This collection of thirteen original essays by such well-known philosophers as Thomas Nagel, Peter Singer, J.O. Urmson, David A.J. Richards, James Griffin, R.B. Brandt, John C. Harsanyi, T.M. Scanlon, and others discusses the philosophy of R.M. Hare put forth in his book Moral Thinking, including his thoughts on universalizability, moral psychology, and the role of common-sense moral principles. In addition, Professor Hare responds to his critics with an essay and a detailed, point-by-point criticism.
R. M. Hare's Nora/ Thinking is surely one of the most compelling defenses of utilitarianism to appear in many years. Hare defends utilitarianism at some length against the objection that it has consequences that are inconsistent with our common-sense or intuitive moral judgments. Hare also offers a positive argument for utiTitarianism. In this paper I shall only concern myself with the latter argument. In the first part of the paper, I shall set out Hare's argument in (...) some detail. In the second part of the paper, I shall suggest criticisms of Hare's argument. I shall argue that two of the assumptions upon.. (shrink)
This volume addresses a wide variety of moral concerns regarding slavery as an institutionalized social practice. By considering the slave's critical appropriation of the natural rights doctrine, the ambiguous implications of various notions of consent and liberty are examined. The authors assume that, although slavery is undoubtedly an evil social practice, its moral assessment stands in need of a more nuanced treatment. They address the question of what is wrong with slavery by critically examining, and in some cases endorsing, certain (...) principles derived from communitarianism, paternalism, utilitarianism, and jurisprudence. (shrink)
Do our lives have meaning? Should we create more people? Is death bad? Should we commit suicide? Would it be better if we were immortal? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic? Life, Death, and Meaning brings together key readings, primarily by English-speaking philosophers, on such 'big questions.'.
Do our lives have meaning? Should we create more people? Is death bad? Should we commit suicide? Would it be better to be immortal? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic? Since Life, Death, and Meaning: Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions first appeared, David Benatar's distinctive anthology designed to introduce students to the key existential questions of philosophy has won a devoted following among users in a variety of upper-level and even introductory courses.
John Searle has charged R.M. Hare's prescriptivist analysis of the meaning of ‘good,’ ‘ought’ and the other evaluative words with committing what he calls the ‘speech act fallacy.’ This is a fallacy which Searle thinks is committed not only by Hare's analysis, but by any analysis which attributes to a word the function of indicating that a particular speech act is being performed, or that an utterance has a particular illocutionary force. ‘There is a condition of adequacy which (...) any analysis of the meaning of a word must meet,’ Searle writes, ‘and which the speech act analysis fails to meet. Any analysis of the meaning of a word must be consistent with the fact that the same word can mean the same thing in all the different kinds of sentences in which it can occur.' Hare maintains that the word ‘good’ is used to indicate the speech act of prescribing. He maintains that one of the principal functions of this word is to indicate that utterances of sentences containing it have prescriptive illocutionary force, and that an analysis of its meaning must make explicit and ineliminable reference to this force-indicating function. But ‘good’ regularly occurs in sentences utterances of which appear to have no prescriptive illocutionary force. (shrink)
The International Society of Krishna Consciousness, commonly known as the Hare Krishna Movement, has disseminated a flurry of antievolutionist media since its inception in 1966. Such communications frequently co-opt arguments employed by Christian creationists and Intelligent Design theorists. At the same time, however, there are indications that a scattering of ISKCON publications have articulated relatively ambiguous, less oppositional statements about evolutionary theory. This article reconsiders ISKCON's Darwin-skepticism by appraising recent, largely unexamined Hare Krishna publications, as well as responses (...) to evolutionary theory expressed by ISKCON's founder, A. C. Bhaktivedanta, and his immediate Vaishnava forerunners. The analysis reveals that, although the majority of contemporary ISKCON materials are vehemently opposed to evolution, some leading voices demonstrate less combative, cautiously accommodating stances. These cases are suggestive of complexities in ISKCON's responses to evolution, both past and present, which are not necessarily encapsulated in the terms Vedic creationism or antievolutionism. (shrink)
Though primarily focussed on philosophy of language, metaphysics, and epistemology, Scott Soames’s Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century contains several discussions of ethics. Volume 1 contains two chapters on Moore’s ethics, one on the emotivism of Ayer and Stevenson, and one on Ross; Volume 2 adds a chapter on Hare’s prescriptivism. The bulk of the Moore chapters as well as the ones on emotivism and Hare concern metaethics, but there is also discussion of Moore’s normative views and the (...) chapter on Ross is entirely normative. Since there is no material on ethics after Hare, the book concentrates on figures from the first half of the century. But there is much of interest in what it says about them. (shrink)
A comprehensive yet concise introduction to central topics, debates, and techniques of moral philosophy in the analytic tradition, this volume combines a thematic, issue-oriented format with rigorous standards of clarity and precision. Thomas introduces fundamental concepts and terms, proceeding through a step-by-step exploration of five general areas of debate: the specification of moral judgment; moral judgment and the moral standard; the justification of moral judgment; logic, reasoning, and moral judgment; and moral judgment and moral responsibility. Key historical and contemporary (...) figures in moral philosophy, including Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Hume, Mill, Hare, Ross, Nagel, Foot, Stevenson, and Dancy, are used effectively as a means of examining the topics themselves. (shrink)
A Lei de Hume, pela qual um dever ser não pode resultar de um ser, e a sua recíproca, pela qual um ser não pode resultar de um dever ser, ocupam posições proeminentes nas discussões de metaética. Neste trabalho mostrarei relações lógicas entre distintas formulações da Lei de Hume e da sua recíproca. Também mostrarei como essas formulações estão relacionadas a teses sustentadas por importantes pensadores como Poincaré, Nelson, Jörgensen e Hare.
Hume's Law, according to which an ought cannot result from an is, and its reciprocal, according to which an is cannot result from an ought, occupy salient positions in discussions on metaethics. In this paper I will show logical relations between distinct formulations of Hume's Law and of its reciprocal. I will show, also, how these formulations are related to theses sustained by important thinkers such as Poincaré, Nelson, Jörgensen and Hare.A Lei de Hume, pela qual um dever ser (...) não pode resultar de um ser, e a sua recíproca, pela qual um ser não pode resultar de um dever ser, ocupam posições proeminentes nas discussões de metaética. Neste trabalho mostrarei relações lógicas entre distintas formulações da Lei de Hume e da sua recíproca. Também mostrarei como essas formulações estão relacionadas a teses sustentadas por importantes pensadores como Poincaré, Nelson, Jörgensen e Hare. (shrink)
The book reconstructs the history of Western ethics. The approach chosen focuses the endless dialectic of moral codes, or different kinds of ethos, moral doctrines that are preached in order to bring about a reform of existing ethos, and ethical theories that have taken shape in the context of controversies about the ethos and moral doctrines as means of justifying or reforming moral doctrines. Such dialectic is what is meant here by the phrase ‘moral traditions’, taken as a name for (...) threads of moral discourse, made in turn of other interwoven threads, including transmission of shared codes, appeals to reform of prevailing custom, rational argument about the justification of some precept on the basis of some shared general teaching or principle, and rational argument about the ultimate basis for principles and justification of authoritative teaching. That is, the approach adopted to the reading of ethical texts depends on a firm belief in the fact that philosophers hardly created any ethical doctrine out of nothing. The main point this book tries to highlight is how different philosophical theories emerged and followed each other as a result of attempts at accounting for what was going on in the world of moral traditions. Changes were propelled by controversies between different schools, and highly abstract arguments were the unintended effects of moves made by controversialists forced to transform (and occasionally to turn upside down) their own doctrines in order to face the challenge posed by other arguments. This is the reason why the book examines not only texts that already enjoy pride of place in the history of philosophy (Aristotle, Kant, Hegel), but also other texts usually treated in the histories of religions (the Bible, the Talmud, the Quran), and others considered to be much less philosophical (Plutarchus, Pufendorf). -/- 1. Plato and a response to ethical scepticism. Two different traditions of morality in VI-V century Greece are described. The birth of philosophical questioning of traditional morality and temporal and spatial variation of custom is described within the context of the v century crisis, the demise of traditional aristocratic and tyrannical rule and the birth of democracy. Two conflicting answers to the challenge are reconstructed, namely conventionalist or immoralist theories formulated by the Sophists and the eudemonist and intellectualist Socratic theory. Plato’s own reformulation of Socrates answer to the Sophists is reconstructed. His psychological views, his classification of the four