ruling passions a theory of practical reasoning

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Ruling Passions

Author : Simon Blackburn
ISBN : 0199241392
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 71. 80 MB
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Simon Blackburn puts forward a compelling original philosophy of human motivation and morality. He maintains that we cannot get clear about ethics until we get clear about human nature. So these are the sorts of questions he addresses: Why do we behave as we do? Can we improve? Is our ethics at war with our passions, or is it an upshot of those passions? Blackburn seeks the answers in an exploration of guilt, shame, disgust, and other moral emotions; he draws also on game theory and cognitive science in his account of the structures of human motivation. Many philosophers have wanted a naturalistic ethics a theory that integrates our understanding of human morality with the rest of our understanding of the world we live in. What is special about Blackburn's naturalistic ethics is that it does not debunk the ethical by reducing it to the non-ethical. At the same time he banishes the spectres of scepticism and relativism that have haunted recent moral philosophy. Ruling Passions sets ethics in the context of human nature: it offers a solution to the puzzle of how ethics can maintain its authority even though it is rooted in the very emotions and motivations that it exists to control.

Truth Ideas In Profile

Author : Simon Blackburn
ISBN : 9781782832928
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 26. 90 MB
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Truth has always been a thorny topic. How does it work? Who decides what it is? And why is it seen as so important? In this lucid introduction to the topic, leading scholar Simon Blackburn describes the main approaches to the notion of truth and considers how these relate to different perspectives on belief, interpretation, facts, knowledge and action. He then looks at how these ideas can be applied to: - aesthetics, taste and the judgement of art; - ethics and how people decide how they should (or should not) live; - reason and rational truth and whether these may be found or learnt in conversation, agreement and disagreement; - religious belief and the ultimate cause of the cosmos. Understanding what constitutes truth has practical value in every aspect of life, and whether you are voting in an election or finding an excuse for being late, Professor Blackburn's clear and incisive account will illuminate your choice, and stimulate, inform and entertain you along the way.

Spreading The Word

Author : Simon Blackburn
ISBN : 9780198246510
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 41. 46 MB
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This book provides a comprehensive introduction to many central aspects of the philosophy of language, among them representation, rule following, convention, intention and thought, realism, and particularly the substantial issues in the philosophy of truth and reference.

Responsibility And The Moral Sentiments

Author : R. Jay Wallace
ISBN : 0674766229
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 34. 95 MB
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R. Jay Wallace argues in this book that moral accountability hinges on questions of fairness: When is it fair to hold people morally responsible for what they do? Would it be fair to do so even in a deterministic world? To answer these questions, we need to understand what we are doing when we hold people morally responsible, a stance that Wallace connects with a central class of moral sentiments, those of resentment, indignation, and guilt. To hold someone responsible, he argues, is to be subject to these reactive emotions in one's dealings with that person. Developing this theme with unusual sophistication, he offers a new interpretation of the reactive emotions and traces their role in our practices of blame and moral sanction. With this account in place, Wallace advances a powerful and sustained argument against the common view that accountability requires freedom of will. Instead, he maintains, the fairness of holding people responsible depends on their rational competence: the power to grasp moral reasons and to control their behavior accordingly. He shows how these forms of rational competence are compatible with determinism. At the same time, giving serious consideration to incompatibilist concerns, Wallace develops a compelling diagnosis of the common assumption that freedom is necessary for responsibility. Rigorously argued, eminently readable, this book touches on issues of broad concern to philosophers, legal theorists, political scientists, and anyone with an interest in the nature and limits of responsibility.

Buddhism Virtue And Environment

Author : David E. Cooper
ISBN : 9781351954310
Genre : Religion
File Size : 38. 5 MB
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Buddhism, one increasingly hears, is an 'eco-friendly' religion. It is often said that this is because it promotes an 'ecological' view of things, one stressing the essential unity of human beings and the natural world. Buddhism, Virtue and Environment presents a different view. While agreeing that Buddhism is, in many important respects, in tune with environmental concerns, Cooper and James argue that what makes it 'green' is its view of human life. The true connection between the religion and environmental thought is to be found in Buddhist accounts of the virtues - those traits, such as compassion, equanimity and humility, that characterise the life of a spiritually enlightened individual. Central chapters of this book examine these virtues and their implications for environmental attitudes and practice. Buddhism, Virtue and Environment will be of interest not only to students and teachers of Buddhism and environmental ethics, but to those more generally engaged with moral philosophy. Written in a clear and accessible style, this book presents an original conception of Buddhist environmental thought. The authors also contribute to the wider debate on the place of ethics in Buddhist teachings and practices, and to debates within 'virtue ethics' on the relations between human well-being and environmental concern.

