People rely on reason to think about and navigate the abstract world of human relations in much the same way they rely on maps to study and traverse the physical world. Starting from that simple observation, renowned geographer Gunnar Olsson offers in Abysmal an astonishingly erudite critique of the way human thought and action have become deeply immersed in the rhetoric of cartography and how this cartographic reasoning allows the powerful to map out other people’s lives.
A spectacular reading of Western philosophy, religion, and mythology that draws on early maps and atlases, Plato, Kant, and Wittgenstein, Thomas Pynchon, Gilgamesh, and Marcel Duchamp, Abysmal is itself a minimalist guide to the terrain of Western culture. Olsson roams widely but always returns to the problems inherent in reason, to question the outdated assumptions and fixed ideas that thinking cartographically entails. A work of ambition, scope, and sharp wit, Abysmal will appeal to an eclectic audience—to geographers and cartographers, but also to anyone interested in the history of ideas, culture, and art.
Aquinas on Emotion’s Participation in Reason aims to present Aquinas’s answer to the perennial and now popular question: In what way can the emotions be rational? For Aquinas, the starting point of this inquiry is Aristotle’s claim (EN. I. 13) that there are three parts to the soul: 1) the rational part, 2) the non-rational part which can participate in reason, and 3) the non-rational part that does not participate in reason. It is the extent to which the second part (the sense appetites, the seat of the emotions) participates in reason that the emotions can become rational. However, immediately after Aristotle introduces his tripartite division of the soul, he warns that one need not delve into the details of the division or the participation. Aquinas, however, ignores Aristotle, and uses his precise metaphysics of participation within in his sophisticated anthropology to great effect in his ethics. Unlike Aristotle, to fully understand Aquinas’s thinking on how the emotions can become rational, we simply must delve into the kinds of precisions that Aristotle thinks are misplaced. When Aquinas’s views emerge from these precisions, he has a surprisingly level-headed and commonsense view of how the emotions can become rational. On this point, he is more pessimistic than Aristotle and more optimistic than Kant; he is certainly not, as is he is often thought to be, the faithful follower of Aristotle and the polar opposite of Kant. Nicholas Kahm argue that Aquinas has a realistic and plausible view of how far reason can go in shaping our emotions. Furthermore, his plausible views can accommodate the serious current challenge raised against virtue ethics from social psychology. The method has mainly been a careful reading of primary texts, but unlike the rest of the scholarship on Aquinas’s ethics, Kahm is particularly sensitive to Aquinas’s historical and philosophical development.
At the Heart of Reason
Translated from the French by Michael B. Smith and Claude Romano Northwestern University Press, 2015 Library of Congress B2433.R663A813 2015 | Dewey Decimal 142.7
In At the Heart of Reason, Claude Romano boldly calls for a reformulation of the phenomenological project. He contends that the main concern of phenomenology, and its originality with respect to other philosophical movements of the last century, such as logical empiricism, the grammatical philosophy of Wittgenstein, and varieties of neo-Kantianism, was to provide a "new image of Reason."
Against the common view, which restricts the range of reason to logic and truth-theory alone, Romano advocates "big-hearted rationality," including in it what is only ostensibly its opposite, that is, sensibility, and locating in sensibility itself the roots of the categorical forms of thought. Contrary to what was claimed by the "linguistic turn," language is not a self-enclosed domain; it cannot be conceived in its specificity unless it is led back to its origin in the pre-predicative or pre-linguistic structures of experience itself.
In this radical critique of contemporary social theory, Eugene Halton argues that both modernism and postmodernism are damaged philosophies whose acceptance of the myths of the mind/body dichotomy make them incapable of solving our social dilemmas.
Claiming that human beings should be understood as far more than simply a form of knowledge, social construction, or contingent difference, Halton argues that contemporary thought has lost touch with the spontaneous passions—or enchantment—of life. Exploring neglected works in twentieth century social thought and philosophy—particularly the writings of Lewis Mumford and Charles Peirce—as well as the work of contemporary writers such as Vaclav Havel, Maya Angelou, Milan Kundera, Doris Lessing, and Victor Turner, Halton argues that reason is dependent upon nonrational forces—including sentiment, instinct, conjecture, imagination, and experience. We must, he argues, frame our questions in a way which encompasses both enchantment and critical reason, and he offers an outline here for doing so.
A passionate plea for a fundamental reexamination of the entrenched assumptions of the modern era, this book deals with issues of vital concern to modern societies and should be read by scholars across disciplines.
"Bereft of Reason is a thoughtful critique informed by a passionate commitment to the renewal of critical concerns. For this reason alone it should be widely read and inform current debates."—Lauren Langman, Sociological Inquiry
"Halton takes the 'ghost in the machine' as a dominant defining metaphor for modern thought and life, and criticizes it with gusto, wit, wide reading, and philosophical acumen."—Robert J. Mulvaney, Review of Metaphysics
Despite widespread public support for environmental protection, a backlash against environmental policies is developing. Fueled by outright distortions of fact and disregard for the methodology of science, this backlash appears as an outpouring of seemingly authoritative opinions by so-called experts in books, articles, and appearances on television and radio that greatly distort what is or is not known by environmental scientists. Through relentless repetition, the flood of anti-environmental sentiment has acquired an unfortunate aura of credibility, and is now threatening to undermine thirty years of progress in defining, understanding, and seeking solutions to global environmental problems.
In this hard-hitting and timely book, world-renowned scientists and writers Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich speak out against what they call the "brownlash." Brownlash rhetoric, created by public relations spokespersons and a few dissident scientists, is a deliberate misstatement of scientific findings designed to support an anti-environmental world view and political agenda. As such, it is deeply disturbing to environmental scientists across the country. The agenda of brownlash proponents is rarely revealed, and the confusion and distraction its rhetoric creates among policymakers and the public prolong an already difficult search for realistic and equitable solutions to global environmental problems.
In Betrayal of Science and Reason, the Ehrlichs explain clearly and with scientific objectivity the empirical findings behind environmental issues including population growth, desertification, food production, global warming, ozone depletion, acid rain, and biodiversity loss. They systematically debunk revisionist "truths" such as:
population growth does not cause environmental damage, and may even be beneficial
humanity is on the verge of abolishing hunger; food scarcity is a local or regional problem and is not indicative of overpopulation
there is no extinction crisis
natural resources are superabundant, if not infinite
global warming and acid rain are not serious threats to humanity
stratospheric ozone depletion is a hoax
risks posed by toxic substances are vastly exaggerated
The Ehrlichs counter the erroneous information and misrepresentation put forth by the brownlash, presenting accurate scientific information about current environmental threats that can be used to evaluate critically and respond to the commentary of the brownlash. They include important background material on how science works and provide extensive references to pertinent scientific literature. In addition, they discuss how scientists can speak out on matters of societal urgency yet retain scientific integrity and the support of the scientific community.
Betrayal of Science and Reason is an eye-opening look at current environmental problems and the fundamental importance of the scientific process in solving them. It presents unique insight into the sources and implications of anti-environmental rhetoric, and provides readers with a valuable means of understanding and refuting the feel-good fables that constitute the brownlash.
Few people have had as many influences on as many different fields as true Renaissance man Blaise Pascal. At once a mathematician, philosopher, theologian, physicist, and engineer, Pascal’s discoveries, experiments, and theories helped usher in a modern world of scientific thought and methodology. In this singular book on this singular genius, distinguished scholar Mary Ann Caws explores the rich contributions of this extraordinary thinker, interweaving his writings and discoveries with an account of his life and career and the wider intellectual world of his time.
Caws takes us back to Pascal’s youth, when he was a child prodigy first engaging mathematics through the works of mathematicians such as Father Mersenne. She describes his early scientific experiments and his construction of mechanical calculating machines; she looks at his correspondence with important thinkers such as René Descartes and Pierre de Fermat; she surveys his many inventions, such as the first means of public transportation in Paris; and she considers his later religious exaltations in works such as the “Memorial.” Along the way, Caws examines Pascal’s various modes of writing—whether he is arguing with the strict puritanical modes of church politics, assuming the personality of a naïve provincial trying to understand the Jesuitical approach, offering pithy aphorisms in the Pensées, or meditating on thinking about thinking itself.
Altogether, this book lays side by side many aspects of Pascal’s life and work that are seldom found in a single volume: his religious motivations and faith, his scientific passions, and his practical savvy. The result is a comprehensive but easily approachable account of a fascinating and influential figure.
"There are books—few and far between—which carefully, delightfully, and genuinely turn your head inside out. This is one of them. It ranges over some central issues in Western philosophy and begins the long overdue job of giving us a radically new account of meaning, rationality, and objectivity."—Yaakov Garb, San Francisco Chronicle
Blending political, historical, and sociological analysis, Bernard S. Silberman offers a provocative explanation for the bureaucratic development of the modern state. The study of modern state bureaucracy has its origins in Max Weber's analysis of the modes of social domination, which Silberman takes as his starting point.
Whereas Weber contends that the administration of all modern nation-states would eventually converge in one form characterized by rationality and legal authority, Silberman argues that the process of bureaucratic rationalization took, in fact, two courses. One path is characterized by permeable organizational boundaries and the allocation of information by "professionals." The other features well-defined boundaries and the allocation of information by organizational rules. Through case studies of France, Japan, the United States, and Great Britain, Silberman demonstrates that this divergence stems from differences in leadership structure and in levels of uncertainty about leadership succession in the nineteenth century.
Silberman concludes that the rise of bureacratic rationality was primarily a response to political problems rather than social and economic concerns. Cages of Reason demonstrates how rationalization can have occurred over a wide range of cultures at various levels of economic development. It will be of considerable interest to readers in a number of disciplines: political science, sociology, history, and public administration.
"Silberman has produced an invaluable, densely packed work that those with deep knowledge of public administrative development will find extremely rewarding." —David H. Rosenbloom, American Political Science Review
"An erudite, incisive, and vibrant book, the product of intensive study and careful reflection. Given its innovative theoretical framework and the wealth of historical materials contained in it, this study will generate debate and stimulate research in sociology, political science, and organizational theory. It is undoubtedly the best book on the comparative evolution of the modern state published in the last decade."—Mauro F. Guillen, Contemporary Sociology
Control of the Imaginary was first published in 1989. 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.
