John Cottingham (born 1943) is an English philosopher. The focus of his research has been early-modern philosophy (especially Descartes), the philosophy of religion and moral philosophy.He is a Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Reading, Professorial Research Fellow at Heythrop College, University of London, and Honorary Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford. He is also a current Visiting Professor to the Philosophy Department at King's College, London.
René Descartes ; 31 March 1596 – 11 February 1650) was a French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist. A native of the Kingdom of France, he spent about 20 years (1629–1649) of his life in the Dutch Republic after serving for a while in the Dutch States Army of Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange and the Stadtholder of the United Provinces. One of the most notable intellectual figures of the Dutch Golden Age, Descartes is also widely regarded as one of the founders of modern philosophy.
Philosophy of religion is "the philosophical examination of the central themes and concepts involved in religious traditions". Philosophical discussions on such topics date from ancient times, and appear in the earliest known texts concerning philosophy. The field is related to many other branches of philosophy, including metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics.
The University of Reading is a public university located in Reading, Berkshire, England. It was founded in 1892 as University College, Reading, a University of Oxford extension college. The institution received the power to grant its own degrees in 1926 by Royal Charter from King George V and was the only university to receive such a charter between the two world wars. The university is usually categorised as a red brick university, reflecting its original foundation in the 19th century.
Cottingham has served as editor of the journal Ratio, president of the Aristotelian Society, of the British Society for the Philosophy of Religion, of the Mind Association and as Chairman of the British Society for the History of Philosophy. A Festschrift with responses by Cottingham, The Moral Life, was published by Palgrave in 2008.
Ratio is a peer-reviewed academic journal of analytic philosophy, edited by David S. Oderberg and published by Wiley-Blackwell. Although emphasising work predominantly from analytic philosophy, it does not exclusively publish in one tradition and includes a variety of philosophical topics. Ratio is published quarterly and in December publishes a special issue that is focused specifically on one area, calling on specialists in that field of study to contribute.
The Aristotelian Society for the Systematic Study of Philosophy, more generally known as the Aristotelian Society, was founded at a meeting on 19 April 1880, at 17 Bloomsbury Square, London.
The Mind Association is a philosophical society whose purpose is to promote the study of philosophy. The association publishes the journal Mind quarterly.
Cottingham was educated at Merchant Taylors’ School near London, and St John’s College, Oxford.
London is the capital of and largest city in England and the United Kingdom, with the largest municipal population in the European Union. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
Cottingham introduced trialism as an alternative interpretation of the mind-body dualism of Descartes. Although composed of two substances, mind and body, the human being possesses distinctive attributes in its own right (including sensations, passions, emotions), and these form a third category, that cannot be reduced to thought or extension.Cottingham has also argued that Descartes’s view of animals as ‘machines’ does not have the reductionistic implications commonly supposed. Finally, Cottingham has explored the importance of Descartes as a moral philosopher, with a comprehensive picture of the good life that draws both on his scientific work (in physiology and psychology) and also on the theistic outlook that informs all his philosophy. Cottingham is co-editor and translator of the three-volume Cambridge edition of The Philosophical Writings of Descartes.
Cottingham criticizes a putative psychological impoverishment of contemporary moral philosophy, and argues that any plausible theory of a good and integrated life for human beings needs to draw on the insights available from a broadly psychoanalytic perspective.His work on partiality defends the importance of self-concern as a central ingredient in virtue. In On the Meaning of Life, he addresses the relationship between moral, aesthetic and religious modes of awareness in constituting a meaningful life. Cottingham’s more recent work in the philosophy of religion argues for the primacy of the moral and spiritual aspects of religious allegiance over theoretical and doctrinal components.
Cartesian Reflection is a 2008 book by the philosopher John Cottingham. The work consists of several essays that deal with diverse topics, such as René Descartes's views of animals, his position on the dualism of mind and body and the relation between his thoughts and those of Baruch Spinoza.
The Rationalists is a 1988 book by the philosopher John Cottingham, in which the author offers an overview of the most important exponents of rationalism, namely René Descartes, Baruch Spinoza and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Other thinkers, such as Nicolas Malebranche, are dealt with, too.
Sir Anthony John Patrick Kenny is an English philosopher whose interests lie in the philosophy of mind, ancient and scholastic philosophy, the philosophy of Wittgenstein and the philosophy of religion. With Peter Geach, he has made a significant contribution to Analytical Thomism, a movement whose aim is to present the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas in the style of analytic philosophy. He is one of the executors of Wittgenstein's literary estate. He is a former President of the British Academy and the Royal Institute of Philosophy.
Ethics involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior. A central aspect of ethics is "the good life", the life worth living or life that is simply satisfying, which is held by many philosophers to be more important than traditional moral conduct.
Sir Bernard Arthur Owen Williams, FBA was an English moral philosopher. His publications include Problems of the Self (1973), Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy (1985), Shame and Necessity (1993), and Truth and Truthfulness (2002). He was knighted in 1999.
Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe, usually cited as G. E. M. Anscombe or Elizabeth Anscombe, was a British analytic philosopher. She wrote on the philosophy of mind, philosophy of action, philosophical logic, philosophy of language, and ethics. She was a prominent figure of analytical Thomism.
Michael A. Slote is UST Professor of ethics at the University of Miami and an author of a number of books. He was previously professor of philosophy at the University of Maryland, and at Trinity College Dublin.
Puruṣārtha literally means an "object of human pursuit". It is a key concept in Hinduism, and refers to the four proper goals or aims of a human life. The four puruṣārthas are Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha.
John Skorupski is a British philosopher whose main interests are epistemology, ethics and moral philosophy, political philosophy, and the history of 19th and 20th century philosophy. He is best known for his work on John Stuart Mill and his study of normativity, The Domain of Reasons.
Stephen Richard Lyster Clark is an English philosopher and professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Liverpool. Clark specialises in the philosophy of religion and animal rights, writing from a philosophical position that might broadly be described as Christian Platonist. He is the author of 19 books, including The Moral Status of Animals (1977), The Nature of the Beast (1982), Animals and Their Moral Standing (1997), G.K. Chesterton (2006), Philosophical Futures (2011), and Ancient Mediterranean Philosophy (2012), as well as 77 scholarly articles, and chapters in another 109 books. He is a former editor-in-chief of the Journal of Applied Philosophy (1990–2001).
Desmond M. Clarke was an author and professor of philosophy at University College Cork, in Cork, Ireland. His research interests lay predominantly in the 17th century, on such topics as the history of philosophy and theories of science - with a specific interest in the writings of René Descartes, as well as contemporary church/state relations, human rights, and nationalism. He was co-editor of the Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy series, and he has translated and written an introduction for the Penguin edition of Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy. He retired from his position as Professor of Philosophy in 2006.
Trialism in philosophy was introduced by John Cottingham as an alternative interpretation of the mind–body dualism of Rene Descartes. Trialism keeps the two substances of mind and body, but introduces a third attribute, sensation, belonging to the union of mind and body. This allows animals, which do not have thought, to be regarded as having sensation and not as being mere automata.
The Cartesian Method is the philosophical and scientific system of René Descartes and its subsequent development by other seventeenth century thinkers, most notably François Poullain de la Barre, Nicolas Malebranche and Baruch Spinoza. Descartes is often regarded as the first thinker to emphasize the use of reason to develop the natural sciences. For him, the philosophy was a thinking system that embodied all knowledge, and expressed it in this way:
David E. Cooper is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Durham University.
Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early 3rd century BC. Stoicism is a philosophy of personal ethics informed by its system of logic and its views on the natural world. According to its teachings, as social beings, the path to eudaimonia (happiness) for humans is found in accepting the moment as it presents itself, by not allowing oneself to be controlled by the desire for pleasure or fear of pain, by using one's mind to understand the world and to do one's part in nature's plan, and by working together and treating others fairly and justly.
Objectivity is a philosophical concept of being true independently from individual subjectivity caused by perception, emotions, or imagination. A proposition is considered to have objective truth when its truth conditions are met without bias caused by a sentient subject. Scientific objectivity refers to the ability to judge without partiality or external influence, sometimes used synonymously with neutrality.
Professor David Simon Oderberg is an Australian philosopher of metaphysics and ethics based in Britain since 1987. He is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Reading. He describes himself as a non-consequentialist or a traditionalist in his works. Broadly speaking, Oderberg places himself in opposition to Peter Singer and other utilitarian or consequentialist thinkers. He has published over thirty academic papers and has authored four books, Real Essentialism, Applied Ethics, Moral Theory, and The Metaphysics of Identity over Time. Professor Oderberg is an alumnus of the Universities of Melbourne, where he completed his first degrees, and Oxford where he gained his D.Phil.
Ethics is the branch of philosophy that examines right and wrong moral behavior, moral concepts and moral language. Various ethical theories pose various answers to the question "What is the greatest good?" and elaborate a complete set of proper behaviors for individuals and groups. Ethical theories are closely related to forms of life in various social orders.
Michael C. Rea is an analytic philosopher and, since 2017, John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He specializes in metaphysics and philosophy of religion and has competence in epistemology and applied ethics as well. He is currently writing a book on divine hiddenness, in which he appeals to quantifier pluralism and argues that God cannot be quantified over by humans. Also, he is scheduled to give the 2017 Gifford Lectures, where he will also talk about divine hiddenness.
Social fluency is the concept of demonstrating proficiency in social situations and/or inter-personal relations. Social Fluency is frequently discussed in the academic areas of social interaction, psychological anthropology and social development. Various schools of philosophy, chiefly virtue ethics, compare social fluency to wittiness and clearly illustrate it as a desirable personality trait.
Diana Meyers is a philosopher working in the philosophy of action and in the philosophy of feminism. Meyers is Professor Emerita of Philosophy at the University of Connecticut.