dunnettreader + reason   65

PJE Kail - UNDERSTANDING HUME'S NATURAL HISTORY OF RELIGION (2007) - The Philosophical Quarterly - Wiley Online Library
Hume's ‘Natural History of Religion’ offers a naturalized account of the causes of religious thought, an investigation into its ‘origins’ rather than its ‘foundation in reason’. Hume thinks that if we consider only the causes of religious belief, we are provided with a reason to suspend the belief. I seek to explain why this is so, and what role the argument plays in Hume's wider campaign against the rational acceptability of religious belief. In particular, I argue that the work threatens a form of fideism which maintains that it is rationally permissible to maintain religious belief in the absence of evidence or of arguments in its favour. I also discuss the ‘argument from common consent’, and the relative superiority of Hume's account of the origins of religious belief.
article  paywall  Wiley  18thC  Hume  Hume-religion  philosophical_anthropology  religious_history  sociology_of_religion  religious_belief  reason  fideism 
november 2016 by dunnettreader
Jennifer Smalligan Marušić - Refuting The Whole System? Hume's Attack on Popular Religion (2012) - The Philosophical Quarterly - Wiley Online Library
Refuting The Whole System? Hume's Attack on Popular Religion in 'The Natural History of Religion' -- There is reason for genuine puzzlement about Hume's aim in ‘The Natural History of Religion’. Some commentators take the work to be merely a causal investigation into the psychological processes and environmental conditions that are likely to give rise to the first religions, an investigation that has no significant or straightforward implications for the rationality or justification of religious belief. Others take the work to constitute an attack on the rationality and justification of religious belief in general. In contrast to these views, I argue that Hume aims to establish two important claims in ‘The Natural History of Religion’. First, almost all popular religions, including popular monotheism, are deeply superstitious. Second, superstitious monotheism is incompatible with the variety of theism supported by the argument from design. This incompatibility puts significant pressure on the rational acceptability of popular religions.
article  paywall  Wiley  18thC  Hume-religion  Hume-causation  natural_religion  superstition  reason  design-nature 
november 2016 by dunnettreader
Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - James and Dewey on Abstraction, The Pluralist, 07/2014 | via Researchgate
elucidates the abstraction-reification account diagnosed by James and Dewey and locates it in contemporary scientific work. Section 2 -- the complex process of abstraction in James and Dewey, and with a nod to CS Peirce. Identifying 3 stages in the abstraction process— singling out, symbolizing, and systematizing—clarifies the parallels between James’s and Dewey’s analyses. Section 3 -- pragmatists’ warnings against committing abstractionist fallacies. Identifies pernicious reification as neglecting 3 kinds of context: functional, historical, and analytical-level. Both philosophers implored everyday reasoners, scientists, and philosophers to attend to context. Reification, qua pathology of abstraction, results in disease symptoms such as universalized, narrowed, and/ or ontologized abstractions. Acknowledging the importance of biographical and social conditions, the genealogy and mutual influence of James’s and Dewey’s perspectives are traced, especially in endnotes. Section 4 -- how James and Dewey avoid reifying the very distinction with which they are weaving their analysis: the abstract vs. the concrete. Conclusion -- following the pragmatic forward-looking attitude, a gesture is made toward developing medicines (pluralism and assumption archaeology) out of the abstraction-reification account. After all, pernicious reification is to abstraction as disease is to health. Such treatments permit de-reifying ill models in contemporary science. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  pragmatism  James_William  Dewey  Peirce  epistemology  logic-Dewey  abstraction  essence  essentialism  reification  sociology_of_knowledge  sociology_of_science  sociology_of_science_&_technology  scientific_method  scientific_culture  induction  modelling  reason  downloaded 
january 2016 by dunnettreader
Étienne Bimbenet, review - Claude Romano, Au cœur de la raison, la phénoménologie - La Vie des idées - 17 décembre 2010
Recensé : Claude Romano, Au cœur de la raison, la phénoménologie. Gallimard (Folio Essais), 2010 ; 1141 p., 13, 50 €. -- Repenser la phénoménologie dans ses présupposés les plus forts, et la transformer de l’intérieur : tel est le geste théorique de Claude Romano qui, à partir des objections formulées par la philosophie analytique et l’empirisme logique, défend une phénoménologie redonnant toute sa place à la sensibilité dans l’analyse de l’expérience et la saisie des essences. -- downloaded pdf to Note
books  reviews  French_language  intellectual_history  20thC  post-WWII  21stC  continental_philosophy  phenomenology  Heidegger  Merleau-Ponty  Levinas  analytical_philosophy  Logical_Positivism  empiricism  metaphysics  experience  sensation  reason  rationality  epistemology  downloaded 
december 2015 by dunnettreader
John Patrick Diggins - Arthur O. Lovejoy and the Challenge of Intellectual History (2006) | JSTOR - Journal of the History of Ideas
Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 67, No. 1 (Jan., 2006), pp. 181-208 -- another attack on Pragmatism as deconstruction, postmodern assault on Enlightenment etc etc -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  intellectual_history  historiography  18thC  19thC  20thC  Lovejoy  Enlightenment  Enlightenment_Project  reason  modernity  Modernism  pragmatism  postmodern  deconstruction  epistemology  power-knowledge  downloaded 
october 2015 by dunnettreader
David Dwan - Edmund Burke and the Emotions | JSTOR - Journal of the History of Ideas (2011)
Vol. 72, No. 4 (October 2011), pp. 571-593 -- very extensive bibliography -- Scholarship on Burke, his aesthetics, 18thC aesthetics more generally, Enlightenment Reason, moral sentiment, sentimental lit, etc -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  intellectual_history  political_history  political_culture  18thC  Burke  reason  emotions  sublime  aesthetics  sentimentalism  moral_philosophy  political_philosophy  moral_sentiments  judgment-political  judgment-aesthetics  judgment-emotions  French_Revolution  Rousseau  Wollstonecraft  civil_society  bibliography 
october 2015 by dunnettreader
Carlos Fraenkel - Spinoza on Miracles and the Truth of the Bible (JHI 2013) | Academia.edu
Journal of the History of Ideas, Volume 74, Number 4, October 2013,pp. 643-658 (Article) -- DOI: 10.1353/jhi.2013.0038. -- "the God of the Bible is the God of the philosophers" -- reason and revelation have to be totally separate - Maimonides applying reason to Hebrew scripture was in error of "dogmatism" -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  intellectual_history  religious_history  Bible-as-history  Biblical_authority  Biblical_criticism  politics-and-religion  politico-theology  Spinoza  Judaism  reason  religious_belief  miracles  downloaded 
october 2015 by dunnettreader
Timothy Michael - British Romanticism and the Critique of Political Reason (Dec 2015) | JHU Press
What role should reason play in the creation of a free and just society? Can we claim to know anything in a field as complex as politics? And how can the cause of political rationalism be advanced when it is seen as having blood on its hands? These are the questions that occupied a group of British poets, philosophers, and polemicists in the years following the French Revolution. (..) argues that much literature of the period is a trial, or a critique, of reason in its political capacities and a test of the kinds of knowledge available to it. For Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Burke, Wollstonecraft, and Godwin, the historical sequence of revolution, counter-revolution, and terror in France—and radicalism and repression in Britain—occasioned a dramatic reassessment of how best to advance the project of enlightenment. The political thought of these figures must be understood, Michael contends, in the context of their philosophical thought. Major poems of the period, including The Prelude, The Excursion, and Prometheus Unbound, are in this reading an adjudication of competing political and epistemological claims. This book bridges for the first time two traditional pillars of Romantic studies: the period’s politics and its theories of the mind and knowledge. Combining literary and intellectual history, it provides an account of British Romanticism in which high rhetoric, political prose, poetry, and poetics converge in a discourse of enlightenment and emancipation.
