First published in 1986, Knowledge, Belief, and Witchcraft remains the only analysis of indigenous discourse about an African belief system undertaken from within the framework of Anglo-American analytical philosophy. Taking as its point of departure W. V. O. Quine's thesis about the indeterminacy of translation, the book investigates questions of Yoruba epistemology and of how knowledge is conceived in an oral culture.
THE GROUNDS OF RELIGIOUS BELIEF MAY BE VARIOUS, AND SUCH GROUNDS ARE ASSESSABLE BY BOTH BELIEVER AND NON-BELIEVER; BUT THE ARTICULATION OF SUCH GROUNDS IS, THOUGH A PROPER ONE, AN AVOIDABLE TOPIC FOR THE BELIEVER AND THE PHILOSOPHER. (BP, EDITED).
This volume is a collection of original essays by eminent philosophers written for R. B. Braithwaite's eightieth birthday to celebrate his work and teaching. In one way or another, all the essays reflect his central concern with the impact of science on our beliefs about the world and the responses appropriate to that. Together they testify to the signal importance of his contributions in areas of philosophy bearing on this concern: the philosophy of science, especially of the statistical (...) sciences, theories of belief and of probability, decision theory and games theory. This book, which includes a full bibliography of Professor Braithwaite's work, will interest advanced students and professionals in the fields of philosophy and psychology. (shrink)
I offer you some theories of intellectual obligations and rights (virtue Ethics): initially, RBT (a Right to Believe Truth, if something is true it follows one has a right to believe it), and, NDSM (one has no right to believe a contradiction, i.e., No right to commit Doxastic Self-Mutilation). Evidence for both below. Anthropology, Psychology, computer software, Sociology, and the neurosciences prove things about human beliefs, and History, Economics, and comparative law can provide evidence of value about theories of rights. (...) However, insofar as we have methods within Philosophy to help us formulate precise concepts of 'belief' and 'rights', methods that also help us to prove links (or absence thereof) amongst families of concepts of rights and belief, our discipline is in and of itself capable of sound reasoning about issues as puzzling as the following. Suppose a Jane who does not believe in God yet who believes she ought to so believe: Jane is undergoing doxastic moral regret (moral regret for lack of faith). We have all known such Janes and perhaps at one time or another even been one. Paradox: given RBT and NDSM, Jane as described not only does not exist, Jane cannot exist. Thus, to enrich the ways in which Philosophy need not get all its evidence from other academic disciplines, I present a brief introduction to what I call Neutral Universal Frames (NUFs). NUFs solve hard puzzles about interactions among modal concepts of belief and rights, concepts that occur in RBT, NDSM and the description of our Janes. NUFs for theories precisely articulated via any two or more modal concepts are a powerful and immensely general set of tools enabling us to define rich theories of truth ("models on frames") to test philosophical theories for internal consistency and to prove the existence of connections (or absence thereof) amongst alternative articulations of philosophical theories. NUFs thereby add to the constructive knowledge producing way Logics intersect with Philosophy of Religion. And we will soon see why Jane, be she named 'Jane' or known simply as you: cannot exist. Read on at your own risk. (shrink)
Philosophers have long been concerned about what we know and how we know it. Increasingly, however, a related question has gained prominence in philosophical discussion: what should we believe and why? This volume brings together twelve new essays that address different aspects of this question. The essays examine foundational questions about reasons for belief, and use new research on reasons for belief to address traditional epistemological concerns such as knowledge, justification and perceptually acquired beliefs. This book will be (...) of interest to philosophers working on epistemology, theoretical reason, rationality, perception and ethics. It will also be of interest to cognitive scientists and psychologists who wish to gain deeper insight into normative questions about belief and knowledge. (shrink)
