There is general agreement among ecofeminists regarding the desirability of a variety of expressions of ecofeminism, but this pluralism is under threat with the emergence of an approach that emphasizes the primacy of a philosophical ecofeminism which claims the authority to prescribe what ecofeminism should be. The recent anthology Ecological Feminism is symptomatic of this trend, with contributors who affirm the philosophical significance of ecological feminism by privileging philosophers’ voices over those of other ecofeminists, rather than by engaging in critical (...) dialogue with, and exploring connections between, different ecofeminist discourses. This colonizing strategy actively excludes many women’s voices from the creation of an environmental ethic, including those of activist, spiritual, and “Third World” ecofeminists, but fails to offer any adequate philosophical grounds for doing so. (shrink)
The scholars who defend or dispute moral relativism, the idea that a moral principle cannot be applied to people whose culture does not accept it, have concerned themselves with either the philosophical or anthropological aspects of relativism. This study, shows that in order to arrive at a definitive appraisal of moral relativism, it is necessary to understand and investigate both its anthropological and philosophical aspects. Carefully examining the arguments for and against moral relativism, Cook exposes not only that anthropologists (...) have failed in their attempt to support relativism with evidence of cultural differences, but that moral absolutists have been equally unsuccessful in their attempts to refute it. He argues that these conflicting positions are both guilty of an artificial and unrealistic view of morality and proposes a more subtle and complex account of morality. (shrink)
According to the legend, Bishop Wilberforce (``Soapy Sam'') at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in Oxford on Saturday, June 30th, 1860, turned to Thomas Huxley, and asked him ``Is it on your grandfather's or your grandmother's side that you claim descent from a monkey''; whereupon Huxley delivered a devastating rebuke, thereby establishing the primacy of scientific truth over ecclesiastical obscurantism. Although the legend is historically untrue in almost every detail, its persistence suggests that (...) it may nonetheless be true in some deeper, mythical, sense. To explore this possibility the British Academy has invited Dr Janet Browne to be a neo-Huxley confronting Mr J.R. Lucas, as a neo-Wilberforce, with each reconsidering their earlier arguments.. (shrink)
Wittgenstein's Metaphysics offers a radical new interpretation of the fundamental ideas of Ludwig Wittgenstein. It takes issue with the conventional view that after 1930 Wittgenstein rejected the philosophy of the Tractatus and developed a wholly new conception of philosophy. By tracing the evolution of Wittgenstein's ideas Cook shows that they are neither as original nor as difficult as is often supposed. Wittgenstein was essentially an empiricist, and the difference between his early views (as set forth in the Tractatus) and (...) the later views (as expounded in the Philosophical Investigations) lies chiefly in the fact that after 1930 he replaced his version of reductionism with something subtler. Nevertheless, he ended where he began, as an empiricist armed with a theory of meaning. (shrink)
What kind of duty do we have to try to stop other people doing wrong? The question is intelligible in just about any culture, but few of them seek to answer it in a rigorous fashion. The most striking exception is found in the Islamic tradition, where 'commanding right' and 'forbidding wrong' is a central moral tenet already mentioned in the Koran. As an historian of Islam whose research has ranged widely over space and time, Michael Cook is well (...) placed to interpret this complex subject. His book represents the first sustained attempt to map the history of Islamic reflection on this obligation. It covers the origins of Muslim thinking about 'forbidding wrong', the relevant doctrinal developments over the centuries, and its significance in Sunni and Shi'ite thought today. In this way the book contributes to the understanding of Islamic thought, its relevance to contemporary Islamic politics and ideology, and raises fundamental questions for the comparative study of ethics. (shrink)
A co-authored article with Roy T. Cook forthcoming in a special edition on the Caesar Problem of the journal Dialectica. We argue against the appeal to equivalence classes in resolving the Caesar Problem.
