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From the author of Wittgenstein's Poker and Would You Kill the Fat Man?, the story of an extraordinary group of philosophers during a dark chapter in Europe's history On June 22, 1936, the philosopher Moritz Schlick was on his way to deliver a lecture at the University of Vienna when Johann Nelboeck, a deranged former student of Schlick's, shot him dead on the university steps. Some Austrian newspapers defended the madman, while Nelboeck himself argued in court that his onetime teacher had promoted a treacherous Jewish philosophy. David Edmonds traces the rise and fall of the Vienna Circle-an influential group of brilliant thinkers led by Schlick-and of a philosophical movement that sought to do away with metaphysics and pseudoscience in a city darkened by fascism, anti-Semitism, and unreason. The Vienna Circle's members included Otto Neurath, Rudolf Carnap, and the eccentric logician Kurt Goedel. On its fringes were two other philosophical titans of the twentieth century, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Karl Popper. The Circle championed the philosophy of logical empiricism, which held that only two types of propositions have cognitive meaning, those that can be verified through experience and those that are analytically true. For a time, it was the most fashionable movement in philosophy. Yet by the outbreak of World War II, Schlick's group had disbanded and almost all its members had fled. Edmonds reveals why the Austro-fascists and the Nazis saw their philosophy as such a threat. The Murder of Professor Schlick paints an unforgettable portrait of the Vienna Circle and its members while weaving an enthralling narrative set against the backdrop of economic catastrophe and rising extremism in Hitler's Europe.
Around the middle of the eighteenth century, the leading figures of the French Enlightenment engaged in a philosophical debate about the nature of music. The principal participants-Rousseau, Diderot, and d'Alembert-were responding to the views of the composer-theorist Jean-Philippe Rameau, who was both a participant and increasingly a subject of controversy. The discussion centered upon three different events occurring roughly simultaneously. The first was Rameau's formulation of the principle of the fundamental bass, which explained the structure of chords and their progression. The second was the writing of the Encyclopedie, edited by Diderot and d'Alembert, with articles on music by Rousseau. The third was the "Querelle des Bouffons," over the relative merits of Italian comic opera and French tragic opera. The philosophes, in the typical manner of Enlightenment thinkers, were able to move freely from the broad issues of philosophy and criticism, to the more technical questions of music theory, considering music as both art and science. Their dialogue was one of extraordinary depth and richness and dealt with some of the most fundamental issues of the French Enlightenment. In the newly revised edition of Music and the French Enlightenment, Cynthia Verba updates this fascinating story with the prolific scholarship that has emerged since the book was first published. Stressing the importance of seeing the philosophes' writings in context of a dynamic dialogue, Verba carefully reconstructs the chain of arguments and rebuttals across which Rousseau, D'Alembert, and Diderot formulated their own evolving positions. A section of key passages in translation presents several texts in English for the first time, recapturing the tenor and tone of the dialogue at hand. In a new epilogue, Verba discusses important trends in new scholarship, tracing how scholars continue to grapple with many of the same fundamental oppositions and competing ideas that were debated by the philosophes in the French Enlightenment.
These abridgements of The Plan for Perpetual Peace (published 1761), On the Government of Poland (1771-1772), and Jean-Jacques Rousseau's other writings on history and politics represent his considerations of the practical applications of key principles developed in his best-known theoretical writings. In this latest volume in the classic series, Rousseau reflects on projects for a European union; the possibilities for governmental reform for France, including the polysynody experiment; international relations; and the establishment of governments for Poland and Corsica, both recently liberated from foreign oppression. Taken together, these works offer definitive insights into Rousseau's decidedly nonutopian thoughts on cosmopolitanism and nationalism, and on the theory and practice of politics.
This volume provides new translations of Rene Descartes's two most important philosophical works. The Discourse offers a concise presentation and defense of Descartes' method of intellectual inquiry - a method that greatly influenced both philosophical and scientific reasoning in the early modern world. Considered a foundational text in modern philosophy, the Meditations presents numerous powerful arguments that to this day influence debates in epistemology, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of religion. Descartes's timeless writing strikes an uncommon balance of novelty and familiarity, offering arguments concerning knowledge, science, and metaphysics (including the famous 'I think, therefore I am') that are as compelling in the 21st century as they were in the 17th. Ian Johnston's translations are modern, clear, and thoroughly annotated, ideal for readers unfamiliar with Descartes's intellectual context. An approachable introduction engages both the historical and the philosophical aspects of the text, helping the reader to understand the concepts and arguments contained therein.
