Ancient Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short by Julia Annas

By Julia Annas

The culture of historical philosophy is an extended, wealthy and sundry one, within which the notes of debate and argument continually resound. This ebook introduces old debates, attractive us with the traditional advancements in their topics. relocating clear of the presentation of historic philosophy as a succession of serious thinkers, the e-book provides readers a feeling of the freshness and liveliness of historic philosophy, and of its big range of subject matters and kinds.

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What I like about Gramsci is that there is always some concrete instance there, and there is always power. This doesnʼt prevent you from generalizing, but you can always see some forces on the ground. Whereas what happened in Britain was that the theorizing went up a notch, I agree. RP: It went up another notch when Lacan was thrown into the brew, because on top of this linguistically based equivalence of subject positions we suddenly had overlaid an account of sexual difference as something which overrides all other differences.

The change in the balance between the number of students and the teaching staff has been no benefit to students. We are upping the numbers at the serious expense of the quality of the education we offer. That may sound conservative, but itʼs true. I canʼt look my Open University students in the face and tell them that I think theyʼre getting the best education that they could get in our system at present. The Research Assessment Exercise is structured to favour the already established, older universities, to validate their position at the top of the tree, and to create 38 Radical Philosophy 86 (November/December 1997) differences between teaching universities and research universities, and between teaching staff and research staff.

Dennett has perpetrated a more subtle version of Spencerʼs ethical non sequitur with respect to ʻthe survival of the fittestʼ. ) One could (but Dennett does not) propose, despite the appearance (and avowal) of purpose in human action, that it actually has none. ) Instead, ʻpurposeʼ in its explanatory guise, he claims, is to be explicated in the terms described above. Now, either the claim here is: (a) that when ʻpurposeʼ is invoked, the appearance of Radical Philosophy 86 (November/December 1997) purpose is wholly the post hoc result of immeasurably complex (and, usually, epistemically irretrievable) causal processes operating from the past to the future, which ultimately turn on differential rates of reproductive success, but that ʻpurposeʼ serves its explanatory function because we use it to deduce the same explananda as we would if we knew the causal processes; or it is (b) that there really is a purpose projected in the future, and ʻsurvival valueʼ is what it has to be.

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