Mary Wollstonecraft (/ˈwʊlstənkræft/, also UK: /-krɑːft/; 27 April 1759 – 10 September 1797) was a British writer, philosopher, and advocate of women's rights. Until the late 20th century, Wollstonecraft's life, which encompassed several unconventional personal relationships at the time, received more attention than her writing. Today Wollstonecraft is regarded as one of the founding feminist philosophers, and feminists often cite both her life and her works as important influences.
In political philosophy, a throffer is a proposal (also called an intervention) that mixes an offer with a threat which will be carried out if the offer is not accepted. The term was first used in print by political philosopher Hillel Steiner; while other writers followed, it has not been universally adopted and it is sometimes considered synonymous with carrot and stick. Though the threatening aspect of a throffer need not be obvious, or even articulated at all, an overt example is: "Kill this man and receive £100; fail to kill him and I'll kill you."
Steiner differentiated offers, threats and throffers based on the preferability of compliance and noncompliance for the subject when compared to the normal course of events that would have come about were no intervention made. Steiner's account was criticised by philosopher Robert Stevens, who instead suggested that what was important in differentiating the kinds of intervention was whether performing or not performing the requested action was more or less preferable than it would have been were no intervention made. Throffers form part of the wider moral and political considerations of coercion, and form part of the question of the possibility of coercive offers. Contrary to received wisdom that only threats can be coercive, throffers lacking explicit threats have been cited as an example of coercive offers, while some writers argue that offers, threats and throffers may all be coercive if certain conditions are met. For others, by contrast, if a throffer is coercive, it is explicitly the threat aspect that makes it so, and not all throffers can be considered coercive. (Full article...)
Born and raised in Albany, New York, Hand majored in philosophy at Harvard College and graduated with honors from Harvard Law School. After a relatively undistinguished career as a lawyer in Albany and New York City, he was appointed at the age of 37 as a Manhattan federal district judge in 1909. The profession suited his detached and open-minded temperament, and his decisions soon won him a reputation for craftsmanship and authority. Between 1909 and 1914, under the influence of Herbert Croly's social theories, Hand supported New Nationalism. He ran unsuccessfully as the Progressive Party's candidate for chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals in 1913, but withdrew from active politics shortly afterwards. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge elevated Hand to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which he went on to lead as the senior circuit judge (later retitled chief judge) from 1939 until his semi-retirement in 1951. Scholars have recognized the Second Circuit under Hand as one of the finest appeals courts in American history. Friends and admirers often lobbied for Hand's promotion to the Supreme Court, but circumstances and his political past conspired against his appointment. (Full article...)
Wallace did extensive fieldwork, starting in the Amazon River basin. He then did fieldwork in the Malay Archipelago, where he identified the faunal divide now termed the Wallace Line, which separates the Indonesian archipelago into two distinct parts: a western portion in which the animals are largely of Asian origin, and an eastern portion where the fauna reflect Australasia. He was considered the 19th century's leading expert on the geographical distribution of animal species, and is sometimes called the "father of biogeography", or more specifically of zoogeography. (Full article...)
Some Thoughts Concerning Education is a 1693 treatise on the education of gentlemen written by the English philosopher John Locke. For over a century, it was the most important philosophical work on education in England. It was translated into almost all of the major written European languages during the eighteenth century, and nearly every European writer on education after Locke, including Jean-Jacques Rousseau, acknowledged its influence.
In his Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690), Locke outlined a new theory of mind, contending that the mind is originally a tabula rasa or "blank slate"; that is, it did not contain any innate ideas at birth. Some Thoughts Concerning Education explains how to educate that mind using three distinct methods: the development of a healthy body; the formation of a virtuous character; and the choice of an appropriate academic curriculum. (Full article...)
1897 illustration of La Peau de chagrin, drawn by Adrien Moreau and published by George Barrie & Son
Before the book was completed, Balzac created excitement about it by publishing a series of articles and story fragments in several Parisian journals. Although he was five months late in delivering the manuscript, he succeeded in generating sufficient interest that the novel sold out instantly upon its publication. A second edition, which included a series of twelve other "philosophical tales", was released one month later. (Full article...)
