Yasuo Deguchi, Jay L. Garfield, Graham Priest, and Robert H. Sharf
Typically, in the Western philosophical tradition, the presence of paradox and contradictions is taken to signal the failure or refutation of a theory or line of thinking. This aversion to paradox rests on the commitment-whether implicit or explicit-to the view that reality must be consistent. In What Can't be Said, Yasuo Deguchi, Jay L. Garfield, Graham Priest, and Robert H. Sharf extend their earlier arguments that the discovery of paradox and contradiction can deepen rather than disprove a philosophical position, and confirm these ideas in the context of East Asian philosophy. They claim that, unlike most Western philosophers, many East Asian philosophers embraced paradox, and provide textual evidence for this claim. Examining two classical Daoist texts, the Daodejing and the Zhaungzi, as well as the trajectory of Buddhism in East Asia, including works from the Sanlun, Tiantai, Chan, and Zen traditions and culminating with the Kyoto school of philosophy, they argue that these philosophers' commitment to paradox reflects an understanding of reality as inherently paradoxical, revealing significant philosophical insights. Source: Publisher
Jay L. Garfield
Buddhist Ethics presents an outline of Buddhist ethical thought. It is not a defense of Buddhist approaches to ethics as opposed to any other, nor is it a critique of the Western tradition. Garfield presents a broad overview of a range of Buddhist approaches to the question of moral philosophy. He draws on a variety of thinkers, reflecting the great diversity of this 2500-year-old tradition in philosophy but also the principles that tie them together. In particular, he engages with the literature that argues that Buddhist ethics is best understood as a species of virtue ethics, and with those who argue that it is best understood as consequentialist. Garfield argues that while there are important points of contact with these Western frameworks, Buddhist ethics is distinctive, and is a kind of moral phenomenology that is concerned with the ways in which we experience ourselves as agents and others as moral fellows. With this framework, Garfield explores the connections between Buddhist ethics and recent work in moral particularism, such as that of Jonathan Dancy, as well as the British and Scottish sentimentalist tradition represented by Hume and Smith. Source: Publisher
Jay L. Garfield and The Yakherds
Tsongkhapa (1357-1419) is by any measure the single most influential philosopher in Tibetan history. His articulation of Prasangika Madhyamaka, and his interpretation of the 7th Century Indian philosopher Candrakirti's interpretation of Madhyamaka is the foundation for the understanding of that philosophical system in the Geluk school in Tibet. Tsongkhapa argues that Candrakirti shows that we can integrate the Madhyamaka doctrine of the two truths, and of the ultimate emptiness of all phenomena with a robust epistemology that explains how we can know both conventional and ultimate truth and distinguish truth from falsity within the conventional world.
The Sakya scholar Taktsang Lotsawa (born 1405) published the first systematic critique of Tsongkhapa's system. In the fifth chapter of his Freedom from Extremes Accomplished through Comprehensive Knowledge of Philosophy, Taktsang attacks Tsongkhapa's understanding of Candrakirti and the cogency of integrating Prasangika Madhyamaka with any epistemology. This attack launches a debate between Geluk scholars on the one hand and Sakya and Kagyu scholars on the other regarding the proper understanding of this philosophical school and the place of epistemology in the Madhyamaka program. This debate raged with great ferocity from the 15th through the 18th centuries, and continues still today.
These two volumes study that debate and present translations of the most important texts produced in that context. Volume I provides historical and philosophical background for this dispute and elucidates the philosophical issues at stake in the debate, exploring the principal arguments advanced by the principals on both sides, and setting them in historical context. This volume presents English translations of each of the most important texts in this debate.
