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Philosophy > Ethics and Moral Philosophy

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Grounding Knowledge Cover

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Grounding Knowledge

Environmental Philosophy, Epistemology, and Place

Christopher J. Preston

Mountains and freeways, oceans and apartment buildings, trees and automobiles: such things lend shape to mental activity, says Christopher J. Preston. Yet Western epistemology, since its origins, has neglected these material factors. Even postmodern perspectives on how we think and know continue to emphasize social and cultural factors over the physical environment.

Grounding Knowledge claims that one of the unforeseen consequences of this anthropocentrism has been to ignore the epistemic argument for maintaining diverse natural environments. Grounding Knowledge supplies that argument. Preston first traces the separation of place and mind in Western epistemology. Drawing connections between skepticism and ungrounded knowledge, he then explores how a common insight in the epistemologies of both Kant and Quine sets the scene for more situated accounts of knowledge. After showing how science studies and cognitive science have both recently moved in this direction, Preston draws further evidence for his thesis from fields as far apart as evolutionary biology, anthropology, and religious studies. He asks what these ideas in contemporary epistemology and environmental philosophy mean for environmental policy, concluding that the grounding of knowledge strongly suggests epistemic reasons for the protection of a full range of physical environments in their natural condition.

Grounding Knowledge comes at a time of increasing dialogue between the sciences and the humanities about our rootedness in all of our different "worlds." Preston hopes to persuade his readers that "it is not only in our biological but also in our cognitive interests to protect these roots."

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Habits of Whiteness

A Pragmatist Reconstruction

Terrance MacMullan

Habits of Whiteness offers a new way to talk about race and racism by focusing on racial habits and how to change them. According to Terrance MacMullan, the concept of racial whiteness has undermined attempts to create a truly democratic society in the United States. By getting to the core of the racism that lives on in unrecognized habits, MacMullan argues clearly and charitably for white folk to recognize the distance between their color-blind ideals and their actual behavior. Revitalizing the work of W. E. B. Du Bois and John Dewey, MacMullan shows how it is possible to reconstruct racial habits and close the gap between people. This forthright and persuasive analysis of the impulses of whiteness ultimately reorganizes them into something more compatible with our country's increasingly multicultural heritage.

Hans Jonas’s Ethic of Responsibility Cover

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Hans Jonas’s Ethic of Responsibility

From Ontology to Ecology

Articulates the fundamental importance of ontology to Hans Jonas’s environmental ethics.

The Harmony of Goodness Cover

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The Harmony of Goodness

Mutuality and Moral Living According to John Duns Scotus

by Mary Beth Ingham

Since the first publication of John Duns Scotus: The Harmony of Goodness in 1996, much work has appeared in print on Scotus’s theological and philosophical vision including the gradual completion of the Vatican edition of Scotus’s Ordinatio. Various congresses and international gatherings continue to highlight the important significance of this great medieval thinker for the new millennium. Drawing upon the work of several significant scholars combined with her own deepened conviction that understanding Scotus’s moral philosophy and theology must be understood within the broader context of Franciscan spirituality including the role of Stoic and monastic influences on the medieval Franciscans, , Mary Beth Ingham, C.S.J., offers this new edition of John Duns Scotus: The Harmony of Goodness. Scotus’s articulation of a moral vision to lived harmony and to moral living as a path of beauty is offered anew by Ingham in this new edition.

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Hastings Center Report

Vol. 35 (2005) - vol. 41 (2011)

The Hastings Center Report is a leading journal in bioethics featuring original scholarship and commentary on issues in health, medicine, medical research, and biotechnology as they affect individuals, communities, and societies. It is published by The Hastings Center, an independent, nonpartisan, and nonprofit organization.