Anarky is an anti-hero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Co-created by Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle, he first appeared in Detective Comics #608 (November 1989), as an adversary of Batman. Anarky is introduced as Lonnie Machin, a child prodigy with knowledge of radical philosophy and driven to overthrow governments to improve social conditions. Stories revolving around Anarky often focus on political and philosophical themes. The character, who is named after the philosophy of anarchism, primarily espouses anti-statism and attacks capitalism; however, multiple social issues have been addressed through the character, including environmentalism, antimilitarism, economic inequality, and political corruption. Inspired by multiple sources, early stories featuring the character often included homages to political and philosophical texts, and referenced anarchist philosophers and theorists. The inspiration for the creation of the character and its early development was based in Grant's personal interest in anti-authoritarian philosophy and politics. However, when Grant himself transitioned to the philosophy of Neo-Tech, developed by Frank R. Wallace, he shifted the focus of Anarky from a vehicle for social anarchism and then libertarian socialism, with an emphasis on wealth redistribution and critique of crony capitalism, to a Neo-Tech economy.
Originally intended to only be used in the debut story in which he appeared, Grant decided to continue using Anarky as a sporadically recurring character throughout the early 1990s, following positive reception by readers and Dennis O'Neil. The character experienced a brief surge in media exposure during the late 1990s when Breyfogle convinced Grant to produce a limited series based on the character. The 1997 spin-off series, Anarky, was received with positive reviews and sales, and later declared by Grant to be among his "career highlights". Batman: Anarky, a trade paperback collection of stories featuring the character, soon followed. This popular acclaim culminated, however, in a financially and critically unsuccessful ongoing solo series. The 1999 Anarky series, for which even Grant has expressed his distaste, was quickly canceled after eight issues. (Full article...)
Political Animals and Animal Politics is a 2014 edited collection published by Palgrave Macmillan and edited by the greenpolitical theoristsMarcel Wissenburg and David Schlosberg. The work addresses the emergence of academic animal ethics informed by political philosophy as opposed to moral philosophy. It was the first edited collection to be published on the topic, and the first book-length attempt to explore the breadth and boundaries of the literature. As well as a substantial introduction by the editors, it features ten sole-authored chapters split over three parts, respectively concerning institutional change for animals, the relationship between animal ethics and ecologism, and real-world laws made for the benefit of animals. The book's contributors were Wissenburg, Schlosberg, Manuel Arias-Maldonado, Chad Flanders, Christie Smith, Clemens Driessen, Simon Otjes, Kurtis Boyer, Per-Anders Svärd, and Mihnea Tanasescu. The focus of their individual chapters varies, but recurring features include discussions of human exceptionalism, exploration of ways that animal issues are or could be present in political discourse, and reflections on the relationship between theory and practice in politics.
Du Bois rose to national prominence as a leader of the Niagara Movement, a group of black civil rights activists who wanted equal rights for blacks. Du Bois and his supporters opposed the Atlanta compromise, an agreement crafted by Booker T. Washington which provided that Southern blacks would work and submit to white political rule, while Southern whites guaranteed that blacks would receive basic educational and economic opportunities. Instead, Du Bois insisted on full civil rights and increased political representation, which he believed would be brought about by the African-American intellectual elite. He referred to this group as the Talented Tenth, a concept under the umbrella of racial uplift, and believed that African Americans needed the chances for advanced education to develop its leadership. (Full article...)
It was a best-seller in the United States, where it caused a deistic revival. British audiences, fearing increased political radicalism as a result of the French Revolution, received it with more hostility. The Age of Reason presents common deistic arguments; for example, it highlights what Paine saw as corruption of the Christian Church and criticizes its efforts to acquire political power. Paine advocates reason in the place of revelation, leading him to reject miracles and to view the Bible as an ordinary piece of literature, rather than a divinely-inspired text. In The Age of Reason, he promotes natural religion and argues for the existence of a creator god. (Full article...)
