This is a brief study which emphasizes Jasper's relations with other philosophers, especially Kant. It approaches Jasper's own philosophy from a perilously theistic angle, seeing many parallels in Bradley and Whitehead. Jasper's continuity with, rather than his break from, the Western rationalist tradition in philosophy is abundantly documented.—E. S. C.
This is an exceptionally clear study of the time-theories of Bergson, St. Augustine, Heidegger, Buber, Schelling and Franz v. Baader, as well as an attempt to show the relationship between time, freedom and consciousness. Following Schelling and v. Baader, Kümmel views past, present and future as "powers" which only freeze into explicitly temporal dimensions upon reflection. Kümmel agrees with Heidegger that our attitude toward time is a revelation of our being-in-the-world, but he puts more emphasis on our relation to the (...) past than Heidegger ever did.—E. S. C. (shrink)
In The Case for Animal Rights, Tom Regan argues that although all subjects-of-a-life have equal inherent value, there are often differences in the value of lives. According to Regan, lives that have the highest value are lives which have more possible sources of satisfaction. Regan claims that the highest source of satisfaction, which is available to only rational beings, is the satisfaction associated with thinking impartially about moral choices. Since rational beings can bring impartial reasons to bear on decision making, (...) Regan maintains that they have an additional possible source of satisfaction that nonrational beings do not have and, consequently, the lives of rational beings turn out to have greater value.. (shrink)
Recent discussions in the just war literature suggest that soldiers have a duty to assume certain risks in order to protect the lives of all innocent civilians. I challenge this principle of risk by arguing that it is justified neither as a principle that guides the conduct of combat soldiers, nor as a principle that guides commanders in the US military. I demonstrate that the principle of risk fails on the first account because it requires soldiers both to violate their (...) strict duty of obedience and loyalty and to exceed their special obligations to protect their fellow comrades, the state, the state's constituents and other protected civilians. I then illustrate that the principle of risk fails on the second account since it conflicts with the commander's primary obligation to protect and promote the welfare and lives of his or her soldiers. I conclude by arguing that we cannot reasonably expect soldiers and commanders to adhere to the principle of risk until there is a radical, institutional-level transformation of militaristic goals, values, strategies, policies, warrior codes and expectations of service members in the US Armed Forces. (shrink)
A trenchantly-argued account of factors such as motives, desires, and volitions, as they enter into human action. Wittgensteinian in orientation and tone, the essay shows that such factors cannot be construed as private inner episodes or Humean causes, but only as logically connected with action in the interpersonal sphere. Thus the ordinary belief in free action which is also rational and moral is vindicated, though the question of precisely what kind of freedom is here involved is not explored.--E. S. C.
A blend of acute historical analysis with ethical theory. The themes of "approbativeness", self-esteem, and emulation are distinguished and shown to be a wellspring of seventeenth and eighteenth century political and ethical thought. Drawing most heavily on Hume and Adam Smith, Lovejoy develops these key ideas into a penetrating description of ethical phenomena.--E. S. C.
This collection of papers exhibits the various directions in which the problem of conformity and deviation is being approached by social psychology. Of interest to philosophers is the evidence offered of the still unresolved conflict between behavioristic and Gestalt explanations of human behavior-a conflict analogous to the current philosophical struggle between linguistic analysis and metaphysics. --E. S. C.
A richly perceptive and highly readable essay, which develops the thesis that the most successful approach to the history of art is the notion of a sequence of forms, beginning with a "prime work" and being extended through replications. This concise yet far-ranging book illustrates the effectiveness of the sequential form of analysis by its reference to a wide array of examples drawn mostly from the history of painting and architecture. Along the way, many insights are suggested concerning the nature (...) of history, time, change, and duration.--E. S. C. (shrink)
A clarification of ambiguities in the notion of free decision. Concentrating on ordinary English usage, Ofstad distinguishes six senses of free decision. One of these, freedom as power, is exhaustively treated. A skillful attempt is made to relate the analyses of free decision, which form the bulk of the book, to the concepts of duty, responsibility, and the author's own ethical position. One helpful appendix lists and indexes all propositions concerning freedom of decision as it is analysed throughout the book. (...) --E. S. C. (shrink)
This early study is a key work, along with several other preliminary essays, for understanding the genesis of Sartre's Being and Nothingness. Well translated and with an excellent introduction and notes, the book contains the critical thesis that former theories of the imagination confused perception with imagination, and that imagination was properly recognized first by Husserl and was subsequently further clarified by Sartre in his notion of the nihilating consciousness. --E. S. C.
