This book approaches the Dhamma, the Buddha’s teaching, from a Buddhistic perspective, viewing various individual teachings presented in hundreds of early discourses of Pali canon, comprehending them under a single systemic thought of a single individual called the Buddha. It explicates the structure of this thought, going through various contextual teachings and teaching categories of the discourses, treating them as necessary parts of a liberating thought that constitutes the right view of one who embraces the Buddha’s teaching as his or (...) her sole philosophy of life. It interprets the diverse individual dhammas as being in congruence with each other; and as contributory to forming the whole of the Buddha’s teaching, the Dhamma. By exploring some selected topics such as ignorance, configurations, not-self, and nibbāna in thirteen chapters, the book enables readers to understand the whole in relation to the parts, and the parts in relation to the whole, while realizing the importance of studying every single dhamma category or topic not for its own sake but for understand the entirety of the teaching. This way of viewing and explaining the teachings of the discourses enables readers to clearly comprehend the teaching of the Buddha in early Buddhism. (shrink)
Some ways of defending inequality against the charge that it is unjust require premises that egalitarians find easy to dismiss—statements, for example, about the contrasting deserts and/or entitlements of unequally placed people. But a defense of inequality suggested by John Rawls and elaborated by Brian Barry has often proved irresistible even to people of egalitarian outlook. The persuasive power of this defense of inequality has helped to drive authentic egalitarianism, of an old-fashioned, uncompromising kind, out of contemporary political philosophy. The (...) present essay is part of an attempt to bring it back in. (shrink)
1. The present paper is a continuation of my “Self-Ownership, World Ownership, and Equality,” which began with a description of the political philosophy of Robert Nozick. I contended in that essay that the foundational claim of Nozick's philosophy is the thesis of self-ownership, which says that each person is the morally rightful owner of his own person and powers, and, consequently, that each is free to use those powers as he wishes, provided that he does not deploy them aggressively against (...) others. To be sure, he may not harm others, and he may, if necessary, be forced not to harm them, but he should never be forced to help them, as people are in fact forced to help others, according to Nozick, by redistributive taxation. (shrink)
This essay is written on the following premises and argues for them. “Enlightenment” is a word or signifier, and not a single or unifiable phenomenon which it consistently signifies. There is no single or unifiable phenomenon describable as “the Enlightenment,” but it is the definite article rather than the noun which is to be avoided. In studying the intellectual history of the late seventeenth century and the eighteenth, we encounter a variety of statements made, and assumptions proposed, to which the (...) term “Enlightenment” may usefully be applied, but the meanings of the term shift as we apply it. The things are connected, but not continuous; they cannot be reduced to a single narrative; and we find ourselves using the word “Enlightenment” in a family of ways and talking about a family of phenomena, resembling and related to one another in a variety of ways that permit of various generalizations about them. We are not, however, committed to a single root meaning of the word “Enlightenment,” and we do not need to reduce the phenomena of which we treat to a single process or entity to be termed “the” Enlightenment. It is a reification that we wish to avoid, but the structure of our language is such that this is difficult, and we will find ourselves talking of “the French” or “the Scottish,” “the Newtonian” or the “the Arminian” Enlightenments, and hoping that by employing qualifying adjectives we may constantly remind ourselves that the keyword “Enlightenment” is ours to use and should not master us. (shrink)
This volume provides the first complete edition of the third and final surviving draft of John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding, dating from 1685, four years before the publication of the Essay itself (December 1689). There is a General Introduction that gives a detailed account of the content and circumstances of composition of this draft, and a Textual Introduction that provides a full description of the manuscript and its0history.
