If a country’s Gross Domestic Product increases each year, but so does the percentage of its people deprived of basic education, health care, and other opportunities, is that country really making progress? If we rely on conventional economic indicators, can we ever grasp how the world’s billions of individuals are really managing?
In this powerful critique, Martha Nussbaum argues that our dominant theories of development have given us policies that ignore our most basic human needs for dignity and self-respect. For the past twenty-five years, Nussbaum has been working on an alternate model to assess human development: the Capabilities Approach. She and her colleagues begin with the simplest of questions: What is each person actually able to do and to be? What real opportunities are available to them?
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Empathy has for a long time, at least since the eighteenth century, been seen as centrally important in relation to our capacity to gain a grasp of the content of other people's minds, and predict and explain what they will think, feel, and do; and in relation to our capacity to respond toothers ethically. In addition, empathy is seen as having a central role in aesthetics, in the understanding of our engagement with works of art and with fictional characters. A fuller understanding of empathy is now offered by the interaction of research in science and the humanities. Empathy: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives draws together nineteen original chapters by leading researchers across several disciplines, together with an extensive Introduction by the editors. The individual chapters reveal how important it is, in a wide range of fields of enquiry, tobring to bear an understanding of the role of empathy in its various guises. This volume offers the ideal starting-point for the exploration of this intriguing aspect of human life.
The Flame of Eternityprovides a reexamination and new interpretation of Nietzsche's philosophy and the central role that the concepts of eternity and time, as he understood them, played in it. According to Krzysztof Michalski, Nietzsche's reflections on human life are inextricably linked to time, which in turn cannot be conceived of without eternity. Eternity is a measure of time, but also, Michalski argues, something Nietzsche viewed first and foremost as a physiological concept having to do with the body. The body ages and decays, involving us in a confrontation with our eventual death. It is in relation to this brute fact that we come to understand eternity and the finitude of time. Nietzsche argues that humanity has long regarded the impermanence of our life as an illness in need of curing. It is this "pathology" that Nietzsche called nihilism. Arguing that this insight lies at the core of Nietzsche's philosophy as a whole, Michalski seeks to explain and reinterpret Nietzsche's thought in light of it. Michalski maintains that many of Nietzsche's main ideas--including his views on love, morality (beyond good and evil), the will to power, overcoming, the suprahuman (or theoverman, as it is infamously referred to), the Death of God, and the myth of the eternal return--take on new meaning and significance when viewed through the prism of eternity.
"There is something of a paradox about our access to ancient Greek religion. We know too much, and too little. The materials that bear on it far outreach an individual's capacity to assimilate: so many casual allusions in so many literary texts over more than a millennium, so many direct or indirect references in so many inscriptions from so many places in the Greek world, such an overwhelming abundance of physical remains. But genuinely revealing evidence does not often cluster coherently enough to create a vivid sense of the religious realities of a particular time and place. Amid a vast archipelago of scattered islets of information, only a few are of a size to be habitable."-from the Preface
In On Greek Religion, Robert Parker offers a provocative and wide-ranging entrée into the world of ancient Greek religion, focusing especially on the interpretive challenge of studying a religious system that in many ways remains desperately alien from the vantage point of the twenty-first century. One of the world's leading authorities on ancient Greek religion, Parker raises fundamental methodological questions about the study of this vast subject. Given the abundance of evidence we now have about the nature and practice of religion among the ancient Greeks-including literary, historical, and archaeological sources-how can we best exploit that evidence and agree on the central underlying issues? Is it possible to develop a larger, "unified" theoretical framework that allows for coherent discussions among archaeologists, anthropologists, literary scholars, and historians?
This volume contains thirty-one state-of-the-art contributions from leading figures in the study of emotion today. The volume addresses all the central philosophical issues in current emotion research, including: the nature of emotion and of emotional life; the history of emotion from Plato to Sartre; emotion and practical reason; emotion and the self; emotion, value, and morality; and emotion, art and aesthetics.
