By Raymond Geuss
Wishful considering is a deeply ingrained human trait that has had a long term distorting impact on moral pondering. Many influential moral perspectives rely on the positive assumption that, regardless of appearances on the contrary, the human and flora and fauna during which we are living may well, ultimately, be made to make feel to us. In A international with no Why, Raymond Geuss demanding situations this assumption.
The essays during this collection--several of that are released the following for the 1st time--explore the genesis and historic improvement of this positive configuration in moral inspiration and the ways that it has proven itself to be unfounded and inaccurate. Discussions of Greco-Roman antiquity and of the philosophies of Socrates, Plato, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and Adorno play a vital function in lots of of those essays. Geuss additionally levels over such subject matters because the thoughts of intelligibility, authority, democracy, and feedback; the position of mendacity in politics; structure; where of theology in ethics; tragedy and comedy; and the fight among realism and our look for meaning.
Characterized via Geuss's wide-ranging pursuits in literature, philosophy, and background, and via his political dedication and trenchant sort, A global with out Why increases primary questions on the viability not only of particular moral innovations and theses, yet of our most simple assumptions approximately what ethics may perhaps and needs to be.
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Additional resources for A World without Why
Christianity did not in the first instance cure the preexisting problem of sin but attempted to cure a completely different (and, Nietzsche thinks, virtually incurable) other condition, namely a historically specific, widespread form of human debility. ” The model here is addiction to drugs. Those who believe or feel themselves to be “sinners” think they need the consolation Christianity provides; those who really have been turned into sinners really do need that consolation, in the way the addict needs the drug.
As Oedipus’s end may be taken to show, his own voluntary or involuntary action in the world is in the final analysis not that important. To think it is, that he can change his fate, that the world is essentially a realm constituted by his action, is a kind of wishful thinking. The second form of human weakness we encounter is in a way the mirror image of the first. Rather than trusting too much to their own Vix intellegitur • 31 powers as agents to shape a course of action that will satisfy them, humans can be excessively overcome by the recognition of their own impotence and consequently excessively dependent and demanding.
Does the notion of “inherent” obscurity, or its correlative, “inherent” clarity, make sense? Of course, if it is no more than an empirical, sociological claim—some things I find it hard to grasp; some things you find it hard to grasp; some thing we both, and most of the people 24 • Essay 2 in some imagined reference group, would find it hard to grasp—it is unobjectionable, but it is then unclear what its significance is, or indeed whether it even had any deeper significance. In everyday interaction and language-use what counts as clear and what as obscure depends very much on a highly variable context.
A World without Why by Raymond Geuss