ruling passions a theory of practical reasoning

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Ruling Passions

Author : Simon Blackburn
ISBN : 0199241392
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 33. 87 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 : 66. 3 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.

Responsibility And The Moral Sentiments

Author : R. Jay Wallace
ISBN : 0674766229
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 89. 22 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.

Essays In Quasi Realism

Author : Simon Blackburn
ISBN : 9780195080414
Genre : History
File Size : 49. 57 MB
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This volume collects together the author's pioneering essays on "quasi-realism", a philosophical position he first introduced in 1980 which has become a distinctive and much discussed option in metaphysics and ethics.

Sacrifice Imagined

Author : Douglas Hedley
ISBN : 9780826420619
Genre : Religion
File Size : 44. 50 MB
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Sacrifice Imagined is an original exploration of the idea of sacrifice by one of the world's preeminent philosophers of religion. Despisers of religion have poured scorn upon the idea of sacrifice as an index of the irrational and wicked in religious practice. Nor does its secularised form seem much more appealing. One need only think of the appalling cult of sacrifice in numerous totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century. Yet sacrifice remains a part of our cultural and intellectual 'imaginary'. Hedley proposes good reasons to think that issues of global conflict and the ecological crisis highlight the continuing relevance of the topic of sacrifice for contemporary culture. The subject of sacrifice has been decisively influenced by two books: Girard's The Violence and the Sacred and Burkert's Homo Necans. Both of these are theories of sacrifice as violence. Hedley's book challenges both of these highly influential theories and presents a theory of sacrifice as renunciation of the will. His guiding influences in this are the much misunderstood Joseph de Maistre and the Cambridge Platonists.

Civil Passions

Author : Sharon R. Krause
ISBN : 1400837286
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 63. 42 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 : 75. 7 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.

Thomas Jefferson S Philosophy Of Education

Author : M. Andrew Holowchak
ISBN : 9781317660637
Genre : Education
File Size : 27. 88 MB
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Thomas Jefferson had a profoundly advanced educational vision that went hand in hand with his political philosophy - each of which served the goal of human flourishing. His republicanism marked a break with the conservatism of traditional non-representative governments, characterized by birth and wealth and in neglect of the wants and needs of the people. Instead, Jefferson proposed social reforms which would allow people to express themselves freely, dictate their own course in life, and oversee their elected representatives. His educational vision aimed to instantiate a progressive social climate only dreamed of by utopists such as Thomas More, James Harrington and Louis-Sébastian Mercier. This book offers a critical articulation of the philosophy behind Jefferson’s thoughts on education. Divided into three parts, chapters include an analysis of his views on elementary and higher education, an investigation of education for both the moral-sense and rational faculty, and an examination of education as lifelong learning. Jefferson’s educational rationale was economic, political and philosophical, and his systemic approach to education conveys a systemic, economic approach to living, with strong affinities to Stoicism. Thomas Jefferson’s Philosophy of Education will be key reading for philosophers, historians and postgraduate students of education, the history of education and philosophy.

Mirror Mirror

Author : Simon Blackburn
ISBN : 9781400849956
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 65. 77 MB
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Everyone deplores narcissism, especially in others. The vain are by turns annoying or absurd, offending us whether they are blissfully oblivious or proudly aware of their behavior. But are narcissism and vanity really as bad as they seem? Can we avoid them even if we try? In Mirror, Mirror, Simon Blackburn, the author of such best-selling philosophy books as Think, Being Good, and Lust, says that narcissism, vanity, pride, and self-esteem are more complex than they first appear and have innumerable good and bad forms. Drawing on philosophy, psychology, literature, history, and popular culture, Blackburn offers an enlightening and entertaining exploration of self-love, from the myth of Narcissus and the Christian story of the Fall to today's self-esteem industry. A sparkling mixture of learning, humor, and style, Mirror, Mirror examines what great thinkers have said about self-love—from Aristotle, Cicero, and Erasmus to Rousseau, Adam Smith, Kant, and Iris Murdoch. It considers today’s "me"-related obsessions, such as the “selfie,” plastic surgery, and cosmetic enhancements, and reflects on connected phenomena such as the fatal commodification of social life and the tragic overconfidence of George W. Bush and Tony Blair. Ultimately, Mirror, Mirror shows why self-regard is a necessary and healthy part of life. But it also suggests that we have lost the ability to distinguish—let alone strike a balance—between good and bad forms of self-concern.

The Edge Of Reason

Author : Julian Baggini
ISBN : 9780300208238
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 80. 63 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.

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