Combining Philosophers

All the ideas for Michael Burke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and M.R. Ayers

expand these ideas     |    start again     |     specify just one area for these philosophers

154 ideas

2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 9. Limits of Reason
Reason leads to prudent selfishness, but overruling natural compassion [Rousseau]
2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 2. Sufficient Reason
Both nature and reason require that everything has a cause [Rousseau]
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 4. Using Numbers / d. Counting via concepts
Counting 'coin in this box' may have coin as the unit, with 'in this box' merely as the scope [Ayers]
If counting needs a sortal, what of things which fall under two sortals? [Ayers]
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 4. Events / a. Nature of events
Events do not have natural boundaries, and we have to set them [Ayers]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / a. Individuation
To express borderline cases of objects, you need the concept of an 'object' [Ayers]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / e. Individuation by kind
Speakers need the very general category of a thing, if they are to think about it [Ayers]
We use sortals to classify physical objects by the nature and origin of their unity [Ayers]
Seeing caterpillar and moth as the same needs continuity, not identity of sortal concepts [Ayers]
Persistence conditions cannot contradict, so there must be a 'dominant sortal' [Burke,M, by Hawley]
The 'dominant' of two coinciding sortals is the one that entails the widest range of properties [Burke,M, by Sider]
Recognising continuity is separate from sortals, and must precede their use [Ayers]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 1. Unifying an Object / a. Intrinsic unification
Could the same matter have more than one form or principle of unity? [Ayers]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 1. Unifying an Object / b. Unifying aggregates
'The rock' either refers to an object, or to a collection of parts, or to some stuff [Burke,M, by Wasserman]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / b. Cat and its tail
Tib goes out of existence when the tail is lost, because Tib was never the 'cat' [Burke,M, by Sider]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / c. Statue and clay
If there are two objects, then 'that marble, man-shaped object' is ambiguous [Ayers]
Sculpting a lump of clay destroys one object, and replaces it with another one [Burke,M, by Wasserman]
Burke says when two object coincide, one of them is destroyed in the process [Burke,M, by Hawley]
Maybe the clay becomes a different lump when it becomes a statue [Burke,M, by Koslicki]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / d. Coincident objects
Two entities can coincide as one, but only one of them (the dominant sortal) fixes persistence conditions [Burke,M, by Sider]
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 5. Essence as Kind
Sortals basically apply to individuals [Ayers]
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 5. Temporal Parts
You can't have the concept of a 'stage' if you lack the concept of an object [Ayers]
Temporal 'parts' cannot be separated or rearranged [Ayers]
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 1. Concept of Identity
Some say a 'covering concept' completes identity; others place the concept in the reference [Ayers]
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 3. Relative Identity
If diachronic identites need covering concepts, why not synchronic identities too? [Ayers]
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 1. Knowledge
No one would bother to reason, and try to know things, without a desire for enjoyment [Rousseau]
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 5. Generalisation by mind
Only words can introduce general ideas into the mind [Rousseau]
General ideas are purely intellectual; imagining them is immediately particular [Rousseau]
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 5. Concepts and Language / a. Concepts and language
Language may aid thinking, but powerful thought was needed to produce language [Rousseau]
21. Aesthetics / A. Aesthetic Experience / 4. Beauty
Without love, what use is beauty? [Rousseau]
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 1. Goodness / h. Good as benefit
If we should not mistreat humans, it is mainly because of sentience, not rationality [Rousseau]
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / g. Moral responsibility
Without freedom of will actions lack moral significance [Rousseau]