Catharine Macaulay was a celebrated republican historian, whose account of the reasons for the seventeenth-century English Revolution, the parliamentary period, and its aftermath was widely read by the mothers and fathers of American Independence and by central players in the French Revolution. As well as publishing her eight volume history, spanning the period from the accession of James I to the Glorious Revolution of 1688, she wrote political pamphlets, offered a sketch of a republican constitution for Corsica, advocated parliamentary reform, and published a response to Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France. Her Letters on Education of 1790 made a decisive impact on the thought of Mary Wollstonecraft, and her Treatise on the Immutability of Moral Truth opposed the skeptical and utilitarian attitudes being developed by Hume and others. This volume brings together for the first time all the available letters between her and her wide-ranging correspondents, who include George Washington, John Adams, Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, James Otis, Benjamin Rush, David Hume, James Boswell, Thomas Hollis, John Wilkes, Horace Walpole, Mary Wollstonecraft, Jacques-Pierre Brissot de Warville, and many other luminaries of the eighteenth-century enlightenment. It includes an extended introduction to her life and works and offers a unique insight into the thinking of her friends and correspondents during the period between 1760 and 1790, the crucible for the development of modern representative democracies. The Correspondence of Catharine Macaulay will appeal to scholars of philosophy, political thought, women's studies, and eighteenth-century history, as well as those interested in the development of democratic ideas.
The Metaphysics of Morals is Kant's final major work in moral philosophy. In it, he presents the basic concepts and principles of right and virtue and the system of duties of human beings as such. The work comprises two parts: the Doctrine of Right concerns outer freedom and the rights of human beings against one another; the Doctrine of Virtue concerns inner freedom and the ethical duties of human beings to themselves and others. Mary Gregor's translation, lightly revised for this edition, is the only complete translation of the entire text, and includes extensive annotation on Kant's difficult and sometimes unfamiliar vocabulary. This edition includes numerous new footnotes, some of which address controversial aspects of Gregor's translation or offer alternatives. Lara Denis's introduction sets the work in context, explains its structure and themes, and introduces important interpretive debates. The volume also provides thorough guidance on further reading including online resources.
What is the Enlightenment? A period rich with debates on the nature of man, truth and the place of God, with the international circulation of ideas, people and gold. But did the Enlightenment mean the same for men and women, for rich and poor, for Europeans and non-Europeans? In this fourth edition of her acclaimed book, Dorinda Outram addresses these and other questions about the Enlightenment and its place at the foundation of modernity. Studied as a global phenomenon, Outram sets the period against broader social changes, touching on how historical interpretations of the Enlightenment continue to transform in response to contemporary socio-economic trends. Supported by a wide-ranging selection of documents online, this new edition provides an up-to-date overview of the main themes of the period and benefits from an expanded treatment of political economy and imperialism, making it essential reading for students of eighteenth-century history and philosophy.
Modern philosophy originates during the scientific revolution, and Michael Jacovides provides an engaging account of how this scientific background influences one of the foremost figures of early modern philosophy, John Locke. With this guiding thread, Jacovides gives clear and accurate answers to some of the central questions surrounding Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Why does he say that we have an obscure idea of substance? Why does he think that we perceive a two-dimensional array of color patches? Why does he think that matter can't naturally think? Why does he analyze secondary qualities as powers to produce ideas in us? Jacovides' method also allows him to trace the effects of Locke's scientific outlook on his descriptions of the way things appear to him and on his descriptions of the boundaries of conceivability. By placing Locke's thought in its scientific, religious, and anti-scholastic contexts, Jacovides explains not only what Locke believes but also why he believes it, and he thereby uncovers reveals the extra-philosophical sources of some of the central aspects of Locke's philosophy.
Georges Dicker here provides a commentary on John Locke's masterwork, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding-the foundational work of classical Empiricism. Dicker's commentary is an accessible guide for students who are reading Locke for the first time; a useful research tool for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students; and a contribution to Locke scholarship for professional scholars. It is designed to be read alongside the Essay, but does not presuppose familiarity with it. Dicker expounds and critically discusses the main theses and arguments of each of the Essay's four books, on the innatism that Locke opposes, the origin and classification of ideas, language and meaning, and knowledge, respectively. He analyses Locke's influential explorations of related topics, including primary and secondary qualities, substance, identity, personal identity, free will, nominal and real essences, perception, and external-world skepticism, among others. Written in an analytical style that strives for clarity, the book offers careful textual analyses as well as step-by-step reconstructions of Locke's arguments, and it references and engages with relevant work of other major philosophers and Locke commentators.
In this reissue, originally published in English in 1973, French philosopher Lucien Goldmann turns his attention to the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century, the great age of liberalism and individualism and analyses the 'mental structures' of the outlook of the philosophes, who showed that the ancien regime and the privileges of the Church were irrational anachronisms. In assessing the strengths and limitations of individualism, Goldmann considers the achievements and limitations of the Enlightenment. He discusses the views of Hegel and Marx and examines the relation between liberal scepticism and traditional Christianity to point the way to the possible reconciliation of the two seemingly incompatible 'world visions' of East and West today.
