In what follows I present an approach to the problem of consciousness, which I take to be suggested by Wittgenstein's remarks on sensation. As sketched here, this consists of a number of empirical hypotheses about the mind and how we represent it, and a series of arguments that these hypotheses explain phenomena which constitute the problem of consciousness, in such a way as to render them neither mysterious nor problematic.
How do pictures represent? In this book Robert Hopkins casts new light on an ancient question by connecting it to issues in the philosophies of mind and perception. He starts by describing several striking features of picturing that demand explanation. These features strongly suggest that our experience of pictures is central to the way they represent, and Hopkins characterizes that experience as one of resemblance in a particular respect. He deals convincingly with the objections traditionally assumed to be (...) fatal to resemblance views, and shows how his own account is uniquely well-placed to explain picturing's key features. His discussion engages in detail with issues concerning perception in general, including how to describe phenomena that have long puzzled philosophers and psychologists, and the book concludes with an attempt to see what a proper understanding of picturing can tell us about that deeply mysterious phenomenon, the visual imagination. (shrink)
In this companion volume to Singing the Body of God (Oxford 2002), Steven P. Hopkins has translated into contemporary American English verse poems written by the South Indian Srivaisnava philosopher and saint-poet Venkatesa (c. 1268-1369). These poems, in three different languages - Sanskrit, Tamil, and Maharastri Prakrit -- composed for one particular Hindu god, Vishnu Devanayaka, the "Lord of Gods" at Tiruvahindrapuram, form a microcosm of the saint-poet's work. They encompass major themes of Venkatesa's devotional poetics, from the play (...) of divine absence and presence in the world of religious emotions; the "telescoping" of time past and future in the eternal "present" of the poem; love, human vulnerability and the impassible perfected body of god; to the devotional experience of a "beauty that saves" and to what Hopkins terms the paradoxical coexistence of asymmetry and intimacy of lover and beloved at the heart of the divine-human encounter. Moreover, these poems form not only a thematic microcosm, but a linguistic one embracing all three of the poet's working languages. Like the remembered world of Proust's Combray in the taste of madeleine dipped in tea, or Blake's World in a Grain of Sand, we taste and see, in this one particular place, and in this one particular form of Vishnu, various protean forms and powers of the divine, and trace a veritable summa of theological, philosophical, and literary designs. Each translated poem forms a chapter in itself, has its own individual short Afterword, along with detailed linguistic and thematic notes and commentary. The volume concludes, for comparative reasons, with a translation of Tirumankaiyalvar's luminous cycle of verses for Devanayaka from the Periyatirumoli. As much an argument as an anthology, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of South Asian studies, comparative religion, and Indian literatures. (shrink)
Philosophers are increasingly coming to recognize the importance of Freudian theory for the understanding of the mind. The picture Freud presents of the mind's growth and organization holds implications not just for such perennial questions as the relation of mind and body, the nature of memory and personal identity, the interplay of cognitive and affective processes in reasoning and acting, but also for the very way in which these questions are conceived and an interpretation of the mind is sought. This (...) volume of essays, by some of today's leading philosophers, explores all these topics, as well as the methods, results and status of the theory itself, while two 'classical' discussions by Wittgenstein and Sartre are also included. A number of the contributions – those by Donald Davidson, W. D. Hart, Jim Hopkins, Adam Morton, David Pears and Richard Wollheim – have not been published before, and a very useful bibliography is provided. It is an anthology that will be vital to anyone interested in Freudian theory and, more generally, in philosophical psychology. (shrink)
Many films are made by a two-tier process: the photographing of events which themselves represent the story the film tells. The latter representation is often illusionistic. I explore two consequences. The first concerns what we see in film. I argue that we sometimes see in such films, not events representing the story told, but simply the events composing that story. The way is thereby opened to a unified aesthetic of film, whether made the two-tier way or not. The second consequence (...) is that, since we see these films as photographic, we sometimes experience them as photographic recordings of the events, possibly fictional, that compose the story told. (shrink)
Managers often encounter situations that require them to make decisions with ethical implications that affect the organization as well as the managers themselves. The issue we address in this study concerns whether the ethical consistency of managerial decisions is situation dependent. That is, are the decisions managers make ethically consistent when they are faced with different ethical situations? We hypothesize that managerial decisions will vary depending on the type of ethical situation they encounter. We also hypothesize that gender plays a (...) role in determining the ethical consistency of managerial decisions. Results of statistical analyses support our hypotheses. (shrink)
Aesthetic judgements are autonomous, as many other judgements are not: for the latter, but not the former, it is sometimes justifiable to change one's mind simply because several others share a different opinion. Why is this? One answer is that claims about beauty are not assertions at all, but expressions of aesthetic response. However, to cover more than just some of the explananda, this expressivism needs combining with some analogue of cognitive command, i.e. the idea that disagreements over beuaty can (...) occur, and when they do it is a priori that one side has infringed the norms governing aesthetic discourse. This combination can be achieved by reading Kant’s aesthetic theory in expressivist terms. The resulting view is a form of quasi-realism about beauty. The position has its merits, but cannot ultimately explain the phenomena which motivate it. This conclusion generalises to quasi-realism about other matters. (shrink)
In order to understand both consciousness and the Freudian unconscious we need to understand the notion of innerness that we apply to the mind. We can partly do so via the use of the theory of conceptual metaphor, and this casts light on a number of related topics.