In this book G. A. Cohen examines the libertarian principle of self-ownership, which says that each person belongs to himself and therefore owes no service or product to anyone else. This principle is used to defend capitalist inequality, which is said to reflect each person's freedom to do as as he wishes with himself. The author argues that self-ownership cannot deliver the freedom it promises to secure, thereby undermining the idea that lovers of freedom should embrace capitalism and the inequality (...) that comes with it. He goes on to show that the standard Marxist condemnation of exploitation implies an endorsement of self-ownership, since, in the Marxist conception, the employer steals from the worker what should belong to her, because she produced it. Thereby a deeply inegalitarian notion has penetrated what is in aspiration an egalitarian theory. Purging that notion from socialist thought, he argues, enables construction of a more consistent egalitarianism. (shrink)
In this stimulating work of political philosophy, acclaimed philosopher G. A. Cohen sets out to rescue the egalitarian thesis that in a society in which distributive justice prevails, peopleâes material prospects are roughly equal. Arguing against the Rawlsian version of a just society, Cohen demonstrates that distributive justice does not tolerate deep inequality. In the course of providing a deep and sophisticated critique of Rawlsâes theory of justice, Cohen demonstrates that questions of distributive justice arise not only for the state (...) but also for people in their daily lives. The right rules for the macro scale of public institutions and policies also apply, with suitable adjustments, to the micro level of individual decision-making. Cohen also charges Rawlsâes constructivism with systematically conflating the concept of justice with other concepts. Within the Rawlsian architectonic, justice is not distinguished either from other values or from optimal rules of social regulation. The elimination of those conflations brings justice closer to equality. (shrink)
Charles Sanders Peirce wrote the article “The probability of induction” in 1878. It was the fourth article of the series “Illustrations of the Logic of Science” which comprised a total of six articles. According to Peirce, to get a clear idea of the conception of probability, one has ‘to consider what real and sensible difference there is between one degree of probability and another.’ He endorsed what John Venn had called the ‘materialistic view’ of the subject, namely that probability is (...) the proportion of times in which an occurrence of one kind is accompanied by an occurrence of another kind. On the other hand, Peirce recognized the existence of a different interpretation of probability, which was termed by Venn the ‘conceptualistic view’, namely the degree of belief that ought to be attached to a proposition. Peirce’s intent on writing this article seems to be to inquire about the claims of the conceptualists concerning the problem of induction. After reasoning on some examples, he concluded on the impossibility of assigning probability for induction. We show here that the arguments advanced in his article are not sufficient to support such conclusion. Peirce’s thoughts on the probability of induction surely may have influenced statisticians and research scientists of the 20th century in shaping data analysis. (shrink)
Abstract G.A. Cohen has produced an influential criticism of libertarian?ism that posits joint ownership of everything in the world other than labor, with each joint owner having a veto right over any potential use of the world. According to Cohen, in that world rationality would require that wealth be divided equally, with no differential accorded to talent, ability, or effort. A closer examination shows that Cohen's argument rests on two central errors of reasoning and does not support his egalitarian conclusions, (...) even granting his assumption of joint ownership. That assumption was rejected by Locke, Pufendorf and other writers on property for reasons that Cohen does not rebut. (shrink)
G. A. Cohen was one of the most gifted, influential, and progressive voices in contemporary political philosophy. At the time of his death in 2009, he had plans to bring together a number of his most significant papers. This is the first of three volumes to realize those plans. Drawing on three decades of work, it contains previously uncollected articles that have shaped many of the central debates in political philosophy, as well as papers published here for the first time. (...) In these pieces, Cohen asks what egalitarians have most reason to equalize, he considers the relationship between freedom and property, and he reflects upon ideal theory and political practice. Included here are classic essays such as "Equality of What?" and "Capitalism, Freedom, and the Proletariat," along with more recent contributions such as "Fairness and Legitimacy in Justice," "Freedom and Money," and the previously unpublished "How to Do Political Philosophy." On ample display throughout are the clarity, rigor, conviction, and wit for which Cohen was renowned. Together, these essays demonstrate how his work provides a powerful account of liberty and equality to the left of Ronald Dworkin, John Rawls, Amartya Sen, and Isaiah Berlin. (shrink)
This study discusses how perceptions of ethics are formed by certified public accountants (CPAs). Theologians are used as a point of comparison. When considering CPA ethical dilemmas, both subject groups in this research project viewed confidentiality and independence as more important than recipient of responsibility and seriousness of breach. Neither group, however, was insensitive to any of the factors presented for its consideration. CPA reactions to ethical dilemmas were governed primarily by provisions of the CPA ethics code; conformity to that (...) code may well be evidence of higher stage moral reasoning. (shrink)
Open peer commentary on the article “Examining the Role of Re-Presentation in Mathematical Problem Solving: An Application of Ernst von Glasersfeld’s Conceptual Analysis” by Victor V. Cifarelli & Volkan Sevim. Upshot: The key philosophical premise of von Glasersfeld’s radical constructivism is not necessary to the insightful conceptual analysis presented by Cifarelli and Sevim, which could benefit from abandoning it.