In choosing between moral alternatives -- choosing between various forms of ethical action -- we typically make calculations of the following kind: A is better than B; B is better than C; therefore A is better than C. These inferences use the principle of transitivity and are fundamental to many forms of practical and theoretical theorizing, not just in moral and ethical theory but in economics. Indeed they are so common as to be almost invisible. What Larry Temkin's book (...) shows is that, shockingly, if we want to continue making plausible judgments, we cannot continue to make these assumptions. Temkin shows that we are committed to various moral ideals that are, surprisingly, fundamentally incompatible with the idea that "better than" can be transitive. His book develops many examples where value judgments that we accept and find attractive, are incompatible with transitivity. While this might seem to leave two options -- reject transitivity, or reject some of our normative commitments in order to keep it -- Temkin is neutral on which path to follow, only making the case that a choice is necessary, and that the cost either way will be high. Temkin's book is a very original and deeply unsettling work of skeptical philosophy that mounts an important new challenge to contemporary ethics. (shrink)
Many philosophers have discussed problems of additive aggregation across lives. In this article, I suggest that anti-additive aggregationist principles sometimes apply within lives, as well as between lives, and hence that we should reject a widely accepted conception of individual self-interest. The article has eight sections. Section I is introductory. Section II offers a general account of aggregation. Section III presents two examples of problems of additive aggregation across lives: Derek Parfit's Repugnant Conclusion, and my Lollipops for Life Case Section (...) IV suggests that many may have misdiagnosed the source and scope of anti-additive aggregationist considerations, due to the influence of Rawls's and Nozick's claims about the separateness of individuals. Accordingly, many leave Sidgwick's conception of self-interest—which incorporates an additive aggregationist approach to valuing individual lives—unchallenged. Section V suggests that the separateness of individuals may have led some to conflate the issues of compensation and moral balancing. Section VI argues that an additive aggregationist approach is often deeply implausible for determining the overall value of a life. Section VII discusses a Single Life Repugnant Conclusion, first considered by McTaggart. Section VIII concludes with a summary, and a brief indication of work remaining. (shrink)
My purpose in what follows is not so much to defend the basic principle of utilitarianism as to indicate the form of it which seems most promising as a basic moral and political position. I shall take the principle of utility as offering a criterion for two different sorts of evaluation: first, the merits of acts of government, social policies, and social institutions, and secondly, the ultimate moral evaluation of the actions of individuals. I do not take it as implying (...) that the individual should live his life on the basis of constant evaluations of this sort. For there are different levels of decision making each with its appropriate criteria. For example, we each inevitably make many of our decisions from the point of view of our own personal self-fulfilment and this cannot regularly take a directly utilitarian form, nor should the utilitarian want it to do so. His claim is at most that we should sometimes review our life from the point of view of a kind of impersonal moral truth of a universalistic utilitarian character. (shrink)
Can a society be just if it ignores the plight of other societies? Does it matter whether those societies are contemporaries? Moral “purists” are likely to assume that the answer to these questions must be “no.” Relying on familiar claims about impartiality or universalizability, the purist is likely to assert that the dictates of justice have no bounds, that they extend with equal strength across space and time. On this view, if, for example, justice requires us to maximize the expectations (...) of the worst-off group in our society, it also requires us to maximize the expectations of the worst-off group in any society, at any time, so far as it is in our power to do so. Is such a position plausible? Is it more plausible than alternative positions? I am unsure about the answers to these questions, but both the questions, and the answers, are important. Clearly, the nature and extent of a just society's obligations will vary markedly depending on the scope of the correct principles of justice. (shrink)
It would be pleasant to start with a paradox. Santayana was an American philosopher, but he was not an American, and he was not a philosopher. The first of these two qualifying propositions is legally true, the second is a glaring, but sometimes asserted, falsehood.
