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How can you reconcile yourself with the lives you will never lead, with possibilities foreclosed, and with nostalgia for lost youth? How can you accept the failings of the past, the sense of futility in the tasks that consume the present, and the prospect of death that blights the future? In this self-help book with a difference, Kieran Setiya confronts the inevitable challenges of adulthood and middle age, showing how philosophy can help you thrive. You will learn why missing out might be a good thing, how options are overrated, and when you should be glad you made a mistake. You will be introduced to philosophical consolations for mortality. And you will learn what it would mean to live in the present, how it could solve your midlife crisis, and why meditation helps. Ranging from Aristotle, Schopenhauer, and John Stuart Mill to Virginia Woolf and Simone de Beauvoir, as well as drawing on Setiya's own experience, Midlife combines imaginative ideas, surprising insights, and practical advice. Writing with wisdom and wit, Setiya makes a wry but passionate case for philosophy as a guide to life.
In this thought-provoking work, Mary Warnock explores what it is to own things, and the differences in our attitude to what we own and what we do not. Starting from the philosophical standpoints of Locke and Hume, the ownership of gardens is presented as a prime example, exploring both private and common ownership, historically and autobiographically. The author concludes that, besides pleasure and pride, ownership brings a sense of responsibility for what is owned and a fundamental question is brought to light: can we feel the same responsibility for what we do not, and never can, own? Applying this question to the natural world and the planet as a whole, a realistic and gradualist perspective is offered on confronting global environmental degradation. Critical Reflections on Ownership examines the effect of the Romantic Movement on our attitudes to nature and is a salient commentary on the history of ideas. Providing an accessible entrance into moral philosophy and its practical applications, this book is an invaluable source for students in the fields of politics and philosophy. Academics interested in conceptions of ownership, and in the interface between philosophy, morality and politics, will find this deeply considered insight to be a stimulating read.
In this important new book, the leading philosopher Francois Laruelle examines the role of intellectuals in our societies today, specifically with regards to criminal justice. He argues that, rather than concerning themselves with abstract philosophical notions like justice, truth and violence, intellectuals should focus on the human victims. Drawing on his influential theory of `non-philosophy', he shows how we can submit the theorizing of intellectuals to the scrutiny of the everyday suffering of the victims of crime. In the course of a wide-ranging discussion with Philippe Petit, Laruelle suspends the presumed authority of intellectuals by challenging the image of the `dominant intellectual' exemplified by philosophers such as Sartre, Foucault, Lyotard and Debray. In place of domination, he puts forward instead a theory of `determination': the determined intellectual is one whose character is conditioned by his relationship to the victim, rather than one who attempts to dominate the victim's experience through a process of theorizing. While philosophy consistently takes the voice away from victims of suffering, non-philosophy is able to construct a theory of violence and crime that gives voice to the victim. This highly original book will be essential reading for all those interested in contemporary French philosophy and all those concerned with justice in the modern world.
Although the study of reasons plays an important role in both epistemology and moral philosophy, little attention has been devoted to the question of how, exactly, reasons interact to support the actions or conclusions they do. In this book, John F. Horty attempts to answer this question by providing a precise, concrete account of reasons and their interaction, based on the logic of default reasoning. The book begins with an intuitive, accessible introduction to default logic itself, and then argues that this logic can be adapted to serve as a foundation for a concrete theory of reasons. Horty then shows that the resulting theory helps to explain how the interplay among reasons can determine what we ought to do by developing two different deontic logics, capturing two different intuitions about moral conflicts. In the central part of the book, Horty elaborates the basic theory to account for reasoning about the strength of our own reasons, and also about the related concepts of undercutting defeaters and exclusionary reasons. The theory is illustrated with an application to particularist arguments concerning the role of principles in moral theory. The book concludes by introducing a pair of issues new to the philosophical literature: the problem of determining the epistemic status of conclusions supported by separate but conflicting reasons, and the problem of drawing conclusions from sets of reasons that can vary arbitrarily in strength, or importance.
This book defends the fundamental place of the marital family in modern liberal societies. While applauding modern sexual freedoms, John Witte, Jr also defends the traditional Western teaching that the marital family is an essential cradle of conscience, chrysalis of care, and cornerstone of ordered liberty. He thus urges churches, states, and other social institutions to protect and promote the marital family. He encourages reticent churches to embrace the rights of women and children, as Christians have long taught, and encourages modern states to promote responsible sexual freedom and family relations, as liberals have long said. He counsels modern churches and states to share in family law governance, and to resist recent efforts to privatize, abolish, or radically expand the marital family sphere. Witte also invites fellow citizens to end their bitter battles over same-sex marriage and tend to the vast family field that urgently needs concerted attention and action.
