In the last decade, F. W. J. von Schelling has emerged as one of the key philosophers of German Idealism, the one who, for the first time, undermined Kant's philosophical revolution and in so doing opened up the way for a viable critique of Hegel. In noted philosopher Slavoj Zizek's view, the main orientations of the post-Hegelian thought, from Kierkegaard and Marx, to Heidegger and today's deconstructionism, were prefigured in Schelling's analysis of Hegel's idealism, and in his affirmation that the contingency of existence cannot be reduced to notional self-mediation. In The Abyss of Freedom, Zizek attempts to advance Schelling's stature even further, with a commentary of the second draft of Schelling's work The Ages of the World, written in 1813.
Zizek argues that Schelling's most profound thoughts are found in the series of three consecutive attempts he made to formulate the "ages of the world/Weltalter," the stages of the self-development of the Absolute. Of the three versions, claims Zizek, it is the second that is the most eloquent and definitive encompassing of Schelling's lyrical thought. It centers on the problem of how the Absolute (God) himself, in order to become actual, to exist effectively, has to accomplish a radically contingent move of acquiring material, bodily existence. Never before available in English, this version finally renders accessible one of the key texts of modern philosophy, a text that is widely debated in philosophical circles today.
The Abyss of Freedom is Zizek's own reading of Schelling based upon Lacanian psychoanalytic theory. It focuses on the notion that Lacan's theory--which claims that the symbolic universe emerged from presymbolic drives--is prefigured in Schelling's idea of logos as given birth to from the vortex of primordial drives, or from what "in God is not yet God." For Zizek, this connection is monumental, showing that Schelling's ideas forcefully presage the post-modern "deconstruction" of logocentrism.
Slavoj Zizek is not a philosopher who stoops to conquer objects but a radical voice who believes that philosophy is nothing if it is not embodied, nothing if it is only abstract. For him, true philosophy always speaks of something rather than nothing. Those interested in the genesis of contemporary thought and the fate of reason in our "age of anxiety" will find this coupling of texts not only philosophically relevant, but vitally important.
Slavoj Zizek is the author of The Sublime Object of Ideology, Tarrying with the Negative: Kant, Hegel and the Critique of Ideology, and most recently, The Indivisible Remainder: An Essay on Schelling and Related Matters. Currently he is a Senior Researcher at the Institute for Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana. Judith Norman is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.
The term freedom appears in many contexts in Kant's work, ranging from the cosmological to the moral to the theological. Can the diverse meanings Kant gave to the term be ordered systematically? To ask that question is to test the consistency and coherence of Kant's thought in its entirety.
Widely praised when first published in France, The Coherence of Kant's Doctrine of Freedom articulates and interrelates the disparate senses of freedom in Kant's work. Bernard Carnois organizes all Kant's usages into a logical "grammar," isolating and defining the individual meanings and pointing out their implications and limits. In a first step, he shows how Kant's notion of intelligible character makes possible a synthesis of transcendental freedom, as a problematic concept of theoretical reason, and practical freedom, as a fact demonstrated by experience. He then develops the concept of freedom under the rubric of the will's autonomy in the context of the moral law. And finally, Carnois persistently explores the role of negativity in Kant's idea of freedom. For within the magisterial coherence of the system the imperfection of human finitude is inscribed. This introduces the "history" of our freedom—a freedom which posits itself, but then inevitably denies itself, even while preserving the possibility of its regeneration.
The only work in English to consider in detail all of Kant's writings on freedom, this book also introduces French Kant scholars whose works have often been unavailable to English-speaking readers. As both an interpretation of Kant and a trenchant analysis of the relationship between ethical commitments and metaphysical assumptions, it will be a useful addition to moral, religious, and political philosophy as well as to Kant scholarship.
Between the years AD 519 and 523, Fulgentius engaged in correspondence with a group of Latin-speaking monks from Scythia, and that correspondence is translated into English--almost all of it for the first time--in this volume.
