In an attempt to improve upon Alexander Pruss’s work (2006, pp. 240-248), I (Weaver, 2012) have argued that if all purely contingent events could be caused and something like a Lewisian analysis of causation is true (per Lewis, 2004), then all purely contingent events have causes. I dubbed the derivation of the universality of causation the “Lewisian argument”. The Lewisian argument assumed not a few controversial metaphysical theses, particularly essentialism, an incommunicable-property view of essences (per Plantinga 2003), and the (...) idea that counterfactual dependence is necessary for causation. There are, of course, substantial objections to such theses. While I think a fight against objections to the Lewisian argument can be won, I develop, in what follows, a much more intuitive argument for the universality of causation which takes as its inspiration a result from Frederic Fitch’s work (1963) (with credit to who we now know was Alonzo Church (2009)) that if all truths are such that they are knowable, then (counter-intuitively) all truths are known. The resulting Church-Fitch proof for the universality of causation is preferable to the Lewisian argument since it rests upon far weaker formal and metaphysical assumptions than those of the Lewisian argument. (shrink)
I give two arguments for the claim that all events which occur at the actual world and are such that they could be caused, are also such that they must actually be caused. The first argument is an improvement of a similar argument advanced by Alexander Pruss, which I show to be invalid. It uses Pruss’s Brouwer Analog for counterfactual logic, and, as a consequence, implies inconsistency with Lewis’s semantics for counterfactuals. While (I suggest) this consequence may not be objectionable, (...) the argument founders on the fact that Pruss’s Brouwer Analog has a clear counterexample. I thus turn to a second, “Lewisian” argument, which requires only an affirmation of one element of Lewis’s analysis of causation and one other, fairly weak possibility claim about the nature of wholly contingent events. The final section of the paper explains how both arguments escape objections from supposed indeterminacy in quantum physics. (shrink)
I argue that there are Leibnizian-style cosmological arguments for the existence of God which start from very mild premises which affirm the mere possibility of a principle of sufficient reason. The utilization of such premises gives a great deal of plausibility to such types of argumentation. I spend the majority of the paper defending three major objections to such mild premises viz., a reductio argument from Peter van Inwagen and William Rowe, which proffers and defends the idea that a necessary (...) proposition cannot explain a contingent one. I, then, turn to an amelioration of the Rowe/van Inwagen argument which attempts to appeal to an entailment relation between explanans and explanandum that is fettered out in terms of relevance logic. Subsequent to dispelling with that worry, I tackle objections to the utilization of weak principles of sufficient reason that depend essentially upon agglomerative accounts of explanation. (shrink)
W. V. Quine was the most important naturalistic philosopher of the twentieth century and a major impetus for the recent resurgence of the view that empirical science is our best avenue to knowledge. His views, however, have not been well understood. Critics charge that Quine’s naturalized epistemology is circular and that it cannot be normative. Yet, such criticisms stem from a cluster of fundamental traditional assumptions regarding language, theory, and the knowing subject – the very presuppositions that Quine is at (...) pains to reject. Through investigation of Quine’s views regarding language, knowledge, and reality, the author offers a new interpretation of Quine’s naturalism. The naturalism/antinaturalism debate can be advanced only by acknowledging and critiquing the substantial theoretical commitments implicit in the traditional view. Gregory argues that the responses to the circularity and non-normativity objections do just that. His analysis further reveals that Quine’s departure from the tradition penetrates the conception of the knowing subject, and he thus offers a new and engaging defence of Quine’s naturalism. (shrink)
The author discusses the contributions of grounded theory and grounded action to the development of a new, and evolutionary, theoretical framework for understanding diversity as a complex phenomenon. She discusses the work of Thomas and Gregory as pioneers in expanding the conceptualization of diversity, arguing that this new understanding increases the potential for creative action in systems.