In this reissue, originally published in English in 1973, French
philosopher Lucien Goldmann turns his attention to the
Enlightenment of the eighteenth century, the great age of
liberalism and individualism and analyses the 'mental structures'
of the outlook of the philosophes, who showed that the ancien
regime and the privileges of the Church were irrational
In assessing the strengths and limitations of individualism, Goldmann considers the achievements and limitations of the Enlightenment. He discusses the views of Hegel and Marx and examines the relation between liberal scepticism and traditional Christianity to point the way to the possible reconciliation of the two seemingly incompatible 'world visions' of East and West today.
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.
'Those most capable of being moved by passion are those capable of tasting the most sweetness in this life.' Descartes is most often thought of as introducing a total separation of mind and body. But he also acknowledged the intimate union between them, and in his later writings he concentrated on understanding this aspect of human nature. The Passions of the Soul is his greatest contribution to this debate. It contains a profound discussion of the workings of the emotions and of their place in human life - a subject that increasingly engages the interest of philosophers and intellectual and cultural historians. It also sets out a view of ethics that has been seen as a radical reorientation of moral philosophy. This volume also includes both sides of the correspondence with Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia, one of Descartes's keenest disciples and shrewdest critics, which played a crucial role in the genesis of The Passions, as well as the first part of The Principles of Philosophy, which sets out the key positions of Descartes's philosophical system. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Philosophy Bites Back is the second book to come out of the hugely successful podcast Philosophy Bites. It presents a selection of lively interviews with leading philosophers of our time, who discuss the ideas and works of some of the most important thinkers in history. From the ancient classics of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, to the groundbreaking modern thought of Wittgenstein, Rawls, and Derrida, this volume spans over two and a half millennia of western philosophy and illuminates its most fascinating ideas. Philosophy Bites was set up in 2007 by David Edmonds and Nigel Warburton. It has had over 12 million downloads, and is listened to all over the world.
Caroline of Ansbach (1683-1737), Augusta of Saxe-Gotha (1719-1772), and Charlotte of Mecklenberg-Strelitz (1744-1818) were three German princesses who became Queens Consort-or, in the case of Augusta, Queen in Waiting, Regent, and Princess Dowager-of Great Britain, and were linked by their early years at European princely courts, their curiosity, aspirations, and an investment in Enlightenment thought. This sumptuously illustrated book considers the ways these powerful, intelligent women left enduring marks on British culture through a wide range of activities: the promotion of the court as a dynamic forum of the Hanoverian regime; the enrichment of the royal collection of art; the advancement of science and industry; and the creation of gardens and menageries. Objects included range from spectacular state portraits to pedagogical toys to plant and animal specimens, and reveal how the new and novel intermingled with the traditional.
n 1695 John Locke published The Reasonableness of Christianity, an enquiry into the foundations of Christian belief. He did so anonymously, to avoid public involvement in the fiercely partisan religious controversies of the day. In the Reasonableness Locke considered what it was to which all Christians must assent in faith; he argued that the answer could be found by anyone for themselves in the divine revelation of Scripture alone. He maintained that the requirements of Scripture were few and simple, and therefore offered a basis for tolerant agreement among all Christians, and the promise of peace, stability, and security through toleration. This is the first critical edition of the Reasonableness: for the first time an authoritative annotated text is presented, with full information about sources, variants, amendments, and the publishing history of the work. Also provided in the editorial notes are cross-references, references to other works by Locke, definitions of terms, and other information conducive to an understanding of the text. Though modern interest has focused particularly on Locke's philosophy and political theory, increasing attention is being paid to his religious thought. These different strands cannot be understood properly in isolation from each other: so the broader aim of this edition is to help towards an improved understanding of his religious thought in the context of his work as a philosopher, political theorist, and exponent of religious toleration. In his editorial introduction John Higgins-Biddle investigates how Locke's ideas developed, and offers a critical assessment of the three main contemporary and subsequent interpretations of Locke's religious thought, all of which are shown to be unsatisfactory.
In mid-eighteenth-century Europe, a taste for sentiment accompanied the 'rise of the novel', and the success of Samuel Richardson (1689-1761) played a vital role in this. James Fowler's new study is the first to compare the response of the most famous philosophes to the Richardson phenomenon. Voltaire, who claims to despise the novel, writes four 'Richardsonian' fictions; Diderot's fascination with the English author is expressed in La Religieuse, Rousseau's in Julie the century's bestseller. Yet the philosophes' response remains ambivalent. On the one hand they admire Richardson's ability to make the reader weep. On the other, they champion a range of Enlightenment beliefs which he, an enthusiast of Milton, vehemently opposed. In death as in life, the English author exacerbates the philosophes' rivalry. The eulogy which Diderot writes in 1761 implicitly asks: who can write a new Clarissa? But also: whose social, philosophical or political ideas will triumph as a result?"
