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Josh Brandt

At the outset of the Republic, Polemarchus advances the bold thesis that “justice is the art which gives benefit to friends and injury to enemies”. He quickly rejects the hypothesis, and what follows is a long tradition of neglecting the ethics of enmity. The parallel issue of how friendship (and other positive relationships) affects the moral sphere has, by contrast, been greatly illuminated by discussions both ancient and contemporary. This article connects this existing work to the less explored topic of the normative significance of our negative relationships. I explain how negative partiality should be conceptualized through reference to the positive analogue, and argue that at least some forms of negative partiality are justified. I further explore the connection between positive and negative relationships by showing how both are justified by ongoing histories of encounter (though of different kinds). However, I also argue that these relationships are in some important ways asymmetrical (i.e. friendship is not the mirror image of enmity).

Die praktische Notwendigkeit des Guten

Handlungstheoretische Ethikbegründung im Ausgang von Gewirth und Korsgaard

Christoph Bambauer

In der jüngeren praktischen Philosophie sind verschiedene Theorien entwickelt worden, die das Problem der Rechtfertigung von praktischer Normativität mittels Rekurs auf handlungstheoretische Reflexionen zu lösen versuchen. In vorliegender Studie werden diese Theorien kritisch rekonstruiert.
Im Mittelpunkt der Analysen stehen vor allem die beiden Ansätze von Alan Gewirth und Christine Korsgaard. Sie dienen als Ausgangspunkte für weiterführende Argumente, die für die allgemeine Tragfähigkeit der Idee praktischer Ethikbegründungen entwickelt werden.

Michael Quante

Personhood and personality are essential features of human persons. Following the debate concerning ‘personal identity’ the metaphysical and the practical dimension of our personal lifeform are made explicit.
The search for criteria for personal identity on the one hand and for person-making characteristics on the other hand are at the center of the philosophy of person. In this book the various dimensions of the personal lifeform of human beings which have been debated in analytical philosophy are examined. Thereby a new systematic conception is unfolded in which the metaphysical and the practical aspects of our personal lifeform are made explicit as a complex unity.

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Dan Swain

In None so Fit to Break the Chains Dan Swain offers an interpretation of Marx's ethics that foregrounds his commitment to working class self-emancipation and uses it as a guiding thread to interpret a number of different aspects of Marx’s ethical thought. This commitment is frequently overlooked in discussions of Marx's ethics, but it deeply influenced his criticism of capitalism, his approach towards an alternative, and his conception of his own role as activist and theorist.

Foregrounding self-emancipation offers new perspectives on various existing debates in the interpretation of Marx, such as the meanings of concepts like alienation, exploitation and utopianism, and can also offer insights into broader questions of the relationship between critical theory and practice.

Perspectives on Evil

From Banality to Genocide

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Edited by Kanta Dihal

The question of evil is one of the oldest and most intensely studied topics in intellectual history. In fiction, legend and mythology the boundary between good and evil is often depicted as clear-cut, at least to the reader or listener, who is supposed to understand such tales as lessons and warnings. Evil is something that must be avoided by the hero in some cases and vanquished in others; it is either the exact opposite of the expected good behaviour, or its complete absence. Even so, for the characters in these didactic fictions, it turns out to be deceptively easy to fall to the infernal, ‘dark’ side. The chapters in this volume share a common thread – they all engage with ‘real’ evil: events and deeds of an evil nature that have been lived in the (recent) past and have become part of history, rather than fictional evil.

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Francesca Alesse