Can philosophy offer reasonable grounds for the existence of a God possessing genuine religious significance and not proposed simply as the solution to a purely intellectual philosophical problem? Certainly many contemporary thinkers have insisted that no genuine religion could be based upon metaphysics. In this book, however, T. L. S. Sprigge examines sympathetically the most notable metaphysical systems of the last four centuries which purport to put religion on a rational footing and, after a thorough examination of their claims, considers (...) what kind of religious outlook they might support and how they actually affected the lives of their proponents. The thinkers studied include Spinoza, Hegel, T. H. Green, Bernard Bosanquet, Josiah Royce, A. N. Whitehead, and Charles Hartshorne, concluding with an exposition of the author's own viewpoint and a general discussion on the relation between metaphysics and religion. There is also a chapter on Kierkegaard as the most important critic of metaphysical religion. (shrink)
Despite their enduring importance, the theoretical systems of James and Bradley are often badly misunderstood. Professor Sprigge freshly expounds and clarifies their arguments, demonstrating that it is wrong to think of James's pragmatism and Bradley's monistic idealism as opposite extremes. Their positions in fact display an intriguing mixture of affinities and contrasts.
The relationship between Bentham's ‘enunciative principle’ and his ‘censorial principle’ is famously problematic. The problem's solution is that each person has an overwhelming interest in living in a community in which they, like others, are liable to punishment for behaviour condemned by the censorial principle either by the institutions of the state or by the tribunal of public opinion. The senses in which Bentham did and did not think everyone selfish are examined, and a less problematic form of psychological hedonism (...) than Bentham's is proposed. (shrink)
As the editor noted in the last number Freddie Ayer, or Professor Sir Alfred Ayer, played a considerable part in launching the vast enterprise of the Bentham edition. It is fitting, therefore, that something be said in Utilitas about his achievement as a philosopher and the extent to which he falls within the same broad empiricist and utilitarian tradition to which Bentham and J. S. Mill belonged.
Utilitarian ethics and metaphysical idealism, especially of a Bradleyan sort, are not usually thought of as natural allies. Yet when one considers that it is a crucial part of utilitarian doctrine that the only genuine value is experienced value and almost the definition of idealism that for it the only genuine reality is experienced reality one should surely suspect that the two views have a certain affinity. The essential impulse behind utilitarianism is the sense that the only criterion of something (...) really being intrinsically good is that it feels good. To the ordinary man to say that something feels good is much the same as saying that it is a pleasure, so that for him it is a small step from identifying good with what feels good to identifying it with pleasure. It suggests itself, then, that the utilitarian is essentially one who thinks that, so far as the good goes, esse ispercipi. In that case the utilitarian is an idealist about value. It does not follow that he should be an idealist about things in general, but it does suggest the converse, that the idealist about things in general might be expected to be a utilitarian in his ethics. (shrink)
In this book Larry Temkin examines the concepts of equality and inequality, and addresses one particular question in depth: how can we judge between different sorts of inequality? When is one inequality worse than another? Temkin shows that there are many different factors underlying and influencing our egalitarian judgments and that the notion of inequality is surprisingly complex. He looks at inequality as applied to individuals and to groups, and at the standard measures of inequality employed by economists (...) and others, and considers whether inequality matters more in a poor society than a rich one. The arguments of non-egalitarians are also examined. Temkin's book presents a new way of thinking about equality and inequality which challenges the assumptions of philosophers, welfare economists, and others concerned with these notions on a practical as well as a theoretical level. (shrink)
In this paper I shall speak sympathetically of a hedonistic theory of intrinsic value which, ignoring any other such theories, I shall simply call the hedonistic theory of value. How far I am finally committed to it will partly appear at the end.
Can moral judgements be true or false? Can rational methods be applied to ethics? In this landmark study, Sprigge gives an account of how philosophers have tackled these questions and puts forward his own theory on the matter.
In the postscript to The Varieties of Religious Experience William James distinguishes two types of belief in the supernatural, conceived as an essential component in religion, crass or piecemeal supernaturalism, on the one hand, and refined supernaturalism on the other.
