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In this book, Charles Larmore develops an account of morality, freedom, and reason that rejects the naturalistic metaphysics shaping much of modern thought. Reason, Larmore argues, is responsiveness to reasons, and reasons themselves are essentially normative in character, consisting in the way that physical and psychological facts - facts about the world of nature - count in favor of possibilities of thought and action that we can take up. Moral judgments are true or false in virtue of the moral reasons there are. We need therefore a more comprehensive metaphysics that recognizes a normative dimension to reality as well. Though taking its point of departure in the analysis of moral judgment, this book branches widely into related topics such as freedom and the causal order of the world, textual interpretation, the nature of the self, self-knowledge, and the concept of duties to ourselves.
The Muʿtazilī theologians, particularly the later Imāmī ones, developed numerous interesting arguments against divine command theory. The arguments, however, have not received the attention they deserve. Some of the arguments have been discussed in passing, and some have not been discussed at all. In this article, I aim to present and analyse the arguments. To that end, I first distinguish between different semantic, ontological, epistemological, and theological theses that were often conflated in the debate, and examine the logical relation among them. Then I go over the Muʿtazila's arguments determining, among other things, which of the theses was targeted by each argument. In presenting the arguments, I focus mainly on the late kalām period, the period falling roughly between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries of the common era, as the arguments were at their most sophisticated level by this time.
Recent sociological scholarship on market design is ill-equipped to understand the normative and political aspects of experts’ practices in connection to political conflicts over the commodification of social rights. I develop an original approach to the politicized use of market devices to address collective concerns in a noneconomic policy field: education. When designing a high-stakes school accountability system, policymakers in Chile confronted a moral conundrum: should schools be valued according to their students’ absolute proficiency, or according to the school’s relative effectiveness? Progressive and conservative experts in charge of settling this dilemma pushed for using the statistical model (OLS vs. HLM) that yielded rankings that fit their moral preferences. Through qualitative analyses of experts’ real-world application of quantitative methods, as well as experts’ interpretations of these methods’ performative consequences, I mobilize the much-debated concept of “moral background” to unravel the conditions for subsuming ideological dissent into consensual forms of decision-making.
In eighteenth-century Britain, philosophy was a broader subject than it is today and included many subjects covered elsewhere in this book, such as science, political theory, and theology. This chapter focuses chiefly on those eighteenth-century topics in philosophy that have most shaped present-day philosophical discussion. The first of these is epistemology or the theory of knowledge: the study of what we know and how we know. John Locke, David Hume, and Thomas Reid called this the study of the human mind or understanding. We will also consider another area where the contributions of eighteenth-century British philosophers are widely recognized today: the work in moral and ethical philosophy of a group of thinkers commonly called the ‘British moralists’. From the ancient Greeks and Romans, eighteenth-century thinkers inherited an understanding of philosophy as a way of life and a guide to living well. On what basis do we arrive at moral principles of right and wrong, and what motivates us to follow those principles in our actions: our reason or our feelings? These questions concerned such thinkers as Samuel Clarke, the earl of Shaftesbury, Francis Hutcheson, and Adam Smith.
This chapter explores the interconnections between sociopragmatics and morality. Notions of morality and the moral order have been recently incorporated into research on im/politeness and could potentially be of interest to other sub-fields of sociopragmatics. We review extant conceptualizations of the moral order and insights from moral psychology and propose ways of bringing the two traditions together by seeing morality as instantiated in the moral order and the latter as part and parcel of situated practice. Furthermore, we examine and elaborate on what we believe to be the fundamental links between im/politeness and moral evaluations and discuss how insights gained from research on in/civility and morality can be useful to im/politeness scholarship. In our case study, we briefly illustrate the application of moral psychology models to the analysis of im/politeness by drawing from Rai and Fiske’s Relationship Regulation Theory and conclude the chapter offering suggestions for new avenues of research that could be explored not only by im/politeness scholars but also by researchers working in other sub-fields of sociopragmatics.
This chapter traces how the material conditions and themes of Ibsen’s oeuvre reveal his interest in the culture of capitalism. The transformation of literary markets, the spread of economic ideas, and Ibsen’s financial struggles early in his career influenced both the content and form of his drama, which pays close attention to such prevalent features of nineteenth-century economic life as debt, credit, financialization and the invisible hand of the market. Although Ibsen never studied economics in depth, his own investment activities, coupled with his talent for observation, allowed him to capture European modernity in its transition from Christian ethos to the secular values of capitalism.
