Recently, growing numbers of interns, apprentices, and volunteers are being recruited to work seasonally on ecologically oriented and organic farms across the global north. To date, there has been very little research examining these emergent forms of non-waged work. In this paper, we analyze the relationships between non-waged agricultural work and the economic circumstances of small- to medium-size farms and the non-economic ambitions of farm operators. We do so through a quantitative and qualitative analysis of farmers’ responses to two surveys (...) we conducted of farmers using non-waged workers in Ontario, Canada. We situate our analysis within debates on the agrarian question, which we contend requires an account for both the economic and non-economic dimensions of new forms of non-waged work on farms. We suggest that many ecologically oriented farm operators are struggling financially and report low gross on-farm revenues and personal incomes. We argue that in addition to relying on off-farm incomes and self-exploitation, many farms are managing to persist in a challenging economic climate through their use of intern, apprentice, and volunteer labor. However, we also suggest that the growth of non-waged work on farms is not simply being driven by economic processes but also a series of non-economic relationships focused on non-institutional farmer training, the pursuit of sustainability, and social movement building. We suggest, the “economic” and “non-economic” dimensions of internships, apprenticeships, and forms of volunteerism sit uneasily alongside of one another, generating questions about the politics, ethics, and sustainability of non-waged work and ecological farming. (shrink)
Physics, History, and the German Atomic Bomb. This paper examines the German concept of a nuclear weapon during National Socialism and the Second World War. Zusammenfassung: Physik, Geschichte und die deutsche Atombombe. Dieser Aufsatz untersucht die deutsche Vorstellung einer nuklearen Waffe während des Nationalsozialismus und des Zweiten Weltkrieges.
Throughout his literary career Walker Percy read and studied the philosophical thought of Charles Sanders Peirce in an attempt to re-present in language the world as Percy knew it. Beginning in 1984 and ending in 1990, the year of his death, Percy corresponded with Kenneth Laine Ketner about the "semiotic" of Peirce. Their letters - honest, instructive, and often filled with down-home humor - record an epistolary friendship of two men both passionately interested in Peirce's theory of signs. This (...) volume of letters provides a rich philosophical perspective for better understanding the fiction and nonfiction of Walker Percy. (shrink)
This work presents the basic arguments and fundamental themes of the political and moral thought of the seventeenth-century philosopher, Samuel Pufendorf--one of the most widely read natural lawyers of the pre-Kantian era. Selections from the texts of Pufendorf's two major works, Elements of Universal Jurisprudence and The Law of Nature and of Nations, have been brought together to make Pufendorf's moral and political thought more accessible. The selections included have received a new English translation, the first for both works (...) in roughly sixty years. The editor, a political scientist, and the translator, a philosopher, have developed a volume that is comprehensive and representative of Pufendorf's thought without being repetitive, fragmented, or obscure. (shrink)
An important work in the debate between materialists and dualists, the public correspondence between Anthony Collins and Samuel Clarke provided the framework for arguments over consciousness and personal identity in eighteenth-century Britain. In Clarke's view, mind and consciousness are so unified that they cannot be compounded into wholes or divided into parts, so mind and consciousness must be distinct from matter. Collins, by contrast, was a perceptive advocate of a materialist account of mind, who defended the possibility that thinking (...) and consciousness are emergent properties of the brain. Appendices include philosophical writings that influenced, and responded to, the correspondence. (shrink)
Samuel Kerstein’s recent (2013) How To Treat Persons is an ambitious attempt to develop a new, broadly Kantian account of what it is to treat others as mere means and what it means to act in accordance with others’ dignity. His project is explicitly nonfoundationalist: his interpretation stands or falls on its ability to accommodate our pretheoretic intuitions, and he does an admirable job of handling carefully a range of well fleshed out and sometimes subtle examples. In what follows, (...) I shall give a quick summary of the chapters and then say two good things about the book and one critical thing. (shrink)
The final speech given by Samuel to mark the passing from a theocratic to a monarchical regime is distinguished by the strategy of learning from their own history. The leader uses historical elements to determine the community to obey Yahweh as a part of an educational strategy whereby the leader uses history for pedagogical purposes. The mentioned events are subjective in nature and reflect the re-validation of Samuel as leader, the belief that Saul had become a part of (...) the divine plan of government, and it highlights the sins of the people showing the decisive contribution of Yahweh to the progress of the community up until that moment. (shrink)
What are the features of a good scientific theory? Samuel Schindler's book revisits this classical question in the philosophy of science and develops new answers to it. Theoretical virtues matter not only for choosing theories 'to work with', but also for what we are justified in believing: only if the theories we possess are good ones can we be confident that our theories' claims about nature are actually correct. Recent debates have focussed rather narrowly on a theory's capacity to (...) predict new phenomena successfully, but Schindler argues that the justification for this focus is thin. He discusses several other theory properties such as testability, accuracy, and consistency, and highlights the importance of simplicity and coherence. Using detailed historical case studies and careful philosophical analysis, Schindler challenges the received view of theoretical virtues and advances arguments for the view that science uncovers reality through theory. (shrink)
Samuel Newlands presents a sweeping new interpretation of Spinoza's metaphysical system and the way in which his metaphysics shapes, and is shaped by, his moral program. Engaging with contemporary metaphysics and ethics, Newlands reveals just how exciting and vibrant Spinoza's philosophical outlook remains for philosophers today.