This NEW reader provides a more diverse selection of philosophers and ethical issues than any other book of its kind. Used on its own or as a companion to Jonathan Wolff's An Introduction to Moral Philosophy, it offers an ideal collection of important readings in moral theory and compelling issues in applied ethics. Smart pedagogy and an affordable price make it an outstanding value for students.
In this book, the founder of object-oriented ontology develops his view that aesthetics is the central discipline of philosophy. Whereas science must attempt to grasp an object in terms of its observable qualities, philosophy and art cannot proceed in this way because they don't have direct access to their objects. Hence philosophy shares the same fate as art in being compelled to communicate indirectly, allusively, or elliptically, rather than in the clear propositional terms that are often taken - wrongly - to be the sole stuff of genuine philosophy. Conceiving of philosophy and art in this way allows us to reread key debates in aesthetic theory and to view art history in a different way. The formalist criticism of Greenberg and Fried is rejected for its refusal to embrace the innate theatricality and deep multiplicity of every artwork. This has consequences for art criticism, making pictorial content more important than formalism thinks but less entwined with the social sphere than anti-formalism holds. It has consequences for art history too, as the surrealists, David, and Poussin, among others, gain in importance. The close link between aesthetics and ontology also invites a new periodization of modern philosophy as a whole, and the habitual turn away from Kant's thing-in-itself towards an increase in philosophical "immanence" is shown to be a false dawn. This major work will be of great interest to students and scholars of philosophy, aesthetics, art history and cultural theory.
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.
Drawing on evolutionary epistemology, process ontology, and a social-cognition approach, this book suggests cognitive evolution, an evolutionary-constructivist social and normative theory of change and stability of international social orders. It argues that practices and their background knowledge survive preferentially, communities of practice serve as their vehicle, and social orders evolve. As an evolutionary theory of world ordering, which does not borrow from the natural sciences, it explains why certain configurations of practices organize and govern social orders epistemically and normatively, and why and how these configurations evolve from one social order to another. Suggesting a multiple and overlapping international social orders' approach, the book uses three running cases of contested orders - Europe's contemporary social order, the cyberspace order, and the corporate order - to illustrate the theory. Based on the concepts of common humanity and epistemological security, the author also submits a normative theory of better practices and of bounded progress.
In On Tocqueville, Alan Ryan brilliantly illuminates the observations of the French philosopher who first journeyed to the United States in 1831 and went on to catalogue the unique features of the American social contract. Tocqueville's prescient analyses of American life remain as relevant today as when they were first written. On Tocqueville features a chronology, biography and excerpts from Tocqueville's major works.
The Roman statesman and philosopher Seneca (4 BCE-65 CE) recorded his moral philosophy and reflections on life as a highly original kind of correspondence. Letters on Ethics includes vivid descriptions of town and country life in Nero's Italy, discussions of poetry and oratory, and philosophical training for Seneca's friend Lucilius. This volume, the first complete English translation in nearly a century, makes the Letters more accessible than ever before. Written as much for a general audience as for Lucilius, these engaging letters offer advice on how to deal with everything from nosy neighbors to sickness, pain, and death. Seneca uses the informal format of the letter to present the central ideas of Stoicism, for centuries the most influential philosophical system in the Mediterranean world. His lively and at times humorous expositions have made the Letters his most popular work and an enduring classic. Including an introduction and explanatory notes by Margaret Graver and A. A. Long, this authoritative edition will captivate a new generation of readers.
Business consultants everywhere preach the benefits of innovation-and promise to help businesses reap them. A trendy industry, this type of consulting is centered around courses, workshops, books, and conferences, all claiming to hold the secrets of success. But what kind of promises does the notion of innovation entail? What is it about the ideology and practice of business innovation that has made these consulting firms so successful at selling their services to everyone from small start-ups to Fortune 500 companies? Most importantly, what does business innovation actually mean for work and our economy in general in 2019? In Creativity on Demand, cultural anthropologist Eitan Wilf seeks to answer these questions by returning to the fundamental and pervasive expectation of continual business innovation. Wilf focuses a keen eye on how our obsession with innovation stems from the long-standing value of acceleration in capitalist society. Based on ethnographic work with innovation consultants in the United States, he reveals, among other surprises, how routine the culture of innovation is in reality. Procedures and strategies are repeated in a formulaic way, and imagination is harnessed as a new professional ethos, not always to generate genuinely new thinking, but also to produce predictable signs of continual change. A masterful look at the contradictions of our capitalist age, Creativity on Demand is a model for the anthropological study of our cultures of work.