Hegel and Shakespeare on Moral Imagination Cover

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Hegel and Shakespeare on Moral Imagination

Study of self-consciousness in Hegel and Shakespeare. In this fascinating book, Jennifer Ann Bates examines shapes of self-consciousness and their roles in the tricky interface between reality and drama. Shakespeare’s plots and characters are used to shed light on Hegelian dialectic, and Hegel’s philosophical works on art and politics are used to shed light on Shakespeare’s dramas. Bates focuses on moral imagination and on how interpretations of drama and history constrain it. For example: how much luck and necessity drive a character’s actions? Would Coriolanus be a better example than Antigone in Hegel’s account of the Kinship-State conflict? What disorients us and makes us morally stuck? The sovereign self, the moral pragmatics of wit, and the relationship between law, tragedy, and comedy are among the multifaceted considerations examined in this incisive work. Along the way, Bates traces the development of deleterious concepts such as fate, anti-Aufhebung, crime, evil, and hypocrisy, as well as helpful concepts such as wonder, judgment, forgiveness, and justice.

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The Heidegger Case: On Philosophy and Politics

"[These] essays together form an extraordinary response, and radical but not self-righteous challenge, to Heidegger's unambiguous complicity with Hitler and Nazism....This book will provoke intense dialogue and controversy about issues which, for too long, too many philosophers have chosen either to gloss over or ignore." —Ronald E. Santoni The relation between Martin Heidegger's philosophical thought and his political commitment has been widely discussed in recent years, following the publication of Victor Farías's controversial study, Heidegger and Nazism, published in this country by Temple University Press. The Heidegger Case is a collection of original essays, by both American and European philosophers, on issues raised by Heidegger's involvement with the Nazis. The contributors consider such matters as the relationship between Heidegger's philosophical theories and his public statements and activities, the ways in which his ideas on social and political life compare with those of other philosophers, and the role of philosophy with respect to politics.

Human Goodness Cover

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Human Goodness

Tuan, Yi-Fu

In his many best-selling books, Yi-Fu Tuan seizes big, metaphysical issues and considers them in uniquely accessible ways. Human Goodness is evidence of this talent and is both as simple, and as epic, as it sounds.
            Genuinely good people and their actions, Tuan contends, are far from boring, naive, and trite; they are complex, varied, and enormously exciting. In a refreshing antidote to skeptical times, he writes of ordinary human courtesies, as simple as busing your dishes after eating, that make society functional and livable. And he writes of extraordinary courage and inventiveness under the weight of adversity and evil. He considers the impact of communal goodness over time, and his sketches of six very different individuals—Confucius, Socrates, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, John Keats, Dr. Albert Schweitzer, and Simone Weil—confirm that there are human lives that can encourage and lead us to our better selves.
 
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the American Association of School Librarians, and Best Books for Special Interests, selected by the Public Library Association

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Hunting, Fishing, and Environmental Virtue

Reconnecting Sportsmanship and Conservation

Charles J. List

The Ideology of Hatred:The Psychic Power of Discourse Cover

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The Ideology of Hatred:The Psychic Power of Discourse

The Psychic Power of Discourse

Niza Yanay

The 21st century might well be called the age of hatred. This is not because there is more violence in the world but because hatred has been transformed from a concept perceived to be a by-product of personal or collective violence into a discursive field. But what if longstanding antagonisms, especially those between social groups, turned out to involve desire rather than revulsion? The Ideology of Hatred develops a psychosocial framework for understanding this new phenomenon by interrogating unconscious mechanisms within national discourse. It opens new and timely venues for thinking about the paradoxes of love and hate while raising questions about social attachment and otherness. Is it possible that hatred operates by maintaining a safe closeness, enhancing the illusion of separateness as well as a sense of proximity at one and the same time? Could it be that love actually survives through the discourse of hatred as an invisible relation of attachment, necessary but unthinkable? A key term in the book is the "political unconscious," a concept signifying the transformation of the unthinkable into a language that disavows the desire of and for the Other. Invoking this and other psychoanalytic concepts, the book proposes that at the heart of all national conflicts lies a riddle: the enigma of desire. The discourse of hatred works today as both a defense mechanism and as a political fantasy whose dream is to annihilate the Other of desire, that familial and different, threatening and intimate Other. Yet because love-in-hatred is denied but not erased, love can therefore also be reimagined. This suggests that untying and recognizing relations of intimacy and dependency can, under certain circumstances, change the discourse of hatred into relations of peace and even friendship. In addition to its strong theoretical component, the book is also based on extensive empirical research, especially into hate relations among Jews and between Jews and Palestinians in Israel.

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