This provocative study exposes the ways in which Wittgenstein's philosophical views have been misunderstood, including the failure to recognize the reductionist character of Wittgenstein's work. Author John Cook provides well-documented proof that Wittgenstein did not hold views commonly attributed to him, arguing that Wittgenstein's later work was mistakenly seen as a development of G. E. Moore's philosophy--which Wittgenstein in fact vigorously attacked. He also points to an underestimation of Russell's influence on Wittgenstein's thinking. Cook goes on to show (...) how these misunderstandings have had grave consequences for philosophy at large, and proposes that a more subtle appreciation of linguistic philosophy can yield valuable results. (shrink)
Wittgenstein made numerous pronouncements about philosophical method. But did he practice what he preached? Cook addresses this question by studying Wittgenstein’s treatment of the problem of other minds, tracing a line of argument that runs through his writings and lectures from the early 1930s to the 1950s. Cook finds that there is an inconsistency between Wittgenstein’s methodological advice and his actual practice. Instead of bringing words back from their metaphysical to their everyday use, he allows himself to use (...) uncritically words whose provenance is clearly metaphysical. (Published Online September 19 2006). (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Foreword (Warren Ellis).Introduction (Roy T. Cook and Aaron Meskin).PART I: The Nature and Kinds of Comics.1. Redefining Comics (John Holbo).2. The Ontology of Comics (Aaron Meskin).3. Comics and Collective Authorship (Christy Mag Uidhir).4. Comics and Genre (Catharine Abell).PART 2: Comics and Representation.5. Wordy Pictures: Theorizing the Relationship between Image and Text in Comics (Thomas E. Wartenberg).6. What's So Funny? Comic Content in Depiction (Patrick Maynard).7. The Language of Comics (Darren Hudson Hick).PART 3: Comics and the (...) Other Arts.8. Making Comics Into Film (Henry John Pratt).9. Why Comics Are Not Films: Metacomics and Medium-Specific Conventions (Roy T. Cook).10. Proust's In Search of Lost Time: The Comics Version (David Carrier). (shrink)
The Conceptual Roots of Mathematics is a comprehensive study of the foundation of mathematics. Lucas, one of the most distinguished Oxford scholars, covers a vast amount of ground in the philosophy of mathematics, showing us that it is actually at the heart of the study of epistemology and metaphysics.
Hello Mr John Lucas, I go to school in Perth in Western Australia. In the subject mathematics at my school, we were given a project to research a given mathematician and write a report on them. I was given you. I have to incorporate some information about the mathematical times in which you live and to attempt to include details of the contribution that you made to the field of mathematics. I also have to include a short biography (...) of your life. If it is alright with you, would you be able to give me a brief biography of your life (e.g. date of birth, schooling, where you lived) and a very brief summary of the contributions you have made to the field of mathematics. If it is possible, even the mathematical times in which we live. I hope this is not too much trouble and if you could, would you be able to e-mail it to me as soon as possible please since we don't have long to finish the project. Please e-mail it back to me on my dad's address above. I hope this is not a bother to you. Remember, I am only a high school student and I might not understand all that you hopefully send. Thankyou very much. (shrink)
Dear Mr. Lucas, I was wondering if you had come across Query 44 of George Berkeley's ``Analyst: A discourse addressed to an infidel mathematician"?. It reads: ``Whether the difference between a mere computer and a man of science be not that one computes on principles clearly conceived and by rules evidently demonstrated, whereas the other [i.e a man] doth not?" Not bad for 1734!
Lucas, Brian This article deals with the role of the Episcopal Conference in the area of social communications and the tensions that arise with respect to the respective roles of the diocesan bishop and the Episcopal Conference, including lay heads of ecclesial agencies, in presenting 'the face of the Church' in the public forum. The article is divided into two sections: i)The Church as 'visible institution' and the ecclesiological and juridical foundations for identifying those who represent it in the (...) public forum; ii) The Episcopal Conference as an expression of episcopal collegiality and a voice in the communications market place.=. (shrink)
There was once a leak from Hebdomadal Council. The Assessor told her husband, who told my wife, who told me that Monday afternoon had been spent discussing what Lucas would say if various courses of action were adopted, leading to the conclusion that it would be best to do nothing. I was flattered, but a bit surprised. The tide of philosophical scepticism had ebbed, and it was generally allowed that a reasonable way of discovering what someone would say (...) was to ask him. Dick Southwood did: he would quiz me in Common Room â€“ sometimes ending "Thank you for letting me bounce these ideas off you" â€“ and had reliable information about how one member of Congregation would react to various proposals. And not only me: he was a listening Vice-Chancellor, who used to bike from Wellington Square to Merton for lunch, greeting many as he passed them, and ready to stop if occasion warranted it. Of course, there are many other leaks. I remember once attending a meeting in the Town Hall to argue for cycle tracks, and someone coming up to me, and saying, "Youâ€™re having a tussle with Council, arenâ€™t you? I think you ought to see the minutes of their latest meeting"; the next day there was a copy in my pigeon hole, giving me just the ammunition I needed. What members of Congregation tend the forget is the existence â€“ the other side of the green baize door, so to speak â€“ of a corps of bedells.. (shrink)
Michael Cook's classic study, Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong in Islamic Thought (Cambridge, 2001), reflected upon the Islamic injunction to forbid wrongdoing. This book is a short, accessible survey of the same material. Using Islamic history to illustrate his argument, Cook unravels the complexities of the subject by demonstrating how the past informs the present. At the book's core is an important message about the values of Islamic traditions and their relevance in the modern world.