The Oxford Companion to the Mind is a classic. Published in 1987, to huge acclaim, it immediately took its place as the indispensable guide to the mysteries - and idiosyncracies - of the human mind. In no other book can the reader find discussions of concepts such as language, memory, and intelligence, side by side with witty definitions of common human experiences such as the 'cocktail-party' and 'halo' effects, and the least effort principle. Richard Gregory again brings his wit, (...) wisdom, and expertise to bear on this most elusive of subjects. Research into the mind and brain has moved on in bounds in recent years, and interest in the subject has never been so high. There has been a shift in focus away from Freud's concept of the unconscious onto consciousness itself. The new edition of the Companion includes three 'mini symposia' - on consciousness, brain scanning, and artificial intelligence - with contributions from a number of specialists, and encompassing a range of approaches. Cultural as well as scientific in approach, this accessible book offers authoritative descriptions and analysis. With new entries on controversial topics such as artificial life, attachment theory, caffeine, cruetly, drama, extra-terrestrial intelligence, genetics of mental illness, imagination, lying, puzzles, and twins, this highly-anticipated second edition explores the most intriguing of subjects. (shrink)
Self love is an inescapable problem for ethics, yet much of contemporary ethics is reluctant to offer any normative moral anthropologies. Instead, secular ethics and contemporary culture promote a norm of self-realization which is subjective and uncritical. Christian ethics also fails to address this problem directly, because it tends to investigate self love within the context of conflicts between the self's interests and those of her neighbors. Self Love and Christian Ethics argues for right self love as the solution of (...) proper self-relation that intersects with love for God and love for neighbor. Darlene Fozard Weaver explains that right self love entails a true self-understanding that is embodied in the person's concrete acts and relations. In making this argument, she calls upon ethicists to revisit ontological accounts of the self and to devote more attention to particular moral acts. (shrink)
The Neoplatonist philosophers who flourished between the third and sixth centuries AD had a profound influence on western philosophy, on both Christian and Islamic literature and the visual arts from the Renaissance to modern times. This extensively revised and updated second edition of Neoplatonists provides a valuable introduction to the thought of four central Neoplatonic philosophers, Plotinus, Porphyry, Proclus and Iamblichus. John Gregory presents new translations of a selection of key passages from Neoplatonist writings, an introduction that puts in (...) context the writings, and an epilogue detailing the legacy and influence of Neoplatonist thought. (shrink)
Visualizings, the simplest imaginings which employ visual imagery, have certain characteristic features; they are perspectival, for instance. Also, it seems that some but not all of our visualizings are imaginings of seeings. But it has been forcefully argued, for example by M.G.F. Martin and Christopher Peacocke, that all visualizings are imaginings of visual sensations. I block these arguments by providing an account of visualizings which allows for their perspectival nature and other features they typically have, but which also explains (...) how we can visualize things without thereby imagining visual sensations. (shrink)
Certain representations are bound in a special way to our sensory capacities. Many pictures show things as looking certain ways, for instance, while auditory mental images show things as sounding certain ways. What do all those distinctively sensory representations have in common, and what makes them different from representations of other kinds? Dominic Gregory argues that they are alike in having meanings of a certain special type. He employs a host of novel ideas relating to kinds of perceptual states, (...) sensory perspectives, and sensory varieties of meaning to provide a detailed account of the special nature of the contents which belong to distinctively sensory representations. The resulting theory is then used to shed light on a wide range of intellectual issues. Some of the topics addressed in Showing, Sensing, and Seeming relate to distinctively sensory representations in general, but many of them concern distinctively sensory representations of more specific kinds. The book contains detailed philosophical examinations of sensory mental imagery and pictures, for instance, and of memory, photography, and analogous nonvisual phenomena. (shrink)
An inspiring collection of the personal philosophies of a fascinating group of individuals Based on the NPR series of the same name, This I Believe features eighty essays penned by the famous and the unknown—completing the thought that the book’s title begins. Each piece compels readers to rethink not only how they have arrived at their own personal beliefs but also the extent to which they share them with others. Featuring a star-studded list of contributors—including Isabel Allende, John Updike, William (...) F. Buckley, Warren Christopher, Penn Jillette, Colin Powell, Rick Moody, and Kay Redfield Jameson—the collection also contains essays by a Brooklyn lawyer; a part-time hospital clerk in Rehoboth, Massachusetts; a woman who sells yellow pages advertising in Fort Worth, Texas; and a man who serves on the state of Rhode Island’s parole board. The result is a stirring, funny, and always provocative trip inside the minds and hearts of a diverse group of Americans whose beliefs—and the incredibly varied ways in which they choose to express them—reveal the American spirit at its best. (shrink)
Gregory explains nine educational approaches to discussing Philosophy with children. A general overview through analytical and critical reasoning explains the faults with Philosophy in an education setting and the authors feedback.
