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Organised around such themes as harmony with one's self and with the world, religious ways of life, the use of reason, self-exploration, self-realisation, and social involvement, the selections in this anthology, edited and introduced by Charles Guignon, explore traditional and recent philosophical thought on the topic of human flourishing. This is a versatile series of compact anthologies, each devoted to a topic of traditional interest. Selections include classical, modern, and contemporary writings, chosen for thier elegance of exposition and their consistent ability to stimulate thought and discussion.
Ontological materialism, in its various forms, has become the orthodox view in contemporary philosophy of mind. This book provides a variety of defenses of mind-body dualism, and shows (explicitly or implicitly) that a thoroughgoing ontological materialism cannot be sustained. The contributions are intended to show that, at the very least, ontological dualism (as contrasted with a dualism that is merely linguistic or epistemic) constitutes a philosophically respectable alternative to the monistic views that currently dominate thought about the mind-body (or, perhaps more appropriately, person-body) relation.
Humanness supposes innate and profound reflexivity. This volume approaches the concept of reflexivity on two different yet related analytical planes. Whether implicitly or explicitly, both planes of thought bear critically on reflexivity in relation to the nature of selfhood and the very idea of the autonomous individual, ethics, and humanness, science as such and social science, ontological dualism and fundamental ambiguity. On the one plane, a collection of original and innovative ethnographically based essays is offered, each of which is devoted to ways in which reflexivity plays a fundamental role in human social life and the study of it; on the other-anthropo-philosophical and developed in the volume's Preface, Introduction, and Postscript-it is argued that reflexivity distinguishes-definitively, albeit relatively-the being and becoming of the human.
The Moral Nexus develops and defends a new interpretation of morality-namely, as a set of requirements that connect agents normatively to other persons in a nexus of moral relations. According to this relational interpretation, moral demands are directed to other individuals, who have claims that the agent comply with these demands. Interpersonal morality, so conceived, is the domain of what we owe to each other, insofar as we are each persons with equal moral standing. The book offers an interpretative argument for the relational approach. Specifically, it highlights neglected advantages of this way of understanding the moral domain; explores important theoretical and practical presuppositions of relational moral duties; and considers the normative implications of understanding morality in relational terms. The book features a novel defense of the relational approach to morality, which emphasizes the special significance that moral requirements have, both for agents who are deliberating about what to do and for those who stand to be affected by their actions. The book argues that relational moral requirements can be understood to link us to all individuals whose interests render them vulnerable to our agency, regardless of whether they stand in any prior relationship to us. It also offers fresh accounts of some of the moral phenomena that have seemed to resist treatment in relational terms, showing that the relational interpretation is a viable framework for understanding our specific moral obligations to other people.
This book explores the metaphysical assumptions that underlie different interpretations of the relationship between religion and the secular, faith and reason, and transcendence and immanence. It explores different answers to the question of how people of diverse religious and cultural identities can live together peacefully.
Peter Strawson (1919-2006) was one of the leading British philosophers of his generation and an influential figure in a golden age for British philosophy between 1950 and 1970. The Bounds of Sense is one of the most influential books ever written about Kant's philosophy, and is one of the key philosophical works of the late twentieth century. Whilst probably best known for its criticism of Kant's transcendental idealism, it is also famous for the highly original manner in which Strawson defended and developed some of Kant's fundamental insights into the nature of subjectivity, experience and knowledge - at a time when few philosphers were engaging with Kant's ideas. The book had a profound effect on the interpretation of Kant's philosophy when it was first published in 1966 and continues to influence discussion of Kant, the soundness of transcendental arguments, and debates in epistemology and metaphysics generally. This Routledge Classics edition includes a new foreword by Lucy Allais.