In Control of the Imaginary Luiz Costa Lima explains how the distinction between truth and fiction emerged at the beginning of modern times and why, upon its emergence, fiction fell under suspicion. Costa Lima not only describes the continuous relationship between Western notions of reason and subjectivity over a broad time-frame—the Renaissance to the first decade of the twentieth century—but he uses this occasion to reexamine the literary traditions of France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, England, and Germany. The book reconstructs the dominant frames in the European tradition between the Middle Ages and the nineteenth century from the perspective of a Latin American who sees the culture of his native Brazil haunted by unresolved questions from the Northern Hemisphere. Costa Lima manages to synthesize positions from philosophy, anthropology, sociology, psychology, linguistics, and history without separating the theoretical discussion from his historical reconstructions.
The first chapter situates the problem and grounds the emergent distinction between truth and fiction in a very close analysis of one of the first European historians, Fernao Lopes, who sets the tone for the condemnation of fiction in the name of the truth of history and the potential for individual interpretation. Costa Lima pursues these notions through the aesthetic debates of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to the writings of the French historian Michelet. He also devotes an illuminating chapter to the invention of the strictures imposed on fiction.
After Fidel Castro came to power in 1959, his second declaration, after socialism, was that Cuba would become a leader in international science. In biotechnology he would be proven right and, today, Cuba counts a meningitis B vaccine and cutting-edge cancer therapies to its name. But how did this politically and geographically isolated country make such impressive advances? Drawing on a unique ethnography, and blending the insights of anthropology, sociology, and geography, The Cuban Cure shows how Cuba came to compete with U. S. pharmaceutical giants—despite a trade embargo and crippling national debt.
In uncovering what is distinct about Cuban biomedical science, S. M. Reid-Henry examines the forms of resistance that biotechnology research in Cuba presents to the globalization of western models of scientific culture and practice. He illustrates the epistemic, social, and ideological clashes that take place when two cultures of research meet, and how such interactions develop as political and economic circumstances change. Through a novel argument about the intersection of socioeconomic systems and the nature of innovation, The Cuban Cure presents an illuminating study of politics and science in the context of globalization.
Reviewing Annette Baier’s 1995 work Moral Prejudices in the London Review of Books, Richard Rorty predicted that her work would be read hundreds of years hence; Baier’s subsequent work has borne out such expectations, and this new book further extends her reach. Here she goes beyond her earlier work on David Hume to reflect on a topic that links his philosophy to questions of immediate relevance—in particular, questions about what character is and how it shapes our lives.
Ranging widely in Hume’s works, Baier considers his views on character, desirable character traits, his treatment of historical characters, and his own character as shown not just by his cheerful death—and what he chose to read shortly before it—but also by changes in his writings, especially his repudiation of the celebrated A Treatise on Human Nature. She offers new insight into the Treatise and its relation to the works in which Hume “cast anew” the material in its three books. Her reading radically revises the received interpretation of Hume’s epistemology and, in particular, philosophy of mind.
Deconstructive Variations was first published in 1995. 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.
Unique in its focus and its interdisciplinary reach, Rose Rosengard Subotnik's work is among the most original and challenging being done in American musicology. Her concerns are both formal and sociological, firmly linking music to social and cultural context and breaking down the barriers between music and life.
Deconstructive Variations is a sequel to Subotnik's previous collection, Developing Variations. It expands and continues her achievement-the promotion of humanistic criticism as a significant activity in music scholarship and the portrayal of Western art music in relation to the social structures and cultural values of the society that created it.
Bringing to her subject a vast range of philosophical, artistic, and historical knowledge, Subotnik applies the insights of Kant, Adorno, Bakhtin, and Derrida to major works of Mozart and Chopin. Each of these essays functions as an argument between two views: for and against the ideal of structural listening; Enlightenment and Romantic readings of The Magic Flute; high-modernist and postmodernist readings of Chopin's A-Major Prelude; and conceptions of reason put forward by Allan Bloom and Spike Lee.
Rose Rosengard Subotnik is professor emerita in the department of music at Brown University, and is the author of Developing Variations: Style and Ideology in Western Music (Minnesota, 1991).
Dynamics of Reason
Michael Friedman CSLI, 2001 Library of Congress Q175.F892 2001 | Dewey Decimal 501
This book introduces a new approach to the issue of radical scientific revolutions, or "paradigm-shifts," given prominence in the work of Thomas Kuhn. The book articulates a dynamical and historicized version of the conception of scientific a priori principles first developed by the philosopher Immanuel Kant. This approach defends the Enlightenment ideal of scientific objectivity and universality while simultaneously doing justice to the revolutionary changes within the sciences that have since undermined Kant's original defense of this ideal.
Through a modified Kantian approach to epistemology and philosophy of science, this book opposes both Quinean naturalistic holism and the post-Kuhnian conceptual relativism that has dominated recent literature in science studies. Focussing on the development of "scientific philosophy" from Kant to Rudolf Carnap, along with the parallel developments taking place in the sciences during the same period, the author articulates a new dynamical conception of relativized a priori principles. This idea applied within the physical sciences aims to show that rational intersubjective consensus is intricately preserved across radical scientific revolutions or "paradigm-shifts and how this is achieved.
Originally written more than fifty years ago by eminent scholar Ernst Benz, this volume stands as one of the most comprehensive biographies of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) ever published.
Benz examines Swedenborg’s life through the lens of the intellectual atmosphere of the eighteenth century. Growing up at a time when the classical view of the world was being challenged by the new philosophers and scientists of the Enlightenment, Swedenborg was deeply immersed both in the religious teachings of the Lutheran church and the explorations of rational science. His quest for understanding eventually led to his spiritual awakening and the unique insights that continue to inspire seekers and thinkers today.
Now available for the first time in paperback, Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke’s eminently readable translation shines a new light on the Swedish seer.
Mark Johnson is one of the great thinkers of our time on how the body shapes the mind. This book brings together a selection of essays from the past two decades that build a powerful argument that any scientifically and philosophically satisfactory view of mind and thought must ultimately explain how bodily perception and action give rise to cognition, meaning, language, action, and values.
A brief account of Johnson’s own intellectual journey, through which we track some of the most important discoveries in the field over the past forty years, sets the stage. Subsequent chapters set out Johnson’s important role in embodied cognition theory, including his cofounding (with George Lakoff) of conceptual metaphor theory and, later, their theory of bodily structures and processes that underlie all meaning, conceptualization, and reasoning. A detailed account of how meaning arises from our physical engagement with our environments provides the basis for a nondualistic, nonreductive view of mind that he sees as most congruous with the latest cognitive science. A concluding section explores the implications of our embodiment for our understanding of knowledge, reason, and truth. The resulting book will be essential for all philosophers dealing with mind, thought, and language.
Commentators on the work of Immanuel Kant have long held that his later "critical" writings are a radical rejection of his earlier, less celebrated efforts. In this pathbreaking book, Susan Shell demonstrates not only the developmental unity of Kant's individual writings, but also the unity of his work and life experience.
Shell argues that the central animating issues of Kant's lifework concerned the perplexing relation of spirit to body. Through an exacting analysis of individual writings, Shell maps the philosophical contours of Kant's early intellectual struggles and their relation to his more mature thought. The paradox of mind in matter and the tensions it generates—between freedom and determinacy, independence and community, ideal and real—are shown to inform the whole of his work. Shell's fresh, penetrating analysis of the precritical works will surely catapult them to new prominence in Kant studies.
Shell's critique goes further to consider the context of contemporary intellectual life. She explores the fascinating realm of Kant's sexual and medical idiosyncracies, linking them to the primary concerns of his critical philosophy. She develops a sure-to-be controversial treatment of the connection between Kant's philosophy and his chronic hypochondria, and illuminates previously unforeseen connections in a remarkable convergence of life and thought, with important theoretical and practical implications for modern times.
America is in civic chaos, its politics rife with conspiracy theories and false information. Nationalism and authoritarianism are on the rise, while scientists, universities, and news organizations are viewed with increasing mistrust. Its citizens reject scientific evidence on climate change and vaccinations while embracing myths of impending apocalypse. And then there is Donald Trump, a presidential candidate who won the support of millions of conservative Christians despite having no moral or political convictions. What is going on?
The answer, according to J. Eric Oliver and Thomas J. Wood, can be found in the most important force shaping American politics today: human intuition. Much of what seems to be irrational in American politics arises from the growing divide in how its citizens make sense of the world. On one side are rationalists. They use science and reason to understand reality. On the other side are intuitionists. They rely on gut feelings and instincts as their guide to the world. Intuitionists believe in ghosts and End Times prophecies. They embrace conspiracy theories, disbelieve experts, and distrust the media. They are stridently nationalistic and deeply authoritarian in their outlook. And they are the most enthusiastic supporters of Donald Trump. The primary reason why Trump captured the presidency was that he spoke about politics in a way that resonated with how Intuitionists perceive the world. The Intuitionist divide has also become a threat to the American way of life. A generation ago, intuitionists were dispersed across the political spectrum, when most Americans believed in both God and science. Today, intuitionism is ideologically tilted toward the political right. Modern conservatism has become an Intuitionist movement, defined by conspiracy theories, strident nationalism, and hostility to basic civic norms.
Enchanted America is a clarion call to rationalists of all political persuasions to reach beyond the minority and speak to intuitionists in a way they understand. The values and principles that define American democracy are at stake.
The Enchantment Of Reason
Pierre Schlag Duke University Press, 1998 Library of Congress KF380.S317 1998 | Dewey Decimal 349.7301
The Enchantment of Reason is a lively critique of American legal thought and the American legal system’s deification of reason. In an attempt to understand the current malaise of American law and the depressed condition of American intellectual life in general, Pierre Schlag diagnoses what he believes is an epidemic of pathological reliance on the principle of reason. Contending that legal thinkers continually fail to recognize the aesthetic and ethical prejudices of rationalism, Schlag creates a genealogy that shows how the call to reason has become a manipulative vehicle of power, faith, and prejudice. In examining the fierce resistance to questioning reason’s primacy, this renowned critic and professor of American law demonstrates how those who use and study the law perpetuate their own methodological blind spots. Claiming that reason has been endowed with a virtually mystical power to organize social life, Schlag unravels the seemingly rational world of judicial opinions, statutes, doctrines, and legal principles. In the process, he paints a shocking—and sure to be controversial—picture of the chaos and, indeed, violence of the American legal tradition. This bold commentary on the irrationality of reason in American law and legal studies will interest not only legal scholars and philosophers but also serious thinkers across a broad disciplinary spectrum.