Greg Kavka (1947-1994) was a prominent and influential figure in contemporary moral and political philosophy. The new essays in this volume are concerned with fundamental issues of rational commitment and social justice to which Kavka devoted his work as a philosopher. The essays take Kavka's work as a point of departure and seek to advance the respective debates. The topics include: the relationship between intention and moral action as part of which Kavka's famous 'toxin puzzle' is a focus of discussion, (...) the nature of deterrence, the rationality of morals, contractarian ethics, and the contemporary relevance of Hobbes' political thought. Incorporating important new philosophical statements of problems and fresh contributions to the ongoing debate about rational intention this volume will interest not just philosophers but also political scientists and economists. (shrink)
Alain Epp Weaver's analysis of the theological foundations of Augustine's proscription of all lies in all circumstances does more than improve our understanding of Augustine. In drawing a plausible and illuminating parallel between the theological logic of Augustine and the theological logic of John Howard Yoder, Weaver not only succeeds in defending the credibility of Christian pacifism but also provides support for interpreting Yoder as a biblical realist. Moreover, the divergence between Weaver and Christopher Kirwan in (...) their critical assessments of the cogency of Augustine's treatment of lying serves to throw into relief the differences between secular philosophical ethics and theological ethics, incidentally suggesting why it is often difficult for twentieth-century thinkers to understand and evaluate premodern texts. (shrink)
The untimely passing of Reverend Canon Dr Christopher Newell, AM, came as a shock to many in the bioethics world. As well as an obituary, this article notes a number of important themes in his work, and provides a select bibliography. Christopher's major contribution to this field is that he was one of a handful of scholars who made disability not only an acceptable area of bioethics—indeed a vital, central, fertile area of enquiry. Crucially Christopher emphasised (...) that where we do ethics is actually in everyday life—while we mourn his passing, his rich work and example will continue to inspire bioethical inquiry. (shrink)
An introduction to the March, 2005 symposium “The Political Theory of Organizations: A Retrospective Examination of Christopher McMahon’s Authority and Democracy” held in San Francisco as part of the Society for Business Ethics Group Meeting at the Pacific Division Meetings of the American Philosophical Association.
The writings of the Scottish physician and philosopher John Gregory play an important role in the modern codification of medical ethics. It is therefore appropriate to use his work as a historical example in approaching the question how elements of aesthetics were incorporated in 18th century medical ethics. The concept of a Gentleman is pivotal to the entire medical ethics of John Gregory as it provides him with the ethical source of the duty to patients. Gregory makes (...) the trustworthiness of the physician a central point of his medical ethics, and it is in this context that Gregory declares good manners as an essential moral quality of a physician. This paper delineates how good manners are ethically justified in Gregory's medical ethics and concludes with an exploration of the importance of Gregory's conception for present day reflection on the inherence of aesthetics in ethical determinations. (shrink)
We continue the investigation of Gregory trees and the Cantor Tree Property carried out by Hart and Kunen. We produce models of MA with the Continuum arbitrarily large in which there are Gregory trees, and in which there are no Gregory trees.
