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To what extent was Machiavelli a "Machiavellian"? Was he an amoral adviser of tyranny or a stalwart partisan of liberty? A neutral technician of power politics or a devout Italian patriot? A reviver of pagan virtue or initiator of modern nihilism? Reading Machiavelli answers these questions through original interpretations of Niccol Machiavelli's three major political works--The Prince, Discourses, and Florentine Histories--and demonstrates that a radically democratic populism seeded the Florentine's scandalous writings. John McCormick challenges the misguided understandings of Machiavelli set forth by prominent thinkers, including Jean-Jacques Rousseau and representatives of the Straussian and Cambridge schools. McCormick emphasizes the fundamental, often unacknowledged elements of a vibrant Machiavellian politics: the utility of vigorous class conflict between elites and common citizens for virtuous democratic republics, the necessity of political and economic equality for genuine civic liberty, and the indispensability of religious tropes for the exercise of effective popular judgment. Interrogating the established reception of Machiavelli's work by such readers as Rousseau, Leo Strauss, Quentin Skinner, and J.G.A. Pocock, McCormick exposes what was effectively an elite conspiracy to suppress the Florentine's contentious, egalitarian politics. In recovering the too-long-concealed quality of Machiavelli's populism, this book acts as a Machiavellian critique of Machiavelli scholarship. Advancing fresh renderings of works by Machiavelli while demonstrating how they have been misread previously, Reading Machiavelli presents a new outlook for how politics should be conceptualized and practiced.
Atheism is often considered to be a negative, dark, and pessimistic belief which is characterised by a rejection of values and purpose and a fierce opposition to religion. Atheism: A Very Short Introduction sets out to dispel the myths that surround atheism and show how a life without religious belief can be positive, meaningful, and moral. It also confronts the failure of officially atheist states in the Twentieth Century. The book presents an intellectual case for atheism that rests as much upon positive arguments for its truth as on negative arguments against religion.
This is the engaging and accessible intellectual memoir of a leading jurist. It tells the story of the development of his thoughts and writings over sixty years in the context of three continents and addresses the complexities of decolonisation, the troubles in Belfast, the contextual turn in legal studies, rethinking evidence and the implications of globalisation which have been central to his life and research. In propounding his original views as an enthusiastic self-styled 'legal nationalist', Twining maps his ideas of law as a unique discipline, which pervades all spheres of social and political life while combining theory and practice, concepts and values, facts and rules in uniquely fascinating ways. Addressed to academic lawyers generally and to other non-specialists, this story brings out the importance and fascinations of a discipline that has changed, expanded and diversified in the post-War years, with an eye to its future development and potential.
This book studies the principles of urban spatial organization of historic cities. It can be considered a guide to design, presenting qualitative criteria to satisfy practical needs. The subject is explored through interconnected chapters, each addressing an important aspect of form-space and design values, knowledge and our present problems. In this book the interpretation is artistic and socio-cultural. Discussion is not concentrated on singular urban space but on interrelated spaces and elements across the city, and complexes. Considering the comparative aspects of study, the reader will notice that despite cultural differences, there is a common understanding in artistic creativity and sensibility in the presented examples.
This book uses different perspectives on argumentation to show how we create arguments, test them, attack and defend them, and deploy them effectively to justify beliefs and influence others. David Zarefsky uses a range of contemporary examples to show how arguments work and how they can be put together, beginning with simple individual arguments, and proceeding to the construction and analysis of complex cases incorporating different structures. Special attention is given to evaluating evidence and reasoning, the building blocks of argumentation. Zarefsky provides clear guidelines and tests for different kinds of arguments, as well as exercises that show student readers how to apply theories to arguments in everyday and public life. His comprehensive and integrated approach toward argumentation theory and practice will help readers to become more adept at critically examining everyday arguments as well as constructing arguments that will convince others.