The Moral Problem

Author : Michael Smith
ISBN : 0631192468
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 42. 71 MB
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This widely anticipated volume offers a systematic introduction to and striking analysis of the central issues animating current debate in moral philosophy.

Civil Passions

Author : Sharon R. Krause
ISBN : 1400837286
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 77. 14 MB
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Must we put passions aside when we deliberate about justice? Can we do so? The dominant views of deliberation rightly emphasize the importance of impartiality as a cornerstone of fair decision making, but they wrongly assume that impartiality means being disengaged and passionless. In Civil Passions, Sharon Krause argues that moral and political deliberation must incorporate passions, even as she insists on the value of impartiality. Drawing on resources ranging from Hume's theory of moral sentiment to recent findings in neuroscience, Civil Passions breaks new ground by providing a systematic account of how passions can generate an impartial standpoint that yields binding and compelling conclusions in politics. Krause shows that the path to genuinely impartial justice in the public sphere--and ultimately to social change and political reform--runs through moral sentiment properly construed. This new account of affective but impartial judgment calls for a politics of liberal rights and democratic contestation, and it requires us to reconceive the meaning of public reason, the nature of sound deliberation, and the authority of law. By illuminating how impartiality feels, Civil Passions offers not only a truer account of how we deliberate about justice, but one that promises to engage citizens more effectively in acting for justice.

Passions And Projections

Author : Robert N. Johnson
ISBN : 9780191034817
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 50. 39 MB
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This volume presents fourteen original essays which explore the philosophy of Simon Blackburn, one of the UK's most influential contemporary philosophers. Blackburn is best known to the general public for his attempts to make philosophy accessible to those with little or no formal training, but in professional circles his reputation is based on a lifetime pursuit of his distinctive version of a projectivist and anti-realist research program. As he sees things, we must always try first to understand and explain what we are doing when we think and talk as we do. This research program reaches into nearly all of the main areas of philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, moral philosophy, and moral psychology. The books and articles he has written provide us with perhaps the most comprehensive statement and defense of projectivism and anti-realism since Hume. The essays collected here document the range and influence of Blackburn's work. They reveal, among other things, the resourcefulness of his distinctive brand of philosophical pragmatism.

The Edge Of Reason

Author : Julian Baggini
ISBN : 9780300208238
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 34. 68 MB
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An urgent defense of reason, the essential method for resolving--or even discussing--divisive issues Reason, long held as the highest human achievement, is under siege. According to Aristotle, the capacity for reason sets us apart from other animals, yet today it has ceased to be a universally admired faculty. Rationality and reason have become political, disputed concepts, subject to easy dismissal. Julian Baggini argues eloquently that we must recover our reason and reassess its proper place, neither too highly exalted nor completely maligned. Rationality does not require a sterile, scientistic worldview, it simply involves the application of critical thinking wherever thinking is needed. Addressing such major areas of debate as religion, science, politics, psychology, and economics, the author calls for commitment to the notion of a "community of reason," where disagreements are settled by debate and discussion, not brute force or political power. Baggini's insightful book celebrates the power of reason, our best hope--indeed our only hope--for dealing with the intractable quagmires of our time.

Truth

Author : Simon Blackburn
ISBN : 0198037570
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 54. 69 MB
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The author of the highly popular book Think, which Time magazine hailed as "the one book every smart person should read to understand, and even enjoy, the key questions of philosophy," Simon Blackburn is that rara avis--an eminent thinker who is able to explain philosophy to the general reader. Now Blackburn offers a tour de force exploration of what he calls "the most exciting and engaging issue in the whole of philosophy"--the age-old war over truth. The front lines of this war are well defined. On one side are those who believe in plain, unvarnished facts, rock-solid truths that can be found through reason and objectivity--that science leads to truth, for instance. Their opponents mock this idea. They see the dark forces of language, culture, power, gender, class, ideology and desire--all subverting our perceptions of the world, and clouding our judgement with false notions of absolute truth. Beginning with an early skirmish in the war--when Socrates confronted the sophists in ancient Athens--Blackburn offers a penetrating look at the longstanding battle these two groups have waged, examining the philosophical battles fought by Plato, Protagoras, William James, David Hume, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Richard Rorty, and many others, with a particularly fascinating look at Nietzsche. Among the questions Blackburn considers are: is science mere opinion, can historians understand another historical period, and indeed can one culture ever truly understand another. Blackburn concludes that both sides have merit, and that neither has exclusive ownership of truth. What is important is that, whichever side we embrace, we should know where we stand and what is to be said for our opponents.

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