This chapter reveals the elaboration of a set of critical priorities, transition prime among them, crystallised by Aaron Hill in the 1730s. Offering what he claimed to be a purified version of pantomime’s techniques for arresting attention, Hill wrote of how actors could become a ‘true FAUSTUS’ for the theatres through transition, creating iconic and dynamic moments of suspension during which they could shift mind and body from one passion to another. Hill’s emphases continue into the time of David Garrick, whose transitions into ‘pensively preparatory attitudes’ were praised as intellectual achievements and blamed as pantomimical tricks. Ultimately, pauses and the transitions that occurred upon them became moments when an actor could be described as asserting their artistic autonomy and the focal point of critical attention. The realisation of Hill’s dreams — a theatre where sophisticated emotion replaced slapstick motion as the key source of spectacle — soon, however, risked becoming a Faustian pact, for an insight into the transitions of a play seemed to demand as much private attention to the page as public engagement with the stage.
In his Foundations of Natural Right, J. G. Fichte advances the innovative thesis that the theory of right is independent of, or separate from, moral theory. Although Fichte is concerned to stress the originality of his approach, he refers approvingly to some “excellent hints” in the writings of J. B. Erhard. Given the recent scholarly interest in Fichte’s account of the relationship between right and morality, it is surprising that Erhard’s position is seldom discussed. Where it is discussed, it is often presented as merely a hesitant precursor of Fichte’s position. This paper argues that Erhard’s account of the relationship between right and morality constitutes a distinctive and philosophically compelling position. I reconstruct Erhard’s account of the relationship between right and morality. I argue that Erhard’s position is best characterized as focusing on the dynamic interplay between the theory of right and the requirements of morality as articulated by Kantian moral theory. I demonstrate the coherence and significance of Erhard’s position by considering it in relation to a central debate in the philosophy of law—the debate between legal positivism and natural law theory.
Diderot and Rousseau were friends and then enemies, and they were also both major writers of the Enlightenment. They argued that human nature should be understood and valued, and they argued against anything that constrained it, as they considered that all suffering was destructive. Fiction was part of their argumentative arsenal, and perhaps even the tool they felt was most effective, as it works through the imagination on the emotions. 'Natural' reactions of dismay or distress at injustice or cruelty could 'enlighten' the reader at an emotional and therefore natural level, and create new ways of seeing that rejected harsh convention and promoted natural morality. This chapter tracks these aspects through their fictional and non-fictional works, showing how central they are to all their writing. We also look at the friendship of these two writers, and at the publication history of their fictional work.
This chapter sets out the idea of the moral economy of elections in more theoretical detail, locating it in the context of a particular theoretical approach to the state that draws inspiration from the work of Timothy Mitchell and others, as well as elaborating the description of the patrimonial and civic registers. The chapter also sets out the relationship of this moral economy approach to analytical models that foregound the idea of the norm, arguing that the affective power of the behaviours and language on political subjectivity is better captured by the language of virtue and morality. The chapter concludes with a brief description of three moments that help reveal the tensions between registers of virtue that shape the moral economy of elections.
As Socrates famously noted, there is no more important question than how we ought to live. The answer to this question depends on how the reasons that we have for living in various different ways combine and compete. To illustrate, suppose that I've just received a substantial raise. What should I do with the extra money? I have most moral reason to donate it to effective charities but most self-interested reason to spend it on luxuries for myself. So, whether I should live my life as I have most moral reason to live it or as I have most self-interested reason to live it depends on how these and other sorts of reasons combine and compete to determine what I have most reason to do, all things considered. This Element seeks to figure out how different sorts of reasons combine and compete to determine how we ought to live.
As Lobban explains, Austin thought of jurisprudence as the study of concepts, principles and distinctions that are common to various, possibly only mature, legal systems. He considers Austin’s command theory and concept of a sovereign and Austin’s thoughts on the relation between law and morality and on legal reasoning and judge-made law. On Austin’s analysis, laws properly so-called, as distinguished from rules of positive morality, are commands issued by the sovereign to the subjects, and that something is a command only if there is a sanction behind it. Lobban considers the objection that the idea of a habit of obedience cannot account for the legal authority of the lawmaker, for the idea of a succession of lawmakers or for the idea of a legally limited lawmaker. Austin argued that there is no necessary connection between law and morality, defended a version of rule-utilitarianism and held that the principle of utility is a good index to divine law. He advocated a textual approach to the interpretation of statutes, holding that the law in a precedent is to be found in its ratio decidendi and that customary rules do not become legal rules until they are recognised by courts.
