It is now five years since P. J. Parsons published the Lille Callimachus, and the dust appears to have settled. The appearance of these fragments, which greatly increase our knowledge of the opening of the third book of the Aetia, has been followed by no great critical reaction. Apart from the attractive suggestion of E. Livrea that the ‘Mousetrap’ may belong within the story of Heracles and Molorchus, the episode has had somewhat limited impact. This is against the usual trend (...) of over-reaction to the publication of new literary texts , and is in part a tribute to the thoroughness and clarity with which Parsons presented the fragments. (shrink)
The text of this poem, already corrupt in the Palatine, has had a turbulent history over the last two centuries. Here is Page's version, the translation in Gow–Page, and my own somewhat expanded apparatus: I who in time past was good for five or nine times, now, Aphrodite, hardly manage once from early night to sunrise. The thing itself, – already often only at half-strength, – is gradually dying. That's the last straw. Old age, old age, what will you do (...) later when you come to me, if even now I am as languid as this. (shrink)
Among other things, R. O. A. M. Lyne's recent edition and commentary of the Ciris has established the general method of composition followed by this pseudo-neoteric poet: he demonstrably lifted wholesale and applied to his own poem words, phrases, lines, and even entire sequences from the works of the neoterics and the poets of the following generation. Accordingly, one of the poem's chief attributes is that it serves as a means for recovering the general content, and at times the actual (...) wording, of earlier, more important poetry. This paper offers some additional areas in the Ciris where such influence may exist. I confine myself to Cinna and Calvus, whose poetry may justly be considered the missing two-thirds of the neoteric movement. (shrink)
The definition of art is controversial in contemporary philosophy. Whether art can be defined has also been a matter of controversy. The philosophical usefulness of a definition of art has also been debated. -/- Contemporary definitions can be classified with respect to the dimensions of art they emphasize. One distinctively modern, conventionalist, sort of definition focuses on art’s institutional features, emphasizing the way art changes over time, modern works that appear to break radically with all traditional art, the relational properties (...) of artworks that depend on works’ relations to art history, art genres, etc. – more broadly, on the undeniable heterogeneity of the class of artworks. The more traditional, less conventionalist sort of definition defended in contemporary philosophy makes use of a broader, more traditional concept of aesthetic properties that includes more than art-relational ones, and puts more emphasis on art’s pan-cultural and trans-historical characteristics – in sum, on commonalities across the class of artworks. Hybrid definitions aim to do justice to both the traditional aesthetic dimension as well as to the institutional and art-historical dimensions of art, while privileging neither. (shrink)
The De Malo represents some of St. Thomas Aquinas' most mature thinking on goodness, badness, and human agency. Together with the second part of the Summa Theologiae, it is one of his most sustained contributions to moral philosophy and theology. Aquinas examines the full range of questions associated with evil: its origin, its nature, its variety, its relation to good, and its compatibility with the existence of an omnipotent, benevolent God. This edition offers the Leonine Commission's authoritative edition of (...) the Latin text with a new, clear, and readable English translation by Richard Regan with an extensive introduction and notes by Brian Davies. (shrink)
Overview of the definition of art and its relationship to definitions of the individual art forms, with an eye to clarifying the issues separating dominant institutionalist and skeptical positions from non-skeptical, non-institutional ones. Section 2 indicates some of the key philosophical issues which intersect in discussions of the definition of art, and singles out some important areas of broad agreement and disagreement. Section 3 critically reviews some influential standard versions of institutionalism, and some more recent variations on them. Section 4 (...) discusses some recent reductionist approaches to definitional questions, which advocate a shift of philosophical focus from the macro- to the micro-level —from art to the individual art forms. Section 5 outlines an alternative, non-institutionalist and non-reductionist approach to definitional questions. (shrink)
The cluster account of art is a purportedly non-definitional account of art, inspired by Wittgenstein's notion of family resemblance, and recently defended by Berys Gaut. Gaut does not provide good reasons to think that art is not definable, and his approach to possible counterexamples to the cluster account would, applied consistently, preclude this. The cluster account's theory of error, its resources for accounting for borderline cases, and its heuristic usefulness are not impressive. Reasons strong enough to warrant accepting the cluster (...) account, it is concluded, have not been given. (shrink)
As its subtitle 'Skepticism, Individuality and Chastened Politics' indicates, this book is an exploration of and a largely favorable engagement with salient elements in the thinking of a theorist who is widely regarded as the greatest Anglophone political thinker and among the top rank of philosophical writers generally. In emphazing Hobbes's skepticism, Richard Flathman goes against the grain of much of the literature concerning Hobbes. The theme of individuality is more familiar, particularly from the celebrated writings on Hobbes by Michael (...) Oakeshott, but the idea of a chastened politics challenges the widely influential view that Hobbes was not only an authoritarian but an incipient or proto-totalitarian. (shrink)
It has been claimed that the prototype theory of concepts supports two controversial claims in the philosophy of art: that art cannot be defined, and that the possession of a certain sort of historical narrative is a sufficient but not necessary means of determining the art status of contested works. It is argued here that two sorts of considerations undermine the thesis that prototype theory offers significant support to anti-definitionism and historical narrativism. First, there is reason to think that prototype (...) theory is as a psychological theory not the sort of view that can support philosophical theories like anti-definitionism and historical narrativism. Second, well-known objections and theoretical alternatives to prototype theory theory raise serious questions about that theory’s own credentials. (shrink)
Revisiting the work of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century philosophers, when the split between analytical and continental philosophy began, Thomas-Fogiel finds both traditions followed the same path—the road of reference—which ...
