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To what extent should we use technology to try to make better human
beings? Because of the remarkable advances in biomedical science,
we must now find an answer to this question.
The Socratic Way of Life is the first English-language book-length study of the philosopher Xenophon's masterwork. In it, Thomas L. Pangle shows that Xenophon depicts more authentically than does Plato the true teachings and way of life of the citizen philosopher Socrates, founder of political philosophy. In the first part of the book, Pangle analyzes Xenophon's defense of Socrates against the two charges of injustice upon which he was convicted by democratic Athens: impiety and corruption of the youth. In the second part, Pangle analyzes Xenophon's account of how Socrates's life as a whole was just, in the sense of helping through his teaching a wide range of people. Socrates taught by never ceasing to raise, and to progress in answering, the fundamental and enduring civic questions: what is pious and impious, noble and ignoble, just and unjust, genuine statesmanship and genuine citizenship. Inspired by Hegel's and Nietzsche's assessments of Xenophon as the true voice of Socrates, The Socratic Way of Life establishes the Memorabilia as the groundwork of all subsequent political philosophy.
This provocative and original book challenges the commonplace that contemporary international interactions are best understood as struggles for power. Eschewing jargon and theoretical abstraction, Mervyn Frost argues that global politics and global civil society must be understood in ethical terms. International actors are always faced with the ethical question: So, what ought we to do in circumstances like these? Illustrating the centrality of ethics to our understanding of global politics and global civil society with detailed case studies, Frost shows how international actors constitute one another in global social practices that are underpinned by specific ethical commitments. Case Studies examined include: The War on Iraq The 'Global War on Terror' Iran Human Rights Globalization and Migration The use of Private Military Companies. Global Ethics forces readers to confront their own necessary ethical engagement as citizens and rights holders in global society. Failure to understand international relations in ethical terms will lead to misguided action. This book should be read by all scholars and students of international relations as well as the general reader seeking an accessible account of the importance of ethical decisions in world affairs.
We all engage in the process of reasoning, but we don't always pay attention to whether we are doing it well. This book offers the opportunity to practise reasoning in a clear-headed and critical way, with the aims of developing an awareness of the importance of reasoning well and of improving the reader's skill in analyzing and evaluating arguments.
In this third edition, Anne Thomson has updated and revised the book to include fresh and topical examples which will guide students through the processes of critical reasoning in a clear and engaging way. In addition, two new chapters on evaluating the credibility of evidence and decision making and dilemmas will fully equip students to reason well. By the end of the book students should be able to:
Hannah Arendt's work offers a powerful critical engagement with the cultural and philosophical crises of mid-twentieth-century Europe. Her idea of the banality of evil, made famous after her report on the trial of the Nazi war criminal, Adolf Eichmann, remains controversial to this day.
In the face of 9/11 and the 'war on terror', Arendt's work on the politics of freedom and the rights of man in a democratic state are especially relevant. Her impassioned plea for the creation of a public sphere through free, critical thinking and dialogue provides a significant resource for contemporary thought.
Covering her key ideas from The Origins of Totalitarianism and The Human Condition as well as some of her less well-known texts, and focussing in detail on Arendt's idea of storytelling, this guide brings Arendt's work into the twenty-first century while helping students to understand its urgent relevance for the contemporary world.
This volume distinguishes between two main traditions in the philosophy of science - the aristotelian, with its stress on explanation in terms of purpose and intentionality, and the galilean, which takes causal explanation as primary. It then traces the complex history of these competing traditions as they are manifested in such movements as positivism, idealism, Marxism and contemporary linguistic analysis. Hempels's theory of scientific explanation, the claims of cybernetics the rise of an analytic philosophy of action and the revival of hermenuetics are all discussed. The volume also deals with causal explanation, intentionality and teleological explanation, and explanation in history and the social sciences. The author concludes that explanation of human actions cannot be reduced to simple causality, and discusses the implications of this conclusion for the disciplines of history and sociology.
In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in problems related to human agency and responsibility by philosophers and researchers in cognate disciplines. The present volume brings together original contributions by leading specialists working in this vital field of philosophical inquiry. The contents represent the state of the art of philosophical research on intentional agency, free will, and moral responsibility. The volume begins with chapters on the metaphysics of agency and moves to chapters examining various problems of luck. The final two sections have a normative focus, with the first of the two containing chapters examining issues related to responsible agency and blame and the chapters in the final section examine responsibility and relationships. This book will be of interest to researchers and students interested in both metaphysical and normative issues related to human agency.