Wollstonecraft's philosophical and gothic novel revolves around the story of a woman imprisoned in an insane asylum by her husband. It focuses on the societal rather than the individual "wrongs of woman" and criticizes what Wollstonecraft viewed as the patriarchal institution of marriage in eighteenth-century Britain and the legal system that protected it. However, the heroine's inability to relinquish her romantic fantasies also reveals women's collusion in their oppression through false and damaging sentimentalism. The novel pioneered the celebration of female sexuality and cross-class identification between women. Such themes, coupled with the publication of Godwin's scandalous Memoirs of Wollstonecraft's life, made the novel unpopular at the time it was published. (Full article...)
Determinism is the philosophical proposition that every event, including human cognition and action, is causally determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences. No mysterious miracles or wholly random events occur.
The principal consequence of deterministic philosophy is that free will (except as defined in strict compatibilism) becomes an illusion. It is a popular misconception that determinism necessarily entails that all future events have already been predetermined and will necessarily happen (a position known as Fatalism); this is not obviously the case, and the subject is still debated among metaphysicists. Determinism is associated with, and relies upon, the ideas of Materialism and Causality. Some of the philosophers who have dealt with this issue are Omar Khayyám, David Hume, Thomas Hobbes, Immanuel Kant, and, more recently, John Searle.
In 1943, Guthrie became the chairman of graduate philosophy at Georgetown University and dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. In this role, he admitted the first women to the school on equal terms as men. For twenty years, he promoted the belief that intellectuals must play a central role in combatting the ideologies that led to World War II. To that end, he was a member of the drafting committee of the UNESCO charter, was a co-founder of an American academy of Catholic intellectuals, and travelled the world with the U.S. State Department, for which he received honors from several countries and organizations. (Full article...)
When Averroes's works were translated into Latin, this theory was taken up and expanded by Averroists in Western Europe in the following centuries, such as Siger of Brabant, John of Jandun and John Baconthorpe. It also influenced the secularist political philosophy of Dante Alighieri in the fourteenth century. However, it was rejected by other philosophers—including Thomas Aquinas, who wrote a detailed critique—and received condemnation by Catholic Church authorities. In modern times, it is no longer seen as a tenable theory and historian of philosophy Peter Adamson comments that it is a product of Averroes's time. (Full article...)
Moral blindness, also known as ethical blindness, is defined as a person's temporary inability to see the ethical aspect of a decision they are making. It is often caused by external factors due to which an individual is unable to see the immoral aspect of their behavior in that particular situation.
The hard–easy effect is a cognitive bias that manifests itself as a tendency to overestimate the probability of one's success at a task perceived as hard, and to underestimate the likelihood of one's success at a task perceived as easy. The hard-easy effect takes place, for example, when individuals exhibit a degree of underconfidence in answering relatively easy questions and a degree of overconfidence in answering relatively difficult questions. "Hard tasks tend to produce overconfidence but worse-than-average perceptions," reported Katherine A. Burson, Richard P. Larrick, and Jack B. Soll in a 2005 study, "whereas easy tasks tend to produce underconfidence and better-than-average effects."
The hard-easy effect falls under the umbrella of "social comparison theory", which was originally formulated by Leon Festinger in 1954. Festinger argued that individuals are driven to evaluate their own opinions and abilities accurately, and social comparison theory explains how individuals carry out those evaluations by comparing themselves to others. (Full article...)
Cover page of a 1931 edition of The Indian Antiquary
In pragmatics, a subdiscipline of linguistics, an implicature is something the speaker suggests or implies with an utterance, even though it is not literally expressed. Implicatures can aid in communicating more efficiently than by explicitly saying everything we want to communicate. The philosopher H. P. Grice coined the term in 1975. Grice distinguished conversational implicatures, which arise because speakers are expected to respect general rules of conversation, and conventional ones, which are tied to certain words such as "but" or "therefore". Take for example the following exchange:
: A (to passerby): I am out of gas. : B: There is a gas station 'round the corner. (Full article...)