This paper is about Christopher Wren’s engravings for Thomas Willis’ The Anatomy of the Brain and Nerves of 1664. It is a study in the intersection of medicine and art in 17th century Britain. Willis, an eminent English physician and anatomist, was a major figure in the development of modern neurology, and The Anatomy of the Brain and Nerves was his most famous and influential book. Wren was Willis’ assistant and medical artist. I discuss the visual strategies employed by (...) Wren to present their research and frame it as genuine knowledge. (shrink)
In this interview, Christopher Norris discusses a wide range of issues having to do with postmodernism, deconstruction and other controversial topics of debate within present-day philosophy and critical theory. More specifically he challenges the view of deconstruction as just another offshoot of the broader postmodernist trend in cultural studies and the social sciences. Norris puts the case for deconstruction as continuing the 'unfinished project of modernity' and—in particular—for Derrida's work as sustaining the values of enlightened critical reason in various (...) spheres of thought from epistemology to ethics, sociology and politics. Along the way he addresses a number of questions that have lately been raised with particular urgency for teachers and educationalists, among them the revival of creationist doctrine and the idea of scientific knowledge as a social, cultural, or discursive construct. In this context he addresses the 'science wars' or the debate between those who uphold t. (shrink)
Gregory Kavka's 'Toxin Puzzle' suggests that I cannot intend to perform a counter-preferential action A even if I have a strong self-interested reason to form this intention. The 'Rationalist Solution,' however, suggests that I can form this intention. For even though it is counter-preferential, A-ing is actually rational given that the intention behind it is rational. Two arguments are offered for this proposition that the rationality of the intention to A transfers to A-ing itself: the 'Self-Promise Argument' and David (...) Gauthier's 'Rational Self-Interest Argument.' But both arguments – and therefore the Rationalist Solution – fail. The Self-Promise Argument fails because my intention to A does not constitute a promise to myself that I am obligated to honor. And Gauthier's Rational Self-Interest Argument fails to rule out the possibility of rational irrationality. (shrink)
In this review of Christopher Winch's new book, Education, Autonomy and Critical Thinking (2006), I discuss its main theses, supporting some and criticising others. In particular, I take issue with several of Winch's claims and arguments concerning critical thinking and rationality, and deplore his reliance on what I suggest are problematic strains of the later Wittgenstein. But these criticisms are not such as to upend Winch's powerful critique of antiperfectionism and 'strong autonomy' or his defence of 'weak autonomy'. His (...) account of autonomy as an educational aim is important and in several respects compelling. (shrink)
Although Gregory Currie is often presented as a strong defender of empathic simulation as part of spectator engagement, this paper questions the importance of empathy in Currie's philosophy of film. Currie's account of the imagination is too propositional, and his account of a more sensuous and experiential kind of imagining is found wanting. While giving a convincing account of impersonal imagining in relation to fiction film, Currie does not sufficiently explain what empathy is, and what relation it has to (...) other forms of imagining. Simulation is primarily defined as impersonal, and perhaps more importantly, as conceptual and propositional in Currie's writings. This is perhaps most evident in his critique of personal imagining, where imagining seeing or imagining being becomes a self-reflexive form of imagining where the spectator also conceptualizes ‘I’ and ‘see’. This paper discusses the relation between personal imagining and empathy in Currie's account, and argues that he fails to show how empathy is of secondary importance for engagement in fiction film. (shrink)
So begins "For Anne Gregory," published by W. B. Yeats in 1933. It is surely one of his most charming poems.1 The poem's lilting rhythm and affectionate tone effectively soften—even disguise—what is arguably a dark and dismaying message. Anne is destined to be loved not for herself alone, but for an accidental physical attribute—her blond hair. Why do I claim that the poem's message is dark? Why should it dismay Anne if she is loved for the beauty of her (...) hair? Is that not better, after all, than not being loved in the first place? And what would it be to love Anne for herself "alone"? Love Anne for her sweet disposition; for her ability always to say the right thing; for her kindness; but for her yellow hair? .. (shrink)
Responding to criticisms raised by Christopher Norris, this paper defends an anti-relativist reading of the work of both Davidson and Heidegger arguing that that there are important lessons to be learnt from their example - one can thus be an anti-relativist (as well as a certain sort of realist) without giving up on Davidson or on Heidegger.