An examination of Sartre's literary style through an analysis of events, things, thoughts, and persons as these are realized in the major novels and plays. Jameson shows that Sartre's literary activity is not a mere front for his philosophy but constitutes a serious effort at evolving techniques capable of rendering an aesthetic whole out of the elements of the radically dualistic Sartrian universe. Jameson's own style, unfortunately, is somewhat opaque. --E. S. C.
In this brilliant and baffling essay, Merleau-Ponty reaps a harvest of insights upon the basis of his previous penetrating studies of perception and language. Again we find massively argued denials of neat Cartesian distinctions, such as those supposed to hold between space, depth and color. Inspired by the author's intimate acquaintance with the modern art movement, and quoting frequently from its masters, the essay gives back to painting its own voice and autonomy. Much like the body itself, painting is held (...) to be our most direct and revealing access to the lived world—that is, to Being itself.—E. S. C. (shrink)
These commemorative papers on different aspects of Dewey's philosophy vary in quality. The essay by Paul Henle on "Dewey's Views on Truth and Verification" is excellent; and Gardner Murphy's reflections on Dewey's psychology are noteworthy. --E. S. C.
An overview of trends in present Continental philosophy and science. Husserl's writings are shown to prefigure the notion of a stratified structure as a model for scientific inquiry. Recent work in economics, sociology, and civil law is seen to presuppose something like Jasper's theory of the creative existential encounter. Heidegger's speculations on the nature of temporality and being-in-the-world are paralleled by several current versions of psychoanalysis. Though the influence of philosophy upon contemporary scientific movements is not claimed to be direct (...) in each instance, a convincing case is made out that those two fields are equally indicative of and contributive to a new humanistic Weltanschauung.--E. S. C. (shrink)
Because factory-farmed meat production inflicts gratuitous suffering upon animals and wreaks havoc on the environment, there are morally compelling reasons to become vegetarian. Yet industrial plant agriculture causes the death of many field animals, and this leads some to question whether consumers ought to get some of their protein from certain kinds of non factory-farmed meat. Donald Bruckner, for instance, boldly argues that the harm principle implies an obligation to collect and consume roadkill and that strict vegetarianism is thus immoral. (...) But this argument works only if the following claims are true: all humans have access to roadkill, roadkill would go to waste if those who happen upon it don’t themselves consume it, it’s impossible to harvest vegetables without killing animals, the animals who are killed in plant production are all-things-considered harmed by crop farming, and the best arguments for vegetarianism all endorse the harm principle. As I will argue in this paper, each claim is deeply problematic. Consequently, in most cases, humans ought to strictly eat plants and save the roadkill for cats. (shrink)
An adequate theory of rights ought to forbid the harming of animals to promote trivial interests of humans, as is often done in the animal-user industries. But what should the rights view say about situations in which harming some animals is necessary to prevent intolerable injustices to other animals? I develop an account of respectful treatment on which, under certain conditions, it’s justified to intentionally harm some individuals to prevent serious harm to others. This can be compatible with recognizing the (...) inherent value of the ones who are harmed. My theory has important implications for contemporary moral issues in nonhuman animal ethics, such as the development of cultured meat and animal research. (shrink)
The second and concluding volume of Adler's monumental eight-year project on freedom offers a comprehensive cataloguing of the controversies which surround the five main types of freedom identified in the first volume. One conclusion of the present work is that philosophers too rarely join issue on the most crucial problems at stake in the continuing debate on freedom. Though the main purpose of elucidation is admirably achieved, the book sometimes suffers from an overly conscious structuring. The scope, detail, and cross-indexing (...) of this volume make it an invaluable reference book for any philosopher concerned with the discussion of freedom.--E. S. C. (shrink)
A readable attempt to reconcile methods, materials, and results in the arts and sciences. The author stresses similarities, but does not overlook crucial differences, in key notions such as patterns of discovery and methods of formulation.--E. S. C.
Higher-order thought theories maintain that consciousness involves the having of higher-order thoughts about mental states. In response to these theories of consciousness, an attempt is often made to illustrate that nonhuman animals possess said consciousness, overlooking an alarming consequence: attributing higher-order thought to nonhuman animals might entail that they should be held morally accountable for their actions. I argue that moral responsibility requires more than higher-order thought: moral agency requires a specific higher-order thought which concerns a belief about the rightness (...) or wrongness of affecting another’s mental states. This “moral thought” about the rightness or wrongness is not yet demonstrated in even the most intelligent nonhuman animals, thus we should suspend our judgments about the “rightness” or “wrongness” of their actions while further questioning the recent insistence on developing an animal morality. (shrink)