There at least three ways of thinking about rationality: instrumental, substantive, and intentional. By far, the instrumental account is most influential. This essay proposes that intentional rationality can provide substantive accounts with room to breathe, and in a way that is facially distinct from instrumental accounts. I suggest that the intentionality of a judgment is made up of what it is about and the orientation through which it is judged, while irrationality is the subversion of a strict supporting connection between (...) the judgment and its corresponding set of coordinated attitudes (reasons). It follows that irrational intentionality is made up of episodic states where a judgment is subverted because of a misalignment between what it is about and the way the judge is oriented towards its contents. Four examples of irrational intentionality are considered: passivity towards ends, constitutive ignorance towards facts, delirious paranoia towards objects, and a disjunctive orientation towards categorizations. (shrink)
This work is intended as an introduction to the study of Soviet psy chology. In it we have tried to present the main lines of Soviet psycho logical theory, in particular, the philosophical principles on which that theory is founded. There are surprisingly few books in English on Soviet psychology, or, indeed, in any Western European language. The works that exist usually take the form of symposia or are collections of articles translated from Soviet periodicals. The most important of these (...) are Psychology in the Soviet Union (ed. by Brian Simon), Recent Soviet Psychology (ed. by Neil O'Connor) and Soviet Psychology, A Symposium (ed. by Ralf Winn). Raymond Bauer has also edited an interesting symposium entitled Some Views on Soviet Psychology. Only two systematic studies of Soviet psychology have been published to date: Joseph Wortis' Soviet Psychiatry and Raymond Bauer's The New Man in Soviet Psychology. Both are valuable introductions to Soviet psychology; Bauer's book, in particular, gives a good account of the debates on psychological theory in the Soviet Union in the nineteen twenties and -thirties. Both, however, are somewhat out of date. There are also a number of interesting articles written by Ivan D. London and Gregory Razran, which give general surveys of particular periods or aspects of Soviet psychology. These have been listed in the bibliography. (shrink)
The very idea of promulgation has been given little to no treatment in the philosophy of law. In this exploratory essay, I introduce three possible theories of promulgation: the ‘no-theory theory’ (which treats promulgation as a matter of particular contexts), the ‘conveyance theory’ (which treats promulgation as a function of intellectual good faith interpreters), and ‘agonistic theory’ (which treats promulgation as indistinguishable from propaganda). I suggest that (at least) three kinds of models are consistent with the theories, and can potentially (...) help us understand when law is successfully promulgated in particular legal contexts: the spread model, the chain model, and the memetic model. I end the paper by comparing the two theories with respect to a case study. Throughout I will show that the conveyance and agonistic theories have a serious advantage over the no-theory theory, in that they allow us to comparatively examine the epistemic weaknesses of diverse theories about the grounding of law on the basis of their contents. (shrink)
Temkin's book argues that equality is a complex and individualistic value. The critical notice suggests that equality is not as complex as Temkin takes it to be. It contends that Temkin's view does not rest the importance of equality on the moral claims of individuals. A view of equality that is based on individual claims might provide a better explanation of why equality matters even when a gain in quality does not benefit anyone.
This classic study of Santayana was the first book to appear in the _Arguments of the Philosophers_ series. Growing interest in the work of this important American philosopher has prompted this new edition of the book complete with a new preface by the author reassessing his own ideas about Santayana and reflecting the new interest in the philosopher's work. A select bibliography of works published about Santayana since the book's first appearance is also included.
Even a decade after the end of the 1914–1918 war, economic theory assumed that the world was tranquil and orderly. By 1939 an economic slump without parallel, allied to the re-emergence of military ambition in Europe, had brought economic theorists face to face with reality. In this classic book, first published in 1967, Professor Shackle provides a study, in exact and professional language, of the precise nature, structure, presuppositions, language and inter-relations of the theories which were formulated in these fourteen (...) years - unparalleled in the whole history of economics except perhaps by the years of the Physiocrats and Adam Smith. These theories are not prototypes on the way to something better but are of essential and permanent importance. (shrink)
Kasm does not offer any concept of proof which is regulative for all metaphysics, for he is convinced that each metaphysical approach requires its own proper logic and methodology. Within this pluralistic framework he seeks to discern the structure of formal truth as expressed in the concept of proof inherent in various metaphysical approaches.--L. S. F.
This first edition contains an elaborated version of Aristotle's Problemata Physica in Arabic translation by the famous ḥunain ibn Ishāq and in Hebrew translation by Moses ibn Tibbon, with an introduction and glossaries.