books  18thC  19thC  intellectual_history  literary_history  British_history  English_lit  political_philosophy  political_culture  Enlightenment  epistemology  moral_philosophy  mind  Romanticism  poetry  French_Enlightenment  French_Revolution  French_Revolution-impact  French_Revolutionary_Wars  Wordsworth  Coleridge  Shelley  Burke  Wollstonecraft  Godwin_Wm  reason  rationality  perception  judgment-political  judgment-independence  Counter-Enlightenment  counter-revolution  political_discourse  poetics  rhetoric-political  freedom  civil_liberties  civil_society  liberty-positive  scepticism 
august 2015 by dunnettreader
Roundtable - Romanticism, Enlightenment, and Counter-Enlightenment | Philoctetes Center - April 17, 2010
, 2:30 PM
Romanticism, Enlightenment, and Counter-Enlightenment

Participants: Akeel Bilgrami, Taylor Carman, Garrett Deckel, Colin Jager, Joel Whitebook Isaiah Berlin introduced the work of a range of philosophers in the German romantic and German idealist tradition to the English-speaking world. His fascination with some of their ideas was accompanied by a concomitant anxiety about them. The anxiety issued from his staunch liberal commitment to the orthodox Enlightenment. Yet, the fascination was an implicit acknowledgement on his part of some of the limitations of the Enlightenment's liberal ideas. This roundtable will look at this underlying tension in Berlin, which many liberals feel to this day. Panelists will probe the role of reason, perception, and emotion in our individual and political psychology, and ask the question of whether or not there is something for liberalism to learn from what Berlin—rightly or wrongly—called the "Counter-Enlightenment." -- see YouTube bookmark for direct link -- video also embedded in program page
video  intellectual_history  18thC  19thC  Enlightenment  Counter-Enlightenment  Romanticism  Enlightenment_Project  Enlightenment-ongoing  German_Idealism  liberalism  Berlin_Isaiah  reason  rationality  perception  emotions  reason-passions  political_philosophy  political_culture  social_psychology  moral_psychology  nature  nature-mastery  cognition  prejudice  cognitive_bias  mind  mind-body  philosophical_anthropology 
august 2015 by dunnettreader
Emmanuel Bezy, review - Jean-Marie Schaeffer, La fin de l’exception humaine (2007) -- Pour une histoire naturelle de l’homme - La Vie des idées - 21 janvier 2008
Gallimard, 2007, 446 p., 21,50 euros. -- Dans son dernier essai, Jean-Marie Schaeffer s’éloigne de ses thèmes habituels de recherche (le langage, la littérature, la fiction, l’esthétique) et propose une réflexion générale sur l’humanité. Il s’agit de dessiner une perspective qui inscrirait cette dernière en continuité avec le vivant. Il présente ce travail comme l’explicitation de l’arrière-plan de ces précédents travaux. L’ambition est de prendre le contre-pied de ce que l’auteur appelle la « Thèse » selon laquelle l’humanité constituerait une exception parmi les vivants. (...) qu’il pense a conduit à une survalorisation des savoirs spéculatifs au détriment des savoirs empiriques. C’est à critiquer cette vision du monde, véritable obstacle au progrès scientifique, et à redonner toute sa légitimité au naturalisme que son ouvrage est consacré. -- downloaded pdf to Note
books  reviews  French_intellectuals  French_language  philosophy  human_nature  metaphysics  imago_dei  animals  reason  speculative_philosoohy  philosophical_anthropology  philosophy_of_language  epistemology-naturalism  lit_crit  aesthetics  philosophy_of_science  mind  cogito  natural_kinds  essence  naturalism  empiricism  biology  evolution  evolutionary_biology  downloaded 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Jean-Claude Monod , review essay - Habermas et la dialectique de la sécularisation | La Vie des idées - 8 décembre 2008
Jürgen Habermas, Entre naturalisme et religion. Les défis de la démocratie, traduit de l’allemand par Christian Bouchindhomme et Alexandre Dupeyrix, Paris, Gallimard, 2008, 380 p. 22, 50€. -- Et si la raison, comme le montre aujourd’hui la logique marchande, était finalement bien plus capable de calculer des moyens que de poser des fins ? Le dernier recueil de Jürgen Habermas, le chantre de la raison communicationnelle, témoigne d’un surprenant revirement vers la religion et le registre compassionnel. -- Mots-clés : communication | religion | raison | sécularisation
books  reviews  political_philosophy  social_theory  secularization  post-secular  post-Cold_War  cultural_critique  political_culture  democracy  democracy_deficit  political_participation  values  communication  rationality  empathy  religious_culture  epistemology  epistemology-naturalism  epistemology-moral  means-justify-ends  dialectic-historical  dialogue  public_sphere  public_goods  community  legitimacy  reason  downloaded 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Michael Buckley Political Constructivism | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
(..) while our political actions are assessed against a normative principle, there is no criterion beyond the deliberative process by which the rightness of the principle is assessed; it is authoritative in virtue of being the outcome of a certain kind of deliberative process or a certain form of argument. Consequently, the challenge for constructivism is to explain the appropriateness of the process without appealing to any judgment that is supposed to derive from that process; for if the thought process relied on such a judgment to assess its appropriateness, it would assume the very thing it claims to construct. (..) a great deal of philosophical debate surrounds the appropriateness of the deliberative process, especially as it concerns the metaethical themes of justification and objectivity. (..) despite the extensive literature on the subject, there are 2 general formulations of political constructivism influenced by 2 historical accounts of practical reasons. The first is a deontological account of practical reason that is primarily associated with Kantian ethics. The second is a teleological account of practical reason that is primarily associated with social contract theory. The Kantian and social contract traditions, although offering differing accounts of practical reason, share much in common, and it would not be an exaggeration to cast constructivism as a contemporary attempt to explain the Rousseauian idea of moral freedom as acting on a law one gives oneself complemented by the Kantian idea that the law one gives oneself is out of one’s reason. Political constructivism tries to make this idea clear by identifying a compelling form of normative political analysis with easily understood criteria for thinking about political issues.
political_philosophy  20thC  21stC  metaethics  Rawls  Kant-ethics  Rousseau  social_contract  reason  practical_reason  justification 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Pope Francis - Lumen Fidei (29 June 2013) - ENCYCLICAL LETTER ON FAITH | Vatican
Thanks to faith we have come to understand the unique dignity of each person, something which was not clearly seen in antiquity. In the second century the pagan Celsus reproached Christians for an idea that he considered foolishness and delusion: namely, that God created the world for man, setting human beings at the pinnacle of the entire cosmos. "Why claim that [grass] grows for the benefit of man, rather than for that of the most savage of the brute beasts?"[46] "If we look down to Earth from the heights of heaven, would there really be any difference between our activities and those of the ants and bees?"[47] At the heart of biblical faith is God’s love, his concrete concern for every person, and his plan of salvation which embraces all of humanity and all creation, culminating in the incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Without insight into these realities, there is no criterion for discerning what makes human life precious and unique. Man loses his place in the universe, he is cast adrift in nature, either renouncing his proper moral responsibility or else presuming to be a sort of absolute judge, endowed with an unlimited power to manipulate the world around him.
religious_history  21stC  Catholics  Papacy  faith  revelation  reason  religious_belief  Biblical_exegesis  church_history  Early_Christian  Old_Testament  New_Testament  Augustine  human_rights  human_nature  creation  soteriology  dignity  imago_dei  nature  nature-mastery  modernity  environment  social_thought  poverty  religious_experience  downloaded 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Jag Bhalla - Reason Is Larger Than Science | Big Think - May 2015
by Jag Bhalla “Reason is larger than science.” So Leon Wieseltier reminds us (while defending the humanities against Steven Pinker’s science cheerleading). 1.… -- lots of links -- nice use of Wieseltier while noting where W goes off the rails
reason  rationality  rationality-economics  decision_theory  scientism  humanities  education-higher  disciplines  links  Instapaper  from instapaper
may 2015 by dunnettreader
Nicolaas P. Barr Clingan, review essay on Edward Skidelsky and Tobias Bevc histories of the philosophy of Ernst Cassirer (March 2010) | H-Net Reviews - H-German
Nicolaas P. Barr Clingan. Review of Bevc, Tobias, Kulturgenese als Dialektik von Mythos und Vernunft: Ernst Cassirer und die Kritische Theorie and Skidelsky, Edward, Ernst Cassirer: The Last Philosopher of Culture. H-German, H-Net Reviews. March, 2010. Skidelsky offers a welcome, broad introduction of Cassirer's work, but one that is problematic in its approach to broader issues of philosophy and politics. His more polemic claims, often asserted rather than argued, are unlikely to persuade specialists in intellectual history and may misguide general readers about the complex political contours of continental philosophy. Bevc, in contrast, offers a more focused and systematic comparison of Cassirer's philosophy and Critical Theory. His argument is generally compelling. He also skillfully draws a number of significant parallels that would seem to have been precluded by Adorno's dismissive comment, although Bevc does occasionally overstep in the case of the Frankfurt School. But perhaps this faux pas is fitting for a scholar whose efforts at intellectual and political conciliation were so recklessly dismissed in his own time and remain, as Skidelsky observes, foreign to our contentious age.
