10. Can there be objectivity in taste?
Julian V. Roberts
4. Why punish … and how?
why punishment is imposed, and we need to justify the penalties we impose in individual cases. Legal justifications for punishment reflect one of two schools of thought.
How do we know?
Philosophers often have reason to place the human being at the centre of their enquiry. An epistemologist who asks ‘What can I know?’ can be expected to discuss the status of the knower. For a phenomenologist such as Husserl, exploring the relationship between, on the one hand, the ‘transcendental’ ego, subject, or consciousness and, on the other, its objects, the human being is central. (Heidegger often criticizes these philosophers for saying too little about the Being of the subject.)
But if we are concerned about Being and beings, the human being seems to have no privileged status. It
8. Temporality, transcendence, and freedom
Time has now come into its own. Dasein can only be resolute in time or over time. But we should not say that Dasein is ‘in’ time or ‘over’ time. Time is not a container that Dasein is in, any more than the world is. In fact what is primary is not time ( Zeit ), but Dasein’s timeliness or temporality ( Zeitlichkeit ). This is a standard move in Heidegger: the primary phenomenon is not the world, space, time, or history, but Dasein’s Being-in-the-world, Dasein’s spatiality, Dasein’s temporality, or Dasein’s historicity. What looks like
3. The immorality of an age
Kierkegaard's reaction to the developments described in the last chapter was a complex one. As he made abundantly clear in various of his writings, he fully appreciated the devastating objections which Kant had brought against the project of trying to prove by theoretical means the fundamental tenets of Christian orthodoxy. What, on the other hand, seemed to him to be quite unacceptable were the different attempts that had been made to resolve the issues that Kant's critical philosophy had left in its wake. For, in one way or another, these amounted to endeavours to
7. Self-determination and the will
2. The moral status of animals
9. Can there be objectivity in ethics?
Ronald de Sousa
There are two tragedies in life: the first is not to get what you want; the other is to get it.
What does the lover want?
If there is one thing Diotima got right, it was that love essentially involves desire. But what is desire? And what sorts of desire are characteristic of love?
A Very Short Introduction
Jamie A. Davies
8. Cultural impact
Science is not an isolated enterprise: it is affected by, and in turn affects, broader society and culture. Synthetic biology has changed aspects of education; has stimulated artists, writers, and film-makers; and has caught the interest of philosophers, ethicists, campaigners, and legislators. This final chapter gives a taste of the wider implications of the technologies described earlier in this book.
1. Hegel's times and life
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was born in Stuttgart in 1770. His father was a minor civil servant at the court of the Duchy of Württemberg. Other relatives were teachers or Lutheran ministers. There is nothing particularly extraordinary to relate about his life, but the times in which he lived were momentous, politically, culturally, and philosophically.
In 1789 news of the fall of the Bastille reverberated around Europe. It is of this moment that Wordsworth wrote:
Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,
But to be young was very heaven!
2. Heidegger’s philosophy
Heidegger’s admirers differ over whether he produced a second great work, and if so, which it is; the Nietzsche lectures or the Contributions to Philosophy (Of the Event) , drafted between 1936 and 1938, but published only in 1989, as well as other works, are often nominated. But there is general agreement that he wrote one great work, and that it is BT.
BT bears comparison with Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit , if not with Plato’s Republic or Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason . It is by far the most
Stephen Eric Bronner
what is critical theory?
Apology tells how Socrates was condemned by the Athenian citizenry for corrupting the morals of the young and doubting the gods. There was some truth to that complaint. Socrates called conventional wisdom into question. He subjected long-standing beliefs to rational scrutiny and speculated about concerns that projected beyond the existing order. What became known as “critical theory” was built upon this legacy. The new philosophical tendency was generated between World War I and World War II, and its most important representatives would wage an unrelenting assault on the exploitation, repression, and alienation embedded within
Stephen Eric Bronner
8. The great refusal
Telos and New German Critique began gaining an audience and publicizing its most important representatives. Complicated ideas about alienation, the domination of nature, regression, utopia, and the culture industry made critical theory relevant for young intellectuals who were coming of age amid the turbulence of the times and trying to make sense of what was happening around them. But the rebellion and the solidarity of the young employed the culture industry. That made its radical character no less real. It soon enough became apparent that art is not a lost cause even after
4. Rights and the ‘right to have rights’
A Very Short Introduction