Three general issues emerge from the preceding papers: a confusion between judgement and related activities such as decision making, problem solving, and attitudes; differences in the underlying assumptions about the nature of judgement; and different approaches for testing the adequacy of theories human judgement. The implications of these issues for studying human judgement processes and for future research priorities in this area are briefly discussed.
n 1909, the 50th anniversary of both the publication of Origin of the Species and his own birth, John Dewey published "The Influence of Darwin on Philosophy." This optimistic essay saw Darwin's advance not only as one of empirical or theoretical biology, but a logical and conceptual revolution that would shake every corner of philosophy. Dewey tells us less about the influence that Darwin exerted over philosophy over the past 50 years and instead prophesied the influence it would (or (...) should) take in the future. I will discuss this landmark paper and the key lessons Dewey draws from Darwinism for philosophy, and give a preliminary assessment of how well we've done so far. (Dewey would be largely disappointed.). (shrink)
Some argue that humans should enhance their moral capacities by adopting institutions that facilitate morally good motives and behaviour. I have defended a parallel claim: that we could permissibly use biomedical technologies to enhance our moral capacities, for example by attenuating certain counter-moral emotions. John Harris has recently responded to my argument by raising three concerns about the direct modulation of emotions as a means to moral enhancement. He argues (1) that such means will be relatively ineffective in bringing (...) about moral improvements, (2) that direct modulation of emotions would invariably come at an unacceptable cost to our freedom, and (3) that we might end up modulating emotions in ways that actually lead to moral decline. In this article I outline some counter-intuitive potential implications of Harris' claims. I then respond individually to his three concerns, arguing that they license only the very weak conclusion that moral enhancement via direct emotion modulation is sometimes impermissible. However I acknowledge that his third concern might, with further argument, be developed into a more troubling objection to such enhancements. (shrink)
John Bickle's new book on philosophy and neuroscience is aptly subtitled 'a ruthlessly reductive account'. His 'new wave metascience' is a massive attack on the relative autonomy that psychology enjoyed until recently, and goes even beyond his previous (Bickle, J. (1998). Psychoneural reduction: The new wave. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.) new wave reductionsism. Reduction of functional psychology to (cognitive) neuroscience is no longer ruthless enough; we should now look rather to cellular or molecular neuroscience at the lowest possible level (...) for explanations of memory, consciousness and attention. Bickle presents a fascinating set of experimental cases of such molecule-to-mind explanations. This book qualifies as a showcase of naturalism in the philosophy of mind. Naturally, many of the traditional conceptual approaches in the philosophy of mind are given short shrift, but - in Bickle's metascientific scheme - the role of philosophy of science also seems reduced to explicating laboratory findings. The present reviewers think that this reductionism suffers from overstretching; in particular, the idea of 'explanation in a single bound' from molecule to mind is a bit too ruthless. Still, Bickle's arguments are worth serious attention. (shrink)
James K.A. Smith argues that the ontology of participation associated with Radical Orthodoxy is incompatible with a Christian affirmation of the intrinsic being and goodness of creatures. In response, he proposes a Leibnizian view in which things are endowed with the innate dynamism of ‘force’. Creatures have a certain depth of being, and are intrinsically good, just because they each have an inner virtuality that they bring into expression. Such force is said to be a metaphysical component of the agent. (...) In this paper it is asked whether John Milbank's ontology of participation can be defended by distinguishing between two senses of being a subject. Perhaps it is possible for a creature to bring into expression what is an infused ‘alien’ gift rather than a metaphysical component – to be expressive subject, but not ontic subject, for divine power. However, while this distinction promises to make sense of the reception of an indwelling ‘other’ in grace, knowledge and love, neither proper substance nor proper existence can be received in this way. A creature must be the ontic subject for its being, after all. Still, divine being might proceed from God as radical indwelling gift, as non-ontic ground for ontic being. (shrink)
During the 2007–2008 global food crisis, the prices of primary foods, in particular, peaked. Subsequently, governments concerned about food security and investors keen to capitalize on profit-maximizing opportunities undertook large-scale land acquisitions (LASLA) in, predominantly, least developed countries (LDCs). Economically speaking, this market reaction is highly welcome, as it should (1) improve food security and lower prices through more efficient food production while (2) host countries benefit from development opportunities. However, our assessment of the debate on the issues indicates critical (...) voices in both the media and academic discourse. This article aims to provide a philosophical law and economics analysis. We draw on John Rawls’s Theory of Justice, focusing on Rawls’s background institutions for distributive justice (§43) to evaluate LASLA form an ethical angle. Approaching LASLA into Sub Saharan LDCs as a socio-economic reform redistributing land from the local population of LDCs to investors, we acknowledge that they bear a highly desirable potential. Often, though, they cannot be regarded as ethically correct in practice as the insignificant improvements for local populations and sometimes even human rights violations contradict Rawls’s principles of justice. Then investigating whether and how international law can help overcome the shortcomings, we conclude that even though respective mechanisms exist in the current state of international law, it is hardly possible that it will produce more just outcomes in the near future. (shrink)
This article compares Alexander von Humboldt's and John Ruskin's writings on landscape art and natural landscape. In particular, Humboldt's conception of a habitat's essence as predominantly composed of vegetation as well as judgment of tropical American nature as the realm of nature of the highest aesthetic enjoyment is examined in the context of Ruskin's aesthetic theory. The magnitude of Humboldt's contribution to the natural sciences seems to have clouded our appreciation of his prominent status in the field of art (...) history. In addition to his position as scientist, Humboldt's role as aesthetician is demonstrated in this paper. Unlike Ruskin, who comfortably resides in the canon of art history relative to his minor significance in the field of geology, Humboldt has not been recognized for his impact on the world of art; his tremendous scientific importance seems to have overshadowed an appreciation of it. (shrink)
Stemming from two conferences, held in 1994, and 1996, Prophecy and Diplomacy: The Moral Doctrine of John Paul II explores the general orientations and the specific applications of the moral teaching of Pope John Paul II. The first part of the book places the Pope's moral theory within a broader theological framework, attempting to identify the overarching philosophical and theological attitudes that shape the Pope's fundamental moral perspective. In part two, the work studies the Pope's teaching in the (...) areas of applied ethics. Both the major lecturers and the respondents focus upon those areas of applied ethics that have provoked the greatest tension between the magisterium and the academy and between the Church and the state in the West. The volume concludes by presenting a homily that places the ethics of John Paul II within a spiritual framework of repentance and redemption. The Pope's moral teaching is not an academic survey of ethical themes. Nor is it a Pelagian call to human self-regeneration. The ultimate truth concerning human conduct and moral judgement emerges only with the proclamation of God's grace. (shrink)
