Philosophy Pages

    Dictionary    Study Guide  Logic   F A Q s
  History Timeline Philosophers   Locke

Habermas, Jürgen (1929- )

German philosopher. As a prominent member of the Frankfurt school, Habermas engages in critical study of the historical origins of human knowledge in many disciplines. His Theorie und Praxis: Sozial-Philosophische Studien (Theory and Practice) (1963) and Legitimationsprobleme im Spätkapitalismus (Legitimation Crisis) (1973) examine the social conditions under which the uninhibited dialogue of an "ethics of discourse" is possible in the public literary sphere, serving the basic human needs to gain control over the natural world, to explore the character of interpersonal relationships, and to escape the domination of social power-structures. In Erkentniss und Interesse (Knowledge and Human Interests) (1968) Habermas again emphasized the implications of social context for the development of epistemology. Habermas is also the author of Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns (The Theory of Communicative Action) (1981) and Der philosophische Diskurs der Moderne (Philosophical Discourse on Modernity) (1985), where he criticizes the more radical views of Foucault and Lyotard.

Recommended Reading: Jurgen Habermas, Postmetaphysical Thinking: Philosophical Essays, tr. by William Mark Hohengarten (MIT, 1994); Jürgen Habermas, Religion and Rationality: Essays on Reason, God, and Modernity, ed. by Eduardo Mendieta (MIT, 2002); Jurgen Habermas, Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action, tr. by Shierry Weber Nicholsen and Christian Lenhardt (MIT, 1992); Habermas: A Critical Reader, ed. by Peter Dews (Blackwell, 1999); Perspectives on Habermas, ed. by Lewis Edwin Hahn (Open Court, 2000); The Cambridge Companion to Habermas, ed. by Stephen K. White (Cambridge, 1995); John B. Thompson, Critical Hermeneutics: A Study in the Thought of Paul Ricoeur and Jurgen Habermas (Cambridge, 1984); Emilia Steuerman, Bounds of Reason: Habermas, Lyotard, and Melanie Klein on Rationality (Routledge, 1999); Habermas and the Unfinished Project of Modernity: Critical Essays on the Philosophical Discourse of Modernity, ed. by Maurizio P. D'Entreves and Seyla Benhabib (MIT, 1997); and Jane Braaten, Habermas's Critical Theory of Society (SUNY, 1991).

Also see SEP, EB, Mattias Iser, and ELC.

haecceity {Lat. haecceitas}

Thisness; the property that uniquely distinguishes each individual thing from others of its kind. Introduced by Duns Scotus as a name for the individuating essence of any particular, the term has been used more recently in connection with the view that rigidly designated individuals can exist in each of many possible worlds.

Recommended Reading: John Duns Scotus, Philosophical Writings: A Selection (Hackett, 1987) and Gary S. Rosenkrantz, Haecceity: An Ontological Essay (Kluwer, 1993).

Also see SEP.

Hamilton, William (1788-1856)

Scottish philosopher; author of Lectures on Metaphysics and Logic (1860). Hamilton followed Reid in defending common sense against the skepticism of empiricists like Hume Hamilton's thought was subjected, in turn, to sharp criticism by Mill.

Recommended Reading: James McCosh, Scottish Philosophy: Biographical, Expository, and Critical (AMS, 1980) and John Stuart Mill, An Examination of Sir William Hamilton's Philosophy and of the Principle Philosophical Questions Discussed in His Writings (Classic, 2000).

Also see IEP and ELC.

Hampshire, Stuart (1914- )

English philosopher whose careful study of the philosophy of Spinoza in Spinoza (1951) prompted the development of a detailed description of the presuppositions necessary for human behavior in Thought and Action (1959) and Morality and Conflict (1983). Hampshire suggests that the nature of human freedom can best be understood by considering the difference between the declaration of what one intends to do and a prediction of what one is likely to do.

Recommended Reading: Stuart Hampshire, Innocence and Experience (Harvard, 1991) and Stuart Hampshire, Public and Private Morality (Cambridge, 1978).

happiness {Gk. ευδαιμονια [eudaimonia]; Ger. Glück}

General well-being in human life, an important goal for many people and a significant issue for theories in normative ethics. Aristotle disagreed with the identification of happiness with bodily pleasure defended by Aristippus and other hedonists. Most utilitarians accept this identification, but emphasize the importance of considering the greatest happiness of everyone rather than merely one's own.

Recommended Reading: L. W. Sumner, Welfare, Happiness, and Ethics (Oxford, 1999); Aristotle, Kant, and the Stoics: Rethinking Happiness and Duty, ed. by Stephen Engstrom and Jennifer Whiting (Cambridge, 1998); and Victoria S. Wike, Kant on Happiness in Ethics (SUNY, 1994).

Also see SEP.

Haraway, Donna Jeanne (1944- )

American feminist philosopher of science who proposes a fundamental re-examination of the concepts of human nature and political identity in light of postmodern rejection of stark dualisms. Her "Manifesto for Cyborgs" (1965) suggests that the extent of our reliance on technology makes it difficult to understand ourselves independently of mechanical devices. Although we are all fabricated hybrids of organism and machine, Haraway supposes that feminist cyborgs have the opportunity to escape the perils of patriarchal capitalist technology.

