Essays

MacIntyre's Ethics - What is a Social Good?

In order to advance a modern virtue ethics we must reconcile such apparently disparate programs as that of Homer’s, the New Testament’s, and Aristotle’s, among others. Homer, for one, basically translates ‘arete’ as strength, but we may now reiterate this in a broader sense of excellence. Does our own sense of excellence map on to Homer’s sense of strength? Aristotle introduces a word ‘phronesis’ into his virtue theory that goes lost on many.

Denaturalizing Atheism After Kant

I love not men the less, but Nature more — Lord Byron Two related tendencies will be analyzed from the period of German Idealist philosophy, along with an accompanying reading of one theoretical line leading up to its contemporary reception. It will be argued we should wager a thoroughgoing atheism that is conditioned necessarily by a transcendental response as to the status of any given alleged nature. This possibility is only opened up in the history of philosophy beginning most of all with the work of Kant.

Hume's Two Definitions of Subjective Causation

I. Introduction One of the oddities of Hume’s texts is his presentation of two separate definitions of causation, taking each the form of a natural and philosophical relation. He is also considered to rank highly among the tradition of skeptics, wherein all categories of things including causes are often read as fictions. We might wonder if we are to be skeptical enough regarding the limits of what we can say about causation in the first place, how are we to motivate a substantial difference separating the two definitions?

Aesthetic Ends of Biology in Foucault

‘There is no reason for the writing of a book” (Foucault 453). Discipline & Punish opens with an agonizing description of state-sponsored torture and murder. It would seem like an unnecessary obscenity to have to say that Foucault was ‘opposed’ to this tribulation, though of course he would of had to have been. But it is a serious question, whether the text advances this project forward, and in exactly what way.

Each Thing Coincides With Nothing

The world we find ourselves immersed in is both composed of and populated by apparently many individually separated things, i.e. people, tools, buildings, other animals, planets, atoms, and so on. We seem to have the common intuition that each and every thing there is coincides with nothing or, in other words, that each thing is itself and not some other thing. To put it yet another way, any two given things can neither be present in the same space nor share the same place at the same time.