Are there general precepts governing when philosophers should not conduct inquiry on a given topic? When, if ever, should a philosopher just be silent? In this paper we look at a number of practical, epistemic, and moral arguments for philosophical silence. Some are quite general, and suggest that it is best never to engage in philosophical inquiry, while others are more domain - or context - specific. We argue that these arguments fail to establish their conclusions. We do, however, try (...) to identify and defend several substantive constraints on philosophical dialogue and inquiry. In practice, though, respecting these constraints needn't lead to much philosophical silence. (shrink)
In philosophy of religion, when, if ever, is it better to philosophically engage one another as advocates of competing religions (or secular naturalism) as opposed to conducting a more detached philosophical investigation of each other’s actual religious convictions? We offer a narrative overview of a philosophy of religion seminar we participated in, highlighting questions about the possibility of even understanding persons of different religions and considering when, if ever, one’s own religious convictions should be put on exhibit in teaching philosophy (...) of religion. We defend a “middle path,” advocating the permissibility of some disclosure of religious convictions, but with an openness to role play and a passionate commitment to impartiality in class discussion and grading. This middle path lies in between advocacy models (such as Peter Moser’s, Eleonore Stump’s, and Merold Westphal’s) and more strict neutrality models (such as Michael Rea’s). (shrink)
Turning Images in Philosophy, Science, and Religion: A New Book of Nature brings together new essays addressing the role of images and imagination recruited in the perennial debates surrounding nature, mind, and God. -/- The debate between "new atheists" and religious apologists today is often hostile. This book sets a new tone by locating the debate between theism and naturalism (most "new atheists" are self-described "naturalists") in the broader context of reflection on imagination and aesthetics. The eleven essays will be (...) of interest to anyone who is fascinated by the power of imagination and the role of aesthetics in deciding between worldviews or philosophies of nature. Representing a variety of points of view, authors include outstanding philosophers of religion and of science, a distinguished art historian, and a visual artist. -/- The book begins with Martin Kemp's essay on the work of the biologist, mathematician and classical scholar D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson in which Kemp develops the idea of "structural intuitions and a critique of reductive thinking about the natural world. This is followed by Geoffrey Gorham's overview and analysis of images of nature and God found in early modern science and philosophy. Anthony O'Hear questions a reductive, naturalist account of the origin of mind and values. Dale Jacquette offers a thoroughgoing naturalistic philosophy of the emergence of intentionality and a unique argument about the emergence of art and the aesthetic appreciation of nature. E.J. Lowe brings to light some challenges facing naturalistic approaches to human imaginative sensibility. Douglas Hedley articulates and defends a cognitive account of imagination, highlighting some of the difficulties confronting naturalism. Daniel N. Robinson offers a sweeping treatment of nature and naturalism, historically engaging Aristotle, Kant, Hegel and others. Conor Cunningham provides an aggressive critique of contemporary naturalism. Gordon Graham investigates the resources of naturalism in accounting for our sense of the sacred. Mark Wynn provides a subtle understanding of imagination and perception, suggesting how these may play into the theism - naturalism debate. The book concludes with Jil Evans' reflections on how images of the Galapagos Islands have been employed philosophically to picture either a naturalist or theistic image of nature. (shrink)
The sixteen chapters, commissioned specially for this volume, are written by an internationally recognized team of scholars and examine topics such as the Trinity, God's necessary existence, simplicity, omnipotence, omniscience, ...
We offer a model of moral reform and regeneration that involves a wrong-doer making two movements: on the one hand, he identifies with himself as the one who did the act, while he also intentionally moves away from that self (or set of desires and intentions) and moves toward a transformed identity. We see this model at work in the formal practice of contrition and reform in Christian and Buddhist rites. This paper is part of a broader project we are (...) undertaking on the philosophy of forgiveness. (shrink)
An argument that Pamela Sue Andersonâs critique of Irigaray commits her to a version of the Ideal Observer Theory, a theory Anderson rejects. This paper was delivered in the APA Pacific 2007 Mini-Conference on Models of God.
Charles Taliaferro has written a dynamic narrative history of philosophical reflection on religion from the seventeenth century to the present, with an emphasis on shifting views of faith and the nature of evidence. The book begins with the movement called Cambridge Platonism, which formed a bridge between the ancient and medieval worlds and early modern philosophy. While the book provides a general overview of different movements in philosophy, it also offers a detailed exposition and reflection on key arguments. The scope (...) is broad, from Descartes to contemporary feminist philosophy of religion. Written with clarity and verve, this is a book that will appeal to professionals and students in the philosophy of religion, religious studies, and the history of ideas, as well as informed lay readers. (shrink)
Blackwell Companions to Philosophy This outstanding student reference series offers a comprehensive and authoritative survey of philosophy as a whole. Written by todays leading philosophers, each volume provides lucid and.
Surprisingly, materialists and dualists often appeal to the same factors in their depiction of being an embodied, human person: sensations, agency, and causal underpinnings. I propose that this picture be expanded to include epistemic, structural, and affective components. I further propose that these elements, taken together, be construed as virtues. Being an embodied, human person consists in the exercise of six types of virtues: Sensory Virtues, the Virtue of Agency, Constitutional Virtues, Epistemic Virtues, Structural Virtues, and Affective Virtues. This project (...) draws on recent contributions to virtue epistemology and to the philosophical analysis of self-respect. (shrink)
Philosophical assessments of different religious traditions face two substantial objections, among others. According to one, the very nature of religious traditions as embedded forms of life prevents this philosophical undertaking. According to the other, a philosophical inventory is possible but under its guise no religious tradition will be left standing. I reply to both and then comment on whether there is (or can be) an ideal observation post from which to philosophically elucidate and compare different religious beliefs and practices.