The concept of reproductive health promises to play a crucial role in improving women's health and rights around the world. It was internationally endorsed by a United Nations conference in 1994, but remains controversial because of the challenge it presents to conservative agencies: it challenges policies of suppressing public discussion on human sexuality and regulating its private expressions. Reproductive Health and Human Rights is designed to equip healthcare providers and administrators to integrate ethical, legal, and human rights principles in protection (...) and promotion of reproductive health, and to inform lawyers and women's health advocates about aspects of medicine and healthcare systems that affect reproduction. Rebecca Cook, Bernard Dickens, and Mahmoud Fathalla, leading international authorities on reproductive medicine, human rights, medical law, and bioethics, integrate their disciplines to provide an accessible but comprehensive introduction to reproductive and sexual health. They analyse fifteen case-studies of recurrent problems, focusing particularly on resource-poor settings. Approaches to resolution are considered at clinical and health system levels. They also consider kinds of social change that would relieve the underlying conditions of reproductive health dilemmas. Supporting the explanatory chapters and case-studies are extensive resources of epidemiological data, human rights documents, and research materials and websites on reproductive and sexual health. In explaining ethics, law, and human rights to healthcare providers and administrators, and reproductive health to lawyers and women's health advocates, the authors explore and illustrate limitations and dysfunctions of prevailing health systems and their legal regulation, but also propose opportunities for reform. They draw on the values and principles of ethics and human rights recognized in national and international legal systems, to guide healthcare providers and administrators, lawyers, governments, and national and international agencies and legal tribunals. Reproductive Health and Human Rights will be an invaluable resource for all those working to improve services and legal protection for women around the world. -/- Updates to this book, and information on translations to French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese and Arabic are now available at www.law.utoronto.ca/faculty/cook/ReproductiveHealth.html. (shrink)
Meet the God Who Is Greater Than Your Biggest Questions. The Bible never shies away from seeming contradictions. We are told both to resist our enemies and to love them, and that our all-knowing God can sometimes forget. Unable to reconcile such biblical paradoxes, some people abandon Christianity, while others pretend that the seeming contradictions don’t exist–preferring to believe in an uncomplicated, easy-to-comprehend God. Yet countless others are hungry for new insight into the God behind the Bible’s mysterious paradoxes. Responding (...) to this spiritual hunger, James Lucas delves into the mysteries of Scripture, demonstrating that biblical “contradictions” are actually exquisite paradoxes that enlarge our understanding of God. With this book as your guide, you can embrace the paradoxes of Scripture and pursue honest answers to your hardest questions. The study of biblical paradox leads to greater devotion to the majestic God who makes himself known even while he surpasses human understanding. Today, you can begin Knowing the Unknowable God. (shrink)
Lucas, Brian Review(s) of: Pope benedict XVI and the sexual abuse crisis - working for reform and renewal, Gregory Erlandson and Matthew Bunson, (Huntington, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, 2010), pb, pp.207.
Responsibility is a key concept in our moral, social and political thinking, but is not itself properly understood. In this book J R Lucas elucidates it in terms of answerability - the obligation to answer the question 'Why did you do it?' He develops this account to include negative responsiblity - 'Why did you not do something about it?' - and share responsibility, which together yield the rationale of political responsibility. In disentangling these two strands of argument, he points (...) out potential conflicts between them within our ideal of responsible government. He exposes the flaws in consequentialism generally, and the utilitarian theory of punishment in particular, and argues for the insights of retributive theories but without the vindictiveness. He devotes separate chapters to rewards, money and personal relations, outlines the fundamental principles of business and professional ethics, and finally touches on those issues that go beyond responsibility altogether. (shrink)
Goedel's theorem states that in any consistent system which is strong enough to produce simple arithmetic there are formulae which cannot be proved-in-the-system, but which we can see to be true. Essentially, we consider the formula which says, in effect, "This formula is unprovable-in-the-system". If this formula were provable-in-the-system, we should have a contradiction: for if it were provablein-the-system, then it would not be unprovable-in-the-system, so that "This formula is unprovable-in-the-system" would be false: equally, if it were provable-in-the-system, then it (...) would not be false, but would be true, since in any consistent system nothing false can be provedin-the-system, but only truths. So the formula "This formula is unprovable-in-the-system" is not provable-in-the-system, but unprovablein-the-system. Further, if the formula "This formula is unprovablein- the-system" is unprovable-in-the-system, then it is true that that formula is unprovable-in-the-system, that is, "This formula is unprovable-in-the-system" is true. Goedel's theorem must apply to cybernetical machines, because it is of the essence of being a machine, that it should be a concrete instantiation of a formal system. It follows that given any machine which is consistent and capable of doing simple arithmetic, there is a formula which it is incapable of producing as being true---i.e., the formula is unprovable-in-the-system-but which we can see to be true. It follows that no machine can be a complete or adequate model of the mind, that minds are essentially different from machines. (shrink)
In 1931 Kurt Gödel proved two theorems about the completeness and consistency of first-order arithmetic. Their implications for philosophy are profound. Many fashionable tenets are shown to be untenable: many traditional intuitions are vindicated by incontrovertible arguments.
