This book challenges, with several powerful arguments, some of our deepest beliefs about rationality, morality, and personal identity. The author claims that we have a false view of our own nature; that it is often rational to act against our own best interests; that most of us have moral views that are directly self-defeating; and that, when we consider future generations the conclusions will often be disturbing. He concludes that moral non-religious moral philosophy is a young subject, with a promising but unpredictable future.
Derek Parfits bahnbrechende Arbeiten zur personalen Identität, zur Metaethik und zur normativen Ethik prägen seit Jahrzehnten die Debatten der praktischen Philosophie weltweit. Seine zentrale Frage lautet: Worauf kommt es eigentlich an? Er beantwortet sie mit einer innovativen Theorie, die eine reduktionistische Auffassung von personaler Identität mit einer objektiven Theorie praktischer Gründe und einer verblüffenden Vereinigung von Kantianismus, Kontraktualismus und Konsequentialismus verbindet. Erstmals liegen mit diesem Band nun Texte in deutscher Übersetzung vor, die das philosophische Schaffen Parfits in seiner ganzen Breite abdecken.
Anstöße zur Erneuerung naturrechtlichen Denkens im Anschluss an Robert Spaemann
Author: Andrzej Kucinski
Publisher: Verlag Ferdinand Schöningh
In der Bundestagsrede 2011 hat Benedikt XVI. das Schlagwort "Ökologie des Menschen" in Verbindung mit dem Naturrecht gebracht. Letzteres steht für die Integration des Menschlichen und wird aktuell, wo der Mensch über sich selbst verfügen will. Die Zeit des Naturrechts als System ist vorbei, unabweisbar aber bleibt die Frage nach Leben und Sein des Menschen "im Recht". So wird z. B. bei biomedizinischen Eingriffen in das menschliche Genom die Frage nach der künftigen Identität der Menschennatur gestellt. Kein anderer Philosoph hat den konstitutiven Zielbezug des Naturrechts auf die Person des Menschen als allem Denken vorausliegendes Sein so deutlich herausgearbeitet wie Robert Spaemann. Die Erschließung der Entsprechung von Sein und Sollen, wie sie in jeder Person schon präsent ist, und die Umsetzung in eine grenzbewusste Ethik sind entscheidende Anstöße zur Erneuerung naturrechtlichen Denkens.
On What Matters is a major work in moral philosophy. It is the long-awaited follow-up to Derek Parfit's 1984 book Reasons and Persons, one of the landmarks of twentieth-century philosophy. Parfit now presents a powerful new treatment of reasons, rationality, and normativity, and a critical examination of three systematic moral theories - Kant's ethics, contractualism, and consequentialism - leading to his own ground-breaking synthetic conclusion. Along the way he discusses a wide range of moral issues, such as the significance of consent, treating people as a means rather than an end, and free will and responsibility. On What Matters is already the most-discussed work in moral philosophy: its publication is likely to establish it as a modern classic which everyone working on moral philosophy will have to read, and which many others will turn to for stimulation and illumination. The second volume of Derek Parfit's magnum opus is in four parts. The first presents critiques of his work by four of the world's leading moral philosophers. The second contains his responses. The third and longest part is a self-contained monograph by Parfit on normativity. The final part comprises seven new essays by Parfit on Kant, reasons, irrationality, autonomy - and why the universe exists.