This classic text has introduced tens of thousands of students to sound reasoning using a wealth of current, relevant, and stimulating examples all put together and explained in a witty and invigorating writing style. Long the choice of instructors who want to "keep students interested", LOGIC AND CONTEMPORARY RHETORIC: THE USE OF REASON IN EVERYDAY LIFE, International Edition combines examples from television, newspapers, magazines, advertisements, and our nation's political dialogue. The text not only brings the concepts to life for students, but also puts critical-thinking skills into a context that students will retain and use throughout their lives.
How did we come to have minds? For centuries, poets, philosophers, psychologists, and physicists have wondered how the human mind developed its unrivaled abilities. Disciples of Darwin have explained how natural selection produced plants, but what about the human mind? In From Bacteria to Bach and Back, Daniel C. Dennett builds on recent discoveries from biology and computer science to show, step by step, how a comprehending mind could in fact have arisen from a mindless process of natural selection. A crucial shift occurred when humans developed the ability to share memes, or ways of doing things not based in genetic instinct. Competition among memes produced thinking tools powerful enough that our minds don't just perceive and react, they create and comprehend. An agenda-setting book for a new generation of philosophers and scientists, From Bacteria to Bach and Back will delight and entertain all those curious about how the mind works.
An engaging account of the titan of political philosophy and the development of his most important work, A Theory of Justice, coming at a moment when its ideas are sorely needed. It is hard to overestimate the influence of John Rawls on political philosophy and theory over the last half-century. His books have sold millions of copies worldwide, and he is one of the few philosophers whose work is known in the corridors of power as well as in the halls of academe. Rawls is most famous for the development of his view of "justice as fairness," articulated most forcefully in his best-known work, A Theory of Justice. In it he develops a liberalism focused on improving the fate of the least advantaged, and attempts to demonstrate that, despite our differences, agreement on basic political institutions is both possible and achievable. Critics have maintained that Rawls's view is unrealistic and ultimately undemocratic. In this incisive new intellectual biography, Andrius Galisanka argues that in misunderstanding the origins and development of Rawls's central argument, previous narratives fail to explain the novelty of his philosophical approach and so misunderstand the political vision he made prevalent. Galisanka draws on newly available archives of Rawls's unpublished essays and personal papers to clarify the justifications Rawls offered for his assumption of basic moral agreement. Galisanka's intellectual-historical approach reveals a philosopher struggling toward humbler claims than critics allege. To engage with Rawls's search for agreement is particularly valuable at this political juncture. By providing insight into the origins, aims, and arguments of A Theory of Justice, Galisanka's John Rawls will allow us to consider the philosopher's most important and influential work with fresh eyes.
This book explicates a reflective lifeworld research approach, based on phenomenological philosophy. The emphasis is on the lifeworld, the human intentionality and its capacity for seeing meaning and for reflection. The epistemological ideas presented in the book are transformed into an empirical research approach that serves as a guiding principle for research. The approach originates from the aim of allowing the phenomenon to guide the research by which the phenomenon and its meanings will be illuminated, understood and explicated, and is supported by an open and 'bridled' attitude to the phenomenon and the research.Based on a solid epistemological presentation and ideas about how an open and 'bridled' approach can be established, some methodological principles are outlined for data gathering as well as for descriptive and interpretative data analysis, respectively. Finally, general scientific concepts such as validity, objectivity and generalisation are discussed in relation to the reflective lifeworld.