John Locke's theory of property is perhaps the most distinctive and the most influential aspect of his political theory. In this book James Tully uses an hermeneutical and analytical approach to offer a revolutionary revision of early modern theories of property, focusing particularly on that of Locke. Setting his analysis within the intellectual context of the seventeenth century, Professor Tully overturns the standard interpretations of Locke's theory, showing that it is not a justification of private property. Instead he shows (...) it to be a theory of individual use rights within a framework of inclusive claim rights. He links Locke's conception of rights not merely to his ethical theory, but to the central arguments of his epistemology, and illuminates the way in which Locke's theory is tied to his metaphysical views of God and man, his theory of revolution and his account of a legitimate polity. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue against John Beatty’s position in his paper “The Evolutionary Contingency Thesis” by counterexample. Beatty argues that there are no distinctly biological laws because the outcomes of the evolutionary processes are contingent. I argue that the heart of the Caspar–Klug theory of virus structure—that spherical virus capsids consist of 60T subunits (where T = k 2 + hk + h 2 and h and k are integers)—is a distinctly biological law even if the existence of (...) spherical viruses is evolutionarily contingent. (shrink)
Metaphysicians eager to engage with substantive, thoughtful, and provocative issues will be happy with John Heil’s From an Ontological Point of View. The book represents not only a sustained defence of a specific metaphysical theory, but also of a specific way of doing metaphysics. Put ontology first, Heil urges us, in order to remember that the original fascination of metaphysics wasn’t the question ‘what must the world be like in order to correspond neatly to our use of language?’, but (...) rather the altogether more fundamental ‘what must the world be like?’. (shrink)
This work is a substantial contribution to the history of philosophy. Its subject, the ninth-century philosopher John Scottus Eriugena, developed a form of idealism that owed as much to the Greek Neoplatonic tradition as to the Latin fathers and anticipated the priority of the subject in its modern, most radical statement: German idealism. Moran has written the most comprehensive study yet of Eriugena's philosophy, tracing the sources of his thinking and analyzing his most important text, the Periphyseon. (...) This volume will be of special interest to historians of mediaeval philosophy, history, and theology. (shrink)
John Hick's "pluralistic hypothesis" of religion essays a comprehensive vision of religious diversity and its attendant soteriological, epistemological, and ontological implications. At the heart of Hick's proposal is the belief in the transcendental unity and soteriological identity of all religions. While coherent and compelling, Hick's model militates against those traditions that do not possess an ultimate noumenal referent that undergirds the phenomenal responses of culturally conditioned traditions. One of those traditions, namely Sōtō Zen Buddhism, at once defies Hick's categories (...) and presses for an alternative understanding of the epistemological, metaphysical, and soteriological issues. (shrink)
The title of John Heil’s book From an Ontological Point of View is, of course, an adaptation of the title of Quine’s influential collection of essays From a Logical Point of View, published fifty years earlier in 1953. Quine’s book marked the beginning of a sea change in philosophy, away from ordinary language, armchair philosophising involving introspective examination of concepts, towards a more rigorous, analytical and scientific approach to answering philosophical questions. Heil’s book will, I think, mark the beginning (...) of another sea change in philosophy, this time, away from a focus on language, and towards a focus on ontology. For that reason, the replacement of ‘Logical’ with ‘Ontological’ in Heil’s title is apposite. This is not to deny that Quine, and analytic philosophy in his wake, was interested in ontology. Some of the most fundamental philosophical questions that have vexed philosophers in the last fifty years are ontological questions: Are there numbers? Are there properties? Are there events? And if there are any of these kinds of things, what is their nature? But post-Quinean philosophers often set about answering these questions by looking at the language we use when we talk about numbers, properties and events. For example, philosophers engaged in the debate between realists and nominalists about universals would ask whether talk of redness could be adequately paraphrased by talk of red things. If so, the nominalist concluded that we are not committed to the existence of universals. If not, the realist concluded that we cannot escape commitment to them. Heil recommends that we abandon this methodology, for it leads us up blind alleys and conceals more acceptable positions from us. We should instead turn our attention directly onto ontological matters. (shrink)
In these brief comments, I explore some ambiguities concerning John Deigh's notion of empathy in relation to morality and justice. First, does Deigh conceive of empathy as a morally neutral capacity that can be used for good or bad purposes or, rather, as a capacity that presupposes a moral orientation? I look to his previous work and find evidence supporting both readings. I suggest that the right way to understand empathy is as a moral notion. Empathy is the product (...) of an activity—the activity of empathizing. This activity in turn presupposes a certain moral orientation: one that involves placing a certain kind of value on others. I then ask whether Deigh equates empathy with the sense of justice. I do not believe he does, but still he does not say much about the relation between them. I suggest that while the two are not the same, and while there can be tension between them, they ultimately stem from the same basic moral orientation, one that at least vaguely resembles the morality of cooperation. (shrink)
This paper intends to append the frame of dialectic upon St. John of the Cross’ delineation of mysticism. Its underlying hypothesis is that the dialectical structuring of St. John’s mystical theology promises to unravel the web of relational concepts embedded within his immense writings on this unique phenomenon. It is hoped that as a consequence of this undertaking, relevant pairs of correlative opposites that figure prominently in mysticism can be elucidated and perhaps come to some form of resolution.
John Searle has recently developed a theory of reasons for acting that intends to rescue the freedom of the will, endangered by causal determinism, whether physical or psychological. To achieve this purpose, Searle postulates a series of "gaps" that are supposed toendowthe self with free will. Reviewing key steps in Searle's argument, this article shows that such an undertaking cannot be successfully completed because of its solipsist premises. The author argues that reasons for acting do not have a subjective, (...) I-ontology but a first-person plural, Weontology that better accounts for agency and responsibility. Key Words: free will agency reasons for acting ontology. (shrink)
A Review of John Greco's book Acheiving Knowledge. The critical points I make involve three claims Greco makes that represent common ground between the reliabilists (including agent reliabilists like himself) and the character epistemologists (which would include myself): I. Such virtues are often needed to make our cognitive abilities reliable (to turn mere faculties into excellences); II. Such virtues might be essentially involved in goods other than knowledge; III. Such virtues might be valuable in themselves.
