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Phoenix SEO Company | Get on the First Page!

 SEO  Comments Off on Phoenix SEO Company | Get on the First Page!
Feb 112016

Want to be on the first page of Google? Wecan get you there.

If you are looking to be on the first page of the search results, search engine optimization is how to make that possible. Google, as well as the other search engines, want you to optimize your website in such a way that they know what each page is about. This in turn helps the search engines return results that are relevant to what the searcher is looking for. The websites that are best optimized have a higher chance of getting to #1 position. As anSEO Company we provide seo services to help you get as close to the #1 position as possible. We do this by staying up to date with the algorithm changes of the search engines and implementing white hat SEO strategies that are Google friendly.

Southwest Sod is a sod farm located in Arizona and they have been around since 1985. However, there were several companies outranking them in the search engines. By using proper SEO techniques we were able to get them to #1 for their desired keyword Sod in Arizona (see our case studiespage for more examples).

If you are a business or an entrepreneur that wants to learn SEO, we also offer SEO Coachingby one of our SEO experts to help you and your staff learn how to implement a SEO strategy in-house. You can also check out our blog to find out more about search engine optimization and what white-hat techniques we use to get to the top of the search engines.


Deacon is a great partner to have that you can trust to do what he says hes going to do in a timely and effective way. The top-line growth that Southwest Sod has achieved since weve been doing business with him can, in large measure, be directly related to the SEO and website development he has performed for us. Our Q1 retail sales alone have jumped by 200% from 2013. Josh P. at Southwest Sod

Wow, Phoenix SEO Company exceeded my expectations. When Deacon and I started working together at the beginning of October, my site was not even ranking (showing up in Google searches). However, by the end of October, I was showing up in the top two spots for my search of mobile website design in Phoenix. I will definitely continue to work with Deacon moving forward as I expand my services and grow my company. Jesse Clark at uShine technologies

Deacon Hayes, President

Thank you for taking the time to check us out. As a business owner, I know first-hand the importance of search engine optimization since it drivesbusiness through our doors. If you would like a free consultation or more information about our SEO services, please feel free call us at 480-567-2637 or visit our contact us page. Although we are located in Arizona, we do servenational clients as well. We look forward to helping you achieve your digital marketing goals.

Deacon Hayes

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Phoenix SEO Company | Get on the First Page!

Consulting Services – Newmarket

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Feb 072016

Newmarket Consulting Services help customers realize the value and maximize the benefits of their Newmarket technology solutions. Newmarket business consultants use a proven methodology and framework to ensure that expected results and ROI are achieved, including benchmarks against industry best practices and standards.

Since 1985, Newmarket has worked closely with the world’s leading hospitality organizations, analyzing how to best do business in the ever-changing market. Over time, Newmarket has developed a set of best practices as the hospitality industry’s leading supplier of business services. Newmarket client statistics include:

Organizations should know their competitive position relative to industry best practices. Work with Newmarket to conduct a SCORE Assessment. This in-depth evaluation measures group sales and catering business processes to create an action plan for change. Increase efficiency and profitability – know the SCORE!

The Newmarket SCORE Assessment introduces a new way to analyze current organizational standards and procedures against industry leaders. From capturing account information and distributing BEOs to performance measurement and reporting, sales and service practices are compared to optimum industry processes.

Customers receive a comparative score, a set of recommendations, and an actionable change plan to implement needed improvements.

Learn more about the SCORE Assessment.

Newmarket offers low-cost Remote NSA Servicesfor the ongoing administration of Delphi. Remote NSA Services allow hotel sales professionals to delegate system tasks to an experienced administrator on the Newmarket services team. The on-staff, certified NSA manages and administrates Delphi using remote access tools.

Key Benefits to utilizing Remote NSA Services include:

Learn more aboutRemote NSA Services.

Room diagrams are a valuable tool, enhancing communication with clients by allowing them to envision events in a function space. Newmarket CAD Services add value by creating dimensionally accurate diagrams (2D and 3D) that are then deployed using tNewmarket diagrams solution.

Diagrams WebView is an interactive website tool designed specifically for hospitality to better showcase property features to clients and prospects by using an interactive, dynamic rendering of the venue, as well as improving search engine optimization (SEO). With Diagrams WebView, clients and prospects navigate the property layout, meeting room floor plans, configurations, and capacities.

Newmarket understands the data management challenges that arise during times of change, including system upgrades, new implementations, mergers, and changes in ownership. In response, the experienced Data Services team can assist by seamlessly navigating change during many different circumstances, including:

Today, more than half of new business in group sales for hotels, conference centers, and other event venues is generated via Internet. Hospitality organizations must have a clear strategy in order to capture business from multiple online channels, including website, search engines, social networks, and third party lead sources. With an Internet Presence Evaluation, Newmarket helps customers improve their online presence to ensure they are maximizing their reach and connectivity while capturing valuable, targeted online leads.

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Consulting Services – Newmarket

Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce

 Beaches  Comments Off on Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce
Feb 032016

Panama City Beach is legendary for its white sandy beaches, emerald green waters, breathtaking underwater scenery, exceptional culinary variety and some of northwest Floridas best shoppingand yet, there is so much more!

While here, we expect you to have some fun! Give way to the appeal of barefoot walks along pristine beaches and sugar white sand, build a sandcastle, cast a rod and create your own fishing tales, fit in 18 holes of golf, catch a live band or dance the night away. Whatever your desire, Panama City Beach is proud to serve up a beach bag full of fun, from exciting attractions and water sports to eco-excursions, award-winning spas and a variety of restaurants serving up delicious seafood, fresh flavor and local flare.

And, it is our pleasure to share it all with you! With 27 miles of shoreline bordering the emerald green water of the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrews Bay, youll discover Panama City Beach provides a genuine vacation experience in a relaxed, inclusive setting, enticing visitors to come back, time and time again. We hope you enjoy your stay as much as we enjoy sharing our beaches with you!

Our Vision: The Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce is the foundation for a thriving tourism industry and the catalyst for a nationally competitive and economically diverse business community.

Our Mission: To advocate for and partner with our members to support, encourage, and expand business development and tourism thereby enhancing the quality of life in our community.

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Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce

NATO Wikipedia ting Vit

 NATO  Comments Off on NATO Wikipedia ting Vit
Feb 012016

NATO l tn tt ca T chc Hip c Bc i Ty Dng (ting Anh: North Atlantic Treaty Organization; ting Php: Organisation du Trait de l’Atlantique Nord v vit tt l OTAN) l mt lin minh qun s thnh lp nm 1949 bao gm M v mt s nc chu u. Tr s chnh t ti Brussels, B,[3] v t chc thit lp mt lin minh phng th trong cc nc thnh vin thc hin phng th chung khi b tn cng bi bn ngoi.

Mc ch thnh lp ca NATO l ngn chn s pht trin nh hng ca ch ngha cng sn v Lin X lc ang trn pht trin rt mnh chu u c th gy phng hi n an ninh ca cc nc thnh vin. Vic thnh lp NATO dn n vic cc nc cng sn thnh lp khi Warszawa lm i trng. S knh ch v chy ua v trang ca hai khi qun s i ch ny l cuc i u chnh ca Chin tranh Lnh trong na cui th k 20.

Nhng nm u tin thnh lp, NATO ch l mt lin minh chnh tr. Tuy nhin, do cuc chin tranh Triu Tin tc ng, mt t chc qun s hp nht c thnh lp. Nghi ng rng lin kt ca cc nc chu u v M yu i cng nh kh nng phng th ca NATO trc kh nng m rng ca Lin X, Php rt khi NATO nm 1966. Nm 2009, vi s phiu p o ca quc hi di s lnh o ca chnh ph ca tng thng Nicolas Sarkozy, Php quay tr li NATO.

Sau khi bc tng Berlin sp nm 1989, t chc b li cun vo cuc phn chia nc Nam T, v ln u tin tham d qun s ti Bosna v Hercegovina t 1992 ti 1995 v sau th bom Serbia vo nm 1999 trong cuc ni chin Kosovo. T chc ngoi ra c nhng quan h tt p hn vi nhng nc thuc khi i u trc y trong nhiu nc tng thuc khi Warszawa gia nhp NATO t nm 1999 n 2004. Ngy 1 thng 4 nm 2009, s thnh vin ln n 28 vi s gia nhp ca Albania v Croatia.[4] T sau s kin 11 thng 9 nm 2001, NATO tp trung vo nhng th thch mi trong c a qun n Afghanistan v Iraq.

Chi ph qun s ca NATO chim 70% chi ph qun s th gii, ring M chim khong 50%, Anh, Php, c v gp li chim 15% chi ph qun s th gii.

Hy Lp v Th Nh K gia nhp t chc vo thng 2 nm 1952. Nm 1955 Cng ho Lin bang c (lc ch c phn Ty c) gia nhp, nm 1990 nc c thng nht m rng t cch thnh vin cho vng lnh th ng c tc Cng ho Dn ch c c. Ty Ban Nha gia nhp ngy 30 thng 5 nm 1982. Nm 1999, 3 nc thnh vin khi Warszawa c gia nhp NATO l Ba Lan, Cng ho Sc v Hungary.

Php l mt thnh vin NATO, nhng nm 1966 rt khi b ch huy qun s. Sau tng hnh dinh NATO chuyn t Paris n Bruxelles. Thng 4 nm 2009, Php quay tr li b ch huy qun s NATO, tr thnh thnh vin y , chm dt 43 nm vng bng. Iceland l thnh vin duy nht ca NATO khng c qun i ring v th lc lng qun i Hoa K thng trc ti Iceland m nhim vai tr Lc lng Phng v Iceland.

Ngy 29 thng 3 nm 2004, Slovenia, Slovakia, cc nc khi Warszawa c gm Bulgaria, Romania, cc nc vng Baltic thuc Lin X trc y l Estonia, Latvia v Litva chnh thc gia nhp NATO. Thng 4 cng nm, cc nc ny ln u tin d hp hi ng NATO.

Ngy 1 thng 4 nm 2009, Croatia v Albania chnh thc c kt np vo NATO sau 1 nm np n xin gia nhp.

Ngoi ra, NATO cn c chng trnh hnh ng thnh vin (MAP). Hin ti MAP gm Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina v Montenegro.

Bn Chin lc An ninh Quc gia, do Tng thng Putin k hm th Nm 31/12/2015, m t vic m rng ca Nato l mt mi e da i vi nc Nga. Chin lc An ninh Quc gia Nga c cp nht su nm mt ln. Phng vin chuyn v ngoi giao ca BBC, Bridget Kendall, ni rng ng Putin ang tm kim nhng n by nhm lm suy yu mi quan h ca chu u vi Hoa K, vi hy vng l s n mt ngy nc Nga tr thnh i tc chin lc chnh ca chu u. [5]

c thm Early period

c thm Late Cold War period

c thm Post Cold War period

c thm General histories

c thm Other Issues

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NATO Wikipedia ting Vit

On First Page SEO – Tulsa OK | Tulsa SEO Company | Tulsa SEO …

 SEO  Comments Off on On First Page SEO – Tulsa OK | Tulsa SEO Company | Tulsa SEO …
Feb 012016

Is YOUR website showing up on page one in search engine results?

When you consider that over 100 billion global internet searches are conducted every month, it’s easy to understand why you should invest in making your website your company’s best salesperson.

Recent search engine updates have changed the way internet marketing agencies work toward optimization. At On First Page Inc, we use the most advanced SEO tools to make search engine optimization a science. Your SEO company needs to be concerned, not only with high positioning in Google for relevant keywords and keyword phrases, but also with analyzing your competition, traffic and analytics data, and helping you convert website traffic into leads and sales. One part of (SEO) is on-page (on-site), the other part is off-page (link building, social media, etc).

On First Page Inc, is a search engine optimization agency with advanced capabilities in both on-page and off-page SEO. We are a leader in our industry and know the techniques necessary for broadening your marketing edge. We stay on top of the latest SEO marketing trends and our team works hard to maintain top rankings for all of our clients while keeping realistic budgets in mind.

Whether it’s marketing your website to a local, national or international audience, we have a proven track record that delivers superior results!

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On First Page SEO – Tulsa OK | Tulsa SEO Company | Tulsa SEO …

Annenberg Classroom – First Amendment

 Misc  Comments Off on Annenberg Classroom – First Amendment
Jan 312016

First Amendment – The Text11 Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

11On September 25, 1789, Congress transmitted to the states twelve proposed amendments. Two of these, which involved congressional representation and pay, were not adopted. The remaining ten amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, were ratified on December 15, 1791.

First Amendment – The Meaning Freedom of Speech and of the Press: The First Amendment allows citizens to express and to be exposed to a wide range of opinions and views. It was intended to ensure a free exchange of ideas even if the ideas are unpopular.

Freedom of speech encompasses not only the spoken and written word, but also all kinds of expression (including non-verbal communications, such as sit-ins, art, photographs, films and advertisements). Under its provisions, the media including television, radio and the Internet is free to distribute a wide range of news, facts, opinions and pictures. The amendment protects not only the speaker, but also the person who receives the information. The right to read, hear, see and obtain different points of view is a First Amendment right as well.

But the right to free speech is not absolute. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the government sometimes may be allowed to limit speech. For example, the government may limit or ban libel (the communication of false statements about a person that may injure his or her reputation), obscenity, fighting words, and words that present a clear and present danger of inciting violence. The government also may regulate speech by limiting the time, place or manner in which it is made. For example the government may require activists to obtain a permit before holding a large protest rally on a public street.

Freedom of Assembly and Right to Petition the Government: The First Amendment also protects the freedom of assembly, which can mean physically gathering with a group of people to picket or protest; or associating with one another in groups for economic, political or religious purposes.

The First Amendment also protects the right not to associate, which means that the government cannot force people to join a group they do not wish to join. A related right is the right to petition the government, including everything from signing a petition to filing a lawsuit.

Freedom of Religion: The First Amendment’s free exercise clause allows a person to hold whatever religious beliefs he or she wants, and to exercise that belief by attending religious services, praying in public or in private, proselytizing or wearing religious clothing, such as yarmulkes or headscarves. Also included in the free exercise clause is the right not to believe in any religion, and the right not to participate in religious activities.

Second, the establishment clause prevents the government from creating a church, endorsing religion in general, or favoring one set of religious beliefs over another. As the U.S. Supreme Court decided in 1947 in Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing Township, the establishment clause was intended to erect “a wall of separation between church and state,” although the degree to which government should accommodate religion in public life has been debated in numerous Supreme Court decisions since then.

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Annenberg Classroom – First Amendment

US Virgin Islands Americas Paradise

 Islands  Comments Off on US Virgin Islands Americas Paradise
Jan 312016

Charlotte Amalie Harbour, St. Thomas USVI

Welcome to, the US Virgin Islands oldest and longest running travel website.

There are three main islands to visit in the US Virgin Islands; St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John. There is also the small, and historically fascinating Water Island.

St. Thomas is the most popular cruise port in the Caribbean. St. Thomas is home of Charlotte Amalie. Charlotte Amalie is the capital of the US Virgin Islands. Charlotte Amalie is both the principle cruise terminal as well as the location islands airport.

St. Croix is the largest of the US Virgin Islands at 82 square miles in area. St. Croix consists of two distinct towns; Christiansted and Frederiksted. The architectural quality and historic interest of the one-time Danish West Indiescapital has made part of Christiansted (founded in 1734) a National Historic Site.

St. John is mainly aUS National Park. St. John offers incredible vantages of nature in the Caribbean.Friends of the Virgin IslandsNational Park volunteers staff an information kiosk on St. John Island. This is a good place to start your visit of St. John.

Spend day after day on beach after beach, each with its own panoramic view. Try camping under the stars. Let a friendly mongoose lead you along a woodland trail. Many of the trails end on a plateau high in the sky, offering panoramic views of white beaches, emerald cays, and turquoise waters.

Water Island is the smallest of the US Virgin Islands at fewer than 1.3 square miles. Water Island is only a short 10-minute ferry ride from St. Thomas. If youre looking for something more than shopping, you will find it on Water Island. To help get around Water Island golf carts can be rented right off the ferry.

Some of the things that can be done in the US Virgin Islands include sailing, scuba diving, skin diving, water skiing and most other water sports. Newer attractions like zip lining are also available. Taking in a round of golf or horseback riding are also options if time allows. If staying over night take the time to enjoy the nightlife.

If looking for a tropical wedding location but do not want to worry about passports this is the perfect place! Imagine being wed on the beach at Magens Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. Receptions can be held at any number of locations from beaches to five star hotels and anywhere in between. With scheduled daily flights provided by American, Delta, Jet Blue, and United from major mainland hubs Atlanta and Miami the Islands are a reasonable location for those along the eastern seaboard.

Driving is on the left hand side of the road, steering wheel also on the left!

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US Virgin Islands Americas Paradise

Florida Local SEO Company | Web Market Florida

 SEO  Comments Off on Florida Local SEO Company | Web Market Florida
Jan 282016

We are Specialized in Florida Local SEO

There are some differences between Local SEO and regular SEO. For many companies, there is a hunger for more local clients in order to obtain the desired objectives of your business. If you are searching for a thriving and impacting way to generate more local traffic then Local Google, Yahoo and Bing Optimization process is one of the most important local traffic generators for your business. Ranking your business site within the first 3 google local results is also relevant to your website visibility, but this is not an easy task to accomplish you have to apply various optimization techniques to ensure the Local SEO ranking within the first 3 results. Before it was 7 results but they made an update to this algorithm in August 6th so guys if you are a small business owner and if you are located in near Florida local seo service area; please contact us as soon as possible, because we provide a special $999/m full seo package for businesses owner in Florida State. Or if you are out of our range you can still get our valuable offers and services please contact us and ask for $999/m package for out of range companies. We have a strong dedicated team that provides all types of services for Local SEO Florida. Florida Local SEO Services specialized in an application of search engine strategies that can help your website ensure better rank in particular local markets. Many techniques can be included to maintain the whole Local SEO company process.

SEO is undoubtedly an established marketing strategy for those with physical locations. Web Market Florida is equipped with dedicated professionals that will conduct an effective Local SEO campaign to reach your business objectives. We have a list of clients from different companies that are actively involved with our SEO services. Now-a-days the Local SEO has become the life blood for local enterprises. Research shows that more than 80% of the customers make their final decision toward buying products after searching online and considering various reviews. You page ranking will automatically be increased when users can easily find your business listing in search engines. Local SEO in Florida is a necessary strategy to place your business in the eye of the consumer. Web Market Florida provides all types of SEO services that will add a new dimension to your business. Some of the services we provide relevant to seo are On Page SEO and Off Page SEO. You can also check Article Marketing, Content Re-Writing services that are useful for any website.

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Florida Local SEO Company | Web Market Florida

Rhode Island Beaches – Providence & Warwick Where to Visit

 Beaches  Comments Off on Rhode Island Beaches – Providence & Warwick Where to Visit
Jan 252016

This recreation area offers views of scenic Narragansett Bay. The point is a sandy spit jutting out into Narragansett Bay toward Conimicut Lighthouse. On the south side of the point is a sandy beach ideal for sunbathing and swimming. The rotary at the point provides parking close to the beach and there is a ramp for handicap access to the paved walk around the rotary, the beach, and the grassy picnic area. Shellfishing on the point is prohibited due to pollution. Amenities: Picnic sites, playground, restrooms, boat access, wheelchair access. Season/Hours: Dawn dusk

This historic parks beach is family-friendly, surrounded by walking trails, and easy to access. The waves are generally calm. This is an excellent facility for the handicapped and those with bikes or strollers because there are benches and a boardwalk extending the length of the beach along Brush Neck Cove. Amenities: Sports facilities, playground, bicycle trails, dog park, picnic site, shelters, restrooms, snack bar, wheelchair access, trash receptacles. Season/Hours: Summer, dawn dusk Fees: Small admission fee in summer.

Oakland Beach Avenue Warwick, RI, 02889 Phone: 401-738-2000

Located at the southern end of Oakland Beach Avenue, off Route 117 East on Greenwich Bay. This wide, sandy beach extends 900 feet along the shore and provides a shallow swimming area. Lifeguards on duty during summer. The shoreline is designed to contain sand and prevent erosion. Visitors can walk the rocky shoreline, fish, or swim. Amenities: Picnic site, trash receptacles, wheelchair-accessible dock, boat ramps on Bay Avenue, ball field, snack bar, restrooms. Season/Hours: Summer, dawn dusk Fees: Small parking and admission fees.

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Rhode Island Beaches – Providence & Warwick Where to Visit

Pacific Islands – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Islands  Comments Off on Pacific Islands – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jan 222016

The Pacific Islands comprise 20,000 to 30,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean.

The “Pacific Islands” is a term broadly referring to the islands of the Pacific Ocean. Depending on the context, it may refer to countries and islands with common Austronesian origins, islands once or currently colonized, or Oceania.

In English, the umbrella term Pacific Islands may take on several meanings. Sometimes it refers to only those islands covered by the geopolitical concept of Oceania.[1][2] In some common uses, the term “Pacific Island” refers to the islands of the Pacific Ocean once colonized by the British, French, Dutch, United States, and Japanese, such as the Pitcairn Islands, Taiwan, and Borneo.[3] In other uses it may refer to islands with Austronesian heritage like Taiwan, Indonesia, Micronesia, Polynesia, Myanmar islands, which found their genesis in the Neolithic cultures of the island of Taiwan.[4] There are many other islands located within the boundaries of the Pacific Ocean that are not considered part of Oceania. These islands include the Galpagos Islands of Ecuador; the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, United States; Vancouver Island in Canada; the Russian islands of Sakhalin and Kuril Islands; the island nation of Taiwan and other islands of the Republic of China; the Philippines; islands in the South China Sea, which includes the disputed South China Sea Islands; most of the islands of Indonesia; and the island nation of Japan, which comprises the Japanese Archipelago.

This list includes all islands found in the geographic Pacific Ocean, with an area larger than 10,000 square kilometers.

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Pacific Islands – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nihilism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Nihilism  Comments Off on Nihilism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jan 202016

Nihilism ( or ; from the Latin nihil, nothing) is a philosophical doctrine that suggests the lack of belief in one or more reputedly meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.[1]Moral nihilists assert that morality does not inherently exist, and that any established moral values are abstractly contrived. Nihilism can also take epistemological or ontological/metaphysical forms, meaning respectively that, in some aspect, knowledge is not possible, or that reality does not actually exist.

The term is sometimes used in association with anomie to explain the general mood of despair at a perceived pointlessness of existence that one may develop upon realising there are no necessary norms, rules, or laws.[2] Movements such as Futurism and deconstruction,[3] among others, have been identified by commentators[who?] as “nihilistic”.

Nihilism is also a characteristic that has been ascribed to time periods: for example, Jean Baudrillard and others have called postmodernity a nihilistic epoch,[4] and some Christian theologians and figures of religious authority have asserted that postmodernity[5] and many aspects of modernity[3] represent a rejection of theism, and that such rejection of their theistic doctrine entails nihilism.

Nihilism has many definitions, and thus can describe philosophical positions that are arguably independent.

Metaphysical nihilism is the philosophical theory that concrete objects and physical constructs might not exist in the possible world, or that even if there exist possible worlds that contain some concrete objects, there is at least one that contains only abstract objects.

An extreme form of metaphysical nihilism is commonly defined as the belief that nothing exists as a correspondent component of the self-efficient world.[6] The American Heritage Medical Dictionary defines one form of nihilism as “an extreme form of skepticism that denies all existence.”[7] A similar position can be found in solipsism; however, the solipsist affirms whereas the nihilist would deny the self.[8] Both these positions are considered forms of anti-realism.[9]

Epistemological nihilism is a form of skepticism in which all knowledge is accepted as possibly untrue or unable to be known. Additionally, morality is seen as subjective or false.[10]

Mereological nihilism (also called compositional nihilism) is the position that objects with proper parts do not exist (not only objects in space, but also objects existing in time do not have any temporal parts), and only basic building blocks without parts exist, and thus the world we see and experience full of objects with parts is a product of human misperception (i.e., if we could see clearly, we would not perceive compositive objects).

This interpretation of existence must be based on resolution. The resolution with which humans see and perceive the “improper parts” of the world is not an objective fact of reality, but is rather an implicit trait that can only be qualitatively explored and expressed. Therefore, there is no arguable way to surmise or measure the validity of mereological nihilism. Example: An ant can get lost on a large cylindrical object because the circumference of the object is so large with respect to the ant that the ant effectively feels as though the object has no curvature. Thus, the resolution with which the ant views the world it exists “within” is a very important determining factor in how the ant experiences this “within the world” feeling.

Existential nihilism is the belief that life has no intrinsic meaning or value. With respect to the universe, existential nihilism posits that a single human or even the entire human species is insignificant, without purpose and unlikely to change in the totality of existence. The meaninglessness of life is largely explored in the philosophical school of existentialism.

Moral nihilism, also known as ethical nihilism, is the meta-ethical view that morality does not exist as something inherent to objective reality; therefore no action is necessarily preferable to any other. For example, a moral nihilist would say that killing someone, for whatever reason, is not inherently right or wrong.

Other nihilists may argue not that there is no morality at all, but that if it does exist, it is a human construction and thus artificial, wherein any and all meaning is relative for different possible outcomes. As an example, if someone kills someone else, such a nihilist might argue that killing is not inherently a bad thing, or bad independently from our moral beliefs, because of the way morality is constructed as some rudimentary dichotomy. What is said to be a bad thing is given a higher negative weighting than what is called good: as a result, killing the individual was bad because it did not let the individual live, which was arbitrarily given a positive weighting. In this way a moral nihilist believes that all moral claims are void of any truth value. An alternative scholarly perspective is that moral nihilism is a morality in itself. Cooper writes, “In the widest sense of the word ‘morality’, moral nihilism is a morality.”[11]

Political nihilism, a branch of nihilism, follows the characteristic nihilist’s rejection of non-rationalized or non-proven assertions; in this case the necessity of the most fundamental social and political structures, such as government, family, and law. An influential analysis of political nihilism is presented by Leo Strauss.[12]

The Russian Nihilist movement was a Russian trend in the 1860s that rejected all authority.[13] Their name derives from the Latin nihil, meaning “nothing”. After the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881, the Nihilists gained a reputation throughout Europe as proponents of the use of violence for political change.[citation needed] The Nihilists expressed anger at what they described as the abusive nature of the Eastern Orthodox Church and of the tsarist monarchy, and at the domination of the Russian economy by the aristocracy. Although the term Nihilist was first popularised by the German theologian Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi (17431818), its widespread usage began with the 1862 novel Fathers and Sons by the Russian author Ivan Turgenev. The main character of the novel, Eugene Bazarov, who describes himself as a Nihilist, wants to educate the people. The “go to the people be the people” campaign reached its height in the 1870s, during which underground groups such as the Circle of Tchaikovsky, the People’s Will, and Land and Liberty formed. It became known as the Narodnik movement, whose members believed that the newly freed serfs were merely being sold into wage slavery in the onset of the Industrial Revolution, and that the middle and upper classes had effectively replaced landowners. The Russian state attempted to suppress them[who?]. In actions described by the Nihilists as propaganda of the deed many government officials were assassinated. In 1881 Alexander II was killed on the very day he had approved a proposal to call a representative assembly to consider new reforms.

The term nihilism was first used by Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi (17431819). Jacobi used the term to characterize rationalism[14] and in particular Immanuel Kant’s “critical” philosophy to carry out a reductio ad absurdum according to which all rationalism (philosophy as criticism) reduces to nihilismand thus it should be avoided and replaced with a return to some type of faith and revelation. Bret W. Davis writes, for example, “The first philosophical development of the idea of nihilism is generally ascribed to Friedrich Jacobi, who in a famous letter criticized Fichte’s idealism as falling into nihilism. According to Jacobi, Fichtes absolutization of the ego (the ‘absolute I’ that posits the ‘not-I’) is an inflation of subjectivity that denies the absolute transcendence of God.”[15] A related but oppositional concept is fideism, which sees reason as hostile and inferior to faith.

With the popularizing of the word nihilism by Ivan Turgenev, a new Russian political movement called the Nihilist movement adopted the term. They supposedly called themselves nihilists because nothing “that then existed found favor in their eyes”.[16]

Sren Kierkegaard (18131855) posited an early form of nihilism, to which he referred as levelling.[17] He saw levelling as the process of suppressing individuality to a point where the individual’s uniqueness becomes non-existent and nothing meaningful in his existence can be affirmed:

Levelling at its maximum is like the stillness of death, where one can hear one’s own heartbeat, a stillness like death, into which nothing can penetrate, in which everything sinks, powerless. One person can head a rebellion, but one person cannot head this levelling process, for that would make him a leader and he would avoid being levelled. Each individual can in his little circle participate in this levelling, but it is an abstract process, and levelling is abstraction conquering individuality.

Kierkegaard, an advocate of a philosophy of life, generally argued against levelling and its nihilist consequence, although he believed it would be “genuinely educative to live in the age of levelling [because] people will be forced to face the judgement of [levelling] alone.”[18] George Cotkin asserts Kierkegaard was against “the standardization and levelling of belief, both spiritual and political, in the nineteenth century [and he] opposed tendencies in mass culture to reduce the individual to a cipher of conformity and deference to the dominant opinion.”[19] In his day, tabloids (like the Danish magazine Corsaren) and apostate Christianity were instruments of levelling and contributed to the “reflective apathetic age” of 19th century Europe.[20] Kierkegaard argues that individuals who can overcome the levelling process are stronger for it and that it represents a step in the right direction towards “becoming a true self.”[18][21] As we must overcome levelling,[22]Hubert Dreyfus and Jane Rubin argue that Kierkegaard’s interest, “in an increasingly nihilistic age, is in how we can recover the sense that our lives are meaningful”.[23]

Note however that Kierkegaard’s meaning of “nihilism” differs from the modern definition in the sense that, for Kierkegaard, levelling led to a life lacking meaning, purpose or value,[20] whereas the modern interpretation of nihilism posits that there was never any meaning, purpose or value to begin with.

Nihilism is often associated with the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who provided a detailed diagnosis of nihilism as a widespread phenomenon of Western culture. Though the notion appears frequently throughout Nietzsche’s work, he uses the term in a variety of ways, with different meanings and connotations, all negative[citation needed]. Karen Carr describes Nietzsche’s characterization of nihilism “as a condition of tension, as a disproportion between what we want to value (or need) and how the world appears to operate.”[24] When we find out that the world does not possess the objective value or meaning that we want it to have or have long since believed it to have, we find ourselves in a crisis.[25] Nietzsche asserts that with the decline of Christianity and the rise of physiological decadence,[clarification needed] nihilism is in fact characteristic of the modern age,[26] though he implies that the rise of nihilism is still incomplete and that it has yet to be overcome.[27] Though the problem of nihilism becomes especially explicit in Nietzsche’s notebooks (published posthumously), it is mentioned repeatedly in his published works and is closely connected to many of the problems mentioned there.

Nietzsche characterized nihilism as emptying the world and especially human existence of meaning, purpose, comprehensible truth, or essential value. This observation stems in part from Nietzsche’s perspectivism, or his notion that “knowledge” is always by someone of some thing: it is always bound by perspective, and it is never mere fact.[28] Rather, there are interpretations through which we understand the world and give it meaning. Interpreting is something we can not go without; in fact, it is something we need. One way of interpreting the world is through morality, as one of the fundamental ways that people make sense of the world, especially in regard to their own thoughts and actions. Nietzsche distinguishes a morality that is strong or healthy, meaning that the person in question is aware that he constructs it himself, from weak morality, where the interpretation is projected on to something external. Regardless of its strength, morality presents us with meaning, whether this is created or ‘implanted,’ which helps us get through life.[29]

Nietzsche discusses Christianity, one of the major topics in his work, at length in the context of the problem of nihilism in his notebooks, in a chapter entitled “European Nihilism”.[30] Here he states that the Christian moral doctrine provides people with intrinsic value, belief in God (which justifies the evil in the world) and a basis for objective knowledge. In this sense, in constructing a world where objective knowledge is possible, Christianity is an antidote against a primal form of nihilism, against the despair of meaninglessness. However, it is exactly the element of truthfulness in Christian doctrine that is its undoing: in its drive towards truth, Christianity eventually finds itself to be a construct, which leads to its own dissolution. It is therefore that Nietzsche states that we have outgrown Christianity “not because we lived too far from it, rather because we lived too close”.[31] As such, the self-dissolution of Christianity constitutes yet another form of nihilism. Because Christianity was an interpretation that posited itself as the interpretation, Nietzsche states that this dissolution leads beyond skepticism to a distrust of all meaning.[32][33]

Stanley Rosen identifies Nietzsche’s concept of nihilism with a situation of meaninglessness, in which “everything is permitted.” According to him, the loss of higher metaphysical values that exist in contrast to the base reality of the world, or merely human ideas, gives rise to the idea that all human ideas are therefore valueless. Rejecting idealism thus results in nihilism, because only similarly transcendent ideals live up to the previous standards that the nihilist still implicitly holds.[34] The inability for Christianity to serve as a source of valuating the world is reflected in Nietzsche’s famous aphorism of the madman in The Gay Science.[35] The death of God, in particular the statement that “we killed him”, is similar to the self-dissolution of Christian doctrine: due to the advances of the sciences, which for Nietzsche show that man is the product of evolution, that Earth has no special place among the stars and that history is not progressive, the Christian notion of God can no longer serve as a basis for a morality.

One such reaction to the loss of meaning is what Nietzsche calls passive nihilism, which he recognises in the pessimistic philosophy of Schopenhauer. Schopenhauer’s doctrine, which Nietzsche also refers to as Western Buddhism, advocates a separating of oneself from will and desires in order to reduce suffering. Nietzsche characterises this ascetic attitude as a “will to nothingness”, whereby life turns away from itself, as there is nothing of value to be found in the world. This mowing away of all value in the world is characteristic of the nihilist, although in this, the nihilist appears inconsistent:[36]

A nihilist is a man who judges of the world as it is that it ought not to be, and of the world as it ought to be that it does not exist. According to this view, our existence (action, suffering, willing, feeling) has no meaning: the pathos of ‘in vain’ is the nihilists’ pathos at the same time, as pathos, an inconsistency on the part of the nihilists.

Nietzsche’s relation to the problem of nihilism is a complex one. He approaches the problem of nihilism as deeply personal, stating that this predicament of the modern world is a problem that has “become conscious” in him.[37] Furthermore, he emphasises both the danger of nihilism and the possibilities it offers, as seen in his statement that “I praise, I do not reproach, [nihilism’s] arrival. I believe it is one of the greatest crises, a moment of the deepest self-reflection of humanity. Whether man recovers from it, whether he becomes master of this crisis, is a question of his strength!”[38] According to Nietzsche, it is only when nihilism is overcome that a culture can have a true foundation upon which to thrive. He wished to hasten its coming only so that he could also hasten its ultimate departure.[26]

He states that there is at least the possibility of another type of nihilist in the wake of Christianity’s self-dissolution, one that does not stop after the destruction of all value and meaning and succumb to the following nothingness. This alternate, ‘active’ nihilism on the other hand destroys to level the field for constructing something new. This form of nihilism is characterized by Nietzsche as “a sign of strength,”[39] a wilful destruction of the old values to wipe the slate clean and lay down one’s own beliefs and interpretations, contrary to the passive nihilism that resigns itself with the decomposition of the old values. This wilful destruction of values and the overcoming of the condition of nihilism by the constructing of new meaning, this active nihilism, could be related to what Nietzsche elsewhere calls a ‘free spirit'[40] or the bermensch from Thus Spoke Zarathustra and The Antichrist, the model of the strong individual who posits his own values and lives his life as if it were his own work of art. It may be questioned, though, whether “active nihilism” is indeed the correct term for this stance, and some question whether Nietzsche takes the problems nihilism poses seriously enough.[41]

Martin Heidegger’s interpretation of Nietzsche influenced many postmodern thinkers who investigated the problem of nihilism as put forward by Nietzsche. Only recently has Heidegger’s influence on Nietzschean nihilism research faded.[42] As early as the 1930s, Heidegger was giving lectures on Nietzsches thought.[43] Given the importance of Nietzsches contribution to the topic of nihilism, Heidegger’s influential interpretation of Nietzsche is important for the historical development of the term nihilism.

Heidegger’s method of researching and teaching Nietzsche is explicitly his own. He does not specifically try to present Nietzsche as Nietzsche. He rather tries to incorporate Nietzsche’s thoughts into his own philosophical system of Being, Time and Dasein.[44] In his Nihilism as Determined by the History of Being (194446),[45] Heidegger tries to understand Nietzsches nihilism as trying to achieve a victory through the devaluation of the, until then, highest values. The principle of this devaluation is, according to Heidegger, the Will to Power. The Will to Power is also the principle of every earlier valuation of values.[46] How does this devaluation occur and why is this nihilistic? One of Heidegger’s main critiques on philosophy is that philosophy, and more specifically metaphysics, has forgotten to discriminate between investigating the notion of a Being (Seiende) and Being (Sein). According to Heidegger, the history of Western thought can be seen as the history of metaphysics. And because metaphysics has forgotten to ask about the notion of Being (what Heidegger calls Seinsvergessenheit), it is a history about the destruction of Being. That is why Heidegger calls metaphysics nihilistic.[47] This makes Nietzsches metaphysics not a victory over nihilism, but a perfection of it.[48]

Heidegger, in his interpretation of Nietzsche, has been inspired by Ernst Jnger. Many references to Jnger can be found in Heidegger’s lectures on Nietzsche. For example, in a letter to the rector of Freiburg University of November 4, 1945, Heidegger, inspired by Jnger, tries to explain the notion of God is dead as the reality of the Will to Power. Heidegger also praises Jnger for defending Nietzsche against a too biological or anthropological reading during the Third Reich.[49]

Heidegger’s interpretation of Nietzsche influenced a number of important postmodernist thinkers. Gianni Vattimo points at a back-and-forth movement in European thought, between Nietzsche and Heidegger. During the 1960s, a Nietzschean ‘renaissance’ began, culminating in the work of Mazzino Montinari and Giorgio Colli. They began work on a new and complete edition of Nietzsche’s collected works, making Nietzsche more accessible for scholarly research. Vattimo explains that with this new edition of Colli and Montinari, a critical reception of Heidegger’s interpretation of Nietzsche began to take shape. Like other contemporary French and Italian philosophers, Vattimo does not want, or only partially wants, to rely on Heidegger for understanding Nietzsche. On the other hand, Vattimo judges Heidegger’s intentions authentic enough to keep pursuing them.[50] Philosophers who Vattimo exemplifies as a part of this back and forth movement are French philosophers Deleuze, Foucault and Derrida. Italian philosophers of this same movement are Cacciari, Severino and himself.[51]Habermas, Lyotard and Rorty are also philosophers who are influenced by Heidegger’s interpretation of Nietzsche.[52]

Postmodern and poststructuralist thought question the very grounds on which Western cultures have based their ‘truths’: absolute knowledge and meaning, a ‘decentralization’ of authorship, the accumulation of positive knowledge, historical progress, and certain ideals and practices of humanism and the Enlightenment.

Jacques Derrida, whose deconstruction is perhaps most commonly labeled nihilistic, did not himself make the nihilistic move that others have claimed. Derridean deconstructionists argue that this approach rather frees texts, individuals or organizations from a restrictive truth, and that deconstruction opens up the possibility of other ways of being.[53]Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, for example, uses deconstruction to create an ethics of opening up Western scholarship to the voice of the subaltern and to philosophies outside of the canon of western texts.[54] Derrida himself built a philosophy based upon a ‘responsibility to the other’.[55] Deconstruction can thus be seen not as a denial of truth, but as a denial of our ability to know truth (it makes an epistemological claim compared to nihilism’s ontological claim).

Lyotard argues that, rather than relying on an objective truth or method to prove their claims, philosophers legitimize their truths by reference to a story about the world that can’t be separated from the age and system the stories belong toreferred to by Lyotard as meta-narratives. He then goes on to define the postmodern condition as characterized by a rejection both of these meta-narratives and of the process of legitimation by meta-narratives. “In lieu of meta-narratives we have created new language-games in order to legitimize our claims which rely on changing relationships and mutable truths, none of which is privileged over the other to speak to ultimate truth.”[citation needed] This concept of the instability of truth and meaning leads in the direction of nihilism, though Lyotard stops short of embracing the latter.

Postmodern theorist Jean Baudrillard wrote briefly of nihilism from the postmodern viewpoint in Simulacra and Simulation. He stuck mainly to topics of interpretations of the real world over the simulations of which the real world is composed. The uses of meaning was an important subject in Baudrillard’s discussion of nihilism:

The apocalypse is finished, today it is the precession of the neutral, of forms of the neutral and of indifferenceall that remains, is the fascination for desertlike and indifferent forms, for the very operation of the system that annihilates us. Now, fascination (in contrast to seduction, which was attached to appearances, and to dialectical reason, which was attached to meaning) is a nihilistic passion par excellence, it is the passion proper to the mode of disappearance. We are fascinated by all forms of disappearance, of our disappearance. Melancholic and fascinated, such is our general situation in an era of involuntary transparency.

In Nihil Unbound: Extinction and Enlightenment, Ray Brassier maintains that philosophy has avoided the traumatic idea of extinction, instead attempting to find meaning in a world conditioned by the very idea of its own annihilation. Thus Brassier critiques both the phenomenological and hermeneutic strands of Continental philosophy as well as the vitality of thinkers like Gilles Deleuze, who work to ingrain meaning in the world and stave off the threat of nihilism. Instead, drawing on thinkers such as Alain Badiou, Franois Laruelle, Paul Churchland, and Thomas Metzinger, Brassier defends a view of the world as inherently devoid of meaning. That is, rather than avoiding nihilism, Brassier embraces it as the truth of reality. Brassier concludes from his readings of Badiou and Laruelle that the universe is founded on the nothing,[56] but also that philosophy is the “organon of extinction,” that it is only because life is conditioned by its own extinction that there is thought at all.[57] Brassier then defends a radically anti-correlationist philosophy proposing that Thought is conjoined not with Being, but with Non-Being.

The term Dada was first used by Richard Huelsenbeck and Tristan Tzara in 1916.[58] The movement, which lasted from approximately 1916 to 1922, arose during World War I, an event that influenced the artists.[59] The Dada Movement began in Zrich, Switzerland known as the “Niederdorf” or “Niederdrfli” in the Caf Voltaire.[60] The Dadaists claimed that Dada was not an art movement, but an anti-art movement, sometimes using found objects in a manner similar to found poetry. The “anti-art” drive is thought to have stemmed from a post-war emptiness. This tendency toward devaluation of art has led many to claim that Dada was an essentially nihilistic movement. Given that Dada created its own means for interpreting its products, it is difficult to classify alongside most other contemporary art expressions. Hence, due to its ambiguity, it is sometimes classified as a nihilistic modus vivendi.[59]

The term “nihilism” was actually popularized by Ivan Turgenev in his novel Fathers and Sons, whose hero, Bazarov, was a nihilist and recruited several followers to the philosophy. He found his nihilistic ways challenged upon falling in love.[61]

Anton Chekhov portrayed nihilism when writing Three Sisters. The phrase “what does it matter” or such variants is often spoken by several characters in response to events; the significance of some of these events suggests a subscription to nihilism by said characters as a type of coping strategy.

Ayn Rand vehemently denounced nihilism as an abdication of rationality and the pursuit of happiness which she regarded as life’s moral purpose. As such, most villains are depicted as moral nihilists including Ellsworth Monckton Toohey in The Fountainhead who is a self-aware nihilist and the corrupt government in Atlas Shrugged who are unconsciously driven by nihilism which has taken root in the books depiction of American society with the fictional slang phrase “Who is John Galt?” being used as a defeatist way of saying “Who knows?” or “What does it matter?” by characters in the book who have essentially given up on life.[citation needed]

The philosophical ideas of the French author, the Marquis de Sade, are often noted as early examples of nihilistic principles.[citation needed]

In Act III of Shostakovich’s opera “Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District”, a nihilist is tormented by the Russian police.[citation needed]

A 2007 article in The Guardian noted that “…in the summer of 1977, …punk’s nihilistic swagger was the most thrilling thing in England.”[62] The Sex Pistols’ God Save The Queen, with its chant-like refrain of “no future”, became a slogan for unemployed and disaffected youth during the late 1970s. Their song Pretty Vacant is also a prime example of the band’s nihilistic outlook. Other influential punk rock and proto-punk bands to adopt nihilistic themes include The Velvet Underground, The Stooges, Misfits, Ramones, Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, Suicide and Black Flag.[63]

Industrial, black metal, death metal, and doom metal music often emphasize nihilistic themes. Explorers of nihilistic themes in heavy metal include Black Sabbath, Metallica, Marilyn Manson, Slayer, KMFDM, Opeth, Alice in Chains, Godflesh, Celtic Frost, Ministry, Autopsy, Dismember, Motrhead, Nine Inch Nails, Bathory, Darkthrone, Emperor, Tool, Meshuggah, Candlemass, Morbid Saint, Kreator, Morbid Angel, Sepultura, Exodus, Entombed, Death, Mayhem, Nevermore, Dark Angel, Dissection, Nihilist, Weakling, Obituary, Electric Wizard, Eyehategod, Pantera, Sleep, Xasthur, At the Gates and the band Turbonegro have a song called TNA (The Nihilistic Army), which is solely in reference to outlying principles of nihilism.[64][65][66]

In 2014 is composed the first opera (Demandolx) carrying the expression of “Nihilist Opera”, using classical, modern and electronic instruments and following some drastic different rules, musically and theoretically.

Three of the antagonists in the 1998 movie The Big Lebowski are explicitly described as “nihilists,” but are not shown exhibiting any explicitly nihilistic traits during the film. Regarding the nihilists, the character Walter Sobchak comments “Nihilists! Fuck me. I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.” [67] The 1999 film The Matrix portrays the character Thomas A. Anderson with a hollowed out copy of Baudrillard’s treatise, Simulacra and Simulation, in which he stores contraband data files under the chapter “On Nihilism.” The main antagonist Agent Smith is also depicted frequently as a nihilist, with him ranting about how all of peace, justice and love were meaningless in The Matrix Revolutions.[68] The 1999 film Fight Club also features concepts relating to Nihilism by exploring the contrasts between the artificial values imposed by consumerism in relation to the more meaningful pursuit of spiritual happiness.

In keeping with his comic book depiction, The Joker is portrayed as a nihilist in The Dark Knight, describing himself as “an Agent of Chaos” and at one point burning a gigantic pile of money stating that crime is “not about money, it’s about sending a message: everything burns.” Alfred Pennyworth states, regarding the Joker, “Some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like moneythey can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated withsome men just want to watch the world burn.”[69]

The character from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II The Sith Lords, a dark lord named Darth Nihilus was a reference to the Nihilism ideology as he devoured entire planets and did not care for living things at all.[citation needed]

Although the character Barthandelus from Final Fantasy XIII is not referred to as nihilistic in the game itself, he is referred to as such in the Fighting Fate entry for Theatrhythm Final Fantasy.[70]

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Nihilism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Well-Being (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

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Jan 202016

Popular use of the term well-being usually relates to health. A doctors surgery may run a Womens Well-being Clinic, for example. Philosophical use is broader, but related, and amounts to the notion of how well a persons life is going for that person. A persons well-being is what is good for them. Health, then, might be said to be a constituent of my well-being, but it is not plausibly taken to be all that matters for my well-being. One correlate term worth noting here is self-interest: my self-interest is what is in the interest of myself, and not others.

The philosophical use of the term also tends to encompass the negative aspects of how a persons life goes for them. So we may speak of the well-being of someone who is, and will remain in, the most terrible agony: their well-being is negative, and such that their life is worse for them than no life at all. The same is true of closely allied terms, such as welfare, which covers how a person is faring as a whole, whether well or badly, or happiness, which can be understoodas it was by the classical utilitarians from Jeremy Bentham onwards, for exampleto be the balance between good and bad things in a persons life. But note that philosophers also use such terms in the more standard positive way, speaking of ill-being, ill-faring, or, of course, unhappiness to capture the negative aspects of individuals lives.

Happiness is often used, in ordinary life, to refer to a short-lived state of a person, frequently a feeling of contentment: You look happy today; Im very happy for you. Philosophically, its scope is more often wider, encompassing a whole life. And in philosophy it is possible to speak of the happiness of a persons life, or of their happy life, even if that person was in fact usually pretty miserable. The point is that some good things in their life made it a happy one, even though they lacked contentment. But this usage is uncommon, and may cause confusion.

Over the last few decades, so-called positive psychology has hugely increased the attention paid by psychologists and other scientists to the notion of happiness. Such happiness is usually understood in terms of contentment or life-satisfaction, and is measured by means such as self-reports or daily questionnaires. Is positive psychology about well-being? As yet, conceptual distinctions are not sufficiently clear within the discipline. But it is probably fair to say that many of those involved, as researchers or as subjects, are assuming that ones life goes well to the extent that one is contented with itthat is, that some kind of hedonistic account of well-being is correct. Some positive psychologists, however, explicitly reject hedonistic theories in preference to Aristotelian or eudaimonist accounts of well-being, which are a version of the objective list theory of well-being discussed below. A leader in the field, Martin Seligman, for example, has recently suggested that, rather than happiness, positive psychology should concern itself with positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishment (Perma) (Seligman 2011).

When discussing the notion of what makes life good for the individual living that life, it is preferable to use the term well-being instead of happiness. For we want at least to allow conceptual space for the possibility that, for example, the life of a plant may be good for that plant. And speaking of the happiness of a plant would be stretching language too far. (An alternative here might be flourishing, though this might be taken to bias the analysis of human well-being in the direction of some kind of natural teleology.) In that respect, the Greek word commonly translated happiness (eudaimonia) might be thought to be superior. But, in fact, eudaimonia seems to have been restricted not only to conscious beings, but to human beings: non-human animals cannot be eudaimon. This is because eudaimonia suggests that the gods, or fortune, have favoured one, and the idea that the gods could care about non-humans would not have occurred to most Greeks.

It is occasionally claimed that certain ancient ethical theories, such as Aristotles, result in the collapse of the very notion of well-being. On Aristotles view, if you are my friend, then my well-being is closely bound up with yours. It might be tempting, then, to say that your well-being is part of mine, in which case the distinction between what is good for me and what is good for others has broken down. But this temptation should be resisted. Your well-being concerns how well your life goes for you, and we can allow that my well-being depends on yours without introducing the confusing notion that my well-being is constituted by yours. There are signs in Aristotelian thought of an expansion of the subject or owner of well-being. A friend is another self, so that what benefits my friend benefits me. But this should be taken either as a metaphorical expression of the dependence claim, or as an identity claim which does not threaten the notion of well-being: if you really are the same person as I am, then of course what is good for you will be what is good for me, since there is no longer any metaphysically significant distinction between you and me.

Well-being is a kind of value, sometimes called prudential value, to be distinguished from, for example, aesthetic value or moral value. What marks it out is the notion of good for. The serenity of a Vermeer painting, for example, is a kind of goodness, but it is not good for the painting. It may be good for us to contemplate such serenity, but contemplating serenity is not the same as the serenity itself. Likewise, my giving money to a development charity may have moral value, that is, be morally good. And the effects of my donation may be good for others. But it remains an open question whether my being morally good is good for me; and, if it is, its being good for me is still conceptually distinct from its being morally good.

There is something mysterious about the notion of good for. Consider a possible world that contains only a single item: a stunning Vermeer painting. Leave aside any doubts you might have about whether paintings can be good in a world without viewers, and accept for the sake of argument that this painting has aesthetic value in that world. It seems intuitively plausible to claim that the value of this world is constituted solely by the aesthetic value of the painting. But now consider a world which contains one individual living a life that is good for them. How are to describe the relationship between the value of this world, and the value of the life lived in it for the individual? Are we to say that the world has a value at all? How can it, if the only value it contains is good for as opposed to just good? And yet we surely do want to say that this world is better (more good) than some other empty world. Well, should we say that the world is good, and is so because of the good it contains for the individual? This fails to capture the idea that there is in fact nothing of value in this world except what is good for the individual.

Thoughts such as these led G.E. Moore to object to the very idea of good for (Moore 1903, pp. 989). Moore argued that the idea of my own good, which he saw as equivalent to what is good for me, makes no sense. When I speak of, say, pleasure as what is good for me, he claimed, I can mean only either that the pleasure I get is good, or that my getting it is good. Nothing is added by saying that the pleasure constitutes my good, or is good for me.

But the distinctions I drew between different categories of value above show that Moores analysis of the claim that my own good consists in pleasure is too narrow. Indeed Moores argument rests on the very assumption that it seeks to prove: that only the notion of good is necessary to make all the evaluative judgements we might wish to make. The claim that it is good that I get pleasure is, logically speaking, equivalent to the claim that the world containing the single Vermeer is good. It is, so to speak, impersonal, and leaves out of account the special feature of the value of well-being: that it is good for individuals.

Indeed, one way to respond both to Moores challenge, and to the puzzles above, is to try, when appropriate, to do without the notion of good (see Kraut 2011) and make do with good for, alongside the separate and non-evaluative notion of reasons for action. Thus, the world containing the single individual with a life worth living, might be said to contain nothing good per se, but a life that is good for that individual. And this fact may give us a reason to bring about such a world, given the opportunity.

Moores book was published in Cambridge, England, at the beginning of the twentieth century. At the end of the same century, a book was published in Cambridge, Mass., which also posed some serious challenges to the notion of well-being: What Do We Owe to Each Other?, by T.M. Scanlon.

Moores ultimate aim in criticizing the idea of goodness for was to attack egoism. Likewise, Scanlon has an ulterior motive in objecting to the notion of well-beingto attack so-called teleological or end-based theories of ethics, in particular, utilitarianism, which in its standard form requires us to maximize well-being. But in both cases the critiques stand independently.

One immediately odd aspect of Scanlons position that well-being is an otiose notion in ethics is that he himself seems to have a view on what well-being is. It involves, he believes, among other things, success in ones rational aims, and personal relations. But Scanlon claims that his view is not a theory of well-being, since a theory must explain what unifies these different elements, and how they are to be compared. And, he adds, no such theory is ever likely to be available, since such matters depend so much on context.

Scanlon does, however, implicitly make a claim about what unites these values: they are all constituents of well-being, as opposed to other kinds of value, such as aesthetic or moral. Nor is it clear why Scanlons view of well-being could not be developed so as to assist in making real-life choices between different values in ones own life.

Scanlon suggests that we often make claims about what is good in our lives without referring to the notion of well-being, and indeed that it would often be odd to do so. For example, I might say, I listen to Alison Krausss music because I enjoy it, and that will be sufficient. I do not need to go on to say, And enjoyment adds to my well-being.

But this latter claim sounds peculiar only because we already know that enjoyment makes a persons life better for them. And in some circumstances such a claim would anyway not be odd: consider an argument with someone who claims that aesthetic experience is worthless, or with an ascetic. Further, people do use the notion of well-being in practical thinking. For example, if I am given the opportunity to achieve something significant, which will involve considerable discomfort over several years, I may consider whether, from the point of view of my own well-being, the project is worth pursuing.

Scanlon argues also that the notion of well-being, if it is to be philosophically acceptable, ought to provide a sphere of compensationa context in which it makes sense to say, for example, that I am losing one good in my life for the sake of gain over my life as a whole. And, he claims, there is no such sphere. For Scanlon, giving up present comfort for the sake of future health feels like a sacrifice.

But this does not chime with my own experience. When I donate blood, this feels to me like a sacrifice. But when I visit the dentist, it feels to me just as if I am weighing up present pains against potential future pains. And we can weigh up different components of well-being against one another. Consider a case in which you are offered a job which is highly paid but many miles away from your friends and family.

Scanlon denies that we need an account of well-being to understand benevolence, since we do not have a general duty of benevolence, but merely duties to benefit others in specific ways, such as to relieve their pain. But, from the philosophical perspective, it may be quite useful to use the heading of benevolence in order to group such duties. And, again, comparisons may be important: if I have several pro tanto duties of benevolence, not all of which can be fulfilled, I shall have to weigh up the various benefits I can provide against one another. And here the notion of well-being will again come into play.

Further, if morality includes so-called imperfect duties to benefit others, that is, duties that allow the agent some discretion as to when and how to assist, the lack of any overarching conception of well-being is likely to make the fulfillment of such duties problematic.

On one view, human beings always act in pursuit of what they think will give them the greatest balance of pleasure over pain. This is psychological hedonism, and will not be my concern here. Rather, I intend to discuss evaluative hedonism or prudential hedonism, according to which well-being consists in the greatest balance of pleasure over pain.

This view was first, and perhaps most famously, expressed by Socrates and Protagoras in the Platonic dialogue, Protagoras (Plato 1976 [C4 BCE], 351bc). Jeremy Bentham, perhaps the most well-known of the more recent hedonists, begins his Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation thus: Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do.

In answer to the question, What does well-being consist in?, then, the hedonist will answer, The greatest balance of pleasure over pain. We might call this substantive hedonism. A complete hedonist position will involve also explanatory hedonism, which consists in an answer to the following question: What makes pleasure good, and pain bad?, that answer being, The pleasantness of pleasure, and the painfulness of pain. Consider a substantive hedonist who believed that what makes pleasure good for us is that it fulfills our nature. This theorist is not an explanatory hedonist.

Hedonismas is demonstrated by its ancient rootshas long seemed an obviously plausible view. Well-being, what is good for me, might be thought to be naturally linked to what seems good to me, and pleasure does, to most people, seem good. And how could anything else benefit me except in so far as I enjoy it?

The simplest form of hedonism is Benthams, according to which the more pleasantness one can pack into ones life, the better it will be, and the more painfulness one encounters, the worse it will be. How do we measure the value of the two experiences? The two central aspects of the respective experiences, according to Bentham, are their duration, and their intensity.

Bentham tended to think of pleasure and pain as a kind of sensation, as the notion of intensity might suggest. One problem with this kind of hedonism is that there does not appear to be a single common strand of pleasantness running through all the different experiences people enjoy, such as eating hamburgers, reading Shakespeare, or playing water polo. Rather, it seems, there are certain experiences we want to continue, and we might be prepared to call thesefor philosophical purposespleasures (even though some of them, such as diving in a very deep and narrow cave, for example, would not normally be described as pleasurable).

But simple hedonism could survive this objection merely by incorporating whatever view of pleasure was thought to be plausible. A more serious objection is to the evaluative stance of hedonism itself. Thomas Carlyle, for example, described the hedonistic component of utilitarianism as the philosophy of swine, the point being that simple hedonism places all pleasures on a par, whether they be the lowest animal pleasures of sex or the highest of aesthetic appreciation. One might make this point with a thought experiment. Imagine that you are given the choice of living a very fulfilling human life, or that of a barely sentient oyster, which experiences some very low-level pleasure. Imagine also that the life of the oyster can be as long as you like, whereas the human life will be of eighty years only. If Bentham were right, there would have to be a length of oyster life such that you would choose it in preference to the human. And yet many say that they would choose the human life in preference to an oyster life of any length.

Now this is not a knockdown argument against simple hedonism. Indeed some people are ready to accept that at some length or other the oyster life becomes preferable. But there is an alternative to simple hedonism, outlined famously by J.S. Mill, using his distinction (itself influenced by Platos discussion of pleasure at the end of his Republic (Plato 1992 [C4 BCE], 582d-583a)) between higher and lower pleasures (1998 [1863], ch. 2). Mill added a third property to the two determinants of value identified by Bentham, duration and intensity. To distinguish it from these two quantitative properties, Mill called his third property quality. The claim is that some pleasures, by their very nature, are more valuable than others. For example, the pleasure of reading Shakespeare, by its very nature, is more valuable than any amount of basic animal pleasure. And we can see this, Mill suggests, if we note that those who have experienced both types, and are competent judges, will make their choices on this basis.

A long-standing objection to Mills move here has been to claim that his position can no longer be described as hedonism proper (or what I have called explanatory hedonism). If higher pleasures are higher because of their nature, that aspect of their nature cannot be pleasantness, since that could be determined by duration and intensity alone. And Mill anyway speaks of properties such as nobility as adding to the value of a pleasure. Now it has to be admitted that Mill is sailing close to the wind here. But there is logical space for a hedonist position which allows properties such as nobility to determine pleasantness, and insists that only pleasantness determines value. But one might well wonder how nobility could affect pleasantness, and why Mill did not just come out with the idea that nobility is itself a good-making property.

But there is a yet more weighty objection to hedonism of any kind: the so-called experience machine. Imagine that I have a machine that I could plug you into for the rest of your life. This machine would give you experiences of whatever kind you thought most valuable or enjoyablewriting a great novel, bringing about world peace, attending an early Rolling Stones gig. You would not know you were on the machine, and there is no worry about its breaking down or whatever. Would you plug in? Would it be wise, from the point of your own well-being, to do so? Robert Nozick thinks it would be a big mistake to plug in: We want to do certain things we want to be a certain way plugging into an experience machine limits us to a man-made reality (Nozick 1974, p. 43).

One can make the machine sound more palatable, by allowing that genuine choices can be made on it, that those plugged in have access to a common virtual world shared by other machine-users, a world in which ordinary communication is possible, and so on. But this will not be enough for many anti-hedonists. A further line of response begins from so-called externalism in the philosophy of mind, according to which the content of mental states is determined by facts external to the experiencer of those states. Thus, the experience of really writing a great novel is quite different from that of apparently writing a great novel, even though from the inside they may be indistinguishable. But this is once again sailing close to the wind. If the world can affect the very content of my experience without my being in a position to be aware of it, why should it not affect the value of my experience?

The strongest tack for hedonists to take is to accept the apparent force of the experience machine objection, but to insist that it rests on common sense intuitions, the place in our lives of which may itself be justified by hedonism. This is to adopt a strategy similar to that developed by two-level utilitarians in response to alleged counter-examples based on common-sense morality. The hedonist will point out the so-called paradox of hedonism, that pleasure is most effectively pursued indirectly. If I consciously try to maximize my own pleasure, I will be unable to immerse myself in those activities, such as reading or playing games, which do give pleasure. And if we believe that those activities are valuable independently of the pleasure we gain from engaging in them, then we shall probably gain more pleasure overall.

These kinds of stand-off in moral philosophy are unfortunate, but should not be brushed aside. They raise questions concerning the epistemology of ethics, and the source and epistemic status of our deepest ethical beliefs, which we are further from answering than many would like to think. Certainly the current trend of quickly dismissing hedonism on the basis of a quick run-through of the experience machine objection is not methodologically sound.

The experience machine is one motivation for the adoption of a desire theory. When you are on the machine, many of your central desires are likely to remain unfilled. Take your desire to write a great novel. You may believe that this is what you are doing, but in fact it is just a hallucination. And what you want, the argument goes, is to write a great novel, not the experience of writing a great novel.

Historically, however, the reason for the current dominance of desire theories lies in the emergence of welfare economics. Pleasure and pain are inside peoples heads, and also hard to measureespecially when we have to start weighing different peoples experiences against one another. So economists began to see peoples well-being as consisting in the satisfaction of preferences or desires, the content of which could be revealed by their possessors. This made possible the ranking of preferences, the development of utility functions for individuals, and methods for assessing the value of preference-satisfaction (using, for example, money as a standard).

The simplest version of a desire theory one might call the present desire theory, according to which someone is made better off to the extent that their current desires are fulfilled. This theory does succeed in avoiding the experience machine objection. But it has serious problems of its own. Consider the case of the angry adolescent. This boys mother tells him he cannot attend a certain nightclub, so the boy holds a gun to his own head, wanting to pull the trigger and retaliate against his mother. Recall that the scope of theories of well-being should be the whole of a life. It is implausible that the boy will make his life go as well as possible by pulling the trigger. We might perhaps interpret the simple desire theory as a theory of well-being-at-at-a-particular-time. But even then it seems unsatisfactory. From whatever perspective, the boy would be better off if he put the gun down.

We should move, then, to a comprehensive desire theory, according to which what matters to a persons well-being is the overall level of desire-satisfaction in their life as a whole. A summative version of this theory suggests, straightforwardly enough, that the more desire-fulfilment in a life the better. But it runs into Derek Parfits case of addiction (1984, p. 497). Imagine that you can start taking a highly addictive drug, which will cause a very strong desire in you for the drug every morning. Taking the drug will give you no pleasure; but not taking it will cause you quite severe suffering. There will be no problem with the availability of the drug, and it will cost you nothing. But what reason do you have to take it?

A global version of the comprehensive theory ranks desires, so that desires about the shape and content of ones life as a whole are given some priority. So, if I prefer not to become a drug addict, that will explain why it is better for me not to take Parfits drug. But now consider the case of the orphan monk. This young man began training to be a monk at the earliest age, and has lived a very sheltered life. He is now offered three choices: he can remain as a monk, or become either a cook or a gardener outside the monastery, at a grange. He has no conception of the latter alternatives, so chooses to remain a monk. But surely it might be possible that he would have a better life were he to live outside?

So we now have to move to an informed desire version of the comprehensive theory. According to the informed desire account, the best life is the one I would desire if I were fully informed about all the (non-evaluative) facts. But now consider a case suggested by John Rawls: the grass-counter. Imagine a brilliant Harvard mathematician, fully informed about the options available to her, who develops an overriding desire to count the blades of grass on the lawns of Harvard. Like the experience machine, this case is another example of philosophical bedrock. Some will believe that, if she really is informed, and not suffering from some neurosis, then the life of grass-counting will be the best for her.

Note that on the informed desire view the subject must actually have the desires in question for well-being to accrue to her. If it were true of me that, were I fully informed I would desire some object which at present I have no desire for, giving me that object now would not benefit me. Any theory which claimed that it would amounts to an objective list theory with a desire-based epistemology.

All these problem cases for desire theories appear to be symptoms of a more general difficulty. Recall again the distinction between substantive and formal theories of well-being. The former state the constituents of well-being (such as pleasure), while the latter state what makes these things good for people (pleasantness, for example). Substantively, a desire theorist and a hedonist may agree on what makes life good for people: pleasurable experiences. But formally they will differ: the hedonist will refer to pleasantness as the good-maker, while the desire theorist must refer to desire-satisfaction. (It is worth pointing out here that if one characterizes pleasure as an experience the subject wants to continue, the distinction between hedonism and desire theories becomes quite hard to pin down.)

The idea that desire-satisfaction is a good-making property is somewhat odd. As Aristotle says (1984 [C4 BCE], Metaphysics, 1072a, tr. Ross): desire is consequent on opinion rather than opinion on desire. In other words, we desire things, such as writing a great novel, because we think those things are independently good; we do not think they are good because they will satisfy our desire for them.

The threefold distinction I am using between different theories of well-being has become standard in contemporary ethics. There are problems with it, however, as with many classifications, since it can blind one to other ways of characterizing views. Objective list theories are usually understood as theories which list items constituting well-being that consist neither merely in pleasurable experience nor in desire-satisfaction. Such items might include, for example, knowledge or friendship. But it is worth remembering, for example, that hedonism might be seen as one kind of list theory, and all list theories might then be opposed to desire theories as a whole.

What should go on the list? It is important that every good should be included. As Aristotle put it: We take what is self-sufficient to be that which on its own makes life worthy of choice and lacking in nothing. We think happiness to be such, and indeed the thing most of all worth choosing, not counted as just one thing among others (2000 [C4 BCE], Nicomachean Ethics, 1197b, tr. Crisp). In other words, if you claim that well-being consists only in friendship and pleasure, I can show your list to be unsatisfactory if I can demonstrate that knowledge is also something that makes people better off.

What is the good-maker, according to objective list theorists? This depends on the theory. One, influenced by Aristotle and recently developed by Thomas Hurka (1993), is perfectionism, according to which what makes things constituents of well-being is their perfecting human nature. If it is part of human nature to acquire knowledge, for example, then a perfectionist should claim that knowledge is a constituent of well-being. But there is nothing to prevent an objective list theorists claiming that all that the items on her list have in common is that each, in its own way, advances well-being.

How do we decide what goes on the list? All we can work on is the deliverance of reflective judgementintuition, if you like. But one should not conclude from this that objective list theorists are, because they are intuitionist, less satisfactory than the other two theories. For those theories too can be based only on reflective judgement. Nor should one think that intuitionism rules out argument. Argument is one way to bring people to see the truth. Further, we should remember that intuitions can be mistaken. Indeed, as suggested above, this is the strongest line of defence available to hedonists: to attempt to undermine the evidential weight of many of our natural beliefs about what is good for people.

One common objection to objective list theories is that they are litist, since they appear to be claiming that certain things are good for people, even if those people will not enjoy them, and do not even want them. One strategy here might be to adopt a hybrid account, according to which certain goods do benefit people independently of pleasure and desire-satisfaction, but only when they do in fact bring pleasure and/or satisfy desires. Another would be to bite the bullet, and point out that a theory could be both litist and true.

It is also worth pointing out that objective list theories need not involve any kind of objectionable authoritarianism or perfectionism. First, one might wish to include autonomy on ones list, claiming that the informed and reflective living of ones own life for oneself itself constitutes a good. Second, and perhaps more significantly, one might note that any theory of well-being in itself has no direct moral implications. There is nothing logically to prevent ones holding a highly litist conception of well-being alongside a strict liberal view that forbade paternalistic interference of any kind with a persons own life (indeed, on some interpretations, J.S. Mills position is close to this).

One not implausible view, if desire theories are indeed mistaken in their reversal of the relation between desire and what is good, is that the debate is really between hedonism and objective list theories. And, as suggested above, what is most at stake here is the issue of the epistemic adequacy of our beliefs about well-being. The best way to resolve this matter would consist, in large part at least, in returning once again to the experience machine objection, and seeking to discover whether that objection really stands.

Well-being obviously plays a central role in any moral theory. A theory which said that it just does not matter would be given no credence at all. Indeed, it is very tempting to think that well-being, in some ultimate sense, is all that can matter morally. Consider, for example, Joseph Razs humanistic principle: the explanation and justification of the goodness or badness of anything derives ultimately from its contribution, actual or possible, to human life and its quality (Raz 1986, p. 194). If we expand this principle to cover non-human well-being, it might be read as claiming that, ultimately speaking, the justificatory force of any moral reason rests on well-being. This view is welfarism.

Act-utilitarians, who believe that the right action is that which maximizes well-being overall, may attempt to use the intuitive plausibility of welfarism to support their position, arguing that any deviation from the maximization of well-being must be grounded on something distinct from well-being, such as equality or rights. But those defending equality may argue that egalitarians are concerned to give priority to those who are worse off, and that we do see here a link with concern for well-being. Likewise, those concerned with rights may note that rights are to certain goods, such as freedom, or the absence of bads, such as suffering (in the case of the right not to be tortured, for example). In other words, the interpretation of welfarism is itself a matter of dispute. But, however it is understood, it does seem that welfarism poses a problem for those who believe that morality can require actions which benefit no one, and harm some, such as, for example, punishments intended to give individuals what they deserve.

Ancient ethics was, in a sense, more concerned with well-being than a good deal of modern ethics, the central question for many ancient moral philosophers being, Which life is best for one?. The rationality of egoismthe view that my strongest reason is always to advance my own well-beingwas largely assumed. This posed a problem. Morality is naturally thought to concern the interests of others. So if egoism is correct, what reason do I have to be moral?

One obvious strategy to adopt in defence of morality is to claim that a persons well-being is in some sense constituted by their virtue, or the exercise of virtue, and this strategy was adopted in subtly different ways by the three greatest ancient philosophers, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. At one point in his writings, Plato appears to allow for the rationality of moral self-sacrifice: the philosophers in his famous cave analogy in the Republic (51920) are required by morality to desist from contemplation of the sun outside the cave, and to descend once again into the cave to govern their fellow citizens. In the voluminous works of Aristotle, however, there is no recommendation of sacrifice. Aristotle believed that he could defend the virtuous choice as always being in the interest of the individual. Note, however, that he need not be described as an egoist in a strong senseas someone who believes that our only reasons for action are grounded in our own well-being. For him, virtue both tends to advance the good of others, and (at least when acted on) advances our own good. So Aristotle might well have allowed that the well-being of others grounds reasons for me to act. But these reasons will never come into conflict with reasons grounded in my own individual well-being.

His primary argument is his notorious and perfectionist function argument, according to which the good for some being is to be identified through attention to its function or characteristic activity. The characteristic activity of human beings is to exercise reason, and the good will lie in exercising reason wellthat is, in accordance with the virtues. This argument, which is stated by Aristotle very briefly and relies on assumptions from elsewhere in his philosophy and indeed that of Plato, appears to conflate the two ideas of what is good for a person, and what is morally good. I may agree that a good example of humanity will be virtuous, but deny that this person is doing what is best for them. Rather, I may insist, reason requires one to advance ones own good, and this good consists in, for example, pleasure, power, or honour. But much of Aristotles Nicomachean Ethics is taken up with portraits of the life of the virtuous and the vicious, which supply independent support for the claim that well-being is constituted by virtue. In particular, it is worth noting the emphasis placed by Aristotle on the value to a person of nobility (to kalon), a quasi-aesthetic value which those sensitive to such qualities might not implausibly see as a constituent of well-being of more worth than any other. In this respect, the good of virtue is, in the Kantian sense, unconditional. Yet, for Aristotle, virtue or the good will is not only morally good, but good for the individual.

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Well-Being (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Hedonism Wikipedia

 Hedonism  Comments Off on Hedonism Wikipedia
Jan 202016

Hedonism (av grekiska hedone, “njutning”, “lustknsla”) r en familj av filosofiska och psykologiska teorier som stter njutning som centralt ml fr mnniskans strvanden.[1]Psykologisk hedonism r teorin om att skande efter njutning och undvikande av lidande r mnniskans enda drivkraft eller motivation. Etisk hedonism r teorin om att mngden resulterad njutning r den enda mttstocken p en handlings moraliska vrde. Vrdeteoretisk hedonism r teorin att njutning r det enda intrinsikalt vrdefulla.[2] Dessutom talar man idag ofta om vad som utgr ett gott liv, eller vad som bidrar till ens vlmende, och hedonistens svar r d att njutning r det enda betydelsefulla i skapandet av en mnniskas livsbana. Idag ses hedonismen som en av de tre mest betydelsefulla teorierna om vlmende, bredvid begrsrelaterade teorier och objektiv lista-teorier.[3]

Hedonismen sprar sina rtter till antikens filosofer. ven om Platon under en period tycks ha haft hedonistiska sikter s r Epikuros utan tvekan teorins – i alla dess dtida varianter – mest betydelsefulla fresprkare. Under vissa perioder av historien har ngon form av hedonism fungerat nstan som ett axiom i filosofiska sammanhang, men dess nstfljande storhetsperiod gde rum under senare halvan av 1800-talet med fretrdare som Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill och Henry Sidgwick.

Termen “hedonist” anvnds ibland till vardags som synonym till “livsnjutare”.

Epikuros r historiskt sett hedonismens frfader, i teorins alla dvarande bemrkelser. Han menade att det som r efterstrvat ocks r det som r efterstrvansvrt. Han betraktade praktisk vishet som frmgan att p ett korrekt stt kunna kalkylera mngden njutning och lidande. Dygder och rationell aktivitet hrleder sitt vrde frn njutning och r sledes endast instrumentellt vrdefulla. Epikuros skilde mellan aktiva och stillsamma njutningar och ansg att de senare r bttre eftersom de varar lngre. Distinktionen ska inte ses som synonym till kroppsliga- respektive sjlsliga njutningar. ven minnen av njutningar r njutningar. Epikuros hedonistiska instllning hr delvis samman med hans radikala empirism; det enda vi har sker kunskap om r vra sensationer och bland dem ingr njutning och lidande.

Platon hade en hedonistisk period vilket framfr allt mrks i hans dialog Protagoras. Hans sokratiska antagande, att man inte kan veta det goda utan att ocks gra det goda, kombinerat med hans psykologiska hedonism, ledde honom till att acceptera en slags etisk hedonism. Han vergav den emellertid senare till frmn fr en form av vrdeteoretisk pluralism, detta eftersom han vergav den psykologiska hedonismen. Platons senare lyckobegrepp innefattar bde njutning och kunskap.

Aristoteles menade att njutning kompletterar rationell aktivitet och r allts inte det enda, eller ens det hgsta, goda. Han menade att endast de “dla njutningarna” r vrdefulla och att deras vrde varierar med vrdet p aktiviteten som de framspringer ur. Hos Aristoteles hade “lycka” en mer central plats n “njutning” och den frra innefattar delvis den senare.

Den brittiske filosofen Jeremy Bentham var utilitarist. Han menade att all njutning r god, vilket gr honom till kvantitativ utilitarist, till skillnad frn Mill som skilde mellan njutning av olika kvaliteter. Bentham menade att det r omjligt att bevisa hedonismen, den utgr grunden fr alla andra frklaringskedjor. Han stllde sig bakom bde psykologisk- och etisk hedonism och gjorde ingen skarp distinktion mellan vad vi gr och vad vi br gra. Njutning fungerar bde som frklarande- och rttfrdigande orsak till vrt beteende.

John Stuart Mill ansg inte heller att ett bevis behvde ges fr att rttfrdiga hedonismen, men presenterade likvl ett argument som bestr av tv steg. Fr det frsta frsker han bevisa hedonismen och fr det andra frsker han drifrn rttfrdiga utilitarismen. Hans frsta steg gr i korthet ut p att han pstr att det enda trvrda r det vi faktiskt trr. Drifrn frsker han bevisa utilitarismens rimlighet genom att formulera ett njutningsbegrepp som inte plockar ut individer. Mill fresprkade en kvalitativ hedonism, det vill sga en hedonism som skilde mellan kvalitativt olika njutningar. Han gjorde ingen distinktion mellan lycka och njutning. Hans argument har kritiserats av bland andra G.E. Moore.

En annan brittisk filosof som emellertid frnekade den psykologiska hedonismen var Henry Sidgwick. Han omfattade nd den etiska hedonismen och likstllde njutning med “trvrda medvetandetillstnd”, en fenomenologiskt heterogen klass av mentala tillstnd. Sidgwick stllde upp fyra, enligt honom sjlvklara, principer som stdde hans utilitarism. Fr det frsta betyder “rtt fr mig” “rtt fr alla”. Fr det andra r tidslig placering irrelevant. Fr det tredje har all njutning lika vrde, oavsett vems. Fr det fjrde r det alltid rationellt att efterstrva det goda.

Under 1900-talet upplevde hedonismen en stark tillbakagng. Roger Crisp har identifierat tre viktiga anledningar till att filosofer brjade betrakta hedonismen som tillbakavisad. Fr det frsta betraktade mnga filosofer John Stuart Mills infrande av distinktionen mellan kvalitativt olika njutningar som antingen ett vergivande av hedonismen eller som inkoherent. Fr det andra har de sttt sig p G.E. Moores teori om intrinsikala vrden och med hjlp av denna argumenterat fr att det r “absurt” att hvda att njutning skulle vara det enda intrinsikalt goda. Slutligen har de hnvisat till Robert Nozicks tankeexperiment om upplevelsemaskinen, vilket ofta anvnds fr att snabbt avvisa hedonismen som en teori om vlmende och sedan g vidare med att underska mer levande teorier.[4][5]

Eftersom hedonismen placerar njutning s centralt har det med tiden dykt upp en rad olika teorier om vad njutning egentligen r. Att definiera njutning har varit viktigt inte bara fr hedonisterna, utan ven fr kritikerna, som med hjlp av en viss definition har frskt visa att hedonismen r felaktig eller kontraintuitiv.

Enligt upplevelse-orienterade frklaringar r njutning och smrta distinkta medvetna upplevelser, eller tminstone delar av sdana upplevelser.[6]Gilbert Ryle har framfrt ett argument mot uppfattningen om njutning som en sensation, som gr ut p att alla sensationer har ett speciellt omrde dr de knns, men att olika njutningar saknar ett sdant gemensamt “knningsomrde”.[7] Wayne Sumner har gjort en distinktion mellan tv huvudsakliga teorier om njutning som r upplevelse-orienterade: den intrinsikala- och den extrinsikala uppfattningen.[8]

Enligt teorin om njutning som en intrinsikal upplevelse “upplevs” njutning p ett speciellt stt; det har en distinkt intrinsikal karaktr, exempelvis genom dess fenomenologi, dess qualia eller knslan som det medfr. Bland andra G.E. Moore uppfattade njutning p detta stt. Han menade att njutning var ett odefinierbart “ngonting”, som dock r separerbart frn allting annat. ven om detta “ngonting” inte gr att frklara eller beskriva nrmare, s gr det helt klart att isolera det som just njutning.

En klassisk invndning mot denna syn p njutning r att vi genom introspektion upptcker att det inte finns ngon gemensam komponent hos allt det vi ser som njutningatt lsa en vlskriven bok, att ha sex, att lsa ett matematiskt problemsom gr det till just njutning.[4] Henry Sidgwick formulerade denna invndning i sin The Method of Ethics.[9] Ett annat argument, som inte bara riktar sig mot denna uppfattning om njutning, gr ut p att inte allt det som definieras som njutning faktiskt r njutning och kan sgas ka personens vlmende. Slutligen gr en tredje invndning ut p att inte endast njutning r intrinsikalt vrdefullt. Dessa tre invndningar kallas ibland frkortat fr “none such”, “not all” och “not only” p engelska.[6]

Den extrinsikala synen p njutning som en distinkt upplevelse liknar den intrinsikala i det att bda ser p njutning som en upplevelse, exempelvis en knsla eller en mer kognitiv upplevelse. Den skiljer sig emellertid frn denna i det att dess kriterium fr vad som r njutning fokuserar p utomstende omstndigheter kring upplevelsen, snarare n egenskaper hos upplevelsen sjlv. Den gr ut p att en upplevelse r njutning om och endast om personen som har upplevelsen ocks har en speciell positiv attityd gentemot den. Exakt vilken attityd det rr sig om skiljer sig t; det kan vara en trosfrestllning, frmodan, frvntan, begr, preferens etc. Sidgwick anammade detta synstt i och med hans avvisande av den intrinsikala uppfattningen: “Pleasure as a feeling which is at least implicitly apprehended as desirable” (fritt versatt ungefr: “Njutning en knsla som tminstone implicit uppfattas som efterstrvansvrd”).[9]

Den extrinsikala uppfattningen undviker argumentet om att det inte finns ngon gemensam komponent hos allting vi kallar njutning. Fresprkaren av denna uppfattning kan g med p att det vi kallar njutning innefattar en bred uppsttning knslor och mentala tillstnd utan ngon minsta gemensam nmnare, men nd kategorisera allt detta som njutning p basis av personens instllning gentemot dessa tillstnd. Den extrinsikala uppfattningen har dock egna problem. Det allvarligaste av dessa r “killjoy”-argumentet. Enligt detta argument finns det medvetandetillstnd som vi har de relevanta attityderna mot, men som knappast kan betraktas som njutningsfulla. Ett exempel r skam; man kan knna skam infr ngonting man har gjort, och faktiskt vilja knna skammen, som ett bevis p att man r en moraliskt knslig person. Men om man har en sdan attityd gentemot skamknslan s tycks det enligt den extrinsikala uppfattningen implicera att skammen r njutningsfull, vilket fr de flesta av oss r starkt kontraintuitivt. Denna invndning r en av de s kallade “not all”-invndningarna.

En annan klass av teorier om njutning r de attityd-orienterade frklaringarna. Enligt dessa bestr njutning av ett intentionalt tillstnd, som en trosfrestllning eller ett begr. Dessa intentionala tillstnd kan vara riktade antingen mot en sjlv eller mot den yttre vrlden. Skillnaden frn de upplevelse-orienterade frklaringarna r att dessa attityd-orienterade teorier identifierar njutning med sjlva attityden, snarare n attitydens objekt, som den extrinsikala uppfattningen gr gllande.

Attityd-orienterade frklaringar har den frdelen att de undviker en del av invndningarna som riktas mot upplevelse-orienterade frklaringar. De kan ven redogra fr njutningens kvantitet, genom att hnvisa till sdant som lngden och intensiteten hos attityderna. Dremot kan “killjoy”-invndningen ven glla fr dessa teorier; det verkar konstigt att pst att attityden, i det frra exemplet med skammen, till skamknslan var njutningsfull, ven om det var en positiv attityd. Ett annat problem r existensen av defekta attityder, som missriktade eller destruktiva attityder.

Fred Feldman menar att stndpunkten som bland andra Sidgwick fr fram, att njutning r intrinsikalt vrdefullt p grund av vissa attityder gentemot knslan som r njutningsfull, kombinerat med G.E. Moores syn p intrinsikalt vrde, r inkoherent. Feldman analyserar frst Sidgwicks definition av njutning som “a feeling which, when experienced by intelligent beings, is at least implicitly apprehended as desirable….” Denna syn p njutning har den frdelen att den undviker heterogenitets-argumentet, det vill sga invndningen att olika sorters njutningar (njutningsfulla knslor) inte har ngot gemensamt som kan pekas ut som utgrandes sjlva njutningen. ven andra filosofer har anammat en liknande syn p njutning, ven om de har bytt ut Sidgwicks “desirable” mot exempelvis “wish to prolong”. Det viktiga i sammanhanget r att man definierar njutning i termer av ngon extern instllning gentemot knslan som sgs vara sjlva njutningen.

Feldman gr sedan vidare och analyserar den mooreanska uppfattningen om intrinsikalt vrde. I korthet gr Feldmans argument ut p att Moores begrepp om intrinsikalt vrde sger att dessa vrden endast supervenierar p objektets intrinsikala egenskaper, det vill sga egenskaper som r helt oberoende av objektets frhllande till resten av vrlden. Men om en knsla av njutning r vrdefull p grund av att den som har knslan betraktar den som njutningsfull tycks dess vrde vara extrinsikalt, eftersom det r beroende av agentens instllning till knslan; en instllning som r extern i frhllande till knslan. Allts r Sidgwicks hedonism inkoherent.

Efter att ha identifierat denna inkoherens hos Sidgwicks attityd-orienterade syn p njutning frsker Feldman att komma med ett alternativt synstt som undviker denna svrighet. Han gr detta genom att frndra definitionen av njutning. Feldman behller synen p njutning som beroende av personers attityder, men talar om “propositionella attityder”. Dessa attityder r inte knslor; de r riktade mot olika sakfrhllanden. Att njuta av ngonting r att njuta av att ett specifikt sakfrhllande freligger. Han identifierar vidare sdana sakfrhllanden som bestende av en person som njuter av att han eller hon sjlv till en viss intensitet upplever ngonting vid ngon tidpunkt, det vill sga en individ, en viss intensitet av intrinsikal propositionell njutning, en speciell tidpunkt och ett specifikt objekt.

Hedonismen har kritiserats av en rad filosofer, inte minst under 1900-talet. G.E. Moore argumenterade i sin Principia Ethica mot vrdeteoretisk hedonism, teorin om att lycka eller njutning r det enda intrinsikalt goda.[10] Moore ansg att en hedonist r tvungen att g med p att en vrld med endast njutning, utan sdant som krlek, kunskap och sknhet, skulle vara bttre n en vrld som innehll dessa ting men som var lite mindre njutbar. Denna tanke fungerar som ett reductio ad absurdum-argument hos honom; det vill sga, eftersom hedonismen leder till detta s mste den anses vara felaktig som teori om intrinsikala vrden.

Ett annat argument som av mnga har betraktats som en slutgiltig vederlggning av hedonismen och andra mentala tillstnds-relaterade teorier om vrde r Robert Nozicks tankeexperiment “upplevelsemaskinen”. Nozick tnker sig en maskin som kan framkalla vilka mentala upplevelser som helst hos personen som anvnder den. En hedonist br d rimligtvis g med p att ett liv i en sdan maskin, med de ultimata instllningarna, br vara ett fullndat liv. Eftersom det endast r de mentala tillstnden som r vrdefulla s br det inte spela ngon roll huruvida dessa r ett resultat av faktiska hndelser eller artificiellt producerade av avancerade neuropsykologer. Men detta strider mot de flesta mnniskors intuitioner om ett gott liv; vi vill exempelvis inte bara uppleva krlek, vi vill lska och bli lskade p riktigt.

Nozicks argument framstod lnge, och framstr fortfarande fr mnga, som ett slutgiltigt slag mot hedonismen. P senare tid har detta emellertid delvis kommit att frndras. Filosofen Matthew Silverstein skrev r 2000 en artikel i tidskriften “Social Theory & Practice” med titeln In defense of happiness: A response to the Experience Machine. Silverstein menar att han identifierar vissa gmda premisser i Nozicks resonemang, premisser som vid en nrmare underskning inte visar sig vara hllbara. En betydande brist hos Nozick r, enligt Silverstein, att han frn det faktum att vi vill ha (“desire”) mer n blott simulerade lyckoupplevelser i vrt liv, drar slutsatsen att mnniskors vlfrd (“well-being”) beror p mer n blott simulerade lyckoupplevelser. Om man tolkar hedonismen som en teori om vad som utgr ett gott liv, vad som betingar en mnniskas vlfrd, s behver inte mnniskors faktiska viljeattityder vara relevanta fr huruvida hedonismen r rimlig eller inte. Silverstein tar upp flera exempel dr tillfredsstllandet av det vi faktiskt vill inte bidrar till att ka vr vlfrd, till exempel vad gller irrationella begr. Om man kan skilja mellan vad en person vill och vad som bidrar till dennes vlfrd tycks Nozicks upplevelsemaskinsargument tminstone vara frsvagat.[11]

Jason Kawall medger att de allra flesta av oss skulle vlja att inte kopplas in i Nozicks upplevelsemaskin, om vi fick det valet. Men, menar han, detta r inte ett argument mot mentala tillstnds-teorier om vlmende. En fresprkare av mentala tillstnds-teorier, det vill sga en person som hvdar att endast mentala tillstnd bidrar till vr vlfrd, positivt och negativt, kan g med p att vi vrdestter andra saker n vra egna mentala tillstnd. Vi har moraliska vrden, vi har frpliktelser mot andra mnniskor etc. Det r emellertid konsistent att bde hvda att det finns sdana vrden, och att de inte r komponenter av vr vlfrd.

Misstaget som kritikerna enligt Kawall begr, r att knyta mental tillstnds-fresprkaren (hrefter endast “fresprkaren”) till stndpunkten att alla vrden betingas av sitt frhllande till mentala tillstnd. Det enda fresprkaren behver hvda r att endast sdant som visar sig i mentala tillstnd pverkar vr vlfrd. Uppfyllandet av ens frpliktelser pverkar ens vlfrd endast i den mn som jag r medveten om att man faktiskt uppfyller dem. Vidare kan det vara vrdefullt att uppfylla ens frpliktelser ven om detta inte tar sig uttryck i mentala tillstnd. Detta vrde r d emellertid inte ett “vlmende-vrde”, och att g med p detta r fullt frenligt med att hvda att endast mentala tillstnd bidrar till ens vlfrd. Det kan till och med vara s att andra vrden str i konflikt med ens vlmende, p s stt att uppfyllandet (i de fall dr det rr sig om stadkommanden) av de frra frsmrar det senare. terigen ppekar Kawall att detta inte r ngot problem fr fresprkaren. Slutligen pekar Kawall p att kritikerna tycks vara knutna till en underlig stndpunkt: att soldaten som offrar sitt eget liv fr sina kamrater gr detta fr att ka sitt eget vlmende. Fresprkaren kan frklara detta mer i enlighet med vra intuitioner; nmligen genom att frklara att han offrade sitt eget vlmende fr sina kamraters vlmende.

Heterogenitetsargumentet riktar sig till intrinsikala njutningsteorier. Det gr ut p att det inte finns ngon gemensam komponent hos allt det vi kallar njutning, som r det som konstituerar njutningen. Filosofen Stuart Rachels har presenterat tre frslag p hur en hedonist kan bemta denna invndning:[12]

Roger Crisp menar att det tredje frslaget egentligen r en form av externalism, och att de andra tv r ganska lika varandra. Han argumenterar fr att i synnerhet det andra frslaget gr att bygga vidare p, och gr sjlv ocks detta. Han skriver (fritt versatt): “Om fresprkaren av heterogenitetsargumentet sker efter ngonting i stil med en speciell sensation, som stma eller ett kittlande eller en knsla i ngon speciell del av kropppen […] eller ngonting som en sinnlig egenskap som rdhet, i njutningsfulla erfarenheter, s kommer hon att misslyckas. Men det finns ett stt som njutningsfulla erfarenheter knns p: de knns njutningsfulla.” Crisps pong r att det “r p ett speciellt stt” att knna njutning. Han medger att olika njutningar kraftigt skiljer sig t, men menar att det nd finns ngonting som r gemensamt fr dem alla, nmligen att de “knns bra”.

Efter kritik av sina samtida om att hans hedonism var en “svinens filosofi” frskte John Stuart Mill frsvara sig genom att infra en distinktion mellan hga och lga njutningar. Detta ansgs av mnga vara antingen ett vergivande av hedonismen eller inkoherent.[13][14]

Roger Crisps teori, som bygger vidare p Mills, mjliggr enligt honom sjlv att man kan skilja olika njutningar t kvalitativt. Crisp menar att det gr att rdda Mills distinktion, som tycks vara ndvndig fr att hedonismen ska knnas intuitivt riktig. Om man omformulerar Mills uppfattning om intensitet och lngd som att det handlar om sjlva upplevelsens intensitet och lngd snarare n njutningen i sig, s kan man gra samma sak med upplevelsers kvalitet. Upplevelser kan allts vara lngt mer njutningsfulla just p grund av att de r av hgre kvalitet, men pongen r att det inte r sjlva njutningen som r av hgre kvalitet. Ett annat stt att uttrycka detta p r genom att skilja mellan upprknande och frklarande teorier. Litterr kvalitet kan till exempel ing i en upprkning av faktorer som kar ens vlmende, men det r samtidigt konsistent att frklara detta genom att hvda att anledningen till att det gr just detta r att det kar njutningen i upplevelsen. P det stter menar Crisp att han lser dilemmat som Mill stlls infr med sin distinktion mellan hga och lga njutningar. Detta r allts ingen snllare tolkning av Mill utan ett vergivande eller omformulering av en del av hans teori.

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Hedonism Wikipedia

Twenty-fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution …

 Fourth Amendment  Comments Off on Twenty-fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution …
Jan 192016

The Twenty-fourth Amendment (Amendment XXIV) of the United States Constitution prohibits both Congress and the states from conditioning the right to vote in federal elections on payment of a poll tax or other types of tax. The amendment was proposed by Congress to the states on August 27, 1962, and was ratified by the states on January 23, 1964.

Southern states of the former Confederacy adopted poll taxes in laws of the late 19th century and new constitutions from 1890 to 1908, after the Democratic Party had generally regained control of state legislatures decades after the end of Reconstruction, as a measure to prevent African Americans and often poor whites from voting. Use of the poll taxes by states was held to be constitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States in the 1937 decision Breedlove v. Suttles.

When the 24th Amendment was ratified in 1964, five states still retained a poll tax: Virginia, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi. The amendment prohibited requiring a poll tax for voters in federal elections. But it was not until 1966 that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 63 in Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections that poll taxes for any level of elections were unconstitutional. It said these violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Subsequent litigation related to potential discriminatory effects of voter registration requirements has generally been based on application of this clause.

Poll tax

Cumulative poll tax (missed poll taxes from prior years must also be paid to vote)

No poll tax

Southern states adopted the poll tax as a requirement for voting as part of a series of laws intended to marginalize black Americans from politics so far as practicable without violating the Fifteenth Amendment. This required that voting not be limited by “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” All voters were required to pay the poll tax, but in practice it most affected the poor. Notably this impacted both African Americans and poor white voters, some of whom had voted with Populist and Fusionist candidates in the late 19th century, temporarily disturbing Democratic rule. Proponents of the poll tax downplayed this aspect and assured white voters they would not be affected. Passage of poll taxes began in earnest in the 1890s, as Democrats wanted to prevent another Populist-Republican coalition. Despite election violence and fraud, African Americans were still winning numerous local seats. By 1902, all eleven states of the former Confederacy had enacted a poll tax, many within new constitutions that contained other provisions to reduce voter lists, such as literacy or comprehension tests. The poll tax was used together with grandfather clauses and the “white primary”, and threats of violence. For example, potential voters had to be “assessed” in Arkansas, and blacks were utterly ignored in the assessment.[2]

From 19001937, such use of the poll tax was nearly ignored by the federal government. Some state-level initiatives repealed it. The poll tax survived a legal challenge in the 1937 Supreme Court case Breedlove v. Suttles, which ruled that “[The] privilege of voting is not derived from the United States, but is conferred by the state and, save as restrained by the Fifteenth and Nineteenth Amendments and other provisions of the Federal Constitution, the state may condition suffrage as it deems appropriate.”[3]

The issue remained prominent, as most African Americans in the South were disenfranchised. President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke out against the tax. He publicly called it “a remnant of the Revolutionary period” that the country had moved past. However, Roosevelt’s favored liberal Democrats lost in the 1938 primaries to the reigning conservative Southern Democrats, and he backed off the issue. He felt that he needed Southern Democratic votes to pass New Deal programs and did not want to further antagonize them.[4] Still, efforts at the Congressional level to abolish the poll tax continued. A 1939 bill to abolish the poll tax in federal elections was tied up by the Southern Block, lawmakers whose long tenure in office from a one-party region gave them seniority and command of numerous important committee chairmanships. A discharge petition was able to force the bill to be considered, and the House passed the bill 25484.[5] However, the bill was unable to defeat a filibuster in the Senate by Southern senators and a few Northern allies who valued the support of the powerful and senior Southern seats. This bill would be re-proposed in the next several Congresses. It came closest to passage during World War II, when opponents framed abolition as a means to help overseas soldiers vote. However, after learning that the US Supreme Court decision Smith v. Allwright (1944) banned use of the “white primary,” the Southern block refused to approve abolition of the poll tax.[6]

In 1946, the Senate came close to passing the bill. 24 Democrats and 15 Republicans approved an end to debate, while 7 non-southern Democrats and 7 Republicans joined with the 19 Southern Democrats in opposition. The result was a 39-33 vote in favor of the bill, but the filibuster required a two-thirds supermajority to break at the time; a 48-24 vote was required to pass the bill.[clarification needed] Those in favor of abolition of the poll tax considered a constitutional amendment after the 1946 defeat, but that idea did not advance either.[7]

The tenor of the debate changed in the 1940s. Southern politicians tried to shift the debate to Constitutional issue, but private correspondence indicates that black disenfranchisement was still the true concern. For instance, Mississippi Senator Theodore Bilbo declared, “If the poll tax bill passes, the next step will be an effort to remove the registration qualification, the educational qualification of Negroes. If that is done we will have no way of preventing the Negroes from voting.”[8] This fear explains why even Southern Senators from states that had abolished the poll tax still opposed the bill; they did not want to set a precedent that the federal government could interfere in state elections.

President Harry S. Truman established the President’s Committee on Civil Rights, which among other issues investigated the poll tax. Considering that opposition to federal poll tax regulation in 1948 was claimed as based on the Constitution, the Committee noted that a constitutional amendment might be the best way to proceed. Still, little occurred during the 1950s. Members of the anti-poll tax movement laid low during the anti-Communist frenzy of the period; some of the main proponents of poll tax abolition, such as Joseph Gelders and Vito Marcantonio, had been committed Marxists.[9]

President John F. Kennedy returned to this issue. His administration urged Congress to adopt and send such an amendment to the states for ratification. He considered the constitutional amendment the best way to avoid a filibuster, as the claim that federal abolition of the poll tax was unconstitutional would be moot. Still, some liberals opposed Kennedy’s action, feeling that an amendment would be too slow compared to legislation.[10]Spessard Holland, a conservative Democrat from Florida, introduced the amendment to the Senate. Holland opposed most civil rights legislation during his career,[11] and Kennedy’s gaining of his support helped splinter monolithic Southern opposition to the Amendment. Ratification of the amendment was relatively quick, taking slightly more than a year; it was rapidly ratified by state legislatures across the country from August 1962 to January 1964.

President Lyndon B. Johnson called the amendment a “triumph of liberty over restriction” and “a verification of people’s rights.”[12] States that maintained the poll tax were more reserved. Mississippi’s Attorney General, Joe Patterson, complained about the complexity of two sets of voters – those who paid their poll tax and could vote in all elections, and those who had not and could only vote in federal elections.[12] Additionally, non-payers of the poll tax could still be deterred by requirements that they register far in advance of the election and retain records of such registration.[13] States such as Alabama also exercised discrimination in the application of literacy tests.

Ratified amendment, 196264

Ratified amendment post-enactment, 1977, 1989, 2002, 2009

Rejected amendment

Didn’t ratify amendment

Congress proposed the Twenty-fourth Amendment on August 27, 1962.[14][15] The amendment was submitted to the states on September 24, 1962, after it passed with the requisite two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate.[12] The following states ratified the amendment:

Ratification was completed on January 23, 1964. The Georgia legislature did make a last-second attempt to be the 38th state to ratify. This was a surprise as “no Southern help could be expected”[13] for the amendment. The Georgia Senate quickly and unanimously passed it, but the House did not act in time.[12] Georgia’s ratification was apparently dropped after South Dakota’s ratification.

The amendment was subsequently ratified by the following states:

The amendment was specifically rejected by the following state:

The following states have not ratified the amendment:

Arkansas effectively repealed its poll tax for all elections with Amendment 51 to the Arkansas Constitution at the November 1964 general election, several months after this amendment was ratified. The poll-tax language was not completely stricken from its Constitution until Amendment 85 in 2008.[16] Of the five states originally affected by this amendment, Arkansas was the only one to repeal its poll tax; the other four retained their taxes until they were struck down in 1966 by the US Supreme Court decision in Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections (1966), which ruled poll taxes unconstitutional even for state elections. Federal district courts in Alabama and Texas, respectively, struck down their poll taxes less than two months before the Harper ruling was issued.

The state of Virginia accommodated the amendment by providing an “escape clause” to the poll tax. In lieu of paying the poll tax, a prospective voter could file paperwork to gain a certificate establishing a place of residence in Virginia. The papers would have to be filed six months in advance of voting and the voter had to provide a copy of certificate at the time of voting. This measure was expected to decrease the number of legal voters.[17] In the 1965 Supreme Court decision Harman v. Forssenius, the Court unanimously found such measures unconstitutional. It declared that for federal elections, “the poll tax is abolished absolutely as a prerequisite to voting, and no equivalent or milder substitute may be imposed.”[18]

While not directly related to the Twenty-fourth Amendment, the Supreme Court case Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections (1966) ruled that the poll tax was unconstitutional at every level, not just for federal elections. The Harper decision relied upon the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, rather than the Twenty-Fourth Amendment. As such, issues related to whether burdens on voting are equivalent to poll taxes in discriminatory effect have usually been litigated on Equal Protection grounds since.

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Twenty-fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution …

Rationalism – By Movement / School – The Basics of Philosophy

 Rationalism  Comments Off on Rationalism – By Movement / School – The Basics of Philosophy
Jan 182016

Rationalism is a philosophical movement which gathered momentum during the Age of Reason of the 17th Century. It is usually associated with the introduction of mathematical methods into philosophy during this period by the major rationalist figures, Descartes, Leibniz and Spinoza. The preponderance of French Rationalists in the 18th Century Age of Enlightenment, including Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Charles de Secondat (Baron de Montesquieu) (1689 – 1755), is often known as French Rationalism.

Rationalism is any view appealing to intellectual and deductive reason (as opposed to sensory experience or any religious teachings) as the source of knowledge or justification. Thus, it holds that some propositions are knowable by us by intuition alone, while others are knowable by being deduced through valid arguments from intuited propositions. It relies on the idea that reality has a rational structure in that all aspects of it can be grasped through mathematical and logical principles, and not simply through sensory experience.

Rationalists believe that, rather than being a “tabula rasa” to be imprinted with sense data, the mind is structured by, and responds to, mathematical methods of reasoning. Some of our knowledge or the concepts we employ are part of our innate rational nature: experiences may trigger a process by which we bring this knowledge to consciousness, but the experiences do not provide us with the knowledge itself, which has in some way been with us all along. See the section on the doctrine of Rationalism for more details.

Rationalism is usually contrasted with Empiricism (the view that the origin of all knowledge is sense experience and sensory perception), and it is often referred to as Continental Rationalism because it was predominant in the continental schools of Europe, whereas British Empiricism dominated in Britain. However, the distinction between the two is perhaps not as clear-cut as is sometimes suggested, and would probably not have even been recognized by the philosophers involved. Although Rationalists asserted that, in principle, all knowledge, including scientific knowledge, could be gained through the use of reason alone, they also observed that this was not possible in practice for human beings, except in specific areas such as mathematics.

It has some similarities in ideology and intent to the earlier Humanist movement in that it aims to provide a framework for philosophical discourse outside of religious or supernatural beliefs. But in other respects there is little to compare. While the roots of Rationalism may go back to the Eleatics and Pythagoreans of ancient Greece, or at least to Platonists and Neo-Platonists, the definitive formulation of the theory had to wait until the 17th Century philosophers of the Age of Reason.

Ren Descartes is one of the earliest and best known proponents of Rationalism, which is often known as Cartesianism (and followers of Descartes’ formulation of Rationalism as Cartesians). He believed that knowledge of eternal truths (e.g. mathematics and the epistemological and metaphysical foundations of the sciences) could be attained by reason alone, without the need for any sensory experience. Other knowledge (e.g. the knowledge of physics), required experience of the world, aided by the scientific method – a moderate rationalist position. For instance, his famous dictum “Cogito ergo sum” (“I think, therefore I am”) is a conclusion reached a priori and not through an inference from experience. Descartes held that some ideas (innate ideas) come from God; others ideas are derived from sensory experience; and still others are fictitious (or created by the imagination). Of these, the only ideas which are certainly valid, according to Descartes, are those which are innate.

Baruch Spinoza expanded upon Descartes’ basic principles of Rationalism. His philosophy centred on several principles, most of which relied on his notion that God is the only absolute substance (similar to Descartes’ conception of God), and that substance is composed of two attributes, thought and extension. He believed that all aspects of the natural world (including Man) were modes of the eternal substance of God, and can therefore only be known through pure thought or reason.

Gottfried Leibniz attempted to rectify what he saw as some of the problems that were not settled by Descartes by combining Descartes’ work with Aristotle’s notion of form and his own conception of the universe as composed of monads. He believed that ideas exist in the intellect innately, but only in a virtual sense, and it is only when the mind reflects on itself that those ideas are actualized.

Nicolas Malebranche is another well-known Rationalist, who attempted to square the Rationalism of Ren Descartes with his strong Christian convictions and his implicit acceptance of the teachings of St. Augustine. He posited that although humans attain knowledge through ideas rather than sensory perceptions, those ideas exist only in God, so that when we access them intellectually, we apprehend objective truth. His views were hotly contested by another Cartesian Rationalist and Jensenist Antoine Arnauld (1612 – 1694), although mainly on theological grounds.

Immanuel Kant started as a traditional Rationalist, having studied Leibniz and Christian Wolff (1679 – 1754) but, after also studying the empiricist David Hume’s works, he developed a distinctive and very influential Rationalism of his own, which attempted to synthesize the traditional rationalist and empiricist traditions.

During the middle of the 20th Century there was a strong tradition of organized Rationalism (represented in Britain by the Rationalist Press Association, for example), which was particularly influenced by free thinkers and intellectuals. However, Rationalism in this sense has little in common with traditional Continental Rationalism, and is marked more by a reliance on empirical science. It accepted the supremacy of reason but insisted that the results be verifiable by experience and independent of all arbitrary assumptions or authority.

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Rationalism – By Movement / School – The Basics of Philosophy

Pennsylvania Beaches, Lake Erie, Presque Isle, State Park Beaches

 Beaches  Comments Off on Pennsylvania Beaches, Lake Erie, Presque Isle, State Park Beaches
Jan 162016

MAIN Beaches US Pennsylvania Beaches

Beaches? In Pennsylvania?

Normally, Philadelphians will usually just head to Cape May and the Jersey Shore for the summer. Head west, however, and you’ll soon discover some of the East Coast’s best shorelines in Pennsylvania.

From Pocono Mountain beaches to the beautiful seven mile stretch of shoreline in Presque Isle State Park (pictured)…. the Keystone State has a lock on summer fun.

Near the state’s other big metro area, Pittsburgh, Raccoon Creek State Park is an hour away with a lakefront beach that’s open all summer long. Head north from Pittsburgh, and Moraine State Park encompasses one of the state’s best lake beaches, Lake Arthur, offering 42 miles of shoreline to help beat the heat.

Of course, these are only a couple of mentions to start your summer fling in the Keystone State. Just up ahead, find lots more information on where to cool down when temperatures begin to rise in Pennsylvania.

Have fun!

DID YOU KNOW? Pennsylvania beach fun facts:

The Pocono Mountains are home to 150 lakes, some with sandy beaches. Some of the most popular include Beltzville State Park in the southern foothills, Gouldsboro Lake and Tobyhanna Lake, and Mauch Chunk Lake Park.

Due to the gentle Lake Erie surf that washes the coast, the seven miles of beachfront on Presque Isle are often dubbed the state’s only natural “seashore”.

Camelback Mountain isn’t just for Pennsylvania skiing anymore. If you can’t get to the beach, Try the Camelbeach Mountain Water Park, the largest water park in the state.

also see -> Pennsylvania tourism | PA campgrounds

More about Pennsylvania beaches around the Web:

– Read this USA Today guide for a good overview of where to go in summer with information on places to cool off in the Poconos, Hills Creek State Park, and Pine Grove Furnace State Park.

Best Pennsylvania Beaches – The best beaches to head for at Presque Isle with great overviews of Budny Beach and Pine Tree Beach.

Go here to see the original:
Pennsylvania Beaches, Lake Erie, Presque Isle, State Park Beaches

Liberty News Online

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Jan 142016

HEADLINES USA :: Freedom and Liberty OREGON STANDOFF UPDATE: THE FEDERAL LAND TAKEOVER WAS PLANNED FOR MONTHS 01-14-2016 10:44 am – Carli Brosseau – The Oregonian It might have looked spontaneous, but the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge this month was part of a plan Ammon Bundy and a trusted associate developed largely in secret over the past two months. Bundy, the son of controversial Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, and Ryan Payne, a militia leader from Montana, came to believe that an armed occupation was the only way to bring Read more … View Image USA :: Politics STATE OF THE UNION: BALD FACED LIES 01-14-2016 7:47 am – Frosty Wooldridge My dad told me, Son, if you tell a lie, you must keep telling more lies to cover up your original lie. Soon, you cant remember a lie from the truth. When that happens, you stumble into your own lies until you lose respect from friends and colleagues. Once that happens, you never regain their respect. My dad continued, But if you tell the truth, it Read more … View Image USA :: Preparedness Info FIVE INTELLIGENCE ESSENTIALS FOR COMMUNITY SECURITY 01-14-2016 5:44 am – Sam Culper – Oath Keeper We as veterans are blessed. Not only can we say that we answered the call and served in our nations military (many of us at time of war), but we also received some of the best training the world has to offer. I enlisted as an aimless 20 year old, and military service instilled in me discipline and taught me a skill, as well as the Read more … View Image USA :: Politics DONALD TRUMP: OUR COUNTRY NEEDS MY ANGER 01-13-2016 6:58 pm – Lisa Hagen – The Hill Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump says South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is right that he is one of the angriest voices but Trump said thats a good thing for America. She is right. I am angry, and a lot of other people are angry too at how incompetently our country’s being run, Trump said Wednesday night on CNNs Erin Burnett Outfront. I dont care, let Read more … View Image Germany :: Politics MEMBERSHIP IN GERMAN RIGHT WING PARTY SURGES AFTER RAPE EPIDEMIC BY MUSLIM IMMIGRANTS 01-13-2016 6:50 pm – The Independent UK Germanys eurosceptic right-wing party has hit a new all-time high in the opinion polls as concern about migration rises in the country. Alternative for Germany (AfD) would take 11.5 per cent of the vote is a federal general election were held today, according to a poll for Bild magazine. The party is in third place after Angela Merkels CDU/CSU, who are on 35 per cent. The Read more … View Image USA :: Constitutional Issues STANDOFF IN OREGON CENTERS ON LAND OWNERSHIP AND CONTROL 01-13-2016 6:31 pm – John McManus – John Birch Society Understanding the resistance to federal agencies currently shown in headlines and newscasts nationwide should begin with a reading of the U.S. Constitution. A good look at the venerable document will lead to the conclusion that the federal governments numerous bureaus and agencies are illicitly controlling vast parcels of land, mostly in the 12 western states. They are doing so without constitutional authority. The amount of federal Read more … View Image Netherlands :: Radical Islam GIVE WOMEN THE RIGHT TO DEFEND THEMSELVES 01-13-2016 6:13 pm – Geert Wilders “Cultural enrichment” has brought us a new word: Taharrush. Remember it well, because we are going to have to deal with it a lot. Taharrush is the Arabic word for the phenomenon whereby women are encircled by groups of men and sexually harassed, assaulted, groped, raped. After the Cologne taharrush on New Year’s Eve, many German women bought pepper spray. Who can blame them? A culture Read more … View Image USA :: Constitutional Issues OBAMA WHITE HOUSE PROMISES A DICTATORIAL 2016 01-13-2016 5:35 pm – Wallace Judging by recent remarks from his chief of staff, President Barack Obamas last year in the White House is going to be a painful one for conservatives. White House chief of staff Denis McDonough told reporters this week to hold off on declaring Obama a lame duck just yet. According to the top official, 2016 is set to be a year of audacious executive action from Read more … View Image USA :: Media Bias AL JAZEERA AMERICA TO SHUT DOWN IN APRIL 2016 01-13-2016 11:56 am – Fox News Al Jazeera America, which went on the air in 2013 — and is partly funded by the ruling family of Qatar — announced Wednesday it is shutting down at the end of April, citing the “economic landscape of the media environment.” The network said in a statement that “Al Jazeera America will cease operation by April 30, 2016,” explaining that “while Al Jazeera America built a Read more … View Image USA :: Freedom and Liberty ATF STILL SQUANDERING RESOURCES AND PADDING NUMBERS EVEN AFTER ‘FAST AND FURIOUS’ SCANDAL 01-13-2016 9:33 am – David Codrea – Oath Keepers Part of Obamas executive action overreach on guns involves an increased role for ATF. In order to make that happen, his 2017 budget include[s] funding for 200 new ATF agents and investigators. They just dont have enough money. Before that the excuse was they just didnt have a permanent director. That the corruption and incompetence continued and expended under the management of B. Todd Jones, and Read more … View Image USA :: Freedom and Liberty IT’S TIME FOR AMERICA TO GET UP OFF THE MAT 01-13-2016 9:16 am – Michael Savage In todays issue: Dr. Savage recalled some of the wisdom he gleaned from his years growing up in New York City that apply to the nations current, dire political and social situation. One particular source of wisdom was the owner of a bar on New Yorks Upper East Side with whom Savage and some of his middle-school aged friends would hang around. This guy was a Read more … View Image USA :: Economy U.S. ECONOMIC POLICY NEEDS A RESET 01-13-2016 4:17 am – Jason D. Meister – Fox Business News With a new year underway and the Obama administration winding down we now focus on the 2016 election. Primaries are just around the corner and will set the tone for the New Year as the race for the White House heats up. This week FOX Business Network will host the sixth Republican presidential primary debate in North Charleston South Carolina just two days after President Obama Read more … View Image USA :: Immigration Issues IT’S TIME TO END CHAIN MIGRATION INTO THE USA 01-12-2016 9:16 am – Numbers USA Chain Migration refers to the endless chains of foreign nationals who are allowed to immigrate because citizens and lawful permanent residents are allowed to bring in their non-nuclear family members. Chain Migration is the primary mechanism that has caused legal immigration in this country to quadruple from about 250,000 per year in the 1950s and 1960s to more than 1 million annually since 1990. As such, Read more … View Image USA :: Freedom and Liberty BULDOZING MONUMENTS AND THE WAR ON AMERICAN HISTORY 01-12-2016 9:05 am – Jarret Stepman – On December 17, the New Orleans City Council voted to remove four Confederate statues from the city, using obscure nuisance laws to strip these over 100-year-old historic monuments from their places of display. Mayor Mitch Landrieu said it was a courageous decision to turn a page on our divisive past and chart the course for a more inclusive future. Of course, the plan to remove the Read more … View Image Worldwide :: Radical Islam WHY ARE WESTERN LEADERS SELLOUTS TO ISLAM? 01-11-2016 7:28 pm – Nonie Darwish Is someone holding a gun to the heads of Western politicians, forcing them to state immediately after every Muslim terror attack that Islam has nothing whatsoever to do with terror? Who cares about whether Islam has or has not something to do with terror? The only people who care about Islams reputation are the so-called moderate Muslims who have been making excuses for jihad terror, and Read more … View Image USA :: Immigration Issues REPORT: THE U.N. – NOT THE U.S. GOVT – MAKES FIRST DECISION ABOUT WHICH MUSLIM REFUGEES CAN COME TO AMERICA 01-11-2016 7:20 pm – Leah Barkoukis – Town Hall If Americans were already concerned about the U.S.s vetting process for Syrian refugees, theyre really not going to like to hear what a new report says about how those refugees are initially selected in the first place. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, the U.S. relies on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to make first selections about who has the potential to come Read more … View Image Germany :: Radical Islam GERMAN CITIZENS PROTEST AGAINST MUSLIM REFUGEES AND VIGILANTES ATTACK SOME MUSLIM REFUGEES 01-11-2016 7:07 pm – Daily Mail UK Thousands of protesters have waved anti-migrants signs and xenophobic flags in the eastern German city of Leipzig as they demonstrated against a record refugee influx they blamed for sexual violence at New Year’s Eve events in Cologne. The rally was organised by LEGIDA, the local chapter of xenophobic group PEGIDA, the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident. Many chanted ‘We are the people’, ‘Resistance!’ Read more … View Image USA :: Freedom and Liberty OREGON STANDOFF UPDATE: THREE PERCENTERS – OATH KEEPERS AND OTHERS TRY TO MEDIATE SITUATION 01-11-2016 6:39 pm – Pacific Patriots Network Pacific Patriots Network and affiliates (Idaho and Oregon III%, Josephine county Oath Keepers, and others), made a showing of presence today at the Malheur wildlife refuge. Due to threats to members of our network and local residents, and as a deterrent to fringe groups that may have malicious intent, we arrived at the refuge in numbers, with our security teams openly armed and in full kit Read more … View Image USA :: Criminal Acts REPORT: FBI HAS ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO PROSECUTE HILLARY CLINTON FOR PUBLIC CORRUPTION 01-11-2016 6:26 pm – John Sexton – Breitbart An investigation into possible mishandling of classified information on Hillary Clintons private email server has expanded to consider whether Clintons work as Secretary overlapped with her work for the Clinton Foundation run by her family. Fox News Catherine Herridge published the report, citing unnamed FBI sources, Monday morning. The report indicates the initial security referral looking into whether or not classified information was mishandled has expanded Read more … View Image USA :: Immigration Issues GENOCIDE OF AMERICA: A REFUGEE IMMIGRANT INVASION 01-11-2016 11:41 am – Frosty Wooldridge Over New Years, the British Broadcasting Company reported that African-Syrian refugees sexually attacked 1,0000 German women. Even CBS News reported the attacks this past Sunday night, January 10, 2015! On Saturday night, a Muslim gunman screamed praises to Allah in Philadelphia as he shot 12 rounds into a police car at an intersection in praise of the Islamic State. Miraculously, the officer survived. Whether its San Read more … View Image USA :: Gun Control DONALD TRUMP ENDORSES GRANNY OAKLEY 01-11-2016 3:57 am – Howie Carr – Boston Herald Shes Barack Obamas worst nightmare a law-abiding, self-supporting, pistol-packing, Donald Trump-supporting granny who defended herself against a jailbird mugging suspect by shooting him in the chest. Call her Granny Oakley or Dirty Harriet she answers to either name. What matters is how she handled herself late Monday night as she returned home from working the night shift to her apartment in Manchester, N.H. The Read more … View Image Worldwide :: New World Order – UN REPORT: BARACK OBAMA WANTS TO BE THE NEXT SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS 01-11-2016 3:50 am – Leah Barkoukis – Town Hall It seems President Obama has no intention of stepping out of the White House and fading from the limelight. No, hes got his sights set on the world stagethis time as secretary general of the United Nations, according to Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida. But not all world leaders are keen to see this come to fruition, including first and foremost, Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu. The Washington Times Read more … View Image Sweden :: Radical Islam MUSLIM RAPE EPIDEMIC: SWEDEN SHOCKED AGAIN AFTER WOMAN ‘RAPED TO DEATH’ BY SOMALI MUSLIM IMMIGRANT 01-10-2016 6:30 pm – MSFP News A 34 year old immigrant from Somalia was arrested for savagely attacking a woman in the parking garage of a Sheraton hotel in Sweden. The woman died while being raped. Police say the perpetrator continued to rape the womans corpse well after she had died. Swedens politicians dont care about their own people. Rather than being concerned and focus on the shocking violent crime and rape Read more … View Image USA :: Politics HOW MANY DEMOCRATS DO YOU SUPPOSE WOULD VOTE FOR DONALD TRUMP? SEE THE NEW POLL NUMBERS 01-10-2016 5:59 pm – The Blaze Nearly one in five Democrats almost 20 percent said they would switch sides and vote for Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, according to a new poll. And even though the poll shows 14 percent of Republicans say they would vote for Hillary Clinton, a much greater percentage of Democratic voters say theyre 100 percent sure of going for Trump than their Republican counterparts. U.S. Read more … View Image USA :: Gun Control WHY ARE LIBERALS SO STUPID ABOUT GUNS? 01-10-2016 11:33 am – Tim Dunkin Any normal, reasonably intelligent person who has ever had a conversation with a liberal about guns, gun control, or any related topic has probably asked himself or herself this very question. I realize that the title for this article could easily leave off the last two words, but because I want to write an article instead of a book, I will confine myself to answering the Read more … View Image

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Liberty News Online

Secaucus, New Jersey

 Liberty  Comments Off on Secaucus, New Jersey
Jan 142016

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Our Town

Residents, as well as visitors staying at the community’s many fine hotels and motels, can be in Manhattan in as little as 20 minutes via express bus. Or they quickly can be on their way to other points in via the New Jersey Turnpike or State Route 3, both of which pass through the town.

And just across the Hackensack River, a mile away, is the area’s sports and entertainment center, The Meadowlands, home of the Giants, the Jets, concerts, circuses, ice shows, weekly flea market; and the Meadowlands Race Track.

Location! Location! Location! What makes Secaucus great for residents and visitors also makes it great for business. Secaucus is the corporate home of many major businesses and a distribution center serving Manhattan and Northern New Jersey. Its proximity to New York offers quick delivery.

This distribution center, cleverly separated from most of the town’s residential areas, has spawned the other activity for which the community was once well known – outlet shopping. Outlets have greatly deminished in number. However, along with the manufacturers’ outlets, you’ll find the true warehouse outlets, where the store’s in the front and racks of clothes are behind. Periodically the storehouses themselves are opened for that shopper’s dream, a real warehouse sale!

The town has not neglected it’s traditional business center, which residents call The Plaza. Flowers are pridefully planted in park areas in the center of town, where a beautification program was undertaken a few year’s ago. There, businesses thrive, many in the hands of local families who have served their customers for generations.

Harmon Meadow, at the eastern side of Secaucus, has a pleasant town square atmosphere. There, you’ll find many restaurants, some shops, a number of the major hotels, an attactive multiplex cinema and the Meadowlands Exposition Center. Nearby are the convenient big box stores that draw thousands of shoppers.

Secaucus has also become a communications hub, home of NBA Entertainment (and NBA draft), Major League Baseball Network, MY Channel 9 and news bureaus for other networks.

Sports and recreation abound for town residents. There’s a swim center for summer and an ice rink for winter and a Recreation Center for year round activities. There’s a soccer field and a roller hockey rink. There’s a boat ramp into the Hackensack River. There are gyms and fields and organized teams for virtually all outdoor and indoor sports.

Nature is preserved in areas large and small; Snipes Beach Park, The Duck Pond, Schmidts Woods, and a major Meadowlands preserve, Mill Creek Marsh, in the northern sector of the town. The trailhead of the 1.5-mile long Mill Creek Marsh Trail is located adjacent to the big box stores, providing access for birding especially. With its patches of marsh grasses, mud flats and long winding brackish waterways, the Meadowlands is home to 260 bird species, including 15 state-endangered species.

Canoe and kayak trips through the meadows are available at Laurel Hill Hudson Country Park in Secaucus. The Hackensack Riverkeeper (201-920-4746) rents canoes and kayaks on weekends from April through October. The Hackensack Riverkeeper Cruise Program, (201-968-0808) offers two-hour guided naturalist trips on the river and through the marshes of the Meadowlands The park also boasts two floating docks and the only free, unrestricted public boat ramp on the River. The Meadowlands Enviornment Center is a short drive from Secaucus. More on eco-tourism.

While sports and recreation serve the young, the town has also remembered its older residents. Secaucus has led the State in Senior housing. Three major Senior Citizen residences and a Senior activity center serve the needs of those who have served the town.

Secaucus is community centered, with clubs and organizations – Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions, Masons, Unico. etc. One can become active with the Shade Tree Commission, or any number of other organizations. The Volunteer Fire Department is a focal point of activity and civic pride.

Secaucus offers fine schools for its children. There are two public elementary schools and a middle-high school. There, children get a caring education and are offered a range of extra curricular activities. The new Arthur F. Couch Performaning Arts Center was opened at the High Schoool/Middle School facility in 2005. There is a library preschool and day care centers for the town’s youngest. The public school system uniquely offers full day kindergarten and pre-kindergarten programs.

The Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center offers outstanding facilities for research and recreational reading, plus ample computer facilities with free wi-fi access, a small-business center and meeting rooms.

Eight churches and a Hindu temple serve the religious needs of the community. The Episcopal Church of Our Saviour, First Reformed, Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran and Shree Swaminarayan Hindu Temple each maintain their own religious centers. Quimby Community Church meets at The Church of Our Saviour, and North Jersey United Pentecostal Church meets at the First Reformed Church.

All this and more in a town of 16,000 residents! It’s a great place to live, work, raise a family, and a great place to visit.

Secaucus Data: The following are external links. To return to this page use back button on your computer.

Click here for detailed community profile.

Click here for US Census profile

Click here for NY Times profile.

Click here for NJ Schools Report Cards for Secaucus Schools

Click here for map of Secaucus and vicinity.

Click here for detailed weather data from the Harmon Cove Weather Station in Secaucus.

Click here for detailed weather data from the Hudson County OEM Weather Station in Secaucus.

Click here for detailed weather data from the Park Drive Weather Station in Secaucus.

Click here for normal Secaucus tides (not adjusted for storms, etc.).

Click here for New Jersey property tax charts online shopping

Secaucus High School Secaucus Middle School Clarendon Elementary School Huber Street Elementary School

Bergen County Scholastic League

Secaucus Adult School

Arthur F. Couch Performaning Arts Center

New Jersey Schools Report Cards for Secaucus Schools

Immaculate Conception School Harmony Early Learning Center Secaucus Day Care Center High School Marching Band

Churches and Temples Directory of Churches and Temples

Town Government Town of Secaucus Construction Code Enforcement: Health and Fire Inspections Mayor and Council Town Clerk Municipal Court Public Works Recreation Social Services Senior Center Taxes and Assessments Town of Secaucus Municipal Phone Directory E-mail Links to Secaucus Town Officials Secaucus Fire Department Secaucus Fire Department – Clarendon Tower Two Secaucus Fire Department – Engine Company No. One Secaucus Fire Department – Washngton Hook and Ladder Public Library and Business Resource Center

Secaucus Northend Association

Secaucus Medical Services Directory MDs, Chiropractors, Dentists, Optometrists, Pharmacists, Veterinarians, Hospitals, etc.

Banks in Secaucus List of secaucus Bank Branches

Secaucus Web Directory Classified and Alphabetical Listings

Map of Secaucus Link to map and driving directions

Secaucus in Poetry In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus

Meadowlands License Plate available!

The Motor Vehicles Commission offers a license plate to support land preservation and conservation in the Hackensack Meadowlands and River Watershed.

For details click here.

Other MVC information, and the location and operation hours of the Secaucus MVC Inspection Station.


Our Town | Residents’ Zone | TV | Movies | Lodgings | Transportation | Shopping | Tourism | Links | web directory | e-store affiliates

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Secaucus, New Jersey

Jeep Liberty Review – Research New & Used Jeep Liberty …

 Liberty  Comments Off on Jeep Liberty Review – Research New & Used Jeep Liberty …
Jan 142016

To appraise a vehicle, please select a model below:

Sold from 2002-’12, the Jeep Liberty was the successor to one of America’s original compact SUVs, the Cherokee (which returned in 2014). True to its tough, capable Jeep lineage, the Liberty has considerable off-road capability, thanks to steep approach and departure angles and exceptional suspension travel and articulation. The Liberty was also rated to tow up to 5,000 pounds, a robust figure for its class. These are qualities not found in most other small utility vehicles from this time period, which saw the rise of crossover SUVs optimized for the suburban lifestyle.

Demerits for the Jeep Liberty include a weak engine lineup, with sluggish acceleration and dismal fuel economy from both the four-cylinder and V6 engines offered over the years (the first generation’s briefly optional diesel engine is impressively fuel-efficient, however). Interior quality and comfort are also lacking, and by today’s standards, the Liberty’s general lack of refinement leaves much to be desired.

If you are looking for older years, visit our used Jeep Liberty page.

Jeep Liberty Review – Research New & Used Jeep Liberty …

National Capital Astronomers, Washington, D.C. Metro Area

 Astronomy  Comments Off on National Capital Astronomers, Washington, D.C. Metro Area
Jan 142016

HOME | Telescope Making Workshops | Exploring the Sky | Contact Info | Star Dust Archive | Links

Serving science and society since 1937. The National Capital Astronomers (NCA) is a non-profit, membership supported, volunteer run, public service corporation dedicated to advancing space technology, astronomy, and related sciences through information, participation, and inspiration, via research, lectures and presentations, publications, expeditions, tours, public interpretation, and education. NCA is the astronomy affiliate of the Washington Academy of Sciences. We are also members of the Astronomical League, in fact NCA members helped form the Astronomical League a long time ago.

NCA has for many years published a monthly newsletter called Star Dust that is available for members. Besides announcement of coming NCA meetings and a calendar of monthly events Star Dust contains reviews of past meeting and articles on current astronomical events.

NCA is a very unusual astronomy organization. All are welcome to join. Everyone who looks up to the sky with wonder is an astronomer and welcomed by NCA. You do not have to own a telescope, but if you do own one that is fine, too. You do not have to be deeply knowledgeable in astronomy , but if you are knowledgeable in astronomy that is fine, too. You do not have to have a degree, but if you do that is fine, too. WE ARE THE MOST DIVERSE local ASTRONOMY CLUB anywhere. Come to our meetings and you will find this out. WE REALLY MEAN THIS!

NCA has regular monthly meetings September through June on the second Saturday of the month.

Public transportation: Directions/maps to the UMD Observatory Inclement weather: In case of severe weather (tornado/snow/impassable roads), a notice will be placed on the Observatory Website on the day of the meeting. (Be sure to refresh/reload the page to make sure you are seeing an updated page.)

Most meetings will be held at the University of Maryland Astronomical Observatory in College Park, Maryland.

7:30 pm at the University of Maryland Observatory on Metzerott Road.

Speaker: Dean Howarth and Jennifer Horowitz

Abstract: William Herschel moved from Hanover, Germany to Bath, England, to work as a musician and composer. He was quite successful there, and he pursuaded his sister Caroline to join him in Bath, both as a companion and to join in his musical endeavors. William became an avid amateur astronomer in his spare time. Caroline participated, too, and eventually became an enthusiastic and very skilled observer, participating in William’s important discoveries, and then making many of her own. Discovery of Uranus, ending the fruitless attempts by Kepler and others to associate the five previously known planets with the five regular polyhedra.

William was the first to map out the uneven distribution of stars on the celestial sphere. The individual stars that we can see by eye through a telescope are all in our local neighborhood of the Galaxy, so this was the first rough map of the Galaxy, long before we knew that the Milky Way is only one island galaxy, and not the whole Universe.

The talk this evening will share some of the Herschels’ stories regarding the discovery of Uranus and comets. But the talk will also point out … and to speak on the importance of cooperation between like-minded men and women of science. How the primacy of discovery is balanced with peer review and even critique…and scientific societies (like the Royal Society, or even the NCA!) promote a community of discovery. This cosmopolitan ethos was peaking in the 18th century as scientists from across the globe were “citizens of the cosmos”.

Bio: Dean Howarth is a veteran physics teacher from northern Virginia. He has created a unique living history program for his students, showing vividly how our understanding of the world has developed. He has extended this activity into a community service, with performances at museums and historic sites. As the Natural Philosopher, Dean recreates episodes in the history of science. His web site is .

Using a large repertoire of replica scientific devices, specimens, and demonstrations, his living history lessons have been performed at a number of regional museums, schools, historical sites, and festivals. Besides showing the roots of our present understanding, these performances also show how the public first heard about new discoveries.

Mr. Howarth will be joined by one of his former students, Jennifer Horowitz, who is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree from the College of William & Mary. As a student re-enactor, she has performed at Mount Vernon, the Smithsonian Castle, the USA Sci & Engineering Festival, and the Arlington Planetarium.

Weather-permitting, there will be observing through the telescopes after the meeting for members and guests.

Telescope-making and mirror-making classes with Guy Brandenburg at the Chevy Chase Community Center, at the intersection of McKinley Street and Connecticut Avenue, NW, a few blocks inside the DC boundary, on the northeast corner of the intersection, in the basement (wood shop), on Fridays, from 6:30 to 9:30 PM. For information visit Guy’s Website To contact Guy, use this phone #: 202-262-4274 orEmail Guy.

Exploring the Sky is an informal program that for over sixty years has offered monthly opportunities for anyone in the Washington area to see the stars and planets through telescopes from a location within the District of Columbia. Sessions are held in Rock Creek Park once each month on a Saturday night from April through November, starting shortly after sunset. We meet in the field just south of the intersection of Military and Glover Roads NW, near the Nature Center. A parking lot is located next to the field. Beginners (including children) and experienced stargazers are all welcome-and it’s free! Questions? Call the Nature center at (202) 895-6070 or check: Exploring the Sky @ Rock Creek. Download the flier!

NCA constitution and by-laws current as of August 28, 2005 they need some changes so we can continue to be a healthy organization. NCA constitution and by-laws revision as of October 25, 2005 proposal.

HOME | Telescope Making Workshops | Exploring the Sky | Contact Info | Star Dust Archive | Links

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National Capital Astronomers, Washington, D.C. Metro Area

Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution | Transhumanism