Manilal Nabhubhai Dwivedi (pronounced [məɲilal nəbʰubʰai dvivedi](listen); 26 September 1858 – 1 October 1898) was a Gujarati-language writer, philosopher, and social thinker from British India, commonly referred to as Manilal in literary circles. He was an influential figure in 19th-century Gujarati literature, and was one of several Gujarati writers and educators involved in the debate over social reforms, focusing on issues such as the status of women, child marriage, and the question of whether widows could remarry. He held Eastern civilisation in high esteem, and resisted the influence of Western civilisation, a position which drew him into conflicts with other social reformers of a less conservative outlook. He considered himself a "reformer along religious lines".
Manilal's writings belong to the Pandit Yuga, or "Scholar Era" – a time in which Gujarati writers explored their traditional literature, culture and religion in order to redefine contemporary Indian identity when it was subject to challenge from the influential Western model introduced under colonial rule. His works include Atmanimajjan, a collection of poems on the theme of love in the context of Advaita (non-duality) philosophy; Kanta, a play combining Sanskrit and English dramatic techniques; Nrusinhavatar, a play based on Sanskrit dramatic traditions; Pranavinimaya, a study of yoga and mysticism; and Siddhantasara, a historical critique of the world's religious philosophies. His faith in Shankara's Advaita philosophy provided the fundamental underpinning for his philosophical thought. He was invited to present a paper at the first Parliament of World Religions, held in Chicago in 1893, but financial considerations made his participation there impossible. (Full article...)
Sir William Blackstone (10 July 1723 – 14 February 1780) was an English jurist, justice and Tory politician most noted for writing the Commentaries on the Laws of England which became the best-known description of the doctrines of English law. Born into a middle-class family in London, Blackstone was educated at Charterhouse School before matriculating at Pembroke College, Oxford, in 1738. After switching to and completing a Bachelor of Civil Law degree, he was made a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, on 2 November 1743, admitted to Middle Temple, and called to the Bar there in 1746. Following a slow start to his career as a barrister, Blackstone became heavily involved in university administration, becoming accountant, treasurer and bursar on 28 November 1746 and Senior Bursar in 1750. Blackstone is considered responsible for completing the Codrington Library and Warton Building, and simplifying the complex accounting system used by the college. On 3 July 1753 he formally gave up his practice as a barrister and instead embarked on a series of lectures on English law, the first of their kind. These were massively successful, earning him a total of £453 (£75,000 in 2023 terms), and led to the publication of An Analysis of the Laws of England in 1756, which repeatedly sold out and was used to preface his later works.
Abū al-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī (Arabic: أبو العلاء المعري, full name أبو العلاء أحمد بن عبد الله بن سليمان التنوخي المعريAbū al-ʿAlāʾ Aḥmad ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sulaymān al-Tanūkhī al-Maʿarrī, also known under his Latin name Abulola Moarrensis; December 973 – May 1057) was an Arab philosopher, poet, and writer. Because of his controversially irreligiousworldview, he is known as one of the "foremost atheists" of his time according to Nasser Rabbat.
Born in the city of al-Ma'arra (present-day Ma'arrat al-Nu'man, Syria) during the later Abbasid era, he became blind at a young age from smallpox but nonetheless studied in nearby Aleppo, then in Tripoli and Antioch. Producing popular poems in Baghdad, he refused to sell his texts. In 1010, he returned to Syria after his mother began declining in health, and continued writing which gained him local respect. (Full article...)
Mahadevi or Durga
The Devi Upanishad (Sanskrit:देवी उपनिषत्), is one of the minor Upanishads of Hinduism and a text composed in Sanskrit. It is one of the 19 Upanishads attached to the Atharvaveda, and is classified as one of the eight Shakta Upanishads. It is, as an Upanishad, a part of the corpus of Vedanta literature collection that present the philosophical concepts of Hinduism.