Borowski argues that Radbruch’s very important criticism against legal positivism is to be found not in his writings on legal positivism but in his own legal philosophy, especially the so-called Radbruch formula; that the Radbruch formula entails a rejection of the separation thesis on both the level of the criteria for the identification of valid legal norms and the level of the nature of law; and that Radbruch’s explicit claim that legal positivism was to blame for the situation in Germany is unconvincing because the Nazis did not, as a matter of fact, hold that law is law and should be applied according to its plain meaning in all circumstances, but were actually willing to apply a statute contrary to its wording if this suited their purposes.
The second chapter examines how public portrayals of local courtrooms continued to change in tandem with the widening reach of summary justice in the second half of the nineteenth century. In this period, magistrates’ courtrooms became among the most common and public sites of personal, concrete contact between ordinary citizens and the state in its various guises. As the advertisements that crowded the pages of the new popular press broadcast the expanding availability of products and services, columns of “Police Intelligence” broadcast the expanding roles of courtrooms and the authority of magistrates, police, and municipal agents. In doing so, they served to delineate that authority in the public eye and to either condone or condemn – largely the former – its expression and to assess the morality of individual responses to it. By portraying these daily encounters between the state and the people, police-court columns offered readers a common standard for defining morality, for determining victims and villains, and for measuring justice and injustice in the courtroom.
Examines the politics of identity, considers the competing policies of multiculturalism and pluralism and reflects on the relative effectiveness of these policies in practice. Deals with civil society and examines how its functioning and sustainability is affected by the church–state relationship. Studies the importance of human rights, giving particular attention to equality law, discusses implications for a democratic society. Examines threats to social stability, including reconciling sharia law with state law; religious manifestation by way of clothing, symbols and practices in public places, etc. It probes the significance of the Christian heritage and considers its effect on minority ethnic and cultural groups.
This chapter introduces the history of manners in Thailand, linking it to the sociological concept of habitus or 'second nature': how historical experience leaves its imprint on the way people speak, act, and think. It surveys the sociological literature about habitus, discussing in particular detail the work of Norbert Elias, including his famous study of the history of manners in Western Europe, The Civilizing Process. The chapter argues that Elias’s concept of a civilizing process may be adapted to the Thai context to better understand how manners in Thailand have evolved. It proposes that the history of manners in Thailand may be divided into four periods: the age of colonialism and absolutism (the second half of the nineteenth century); the age of revolution (the first half of the twentieth century); the age of reaction (the post-World War II period); and the age of democracy and development (since roughly the 1970s). The chapter also discusses the related concepts of civility and civilization.
Hume considered his Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals to be one of his best works. In it he offers his most elegant and approachable account of the origins and scope of morality. With the hope of reaching a broad audience, he argues that morality is neither rigid nor austere, but is rather a product of sentiments that all human beings share, and which they are naturally inclined to recognize and act upon. In this Critical Guide, a team of distinguished scholars discuss each section of the Enquiry, its place in Hume's philosophy as a whole, and its historical context; their topics include the nature of morals, talents and moral virtues, benevolence, sympathy, and the sources of moral disagreement. The volume will be valuable for scholars and advanced students working on Hume.
This chapter examines key assertions about the nature of law and morality under the Xi Jinping administration, identifying that these assertions have been to frame and embed the Chinese Communist Party leadership’s ambitions ‘to lead over everything’ through greater supervision and discipline, including promoting morality-based ‘self-discipline’. In doing so, this chapter firstly looks at the rule of law discourse in the Xi era: how it has come to describe not only state law but also Party rules and modes of governance, including ‘governing the country by moral virtue’. This chapter then identifies how the current discourse has reignited the ideological import of morality from the Mao era and imperial political ideas to affirm the Party’s contemporary moral supremacy to ‘govern the nation according to law’ through socialist core values. Thus in China today, a particular brand of socialist morality is integrated into the overall legal–political mix to shape and justify the ideology of law–morality amalgam being instrumental to the Party’s ambition to bring about a rejuvenated and spiritually civilised well-off society.