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The Cambridge Companion to Hobbes

by Tom Sorell

Written by scholars from five countries, this study discusses Hobbes' view of the nature of history and the works of history written by him.

Descartes: A Very Short Introduction

by Tom Sorell

Much previous literature on Descartes treats his dualistic metaphysics as if it were disconnected in a manner analogous to his problematic mind-body split from his natural philosophy. As part of a series complementing the International Research Library of Philosophy, this volume reflects the trend in recent Descartes studies to affirm the increasing convergence of the history of science and the history of philosophy. While most of the 27 selections collected from 1983-96 readily resonate with standard English language Cartesian commentaries, several translated essays from French and Italian contributors befit Descartes' pivotal role in Western intellectual history. The nine-branched organizing schema includes essays pondering: method; metaphysics and Cartesian metaphysics; meditation and doubt; 'cogito ergo sum'; ideas, truth, and judgment; God; mind and body; matter and motion; and ethics and anthropology. Lacks a subject index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Emergencies and Politics

by Tom Sorell

In this book Tom Sorell argues that emergencies can justify types of action that would normally be regarded as wrong. Beginning with the ethics of emergencies facing individuals, he explores the range of effective and legitimate private emergency response and its relation to public institutions, such as national governments. He develops a theory of the response of governments to public emergencies which indicates the possibility of a democratic politics that is liberal but that takes seriously threats to life and limb from public disorder, crime or terrorism. Informed by Hobbes, Schmitt and Walzer, but substantially different from them, the book widens the justification for recourse to normally forbidden measures, without resorting to illiberal politics. This book will interest students of politics, philosophy, international relations and law.

Microfinance, Rights and Global Justice

by Tom Sorell Luis Cabrera Sorell, Tom and Cabrera, Luis

Microfinance - the practice of providing small loans to promote entrepreneurial activity among those with few financial assets - is increasingly seen as a sustainable means of aiding the global poor. Perhaps its most influential advocate, Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus, has claimed that there is a human right to microfinance, given its potential for poverty alleviation. This book directs critical philosophical attention at this very widely used and praised poverty-reducing measure. In chapters that discuss microfinance schemes and models around the world, internationally renowned contributors address important questions about both the positive impact of microfinance and cases of exploitation and repayment pressure. Exploring how far microfinance can or should be situated within broader concerns about justice, this volume sheds light on ethical issues that have so far received little systematic attention, and it advances discussion on new human rights, exploitation, and global justice.

Scientia in Early Modern Philosophy

by Tom Sorell Jill Kraye G. A. Rogers

Scientia is the term that early modern philosophers applied to a certain kind of demonstrative knowledge, the kind whose starting points were appropriate first principles. In pre-modern philosophy, too, scientia was the name for demonstrative knowledge from first principles. But pre-modern and early modern conceptions differ systematically from one another. This book offers a variety of glimpses of this difference by exploring the works of individual philosophers as well as philosophical movements and groupings of the period. Some of the figures are transitional, falling neatly on neither side of the allegiances usually marked by the scholastic/modern distinction. Among the philosophers whose views on scientia are surveyed are Hobbes, Descartes, Spinoza, Gassendi, Locke, and Jungius. The contributors are among the best-known and most influential historians of early modern philosophy.

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