Normative ethical theories generally purport to be explanatory—to tell us not just what is good, or what conduct is right, but why. Drawing on both historical and contemporary approaches, Mark Schroeder offers a distinctive picture of how such explanations must work, and of the specific commitments that they incur. According to Schroeder, explanatory moral theories can be perfectly general only if they are reductive, offering accounts of what it is for something to be good, right, or what someone ought to do. So ambitious, highly general normative ethical theorizing is continuous with metaethical inquiry. Moreover, he argues that such explanatory theories face a special challenge in accounting for reasons or obligations that are universally shared, and develops an autonomy-based strategy for meeting this challenge, in the case of requirements of rationality. Explaining the Reasons We Share pulls together over a decade of work by one of the leading figures in contemporary metaethics. One new and ten previously published papers weave together treatments of reasons, reduction, supervenience, instrumental rationality, and legislation, to paint a sharp contrast between two plausible but competing pictures of the nature and limits of moral explanation—one from Cudworth and one indebted to Kant. A substantive new introduction provides a map to reading these essays as a unified argument, and qualifies their conclusions in light of Schroeder's current views. Along with its sister volume, Expressing Our Attitudes, this volume advances the theme that metaethical inquiry is continuous with other areas of philosophy.
Kantian Themes from the Philosophy of Thomas E. Hill, Jr
Author: Robert Neal Johnson
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
In 13 specially written essays, leading philosophers explore Kantian themes in moral and political philosophy that are prominent in the work of Thomas E. Hill, Jr., such as respect and self-respect, practical reason, conscience, and duty. In conclusion Hill offers an overview of his work and responses to the preceding essays.
Practical reasoning in contemporary Western societies is characterised by an unprecedented degree of idiosyncrasy and demands of personal authenticity. This has resulted from the decline of traditional moral authorities, the rise of individualistic lifestyles, increasing multiculturalism and rapid technological advance. These developments have given rise to reflection on the notion of 'reasons of one's own', an examination of the intelligibility of reasons that are closely connected to a particular agent, and recognised as such by others, although not shared by them. Problems addressed by the contributors include; How to account for the cognitive overtones in moral and motivational language given the apparent 'agent-relativity' of reasons. How to retain the 'agent-relativity' of reasons for action given that they require articulation through a language shared by the community, and how to account for the practical rationality required for co-operation between persons in view of the idiosyncrasy of a person's motivating reasons. In dealing with these issues this book presents a range of investigative essays on the concept of reasons of one's own by leading authors from all relevant philosophical areas of expertise.
Lügen kann so schön sein Kelly Oxford eignet sich nur bedingt für allzu harmoniesüchtige Gemüter: wer sich von Infos über die Schambehaarung ihrer Kinder, dem Gefühl der Einsamkeit auf der Toilettenschüssel oder von Oxfords Vorliebe für Erdnussbutter mit Nutella überfordert fühlt, sollte sich gemäßigtere Gefilde suchen. Denn in ihren 16 autobiografischen Geschichten besticht Oxford mit einem Mix aus beißendem Witz, sarkastischer Selbst-Denunziation und der wahnsinnig komischen Reflektion alltäglicher Verrücktheiten ihres Familienalltags.
Business & Economics by Barbara Montero,Mark D. White,Professor Department of Political Science Economics and Philosophy Mark D White
Author: Barbara Montero,Mark D. White,Professor Department of Political Science Economics and Philosophy Mark D White
Category: Business & Economics
Economics is often defined as the science of choice or human action. But choice and action are essentially mental phenomena, an aspect rarely mentioned in the economics discourse. Choice, while not always a conscious or rational process, is held to involve beliefs, desires, intentions and arguably even free will. Actions are often opposed to mere bodily movements, with the former being in some sense only understandable in reference to mental processes while the latter are understandable in entirely non-mental, physical terms. While philosophers have long concerned themselves with the connections between these concepts, economists have tended to steer clear of what might appear to be an a priori debate. At the same time, philosophers working on these important notions have tended to not dirty their hands with the empirical, real-world applications in which economists are specialized. This volume fills these gaps by bringing economists and philosophers of mind together to explore the intersection of their disciplines.