In this book, Christopher Peacocke proposes a general theory about what it is for a thinker to be entitled to form a given belief. This theory is distinctively rationalist: that is, it gives a large role to the a priori, while insisting that the propositions or contents that can be known a priori are not in any way “true in virtue of meaning” (and without in any other way denigrating these propositions as “trivial”, or as propositions that “tell us (...) nothing about the world”, or the like). Peacocke then applies this theory to several classical problems in epistemology — to the problem of how our sensory experiences can entitle us to form beliefs about the external world, to the problem of induction, and to the problem of what entitles us to form moral beliefs. (shrink)
Christopher Bennett has argued that state support of conjugal relationships can be founded on the unique contribution such relationships make to the autonomy of their participants by providing them with various forms of recognition and support unavailable elsewhere. I argue that, in part because a long history of interaction between two people who need each other’s validation tends to produce less meaningful responses over time, long-term conjugal relationships are unlikely to provide autonomy-enhancing support to their participants. To the extent (...) that intimate relationships can provide a unique form of reciprocal support, Bennett fails to show that couples have an advantage over multiple-partner arrangements in doing so. (shrink)
Professor Christopher Stead was Ely Professor of Divinity from 1971 until his retirement in 1980 and one of the great contributors to the Oxford Patristic Conferences for many years. In this paper I reflect on his work in Patristics, and I attempt to understand how his interests diverged from the other major contributors in the same period, and how they were formed by his philosophical milieu and the spirit of the age. As a case study to illustrate and diagnose (...) his approach, I shall focus on a debate between Stead and Rowan Williams about the significance of the word idios in Arius's theology (in the course of which I also make some suggestions of my own about the issue). (shrink)
In this study, Andrew Radde-Gallwitz argues that Basil and Gregory develop an understanding of divine simplicity which does not require that God be identical with the properties of God or that these be identical with one another. Their motivation is that they want to hold that we cannot, in all eternity, know God's essence and yet that we have knowledge of God. Radde-Gallwitz argues that, for Basil and especially Gregory, in addition to our "conceptualizations" (epinoiai), we also have (...) knowledge of propria, properties necessarily connected to God's essence.In the early chapters, Radde-Gallwitz surveys the background to the Cappadocians, beginning with the second century. He argues that in early Christianity the .. (shrink)
In his contribution, “Critical Investments: AIDS, Christopher Reeve, and Queer/Disability Studies,” Robert McRuer calls for the recognition of the points of convergence between AIDS theory, queer theory, and disability theory. McRuer points out ways in which minority identity groups such as people with AIDS, gays, lesbians, and bisexuals, and those with so-called disabilities, whose status has been described by others as “impaired,” have resisted this judgment by calling its ideological underpinnings into question. He contends that a critical alliance between (...) AIDS theory, queer theory, and disability theory will ultimately help us to realize the full range of different kinds of bodies and corporeal experiences, while also combating the application of normativizing judgments. (shrink)
In his recent book, Aquinas and the Ship of Theseus, Christopher Brown has argued that the metaphysics of St. Thomas is preferable to contemporary analyticviews because it can solve the “problem of material constitution” (PMC) without requiring us to relinquish any of the common-sense beliefs that generate that problem. In this critical study, I show that in the case of both substances and aggregates, Brown’s Aquinas endorses views that are extremely implausible. Consequently, even if it is granted that the (...) solutions to the PMC fall right out of his views, it is still not clear that this gives us reason to prefer his ontology to its competitors. I also consider Brown’s take on the status of the human being after death. (shrink)
D. Christopher Ralston; Justin Ho (Eds.): Philosophical Reflections on Disability Content Type Journal Article Pages 247-249 DOI 10.1007/s10677-010-9237-8 Authors Franziska Felder, Ethikzentrum der Universität Zürich, Graduiertenprogramm für Interdisziplinäre Ethikforschung, Zollikerstrasse 115, 8008 Zürich, Switzerland Journal Ethical Theory and Moral Practice Online ISSN 1572-8447 Print ISSN 1386-2820 Journal Volume Volume 14 Journal Issue Volume 14, Number 2.
In this reply to GregoryPeterson's essay "Maintaining Respectability," which itself is a response to my "Is Theology Respectable as Metaphysics?" I elaborate upon my claims that theology treats God's existence as an absolute certainty immune to refutation and that modern science constitutes the canons of respectable reasoning for metaphysical disciplines. I conclude with some comments on Peterson's "In Praise of Folly? Theology and the University.".
Eric Gregory's Politics and the Order of Love takes up an audacious project: enlisting Saint Augustine in order to "help imagine a better liberalism." This article first provides a summary of Gregory's argument, focusing on his emphasis on love as a "motivation" for neighborly care, and hence democratic participation. This involves tracing the theme of motivation in the book, which is tied to his articulation of liberal perfectionism and an emphasis on civic virtue. In conclusion I raise the (...) question of whether his project has ignored a key aspect of Augustine's account of love, namely, the role of the Holy Spirit, thereby demarcating the limits of Gregory's "rational reconstruction" of Augustine. (shrink)