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / b. Rational ethics
Rational morality is OK for brainy people, but ordinary life can't rely on that [Rousseau]
23. Ethics / B. Contract Ethics / 2. Golden Rule
The better Golden Rule is 'do good for yourself without harming others' [Rousseau]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / f. Compassion
The fact that we weep (e.g. in theatres) shows that we are naturally compassionate [Rousseau]
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 6. Authentic Self
Feelings are prior to intelligence; we should be content to live with our simplest feelings [Rousseau]
24. Applied Ethics / B. Moral Rights / 3. Animal Rights
Both men and animals are sentient, which should give the latter the right not to be mistreated [Rousseau]
25. Society / A. State of Nature / 1. A People / a. Human distinctiveness
Humans are less distinguished from other animals by understanding, than by being free agents [Rousseau]
25. Society / A. State of Nature / 1. A People / b. The natural life
Most human ills are self-inflicted; the simple, solitary, regular natural life is good [Rousseau]
Is language a pre-requisite for society, or might it emerge afterwards? [Rousseau]
I doubt whether a savage person ever complains of life, or considers suicide [Rousseau]
Primitive man was very gentle [Rousseau]
Savages avoid evil because they are calm, and never think of it (not because they know goodness) [Rousseau]
Savage men quietly pursue desires, without the havoc of modern frenzied imagination [Rousseau]
Leisure led to envy, inequality, vice and revenge, which we now see in savages [Rousseau]
Our two starting principles are concern for self-interest, and compassion for others [Rousseau]
Natural mankind is too fragmented for states of peace, or of war and enmity [Rousseau]
25. Society / A. State of Nature / 1. A People / c. A unified people
Rousseau assumes that laws need a people united by custom and tradition [Rousseau, by Wolff,J]
The act of becoming 'a people' is the real foundation of society [Rousseau]
To overcome obstacles, people must unite their forces into a single unified power [Rousseau]
Human nature changes among a people, into a moral and partial existence [Rousseau]
25. Society / A. State of Nature / 2. Natural Values / a. Natural freedom
A savage can steal fruit or a home, but there is no means of achieving obedience [Rousseau]
Man is born free, and he is everywhere in chains [Rousseau]
No man has any natural authority over his fellows [Rousseau]
25. Society / A. State of Nature / 2. Natural Values / b. Natural equality
In a state of nature people are much more equal; it is society which increases inequalities [Rousseau]
It is against nature for children to rule old men, fools to rule the wise, and the rich to hog resources [Rousseau]
25. Society / B. The State / 1. Purpose of a State
The greatest social good comes down to freedom and equality [Rousseau]
A state's purpose is liberty and equality - liberty for strength, and equality for liberty [Rousseau]
The measure of a successful state is increase in its population [Rousseau]
25. Society / B. The State / 2. State Legitimacy / a. Sovereignty
The sovereignty does not appoint the leaders [Rousseau]
People accept the right to be commanded, because they themselves wish to command [Rousseau]
Rousseau insists that popular sovereignty needs a means of expressing consent [Rousseau, by Oksala]
Sovereignty is the exercise of the general will, which can never be delegated [Rousseau]
Just as people control their limbs, the general-will state has total control of its members [Rousseau]
Political laws are fundamental, as they firmly organise the state - but they could still be changed [Rousseau]
25. Society / B. The State / 2. State Legitimacy / c. Natural authority
Force can only dominate if it is seen as a right, and obedience as a duty [Rousseau]
25. Society / B. The State / 2. State Legitimacy / d. Social contract
The social order is a sacred right, but based on covenants, not nature [Rousseau]
The government is instituted by a law, not by a contract [Rousseau]
25. Society / B. The State / 2. State Legitimacy / e. General will
The social pact is the total subjection of individuals to the general will [Rousseau]
We need a protective association which unites forces, but retains individual freedom [Rousseau]
To foreign powers a state is seen as a simple individual [Rousseau]
The act of association commits citizens to the state, and the state to its citizens [Rousseau]
Citizens must ultimately for forced to accept the general will (so freedom is compulsory!) [Rousseau]