Recommended Reading: Donna J. Haraway, Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (Routledge, 1991); Donna J. Haraway, Primate Visions: Gender, Race and Nature in the World of Modern Science (Routledge, 1990); and The Cyborg Handbook, ed. by Chris Hables Gray, Heidi J. Figueroa-Sarriera, and Steven Mentor (Routledge, 1996).

Also see FTW and Reverse Transcript.

Harding, Sandra (1935- )

American philosopher of science. In Discovering Reality: Feminist Perspectives on Epistemology, Methodology and Philosophy of Science (with Merrill Hintikka) (1983), The Science Question in Feminism (1986), and Whose Science? Whose Knowledge?: Thinking from Women's Lives (1991), Harding shows that it may be possible to eliminate such basic concepts of traditional Western epistemology as "objectivity," "universality," and "duality." Doing so would create the possibility of alternative ways of thinking, grounded in fundamentally different standpoints, including a feminist perspective borne of women's experience of reality.

Recommended Reading: Sandra Harding, Is Science Multicultural? Postcolonialisms, Feminisms, and Epistemologies (Indiana, 1998).

Also see FTW and Harvey Siegel.

Hare, Richard Mervyn (1919-2002 )

English philosopher. In The Language of Morals (1952), Freedom and Reason (1963), and Moral Thinking (1981) Hare defended a noncognitivist ethical theory according to which moral assertions are prescriptive commands whose genuine universalizability makes them applicable to every moral agent.

Recommended Reading: R. M. Hare, Essays in Ethical Theory (Oxford, 1993); R. M. Hare, Essays on Political Morality (Oxford, 1998); R. M. Hare, Essays on Religion and Education (Oxford, 1998); and Hare and Critics: Essays on Moral Thinking, ed. by Douglas Seanor (Oxford, 1997).

Also see EB and Soshichi Uchii.

Hart, Herbert Lionel Adolphus (1907-1992)

English legal philosopher who applied the methods of analytic philosophy to the foundations of jurisprudence in The Concept of Law (1961), rejecting the rival claims of modern legal positivism. Hart's Law, Liberty, and Morality (1963) and The Morality of the Criminal Law (1965) offer a classic defence of the view that private sexual conduct ought not to be subjected to public legislation. He is also the author of Punishment and Responsibility (1968) and Essays on Bentham (1982), both of which examine details of the utilitarian moral theory.

Recommended Reading: Michael Martin, The Legal Philosophy of H.L.A. Hart: A Critical Appraisal (Temple, 1991); Eric J. Boos, Perspectives in Jurisprudence: An Analysis of H. L. A. Hart's Legal Theory (Peter Lang, 1998); N. MacCormick, H. L. A. Hart (Stanford, 1981); Law, Morality, and Society: Essays in Honour of H. L. A. Hart (Oxford, 1996); and Michael D. Bayles, Hart's Legal Philosophy: An Examination (Kluwer, 1992).

Also see Peter Suber.

Hartley, David (1705-1759)

English physician and philosopher. Hartley's Observations on Man: his Frame, his Duty, and his Expectations (1749) offered a physiological explanation for the association of ideas in purely mechanistic terms. His classification of various types of pleasure experienced by individual human beings was the basis for the later work of Bentham.

Recommended Reading: Richard C. Allen, David Hartley on Human Nature (SUNY, 1999) and Hartley's Theory of the Human Mind: On the Principles of the Association of Ideas (AMS, 1990).

Also see SEP and EB.

Hartmann, Nicolai (1882-1950)

German philosopher whose early writings, including GrundzŁge eine Methaphysik der Erkenntnis (Metaphysics of Knowledge) (1921) and Ethik (Ethics) (1926) used the philosophy of Kant as the starting point for idealistic accounts of reality and human freedom. In such later works as Möglichkeit und Wirklichkeit (Possibility and Actuality) (1938), Der Aufbau der realen Welt (Construction of the Real World) (1940), and Neue Wege der Ontologie (New Ways of Ontology) (1949), however, Hartmann employed phenomenological methods in defence of a vigorous realism.

Recommended Reading: Eva Hauel Cadwallader, Searchlight on Values: Nicolai Hartmann's Twentieth-Century Value Platonism (Univ. Press of America, 1985) and W. H. Werkmeister, Nicolai Hartmann's New Ontology (Florida, 1990).

Also see EB.

Hayek, Friedrich August von (1899-1992)

Austrian-British economist. In Economics and Knowledge (1936), The Road to Serfdom (1944), and Individualism and Economic Order (1949), Hayek agreed with Popper, in opposition to Keynes that the limitations of human knowledge subvert rational attempts at social planning, leaving only "free market" forces as the foundations of economic life. Hayek won the Nobel Prize in 1974, and is also the author of The Constitution of Liberty (1960) and the three-part Law, Legislation, and Liberty (1978) — Rules and Order; The Mirage of Social Justice; and The Political Order of a Free People.

Recommended Reading: John Gray, Hayek on Liberty (Routledge, 1998); G. R. Steele, The Economics of Friedrich Hayek (Palgrave, 1997); and Hayek: Economist and Social Philosopher, ed. by Stephen F. Frowen (Palgrave, 1997).

Also see Greg Ransom, ELC, EB, and Austria-Forum.


Creative Commons License
The Philosophy Pages by Garth Kemerling are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

©1997, 2011 Garth Kemerling.
Last modified 27 December 2011.
Questions, comments, and suggestions may be sent to: the Contact Page.