This book is a collection of secondary essays on America's most important philosophic thinkers—statesmen, judges, writers, educators, and activists—from the colonial period to the present. Each essay is a comprehensive introduction to the thought of a noted American on the fundamental meaning of the American regime.
For forty years, Harvey Mansfield has been worth reading. Whether plumbing the depths of MachiavelliOs Discourses or explaining what was at stake in Bill ClintonOs impeachment, MansfieldOs work in political philosophy and political science has set the standard. In Educating the Prince, twenty-one of his students, themselves distinguished scholars, try to live up to that standard. Their essays offer penetrating analyses of Machiavellianism, liberalism, and America., all of them informed by MansfieldOs own work. The volume also includes a bibliography of (...) MansfieldOs writings. (shrink)
Adam Smith raised a series of obstacles to effective large-scale social planning. In this paper, I draw these Smithian obstacles together to construct what I call the “Great Mind Fallacy,” or the belief that there exists some person or persons who can overcome the obstacles Smith raises. The putative scope of the Great Mind Fallacy is larger than one might initially suppose, which I demonstrate by reviewing several contemporary thinkers who would seem to commit it. I then address two ways (...) the fallacy might be overcome, finding both wanting. I close the paper by suggesting that Smith's Great Mind Fallacy sheds interesting light on his “impartial spectator” standard of morality, including with respect to the specific issues of property and ownership. (shrink)
Mystics have always claimed that a very significant kind of self-perception is possible, at the end of certain spiritual disciplines. The self that is then supposed to be known is a unity, identical from one experience to the next, and not to be identified with any particular experiences, such as impressions or ideas, which the self has. In short, mystical testimony supports something like a theory of the essential self as simple and unchanging.
Since the late nineteenth century, studies of mysticism have presented us with two contrasting conclusions. The first is that mystics all over the world report basically the same experience, and the second is that there are great differences among the reports, and possibly among the experiences. On the positive side there are such works as Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy , with its claim that all mystics say that all beings are manifestations of a Divine Ground, that men learn of this (...) by direct intuition, that men have two natures, one phenomenal and one eternal, and that identification with his eternal nature is the purpose of man. Walter Stace supports this view, in a modified way, with his observation that, while each mystic seems to advance a peculiar explanation of his experience, their statements collectively exhibit strong similarities. Mystics commonly report a consciousness of unity, carrying with it feelings of objectivity, blessedness, and holiness. They describe their experience in paradoxical language, and say that ultimately it is ineffable. These twentieth-century observations are repetitions of those of William James, so that this basic point has become a cliché, and, as R. C. Zaehner says, ‘We have been told ad nauseum that mysticism is the highest expression of religion and that it appears in all ages and in all places in a more or less identical form, often in a religious milieu that would seem to be the reverse of propitious.’. (shrink)
Every year in this country, some 10,000 college and university courses are taught in applied ethics. And many professional organizations now have their own codes of ethics. Yet social science has had little impact upon applied ethics. This book promises to change that trend by illustrating how social science can make a contribution to applied ethics. The text reports psychological studies relevant to applied ethics for many professionals, including accountants, college students and teachers, counselors, dentists, doctors, journalists, nurses, school teachers, (...) athletes, and veterinarians. Each chapter begins with the research base of the cognitive-developmental approach--especially linked to Kohlberg and Rest's Defining Issues Test. Finally, the book summarizes recent research on the following issues: * moral judgment scores within and between professions, * pre- and post-test evaluations of ethics education programs, * moral judgment and moral behavior, * models of professional ethicseducation, and * models for developing new assessment tools. Researchers in different professional fields investigate different questions, develop different research strategies, and report different findings. Typically researchers of one professional field are not aware of research in other fields. An important aim of the present book is to bring this diverse research together so that cross-fertilization can occur and ideas from one field can transfer to another. (shrink)
This book explores aspects of science from an economic point of view. The author begins with economic models of misconduct in science, moving on to discuss other important issues, including market failure and the market place of ideas.
While the dominant approaches to the current study of political philosophy are various, with some friendlier to religious belief than others, almost all place constraints on the philosophic and political role of revelation. Mainstream secular political theorists do not entirely disregard religion. But to the extent that they pay attention, their treatment of religious belief is seen more as a political or philosophic problem to be addressed rather than as a positive body of thought from which we might derive important (...) insights about the nature of politics and the truth of the human condition. In a one-of-a-kind collection, DeHart and Holloway bring together leading scholars from various fields, including political science, philosophy, and theology, to challenge the prevailing orthodoxy and to demonstrate the role that religion can and does play in political life. Contributing authors include such important thinkers as Peter Augustine Lawler, Robert C. Koons, J. Budziszewski, Francis J. Beckwith, and JamesStoner. (shrink)
Infamous cases like Enron and Bernie Madoff question whether business is an inherently dubious activity. Honorable Business argues that there is, in fact, such a thing as honorable business, which seeks to generate value not only for itself but for all parties to its transactions-and to society generally.