The construction of a distinctively Christian “theology of evolution” or “theistic evolution” requires the incorporation of the science of evolutionary biology while building a more comprehensive worldview within which all things are understood in relation to our creating and redeeming God. In the form of theses, this article brings four support pillars to the constructive work: (1) orienting evolutionary history to the God of grace; (2) affirming purpose for nature even if we cannot see purpose in nature; (3) employing the (...) theology of the cross to discern divine compassion in the natural world; and (4) relying on the divine promise of new creation. Among other things, John Haught's blueprint has located the pedestals on which these pillars will stand. For this groundwork, Haught deserves thanks. (shrink)
: This paper describes John Dewey's attitude regarding the potential for the social studies as a vehicle for citizenship education. During the 1930s, Dewey specifically addressed his concerns for teaching social studies in two articles. By situating these concerns within his framework for democratic education, he outlines the potential for creating participatory citizens. This goal for citizenship education is still relevant today, especially given the current political climate.
John McDowell's "minimal empiricism" is one of the most influential and widely discussed doctrines in contemporary philosophy. Richard Gaskin subjects it to careful examination and criticism, arguing that it has unacceptable consequences, and in particular that it mistakenly rules out something we all know to be the case: that infants and non-human animals experience a world. Gaskin traces the errors in McDowell's empiricism to their source, and presents his own, still more minimal, version of empiricism, suggesting that a correct (...) philosophy of language requires us to recognize a sense in which the world we experience speaks its own language. (shrink)
In this essay, I attempt to interpret the educational philosophy of John Dewey in a way that accomplishes two goals. The first of these is to avoid any reference to Dewey as a propagator of a particular scientific method or to any of the individualist and cognitivist ideas that is sometimes associated with him. Secondly, I want to overcome the tendency to interpret Dewey as a naturalist by looking at his concept of intelligence. It is argued that ‘intelligent experience’ (...) is the basic concept of education. I suggest how this concept should be understood. I propose to look at it as an interplay between the faculties of imagination and judgment. (shrink)
Like most terms in social theory, the term "conservative" is profoundly ambiguous and contested. In the United States today the word is often applied to those who call for an absolute minimum of government interference in capitalist markets. In another meaning it refers to those who insist that social life should center on the preservation of a community’s traditions and cultural values. There is a deep tension between these two viewpoints. Capitalist markets left to themselves radically destabilize established communities, and (...) so preserving cultural traditions and values requires political intervention in economic life. Given this ineluctable tension it is probably best not to use the same term to refer to both positions. In the present paper I shall refer to the former perspective, whose intellectual roots are found in the "classical liberalism" of John Locke and others, as "neoliberalism." The latter perspective will be referred to as "neoconservatism.". (shrink)
In my paper “Intelligent Design Theory and the Supernatural—the ‘God or Extra-Terrestrial’ Reply,” I argued that Intelligent Design (ID) Theory, when coupled with independently plausible further assumptions, leads to the conclusion that a supernatural intelligent designer exists. ID theory is therefore not neutral on the question of whether there are supernatural agents. In this respect, it differs from the Darwinian theory of evolution. John Beaudoin replies to my paper in his “Sober on Intelligent Design Theory and the Intelligent Designer,” (...) arguing that my paper faces two challenges. In the present paper, I try to address Beaudoin’s challenges. (shrink)
John Locke (1632-1704) is a central figure in the history of thought, and in liberal doctrine especially. This major study brings a range of his wider views to bear upon his political theory. Every political theorist has a vision, a view about the basic features of life and society, as well as technique which mediates this into propositions about politics. Locke's vision spanned questions concerning Christian worship, ethics, political economy, medicine, the human understanding, revealed theology and education. This study (...) shows how the character of these wider concerns informed Two Treatises of Government, especially in respect of a view of divine teleology, and situated a distinctive view of politics which treated the state and the church in parallel terms. (shrink)
In this paper I explore the shared interest of John Dewey and Carl Jung in the developmental continuity between biological, psychological, and cultural phenomena. Like other first generation psychological theorists, Dewey and Jung thought that psychology could be used to deepen our understanding of this continuity and thus gain a degree of control over human development. While their pursuit of this goal received little institutional support, there is a growing body of theory and practice derived from the new field (...) of ‘affect science’ as well as clinical and political psychologies, and other recent research into the function of human emotions, that are bringing greater institutional weight to the interest in anticipating and activating our psychocultural development. The epistemological and theoretical work of these seminal thinkers provides the foundation for this new praxis leading to: 1) a theory of ‘political development’ based in transformations of the psychocultural function of ‘reasoning’, ‘sensory’, and ‘affect’ freedom, as sources of culturally valid knowledge, which connects our biological heritage with increasingly advanced forms of individual and organizational identities; and 2) a range of psycho-educational practices that activate the political development of individuals and organizations by transforming the prejudicial dimensions of their current political identities. (shrink)
The essay is an analysis of John of Damascus’ justification for venerating the icons. Under the subtitle ‘reasoning for venerating the icons’ the essay conducts the analysis in three parts. First, John's definition of ‘veneration’ is presented and examined. Second, the OT ‘veneration’ passages he cites are critically evaluated. Third, the apparent incoherence of John's case is demonstrated from the Eastern Orthodox notion of scripture. This is a follow-up study to a previous essay (i.e., ‘Handmade: a critical (...) analysis of John of Damascus’ reasoning for making icons’) which analyzes a problem in Orthodox aesthetics closely related to the one I examine here. (shrink)
How to Forge a Musical Work’, I argue that the best way to view an attempted forgery of a lost autograph that accidentally duplicates the lost original is as a ‘version’, not a ‘forgery’, although I acknowledge the plausibility of Jerrold Levinson's alternate view, that it remains a forgery nevertheless. John Dilworth, in his article, ‘A Representational Theory of Artefacts and Artworks’, defends Levinson's ‘intuition’ against mine. In the present article I argue that our ‘intuitions’ here are divided, as (...) they are in the case of fictional literary works that accidentally turn out to be ‘true’, where some would say that what we have is still ‘fiction’, others that it is ‘accidental history’. (shrink)
