Combining Philosophers

All the ideas for Friedrich Engels, Fabrice Correia and Mencius (Meng K'e)

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13 ideas

5. Theory of Logic / E. Structures of Logic / 2. Logical Connectives / a. Logical connectives
The nature of each logical concept is given by a collection of inference rules [Correia]
     Full Idea: The view presented here presupposes that each logical concept is associated with some fixed and well defined collection of rules of inference which characterize its basic logical nature.
     From: Fabrice Correia (On the Reduction of Necessity to Essence [2012], 4)
     A reaction: [He gives Fine's 'Senses of Essences' 57-8 as a source] He seems to have in mind natural deduction, where the rules are for the introduction and elimination of the concepts.
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 6. Logical Necessity
Explain logical necessity by logical consequence, or the other way around? [Correia]
     Full Idea: One view is that logical consequence is to be understood in terms of logical necessity (some proposition holds necessarily, if some group of other propositions holds). Alternatively, logical necessity is a logical consequence of the empty set.
     From: Fabrice Correia (On the Reduction of Necessity to Essence [2012], 3)
     A reaction: I think my Finean preference is for all necessities to have a 'necessitator', so logical necessity results from logic in some way, perhaps from logical consequence, or from the essences of the connectives and operators.
21. Aesthetics / C. Artistic Issues / 7. Art and Morality
If the King likes music then there is hope for the state [Mengzi (Mencius)]
     Full Idea: If the King has a great fondness for music, then perhaps there is hope for the state of Ch'i.
     From: Mengzi (Mencius) (The Mengzi (Mencius) [c.332 BCE], 1.B.1)
     A reaction: This seems to be Shakespeare's attitude to music as well. The general idea must be that love of music requires a selfless state of mind, where the mind revels in the beauty of something outside of itself. Respect is the desirable result.
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 1. Nature of Value / f. Ultimate value
Righteousness is extending the unthinkable, to reveal what must be done [Mengzi (Mencius)]
     Full Idea: People all have things they will not do. To extend this reaction to that which they will do is righteousness.
     From: Mengzi (Mencius) (The Mengzi (Mencius) [c.332 BCE], 7B31), quoted by Bryan van Norden - Intro to Classical Chinese Philosophy 6.IV
     A reaction: Very nice! Kekes points out the enormous importance of unthinkable deeds. Depravity is when the unthinkable gradually begins to look possible, which is probably a social phenomenon, a creeping cancer in a culture.
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / e. Human nature
Human nature is naturally compassionate and good (as a 'sprout'), but people may not be good [Mengzi (Mencius), by Norden]
     Full Idea: Mengzi does not claim that humans are innately good; he claims that human nature is innately good. …He says that 'the heart of compassion' (manifested when anyone sees a child about to fall into a well) is the 'sprout of benevolence'.
     From: report of Mengzi (Mencius) (The Mengzi (Mencius) [c.332 BCE]) by Bryan van Norden - Intro to Classical Chinese Philosophy 6.II
     A reaction: There is a nice distinction here between the 'sprout' of human nature and the finished product. Seeds have the potential to produce tall healthy plants, but circumstances can warp them.
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / a. Virtues
Each correct feeling relies on an underlying virtue [Mengzi (Mencius)]
     Full Idea: The heart of compassion is benevolence. The heart of disdain is righteousness. The heart of respect is propriety. The heart of approval and disapproval is wisdom.
     From: Mengzi (Mencius) (The Mengzi (Mencius) [c.332 BCE], 6A6), quoted by Bryan van Norden - Intro to Classical Chinese Philosophy 6.III
     A reaction: 'Disdain' seems to be the response to anyone who is disrespectful. Note that wisdom concerns judgements. Respect seems to be more of a social convention than an actual concern for others.
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / e. Honour
Should a coward who ran fifty paces from a battle laugh at another who ran a hundred? [Mengzi (Mencius)]
     Full Idea: If two soldiers were fleeing from a battle, and one stopped after a hundred paces and the other stopped after a fifty paces, what would you think if the latter, as one who only ran fifty paces, were to laugh at the former who ran a hundred?