The Enigma of Reason
Hugo Mercier Harvard University Press, 2017 Library of Congress B833.M47 2017 | Dewey Decimal 128.33
If reason is so useful and reliable, why didn’t it evolve in other animals and why do humans produce so much thoroughly reasoned nonsense? Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber argue that reason is not geared to solitary use. It evolved to help justify our beliefs to others, evaluate their arguments, and better exploit our uniquely rich social environment.
The Fate of Reason is the first general history devoted to the period between Kant and Fichte, one of the most revolutionary and fertile in modern philosophy. The philosophers of this time broke with the two central tenets of the modern Cartesian tradition: the authority of reason and the primacy of epistemology. They also witnessed the decline of the Aufklärung, the completion of Kant’s philosophy, and the beginnings of post-Kantian idealism.
Thanks to Frederick C. Beiser we can newly appreciate the influence of Kant’s critics on the development of his philosophy. Beiser brings the controversies, and the personalities who engaged in them, to life and tells a story that has uncanny parallels with the debates of the present.
While Aristotle's writings on biology are considered to be among his best, the comments he makes about females in these works are widely regarded as the nadir of his philosophical oeuvre. Among many claims, Aristotle is said to have declared that females contribute nothing substantial to generation; that they have fewer teeth than males; that they are less spirited than males; and that woman are analogous to eunuchs. In The Female in Aristotle's Biology, Robert Mayhew aims not to defend Aristotle's ideas about females but to defend Aristotle against the common charge that his writings on female species were motivated by ideological bias.
Mayhew points out that the tools of modern science and scientific experimentation were not available to the Greeks during Aristotle's time and that, consequently, Aristotle had relied not only on empirical observations when writing about living organisms but also on a fair amount of speculation. Further, he argues that Aristotle's remarks about females in his biological writings did not tend to promote the inferior status of ancient Greek women.
Written with passion and precision, The Female in Aristotle's Biology will be of enormous value to students of philosophy, the history of science, and classical literature.
With increasing numbers of children suffering emotional, educational, and social failure on entering school, the years from five to seven have returned to prominence in developmental psychology. This volume collects state of the art research on child behavior in the school transition years.
Leading researchers in neurology, sociology, anthropology, education, and psychology assess what is now commonly known as the five to seven year shift. They consider how development is influenced by changes in neurobiological subsystems; cognition, emotion, and self-concept; concerns with peers and families; and school and cultural practices. They find that important transitions in behavior and environment do take place in this period, and are best described in terms of the qualitative increase in complexity due to interactions among ecological systems.
This volume increases our understanding of both child development and the study and treatment of children at home and at school. It will interest researchers, clinicians, and students of psychology and education.
In Freedom and the End of Reason, Richard L. Velkley offers an influential interpretation of the central issue of Kant’s philosophy and an evaluation of its position within modern philosophy’s larger history. He persuasively argues that the whole of Kantianism—not merely the Second Critique—focuses on a “critique of practical reason” and is a response to a problem that Kant saw as intrinsic to reason itself: the teleological problem of its goodness. Reconstructing the influence of Rousseau on Kant’s thought, Velkley demonstrates that the relationship between speculative philosophy and practical philosophy in Kant is far more intimate than generally has been perceived. By stressing a Rousseau-inspired notion of reason as a provider of practical ends, he is able to offer an unusually complete account of Kant’s idea of moral culture.
NGOs set out to save lives, relieve suffering, and service basic human needs. They are committed to serving people across national borders and without regard to race, ethnicity, gender, or religion, and they offer crucial help during earthquakes, tsunamis, wars, and pandemics. But with so many ailing areas in need of assistance, how do these organizations decide where to go—and who gets the aid?
In The Good Project, Monika Krause dives into the intricacies of the decision-making process at NGOs and uncovers a basic truth: It may be the case that relief agencies try to help people but, in practical terms, the main focus of their work is to produce projects. Agencies sell projects to key institutional donors, and in the process the project and its beneficiaries become commodities. In an effort to guarantee a successful project, organizations are incentivized to help those who are easy to help, while those who are hardest to help often receive no assistance at all. The poorest of the world are made to compete against each other to become projects—and in exchange they offer legitimacy to aid agencies and donor governments. Sure to be controversial, The Good Project offers a provocative new perspective on how NGOs succeed and fail on a local and global level.
The Harmony of Reason is the first book-length critical study of Kant's Critique of Judgement, shedding new light on this often-overlooked work and Kant's other writings on aesthetics. Francis X. J. Coleman's deep analysis of Kant is intended for readers interested in philosophy, fine arts and literary criticism.
In the United States at the height of the Cold War, roughly between the end of World War II and the early 1980s, a new project of redefining rationality commanded the attention of sharp minds, powerful politicians, wealthy foundations, and top military brass. Its home was the human sciences—psychology, sociology, political science, and economics, among others—and its participants enlisted in an intellectual campaign to figure out what rationality should mean and how it could be deployed.
How Reason Almost Lost Its Mind brings to life the people—Herbert Simon, Oskar Morgenstern, Herman Kahn, Anatol Rapoport, Thomas Schelling, and many others—and places, including the RAND Corporation, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Cowles Commission for Research and Economics, and the Council on Foreign Relations, that played a key role in putting forth a “Cold War rationality.” Decision makers harnessed this picture of rationality—optimizing, formal, algorithmic, and mechanical—in their quest to understand phenomena as diverse as economic transactions, biological evolution, political elections, international relations, and military strategy. The authors chronicle and illuminate what it meant to be rational in the age of nuclear brinkmanship.
Immanuel Kant: The Very Idea of a Critique of Pure Reason is a study of the background, development, exposition, and justification of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. Instead of examining Kant's arguments for the transcendental ideality of space and time, his deduction of the pure concepts of the understanding, or his account of the dialectic of human reason, J. Colin McQuillan focuses on Kant's conception of critique. By surveying the different ways the concept of critique was used during the eighteenth century, the relationship between Kant's critique and his pre-critical experiments with different approaches to metaphysics, the varying definitions of a critique of pure reason Kant offers in the prefaces and introductions to the first Critique, and the way Kant responds to objections, McQuillan is able to highlight an aspect of Kant's critical philosophy that is too often overlooked—the reason that philosophy is critical.
The Hungarian émigré Imre Lakatos (1922–1974) earned a worldwide reputation through the influential philosophy of science debates involving Thomas Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend, and Sir Karl Popper. In Imre Lakatos and the Guises of Reason John Kadvany shows that embedded in Lakatos’s English-language work is a remarkable historical philosophy rooted in his Hungarian past. Below the surface of his life as an Anglo-American philosopher of science and mathematics, Lakatos covertly introduced novel transformations of Hegelian and Marxist ideas about historiography, skepticism, criticism, and rationality. Lakatos escaped Hungary following the failed 1956 Revolution. Before then, he had been an influential Communist intellectual and was imprisoned for years by the Stalinist regime. He also wrote a lost doctoral thesis in the philosophy of science and participated in what was criminal behavior in all but a legal sense. Kadvany argues that this intellectual and political past animates Lakatos’s English-language philosophy, and that, whether intended or not, Lakatos integrated a penetrating vision of Hegelian ideas with rigorous analysis of mathematical proofs and controversial histories of science. Including new applications of Lakatos’s ideas to the histories of mathematical logic and economics and providing lucid exegesis of many of Hegel’s basic ideas, Imre Lakatos and the Guises of Reason is an exciting reconstruction of ideas and episodes from the history of philosophy, science, mathematics, and modern political history.
Yvor Winters has here collected, with an introduction, the major critical works—Primitivism and Decadence, Maule’s Curse, and The Anatomy of Nonsense—of the period in which he worked out his famous and influential critical position. The works together show an integrated position which illuminates the force and importance of the individual essays. With The Function of Criticism, a subsequent collection, In Defense of Reason provides an incomparable body of critical writing.
The noted critic bases his analysis upon a belief in the existence of absolute truths and values, in the ethical judgment of literature, and in an insistence that it is the duty of the writer—as it is of very man—to approximate these truths insofar as human fallibility permits. His argument is by theory, but also by definite example—the technique of the “whole critic” who effectively combines close study of specific literary works and a penetrating investigation of aesthetic philosophies.
This is the first detailed study, following the recent collapse of political Marxism in Eastern Europe, of twentieth-century Hungarian philosopher Georg Lukács and his position as the leading proponent of the Marxist theory of reason. Lukács's History and Class Consciousness has been called one of the three most influential philosophical works of this century, and he, the outstanding Marxist philosopher. Marxism has long suffered relative neglect in philosophical discussion as a result of its own invidious distinction between itself and the supposed irrationality of what it regards as bourgeois philosophy.
Tom Rockmore offers a uniquely detailed philosophical analysis of Lukács's entire position as a theory of reason, based on the distinction between reason and unreason, or irrationalism. The author gives special emphasis to Lukács's connection to German neo-Kantianism, particularly Lask, and on his last, unfinished work.
Rockmore begins with an account of the roots of Lukács's Marxism, followed by an in-depth analysis of his often mentioned, but still incompletely understood, seminal essay "Reification and the Class Consciousness of the Proletariat." He then traces the evolution and later demise of the distinction between reason and irrationalism in Lukács's final thought. The author thus makes available for the first time in English a strictly philosophical discussion of Georg Lukács's Marxist phase and brings consideration of his thought into the wider philosophical discussion.
Fr. Maurice Ashley Agbaw-Ebai, a native of Cameroon, has written a fresh, exciting new study of the lifelong engagement of Josef Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI, with the German Enlightenment and its contemporary manifestations and heirs. Contemporary European disdain for organized religion and the rise in secularism on that continent has deep roots in the German Enlightenment. To understand contemporary Europe, one must return to this crucial epoch in its history, to those who shaped the European mind of this era, and to a study of the ideas they espoused and propagated. These ideas, for good or for ill, have taken hold in other parts of the modern world, being incarnated in many minds and institutions in contemporary society and threatening to enthrone a disfigured rationality without faith or a sense of Transcendence.
Ratzinger’s extraordinary and sympathetic understanding of the sources of contemporary secularism equipped him to appreciate the gains of the Enlightenment, while still being a fierce critic of the losses humanity has suffered when reason falsely excludes faith. Fr. Agbaw-Ebai’s account reveals Ratzinger, in relation to his various interlocutors, to be the truly “enlightened” one because he demonstrates a truly balanced understanding of the human mind. To be truly rational one must be able to hold to faith and reason both, reason informed by faith in Jesus Christ.
