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I give an interpretation of the educational system in Platos ideal state in The Republic, which is quite different from the presentations given in introductory textbooks used at Norwegian universities. According to the standard interpretation, the platonic educational system is based on some principle of equality of opportunity. This interpretation fits badly with Platos text. The division of the society in three different classes is based on the natural qualities of the citizens, and I argue that, when established, this division hardly gives room for social mobility. The producers normally have no access to the primary education, which is a necessary condition for later qualification for leadership. The division between the producers and the guardians is also made quite watertight through eugenic devices.
J.G.A. Pococks The Machiavellian Moment enjoys a high status in the field of Machiavelli research, and stands as a model of how historical research in general should be performed. This essay question both Pococks results and method, and does not agree with his interpretation of Machiavelli. Machiavellis political thoughts represent a modern view which Pocock ignores, and which contains obvious parallels to Hobbes political theories, the essay arguments. Machiavellis self-sacrificing ideal, founded in some kind of civic virtue, is therefore rejected. Machiavellis political thoughts are on the contrary seen as an early modern point of view regarding the natural rights of social classes, and a brand new conception about reason of state. Machiavellis antique influences and common thoughts of the renaissance are not therefore ignored, but the author claims that the modern and traditional political view Machiavelli holds does not contradict each other.
In the question of the moral status of the fetus, two groups of philosophical positions in particular face each other: Theories in which the fetus value stems from its species or its nature usually lead to the conclusion that the fetus has a right to life from conception; whereas theories that demand the presence of certain attributes before the fetus aquires a right to life, usually attributes moral value to the fetus at a certain stage during pregnancy, or at or after birth. This paper presents the arguably most philosophically potent position from each group: Beckwiths and Kaczors substance view of the fetus; and Boonins organized brain activity criterion. The theories strong and weak points are identified and explored. We are lead to conclude that the former position is the stronger, but that significant objections to each position remain. Arguments from philosophical branches other than normative ethics itself are needed in order to decide which theory is the rationally preferable.
This paper concerns one of the central problems of modern philosophy, namely the problem of giving a naturalistic explanation of phenomenal consciousness. In the first part of the paper I argue that traditional physicalist theories have problems dealing with anti-physicalist arguments deducible from the armchair. Hench, such theories are unable to give a proper explanation of phenomenal consciousness as a natural phenomenon. In the second part of the paper I present an alternative view – Type-F monism- and I argue that this view provides the best naturalistic explanation available of phenomenal consciousness.
How should we read a philosophical text? In this article I'll present the truth concepts of Martin Heidegger and Theodor W. Adorno, focusing on the contradiction of describing a «new truth» while simultaneously criticizing the premises of a Western way of thinking. While «truth» traditionally tends to be regarded as correspondence and correctness, Heidegger and Adorno search to present a concept of truth which exceeds the habitual forms of understanding. Both Heidegger and Adorno relate «truth» to art. According to Adorno art has a privileged position when it comes to expressing truth. By being a rational construction meanwhile lacking an instrumental purpose, art is able to criticize rationality itself. Heidegger describes a «battle» between the opening of a «world» and the closing of the «earth», which is posed in the work of art and which reflects the basic character of existence itself. How do Heideggers and Adornos writing reflect their own truth concepts? In the end Adornos way of writing will in itself reveal his attitude towards truth. The question about what can be said and in which way, necessarily arises, and will be discussed along in this article.