This paper explores the idea of moral offsetting: the idea that good actions can offset bad actions in a way roughly analogous to carbon offsetting. For example, a meat eater might try to offset their consumption of meat by donating to an animal welfare charity. In this paper, I clarify the idea of moral offsetting, consider whether the leading moral theories and theories of moral worth are consistent with the possibility of moral offsetting, and consider potential benefits of moral offsetting. (...) I also compare moral offsetting to a related practice that I call ‘moral triaging’. (shrink)
This dissertation defends materialism from the epistemic arguments against materialism. Materialism is the view that everything is ultimately physical. The epistemic arguments against materialism claim that there is an epistemic gap between physical and phenomenal truths (for example, that knowing the physical truths does not put you in a position to know the phenomenal truths), and conclude from this that there is a corresponding gap in the world between physical and phenomenal truths, and materialism is false. -/- Chapter 1 introduces (...) materialism and the arguments against materialism that I respond to in this dissertation. -/- Chapters 2 and 3 explore the phenomenal concept strategy (PCS), one promising materialist response to the epistemic arguments against materialism. The PCS admits that there is an epistemic gap between physical and phenomenal truths, but claims that it arises because of something special about our concepts of consciousness and not because of something special about consciousness itself. -/- Chapter 4 considers what reason there is to think that there is an epistemic gap between physical and phenomenal truths in the first place. I argue that some arguments might succeed in showing that there is such an epistemic gap, but that if these arguments succeed then they end up vindicating the PCS. -/- Chapter 5 considers more generally what is required for an epistemic gap to exist. In particular, it considers whether conceptual analysis is necessary to close an epistemic gap. (shrink)
Starting from the most important conquests of contemporary post-positivistic epistemology and from its authors such as Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend, and Edgar Morin and going through Gadamer's hermeneutics or Wittgenstein and de Mandeville's approaches to scientific and social paradigms, this article focuses on the limits of scientific dogmas and on the overbearing rationalism that claims to explain everything, marginalizing many aspects of human life which cannot be rationalized. The scientific approach cannot be just conceptual. It must be (...) opened to images and unusual connections. The scientist must concentrate his or her attention on limit-matters that are often unpredictable and go beyond the logical-philosophical field toward the metaphysical one. "I did not know I did not know" realized von Foerster, and aware of that, the scientist should become the specialist of the unknown, moving along the border-figures of science and philosophy. (shrink)
Purpose: Commenting on the transcript of a lecture. Findings: The document reconstructs the development of the original 1973 lecture by Heinz von Foerster into his best-known paper, On Constructing a Reality. Many aspects of that paper can be identified as being shaped through interaction with the audience. Implications: The lecture documented here was a forerunner of a central paper in constructivism.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Thomas Reid saw the three subjects of logic, rhetoric, and the fine arts as closely cohering aspects of one endeavor that he called the culture of the mind. This was a topic on which Reid lectured for many years in Glasgow, and this volume presents as near a reconstruction of these lectures as is now possible. Though virtually unknown today, this material in fact relates closely to Reid's published works and in particular to the late Essays on the Intellectual (...) Powers of Man and Essays on the Active Powers of Man. When composing these works, Reid drew primarily on his lectures on "pneumatology," which presented a theory of the mental powers, broadly conceived. These lectures were basic to the course on the culture of the mind that explained the cultivation of the mental powers. Although the Essays also included some elements from the material on the culture of the mind, the bulk of the latter was left in manuscript form, and Alexander Broadie's edition restores this important extension of Reid's overall work. In addition, this volume continues the attractive combination of manuscript material and published work, in this case Reid's important and well-known essay on Aristotle's logic. This text was corrupted in earlier editions of Reid's works and is now restored to the state in which Reid left it. This volume underscores Reid's great and growing significance, viewed both as a historical figure and as a philosopher. At the same time, it is of great interdisciplinary importance. While the material emerges directly from the core of Reid's philosophy, as now understood, it will appeal widely to people in literary, cultural, historical, and communications studies. In this regard, the present volume is a true fruit of the Scottish Enlightenment. (shrink)