In recent years, Internet control has become one of the major indicators to assess the balance between freedom and security in democracies. This book explores and compares why, and to what extent, national governments decide to control the Internet and how this impacts on crucial socio-economic activities and fundamental civil rights. The author provides detailed studies on the US, Germany, Italy and further case studies on Brazil, Canada, India, the Netherlands, South Africa and Switzerland, to address topics such national security, freedom of expression and privacy.
Scientific thinking must be understood as an activity. The acts of interpretation, representation, and explanation are the cognitive processes by which scientific thinking leads to understanding. The book explores the nature of these processes and describes how scientific thinking can only be grasped from a pragmatic perspective.
Sudduth provides a critical exploration of classical empirical arguments for survival arguments that purport to show that data collected from ostensibly paranormal phenomena constitute good evidence for the survival of the self after death. Utilizing the conceptual tools of formal epistemology, he argues that classical arguments are unsuccessful.
This book focuses on a key issue today: the role of values in technology, with special emphasis on ethical values. This topic involves the analysis of internal values in technology (as they affect objectives, processes, and outcomes) and the study of external values in technology (social, cultural, economic, ecological, etc.). These values - internal and external - are crucial to the decision making of engineers. In addition, they have increasing relevance for citizens concerned with the present and future state of technology, which gives society a leading position in technological issues. The book follows three main lines of research: 1) new perspectives on technology, values, and ethics; 2) rationality and responsibility in technology; and 3) technology and risks. This volume analyzes the two main sides involved here: the theoretical basis for the role of values in technology and a practical discussion on how to implement them in our society. Thus, the book is of interest for philosophers, engineers, academics of different fields and policy-makers. The style used lends itself to broad audience.
Riddles of Existence makes metaphysics genuinely accessible, even fun. Its lively, informal style brings the riddles to life and shows how stimulating they can be to think about. No philosophical background is required to enjoy this book. It is ideal for beginning students. Anyone wanting to think about life's most profound questions will find Riddles of Existence provocative and entertaining. This new edition is updated throughout, and features two extra, specially written chapters: one on metaphysical questions to do with morality, and the other on questions about the nature of metaphysics itself.
Most texts claiming to trace the evolution of metaphysics do so according to the analytical tradition, which understands metaphysics as a reflection of different categories of reality. Incorporating the perspectives of Continental theory does little to expand this history, as the Continental tradition remains largely hostile to such metaphysical claims. The first history of metaphysics to respect both the analytical and Continental schools while also transcending the theoretical limitations of each, this compelling overview restores the value of metaphysics to contemporary audiences.
Beginning with the Greeks and concluding with present day philosophers, Jean Grondin reviews seminal texts by the Presocratic Parmenides, Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, and Augustine. He follows the theological turn in metaphysical thought during the middle ages and reads Avicenna, Anselm, Aquinas, and Duns Scot. Grondin revisits Descartes and the cogito; Spinoza and Leibniz's rationalist approaches; Kant's reclaiming of the metaphysical tradition; and postkantian practice up to Hegel. He engages with the twentieth-century innovations that shook the discipline, particularly Heidegger's notion of Being and the rediscovery of the metaphysics of existence (Sartre and the Existentialists), language (Gadamer and Derrida), and transcendence (Levinas). Metaphysics is often dismissed as a form or epoch of philosophy that must be overcome, yet a full understanding of its platform and processes reveal a cogent approach to reality, and its reasoning has been foundational to modern philosophy and science. Grondin reacquaints readers with the rich currents and countercurrents of metaphysical thinking and muses on where it may be headed in the twenty-first century.
Michael Hanchett Hanson weaves together the history of the development of the psychological concepts of creativity with social constructivist views of power dynamics and pragmatic insights. He provides an engaging, thought-provoking analysis to interest anyone involved with creativity, from psychologists and educators to artists and philosophers.