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 question of how to demarcate science from pseudo-science commands relatively little attention today. In the philosophy of logic, by contrast, the problem of demarcating the logical constants is less skeptically regarded. In aesthetics, where the problem is how to demarcate art from non-art, the question as to whether the problem is a real one or a pseudo-problem also continues to be debated. This paper discusses the hypothesis that the demarcation questions in these three areas are parallel, or at least (...) similar enough to be interesting. Some arguments for the conclusion that the demarcation problem is a pseudo-problem are considered, as are some demarcation proposals of a deflationist or minimalist sort. All are found wanting. (shrink)
Vagueness has gotten some attention in aesthetics, but deserves more. Vagueness is universally acknowledged to be ubiquitous. It has played a substantive role in some recent writing on the definition of art. It has figured importantly in analyses of the concept of literature, and (in connection with a thought experiment of Arthur Danto’s), of the ontology of art. Vagueness was a locus of contention in a debate between Alan Goldman and Eddy Zemach about the reality of aesthetic properties. This paper’s (...) aim is to advance that debate, by focusing on the relevance of vagueness to the familiar argument that moves from premises about aesthetic disagreement to the conclusion that aesthetic properties are not real. In what follows, it is argued that, vis-á-vis aesthetic disagreement, the vagueness of aesthetic properties can do important theoretical work for aesthetic realism. (shrink)
The Essays on the Active Powers of Man was Thomas Reid's last major work. It was conceived as part of one large work, intended as a final synoptic statement of his philosophy. The first and larger part was published three years earlier as Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man. These two works are united by Reid's basic philosophy of common sense, which sets out native principles by which the mind operates in both its intellectual and active aspects. The (...) Active Powers shows how these principles are involved in volition, action, and the ability to judge morally. Reid gives an original twist to a libertarian and realist tradition that was prominently represented in eighteenth-century British thought by such thinkers as Samuel Clarke and Richard Price. (shrink)
A dozen papers by internationally known scholars explore questions largely unthinkable without Richard Watson's classic Downfall of Cartesianism: Descartes in Holland, Descartes and Simon Foucher, and issues raised by Descartes for philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, translation and toleration.
This paper presents an analysis of bluffing in labor negotiations from legal, economic, and ethical perspectives. It is argued that many forms of bluffing in labor negotiations are legal and economically advantageous, but that they typically constitute lying. Nevertheless it is argued that it is generally morally acceptable to bluff given a typical labor-management relationship where one's negotiating partner is familiar with and most likely employing bluffing tactics him/herself. We also consider whether it is an indictment of our present negotiating (...) practices and our economic system as a whole that, given the harsh realities of the marketplace, bluffing is usually morally acceptable. (shrink)
This paper focuses on the 1986 Amendments to the False Claims Act of 1863, which offers whistle-blowers financial rewards for disclosing fraud committed against the U.S. government. This law provides an opportunity to examine underlying assumptions about the morality of whistle-blowing and to consider the merits of increased reliance on whistle-blowing to protect the public interest. The law seems open to a number of moral objections, most notably that it exerts a morally corrupting influence on whistle-blowers. We answer these objections (...) and argue that the law is not objectionable on these grounds. Since there are no compelling moral objections to the law, it is appropriate and acceptable to judge the law in terms of its economic costs and benefits. We assess the most salient of these and conclude that the benefits outweigh the costs. We suggest that a mechanism similar to the Act should be considered for protecting stockholders’ interests in the private sector. We conclude by making several proposals for improving the existing legislation. (shrink)
This paper examines several issues regarding deception in advertising. Some generally accepted definitions are considered and found to be inadequate. An alternative definition is proposed for legal/regulatory purposes and is related to a suggested definition of the term deception as it is used in everyday language. Based upon these definitions, suggestions are offered for detecting and regulating deception in advertising. This paper additionally considers the grounds for the generally held but largely unquestioned assumption that deceptive advertising is unethical. It is (...) argued that deceptive advertising can be shown to be morally objectionable, on the weak assumption that it is prima facie wrong to harm others. Finally, the implications of this analysis with respect to current regulation of deceptive advertising by the FTC are considered. (shrink)
This paper focuses on the 1986 Amendments to the False Claims Act of 1863, which offers whistle-blowers financial rewards for disclosing fraud committed against the U.S. government. This law provides an opportunity to examine underlying assumptions about the morality of whistle-blowing and to consider the merits of increased reliance on whistle-blowing to protect the public interest. The law seems open to a number of moral objections, most notably that it exerts a morally corrupting influence on whistle-blowers. We answer these objections (...) and argue that the law is not objectionable on these grounds. Since there are no compelling moral objections to the law, it is appropriate and acceptable to judge the law in terms of its economic costs and benefits. We assess the most salient of these and conclude that the benefits outweigh the costs. We suggest that a mechanism similar to the Act should be considered for protecting stockholders' interests in the private sector. We conclude by making several proposals for improving the existing legislation. (shrink)