This book is short on pages but long on valuable content. Oates intends to refute the rather widespread contention that Plato "denied the worth of all the so-called fine arts" by an objective and historical study of the Ion, Republic, Greater Hippias, Phaedrus and Symposium. Since the author himself clearly summarizes his own thought frequently, we here need only present his final conclusion. Every human activity is valuable in direct proportion to its closeness to the domain of the ideas and, (...) specifically, the Idea of Beauty and Goodness. But artistic creation is a human activity. Therefore, it too must be oriented towards the Idea of Beauty. Thus, "the creative artist must be ‘philosophical'" and, since he comes close to Beauty through intuition, also "quasi-mystical", as were Aeschylus, Sophocles, Dante, Milton, Shakespeare, Michelangelo. So too was Plato himself, whose dialogues are philosophical dramas containing "a more explicit expression of a vision of reality and value than is to be found in epics or tragedies or lyrics". In Oates’ book the only flaws are minor: an occasional awkwardness of style, referral only to scholars prior to the mid-twentieth century, notes are placed at the end of chapters rather than at the bottom of the pages. Even so, the book is well worth having.—L.S. (shrink)
This excellent book consists of a translation of Plato's Euthyphro, plus "interspersed comment" intended "partly as a help to the Greekless reader in finding his way, and partly as a means of embedding the discussion of the earlier theory of Forms which follows it." That subsequent discussion is a series of sections aimed at establishing "that there is an earlier theory of Forms, found in the Euthyphro and other early dialogues as an essential adjunct of Socratic dialect" and that it (...) is not the same as the theory of Forms found in the Phaedo, Republic and other middle dialogues. In the Euthyphro Socrates' question of what holiness is assumes that there is a Form of holiness, "that this Form is a universal, the same in all holy things;... that that Form may be used as a standard, by which to judge what things are holy and what are not...; that it is an essence, by which or in virtue of which holy things are holy." As essences Forms are causes--formal, not efficient. They are "causes in the sense that they are that by which things are what they are. They therefore affect the career of the world, in that if they did not exist, the world would not be what it is." They "are not identical with their instances and [are] prior to their instances" and, hence, they are not in their instances. In fact, "Forms are as 'separate' from their instances in the early dialogues as they are" in the later ones. Do they not differ, then, from these latter Forms? Yes, because "of the way in which separation is conceived." In the Phaedo and other middle dialogues separation "involves something more than... nonidentity, independence, or priority. It involves the claim that instances of Forms are deficient imitations or resemblances of Forms.... To that theory was later conjoined, as a natural corollary, the theory that sensibles and Forms differ in their degree of reality, that Forms are more real than their instances." There are, in fact, "Two Worlds, Visible and Invisible.... The objects of the Visible World... are in a perpetually changing mortal realm, never the same with respect to each other or themselves. By contrast, Forms, the reality of whose existence we render an account in questioning and answering, exist always in the same way with respect to the same things, single in nature, alone by themselves, never in any way under any circumstances admitting alteration." This contrast between the Two Worlds is not drawn in the Euthyphro and earlier writings. Hence, between them and the middle dialogues there is a development in the theory of Forms. Of course, there also is "a unity to Plato's thought; but it is not the unity of a monument. It is the unity of growth and development, the unity of life." In these splendid pages one point remains unclear: how can a Form be universal and thus distinct from its instances and yet be their formal cause? Allen leaves no doubt that this is his position: "In Plato's early dialogues Forms are not the being of that of which they are Forms. A universal, being one, cannot constitute the being of a plurality--precisely why Aristotle was led to distinguish substantial form from universal. The Euthyphro does not imply that holiness is the being of any given holy thing or action as holy; it implies only that holiness is that by which holy things are holy. It implies, to borrow another bit of Aristotelian vocabulary, that holiness is a cause." But precisely in what way is a Form "that by which" something is what it is? Plato subsequently answers by distinguishing the Form itself, its character as participated by a particular thing, and the participant : the Form is that by which some thing is what it is through the participated character which the thing has. Is this answer implied in the Euthyphro? Or in what sense is a Form distinct from particular things? In what sense a formal cause? That puzzlement, though, is minor in the context of the entire book, which is valuable not only for the interpretation Allen gives of the early and middle dialogues but also for all sorts of unexpected bonuses. These are points either newly made or brilliantly reiterated--for example, the influence of Anaxagoras on Plato re the notion of essence and in philosophical vocabulary; Aristotle's abandonment of the contrast made in the Categories between primary and secondary substance; the crucial difference between genus/species