Anyone interested in the philosophy of emotion, and its wide-ranging implications in other related fields such as morality and aesthetics, will want to consult this book. It will be a vital resource not only for scholars and graduate students but also for undergraduates who are finding their way into this fascinating topic
In this urbane and witty book, Ronald de Sousa disputes the widespread notion that reason and emotion are natural antagonists. He argues that emotions are a kind of perception, that their roots in the paradigm scenarios in which they are learned give them an essentially dramatic structure, and that they have a crucial role to-play in rational beliefs, desires, and decisions by breaking the deadlocks of pure reason.The book's twelve chapters take up the following topics: alternative models of mind and emotion; the relation between evolutionary, physiological, and social factors in emotions; a taxonomy of objects of emotions; assessments of emotions for correctness and rationality; the regulation by emotions of logical and practical reasoning; emotion and time; the mechanism of emotional self-deception; the ethics of laughter; and the roles of emotions in the conduct of life. There is also an illustrative interlude, in the form of a lively dialogue about the ideology of love, jealousy, and sexual exclusiveness.Ronald de Sousa teaches philosophy at the University of Toronto. A Bradford Book.
For roughly eighty-five years-between 1725 and 1810-America was agitated by what can only be described as a revolutionary movement. This was not the well-know political revolution that culminated in the War of Independence, but a revolution in religious and ethical thought. Its proponents called their radical viewpoint "deism." They challenged Christian orthodoxy and instead endorsed a belief system that celebrated the power of human reason and saw nature as God's handiwork and the only "revelation" of divine will.
Sacrifice and Value: A Kantian Interpretation argues that we create values by making sacrifices. Values don't exist outside of us; they exist only when we give a gift without expecting a return. As Sidney Axinn demonstrates, we must have values in order to make decisions, to have friends or lovers, and to choose goals of any sort. Sacrifice is basic to almost everything of importance: care, love, religion, patriotism, loyalties, warfare, friendship, gift giving, morality. Axin uses Aristotle, Cicero, and Kant, and contemporary philosophers Oldenquest, Frankfurt, Friedman, Starobinski and others to analyze the role of sacrifice. A novel feature is the attention given to Kant's use of sacrifice. Sacrifice and Value will interest advanced students and scholars of philosophy ”particularly value theory and moral theory ”as well as women's studies, religion, political theory, and psychology.
Philosophers since Aristotle have explored emotion, and the study of emotion has always been essential to the love of wisdom. In recent years Anglo-American philosophers have rediscovered and placed new emphasis on this very old discipline. The view that emotions are ripe for philosophicalanalysis has been supported by a considerable number of excellent publications. In this volume, Robert Solomon brings together some of the best Anglo-American philosophers now writing on the philosophy of emotion, with chapters from philosophers who have distinguished themselves in the field ofemotion research and have interdisciplinary interests, particularly in the social and biological sciences. The reader will find a lively variety of positions on topics such as the nature of emotion, the category of "emotion," the rationality of emotions, the relationship between an emotion and itsexpression, the relationship between emotion, motivation, and action, the biological nature versus social construction of emotion, the role of the body in emotion, the extent of freedom and our control of emotions, the relationship between emotion and value, and the very nature and warrant oftheories of emotion. In addition, this book acknowledges that it is impossible to study the emotions today without engaging with contemporary psychology and the neurosciences, and moreover engages them with zeal. Thus the essays included here should appeal to a broad spectrum of emotion researchersin the various theoretical, experimental, and clinical branches of psychology, in addition to theorists in philosophy, philosophical psychology, moral psychology, and cognitive science, the social sciences, and literary theory.
Think You Know What the Bible Really Says About Sex? Think Again.
Is premarital sex a sin? When, and in what contexts, is sexual desire appropriate? With whom can I legitimately have sex? Are same-sex relations permissible? With fresh scholarship and unflagging compassion, Jennifer Wright Knust addresses the questions that dominate today's debates over sex and the Bible. At a time when the words ?the Bible says? are too often wielded for social and political gain, it's time to consider what scripture actually does'or does not'say about monogamy, homosexuality, gender roles, and sex.
Epistemology has for a long time focused on the concept of knowledge and tried to answer questions such as whether knowledge is possible and how much of it there is. Often missing from this inquiry, however, is a discussion on the value of knowledge. In The Value of Knowledge and the Pursuit of Understanding Jonathan Kvanvig argues that epistemology properly conceived cannot ignore the question of the value of knowledge. He also questions one of the most fundamental assumptions in epistemology, namely that knowledge is always more valuable than the value of its subparts. Taking Platos' Meno as a starting point of his discussion, Kvanvig tackles the different arguments about the value of knowledge and comes to the conclusion that knowledge is less valuable than generally assumed. Clearly written and well argued, the book will appeal to students and professionals in epistemology.