Thomas Brown, Professor of Moral Philosophy in Edinburgh, was among the most prominent and widely read British philosophers of the first half of the nineteenth century. An influential interpreter of both Hume and Reid, Brown provided a bridge between the Scottish school of 'Common Sense' and the later positivism of John Stuart Mill and others. The selections in this volume illustrate Brown’s original ideas about mental science, cause and effect, emotions and ethics. They are preceded by an introduction situating (...) Brown’s career and writings in their intellectual and historical context. (shrink)
This article is an email conversation between the artist Thomas Hirschhorn and the philosopher Jacques Rancière that took place from December 2009 to February 2010. The images of ‘The Bijlmer Spinoza-Festival’, an artwork by Thomas Hirschhorn that occurred in the outskirts of Amsterdam in 2009, portray the levels of engagement by the local participants and the interaction with invited speakers and performers. The interview with Jacques Rancière addresses the problem of classifying collaborative art projects within the conventional categories (...) of art and politics. It explores the vital function of artistic presence and the possibility of establishing a mode of aesthetic exchange that proceeds from the experience of equality. (shrink)
Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, and William of Ockham disagree over how and whether virtues are specified by their objects. For Thomas, habits and acts are specified by their formal objects. For instance, the object of theft is something that belongs to someone else, and more particularly theft is distinct from robbery because theft is the open taking of another’s good, whereas robbery is open and violent. A habit such as a virtue or a vice shares or takes (...) the act’s object. For Scotus, although the same virtue or act cannot have objects which differ formally, different virtues and acts can have an object which is identical according to its formal ratio, in the way that the different theological virtues might even formally have God as their object. Ockham accepts Scotus’s view that charity and hope are two kinds of love, we will see how, unlike Scotus, he argues that these theological virtues differ on account of their immediate complex objects. The disagreement between these three figures raises important difficulties concerning what it even means to be a formal object. (shrink)
The past few years have seen a revival of interest in Thomas Reid's philosophy. His moral theory has been studied by D. D. Raphael (The Moral Sense) and his entire philosophical position by S. A. Grave (The Scottish Philosophy of Common Sense). Prior to both, A. D. Woozley gave us the first modern reprint of Reid's Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man - in fact the first edition of any work by Reid to appear in print since the (...) Philosophical Works was edited in the nineteenth century by Sir William Hamilton. But Reid's aesthetic philosophy has not received its due. Woozley, in abridging the Essays, omitted the whole final essay, "On Taste," which is the only extended work on aesthetic theory that Reid ever published. Raphael, being interested primarily in Reid's moral theory, understand ably, treated aesthetics only as it was related to morality. And Grave, although he did present a short and very cogent resume of Reid's aes thetic position, obviously found himself drawn to other elements of Reid's philosophy. There are, of course, some accounts of Reid's aes thetic theory to be found in the various studies of eighteenth-century British aesthetics and criticism. None, however, appears to me to do any kind of justice to the philosophical questions which Reid treats in his aesthetics and philosophy of art. (shrink)
In this ambitious study, Alexander W. Hall examines the two preeminent figures of the golden age of natural theology: Thomas Aquinas and John Duns Scotus. Hall is not so much concerned with retracing particular proofs of the existence of God and derivations of the divine attributes—well-worn paths in discussions of medieval natural theology—as with investigating the larger philosophical issues that are raised by the project of natural theology, such as the nature of scientia and demonstrative arguments, and accounts of (...) signification and the meaningfulness of theological discourse.Hall's opening chapter offers an overview of natural theology in the High Middle Ages, summarizing the conclusions he will defend at greater length over the course of the book. In chapter 2 Hall relies primarily on Aquinas's commentary on the Posterior Analytics to get clear on his account of scientia, or scientific knowledge. "For Aquinas," Hall writes,"paradigmatic scientia is the result of syllogistic reasoning . . . Syllogisms productive of scientia use either real or nominal definitions as their middle, and thus the conclusion tells us what belongs to the subject through itself or per se". (shrink)
" This collection proves otherwise, for the letters illuminate virtually every aspect of Reid's life and career and, in some instances, provide us with invaluable evidence about activities otherwise undocumented in his manuscripts or ...