A particular merit of this book is Agbaw-Ebai’s presentation of Ratzinger’s treatment of the German Enlightenment’s greatest contributors: Kant, Nietzche, Hegel and Habermas, among others. In the postscript George Weigel characterizes what this study accomplishes in the larger framework of scholarship. “[Ratzinger’s] position remains too often misunderstood, and sometimes deliberately misinterpreted, throughout the whole Church. And to misunderstand, or misinterpret, Ratzinger is to misunderstand or misinterpret both the modern history of theology and the Second Vatican Council.” Agbaw-Ebai masterfully positions Ratzinger correctly in the history of ideas, and exhibits why Ratzinger will be remembered as one of its main players. Pure rationalists and true believers are equally indebted to him.
In recent years, many Americans and more than a few political scientists have come to believe that democratic deliberation in Congress—whereby judgments are made on the merits of policies reflecting the interests and desires of American citizens—is more myth than reality. Rather, pressure from special interest groups, legislative bargaining, and the desire of incumbents to be reelected are thought to originate in American legislative politics. While not denying such influences, Joseph M. Bessette argues that the institutional framework created by the founding fathers continues to foster a government that is both democratic and deliberative, at least to some important degree.
Drawing on original research, case studies of policymaking in Congress, and portraits of American lawmakers, Bessette demonstrates not only the limitations of nondeliberative explanations for how laws are made but also the continued vitality of genuine reasoning on the merits of public policy. Bessette discusses the contributions of the executive branch to policy deliberation, and looks at the controversial issue of the proper relationship of public opinion to policymaking.
Informed by Bessette's nine years of public service in city and federal government, The Mild Voice of Reason offers important insights into the real workings of American democracy, articulates a set of standards by which to assess the workings of our governing institutions, and clarifies the forces that promote or inhibit the collective reasoning about common goals so necessary to the success of American democracy.
"No doubt the best-publicized recent book-length work on Congress is columnist George Will's diatribe in praise of term limits in which the core of his complaint is that Congress does not deliberate in its decision-making. Readers who are inclined to share that fantasy would do well to consult the work of Joseph M. Bessette. He turns up massive amounts of material attesting to the centrality of deliberation in congressional life."—Nelson W. Polsby, Presidential Studies Quarterly
The essays in this volume pose the question common usage has obscured: was "the Enlightenment" truly enlightened or enlightening? Scholarly investigation has sometimes avoided the question by confining itself to historical particulars of 18th-century Euro
This provocative, lucidly written reconstruction of utilitarianism focuses on the practical constraints involved in ethical choice: information may be inadequate, and understanding of causes and effects may be limited. Good decision making may be especially constrained if other people are closely involved in determining an outcome. Hardin demonstrates that many of these structural issues can and should be distinguished from the thornier problems of utilitarian value theory, and he is able to show what kinds of moral conclusions we can reach within the limits of reason.
"Direct and highly readable.... Sapontzis tries to show that certain differences between humans and animals, including differences in reason, even if they have moral import, do not make the case against animals that many people think they do and do not underwrite many facets of our present treatment of animals."
--R. G. Frey, Ethics
This book criticizes the common belief that we are entitled to exploit animals for our benefit because they are not as rational as people. After discussing the moral (in)significance of reason in general, the author proceeds to develop a clear, commonsensical conception of what "animal rights" is about and why everyday morality points toward the liberation of animals as the next logical step in Western moral progress. The book evaluates criticisms of animal rights that have appeared in recent philosophical literature and explains the consequences of animal liberation for our diet, science, and treatment of the environment.
The issue of animal rights has become of increasing philosophical and popular importance over the past decade. Morals. Reason, and Animals is the first extensive, second-generation contribution to this debate. Focusing exclusively on the fundamental philosophical issues, Sapontzis both undermines the arguments that have been raised against animal rights and constructs a rebuttal that avoids the pitfalls encountered by earlier defenses.
"In my opinion only five authors have made a significant philosophical contribution to the endeavor of placing animals in ethical theory: Singer, Frey, Regan, Mary Midgley, and S. F. Sapontzis. [Morals, Reason, and Animals is] an excellent, underappreciated work."
--David DeGrazia, Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal
"Sapontzis presents a strong case for including animals in the moral community, and his work is an important and unique contribution to animal rights literature."
--The Animals' Agenda
"Sapontzis advances a bold and provocative defense for the liberation of animals, arguing that the requirement of rationality--in its morally relevant sense--does not rule out the possibility of extending moral rights to animals.... The views articulated here are original and, at points, controversial...making this an important book. Moreover, the style is extremely clear and readable. Highly recommended."
"In this work, Sapontzis provides a philosophically sophisticated and far-ranging contribution to the current debate on animal liberation.... Given the wide range of arguments, authors, and topics discussed, [this] may be the most comprehensive work to date on animal liberation."
"This is an excellent contribution to the animal rights movement. The author's clear, simple, readable, and often witty style makes the book quite accessible to anyone with serious interest in the field.... Morals, Reason, and Animals is a highly original, creative, and important book."
--Bernard Rollin, Colorado State University
"This book offers a number of fresh perspectives and stimulating new arguments in a subject area that is dauntingly dense with articles and books [Sapontzis] has managed to present a broad variety of subtle philosophical issues in a clear and forceful manner...."
--Thomas Benson, Academic Dean, St. Andrews Presbyterian College
Natural Law and Public Reason
Robert P. George and Christopher Wolfe, Editors Georgetown University Press, 2000 Library of Congress K460.N349 2000 | Dewey Decimal 340.112
"Public reason" is one of the central concepts in modern liberal political theory. As articulated by John Rawls, it presents a way to overcome the difficulties created by intractable differences among citizens' religious and moral beliefs by strictly confining the place of such convictions in the public sphere.
Identifying this conception as a key point of conflict, this book presents a debate among contemporary natural law and liberal political theorists on the definition and validity of the idea of public reason. Its distinguished contributors examine the consequences of interpreting public reason more broadly as "right reason," according to natural law theory, versus understanding it in the narrower sense in which Rawls intended. They test public reason by examining its implications for current issues, confronting the questions of abortion and slavery and matters relating to citizenship.
This energetic exchange advances our understanding of both Rawls's contribution to political philosophy and the lasting relevance of natural law. It provides new insights into crucial issues facing society today as it points to new ways of thinking about political theory and practice.
Kurt Mosser argues that reading Kant's Critique of Pure Reason as an argument for such a logic of experience makes more defensible many of Kant's most controversial claims, and makes more accessible Kant's notoriously difficult text.
In this entertaining collection of essays, Wayne Booth looks for the much-maligned “middle ground” for reason—a rhetoric that can unite truths of the heart with truths of the head and allow us all to discover shared convictions in mutual inquiry. First delivered as lectures in the 1960s, when Booth was a professor at Earlham College and the University of Chicago, Now Don’t Try to Reason with Me still resounds with anyone struggling for consensus in a world of us versus them.
“Professor Booth’s earnestness is graced by wit, irony, and generous humor.”—Louis Coxe, New Republic
Given that Enlightenment rationality developed in Europe as European nations aggressively claimed other parts of the world for their own enrichment, scholars have made rationality the subject of postcolonial critique, questioning its universality and objectivity. In On Reason, the late philosopher Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze demonstrates that rationality, and by extension philosophy, need not be renounced as manifestations or tools of Western imperialism. Examining reason in connection to the politics of difference—the cluster of issues known variously as cultural diversity, political correctness, the culture wars, and identity politics—Eze expounds a rigorous argument that reason is produced through and because of difference. In so doing, he preserves reason as a human property while at the same time showing that it cannot be thought outside the realities of cultural diversity. Advocating rationality in a multicultural world, he proposes new ways of affirming both identity and difference.
Eze draws on an extraordinary command of Western philosophical thought and a deep knowledge of African philosophy and cultural traditions. He explores models of rationality in the thought of philosophers from Aristotle, René Descartes, Francis Bacon, and Thomas Hobbes to Noam Chomsky, Richard Rorty, Hilary Putnam, and Jacques Derrida, and he considers portrayals of reason in the work of the African thinkers and novelists Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, and Wole Soyinka. Eze reflects on contemporary thought about genetics, race, and postcolonial historiography as well as on the interplay between reason and unreason in the hearings of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He contends that while rationality may have a foundational formality, any understanding of its foundation and form is dynamic, always based in historical and cultural circumstances.
Modern theories of meaning usually culminate in a critique of science. This book presents a study of human intelligence beginning with a semantic theory and leading into a critique of music.
By implication it sets up a theory of all the arts; the transference of its basic concepts to other arts than music is not developed, but it is sketched, mainly in the chapter on artistic import. Thoughtful readers of the original edition discovered these far-reaching ideas quickly enough as the career of the book shows: it is as applicable to literature, art and music as to the field of philosophy itself.
The topics it deals with are many: language, sacrament, myth, music, abstraction, fact, knowledge—to name only the main ones. But through them all goes the principal theme, symbolic transformation as the essential activity of human minds. This central idea, emphasizing as it does the notion of symbolism, brings Susanne K. Langer’s book into line with the prevailing interest in semantics. All profound issues of our age seem to center around the basic concepts of symbolism and meaning. The formative, creative, articulating power of symbols is the tonic chord which thinkers of all schools and many diverse fields are unmistakably striking; the surprising, far-reaching implications of this new fundamental conception constitute what Mrs. Langer has called “philosophy in a new key.”
Mrs. Langer’s book brings the discussion of symbolism into a wider general use than criticism of word meaning. Her volume is vigorous, effective, and well written and will appeal to everyone interested in the contemporary problems of philosophy.
From the rise of formalist novels that championed the heroism of the individual to the proliferation of abstract art as a counter to socialist realism, the years of the Cold War had a profound impact on American intellectual life. As John McCumber shows in this fascinating account, philosophy, too, was hit hard by the Red Scare. Detailing the immense political pressures that reshaped philosophy departments in midcentury America, he shows just how radically politics can alter the course of intellectual history.
McCumber begins with the story of Max Otto, whose appointment to the UCLA Philosophy Department in 1947 was met with widespread protest charging him as an atheist. Drawing on Otto’s case, McCumber details the hugely successful conservative efforts that, by 1960, had all but banished the existentialist and pragmatist paradigms—not to mention Marxism—from philosophy departments all across the country, replacing them with an approach that valorized scientific objectivity and free markets and which downplayed the anti-theistic implications of modern thought. As he shows, while there have since been many instances of definitive and even explosive rejection of this conservative trend, its effects can still be seen at American universities today.