     From: Mengzi (Mencius) (The Mengzi (Mencius) [c.332 BCE], 1.A.3)
     A reaction: A nice illustration, in my view, of the universality of truths about human virtue. In no culture would this laughter be appropriate. Nevertheless, there must be degrees of dishonour. Better to flee than join in with the likely winners.
24. Political Theory / C. Ruling a State / 2. Leaders / b. Monarchy
A true king shares his pleasure with the people [Mengzi (Mencius)]
     Full Idea: If you shared your enjoyment of music or of hunting with the people, you would be a true King.
     From: Mengzi (Mencius) (The Mengzi (Mencius) [c.332 BCE], 1.B.1)
     A reaction: I suspect that this is a great truth for dictators and traditional monarchs. One pictures the successful ones attending public entertainments, and allowing the public to see their own. Tyrants keep entertainment private. Nero is a counterexample!
24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 7. Communitarianism / a. Communitarianism
Extend the treatment of the old and young in your family to the rest of society [Mengzi (Mencius)]
     Full Idea: Treat the aged of your own family in a manner befitting their venerable age and extend this treatment to the aged of other families. Treat your own young in a manner befitting their tender age, and extend this to the young of other families.
     From: Mengzi (Mencius) (The Mengzi (Mencius) [c.332 BCE], 1.A.7)
     A reaction: This seems to me to articulate the ideal of communitarianism very nicely. Morality is not just about healthy adults in war and peace. It must include the children and the old. The values of the family are above the values of contracts and calculations.
24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 11. Capitalism
Free markets lead to boom and bust, pointless middlemen, and alienated workers [Engels]
     Full Idea: Free markets inevitably lead to unemployment and ruined businesses, when the capitalist market is punctuated by a 'trade cycle' of boom and bust. .. There are speculating, swindling middlemen. ...and the nature of work is degrading and alienated.
     From: Friedrich Engels (Speeches in Elberfeld [1849]), quoted by Jonathan Wolff - An Introduction to Political Philosophy (Rev) 5 'Arguments'
     A reaction: [compression of Wolff's summary] Wolff observes that middlemen are heroes to lovers of the market. The idea of alienation seems to be that everyone should be in charge of their own work. That may approach anarchy.
25. Social Practice / D. Justice / 3. Punishment / b. Retribution for crime
Only put someone to death if the whole population believes it is deserved [Mengzi (Mencius)]
     Full Idea: When close attendants say a man deserves death, do not listen; when all the councillors say so, do not listen; when everyone says so, have the case investigated. If he is guilty, put him to death; he was put to death by the whole country.
     From: Mengzi (Mencius) (The Mengzi (Mencius) [c.332 BCE], 1.B.7)
     A reaction: The jury system is a gesture in this direction. Compare Idea 95. In Mencius's time, no doubt, everyone believed that capital punishment was sometimes right. Nowadays, when many people (e.g. me) reject it, the procedure won't work.
25. Social Practice / E. Policies / 1. War
Seeking peace through war is like looking for fish up a tree [Mengzi (Mencius)]
     Full Idea: Your desire to extend your territory by war, in order to bring peace, is like looking for fish by climbing a tree.
     From: Mengzi (Mencius) (The Mengzi (Mencius) [c.332 BCE], 1.A.7)
     A reaction: Mencius had a flair for analogies. Just occasionally I suppose he might be wrong on this point, but I would think that experiments in the laboratory of history have shown that he is right in nearly all cases.
25. Social Practice / F. Life Issues / 6. Animal Rights
Avoid the animals you are going to eat, as it is hard once you have got to know them [Mengzi (Mencius)]
     Full Idea: Once a gentleman has seen animals alive, he cannot bear to see them die, and once having heard their cry, he cannot bear to eat their flesh. That is why the gentleman keeps his distance from the kitchen.
     From: Mengzi (Mencius) (The Mengzi (Mencius) [c.332 BCE], 1.A.7)
     A reaction: If you applied this to a Gestapo officer and his victims, it would obviously be the epitome of wickedness. But it is complex. Compassion is expected when we encounter suffering, but we are not obliged to seek out suffering. Or are we?