Actual Ethics offers a moral defense of the 'classical liberal' political tradition and applies it to several of today's vexing moral and political issues. James Otteson argues that a Kantian conception of personhood and an Aristotelian conception of judgment are compatible and even complementary. He shows why they are morally attractive, and perhaps most controversially, when combined, they imply a limited, classical liberal political state. Otteson then addresses several contemporary problems - wealth and poverty, public education, animal welfare, and (...) affirmative action - and shows how each can be plausibly addressed within the Kantian, Aristotelian and classical liberal framework. Written in clear, engaging, and jargon-free prose, Actual Ethics will give students and general audiences an overview of a powerful and rich moral and political tradition that they might not otherwise consider. (shrink)
Adam Smith studied under Francis Hutcheson at the University of Glasgow, befriended David Hume while lecturing on rhetoric and jurisprudence in Edinburgh, was elected Professor of Logic, Professor of Moral Philosophy, Vice-rector, and eventually Lord Rector of the University of Glasgow, and, along with Hutcheson, Hume, and a few others, went on to become one of the chief figures of the astonishing period of learning known as the Scottish Enlightenment.He is the author of two books: The Theory of Moral Sentiments (...) and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. TMS brought Smith considerable acclaim during his lifetime and was quickly considered one of the great works of moral theory. It deeply impressed Immanuel Kant, for example, who called Smith his ‘ Liebling ' or ‘favourite', and Charles Darwin, who in his Descent of Man endorsed and accepted several of Smith's ‘striking' conclusions. TMS went through fully six revised editions during Smith's lifetime.Since the nineteenth century, Smith's fame has largely rested on his Wealth of Nations, which must be considered one of the most important works of the millennium: its argument for free trade, its explanation of the price mechanism and the division of labor, its qualified defense of market economies, and its powerful criticisms of mercantilist economic theories are now standard fare in economics courses, not to mention the basis of a large portion of today's worldwide economic policy. And its account of human nature is now classic.Both The Theory of Moral Sentiments and the Wealth of Nations reveal Smith's impressively broad learning, but he wrote and lectured on a number of other subjects as well. This anthology collects, for the first time in one volume, not only generous selections from each of Smith's books but also substantial selections from his other work, including his lectures on jurisprudence, his history and philosophy of science, his criticism and belles lettres, and his philosophy of language. It also includes two important letters from Hume, as well as Smith's account of Hume's death.James R. Otteson is associate professor of philosophy at the University of Alabama. He has published on Adam Smith and the Scottish Enlightenment, political philosophy, and the history of early modern philosophy. (shrink)
If philosophy addresses concrete ethical challenges, then what shifts in basic concepts must be made to the discipline in the darkness of our genocidal world? What anti-genocidal strains are in Western philosophy? Are we “really” rejects and/ or “still of intrinsic worth” when we fail our excellence tests? How are we represented and how do we participate in representations? Are representational forms historical in origin and development? Is genocide indissolubly linked to our degradation and destruction of animals? Can one slaughter (...) and eat one’s partners in a social bond? If so, what does this tell us about the socio-political world we have formed? Is there a deep center—metacide—in our culture from which genocide receives its impulse? These are some of the pivotal questions addressed in the thirteen thought-provoking essays of this volume. (shrink)
The second in James Hurford's acclaimed two-volume exploration of the biological evolution of language explores the evolutionary and cultural preconditions and consequences of humanity's great leap into language.