books  reviews  kindle-available  intellectual_history  political_culture  20thC  Germany  entre_deux_guerres  Cassirer  Frankfurt_School  Heidegger  culture  symbol  symbols-religious  myth  reason  Enlightenment  Enlightenment_Project  phenomenology  existentialism  philosophy_of_science  philosophy_of_language  philosophy_of_history  human_nature  humanism  anti-humanism  culture_industries  irrationalism  rationalization-institutions  modernity  Marxist  continental_philosophy  neo-Kantian  Adorno 
may 2015 by dunnettreader
Ralph Dumain: Essay: Critique of 'Dialectic of Enlightenment' (2003) | The Autodidact Project
Conclusion -- Now back to a general problem with this book, especially the chapters on the culture industry and anti-semitism: the attempts to tie all these otherwise valuable analyses to the Enlightenment do not work, except under the strained analogy with positivism that surfaces here and there. And as usual, the stray remarks on science and mathematics are all wrong. The most general inadequacy of the book is indicated in its title. The title is incomplete, for the dialectic as I see it is the dialectic of enlightenment and something else. Or perhaps the dialectic of the hidden contradictions in Enlightenment thinkers. But I don't see a true dialectical understanding of Enlightenment here. As I've said, in other works Horkheimer and Adorno show great perspicacity in their grasp of the positivism-lebensphilosophie dichotomy. As I understand Dialectic of Enlightenment so far, I believe they got it wrong. Irrationalism is blamed on the dark side of the Enlightenment, but I see it differently: rationalism and irrationalism coexist in a contradictory ideological and social totality. Enlightenment is only one half of the equation, not an appropriate label for the ideological dynamic as a whole. -- downloaded page as pdf to Note
books  reviews  Enlightenment_Project  Adorno  cultural_critique  culture_industries  Germany  Enlightenment  anti-Semitism  Nazis  dialectic-historical  critical_theory  positivism  scientism  rationalization-institutions  reason  downloaded 
may 2015 by dunnettreader
Marshall Brown, ed. - The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism: Romanticism, Vol. 5 (pbk 2007) | Cambridge University Press
This latest volume in the celebrated Cambridge History of Literary Criticism addresses literary criticism of the Romantic period, chiefly in Europe. Its seventeen chapters are by internationally respected academics and explore a range of key topics and themes. The book is designed to help readers locate essential information and to develop approaches and viewpoints for a deeper understanding of issues discussed by Romantic critics or that were fundamental to their works. Primary and secondary bibliographies provide a guide for further research. **--** Introduction *-* 1. Classical standards in the Romantic period - Paul H. Fry *-* 2. Innovation and modernity Alfredo De Paz *-* 3. The French Revolution - David Simpson *-* 4. Transcendental philosophy and romantic criticism - David Simpson *-* 5. Nature - Helmut J. Schneider *-* 6. Scientific models - Joel Black *-* 7. Religion and literature - E. S. Shaffer
8. Romantic language theory and the art of understanding - Kurt Mueller-Vollmer *-* 9. The Romantic transformation of rhetoric - David Wellbery *-* 10. Romantic irony - Gary Handwerk *-* 11. Theories of genre - Tilottama Rajan *-* 12. Theory of the novel - Marshall Brown *-* 13. The impact of Shakespeare - Jonathan Arac *-* 14. The vocation of criticism and the crisis of the republic of letters - Jon Klancher *-* 15. Women, gender, and literary criticism - Theresa M. Kelley *-* 16. Literary history and historicism - David Perkins *-* 17. Literature and the other arts - Herbert Lindenberger **--** downloaded pdfs of front matter and excerpt to Note
books  English_lit  Romanticism  literary_history  literary_language  literary_theory  lit_crit  18thC  19thC  British_history  cultural_history  literature-and-morality  politics-and-literature  French_Revolution-impact  sociology_of_knowledge  Enlightenment  religious_lit  genre  gender_history  historicism  art_history  art_criticism  novels  rhetoric  rhetoric-writing  philosophy_of_language  Shakespeare-influence  classicism  modernity  German_Idealism  science-public  reason  irony  professionalization  authors-women  subjectivity  nature  downloaded  EF-add 
february 2015 by dunnettreader
Peter Elmer, review - Paul Kleber Monod, Solomon's Secret Arts: the Occult in the Age of Enlightenment (Yale University Press 2013) | Reviews in History
Peter Elmer, University of Exeter -- This important work provides the first informed, well-researched and highly nuanced account of the fortunes of ‘occult’ thought and practice in England from the mid17thC to its demise at the end of the 18thC. Building on the work of a wide range of scholars from various disciplines, (..) the fortunes of the occult are argued to have peaked in the second half of the 17thC, dipped in the period from the Glorious Revolution to 1760, and then re-emerged in the last 4 decades of the 18thC in somewhat different but revitalized form. As Monod shows (..) the occult (defined broadly as alchemy, astrology and natural magic) was rarely perceived as a uniform movement of ideas, its adherents frequently picking and choosing those elements of the ‘occult’ which most appealed to them. It was thus a protean body of ideas, susceptible to frequent re-interpretation according to the personal preoccupations of the initiated. At the same time, while some of its adherents may have (in the earlier period especially) seen it as a body of ideas capable of replacing older systems of science and philosophy, it more often than not was studied and developed alongside other, competing systems of thought. (..) What is invigoratingly original here is Monod’s application of the same accommodating features of occult thinking with regard to Newtonianism and the Enlightenment in the later period. (..) it is hard to disagree with his conclusion that ‘the assumption of many historians, that occult thinking was debunked by experimental science … is essentially wrong’.(..) all the arguments against astrology, alchemy and natural magic had been fully developed long before 1650. This is equally true of witchcraft, (..) The occult was not simply argued out of existence. Only wider factors can help to explain this process. (..) in order to understand this process, we need to pay more heed to the wider social, religious and political context in which these ideas were promoted and debated. -- downloaded as pdf to Note
books  reviews  kindle-available  17thC  18thC  British_history  cultural_history  religious_history  religious_culture  religious_belief  intellectual_history  Scientific_Revolution  scientific_culture  Enlightenment  natural_philosophy  occult  chemistry  alchemy  medicine  Newtonian  astronomy  astrology  magic  hermeticism  esotericism  publishing  Charles_II  court_culture  Church_of_England  witchcraft  political_culture  Tories  dissenters  Evangelical  Whigs  Defoe  Thompson_EP  rationality  reason  social_history  experimental_philosophy  downloaded  EF-add 
january 2015 by dunnettreader
Kenan Malik - THE DEATH OF GOD AND THE FALL OF MAN | Pandaemonium July 2014
Transcript of talk for Institute of Ideas -- The moral vision of modernity may have been, in other words, nourished by the crumbling of the God-ordained order. It was – it had to be – however, also rooted in faith, but a faith of a different kind – faith that humans were capable of acting rationally and morally without guidance from beyond. It was through the 19thC that religious faith truly began to crumble. But it was also in the 19thC that faith in the human capacity to act without God began also to erode. The optimism that had once suffused the humanist impulse began to ebb away and there began to develop a much darker view of what it meant to be human. By the late 19thC European societies came to experience both a crisis of faith and a ‘crisis of reason’, the beginnings of a set of trends that were to become highly significant in the 20thC – the erosion of Enlightenment optimism, a disenchantment with ideas of progress, a disbelief in concepts of truth, the growth of a much darker view of human nature. -- The death of God, in other words, went hand in hand with what we might call, if we were to continue to use religious symbolism, the Fall of Man. And the Fall of Man transformed the meaning of the Death of God. God is a metaphor for the desire for an authority beyond ourselves to frame our existence and guide our lives, the death of God for the insistence on acting without guidance from beyond. There are two aspects to the death of God. The decline of religious belief and the growth of a new faith in the capacity of humans to act without guidance from beyond. The first has always been overstated. The second has always been undervalued. - frames talk around Anscombe and MacIntyre
intellectual_history  religious_history  cultural_history  18thC  19thC  20thC  morality-Christian  religious_belief  ancient_philosophy  ancient_Greece  pagans  gods-antiquity  monotheism  teleology  human_nature  morality-conventional  morality-objective  progress  Enlightenment  Fin-de-Siècle  humanism  anti-humanism  Counter-Enlightenment  political_philosophy  reason  Anscombe  MacIntyre  tradition  identity  autonomy  individualism  community  communitarian  social_order  change-social  historical_change  historicism  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Jack Miles - Tilting Against Naïve Materialism: On Thomas Nagel's "Mind and Cosmos" | The Los Angeles Review of Books - Feb 2013
