The world of Voltaire -- A life of wit and drama -- The wandering exile -- Voltaire's drama and poetry -- Interpreting history, understanding science -- The crusading philosopher -- The impact of Voltaire's work.
Jason Stanley presents a startling and provocative claim about knowledge: that whether or not someone knows a proposition at a given time is in part determined by his or her practical interests, i.e. by how much is at stake for that person at that time. In defending this thesis, Stanley introduces readers to a number of strategies for resolving philosophical paradox, making the book essential not just for specialists in epistemology but for all philosophers interested in philosophical methodology. Since (...) a number of his strategies appeal to linguistic evidence, it will be of great interest to linguists as well. (shrink)
Hobbits and hooligans -- Ignorant, irrational, misinformed nationalists -- Political participation corrupts -- Politics doesn't empower you or me -- Politics is not a poem -- The right to competent government -- Is democracy competent? -- The rule of the knowers -- Civic enemies.
Los teóricos de la democracia dejaron de lado la pregunta de quién legalmente forma parte del "pueblo" autorizado, pregunta que atraviesa a todas las teoría de la democracia y continuamente vivifica la práctica democrática. Determinar quién constituye el pueblo es un dilema inabordable e incluso imposible de responder democráticamente; no es una pregunta que el pueblo mismo pueda decidir procedimentalmente porque la propia premisa subvierte las premisas de su resolución. Esta paradoja del mandato popular revela que el pueblo para ser (...) mejor comprendido como una demanda política, como un proceso de subjetivación, surge y se desarrolla en distintos contextos democráticos. En Estados Unidos el disputado poder para hablar en beneficio del pueblo deriva de un excedente constitutivo heredado de la era revolucionaria, a partir del hecho de que desde la Revolución el pueblo ha sido por vez primera encarnado por la representación y como exceso de cualquier forma de representación. La autoridad posrevolucionaria del vox populi deriva de esa continuamente reiterada pero nunca realizada referencia a la soberanía del pueblo a partir de la representación, legitimidad a partir de la ley, espíritu a partir de la letra, la palabra a través de la palabra. Este ensayo examina la emergencia histórica de este exceso de democracia en el período revolucionario, y cómo este habilita a una subsecuente historia de "momentos constituyentes", momentos cuando subautorizados -radicales, entidades autocreadas-, se apoderan del manto de la autoridad, cambiando las reglas de la autoridad en ese proceso. Estos pequeños dramas de reclamos de autoridad política para hablar en nombre del pueblo son felices, aun cuando explícitamente rompan con los procedimientos o reglas estatuidas para representar la voz popular. -/- Momentos constituyentes: paradojas y poder popular en los Estados Unidos de América posrevolucionarios [traducción], Revista Argentina de Ciencia Política, N°15, EUDEBA, Buenos Aires, Octubre 2012, pp. 49-74. ISSN: 0329-3092. Introducción de “Constituent Moments: Enacting the People in Postrevolutionary America”, de Jason Frank [Ed.: Duke University Press Books, enero de 2010. ISBN-10: 0822346753; ISBN-13: 978-0822346753]. (shrink)
Historically, philosophers of biology have tended to sidestep the problem of development by focusing primarily on evolutionary biology and, more recently, on molecular biology and genetics. Quite often too, development has been misunderstood as simply, or even primarily, a matter of gene activation and regulation. Nowadays a growing number of philosophers of science are focusing their analyses on the complexities of development, and in Embryology, Epigenesis and Evolution Jason Scott Robert explores the nature of development against current trends in (...) biological theory and practice and looks at the interrelations between development and evolution, an area of resurgent biological interest. Clearly written, this book should be of interest to students and professionals in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of biology. (shrink)
US citizens perceive their society to be one of the most diverse and religiously tolerant in the world today. Yet seemingly intractable religious intolerance and moral conflict abound throughout contemporary US public life - from abortion law battles, same-sex marriage, post-9/11 Islamophobia, public school curriculum controversies, to moral and religious dimensions of the Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street movements, and Tea Party populism. Healthy Conflict in Contemporary American Society develops an approach to democratic discourse and coalition-building across deep (...) moral and religious divisions. Drawing on conflict transformation in peace studies, recent American pragmatist thought, and models of agonistic democracy, Jason Springs argues that, in circumstances riven with conflict between strong religious identities and deep moral and political commitments, productive engagement may depend on thinking creatively about how to constructively utilize conflict and intolerance. The result is an approach oriented by the recognition of conflict as a constituent and life-giving feature of social and political relationships. (shrink)