Christianity is commonly held to have introduced an entirely new and better morality into the ancient world, a new morality that was decidedly universal, in contrast to the ethics of the philosophical schools which were only concerned with the intellectual few. Runar M. Thorsteinsson presents a challenge to this view by comparing Christian morality in first-century Rome with contemporary Stoic ethics in the city. Thorsteinsson introduces and discusses the moral teaching of Roman Stoicism; of Seneca, Musonius Rufus, and Epictetus. He then presents the moral teaching of Roman Christianity as it is represented in Paul's Letter to the Romans, the First Letter of Peter, and the First Letter of Clement. Having established the bases for his comparison, he examines the similarities and differences between Roman Stoicism and Roman Christianity in terms of morality. Five broad themes are used for the comparison, questions of Christian and Stoic views about: a particular morality or way of life as proper worship of the deity; certain individuals (like Jesus and Socrates) as paradigms for the proper way of life; the importance of mutual love and care; non-retaliation and 'love of enemies'; and the social dimension of ethics. This approach reveals a fundamental similarity between the moral teachings of Roman Christianity and Roman Stoicism. The most basic difference is found in the ethical scope of the two: While the latter teaches unqualified universal humanity, the former seems to condition the ethical scope in terms of religious adherence.
During the long eighteenth century the moral and socio-political dimensions of family life and gender were hotly debated by intellectuals across Europe. John Millar, a Scottish law professor and philosopher, was a pioneer in making gendered and familial practice a critical parameter of cultural difference. His work was widely disseminated at home and abroad, translated into French and German and closely read by philosophers such as Denis Diderot and Johann Gottfried Herder. Taking Millar's writings as his basis, Nicholas B. Miller explores the role of the family in Scottish Enlightenment political thought and traces its wider resonances across the Enlightenment world. John Millar's organisation of cultural, gendered and social difference into a progressive narrative of authority relations provided the first extended world history of the family. Over five chapters that address the historical and comparative models developed by the thinker, Nicholas B. Miller examines contemporary responses and Enlightenment-era debates on polygamy, matriarchy, the Amazon legend, changes in national character and the possible futures of the family in commercial society. He traces how Enlightenment thinkers developed new standards of evidence and crafted new understandings of historical time in order to tackle the global diversity of family life and gender practice. By reconstituting these theories and discussions, Nicholas B. Miller uncovers hitherto unexplored aspects of the Scottish contribution to European debates on the role of the family in history, society and politics.
The public sphere, be it the Greek agora or the New York Times op-ed page, is the realm of appearances - not citizenship. Its central event is spectacle - not dialogue. Public dialogue, the mantra of many intellectuals and political commentators, is but a contradiction in terms. Marked by an asymmetry between the few who act and the many who watch, the public sphere can undermine liberal democracy, law, and morality. Inauthenticity, superficiality, and objectification are the very essence of the public sphere. But the public sphere also liberates us from the bondages of private life and fosters an existentially vital aesthetic experience. Reign of Appearances uses a variety of cases to reveal the logic of the public sphere, including homosexuality in Victorian England, the 2008 crash, antisemitism in Europe, confidence in American presidents, communications in social media, special prosecutor investigations, the visibility of African-Americans, violence during the French Revolution, the Islamic veil, and contemporary sexual politics. This unconventional account of the public sphere is critical reading for anyone who wants to understand the effects of visibility in urban life, politics, and the media.
Connecting Virtues examines the significant advances within the fast-growing field of virtue theory and shows how research has contributed to the current debates in moral philosophy, epistemology, and political philosophy. Includes groundbreaking chapters offering cutting-edge research on the topic of the virtues Provides insights into the application of the topic of virtue, such as the role of intellectual virtues, virtuous dispositions, and the value of some neglected virtues for political philosophy Examines the relevance of the virtues in the current debates in social epistemology, the epistemology of education, and civic education Features work from world-leading and internationally recognized philosophers working on the virtues today
Major figures of twentieth-century philosophy were enthralled by the revolution in formal logic, and many of their arguments are based on novel mathematical discoveries. Hilary Putnam claimed that the Loewenheim-Skolem theorem refutes the existence of an objective, observer-independent world; Bas van Fraassen claimed that arguments against empiricism in philosophy of science are ineffective against a semantic approach to scientific theories; W. V. O. Quine claimed that the distinction between analytic and synthetic truths is trivialized by the fact that any theory can be reduced to one in which all truths are analytic. This book dissects these and other arguments through in-depth investigation of the mathematical facts undergirding them. It presents a systematic, mathematically rigorous account of the key notions arising from such debates, including theory, equivalence, translation, reduction, and model. The result is a far-reaching reconceptualization of the role of formal methods in answering philosophical questions.