Nagel is a professed scientific realist. He does not put scientific knowledge in scare quotes. He believes that reason is reliable and that science does engage reality. But when an account of the origin of reason that links it entirely to reproductive success has this self-subversive corollary, he chooses to trust reason and question the account rather than trust the account and question reason.Here, for this reviewer, is the core challenge, the core disturbance, of this challenging and intentionally disruptive work. Mind and Cosmos, which has been taken as an oblique defense of creationism, is actually a defense of reason. Yet it is also a fabulous effort of the imagination. The place of imagination, of fantasy, even of dream-life in the history of human thought is a large one. Nagel admits that he is not a scientist, but it would call for imagination and not just analysis for a scientist in any given field to begin thinking past contemporary science as a whole toward the contours of what might someday succeed it. Unless one is a scientific Whig, one must strongly suspect that something someday will indeed succeed it. Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos does not build a road to that destination, but it is much to have gestured toward a gap in the hills through which a road might someday run. -- Swift would agree
books  reviews  kindle-available  philosophy_of_science  evolutionary_biology  evolution  Darwinism  Nagel  reason  epistemology  teleology  monism  panpsychic_monism  materialism  reductionism  truth  Swift  historiography-Whig  history_of_science  consciousness  mind  cosmology  imagination  creativity  human_nature  evo_psych  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Frans Svensson - THE ROLE OF VIRTUE IN DESCARTES' ETHICAL THEORY, OR: WAS DESCARTES A VIRTUE ETHICIST? | JSTOR: History of Philosophy Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 3 (JULY 2010), pp. 215-236
Looks useful 1st by trying to set criteria to distinguish virtue ethics from concern with virtue in other metaethics (deontology, consequentialism, eudaimonia) - he then looks at Descartes's letters to Queen Christina , supplemented with some remarks on moral psychology in Passions of the Soul. Contra Lisa Shapiro in a recent Blackwell Companion, his verdict is No. -- didn't download
article  jstor  intellectual_history  17thC  metaethics  virtue_ethics  virtue  moral_philosophy  moral_psychology  good  reason  reason-passions  free_will  Descartes  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
"The Modal Status of Kant's Postulate of God's Existence" by Mathew Jonathan Snow | U of Wisconsin Masters thesis (2013)
Masters thesis -- Kant is traditionally read as arguing that moral agents are rationally required to postulate the actual existence of God, but contemporary commentators' reconstructions of the argument only seem sufficient to warrant postulating the merely possible existence of God. There have been three attempts to address this seeming lacuna between what the argument is supposed to justify and what it does justify. Allen Wood defends the traditional interpretation - that Kant postulated the actual existence of God. M Jamie Ferreira proposes a revisionary interpretation - that Kant postulated the possible existence of God. Finally, Paul Guyer simply criticizes Kant for postulating the actual existence of God when his argument only justifies postulating the possible existence of God. I argue that Allen Wood's defense is insufficient to ground the appropriate propositional attitude toward the postulates while M Jamie Ferreira's proposal cannot pass as a reading of Kant. Nonetheless, I argue that Kant need not be criticized because the seeming lacuna does not arise if we are sufficiently sensitive to the modality of the judgment Kant takes to be required for rational pursuit of the highest good. --Snow, Mathew Jonathan, "The Modal Status of Kant's Postulate of God's Existence" (2013). Theses and Dissertations. Paper 308. -- downloaded pdf to Note
thesis  intellectual_history  18thC  Kant-ethics  God-existence  moral_philosophy  reason  practical_reason  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Ulrich Lehner, review - Jeffrey Burson, "The Rise and Fall of Theological Enlightenment: Jean-Martin De Prades and Ideological Polarization in 18thC France" | Theological Studies - 2011
Ulrich Lehner, Marquette University -- Published version. Theological Studies, Vol. 72, (2011): 99–101. ©2011 Theological Studies, Inc. Used with permission. -- Ulrich Lehner. "Review of "The Rise and Fall of Theological Enlightenment: Jean-Martin De Prades and Ideological Polarization in Eighteenth-Century France" by Jeffrey Burson" Theological Studies (2011). -- downloaded pdf to Note
books  reviews  intellectual_history  religious_history  18thC  France  French_Enlightenment  Enlightenment  theology  Catholics  Counter-Enlightenment  Jesuits  Jansenists  Parlement  Paris  scandale  philosophes  censorship  free-thinkers  religion-established  reason  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
"Locating Rousseau's Legislator in Social Contract" by Courtney C. Nussbaumer (2011)
Courtney C. Nussbaumer, Macalester College -- It is challenging to define precisely what role the legislator plays in Rousseau’s Social Contract; however, when viewed in light of the ancient guardians, the role of the legislator becomes less obscure. This paper pursues the similarities between Rousseau’s concept of the legislator and Plato’s concept of the guardian while also exploring the poignant differences between the two. One cannot help but notice their fundamental similarities such as the superior character and intelligence of the legislator and how each communicates with the people. Their ultimate purpose and legitimacy differs, however, in that the legislator plays a more esoteric role in his relation to the people to order to persuade them of his ideas. Conversely, the guardian’s purpose is one of enlightenment through reason; he never has to persuade anyone of anything. -- Nussbaumer, Courtney C. (2011) "Locating Rousseau's Legislator in the Social Contract," The Macalester Review: Vol. 1: Iss. 1, Article 4. Available at: http://digitalcommons.macalester.edu/macreview/vol1/iss1/4 -- downloaded pdf to Note
political_philosophy  moral_philosophy  Plato  Plato-Republic  Rousseau  social_contract  leaders  reason  legitimacy  lawmaker  downloaded 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter - Nietzsche Against the Philosophical Canon (2013) :: SSRN
U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 438 -- Nietzsche views the Western philosophical tradition as organized around a conception of philosophy deriving from Socrates. According to this (loosely) Socratic philosophical canon: (1) Philosophy, as the “love of wisdom,” aims for knowledge of timeless and non-empirical truths, including truths about the good and the right; (2) Knowledge of the truth is the overriding value in philosophy and is also essential for living well; and (3) Philosophical knowledge is acquired through the exercise of reason, understood as a faculty that can operate independently, in whole or in part, of a posteriori evidence. This paper explores Nietzsche's reasons for rejecting this conception of philosophy on each count, especially as developed in his book, Twilight of the Idols. Nietzsche's replacement of metaphysical speculation with psychological diagnosis is compared to Carnap's own critique of metaphysics, and helps explain Carnap's high appraisal of Nietzsche compared to other major figures in post-Kantian German philosophy. Nietzsche's rejection of the traditional philosophical canon is contrasted with that of other critics of the tradition, including Marx, Quine, Heidegger, and Wittgenstein. The reaction against naturalism in recent Anglophone philosophy is offered, finally, as a case study in support of Nietzsche's skepticism about the philosophical canon. --Keywords: Nietzsche, Socrates, Quine, Marx, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Carnap, meta-philosophy, ethics -- downloaded pdf to Note
paper  SSRN  intellectual_history  19thC  20thC  21stC  ancient_philosophy  moral_philosophy  moral_psychology  human_nature  metaphysics  metaethics  epistemology  truth  good  flourishing  Socrates  post-truth  German_Idealism  Marx  Carnap  Quine  Heidegger  Wittgenstein  canon  ethics  reason  apriori  empiricism  naturalism  scepticism  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Nathaniel Culverwell, An Elegant and Learned Discourse of the Light of Nature [1646], ed. Robert A. Greene and Hugh MacCallum - Online Library of Liberty
Nathaniel Culverwell, An Elegant and Learned Discourse of the Light of Nature, ed. Robert A. Greene and Hugh MacCallum, foreword by Robert A. Greene (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2001). 07/11/2014. <http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/900> -- An Elegant and Learned Discourse of the Light of Nature is a concerted effort to find a middle way between the two extremes that dominated the religious dispute of the English civil war in the seventeenth century. At one extreme end of the spectrum was the antinomian assertion that the elect were redeemed by God’s free grace and thereby free from ordinary moral obligations. At the other end of the spectrum was the Arminian rejection of predestination and assertion that Christ died for all, not just for the elect. Faced with the violence of these disputes, Nathaniel Culverwell attempted a moderate defense of reason and natural law, arguing, in the words of Robert Greene, that “reason and faith are distinct lights, yet they are not opposed; they are complementary and harmonious. Reason is the image of God in man, and to deny right reason is to deny our relation to God.” -- Culverwell clearly intended to respond to Francis Bacon’s call for “a temperate and careful treatise … which as a kind of divine logic, should lay down proper precepts touching the use of human reason in theology.” -- Although, unlike the Cambridge Platonists, he quotes or refers to Bacon’s writings frequently enough to indicate considerable knowledge and approval of the Baconian gospel, the spirit of the Discourse is basically at odds with Bacon’s plan for man’s intellectual progress. In his emphasis upon scholastic psychology and his indebtedness to Aristotle, Aquinas, and Suarez, as well as in his flourishing rhetoric and richly metaphorical style, Culverwell does not forward the Great Instauration.