Classical dispersion relations are derived from a time-asymmetric constraint. I argue that the standard causal interpretation of this constraint plays a scientifically legitimate role in dispersion theory, and hence provides a counterexample to the causal skepticism advanced by John Norton and others. Norton () argues that the causal interpretation of the time-asymmetric constraint is an empty honorific and that the constraint can be motivated by purely non-causal considerations. In this paper I respond to Norton's criticisms and argue that Norton's (...) skepticism derives its force partly by holding causal principles to a standard too high to be met by other scientifically legitimate constraints. (shrink)
In the current era of accountability, standardization has become the norm. From state mandated standards to district scripted curriculum, the individual child has been lost at the hands of removed politicians and administrators. Teachers have lost the freedom to individualize their classrooms to meet the needs of their students, and instead they contribute daily to the mass production line that we call "American education." As a result of No Child Left Behind, education now lacks the element of personalization necessary to (...) create meaningful learning experiences for students. There is currently a dire need for reform that revisits a child-centered approach to teaching and learning, as suggested by philosopher John .. (shrink)
A constantly reworked theme in the work of John Wilson is that of some identity or overlap of (psycho) therapeutic concerns with those of more conventional learning and education: (some) instances of therapy are held to coincide with (some) instances of education à propos the alleviation of what he generally calls ''fantasies''. In an early celebrated article, Wilson casts certain aspects of education as such in this therapeutic role, but in later work it is philosophical education which is credited (...) with this function. The present appreciation of Wilson's treatment of these crucial issues, however, warns against the potentially problematic consequences of any such blurring of distinctions between education and therapy (or agent and patient). The paper also argues that Wilson's rather colonial deployment of the term ''fantasy'' may militate against the recognition of legitimate value diversity. (shrink)
John C. Fletcher, a pioneer in the field of bioethics and friend and mentor to many generations of bioethicists, died tragically on May 27th at the age of 72. The son of an Episcopal priest from Bryan, TX, Fletcher graduated in 1953 with a degree in English Literature from the University of the South in Sewanee, TN. After completing a Masters in Divinity degree from the Virginia Theological Seminary and a stint as a Fulbright scholar at the University of (...) Heidelberg in 1956, he was ordained in the Episcopal Church and received a doctorate in Christian ethics from the Union Theological Seminary in New York. After ordination, Fletcher worked in various Episcopal churches and founded the Interfaith Metropolitan Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. However, despite his religious faith, he was also a skeptic, and renounced his ordination in the mid-1990s due to his need for ?intellectual honesty.? Fletcher began his bioethics contributions in the early 1970's, when he became a founding Fellow of the Hastings Center and eventually the first Chief of the Bioethics Program at the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health. At the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, he was the Founding Director of the Center for Bioethics and a professor of biomedical ethics at the medical school, and became the Kornfeld Professor of Biomedical Ethics until his retirement in 1999. Fletcher was a prominent authority and voice in the national and international bioethical dialogue through his talks, his testimonies before scientific and congressional panels, his many articles, and his bioethical and religiously-orientated books, including: An Introduction to Clinical Ethics (1997), Coping with Genetic Disorders: a Guide for Clergy and Parents (1982), Ethics and Human Genetics: A Cross-Cultural Perspective (1989), which he wrote with sociologist Dorothy C. Wertz. Dr. Fletcher received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities in 2000. With the passing of Dr. John C. Fletcher, bioethics has lost one of its great voices, a dedicated teacher and mentor, and a friend and colleague to scholars in bioethics and a host of other fields. Below is a touching tribute from one of his former students. (shrink)
In chapter 8 of The Grace and the Severity of the Ideal, Victor Kestenbaum disputes the naturalistic-instrumentalist reading of John Dewey's A Common Faith. Rather than accept the orthodox reading, he challenges mainstream Dewey scholars to read Dewey's theism from a phenomenological perspective. From this vantage, Kestenbaum contends that Dewey was wagering on transcendence, gambling on an ideal realm of supersensible entities, and hoping that the payoff would be universal acknowledgement of "a widening of the place of transcendence and (...) faith in every area of his philosophy." In a long-neglected correspondence between John Dewey and Albert Balz, Dewey responds to Balz's misreading of his logic as a correspondence theory of truth by stating that through the translation of all the ontological into the logical in the context of inquiry, he is "on the side of the angels." I argue that Dewey is accomplishing much the same thing in A Common Faith by naturalistically unifying the real and the ideal under the heading of the religious. In this respect, Dewey's naturalism and instrumentalism, rather than Kestenbaum's transcendentalism, is firmly "on the side of the angels.". (shrink)
This insightful and provocative discussion of John Dewey’s philosophy appears a decade after Richard Gale’s publication of his important book The Divided Self of William James (Cambridge University Press, 1999). In that earlier work, Gale exposed and explored the tension in James’s thought between the robust Promethean tendency to pursue a “morally strenuous life” and a passive mystical tendency toward unity with that which is greater than oneself. The present study is a kind of sequel to that work, as (...) Gale shows the same tendencies to be operative in Dewey’s philosophy, however, not remaining in tension (as with James) but finally integrated or synthesized, so that he can be accurately portrayed as a “Promethean .. (shrink)
In separate reviews of The Copernican Question published in the Summer 2012 issue of this journal, Noel Swerdlow and John Heilbron find little that meets their approval while failing to provide readers with a full and accurate summary of the book’s major claims and arguments.* The reviewers engage in an exercise in deconstructive surgery, essentially breaking down and reconstituting the work into separate studies. Swerdlow, who devotes most of his twenty-five page treatment to chapter 3 (with brief side-glances at (...) the introduction, chapters 1, 8, and 11), leaves the impression that my book is almost entirely about Copernicus. Heilbron, who confines himself mostly to what I have to say about Galileo, identifies a .. (shrink)
Abstract This paper critically examines John Mark Mattox's view of the nature of the moral appropriateness of particular response options. By so doing, I aim to engage the wider readership in a debate, which I hope leads to greater clarity and precision of thinking on these topics. After summarizing Mattox's view, I argue first that in order for Mattox's ultimate conclusion to hold in moral terms, he must abandon the argument on the permissibility of nuclear reprisal to re-establish nuclear (...) deterrence and instead anchor this response solely on the moral grounds of retributive justice. Secondly, I argue that the morally superior and politically efficacious counter-nuclear terrorist response is to hunt down the nuclear terrorists and hold them accountable for war crimes in the International Criminal Court. This response is consistent with just war theoretic principles, and it also affirms the moral virtues of honor, dignity, and humane treatment in contexts where they are needed the most ? the holocausts of nuclear terrorist attacks. (shrink)