Thomas Jefferson is among the most important and controversial of American political thinkers: his influence (libertarian, democratic, participatory, and agrarian-republican) is still felt today. A prolific writer, Jefferson left 18,000 letters, Notes on the State of Virginia, an Autobiography, and numerous other papers. Joyce Appleby and Terence Ball have selected the most important of these for presentation in the Cambridge Texts series: Jefferson's views on topics such as revolution, self-government, the role of women and African-American and Native Americans emerge (...) to give a fascinating insight into a man who owned slaves, yet advocated the abolition of slavery. The texts are supported by a concise introduction, suggestions for further reading and short biographies of key figures, all providing invaluable assistance to the student encountering the breadth and richness of Jefferson's thought for the first time. (shrink)
The paper discusses some aspects of the relationship between Feyerabend and Kuhn. First, some biographical remarks concerning their connections are made. Second, four characteristics of Feyerabend and Kuhn's concept of incommensurability are discussed. Third, Feyerabend's general criticism of Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions is reconstructed. Fourth and more specifically, Feyerabend's criticism of Kuhn's evaluation of normal science is critically investigated. Finally, Feyerabend's re-evaluation of Kuhn's philosophy towards the end of his life is presented.
This is a new edition of a speech about Buddhism by Rudolf Otto from 1913. This speech is his first academic reflexion of his journey around the world and his most detailed explanation of his view on this religion. In the first part of his speech Otto compares Buddhism with Christianity and finds a lot of parallels. In the second part he defines differences between these two religions and proclaims – from a Christian perspective – Christianity as more valuable than (...) Buddhism. The preface puts the speech into its context: Otto’s relationship to and his knowledge of Buddhism, the history of publication of this speech, Otto’s specific view on Buddhism in comparison to his contemporaries, the meaning of this speech in his œuvre and explanations about the edition. The editor has the opinion, that this speech is an important transition from Ottos philosophy of religion to his main work The Idea of the Holy. It further is a good example of what Otto means when speaking about the comparison of religions. (shrink)
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)
Thomas Berry presents his vision of cosmology and the relationships in creation. Responses from Donald Senior, Gregory Baum, Margaret Brennan, Stephen Dunn, James Farris, and Brian Swimme round out the insights and create magnetic reading.
The great medieval philosopher Thomas Aquinas was Dominican regent master in theology at the University of Paris, where he presided over a series of questions - academic debates - on ethical topics. This volume offers translations of disputed questions on the nature of virtues in general, the fundamental or 'cardinal' virtues of practical wisdom, justice, courage, and temperateness, the divinely bestowed virtues of hope and charity, and the practical question of how, when and why one should rebuke a 'brother' (...) for wrongdoing. The introduction explains how Aquinas's theory of virtue fits into his ethics as a whole, and it illuminates Aquinas's views by explaining the institutional and intellectual context in which these disputed questions were debated. (shrink)
The distinction between Thomas and Scotus on threefold referral is superficially similar in that both use the same terminology of actual, virtual, and habitual referral. For Scotus, an act is virtually referred to the ultimate end through an agent’s somehow explicitly thinking about the end and some sort of causal connection between the virtually intended act and the actually intended act. For Thomas, someone with charity virtually refers his acts to God as the ultimate end not because the (...) act has been caused by an actually intended act, but because the act is the kind of act that can be referred to God as the ultimate end, and the agent himself is ordered to that end. Similarly, For Scotus a good act might be only habitually referred to God because the agent does not think about him. For Thomas, the fact that someone with charity would only habitually order an act to God can only be explained by a defect in the act. The act lacks a virtual order to God because it is the kind of act which cannot be so ordered. The difference between Scotus and Thomas on this issue expresses a fundamental difference over the relationship between individual acts and the ultimate end. For Thomas, every good act is orderable and this order is made virtual merely by an agent’s possession of charity. The virtual order requires an actually ordered act only to the extent that the possession of charity does. For Scotus, the order requires some sort of additional act by the agent. (shrink)
For the first time in three centuries, this book brings back into print three discourses now confirmed to have been written by the young Thomas Hobbes. Their contents may well lead to a resolution of the long-standing controversy surrounding Hobbes's early influences and the subsequent development of his thought. The volume begins with the recent history of the discourses, first published as part of the anonymous seventeenth-century work, Horae Subsecivae . Drawing upon both internal evidence and external confirmation afforded (...) by new statistical "wordprinting" techniques, the editors present a compelling case for Hobbes's authorship. Saxonhouse and Reynolds present the complete texts of the discourse with full annotations and modernized spellings. These are followed by a lengthy essay analyzing the pieces' significance for Hobbes's intellectual development and modern political thought more generally. The discourses provide the strongest evidence to date for the profound influences of Bacon and Machiavelli on the young Hobbes, and they add a new dimension to the much-debated impact of the scientific method on his thought. The book also contains both introductory and in-depth explanations of statistical "wordprinting.". (shrink)