First published in 1970. What is a work of art? What is the status of things in pictures and books? How are we to distinguish and ascertain the meaning of a literary work at various levels? This book is intended both to introduce the reader to classic philosophical accounts of art and beauty, and to bring out the significance for aesthetics of recent developments in philosophy.
When we start to discuss religion we run into controversial questions about history and anthropology, about the scope of scientific explanation, and about free will, good and evil. This book explains how to find our way through these disputes and shows how we can be freed from assumptions and prejudices which make progress impossible by deeper philosophical insight into the concepts involved. Books about religion usually concentrate on a few central Judaeo-Christian doctrines and either attack them or defend them with (...) tenacious conservatism, yielding nothing. This book has a broader scope, and instead of trying to prove that religion, or any particular religion, is reasonable or unreasonable, it seeks to persuade people to be reasonable about religion. (shrink)
Why do some philosophers, despite all we know about evolution and embryology, think that consciousness makes the mind-body relation a problem still unsolved and perhaps insoluble by those with human brains? They ask how consciousness arises in matter, not in living organisms, whereas non-philosophers ask how far down the ladder of life it extends and when it arises in individuals of sentient and intelligent species. They desire the privacy of Locke's closet, furnished with phenomenological properties; and besides replacing Aristotle's ‘folk’ (...) conception of causation by Hume's, they mathematicise physical explanation in line with Newton's First Law of Motion. Non-philosophers operate with ‘vague’ concepts of life, sentience and intelligence which allow them to treat these things as truly and naturally emergent. Machines that perform intelligent tasks are no more conscious of the reasons for their movements than actors performing them on the stage. (shrink)
After a brief introduction I compare accounts of what it is to say something I find in Plato, Frege and Grice, and I distinguish linguistic from practical meaning and words that signify things from ‘syncategorematic’ or ‘grammatical’ words. I then argue that the relation between a signifying word and what it signifies must be understood in terms of two complementary acts, already recognised in antiquity, quantifying and predicating. Discussing quantification, I show how problems about universals can be avoided by accepting (...) Aristotle's distinction between possible and actual existence. Discussing predication, I defend Aristotle's view that there are more forms of predication than one, and consider this issue in connection with non-mathematical discourse. (shrink)
The ancient Greek commentators on Aristotle constitute a large body of Greek philosophical writings, not previously translated into European languages. This volume includes notes and indexes and forms part of a series to fill this gap.
abstract I first summarise Martha Nussbaum's theory of emotion and place it against its historical background. Borrowing distinctions from Plato I then argue that the emotions discussed in Hiding From Humanity affect us primarily as social beings, not as individuals, and suggest modifying and educating them by social means.
Our paradigm for religion is Christianity, which appeared as a sub-society, the culture of which differed both from Jewish culture and from that of the Greeks and Romans. Human beings are essentially social, depending upon society for all rational thought and activity. As social beings we live with regard to customs we think good on the whole. Customs are rationalised by theoretical and moral beliefs. They contrast with nature and also with convention and habit. Religions, like families, are societies intermediate (...) between individuals and states. So-called secular values concern the same things as religious and have comparable practical consequences. (shrink)