In this engaging and comprehensive introduction to the topic of toleration, Andrew Jason Cohen seeks to answer fundamental questions, such as: What is toleration? What should be tolerated? Why is toleration important? Beginning with some key insights into what we mean by toleration, Cohen goes on to investigate what should be tolerated and why. We should not be free to do everythingNmurder, rape, and theft, for clear examples, should not be tolerated. But should we be free to take drugs, hire a prostitute, or kill ourselves? Should our governments outlaw such activities or tolerate them? Should they tolerate outsourcing of jobs or importing of goods or put embargos on other countries? Cohen examines these difficult questions, among others, and argues that we should look to principles of toleration to guide our answers. These principles tell us when limiting freedom is acceptableNthat is, they indicate the proper limits of toleration. Cohen deftly explains the main principles on offer and indicates why one of these stands out from the rest. This wide-ranging new book on an important topic will be essential reading for students taking courses in philosophy, political science and religious studies.
Translated by W.H.White and A.K.Stirling. With an Introduction by Don Garrett. Benedict de Spinoza lived a life of blameless simplicity as a lens-grinder in Holland. And yet in his lifetime he was expelled from the Jewish community in Amsterdam as a heretic, and after his death his works were first banned by the Christian authorities as atheistic, then hailed by humanists as the gospel of Pantheism. His Ethics Demonstrated in Geometrical Order shows us the reality behind this enigmatic figure. First published by his friends after his premature death at the age of forty-four, the Ethics uses the methods of Euclid to describe a single entity, properly called both 'God' and 'Nature', of which mind and matter are two manifestations. From this follow, in ways that are strikingly modern, the identity of mind and body, the necessary causation of events and actions, and the illusory nature of free will.
This book explores the enduring appeal of child pornography and its ramifications for criminal justice systems around the world. It is based on an extensive review of academic literature and newspaper coverage, a trawl of websites frequented by those with a sexual interest in children, a survey of how police investigate these offences, examination of prosecutors' decisions, and interviews with judges. It provides a framework for understanding the contemporary nature of this problem, especially the harms it causes, its intimate relationship with new technologies and the challenges it poses to law enforcement authorities. The internet plays a pivotal role. Its sheer size, the anarchic way it grows, the lack of any boundaries to its expansion and its disregard for national borders make it a legal environment without parallel. An unwavering focus on the threat of sexual abuse has contributed to the emergence of a context where routine dealings with children are viewed through a 'paedophilic' lens. This can have the unfortunate consequence of distracting attention from more urgent concerns (such as poverty and neglect), which make children vulnerable to sexual exploitation. In this way an emphasis on the sexualisation of children could be said to aggravate the problem that it sets out to address. The book: provides a comprehensive analysis of child pornography issues in all of their complexity, including legal, psychological, criminal justice and social perspectives. presents significant volume of original empirical data gathered from police, prosecutors and judges. includes new qualitative and quantitative information set against a background of shifting international developments. The analysis is explicitly comparative. draws on a variety of sources including support groups for paedophiles, newspaper coverage of court cases involving child pornography, victim testimony and police operations.
What is the nature of Hell? What role(s) may Hell play in religious, political, or ethical thought? Can Hell be justified? This edited volume addresses these questions and others; drawing philosophers from many approaches and traditions to analyze and examine Hell.
Between Logic and the World presents a theory of generic sentences and the kind-directed modes of thought they express. The theory closely integrates compositional semantics with metaphysics to solve the problem that generics pose: what do generics mean? Generic sentences are extremely simple, yet if there are patterns to be discerned in terms of which are true and which are false, these patterns are subtle and complex. Ravens are black, lions have manes, sea-turtles are long-lived, and bishops in chess move along diagonals. Statistical measures cannot do justice to the facts, but what else is there that at least has a hope of giving us insight into what we are capturing across so many domains? Bernhard Nickel argues that generics are the top of a fundamentally explanatory iceberg. By focusing on blackness in ravens and manes in lions, for instance, we can place the kinds into a framework structured by explanatory considerations. Between Logic and the World argues that this explanatory framework is deeply intertwined with the semantics of the language we use to express them, and in giving its integrated semantic and metaphysical theory of generics, it aims to solve old puzzles and draw attention to new phenomena.
Needs and Moral Necessity analyses ethics as a practice, explains why we have three moral theory-types, consequentialism, deontology and virtue ethics, and argues for a fourth needs-based theory.
