Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Journal of the History of Philosophy: Volume 47, Number 1, January 2009

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Journal of the History of Philosophy: Volume 47, Number 1, January 2009

Article excerpt

"Techne" and the Good in Plato's "Statesman" and "Philebus", GEORGE HARVEY

This paper addresses a number of questions raised in the Statesman by the Eleatic Visitor's identification of certain ontological conditions for the existence of art of due measure, and therefore of all the technai. My view is that evidence relevant to these questions can be found in the Philebus, and specifically, in an ontological doctrine presented at 23c-27c. What emerges from an examination of the Statesman and Philebus is a highly developed conception of techne, one that affords a place for such ordinary human activities within the broader framework of Plato's philosophy.

Spinoza on Civil Liberation, JUSTIN STEINBURG

In the final chapter of the Tractactus Theologico-Politicus, Spinoza declares that "the purpose of the state is, in reality, freedom." While this remark obviously purports to tell us something important about Spinoza's conception of the civitas, it is not clear exactly what is revealed. Recently, a number of scholars have interpreted this passage in a way that supports the view that Spinoza was a liberal for whom civic norms are rather more modest than the freedom of the Ethics. Against this view, this paper provides an interpretation of Spinoza's account of civil liberation that enables us to view the politica] writings as an extension of his larger ethical enterprise. Specifically, it shows that, according to Spinoza, the state can promote robust liberty in a variety of ways, not least by influencing the behavioral patterns and affective dispositions of its citizens.

Kant's Defense of Human Moral Status, PATRICK KAIN

The determination of individual moral status is a central factor in the ethical evaluation of controversial practices such as elective abortion, human embryo destructive research, and the care of the severely disabled and those in persistent vegetative states. …

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