Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Amazon info for Wielenberg's "Value and Virtue"


JD Walters said...

This book is linked to Richard Carrier's 'feature length' book, "Sense and Goodness without God". I wanted to see what some of the reviews for that would be. I realized that even atheists have their apostles and their apologetics. The reviews are nothing but glowing and positive, obviously from committed skeptics and atheists who wanted to see their views reinforced. Having read a good portion of the book, I came away amazed at how philosophically naive it is. Virtually all the sources he gives at the back of the book have been hotly disputed and even refuted, and personally I don't believe that he has read and digested all of them. I could be wrong, but that was the impression that I got. His is a barbarian physicalism that whithers under close examination of the terminology and presuppositions he has. Furthermore, who in the academic world has heard of Richard Carrier? I see no references to his work in discussions of naturalism such as those by David Papineau, Robert Nozick, Ruth Garrett Milikan or Fred Dretske. His book even appears to have been self-published for crying out loud. He has made a presence for himself on the Internet and I guess he can rule over his little kingdom of adoring fellow skeptics and atheists. But he can't hold a candle to real academic discussions of naturalism.

Jim Lippard said...

What do you mean "This book is linked to Richard Carrier's" book? Your comment is all about Carrier's book--Wielenberg's book is not self-published, Carrier's is. Wielenberg's book is published by Cambridge University Press.

Are you trying to dismiss Wielenberg's book by reference to Carrier's?

Victor Reppert said...

They are being sold together on Amazon. My book was "linked" to another Lewis book on Amazon, but we did not know each other. So there is no reason to judge Wielenberg's book by Carrier's, for example, I think Wielenberg's book is pretty short.

JD Walters said...

Yeah, all I meant was that there is a link on the page for Weilenberg's book to Richard Carrier's. My comments were only about Carrier's book (I haven't read Weilenberg's) and I meant no 'guilt by association'. I just happened to be reminded of some comments I wanted to make on Carrier's book and the link gave me that opportunity.

Edward T. Babinski said...

I've added that book to my wish list, that is open for anyone to read simply by searching for it at under my name:

Edward T. Babinski

My wish list is broken down into categories, usually items I've read reviews of in different journals and they sounded interesting. I'm fortunate enough to work in a university library and have easy access to interlibrary loan.

Vic and J.D., do you have an wish list?

Edward T. Babinski said...

Marc D. Hauser has a new book, ``Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong." In other recent papers Hauser suggests we may have a moral ``faculty" in our brains that acts as a sort of in-house philosopher--parsing situations quickly, before emotion or conscious reason come into play. Hauser compares this faculty to the mental quality that allows human beings to acquire and use language naturally and effortlessly.

It's a suggestive analogy, inviting questions about just how far the similarities run. Is human morality, like language, largely universal (gratuitous killing is bad) but with plenty of room for local variation (in some cultures, killing your daughter if she loses her virginity before marriage is not considered gratuitous)? Is it easy for children to adapt to these local differences, depending on where and how they are raised, but difficult for adults-just as it's hard to learn French at 40?

Whether the analogy to language is ``airtight" or ``useful because it allows you to ask good questions" is an open issue, Hauser says.

Not to mention these other new and relevant works:

Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved (The University Center for Human Values Series)
ed., Frans de Waal, Stephen Macedo, Josiah Ober
Princeton University Press (September 1, 2006)

The Evolution of Morality (Life and Mind: Philosophical Issues in Biology and Psychology)
by Richard Joyce
The MIT Press (February 1, 2006)

The Altruism Equation: Seven Scientists Search for the Origins of Goodness
by Lee Alan Dugatkin
Princeton University Press (September 1, 2006)

The Ethical Brain
by Michael S. Gazzaniga
Dana Press (April 29, 2005)

Hardwired Behavior: What Neuroscience Reveals about Morality
by Laurence Tancredi
Cambridge University Press (September 19, 2005)

Wickedness (Routledge Classics, 2001)
by Mary Midgley
And her other books published by Routledge:
Beast and Man: The Roots of Human Desire (2002)
The Essential Mary Midgley (2005)
Science and Poetry (2006)

Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads to Another
by Philip Ball
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (May 16, 2006)

David said...

I look forward to reading the new Hauser book, but Steven Pinker's book "The Blank Slate" has already done a good job of convincing me that humans have a naturally evolved innate moral sense.