in Aristotle and in Plato (enriched/impoverished; the analogy of a Platonic definition to mapping a field; the evaluation of Aristotle's interpretation of Plato's Forms, of his report on the "unwritten doctrines," of esoteric and exoteric teachings. This last culminates in a paragraph which all students of Plato should reflect upon constantly: "It is possible to treat Plato's text, not as evidence for something else, but as itself the primary object of historical understanding. The aim of the inquiry is then to interpret a set of literary documents, not to fathom the entertained beliefs of their author. It is reasonable, of course, to assume that the documents are a reliable index to the beliefs; but the connection, after all, is contingent, and as far as interpretation is concerned, unimportant. If Plato, in his heart of hearts, had been a nominalist, an atheist, a sceptic about immortality, and a hedonist, and had yet gone on to write the dialogues which he wrote for some obscure motive now unknown, this would not change the proper interpretation of what he wrote and privately disbelieved by one iota: when a man says what he does not believe, we may still perfectly well understand what it is he has said. The question, then, of whether Plato had beliefs he did not express, or beliefs contrary to what he did express, may be left to those with skill in the arts of divination; the historian may more reasonably limit himself to the study of texts and their meaning. If inquiry is construed in this way, it is self-referentially inconsistent to prefer the testimony of Aristotle to the evidence of Plato's text in the interpretation of Plato."--L. S. (shrink)
. This paper examines the association between long-term compensation and corporate social responsibility for 90 publicly traded Canadian firms. Social responsibility is considered to include concerns for social factors and the environment, 564-578; Kane, E. J., 341-359). Long-term compensation attempts to focus executives efforts on optimizing the longer term, which should direct their attention to factors traditionally associated with socially responsible executives. As hypothesized, we found a significant relationship between the long-term compensation and total CSR weakness as well as the (...) product/environmental weakness dimension of CSR. In addition, we found a marginally significant relationship between long-term compensation and total corporate responsibility. Our findings are that executives long-term compensation is associated with a firms environmental actions, and that firms that utilize long-term compensation are more likely to mitigate product/environment weaknesses than those that do not. Implications for practice and research are discussed. (shrink)
Originally published in 1988, this landmark study develops its own positive account of the nature and foundations of moral judgement, while at the same time serving as a guide to the range of views on the matter which have been given in modern western philosophy. The book addresses itself to two main questions: Can moral judgements be true or false in that fundamental sense in which a true proposition is one which describes things as they really are? Are rational methods (...) available in ethics which can be expected to produce convergence on shared moral views on the part of those who use them intelligently? (shrink)
Paperback reprint of a classic study first published forty years ago. Allen examines the practical dimensions of Paul's missionary activity and urges the contemporary relevance of these same methods.--L. S. F.
The period of the mid-1920s to the mid-1980s was a portentous period for Soviet psychology. As this period recedes into the past, the figure of L. S. Vygotskii rises more and more before us. Vygotskii died of tuberculosis when not quite 37 years old. He was a psychologist for only 10 years, and it was only in the last 6 of these that he did the work we now associate with his name. During those brief years Vygotskii wrote over 120 (...) works, including more than 10 large books. His was a short life — filled with inspired, indefatigable, and heroic work. A significant part of his written work has remained unpublished and indeed much of it remained unfinished. A seven-volume collection of Vygotskii's work is currently underway, and even this will not contain everything he wrote. The final volume of this collection will include his articles "The Sense of the Psychological Crisis" and "Spinoza's Theory of the Passions.". (shrink)
Despite Schelling’s recognized influence upon a wide spectrum of sciences and arts, only a small amount of his work has been translated into English. Earlier, Robert Brown’s The Later Schelling opened up a significant dimension to our understanding of Schelling. Now, with this first translation of The Deities of Somothrace, Brown has added substantially to the thin shelf of Schelling’s works now available to the English-language reader.
The article is dedicated to the problem of the crisis in traditional educational relations and to the development of progressive educational relations at the level of the philosophy of life and the pedagogy of common concerns. The connecting nature of the relationship between teachers and their pupils and the development of creative abilities of children in a social life is discussed. Thus the author’s conception of Doctor of Pedagogical Sciences Igor Petrovich Ivanov is brought out in the current article.
1 — 50 / 1000
Using PhilPapers from home?
Create an account to enable off-campus access through your institution's proxy server.
Monitor this page
Be alerted of all new items appearing on this page. Choose how you want to monitor it: