From the Twilight of Probability: Ethics and Politics
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Shea, William R., and Antonio Spadafora, eds., 1992
The papers on ethics and politics in this volume were originally presented at the Fourth Locarno International Conference on Science and Society in October 1989. Revised in the light of subsequent discussions, they address a number of lively contemporary issues grouped around two main themes: the language of ethics and politics and the enactment of ethics and politics. In his essay concerning human understanding published in 1690, John Locke wrote that we have been afforded "only the twilight of probability; in the greatest of our concernments." Many things have changed since the seventeenth century, but in ethics and politics we still have to find our way in the gloaming, and we do not know if the twilight in which we deport ourselves is the herald of dawn or the harbinger of night. All we know is that we must walk while it is still day. The essays in this volume do not claim that we can turn twilight into the radiance of noon, but they are all animated by a deep conviction that we will stumble less and make more progress if we are willing to accept our modern predicament and make the best of it.