Academic Books, 2005
Buddhism, one increasingly hears, is an 'eco-friendly' religion. It is often said that this is because it promotes an 'ecological' view of things, one stressing the essential unity of human beings and the natural world. Buddhism, Virtue and Environment presents a different view. While agreeing that Buddhism is, in many important respects, in tune with environmental concerns, Cooper and James argue that what makes it 'green' is its view of human life. The true connection between the religion and environmental thought is to be found in Buddhist accounts of the virtues - those traits, such as compassion, equanimity and humility, that characterise the life of a spiritually enlightened individual.
Central chapters of this book examine these virtues and their implications for environmental attitudes and practice. Buddhism, Virtue and Environment will be of interest not only to students and teachers of Buddhism and environmental ethics, but to those more generally engaged with moral philosophy. Written in a clear and accessible style, this book presents an original conception of Buddhist environmental thought. The authors also contribute to the wider debate on the place of ethics in Buddhist teachings and practices, and to debates within 'virtue ethics' on the relations between human well-being and environmental concern.
This book is about science and beliefs generally, and not simply about science and religious beliefs, currently a very popular area of study. The book begins with an essay by David M.Knight on beliefs in and about science, and introducing the others; and will end with a conclusion by John H. Brooke pulling it all together. Between these there are 15 other chapters written both by established and up-and-coming scholars. The first eight chapters address 'Beliefs within Science' and last seven treat 'Beliefs underlying Science'.
John Locke (1632-1704) was one of the towering philosophers of the Enlightenment and arguably the greatest English philosopher. Many assumptions we now take for granted, about liberty, knowledge and government, come from Locke and his most influential works, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding and Two Treatises of Government. In this superb introduction to Locke's thought, E.J. Lowe covers all the major aspects of his philosophy. Whilst sensitive to the seventeenth century background to Locke's thought, he concentrates on introducing and assessing Locke in a contemporary philosophical setting, explaining why he is so important today. Beginning with a helpful overview of Locke's life and times, he explains how Locke challenged the idea that the human mind and knowledge of the external world rested on innate principles, laying the philosophical foundations of empiricism later taken up by Berkeley and Hume. Subsequent chapters introduce and critically assess topics fundamental to understanding Locke: his theories of substance and identity, language and meaning, philosophy of action and free will, and political freedom and toleration. In doing so, he explains some of the more complex yet pivotal aspects of Locke's thought, such as his theory that language rests on ideas and how Locke's theory of personal identity paved the way for modern empirical psychology. A final chapter assesses Locke's legacy, and the book includes a helpful chronology of Locke's life and glossary of unfamiliar terms.
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