The Enlightenment was the age in which the world became modern, challenging tradition in favor of reason, freedom, and critical inquiry. While many aspects of the Enlightenment have been rigorously scrutinized—its origins and motivations, its principal characters and defining features, its legacy and modern relevance—the geographical dimensions of the era have until now largely been ignored. Placing the Enlightenment contends that the Age of Reason was not only a period of pioneering geographical investigation but also an age with spatial dimensions to its content and concerns.
Investigating the role space and location played in the creation and reception of Enlightenment ideas, Charles W. J. Withers draws from the fields of art, science, history, geography, politics, and religion to explore the legacies of Enlightenment national identity, navigation, discovery, and knowledge. Ultimately, geography is revealed to be the source of much of the raw material from which philosophers fashioned theories of the human condition.
Lavishly illustrated and engagingly written, Placing the Enlightenment will interest Enlightenment specialists from across the disciplines as well as any scholar curious about the role geography has played in the making of the modern world.
The Possibility of Practical Reason explores the foundational questions of moral psychology: How can any of our behavior qualify as acting for a reason? How can any considerations qualify as reasons for us to act? David Velleman argues that both possibilities depend on there being a constitutive aim of action―something that makes for success in action as such. These twelve essays―five of which were not included in the previous edition, two of them previously unpublished―discuss topics such as freedom of the will, shared intention, the relation between value and practical reasoning, the foundations of decision theory, and the motivational role of the imagination.
The Critique of Pure Reason—Kant’s First Critique—is one of the most studied texts in intellectual history, but as Alfredo Ferrarin points out in this radically original book, most of that study has focused only on very select parts. Likewise, Kant’s oeuvre as a whole has been compartmentalized, the three Critiques held in rigid isolation from one another. Working against the standard reading of Kant that such compartmentalization has produced, The Powers of Pure Reason explores forgotten parts of the First Critique in order to find an exciting, new, and ultimately central set of concerns by which to read all of Kant’s works.
Ferrarin blows the dust off of two egregiously overlooked sections of the First Critique—the Transcendental Dialectic and the Doctrine of Method. There he discovers what he argues is the Critique’s greatest achievement: a conception of the unity of reason and an exploration of the powers it has to reach beyond itself and legislate over the world. With this in mind, Ferrarin dismantles the common vision of Kant as a philosopher writing separately on epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics and natural teleology, showing that the three Critiques are united by this underlying theme: the autonomy and teleology of reason, its power and ends. The result is a refreshing new view of Kant, and of reason itself.
Annette Baier’s aim is to make sense of David Hume’s Treatise as a whole. Hume’s family motto, which appears on his bookplate, was “True to the End.” Baier argues that it is not until the end of the Treatise that we get his full story about “truth and falsehood, reason and folly.” By the end, we can see the cause to which Hume has been true throughout the work.
Baier finds Hume’s Treatise on Human Nature to be a carefully crafted literary and philosophical work which itself displays a philosophical progress of sentiments. His starting place is an overly abstract intellectualism that deliberately thrusts passions and social concerns into the background. In the three interrelated books of the Treatise, his “self-understander” proceeds through partial successes and dramatic failures to emerge with new-found optimism, expecting that the “exact knowledge” the morally self-conscious anatomist of human nature can acquire will itself improve and correct our vision of morality. Baier describes how, by turning philosophy toward human nature instead of toward God and the universe, Hume initiated a new philosophy, a broader discipline of reflection that can embrace Charles Darwin and Michel Foucault as well as William James and Sigmund Freud. Hume belongs both to our present and to our past.
No single work is more responsible for the heightened interest in argumentation and informal reasoning—and their relation to ethics and jurisprudence in the late twentieth century—than Chaïm Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca’s monumental study of argumentation, La Nouvelle Rhétorique: Traité de l'Argumentation. Published in 1958 and translated into English as The New Rhetoric in 1969, this influential volume returned the study of reason to classical concepts of rhetoric. In The Promise of Reason: Studies in The New Rhetoric, leading scholars of rhetoric Barbara Warnick, Jeanne Fahnestock, Alan G. Gross, Ray D. Dearin, and James Crosswhite are joined by prominent and emerging European and American scholars from different disciplines to demonstrate the broad scope and continued relevance of The New Rhetoric more than fifty years after its initial publication.
Divided into four sections—Conceptual Understandings of The New Rhetoric, Extensions of The New Rhetoric, The Ethical Turn in Perelman and The New Rhetoric, and Uses of The New Rhetoric—this insightful volume covers a wide variety of topics. It includes general assessments of The New Rhetoric and its central concepts, as well as applications of those concepts to innovative areas in which argumentation is being studied, such as scientific reasoning, visual media, and literary texts. Additional essays compare Perelman’s ideas with those of other significant thinkers like Kenneth Burke and Richard McKeon, explore his career as a philosopher and activist, and shed new light on Perelman and Olbrechts- Tyteca’s collaboration. Two contributions present new scholarship based on recent access to letters, interviews, and archival materials housed in the Université Libre de Bruxelles. Among the volume’s unique gifts is a personal memoir from Perelman’s daughter, Noémi Perelman Mattis, published here for the first time.
The Promise of Reason, expertly compiled and edited by John T. Gage, is the first to investigate the pedagogical implications of Perelman and Olbrechts- Tyteca’s groundbreaking work and will lead the way to the next generation of argumentation studies.
Renaissance logician, philosopher, humanist, and teacher, Peter Ramus (1515-72) is best known for his attack on Aristotelian logic, his radical pedagogical theories, and his new interpretation for the canon of rhetoric. His work, published in Latin and translated into many languages, has influenced the study of Renaissance literature, rhetoric, education, logic, and—more recently—media studies.
Considered the most important work of Walter Ong's career, Ramus, Method, and the Decay of Dialogue is an elegant review of the history of Ramist scholarship and Ramus's quarrels with Aristotle. A key influence on Marshall McLuhan, with whom Ong enjoys the status of honorary guru among technophiles, this challenging study remains the most detailed account of Ramus's method ever published. Out of print for more than a decade, this book—with a new foreword by Adrian Johns—is a canonical text for enthusiasts of media, Renaissance literature, and intellectual history.
Martin Jay tackles a question as old as Plato and still pressing today: what is reason, and what roles does and should it have in human endeavor? Applying the tools of intellectual history, he examines the overlapping, but not fully compatible, meanings that have accrued to the term "reason" over two millennia, homing in on moments of crisis, critique, and defense of reason.
After surveying Western ideas of reason from the ancient Greeks through Kant, Hegel, and Marx, Jay engages at length with the ways leading theorists of the Frankfurt School—Horkheimer, Marcuse, Adorno, and most extensively Habermas—sought to salvage a viable concept of reason after its apparent eclipse. They despaired, in particular, over the decay in the modern world of reason into mere instrumental rationality. When reason becomes a technical tool of calculation separated from the values and norms central to daily life, then choices become grounded not in careful thought but in emotion and will—a mode of thinking embraced by fascist movements in the twentieth century.
Is there a more robust idea of reason that can be defended as at once a philosophical concept, a ground of critique, and a norm for human emancipation? Jay explores at length the ommunicative rationality advocated by Habermas and considers the range of arguments, both pro and con, that have greeted his work.
What does it mean to live a good life or a happy life, and what part does reason play in the quest for fulfillment? Proceeding by means of a close and thematically selective commentary on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, this book offers a novel interpretation of Aristotle’s teachings on the relation between reason and moral virtue. Pangle shows how Aristotle’s arguments for virtue as the core of happiness and for reason as the guide to virtue emerge in dialectical response to Socrates’s paradoxical claim that virtue is knowledge and vice is ignorance, and as part of a politically complex project of giving guidance to lawgivers and ordinary citizens while offering spurs to deep theoretical reflection.
Against Socrates, Aristotle insists that both virtue and vice are voluntary and that individuals are responsible for their characters, a stance that lends itself to vigorous defense of moral responsibility. At the same time, Pangle shows, Aristotle elucidates the importance of unchosen concerns in shaping all that we do and the presence of some form of ignorance or subtle confusions in all moral failings. Thus the gap between his position and that of Socrates comes on close inspection to be much smaller than first appears, and his true teaching on the role of reason in shaping moral existence far more complex. The book offers fresh interpretations of Aristotle’s teaching on the relation of passions to judgments, on what it means to choose virtue for its own sake, on the way reason finds the mean, especially in justice, and on the crucial intellectual virtue of phronesis or active wisdom and its relation to theoretical wisdom. Offering answers to longstanding debates over the status of reason and the meaning of happiness in the Nicomachean Ethics, this book will kindle in readers a new appreciation for Aristotle’s lessons on how to make the most out of life, as individuals and in society.
Reason and Democracy
Thomas A. Spragens Jr. Duke University Press, 1990 Library of Congress JC423.S75 1990 | Dewey Decimal 321.8
Reason and Democracy breaks new ground in providing a plausible philosophical basis for the communitarian view of a healthy democracy as the rational pursuit of common purposes by free and equal citizens. Thomas A. Spragens Jr. argues that the most persistent paradigms of Western political rationality originated in classical philosophy, took their modern expression in the philosophies of Kant and Mill, and terminated in Max Weber’s pairing of purely technical rationality with arbitrary ends. Drawing on recent work in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of language, combined with appropriate analogies in political thought and action, Spragens maintains that it is possible to discern the outlines of a philosophically cogent and morally beneficial concept of rational practice on the part of a political community. This possibility, he contends, provides a philosophical basis for liberal democratic politics that is superior to utilitarian and deontological accounts.
In Reason and Evidence in Husserl's Phenomenology David Michael Kleinberg-Levin examines Husserl’s concept of necessary, a priori, and absolutely certain indubitable evidence, which he terms apodictic, and his related concept of complete evidence, which he terms adequate. To do so it explicates some of the more general relevant features of phenomenology as a whole.
