[Alethic Realism] 1. The sense of ‘true’ and ‘false’ in which such items as beliefs, statements, and propositions can be evaluated as true or false. 2. It is important to determine the truth-value of such items in this sense.
Professor JeeLoo Liu § Metaphysical Realism ___ The view that large stretches of reality do not depend on our conceptual and theoretical choices for existing and being what they are. Or: ___ The view that vast stretches of reality are what they are absolutely, not in any way relative to certain conceptual-theoretical choices that have equally viable alternatives. ___ It is sensible because it recognizes that some stretches of reality do conform to the account anti-realism gives of the whole of (...) reality. (shrink)
I like Bill Maher . He takes sides. One of his best recent lines was, "the last time the Republicans had that many black folks on stage they were selling them!" (That was in response to the reportedly large number of black folks carrying the Republican banner at the 2004 RNC.) The historical irony is that the folks who did the bulk of the selling of black folk would have been predecessors of today’s Democrat party. (So, Maher is evidently no (...) history buff.) I still like him though. (shrink)
An ongoing crisis in Australian agriculture resulting from climate crises including drought, decreasing irrigation water, more recent catastrophic flooding, and an uncertain policy environment is reshaping gender relations in the intimate sphere of the farm family. Drawing on research conducted in the Murray-Darling Basin area of Australia we ask the question: Does extreme hardship/climate crises change highly inequitable gender relations in agriculture? As farm income declines, Australian farm women are more likely to be working off farm for critical family income (...) while men continue to work on farm often in circumstances of damaged landscapes, rising debt, and limited production. This paper examines the way gender relations are being renegotiated in a time of significant climate crisis. Our research suggests that climate crises have indeed led to changes in gender relations and that some changes are unexpected. Whereas one would logically assume that women’s enhanced economic contribution would increase their power in gender negotiations, we argue that this does not necessarily occur because their contribution is viewed as a farm survival strategy. Men are committed to prioritizing the farm and view women’s income generating work as critical to this purpose and yet, paradoxically, long for a return to traditional farm roles. We find that women are actively resisting traditional gender relations by reshaping a role for themselves beyond the farm—in the process moving physically and mentally away from a farm family ideology, questioning gender inequalities, and by extension their relationships. (shrink)
Reparations whether to blacks for slavery, or to Indians for land theft, or to settle any number of other conflicts, has an interesting political background. Analysts on the left, who are usually no friend of private property rights, nevertheless rely on this doctrine to support their case for reparations. Those on the right, in contrast, who supposedly defend the institution of property rights, jettison them when it comes to reparations. It is only libertarians, such as the present authors, who both (...) favor private property rights in general, and, also, apply them to the issue of reparations, who are logically consistent. (shrink)
I oppose the popular view that the phenomenal character of perceptual experience consists in the subject's representing the (putative) perceived object as being so-and-so. The account of perceptual experience I favor instead is a version of the "Theory of Appearing" that takes it to be a matter of the perceived object's appearing to one as so-and-so, where this does not mean that the subject takes or believes it to be so-and-so. This plays no part in my criticisms of Representationalism. I (...) mention it only to be up front as to where I stand. My criticism of the Representationalist position is in sections. (1) There is no sufficient reason for positing a representative function for perceptual experience. It doesn't seem on the face of it to be that, and nothing serves in place of such seeming. (2) Even if it did have such a function, it doesn't have the conceptual resources to represent a state of affairs. (3) Even if it did, it is not suited to represent, e.g., a physical property of color. (4) Finally, even if I am wrong about the first three points, it is still impossible for the phenomenal character of the perceptual experience to consist in it's representing what it does. My central argument for this central claim of the paper is that it is metaphysically, de re possible that one have a certain perceptual experience without it's presenting any state of affairs. And since all identities hold necessarily, this identity claim fails. (shrink)
The way that critical thinking has been framed as aneducational objective has led, on the one hand, to itssuccessful saturation of educational discourse and, onthe other, to an equation of critical thinking withdemonstrable rhetorical skills. This essay suggeststhat both critical thinking and obstacles tosuccessful critical thinking are most commonly foundin the activities of everyday life. Humans deploycritical thinking in expressions of socialimagination, illuminations of our selves andrelationship, and in ethical choices and publicengagements. By reframing critical thinking,educators may find ways to (...) enrich its exercise both inand out of the classroom. (shrink)
Receptivity to Christian or other religious proclamations is powerfully influenced by one’s value orientations. I distinguish five contrasts in such orientations that illustrate this point. 1. Finding “worldly” values most deeply satisfying vs. a sense that something that transcends those would be most fulfilling. 2. Extreme stress on human autonomy vs. a positive evaluation of deference to God, if such there be. 3. A sense of thorough sinfulness vs. a thoroughly positive self image. 4. A willingness to accept outside help (...) to transform oneself vs. a sense of the unworthiness of such dependence. 5. A readiness to treat others’ well being as important as one’s own vs. an exclusive focus on looking out for number one. The above reflects the deeper fact that value commihnents are an essential part of Christian belief, treatments of which must take account of this. (shrink)
In what follows, I discuss the extent to which the epistemology of religious belief differs from the epistemology of other areas of our belief, as well as the extent to which it is similar. There will be important similarities: for example, the standards for the application of terms of epistemic assessment like ‘justified’, ‘warranted’,and ‘rational’. But in this essay, I concentrate on delineating some important differences between religious and non-religious epistemology.
This is a response to Hick’s comments on my approach to the problem of religious diversity in Perceiving God. Before unearthing the bones I have to pick with him, let me fully acknowledge that I have not provided a fully satisfactory solution to the problem. At most I have done the best that can be done given the constraints within which I was working. But this best, if such it be, is not as bad as Hick makes it appear. To (...) show this I need to make several corrections in Hick’s depiction of the situation. (shrink)