cardinal virtues and his political theory are described as parts of a unitary system, culminating in an extremely realist moral ontology identifying the idea of the good with the essence of the (moral and extra-moral) world itself. -/- 2. Aristotle and the invention of practical philosophy. Aristotle’s invention of practical philosophy as a field separated from first philosophy is shown to be an implication of his break with Plato moral ultra-realism. Aristotle’s agenda in his moral works is arguably dependent on a polemical intention, namely dismantling Socratic intellectualism. The semi-inductive or virtuously circular method of practical philosophy is illustrated, starting with the received opinions of the better and wiser individuals and trying dialectically to sift what is left of mistake and inconsistence in such opinions, finally trying to correct mistakes and make the overall practical science more consistent. The chapter illustrates then the relationship of individual ethics, or ‘monastics’, with the art and the science of the pater familias, or ‘economics’, and the science of the ruler and citizen, or politics. The nature of virtues, or better, excellences of character, is discussed, highlighting the basic role of hexis, or ‘disposition’. Prudence, or better practical wisdom, is the focus of the chapter. Its relationship with bouleusis or deliberation is examined, and its autonomous status vis-à-vis theoretical knowledge is stressed. -/- 3. Diogenes and philosophy as a way of life. The chapter provides an overview of Hellenistic ethics, which almost amounts to Hellenistic schools of philosophy, in so far as ‘philosophy’ became in these centuries primarily the name for a way of life. The typical character of the Cynical movement is highlighted, that of a school of life, not a school aimed at providing any kind of intellectual training was to be provided. -/- 4. Epicurus and ethics as self-care. The peculiar character of the Epicurean school is described, a combination of a science of well-being aiming, more than at pleasure as in the popular view, at reduction of useless suffering, of unnecessary needs, and at a balanced selection of pleasures of the best and most durable kind. -/- 5. Epictetus and ethics as therapy of the passions. The various phases of Stoicism are described, and the shifting place given to ethics in the Stoic system of idea, culminating in the paradoxical view of ethics, its impossibility in principle notwithstanding, as the only truly significant and necessary part of philosophy. Cicero is treated, showing how his own synthesis of various Hellenistic trends is as a truly philosophical enterprise, deserving serious consideration after one or two centuries when he was confined to the role of literate. Epictetus is chosen as the best example of what the Stoic tradition could yield, an art of living based on sophisticated introspection, in turn aimed at making a kind of cognitive therapy possible, dismantling obnoxious passions at their root by systematically correcting false representations. -/- 6. Philo and the reconciliation of Torah and Platonism. A reconstruction of basic ideas from a few books of the Hebrew Bible is provided, starting with the Prophetic tradition and the focus on God’s mercy as the source of motivation and standard for human behaviour. Then a comparative analysis is undertaken of a parallel tradition, namely the three codifications of the Torā (Law or, better, Instruction), highlighting how a core of moral ideas may be recognized as a basis and preamble of codification of civil law, cultural practice, and regulation of ritual purity. The importance of Leviticus is stressed as the turning point when emphasis mercy, typical of the Prophetic tradition, is combined with the legal tradition, yielding the change in sensibility of the Second Temple time. Philo of Alexandria is described as one of the three leading figures – together with Rabbi Hillel and Rabbi Yeshua – at the apex the emergence of the mentioned new sensibility, gradually including mercy as an essential part of justice and establishing the starting point of both the Rabbinic and the Christian tradition. This consists precisely in the precept of one’s neighbour’s love or of the golden rule, two eventually identical precepts whose meaning is arguably more sober and sensible than the long-lasting Christian tradition deriving from John and Augustine has made us believe and no novelty vis-à-vis so-called Ancient-Testament teachings. -/- 7. Augustine and Christianity as Neo-Platonism. The first section examines the moral doctrines of so-called 'ethical Treaties' from the Talmud, a group of treaties, among which the best known is Pirqé Avot, that were left out of the six "orders" of the canon as they did not fit in any of the six groups of issues ritual or legal on which the division was based. According to Maimonides, their peculiar theme is provided by the Deòt, 'opinions', i.e., mental dispositions, that is, the translation of the Greek term hexeis and Arab akhlak (in turn providing in this language the name for ethics as such). The three topics I reconstruct are: i) the notion of Torah: The Torah is understood as the world order itself, or as the ‘Wisdom’ that existed even before creation and was ‘the tool by which the world was built’; however, the Torah is an earthly and human entity, as it was "received" by humans, and from that very moment belongs to them; ii) the relationship between love of God and love of neighbour; the treaties require us to study and practice the Torah ‘for its own sake’, that is, require us to act out of love, not out of fear or hope of reward; iii) the idea of sanctification of daily life: having disappeared with the destruction of the Temple the possibility of any conflict between liturgical service and everyday life, the latter is assumed to be in itself divine service: to give food to the poor has the same value as sacrifices in the Temple, and as an implication, the insistence become recurrent on the goodness of created things in themselves along with a polemic against ascetic currents. The conclusions drawn are: i) the moral teachings of the Talmud and those of Yeshua are, rather than similar, virtually identical; one may safely say that the precept of love and the golden rule are central ones for all Talmudic rabbis, that mercy plays an indispensable role alongside with justice, and the latter is not a different thing from one’s neighbour’s love; ii) a peculiarity of Talmud rabbis facing Yeshua is the idea of study as worship, and knowledge as a source of justice; but this is an idea of Judaism after the Temple's destruction that cannot be attributed to the Pharisees of Yeshua’s time; iii) the relation of study and practice in the Talmud parallels that between faith and deeds in Paul's epistles, that is, respectively faith or learning are a necessary and sufficient condition to be recognized as righteous , but deeds are the inevitable effect of either faith or learning. The sayings ascribed to Yeshua are examined first, yielding the conclusion that a close equivalent may be found for every saying in Talmudic literature and yet the whole is ascribed to one rabbi, with rather consistent stress on God’s mercy and unconditional forgiving as the mark of true imitation of God. Thus, Yeshua’s teaching is pure Judaism. The third section describes briefly the galaxy of Gnostic currents and Manichaeism, trying to sketch the profile of moral teachings resulting from an encounter of Asian spiritual traditions, Hellenistic lore and sparks of teachings from apocalyptic Jewish currents. The last section summarizes the turbulent history of several encounters between Christian currents and Hellenistic philosophical schools. The first one was with late Cynicism. Recent, rather controversial, literature discovered the jargon and a few topics from the Stoic-Cynical popular philosophy in a few books from the New Testament itself. This, far from proving that Rabbi Yeshua had been influenced by cynic preachers, is a proof of the necessity felt by Christian preachers to translate the original ‘Christian’ teaching into a Greek lexicon deeply impregnated with cynic terminology. The second was with Platonism, yielding the mild and temperate moral teaching of Clemens of Alexandria, teaching the sanctity of nature and the human body, the joy of moderate fruition of ‘natural’ kinds of pleasures, and the beauty of the marital life – in short, the opposite of the standard picture of Medieval Christianity. Ambrose of Milan brings about a different kind of synthesis, namely with Middle Platonism, where Stoic themes prevail. The most shocking case is Augustine, where an early Manichean education is overcome in a former phase by a synthesis of Plotinian Neo-Platonism and Christian preaching, yielding a sustained polemic with the Manicheans and rather optimistic views on life and Creation, the body and sexuality, and Hebrew-Judaic tradition not far from Clemens of Alexandria. In a later phase, occasioned by controversy on the opposite front, with such Christian currents as the Pelagians and Donatists, Augustine comes back to heavily anti-Judaic and world-denying ascetic attitudes where is earlier Manichean upbringing seems to emerge again. The tragedy of medieval Christianity will be the later Augustine’s overwhelming influence. A final section is dedicated to the monastic tradition where a curious mixture of world-denying asceticism with an astonishingly penetrating ‘science’ of introspection emerges. -/- 8. Al Farabi and the reconciliation of Islam and Platonism. The Qurān and the qadit, that is, collections of sayings ascribed to the prophet Muhammad contain a wealth of precepts and catalogues of virtues mirroring moral contents from the Jewish and the Christian traditions, among them the basic notion of imitation of the Deity, where mercy is assumed to be its basic trait. An important tradition within Islam, namely Sufism, stressed to the utmost degree the role of mercy, turning Islam into a mystic doctrine centred on retreat from the world, abandonment to God’s will, and a peaceful and fraternal attitude to our fellow-beings. A secular literary tradition originating in the Sassanid Empire, the literature of advice to the Prince had for a time a widespread influence in the newly constituted Arabic-Islamic commonwealth. In a later phase, the legacy of Hellenic philosophy made its way into the intellectual elite of the Islamic