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Jonathan Y. Tsou examines and defends positions on central issues in philosophy of psychiatry. The positions defended assume a naturalistic and realist perspective and are framed against skeptical perspectives on biological psychiatry. Issues addressed include the reality of mental disorders; mechanistic and disease explanations of abnormal behavior; definitions of mental disorder; natural and artificial kinds in psychiatry; biological essentialism and the projectability of psychiatric categories; looping effects and the stability of mental disorders; psychiatric classification; and the validity of the DSM's diagnostic categories. The main argument defended by Tsou is that genuine mental disorders are biological kinds with harmful effects. This argument opposes the dogma that mental disorders are necessarily diseases (or pathological conditions) that result from biological dysfunction. Tsou contends that the broader ideal of biological kinds offers a more promising and empirically ascertainable naturalistic standard for assessing the reality of mental disorders and the validity of psychiatric categories.
The theory and practice of civil disobedience has once again taken on import, given recent events. Considering widespread dissatisfaction with normal political mechanisms, even in well-established liberal democracies, civil disobedience remains hugely important, as a growing number of individuals and groups pursue political action. 'Digital disobedients', Black Lives Matter protestors, Extinction Rebellion climate change activists, Hong Kong activists resisting the PRC's authoritarian clampdown…all have practiced civil disobedience. In this Companion, an interdisciplinary group of scholars reconsiders civil disobedience from many perspectives. Whether or not civil disobedience works, and what is at stake when protestors describe their acts as civil disobedience, is systematically examined, as are the legacies and impact of Henry Thoreau, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King.
This Element presents a concise and accessible view of the central arguments of Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Starting from the difficulties found in historical and current debates, drawing on the background of Russell's philosophy, and grounded in the ladder structure expressed in the numbering system of the book, the Element presents the central arguments of the Tractatus in three lines of thought. The first concerns the role of the so-called 'ontology' and its relationship to the method of the Tractatus and its logical symbolism, which displays the formal essence of language and world. The second deals with the symbolic 'formal unity of language' and its role in the 'ladder structure' and explains how and why the book is not 'paradoxically self-defeating'. The third elucidates Wittgenstein's claim to have solved in essentials all philosophical problems, whose very formulation, he says, rests on the 'misunderstanding of the logic of our language'.
Moses Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed (c. 1190) is the greatest and most influential text in the history of Jewish philosophy. Controversial in its day, the Guide directly influenced Aquinas, Spinoza, and Leibniz, and the history of Jewish philosophy took a decisive turn after its appearance. While there continues to be keen interest in Maimonides and his philosophy, this is the first scholarly collection in English devoted specifically to the Guide. It includes contributions from an international team of scholars addressing the most important philosophical themes that range over the three parts of this sprawling work - including topics in the philosophy of language, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of law, ethics, and political philosophy. There are also essays on the Guide's hermeneutic puzzles, and on its overall structure and philosophical trajectory. The volume will be of interest to philosophers, Judaists, theologians, and medievalists.
It is commonly assumed that we conceive of the past and the future as symmetrical. In this book, Fabrizio Cariani develops a new theory of future-directed discourse and thought that shows that our linguistic and philosophical conceptions of the past and future are, in fact, fundamentally different. Future thought and talk, Cariani suggests, are best understood in terms of a systematic analogy with counterfactual thought and talk, and are not just mirror images of the past. Cariani makes this case by developing detailed formal semantic theories as well as by advancing less technical views about the nature of future-directed judgment and prediction. His book addresses in a thought-provoking way several important debates in contemporary philosophy, and his synthesis of parallel threads of research will benefit scholars in the philosophy of language, metaphysics, epistemology, linguistics and cognitive science.
Many people describe themselves as secular rather than religious, but they often qualify this statement by claiming an interest in spirituality. But what kind of spirituality is possible in the absence of religion? In this book, Michael McGhee shows how religious traditions and secular humanism function as 'schools of wisdom' whose aim is to expose and overcome the forces that obstruct justice. He examines the ancient conception of philosophy as a form of ethical self-inquiry and spiritual practice conducted by a community, showing how it helps us to reconceive the philosophy of religion in terms of philosophy as a way of life. McGhee discusses the idea of a dialogue between religion and atheism in terms of Buddhist practice and demonstrates how a non-theistic Buddhism can address itself to theistic traditions as well as to secular humanism. His book also explores how to shift the centre of gravity from religious belief towards states of mind and conduct.
