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Goldman, Emma (1869-1940)

Lithuanian-American political activist; author of Anarchism and other Essays (1911). An outspoken advocate of free speech and social freedom, Goldman defended the rights of women to control their own economic and reproductive activities in The Traffic in Women (1909). Her views on religion are expressed in "The Philosophy of Atheism" (1916). Goldman was influential in the development of the trade union movement, but was imprisoned for her anti-war activities and deported from the United States in 1919, continuing her involvement in world affairs from abroad. Living My Life (1931) details many of the events in her adventurous life.

Recommended Reading: Red Emma Speaks: An Emma Goldman Reader, ed. by Alix Kates Shulman (Humanity, 1996); Martin Gay and Kathlyn Gay, The Importance of Emma Goldman (Lucent, 1996); and Emma Goldman: American Individualist, ed. by John Chalberg and Oscar Handlin (Addison-Wesley, 1991).

Also see Anarchist Archives, ELC, and Sunsite.


The most general term of approval, both moral and non-moral, whether intrinsic or extrinsic.

Recommended Reading: G. E. Moore, Principia Ethica (Prometheus, 1988); R. M. Hare, The Language of Morals (Clarendon, 1991); Being and Goodness: The Concept of the Good in Metaphysics and Philosophical Theology, ed. by Scott MacDonald (Cornell, 1991); and Robert Hinde, Why Good is Good: the Sources of Morality (Routledge, 2002).

Also see EB, Mourad Wahba and CE.

Goodman, Nelson (1906-1998 )

American philosopher. In The Structure of Appearance (1951) and Ways of Worldmaking (1978), Goodman defended an extreme nominalism according to which things, qualities, and even similarities are entirely the products of our habits of speaking, without any ontological foundation in reality. The "new riddle of induction" introduced by Goodman in Fact, Fiction, and Forecast (1954) uses the color-predicate "grue" to raise significant doubts about our ability to project natural predicates into the future. Goodman's Languages of Art (1969) proposes that art-forms are properly understood as symbolic systems that establish inter-related networks of meaning without attempting to represent reality.

Recommended Reading: Nelson Goodman and Catherine Z. Elgin, Reconceptions in Philosophy and Other Arts and Sciences (Hackett, 1990); The Philosophy of Nelson Goodman: Selected Essays, ed. by Catherine Elgin (Garland, 1997); and How Classification Works: Nelson Goodman Among the Social Sciences, ed. by Mary Douglas and David Hull (Edinburgh, 1993).

Also see Harvard University and Michael Huemer.

Gramsci, Antonio (1891-1937)

Italian social philosopher whose Quaderni del carcere (Prison Notebooks) (1929-1935) defended a humanistic version of the political philosophy of Marx as an alternative to Italian fascism. Like Croce, Gramsci deplored authoritarian government of every variety and argued that social classes are shaped as much by their characteristic patterns of thought as by their material circumstances.

Recommended Reading: The Antonio Gramsci Reader: Selected Writings 1916-1935, ed. by David Forgacs and Eric J. Hobsbawm (NYU, 2000); Antonio Gramsci: Pre-Prison Writings, ed. by Richard Bellamy and Virginia Cox (Cambridge, 1994); Sue Golding, Gramsci's Democratic Theory: Contributions to a Post-Liberal Democracy (Toronto, 1992); and Gramsci, Historical Materialism and International Relations, ed. by Stephen Gill (Cambridge, 1993).

Also see EB and ELC.

greatest happiness principle

The definition of moral value by utilitarians. As stated by Hutcheson, Bentham, and Mill, the principle is that actions are right only insofar as they tend to produce the greatest balance of pleasure over pain for the largest number of people.

Recommended Reading: Francis Hutcheson, Philosophical Writings, ed. by R.S. Downie (Everyman, 1919); Jeremy Bentham, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (Prometheus, 1987); John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism and Other Essays, ed. by Alan Ryan (Viking, 1987); and Alan O. Ebenstein, The Greatest Happiness Principle: An Examination of Utilitarianism (Garland, 1999).