Is it legitimate to acquire one’s moral beliefs on the testimony of others? The pessimist about moral testimony says not. But what is the source of the difficulty? Here pessimists have a choice. On the Unavailability view, moral testimony never makes knowledge available to the recipient. On Unusability accounts, although moral testimony can make knowledge available, some further norm renders it illegitimate to make use of the knowledge thus offered. I suggest that Unusability accounts provide the strongest form of pessimist (...) view. I consider and reject five Unavailability accounts. I then argue that any such view will fail. But what is the norm rendering moral testimonial knowledge unusable? I suggest it lies in the requirement that we grasp for ourselves the moral reasons behind a moral view. This demand is one testimony cannot meet, and that claim holds whatever account we offer of the epistemology of testimony. However, while appeal to this requirement forms the most plausible pessimist view, it is another question whether pessimism is correct. (shrink)
Can indistinguishable objects differ aesthetically? Manifestationism answers ‘no’ on the grounds that (i) aesthetically significant features of an object must show up in our experience of it; and (ii) a feature—aesthetic or not—figures in our experience only if we can discriminate its presence. Goodman’s response to Manifestationism has been much discussed, but little understood. I explain and reject it. I then explore an alternative. Doubles can differ aesthetically provided, first, it is possible to experience them differently; and, second, those experiences (...) reflect differences in the objects’ themselves. A range of objections to this position is considered, but all are found wanting. (shrink)
In ‘Sight and Sensibility: Evaluating Pictures’ Dominic Lopes attempts two things. First, he attempts to solve the ‘Puzzle of Mimesis’: why do we value looking at pictures over looking at the things they depict? Second, he defends ‘interactionism’: the view that some aesthetic evaluations of pictures imply evaluations in moral and cognitive terms. I argue that the attempt to solve the Puzzle turns on the notion of ‘inflection’, and that that notion is more problematic than Lopes admits. I further argue (...) that Lopes’s defence of interactionism in fact establishes a thesis weaker than desired. (shrink)
I raise two questions that bear on the aesthetics of painting and sculpture. First, painting involves perspective, in the sense that everything represented in a painting is represented from a point, or points, within represented space; is sculpture also perspectival? Second, painting is specially linked to vision; is sculpture linked in this way either to vision or to touch? To clarify the link between painting and vision, I describe the perspectival structure of vision. Since this is the same structure we (...) find in painting, the link is that painting manifests the perspective of vision. Touch is also perspectival, but the perspective involved is different from that in vision. Thus we can answer my second question, concerning the relations of the art forms to the senses, by addressing the first, concerning the role of perspective in sculpture. I argue that sculpture exhibits neither the perspectival structure of vision, nor that of touch. It is not perspectival, and it is not linked to either sense as painting is to vision. I close by considering the aesthetic significance of these conclusions. + This paper is a modified version of an Inaugural Lecture at the University of Sheffield. I am grateful to the University, for the opportunity to give the lecture; to my colleagues and friends, for their generous support on that occasion; to Marion Thain, for discussion; and to the Leverhulme Trust, for the award of a Philip Leverhulme prize, which made possible the research here presented. (shrink)
Reid’s discussion of Molyneux’s question has been neglected. The Inquiry discusses the question twice, offering opposing answers. The first discussion treats the underlying issue as concerning common perceptibles of touch and vision, and in particular whether in vision we originally perceive depth. Although it is tempting to treat the second discussion as doing the same, this would render pointless various novel features Reid introduces in reformulating Molyneux’s question. Rather, the issue now is whether the blind can form a reasonable conception (...) of visual appearances, a conception that would allow them to perform Molyneux’s task. In explaining why Reid thought they can, I draw on his account of primary quality concepts as independent of sensation; of concept possession as ability, not acquaintance with sensation; and of visual appearance itself as in key part a matter of the perception of a primary quality, visible figure. Thus the issue does not concern cross-modality, what vision has in common with touch; but how even what is central in vision is amodal, able to be grasped independently of any sensory mode. Reid’s second Molyneux discussion thereby forms a focus for the Inquiry’s central claims, and the rejection of the Ideal Theory they entail. (shrink)