Hegel is making a comeback. After the decline of the Marxist Hegelianism that dominated the twentieth century, leading thinkers are rediscovering Hegel's thought as a resource for contemporary politics. What does a notoriously difficult nineteenth-century German philosopher have to offer the present? How should we understand Hegel, and what does understanding Hegel teach us about confronting our most urgent challenges? In this book, Todd McGowan offers us a Hegel for the twenty-first century. Simultaneously an introduction to Hegel and a fundamental reimagining of Hegel's project, Emancipation After Hegel presents a radical Hegel who speaks to a world overwhelmed by right-wing populism, authoritarianism, neoliberalism, and economic inequalities. McGowan argues that the revolutionary core of Hegel's thought is contradiction. He reveals that contradiction is inexorable and that we must attempt to sustain it rather than overcoming it or dismissing it as a logical failure. McGowan contends that Hegel's notion of contradiction, when applied to contemporary problems, challenges any assertion of unitary identity as every identity is in tension with itself and dependent on others. An accessible and compelling reinterpretation of an often-misunderstood thinker, this book shows us a way forward to a new politics of emancipation as we reconcile ourselves to the inevitability of contradiction and find solidarity in not belonging.
Medicine and the Politics of Knowledge situates South Africa - including its history of stances and political formations around HIV/AIDS - in the broader context of questions relating to science, medicine, human experimentation, and structural violence, all of which shape the cases in the book. Putting South Africa in the context of other cases of contention and contestation about science and medicine in India, Latin America and China helps us to understand the particular history of the South African case itself. Conceived in response to the urgency of bioethical debates in medical anthropology, this ethnographic collection touches the borders of anthropology, philosophy, and public health. At a time in world history where medicine and medical practice is deeply contested in the everyday as well as in juridical terms, this book makes an essential contribution to global debates about tradition, about science, and about the politics of knowledge production.
Shaping the Normative Landscape is an investigation of the value of obligations and of rights, of forgiveness, of consent and refusal, of promise and request. David Owens shows that these are all instruments by which we exercise control over our normative environment. Philosophers from Hume to Scanlon have supposed that when we make promises and give our consent, our real interest is in controlling (or being able to anticipate) what people will actually do and that our interest in rights and obligations is a by-product of this more fundamental interest. In fact, we value for its own sake the ability to decide who is obliged to do what, to determine when blame is appropriate, to settle whether an act wrongs us. Owens explores how we control the rights and obligations of ourselves and of those around us. We do so by making friends and thereby creating the rights and obligations of friendship. We do so by making promises and so binding ourselves to perform. We do so by consenting to medical treatment and thereby giving the doctor the right to go ahead. The normative character of our world matters to us on its own account. To make sense of promise, consent, friendship and other related phenomena we must acknowledge that normative interests are amongst our fundamental interests. We must also rethink the psychology of agency and the nature of social convention.
Ever since it was first published in 1930, William Empson (TM)s Seven Types of Ambiguity has been perceived as a milestone in literary criticism "far from being an impediment to communication, ambiguity now seemed an index of poetic richness and expressive power. Little, however, has been written on the broader trajectory of Western thought about ambiguity before Empson; as a result, the nature of his innovation has been poorly understood. A History of Ambiguity remedies this omission. Starting with classical grammar and rhetoric, and moving on to moral theology, law, biblical exegesis, German philosophy, and literary criticism, Anthony Ossa-Richardson explores the many ways in which readers and theorists posited, denied, conceptualised, and argued over the existence of multiple meanings in texts between antiquity and the twentieth century. This process took on a variety of interconnected forms, from the Renaissance delight in the ~elegance (TM) of ambiguities in Horace, through the extraordinary Catholic claim that Scripture could contain multiple literal "and not just allegorical "senses, to the theory of dramatic irony developed in the nineteenth century, a theory intertwined with discoveries of the double meanings in Greek tragedy. Such narratives are not merely of antiquarian interest: rather, they provide an insight into the foundations of modern criticism, revealing deep resonances between acts of interpretation in disparate eras and contexts. A History of Ambiguity lays bare the long tradition of efforts to liberate language, and even a poet (TM)s intention, from the strictures of a single meaning.