books  etexts  17thC  intellectual_history  theology  natural_law  English_Civil_War  Cambridge_Platonists  Calvinist  antinomian  Presbyterians  Arminian  reason  revelation  faith  religious_belief  Aristotelian  Aquinas  Suarez  Bacon  moral_psychology  obligation  religious_culture  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Alfred Caldecott - The Philosophy of Religion in England and America (1901) - Google Books
Downloaded pdf to Note -- interesting from standpoint of how he classifies the philosophical elements - e.g. lumps Bolingbroke with Berkeley and Butler, not with Deists or Hume - clearly doesn't see how similar Bolingbroke and Hume really were, unlike Warburton who grasped it; also doesn't sneer like Leslie Stephen -- a specimen of fin de siècle academic professionalization after the divinity training raison d'être and "vocation" of Anglo-American universities had evaporated
books  etexts  Google_Books  16thC  17thC  18thC  19thC  intellectual_history  theology  philosophy_of_religion  British_history  US_history  reason  revelation  cosmology  God-attributes  God-existence  creation_ex_nilho  creation  scepticism  theism  Cambridge_Platonists  Locke-religion  Deism  rational_religion  natural_religion  materialism  mind-body  mind-theory_of  idealism-transcendental  subjectivism  Butler  Berkeley  Bolingbroke  theodicy  comparative_religion  comparative_anthropology  monotheism  ecclesiology  Hegelian  British_Idealism  moral_philosophy  moral_sentiments  obligation  intuitionism  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
James Schmidt - Adorno on Kant and Enlightenment (in 1959) | Persistent Enlightenment - June 2014
Re Adorno lectures on Kant 1st Critique - difference between Adorno’s treatment of Kant and ..German histories of philosophy .. which be traced back at least to Hegel, always saw Kant as a thinker who represented a *break* with the Enlightenment. .. By treating Voltaire and Kant united in an attack on “dogmatic” approaches to metaphysics, Adorno advances an interpretation of ..Kant and the Enlightenment that — like Cassirer — stressed the extent to which the Enlightenment was a European movement and that German thinkers were a part of it. ?.German universities were still home to scholars who, between 1933-1945 labored very hard to distinguishn the profound and German Kant from the superficialities of the French Enlightenment, the political stakes ..should not be minimized. ..Adorno concludes that 1st Critique and Candide ..were united in a common endeavor. --"...a catastrophe for the history of German thought ..the cliche that labels enlightenment ‘superficial’ or ‘facile’. ?..the effect of the Romantic, and ultimately theological, belittling of enlightenment was to ensure that much of the enlightened thought that flourished in Germany actually assumed the shape imagined by the obscurantists." -- "..I am ..using the term ‘enlightenment’ in the comprehensive meaning given to it in DofE... to describe the general trend of Western demythologization that may be said to have begun ..with..Xenophanes... ..to demonstrate the presence of anthropomorphism. ?.. objectivity, existence and absolute dignity have been ascribed to a whole series of assertions, doctrines, concepts and ideas of whatever kind, which in reality can be reduced to the products of human beings. ?..what the language of psychology would call mere projections, and since it is merely man that has produced these concepts from within himself they are not entitled to any absolute dignity." This “comprehensive” sense of enlightenment .. provides the project that the 1st Critique allegedly carries forward.
books  Adorno  intellectual_history  Germany  18thC  19thC  20thC  Kant  Voltaire  Enlightenment  Counter-Enlightenment  German_Idealism  Romanticism  Hegel  Enlightenment_Project  Enlightenment-ongoing  anthropomorphism  ancient_Greece  ancient_philosophy  comparative_religion  metaphysics  French_Enlightenment  Leibniz  theodicy  critical_theory  cultural_critique  Marxist  Nazis  bildung  irrational  rationalist  myth  reason  EF-add 
june 2014 by dunnettreader
Kenan Malik's 2009 Voltaire lecture on 'The Guilt of Science?: Race, Science and Darwinism'
By the end of the eighteenth century, then, scientists had constructed a taxonomy of nature into which humans could be fitted and out of which emerged the categories of race. This seems to lend credibility to the view that it is modernity itself, and in particular the Enlightenment, that give rise both to the idea of race and to the practice of racism. ‘Eighteenth century Europe was the cradle of racism’, the historian George Mosse, argues because ‘racism has its foundations’ in the Enlightenment ‘preoccupation with a rational universe, nature and aesthetics.’ To see why this is not the case, we need to look more closely at how Enlightenment thinkers viewed the concept of human differences. -- If any event could demonstrate the folly of giving into unreason, it is surely Nazism and the Holocaust. Yet now it is regarded as an expression of too much reason.There is no intrinsic link between the idea of race and a rational or scientific view of the world. On the contrary: what made ideas of race plausible were the growth of political sentiments hostile to both the rationalism and the humanism of the Enlightenment.
intellectual_history  cultural_history  17thC  18thC  19thC  20thC  racialism  species  biology  evolutionary_biology  Enlightenment  Counter-Enlightenment  Enlightenment_Project  humanism  anti-humanism  reason  Nazis  Holocaust  imperialism  slavery  civilizing_process  human_nature  diversity  historiography-18thC  social_theory  Social_Darwinism  Herder  Linnaeus  Locke  essentialism  essence  climate  stadial_theories  Romanticism  social_order  progress  atheism_panic  authority  class_conflict  bourgeoisie  liberalism  capitalism  equality  stratification  scientism  science_of_man  science-and-religion  positivism  social_sciences  France  Britain  British_Empire  Germany  Great_Powers  EF-add 
may 2014 by dunnettreader
James Schmidt, review - Samuel Fleischacker, What is Enlightenment? // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // March 2014
There would seem, then, little reason to assume that Kant equivocated between -- or, indeed, was even aware of -- the alternatives of MinE and MaxE. But while What is Enlightenment? may bemisguided in seeing Kant as "torn," its consideration of the diverging projects associated with the "Kantian enlightenment" reminds us how contested the concept of enlightenment has been and, perhaps, still remains. It would seem that Zöllner's question still stands.