This essay uses John Dewey's understanding of classroom discussion to construct a model of democratic deliberation that stresses the importance of the formal aesthetics of dialog. It claims that qualities such as the rhythm and direction of face-to-face political talk affects interlocutors' effectiveness in persuading others and stimulating interest. Because participants primarily focus on responding to the substance of individual utterances, the model employs Dewey's understanding of the teacher as a moderator who regulates the spatial and temporal quality of (...) the entire deliberation. Although some might claim the presence of such an authority figure endangers the deliberators' autonomy, Dewey stresses that good teachers assist students in constructing their own solutions to their own problems, and therefore a moderator could actively intervene and respect the normative principles of deliberative democracy. Finally, the essay discusses the distinctive role implied by such an association in a larger theory of deliberative politics. (shrink)
In his landmark monograph, "The Politics of Jesus", John Howard Yoder challenged mainstream Christian social ethics by arguing that the New Testament account of Jesus's founding of a messianic community entails a normative politics, not only for early Christianity but for the contemporary church. This challenge is further elaborated in several important posthumous publications, especially "Preface to Theology", in which Yoder examines the development of early Christology with attention to its political and ethical implications, and "The Jewish-Christian Schism Revisited", (...) Yoder's proposal for a renewed Jewish-Christian dialogue around the moral meaning of messianism. This article interprets these writings with reference to a range of critical scholarship on and about Yoder, Yoder and Augustine, and Jewish and Christian messianism, paying particular attention to questions of political ethics. (shrink)
The purpose of Pope John Paul''s encyclicalCentesimus Annus (CA) is to propound the foundations of a just economic order and to sketch its essential characteristics. As such he essentially provides an orientation or moral compass for the political economy rather than a precise road map. This article first reviews the principal components of CA and then analyzes and evaluates its central contentions on both cultural and economic grounds.
The paper is a response to some critical points and omissions in John Wettersten’s review of my recent book The Philosophy of Sociality: The Shared Point of View (Oxford University Press, 2007). I point out in this short paper that the reviewer has not discussed the most central notions in the book relating to its "we-mode" approach, i.e. collective acceptance, group reasons, the collectivity condition, collective commitment and their role in accounting for e.g. cooperation, social institutions, cultural evolution. I (...) also clarify the ontological commitments of my broadly naturalistic approach and show e.g. that we-mode social groups do exist as social systems but not a full-blown collective agents, although it is conceptually and instrumentally central to view them as collective agents. Also questions of we-mode versus I-mode explanations of collective action are considered in the paper. (shrink)
Over a long career of teaching and writing in the area of moral theology Charles E. Curran has experienced large areas of agreement with John Paul II on issues of social justice even while in other areas of personal and sexual issues the two are in serious disagreement. This phenomenon of agreement/disagreement has suggested to Curran that the pope is guilty of using a double methodology in his moral theological writing. Curran's book, The Moral Theology of Pope John (...) Paul II, seeks to uncover and substantiate the root of their agreements and disagreements. This article seeks to evaluate Curran's theory. This analysis is done in two parts: first, an examination of the evidence that Curran presents to support his charge against the pope, and second, an examination of the alternative possibility that it is Curran who has the double methodology rather than the pope. (shrink)
I reply to an article in the ACPA Proceedings of 2001 by John Crosby in which he challenged the position that evil as such is a privation. Each of his arguments attempts to present a counterexample to the privation position. His first argument, claiming that annihilation is evil but not a privation, fails to consider that a privation need not be contemporaneous with the subject suffering the privation. Contrary to his second argument, I explain that the repugnance of pain (...) is consistent with its being good in the appropriate context. Against his third argument I contend that he mistakenly supposes that a choice’s being opposed to the good is incompatible with its being evil because of a disorder. I conclude by briefly reviewing one central argument for the privation position and contrast it with Crosby’s arguments, which, in addition to their other problems, fail to specify any intensional content, beyond repugnance in the case of pain, for the concept of evil. (shrink)
This article explores the kinds of response John Dewey(1859-;1952) received in Russia between 1900 and1930, and the impact he had on the educational debatethere. The study's main findings are: Both before andafter the Socialist October Revolution of 1917, Deweyhad a significant impact on the development of theRussian school system. The ultimate rejection ofDewey's pedagogy towards the end of the 20s was notdue to educational but to political and ideologicalreasons.
After a brief sketch of the state of Buridan studies, this review article examines the recent study, by Benoît Patar, of a commentary on Aristotle’s Physics that is generally attributed to Albert of Saxony, but which Patar believes to have been authored by John Buridan (the text is preserved in the manuscript Bruges, Stadsbibliotheek 477, fols. 60va–163vb, and was edited by Patar himself in 1999). Patar is utterly convinced that the Bruges Quaestiones represent Buridan’s prima lectura, that is, his (...) first course of lectures on the Physics, which preceded the two other redactions that are traditionally attributed to him. However, there is no textual evidence in support of this assumption, but only speculative circumstantial evidence. The article therefore rejects Patar’s thesis as highly problematic. (shrink)
In this comment on John Yolton's Is There a History of Philosophy? (Yolton, 1985) I review his account of the development during the 17th to 19th centuries of a common sense of the range of philosophical problems and of the canon of philosophical works. I suggest that his account may be read in light of Rorty's four genres of historiography (Rorty, 1984). I criticize his view of the place of the history of philosophy in philosophy as too timid, though (...) correct as far as it goes. I then suggest, but do not attempt to establish, a bolder thesis. Finally, I raise some doubts about the adequacy of Yolton's reading of Descartes and Berkeley set out in two of his Puzzlements. The Puzzlements themselves are supposed to illustrate typical misreading of major figures in the history of philosophy. (shrink)
In this essay I review John Dewey’s pragmatism from the perspective of environmental social theory. Dewey’s clarification of aesthetics, values, experience, and the natural world are useful to contemporary environmentalism. His work represents a precedent for critical, anti-dualistic social philosophy in the U. S., and usefully clarifies the relationship of humans to the “material world.” Dewey’s conception ofvalues, politics, and experience suggests that these elements may be combined in ways congenial to environmental thought.