The Hegelian-Marxist idea of alienation fell out of favor after the postmetaphysical rejection of humanism and essentialist views of human nature. In this book Rahel Jaeggi draws on the Hegelian philosophical tradition, phenomenological analyses grounded in modern conceptions of agency, and recent work in the analytical tradition to reconceive alienation as the absence of a meaningful relationship to oneself and others, which manifests in feelings of helplessness and the despondent acceptance of ossified social roles and expectations. A revived approach to alienation helps critical social theory engage with phenomena such as meaninglessness, isolation, and indifference. By severing alienation's link to a problematic conception of human essence while retaining its social-philosophical content, Jaeggi provides resources for a renewed critique of social pathologies, a much-neglected concern in contemporary liberal political philosophy. Her work revisits the arguments of Rousseau, Hegel, Kierkegaard, and Heidegger, placing them in dialogue with Thomas Nagel, Bernard Williams, and Charles Taylor.
From Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen, The Idea of Justice is a refreshing alternative approach to mainstream theories of justice. Is justice an ideal, for ever beyond our grasp, or something that may actually guide our practical decisions and enhance our lives? At the heart of Sen's argument is his insistence on the role of public reason in establishing what can make societies less unjust. But there are always choices to be made between alternative assessments of what is reasonable, and competing positions can each be well defended. Rather than rejecting these pluralities, we should use them to construct a theory of justice that can accommodate divergent points of view. Sen also inspiringly shows how the principles of justice in the modern world must avoid parochialism and address vital questions of global injustice. The breadth of vision, intellectual acuity and striking humanity of one of the world's leading public intellectuals have never been more clearly shown than in this remarkable book. 'A major advance in contemporary thinking' John Gray, Literary Review 'The most important contribution to the subject since John Rawls's A Theory of Justice' Hilary Putnam, Harvard University 'Sen writes with dry wit, a feel for history and a relaxed cosmopolitanism ... a conviction that economists and philosophers are in business to improve the world burns on almost every page' Economist 'Sen's magisterial critique of the dominant mode of liberal political philosophy confirms him as the English-speaking world's pre-eminent public intellectual' New Statesman Books of the Decade Amartya Sen is Lamont University Professor at Harvard. He won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998 and was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge 1998-2004. His most recent books are The Argumentative Indian, Identity and Violence and Development as Freedom. His books have been translated into thirty languages.
SUNDAY TIMES and GUARDIAN BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2015 What does it mean to devote yourself wholly to helping others? In Strangers Drowning, Larissa MacFarquhar seeks out people living lives of extreme ethical commitment, and tells their intimate stories: their stubborn integrity and their compromises; their bravery and their recklessness; their wrenching dilemmas. A couple adopts two children in distress. But then they think: if they can change two lives, why not four? Or ten? They adopt twenty. But how do they weigh the needs of unknown children in distress against the needs of the children they already have? Another couple founds a leprosy colony in the wilderness in India, living in huts with no walls, knowing that their two small children may contract leprosy or be eaten by panthers. The children survive. But what if they hadn't? How would their parents' risk have been judged? We honour such generosity and high ideals; but when we call people 'do-gooders' there is scepticism in it, even hostility. Why do moral people make us uneasy? Between her stories, MacFarquhar threads a lively history of the novels, philosophy, social science, and self-help that have contributed to a deep suspicion of do-gooders in Western culture. Through its sympathetic and beautifully vivid storytelling, Strangers Drowning confronts us with fundamental questions about what it means to be human. In a world of strangers drowning in need, how much should we help, and how much can we help? Is it right to care for strangers even at the expense of those we are closest to? Moving and provocative, Strangers Drowning challenges us to think about what we value most, and why.
