This is the first book by Joshua Gert, son of the well-known moral philosopher Bernard Gert. Among other things, Gert argues for a novel account of both objective and subjective rationality, a new theory of normative reasons, and a distinctive approach to construing the relationship between reasons for action and rationality. The result is an impressive book filled with interesting arguments and objections, which should advance philosophical discussions on a number of important issues.
This essay seeks to engage the narrative art of the book of Joshua in ways that may prove valuable for contemporary communities of faith. The argument draws on the feminist and postcolonial critical tradition for defining insights about the construction of the subject, the interrogation of power dynamics, and the reformation of community. The essay then explores Joshua’s representations of authority and its use of liminal moments in Israel’s narrative of conquest in order to suggest possible avenues of (...) appropriation by contemporary readers. (shrink)
YHWH, the God of Israel, is not only a character embedded in the plot of the Book of Joshua. YHWH is the chief protagonist and the engine that drives the plot. Even when there are other actors in the plot, notably Joshua, their performances in the plot are at the behest of and in response to the intention of YHWH.
Joshua 13–21 makes the remarkable claim that the Lord conquered, possessed, and gave the land as a gift to Israel. Although these chapters likely originated in political concerns of Israelite kings, the theological cast of the material outstrips any political motivations that gave rise to the material. The enduring role of this section of Joshua is to shape a society devoted to and dependent on God.
The notion that plants, as well as animals, have a moral status is examined both in general, and with respect to the status of particularly rare plants that may be deemed to be lacking in general instrumentality, such as the Joshua tree. The work of Passmore, Singer and Santos is adduced, and several lines of argument revolving around preservation, sentiency and attractiveness to humans are constructed.
Preaching from the Book of Joshua can often be “trouble” because of the book’s content. To avoid trouble in a sermon is to rob the text of its potential healing power. In our contemporary world, preaching from this difficult book may prove necessary. This essay explores several homiletical approaches.
The Book of Joshua constitutes a vital biblical resource for interpreting modern narratives of conquest and colonialism. As a historical narrative, it reveals the fluid and complex character of national memory; as a national narrative of origins, it points to processes and motifs that shaped the identities of both Israel and the United States; as a scriptural narrative, it presents a revelatory vision that illumines contemporary narratives of conquest and evokes the stories of both colonizing and colonized peoples.
A filosofia da educação de Abraham Joshua Heschel busca, na tradição judaica, uma luz para o homem moderno. Esta tradição afirma que o mundo descansa sobre três pilares: estudar para participar da sabedoria divina, cultuar o Criador e ter compaixão pelo nosso próximo. Nossa civilização, afirma o filósofo, subverteu esses pilares fazendo do estudo uma forma de alcançar o poder, da caridade um instrumento de relações públicas e do culto uma forma de adorar nosso próprio ego. Essa crise extrema (...) exige uma reorientação radical: estudo, culto e caridade são fins e não meios. O poder, por sua vez, deveria ser um instrumento e não a finalidade da existência. Para Heschel, o clímax da existência, a experiência suprema do viver, deveria ser estudar. Na prática, isso significa uma reforma radical dos fundamentos da educação contemporânea. Os insights heschelianos podem ser fundamentais para a compreensão da condição humana em sua historicidade e do mundo como lugar de realização da humanidade. (shrink)
Joshua Greene has argued that several lines of empirical research, including his own fMRI studies of brain activity during moral decision-making, comprise strong evidence against the legitimacy of deontology as a moral theory. This is because, Greene maintains, the empirical studies establish that “characteristically deontological” moral thinking is driven by prepotent emotional reactions which are not a sound basis for morality in the contemporary world, while “characteristically consequentialist” thinking is a more reliable moral guide because it is characterized by (...) greater cognitive command and control. In this essay, I argue that Greene does not succeed in drawing a strong statistical or causal connection between prepotent emotional reactions and deontological theory, and so does not undermine the legitimacy of deontological moral theories. The results that Greene relies on from neuroscience and social psychology do not establish his conclusion that consequentialism is superior to deontology. (shrink)
Abstract: The paper provides a general account of value relations. It takes its departure in a special type of value relation, parity, which according to Ruth Chang is a form of evaluative comparability that differs from the three standard forms of comparability: betterness, worseness and equal goodness. Recently, Joshua Gert has suggested that the notion of parity can be accounted for if value comparisons are interpreted as normative assessments of preference. While Gert's basic idea is attractive, the way he (...) develops it is flawed: His modeling of values by intervals of permissible preference strengths is inadequate. Instead, I provide an alternative modeling in terms of intersections of rationally permissible preference orderings. This yields a general taxonomy of all binary value relations. The paper concludes with some implications of this approach for rational choice. (shrink)