The views of Redhead () are defended against the argument by Panu Raatikainen (). The importance of informal rigour is canvassed, and the argument for the a priori nature of induction is explained. The significance of Gödel's theorem is again rehearsed.
Plato was politically incorrect---gloriously incorrect: hard to ignore and difficult to refute. Read An Engagement with Plato's Republic to argue with him or against him, for contemporary orthodoxies or against them. ``Plato was the first feminist. Women were the same as men, only not so good.''.
Thus far the logic out of which mathematics has developed has been First-order Predicate Calculus with Identity, that is the logic of the sentential functors, ¬, →, ∧, ∨, etc., together with identity and the existential and universal quotifiers restricted to quotify- ing only over individuals, and not anything else, such as qualities or quotities themselves. Some philosophers—among them Quine— have held that this, First-order Logic, as it is often called, con- stitutes the whole of logic. But that is a (...) mistake. It leaves out Second-order Logic, which we need if we are to characterize the natural numbers precisely, and pays scant attention to the logic of relations, especially transitive relations, which is the key to much of modern mathematics. Quine’s argument for restricting logic to First-order Logice was based on the grounds that only First- order logical theories display “Law and Order” and himself regards modal logic as belonging with witchcraft and superstition.1 Pred- icates are ontologically more suspect than individuals, and have a different logic, which is liable to give rise to paradox and inconsis- tency. Moreover, Second-order Logic lacks the completeness that First-order Logice has, which provides a pleasing parallel between syntactic and semantic notions, and argues for the analyticity of deductive logic. (shrink)
Spinoza shared with his contemporaries the conviction that the passions are, on the whole, unruly and destructive. A life of virtue requires that the passions be controlled, if not entirely vanquished, and the preferred means of imposing this control over the passions is via the power of reason. But there was little agreement in the seventeenth century about just what gives reason its strength and how its power can be brought to bear upon the wayward passions.
It is argued that Wittgenstein was a greatly misunderstood philosopher, both as regards his own philosophical views and his ideas about philosophical method. O. K. Bouwsma's interpretation of Wittgenstein is used to illustrate the most common misunderstandings.
I have no quarrel with the first two sentences: but the third, though charitable and courteous, is quite untrue. Although there are criticisms which can be levelled against the Gödelian argument, most of the critics have not read either of my, or either of Penrose's, expositions carefully, and seek to refute arguments we never put forward, or else propose as a fatal objection one that had already been considered and countered in our expositions of the argument. Hence my title. The (...) Gödelian Argument uses Gödel's theorem to show that minds cannot be explained in purely mechanist terms. It has been put forward, in different forms, by Gödel himself, by Penrose, and by me. (shrink)
In “The Runabout Inference Ticket” AN Prior (1960) examines the idea that logical connectives can be given a meaning solely in virtue of the stip- ulation of a set of rules governing them, and thus that logical truth/conse- quence.
The argument is a dialectical one. It is not a direct proof that the mind is something more than a machine, but a schema of disproof for any particular version of mechanism that may be put forward. If the mechanist maintains any specific thesis, I show that  a contradiction ensues. But only if. It depends on the mechanist making the first move and putting forward his claim for inspection. I do not think Benacerraf has quite taken the point. He (...) criticizes me both for "failing to notice" that my ability to show that the Gödel sentence of a formal system is true "depends very much on how he is given. (shrink)
Wittgenstein has often been criticized, and even dismissed, for being a patron of ordinary language, a champion of the vernacular, a defender of the status quo. One critic has written: 'When Wittgenstein set up the actual use of language as a standard, that was equivalent to accepting a certain set up of culture and belief as a standard ... It is lucky no such philosophy was thought of until recently or we should still be under the sway of witch doctors (...) ...' In what follows I want to show just how wide of the mark criticisms of this sort are. (shrink)
The ontological argument has run for a long time, regularly refuted, regularly re-appearing in a new form. Something can be learnt from its longevity. Its proponents must be on to something, or it would not have survived its many refutations. But equally, it must have been much misformulated, or it would not have seemed evidently fallacious to its many critics. Perhaps it does express a deep philosophical intimation. Certainly it has been taken to prove more than it really can establish. (...) Like many other philosophical arguments it has suffered by being made out to be more rigorous than in the nature of the case it can be. For some philosophers addressing some questions it may have been decisive in leading them to adopt one of the few options open to them: but it is quite inconclusive for others, with different presuppositions or different problems, and cannot be reduced into a valid proof cogent for all comers and compelling them to accept the conclusion it claims to demonstrate. (shrink)