Reason and Morality
Alan Gewirth University of Chicago Press, 1982 Library of Congress BJ1012.G47 | Dewey Decimal 171.2
"Most modern philosophers attempt to solve the problem of morality from within the epistemological assumptions that define the dominant cultural perspective of our age. Alan Gewirth's Reason and Morality is a major work in this ongoing enterprise. Gewirth develops, with patience and skill, what he calls a 'modified naturalism' in which morality is derived by logic alone from the concept of action. . . . I think that the publication of Reason and Morality is a major event in the history of moral philosophy. It develops with great power a new and exciting position in ethical naturalism. No one, regardless of philosophical stance, can read this work without an enlargement of mind. It illuminates morality and agency for all."—E. M. Adams, The Review of Metaphysics
"This is a fascinating study of an apparently intractable problem. Gewirth has provided plenty of material for further discussion, and his theory deserves serious consideration. He is always aware of possible rejoinders and argues in a rigorous manner, showing a firm grasp of the current state of moral and political philosophy."—Mind
Often science and religion are seen as completely separate entities. Science exists in the realm of fact, whereas religion exists in the realm of faith. Conversations about genes, psychology, or even the meaning of life occur in silos. But as Eric Priest, Keith Ward, David Myers, N. T. Wright, and others show, these conversations are so much richer when both science and faith are incorporated.
This is exactly what Reason and Wonder does. Eric Priest has brought together twelve of the leading thinkers in science and theology to discuss everything from the origins of the universe to evolution and evil. At the heart of each essay is an understanding that the best science—and the best theology— are both undergirded by an appeal to reason as well as a deep sense of wonder.
Each of these great scientific and theological thinkers offers a chapter on their area of expertise, and the book closes with a stimulating set of questions for group discussion or personal reflection.
Contributors and their topics include:
Eric Priest: Towards an integration of science and religion
Keith Ward: God, science and the New Atheism
Eleonore Stump: Natural law, reductionism and the Creator
David Wilkinson: The origin and end of the universe: A challenge for Christianity
Jennifer Wiseman: Universe of wonder, universe of life
Kenneth R. Miller: Evolution, faith and science
Michael J. Murray and Jeff Schloss: Evolution and evil
Pauline Rudd: Is there more to life than genes?
David G. Myers: Psychological science meets Christian faith
John Wyatt: Being a person: Towards an integration of neuroscientific and Christian perspectives
John Swinton: From projection to connection: Conversations between science, spirituality and health
Mark Harris: Do the miracles of Jesus contradict science?
N. T. Wright: Can a scientist trust the New Testament?
Over the years, Reason in Law has established itself as the leading textbook for courses in legal reasoning, a critical aspect of the rule of law. This eighth edition brings the book’s analyses and examples fully up to date, adding new cases while retaining old ones whose lessons remain potent. It takes full account of the dramatic changes--and challenges--to legal reasoning that emerged from the Bush administration’s attempts to fight terrorism and also explores recent conflicts over same-sex marriage, gun control, hate crimes, and climate change. The result is an indispensable introduction to an issue that lies at the heart of the workings of the law.
Reason in Law: Ninth Edition
Lief H. Carter and Thomas F. Burke University of Chicago Press, 2016 Library of Congress KF380.C325 2016 | Dewey Decimal 340.11
Over the nearly four decades it has been in print, Reason in Law has established itself as the place to start for understanding legal reasoning, a critical component of the rule of law. This ninth edition brings the book’s analyses and examples up to date, adding new cases while retaining old ones whose lessons remain potent. It examines several recent controversial Supreme Court decisions, including rulings on the constitutionality and proper interpretation of the Affordable Care Act and Justice Scalia’s powerful dissent in Maryland v. King. Also new to this edition are cases on same-sex marriage, the Voting Rights Act, and the legalization of marijuana. A new appendix explains the historical evolution of legal reasoning and the rule of law in civic life. The result is an indispensable introduction to the workings of the law.
A group of distinguished philosophers reflect on John McDowell’s arguments for nonreductive naturalism, an approach that can explain what is special about human reason without implying that it is in any sense supernatural.
John McDowell is one of the English-speaking world’s most influential living philosophers, whose work has shaped debates in mind, language, metaphysics, epistemology, meta-ethics, and the history of philosophy. A common thread running through McDowell’s diverse contributions has been his critique of a form of reductive naturalism according to which human minds must be governed by laws essentially similar to those that govern the rest of nature. Against this widely accepted view, McDowell maintains that human minds should be seen as “transformed” by reason in such a way that the principles governing our minds, while not supernatural, are in an important sense sui generis.
Editors Matthew Boyle and Evgenia Mylonaki assemble a group of distinguished philosophers to clarify and criticize McDowell’s core position and explore its repercussions for contemporary debates about metaphysics and epistemology, perception, language, action, and value. The essays here scrutinize the core idea that human reason constitutes a second nature, emerging from humanity’s basic animal nature, and reflect on the underpinnings of McDowell’s claims in Aristotle, Kant, and Hegel. Many of the contributors extend McDowell’s views beyond his own articulations, elaborating the transformative role that reason plays in human experience.
In clarifying and expanding McDowell’s insights, Reason in Nature challenges contemporary orthodoxy, much as McDowell himself has. And, as this collection makes clear, McDowell’s unorthodox position is of enduring importance and has wide-ranging implications, still not fully appreciated, for ongoing philosophical debates.
Transcendentalism never came to an end in America. It just went underground for a stretch, but is back in full force in Robert Brandom’s new book. Brandom takes up Kant and Hegel and explores their contemporary significance as if little time had expired since intellectuals gathered around Emerson in Concord to discuss reason and idealism, selves, freedom, and community. Brandom’s discussion belongs to a venerable tradition that distinguishes us as rational animals, and philosophy by its concern to understand, articulate, and explain the notion of reason that is thereby cast in that crucial demarcating role.
An emphasis on our capacity to reason, rather than merely to represent, has been growing in philosophy over the last thirty years, and Robert Brandom has been at the center of this development. Reason in Philosophy is the first book that gives a succinct overview of his understanding of the role of reason as the structure at once of our minds and our meanings—what constitutes us as free, responsible agents. The job of philosophy is to introduce concepts and develop expressive tools for expanding our self-consciousness as sapients: explicit awareness of our discursive activity of thinking and acting, in the sciences, politics, and the arts. This is a paradigmatic work of contemporary philosophy.
In the Reason of Following noted scholar Robert P. Scharlemann takes Christology in a radically new direction, suggesting that Christology itself represents a form of reason and an understanding of selfhood. For the first time, Scharlemann establishes a logical place for Christology in philosophical theology.
Scharlemann presents a christological phenomenology of the self, tracing the connections between the "I am" of the God who spoke to Moses, the "I am" of Christ, and the "I am" of autonomous self-identification. How, he asks, can the self that spontaneously responds to Jesus' "Follow me!" be compared with the everyday, autonomous self? What is the nature of "following" on the part of those who answer the summons of one whose name is "I am"? Pursuing these questions, Scharlemann develops a christological phenomenology of the self—an account in which following means not the expression of the self in action or reflection but rather self-discovery in another person.
With a deep sense of both culture and philosophy, Scharlemann distinguishes the forms of reason involved in "following" from those in ethics, aesthetics, and other modes of religious philosophic thought. His penetrating readings of nineteenth- and twentieth-century German theological and philosophical traditions provide an introduction to lesser-known thinkers such as Hermann and Picht as well as a profound critique of major figures such as Descartes, Heidegger, Fichte, and Kant.
Finally Scharlemann outlines a program for a more systematic and rounded presentation of what Christian doctrine might mean in the contemporary world. His work will be of interest to students of theology and philosophy alike.
Any realist metaphysics must include an integrated account of the transcendentals and the analogy of being, for an adequate metaphysics must be about everything, and all things share in some key metaphysical characteristic—being, unity, truth, goodness, and beauty. However, they do not share in them in exactly the same way. Therefore, there is need to explain the transcendental characteristics in an analogical way. By using the phrase “transcendental analogies,” Reason, Revelation and Metaphysics claims that there are analogies of unity, truth, goodness, and beauty, which are related to, but irreducible to, the analogy of being. As this book is a systematic study of the topic, theoretical reason has primacy in the project and metaphysics is given pride of place. But reason is practical and aesthetic as well; that is, our consciences urge us to seek what is good, and we are delighted by what is beautiful. Although goodness and beauty are not reducible to truth, they must be included in any adequate metaphysical account, for metaphysics looks to explain everything.
Although metaphysics is traditionally thought to be a philosophical project involving ontology and natural theology, Montague Brown argues that an adequate metaphysics must ultimately be theological, including within its scope the truths of revelation. Philosophical reason’s examination of the transcendental analogies raises questions that it cannot answer. We experience a world of many beings, truths, goods, and beauties. Recognizing that these many instances have something in common, we affirm a transcendent instance of each (traditionally called God). However, although we know that a transcendent instance exists, we do not know its nature: therefore, we cannot say how it is related to the other instances. If we try to apply this transcendent instance as the prime analogate to shed light on the other analogates, we must fail, for the abstractness and universality of the transcendent instance can add nothing to our understanding of the particular instances. Wanting to know how the many exist and are related, philosophical reason finds no way forward and recognizes its need for help.
It is the thesis of this book that reason finds this help only in the revelation of the God’s covenantal relation with the world. The first principle of all things—most perfectly revealed in Jesus Christ, perfect God and perfect man—is really and freely related to us. Only by accepting this revealed prime analogate can the transcendental analogies bear fruit in our ongoing quest for understanding.
Return to Reason
Stephen Toulmin Harvard University Press, 2003 Library of Congress BC177.T596 2001 | Dewey Decimal 128.33
The turmoil and brutality of the twentieth century have made it increasingly difficult to maintain faith in the ability of reason to fashion a stable and peaceful world. After the ravages of global conflict and a Cold War that divided the world's loyalties, how are we to master our doubts and face the twenty-first century with hope?
In Return to Reason, Stephen Toulmin argues that the potential for reason to improve our lives has been hampered by a serious imbalance in our pursuit of knowledge. The centuries-old dominance of rationality, a mathematical mode of reasoning modeled on theory and universal certainties, has diminished the value of reasonableness, a system of humane judgments based on personal experience and practice. To this day, academic disciplines such as economics and professions such as law and medicine often value expert knowledge and abstract models above the testimony of diverse cultures and the practical experience of individuals.
Now, at the beginning of a new century, Toulmin sums up a lifetime of distinguished work and issues a powerful call to redress the balance between rationality and reasonableness. His vision does not reject the valuable fruits of science and technology, but requires awareness of the human consequences of our discoveries. Toulmin argues for the need to confront the challenge of an uncertain and unpredictable world, not with inflexible ideologies and abstract theories, but by returning to a more humane and compassionate form of reason, one that accepts the diversity and complexity that is human nature as an essential beginning for all intellectual inquiry.