'Insight' is not a very popular word in psychology or biology. Popular terms-like "intelligence", "planning", "complexity" or "cognitive"- have a habit of sprawling out to include everyone's favourite interpretation, and end up with such vague meanings that each new writer has to redefine them for use. Insight remains in everyday usage: as a down-to-earth, lay term for a deep, shrewd or discerning kind of understanding. Insight is a good thing to have, so it's important to find out how it evolved, and that's what this book is about. Coming 20 years after publication of Richard Byrne's seminal book The Thinking Ape, Evolving Insight develops a new theory of the evolutionary origins of human abilities to understand the world of objects and other people. Defining mental representation and computation as 'insight', it reviews the evidence for insight in the cognition of animals. The book proposes that the understanding of causality and intentionality evolved twice in human ancestry: the "pretty good" understanding given by behaviour parsing, shared with other apes and related to cerebellar expansion; and the deeper understanding which requires language to model and is unique to humans. However, Ape-type insight may underlie non-verbal tests of intentionality and causal understanding, and much everyday human action. Accessible to those with little background in the topic, Evolving Insight is an important new work for anyone with an interest in psychology and the biological sciences.
Most people in the world today think democracy and gender equality are good, and that violence and wealth inequality are bad. But most people who lived during the 10,000 years before the nineteenth century thought just the opposite. Drawing on archaeology, anthropology, biology, and history, Ian Morris explains why. Fundamental long-term changes in values, Morris argues, are driven by the most basic force of all: energy. Humans have found three main ways to get the energy they need--from foraging, farming, and fossil fuels. Each energy source sets strict limits on what kinds of societies can succeed, and each kind of society rewards specific values. But if our fossil-fuel world favors democratic, open societies, the ongoing revolution in energy capture means that our most cherished values are very likely to turn out not to be useful any more. Foragers, Farmers, and Fossil Fuels offers a compelling new argument about the evolution of human values, one that has far-reaching implications for how we understand the past--and for what might happen next. Originating as the Tanner Lectures delivered at Princeton University, the book includes challenging responses by classicist Richard Seaford, historian of China Jonathan Spence, philosopher Christine Korsgaard, and novelist Margaret Atwood.
Martin Heidegger, considered by some to be the greatest charlatan ever to claim the title of 'philosopher', by some as an apologist for Nazism, and by others as an acknowledged leader in continental philosophy, is probably the most divisive thinker of the twentieth century. In the second edition of this Very Short Introduction, Michael Inwood focuses on Heidegger's most important work, Being and Time, to explore its major themes of existence in the world, inauthenticity, guilt, destiny, truth, and the nature of time. These themes are then reassessed in the light of Heidegger's multifaceted later thought, and how, despite its diversity, it hangs together as a single, coherent project. Finally, Inwood turns to Heidegger's Nazism and anti-semitism, to reveal its deep connection with his personality and overall view of philosophy. This is an invaluable guide to the complex and voluminous thought of one of the twentieth century's greatest yet most enigmatic philosophers. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Ron Mallon explores how thinking and talking about kinds of person can bring those kinds into being. Social constructionist explanations of human kinds like race, gender, and homosexuality are commonplace in the social sciences and humanities, but what do they mean and what are their implications? This book synthesizes recent work in evolutionary, cognitive, and social psychology as well as social theory and the philosophy of science, in order to offer a naturalistic account of the social construction of human kinds. Mallon begins by qualifying social constructionist accounts of representations of human kinds by appealing to evidence suggesting canalized dispositions towards certain ways of representing human groups, using race as a case study. He then turns to interpret constructionist accounts of categories as attempts to explain causally powerful human kinds by appealling to our practices of representing them, and he articulates a view in which widespread representations produce entrenched social roles that could vindicate such attempts. Mallon goes on to explore constructionist concerns with the social consequences of our representations, focusing especially on the way human kind representations can alter our behaviour and undermine our self understandings and our agency. Mallon understands socially constructed kinds as the real, sometimes stable products of our cognitive and representational practices, and he suggests that reference to such kinds can figure in our everyday and scientific practices of representing the social world. The result is a realistic, naturalistic account of how human representations might contribute to making up the parts of the social world that they represent.
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