Susan B. Levin
Transhumanists urge us to pursue the biotechnological heightening of select capacities, above all, cognitive ability, so far beyond any human ceiling that the beings with those capacities would exist on a higher ontological plane. Because transhumanists tout humanity’s self-transcendence via science and technology, and suggest that bioenhancement may be morally required, the human stakes of how we respond to transhumanism are unprecedented and immense. In Posthuman Bliss? The Failed Promise of Transhumanism, Susan B. Levin challenges transhumanists’ overarching commitments regarding the mind, brain, ethics, liberal democracy, knowledge, and reality in a more thoroughgoing and integrated way than has occurred thus far. Her critique shows transhumanists’ notion of humanity’s self-transcendence into “posthumanity” to be pure, albeit seductive, fantasy. Levin’s philosophical conclusions would stand even if, as transhumanists proclaim, science and technology supported their vision of posthumanity. They offer breezy assurances that posthumans will emerge if we but allocate sufficient resources to that end. Yet, far from offering theoretical and practical “proof of concept” for the vision that they urge upon us, transhumanists engage inadequately with cognitive psychology, biology, and neuroscience, often relying on questionable or outdated views within those fields. Having shown in depth why transhumanism should be rejected, Levin defends a holistic perspective on living well that is rooted in Aristotle’s virtue ethics but adapted to liberal democracy. This holism is thoroughly human, in the best of senses. We must jettison transhumanists’ fantasy, both because their arguments fail and because transhumanism fails to do us justice. (From publisher)
Jay L. Garfield
Jay L. Garfield defends two exegetical theses regarding Hume's Treatise on Human Nature. The first is that Book II is the theoretical foundation of the Treatise. Second, Garfield argues that we cannot understand Hume's project without an appreciation of his own understanding of custom, and in particular, without an appreciation of the grounding of his thought about custom in the legal theory and debates of his time. Custom is the source of Hume's thoughts about normativity, not only in ethics and in political theory, but also in epistemological, linguistics, and scientific practice- and is the source of his insight that our psychological and social natures are so inextricably linked. The centrality of custom and the link between the psychological and the social are closely connected, which is why Garfield begins with Book II.
There are four interpretative perspectives at work in this volume: one is a naturalistic skeptical interpretation of Hume's Treatise; a second is the foregrounding of Book II of the Treatise as foundational for Books I and III. A third is the consideration of the Treatise in relation to Hume's philosophical antecedents (particularly Sextus, Bayle, Hutcheson, Shaftesbury, and Mandeville), as well as eighteenth century debates about the status of customary law, with one eye on its sequellae in the work of Kant, the later Wittgenstein, and in contemporary cognitive science. The fourth is the Buddhist tradition in which many of the ideas Hume develops are anticipated and articulated in somewhat different ways.
Garfield presents Hume as a naturalist, a skeptic and as, above all, a communitarian. In offering this interpretation, he provides an understanding of the text as a whole in the context of the literature to which it responded, and in the context of the literature it inspired.
Albert Mosley and Eulalio Baltazar
An introduction to the discipline of logic covering subjects from the structures of arguments, classical and modern logic, categorical and inductive inferences, to informal fallacies.
- Over 30 years of development provides a sound empirical based pedagogy throughout the text.
- Examples in ordinary language using familiar examples avoids the suggestion of an alien cultural imposition.
- A focus on the basic representational techniques of classical and modern logic.
- Students introduced to basic concepts of set theory, using Venn diagrams to represent statements and evaluate arguments.
- Students introduced to basic concepts of propositional logic and the use of truth-tables.
- Students introduced to basic concepts of predicate logic and the use of mixed quantifiers.
- Students introduced to the relationship between logic diagrams, circuit diagrams, and gate diagrams in computer science.
- Students introduced to the use of logic in ordinary and scientific contexts.
- Students provided a historical introduction to the development of modern probability theory and its relationship to logic.
- Students introduced to basic concepts of statistical inference, with non-technical treatments of hasty and biased statistical generalizations. And a unique treatment of stereotypical thinking in terms of statistical syllogisms.
- Students introduced to basic notions in analogical and causal inference.
- Exercises requiring both passive (recognition) and active (construction) skills.
- Exercises including locutions and examples from standard English and ethnic dialects of English (African-American, Hispanic-American, etc)
- Answers for sample exercises provided, making the text closer to a self-teaching module
Nalini Bhushan and Stuart Michael Rosenfeld
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