Responding to skeptics within higher education and critics without, James Crosswhite argues powerfully that the core of a college education should be learning to write a reasoned argument. A trained philosopher and director of a university-wide composition program, Crosswhite challenges his readers—teachers of writing and communication, philosophers, critical theorists, and educational administrators—to reestablish the traditional role of rhetoric in education.
To those who have lost faith in the abilities of people to reach reasoned mutual agreements, and to others who have attacked the right-or-wrong model of formal logic, this book offers the reminder that the rhetorical tradition has always viewed argumentation as a dialogue, a response to changing situations, an exchange of persuading, listening, and understanding. Crosswhite’s aim is to give new purpose to writing instruction and to students’ writing, to reinvest both with the deep ethical interests of the rhetorical tradition. In laying out the elements of argumentation, for example, he shows that claiming, questioning, and giving reasons are not simple elements of formal logic, but communicative acts with complicated ethical features. Students must learn not only how to construct an argument, but the purposes, responsibilities, and consequences of engaging in one.
Crosswhite supports his aims through a rhetorical reconstruction of reason, offering new interpretations of Plato and Aristotle and of the concepts of reflection and dialogue from early modernity through Hegel to Gadamer. And, in his conclusion, he ties these theoretical and historical underpinnings to current problems of higher education, the definition of the liberal arts, and, especially, the teaching of written communication.
Nursery rhymes have been told to children for centuries. Many people think that they are just meant to make children smile. However, preschool children's awareness of rhyme and alliteration has an important influence on their success in learning to read and to spell. In Rhyme and Reason in Reading and Spelling, the authors explore this causal hypothesis using a new research design of combining longitudinal methods with intervention, and they provide strong evidence to show that there is a positive relationship between recognizing similar sounds, as found in nursery rhymes, and learning to read and to spell. The authors also investigate the relationship of this skill to children's learning difficulties. This is the first volume in the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities Monograph series.
Hartwig views the Columbian Ministry of Public Works, applying a theoretical model of rationality and responsibility to view how policy failures were caused by faulty definitions of problems and mistaken approaches in building Andean Highways from 1922-1974. This book will interest those involved in policy administration, organization theory, and policy planning in both developed and developing countries.
Tanney challenges not only the cognitivist approach that has dominated philosophy and the special sciences for fifty years, but metaphysical-empirical approaches to the mind in general. Rules, Reason, and Self-Knowledge advocates a return to the world-involving, circumstance-dependent, normative practices where the rational mind has its home.
Sex and Reason
Richard A. Posner Harvard University Press, 1992 Library of Congress HQ16.P67 1992 | Dewey Decimal 306.7
Sexual drives are rooted in biology, but we don't act on them blindly. Indeed, as the eminently readable judge and legal scholar Richard Posner shows, we make quite rational choices about sex, based on the costs and benefits perceived.
Drawing on the fields of biology, law, history, religion, and economics, this sweeping study examines societies from ancient Greece to today's Sweden and issues from masturbation, incest taboos, date rape, and gay marriage to Baby M. The first comprehensive approach to sexuality and its social controls, Posner's rational choice theory surprises, explains, predicts, and totally absorbs.
Table of Contents:
Part One: The History of Sexuality
1. Theoretical Sexology The Development of the Field Social Constructionism (with a Glance at Gender Disorders) Other Threads in the Multidisciplinary Tapestry 2. Autres Temps, Autres Moeurs The History of Western Sexual Mores The Sexual Mores of Non-Western Cultures 3. Sexuality and Law
Part Two: A Theory of Sexuality
4. The Biology of Sex The Biological Basis and Character of "Normal" Sex The Biology of "Deviant" Sex Conclusion and Critique 5. Sex and Rationality The Benefits of Sex The Costs of Sex Complementarity of Sexual Practices 6. The History of Sexuality from the Perspective of Economics Greek Love and the Institutionalization of Pederasty Monasticism, Puritanism, and Christian Sex Ethics Swedish Permissiveness Three Stages in the Evolution of Sexual Morality 7. Optimal Regulation of Sexuality The Model of Morally Indifferent Sex Elaborated The Externalities of Sex Incest and Revulsion The Efficacy of Sexual Regulations Designing an Optimal Punishment Scheme for Sex Crimes The Political Economy of Sexual Regulation 8. Moral Theories of Sexuality Are Moral Theories Falsifiable? Christian and Liberal Theories of Sex Sexual Radicals
Part Three: The Regulation of Sexuality
9. Marriage and the Channeling of Sex Restrictions on Marrying Regulating Nonmarital Sex 10. The Control of Pregnancy Contraception Abortion 11. Homosexuality: The Policy Questions The Phenomenon Reconsidered Relations between Consenting Adults: Sodomy Laws and Homosexual Marriage Discrimination against Homosexuals, with Particular Reference to Military Service 12. The Sexual Revolution in the Courts From Griswold v. Connecticut to Roe v. Wade Bowers v. Hardwick and Beyond 13. Erotic Art, Pornography, and Nudity The Economy of Erotic Representation The Social Consequences of Pornography Deciding What-If Anything-to Punish 14. Coercive Sex Sexual Abuse of Adults Sexual Abuse of Children 15. Separating Reproduction from Sex Adoption Artificial Insemination and the Issue of Surrogate Motherhood Eugenics and Population
Conclusion Acknowledgements Index
Reviews of this book: [Posner] is one of the most distinguished and prolific legal thinkers of his generation [and this is an] extraordinary book...Like [George Bernard] Shaw, he combines a passion for exposing humbug and pseudo-profundity with an odd but genuine sort of social compassion, a delight in shocking the self-righteous with a love of human diversity and freedom...We will remember, and profit by, the wit and the courage of his attacks on bigotry, folly, and cruelty. --Martha C. Nussbaum, New Republic
Reviews of this book: An incisive tour through theories of sexuality and legal regulation of such matters as marriage, pregnancy, homosexuality, sexual revolution in the courts, erotic art, pornography and nudity, sexual abuse, and the separation of reproduction from sex...At a time when intellectual shoddiness permeates our highest court, [Posner] is a true philosopher of law. --Carlin Romano, Washington Post Book World
Offering a rare look into the lives of enslaved peoples and slave masters in early New England, Slavery in the Age of Reason analyzes the results of extensive archaeological excavations at the Isaac Royall House and Slave Quarters, a National Historic Landmark and museum in Medford, Massachusetts.
Isaac Royall (1677-1739) was the largest slave owner in Massachusetts in the mid- eighteenth century, and in this book the Royall family and their slaves become the central characters in a compelling cultural-historical narrative. The family's ties to both Massachusetts and Antigua provide a comparative perspective on the transcontinental development of modern ideologies of individualism, colonialism, slavery, and race.
Alexandra A. Chan examines the critical role of material culture in the construction, mediation, and maintenance of social identities and relationships between slaves and masters at the farm. She explores landscapes and artifacts discovered at the site not just as inanimate objects or “cultural leftovers,” but rather as physical embodiments of the assumptions, attitudes, and values of the people who built, shaped, or used them. These material things, she argues, provide a portal into the mind-set of people long gone-not just of the Royall family who controlled much of the material world at the farm, but also of the enslaved, who made up the majority of inhabitants at the site, and who left few other records of their experience.
Using traditional archaeological techniques and analysis, as well as theoretical per- spectives and representational styles of post-processualist schools of thought, Slavery in the Age of Reason is an innovative volume that portrays the Royall family and the people they enslaved “from the inside out.” It should put to rest any lingering myth that the peculiar institution was any less harsh or complex when found in the North.
Alexandra A.Chan currently works in cultural resource management as an archaeolog- ical consultant and principal investigator. As assistant professor of anthropology at Vassar College, 2001-2004, she also developed numerous courses in historical archaeology, archaeological ethics, comparative colonialism, and the archaeology of early African America. She was the project director of the excavations at the Isaac Royall House and Slave Quarters in Medford, Massachusetts, 2000-2001, and continues to serve on the Academic Advisory Council of the museum.
The Sleep of Reason
David Gewanter University of Chicago Press, 2003 Library of Congress PS3557.E897S57 2003 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
The Sleep of Reason plunges us into a macabre world where good impulses bring on evil consequences—a world not unlike our own. In David Gewanter's alternately delightful and startling poems, allegory comes alive and stalks a bookstore's musty aisles, comedians eviscerate their families for a laugh, lovers love each other for withholding affection, and theaters collapse on audiences hungry for spectacle. Amidst such surreal subjects, Gewanter's delicate musicality and keen sense of humor sparkle; his inquisition regarding a fallen world becomes a dark comedy of errors haunted by the most unexpected characters—from JFK Jr. to Tacitus, Redd Foxx to General Motors, Mariah Carey to 100 rabbits with herpes. An offbeat satire for an off-kilter age, The Sleep of Reason offers an incisive guide to moral behavior in an immoral world.
Sex is beyond reason, and yet we constantly reason about it. So, too, did the peoples of ancient Greece and Rome. But until recently there has been little discussion of their views on erotic experience and sexual ethics.
The Sleep of Reason brings together an international group of philosophers, philologists, literary critics, and historians to consider two questions normally kept separate: how is erotic experience understood in classical texts of various kinds, and what ethical judgments and philosophical arguments are made about sex? From same-sex desire to conjugal love, and from Plato and Aristotle to the Roman Stoic Musonius Rufus, the contributors demonstrate the complexity and diversity of classical sexuality. They also show that the ethics of eros, in both Greece and Rome, shared a number of commonalities: a focus not only on self-mastery, but also on reciprocity; a concern among men not just for penetration and display of their power, but also for being gentle and kind, and for being loved for themselves; and that women and even younger men felt not only gratitude and acceptance, but also joy and sexual desire.
* Eva Cantarella
* Kenneth Dover
* Chris Faraone
* Simon Goldhill
* Stephen Halliwell
* David M. Halperin
* J. Samuel Houser
* Maarit Kaimio
* David Konstan
* David Leitao
* Martha C. Nussbaum
* A. W. Price
* Juha Sihvola
Brown makes elegant use of sociological theory and of insights from language philosophy, literary criticism, and rhetoric to articulate a new theory of the human sciences, using the powerful metaphor of society as text.