world. The first important legacy was Platonic, and the Republic became the main text for Islamic Platonism. Al-Farabi wrote an enjoyable remake of the Platonic Republic, arguing that the citizen’s virtues were the basis on which the political building needs to rest. The secular lawgiver is enlightened by the light of reason in his everyday practice of governance, but room is made for the Prophet as the voice of revealed truth that confirms and completes the rational truth that philosophy may afford. In a second phase also Aristotelian and Stoic influence were assimilated. Miskawayh’s treatise was the masterwork at the time Arabic philosophy reached its Zenith. It is a treatment of the soul’s diseases and their remedies, combining the Aristotelian doctrine of the golden mean with the Stoic doctrine of the passions and elements of Galenic medicine. Towards the eleventh-twelve centuries a war raged among theologians and philosophers, finally won by the former with disappearance of philosophy as such. The newly established mainstream, yet, was no kind of intolerant fanaticism. It drew from the work of mystic theologian Al-Ghazālī, the best heir of Sufism, teaching a tolerant and peaceful attitude to our fellow-beings and a passive attitude to destiny as an expression of the Divine will. -/- 9. Moshe ben Maimon and the reconciliation of Torah and Aristotelian ethics. The encounter between the Talmudic tradition and Hellenic philosophy had taken place a first time in Alexandria at the time of Philo but the two traditions had parted way again. In fact, the kind of Platonic Judaism founded by Philo survived only within Christianity, in the fourth Gospel and then in writings by Clemens of Alexandria. The Talmudic literature had absorbed just less striking traits from the Hellenic Philosophy, namely an idea of ethics as care of the self and a role for the education of character as propaedeutic to theoretical knowledge. In the Arabic-Islamic world, a second round started when Jewish authors writing in Arabic undertook the task to prove the full compatibility of the tradition deriving from Torah and Platonic philosophy. The culmination of this attempt is provided by Moshe ben Maimon who tried to use Aristotelian ethics as a language into which the teaching from the Pirké Avot could be translated. -/- 10. Thomas Aquinas and the reconciliation of Christian morality and Aristotelian ethics. In the first section the fresh start is described of philosophical ethics in Latin Europe at the turn of the Millennium. In a first phase, Anselm and Peter Abelard built on a Platonic and Augustinian legacy. In this phase. remarkable innovations are introduced, including Abelard’s claim of the obliging character of erring consciousness. In a second phase, the rediscovery of Nicomachean Ethics thanks to Latin translation of Arabic versions gives birth to a new wave of ethical studies, recovering the very idea of Aristotelian practical philosophy, with the potential implication of full legitimization of natural morality, i.e. ethics without Revelation. Aquinas’s ethics is a theological ethics out of which it would be vain to try to extract a self-contained philosophical ethics. His treatment of topics in philosophical ethics, yet, does not boil down to repetition of Aristotelian arguments but is rather a creative reshaping of such arguments. For example, he introduces also in the practical philosophy a first principle parallel to the principle of non-contradiction; and he also carries out a synthesis of Aristotelianism, Stoicism, and neo-Platonism. Even though it is essentially moral theology, Aquinas’s doctrine - unlike Augustine – grants full citizenship to "natural" morality, firstly by rejecting the claim that the corruption of human nature due to the original sin is so radical as to leave "pure nature" incapable of moral goodness. The doctrine is presented in a more sophisticated formulation in a few of the Quaestiones, such as De Malo and De Veritate, in the Summa contra Gentes and in the commentaries to Aristotle than in the famous Summa Theologica, but the latter work includes the only or the largest exposition of some decisive part of the theory. Thus, the Summa Theologica should be read for what it is more than criticized for not being what it was not meant to be. It was not meant to be the brilliant synthesis of all that Reason he had been able to produce with what Revelation had added about which the Neo-Thomists used to dream, but rather a manual for the training of preachers and confessors, where theoretical claims are not too demanding and a few serious tensions are left. Besides a jump between the Prima Secundae and the Secunda Secundae, being the former an essay in virtue theory and the latter a handbook for confessors, the most serious tension is perhaps the one between the ethics of right reason presented in most of Ia-IIae and the eudemonistic ethics developed in quaestiones 1-5 of the same part; the alternative ethical theory which also may be found in Augustine, the Stoic view of a cosmic reason eventually coincident with the moral law, was believed by Anselm (followed by John Duns Scotus and William of Ockham) to be incompatible with eudemonism. It is questionable whether Thomas could reduce the tension proving that it is just an apparent tension, in so far as the right reason and bliss derived from knowledge of God tend to coincide, but this is just a conjecture. Thomas’s ethics is a virtue ethic, not a law-based one, and moral judgment focuses on the virtues, particularly charity, not on the commandments and even less on absolute prohibitions; Thomas, however, would not have considered a drastic alternative between law and the virtues such as the one which has been advanced in late twentieth-century philosophy to be justified. Nonetheless, when it discusses ‘special’ virtues, it ceases to be an ethics of virtue and becomes a disappointing and often contradictory discussion of legal and illegal acts. Such a discussion takes most of the time ‘reasonable’ middle positions on controversial issues but not the alternative approach that Aristotelianism would have made possible; even when some occasional Aristotelian claim shows up, such as money’s barrenness as a reason against usury, this seems to be made by an author who apparently ignores the Aristotelian Thomas of the Prima Secundae. It is an ethic of human autonomy which recognizes the binding character of the individual conscience and, potentially, even a duty to disobey unjust laws. It is true that what Thomas writes in his discussion of death penalty and persecution of heretics is simply disgusting, and yet we should blame Thomas the man, not Thomist ethical theory. Finally, Thomas’s ethics is not ethical ‘absolutism’, as both traditionalist Catholic theologians and secularist enemies of dogmatic morality tend to believe. It is instead an ethic of prudential judgment. Exceptions to this approach – or better results of logical fallacies – are such claims as the absolute character of negative precepts and of the existence of "intrinsically evil acts", claims that simply cease to make sense in the light of Thomas’s own distinction between human act and natural act, carrying consequences Thomas did not live long enough to draw or was not consistent enough to dare to draw. -/- 11. Francisco de Vitoria and casuistry. The first topic illustrated is the discussion about the notion of pura natura, namely the human condition after the original sin and before divine revelation. The core notion was already there in Aquinas but was later developed by Caietanus (Thomas de Vio) with a number of interesting implications: firstly a view of human nature as such much more positive than Augustine’s and his followers’ view, including both Calvinists and Jansenists; secondly, the implication that the philosopher’s morality, as opposed to the Christian’s morality, is a quite respectable kind of morality; thirdly, that theocracy and prosecution of the unfaithful lacked justification, with more far-fetching consequences than Aquinas himself had dared to draw. The second topic is casuistry, a new name for a comparatively older way of thinking, which was already there in late Stoicism and Cicero as well as in the Talmudic literature. This is an approach aimed at yielding probable enough solutions for doubtful cases even in absence of completely safe staring points. The genre developed from medieval reference books for confessors and became by the sixteenth-century a sophisticated tool-box for dealing with various fields of applied ethics. Francisco Vitoria, the main authority of Baroque Scholasticism, was a controversial figure, among the proponents of the new discipline of casuistry and a consistent proponent of more separation between the religious and the civil authority, stricter limits to the legitimacy of war, innate rights of non-Christian nations in the New World based on the notion of pura natura, providing a standard of ‘natural’ goodness, previous to revelation, on which the Indian nations were judged to live in a naturally good condition, provided with the institutions of family, justice, and religion had accordingly a right to full respect by Christian sovereigns. Bartolomé de Las Casas, arguing along similar lines, was the leader of a historical battle in defence of the rights of the Indios. -/- 12. Michel de Montaigne and the art of living. A short description of one of the Renaissance Phyrronism, one of the classical philosophies revived in the fifteenth and sixteenth century. Montaigne combines the sceptical epistemology with an understanding of ethics – indeed of philosophy as a whole – in terms of an art of living inspired by two basic ideas, sagesse, that is, practical wisdom as the only kind of rationality available after theology, science, and tradition have declared bankrupt, and an aesthetic ideal of self-transformation through the art of writing and introspection. -/- 13. Pierre Nicole and neo-Augustinianism. The chapter illustrates first the vicissitudes of Augustinianism newly born after the late medieval triumph of Thomist Aristotelianism in the alternative Protestant and Catholic versions processed by the Calvinists and the Jansenists. Then it illustrates the doctrines of Pierre Nicole, Blaise Pascal’s best disciple, on the impossibility of introspection, on the ubiquity of self-deception, on the incurably evil character of the passion of love, and on the two moralities, the one