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Critiques and Reviews

How realist was Hume's self?: A critique of Kristjánsson on Hume

Abstract: The question of the self, of whether or not there is a core part to us that forms our inner essence or absolute nature, has been with us almost since our beginning. For centuries philosophical arguments over the self took the form of discussing the nature of the self for its existence was taken to be a given. This assumption has been increasingly called into question, however, resulting in the current climate in which the absence of a self is presumed. Contrary to this trend Kristján Kristjánsson has recently proposed a realist self that allegedly rests upon the emotions, claiming a Humean foundation for his account. In the following that claim is called into question through a close examination of Hume’s approach to the self in his A Treatise of Human Nature (1739) and an interpretation of Hume’s work that differs both from Kristjánsson’s reading and from the traditional reading is offered.

Keywords: anti-realist/realist; David Hume; Kristján Kristjánsson; personal identity; the self; whole person

How realist was Hume's self?: A critique of Kristjánsson on Hume_Andrew Oberg

This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in the journal Bulletin of the University of Kochi, 66 (2017), 67-77.


Against Rorty: On Judging Heidegger

Abstract: In an essay arguing for an approach to Martin Heidegger and his works that views him in an alternative light via a consideration of what he may have done under differing conditions, and that sees his philosophy as containing tools that are of worth, Richard Rorty makes the case that certain chance events in Heidegger’s life contributed negatively to his moral character. Had circumstances been different, Rorty asserts, Heidegger would not have become a Nazi and therefore critics of his writings who condemn them by association are in error. However, fault is found with the importance Rorty places on the moral causality of chance events in the following, and it is suggested that critics are perhaps correct not to fully sever the thought from the man.

Keywords: chance events; legacy; Martin Heidegger; moral character; Nazism; Richard Rorty

Against Rorty: On Judging Heidegger_Andrew Oberg

This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published on Philosopher, December 11, 2013. <http://philosopher.io/Against-Rorty-On-Judging-Heidegger>.


Durkheim and society as a moral entity

Abstract: A brief synopsis of Emile Durkheim's notion of society as a separately existing entity and the influence it was purported to have over individuals. Critical comments are offered that recognize the validity of Durkheim's analysis of what an increasing division of labor may bring to society as well as his emphases on group cohesion and morality yet that fault his view of society as a morally controlling Other and his failure to recognize intrasocial group conflicts. 

Keywords:  Durkheim; group conflict; the individual; morality; society

Durkheim and society as a moral entity_Andrew Oberg

This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in the journal Surugadai University Studies, 45 (2013), 169-177.


Critique of Hannah Arendt's On Violence

Abstract:  Hannah Arendt's On Violence was written in 1969 as a response to contemporary events in the United States and elsewhere: particularly the student uprisings, African American civil rights movement, and the increasing levels of terrorism in the US and Europe. While noting Arendt's valuable contribution in differentiating the terms "power" and "violence", the work is criticized for its ambiguous approach to the use of violence, its absence of psychological considerations, and its lack of depth when discussing political legitimacy. 

Keywords:  Arendt; nonviolence; political legitimacy; psychological effects; violence

Critique of Hannah Arendt's On Violence_Andrew Oberg

This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in the journal Surugadai University Studies, 44 (2012), 155-162.