"As the child of refugees of World War II Europe and a renowned philosopher and scholar of propaganda, Jason Stanley has a deep understanding of how democratic societies can be vulnerable to fascism: Nations don't have to be fascist to suffer from fascist politics. In fact, fascism's roots have been present in the United States for more than a century. Alarmed by the pervasive rise of fascist tactics both at home and around the globe, Stanley focuses here on the (...) structures that unite them, laying out and analyzing the ten pillars of fascist politics--the language and beliefs that separate people into an 'us' and a 'them.' He knits together reflections on history, philosophy, sociology, and critical race theory with stories from contemporary Hungary, Poland, India, Myanmar, and the United States, among other nations. He makes clear the immense danger of underestimating the cumulative power of these tactics, which include exploiting a mythic version of a nation's past; propaganda that twists the language of democratic ideals against themselves; anti-intellectualism directed against universities and experts; law and order politics predicated on the assumption that members of minority groups are criminals; and fierce attacks on labor groups and welfare. These mechanisms all build on one another, creating and reinforcing divisions and shaping a society vulnerable to the appeals of authoritarian leadership. By uncovering disturbing patterns that are as prevalent today as ever, Stanley reveals that the stuff of politics--charged by rhetoric and myth--can quickly become policy and reality. Only by recognizing fascists politics, he argues, may we resist its most harmful effects and return to democratic ideals."--Jacket. (shrink)
Egalitarianism, the view that equality matters, attracts a great deal of attention amongst contemporary political theorists. And yet it has turned out to be surprisingly difficult to provide a fully satisfactory egalitarian theory. The cutting-edge articles in Egalitarianism move the debate forward. They are written by some of the leading political philosophers in the field.
Philosophers have long been tempted by the idea that objects and properties are abstractions from the facts. But how is this abstraction supposed to go? If the objects and properties aren't 'already' there, how do the facts give rise to them? Jason Turner develops and defends a novel answer to this question: The facts are arranged in a quasi-geometric 'logical space', and objects and properties arise from different quasi-geometric structures in this space.
Why you have the right to resist unjust government The economist Albert O. Hirschman famously argued that citizens of democracies have only three possible responses to injustice or wrongdoing by their governments: we may leave, complain, or comply. But in When All Else Fails, Jason Brennan argues that there is a fourth option. When governments violate our rights, we may resist. We may even have a moral duty to do so. For centuries, almost everyone has believed that we must (...) allow the government and its representatives to act without interference, no matter how they behave. We may complain, protest, sue, or vote officials out, but we can’t fight back. But Brennan makes the case that we have no duty to allow the state or its agents to commit injustice. We have every right to react with acts of “uncivil disobedience.” We may resist arrest for violation of unjust laws. We may disobey orders, sabotage government property, or reveal classified information. We may deceive ignorant, irrational, or malicious voters. We may even use force in self-defense or to defend others. The result is a provocative challenge to long-held beliefs about how citizens may respond when government officials behave unjustly or abuse their power. (shrink)
May you sell your vote? May you sell your kidney? May gay men pay surrogates to bear them children? May spouses pay each other to watch the kids, do the dishes, or have sex? Should we allow the rich to genetically engineer gifted, beautiful children? Should we allow betting markets on terrorist attacks and natural disasters? Most people shudder at the thought. To put some goods and services for sale offends human dignity. If everything is commodified , then nothing is (...) sacred. The market corrodes our character. Or so most people say. In Markets without Limits , Jason Brennan and Peter Jaworski give markets a fair hearing. The market does not introduce wrongness where there was not any previously. Thus, the authors claim, the question of what rightfully may be bought and sold has a simple answer: if you may do it for free, you may do it for money. Contrary to the conservative consensus, they claim there are no inherent limits to what can be bought and sold, but only restrictions on how we buy and sell. (shrink)
In Our Best Interest argues that it is permissible to intervene in a person's affairs whenever doing so serves her best interest without wronging others. Jason Hanna makes the case for paternalism, responding to common objections that paternalism is disrespectful or that it violates rights, and arguing that popular anti-paternalist views confront serious problems.