Neural correlates exist for a basic component of logical formulae, PREDICATE(x). Vision and audition research in primates and humans shows two independent neural pathways; one locates objects in body-centered space, the other attributes properties, such as colour, to objects. In vision these are the dorsal and ventral pathways. In audition, similarly separable “where” and “what” pathways exist. PREDICATE(x) is a schematic representation of the brain's integration of the two processes of delivery by the senses of the location of an arbitrary (...) referent object, mapped in parietal cortex, and analysis of the properties of the referent by perceptual subsystems. The brain computes actions using a few “deictic” variables pointing to objects. Parallels exist between such nonlinguistic variables and linguistic deictic devices. Indexicality and reference have linguistic and nonlinguistic (e.g., visual) versions, sharing the concept of attention. The individual variables of logical formulae are interpreted as corresponding to these mental variables. In computing action, the deictic variables are linked with “semantic” information about the objects, corresponding to logical predicates. Mental scene descriptions are necessary for practical tasks of primates, and preexist language phylogenetically. The type of scene descriptions used by nonhuman primates would be reused for more complex cognitive, ultimately linguistic, purposes. The provision by the brain's sensory/perceptual systems of about four variables for temporary assignment to objects, and the separate processes of perceptual categorization of the objects so identified, constitute a pre-adaptive platform on which an early system for the linguistic description of scenes developed. Key Words: argument; attention; deictic; dorsal; logic; neural; object; predicate; reference; ventral. (shrink)
Knobe (2003a, 2003b, 2004b) and others have demonstrated the surprising fact that the valence of a side-effect action can affect intuitions about whether that action was performed intentionally. Here we report the results of an experiment that extends these findings by testing for an analogous effect regarding knowledge attributions. Our results suggest that subjects are less likely to find that an agent knows an action will bring about a side-effect when the effect is good than when it is bad. It (...) is further argued that these findings, while preliminary, have important implications for recent debates within epistemology about the relationship between knowledge and action. (shrink)
When Ferdinand Magellan set out to circumnavigate the globe in 1519, he wasn’t able to bring a digital camera or a smartphone with him. Yet, as the eagerly awaited images from the Mars rover prove, modern exploration is inconceivable without photography. Since its invention in 1839, photography has been integral to exploration, used by explorers, sponsors, and publishers alike, and the early twentieth century, advances in technology—and photography’s newfound cultural currency as a truthful witness to the world—made the camera an (...) indispensable tool. In Photography and Exploration, James R. Ryan uses a variety of examples, from polar journeys to space missions, to show how exploration photographs have been created, circulated, and consumed as objects of both scientific research and art. Examining a wide range of photographs and expeditions, Ryan considers how nations have often employed images as a means to scientific advancement or territorial conquest. He argues that because exploration has long been bound up with the construction of national and imperial identity, expeditionary photographs have often been used to promote claims to power—especially by the West. These images also challenge the way audiences perceive the world and their place within it. Featuring one hundred images, Photography and Exploration shines new light on how photography has shaped the image of explorers, expeditions, and the worlds they discovered. (shrink)
You have heard of the Seven Deadly Sins: pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth. Each is a natural human weakness that impedes happiness. In addition to these vices, however, there are economic sins as well. And they, too, wreak havoc on our lives and in society. They can seem intuitively compelling, yet they lead to waste, loss, and forgone prosperity. In this thoughtful and compelling book, James Otteson tells the story of seven central economic fallacies, explaining why (...) they are fallacies, why believing in them leads to mistakes and loss, and how exorcizing them from our thinking can help us avoid costly errors and enable us to live in peace and prosperity. (shrink)
We report the results of two studies that examine folk metaethical judgments about the objectivity of morality. We found that participants attributed almost as much objectivity to ethical statements as they did to statements of physical fact and significantly more objectivity to ethical statements than to statements about preferences or tastes. In both studies, younger participants attributed less objectivity to ethical statements than older participants. Females were observed to attribute slightly less objectivity to ethical statements than males, and we found (...) important interactions between attributions of objectivity and other factors, such as how strong participants’ moral opinions were and how much disagreement about the issue they perceived to exist within society. We believe our results have significant implications for debates about the nature of folk morality and about the nature of morality in general. (shrink)
We report the results of a study that investigated the views of researchers working in seven scientific disciplines and in history and philosophy of science in regard to four hypothesized dimensions of scientific realism. Among other things, we found that natural scientists tended to express more strongly realist views than social scientists, that history and philosophy of science scholars tended to express more antirealist views than natural scientists, that van Fraassen’s characterization of scientific realism failed to cluster with more standard (...) characterizations, and that those who endorsed the pessimistic induction were no more or less likely to endorse antirealism. (shrink)
The goal of this book is to develop a new approach to reading the rule-following sections guided by a simple idea. The simple idea is that Wittgenstein's remarks on rule-following are split between two distinct but complementary projects. The projects are marked not only by different guiding questions, but different presuppositions and methodologies. There is of course precedent for reading the rule-following remarks as comprising two parts. For example, there is the reading of (S. Kripke 1982) on which Wittgenstein first (...) presents a skeptical challenge before turning to its skeptical solution. And there are readings like (Minar 2011) and (Goldfarb 2012) that likewise treat the sections as roughly divided into two components or "chapters." But even these commentators do not explicitly associate their components with different questions and associated methodologies, and so fall short of attributing to Wittgenstein's text anything quite like the thoroughgoing bipartite structure I will be proposing here. (shrink)
Professional ethics, a contemporary topic of conversation among business professionals, is discussed using the perceptions of college business students as the focal point. This research relates to the issues of college instruction in professional ethics, differences in perceptions of ethical behavior attributed to gender, and whether or not students' perceptions of ethical behavior can be modified. After presenting a review of the more important historical developments and research related to professional ethics, this paper focuses on the results of a study (...) that compared a set of ethical responses of various groups of college students with each other. The results of hypotheses testing show an ethics maturation process from students' initial exposure to business courses through the graduate level. These tests also show that formal ethics training, i.e., a separate professional ethics course or unit is an existing course, is not a significant factor in this process. However, one may conclude that the students' perceptions of proper ethical behavior matures toward society's expectations during college life. (shrink)