G. E. Moore's ‘A Defence of Common Sense’ has generated the kind of interest and contrariety which often accompany what is new, provocative, and even important in philosophy. Moore himself reportedly agreed with Wittgenstein's estimate that this was his best article, while C. D. Broad has lamented its very great but largely unfortunate influence. Although the essay inspired Wittgenstein to explore the basis of Moore's claim to know many propositions of common sense to be true, A. J. Ayer judges its (...) enduring value to lie in provoking a more sophisticated conception of the very type of metaphysics which disputes any such unqualified claim of certainty. (shrink)
The basis of this collection of essays is the reading of a common topic from different perspectives. The contributors compare and contrast not only positions, but also methods of learning. They examine theories of just war in diverse cultural contexts and their disciplinary settings.
I shall be dealing, throughout this book, with a set of related problems: the relationship between morality and reasoning in general, the way in which moral reasoning is properly to be carried on, and why morality is not arbitrary. The solutions to these problems come out of the same train of argument. Morality is not arbitrary, I shall argue, because the acceptance of certain qualities of character as virtues and the rejection of others as vices is forced on us by (...) the co-operative basis of human life. The co-operation in human life is unavoidable; the alternative is a literal Hobbesian state of nature, and that is impossible. It is not that co-operation between people is a good thing or even a very good thing; it is simply unavoidable in human life, and it is impossible unless the qualities of character counted as virtues are encouraged and are at least fairly common. The possibility of human life presupposes a theory of human nature, and working out that theory of human nature is the main job of moral philosophy. These virtues or qualities of character or attitudes lead us towards a theory of reasons. A person with a sense of justice is a person inclined to accept certain sorts of facts as reasons for acting, and if the virtues are presupposed by human life then the acceptance of those sorts of facts as reasons for acting is presupposed by human life. A condition of the life of reasoning beings (a more accurate term here than 'human beings') is that moral reasons are reasons for acting and are at the very basis of reasoning. And from this it follows that properly conducted moral reasoning is ultimately guided by the virtues rather than ultimately guided by a set of rules. (shrink)
This book is a timely new interpretation of the moral and political philosophy of Thomas Hobbes. Staying close to Hobbes's text and working from a careful examination of the actual substance of the account of natural law, R.E. Ewin argues that Hobbes well understood the importance of moral behavior to civilized society. This interpretation stands as a much-needed corrective to readings of Hobbes that emphasize the rationally calculated, self-interested nature of human behavior. It poses a significant challenge to currently fashionable (...) game theoretic reconstructions of Hobbesian logic. It is generally agreed that Hobbes applied what he took to be a geometrical method to political theory. But, as Ewin forcefully argues, modern readers have misconstrued Hobbes's geometric method, and this has led to a series of misunderstandings of Hobbes's view of the relationship between politics and morality. Important implications of Ewin's reading are that Hobbes never thought that "the war of each against all" was an empirical possibility for citizens; that his political theory actually presupposes moral agency; and that Hobbes's account of natural law forces us to the conclusion that Hobbes was a virtue theorist. This major contribution to Hobbes studies will be praised and criticized, welcomed and challenged, but it cannot be ignored. All philosophers, political theorists, and historians of ideas dealing with Hobbes will need to take account of it. (shrink)
R. E. Allen's superb new translation of Plato's Symposium brings this classic text to life for modern readers. Allen supplements his translation with a commentary that not only enriches our understanding of Plato's philosophy and the world of Greek antiquity but also provides insights into present-day philosophical concerns. Allen reveals the unity of Plato's intentions in the Symposium, explores the dialogue's major themes, and links them with Plato's other dialogues. His wide-ranging commentary includes discussions of Greek religious, social, and sexual (...) practices, the conceptual connections between the Symposium and Freud, the influence of the Symposium on later writers, and recent scholarship on the dialogue. Allen's primary focus is philosophical, however, and he succeeds in explicating the doctrine of Eros in Plato's Symposium so that the reader can see how wish and desire relate to Plato's moral philosophy, epistemology, and metaphysics. (shrink)
Christian Democracy, which may briefly be defined as organised political action by Catholic democrats, has been a major political force in Western Europe since the Second World War, not least in France. The aim of this book, first published in 1973, is to trace the Development of Christian Democracy in France from its origins in the 1830s to the present day, discussing its theories and its importance in French history and politics, with particular reference to the Fourth Republic when the (...) MRP was one of the key centre parties. Dr Irving provides a thorough analysis of MRP, its economic, foreign and colonial policies, and gives reasons for the relative decline of French Christian Democracy in the 1960s. This French movement has been little understood in Britain and a throrough history has been badly needed. This study will be valuable to all those who, in the context of a United Europe, wish to understand the political forces at work at its conception. It will be valuable especially to students of modern history and politics. (shrink)