Though John Locke set out to write a book that would resolve questions about the origin and scope of human knowledge, his Essay Concerning Human Understanding is also a profound contribution to metaphysics, full of arguments about the fundamental features of bodies, the notions of essence and kind, the individuation of material objects, personal identity, the nature and scope of volition, freedom of action, freedom of will, and the relationship between matter and mind. Matthew Stuart examines a broad range of these arguments, and explores the relationships between them. He offers fresh interpretations of such familiar material as the distinction between primary and secondary qualities, and Locke's account of personal identity; and he also takes us deeper into less familiar territory, including Locke's case against materialism and his philosophy of action. Locke's Metaphysics shows Locke to be a more consistent, systematic and interesting metaphysician than is generally appreciated. It defends him against charges of muddling the definition of 'quality', of waffling between two conceptions of secondary qualities, and of vacillating in his commitment to mechanism. It shows how his rejection of essentialism leads him to embrace relativism about identity, and that his relativism about identity is the key to defending his account of personal identity against several objections. Yet the picture of Locke that emerges is not always a familiar one. Stuart's account reveals that he is a philosopher who denies the existence of relations, who takes bodies to be colored only so long as we are looking at them, and who is not committed to mechanism. He shows that Locke takes persons to be three-dimensional beings whose pasts are 'gappy' rather than continuous. Finally, he shows that Locke is a volitionist who holds that we can will only our own thoughts and bodily motions, and not such episodes as lighting a candle or turning the pages of a book.
This anthology is about the signal change in Leibniz's metaphysics with his explicit adoption of substantial forms in 1678-79. This change can either be seen as a moment of discontinuity with his metaphysics of maturity or as a moment of continuity, such as a passage to the metaphysics from his last years. Between the end of his sejour at Paris (November 1676) and the first part of the Hanover period, Leibniz reformed his dynamics and began to use the theory of corporeal substance. This book explores a very important part of the philosophical work of the young Leibniz. Expertise from around the globe is collated here, including Daniel Garber's work based on the recent publication of Leibniz's correspondence from the late 1690s, examining how the theory of monads developed during these crucial years. Richard Arthur argues that the introduction of substantial forms, reinterpreted as enduring primitive forces of action in each corporeal substance, allows Leibniz to found the reality of the phenomena of motion in force and thus avoid reducing motion to a mere appearance. Amongst other themes covered in this book, Pauline Phemister's paper investigates Leibniz's views on animals and plants, highlighting changes, modifications and elaborations over time of Leibniz's views and supporting arguments and paying particular attention to his claim that the future is already contained in the seeds of living things. The editor, Adrian Nita, contributes a paper on the continuity or discontinuity of Leibniz's work on the question of the unity and identity of substance from the perspective of the relation with soul (anima) and mind (mens).
Mary Leng offers a defense of mathematical fictionalism, according to which we have no reason to believe that there are any mathematical objects. Perhaps the most pressing challenge to mathematical fictionalism is the indispensability argument for the truth of our mathematical theories (and therefore for the existence of the mathematical objects posited by those theories). According to this argument, if we have reason to believe anything, we have reason to believe that the claims of our best empirical theories are (at least approximately) true. But since claims whose truth would require the existence of mathematical objects are indispensable in formulating our best empirical theories, it follows that we have good reason to believe in the mathematical objects posited by those mathematical theories used in empirical science, and therefore to believe that the mathematical theories utilized in empirical science are true. Previous responses to the indispensability argument have focussed on arguing that mathematical assumptions can be dispensed with in formulating our empirical theories. Leng, by contrast, offers an account of the role of mathematics in empirical science according to which the successful use of mathematics in formulating our empirical theories need not rely on the truth of the mathematics utilized.
John Dewey was the foremost philosophical figure and public intellectual in early to mid-twentieth century America. He is still the most academically cited Anglophone philosopher of the past century, and is among the most cited Americans of any century. In this comprehensive volume spanning thirty-five chapters, leading scholars help researchers access particular aspects of Dewey's thought, navigate the enormous and rapidly developing literature, and participate in current scholarship in light of prospects in key topical areas. Beginning with a framing essay by Philip Kitcher calling for a transformation of philosophical research inspired by Dewey, contributors interpret, appraise, and critique Dewey's philosophy under the following headings: Metaphysics; Epistemology, Science, Language, and Mind; Ethics, Law, and the Starting Point; Social and Political Philosophy, Race, and Feminist Philosophy; Philosophy of Education; Aesthetics; Instrumental Logic, Philosophy of Technology, and the Unfinished Project of Modernity; Dewey in Cross-Cultural Dialogue; The American Philosophical Tradition, the Social Sciences, and Religion; and Public Philosophy and Practical Ethics.