"Adam Smith is widely regarded as the founder of political economy and one of the great thinkers of the Enlightenment period. Best-known for his founding work of economics, The Wealth of Nations, Smith's thought engaged equally with the nature of morality, above all in his Theory of Moral Sentiments. Smith's brilliance leaves us with an important question, however: Was he first and foremost a moral philosopher, who happened to turn to economics for part of his career? In this outstanding philosophical (...) introduction Samuel Fleischacker argues that Smith is a superb example of the broadly curious thinkers who flourished in the Enlightenment; one for whom morality, politics and economics were just a few of the many fascinating subjects that could be illuminated by naturalistic modes of investigation. After a helpful overview of his life and work, Fleischacker examines the full range of Smith's thought, including: epistemology, philosophy of science and aesthetics, moral sentimentalism, moral approval, sympathy, and judgement, the character of virtue advantages and disadvantages of Smith's moral philosophy, Smith's views on religion, justice and jurisprudence, governmental policy, economic principles, Smith's philosophical legacy and his place in the history of liberalism. Including chapter summaries, suggestions for further reading and a glossary, Adam Smith is essential reading for those studying ethics, political philosophy, the history of philosophy, and the Enlightenment, as well as those reading Smith in related disciplines such as economics, law and religion"--. (shrink)
Traditionally, Aristotle is held to believe that philosophical contemplation is valuable for its own sake, but ultimately useless. In this volume, Matthew D. Walker offers a fresh, systematic account of Aristotle's views on contemplation's place in the human good. The book situates Aristotle's views against the background of his wider philosophy, and examines the complete range of available textual evidence. On this basis, Walker argues that contemplation also benefits humans as perishable living organisms by actively guiding human life (...) activity, including human self-maintenance. Aristotle's views on contemplation's place in the human good thus cohere with his broader thinking about how living organisms live well. A novel exploration of Aristotle's views on theory and practice, this volume will interest scholars and students of both ancient Greek ethics and natural philosophy. It will also appeal to those working in other disciplines including classics, ethics, and political theory. (shrink)
Why should we care what happens to future generations? Samuel Scheffler argues that we are more invested in the fate of our descendants than we may realize. Implicit in our own attachments are powerful reasons for wanting the chain of human generations to persist into the indefinite future under conditions conducive to human flourishing.
This article seeks to demonstrate the influence of J. G. Fichte's philosophy on Søren Kierkegaard's theory of the self as he develops it in The Sickness unto Death and to interpret his theory of the self as a religious critique of autonomy. Following Michelle Kosch, it argues that Kierkegaard's theory of the self was developed in part as a critique of idealist conceptions of agency. Moreover, Kierkegaard's view of agency provides a powerful way of understanding human freedom and finitude that (...) has implications for contemporary debates about autonomy, normativity, and agency. (shrink)
Liberalism and Distributive Justice discusses liberalism, capitalism, distributive justice, and John Rawls's difference principle. Chapters are organized in a narrative arc: from liberalism as the dominant political and economic system, to the laws governing interpersonal transactions in liberal society, to basic economic and political institutions that determine distributive justice.