Green, Thomas Hill (1836-1882)

English philosopher. Green's defense of the idealism of Hegel found its best expression in the critical introduction to his editions of Hume's Treatise and in his own Prolegomena to Ethics (1883), where he argued that all human knowledge and action derive from abstract thought. In Lectures on the Principles of Political Obligation (1885) Green applied Hegelian notions in opposition to laissez-faire liberal politics.

Recommended Reading: T. H. Green, The Theory of Free Will & the Compulsion of Human Actions (Caribe, 1991); Geoffrey Thomas, The Moral Philosophy of T. H. Green (Oxford, 1987); The Politics of Conscience: T. H. Green and His Age, ed. by Melvin Richter and Peter Johnson (St. Augustine, 1997); and William D. Lamont, Introduction to Green's Moral Philosophy (Sterling, 1980).

Also see EB and SEP.

Grice, H. Paul (1913-1988)

British philosopher of language. The essays collected in Studies in the Ways of Words (1989) include Grice's introduction of the notions of "reflexive intention" and "conversational implicature." Grice proposed a well-known set of principles for engaging in cooperative discourse:

  • conduct the conversation in an orderly fashion;
  • be neither more nor less informative than the situation requires;
  • never state what you know to be false, irrelevant, or inadequately supported;
  • don't be wordy, ambiguous, or obscure in expression.

Recommended Reading: Paul Grice, Aspects of Reason (Oxford, 2001); Paul Grice, The Conception of Value (Oxford, 2001); Anita Avramides, Meaning and Mind: An Examination of a Gricean Account of Language (Bradford, 1990); Wayne A. Davis, Implicature: Intention, Convention, and Principle in the Failure of Gricean Theory (Cambridge, 1998); and The Legacy of Grice (Berkeley Linguistics Society, 1990).

Also see SEP on Grice and implicature, and DPM.

Grosseteste, Robert (1170-1253)

English philosopher. Grosseteste used Arabic and Jewish commentaries on the philosophy of Aristotle to develop his own scientific and religious theories, using practical experimentation to study the nature of light.

Recommended Reading: James McEvoy, Robert Grosseteste, Exegete and Philosopher (Variorum, 1994); Robert Grosseteste - On the Six Days of Creation: A Translation of the Hexaemeron, tr. by C. F. J. Martin (British Academy, 1999); and James McEvoy, Robert Grosseteste (Oxford, 2000).

Also see SEP, MMT, EB, and WSB.

Grotius, Hugo (Huigh de Groot) (1583-1645)

Dutch legal theorist. In De Iure Belli ac Pacis Libri Tres (Three Books on the Law of War and Peace) (1625) Grotius developed a natural law theory of relations between human beings who are both social and competitive that was influential on the work of Hobbes and Locke. Though he notoriously claimed that the princples of international cooperation did not depend upon the existence or benevolence of god, Grotius also wrote an extended defense of traditional theology, De veritate religiones Christianae (On the Truth of the Christian Religion) (1627). He died of pneumonia at the court of Queen Kristina.

Recommended Reading: Edward Dumbauld, The life and legal writings of Hugo Grotius (Lyle Stuart, 1978); Hugo Grotius and International Relations, ed. by Hedley Bull, Benedict Kingsbury, and Adam Roberts (Oxford, 1992); and Grotius, ed. by John Dunn and Ian Harris (Elgar, 1997).

Also see William Greene, SEP, EB, and ELC.


A color-predicate used by Goodman to illustrate a significant problem with inductive predictions. With respect to a designated future time, an object is grue if it is seen to be green when first observed before that time or if it is seen to be blue when first observed after that time. The problem is that our present observations of green grass seem to provide equal support for hypotheses that grass is green and that grass is grue (or gred, for that matter). There is no simple and apparent way of forestalling this gruesome difficulty.

Recommended Reading: Nelson Goodman, Fact, Fiction, and Forecast (Harvard, 1954) and Grue!: The New Riddle of Induction, ed. by Douglas Stalker (Open Court, 1994).

Also see Michael Huemer.


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