The text was likely composed between 9th- to 14th-centuries CE. It refers to Mahadevi as representing all goddesses. The Devi Upanishad is part of the five Atharvashiras Upanishads important to Tantra and Shakta philosophy traditions. (Full article...)
Marcellina was an early ChristianCarpocratian religious leader in the mid-second century AD known primarily from the writings of Irenaeus and Origen. She originated in Alexandria, but moved to Rome during the episcopate of Anicetus (c. 157 – 168). She attracted large numbers of followers and founded the Carpocratian sect of Marcellians. Like other Carpocratians, Marcellina and her followers believed in antinomianism, also known as libertinism, the idea that obedience to laws and regulations is unnecessary in order to attain salvation. They believed that Jesus was only a man, but saw him as a model to be emulated, albeit one which a believer was capable of surpassing. Marcellina's community appears to have sought to literally implement the foundational Carpocratian teaching of social egalitarianism. The Marcellians in particular are reported to have branded their disciples on the insides of their right earlobes and venerated images of Jesus as well as Greek philosophers such as Pythagoras, Plato, and Aristotle. Although the Marcellians identified themselves as "gnostics", many modern scholars do not classify them as members of the sect of Gnosticism. (Full article...)
The first seventy-seven of these essays were published serially in the Independent Journal, the New York Packet, and The Daily Advertiser between October 1787 and April 1788. A compilation of these 77 essays and eight others were published in two volumes as The Federalist: A Collection of Essays, Written in Favour of the New Constitution, as Agreed upon by the Federal Convention, September 17, 1787, by publishing firm J. & A. McLean in March and May 1788. The last eight papers (Nos. 78–85) were republished in the New York newspapers between June 14 and August 16, 1788. (Full article...)
Image 5Oscar Wilde reclining with Poems, by Napoleon Sarony, in New York in 1882. Wilde often liked to appear idle, though in fact he worked hard; by the late 1880s he was a father, an editor, and a writer.
Image 14Leo Tolstoy in 1897. Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy was a Russian writer who is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time.
Image 15The center third of Education (1890), a stained glass window by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Tiffany Studios, located in Linsly-Chittenden Hall at Yale University. It depicts Science (personified by Devotion, Labor, Truth, Research and Intuition) and Religion (personified by Purity, Faith, Hope, Reverence and Inspiration) in harmony, presided over by the central personification of "Light·Love·Life".
Philosophy ponders the most fundamental questions humankind has been able to ask. These are increasingly numerous and over time they have been arranged into the overlapping branches of the philosophy tree:
Aesthetics: What is art? What is beauty? Is there a standard of taste? Is art meaningful? If so, what does it mean? What is good art? Is art for the purpose of an end, or is "art for art's sake?" What connects us to art? How does art affect us? Is some art unethical? Can art corrupt or elevate societies?
Epistemology: What are the nature and limits of knowledge? What is more fundamental to human existence, knowing (epistemology) or being (ontology)? How do we come to know what we know? What are the limits and scope of knowledge? How can we know that there are other minds (if we can)? How can we know that there is an external world (if we can)? How can we prove our answers? What is a true statement?
Ethics: Is there a difference between ethically right and wrong actions (or values, or institutions)? If so, what is that difference? Which actions are right, and which wrong? Do divine commands make right acts right, or is their rightness based on something else? Are there standards of rightness that are absolute, or are all such standards relative to particular cultures? How should I live? What is happiness?
Logic: What makes a good argument? How can I think critically about complicated arguments? What makes for good thinking? When can I say that something just does not make sense? Where is the origin of logic?
Metaphysics: What sorts of things exist? What is the nature of those things? Do some things exist independently of our perception? What is the nature of space and time? What is the relationship of the mind to the body? What is it to be a person? What is it to be conscious? Do gods exist?
Political philosophy: Are political institutions and their exercise of power justified? What is justice? Is there a 'proper' role and scope of government? Is democracy the best form of governance? Is governance ethically justifiable? Should a state be allowed? Should a state be able to promote the norms and values of a certain moral or religious doctrine? Are states allowed to go to war? Do states have duties against inhabitants of other states?