Alongside a revival of interest in Thomism in philosophy, scholars have realised its relevance when addressing certain contemporary issues in bioethics. This book offers a rigorous interpretation of Aquinas's metaphysics and ethical thought, and highlights its significance to questions in bioethics. Jason T. Eberl applies Aquinas’s views on the seminal topics of human nature and morality to key questions in bioethics at the margins of human life – questions which are currently contested in the academia, politics and the media (...) such as: When does a human person’s life begin? How should we define and clinically determine a person’s death? Is abortion ever morally permissible? How should we resolve the conflict between the potential benefits of embryonic stem cell research and the lives of human embryos? Does cloning involve a misuse of human ingenuity and technology? What forms of treatment are appropriate for irreversibly comatose patients? How should we care for patients who experience unbearable suffering as they approach the end of life? _Thomistic Principles and Bioethics_ presents a significant philosophical viewpoint which will motivate further dialogue amongst religious and secular arenas of inquiry concerning such complex issues of both individual and public concern. (shrink)
Practical wisdom is the intellectual virtue that enables a person to make reliably good decisions about how, all-things-considered, to live. As such, it is a lofty and important ideal to strive for. It is precisely this loftiness and importance that gives rise to important questions about wisdom: Can real people develop it? If so, how? What is the nature of wisdom as it manifests itself in real people? I argue that we can make headway answering these questions by modeling wisdom (...) on expert skill. Presenting the main argument for this expert skill model of wisdom is the focus of this paper. More specifically, I’ll argue that wisdom is primarily the same kind of epistemic achievement as expert decision-making skill in areas such as firefighting. Acknowledging this helps us see that, and how, real people can develop wisdom. It also helps to resolve philosophical debates about the nature of wisdom. For example, philosophers, including those who think virtue should be modeled on skills, disagree about the extent to which wise people make decisions using intuitions or principled deliberation and reflection. The expert skill model resolves this debate by showing that wisdom includes substantial intuitive and deliberative and reflective abilities. (shrink)
This volume is the first in English to provide a full, systematic investigation into Aristotle's criticisms of earlier Greek theories of the soul from the perspective of his theory of scientific explanation. Some interpreters of the De Anima have seen Aristotle's criticisms of Presocratic, Platonic, and other views about the soul as unfair or dialectical, but Jason W. Carter argues that Aristotle's criticisms are in fact a justified attempt to test the adequacy of earlier theories in terms of the (...) theory of scientific knowledge he advances in the Posterior Analytics. Carter proposes a new interpretation of Aristotle's confrontations with earlier psychology, showing how his reception of other Greek philosophers shaped his own hylomorphic psychology and led him to adopt a novel dualist theory of the soul–body relation. His book will be important for students and scholars of Aristotle, ancient Greek psychology, and the history of the mind–body problem. (shrink)
Robert Nozick's Anarchy, State, and Utopia made libertarianism a major theory in political philosophy. However, the book is often misread as making impractical, question-begging arguments on the basis of a libertarian self-ownership principle. This essay explains how academic philosophical libertarianism since Robert Nozick has returned to its humanistic, classical liberal roots. Contemporary libertarians largely work within the PPE tradition and do what Michael Huemer calls “non-ideal, non-theory.” They more or less embrace rather than reject ideals of social justice, and they (...) accept that positive liberty is important. The difference between them and Left-liberals