books  reviews  kindle  intellectual_history  18thC  19thC  20thC  Germany  Kant  reason  philosophy_of_religion  political_philosophy  Enlightenment  Enlightenment_Project  Enlightenment-ongoing  Counter-Enlightenment  EF-add 
march 2014 by dunnettreader
Robert Hanna - Rationality and the Ethics of Logic | JSTOR: The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 103, No. 2 (Feb., 2006), pp. 67-100
Argues for a proto logic that's normative. Extensive discussion of links and separation of logic and psychology from early moderns through Frege and Husserl to various stages of 20thC. Looks useful for intellectual_history -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  intellectual_history  moral_philosophy  epistemology  moral_psychology  action-theory  logic  reason  human_nature  psychologism  phenomenology  analytical_philosophy  bibliography  downloaded  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
SIMON BLACKBURN - The Majesty of Reason | JSTOR: Philosophy, Vol. 85, No. 331 (January 2010), pp. 5-27
In this paper I contemplate two phenomena that have impressed theorists concerned with the domain of reasons and of what is now called ‘normativity’. One is the much-discussed ‘externality’ of reasons. According to this, reasons are just there, anyway. They exist whether or not agents take any notice of them. They do not only exist in the light of contingent desires or mere inclinations. They are ‘external’ not ‘internal’. They bear on us, even when through ignorance or wickedness we take no notice of them. They thus very conspicuously shine the lights of objectivity, and independence, and even necessity. By basking in this light, ethics is rescued from the slough of sentiment and preference, and regains the dignity denied to it by theorists such as Hobbes or Hume, Williams, Gibbard or myself. Hence, many contemporary philosophers compete to stress and to extol the external nature of reasons, their shining objectivity. The other phenomenon is that of the inescapable ‘normativity’ of means-ends reasoning. Here the irrationality of intending an end but failing to intend the means is a different shining beacon. It is that of pure practical reason in operation: an indisputable norm, again showing a sublime indifference to whatever weaknesses people actually have, and ideally fitted to provide a Trojan horse for inserting rationality into practical life. If the means-end principle is both unmistakably practical and yet the darling child of rationality itself, then other principles of consistency or of humanity, or of universalizing the maxims of our action, can perhaps follow through the breach in the Humean citadel that it has spearheaded. And so we get the dazzling prospect that if people who choose badly are choosing against reason, then this can be seen to be a special and grave defect. It would locate the kind of fault they are indulging. It would give us, the people of reason, a special lever with which to dislodge their vices. Being able to herd knaves and villains in a compound reserved for those who trespass against reason and rationality therefore represents definite progress. -- paywall Cambridge -- see bibliography on jstor information page
article  jstor  paywall  moral_philosophy  moral_psychology  human_nature  Hume-ethics  Hume-causation  reason-passions  reasons-internalism  reasons-externalism  action-theory  normativity  practical_reason  practical_knowledge  Williams_Bernard  judgment-emotions  reason  bibliography  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
Peter Harrison - Descartes on Animals | JSTOR: The Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 42, No. 167 (Apr., 1992), pp. 219-227
Some support for Cottingham thesis that Descartes wasn't the monster toward animals that Cartesians like Malebranche were. Further bibliography -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  intellectual_history  history_of_science  theology  moral_philosophy  natural_philosophy  17thC  Descartes  Cartesian  Malebranche  animals  reason  downloaded  EF-add 
january 2014 by dunnettreader
Hassan Melehy - Silencing the Animals: Montaigne, Descartes, and the Hyperbole of Reason | JSTOR: symplokē, Vol. 13, No. 1/2 (2005), pp. 263-282
Toulmin on Cartesian hyper rationality and Derrida on man animal, Montaigne and Descartes -- useful postmodern bibliography as well as articles in last few decades on whether Descartes was a friend or enemy of animals based on where he drew the boundary.
article  jstor  intellectual_history  modernity  rationality  scepticism  anti-foundationalism  Montaigne  Descartes  animals  humanism  reason  emotions  perception  sensibility  moral_psychology  moral_philosophy  bibliography  EF-add 
january 2014 by dunnettreader
Stephen G. Salkever - "Cool Reflexion" and the Criticism of Values: Is, Ought, and Objectivity in Hume's Social Science | JSTOR: The American Political Science Review, Vol. 74, No. 1 (Mar., 1980), pp. 70-77
Is the fact/value distinction incompatible with the possibility of a social science which is both objective and evaluative (or normative)? Does support of the latter require rejection of the former and vice versa? This article presents an indirect argument against the incompatibility of the fact/value distinction and an objectively evaluative social science. My procedure is to show that David Hume, whose is/ought distinction is the locus classicus of the fact/value distinction, is committed both to the view that values cannot be derived from facts and to the view that social science is not (and should not be) value-neutral. Furthermore, Hume's position is free from any logical laws. My conclusion is that it is false to say that the fact/value distinction entails a value-neutral social science, and that it is therefore utterly unnecessary for critics of such a science to waste their time attempting to @'bridge the gap@' between facts and values -- didn't download
article  jstor  metaethics  fact-value  intellectual_history  18thC  Hume-ethics  science_of_man  epistemology  moral_philosophy  reason  social_sciences  EF-add 
january 2014 by dunnettreader
Torrey Shanks - Feminine Figures and the "Fatherhood": Rhetoric and Reason in Locke's "First Treatise of Government" | JSTOR: Political Theory, Vol. 39, No. 1 (February 2011), pp. 31-57
Traditionally neglected, Locke's First Treatise of Government has taken on new significance with feminist interpretations that recognize the importance of its sustained engagement with patriarchal power. Yet feminist interpreters, both critics and admirers alike, read Locke as a champion of the "man of reason," a figure seemingly immune to the influences of passions, imagination, and rhetoric. These interpreters wrongly overlook Locke's extended engagement with the power of rhetoric in the First Treatise, an engagement that troubles the clear opposition of masculine reason and its feminine exclusions. Taking Locke's rhetoric seriously, I argue, makes the First Treatise newly important for what it shows us about Locke's practice of political critique. In following the varied and novel effects of Locke's feminine figures, we find a practice of political critique that depends on a mutually constitutive relation between rhetoric and reason. -- paywall Sage -- see bibliography on jstor information page
article  jstor  paywall  find  libraries  intellectual_history  political_philosophy  literary_history  rhetoric  rhetoric-political  17thC  Locke-1st_Treatise  women-rights  women-property  patriarchy  authority  metaphor  Popish_Plot  Exclusion_Crisis  Filmer  Dryden  Shaftesbury_1st_Earl  Charles_II  masculinity  femininity  reason  philosophy_of_language  emotions  practical_reason  bibliography  EF-add 
january 2014 by dunnettreader
Jörg Spieker - Foucault and Hobbes on Politics, Security, and War | JSTOR: Alternatives: Global, Local, Political, Vol. 36, No. 3 (August 2011), pp. 187-199
This article engages and seeks to develop Michel Foucault’s account of the nexus between modern politics, security, and war. Focusing on his 1976 lecture series Society Must Be Defended, the article considers Foucault’s tentative hypothesis about how the logic of war becomes inscribed into modern politics through the principle of security. Contra Foucault, it is suggested that this nexus can already be found in the proto-liberal political philosophy of Thomas Hobbes. In order to make this argument, the article focuses on the ontological dimension of Hobbes' thought. It suggests that the relationship between the state of war and political order in Hobbes is more complex and more ambiguous than Foucault thought. Rather than being transcended, the Hobbesian state of war is appropriated by the state, and converted into the fundamental antagonism between reason and passion. The latter gives rise to a regime of security through which a relationship of war is inscribed into the Hobbesian commonwealth. Jörg Spieker - Department of War Studies, King’s College London, London, UK - doi: 10.1177/0304375411418596 Alternatives: Global, Local, Political August 2011 vol. 36 no. 3 187-199 -- on Sage -- sounds Weberian
article  jstor  paywall  IR  political_philosophy  17thC  20thC  Hobbes  Foucault  war  security  fear  nation-state  political_order  reason  emotions  human_nature  EF-add 
january 2014 by dunnettreader
Gowdy et al - Economic cosmology and the evolutionary challenge | Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization Special Issue 2013
2nd lead articl5 -- downloaded pdf to Note -- The intellectual histories of economics and evolutionary biology are closely intertwined because both subjects deal with living, complex, evolving systems. Because the subject matter is similar, contemporary evolutionary thought has much to offer to economics. In recent decades theoretical biology has progressed faster than economics in understanding phenomena like hierarchical processes, cooperative behavior, and selection processes in evolutionary change. This paper discusses three very old “cosmologies” in Western thought, how these play out in economic theory, and how evolutionary biology can help evaluate their validity and policy relevance. These cosmologies are: (1) “natural man” as a rational, self-sufficient, egotistical individual, (2) competition among individuals can lead to a well-functioning society, and (3) there exists an ideal optimal state of nature. These correspond to Colander et al. (2004) “holy trinity of orthodox economics”, rationality, greed, and equilibrium. It is argued below that current breakthroughs in evolutionary biology and neuroscience can help economics go beyond these simple cosmologies.

They equate Pope’s Essay (self love and social are the same) with Mandeville Fable of the Bees
paper  journal  intellectual_history  ancient_philosophy  Western_civ  natural_law  cosmology  Providence  self-interest  competition  markets  economic_theory  economic_sociology  economic_culture  evolution-social  biocultural_evolution  evo_psych  evolution-as-model  reason  rationality-economics  rational_choice  downloaded  EF-add  equilibrium  complexity  Smith  Pope  Mandeville 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
Amazon.com: ctdreyer's review of Philippa Foot - Moral Dilemmas: and other topics in moral ...