In this book, Michael D. Torre makes Marín-Sola's articles available in English for the first time. The articles are preceded by an introduction on Marín-Sola and followed by a conclusion that traces the reception of his thought within the Catholic theological community. In Torre's afterword, he defends Marín-Sola's position as substantively the same as that of Aquinas.
From the late nineteenth century onwards religion gave way to science as the dominant force in society. This led to a questioning of the principle of free will—if the workings of the human mind could be reduced to purely physiological explanations, then what place was there for human agency and self-improvement?
Smith takes an in-depth look at the problem of free will through the prism of different disciplines. Physiology, psychology, philosophy, evolutionary theory, ethics, history and sociology all played a part in the debates that took place. His subtly nuanced navigation through these arguments has much to contribute to our understanding of Victorian and Edwardian science and culture, as well as having relevance to current debates on the role of genes in determining behaviour.
This volume, the first part of Paul Ricoeur's Philosophy of the Will, is an eidetics, carried out within carefully imposed phenomenological brackets. It seeks to deal with the essential structure of man's being in the world, and so it suspends the distorting dimensions of existence, the bondage of passion, and the vision of innocence, to which Ricoeur returns in his later writings. The result is a conception of man as an incarnate Cogito, which can make the polar unity of subject and object intelligible and provide a basic continuity for the various aspects of inquiry into man's being-in-the-world.
This book seeks to explain this paradox in Augustine's theology by tracing how these different emphases arose in his thought, and speculating as to why he endorsed, in the end, his theology of predestination. T
It’s a question that has puzzled philosophers and theologians for centuries and is at the heart of numerous political, social, and personal concerns: Do we have free will? In this cogent and compelling book, Julian Baggini explores the concept of free will from every angle, blending philosophy, sociology, and cognitive science to find rich new insights on the intractable questions that have plagued us. Are we products of our culture, or free agents within it? Are our neural pathways fixed early on by a mixture of nature and nurture, or is the possibility of comprehensive, intentional psychological change always open to us? And what, exactly, are we talking about when we talk about “freedom” anyway?
Freedom Regained brings the issues raised by the possibilities—and denials—of free will to thought-provoking life, drawing on scientific research and fascinating encounters with everyone from artists to prisoners to dissidents. He looks at what it means for us to be material beings in a universe of natural laws. He asks if there is any difference between ourselves and the brains from which we seem never able to escape. He throws down the wildcards and plays them to the fullest: What about art? What about addiction? What about twins? And he asks, of course, what this all means for politics.
Ultimately, Baggini challenges those who think free will is an illusion. Moving from doubt to optimism to a hedged acceptance of free will, he ultimately lands on a satisfying conclusion: it is something we earn. The result is a highly engaging, new, and more positive understanding of our sense of personal freedom, a freedom that is definitely worth having.
"What I like most about this book is that it attacks two received positions. One, that a host of other judgments require the retention of moral responsibility The other, that moral responsibility is the best or only game in town when it comes to achieving various social goals. Received opinions are always in need of energetic attack, and the attacks here are both energetic and well written."
--Jeffrey Olen, author of Moral Freedom, former Professor of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point
In this book, Bruce Waller attacks two prevalent philosophical beliefs. First, he argues that moral responsibility must be rejected; there is no room for such a notion within our naturalist framework. Second, he denies the common assumption that moral responsibility is inseparably linked with individual freedom. Rejection of moral responsibility does not entail the demise of individual freedom; instead, individual freedom is enhanced by the rejection of moral responsibility. According to this theory of "no-fault naturalism," no one deserves either blame or reward.
In the course of arguing against moral responsibility, Waller critiques major compatibilist arguments--by Dennett, Frankfurt, Strawson, Bennett, Wolf, Hampshire, Glover, Rachels, Sher, and others. In addition, the implications of denying moral responsibility--for individual freedom, for moral judgments and moral behavior, and for social justice--are examined; the supposed dire consequences of the denial of moral responsibility are challenged; and the benefits of denying moral responsibility are described.