of the man of the world, the morality of honesty which is indispensable for granting peace and order but devoid of any true value for eternal salvation, since the same external behaviour may be prompted by opposite motivations, and the morality of charity, the only true one but also useless to society. The third topic is Pierre Malebranche’s view of self-deception as a ubiquitous phenomenon accounting for human action and responsibility and his reformulated theory of self-love, no less ubiquitous than for Nicole and yet not as incurably evil, given the distinction between morally indifferent and even necessary amour de soi and vicious amour proper, a distinction on which the whole of Rousseau’s moral and political theory rests. -/- 14. Samuel von Pufendorf and the new science of morality. The chapter is dedicated to the discovery of the idea of a ‘new moral science’. Hugo Grotius is discussed first highlighting the real character of his project, much closer to the Thomist idea of a natural law accessible to non-corrupted human reason when human beings are living in a state of pura natura. Then Hobbes’s combination of scepticism, voluntarism, and conventionalism is described and both the continuity with Grotius’s new science, in the search for non-revealed rational morality, and the break with him, in the adoption of voluntarism and refusal of an intellectualist view of natural law, are illustrated. Pufendorf’s work is illustrated as a synthesis of the two previous attempts and the – up to Schneewind underestimated – paradigmatic example of the new science of morality. -/- 15. Richard Cumberland and consequentialist voluntarism. The chapter gives an overview of eighteenth-century Anglican ethics, noticing how the Cambridge tradition gave special weight to natural theology as opposed to positive or revealed theology – and how two Cambridge fellows, John Gay and Thomas Brown, elaborated on Cumberland’s (and Malebranche’s, as well as Leibniz’s) strategy for finding a third way between intellectualist view and voluntarist view of the laws of nature. The result of their elaboration was a kind of a rational-choice account of the origins of natural laws, where a law-giver God chooses among a number possible sets of laws on a maximizing criterion, and God’s maximandum is happiness for his creatures. The chapter notices also how such a solution aimed at solving at once the problem of evil and that of the foundation of moral obligation by proving how God’s choice was justified as far as it was the one minimising the amount of suffering in the world. 16. Richard Price and intuitionism. The chapter describes first the doctrines of the Cambridge Platonists, an example of hyper-rationalist reaction to Calvinism. Secondly it describes the sophisticated and universally ignored – from Sidgwick to Anscombe –version of what was later labelled ‘ethical intuitionism’ – showing how it escapes familiar objections and misrepresentations of intuitionism – from Mill to Rawls – in grounding its argument on transcendental arguments while carefully avoiding recourse to introspection and psychological evidence, which has been taken as a too easy target by critics of intuitionism. Thirdly, the chapter discusses Whewell’s ‘philosophy of morality’, as opposed to ‘systematic morality’, not unlike Kant’s distinction between a pure and an empirical moral philosophy. Whewell worked out a systematization of traditional normative ethics as a first step before its rational justification; he believed that the point in the philosophy of morality is justifying a few rational truths about the structure of morality such as to rule hedonism, eudemonism, and consequentialism; yet a system of positive morality cannot be derived solely from such rational truths but requires consideration of the ongoing dialectics between idea and fact in historically given moralities. Whewell’s intuitionism turns out closer to Kantian ethics than commentators have made us believe until now, and quite different from what Sidgwick meant by intuitionism. -/- 17. Adam Smith and the morality of role-switch. The chapter describes first, Hutcheson’s attempt at basing the ‘new science’ of natural law on different bedrock than Pufendorf and the English Platonists, namely a moral sense, a faculty whose existence is assumed to be proved on an empirical basis. The second step is a reconstruction of Hume’s rejoinder in terms of a new science of man including morality on an ‘experimental’ basis, that is, a ‘Newtonian’ hypothetical-deductive approach, distinguished from Hutcheson’s allegedly uncritical descriptive approach to human nature. The third step is a reconstruction of Adam Smith theory of morality understood as emerging from a spontaneous interplay of exchanges of situations (the most basic meaning of the word ‘sympathy’ as construed by this author). -/- 18. Jeremy Bentham and utilitarianism. The bulk of the chapter is dedicated to the doctrines of Jeremy Bentham. The Enlightenment spirit that suggested the idea of a new morality, free from religion, is illustrated. The notion of utility is illustrated as well as the subsequent formulations of the principle of utility. The idea of felicific calculus is discussed, showing how its inner difficulties prompted several reformulations of the principle of utility in order to avoid undesirable implications of proposed formulations. The role of the thesis of spontaneous convergence between interest and duty is discussed, showing how it left numberless questions open, and the distinction between the virtues of prudence, justice and beneficence is described as a way out of the deadlocks of classical utilitarianism. After Bentham, Mill’s reformed utilitarianism is reconstructed, showing how it is a kind of mixed system – as closer to common sense as it gives up Bentham’s claims to consistency and simplicity – resulting as unintended consequences from the controversies in which Mill was too keen to engage. The hidden agenda of the controversy between Utilitarianism and Intuitionism, going beyond the image of the battle between Prejudice and Reason, is described, showing how both competing philosophical outlooks turn out to be more research programs than self-contained doctrinal bodies, and such programs appear to be implemented, and indeed radically transformed while in progress thanks to their enemies no less than to their supporters. -/- 19. Immanuel Kant, practical reason and judgment. The chapter argues that Kant took from Moses Mendelssohn the idea of a distinction between geometry of morals and a practical ethic. He was drastically misunderstood by his followers precisely on this point. He had learned from the sceptics and the Jansenists the lesson that men are prompted to act by deceptive ends, and he was aware that human actions are also empirical phenomena, where laws like the laws of Nature may be detected. His practical ethics made room for judgment as a holistic procedure for assessing the saliency of relevant moral qualities in one given situation; this procedure yields the same results as the geometry of morals does for abstract cases but does so immediately and without balancing conflicting duties with each other, since what makes for the salient quality of a situation is perceived from the very beginning. Kant's practical philosophy is richer than the received image, making room for an ‘empirical moral philosophy’ or moral anthropology including treatment of commerce, needs, value and price, happiness and well-being; the overall social theory and philosophy of history is less different from Adam Smith's than the received image makes believe; the paradox of happiness is central to Kant's philosophy; a distinction between happiness and well-being is clearly drawn; the distinction plays a basic role in establishing a link between the economic and the moral life. -/- 20. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and the critique of abstract universalism. The chapter describes first the Romantic movement and the implications some of its concerns, rescuing passions, community, tradition, the individual as the bearer of a unique destiny, and the longing for organic unity between the individual, mankind and nature. Hegel’s contribution is discussed then, highlighting how, on the one hand, he shared a number of these concerns and on the other he had more rationalist leanings. The notion of morality is the pivotal point of the reconstruction, highlighting how Hegel construes this notion as a key to his own diagnosis of the malaise of modernity – the separation of individual and Gemeinschaft – and how his attack on Kant turns around this very idea. -/- 21. Friedrich Nietzsche against Christianity and the Enlightenment. The chapter illustrates first the idea of deconstruction of the back-world of values. Nietzsche claims to be legitimate heir of the French moralists, Leibniz, Kant and Hegel, in so far as he allegedly carries out to its deepest implications their discovery of what lies behind traditional naïve belief in the existence of an objective realm of values just waiting for description by the philosopher. The two exemplars form which genealogy draws inspiration are the classical philologist’s historical reconstructions of lost meanings and the chemist’s decomposition of elements. Then the genealogy of the notions of good and evil carried out in the first dissertation of Genealogy of morals is illustrated with its paradoxical conclusion that will to power is in fact the only ‘genuine’ kind of goodness. The third point illustrated is the dialectic of ascetism and self-realization with its ambiguous outcome. The suggested interpretation of such outcome is that Nietzsche’s normative ethics is a kind of virtue ethics taking an aesthetic ideal as a normative standard -/- 22. George Edward Moore and ideal utilitarianism. The chapter discusses the ideas of common sense and common-sense morality in Sidgwick. I argue that, far from aiming at overcoming common-sense morality, Sidgwick aimed purposely at grounding a consist code of morality by methods allegedly taken from the natural sciences to reach, also in ethics, the same kind of “mature” knowledge as in the natural sciences. His whole polemics with intuitionism was vitiated by the a priori assumption that the widespread ethos of the educated part of humankind, not the theories of the intuitionist philosophers, was what was worth considering as the expression of intuitionist ethics. In spite of a