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In Good Natured Frans de Waal, ethologist and primatologist, asks us to reconsider human morality in light of moral aspects that can be identified in animals. Within the complex negotiations of human society, a moral action may involve thoughts and feelings of guilt, reciprocity, obligation, expectations, rules, or community concern. De Waal finds these aspects of morality prevalent in other animal societies, mostly primate, and suggests that the two philosophical camps supporting nature and nurture may have to be disbanded in order to adequately understand human morality. A theoretician, de Waal is meticulous in his research, cautious not to extrapolate too much from his findings, and logically sound in his arguments. He also writes with precision and a flair for the dramatic, carrying readers along with graceful ease and vivid examples.
No century in history questioned the meaning of existence or manifested such intense fascination with 'the absurd' as the twentieth. Of the varying interpretations of the absurd to attract French intellectuals and artists in the 1920s and 30s, two competing conceptions were to provide major reference points: the Surrealist 'free functioning of thought', and the existential critique of rational discourse elaborated by Leon Chestov (1866-1938) and Benjamin Fondane (1898-1944). While examining the existential line of interpretation, Fotiade shows that Chestov and Fondane's project found support and illustration in the dissident views held by authors working on the boundaries of Surrealism (including Artaud, Gilbert-Lecomte and Daumal).
Free Will brings together the essential readings in the debate about free will and determinism. Written by top scholars in the field, the essays represent some of the clearest and most accessible thinking on this subject. The introduction offers a concise yet thorough mapping of this age–old debate as well as a helpful overview of the selections. To what extent are we truly free? Are our actions determined? If so, are we morally responsible for our actions? And does such determinism necessarily conflict with free will? This volume covers wide–ranging issues in the debate about free will, including the distinction between freedom of choice and freedom of will, moral responsibility, determinism, and compatibility. This compact collection of some of the best and most provocative writing on free will is ideal for anyone who wants to explore this complex problem.
The Roots of Romanticism at last makes available in printed form Isaiah Berlin's most famous lecture series, the Mellon Lectures, delivered in Washington in 1965, recorded by the BBC, and broadcast several times. A published version has been keenly awaited ever since the lectures were given, and indeed Berlin had always hoped to complete a book based upon them. But, despite extensive further work, this hope was not fulfilled, and this book is an edited transcript of his spoken words. For Berlin, the Romantics set in train a vast unparalleled revolution in humanity's view of itself. They destroyed the traditional notions of objective truth and validity in ethics, with incalculable, all-pervasive results. As he said of them elsewhere: 'the world has never been the same since, and our politics and our morals have been deeply transformed by them. Certainly this has been the most radical, and indeed terrifying...change in men's outlook in modern times.' In these brilliant lectures Berlin...
Appeals to morality are back on the agenda in international and national politics. The moral high ground is invoked to justify war, in discussions about waging ?war? on poverty, and in many other political and social contexts. Despite this, terms such as ?moralism?, ?moralising? and ?moralistic? are increasingly used as pejorative terms. This thought–provoking book examines exactly what people mean when they accuse others of being ?moralistic?. Written by a team of international philosophers, the book analyses what the ?vice? of moralism might be and contrasts this with a genuine concern for morality. Several of the papers draw upon literary sources, some are concerned with the connections between moralism and philosophical theories, others with the relevance of moralism to politics and political theory, and one with empirical studies that relate to the effectiveness of moral injunctions.
Early Modern Philosophy is a complete introduction to the most significant and influential philosophers of the first part of the modern era. Spanning the sixteenth through the early part of the eighteenth century, early modern philosophy marks a critical shift in the ideas that have continued to evolve within contemporary Western thought. This book presents writings of the major philosophical, scientific, and political thinkers of the time, focusing on the development and growth of rationalism which stressed reason, logic, and experimentation in the pursuit of truth, rejecting the scholastic philosophies of the Middle Ages. Part of Blackwell’s Readings in the History of Philosophy Series, this survey of early modern philosophy focuses on the key texts and philosophers of the period whose beliefs changed the course of Western thought.
Contending discourses underlie many of the worlds most intractable conflicts, producing misery and violence. This is especially true in the post–9/11 world. However, contending discourses can also open the way to greater dialogue in global civil society and across states and international organizations. This possibility holds even for the most murderous sorts of conflicts in deeply divided societies. In this timely and original book, John Dryzek examines major contemporary conflicts in terms of clashing discourses. Topics covered include the alleged clash of civilizations; societies divided by ethnicity, nationality, or religion; economic globalization versus resistance; plus an in–depth discussion of the ?war on terror?. Dryzek concludes by highlighting the limitations of current neoconservative and cosmopolitan approaches, arguing that only deliberative global politics offers unprecedented new possibilities for democratic engagement in the international system. This book...
Nietzsche’s philosophy exercised a mesmerizing influence on twentieth–century thought, and continues to be a significant source of inspiration for work in all the major branches of philosophical inquiry. A Companion to Nietzsche showcases contemporary research and scholarship, and provides a comprehensive guide to all the main aspects of Nietzsche’s philosophy. The volume opens with an introduction to Nietzsche’s life and thought and an essay on his art of the aphorism. This is followed by major sections on Art, Nature, and Individuation; Nietzsche?s Philosophy of the Future; Philosophy of Mind; Philosophy and Genealogy; Ethics; Politics; Aesthetics; and Evolution and Life. In addition, there are fresh treatments of Nietzsche’s core and enigmatic doctrines such as eternal recurrence, the will to power, and the overhuman. The volume profiles the latest research into Nietzsche’s texts (published and unpublished) and reflects trends in recent scholarship, such as the...
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