Build confident critical thinkers who can process and articulate complex ideas in relevant, real-life contexts. The inquiry-based approach actively drives independent thought and helps learners connect ideas and frameworks while pushing them above and beyond typical TOK boundaries. This online Course Book is completely mapped to the 2013 syllabus. Coach students to confidently process and articulate higher order thinking through an inquiry-based approach The most comprehensive match to the 2013 syllabus frameworks and approach, including support direct from the IB. Help learners actively connect ideas and frameworks across curricular boundaries. Progress students above and beyond TOK learning boundaries and push the limits of their understanding. Written by a TOK workshop leader and expert in enquiry-based learning with over 25 years' experience teaching TOK. Easily navigate through the syllabus with a practical and straightforward learning pathway. Actively drive skills development through lots of practice and activities - students will apply skills immediately. Make global connections to real-life contexts and world issues with the strongly international focus. Ensure learners truly understand all the essential foundations - supporting Skills & Practice resource builds confidence right from the start. This online Course Book will be available on Oxford Education Bookshelf until 2021. Access is facilitated via a unique code, which is sent in the mail. The code must be linked to an email address, creating a user account. Access may be transferred once to an additional user.
According to Thomas Metzinger, no such things as selves exist in the world: nobody ever had or was a self. All that exists are phenomenal selves, as they appear in conscious experience. The phenomenal self, however, is not a thing but an ongoing process; it is the content of a "transparent self-model." In "Being No One," Metzinger, a German philosopher, draws strongly on neuroscientific research to present a representationalist and functional analysis of what a consciously experienced first-person perspective actually is. Building a bridge between the humanities and the empirical sciences of the mind, he develops new conceptual toolkits and metaphors; uses case studies of unusual states of mind such as agnosia, neglect, blindsight, and hallucinations; and offers new sets of multilevel constraints for the concept of consciousness. Metzinger's central question is: How exactly does strong, consciously experienced subjectivity emerge out of objective events in the natural world? His epistemic goal is to determine whether conscious experience, in particular the experience of being someone that results from the emergence of a phenomenal self, can be analyzed on subpersonal levels of description. He also asks if and how our Cartesian intuitions that subjective experiences as such can never be reductively explained are themselves ultimately rooted in the deeper representational structure of our conscious minds.
Michael Onfray passionately defends the potential of hedonism to resolve the dislocations and disconnections of our melancholy age. In a sweeping survey of history's engagement with and rejection of the body, he exposes the sterile conventions that prevent us from realizing a more immediate, ethical, and embodied life. He then lays the groundwork for both a radical and constructive politics of the body that adds to debates over morality, equality, sexual relations, and social engagement, demonstrating how philosophy, and not just modern scientism, can contribute to a humanistic ethics. Onfray attacks Platonic idealism and its manifestation in Judaic, Christian, and Islamic belief. He warns of the lure of attachment to the purportedly eternal, immutable truths of idealism, which detracts from the immediacy of the world and our bodily existence. Insisting that philosophy is a practice that operates in a real, material space, Onfray enlists Epicurus and Democritus to undermine idealist and theological metaphysics; Nietzsche, Bentham, and Mill to dismantle idealist ethics; and Palante and Bourdieu to collapse crypto-fascist neoliberalism. In their place, he constructs a positive, hedonistic ethics that enlarges on the work of the New Atheists to promote a joyful approach to our lives in this, our only, world.
So many of us believe that we are free to shape our own destiny. But what if free will doesn't exist? What if our lives are largely predetermined, hardwired in our brains - and our choices over what we eat, who we fall in love with, even what we believe are not real choices at all? Neuroscience is challenging everything we think we know about ourselves, revealing how we make decisions and form our own reality, unaware of the role of our unconscious minds. Leading neuroscientist Hannah Critchlow draws vividly from everyday life and other experts in their field to show the extraordinary potential, as well as dangers, which come with being able to predict our likely futures - and looking at how we can alter what's in store for us. Lucid, illuminating, awe-inspiring The Science of Fate revolutionises our understanding of who we are - and empowers us to help shape a better future for ourselves and the wider world.
'A wonderful introduction to history's most influential scribblers' -
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