This provocative volume, one of the most important interpretive works on the philosophical thought of the Renaissance, has long been regarded as a classic in its field. Ernst Cassirer here examines the changes brewing in the early stages of the Renaissance, tracing the interdependence of philosophy, language, art, and science; the newfound recognition of individual consciousness; and the great thinkers of the period—from da Vinci and Galileo to Pico della Mirandola and Giordano Bruno. The Individual and the Cosmos in Renaissance Philosophy discusses the importance of fifteenth-century philosopher Nicholas Cusanus, the concepts of freedom and necessity, and the subject-object problem in Renaissance thought.
“This fluent translation of a scholarly and penetrating original leaves little impression of an attempt to show that a ‘spirit of the age’ or ‘spiritual essence of the time’ unifies and expresses itself in all aspects of society or culture.”—Philosophy
A discussion of Aristotle’s thought on determinism and culpability, Necessity, Cause, and Blame also reveals Richard Sorabji’s own philosophical commitments. He makes the original argument here that Aristotle separates the notions of necessity and cause, rejecting both the idea that all events are necessarily determined as well as the idea that a non-necessitated event must also be non-caused. In support of this argument, Sorabji engages in a wide-ranging discussion of explanation, time, free will, essence, and purpose in nature. He also provides historical perspective, arguing that these problems remain intimately bound up with modern controversies.
“Necessity, Cause and Blame would be counted by all as one of Sorabji’s finest. The book is essential for philosophers—both specialists on the Greeks and modern thinkers about free will—and also compelling for non-specialists.”—Martha Nussbaum
“Original and important . . . The book relates Aristotle’s discussions to both the contemporary debates on determinism and causation and the ancient ones. It is especially detailed on Stoic arguments about necessity . . . and on the social and legal background to Aristotle’s thought.”—Choice
“It is difficult to convey the extraordinary richness of this book. . . . A Greekless philosopher could read it with pleasure . . . At the same time, its learning and scholarship are enormous.”—G. E. M. Anscombe, Times Literary Supplement
Ennead VI.8 gives us access to the living mind of a long dead sage as he tries to answer some of the most fundamental questions we in the modern world continue to ask: are we really free when most of the time we are overwhelmed by compulsions, addictions, and necessities, and how can we know that we are free? Can we trace this freedom through our own agency to the gods, to the Soul, Intellect, and the Good? How do we know that the world is meaningful and not simply the result of chance or randomness?
Plotinus’ On the Voluntary and on the Free Will of the One is a groundbreaking work that provides a new understanding of the importance and nature of free human agency. It articulates a creative idea of agency and radical freedom by showing how such terms as desire, will, self-dependence, and freedom in the human ethical sphere can be genuinely applied to Intellect and the One while preserving the radical inability of all metaphysical language to express anything about God or gods.
Benson Mates University of Chicago Press, 1981 Library of Congress BD201.M34 | Dewey Decimal 149.73
"In philosophy," the author writes in his preface, "we have learned to get our satisfaction from showing that the other fellow is mistaken rather than from establishing the truth of our own positive tenets." The impeccably professional work of a mature and distinguished logician and scholar, Skeptical Essays propounds the view that the principal traditional problems of philosophy are genuine intellectual knots; they are intelligible enough, but at the same time the are absolutely insoluble.
The problems Mates discusses are: the Liar paradox and Russell's Antinomy of the class of all nonself-membered classes; the problem of determinism and moral responsibility; and the existence of the external world. Clearly written and effectively organized, the book will be an excellent text for advanced students.
In thirteen original essays, eminent scholars of the history of philosophy and of contemporary philosophy examine weakness of will, or incontinence--the phenomenon of acting contrary to one's better judgment.
Why Free Will Is Real
Christian List Harvard University Press, 2019 Library of Congress BJ1461.L55 2019 | Dewey Decimal 123.5
Many scientists and scientifically-minded philosophers are skeptical that free will exists. In clear, scientifically rigorous terms, Christian List explains that free will is like other real phenomena that emerge from physical laws but are autonomous from them—like an ecosystem or the economy—and are indispensable for explaining our world.