This book presents an anti-intellectualist view of how the cognitive-mental dimension of human intellect is rooted in and interwoven with our embodied-internal components including emotion, perception, desire, etc., by investigating practical forms of thinking such as deliberation, planning, decision-making, etc. With many thought-provoking statements, the book revises some classical notions of rationality with new interpretation: we are "rational animals", which means we have both rational capabilities, such as calculation, evaluation, justification, etc., and more animal aspects, like desire, emotion, and the senses. According to the traditional position of rationalism, we use well-grounded reason as the fundamental basis of our actions. But this book argues that we simply perform our practical intellect intuitively and spontaneously, just like playing music. By this the author turns the dominant metaphor of "architecture" in understanding of human rationality to that of "music-playing". This book presents a groundbreaking and compelling critique of today's pervasively reflective-intellectual culture, just as Bernard Williams, Charles Taylor and other philosophers diagnose, and makes any detached notion of rationality and formalized understanding of human intellect highly problematic.Methodologically, it not only reconciles the phenomenological-hermeneutic tradition with analytical approaches, but also integrates various theories, such as moral psychology, emotional studies, action theory, decision theory, performativity studies, music philosophy, tacit knowledge, collective epistemology and media theory. Further, its use of everyday cases, metaphors, folk stories and references to movies and literature make the book easy to read and appealing for a broad readership.
In Morality Bernard Williams confronts the problems of writing moral philosophy, and offers a stimulating alternative to more systematic accounts which seem nevertheless to have left all the important issues somewhere off the page. Williams explains, analyses and distinguishes a number of key positions, from the purely amoral to notions of subjective or relative morality, testing their coherence before going on to explore the nature of 'goodness' in relation to responsibilities and choice, roles, standards, and human nature. A classic in moral philosophy.
Carefully-calibrated and judiciously-curated, Contemporary Epistemology is a new upper-level anthology which brings together some of the most significant contemporary writing on the theory of knowledge centered around the general theme of the ethics of belief. Sections probe questions such as whether there are norms on belief, how norms on belief relate to norms on action, and how we should understand the nature of epistemic value and normativity. Designed to sit alongside our highly-successful introductory anthology of canonical readings Epistemology: An Anthology, Second Edition--and editedby the same distinguished editorial team--the collection draws from a large, diverse, and evolving literature for a concise and well-balanced selection of readings. Striking an excellent representational balance between scholarship that has influenced modern epistemology in recent years and the contributions of emerging thought leaders, Jeremy Fantl, Matthew McGrath, and Ernest Sosa have selected 17 readings that represent a broad and vital part of contemporary epistemology. Organized into seven thoughtful and distinct sections which include virtue epistemology, practical reasons for belief, permissivism about belief, epistemic dysfunctions, among others, readings are further contextualized by editorial material meant to help readers engage with the arguments themselves. Upper level companion anthology to our best-selling Epistemology: An Anthology, Second Edition Edited by a distinguished editorial team, including Ernie Sosa, one of the most influential contemporary epistemologists Includes many of the most important contributions made in recent decades by leading authors in the field Offer 17 contemporary readings including articles by women philosophers and from new, upcoming voices in the field Strikes an excellent balance between coverage of core foundational topics and cutting edge methodologies An essential collection for students and philosophers concerned with recent developments in the theory of knowledge, Contemporary Epistemology: An Anthology is a strong contemporary resource for students, instructors, and active scholars in epistemology.
Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things. Baked potatoes, Bombay potatoes, pommes frites . . . everyone eats potatoes, but what do they mean? To the United Nations they mean global food security (potatoes are the world's fourth most important food crop). To 18th-century philosophers they promised happiness. Nutritionists warn that too many increase your risk of hypertension. For the poet Seamus Heaney they conjured up both his mother and the 19th-century Irish famine. What stories lie behind the ordinary potato? The potato is entangled with the birth of the liberal state and the idea that individuals, rather than communities, should form the building blocks of society. Potatoes also speak about family, and our quest for communion with the universe. Thinking about potatoes turns out to be a good way of thinking about some of the important tensions in our world. Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.
Business as an Instrument for Societal Change: In Conversation with the Dalai Lama is the result of two decades of research and dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other leaders in business, government, science and education. Author Sander Tideman, a lawyer and banker who has maintained a friendship with the Dalai Lama over all these years, presents a practical framework and methodology to develop a new kind of leadership - one fit to repurpose the business world and tackle escalating social, economic and environmental needs. The Dalai Lama rarely speaks directly on the topics of business, leadership and economics. Yet in the dialogues recounted here, his wisdom - combined with key insights from business and public leaders -creates a unified shift towards a consciousness of interconnectedness, offering profound insights for practitioners and general readers alike. Tideman unites the scientific worldviews of physics, neuroscience and economics with the positive psychology of human relationships, and ancient spiritual wisdom, to formulate practical business leadership solutions. While recognizing the need for change in external structures and governance, Tideman highlights the importance of opening our minds, and connecting inner and outer spirituality. At the same time, he focuses on concrete practices for winning the hearts and minds of employees, customers, communities, and society at large, while addressing deep-rooted problems such as extreme social inequality and continued financial collapses. At the heart of this book lies the journey to discover our shared purpose. This ignites new sources of value creation for the organisation, customers and society, which Tideman terms 'triple value'. We can achieve triple value by aligning societal and business needs, based on the fundamental reality of interconnection. Business as an Instrument for Societal Change: In Conversation with the Dalai Lama is a readable and intelligent exploration of how leaders can actually help to shape a sustainable global economy by embracing innate human and humane behaviour. It is also Tideman's fascinating personal journey, which brought him to question the underlying motivations and goals of business leadership and to seek a new paradigm for a more sustainable approach. Reflecting Tideman's sharp perceptions and infused with the Dalai Lama's unmistakable joy, this book has the power to change your way of thinking.