Time's mysteries seem to resist comprehension and what remains, once the familiar metaphors are stripped away, can stretch even the most profound philosopher. In Of Time and Lamentation, Raymond Tallis rises to this challenge and explores the nature and meaning of time and how best to understand it. The culmination of some twenty years of thinking, writing and wondering about (and within) time, it is a bold, original and thought-provoking work. With characteristic fearlessness, Tallis seeks to reclaim time from the jaws of physics. For most of us, time is composed of mornings, afternoons and evenings and expressed in hurry, hope, longing, waiting, enduring, planning, joyful expectation and grief. Thinking about it is to meditate on our own mortality. Yet, physics has little or nothing to say about this time, the time as it is lived. The story told by caesium clocks, quantum theory and Lorentz coordinates, Tallis argues, needs to be supplemented by one of moss on rocks, tears on faces and the long narratives of our human journey. Our temporal lives deserve a richer attention than is afforded by the equations of mathematical physics. The first part of the book, "Killing Time" is a formidable critique of the spatialized and mathematized account of time arising from physical science. The passage of time, the direction of time and time travel are critically examined and the relationship between mathematics and reality, and the nature of the observer, are explored. Part 2, "Human Time" examines tensed time, the reality of time as it is lived: what we mean by "now", how we make sense of past and future events, and the idea of eternity. With the scientistic reduction of time set aside and lived time reaffirmed, Tallis digs deeper into the nature of time itself in the final part, "Finding Time". Questions about "the stuff" of time such as instants and intervals about time and change, and the relationship between objective and subjective time, open on to wider discussions about time and causation, the irruption of subjectivity and intentionality into a material universe, and the relationship between time and freedom. For anyone who has puzzled over the nature of becoming, wondered whether time is inseparable from change, whether time is punctuate or continuous, or even whether time, itself, is real, Of Time and Lamentation will provoke and entertain. Those, like Tallis himself, who seek to find a place at which the scientific and humanistic views of humanity can be reconciled, will celebrate his placing of human consciousness at the heart of time, and his showing that we are "more than cogs in the universal clock, forced to collaborate with the very progress that pushes us towards our own midnight".
Dummett argues that the aim of philosophy is the analysis of thought and that, with Frege, analytical philosophy learned that the route to the analysis of thought is the analysis of language. Here are bold and deep readings of the subject's history and character, which form the topic of this volume.
This volume presents new philosophical essays on a topic that's been neglected in most recent philosophy: games, sports, and play. Some contributions address conceptual questions about what games and sports have in common and that distinguishes them from other activities; here many take their start from Bernard Suits's celebrated analysis of game-playing in his book The Grasshopper and either elaborate it or propose an alternative to it. Other essays discuss normative issues that arise within games and sports, such as about fairness, for example in the treatment of male and female athletes. Yet others consider broader evaluative questions about the value of games and sports, which some see as enabling the display of distinctive excellences. Games, Sports, and Play includes a posthumous essay by Suits defending his claim, in The Grasshopper, that life in utopia would consist primarily in playing games. The volume's chapters approach the topic of games, sports, and play from different angles but always in the belief that there is rich terrain here for philosophical investigation.
For many centuries philosophers have been discussing the problem of evil - one of the greatest problems of intellectual history. There are many facets to the problem, and for students and scholars unfamiliar with the vast literature on the subject, grasping the main issues can be a daunting task. This Companion provides a stimulating introduction to the problem of evil. More than an introduction to the subject, it is a state-of-the-art contribution to the field which provides critical analyses of and creative insights on this longstanding problem. Fresh themes in the book include evil and the meaning of life, beauty and evil, evil and cosmic evolution, and anti-theodicy. Evil is discussed from the perspectives of the major monotheistic religions, agnosticism, and atheism. Written by leading scholars in clear and accessible prose, this book is an ideal companion for undergraduate and graduate students, teachers, and scholars across the disciplines.
Vagueness is a subject of long-standing interest in the philosophy of language, metaphysics, and philosophical logic. Numerous accounts of vagueness have been proposed in the literature but there has been no general consensus on which, if any, should be be accepted. Kit Fine here presents a new theory of vagueness based on the radical hypothesis that vagueness is a "global" rather than a "local" phenomenon. In other words, according to Fine, the vagueness of an object or expression cannot properly be considered except in its relation to other objects or other expressions. He then applies the theory to a variety of topics in logic, metaphysics and epistemology, including the sorites paradox, the problem of personal identity, and the transparency of mental phenomenon. This is the inaugural volume in the Rutgers Lectures in Philosophy series, presenting lectures from the most important contemporary thinkers in the discipline.
