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By Raymond Geuss

Wishful pondering is a deeply ingrained human trait that has had a long term distorting influence on moral considering. Many influential moral perspectives depend upon the confident assumption that, regardless of appearances on the contrary, the human and flora and fauna within which we are living may, finally, be made to make experience to us. In A international 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 ancient improvement of this positive configuration in moral suggestion 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 important position in lots of of those essays. Geuss additionally levels over such issues because the innovations 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 by way of Geuss's wide-ranging pursuits in literature, philosophy, and background, and via his political dedication and trenchant type, A global with no Why increases basic questions on the viability not only of particular moral options and theses, yet of our most simple assumptions approximately what ethics may perhaps and has to be.

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Ist das unscharfe nicht oft gerade das was wir brauchen? Frege vergleicht den Begriff mit einem Bezirk und sagt: einen unklar begrenzten Begriff könne man überhaupt keinen Begriff nennen. Das heißt wohl, wir können mit ihm nichts anfangen. [Is an indistinct photograph really at all a picture of a human being? Can one, in fact, always with advantage replace an indistinct picture with a distinct one? Isn’t the indistinct one often just the one we need? Frege compares a concept with a domain and says: one cannot call a concept which is not clearly limited a concept at all.

14 Or a Roman version of this: “Die with as many extravagant gestures of bravery as you can, then you will ‘rule the world’ with your posthumous glory”? Or should the Trojans become professional experts in genealogy, helping everyone find out who their ancient mother (and then also, perhaps, father) really was? 15 If the last of these possibilities seem increasingly far-­fetched, as indeed they are, one might recall that that is often a characteristic of the fulfillment of oracles, and in the Aeneid itself one can find equally recherché examples of the way oracles are claimed to have been fulfilled and thus what it is retrospectively claimed they “really” meant.

Not, of course, an infallible way, because there will always be incorrigible 40 • Essay 2 people like Pyrrhus, but one that might in the long run have some effect on humanity as a whole, and the god, if anyone, can afford to play the long game. 21 It is convenient to use the Latin word vates to refer to such an intermediary. Occasionally in the past people have construed the role of the poet as in some sense like that of the vates. 22 Even in the best of circumstances, however, the poet does not know exactly what the god knows or at any rate does not know whatever is to be known in the way in which the god knows it.

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