How can human beings, who are liable to error, possess knowledge, since the grounds on which we believe do not rule out that we are wrong? Andrea Kern argues that we can disarm this skeptical doubt by conceiving knowledge as an act of a rational capacity. In this book, she develops a metaphysics of the mind as existing through knowledge of itself.
By applying the tools of deconstruction to crucial texts of German Idealism, John Sallis reveals the suppressed but essential role of imagination in even the most ambitious attempts to represent pure reason.
Sallis focuses on certain operations of "spacing" in metaphysics—textual lapses and leaps in which reason is displaced or suspended or abridged. In the project of establishing priority of reason, such operations can appear only in disguise, and Sallis reveals the play of imagination and metaphor that masks them. Concentrating on what has been called the closure of metaphysics, he examines texts in which the suppression of spacing would be carried out most rigorously, texts in which even metaphysics itself is seen as only an errant roaming, a spacing that must still be secured, to be replaced by a pure space of truth. And yet, in these very texts Sallis identifies outbreaks of spacing that would disrupt the tranquil space of reason. Rather than closure, he finds an opening of reason to imagination.
Sallis's reading of a metaphorical system in the Critique of Pure Reason reveals a fissuring and historicizing of what would otherwise be called pure reason. Next he traces in Fichte's major work as well as in several lesser-known texts a decentering from reason to imagination, which he characterizes as a power of hovering between opposites and beyond being. Sallis then returns to the Critique of Pure Reason to expose, in relation to the famous question of the common root of reason and sensibility, a certain eccentricity of reason. Proceeding to the Critique of Judgment, he traces a divergence of sublime nature away from that supersensible space of reason to which Kant would otherwise assimilate it—a withdrawal toward an abyss. Finally, Sallis turns to Hegel's Encyclopedia, supplementing his reading with previously unknown notes from Hegel's lectures on those sections dealing with imagination; his reading of those sections serves to expose, within the most rigorous reduction of spacing in the history of metaphysics, an irrepressible and disseminative play of imagination.
Speculation: Politics, Ideology, Event develops Hegel’s radical perspective of speculative thought as a way of reclaiming and revitalizing the sense of the future and its possibilities. Engaging with such figures as Alain Badiou, Quentin Meillassoux, Ernesto Laclau, Slavoj Žižek, and Fredric Jameson, Glyn Daly articulates the distinctness of speculative philosophy and draws its implications for new debates in areas of science, politics, capitalism, ideology, ethics, and the event.
In a confrontation with today’s fatalistic milieu, principal emphasis is given to Hegel’s idea of infinity as the intrinsic dimension of negativity within all finitude. Against the modern era’s paradigmatic tendency to externalize social problems in the form of antagonism and Otherness, Daly argues for a renewal of utopian thought based on Hegelian reconciliation and the affirmation of excess as the essence of all being. On these grounds, he advances a new kind of political imagination that in speculative terms centers on uncompromising notions of truth and reason.
Studies on the Abuse and Decline of Reason is a series of fascinating essays on the study of social phenomena. How to best and most accurately study social interactions has long been debated intensely, and there are two main approaches: the positivists, who ignore intent and belief and draw on methods based in the sciences; and the nonpositivists, who argue that opinions and ideas drive action and are central to understanding social behavior. F. A. Hayek’s opposition to the positivists and their claims to scientific rigor and certainty in the study of human behavior is a running theme of this important book.
Hayek argues that the vast number of elements whose interactions create social structures and institutions make it unlikely that social science can predict precise outcomes. Instead, he contends, we should strive to simply understand the principles by which phenomena are produced. For Hayek this modesty of aspirations went hand in hand with his concern over widespread enthusiasm for economic planning. As a result, these essays are relevant to ongoing debates within the social sciences and to discussion about the role government can and should play in the economy.
From gruesome self-experimentation to exhausting theoretical calculations, stories abound of scientists willfully surrendering health, well-being, and personal interests for the sake of their work. What accounts for the prevalence of this coupling of knowledge and pain-and for the peculiar assumption that science requires such suffering? In this lucid and absorbing history, Rebecca M. Herzig explores the rise of an ethic of "self-sacrifice" in American science. Delving into some of the more bewildering practices of the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era, she describes when and how science-the supposed standard of all things judicious and disinterested-came to rely on an enthralled investigator willing to embrace toil, danger, and even lethal dismemberment. With attention to shifting racial, sexual, and transnational politics, Herzig examines the suffering scientist as a way to understand the rapid transformation of American life between the Civil War and World War I.
Suffering for Science reveals more than the passion evident in many scientific vocations; it also illuminates a nation's changing understandings of the purposes of suffering, the limits of reason, and the nature of freedom in the aftermath of slavery.
We live in a world of technical systems designed in accordance with technical disciplines and operated by technically trained personnel—a unique social organization that largely determines our way of life. Andrew Feenberg’s theory of social rationality represents both the threats of technocratic modernity and the potential for democratic change.
This provocative meditation on the turn of the millennium explores the significance that a celebration of Christ's birth can have beyond the Christian community.
Writing from the perspective of Christian philosophy, David Walsh ponders the emergence of modern civilization from the medieval Christian past, concluding that Christian theology grounds the dominant ideas of modern society. He professes the importance and promise of Christianity while rejecting the Gnosticism, advocated by Harold Bloom and others, that places the divine within the self.
Affirming Christ's place at the heart of civilization, Walsh argues that the Christian faith has relevance beyond its own boundaries for all traditions that find their common ground in reason. This contemplative book asserts that the Christian millennial jubilee has meaning for all and that it points the way toward the fullness of life in this world as well as in eternity.
Should we hold beliefs only insofar as they are rationally supportable? According to Allen W. Wood, we're morally obliged to do so—and yet how does this apply to religious beliefs? Unsettling Obligations examines these and related ethical and philosophical issues, taking and defending stances on many of them. Along with the theme of belief and evidence, other topics include a historical perspective of philosophy based on the Enlightenment rationalist tradition and a study of how our practical commitments help define truth and value.
Elizabeth Anderson offers a new theory of value and rationality that rejects cost-benefit analysis in our social lives and in our ethical theories. This account of the plurality of values thus offers a new approach, beyond welfare economics and traditional theories of justice, for assessing the ethical limitations of the market. In this light, Anderson discusses several contemporary controversies involving the proper scope of the market, including commercial surrogate motherhood, privatization of public services, and the application of cost-benefit analysis to issues of environmental protection.
Table of Contents:
1. A Pluralist Theory of Value A Rational Attitude Theory of Value Ideals and Self-Assessment How Goods Differ in Kind (I): Different Modes of Valuation How Goods Differ in Kind (II): Social Relations of Realization 2. An Expressive Theory of Rational Action Value and Rational Action The Framing of Decisions The Extrinsic Value of States of Affairs Consequentialism Practical Reason and the Unity of the Self 3. Pluralism and Incommensurable Goods The Advantages of Consequentialism A Pragmatic Theory of Comparative Value Judgments Incommensurable Goods Rational Choice among Incommensurable Goods 4. Self-Understanding, the Hierarchy of Values, and Moral Constraints The Test of Self-Understanding The Hierarchy of Values Agent-Centered Restrictions Hybrid Consequentialism A Self-Effacing Theory of Practical Reason? 5. Criticism, Justification, and Common Sense A Pragmatic Account of Objectivity The Thick Conceptual Structure of the Space of Reasons How Common Sense Can Be Self-Critical Why We Should Ignore Skeptical Challenges to Common Sense 6. Monistic Theories of Value Monism Moore's Aesthetic Monism Hedonism Rational Desire Theory 7. The Ethical Limitations of the Market Pluralism, Freedom, and Liberal Politics The Ideals and Social Relations of the Modern Market Civil Society and the Market Personal Relations and the Market Political Goods and the Market The Limitations of Market Ideologies 8. Is Women's Labor a Commodity? The Case of Commercial Surrogate Motherhood Children as Commodities Women's Labor as a Commodity Contract Pregnancy and the Status of Women Contract Pregnancy, Freedom, and the Law 9. Cost-Benefit Analysis, Safety, and Environmental Quality Cost-Benefit Analysis as a Form of Commodification Autonomy, Labor Markets, and the Value of Life Citizens, Consumers, and the Value of the Environment Toward Democratic Alternatives to Cost-Benefit Analysis
Conclusion Notes References Index
Reviews of this book: Anderson is anxious to combat what she sees as a tendency for commercial values to invade areas of human life where they do not belong...A useful contribution to debate about the proper scope of the market.
"Not everything is a commodity, insists Anderson, and her brief should shake up social science technocrats."
"The book is rich in both argument and application."
--Alan Hamlin, Times Higher Education Supplement
"In this rich and insightful book Elizabeth Anderson develops an original account of value and rational action and then employs this account to address the pragmatic political question of what the proper range of the market should be. Anderson's principal targets are consequentialism, monism and the crude 'economistic' reasoning which underpins much contemporary social policy...This is an important book...For anyone interested in political philosophy this is essential reading."
--A. J. Walsh, Australasian Journal of Philosophy --Hugo Dixon, Financial Times [UK]
Reviews of this book: Not everything is a commodity, insists Anderson, and her brief should shake up social science technocrats. --Philadelphia Inquirer
Reviews of this book: The book is rich in both argument and application. --Alan Hamlin, Times Higher Education Supplement
Reviews of this book: In this rich and insightful book Elizabeth Anderson develops an original account of value and rational action and then employs this account to address the pragmatic political question of what the proper range of the market should be. Anderson's principal targets are consequentialism, monism and the crude 'economistic' reasoning which underpins much contemporary social policy...This is an important book...For anyone interested in political philosophy this is essential reading. --A. J. Walsh, Australasian Journal of Philosophy
Can reason absorb the psyche’s nonrational elements into a conception of the fully realized human being? Without a good answer to that question, Jonathan Lear says, philosophy is cut from its moorings in human life. He brings into conversation psychoanalysis and moral philosophy, which together form a basis for ethical thought about how to live.
"Its publication should be a major event for cognitive linguistics and should pose a major challenge for cognitive science. In addition, it should have repercussions in a variety of disciplines, ranging from anthropology and psychology to epistemology and the philosophy of science. . . . Lakoff asks: What do categories of language and thought reveal about the human mind? Offering both general theory and minute details, Lakoff shows that categories reveal a great deal."—David E. Leary, American Scientist