naïve positivist starting-point, Sidgwick was encouraged by his own approach in exploring the fruitfulness of coherentist methods for normative ethics. Thus, Sidgwick left an ambivalent legacy to twentieth-century ethics: the dogmatic idea of a “new” morality of a consequentialist kind, and the fruitful idea that we can argue rationally in normative ethics albeit without shared foundations. Then it reconstructs the background of ideas, concerns and intentions out of which Moore’s early essays, the preliminary version, and then the final version of Principia Ethica originated. I stress the role of religious concerns, as well as that of the Idealist legacy. I argue that PE is more a patchwork of rather diverging contributions than a unitary work, not to say the paradigm of a new school in Ethics. I add a comparison with Rashdall’s almost contemporary ethical work, suggesting that the latter defends the same general claims in a different way, one that manages to pave decisive objections in a more plausible way. I end by suggesting that the emergence of Analytic Ethics was a more ambiguous phenomenon than the received view would make us believe, and that the wheat (or some other gluten-free grain) of this tradition, that is, what logic can do for philosophy, should be separated from the chaff, that is, the confused and mutually incompatible legacies of Utilitarianism and Idealism. -/- 23. Edmund Husserl and the a-priori of action. The chapter illustrates first the idea of phenomenology and the Husserl’s project of a phenomenological ethic as illustrated in his 1908-1914 lectures. The key idea is dismissing psychology and trying to ground a new science of the a priori of action, within which a more restricted field of inquiry will be the science of right actions. Then the chapter illustrates the criticism of modern moral philosophy carried out in the 1920 lectures, where the main target is naturalism, understood in the Kantian meaning of primacy of common sense. The third point illustrate is Adolph Reinach’s theory of social acts as a key the grounding of norms, a view that basically sketches the very ideas ‘discovered’ later by Clarence I. Lewis, John Searle, Karl-Otto Apel and Jürgen Habermas. A final section is dedicated to Nicolai Hartman, who always refused to define himself a phenomenologist and yet developed a more articulated and detailed theory of ‘values’ – with surprising affinities with George E. Moore - than philosophers such as Max Scheler who claimed to Husserl’s legitimate heirs. -/- 24. Bertrand Russell and non-cognitivism. The chapter reconstructs first the discussion after Moore. The naturalistic-fallacy argument was widely accepted but twisted to prove instead that the intuitive character of the definition of ‘good’, its non-cognitive meaning, in a first phase identified with ‘emotive’ meaning. Alfred Julius Ayer is indicated as a typical proponent of such non-cognitivist meta-ethics. More detailed discussion is dedicated to Bertrand Russell’s ethics, a more nuanced and sophisticated doctrine, arguing that non-cognitivism does not condemn morality to arbitrariness and that the project of a rational normative ethics is still possible, heading finally to the justification of a kind of non-hedonist utilitarianism. Stevenson’s theory, another moderate version of emotivism is discussed at some length, showing how the author comes close to the discovery of the role of a pragmatic dimension of language as a basis for ethical argument. Last of all, the discussion from the Forties about Hume’s law is described, mentioning Karl Popper’s argument and Richard Hare’s early non-cognitivist but non-emotivist doctrine named prescriptivism. -/- 25. Elizabeth Anscombe and the revival of virtue ethics. The chapter discusses the three theses defended by Anscombe in 'Modern Moral Philosophy'. I argue that: a) her answer to the question "why should I be moral?" requires a solution of the problem of theodicy, and ignores any attempts to save the moral point of view without recourse to divine retribution; b) her notion of divine law is an odd one more neo-Augustinian than Biblical or Scholastic; c) her image of Kantian ethics and intuitionism is the impoverished image manufactured by consequentialist opponents for polemical purposes and that she seems strangely accept it; d) the difficulty of identifying the "relevant descriptions" of acts is not an argument in favour of an ethics of virtue and against consequentialism or Kantian ethics, and indeed the role of judgment in the latter is a response to the difficulties raised by the case of judgment concerning future action. A short look at further developments in the neo-naturalist current is given trough a reconstruction of Philippa Foot’s and Peter Geach’s critiques to the naturalist-fallacy argument and Alasdair MacIntyre’s grand reconstruction of the origins and allegedly unavoidable failure of the Enlightenment project of an autonomous ethic. -/- 26. Richard Hare and neo-Utilitarianism. The chapter addresses the issue of the complex process of self-transformation Utilitarianism underwent after Sidgwick’s and Moore’s fatal criticism and the unexpected Phoenix-like process of rebirth of a doctrine definitely refuted. A glimpse at this uproarious process is given through two examples. The first is Roy Harrod Wittgensteinian transformation of Utilitarianism in pure normative ethics depurated from hedonism as well as from whatsoever theory of the good. This results in preference utilitarianism combined with a ‘Kantian’ version of rule utilitarianism. The second is Richard Hare’s two-level preference utilitarianism where act utilitarianism plays the function of eventual rational justification of moral judgments and rule-utilitarianism that of action-guiding practical device. -/- 27. Hans-Georg Gadamer and rehabilitation of practical philosophy. The post-war rediscovery of ethics by many German thinkers and its culmination in the Sixties in the movement named ‘Rehabilitation of practical philosophy’ is described. Among the actors of such rehabilitation there were a few of Heidegger’s most brilliant disciples, and Hans-Georg Gadamer is chosen as a paradigmatic example. His reading of Aristotle’s lesson I reconstructed, starting with Heidegger’s lesson but then subtly subverting its outcome thanks to the recovery of the central role of the notion of phronesis. -/- 28. Karl-Otto Apel and the revival of Kantian ethics. Parallel to the neo-Aristotelian trend, there was in the Rehabilitation of practical philosophy a Kantian current. This started, instead than the rehabilitation of prudence, with the discovery of the pragmatic dimension of language carried out by Charles Peirce and the Oxford linguistic philosophy. On this basis, Karl-Otto Apel singled out as the decisive proponent of the linguistic and Kantian turn in German-speaking ethics, worked out the performative-contradiction argument while claiming that this was able to provide a new rational and universal basis for normative ethics. An examination of his argument is some detail is offered, followed by a more cursory reconstruction of Jürgen Habermas’s elaboration on Apel’s theory. -/- 29. John Rawls and public ethics as applied ethics. Rawls’s distinction between a “political” and a “metaphysical” approach to one central part of ethical theory, namely the theory of justice, is interpreted as a formulation of the same basic idea at the root of both the principles approach and neo-casuistry, both discussed in the following chapter, namely that it is possible to reach an agreement concerning positive moral judgments even though the discussion is still open – and in Rawls’ view never will be close – on the basic criteria for judgment. -/- 30. Beauchamp and Childress and bioethics as applied ethics. The chapter presents the revolution of applied ethics while stressing its methodological novelty, exemplified primarily by Beauchamp and Childress principles approach and then by Jonsen and Toulmin’s new casuistry. -/- . (shrink)
This volume collects a wealth of articles covering a range of topics of practical concern in the field of ethics, including active and passive euthanasia, abortion, organ transplants, capital punishment, the consequences of human actions, slavery, overpopulation, the separate spheres of men and women, animal rights, and game theory and the nuclear arms race. The contributors are Thomas Nagel, David Hume, James Rachels, Judith Jarvis Thomson, Michael Tooley, John Harris, John Stuart Mill, Louis Pascal, Jonathan Glover, Derek Parfit, R.M. (...)Hare, Janet Radcliffe Richards, Peter Singer, and Nicholas Measor. (shrink)
Part I: WHAT IS ETHICS? Plato: Socratic Morality: Crito. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part II: ETHICAL RELATIVISM VERSUS ETHICAL OBJECTIVISM. Herodotus: Custom is King. Thomas Aquinas: Objectivism: Natural Law. Ruth Benedict: A Defense of Ethical Relativism. Louis Pojman: A Critique of Ethical Relativism. Gilbert Harman: Moral Relativism Defended. Alan Gewirth: The Objective Status of Human Rights. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part III: MORALITY, SELF-INTEREST AND FUTURE SELVES. Plato: Why Be Moral? Richard Taylor: On the Socratic Dilemma. David Gauthier: Morality (...) and Advantage. Gregory Kavka: A Reconciliation Project. Derek Parfit: Later Selves and Moral Principles. Bernard Williams: Persons, Character, and Morality. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part IV: VALUE. Jeremy Bentham: Classical Hedonism. Robert Nozick: The Experience Machine. Richard Taylor: Value and the Origin of Right and Wrong. Friedrich Nietzsche: The Transvaluation of Values. Derek Parfit: What Makes Someone’s Life Go Best? Thomas Nagel: Value: The View from Nowhere. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part V: UTILITARIANISM AND CONSEQUENTIALISM. John Stuart Mill: Utilitarianism. J.J.C. Smart: Extreme and Restricted Utilitarianism. Kai Nielsen: Against Moral Conservatism. Bernard Williams: Against Utilitarianism. John Hospers: Rule-Utilitarianism. Robert Nozick: Side Constraints. Peter Singer: Famine, Affluence and Morality. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part VI: KANTIAN AND DEONTOLOGICAL SYSTEMS. Immanuel Kant: Foundation for the Metaphysic of Morals. W. D. Ross: What Makes Right Acts Right? Onora O’Neill: Kantian Formula of the End in Itself and World Hunger. Thomas Nagel: Moral Luck. Philippa Foot: Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives. Judith Jarvis Thomson: Killing, Letting Die, and the Trolley Problem. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part VII: CONTRACTARIAN ETHICAL SYSTEMS. Thomas Hobbes: The Leviathan. David Gauthier: Why Contractarianism? John Rawls: Contractualism: Justice as Fairness. T.M. Scanlon: Contractualism and Utilitarianism. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part VIII: VIRTUE-BASED ETHICAL SYSTEMS. Aristotle: The Ethics of Virtue. Bernard Mayo: Virtue and the Moral Life. William Frankena: A Critique of Virtue-Based Ethics. Walter Schaller: Are Virtues No More than Dispositions to Obey Moral Rules? Alasdair MacIntyre: The Nature of the Virtues. Susan Wolf: Moral Saints. Louis P. Pojman: In Defense of Moral Saints. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part IX: THE FACT/VALUE PROBLEM: METAETHICS IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. David Hume: On Reason and the Emotions: The Fact/Value Distinction. G. E. Moore: Non-Naturalism. A. J. Ayer: Emotivism. R. M. Hare: Prescriptivism: The Structure of Ethics and Morals. Geoffrey Warnock: The Object of Morality. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part X: MORAL REALISM AND THE CHALLENGE OF SKEPTICISM. J.L. Mackie: The Subjectivity of Values. Jonathan Harrison: A Critique of Mackie’s Error Theory. Gilbert Harman: Moral Nihilism. Nicholas Sturgeon: Moral Explanations. Bernard Williams: Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy. Bruce Russell: Two Forms of Ethical Skepticism. Michael Smith: A Defense of Moral Realism. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part XI: RELIGION AND ETHICS. Plato: Morality and Religion. Immanuel Kant: God and Immortality as Necessary Postulates of Morality. George Mavrodes: Religious and the Queerness of Morality. Kai Nielson: Ethics Without God. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part XII: CONTEMPORARY CHALLENGES TO CLASSICAL ETHICAL THEORY. Part A. Sociobiology and the Question of Moral Responsibility. Charles Darwin: Ethics and the Descent of Man. E.O.Wilson: Sociobiology and Ethics. Michael Ruse: Evolution and Ethics: The Sociobiological Approach. Elliot Sober: Prospects for an Evolutionary Ethics. J.L. Mackie: The Law of the Jungle, Evolution and Morality. Suggestions for Further Readingon Sociobiology. Part B. The Challenge of Determinism to Moral Responsibility and Desert. Galen Strawson: The Impossibility of Moral Responsibility. Louis Pojman: Free Will, Determinism, and Moral Responsibility:A Response to Galen Strawson. Richard Taylor: A Libertarian Defense of Free Will and Responsibility. Suggestions for Further Reading on Moral Responsibility. Glossary of Ethical Terms. (shrink)
Overview * Part I: Introduction * Philip Appleman, Darwin: On Changing the Mind * Part II: Darwin’s Life * Ernst Mayr, Who Is Darwin? * Part III: Scientific Thought: Just before Darwin * Sir Gavin de Beer, Biology before the Beagle * Thomas Robert Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population * William Paley, Natural Theology * Jean Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet Lamarck, Zoological Philisophy * Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology * John Herschell, The Study of Natural (...) Philosophy * William Whewell, Astronomy and General Physics Considered with Reference to Natural Theology * Alfred Russel Wallace, On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely from the Original Type * Part IV: Selections from Darwin’s Work * The Voyage of the Beagle * o Chapter I. St. Jago-Cape de Verd Island o Chapter XVII. Galapagos Archipelago * On the Tendency of Species to Form Varieties; and On the Perpetuation of Varieties and Species by Natural Means of Selection * o I. Extract from an unpublished Work on Species, by C. Darwin, Esq.... o II.of Letter from C. Darwin, Esq., to Prof. Asa Gray, Boston, U.S., dated Down, September 5th, 1857 * An Historical Sketch of the Progress of Opinion on the Origin of Species, previously to the : Publication of This Work The Origin of Species * o Introduction o Chapter I. Variation under Domestication o Chapter II. Variation under Nature o Chapter III. Struggle for Existence o Chapter IV. Natural Selection o Chapter VI. Difficulties on Theory o Chapter IX. On the Imperfections of the Geological Record o Chapter XIII. Mutual Affinities of Organic Beings: Morphology: Embryology: Rudimentary Organs o Chapter XIV. Recapitulation and Conclusion * The Descent of Man * o Introduction o Chapter I. The Evidence of the Descent of Man from Some Lower Form o Chapter II. On the Manner of Development of Man from Some Lower Form o Chapter III. Comparison of the Mental Powers of Man and the Lower Animals o Chapter VI. On the Affinities and Genealogy of Man o Chapter VIII. Principles of Sexual Selection o Chapter XIX. Secondary Sexual Characters of Man o Chapter XX. Secondary Sexual Characters of Man-continued o Chapter XXI. General Summary and Conclusion * Part V: Darwin’s Influence on Science * THE VICTORIAN OPPOSITION TO DARWIN * o David L. Hull, Darwin and His Critics o Adam Sedgwick, Objections to Mr. Darwin’s Theory of the Origin of Species o Sir Richard Owen, Darwin on the Origin of Species o Fleeming Jenkin, Review of the Origin of Species * VICTORIAN SUPPORTERS OF DARWIN * o Joseph Dalton Hooker, Flora Tasmaniae o Thomas Henry Huxley, On the Relations of Man to the Lowe Animals o Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology o Alfred Russel Wallace, The Debt of Science to Darwin * DARWIN AND THE SHAPING OF MODERN SCIENCE * o Scientific Method in Evolution o National Academy of Sciences, Evolution and the Nature of Science o Richard Dawkins, Explaining the Very Improbable o Lewis Thomas, On the Uncertainty of Science o Noretta Koetge, Postmodernisms and the Problem of Scientific Literary o Richard Dawkins, Science and Sensibility o The Neo-Darwinian Synthesis o Peter Bowler, The Evolutionary Synthesis o The Human Genealogy o Adam Kuper, The Chosen Primate o Ian Tattersall, Out of Africa Again... and Again? o Stephen Jay Gould, The Human Difference o Punctuated Equilibrium o Stephen Jay Gould, [On Punctuated Equilibrium] o Niles Eldredge, The Great Stasis Debate o Rethinking Taxonomy o Kevin Padian, Darwin’s Views of Classification o David L. Hull, Cladistic Analysis o Kevin Padian and Luis M. Chiappe, Cladistics in Action: The Origin of Birds and Their Flight o Evolution as Observable Fact o James L. Gould and William T. Keeton with Carol Grant Gould, How Natural Selection Operates o Peter r. Grant, Natural Selection and Darwin’s Finches o John A. Endler, Natural Selection in the Wild * Part VI: Darwinian Patterns in Social Thought * COMPETITION AND COOPERATION * o Richard Hofstadter, The Vogue of Spencer o Andrew Carnegie, The Gospel of Wealth o Peter Kropotkin, Mutual Aid o Martin A. Nowak, Robert M. May, and Karl Sigmund, The Arithmetics of Mutual Help * NATURE AND NURTURE * o Edward O. Wilson, Sociobiology: The New Synthesis o Stephen Jay Gould, Biological Potentiality vs. Biological Determination o Barbara Ehrenreich and Janet McIntosh, The New Creationism: Biology under Attack * EVOLUTION AND GENDER * o Elizabeth Cady Stanton, The Woman’s Bible o Nancy Makepeace Tanner, On Becoming Human o Evelleen Richards, Darwin and the Descent of Woman o James Eli Adams, Woman Red in Tooth and Claw * EVOLUTION AND OTHER DISCIPLINES * o Edward O. Wilson, [On Consilience] o Randolph H. Nesse and George C. Williams, Evolution and the Origin of Disease o Steven Pinker, How the Mind Works o Steve Jones, The Set within the Skull * Part VII: Darwinian Influences in Philosophy and Ethics * John Dewey, The Influence of Darwin on Philosophy * Daniel C. Dennett, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Natural Selection as an Algorithmic Process * Michael Ruse Darwinian Epistemology * Thomas Henry Huxley, Evolution and Ethics * Julian Huxley, Evolutionary Ethics * Michael Ruse and Edward O. Wilson, The Evolution of Ethics * Frans de Waal, Good Natured: The Origin of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals * Matt Ridley, The Origins of Virtue * Part VIII: Evolutionary Theory and Religious Theory * MAINSTREAM RELIGIOUS SUPPORT FOR EVOLUTION * o Pope John Paul II, Message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences o Central Conference of American Rabbis, On Creationism in School Textbooks o United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., Evolution and Creationsim o The Lutheran World Federation, [Statement on Evolution] o The General Convention of the Episcopal Church, Resolution on Evolutionism and Creationism o Unitariuan Universalist Association, Resolution Opposing "Scientific Creationism" * FUNDAMENTALIST CREATIONISM * o Eugene C. Scott, Antievolution and Creationism in the United States o The Scopes Trial o Thomas McIver, Orthodox Jewish Creationists o Harun Yahya, [Islamic Creationism] o Seami Srila Prabhupada, [A Hare Krishna on Darwinian Evolution] o Institute for Creation Research, Tenets of Creationism o Henry M. Morris, Scientific Creationism o Thomas J. Wheeler, Review of Morris o Richard D. Sjolund and Betty McCollister, Evolution at the Grass Roots o Richard D. Sjolund, [Creationism versus Biotechnology] o Betty McCollister, [The Politics of Creationism] o Molleen Matsumara, What Do Christians Really Believe about Evolution? o National Center for Science Education, Seven Significant Court Decisions Regarding Evolution/Creation Issues * PERSONAL INCREDULITY AND ANTIEVOLUTIONISM * o Richard Dawkins, [The Argument from Personal Incredulity] o Phillip E. Johnson, Darwin on Trial o Eugenie C. Scott, Review of Johnson o Michael Behe, Darwin’s Black Box o Robert Dorit, Review of Behe o Michael Ruse, Darwin’s New Critics on Trial * SCIENTISTS’ OPPOSITION TO CREATIONISM * o American Association for the Advancement of Science, Forced Teaching of Creationist Beliefs in Public School Science Education o American Institute of Biological Sciences, Resolution Oposing Creationism in Science Courses o National Association of Biology Teachers, Statement on Teaching Evolution o National Academy of Sciences, Frequently Asked Questions about Evolution and the Nature of Science * FUNDAMENTALIST CREATIONISM AND THE VALUE OF SATIRE * o Michael Shermer, Genesis Revisted: A Scientific Creation Story o Philip Appleman, Darwin’s Ark * Part IX: Darwin and the Literary Mind * DARWIN’S LITERARY SENSIBILITY * o Charles Darwin, Autobiography o L. Robert Stevens, Darwin’s Humane Reading o George Levine, Darwin and Pain: Why Science Made Shakespeare Nauseating o Gillian Beer, Darwin’s Plots * DARWIN’S INFLUENCE ON LITERATURE * o Lionel Stevenson, Darwin among the Poets o George Levine, Darwin among the Novelists o Joseph Wood Krutch, The Tragic Fallacy o Herbert J. Muller, Modern Tragedy o Philip Appleman, Darwin-Sightings in Recent Literature. (shrink)