is not so much a dispute over fundamental values, but empirical disagreements about the extent of market versus government failure. In contemporary political philosophy, libertarianism remains a significant but influential minority position. Nevertheless, many philosophers have little sense of how libertarian and classical liberal thought has developed and changed after Robert Nozick's seminal Anarchy, State, and Utopia, published in 1974. This essay provides a short guide. The terms “libertarianism” and “classical liberalism” refer to a body of related views about politics, philosophy, and economics. As a body of related ideas, classical liberalism has the unity of a neighborhood more than a house. That said, libertarians and classical liberals generally tend to argue for following two sets of claims: As a matter of justice, each individual has an extensive set of negative civil and economic rights, which cannot easily be overridden in the name of utility, stability, or desirable cultural goals. Granting everyone a wide scope of personal and economic liberty tends to generate good consequences, while restrictions on liberty tend to produce bad consequences. Classical liberals accept that markets and civil society can fail, but they argue government agents generally lack both the competence and the motivation to intervene in ways that fix rather than exacerbate the problems. The first set of arguments is deontological; the second is consequentialist. Early classical liberal thinkers, such as Adam Smith, Adam Ferguson, and David Hume, did not quite recognize this distinction. They made both arguments without any apparent worry that these were different kinds of argument. But Robert Nozick, the most famous libertarian philosopher of the Twentieth Century, seemed to focus almost entirely on rebutting deontological arguments against libertarianism with providing deontological arguments of his own. This tendency, along with the radical contrarianism of certain other mid-Twentieth Century libertarians, seems to cause the perception that libertarians are impractical and inhumane. In contrast to Nozick, contemporary classical liberal thought is largely pre-occupied with social justice issues and with assessing the expected consequences of adopting various institutions and policies. In a sense, this a return to Adam Smith and origins of classical liberal thought: Contemporary classical liberals are not so much synthesizing left-liberalism and classical liberalism as they are instead clarifying the basic concerns that have driven mainline classical liberal thought all along. (shrink)
Jason Stanley's "Knowledge and Practical Interests" is a brilliant book, combining insights about knowledge with a careful examination of how recent views in epistemology fit with the best of recent linguistic semantics. Although I am largely convinced by Stanley's objections to epistemic contextualism, I will try in what follows to formulate a version that might have some prospect of escaping his powerful critique.
Robots are becoming an increasingly pervasive feature of our personal lives. As a result, there is growing importance placed on examining what constitutes appropriate behavior when they interact with human beings. In this paper, we discuss whether companion robots should be permitted to “nudge” their human users in the direction of being “more ethical”. More specifically, we use Rawlsian principles of justice to illustrate how robots might nurture “socially just” tendencies in their human counterparts. Designing technological artifacts in such a (...) way to influence human behavior is already well-established but merely because the practice is commonplace does not necessarily resolve the ethical issues associated with its implementation. (shrink)
Many philosophers believe that there is a fundamental distinction between knowing that something is the case and knowing how to do something. According to Gilbert Ryle, to whom the insight is credited, knowledge-how is an ability, which is in turn a complex of dispositions. Knowledge-that, on the other hand, is not an ability, or anything similar. Rather, knowledge-that is a relation between a thinker and a true proposition.