At the beginning of the 20th century,German-language kindergartens were completelyovershadowed by Friedrich Froebel's tradition. Thesearch for new forms of teaching started mainly bytaking over the body of thinking developed byteaching reformers. John Dewey's work was onlyaccorded marginal examination. The person who gotto grips most intensively with John Dewey and theAmerican tradition of kindergarten teaching duringthe first half of the 20th century is Emmy Walser,one of the leading personalities in the kindergartenmovement in Switzerland. As a result, the ``freeworking method'' (...) developed in Switzerland as the newmethod. Dewey's educational philosophy was reducedto the methodology of the free working method whichhad the effect of giving new life to Froebel'sideas. (shrink)
This paper argues for two principal conclusions about natural language semantics based on John Buridan's considerations concerning the notion of formal consequence, that is, formally valid inference. (1) Natural languages are essentially semantically closed, yet they do not have to be on that account inconsistent. (2) Natural language semantics has to be token based, as a matter of principle. The paper investigates the Buridanian considerations leading to these conclusions, and considers some obviously emerging objections to the Buridanian approach.
In a recent paper in BJES, John Wilson (2002) examines the question of the desirability of education and argues that the enterprise can only be justified if it is thought to be necessary 'as a means of salvation'. Here I expose a number of flaws in Wilson's argument and defend a rather more prosaic justificatory strategy.
In this paper, I undertake an exploration of the similarities I find between the epistemological projects of John Dewey and Evelyn Fox Keller. These similarities, I suggest, warrant considering Dewey and Keller to share membership in an epistemological tradition, a tradition I label the "Coresponsible Option." In my examination, I focus on Dewey's and Keller's ontological assertion that we live in a world that is an inextricable mixture of certainty and chance, and on their resultant conception of inquiry as (...) a communal relationship. (shrink)
In his major work on love, Works of Love, Kierkegaard clearly and robustly affirms the moral superiority of neighbourly love, and approves preferential love on one condition: that it serve as an instance of neighbourly love. But can an essentially preferential love be an instance of the essentially non-preferential neighbourly love? John Lippitt seems to think it can. In his paper “Kierkegaard and the problem of special relationships: Ferreira, Krishek, and the ‘God filter”’ he defends Kierkegaard’s position in Works (...) of Love against my criticism (as presented in my book Kierkegaard on Faith and Love); specifically, against my claim that in using Kierkegaard’s view of neighbourly love as a framework for understanding preferential love, one fails to account for the latter’s distinctive character. Lippitt claims that I misinterpret Kierkegaard’s position and, using what he calls ‘the God filter’, he attempts to show how adhering to Kierkegaard’s view of neighbourly love allows one to sustain the distinctiveness (and value) of preferential love. In what follows I will defend my interpretation of Kierkegaard’s position and explain why I take the view he presents in Works of Love to be problematic. Furthermore, in my aforementioned book I offer a Kierkegaardian model of love that does precisely what Lippitt seeks his ‘God filter’ model to do: namely, preserve the distinctiveness of preferential love while allowing its possible coexistence with neighbourly love. Thus, against the background of Lippitt’s criticism I will demonstrate this model again, in hope of clarifying the advantages this view offers. (shrink)
Although John Black Grant (1890-1962) is well known among historians of public health and an older generation of public health practitioners, he has not received the wider recognition that he deserves, especially as the solutions that he proposed to public health problems some 70 to 80 years ago still apply. Several factors inhibited Grant from being recognized as a public health leader. To begin with, the general policy of the Rockefeller Foundation's International Health Division (IHD), where he worked for (...) more than 40 years (1917-62), was that its employees should keep a low profile and not advertise their accomplishments. More importantly, the Foundation itself was unsure of Grant's place in their history, as .. (shrink)
. John V. Apczynski, while presenting a helpful analysis of Wolfhart Pannenberg and Michael Polanyi, does not succeed in showing that Pannenberg’s theology is incoherent. Contrary to Apczynski, I hold that Pannenberg’s concern for theoretic assertions is not extrinsic but intrinsic and central to his program. Moreover, this concern does not rest directly upon the cultural dominance of impersonal knowing but is a countering of the theological overreaction against it. Polanyi has pioneered the critique of impersonal knowledge, but in (...) Pannenberg’s judgment much theology tends to espouse too cheaply the Polanyian elevation of faith as ground of knowing. Pannenberg, while appreciating the relative justification of Polanyi’s work, is attempting to thematize afreshâin interesting contrast to Polanyi and, for instance, Paul Tillichâthe public, rational structure of faith. (shrink)
Resenha do livro de Erickson, Glenn W.; e Fossa, John A.. A linha dividida : uma abordagem matemática à filosofia platônica . Rio de Janeiro: Relume Dumará, 2006. 186 páginas. [Coleçáo Metafísica, n. 4].