I argue that the social dimension of alienation, as discussed by Williams and Railton, has been underappreciated. The lesson typically drawn from their exchange is that moral theory poses a threat to the internal integrity of the agent, but there is a parallel risk that moral theory will implicitly construe agents as constitutively alienated from one another. I argue that a satisfying account of agency will need to make room for what I call ‘genuine ethical contact’ with others, both as (...) concrete objects in the world external to ourselves and as subjects who can recognize us reciprocally. (shrink)
This paper rereads David Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion as dramatising a distinctive, naturalistic account of toleration. I have two purposes in mind: first, to complete and ground Hume's fragmentary explicit discussion of toleration; second, to unearth a potentially attractive alternative to more recent, Rawlsian approaches to toleration. To make my case, I connect Dialogues and the problem of toleration to the wider themes of naturalism, scepticism and their relation in Hume's thought, before developing a new interpretation of Dialogues part (...) 12 as political drama. Finally, I develop the Humean theory of toleration I have discovered by comparison between Rawls's and Hume's strategies for justification of a tolerant political regime. (shrink)
Iris Murdoch’s The Sovereignty of Good—especially the first essay, “The Idea of Perfection”—is often associated with a critique of a certain picture of agency and its proper place in ethical thought. There is implicit in this critique, however, an alternative, much richer one. I propose a reading of Murdochian agency in terms of the continuous activity of cultivating and refining a distinctive practical standpoint, and I apply this reading to her account of moral progress. For Murdoch moral progress depends on (...) transcending egoism and achieving clear perception of a normatively-saturated reality, but it would be a mistake to think of egoism in terms of selfishness, or clarity in terms of altruism. Rather, I argue, Murdochian moral progress requires overcoming socially-conditioned and often ideological forms of alienation, and making the social conditions that inform our practical standpoints self-conscious. (shrink)
ArgumentThis paper argues that Samuel Clarke's account of agent causation provides a philosophical basis for moderate voluntarism, and both leads to and benefits from the acceptance of partial occasionalism as a model of causation for material beings. Clarke's account of agent causation entails that for an agent to be properly called an agent, it is essential that the agent is free to choose whether to act or not. This freedom is compatible with the existence of conceptually necessary connections. Hence, (...) Clarke can harmonize God's freedom of choosing with the existence of eternal and necessary relations among things. Moreover, in Clarke's account, only intelligent entities can be properly understood as efficacious causes. Beings deprived of intelligence are not agents or efficacious causes at all and their effects are thus the result of the immediate action of some intelligent being operating upon them. (shrink)
Modern notions of empathy often celebrate its ability to bridge divides, to unite humankind. But how do we square this with the popular view that we can never truly comprehend the experience of being someone else? In this book, Samuel Fleischacker delves into the work of Adam Smith to draw out an understanding of empathy that respects both personal difference and shared humanity. After laying out a range of meanings for the concept of empathy, Fleischacker proposes that what Smith (...) called “sympathy” is very much what we today consider empathy. Smith’s version has remarkable value, as his empathy calls for entering into the perspective of another—a uniquely human feat that connects people while still allowing them to define their own distinctive standpoints. After discussing Smith’s views in relation to more recent empirical and philosophical studies, Fleischacker shows how turning back to Smith promises to enrich, clarify, and advance our current debates about the meaning and uses of empathy. (shrink)
: International instruments now defend a "right to the truth " for victims of political repression and violence and include truth telling about human rights violations as a kind of reparation as well as a form of redress. While truth telling about violations is obviously a condition of redress or repair for violations, it may not be clear how truth telling itself is a kind of reparations. By showing that concerted truth telling can satisfy four features of suitable reparations vehicles, (...) I defend the idea that politically implemented modes of truth telling to, for, and by those who are victims of gross violation and injustice may with good reason be counted as a kind of reparations. Understanding the doubly symbolic character of reparations, however, makes clearer why truth telling is unlikely to be sufficient reparation for serious wrongs and is likely to be sensitive to the larger context of reparative activity and its social, political, and historical background. (shrink)
Bertrand Russell and the Nature of Propositions offers the first book-length defence of the Multiple Relation Theory of Judgement (MRTJ). Although the theory was much maligned by Wittgenstein and ultimately rejected by Russell himself, Lebens shows that it provides a rich and insightful way to understand the nature of propositional content. In Part I, Lebens charts the trajectory of Russell’s thought before he adopted the MRTJ. Part II reviews the historical story of the theory: What led Russell to deny the (...) existence of propositions altogether? Why did the theory keep evolving throughout its short life? What role did G. F. Stout play in the evolution of the theory? What was Wittgenstein’s concern with the theory, and, if we can’t know what his concern was exactly, then what are the best contending hypotheses? And why did Russell give the theory up? In Part III, Lebens makes the case that Russell’s concerns with the theory weren’t worth its rejection. Moreover, he argues that the MRTJ does most of what we could want from an account of propositions at little philosophical cost. This book bridges the history of early analytic philosophy with work in contemporary philosophy of language. It advances a bold reading of the theory of descriptions and offers a new understanding of the role of Stout and the representation concern in the evolution of the MRTJ. It also makes a decisive contribution to philosophy of language by demonstrating the viability of a no-proposition theory of propositions. (shrink)
The paper argues that adopting a form of skepticism, Skeptical-Dogmatism, that recommends disbelieving each philosophical position in many multi-proposition disputes- disputes where there are three or more contrary philosophical views-leads to a higher ratio of true to false beliefs than the ratio of the “average philosopher”. Hence, Skeptical-Dogmatists have more accurate beliefs than the average philosopher. As a corollary, most philosophers would improve the accuracy of their beliefs if they adopted Skeptical-Dogmatism.