A. J. Ayer
5. Morals, Politics, and Religion
4. Reality and appearance: more adventures in metaphysics
James Gordon Finlayson
7. Discourse ethics II: ethical discourse and the political turn
1. Humans and beasts: understanding ourselves
Reason and Belief
Richness and diversity in Indian thought
How do we know?
6. My soul and myself
Problems about the soul
In Greek thought, the soul ( psyche ) is what causes living things ( empsucha ) to be alive. This leaves a large range of questions about the soul open. Our bodies are animated; is what animates them itself some kind of physical body, or is it something of an entirely different kind? If the latter, how is its nature to be understood? Is the soul indissolubly united to the body it animates, so that at death it perishes when the body ceases to be animated – or could it carry
1. Validity: what follows from what?
Through the Looking Glass , Alice meets the logic-chopping pair Tweedledum and Tweedledee ( ). When Alice is lost for words, they go onto the attack:
Stephen Eric Bronner
5. Enlightened illusions
Dialectic of Enlightenment was perhaps the first great critical encounter with modernity undertaken from the Left. It first appeared in a private printing for the Institute with the title Philosophical Fragments in 1944. When it was finally published with Querido Verlag in 1947, however, the original title had been turned into the subtitle. The focus had become more precise. Initially that didn’t help matters: it sold only about two thousand copies. Today, however, Dialectic of Enlightenment is recognized as a landmark of modern philosophy and, arguably, the signature work of critical theory.
4. Reason, knowledge and scepticism
8. Can the study of human behaviour be objective?
10. Why medieval philosophy?
are bothered to learn about it: very few, even, of those (such as professional philosophers) who would be ashamed if their ignorance extended to the philosophy of other periods. And it might seem that here, at the end of this book, there is an easy way to answer the question. Since it is now clear that there was a great deal of excellent philosophy written in the Middle Ages, is there not as much reason to learn about it as to learn about excellent philosophy from any other period?
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?
2. Reason and revelation
The three Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, agree in recognizing a single God who is the source for the existence of all other things, and who has revealed His will to us through a line of prophets. But how should we understand God as a being transcendent beyond all others? What is the nature of the causality He exercised in creating the universe? How does the knowledge granted to the prophet relate to the sort of knowledge available to other humans? If the prophet is also the leader of a community, how does his religious
5. Internalism and externalism
The first-person point of view
Here’s something you probably took yourself to know before reading it here: Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world. But if that fact about Everest didn’t come as news to you, here’s something you probably don’t know: how exactly you originally learned that fact (or any random trivia fact of that sort). According to psychologists who study memory, unless you had a pivotal life experience when you first heard that fact about Everest (like an earthquake hitting at the very moment it was mentioned in your first primary school