Download Concealment and Exposure: And Other Essays by Thomas Nagel PDF

By Thomas Nagel

Thomas Nagel is widely known as one of many most sensible American philosophers operating this day. Reflecting the variety of his many philosophical preoccupations, this quantity is a suite of his newest severe essays and stories. the 1st part, private and non-private, specializes in the idea of privateness within the context of social and political concerns, comparable to the impeachment of President Clinton. the second one part, correct and mistaken, discusses ethical, political and felony idea, and contains items on John Rawls, G.A. Cohen, and T.M. Scanlon, between others. the ultimate part, brain and fact, gains discussions of Richard Rorty, Donald Davidson, and the Sokal hoax, and closes with a considerable new essay at the mind-body challenge. Written with attribute rigor, those items display the highbrow ardour underlying the incisive research for which Nagel is known.


"[A] magnificent e-book. it really is superb partially for the extra first-class overview articles that it provides to the opposite Minds archive, and in part for the full of life and obtainable advent it offers to Nagel's personal notion and highbrow personality...[T]he essays during this quantity, taken jointly, do greater than the other philosophical writings recognized to me to deliver out the complicated and treacherous fact within the outdated maxim that the private is political."--Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

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But if they are not merely instrumental, then they can, as I have said, seem paradoxical; for how could it be wrong to harm one person to prevent greater harm to others? How are we to understand the value that rights assign to certain kinds of human inviolability, that makes this consequence morally intelligible? 2 I am drawn to an answer to the question that has been proposed and developed by Frances Kamm and which was also suggested by Warren Quinn. The answer focuses on the status conferred on all human beings by the design of a morality which includes agent-rela2.

Privacy supports plurality by eliminating the need for collective choice or an official public stance. I believe the presence of a deeply conservative religious and cultural segment of American society can be expected to continue and should be accommodated by those who are radically out of sympathy with it—not in the inevitable conflicts over central Concealment and Exposure 25 political issues, but in regard to how much of the public space will be subjected to cultural contestation. We owe it to one another to want the public space to preserve a character neutral enough to allow those from whom we differ radically to inhabit it comfortably—and that means a culture that is publicly reticent, if possible, and not just tolerant of diversity.

Still, there is a space between what is open to public view and what people keep to themselves. The veil can be partly lifted to admit certain others, without the inhibiting effect of general exposure. This brings us to the topic of intimacy. Interpersonal spheres of privacy protected from the public gaze are essential for human emotional and sexual life, and I have already said a good deal about this under the heading of individual privacy: Certain forms of exposure to particular others are incompatible with the preservation of a public face.

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