Human Rights and Human Liberties: A Radical Reconsideration of the American Political Tradition

By Tibor R. Machan | Go to book overview

Notes to Chapter 3
1. Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics. For Aristotle the discussion of ethics forms part of a comprehensive doctrine -- although not necessarily one that cannot be revised in line with new knowledge, as in Plato. Contemporary philosophy has, in the main, eschewed this systematic approach in favor of piecemeal criticism, analysis, and so forth, following the post-Cartesian idea that a philosopher has no business being concerned with facts of nature. One can find many philosophers today whose paper published in one journal will be inconsistent with that published in another, whose ideal is an open mind, one that can yield easily to any new possibilities. Even this ideal reflects the passive-mind doctrines dominant in modern philosophy. Yet there is also a justified fear of grand speculative doctrines in the face of rapid developments within the various branches of science that seem, at least to some philosophers, to threaten all substantive philosophical doctrines.
2. The following provide groundwork for points being made in this discussion: John Yolton , "Action: Metaphysics and Modality," American Philosophical Quarterly ( April 1973), pp. 71-85; E. H. Madden and Rom Harre, "In Defense of Natural Agents," The Philosophical Quarterly ( April 1973), pp. 117-132; Roger W. Sperry, "Mind, Brain, and Humanist Values," in John R. Platt (ed.), New Views of the Nature of Man ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1965), pp. 71-92; Nathaniel Branden, The Psychology of Self-Esteem ( Los Angeles, Calif.: Nash Publishing Co., 1969); Milton Fisk, Nature and Necessity ( Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1974).
3. For more detailed discussion of these issues see J. M. Boyle, et al., "Determinism, Freedom, and Self-Referential Arguments," The Review of Metaphysics ( September 1972), pp. 3-37; James Jordan, "Determinism's Dilemma," The Review of Metaphysics ( September 1969), pp. 48-66.
4. There are too many existentialists now to be confident about the claim that all are subjectivists. Even Kierkegaard's subjectivism may have to be reevaluated when we consider that he was responding to an objectivism advanced in conjunction with mechanism and fullblown determinism. Sartre's subjectivism is, in turn, mitigated by his quite objectivist doctrine of "authenticity versus bad faith." Most of these disputes must be understood in light of the false dichotomy between mechanistic determinism and the freedom of the immaterial soul (will). For a view of Aristotle's notion of the soul see Henry B. Veatch, Aristotle ( Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1974). Veatch advances the thesis that Aristotle holds an aspectival view of the relationship between mind and body. For the way in which this can contribute to the resolution of subjectivism versus objectivism in ethics see Book II, Chapter 2 in Machan, The Pseudo-Science of B. F. Skinner ( New Rochelle, N. Y.:Arlington House, 1974).
5. Eric Mack, "How to Derive Ethical Egoism," The Personalist (Autumn 1971), pp. 736- 743.
6. Ibid., p. 735.
7. Ibid., pp. 736-737.
8. Ibid.
9. Ayn Rand, For the New Intellectual ( New York: New American Library, 1963), p. 132. Rand holds that "Happiness is a state of non-contradictory joy -- a joy without penalty or

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Human Rights and Human Liberties: A Radical Reconsideration of the American Political Tradition
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Chapter 1 1
  • Chapter 2 47
  • Chapter 3 59
  • Chapter 4 103
  • Chapter 5 - Government and Human Rights 141
  • Chapter 6 181
  • Chapter 7 231
  • Chapter 8 253
  • Notes to Chapter 1 281
  • Notes to Chapter 3 284
  • Notes to Chapter 4 287
  • Notes to Chapter 5 290
  • Notes to Chapter 6 291
  • Notes to Chapter 7 294
  • Notes to Chapter 8 295
  • Index 297
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