The essay is an analysis of John of Damascus’ reasoning for venerating the icons. Under the subtitle ‘reasoning for venerating the icons’ the essay conducts the analysis in three parts. First, John's definition of ‘veneration’ is presented and examined. Second, the OT ‘veneration’ passages he cites are critically evaluated. Third, the apparent incoherence of John's case is demonstrated from the Eastern Orthodox notion of scripture. This is a follow-up study to a previous essay (i.e., ‘Handmade: a critical (...) analysis of John of Damascus’ reasoning for making icons’) which analyzes a problem in Orthodox aesthetics closely related to the one I examine here. (shrink)
In recent years, scholars studying the writing of the American pragmatist philosopher John Dewey have attempted to use his ethical ideas to construct a viable environmental ethics. This endeavor has found limited success and generated some intriguing debates, but has been found wanting in many areas important to environmental ethicists of the twenty-first century. In particular, the humanist motivations behind many of his ethical writings stand in the way of a philosophy that takes nonhumans seriously. However, there is much (...) environmental philosophers can learn from Dewey, not from his ethics, but from his ontological writings. A concept of the contingency of existence, found in Dewey, in particular in Experience and Nature, can be the foundation for a robust, if dark, ecological philosophy. (shrink)
Resumo : Os escritos de John Locke e Pierre Bayle sobre a tolerância contribuíram decisivamente para a formaçáo do discurso filosófico sobre aquele conceito, que será amplamente divulgado no século XVIII. A doutrina de Locke afirma que o indivíduo tem certos direitos, que estáo intrinsecamente relacionados com a sua liberdade e devem ser respeitados pelo Estado. Bayle também foi um defensor da tolerância, exaltando a liberdade de consciência do indivíduo. No entanto há divergências entre estes dois pensadores: Locke propõe (...) limites à tolerância, enquanto Bayle é tido como um tolerante exagerado. A proposta é investigar os principais argumentos utilizados nas suas respectivas defesas da tolerância, e a partir daí analisar algumas divergências entre os dois autores, especialmente as diferentes medidas da tolerância adotadas por cada um deles. Palavras-chave : Igualdade; Liberdade; Poder político; Tolerância. (shrink)
Nicholas Capaldi's biography of John Stuart Mill traces the ways in which Mill's many endeavors are related and explores the significance of his contributions to metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, social and political philosophy, the philosophy of religion, and the philosophy of education. Capaldi shows how Mill was groomed for his life by both his father James Mill and Jeremy Bentham, the two most prominent philosophical radicals of the early 19th century. Mill, however, revolted against this education and developed friendships with (...) both Thomas Carlyle and Samuel Taylor Coleridge who introduced him to Romanticism and political conservatism. A special feature of this biography is the attention devoted to Mill's relationship with Harriet Taylor. No one exerted a greater influence than the woman he was eventually to marry. Capaldi reveals just how deep her impact was on Mill's thinking about the emancipation of women. Nicholas Capaldi was until recently the McFarlin Endowed Professor of Philosophy and Research Professor of Law at the University of Tulsa. He is the founder and former Director of Legal Studies. His principal research and teaching interest is in public policy and its intersection with political science, philosophy, law, religion, and economics. He is the author of six books, including The Art of Description (Prometheus, 1987) and How to Win Every Argument (MJF Books, 1999), over fifty articles, and editor of six anthologies. He is a recent recipient of the Templeton Foundation Freedom Project Award. (shrink)
In this article, it is argued that a significant internal tension exists in John Rawls' political liberalism. He holds the following positions that might plausibly be considered incongruous: (1) a commitment to tolerating a broad right of freedom of political speech, including a right of subversive advocacy; (2) a commitment to restricting this broad right if it is intended to incite and likely to bring about imminent violence; and (3) a commitment to curbing this broad right only if there (...) is a constitutional crisis. By supporting a broad right of freedom of political speech in Political Liberalism, he allows militant intolerant people such as Jihadists, White Supremacists and Neo-Nazis to advocate publicly their dangerously intolerant beliefs. Public advocacy of dangerously intolerant beliefs can be construed as subversive advocacy. As demonstrated by the historical examples of the Weimar Republic and the Second Spanish Republic, militant intolerant groups could use a right of subversive advocacy to threaten the stability of liberal democracies. Hence, by allowing them to exercise a broad right of freedom of political speech, Rawls could jeopardize that which he intends to defend, namely the actual political stability of a liberal democratic order. Lastly, Rawls' conception of ideal constitutional interpretation, which privileges a broad right of freedom of political speech, might be insufficient to deal effectively with the threat posed by militant intolerant groups. Yet a tradition of American constitutional interpretation that balances freedom of speech with other important constitutional and/or political values has overcome a civil war, two world wars, the Cold War and the 9/11 terrorist attacks without abandoning democracy or permanently renouncing those values. Still, Rawls' ideal approach to constitutional interpretation might, in hindsight, help us to understand some of the excesses and deficiencies of American jurisprudence in times of emergency.
We assemble here in this time and place to discuss the thesis that conscious attention can provide knowledge of reference of perceptual demonstratives. I shall focus my commentary on what this claim means, and on the main argument for it found in the first five chapters of Reference and Consciousness. The middle term of that argument is an account of what attention does: what its job or function is. There is much that is admirable in this account, and I am (...) confident that it will be the foundation, the launching-pad, for much future work on the subject. But in the end I will argue that Campbell’s picture makes the mechanisms of attention too smart: smarter than they are, smarter than they could be. If we come to a more realistic appraisal of the skills and capacities of our sub-personal minions, the “knowledge of reference” which they yield will have to be taken down a notch or two. (shrink)
Although Symons' recent book, On Dennett (Wadsworth, 2002), provides scientists with ahelpful, general introduction to Dennett'sthought, it presents a skewed version of the history of the philosophy of mind. In particular, the continental tradition is almost entirely ignored, if not glibly dismissed. As aresult, the unwary reader of this book wouldnever realize that Dilthey, Sartre and Husserl,like Dennett, offer a ``middle ground'' between naturalistic realism and naturalistic eliminativism. However, unlike Dennett, the respective positions of Dilthey, Sartre and Husserl are not (...) ontologically indifferent, but instead, present a non-naturalistic form of realism that does not simultaneously invoke Cartesian dualism. (shrink)
My aim in this study is not to praise Fischer's fine theory of moral responsibility, but to (try to) bury the "semi" in "semicompatibilism". I think Fischer gives the Consequence Argument (CA) too much credit, and gives himself too little credit. In his book, The Metaphysics of Free Will, Fischer gave the CA as good a statement as it will ever get, and put his finger on what is wrong with it. Then he declared stalemate rather than victory. In my (...) view, Fischer's view amounts to sophisticated compatibilism. It would be nice to be able to call it by its right name. In The Metaphysics of Free Will, Fischer develops his own version of Consequence Argument, which turns on two principles, one of which is the fixity of the past. FP: For any action K, agent S and time i, if it is true that is S were to do Y at t, some fact about that past relative to t would not have been a fact, then S cannot at t do Fat 1. 1 argue that the equipment needed to reject FP (and thereby defend the most plausible version of compatibilism) is needed to deal with the problem of fatalism. In addition, I argue that the rejection of FP is compatible with Fischer's approach to Frankfurt cases and with his account of transfer principles. (shrink)
Upshot: According to its introduction, the aim of Enaction is to “present the paradigm of enaction as a framework for a far-reaching renewal of cognitive science as a whole.” While many of the chapters make progress towards this aim, the book as a whole does not present enactivism as a coherent framework, and it could be argued that enactivism’s embrace of phenomenology means it is no longer a theory of cognition.