Can the concept of law be indiscriminately extended to times and places in which it did simply not exist? Such an extension is at best useless and at worst misleading. Producing an intelligible jurisprudence of the concept of law means keeping it within the reasonable boundaries of its contemporary common-sense understanding: positive law. Parallel to Western societies in which it firstly emerged, the concept of positive law developed in many places, including countries characterized as Muslim. There, it faced other existing normativities, like customs and the Sharia. This book aims, from the Muslim world's perspective, to clarify the uses of the concept of law and the ways of studying it, to describe some of its historical developments, including the ideas of constitutional law, customary law and forensic evidence, and to describe present-day practices, including reference to law sources, rules and interpretation.
This Element provides an accessible introduction to the contemporary philosophy of causation. It introduces the reader to central concepts and distinctions (type vs token causation, probabilistic vs deterministic causation, difference-making, interventions, overdetermination, pre-emption) and to key tools (structural equations, graphs, probabilistic causal models) drawn upon in the contemporary debate. The aim is to fuel the reader's interest in causation, and to equip them with the resources to contribute to the debate themselves. The discussion is historically informed and outward-looking. 'Historically informed' in that concise accounts of key historical contributions to the understanding of causation set the stage for an examination of the latest research. 'Outward looking' in that illustrations are provided of how the philosophy of causation relates to issues in the sciences, law, and elsewhere. The aim is to show why the study of causation is of critical importance, besides being fascinating in its own right.
Authored by an interdisciplinary team of experts, including historians, classicists, philosophers and theologians, this original collection of essays offers the first authoritative analysis of the multifaceted reception of Greek ethics in late antiquity and Byzantium (ca. 3rd-14th c.), opening up a hitherto under-explored topic in the history of Greek philosophy. The essays discuss the sophisticated ways in which moral themes and controversies from antiquity were reinvigorated and transformed by later authors to align with their philosophical and religious outlook in each period. Topics examined range from ethics and politics in Neoplatonism and ethos in the context of rhetorical theory and performance to textual exegesis on Aristotelian ethics. The volume will appeal to scholars and students in philosophy, classics, patristic theology, and those working on the history of education and the development of Greek ethics.
What model of knowledge does Plato's Socrates use? In this book, Nicholas D. Smith argues that it is akin to knowledge of a craft which is acquired by degrees, rather than straightforward knowledge of facts. He contends that a failure to recognize and identify this model, and attempts to ground ethical success in contemporary accounts of propositional or informational knowledge, have led to distortions of Socrates' philosophical mission to improve himself and others in the domain of practical ethics. He shows that the model of craft-knowledge makes sense of a number of issues scholars have struggled to understand, and makes a case for attributing to Socrates a very sophisticated and plausible view of the improvability of the human condition.
What are the metaphysical commitments which best 'make sense' of our scientific practice (rather than our scientific theories)? In this book, Andreas Hüttemann provides a minimal metaphysics for scientific practice, i.e. a metaphysics that refrains from postulating any structure that is explanatorily irrelevant. Hüttemann closely analyses paradigmatic aspects of scientific practice, such as prediction, explanation and manipulation, to consider the questions whether and (if so) what metaphysical presuppositions best account for these practices. He looks at the role which scientific generalisation (laws of nature) play in predicting, testing, and explaining the behaviour of systems. He also develops a theory of causation in terms of quasi-inertial processes and interfering factors, and he proposes an account of reductive practices that makes minimal metaphysical assumptions. His book will be valuable for scholars and advanced students working in both philosophy of science and metaphysics.
In this book, Paul Moser explores Jesus' role as God's filial inquirer and clarifies a method of inquiry regarding Jesus, one that offers a compelling explanation regarding his experiential impact and his audience's response. Moser's method values the roles of history and moral/religious experience in inquiry about him, and it saves inquirers from distorting biases in their inquiry. His study illuminates Jesus' puzzling features, including his challenging question for inquirers of him (Who do you say I am?), his distinctive experience of God as father, his reference to himself as 'the son of man', his attitude toward his suffering and death, his unique role in the kingdom of God, and his understanding of his allegedly miraculous signs and of his parables and good news. The book also makes sense of evidence for the reality and the main purpose of Jesus.
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.
