Western philosophy has long nurtured the hope to resolve moral controversies through reason; thereby to secure moral direction and human meaning without the need for a defining encounter with God or the transcendent. The expectation is for a moral rationality that is universal and able adequately to frame and guide the moral life. Moral and cultural unity was sought though philosophical reflection on human nature and the basic goods of a properly nurtured and virtuous life—that is, through appeal to what has come to be called the natural law. The natural law addresses permissible moral choice through objective understandings of human nature and human goods. Persons are obligated to act in ways that are compatible with creating and integrating the basic human goods into their lives and the lives of others. Such goods provide the basis for practical reasoning about virtuous choices and immediate reasons for action. The goal is the making of rational choices in the pursuit of a virtuous, flourishing, human life. Natural law theorists have argued extensively against human cloning, abortion, and same-gender marriage. Yet, whose assumptions regarding human nature should guide our understanding of the basic goods that mark the full flourishing human life? Moreover, why should nature, even human nature, be thought of as a moral boundary beyond which one must not trespass? Persons may wish actively to direct human evolution, utilizing the tools of both imagination and biotechnology. Perhaps nature is simply a challenge to be addressed, overcome, and set aside. This volume is a critical exploration of natural law theory.
The Implications of Deep Science and Deep Technology for Environmental Philosophy
Author: Keekok Lee
Pubpsher: Lexington Books
In this book, philosopher Keekok Lee challenges one of the central assumptions of contemporary environmentalism: that if we could reduce or eliminate pollution we could 'save' the planet without unduly disrupting our modern, industrialized societies. Lee argues instead that the process of modernization, with its attendant emphasis on technological innovation, has fundamentally transformed 'nature' into just another manmade 'artefact.' Ultimately, what needs to be determined is if nature has value above and beyond human considerations, whether aesthetic, spiritual, or biological. This provocative book attempts to reconfigure environmental ethics, positing the existence of two separate ontological categories--the 'natural' and the 'artefactual.' Natural entities, be they organisms or inert matter, are 'morally considerable' because they possess the ontological value of independence, whereas artefacts are created by humans expressly to serve their own interests and ends.
Theories of Spatial Perception from Kant to Helmholtz
Author: Gary Carl Hatfield
Pubpsher: MIT Press
Gary Hatfield examines theories of spatial perception from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century and provides a detailed analysis of the works of Kant and Helmholtz, who adopted opposing stances on whether central questions about spatial perception were amenable to natural-scientific treatment. At stake were the proper understanding of the relationships among sensation, perception, and experience, and the proper methodological framework for investigating the mental activities of judgment, understanding, and reason issues which remain at the core of philosophical psychology and cognitive science. Hatfield presents these important issues as living philosophies of science that shape and are shaped by actual research programs, creating a complex and fascinating picture of the entire nineteenth-century battle between nativism and empiricism. His examination of Helmholtz's work in physiological optics and epistemology is a tour de force. Gary Hatfield is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania.
This work approaches international law as more than merely information contained in international legal norms, & does not view international law as a body of objective & binding normative commands. As 'legal knowledge', international law encompasses rules, practices & the expectations actors derive through legal reasoning from conventional legal rules, customary norms, international adjudication, & international legal theory. The study is in three parts. Part I constructs a framework to analyze the effectiveness of international law to influence decision-making within conflict resolution processes. Drawing on the contending approaches of the New Haven School of International Law & its rivals & applying various devices of linkage theory, the analysis isolates variables & indicators of the impact of legal expectations on actors' decision-making style. These variables & indicators also reveal the ways international legal rules are affected by the actors' perceptions about the normative contents of such rules in a particular bargaining process. Parts II & III apply the framework of Part I to explain the role of international law in the Central American peace negotiations of the 1980s. Using the framework, Parts II & III identify sources of uncertainty & diverging expectations in the Western Hemisphere that aggravated rather than assuaged the Central American crisis. Parts II & III also explain the normative constraints that affected Central American decision-makers & provided the basis for most of the regional consensus within the Esquipulas meeting. With the help of heuristic devices from the behavioral sciences, this study of international law proposes an alternative to the traditional views of international legal effectiveness in the modern world. Joaquín Tacsan , Lic. en Der. & M.A. International Law (University of Costa Rica); L.L.M. J.S.D. (Boalt Hall, University of California, Berkeley). Mr Tacsan currently serves as Executive Advisor to former President of Costa Rica & 1987 Nobel Laureate Oscar Arias & as program Advisor of the Arias Foundation's Centre for Peace & Reconciliation. He is professor of Public International Law at the University of San Jose, Costa Rica.
Release on 2007 | by Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent,William R. Newman
An Evolving Polarity
Author: Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent,William R. Newman
Pubpsher: MIT Press
Notions of nature and art as they have been defined and redefined in Western culture,from the Hippocratic writers and Aristotle of Ancient Greece to nineteenth-century chemistry andtwenty-first century biomimetics.
"An iconoclast, Montagu wields his encyclopedic knowledge of physical anthropology to show how women's biological, genetic, and physical characteristics make her not only man's equal, but his superior. Also a humanist, Montagu points to the emotional and social qualities typically ascribed to women and devalued as being central to the attainment of equitable and just social relations."--BOOK JACKET.