However, in the later papers "Rationality and Virtue" and "Does Moral Subjectivism Rest on a Mistake?", Foot abandons most of the positions discussed above. In these papers she argues that she had formerly failed to understand the connection between morality and reasons for actions because she held a false view about the nature of practical rationality. There is, she claims, no need to fit morality into a general non-moral conception of practical rationality, of what agents have reasons to do. Instead, she thinks appreciating moral reasons is best understood as part of practical rationality. To ignore moral reasons is to be irrational, as being sensitive to moral reasons for one's actions is part of what it is to be practically rational. But why think there is such a connection between reasons for action and morality? The central idea is to focus on moral virtues and the ways in which they are beneficial to human beings who possess them. We begin by looking at human nature and the qualities of members of the human species, and we see that certain things are naturally good for human beings when we understand them as social organisms. Possessing the moral virtues, Foot argues, is best understood as a good of this sort. Given the needs of beings like us, possessing the virtues is a requirement for flourishing, for leading a good life. Hence being virtuous is naturally good for human beings. Hence human beings have good reason to act virtuously.
books  kindle-available  reviews  moral_philosophy  relativism  reason  practical_reason  virtue_ethics  metaethics  EF-add 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
Carlos Fraenkel's "Philosophical Religions" Reviewed by Peter Gordon | New Republic
In a remarkable and important book, Carlos Fraenkel characterizes Lessing as one of the late exponents for an intellectual tradition of philosophical religion that stretches as far back as late antiquity. This is a tradition that united pagan thinkers such as Plato with Christians (Origen and Eusebius) and Muslims (Al-Fārābī and Averroes) and Jews (Philo and Maimonides) in a shared philosophical vision, according to which historically distinctive religions should not be understood in the literal sense. They must be interpreted instead in allegorical fashion, so as to grasp their higher and purely rational content. This allegorical content is far from self-evident. But those who are incapable of philosophizing, or have not yet arrived at the requisite intellectual maturity, are not lost: the historical forms of a given religion offer just the sort of moral and political instruction most of us need if we are to conduct our lives with virtue and for the common good. Only the philosopher will understand that the historical forms have an educative function
books  reviews  kindle-available  intellectual_history  ancient_philosophy  Plato  Aristotle  Judaism  Islam  Medieval  theology  Early_Christian  Spinoza  allegory  Biblical_criticism  Bible-as-history  Strauss  Enlightenment  Bolingbroke  monotheism  reason  Neoplatonism  Aquinas  scholastics  Deism  EF-add 
november 2013 by dunnettreader
John Dewey: The Evolutionary Method As Applied To Morality: II Its Significance for Conduct | George Herbert Mead Project
John Dewey. "The Evolutionary Method As Applied To Morality: II Its Significance for Conduct", Philosophical Review 11, (1902): 353-371.

I would have those who deny moral significance to the historical method show how we may guide and control the formation of our further moral judgments if we forego inquiry into the process of their formation as historically set before us....... The point of the genetic method is then that it shows relationships, and thereby at once guarantees and defines meaning. We must take the history of any intuition or attitude of moral consciousness in both directions: both ex parte ante and ex parte post. We must consider it with reference to the antecedents which evoked it, and with reference to its later career and fate. It arises in a certain context, and as a reaction to certain circumstances ; it has a subsequent history which can be traced. It maintains and reinforces certain conditions, and modifies others. It becomes a stimulus which provokes new modes of action. Now when we see how and why the belief came about, and also know what else came about because of it, we have a hold upon the worth of the belief which is entirely wanting when we set it up as an isolated intuition. Pure intuitionalism. is often indeed undistinguishable from the crassest empiricism. The ' intuition' is declared to be a content of 'reason,' but reason is a mere label. The ordinary relation and criteria of rationality are expressly eliminated. Quite likely we have deified the results of a merely accidental history or series of circumstances. The only way to introduce reasonableness is to analyze in detail the course of events from which the intuition results, and to trace in further detail the influences that radiate from it. There is much ground for John Stuart Mill's basis of opposition to intuitionalism -- it tends to perpetuate prejudice and sanctify conservatism by calling them eternal truths of reason, and thus to erect barriers in the way of moral progress.
article  online_texts  Dewey  19thC  20thC  intellectual_history  US_history  moral_philosophy  intuitionism  values  reason  history-as_experiment  evolution-as-model  evolution-social  genealogy-method  morality-objective  morality-conventional  epistemology-moral  progress  pragmatism  culture  EF-add 
september 2013 by dunnettreader
JENNIFER KAHN Can Emotional Intelligence Be Taught? | NYT Mag Education Issue September 2013
Starting in the late 19th century, the philosopher John Dewey argued against the development of purely vocational elementary schools, insisting that the true purpose of schooling was not simply to teach children a trade but to train them in deeper habits of mind, including “plasticity” (the ability to take in new information and be changed by it) and interdependence (the ability to work with others).Social-emotional learning takes Dewey’s theory further, suggesting that all emotions — not just the right ones — are adaptive if properly managed. Studies have shown that people in a slightly sad mood are better at analyzing or editing a written document (they focus better on details), while people who are slightly angry are better able to discriminate between weak and strong arguments. The purpose of a social-emotional learning program, then, isn’t to elide emotion but to channel it: to surf the rapids rather than to be swamped by them. 
human_nature  emotions  reason  education  mind-body  cognition  neuroscience  Dewey  EF-add 
september 2013 by dunnettreader
Roger D. Lund - Wit, Judgment, and the Misprisions of Similitude (2004) | JHI on JSTOR
Wit, Judgment, and the Misprisions of Similitude
Roger D. Lund
Journal of the History of Ideas
Vol. 65, No. 1 (Jan., 2004), pp. 53-74
True wit is Nature to advantage dress' d
What oft was thought but ne'er so well ecpress' d
Downloaded pdf to Note - duplicate somewhere in Dropbox EF libraries
article  jstor  17thC  18thC  literary_history  intellectual_history  cultural_history  faculties  reason  understanding  imagination  wit  judgment-aesthetics  judgment-emotions  gentleman  poetry  genius  creativity  Innovation  epistemology  virtue_epistemology  Locke  Malebranche  deception  Pope  Dryden  English_lit  French_lit  Addison  downloaded 
september 2013 by dunnettreader
Stephen H. Daniel: Myth and Rationality in Mandeville (1986)
JSTOR: Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 47, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 1986), pp. 595-609 -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  intellectual_history  English_lit  17thC  18thC  Mandeville  Enlightenment  social_theory  reason  genre  rhetoric  prose  style  style-philosophy  fable  myth  downloaded  EF-add 
september 2013 by dunnettreader
Serap Ayşe Kayatekin: The relation of morality to political economy in Hume (2013) | Cambridge Journal of Economics
Cambridge Journal of Economics. (2013) doi: 10.1093/cje/bes072 First published online: January 29, 2013 -- In his Treatise of Human Nature, Hume argues that reason does not motivate action but rather directs our judgement by informing us about their causes and effects. He distances, in his argument, passions from reason by claiming that passions are not ideas, do not represent anything, are self-contained and thus cannot be contradictory to truth or reason. Moral judgements, according to Hume, are passions and as such they cannot be contrary to reason. For Hume, morality does not consist of immutable principles to be discovered by reason; it is based on human passions, which, through repetition, human beings come to associate with certain moral characteristics. Following on this statement, I here explore the following point: to the extent economic behaviour is determined by passions such as greed, benevolence and pleasure, we cannot separate economic activity and morality. As an extension, morality and political economy are inextricably linked in Hume. This suggests that ethics, through the study of morality and political economy, and the study of economic behaviour and institutions are inseparable subjects. It is interesting to observe this in the work of Hume, a fundamental influence on Adam Smith, one of the most important precursors of modern economics. The paper underlines the importance of understanding the evolution of the history of economic thinking that led to modern-day economics and which, though claiming Hume via Smith as one of its progenitors, argues for a complete separation of ethics and economics. In particular, the separation of positive from normative economics becomes infeasible in light of Hume’s analysis, rendering problematic the claim of modern economics that Hume is the founding father. -- Anatolia School of Arts, Sciences and Technology. I thank my co-editors, Alan Freeman and Vicky Chick, my colleague, Sheila Dow, and my friend, Antonio Callari, for incisive comments throughout the different phases of the writing of this paper. 