Individual citizens still retain a private will, which may be contrary to the general will [Rousseau]
The general will is common interest; the will of all is the sum of individual desires [Rousseau]
The general will is always right, but the will of all can err, because it includes private interests [Rousseau]
If a large knowledgeable population votes in isolation, their many choices will have good results [Rousseau]
If the state contains associations there are fewer opinions, undermining the general will [Rousseau]
The general will changes its nature when it focuses on particulars [Rousseau]
The general will is always good, but sometimes misunderstood [Rousseau]
Laws are authentic acts of the general will [Rousseau]
Assemblies must always confirm the form of government, and the current administration [Rousseau]
The more unanimous the assembly, the stronger the general will becomes [Rousseau]
25. Society / B. The State / 4. Citizenship
We all owe labour in return for our keep, and every idle citizen is a thief [Rousseau]
Citizens should be independent of each other, and very dependent on the state [Rousseau]
A citizen is a subject who is also sovereign [Rousseau]
25. Society / B. The State / 5. Leaders / b. Monarchy
Ancient monarchs were kings of peoples; modern monarchs more cleverly rule a land [Rousseau]
The highest officers under a monarchy are normally useless; the public could choose much better [Rousseau]
Hereditary monarchy is easier, but can lead to dreadful monarchs [Rousseau]
Attempts to train future kings don't usually work, and the best have been unprepared [Rousseau]
25. Society / B. The State / 5. Leaders / d. Elites
Natural aristocracy is primitive, and hereditary is dreadful, but elective aristocracy is best [Rousseau]
Natural aristocracy is primitive, hereditary is bad, and elective aristocracy is the best [Rousseau]
Large states need a nobility to fill the gap between a single prince and the people [Rousseau]
25. Society / B. The State / 6. Government / a. Government
The state has a legislature and an executive, just like the will and physical power in a person [Rousseau]
Law makers and law implementers should be separate [Rousseau]
25. Society / B. The State / 6. Government / c. Executive
I call the executive power the 'government', which is the 'prince' - a single person, or a group [Rousseau]
25. Society / B. The State / 6. Government / d. Size of government
Large populations needs stronger control, which means power should be concentrated [Rousseau]
Democracy for small states, aristocracy for intermediate, monarchy for large [Rousseau]
25. Society / B. The State / 7. Changing the State / c. Revolution
Revolutionaries usually confuse liberty with total freedom, and end up with heavier chains [Rousseau]
If inhabitants are widely dispersed, organising a revolt is much more difficult [Rousseau]
The state is not bound to leave civil authority to its leaders [Rousseau]
25. Society / B. The State / 8. Culture
The flourishing of arts and letters is too much admired [Rousseau]
25. Society / B. The State / 8. Religion in Society
Every society has a religion as its base [Rousseau]
25. Society / B. The State / 8. Culture
We seem to have made individual progress since savagery, but actually the species has decayed [Rousseau]
25. Society / B. The State / 8. Religion in Society
By separating theological and political systems, Jesus caused divisions in the state [Rousseau]
Civil religion needs one supreme god, an afterlife, justice, and the sanctity of the social contract [Rousseau]
All religions should be tolerated, if they tolerate each other, and support citizenship [Rousseau]
25. Society / B. The State / 9. Population / a. State population
A state must be big enough to preserve itself, but small enough to be governable [Rousseau]
Too much land is a struggle, producing defensive war; too little makes dependence, and offensive war [Rousseau]
If the state enlarges, the creators of the general will become less individually powerful [Rousseau]
If the population is larger, the government needs to be more powerful [Rousseau]
25. Society / C. Social Justice / 3. Social Freedom / a. Slavery
People must be made dependent before they can be enslaved [Rousseau]
Enslaved peoples often boast of their condition, calling it a state of 'peace' [Rousseau]
If the child of a slave woman is born a slave, then a man is not born a man [Rousseau]
Sometimes full liberty is only possible at the expense of some complete enslavement [Rousseau]
We can never assume that the son of a slave is a slave [Rousseau]
25. Society / C. Social Justice / 3. Social Freedom / e. Freedom of lifestyle
Like rich food, liberty can ruin people who are too weak to cope with it [Rousseau]