"Ask two religious people one question, and you'll get three answers!" Why do religious people believe what they shouldn't--not what others think they shouldn't believe, but things that don't accord with their own avowed religious beliefs? This engaging book explores this puzzling feature of human behavior. D. Jason Slone terms this phenomenon "theological incorrectness." He demonstrates that it exists because the mind is built it such a way that it's natural for us to think divergent thoughts simultaneously. Human minds (...) are great at coming up with innovative ideas that help them make sense of the world, he says, but those ideas do not always jibe with official religious beliefs. From this fact we derive the important lesson that what we learn from our environment--religious ideas, for example--does not necessarily cause us to behave in ways consistent with that knowledge. Slone presents the latest discoveries from the cognitive science of religion and shows how they help us to understand exactly why it is that religious people do and think things that they shouldn't. He then applies these insights to three case studies. First he looks at why Theravada Buddhists profess that Buddha was just a man but actually worship him as a god. Then he explores why the early Puritan Calvinists, who believed in predestination, acted instead as if humans had free will by, for example, conducting witch-hunts and seeking converts. Finally, he explains why both Christians and Buddhists believe in luck even though the doctrines of Divine Providence and karma suggest there's no such thing. In seeking answers to profound questions about why people behave the way they do, this fascinating book sheds new light on the workings of the human mind and on the complex relationship between cognition and culture. (shrink)
Ontological nihilism is the radical-sounding thesis that there is nothing at all. This chapter first discusses how the most plausible forms of this thesis aim to be slightly less radical than they sound and what they will have to do in order to succeed in their less radical ambitions. In particular, they will have to paraphrase sentences of best science into ontologically innocent counterparts. The chapter then points out the defects in two less plausible strategies, before going on to argue (...) that strategies that look more promising, including one based on Quine's predicate-functor language, face the same defects. (shrink)
Greek and Roman Philosophy After Aristotle brings together over twenty-five of the most important works of Western philosophy written from 322 B.C.E. — the death of Aristotle — to the close of the third century C.E. Eminent philosopher Jason Saunder's choices for this concise volume emphasize the range and significance of the leading philosophers of the Hellenistic Age. Supplemented by Dr. Saunder's enlightening introduction, descriptive notes, and extensive bibliography, these readings provide an essential introduction for students and general readers (...) alike to the enormous influence of Greek philosophy on the formative years of Christianity as well as the early Christians' distrust of it. Published initially in 1966 as part of The Free Press paperback series Readings in the History of Philosophy, this affordable volume introduces Lucretius, Epicurus, Epictetus and Stoicism, Sextus Empiricus, Lucian, Philo of Alexanderia, and Plotinus, as well as seminal figures from early Christian thought, including St. Paul and Clement of Alexandria. JASON L. SAUNDERS held positions in philosophy at the University of California at San Diego, and at The City College of New York. Dr. Saunders was the author of The History and Philosophy of Ancient and Renaissance Stoicism, Greek and Latin Philosophy of Aristotle, Philosophy of Neo Stoicism, and Justus Lipsius: The Philosopher of Renaissance Stoicism. [Back cover text from 1994 reprint.]. (shrink)
If the physical constants, initial conditions, or laws of nature in our universe had been even slightly different, then the evolution of life would have been impossible. This observation has led many philosophers and scientists to ask the natural next question: why is our universe so "fine-tuned" for life? The debates around this question are wide-ranging, multi-disciplinary, complicated, technical, and heated. This study is a comprehensive investigation of these debates and the many metaphysical and epistemological questions raised by cosmological fine-tuning. (...) Waller's study reaches two significant and controversial conclusions. First, he concludes that the criticisms directed at the "multiverse hypothesis" by theists and at the "theistic hypothesis" by naturalists are largely unsuccessful. Neither of these options can plausibly be excluded. Choosing between them seems to turn on primitive metaphysical intuitions. Second, in order to break the philosophical deadlock, Waller moves the debate from the level of universes to the level of possible worlds. Arguing that possible worlds are also "fine-tuned" in an important and interesting sense, Waller concludes that the only plausible explanation for the fine-tuning of the actual world is to posit the existence of some kind of "God-like-thing.". (shrink)
