Presents an analysis of Jonathan Edwards' theological position. This book includes a study of his life and the intellectual issues in the America of his time, and examines the problem of free will in connection with Leibniz, Locke, and Hume.
Prepared by editors of the distinguished series The Works of Jonathan Edwards, this authoritative anthology includes selected treatises, sermons, and autobiographical material by early America’s greatest theologian and philosopher.
Although philosophical theologians have sometimes claimed that human beings are necessarily dependent on God, few have developed the idea with any precision. Jonathan Edwards is a notable exception, providing a detailed and often novel account of humanity’s essential ontological, moral, and soteriological dependence on God.
Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758) is widely acknowledged to be America's most important and original philosophical theologian. His work as a whole is an expression of two themes — the absolute sovereignty of God and the beauty of God's holiness. The first is articulated in Edwards' defense of theological determinism, in a doctrine of occasionalism, and in his insistence that physical objects are only collections of sensible “ideas” while finite minds are mere assemblages of “thoughts” or “perceptions.” As the only real (...) cause or substance underlying physical and mental phenomena, God is “being in general,” the “sum of all being.” -/- Edwards' second theme is articulated in accounts of God's end in creation, and of the nature of true virtue and true beauty. God creates in order to manifest a holiness which consists in a benevolence which alone is truly beautiful. Genuine human virtue is an imitation of divine benevolence and all finite beauty is an image of divine loveliness. True virtue is needed to discern this beauty, however, and to reason rightly about “divine things.”. (shrink)
In this response to the papers on Jonathan Edwards's ethical thought by Stephen A. Wilson, Gerald R. McDermott, William C. Spohn, and Roland A. Delattre, I comment on their efforts to show that ideas drawn from Edwards can be successfully appropriated for use in contemporary ethics. I conclude that the four authors build a strong cumulative case for the view that some elements of Edwards's thought can serve as resources for our ethical reflections. But I also argue for a (...) deflationary view of how much of Edwards we will find it feasible to take on board when we engage in the task of working out a religious ethics we might accept. (shrink)
The contemporary revival of virtue ethics has focused primarily on retrieving central moral commitments of Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and the Neoplatonist traditions. Christian virtue ethicists would do well to expand this retrieval further to include the writings of the Roman Stoics. This essay argues that the ethics of Jonathan Edwards exemplifies major Stoic themes and explores three noteworthy points of intersection between Stoic ethics and Edwards's thought: a conception of virtue as consent to a benevolent providence, the identification of (...) virtue as a singular and transformative good, and an account of moral formation as simultaneously self-directed and received. Common ground between Edwards and the Stoics illustrates the value of recognizing Stoic moral thought as a philosophical framework that can enhance and undergird Christian ethicists' understandings of moral development and the nature of virtue. (shrink)
The incompleteness of the task of integrating the influences made upon Jonathan Edwards by Calvinism and the moral sense leaves open a great many questions central to identifying his ethical position with any detail. This should worry ethicists, theologians, and church historians alike. For the puzzle of what Edwards meant by virtue is at the heart not only of his ethics but of a great many strands of his thought. It must be pieced together from diverse sources; and there (...) are multiple meanings to be sifted through. But it is nevertheless possible to bring the concepts made available by the diverse moral traditions upon which Edwards drew into a generally coherent counterpoise. Such a counterpoise is not merely of antiquarian interest. Lacking a precise account of Edwards's ethical position, it is awkward to talk about applying it to the problems of the twenty-first, or any, century. (shrink)
The contemporary interest in spiritual experience has some theological and ethical ambiguity. To what extent does it reflect genuine engagement with the sacred, to what extent is it dabbling in experience without adequate interpretation or moral commitment? Jonathan Edwards faced similar challenges in his sermons on 1 Cor 13, "Charity and Its Fruits". Alasdair Maclntyre and Pierre Hadot have explored the constitutive role of practices in forming of virtues and transmitting a way of life. Their writings help show the (...) continuing relevance of the spiritual practices that Edwards advocated, particularly self-examination, healing by contraries, and solidarity. (shrink)
