This study, through an analysis of the thought of many important philosophers and the interpretation and use of such by key figures in the social sciences, attempts to explain how and why beliefs still matter in the secular West. This work should appeal to scholars interested in ancient, medieval, and modern philosophy, especially metaphysics and ethics, as well as those interested in the social sciences. This study examines key thinkers who have offered influential accounts of the implications of specific belief about the nature of reality, including Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Kant, Locke and Nietzsche. It also addresses interpretations of these accounts by influential figures with the social sciences such as Adam Smith, Karl Marx, John Stuart Mill, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, John Dewey, Frederick Hayek, John Rawls, H.L.A. Hart, Ronald Dworkin, Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Hannah Arendt, Zigmunt Bauman and Richard Rorty. The aim throughout is to highlight the centrality of past and present 'metaphysics' to present day debates about moral community, jurisprudence, human rights and the relationship between the individual and collective good.
Publisher: The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd
Number of pages: 244