Read e-book online A World without Why PDF

By Raymond Geuss

ISBN-10: 1400848482

ISBN-13: 9781400848485

Wishful pondering is a deeply ingrained human trait that has had a long term distorting influence on moral considering. Many influential moral perspectives rely on the positive assumption that, regardless of appearances on the contrary, the human and wildlife within which we are living may, ultimately, be made to make feel to us. In A global with out Why, Raymond Geuss demanding situations this assumption.

The essays during this collection--several of that are released right here for the 1st time--explore the genesis and old improvement of this confident configuration in moral concept and the ways that it has proven itself to be unfounded and faulty. Discussions of Greco-Roman antiquity and of the philosophies of Socrates, Plato, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and Adorno play a principal position in lots of of those essays. Geuss additionally levels over such issues because the techniques of intelligibility, authority, democracy, and feedback; the function of mendacity in politics; structure; where of theology in ethics; tragedy and comedy; and the fight among realism and our look for meaning.

Characterized by way of Geuss's wide-ranging pursuits in literature, philosophy, and historical past, and through his political dedication and trenchant sort, A global with no Why increases primary questions about the viability not only of particular moral innovations and theses, yet of our most elementary assumptions approximately what ethics may well and has to be.

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You won’t, however, really take this point until and unless you have tried yourself to refute the god and failed. The god’s statement is thus intended to motivate Socrates to improve himself (and indirectly his fellow humans) in two ways. He is to pursue the truth assiduously but also to try to prove the god wrong. 19 The resulting grasp of his own cognitive limitations while continuing uninterruptedly to pursue truth is the beginning of wisdom. The best way to acquire a motivation to pursue the truth is perhaps through generating a state of puzzlement, and the best—­or at any rate an especially good—­way of creating the Vix intellegitur • 39 right kind of productive puzzlement is by giving an obscure oracular response.

It isn’t that, as one says, “examples of this kind can be multiplied ad libitum” because that suggests that there are special “examples” and thus that there could also be non-­examples. Rather, I think this context-­dependency is a universal phenomenon, except in the very few areas of everyday life that have been invaded by formal or technical usages, such as discussions of the legal requirements for proper tenancy, inheritance or conveyancing, medical prescriptions, or the naming of the parts and modes of functioning of complex machines like computers.

It seems plausible to expect that at least one of the immediate pressures operating here resulted from the demands of education, especially higher education. What seems, however, also rather clear, even to an outsider, is that the idea that there was one discernible, collective thing, “the humanities,” a more or less unitary set of subjects or disciplines that belonged together, required a highly constructive act of conceptualization, putting together various existing, disparate things that had not antecedently been thought to have anything particular to do with each other.

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A World without Why by Raymond Geuss


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