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Humanist Archives: Feb. 26, 2022, 6:36 a.m. Humanist 35.555 - working with others?

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 35, No. 555.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
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        Date: 2022-02-25 12:42:33+00:00
        From: Willard McCarty <>
        Subject: working with others

Commenting on the attitudes of the Stoics, early Christians and others,
Bertrand Russell notes in The Conquest of Happiness (1930) that,

> All these are solitary philosophies in the sense that the good is
> supposed to be something realizable in each separate person, not only in
> a larger or smaller society of persons. All such views, to my mind, are
> false, and not only in ethical theory, but as expressions of the better
> part of our instincts. Man depends upon co-operation, and has been
> provided by nature, somewhat inadequately, it is true, with the
> instinctive apparatus out of which the friendliness required for
> co-operation can spring.

The value of working with others, it seems to me, is beyond doubt. 
But in what sense, 'with others'? My question is this: how does 
'collaboration' in the broadest sense, including the sort that a 
scholar working alone does, with others both living and dead, 
play out across the disciplines? How does it vary by discipline? 
By kind or phase of a project? I take it that 'collaborsation' is not 
a transcendental good but is contingent on the nature of the work.


Willard McCarty,
Professor emeritus, King's College London;
Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews;  Humanist

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