Reasoning es una obra monumental de más de mil páginas editada en estrecha colaboración por el filósofo Jonathan E. Adler y el psicólogo Lance J. Rips para esclarecer el intrincado campo de investigación relacionado con los fundamentos de la inferencia y, en general, del razonamiento humano. En la actualidad, en pocos casos va unido el trabajo de compilar y editar textos científicos con el afán enciclopédico: un proyecto editorial que sobrepasa con razón los objetivos de la mayor parte de (...) los libros editados para la recopilación de artículos en torno a un mismo tema de investigación. Reasoning supone un empeño de características enciclopédicas: ha conseguido convertirse en una referencia obligada desde que saliera a la luz en 2008 para ofrecer al lector especialista artículos científicos de las más reputadas y consolidadas voces en aquellos campos de conocimiento presentes ya en los proyectos enciclopédicos europeos del siglo de las luces, a saber: el significado del racionalismo, los límites imputables a la naturaleza del conocimiento humano, las paradojas presentes en la inducción, etc. (shrink)
En este trabajo pretendemos abordar la teoría del Intuicionismo social, realizada por el psicólogo Jonathan Haidt en oposición al modelo racionalista de Piaget y Kohlberg. Analizaremos sus elementos principales y especialmente sus implicaciones normativas. En particular nos centraremos en su conocida teoría del «desconcierto moral» con la que pretende mostrar la desconexión existente entre el juicio moral y la reflexión como dos procesos independientes.
Ludwig Wittgenstein y Jonathan Swift. El primero desde la filosofía y el segundo desde la literatura. Por una parte, están las anotaciones de Wittgenstein en sus Investigaciones Filosóficas y en el libro Sobre la certeza . Por otra parte, está la novela de Swift titulada Los Viajes de Gulliver . Ambos autores, a pesar de sus diferencias discursivas, plantean un asunto problemático respecto al quehacer filosófico: los giros y malabarismos lingüísticos en los que suele caer la filosofía por su (...) afán de certezas y de establecer principios universales. A partir de las inquietudes de Wittgenstein y las parodias de Jonathan Swift, se realiza un diagnóstico del quehacer filosófico desde sus manías y sus hábitos discursivos. Wittgenstein nos deja las preguntas abiertas. Swift nos deja la posibilidad de responder desde el ámbito de la risa. Y en el presente ensayo se pretende partir de ambos autores para hablar de la filosofía desde el lugar de la comedia. (shrink)
In this essay I address three ways in which Edwards can inform Christian understanding of public life. First I show how Edwards provides both philosophical and theological rationales for social engagement and thereby resists the separation of religion from public life, and use his consideration of poverty as an illustration. Part II examines Edwards's dialectical treatment of patriotism, demonstrating both its importance to the Christian life and its susceptibility to deceptive accommodation to culture. Finally, in Part III I discuss Edwards's (...) use of "national covenant," which despite its temptation to chauvinism Edwards used to undermine national pride. In the conclusion I assess what we can use from Edwards for contemporary Christian understandings of public life. (shrink)
This is a tricentennial riff on the Edwardsean idea that beauty is both the first principle of being and the distinguishing perfection of God. What is really distinctive about Edwards's view of beauty is that it is an ontological reality and consists in joyfully bestowing being and beauty more than in being beautiful, in creative and beautifying activity more than in being beautiful. Edwards was also a pioneer in the way he envisaged a lively universe created by God, not out (...) of nothing or out of something, but out of the very fullness of God's own life overflowing into a world as a self-enlargement of the divine life. Edwards dares to offer a vision of God as the animating soul of the universe who governs the universe by the attractive and creative power of God's own beautifying life. What might it mean for religious ethics to take this as a description of the context for its work? The answer, in part and in brief, is that a life of true virtue, grounded in the heartfelt piety of holy affections, is a beautifying life. My aim in spinning out some Edwardsean themes is to encourage the reader to think about religious ethics outside the box within which beauty and beautifying activity play no part in defining the agenda of religious ethics. Inspired by themes unique and central to Edwards in his time, we may learn things of importance to religious ethics in our time that Edwards neither knew nor believed. (shrink)