Does it make sense - can it make sense - for someone who appreciates the explanatory power of modern science to continue believing in a traditional religious account of the ultimate nature and purpose of our universe? This book is intended for those who care about that question and are dissatisfied with the rigid dichotomies that dominate the contemporary debate. The extremists won't be interested - those who assume that science answers all the questions that matter, and those so certain (...) of their religious faith that dialogue with science, philosophy, or other faith traditions seems unnecessary. But far more people today recognize that matters of faith are complex, that doubt is endemic to belief, and that dialogue is indispensable in our day. -/- In eight probing chapters, the authors of The Predicament of Belief consider the most urgent reasons for doubting that religious claims - in particular, those embedded in the Christian tradition - are likely to be true. They develop a version of Christian faith that preserves the tradition's core insights but also gauges the varying degrees of certainty with which those insights can still be affirmed. Along the way, they address such questions as the ultimate origin of the universe, the existence of innocent suffering, the challenge of religious plurality, and how to understand the extraordinary claim that an ancient teacher rose from the dead. They end with a discussion of what their conclusions imply about the present state and future structure of churches and other communities in which Christian affirmations are made. (shrink)
Isaac Levi is one of the preeminent philosophers in the areas of pragmatic rationality and epistemology. This collection of essays constitutes an important presentation of his original and influential ideas about rational choice and belief. A wide range of topics is covered, including consequentialism and sequential choice, consensus, voluntarism of belief, and the tolerance of the opinions of others. The essays elaborate on the idea that principles of rationality are norms that regulate the coherence of our beliefs and (...) values with our rational choices. The norms impose minimal constraints on deliberation and inquiry, but they also impose demands well beyond the capacities of deliberating agents. This major collection will be eagerly sought out by a wide range of philosophers in epistemology, logic, and philosophy of science, as well as economists, decision theorists, and statisticians. (shrink)
Introduction -- In the beginning : it's all in the program -- Symbols and agreements : the art of humans -- The story of you : the first agreement : be impeccable with your word -- Every mind is a world : the second agreement : don't take anything personally -- Truth or fiction : the third agreement : don't make assumptions -- The power of belief : the symbol of Santa Claus -- Practice makes the master : the (...) fourth agreement : always do your best -- The power of doubt : the fifth agreement : be skeptical, but learn to listen -- The dream of the first attention : the victims -- The dream of the second attention : the warriors -- The dream of the third attention : the masters -- Becoming a seer : a new point of view -- The three languages : what kind of messenger are you? -- Epilogue: Help me to change the world. (shrink)
A collection of twelve essays by John Perry and two essays he co-authored, this book deals with various problems related to "self-locating beliefs": the sorts of beliefs one expresses with indexicals and demonstratives, like "I" and "this." Postscripts have been added to a number of the essays discussing criticisms by authors such as Gareth Evans and Robert Stalnaker. Included with such well-known essays as "Frege on Demonstratives," "The Problem of the Essential Indexical," "From Worlds to Situations," and "The Prince and (...) the Phone Booth" are a number of important essays that have been less accessible and that discuss important aspects of Perry's views, referred to as "Critical Referentialism," on the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind. (shrink)
Which objects and properties are represented in perceptual experience, and how are we able to determine this? The papers in this collection address these questions together with other fundamental questions about the nature of perceptual content. -/- The book draws together papers by leading international philosophers of mind, including Alex Byrne (MIT), Alva Noë (University of California, Berkeley), Tim Bayne (St Catherine’s College, Oxford), Michael Tye (University of Texas, Austin), Richard Price (All Souls College, Oxford) and Susanna Siegel (Harvard University) (...) -/- Essays address the central questions surrounding the content of perceptual experience -/- Investigates how are we able to determine the admissible contents of experience -/- Published in association with the journal Philosophical Quarterly. (shrink)
The will to believe.--Is life worth living?--The sentiment of rationality.--Reflex action and theism.--The dilemma of determinism.--The moral philosopher and the moral life.--Great men and their environment.--The importance of individuals.--On some Hegelisms.--What psychical research has accomplished.