With its focus on intellectual virtues and their role in the acquisition and transmission of knowledge and related epistemic goods, virtue epistemology provides a rich set of tools for educational theory and practice. In particular, characteristics under the rubric of "responsibilist" virtue epistemology, like curiosity, open-mindedness, attentiveness, intellectual courage, and intellectual tenacity, can help educators and students define and attain certain worthy but nebulous educational goals like a love of learning, lifelong learning, and critical thinking. This volume is devoted to (...) exploring the intersection between virtue epistemology and education. It assembles leading virtue epistemologists and philosophers of education to address such questions as: Which virtues are most essential to education? How exactly should these virtues be understood? How is the goal of intellectual character growth related to other educational goals, for example, to critical thinking and knowledge-acquisition? What are the "best practices" for achieving this goal? Can growth in intellectual virtues be measured? The chapters are a prime example of "applied epistemology" and promise to be a seminal contribution to an area of research that is rapidly gaining attention within epistemology and beyond. (shrink)
Most economists believe capitalism is a compromise with selfish human nature. As Adam Smith put it, "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest." Capitalism works better than socialism, according to this thinking, only because we are not kind and generous enough to make socialism work. If we were saints, we would be socialists. In Why Not Capitalism ?, Jason Brennan (...) attacks this widely held belief, arguing that capitalism would remain the best system even if we were morally perfect. Even in an ideal world, private property and free markets would be the best way to promote mutual cooperation, social justice, harmony, and prosperity. Socialists seek to capture the moral high ground by showing that ideal socialism is morally superior to realistic capitalism. But, Brennan responds, ideal capitalism is superior to ideal socialism, and so capitalism beats socialism at every level. Clearly, engagingly, and at times provocatively written, Why Not Capitalism? will cause readers of all political persuasions to re-evaluate where they stand vis-à-vis economic priorities and systems—as they exist now and as they might be improved in the future. (shrink)
How is technology changing the way people remember? This book explores the interplay of memory stored in the brain and outside of the brain, providing a thorough interdisciplinary review of the current literature, including relevant theoretical frameworks from across a variety of disciplines in the sciences, arts, and humanities. It also presents the findings of a rich and novel empirical data set, based on a comprehensive survey on the shifting interplay of internal and external memory in the 21st century. Results (...) reveal a growing symbiosis between the two forms of memory in our everyday lives. The book presents a new theoretical framework for understanding the interplay of internal and external memory, and their complementary strengths. It concludes with a guide to important dimensions, questions, and methods for future research. Memory and Technology will be of interest to researchers, professors, and students across the disciplines of psychology, philosophy, library and information science, human factors, media and cultural studies, anthropology and archaeology, photography, and cognitive rehabilitation, as well as anyone interested in how technology is affecting human memory. _____ "This is a novel book, with interesting and valuable data on an important, meaningful topic, as well as a gathering of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary ideas...The research is accurately represented and inclusive. As a teaching tool, I can envision graduate seminars in different disciplines drawing on the material as the basis for teaching and discussions." Dr. Linda A. Henkel, Fairfield University "This book documents the achievements of a vibrant scientific project – you feel the enthusiasm of the authors for their research. The organization of the manuscript introduces the reader into a comparatively new field the same way as pioneering authors have approached it." Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schönpflug, Freie Universität Berlin. (shrink)
This chapter seeks clarification into how Marion understands “desire,” especially in The Erotic Phenomenon. Philosophies of “objectivity” have lost sight of love and its uniquely supporting evidences, and desire plays a number of roles in restoring to love the “dignity of a concept,” in its contribution to forming selfhood and “individualization,” and in its establishing the paradoxical bases of the erotic reduction and “eroticization.” Since he claims in La Rigueur des Choses that “The Erotic Phenomenon logically completes the phenomenology of (...) the gift and the saturated phenomenon,” it is necessary to conceive of how and to what degree. The erotic reduction demands that one bracket oneself and return to the Ursprung of intuition by asking the important question “can I be the first to love?” This chapter initiates an application of these findings on the manifold of desire back onto Marion’s understanding of “the gift” and his phenomenology of givenness. How might the erotic reduction and the reduction to givenness interrelate? Might love and desire be modes or “capacities” of alteration of one’s experience within intuition? Desire, which is conceived in relation to “lack” as a resource, provides a kind of “negative assurance” that allows the adonné to access an affirmation of love. (shrink)
