Philosophical consequences

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  • This book first appeared in 1925. The basic principles of relativity have not changed since then, but both the theory and its applications have been much extended, and some revision has been necessary for the second and subsequent editions. For the second and third editions I carried out these revisions with Bertrand Russell's approval. The revisions for this fourth edition are entirely my responsibility.

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  • The aim of this book of essays is to advance contemporary work in creating stronger links between the history and philosophy of mathematics. It has become clear through several conferences and publications that the present situation at the beginning of the twenty-first century is congenial to this kind of historico-philosophical enterprise. The editors have brought together an important international group of scholars whose contributions focus on the history and philosophy of modern mathematics, roughly from 1800 to 1970....

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  • The so-called “dual-use dilemma” arises in the context of research in the biological and other sciences as a consequence of the fact that one and the same piece of scien- tific research sometimes has the potential to be used for harm as well as for good. A dual-use dilemma is an ethical dilemma, and an ethical dilemma for the researcher (and for those who have the power or authority to assist or impede the researcher’s work, e.g., governments). It is an ethical dilemma since it is about promoting good in the context of the potential for also causing harm, e.g.,...

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  • With the waning of Sir Kenelm Digby's philosophic reputation his name has not become obscure. It stands, vaguely perhaps, but permanently, for something versatile and brilliant and romantic. He remains a perpetual type of the hero of romance, the double hero, in the field of action and the realm of the spirit. Had he lived in an earlier age he would now be a mythological personage; and even without the looming exaggeration and glamour of myth he still imposes.

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  • One of the consequences of raising children in this world is that they make you think a lot more about the future. Because of the storms brewing in China, the future our children now face appears to be, at best, highly uncertain. At worst, it could be one that the philosopher Thomas Hobbes might describe as “nasty” and “brutish”—if no longer short.

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  • This book is an exploration of what it takes for an event to count as an action. I first became interested in this topic nearly a decade ago while working on a different topic. I kept coming across philosophers making claims about the nature of action that seemed false or at least dubious to me. As a consequence I turned to the philosophy of action directly, to get to the heart of the matter. I have wrestled with this territory ever since. I hope that, with this book, I have finally earned the intuitions that put me at odds with the philosophers I was originally reading....

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  • Über Schopenhauer: Arthur Schopenhauer (February 22, 1788–September 21, 1860) was a German philosopher known for his atheistic pessimism and philosophical clarity. At age 25, he published his doctoral dissertation, On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, which examined the fundamental question of whether reason alone can unlock answers about the world. Schopenhauer's most influential work, The World as Will and Representation, emphasized the role of man's basic motivation, which Schopenhauer called will.

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  • We come across an era of strong and even more unusual individual claims, while the solution to often conflicting demands becomes increasingly elusive and parochial. One of the most intriguing philosophical questions is how to link human responsibility to those consequences of action which no one can fully foresee but, nevertheless, which no one can afford to neglect. Many biotechnological challenges are of this nature.

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  • This article is the first of the series and attempts to explore some of the basic issues and key areas. We hope to develop some of these themes and add new ones integrating ancient wisdom and modern discoveries on the subject. Introduction Sheikh Saadi was passing across a wasteland when he saw someone sitting under a solitary tree. ''Who is he?'' enquired the Sheikh, surprised to see someone at noon in a desolate spot. The court philosopher accompanying him replied, ''None of any consequence, sir.'' ...

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