Reductionism is a widely endorsed methodology among biologists, a metaphysical theory advanced to vindicate the biologist's methodology, and an epistemic thesis those opposed to reductionism have been eager to refute. While the methodology has gone from strength to strength in its history of achievements, the metaphysical thesis grounding it remained controversial despite its significant changes over the last 75 years of the philosophy of science. Meanwhile, antireductionism about biology, and especially Darwinian natural selection, became orthodoxy in philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and philosophy of biology. This Element expounds the debate about reductionism in biology, from the work of the post-positivists to the end of the century debates about supervenience, multiple realizability, and explanatory exclusion. It shows how the more widely accepted 21st century doctrine of 'mechanism' - reductionism with a human face - inherits both the strengths and the challenges of the view it has largely supplanted.
This study combines historical research and philosophical analysis to cast light on why and how Cartesianism failed as a complete metaphysical system. After an initial discussion of methods in the history of philosophy, there is an analysis and criticism of late-17th-century Cartesianism, a survey of Cartesian theology, and two analytic chapters on Cartesian metaphysics which aim to demonstrate its logical inconsistency. The author argues that Descartes' ontology is incoherent and vacuous, his epistemology deceptive and his theology unorthodox - indeed, that Descartes knows nothing.
This book is about using each event in our lives (whether it be big or small, positive or negative in nature) to learn "control over ourselves," learning to distinguish the "real from the illusory," and developing the ability to feel the truth. In the words attributed to Socrates (but most likely from a much earlier period) and Hakim Sanai this book is about, "Self- knowledge and giving attention to the soul" and the realization that, "Knowledge that does not take you beyond yourself is worse than ignorance." One of the aims of this book is to provide practical ways to help you cultivate a secure, resilient, inner mental space which in turn helps repel mental blows and pressures from the outside world. Are you open to change? And if so how do you change. In order to change you need to question your own "Inner Authority." How did this authority come into being and what forces established and maintain this authority. How does this authority direct and control your thoughts and behaviour. Was this inner authority firmly established by yourself or your true essence, or was it established by multiple external forces that may have multiple agendas. Real change results from questioning your "Inner Authority." Questioning why and when it tells you what to do and under what circumstances. To question your inner authority involves the impartial observation of your actions, thoughts, behaviour and personal agendas. The impartial observation results in self-knowledge about how you actually are, not how you believe you are. It will identify what motivates and directs you from a perspective that was not present or possible before. The observation must be driven by a desire for truth about yourself and why you are here. Not for any other reason. Today, man's behaviour and thoughts are influenced and manipulated more than ever before because of "advances" in technology, mass communication and social sciences. So called "motivational analysts" or "motivational researchers" now advise not only corporations wanting to sell their products or services, but also advise all manner of organizations ranging from governments, NGOs to charities wanting to influence and control your thoughts and behaviour. Over time man has become more materialistic and influenced and conditioned in ways that he does not recognize and we can say that he has become divorced from both reality and the natural world. Materialism, consumerism and greed combined with the misuse and the inappropriate application of logic, due to conditioning by external influences, often create false worlds or perceptions in the minds of many. The above paragraphs describe a left brain dominated, conformist world where man does not and cannot communicate with himself nor strive to be his true self. In this type of world the conditioned, conformist man becomes more and more dependent on external influences and in doing so is easily manipulated and directed because he cannot see beyond what is presented or question the validity of what is presented to him. We could say that the left brain, conformist man's inability to think intuitively, that is, without external influences makes him dependent upon external instructions and direction, and therefore reliant upon unseen spin-doctors who can easily manipulate his beliefs and values. The near, what may be termed, exponential rate of greed and materiality has created both economic instability and environmental instability. By environmental I mean both nature and societal as both are intertwined. However, as a generalization, man (that is society) behaves as if he is above the laws of nature. Therefore, the fragility of the state of both the economic and natural world should impel many to reflect and actively observe their state of consciousness given the uncertainty that prevails in the world.