Brian Hedden defends a radical view about the relationship between rationality, personal identity, and time. On the standard view, personal identity over time plays a central role in thinking about rationality, because there are rational norms for how a person's attitudes and actions at one time should fit with her attitudes and actions at other times. But these norms are problematic. They make what you rationally ought to believe or do depend on facts about yourpast that aren't part of your current perspective on the world, and they make rationality depend on controversial, murky metaphysical facts about what binds different instantaneous snapshots (or'time-slices') into a single person extended in time. Hedden takes a different approach, treating the relationship between different time-slices of the same person as no different from the relationship between different people. On his account, the locus of rationality is the time-slice rather than the temporally extended agent. This impersonal, time-slice-centric approach to rationality yields a unified approach to the rationality of beliefs, preferences, and actions where what rationalitydemands of you is solely determined by your evidence, with no special weight given to your past beliefs or actions.
Moral Ideals and the Nature of Practical Reasoning
Author: Larry S. Temkin
Publisher: Oxford University Press
In choosing between moral alternatives -- choosing between various forms of ethical action -- we typically make calculations of the following kind: A is better than B; B is better than C; therefore A is better than C. These inferences use the principle of transitivity and are fundamental to many forms of practical and theoretical theorizing, not just in moral and ethical theory but in economics. Indeed they are so common as to be almost invisible. What Larry Temkin's book shows is that, shockingly, if we want to continue making plausible judgments, we cannot continue to make these assumptions. Temkin shows that we are committed to various moral ideals that are, surprisingly, fundamentally incompatible with the idea that "better than" can be transitive. His book develops many examples where value judgments that we accept and find attractive, are incompatible with transitivity. While this might seem to leave two options -- reject transitivity, or reject some of our normative commitments in order to keep it -- Temkin is neutral on which path to follow, only making the case that a choice is necessary, and that the cost either way will be high. Temkin's book is a very original and deeply unsettling work of skeptical philosophy that mounts an important new challenge to contemporary ethics.
Warum die ärmsten Länder scheitern und was man dagegen tun kann
Author: Paul Collier
Publisher: Pantheon Verlag
Category: Social Science
Der vielfach preisgekrönte Longseller jetzt in einer neuen Ausgabe Die unterste Milliarde – das sind die ärmsten Menschen der Erde, die am weltweit steigenden Wirtschaftswachstum keinen Anteil haben. Ihre Lebenserwartung ist auf fünfzig Jahre gesunken, jedes siebte Kind stirbt vor dem fünften Lebensjahr. Seit Jahrzehnten befinden sich die Ökonomien dieser Länder im freien Fall – ohne Aussicht auf Besserung. In seinem vielfach preisgekrönten Bestseller erklärt Paul Collier, wie es zu dieser krassen Armut gekommen ist und was man gegen sie tun kann.
Reason's Grief takes W. B. Yeats's comment that we begin to live only when we have conceived life as tragedy as a call for a tragic ethics, something the modern West has yet to produce. Harris argues that we must turn away from religious understandings of tragedy and the human condition and realize that our species will occupy a very brief period of history, at some point to disappear without a trace. We must accept an ethical perspective that avoids pernicious fantasies about ultimate redemption but that sees tragic loss as a permanent and pervasive aspect of our daily lives, yet finds a way to think, feel and act with both passion and hope. Reason's Grief takes us back through the history of our thinking about value to find our way. The call is for nothing less than a paradigm shift for understanding both tragedy and ethics.
'We desire all and only those things we conceive to be good; we avoid what we conceive to be bad.' This slogan was once the standard view of the relationship between desire or motivation and rational evaluation. Many critics have rejected this scholastic formula as either trivial or wrong. It appears to be trivial if we just define the good as 'what we want', and wrong if we consider apparent conflicts between what we seem to want and what we seem to think is good. In Appearances of the Good, Sergio Tenenbaum argues that the old slogan is both significant and right, even in cases of apparent conflict between our desires and our evaluative judgements. Maintaining that the good is the formal end of practical inquiry in much the same way as truth is the formal end of theoretical inquiry, he provides a fully unified account of motivation and evaluation.