Every step forward, in life and in thought, is a return to a beginning in that it empties that much more the plan by which the journey is directed. The journey that began this work was with the recondite lore of aphasia. This early work led to a psychology of language, perception, action, and feeling based on the principle of microgenesis. This psychology and its corre sponding brain process are detailed in my book, Life of the Mind, a vade mecum (...) for the ideas that are developed further in this work. Now this psychology, a single thought exposed at progressively deeper levels, is extended to the problems of time awareness, consciousness and the nature of the self. It is astonishing, is it not, that an aphasic error, a slip of the tongue, can be a peephole on some of the ultimate mysteries of life? Over the last few years I have had the occasion to present portions of this work at various conferences and to different audiences, and have found, to my dismay, that the theory is often difficult for many to grasp. (shrink)
Incompatibilists believe free will is impossible if determinism is true, and they often claim that this view is supported by ordinary intuitions. We challenge the claim that incompatibilism is intuitive to most laypersons and discuss the significance of this challenge to the free will debate. After explaining why incompatibilists should want their view to accord with pre theoretical intuitions. we suggest that determining whether incompatibilism is infact intuitive calls for empirical testing. We then present the results of our studies, which (...) put significant pressure on the claim that incompatibilism is intuitive. Finally, we consider and respond to several potential objections to our approach. (shrink)
In many democracies, voter turnout is low and getting lower. If the people choose not to govern themselves, should they be forced to do so? For Jason Brennan, compulsory voting is unjust and a petty violation of citizens' liberty. The median non-voter is less informed and rational, as well as more biased, than the median voter. According to Lisa Hill, compulsory voting is a reasonable imposition on personal liberty. Hill points to the discernible benefits of compulsory voting and argues (...) that high turnout elections are more democratically legitimate. The authors - both well-known for their work on voting and civic engagement - debate questions such as: • Do citizens have a duty to vote, and is it an enforceable duty? • Does compulsory voting violate citizens' liberty? If so, is this sufficient grounds to oppose it? Or is it a justifiable violation? Might it instead promote liberty on the whole? • Is low turnout a problem or a blessing? (shrink)
Amanda Porterfield documents the claim that for Puritan men and women alike the ideals of selfhood were conveyed by female images. Constructed largely by men, Porterfield argues, these female images taught self-control, shaped pious ideals, and also established the standards against which the moral character of actual women was measured. Porterfield's work reflects a synthesis of literary critical and historical methods, combining analysis of Puritan theological writings with detailed examinations of historical records of changing patterns of church (...) membership and domestic life. (shrink)
Ontological Pluralism is the view that there are different modes, ways, or kinds of being. In this paper, I characterize the view more fully (drawing on some recent work by Kris McDaniel) and then defend the view against a number of arguments. (All of the arguments I can think of against it, anyway.).
Historically, philosophers of biology have tended to sidestep the problem of development by focusing primarily on evolutionary biology and, more recently, on molecular biology and genetics. Quite often too, development has been misunderstood as simply, or even primarily, a matter of gene activation and regulation. Nowadays a growing number of philosophers of science are focusing their analyses on the complexities of development, and in Embryology, Epigenesis and Evolution Jason Scott Robert explores the nature of development against current trends in (...) biological theory and practice and looks at the interrelations between development and evolution , an area of resurgent biological interest. Clearly written, this book should be of interest to students and professionals in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of biology. (shrink)
Politics, Philosophy & Economics, Ahead of Print. Recent debates over ideal theory have reinvigorated interest in the question of anarchy. Would a perfectly just society need—or even permit—a state? Ideal anarchists such as Jason Brennan, G.A. Cohen, Christopher Freiman, and Jacob Levy argue that strict compliance with justice obviates the need for a state. Ideal statists such as David Estlund, Gregory Kavka, and John Rawls think that coercive political institutions serve indispensable functions even in ideal conditions. This paper defends (...) ideal anarchism. Our argument begins by describing a camping trip inspired by Cohen that illustrates why an anarchist form of cooperation is more intrinsically desirable than the statist alternative. After detailing Rawls's ideal theory and Estlund's “nonconcessive” moral theory, we argue—contrary to Rawls, Estlund, and Kavka—that large-scale societies without moral imperfection do not need a state. (shrink)