I. Thanks largely to Joshua Knobe, philosophers now frequently empirically investigate the folk psychological concept of intentional action. Knobe (2003, 2004a, 2004b) argues that application of this concept is often surprisingly sensitive to one’s moral views. In particular, it seems that people are much more willing to regard a bit of behavior as intentional, if they think that the action in question is bad or wrong. There is much controversy about both the design and the interpretation of the experiments (...) Knobe has conducted. One concern is that common use of the word ‘intentionally’ seems to be sensitive to matters other than the concept of intentional action. Perhaps the use of the word ‘intentionally’ is also governed by pragmatic thoughts about blameworthiness—if you think N.N. is to be blamed for ф-ing, then you are more likely to say that N.N. is ф-ing intentionally, apart from whether you really judge that the ф-ing was intentional (Adams and Steadman 2004a). One way to neutralize these concerns is to gauge whether people regard an action as intentional, not by asking them whether they would apply the word ‘intentional’ or its cognates to the action in question, but by seeing whether they treat the action as susceptible to reason explanations. After all, if some act of ф-ing is susceptible to a reason explanation, then the act of ф-ing is intentional. Knobe infers that we can see whether a psychological subject regards some act as intentional by seeing whether the subject is willing to say that the bit of behavior can function appropriately in a reasons explanation. (shrink)
What is the relation between acting intentionally and acting for a reason? While this question has generated a considerable amount of debate in the philosophy of action, on one point there has been a virtual consensus: actions performed for a reason are necessarily intentional. Recently, this consensus has been challenged by Joshua Knobe and Sean Kelly, who argue against it on the basis of empirical evidence concerning the ways in which ordinary speakers of the English language describe and explain (...) certain side-effect actions. Knobe and Kelly's argument is of interest not only because it challenges a widely accepted philosophical thesis on the basis of experimental evidence, but also because it indirectly raises an important and largely neglected question, the question of whether or in what sense an agent can perform a side-effect action for a reason. In this article, I address this question and provide a positive answer to it. Specifically, I argue that agents act for a reason whenever they perform side-effect actions as trade-offs. Thus, I claim that there are three distinct types of rational action: actions performed as ends in themselves, actions performed as means to further ends, and side-effect actions performed as trade-offs. Given this multiplicity of types of rational action, the question of whether or not actions performed for a reason are necessarily intentional is in need of refinement. The more specific question that lies at the heart of this article is whether or not side-effect actions performed as trade-offs are necessarily intentional. I conclude that, contrary to what Knobe and Kelly suggest, the question remains open. (shrink)
Joshua Gert and Wlodek Rabinowicz have developed frameworks for value relations that are rich enough to allow for non-standard value relations such as parity. Yet their frameworks do not allow for any non-standard preference relations. In this paper, I shall defend a symmetry between values and preferences, namely, that for every value relation, there is a corresponding preference relation, and vice versa. I claim that if the arguments that there are non-standard value relations are cogent, these arguments, mutatis mutandis, (...) also show that there are non-standard preference relations. Hence frameworks of Gert and Rabinowicz's type are either inadequate since there are cogent arguments for both non-standard value and preference relations and these frameworks deny this, or they lack support since the arguments for non-standard value relations are unconvincing. Instead, I propose a simpler framework that allows for both non-standard value and preference relations. (shrink)
This book promises a ‘radical reappraisal’ (Kates 2005, xv) of Derrida, concentrating particularly on the relationship of Derrida to philosophy, one of the most vexed questions in the reception of his work. The aim of the book is to provide the grounds for this reappraisal through a reinterpretation in particular of two of the major works Derrida published in 1967: Speech and Phenomena and Of Grammatology. However the study of the development of Derrida's work is the real achievement of the (...) book as Kates discusses major works dating from the 1954 study of genesis in Husserl's phenomenology through to the essays on Levinas and Foucault in the early 1960's as part of his story of how Derrida arrived at the writing of the two major works from 1967. (shrink)