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The Meaning of Life

Insights of the World’s Great Thinkers

Series:

William Gerber

The book aims to present the wisdom of sages, great thinkers, renowned writers, and philosophers, of many countries and time periods, in their own words, regarding life. The book also aims to place the numerous quotations from these sources in a structured organization, with introductory and explanatory comments and comparisons.
Main Topics or Fields - See Organization or Principal Parts.

A Quarter Century of Value Inquiry

Presidential Addresses before the American Society for Value Inquiry

Series:

Richard T. Hull

This volume contains all of the presidential addresses given before the American Society for Value Inquiry since its first meeting in 1970. Contributions are by Richard Brandt*, Virgil Aldrich*, John W. Davis*, the late Robert S. Hartman*, James B. Wilbur*, the late William H. Werkmeister, Robert E. Carter, the late William T. Blackstone, Gene James, Eva Hauel Cadwallader, Richard T. Hull, Norman Bowie*, Stephen White*, Burton Leiser+, Abraham Edel, Sidney Axinn, Robert Ginsberg, Patricia Werhane, Lisa M. Newton, Thomas Magnell, Sander Lee, John M. Abbarno, Ruth Miller Lucier, and Tom Regan*. Autobiographical sketches* by all of the living contributors and one recently deceased, biographical statements of the remainder, together with photographic portraits of all the contributors*, make this volume a unique record of value inquiry during the past quarter century. (* indicates previously unpublished or unpublished in the present form; + indicates substantial new material has been added.) The addresses cover diverse topics, from broad, general ones, to value inquiry into literature, bioethics, and public policy; to philosophy of mind, to critical studies of other philosophers' work, defenses of philosophy and of applied ethics, individual-, role- and cultural-relativism of values. The American Society for Value Inquiry is nearing its 25th anniversary. Its leadership is elected annually, often with a vice president becoming president-elect, then president, then past president: a structure that serves to insure a measure of continuity. Its members are drawn to the society not by a particularly credo or ideology or philosophical position, but by a common interest in questions of value, ranging from abstract meta-value inquiry to disciplinary and trans-disciplinary value inquiry. For those who share this range of passions, the volume will preserve, collect, organize, and in a number of cases recover material in danger of being lost to them. The Presidential Address is a unique genre, resembling in some ways a sermon. Indeed, preparing a presidential address before a philosophical society is often an exercise in developing an exhortation to members to take up a neglected topic, to embrace as important a particular viewpoint; it may as well be a cautionary to avoid a particular error. It is often a dramatic moment: as a last act of the presidency, having observed closely the trends and winds blowing through the discipline, the speaker is afforded the opportunity to hold forth on a topic at once intensely personal and believed to be of wide interest. While some societies publish presidential addresses in newsletters or informal proceedings, and occasionally in professional bulletins or journals, rarely have a substantial bloc of a society's presidential addresses been collected and published under one cover. Too often the presidential address is delivered, discussed by those present, perhaps summarized in a paragraph in a newsletter to members, and filed as a fond memory of a moment of honor in the papers of the author - sometimes to be forgotten, lost, discarded, or otherwise removed from availability to scholars of the history of philosophy. This volume inaugurates a series aiming at preserving presidential and other major addresses before philosophical societies. It seeks to be a historical record, not only of the address but also of the reflections and recollections of the author. It seeks to preserve as a part of the historical record a photograph of the author. And, with the personal character of an autobiographical statement, it seeks to humanize and render lively and real the professional process and motivating passions that resulted in that set of remarks before that audience on that day in history.

Robert S. Hartman: Freedom to Live

The Robert Hartman Story

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Edited by Arthur R. Ellis

This book is both a personal and a philosophical autobiography of Robert S. Hartman, the creator of formal axiology. After experiencing first-hand the horrible effects of World War I and the beginnings of Nazism in Germany, Hartman wondered what could be done to organize goodness instead of badness - for a change. First, the concept of good must be defined. Next, different kinds of goodness, like intrinsic, extrinsic, and systemic, must be differentiated. Then this understanding must be used to comprehend and to change the world, including its economic, political, military, religious, educational, intellectual, and psychological dimensions. By telling his own story, Hartman gives his readers a glimpse of the form of the good and of a much better world.

Series:

Noel Balzer

The aim of this book is to explain human rationality. The fundamental principles of human thought are stated in terms of Balzer's Principles, and their operations in everyday life are illustrated. The natural numbers are defined and explained in a fresh fashion. Paradoxes, including those of class theory and material implication, which have signaled that all is not well in our logical systems, are laid to rest here. The explanation of human rationality has more than logical interest, for it touches upon the human values embedded in our rationality. The book carries the message that all human beings are fundamentally equal.

Series:

Benjamin S. Llamzon

The book contends that contrary to accepted interpretation, moral intuition, rather than any other form of reasoning, least of all formal logic, is the moral method found in the ethics of Aristotle, Aquinas, Kant and Dewey - the first four chapters of the book. These four thinkers represent a dialectical selection of ethical relativism and absolutism as well as a chronological succession from ancient to contemporary thought. The fifth and concluding chapter is a major presentation of the author's thesis on moral intuition as the exact antidote against the dilemma ethics approach, which is widely used today with rapidly diminishing effect and interest. This chapter is a detailed illustration of how moral intuition works out concretely in the lived world. It stresses the unity of moral experience even as this is clouded over by our relatively fewer, but overdramatized, confrontations on some moral issues.