Philosophy of religion in the Anglo-American tradition experienced a 'rebirth' following the 1955 publication of New Essays in Philosophical Theology (eds. Antony Flew and Alisdair MacIntyre). Fifty years later, this volume of New Essays offers a sampling of the best work in what is now a very active field, written by some of its most prominent members. A substantial introduction sketches the developments of the last half-century, while also describing the 'ethics of belief' debate in epistemology and showing (...) how it connects to explicitly religious concerns and to the topics of the individual contributions. These topics include: the relationship between God and the natural laws; the metaphysics of bodily resurrection; the role of appeal to 'mystery' in the religious life; the justification of both theistic belief generally and more specific doctrinal beliefs; and the social-political aspects of religious faith and practice. (shrink)
In this paper, we explore Peirce's work for insights into a theory of learning and cognition for education. Our focus for this exploration is Peirce's paper The Fixation of Belief (FOB), originally published in 1877 in Popular Science Monthly. We begin by examining Peirce's assertion that the study of logic is essential for understanding thought and reasoning. We explicate Peirce's view of the nature of reasoning itself—the characteristic guiding principles or ‘habits of mind’ that underlie acts of inference, the (...) dimensions of and interaction between doubt and belief, and his four methods of resolving or ‘fixing’ belief (i.e., tenacity, authority, a priori, and experimentation). The four methods are then juxtaposed against current models of teaching and learning such as constructivism, schema theory, situated cognition, and inquiry learning. Finally, we discuss Peirce's modes of inference as they relate educationally to the resolution of doubt and beliefs and offer an example of belief resolution from an experienced teacher in a professional development environment. (shrink)
Millar argues against the tendency in current philosophical thought to treat sensory experiences as a peculiar species of propositional attitude. While allowing that experiences may in some sense bear propositional content, he presents a view of sensory experiences as a species of psychological state. A key theme in his general approach is that justified belief results from the competent exercise of conceptual capacities, some of which involve an ability to respond appropriately to current experience. In working out this approach (...) the author develops a view of concepts and their mastery, explores the role of groundless beliefs drawing on suggestions of Wittgenstein, illuminates aspects of the thought of Locke, Hume, Quine, and Goldman, and finally offers a response to a sophisticated variety of scepticism. (shrink)
In Sleeping with Extra-Terrestrials , Wendy Kaminer argues that we are a society intoxicated by the irrational: religion, spirituality, and popular therapies threaten to replace rational thought with supernaturalism and impassioned but unexamined personal testimony. Ranging from our fascination with angels, aliens, and near- death experiences to the rise of junk science, the recovery movement, and the digital culture, Kaminer points out the amusing and ominous effects of our deference to spiritual authorities and resistance to critical thinking. She questions conventional (...) wisdom about the association of religious belief with virtue, identifying the sectarianism of efforts to establish religion in the public square. With both wit and empathy, Kaminer takes on what many people hold sacred. Kaminer is an eloquent and incisive critic and rationalist living in a superstitious, evangelical age. In Sleeping with Extra-Terrestrials she challenges us to exercise skepticism, reason, and irreverence and to appreciate the pleasures of free inquiry. (shrink)
William James’ celebrated lecture on “The Will to Believe” has kindled spirited controversy since the day it was delivered. In this lively reappraisal of that controversy, Father O’Connell contributes some fresh contentions: that James’ argument should be viewed against his indebtedness to Pascal and Renouvier; that it works primarily to validate our “over-beliefs” ; and most surprising perhaps, that James envisages our “passional nature” as intervening, not after, but before and throughout, our intellectual weighing of the evidence for belief.
The modern situation: Causes and reasons for disbelief. Note: Desire for God as cause and reason for belief.--Two types of argument for belief. Note: The ontological proof.--Ideas of God in modern science and religion. Note: Bibliographical.--God in CHrist.
lecture 1. Religion and modernity -- lecture 2. From suspicion to the premodern cosmos -- lecture 3. From Catholicism to Protestantism -- lecture 4. Scientific revolution and Descartes -- lecture 5. Descartes and modern philosophy -- lecture 6. Enlightenment and religion -- lecture 7. Natural religion and its critics -- lecture 8. Kant-- religion and moral reason -- lecture 9. Kant, romanticism, and pietism -- lecture 10. Schleiermacher-- religion and experience -- lecture 11. Hegel-- religion, spirit, and history -- (...) lecture 12. Theology and the challenge of history. (shrink)
This study looks at two central religious issues--the religious ambiguity of the world and the diversity of faiths--and probes their implications for religious beliefs. Author Robert McKim offers a self-critical, open, and tentative approach to beliefs about religious matters.