pragmatism, philosophy of religion, and metaphysics, and makes some attempt to trace common themes and present James's thought as a unified whole. The exposition is generally clear and straightforward, and Moore avoids many of the clichés and misunderstandings common in discussions of James and pragmatism. Within this rather small book (...) the author attempts not only to present James's treatment of some of the classic problems of philosophy, but also to give an elementary introduction to those problems. Unfortunately, the simplified and schematic presentation which results often fails to capture effectively the flavor, subtlety, and excitement of James's thought.—P. F. L. (shrink)
The topic of the essays in this rather miscellaneous collection range from the nature of post-Christian man to the possibility of banning cars from Manhattan. Most of these essays are not "philosophical" in a technical sense, but there emerges from them a definite philosophical viewpoint, one which shows the influence of pragmatic, existential, and psychoanalytic ideas. Goodman's particular concern is with the relation of the individual to society, and particularly with the problems of meaningful individual action within the context of (...) the community. This concern results in a distinctive fusion of an individualistic and humanistic philosophy with highly concrete social proposals. Despite its rather fragmentary nature, this book is a good illustration of the freshness and immediacy which make Goodman one of the most original and exciting of current social thinkers.—P. F. L. (shrink)
Five essays on various aspects of Peirce's philosophy, first delivered as a series of lectures at Yale University, plus a brief biography of Peirce by Paul Weiss. The essays are: "Charles S. Peirce as an American," by Rulon Wells, "Notes Toward a Logic of Discovery," by N. R. Hanson, "Action, Conduct, and Self-Control," by R. J. Bernstein, "Community and Reality," by J. E. Smith, and "Charles S. Peirce, Philosopher," by Paul Weiss. Several of these essays contain concise, perceptive summaries and (...) evaluations of Peirce's thought in various areas; the book is an excellent introduction to Peirce's philosophy.—P. F. L. (shrink)
The heart of this book is an extended account of Whitehead's philosophical development, in which Lowe argues persuasively that many of the ideas which appear in Whitehead's metaphysical writings are prefigured in the work of Whitehead the mathematician and philosopher of science. The discussion of the way in which a peculiarly mathematical insight into the structure of the universe can be traced even in the late metaphysical works is especially illuminating. Also included is a brief summary of Whitehead's developed philosophy (...) and a critical discussion of "empirical method" in Whitehead.--P. F. L. (shrink)
This book is basically a translation of the volume Philosophie of the Fischer Lexicon series, with some articles and supplementary material by English-speaking scholars. It consists of brief articles on various aspects of philosophy. Much of the material tends to be too condensed and technical for the general reader, and too cursory for the advanced student. As a general reference volume for English-speaking readers, the book is sometimes hampered by its heavy emphasis on Continental and particularly German writers and philosophic (...) traditions.—P. F. L. (shrink)
The author contends that contemporary analytic and existential philosophies have more in common than is generally realized. Both are committed to the analysis of human experience in its full complexity, and opposed to the simplistic reductionism which Kohl feels characterized the philosophies of the early twentieth century. Short and sometimes quite insightful summaries of the positions of major contemporary philosophers and schools are interspersed with very interestingly chosen selections by a variety of writers, making this in some ways a good (...) introduction to the contemporary scene for the non-philosopher. However, despite some interesting ideas, Kohl's arguments in support of his major thesis are generally superficial, and he shows little sense of the fact that any attempt to reconcile analytic and existential philosophy must first of all take account of the very real differences between them.—P. F. L. (shrink)
There is a Mexican, as well as a Canadian version of the American Dream. What drives political idealism in Mexico is less the idea of individual right, or respect for the rights of communities, than it is the 'indigenous' right of an historically oppressed people to a political culture and life wholly their own.
The first part of this book contains essays on Dostoevski's Christian insights, Marxism compared to Christianity as a religion, and the Christian significance of Sartre's "ontological" interpretation of sexuality. A second group of essays develops the author's concern with Christian social ethics and modern interpretations of the concept of natural law, in the writings of Brunner, Cahn, Maritain, Tillich, H. R. Niebuhr, and Reinhold Niebuhr. Ramsey's treatment of these writers is generally sympathetic and sensitive.--P. F. L.