Two themes run through Wollheim’s work: the importance of history to the practice and appreciation of the arts, and the centrality of experience in appreciation. Prima facie, these are in tension. Reconciling them requires two steps. First, adopt a notion of experience on which features can be experienced even if we must have experience-independent access to the fact that the work exhibits them. Second, state what makes a particular experience appropriate to the work. What does so? Although Wollheim toyed with (...) a more ambitious line, I suggest that he should have given the obvious answer, that the appropriate experience reflects the work’s nature. (shrink)
What philosophical issue or issues does Molyneux’s question raise? I concentrate on two. First, are there any properties represented in both touch and vision? Second, for any such common perceptible, is it represented in the same way in each, so that the two senses support a single concept of that property? I show that there is space for a second issue here, describe its precise relations to Molyneux’s question, and argue for its philosophical significance. I close by arguing that Gareth (...) Evans conflated the two issues, and thereby provide further grounds for distinguishing them. (shrink)
Ever since Ernst Cassirer in his epochal book Individuum und Kosmos in der Philosophie der Renaissance1 labeled Nicholas of Cusa “the first modern thinker,” interest in Cusa’s thought has burgeoned. At various times, both before and after Cassirer, Nicholas has been viewed as a forerunner of Leibniz,2 a harbinger of Kant,3 a prefigurer of Hegel,4 indeed, as an anticipator of the whole of..
What reasons are there to value pictures? I consider one: that pictures enable us to judge, and more than that to savour, the beauty (if any) of the objects they depict. I clarify and defend this claim, tentatively explore what might explain it, consider how far it might generalize beyond beauty to other features of aesthetic interest, and assess its importance for the aesthetics of pictures.
There is a common assumption about pictures, that seeing them produces in us something like the same effects as seeing the things they depict. This assumption lies behind much empirical research into vision, where experiments often expose subjects to pictures of things in order to investigate the processes involved in cognizing those things themselves. Can philosophy provide any justification for this assumption? I examine this issue in the context of Flint Schier's account of pictorial representation. Schier attempts to infer the (...) assumption from what he takes to be the fundamental facts about picturing. I argue that there is no plausible form of Schier's basic claims from which the assumption can be inferred. I then reject a second argument, that by appealing to the assumption Schier could explain why it is impossible to depict a particular without depicting it as having certain properties. I conclude that those sympathetic to the assumption need to articulate and defend some version of it suited to their needs. (shrink)
I first try to identify what problem, if any conceptual art poses for philosophical aesthetics. It is harder than one might think to formulate some claim about traditional art with which much conceptual art is inconsistent. The idea that sense experience plays a special role in the appreciation of traditional artworks falls foul of literature. Instead I focus on the idea that conceptual art exhibits a particularly loose relation between the properties with which we engage in appreciating it and the (...) properties on which those artistic properties depend. In Part II, I then offer an account of how conceptual art communicates, and attempt to use it to illuminate some prominent features of that art. I suggest it works by frustrating certain fundamental expectations with which we approach it. In this it is analogous to certain ways of indirectly communicating in conversation – certain kinds of conversational implicature. At the close, I ask whether this account allows us to address the problem identified in Part I. (shrink)
The changing world of health care finance has led to a paradigm shift in health care with health care being viewed more and more as a commodity. Many have argued that such a paradigm shift is incompatible with the very nature of medicine and health care. But such arguments raise more questions than they answer. There are important assumptions about basic concepts of health care and markets that frame such arguments.