Introduction -- Part I: The meaning of life -- Richard Taylor, The meaning of life -- Thomas Nagel, The absurd -- Richard Hare, Nothing matters -- W.D. Joske, Philosophy and the meaning of life -- Robert Nozick, Philosophy and the meaning of life -- David Schmidtz, The meanings of life -- Part II: Creating people -- Derek Parfit, Whether causing someone to exist can benefit this person -- John Leslie, Why not let life ecome extinct? -- James Lenman, (...) On becoming extinct -- David Benatar, Why it is better never to come into existence -- Part III: Death -- Stephen E. Rosenbaum, How to be dead and not care : a defense of epicurus -- GeorgePpitcher, The misfortunes of the dead -- Steven Luper, Annihilation -- Fred Fldman, Some puzzles about the evil of death -- Frederick Kaufman, Pre-vital and post-mortem non-existence -- David B. Suits, Why death is not bad for the one who died -- Part IV: Suicide -- David Hume, Of suicide -- Immanuel Kant, Suicide and duty -- David Benatar, Suicide : a qualified defence -- Part V: Immortality -- James Lenman, Immortality : a letter -- Bernard Williams, The Makropulos case : reflections on the tedium of immortality -- John Martin Fischer, Why immortality is not so bad -- Christine Overall, from here to eternity : is it good to live forever? -- Part VI: Optimism and pessimism -- Margaret A. Boden, Optimism -- Michaelis Michael and Peter Caldwell, The consolations of optimism -- Bruce N. Waller, The sad truth : optimism, pessimism, and pragmatism -- Arthur Schopenhauer, On the suffering of the world. (shrink)
This essay, which won the Prince Consort Prize for 1950, treats of the revolutionary change in historical writing that followed the entry into England, early in the nineteenth century, of the ideas of Vico and of the German historical school. Chiefly through Coleridge's influence, eighteenth-century rationalist suppositions gave place in certain men to a fundamentally opposed, 'Romantic' philosophy, and so to a new kind of History. Mr. Forbes is particularly concerned with the part played in this revolution by the liberal (...) Anglicans: Thomas Arnold, Headmaster of Rugby and Regius Professsor of Modern History at Oxford; Richard Whitely, Professor of Political Economy at Oxford and Archbishop of Dublin; Julius Charles Hare, disciple of Coleridge and translator (with Thirlwall) of Niebuhr's History of Rome; Connop Thirlwall, Bishop of St David's and author of the History of Greece; Henry Hart Milman, Professor of Poetry and Oxford and Dean of St Paul's; Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, pupil and biographer of Thomas Arnold, and Dean of Westminster. They have elsewhere been studied in the compartments of 'classical' and 'ecclesiastical' history. But it is fundamental to their outlook on Church and State that for them no such compartments existed, and their idea of History as a whole has hitherto lacked an English historian. This essay does much more than clarify technical problems in one of the various ideas of History embraced in Professor Toynbee's system. Mr. Forbes addresses his book to all students of nineteenth-century thought. (shrink)
The institution of book reviews, flawed though it may be, still performs a crucial service of resource enhancement for a discipline, funneling informed attention to at least some of the best among a superfluity of publications. During the last quarter century, Thomas Nagel's book reviews and critical essays have played a major role, shaping opinion, and thereby shaping the field. Now he has gathered his favorites in a collection, ten in philosophy of mind, and a dozen in ethics and (...) political philosophy, supplemented by the view from today: brief reactions to the individual pieces, and a fascinating introduction, part intellectual autobiography and part reflection on the state of the discipline. The other minds of the title are those of Freud (and Richard Wollheim and Adolf Grünbaum), Wittgenstein (and David Pears), Noam Chomsky, Jerry Fodor, David Armstrong, myself, Brian O'Shaughnessy and John Searle in the philosophy of mind, and Aristotle (and John Cooper), John Rawls, Robert Nozick, Richard Hare, Bernard Williams, Thomas Schelling, Ronald Dworkin, Alasdair MacIntyre, and Leszek Kolakowski in ethics and political philosophy. Do not be misled by the dust jacket. The picture of brains is as inappropriate as it is ugly; Nagel's interest in the mind has always been more driven by his interest in the mind's role in ethics, than by a fascination with neuroscience. He is a "moral psychologist," not a "cognitive scientist.". (shrink)
El objetivo de este ensayo es hacer una defensa de la exigibilidad de los derechos económicos y sociales. Esta noción se refiere a “la posibilidad de reclamar ante un juez o tribunal de justicia el cumplimiento, al menos, de algunas de las obligaciones que se derivan [de estos derechos]”. Para realizar este objetivo, procederé de la siguiente manera. En la sección II, haré una reconstrucción de uno de los argumentos más tradicionales que se han ofrecido en contra de la exigibilidad (...) de los derechos económicos y sociales. En la sección III, haré una reconstrucción de la interpretación institucional de los derechos humanos, presentada por el filósofo Thomas Pogge, en su libro La pobreza en el mundo y los derechos humanos. La relevancia de esta interpretación consiste en que pretende trascender la crítica libertariana que sostiene que los derechos económicos y sociales no son derechos humanos. En la sección IV, me ocuparé de los derechos económicos y sociales incluidos en la Constitución nacional y en varios instrumentos internacionales. En la sección V, haré algunas reflexiones sobre la exigibilidad de estos derechos. Finalmente, en la sección VI, extraeré algunas conclusiones de las secciones previas. (shrink)
This collection of essays in moral philosophy has as its intended mark of distinction the fact that moral problems of the moment are the themes of the essays. The chapter headings indicate this contemporary concern: Abortion, Sex, Human Rights and Civil Disobedience, Criminal Punishment, Violence and Pacifism, War and Suicide and Death. There are essays by: Paul Ramsey, Philippa Foot, Jonathan Bennett, Thomas Nagel, Sara Ruddick, Richard Wassenstrom, [[sic]] John Rawls, R. M. Dworkin, William Kneale, H. L. A. Hart, (...) J. R. Lucas, Newton Carver, Jan Narveson, G. E. M. Anscombe, R. M. Hare, R. F. Holland, Mary Mothersill. One might well be inclined to agree with the editor's opposition to such philosophizing about morality which abstracts from the moral problems of one's own life. A purely theoretical approach to the study of morality would almost appear contradictory. However, it is necessary to express grave reservations about such a collection of essays as this. While the arguments of the essays are thoughtful and somewhat uncommon, the conclusions of the essays, as a rule, do not differ from "advanced" liberal opinions. In other words, the essays do not challenge students' opinions. The reading of these essays will but confirm the young in their prejudices. The problems the essays are concerned with are real problems; and it is a defect of the book that with the single exception of the chapter on Abortion no real opposing arguments are presented.--J. W. S. (shrink)
Ethical internalism is a view that links an agent's reasons to be moral with his or her motivation to be moral. At least two kinds of ethical internalism can be distinguished. "Socratic" ethical internalism is the view that an agent cannot think he has a moral reason to perform some action unless he has some motivation so to act. "Humean" ethical internalism is the view that moral reasons give genuine reasons for acting only when the action serves one of the (...) agent's desires or other "motivating" attitudes. I argue that neither Socractic nor Humean internalism is defensible. ;The central difficulty with Socratic internalism is that, if it can be tested at all, it involves the ascription of a desire, on the part of all competent agents, not to act immorally. But I argue that this "desire thesis" is itself unverifiable, so that the Socratic internalist thesis cannot be tested. These criticisms are applied to the views of R. M. Hare, H. A. Prichard, and Thomas Nagel. ;On the other hand, the Humean internalist, I argue, generally overstates the ability of agents to perceive and evaluate their own reasons for acting. This leads the Humean internalist wrongly to downplay the role of an agent's interests in determining his or her reasons for acting. I show how the views of the Humean internalist conflict with common-sense views about the ascription of reasons for acting, and apply the criticisms to the works of Philippa Foot, Bernard Williams, and Gilbert Harman. ;Finally, I develop an "externalist" account of reasons for acting. According of this account, the reasons properly ascribable to an agent do not depend in any essential way on the motivating attitudes that are ascribed to an agent. I argue that the externalist account best accords with our intuitions about the ascription of reasons for acting. And I conclude by examining the possibility of using the externalist account of reasons to justify the imposition of legal liability on agents. (shrink)
En un artículo anterior, titulado Filosofía de la naturaleza humana, he expuesto mi posición crítica respecto de las corrientes que abogan por la negación de la naturaleza humana, por su completa naturalización o por su completa artificialización. Aquí haré un breve resumen de esta posición, para a continuación profundizar en las críticas, pero ya en diálogo con varios autores que configuran un cambio de perspectiva contemporáneo respecto de la cuestión. En su conjunto, estos autores presentan una crítica muy lúcida al (...) naturalismo vigente, así como sugerencias interesantes para una nueva y más acertada teoría de la naturaleza humana. Me detendré especialmente en las aportaciones de Thomas Nagel, porque creo que echan las bases para un posible diálogo constructivo, en torno a la naturaleza humana, entre posiciones teístas y no teístas. Este diálogo ha de apoyarse, según defiendo en el apartado conclusivo, en las indicaciones del sentido común crítico., anidación, fecundación, diálogo. (shrink)
