The New School
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 1982
Reno, Nevada, United States of America
Areas of Specialization
History of Western Philosophy
Areas of Interest
History of Western Philosophy
  •  3
    Reason and Value (review)
    Review of Metaphysics 39 (3): 556-558. 1986.
    The title alludes to the central topic of the book, the relation between practical reason and value. We face a dilemma. Either practical reason is purely cognitive and so cannot motivate action, or practical reason is merely a function of an agent's actual desire in which case there can be no objective reasons for action. The stated purpose of the book is to provide a solution to the dilemma, a solution which retains the necessary connection between reason and motivation on the one hand and betw…Read more
  • What Ought I to Do? Morality in Kant and Levinas (review)
    Review of Metaphysics 57 (3): 612-612. 2004.
    Once these similarities are delineated—that both philosophers are for the subject and against knowledge—Chalier’s central preoccupation is to analyze and assess differences. Central among them is Kant’s rejection of heteronomy and Levinas’s wholehearted acceptance of it. In this, Levinas proceeds similarly to Heidegger and many ancient Greek philosophers, but with a difference that Chalier highlights: Levinas, like Kant, does not seek to ground morality in a knowable order external to the subjec…Read more
  •  4
    Skepticism in Ethics (review)
    Review of Metaphysics 44 (4): 835-835. 1991.
    With Skepticism in Ethics, Panayot Butchvarov joins a small group of practical philosophers who are attempting to define a third alternative to the two dominant approaches to practical philosophy in the twentieth century--the approach which puts practical philosophy on one or another model of empirical science and the approach which holds that practical philosophy is interpretive through and through.
  •  20
    Force Inside Identity: Self and Other in Améry’s “On the Necessity and Impossibility of Being a Jew”
    Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy 24 (3): 173-191. 2016.
    In a statement too strong even to summarize his own views, Jean-Paul Sartre famously declares in “Existentialism is a Humanism” that “man is nothing other than what he makes of himself.” It is bad faith, according to him, to attribute what I am to my family, culture, condition, etc., because through awareness of what I am and have been, I can determine whether what I am will continue into the future. Human being, as a result, is nothing but what he or she has chosen or decided. In “On the Necess…Read more
  •  5
    Review of P.T. Geach's The Virtues (review)
    Review of Metaphysics 33 (2): 423-425. 1979.
  •  2
    Review of James D. Wallace's Virtues and Vices (review)
    Review of Metaphysics 32 (4): 777-779. 1979.
  •  6
    Review of Evan Simpson's Reason Over Passion (review)
    Review of Metaphysics 34 (3). 1981.
  •  4
    The Eternal and the New: Socrates and Levinas on Desire and Need
    In Brian Schroeder & Silvia Benso (eds.), Levinas and the Ancients, Indiana University Press. 2008.
  •  10
    Review of E.J. Bond's Reason and Value (review)
    Review of Metaphysics 39 (3): 556-559. 1986.
  • What is Goodness? An Introduction
    Dissertation, New School for Social Research. 1982.
    The inquiry is an introduction to the question, what is goodness? In it, realist and anti-realist accounts are considered. In Part I, two kinds of anti-realism are considered, subjectivist and strict. Subjectivism is the belief that goodness is belief-, affect-, or convention-dependent. It is suggested that subjectivism is based on an equivocation, is circular or is difficult consistently to maintain. Strict anti-realism is the belief that there is and can be no such thing as goodness. Three str…Read more
  • In _Essential Vulnerabilities, _Deborah Achtenberg contests Emmanuel Levinas’s idea that Plato is a philosopher of freedom for whom thought is a return to the self. Instead, Plato, like Levinas, is a philosopher of the other. Nonetheless, Achtenberg argues, Plato and Levinas are different. Though they share the view that human beings are essentially vulnerable and essentially in relation to others, they conceive human vulnerability and responsiveness differently. For Plato, when we see beautiful…Read more
  •  17
    Review of Catherine Chalier's What Ought I to Do? (review)
    Review of Metaphysics 57 (3): 612-613. 2004.
  •  94
    On the metaphysical presuppositions of Aristotle's nicomachean ethics
    Journal of Value Inquiry 26 (3): 317-340. 1992.
    In what precedes, I have argued that Aristotle does not, in his ethics, commit three metaphysical errors sometimes imputed to him: he does not define the good as a fact; he does not claim that human beings move by nature towards their telos; he does not claim, in the ergon argument, that human beings are fixed rather than versatile. Instead, I have shown, he does the opposite in each case: he argues that the good cannot be defined as a fact; he claims that human beings move towards their telos o…Read more
  •  60
    Review of Panayot Butchvarov's Skepticism in Ethics (review)
    Review of Metaphysics 44 (4): 835-836. 1991.
  •  34
    Argues that the central cognitive component of ethical virtue for Aristotle is awareness of the value of particulars
  •  87
    Plato and Levinas on Violence and the Other
    Symposium 15 (1): 170-190. 2011.
    In this essay, I shall describe both Plato and Levinas as philosophers of the other, and delineate their similarities and differences on violence. In doing so, I will open up for broader reflection two importantly contrasting ways in which the self is essentially responsive to—as well as vulnerable to violence from—the other. I will also suggest a new way of situating Levinas in the history of philosophy, not, as he himself suggests, as one of the few in the history of philosophy who has aphilos…Read more