Transcendence and History is an analysis of what philosopher Eric Voegelin described as 'the decisive problem of philosophy': the dilemma of the discovery of transcendent meaning and the impact of this discovery on human self-understanding. The explicit recognition and symbolization of transcendent meaning originally occurred in a few advanced civilizations worldwide during the first millennium. The world's major religious and wisdom traditions are built upon the recognition of transcendent meaning, and our own cultural and linguistic heritage has long since absorbed the postcosmological division of reality into the two dimensions of 'transcendence' and 'immanence.' But the last three centuries in the West have seen a growing resistance to the idea of transcendent meaning; contemporary and 'postmodern' interpretations of the human situation - both popular and intellectual - indicate a widespread eclipse of confidence in the truth of transcendence. In Transcendence and History, Glenn Hughes contributes to the understanding of transcendent meaning and the problems associated with it and assists in the philosophical recovery of the legitimacy of the notion of transcendence. Depending primarily on the treatments of transcendence found in the writings of twentieth-century philosophers Eric Voegelin and Bernard Lonergan, Hughes explores the historical discovery of transcendent meaning and then examines what it indicates about the structure of history. Hughes's main focus, however, is on clarifying the problem of transcendence in relation to historical existence. Addressing both layreaders and scholars, Hughes applies the insights and analyses of Voegelin and Lonergan to considerable advantage. Transcendence and History will be of particular value to those who have grappled with the notion of transcendence in the study of philosophy, comparative religion, political theory, history, philosophical anthropology, and art or poetry. By examining transcendent meaning as the key factor in the search for ultimate meaning from ancient societies to the present, the book demonstrates how 'the decisive problem of philosophy' both illuminates and presents a vital challenge to contemporary intellectual discourse.
This book offers a detailed defense of a metaphysics of Platonic universals and a conception of particular objects that is coherent with said metaphysics. The work discusses all the main alternatives in metaphysics of properties and tries to show why universals are the entities that best satisfy the theoretical roles required for a property. The work also explains the advantages of Platonic over Aristotelian universals in the metaphysics of modality and natural laws. Moreover, it is argued that only Platonic universals are coherent with the grounding profile required for universals. The traditional objections against Platonism are discussed and answered. The third part of the book, finally, offers a conception of particular objects as nuclear bundles of tropes that is coherent with the Platonic ontology of universals. This book is of interest to anyone that wants to understand the current -and intricate- debate in metaphysics of properties and its incidence in many other areas in philosophy.
This new translation of Aristotle's Metaphysics in its entirety is a model of accuracy and consistency, presented with a wealth of annotation and commentary. Sequentially numbered endnotes provide the information most needed at each juncture, while a detailed Index of Terms guides the reader to places where focused discussion of key notions occurs. An illuminating general Introduction describes the book that lies ahead, explaining what it is about, what it is trying to do, how it goes about doing it, and what sort of audience it presupposes.
'A Theory of the Absolute' develops a worldview that is opposed to the dominant paradigm of physicalism and atheism. It provides powerful arguments for the existence of the soul and the existence of the absolute, showing that faith is not in contradiction to reason.
The volume includes twenty-five research papers presented as gifts to John L. Bell to celebrate his 60th birthday by colleagues, former students, friends and admirers. Like Bell 's own work, the contributions cross boundaries into several inter-related fields. The contributions are new work by highly respected figures, several of whom are among the key figures in their fields. Some examples: in foundations of maths and logic (William Lawvere, Peter Aczel, Graham Priest, Giovanni Sambin); analytical philosophy (Michael Dummett, William Demopoulos), philosophy of science (Michael Redhead, Frank Arntzenius), philosophy of mathematics (Michael Hallett, John Mayberry, Daniel Isaacson) and decision theory and foundations of economics (Ken Bimore). Most articles are contributions to current philosophical debates, but contributions also include some new mathematical results, important historical surveys, and a translation by Wilfrid Hodges of a key work of arabic logic.
This extensively revised and expanded edition of van Inwagen and
Zimmerman's popular collection of readings in metaphysics now
features twenty-two additional selections, new sections on
existence and reality, and an updated editorial commentary.
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