What is it for you to be conscious? There is no agreement whatever in philosophy or science: it has remained a hard problem, a mystery. Is this partly or mainly owed to the existing theories not even having the same subject, not answering the same question? In Actual Consciousness, Ted Honderich sets out to supersede dualisms, objective physicalisms, abstract functionalism, externalisms, and other positions in the debate. He argues that the theory of Actualism, right or wrong, is unprecedented, in nine ways. (1) It begins from gathered data and proceeds to an adequate initial clarification of consciousness in the primary ordinary sense. This consciousness is summed up as something's being actual. (2) Like basic science, Actualism proceeds from this metaphorical or figurative beginning to what is wholly literal and explicit—constructed answers to the questions of what is actual and what it is for it to be actual. (3) In so doing, the theory respects the differences of consciousness within perception, consciousness that is thinking in a generic sense, and consciousness that is generic wanting. (4) What is actual with your perceptual consciousness is a subjective physical world out there, very likely a room, differently real from the objective physical world, that other division of the physical world. (5) What it is for the myriad subjective physical worlds to be actual is for them to be subjectively physical, which is exhaustively characterized. (6) What is actual with cognitive and affective consciousness is affirmed or valued representations. The representations being actual, which is essential to their nature, is their being differently subjectively physical from the subjective physical worlds. (7) Actualism, naturally enough when you think of it, but unlike any other existing general theory of consciousness, is thus externalist with perceptual consciousness but internalist with respect to cognitive and affective consciousness. (8) It satisfies rigorous criteria got from examination of the failures of the existing theories. In particular, it explains the role of subjectivity in thinking about consciousness, including a special subjectivity that is individuality. (9) Philosophers and scientists have regularly said that thinking about consciousness requires just giving up the old stuff and starting again. Actualism does this. Science is served by this main line philosophy, which is concentration on the logic of ordinary intelligence—clarity, consistency and validity, completeness, generality.
Philosophical ethics consists in the human endeavour to answer rationally the fundamental question of how we should live. The Oxford Handbook of the History of Ethics explores the history of philosophical ethics in the western tradition from Homer until the present day. It provides a broad overview of the views of many of the main thinkers, schools, and periods, and includes in addition essays on topics such as autonomy and impartiality. The authors are international leaders in their field, and use their expertise and specialist knowledge to illuminate the relevance of their work to discussions in contemporary ethics. The essays are specially written for this volume, and in each case introduce the reader to the main lines of interpretation and criticism that have arisen in the professional history of philosophy over the past two or three decades.
Peter Unger's provocative new book poses a serious challenge to contemporary analytic philosophy, arguing that to its detriment it focuses the predominance of its energy on "empty ideas." In the mid-twentieth century, philosophers generally agreed that, by contrast with science, philosophy should offer no substantial thoughts about the general nature of concrete reality. Leading philosophers were concerned with little more than the semantics of ordinary words. For example: Our word "perceives" differs from our word "believes" in that the first word is used more strictly than the second. While someone may be correct in saying "I believe there's a table before me" whether or not there is a table before her, she will be correct in saying "I perceive there's a table before me" only if there is a table there. Though just a parochial idea, whether or not it is correct does make a difference to how things are with concrete reality. In Unger's terms, it is a concretely substantial idea. Alongside each such parochial substantial idea, there is an analytic or conceptual thought, as with the thought that someone may believe there is a table before her whether or not there is one, but she will perceive there is a table before her only if there is a table there. Empty of import as to how things are with concrete reality, those thoughts are what Unger calls concretely empty ideas. It is widely assumed that, since about 1970, things had changed thanks to the advent of such thoughts as the content externalism championed by Hilary Putnam and Donald Davidson, various essentialist thoughts offered by Saul Kripke, and so on. Against that assumption, Unger argues that, with hardly any exceptions aside from David Lewis's theory of a plurality of concrete worlds, all of these recent offerings are concretely empty ideas. Except when offering parochial ideas, Peter Unger maintains that mainstream philosophy still offers hardly anything beyond concretely empty ideas.