Volume 23, Number 2
According to the traditional account of Leibniz's early philosophy, he briefly accepted a broadly Cartesian physics by which "only God has the ability to move bodies by continually recreating them in different places..." Some believe that this Cartesianism, which seems to be endorsed in the 1669 letter to Thomasius, indicates that Leibniz accepted a version of occasionalism in that letter. This paper argues that Leibniz does not hold an occasionalistic notion of causation in the 1669 letter to Thomasius. In pursuing a synthesis of hylomorphism and Cartesianism, Leibniz arrives at an account that avoids occasionalism and has striking similaries to scholastic theories about motion.
In this essay I am concerned with drawing instructive parallels between the justifications of a principle of neutrality that occur in John Rawlsıs political liberalism and in John Stuart Millıs substantive liberalism. For both Rawls and Mill, the principle of neutrality is meant to be a crucial part of the claim to legitimacy for their preferred state. I begin with some brief comments about (1) the problem of political legitimacy as it is understood by modern political philosophers and (2) the concept of neutrality and how it is readily suggested by the modern formulation of the problem of political legitimacy. Next, I show how the theories of Rawls and Mill share striking structural similarity in terms of their justification of a principle of neutrality. Moreover, there are points at which the structure of the principle of neutrality is in important respects the same for both philosophers. However, once the parallels are drawn we can isolate the important dissimilarity of these views. On the basis of the distinguishing features of the two approaches, it is argued that there is good reason to reject that of Rawls.
What makes an artwork bring on the demands of censorship? Is it when it offends a majority of people, a significant minority, or just a few?
And is it censorship when the work is denied all venues of exhibition (as in snuff films or child pornography) or is it also censorship when it is denied public grants and/or exhibitions dependent on public funds i.e. in museums, but granted the right of private exhibition i.e. in commercial galleries?
The article "Censorship, 'Decency' and Dollars" by Dena Shottenkirk (Hunter College) deals with the thorny and difficult issues surrounding art censorship, and the political and aesthetic consequences of them. J.S. Mill's harm/offense distinction is sometimes used in such discussions regarding paternalism, but, even setting aside Mill's back-pedaling on public decency concerns, the harm/offense distinction is not the clear-cut one we'd often want in dealing with contemporary culture. How much of modernism's avant-garde would exist without tweaking the boundaries of harm and offense, and how dependent are our free speech rights on such cultural expressions? While hoping to defend the rights of perverse expression and - at the same time-democracy everywhere, the line drawn on what-gets-shown and who-gets-to-decide are tempestuous issues indeed.
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