Which language should philosophers use: technical or common language? In a book as important for intellectual historians as it is for philosophers, Lodi Nauta addresses a vital question which still has resonance today: is the discipline of philosophy assisted or disadvantaged by employing a special vocabulary? By the Middle Ages philosophy had become a highly technical discipline, with its own lexicon and methods. The Renaissance humanist critique of this specialised language has been dismissed as philosophically superficial, but the author demonstrates that it makes a crucial point: it is through the misuse of language that philosophical problems arise. He charts the influence of this critique on early modern philosophers, including Hobbes and Locke, and shows how it led to the downfall of medieval Aristotelianism and the gradual democratization of language and knowledge. His book will be essential reading for anyone interested in the transition from medieval to modern philosophy.
The De incessu animalium forms an integral part of Aristotle's biological corpus but is one of the least studied Aristotelian works both by ancient and modern interpreters. Yet it is a treatise where we can see, with some clarity and detail, Aristotle's methodology at work. This volume contains a new critical edition of the Greek text, an English translation, and nine in-depth interpretative essays. A general introduction that focuses on the explanatory strategies adopted by Aristotle in the De incessu animalium plus a historical essay on the reception of this work in antiquity and beyond open the volume. No other work of this kind has been published in any modern language.
Ecology is indispensable to understanding the biological world and addressing the environmental problems humanity faces. Its philosophy has never been more important. In this book, James Justus introduces readers to the philosophically rich issues ecology poses. Besides its crucial role in biological science generally, climate change, biodiversity loss, and other looming environmental challenges make ecology's role in understanding such threats and identifying solutions to them all the more critical. When ecology is applied and its insights marshalled to address these problems and guide policy formation, interesting philosophical issues emerge. Justus sets them out in detail, and explores the often ethically charged dimensions of applied ecological science, using accessible language and a wealth of scientifically-informed examples.
The Cambridge Companion to the Apostolic Fathers offers an informative introduction to the extant body of Christian texts that existed beside and after the New Testament known to us as the apostolic fathers. Featuring cutting-edge research by leading scholars, it explores how the early Church expanded and evolved over the course of the first and second centuries as evidenced by its textual history. The volume includes thematic essays on imperial context, the relationship between Christianity and Judaism, the growth and diversification of the early church, influences and intertextuality, and female leaders in the early church. The Companion contains ground-breaking essays on the individual texts with specific attention given to debates of authorship, authenticity, dating, and theological texture. The Companion will serve as an essential resource for instructors and students of the first two centuries of Christianity.
In antiquity living beings are inextricably linked to the cosmos as a whole. Ancient biology and cosmology depend upon one another and therefore a complete understanding of one requires a full account of the other. This volume addresses many philosophical issues that arise from this double relation. Does the cosmos have a soul of its own? Why? Is either of these two disciplines more basic than the other, or are they at the same explanatory level? What is the relationship between living things and the cosmos as a whole? If the cosmos is an animate intelligent being, what is the nature of its thoughts and actions? How do these relate to our own thoughts and actions? Do they pose a threat to our autonomy as subjects and agents? And what is the place of zoogony in cosmogony? A distinguished international team of contributors provides original essays discussing these questions.
Why is sport so important among participants and spectators when its goals seem so pointless? Stephen Mumford's book introduces the reader to a host of philosophical topics found in sport, and argues that sports activities reflect diverse human experiences - including important values that we continue to contest. The author explores physicality, competition, how sport is best defined, ethics in sport, and issues of inclusion such as disability sports, the gender divide, and transgender athletes. His book is written for anyone who is thoughtful, a sports enthusiast, or both, and will deepen our understanding of sport and its place in our lives. This new series offers short and personal perspectives by expert thinkers on topics that we all encounter in our everyday lives.
Is work as we know it disappearing? And if so why should we care? These questions are explored by Raymond Geuss in this compact but sweeping survey which integrates conceptual analysis, historical reflection, autobiography and social commentary. Geuss explores our concept of work and its origins in industrial production, the incentives and compulsions which societies use to get us to work, and the powerful hold which the work ethic has over so many of us. He also looks at dissatisfaction with work - which is as old as work itself - and at various radical proposals for doing away with it, and at the seemingly irreversible growth of unemployment as a result of mechanisation. His book will interest anyone who wishes to understand the place of work in our world. This new series offers short and personal perspectives by expert thinkers on topics that we all encounter in our everyday lives.