article  paywall  intellectual_history  economic_history  economic_theory  18thC  Hume  reason  moral_philosophy  emotions  EF-add 
september 2013 by dunnettreader
George R. Wasserman: "A Strange Chimaera of Beasts and Men": The Argument and Imagery of Hudibras, Part I (1973)
JSTOR: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, Vol. 13, No. 3 (Summer, 1973), pp. 405-421-- downloaded pdf to Note --- Butler's notebook-reflections on human nature provide the context for a reading of Part I of Hudibras as a satire on mankind. Reason, traditionally regarded as the mark of man's superiority over the beasts, was, for Butler, the cause of human strife and brutishness. Most men, he suggests, use reason unnaturally, as a result of either excessive passion and humour (accidental madness) or of the deliberate use of reason abstracted from the senses ("Industrious Ignorance"). Thus, to the degree that they act in accordance with their true natures, natural fools and animals may be regarded as rational man's superior. These views are illustrated by both the mock-polemics and the mock-heroics of the poem-i.e., by Hudibras's reasoned defense of the uniqueness of rational man against Ralph's identification of Presbyterian synods with bear-baitings; and by the knight's battle with the bear-baiters, whom he rationally proves to be Jesuit subversives. Further illustration of Butler's views is provided by a pervasive pattern of imagery, brutalizing men and humanizing animals. Part I of Hudibras is thus a dramatic and metaphorical redefinition of the sine qua non of man as bestiality.
article  jstor  English_lit  lit_crit  17thC  satire  human_nature  animals  reason  downloaded  EF-add 
august 2013 by dunnettreader
Religion in the Age of Enlightenment - Vol 4, 2013 - Jeffrey D. Burson , Buddhism as Caricature: China and the Legitimation of Natural Religion in the Enlightenment 
Url for journal home page and TOC for Vol 4 which includes Burson article - since Burson writing on French Catholic Enlightenment, especially Jesuits until mid 18thC, hopefully his article will pick up repercussions of querelle des rites and how Voltaire used; maybe cover Toland as well? Also check out article on Basnage and Dictionnaire universel as well as intriguing " John G. Rudy, The Empty Link: Zen Meditative Harmonics and Intimations of Enlightenment in Pope’s Essay on Man and Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice" . -- Journal description -- Religion in the Age of Enlightenment (RAE) publishes scholarly examinations of (1) religion and religious attitudes and practices during the age of Enlightenment; (2) the impact of the Enlightenment on religion, religious thought, and religious experience; and (3) the ways religion informed Enlightenment ideas and values, from a range of disciplinary perspectives, including, but not limited to, history, theology, literature, philosophy, the social and physical sciences, economics, and the law.While the Enlightenment generally refers to an eighteenth-century philosophical and cultural movement that swept through Western Europe, the editors welcome studies that encompass the seventeenth-century intellectual movements that gave rise to the ideals of the Enlightenment—e.g., materialism, skepticism, rationalism, and empiricism—as well as studies that consider later manifestations of Enlightenment ideas and values during the early nineteenth century. The editors likewise welcome studies of non-Western religious topics and issues in light of Enlightenment attitudes. In addition to publishing original research in these areas, RAE includes reviews of books that explore topics relevant to the thematic scope of the annual.
journal  17thC  18thC  Enlightenment  religious_history  religious_culture  theology  church_history  materialism  scepticism  reason  empiricism  human_nature  moral_philosophy  find  Voltaire  Jesuits  China  orientalism  natural_law  natural_religion  Deism  Toland  Pope  Essay_on_Man  EF-add 
august 2013 by dunnettreader
Nancy Rochelle Bradley: The weapons of the "true warfaring Christian": Right reason and free will in seventeenth-century literature - 2009 thesis - Udini
Abstract: Milton writes in Areopagitica of the "true warfaring Christian" who can "apprehend and consider vice with all her baits and seeming pleasures, and yet abstain, and yet distinguish, and yet prefer that which is truly better." Though many reformers saw both human nature and the faculty of reason as depraved after the fall, Milton and other radical writers in the period emphasized the role that reason can and should play in the experience of spiritual warfare. The dissertation therefore begins by considering the theological contexts within which writers of the English Reformation understood evil and human encounters with evil, especially in the form of temptations, but also in the form of disturbing dreams and satanic presences. It then considers some epistemological problems as related to the experience of such conflicts: reason, especially right reason; knowledge, conscience and memory; and free will. Focusing on the texts of John Milton, Aemilia Lanyer, Richard Norwood, and John Bunyan, this study shows that these radical religious writers refuse to conform to the general tendency in Reformation theology to discount the use of reason. Eve's dream in Milton's Paradise Lost reveals the proper use of right reason in spiritual warfare, while the actual temptation scenes in Paradise Lost and Lanyer's Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum point to a fundamental failure of reason in the fall. Norwood's Confessions , Milton's Comus , and Milton's Samson Agonistes portray the triumphs of human reason over evil and temptation, though there remains an awareness of the constraints placed upon reason by their fallen nature such that reason needs the aid of divine grace to function as right reason. Milton's Paradise Regained and Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress point to the extraordinary victories gained by Christ and Christian through the use of right reason and memory to direct the will toward the highest goods. These texts offer a counter-voice to those who would dismiss the possibilities of the powers of right reason. Despite the awareness of the inherent limits of fallen reason, these radical reformists generally find reason an indispensable tool in spiritual battles that helps direct their wills to the highest good.
thesis  17thC  British_history  English_lit  theology  Milton  reason  original_sin  evil  grace  paywall  EF-add 
august 2013 by dunnettreader
Stephen H Gregg: Defoe and Descartes’ beast-machine: a brief bibliography | The Daniel Defoe Blog
Recently, I became rather obsessed with two small pieces in Defoe’s Review of March 27th, 1705 and the ‘Supplement of January 1705’ (published after March). They debate the extent to which dogs can reason. Researching the contexts for this involved a deep dive into the complex history of the debate about reasoning animals, the animal soul, and Descartes’ ‘beast-machine’ as outlined in his Discourse on Method. The debate spun across religious, philosophical, classical, literary, journalistic and scientific writings for over a century after. But I particularly needed to map out the writings published in the years immediately before Defoe’s 1705 piece.[1] The results revealed a gratifying surge in the English debate from around 1690.
Britain  17thC  18thC  1690s  1700s  cultural_history  intellectual_history  Defoe  Descartes  metaphysics  theology  publishing  public_sphere  bibliography  soul  reason  human_nature  animals  Bolingbroke  EF-add  Montaigne  Lucretius  Locke 
august 2013 by dunnettreader
Jeffrey Flynn review: Matthias Vogel, Media of Reason: A Theory of Rationality // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // August 2013
This is an ambitious book. One of its central claims is that artistic action and aesthetic experience are essential dimensions of rationality and must be incorporated into a comprehensive theory of rationality...... Chapter 1 begins by situating the aims of the book in relation to debates over the legacy of the Enlightenment project, focusing mainly on postmodern critics like Lyotard and defenders like Habermas, with some discussion of Rorty. Vogel maintains that a comprehensive theory of rationality that includes nonlinguistic modes of understanding would be less vulnerable to radical critiques of reason. He defines the "process of enlightenment" minimally as "the social process in which we develop and learn to understand our ability to understand" (15), insisting that this must include all possible modes of understanding. Vogel then surveys various theories of rationality, providing an excellent introduction to debates in Germany over the last few decades..... Vogel takes much of his theoretical inspiration from work by Habermas, Davidson, and Dewey. In his approach to rationality, Vogel follows Habermas and Davidson in arguing that a theory of rationality should be based on analyzing competencies that are central to our capacity for understanding, but aims to go beyond their focus mainly on linguistic understanding. In his analysis of artistic activity and aesthetic experience, Vogel takes his main cue from Dewey, who actually used the concept of media in his account of the communicative aspects of aesthetic experience.The book appeared in German in 2001.
books  reviews  kindle-available  20thC  intellectual_history  postmodern  Frankfurt_School  Habermas  Dewey  reason  language  aesthetics  mind  Enlightenment_Project  constructivism  continental_philosophy  EF-add 
august 2013 by dunnettreader

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