The thesis of this article is that there has never been any ground for the controversy between the doctrine of free will and determinism, that it is based upon a misapprehension, that the two assertions are entirely consistent, that one of them strictly implies the other, that they have been opposed only because of our natural want of the analytical imagination. In so saying I do not tamper with the meaning of either phrase. That would be unpardonable. I mean free (...) will in the natural and usual sense, in the fullest, the most absolute sense in which for the purposes of the personal and moral life the term is ever employed. I mean it as implying responsibility, merit and demerit, guilt and desert. I mean it as implying, after an act has been performed, that one " could have done otherwise " than one did. I mean it as conveying these things also, not in any subtly modified sense but in exactly the sense in which we conceive them in life and in law and in ethics. These two doctrines have been opposed because we have not realised that free will can be analysed without being destroyed, and that determinism is merely a feature of the analysis of it. And if we are tempted to take refuge in the thought of an "ultimate ", an "innermost" liberty that eludes the analysis, then we have implied a deterministic basis and constitution for this liberty as well. For such a basis and constitution lie in the idea of liberty. -/- The thesis is not, like that of Green or Bradley, that the contending opinions are reconciled if we adopt a certain metaphysic of the ego, as that it is timeless, and identifies itself with a desire by a " timeless act". This is to say that the two are irreconcilable, as they are popularly supposed to be, except by a theory that delivers us from the conflict by taking us out of time. Our view on the contrary is that from the natural and temporal point of view itself there never was any need of a reconciliation but only of a comprehension of the meaning of terms. (The metaphysical nature of the self and its identity through time is a problem for all who confront memory, anticipation, etc.; it has no peculiar difficulties arising from the present problem.) -/- I am not maintaining that determinism is true; only that it is true insofar as we have free will. That we are free in willing is, broadly speaking, a fact of experience. That broad fact is more assured than any philosophical analysis. It is therefore surer than the deterministic analysis of it, entirely adequate as that in the end appears to be. But it is not here affirmed that there are no small exceptions, no slight undetermined swervings, no ingredient of absolute chance. All that is here said is that such absence of determination, if and so far as it exists, is no gain to freedom, but sheer loss of it; no advantage to the moral life, but blank subtraction from it. -- When I speak below of "the indeterminist" I mean the libertarian indeterminist, that is, him who believes in free will and holds that it involves indetermination. (shrink)
This study represents an improvement in the ethics scales inventory published in a 1988 Journal of Business Ethics article. The article presents the distillation and validation process whereby the original 33 item inventory was reduced to eight items. These eight items comprise the following ethical dimensions: a moral equity dimension, a relativism dimension, and a contractualism dimension. The multidimensional ethics scale demonstrates significant predictive ability.
There are many problems about business ethics. What I want to deal with is only part of the problem: I want to consider just what can properly be expected of business in general terms by way of ethical behaviour and, along with that, what is special about business ethics and how it is related to the personal morality we are all expected to exhibit in our day-to-day lives; I want to consider how it is that ethical confusions arise from people's (...) mistaking the relationship between personal morality and business ethics; and I want to consider what can be done by way of education in business ethics to raise the standards and just what role philosophical ethics can play in that. (shrink)
Death, violent or otherwise, is a matter of widespread concern with ongoing debates about such matters as euthanasia and the nature of brain death. Philosophers have often argued about the rationality of fear of death. This book argues that that dispute has been misconceived: fear of death is not something that follows or fails to follow from reason, but rather, it forms the basis of reasoning and helps to show why people must be cooperating beings who accept certain sorts of (...) facts as reasons for acting. Within the context of this account of reasons, the book gives a new understanding of brain death and of physician-assisted suicide. (shrink)
"Remarkable how well Bouwsma understood Wittgenstein's approach to philosophical problems and how intelligently he was able to recount Wittgenstein's discussions. The bits about sensation are especially good. And the asides about the other philosophers--e.g. Dewey, Russell, Anscombe--are, while not frivolous, gossipy and titillating." --Riley Wallihan, Western Oregon University.
Corporate social responsibility is a recognised and common part of business activity. Some of the regularly cited motives behind CSR are employee morale, recruitment and retention, with employees acknowledged as a key organisational stakeholder. Despite the significance of employees in relation to CSR, relatively few studies have examined their engagement with CSR and the impediments relevant to this engagement. This exploratory case study-based research addresses this paucity of attention, drawing on one to one interviews and observation in a large UK (...) energy company. A diversity of engagement was found, ranging from employees who exhibited detachment from the CSR activities within the company, to those who were fully engaged with the CSR activities, and to others who were content with their own personal, but not organisational, engagement with CSR. A number of organisational context impediments, including poor communication, a perceived weak and low visibility of CSR culture, and lack of strategic alignment of CSR to business and personal objectives, served to explain this diversity of employee engagement. Social exchange theory is applied to help explore the volition that individual employees have towards their engagement with CSR activities, and to consider the implications of an implicit social, rather than explicit economic, contract between an organisation and its employees in their engagement with CSR. (shrink)
No one is excused from doing what he ought to do merely because he is unwilling to do it. But what if others are unwilling to play their necessary role in some joint venture that you all ought to undertake: might that excuse you from doing what you yourself ought to do as part of that? It would, if you were genuinely willing to play your necessary part if they were. But the unwillingness of everyone involved cannot reciprocally serve to (...) excuse one another from doing what they ought to do. (shrink)
This essay explores the role of informal logicand its application in the context of currentdebates regarding evidence-based medicine. This aim is achieved through a discussion ofthe goals and objectives of evidence-basedmedicine and a review of the criticisms raisedagainst evidence-based medicine. Thecontributions to informal logic by StephenToulmin and Douglas Walton are explicated andtheir relevance for evidence-based medicine isdiscussed in relation to a common clinicalscenario: hypertension management. This essayconcludes with a discussion on the relationshipbetween clinical reasoning, rationality, andevidence. It is argued that (...) informal logic hasthe virtue of bringing explicitness to the roleof evidence in clinical reasoning, and bringssensitivity to understanding the role ofdialogical context in the need for evidence inclinical decision making. (shrink)