This book is a major intellectual and cultural history of intolerance and toleration in early modern and early Enlightenment Europe. John Marshall offers an extensive study of late seventeenth-century practices of religious intolerance and toleration in England, Ireland, France, Piedmont and the Netherlands and the arguments that John Locke and his associates made in defence of 'universal religious toleration'. He analyses early modern and early Enlightenment discussions of toleration, debates over toleration for Jews and Muslims as well as for Christians, (...) the limits of toleration for the intolerant, atheists, 'libertines' and 'sodomites', and the complex relationships between intolerance and resistance theories including Locke's own Treatises. This study is a significant contribution to the history of the 'republic of letters' of the 1680s and the development of early Enlightenment culture and is essential reading for scholars of early modern European history, religion, political science and philosophy. (shrink)
We describe some of the signs and symptoms of left visuo-spatial neglect. This common, severe and often long-lasting impairment is the most striking consequence of right hemisphere brain damage. Patients seem to (over-)attend to the right with subsequent inability to respond to stimuli in contralesional space. We draw particular attention to how patients themselves experience neglect. Furthermore, we show that the neglect patient's loss of awareness of left space is crucial to an understanding of the condition. Even after left space (...) has been brought into the patient's consciousness (either by local cueing on the left or by an emphasis on global properties of the scene as a whole), this awareness of left space rapidly declines. We suggest that much of the symptomology of left neglect can be interpreted as a disconnection between brain mechanisms that are relatively specialized for local (detail) visual processing and global (panoramic) processing. This failure of communication between functional (subpersonal) mechanisms then has consequences for how perceptual and representational content enters into awareness. Failure of the local contents of left space to be consciously accessed is, in turn, an important aspect of why left neglect is so difficult to remediate. Patients can ''know'' that they have neglect but are cut off from the perceptual awareness that would enable them to overcome their attentional bias to the right. (shrink)
Janowski reads Descartess Meditations as theodicy. He claims that underlying Descartess more explicit epistemological and metaphysical aims is a deeper concern to explain how human error and sin can be made compatible with divine goodness and omnipotence. Accordingly, and despite Descartess disclaimer that he is no theologian, Janowski sees Descartes as taking sidesthe Augustinian sidein one of the most contentious theological disputes of the period. The point of his study, he writes, is to show how Descartes philosophy derived from the (...) early seventeenth-century debates over divine and human freedom, and to what extent those debates influenced Descartess epistemological considerations. (shrink)
Typically, egoism is formulated as the thesis that each of us ought to perform some action if and only if our so doing would maximize our own self-interest. This formulation is not unambiguous, however. We might interpret it as a Kantian assertoric hypothetical imperative. Perhaps some defenders of egoism have conceived their view in just this way. So understood, however, egoism fails at once to be very controversial or very interesting. Egoism as I understand it is the view that each (...) of us ought to make our own happiness our sole, ultimate aim. It is evident that this "ought" is not that of a hypothetical imperative. In this paper I argue that rational egoism cannot be formulated in a way that is both consistent and egoistic. (shrink)
In this important study Nicholas Wolterstorff interprets and discusses the ethics of belief which Locke developed in the latter part of Book IV of his "Essay Concerning Human Understanding." After lengthy discussion on the origin of ideas, the nature of language, and the nature of knowledge, Locke got around to arguing what he indicated in the opening Epistle to the Reader to be his overarching aim: how we ought to govern our belief, especially (though by no means only) on matters (...) of religion and morality. Professor Wolterstorff shows that what above all placed this topic on Locke's agenda was the collapse, in his day, of a once-unified moral and religious tradition in Europe into warring factions. Locke's epistemology was thus a culturally and socially engaged one; it was his response to the cultural crisis of his day. Convinced also that of genuine knowledge we human beings have very little, Locke argued that instead of following tradition we ought to turn "to the things themselves" and let "Reason be your guide." This view of Locke, in which centrality is given to the last book of the "Essay," invites an interpretation of the origins of modern philosophy different from most of the current ones. Accordingly, after discussing Hume's powerful attack on Locke's recommended practice, Wolterstorff argues for Locke's originality and discusses his contribution to the modernity of post-sixteenth-century philosophy. (shrink)
More modest than the title would suggest, the aim of this book is not to refute consequentialism, but to identify a rationale for familiar anti-consequentialist intuitions and to motivate a novel moral conception, a hybrid, intermediate between consequentialism and deontology. The basis of this rationale is the fact that persons are naturally independent and distinct; the rationale itself is that this independence is directly significant for morality.
In J. B. Schneewind's The Invention of Autonomy we are given a monumental history of moral philosophy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a history more comprehensive and richer in detail than one would have thought possible in a single volume. Though the daunting erudition, agreeably unobtrusive, inspires confidence, it is Schneewind's gift of narrative that makes his book such a pleasure and his story so compelling. Schneewind originally conceived the book, he tells us, to "broaden our historical comprehension of (...) Kant's moral philosophy by relating it to the earlier work to which it was a response", but he does much, much more as he charts the fitful transition from morality as obedience to the later and now widely accepted conception of morality as self-governance. In its broad outline, the story is familiar, beginning with Montaigne's skepticism, moving through modern natural law theory, rationalist, perfectionist, and moral sense responses and ending with Bentham and Kant. But Schneewind adds to acute and deeply informed discussions of Hobbes, Locke, Clarke, Hume, and Kant, clear, often arresting summaries, in varying degrees of detail, of Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Machiavelli, Suarez, Charron, Grotius, Cumberland, Pufendorf, Thomasius, DuVair, Justus Lipsius, Herbert of Cherbury, Descartes, Gassendi, Whichcote, John Smith, More, Cudworth, Spinoza, Leibniz, Barbeyrac, Malebranche, Nicole, Bayle, Harrington, Shaftesbury, Mandeville, Butler, Price, Adam Smith, Reid, Paley, Hartley, Helvetius, d'Holbach, Bentham, de Sade, Wolff, Crusius, Voltaire, La Mettrie, Diderot, Rousseau, and others. If, as no doubt they will, some readers will fault some of Schneewind's interpretations, none will fail to admire his achievement in ferreting out and combining in such a fascinating narrative the leading ideas of this host of thinkers. It is safe to predict, moreover, that this study will inspire others to explore some of these less-read authors and to produce more fine-grained monographs, and further to deepen our understanding of the period and of the way we have come to think of ourselves. (shrink)