In Philosophy Within Its Proper Bounds, Edouard Machery argues that resolving many traditional and contemporary philosophical issues is beyond our epistemic reach and that philosophy should re-orient itself toward more humble, but ultimately more important intellectual endeavors. Any resolution to many of these contemporary issues would require an epistemic access to metaphysical possibilities and necessities, which, Machery argues, we do not have. In effect, then, Philosophy Within Its Proper Bounds defends a form of modal skepticism. The book assesses the main philosophical method for acquiring the modal knowledge that the resolution of modally immodest philosophical issues turns on: the method of cases, that is, the consideration of actual or hypothetical situations (which cases or thought experiments describe) in order to determine what facts hold in these situations. Canvassing the extensive work done by experimental philosophers over the last 15 years, Edouard Machery shows that the method of cases is unreliable and should be rejected. Importantly, the dismissal of modally immodest philosophical issues is no cause for despair - many important philosophical issues remain within our epistemic reach. In particular, reorienting the course of philosophy would free time and resources for bringing back to prominence a once-central intellectual endeavor: conceptual analysis.
Knowledge aims to fit the world, and action to change it. In this collection of essays, Onora O'Neill explores the relationship between these concepts and shows that principles are not enough for ethical thought or action: we also need to understand how practical judgement identifies ways of enacting them and of changing the way things are. Both ethical and technical judgement are supported, she contends, by bringing to bear multiple considerations, ranging from ethical principles to real-world constraints, and while we will never find practical algorithms - let alone ethical algorithms - that resolve moral and political issues, good practical judgement can bring abstract principles to bear in situations that call for action. Her essays thus challenge claims that all inquiry must use either the empirical methods of scientific inquiry or the interpretive methods of the humanities. They will appeal to a range of readers in moral and political philosophy.
"Perceptual Acquaintance " was first published in 1984. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Philosophers, wrote Thomas Reid in 1785, "all suppose that we perceive not external objects immediately, and that the immediate objects of perception are only certain shadows of the external objects." To Reid, a founding father of the common-sense school of philosophy, John Locke's "way of ideas" threatened to supplant, in human knowledge, the world of physical objects and events--and to point down the dreaded path to scepticism.
John Yolton finds Reid at least partly responsible for this standard (and by now stereotypic) account of Locke and his eighteenth-century British successors on the subject of perception. By carefully examining the writings of Descartes and the Cartesians, and Locke and his successors, Yolton is able to suggest an alternative to this interpretation of their views. He goes back to a wide range of original texts--those of the period's major philosophers, to Descartes' scholastic precursors, to obscure pamphleteers, and to writers on religion, natural philosophy, medicine, and optics--all in an effort to help us understand the issues without the interference of modern labels and categories. The subtle changes over time reveal an important transformation in the understanding of perception, yet one that is prefigured in earlier work, contrary to Reid's view of the past. Included in Yolton's reevaluation is a full account of the role of Berkeley and Hume in the study of perceptual acquaintance, and of the connection between their work.
The ethics of war explores the moral limits and possibilities of conflict. The argument proceeds from a just war standpoint which balances rules or principles against the moral capacities and dispositions of belligerents and the particular circumstances in which they act. In this enlarged second edition, a new introduction reflects on the impact of changes to just war thinking and to the practice of war since the book's original publication. The common criticism that traditional just war theory is incoherent, outmoded and in need of radical revision is resisted, and instead, a case is made for an ethics of war rooted in the historic tradition of just war. The concept of just war is compared with realism, militarism and pacifism; the principles of just recourse and just conduct are examined with the aid of real life examples; and a new third part addresses some of the ethical problems raised by terrorism and counterterrorism. -- .
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