Appetite alone is slavery, and self-prescribed laws are freedom [Rousseau]
25. Society / C. Social Justice / 4. Social Equality / a. Grounds of equality
Three stages of the state produce inequalities of wealth, power, and enslavement [Rousseau]
The social compact imposes conventional equality of rights on people who may start unequally [Rousseau]
25. Society / C. Social Justice / 4. Social Equality / d. Economic equality
The pleasure of wealth and power is largely seeing others deprived of them [Rousseau]
No citizen should be rich enough to buy another, and none so poor as forced to sell himself [Rousseau]
25. Society / C. Social Justice / 5. Legal Rights / b. Alienating rights
If we all give up all of our rights together to the community, we will always support one another [Rousseau]
In society man loses natural liberty, but gains a right to civil liberty and property [Rousseau]
We alienate to society only what society needs - but society judges that, not us [Rousseau]
25. Society / C. Social Justice / 5. Legal Rights / c. Property rights
Persuading other people that some land was 'owned' was the beginning of society [Rousseau]
What else could property arise from, but the labour people add to it? [Rousseau]
Land cultivation led to a general right of ownership, administered justly [Rousseau]
If we have a natural right to property, what exactly does 'belonging to' mean? [Rousseau]
Private property must always be subordinate to ownership by the whole community [Rousseau]
25. Society / C. Social Justice / 6. Right to Punish / a. Right to punish
We accept the death penalty to prevent assassinations, so we must submit to it if necessary [Rousseau]
A trial proves that a criminal has broken the social treaty, and is no longer a member of the state [Rousseau]
25. Society / C. Social Justice / 6. Right to Punish / b. Retribution for crime
Primitive people simply redressed the evil caused by violence, without thought of punishing [Rousseau]
25. Society / C. Social Justice / 6. Right to Punish / c. Deterrence of crime
Only people who are actually dangerous should be executed, even as an example [Rousseau]
25. Society / D. Political Doctrines / 5. Democracy / a. Nature of democracy
Minorities only accept majority-voting because of a prior unanimous agreement [Rousseau]
If the sovereign entrusts government to at least half the citizens, that is 'democracy' [Rousseau]
Democracy leads to internal strife, as people struggle to maintain or change ways of ruling [Rousseau]
When ministers change the state changes, because they always reverse policies [Rousseau]
25. Society / D. Political Doctrines / 5. Democracy / b. Consultation
Plebiscites are bad, because they exclude the leaders from crucial decisions [Rousseau]
Silence of the people implies their consent [Rousseau]
Democratic elections are dangerous intervals in government [Rousseau]
25. Society / D. Political Doctrines / 5. Democracy / c. Direct democracy
In a direct democracy, only the leaders should be able to propose new laws [Rousseau]
25. Society / D. Political Doctrines / 5. Democracy / d. Representative democracy
The English are actually slaves in between elections [Rousseau]
25. Society / D. Political Doctrines / 9. Communism
The nature of people is decided by the government and politics of their society [Rousseau]
25. Society / D. Political Doctrines / 10. Theocracy
In early theocracies the god was the king, and there were as many gods as nations [Rousseau]
25. Society / E. State Functions / 1. The Law / a. Legal system
The state ensures liberty, so civil law separates citizens, and binds them to the state [Rousseau]
25. Society / E. State Functions / 1. The Law / c. Natural law
Writers just propose natural law as the likely useful agreements among people [Rousseau]
Natural justice, without sanctions, benefits the wicked, who exploit it [Rousseau]
25. Society / E. State Functions / 2. Taxation
The amount of taxation doesn't matter, if it quickly circulates back to the citizens [Rousseau]
25. Society / E. State Functions / 5. War
A state of war remains after a conquest, if the losers don't accept the winners [Rousseau]
War gives no right to inflict more destruction than is necessary for victory [Rousseau]
26. Natural Theory / B. Natural Kinds / 2. Defining Kinds
Men started with too few particular names, but later had too few natural kind names [Rousseau]
27. Natural Reality / F. Biology / 3. Evolution
Small uninterrupted causes can have big effects [Rousseau]
29. Religion / B. Monotheistic Religion / 4. Christianity / a. Christianity
A tyrant exploits Christians because they don't value this life, and are made to be slaves [Rousseau]