This book is the first translation into English of the Reflections which Kant wrote whilst formulating his ideas in political philosophy: the preparatory drafts for Theory and Practice, Toward Perpetual Peace, the Doctrine of Right, and Conflict of the Faculties; and the only surviving student transcription of his course on Natural Right. Through these texts one can trace the development of his political thought, from his first exposure to Rousseau in the mid 1760s through to his last musings in the late 1790s after his final system of Right was published. The material covers such topics as the central role of freedom, the social contract, the nature of sovereignty, the means for achieving international peace, property rights in relation to the very possibility of human agency, the general prohibition of rebellion, and Kant's philosophical defense of the French Revolution.
Following his opposition to the establishment of a theatre in Geneva, Jean-Jacques Rousseau is often considered an enemy of the stage. Yet he was fascinated by drama: he was a keen theatre-goer, his earliest writings were operas and comedies, his admiration for Italian lyric theatre ran through his career, he wrote one of the most successful operas of the day, Le Devin du village, and with his Pygmalion, he invented a new theatrical genre, the Scene lyrique ('melodrama'). Through multi-faceted analyses of Rousseau's theatrical and musical works, authors re-evaluate his practical and theoretical involvement with and influence on the dramatic arts, as well as his presence in modern theatre histories. New readings of the Lettre a d'Alembert highlight its political underpinnings, positioning it as an act of resistance to external bourgeois domination of Geneva's cultural sphere, and demonstrate the work's influence on theatrical reform after Rousseau's death. Fresh analyses of his theory of voice, developed in the Essai sur l'origine des langues, highlight the unique prestige of Italian opera for Rousseau. His ambition to rethink the nature and function of stage works, seen in Le Devin du village and then, more radically, in Pygmalion, give rise to several different discussions in the volume, as do his complex relations with Gluck. Together, contributors shed new light on the writer's relationship to the stage, and argue for a more nuanced approach to his theatrical and operatic works, theories and legacy.
A number of Montesquieu's lesser-known discourses, dissertations and dialogues are made available to a wider audience, for the first time fully translated and annotated in English. The views they incorporate on politics, economics, science, and religion shed light on the overall development of his political and moral thought. They enable us better to understand not just Montesquieu's importance as a political philosopher studying forms of government, but also his stature as a moral philosopher, seeking to remind us of our duties while injecting deeper moral concerns into politics and international relations. They reveal that Montesquieu's vision for the future was remarkably clear: more science and less superstition; greater understanding of our moral duties; enhanced concern for justice, increased emphasis on moral principles in the conduct of domestic and international politics; toleration of conflicting religious viewpoints; commerce over war, and liberty over despotism as the proper goals for mankind.
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.
'My new favourite book of all time' Bill Gates TOP TEN SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER Is modernity really failing? Or have we failed to appreciate progress and the ideals that make it possible? If you follow the headlines, the world in the 21st century appears to be sinking into chaos, hatred, and irrationality. Yet Steven Pinker shows that this is an illusion - a symptom of historical amnesia and statistical fallacies. If you follow the trendlines rather than the headlines, you discover that our lives have become longer, healthier, safer, happier, more peaceful, more stimulating and more prosperous - not just in the West, but worldwide. Such progress is no accident: it's the gift of a coherent and inspiring value system that many of us embrace without even realizing it. These are the values of the Enlightenment: of reason, science, humanism and progress. The challenges we face today are formidable, including inequality, climate change, Artificial Intelligence and nuclear weapons. But the way to deal with them is not to sink into despair or try to lurch back to a mythical idyllic past; it's to treat them as problems we can solve, as we have solved other problems in the past. In making the case for an Enlightenment newly recharged for the 21st century, Pinker shows how we can use our faculties of reason and sympathy to solve the problems that inevitably come with being products of evolution in an indifferent universe. We will never have a perfect world, but - defying the chorus of fatalism and reaction - we can continue to make it a better one.
A foundational moment in the history of modern European thought, the Enlightenment continues to be a reference point for philosophers, scholars and opinion-formers. To many it remains the inspiration of our commitments to the betterment of the human condition. To others, it represents the elevation of one set of European values to the world, many of whose peoples have quite different values. But what is the relationship between the historical Enlightenment and the idea of 'Enlightenment', and can these two understandings be reconciled? In this Very Short Introduction, John Robertson offers a concise historical introduction to the Enlightenment as an intellectual movement of eighteenth-century Europe. Discussing its intellectual achievements, he also explores how its supporters exploited new ways of communicating their ideas to a wider public, creating a new 'public sphere' for critical discussion of the moral, economic and political issues facing their societies. 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.
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