Kant’s Argument for Free Will

By Andy Yu
Kant argues that we can and must admit free will in order for morality to be meaningful at all. The aim of this paper is to reconstruct his arguments found in the Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals and the Critique of Practical Reason. I explore his main argument for free will, which relies on the thesis that morality reciprocally implies free will and break this argument into two steps: by discussing how Kant shows that morality implies rationality and how Kant shows that rationality implies free will. Finally, I review Kant’s position on the apparent incompatibility between free will and determinism.
Continue reading Kant’s Argument for Free Will

Ethical Subjects, Empowered Subjectivities

by FAHD HUSAIN Ethical Subjects, Empowered Subjectivities: Individuality, Agency and Interpersonality in the late Foucault ABSTRACT This essay will focus on the Foucauldian notion of the ‘care of the self’, wherein care is defined as the process undertaken by the self to perpetually regenerate its own unique ‘aesthetics’ that best informs and enriches its everyday life. Foucault’s insistence on a perpetual self-regeneration hinges upon a problematization of the pre-established criteria of normality structuring the context: it involves a mode of thinking that scrutinizes the relation of the self to such yardsticks and resists the passive acceptance of their prescribed normative … Continue reading Ethical Subjects, Empowered Subjectivities

Let The Reading Begin

As the submission deadline comes to a close, we move forward in the review and publication process. Already, the volume of submissions and general interest in Prometheus has exceeded our highest hopes:

    50 submissions from 37 undergraduate philosophers
    Five countries: USA, England, Scotland, Canada, Australia

For our first submission cycle, our expectations have been far exceeded. We’d like to thank everyone who has helped us make this possible. Continue reading Let The Reading Begin

Plato on the Relationship Between Philosophy and Ethics

James Gilmore will be delivering a seminar on the above subject.  This is the first talk in the spring 2009 series “Meaning, Method and Motivation: Perspectives on the Nature and Scope of Philosophy.” The talk will take place in Maryland 202 at 8PM on Wednesday February 18, 2009. Q&A session to follow. Coffee and snacks will be provided. Continue reading Plato on the Relationship Between Philosophy and Ethics

Announcing Spring 2009 Seminar Series

The editorial staff of Prometheus, along with the Hammond Society, are pleased to announce a seminar series for the spring semester entitled “Meaning, Method and Motivation: Perspectives on the Nature and Scope of Philosophy.”  The seminars will consist of a short talk each session given by a graduate student in the Philosophy Department followed by a Q&A session. The first seminar will be delivered by James Gilmore on Februrary 18th at 8PM in Maryland 202.  For more details about the seminar, please see: http://prometheus-journal.com/events/seminar/ Details about future locations, abstracts of the talks, and any other information will continue to be … Continue reading Announcing Spring 2009 Seminar Series

Happy Holidays and a Look to the Future

To everyone who has read even one word of our journal, to everyone who has submitted even one word, to everyone who has believed in our vision, to everyone who has provided guidance, to the thankless faces on our staff who have made this journal possible, thank you. Happy Holidays. When we took on the daunting challenge of creating an undergraduate philosophy journal here at Hopkins, we imagined but also sometimes doubted the success that we have had thus far.  Prometheus has been a labor of love, a vision largely realized between the hours of 12 and 5am. Beyond the … Continue reading Happy Holidays and a Look to the Future

Hammond Society Essay Contest: What is a Good Life?

The Hammond Society of graduate philosophy students at Johns Hopkins is sponsoring an essay contest with the following prompt: What is a Good Life? When asked, ‘What do you want from life?’, or ‘What is a good life?’, many respond with the age-old slogan, ‘All that really matters is that you’re happy’. Does this slogan capture all that is relevant to a good life? Imagine that in the future, scientists and engineers develop an ‘experience machine’. People can program into the machine whatever experiences they want to undergo, and hook themselves up to this machine such that once inside, the experiences are … Continue reading Hammond Society Essay Contest: What is a Good Life?

An Argument for the Hedonistic Account of Pain

By JOSHUA M. MITCHELL I. Introduction As we see from Cicero’s account of Epicureanism, its ethical system (i.e. Hedonism) revolves around the entities of pleasure and pain. As in all ethical theories, there is a “greatest good” that is the aim of life . For the hedonist, this is the absence of all pain, and they hold that this is the highest pleasure (and pleasure is equated with good for the Epicurean). There are many reasons the Epicureans give (via Cicero’s testimony) for this, which involve our senses and instinctual responses to good and bad, from our moment of conscious experience … Continue reading An Argument for the Hedonistic Account of Pain

Discussion: Towards a More Perfect Union

By Shane Steinert-Threlkeld
One part of Obama’s victory speech that stood out was his comparison of the USA to an evolving being. Through exercising our democratic ability to change our government, we are helping render our union more perfect. When one analyzes the philosophical foundations upon which his belief system rest, it appears that Obama believes in the same brand of minimalism for which most natural rights philosophers argue. We explore this implication and ask questions about our nation and moral relativism. Continue reading Discussion: Towards a More Perfect Union