Rawls's theory of political obligation attempts to avoid the obvious flaws of a Lockean consent model. Rawls rejects a requirement of consent for two reasons: First, the consent requirement of Locke’s theory was intended to ensure that the liberty and equality of the contractors was respected, but this end is better achieved by the principles chosen in the original position, which order the basic structure of a society into which citizens are born. Second, "basing our political ties upon a principle (...) of obligation would complicate the assurance problem." Instead, Rawls offers a duty-based account, whereby we are duty-bound to support and comply with just institutions that apply to us. A. John Simmons argues that Rawls cannot meet the particularity requirement of establishing political obligation to only one state. I assess the response that this requirement can be met by the political constructivist element of Rawls's theory. I conclude that there are fatal flaws in this response. (shrink)
This is the first of three volumes which will contain all of Locke's extant philosophical writings relating to An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, not included in other Clarendon editions like the Correspondence. It contains the earliest known drafts of the Essay, Drafts A and B, both written in 1671, and provides for the first time an accurate version of Locke's text. Virtually all his changes are recorded in footnotes on each page. -/- Peter Nidditch, whose highly acclaimed edition of An (...) Essay Concerning Human Understanding was published in this series in 1975, used pioneering editorial techniques in his compilation of Volume 1. Most of the work was completed before his tragically early death in 1983. -/- Volumes 2 and 3, almost wholly the work of G. A. J. Rogers will contain the third extant draft of the Essay (Draft C), the Epitome and the Conduct of the Understanding. They will also include a History of the Writing of the Essay, together with other shorter writings by Locke. (shrink)
Very little attention has been paid towards examining John Rawls’s liberal principle of legitimacy as a self-standing theory. Nevertheless, it offers a highly original way of thinking about state legitimacy. In this paper, I will offer a sketch of what such an account might look like. At its heart is the idea that the legitimacy of the state resides not in the consent of the governed, nor in the state’s conformity with the appropriate principles of justice, but rather in (...) citizens’ endorsement of the state and its underlying constitutional principles on the basis of their own comprehensive conceptions of justice. Such an account offers a stable middle ground between popular alternatives, and has a way of not just solving, but dissolving, the problem of legitimacy. (shrink)
Introduction This paper defends the moral significance of the distinction between killing and letting die. In the first part of the paper, I consider and reject Michael Tooley’s argument that initiating a causal process is morally equivalent to refraining from interfering in that process. The second part disputes Tooley’s suggestion it is merely external factors that make killing appear to be worse than letting die, when in reality the distinction is morally neutral. Tooley is mistaken to claim that we are (...) permitted to kill bystanders who had no fair chance to avoid being at risk of harm. We can support the significance of the killing / letting die distinction by considering the difference between what we are permitted to do in self-defence against those who are going to kill us, and what we can do against those who are going to let us die. I also suggest that we are less responsible for the deaths we allow than for the deaths that we cause, since we do not make people worse off for our presence in cases where we fail to save them. (shrink)
Under free institutions the exercise of human reason leads to a plurality of reasonable, yet irreconcilable doctrines. Rawls's political liberalism is intended as a response to this fundamental feature of modern democratic life. Justifying coercive political power by appeal to any one (or sample) of these doctrines is, Rawls believes, oppressive and illiberal. If we are to achieve unity without oppression, he tells us, we must all affirm a public political conception that is supported by these diverse reasonable doctrines. The (...) first part of this essay argues that the free use of human reason leads to reasonable pluralism over most of what we call the political. Rawls's notion of the political does not avoid the problem of state oppression under conditions of reasonable pluralism. The second part tries to show how justificatory liberalism provides (1) a conception of the political that takes seriously the fact that the free use of human reason leads us to sharply disagree in the domain of the political while (2) articulating a conception of the political according to which the coercive intervention of the state must be justified by public reasons. (shrink)
It is generally agreed that while, from the silent film The Great Train Rob- bery (1903) until the present, well over seven thousand Westerns have been made it was not until three seminal articles in the nineteen fifties by Andre´ Bazin and Robert Warshow that the genre began to be taken seriously. Indeed Bazin argued that the “secret” of the extraordinary persistence of the Western must be due to the fact that the Western embodies “the essence of cinema,” and he (...) suggested that that essence was its incorporation of myth and a mythic consciousness of the world.1 He appeared to mean by this that Westerns.. (shrink)
Abstract. This article offers one response from within Christianity to the theological challenges of Darwinism. It identifies evolutionary theory as a key aspect of the context of contemporary Christian hermeneutics. Examples of the need for re-reading of scripture, and reassessment of key doctrines, in the light of Darwinism include the reading of the creation and fall accounts of Genesis 1–3, the reformulation of the Christian doctrine of humanity as created in the image of God, and the possibility of a new (...) approach to the Incarnation in the light of evolution and semiotics. Finally, a theodicy in respect of evolutionary suffering is outlined, in dialogue with recent writings attributing such suffering to a force in opposition to God. The latter move is rejected on both theological and scientific grounds. Further work on evolutionary theodicy is proposed, in relation in particular to the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo. (shrink)
This collection of essays explores the development of the New Confucianism movement during the 20th century and questions whether it is, in fact, a distinctly new intellectual movement or one that has been mostly retrospectively created. The questions that contributors to this book seek to answer about this neo-conservative philosophical movement include: “What has been the cross-fertilization between Chinese scholars in China and overseas made possible by the shared discourse of Confucianism?” “To what extent does this discourse transcend geographical, political, (...) cultural, and ideological divides?” “Why do so many Chinese intellectuals equate Confucianism with Chinese cultural identity?” and “Does the Confucian revival of the 1990s in China and Taiwan represent a genuine philosophical renaissance or a resurgence in interest based on political and cultural factors?”. (shrink)