What does it mean for an individual (a one) to come to be? This question has been close to the center of attention throughout the history of metaphysics. St. Thomas Aquinas’s contributions to a defensible response to this question (in terms of esse) are well documented. Not as well known are the responses to this question offered in the past decade by two learned Jesuit Thomists who have also been heavily influenced by the process thought of Alfred North Whitehead: James (...) Felt and Norris Clarke. It is the purpose of this article to examine carefully and criticize their responses to the above question. (shrink)
In this short article I call into question the view that the current United States war in Afghanistan is a war of necessity. In this effort I am primarily engaged with the thought of the famous just war theorist Michael Walzer as it has developed from 1977 until 2009.
It is my good fortune to have three critics to respond to who are both insightful readers of two of my books and productive dialectical partners in the (Peircian) asymptotic approach to truth. I would like to initiate my response to Zandra Wagoner by thanking her for her clear and insightful comments and for the opportunity to clarify the relationship between the political liberalism that I defend and Wagoner’s own radical democracy. My comments will be divided into two main sections, (...) dealing respectively with: (1) the different emphases in political philosophy that she notices in her own version of radical democracy and my political liberalism; and (2) the complicated issue of religious participation in .. (shrink)
In this article I concentrate on three issues. First, Graham Oppy’s treatment of the relationship between the concept of infinity and Zeno’s paradoxes lay bare several porblems that must be dealt with if the concept of infinity is to do any intellectual work in philosophy of religion. Here I will expand on some insightful remarks by Oppy in an effort ot adequately respond to these problems. Second, I will do the same regarding Oppy’s treatment of Kant’s first antinomy in the (...) first critique, which deals in part with the question of whether the world had a beginning in time or if time extends infinitely into the past. And third, my examination of these two issues will inform what I have to say regarding a key topic in philosophy of religion: the question regarding the proper relationship between the infinite and the finite in the concept of God. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to explore the relationship between the thought of Richard Rorty and that of his former teacher, Charles Hartshorne. There are important similarities between the two, but ultimately the differences are more readily apparent, especially in terms of the battle between poetry (in the wide sense of the term conceived by Rorty) and (Hartshornian) metaphysics. Hartshorne is defended against Rorty.
In recent years, the ontological argument and theistic metaphysics have been criticized by philosophers working in both the analytic and continental traditions. Responses to these criticisms have primarily come from philosophers who make use of the traditional, and problematic, concept of God. In this volume, Daniel A. Dombrowski defends the ontological argument against its contemporary critics, but he does so by using a neoclassical or process concept of God, thereby strengthening the case for a contemporary theistic metaphysics. Relying on the (...) thought of Charles Hartshorne, he builds on Hartshorne's crucial distinction between divine existence and divine actuality, which enables neoclassical defenders of the ontological argument to avoid the familiar criticism that the argument moves illegitimately from an abstract concept to concrete reality. His argument, thus, avoids the problems inherent in the traditional concept of God as static. (shrink)
While considered by many as one of the greatest philosophers of religion and metaphysicians of the 20th century, Charles Hartshorne’s (1897-2000) contributions to the study of aesthetics are perhaps the most neglected aspect of his extensive and highly nuanced thought. DIVINE BEAUTY offers the first detailed explication of Hartshorne’s aesthetic theory and its place within his theocentric philosophy.
The purpose of the present article is to explicate John Rawls’s views on war as they are scattered across several of his writings. Three claims are made: (1) Rawls is generally a just war theorist who usually argues against the “realist” view of war; (2) Under the influence of Michael Walzer, however, Rawls ends up making an illadvised concession to the realist view concerning conditions of “supreme emergency”; and (3), despite Rawls’s blend of just war theory/realism, the logic of his (...) theory of justice and his political liberalism should push him in the opposite direction toward a blend of just war theory/pacifism. (shrink)
In “Rawls and Animals” I try to do two things. First, I try to bring together for the first time Rawls’ thoughts on animals in “A Theory of Justice” as well as the often contradictory secondary literature on this topic. And second, I examine for the first time Rawls’ treatment of animals in his recent work “Political Liberalism.”.
While the academic discussion of gender and family issues often adopts the contractarian and consensual approach of liberalism, the work of Stephen R. L. Clark provides an interesting contrast. Clark turns to ethology as a guide to modes of social existence congruent with our evolutionary nature. Although an Aristotelian, Clark is not a sexist in arguing that household life is more important than what moderns call ?political? life. Clark is premature, however, in accusing liberals who defend the rights of individuals (...) of ignoring the ethological evidence. Liberals need not so emphasize the individual that they destroy the family as the locus of moral education. (shrink)
I first examine Origen’s notion of nature as personal, and secondly a modern presentation of the same theme by Erazim Kohak. I then consider possible scientific support given to both these authors’ accounts by Lovejoy. I conclude that there are many strengths in viewing nature as a whole as both divine and personal.