Contemporary Philosophy in Focus offers a series of introductory volumes to many of the dominant philosophical thinkers of the current age. Thomas Kuhn, the author of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, is probably the best-known and most influential historian and philosopher of science of the last 25 years, and has become something of a cultural icon. His concepts of paradigm, paradigm change and incommensurability have changed the way we think about science. This volume offers an introduction to Kuhn's life (...) and work and then considers the implications of Kuhn's work for philosophy, cognitive psychology, social studies of science and feminism. The volume is more than a retrospective on Kuhn, exploring future developments of cognitive and information services along Kuhnian lines. Outside of philosophy the volume will be of particular interest to professionals and students in cognitive science, history of science, science studies and cultural studies. (shrink)
Athens or Jerusalem? By Tertullian.--Philosophy the handmaid of theology, by Clement of Alexandria.--Faith in search of understanding, by St. Augustine.--Revelation and analogy, by St. Thomas Aquinas.--The mystic way, by M. Eckhart.--The darkened intellect, by J. Calvin.--The reasons of the heart, by B. Pascal.--Faith, reason, and enthusiasm, by J. Locke.--Miracles and the skeptic, by D. Hume.--The limits of reason, by I. Kant.--Truth and subjectivity, by S. Kierkegaard.--In justification of faith, by W. James.--Religion as poetry, by G. Santayana.--Faith and symbols, by (...) P. Tillich.--Three parables on falsification, by A. Flew, R. M. Hare, and B. Mitchell.--For further reading (p. 233-235). (shrink)
Para desarrollar este trabajo, en el primer capítulo caracterizaré con cierta extensión dos de las principales posturas funcionalistas del progreso científico, a saber, la defendida por Thomas S. Kuhn y Larry Laudan, respectivamente. Posteriormente, haré un análisis crítico de estas posturas. En particular, mostraré que un modelo de progreso científico basado en la resolución de problemas no puede pasar por alto explicar cómo es que se genera un problema científico y cómo puede ser medida no sólo la importancia cognitiva (...) de los problemas científicos a resolver; sino la importancia cognitiva que tienen las soluciones a los problemas que enfrenta la ciencia. En el segundo capítulo caracterizaré y analizaré la postura realista metafísica sobre el progreso científico desarrollada por Philip Kitcher. El análisis del modelo de Kitcher es pertinente para el presente estudio debido a que este autor integró muchas de las críticas que se le hicieron a las posturas funcionalistas anteriores a su propuesta. Sin embargo, como sugeriré en la conclusión de ese capítulo, la postura defendida por Kitcher en torno al progreso cognitivo de la ciencia fluctúa entre la defensa de un realismo de corte metafísico (Kitcher 1993 y 1995) y un realismo de corte semántico (Kitcher 2001a, 2001b, 2002 y 2007) que hace difícil entender con precisión y a cabalidad su postura. Con los anteriores elementos, en el tercer capítulo revisaré el debate entre las posturas funcionalistas y las posturas realistas sobre el progreso cognitivo de la ciencia en el marco del llamado Realismo Epistemológico Convergente, con el objetivo de evaluar si otras posturas realistas pueden explicar de mejor manera el progreso cognitivo de la ciencia. Como mostraré, el realismo epistemológico convergente requiere para su defensa de una definición conceptual precisa en relación a lo que debe entenderse por “verdad” – o “aproximación a la verdad” – y su conexión con el éxito científico; así como la relación de referencia entre las entidades y organismos teóricos observables e inobservables que la ciencia postula y el mundo natural. Para analizar estas conexiones, en este capítulo revisaré varios argumentos anti-realistas en contra de la relación cognitiva que los defensores del realismo epistemológico convergente pretenden establecer entre el éxito empírico y la verdad, por un lado, y el éxito empírico y la referencia, por el otro. Posteriormente, analizaré los contra-argumentos realistas más importantes que a mi juicio se han elaborado para defender el realismo epistemológico convergente. Finalmente, mostraré que los contra-argumentos realistas no logran ser lo suficientemente sólidos para evadir con éxito los ataques anti-realistas en torno al progreso cognitivo de la ciencia. El cuarto capítulo de este trabajo lo dedicaré a caracterizar y analizar la postura fundacionista defendida por Alexander Bird. Este autor sostuvo que la ciencia progresa cuando muestra “acumulación de conocimiento justificado”. Para validar su postura, este autor contrastó sus ideas con los conceptos sobre el progreso científico construidos precisamente por Kuhn y Laudan, respectivamente. El objetivo de Bird fue mostrar que el criterio de “resolución de problemas” defendido por estos autores es regresivo y, por ello, anti-intuitivo. En este capítulo analizo los argumentos de Bird, muestro en qué fallan para, finalmente, evaluar su postura a partir de sus propios fundamentos epistemológicos. En el quinto y último capítulo del libro ofreceré algunas conclusiones que pueden ser inferidas del presente estudio. (shrink)
Is it possible for an individual that has gone out of being to come back into being again? The English Aristotelian, Thomas White, argued that it is not. Thomas Hobbes disagreed, and used the case of the Ship of Theseus to argue that individuals that have gone out of being may come back into being again. This paper provides the first systematic account of their arguments. It is doubtful that Hobbes has a consistent case against White. Still his (...) criticism may have prompted White to clarify his views on identity over time in his later work. (shrink)
This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work. This work is in the public domain (...) in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant. (shrink)
Difficult moral issues in economic life, such as evaluating the impact of hostile takeovers and plant relocations or determining the obligations of business to the environment, constitute the raison d'etre of business ethics. Yet, while the ultimate resolution of such issues clearly requires detailed, normative analysis, a shortcoming of business ethics is that to date it has failed to develop an adequate normative theory. 1 The failing is especially acute when it results in an inability to provide a basis for (...) fine-grained analyses of issues. Both general moral theories and stakeholder theory seem incapable of expressing the moral complexity necessary to provide practical normative guidance for many business ethics contexts. (shrink)
… the supreme end, the happiness of all mankind. The law concerning punishment is a Categorical Imperative; and woe to him who rummages around in the winding paths of a theory of happiness, looking for some advantage to be gained by releasing the criminal from punishment or by reducing the amount of it.
Thomas Aquinas produced a voluminous body of work on moral theory, and much of that work is on virtue, particularly the status and value of the virtues as principles of virtuous acts, and the way in which a moral life can be organized around them schematically. Thomas Osborne presents Aquinas's account of virtue in its historical, philosophical and theological contexts, to show the reader what Aquinas himself wished to teach about virtue. His discussion makes the complexities of Aquinas's (...) moral thought accessible to readers despite the differences between Thomas's texts themselves, and the distance between our background assumptions and his. The book will be valuable for scholars and students in ethics, medieval philosophy, and theology. (shrink)
R. M. Hare, one of the most influential moral philosophers of the twentieth century, presents a definitive summary of his fundamental views on ethics, incorporating a critical taxonomy of rival ethical theories. Sorting Out Ethics is a characteristically lucid and lively guide to the subject and Hare's place in it.
Abstract Freedom in the sense of free will is a multiway power to do any one of a number of things, leaving it up to us which one of a range of options by way of action we perform. What are the ethical implications of our possession of such a power? The paper examines the pre-Hobbesian scholastic view of writers such as Peter Lombard and Francisco Suárez: freedom as a multiway power is linked to the right to liberty understood as (...) a right to exercise that power, and to liberation as a desirable goal involving the perfection of that power. Freedom as a power, liberty as a right, and liberation as a desirable goal, are all linked within this scholastic view to a distinctive theory of law as constituting, in its primary form of natural law, the normative recognition of human freedom. Hobbes's denial of the very existence of freedom as a power led him to a radical revision both of the theory of law and of the relation of law to liberty. Law and liberty were no longer harmonious phenomena, but were left in essential conflict. One legacy of Hobbes is the attempt to base a theory of law and liberty not on freedom as a multiway power, but on rationality. Instead of an ethics of freedom, we have an ethics of reason as involving autonomy. The paper expresses some scepticism about the prospects for such an appeal to reason as a replacement for multiway freedom. (shrink)
Die MISCELLANEA MEDIAEVALIA präsentieren seit ihrer Gründung durch Paul Wilpert im Jahre 1962 Arbeiten des Thomas-Instituts der Universität zu Köln. Das Kernstück der Publikationsreihe bilden die Akten der im zweijährigen Rhythmus stattfindenden Kölner Mediaevistentagungen, die vor über 50 Jahren von Josef Koch, dem Gründungsdirektor des Instituts, ins Leben gerufen wurden. Der interdisziplinäre Charakter dieser Kongresse prägt auch die Tagungsakten: Die MISCELLANEA MEDIAEVALIA versammeln Beiträge aus allen mediävistischen Disziplinen - die mittelalterliche Geschichte, die Philosophie, die Theologie sowie die Kunst- und (...) Literaturwissenschaften sind Teile einer Gesamtbetrachtung des Mittelalters. (shrink)