I offer two, complementary, accounts of the visual nature of representational picturing. One, in terms of six features of depiction, sets an explanatory task. The other, in terms of the experience to which depiction gives rise, promises to meet that need. Elsewhere I have offered an account of this experience that allows this promise to be fulfilled. I sketch that view, and defend it against Wollheim's claim that it cannot meet certain demands on a satisfactory account. I then turn to (...) Wollheim's own view, arguing that it suffers from crucial obscurities. These prevent it from meeting the explanatory commitments I describe, and are only exacerbated by the demands Wollheim himself imposes. (shrink)
Congenitally blind people can make and understand ‘tactile pictures’ – representations form of raised ridges on flat surfaces. If made visible, these representations can serve as pictures for the sighted. Does it follow that we should take at face value the idea that they are pictures made for touch? I explore this question, and the related issue of the aesthetics of ‘tactile pictures’ by considering the role in both depiction and pictorial aesthetics of experience, and by asking how far the (...) experience of those engaging with representations through touch can approximate to that of those engaging with them through sight. (shrink)
Three philosophical problems -- the problem of the external world, the problem of other minds, and the problem of consciousness -- seem rooted in the way we conceive experience. We tend to think of our experiences as having a nature which is radically distinct from that of the world which they present to us. This emerges in a series of oppositions as between experience and the world, which we can set out as follows.
Within the context of employee rights and management social responsibility, this paper identifies and explores three ethical dimensions of downsizing. Using ANOVA and Scheffe post-hoc statistical techniques, groups involved in the downsizing decision making process were compared with groups affected by the process on each ethical dimension. Results indicated that those affected by the process attached greater ethical significance to these dimensions than those who were involved in formulating and implementing/communicating downsizing decisions.
In this article we assess the extant literature on women’s careers appearing in selected career, management and psychology journals from 1990 to the present to determine what is currently known about the state of women’s careers at the dawn of the 21st century. Based on this review, we identify four patterns that cumulatively contribute to the current state of the literature on women’s careers: women’s careers are embedded in women’s larger-life contexts, families and careers are central to women’s lives, women’s (...) career paths reflect a wide range and variety of patterns, and human and social capital are critical factors for women’s careers. We also identify paradoxes that highlight the disconnection between organizational practice and scholarly research associated with each of the identified patterns. Our overall conclusion is that male-defined constructions of work and career success continue to dominate organizational research and practice. We provide direction for a research agenda on women’s careers that addresses the development of integrative career theories relevant for women’s contemporary lives in hopes of providing fresh avenues for conceptualizing career success for women. Propositions are identified for more strongly connecting career scholarship to organizational practice in support of women’s continued career advancement. (shrink)
The target article by Corballis presents an interesting and novel theoretical perspective on the evolution of language, speech, and handedness. There are two specific aspects of the article that will be addressed in this commentary: (a) the link between Broca's area and gestural communication in chimpanzees, and (b) the issue of population-level handedness in great apes, notably chimpanzees.
At first glance it seems strange to compare the views of two philosophers from such different contexts as are Harry G. Frankfurt1 and Aurelius Augustinus. After all, Frankfurt makes virtually no use of Augustine, virtually no mention of his philosophical doctrines—whether on free will or anything else.2 And yet, the two have more to do with each other than initially meets the eye. For in their own ways both of them sketch a respective theory of freedom that is similarly insightful; (...) moreover, the theories of both lapse into paradox (paradox of which each author is aware but from which neither seeks to escape). Of course, Frankfurt's articulation of his theory is more systematic, more focused than is Augustine's. Indeed, Augustine seems to make most of his points as if en passant; even in De Libero Arbitrio he shows little interest in sustained treatment of the topic heralded in the title. So what links Frankfurt and Augustine is not their philosophical style but rather (1) their putative triumph over the philosophical elusiveness and the conceptual impenetrability of the notion of freedom-of-will and (2) the fact that in coming to cognate conclusions, they share similar strategies. Thus, they admit of plausible comparison. (shrink)
ABBOT:1 You know that we three, who are engaged in study and are permitted to converse with you, are occupied with deep matters. For [I am busy] with the Parmenides and with Proclus’s commentary [thereon]; Peter [is occupied] with this same Proclus’s Theology of Plato, which he is translating from Greek into Latin; Ferdinand is surveying the genius of Aristotle; and you, when you have time, are busy with the theologian Dionysius the Areopagite. We would like to hear whether or (...) not there occurs to you a briefer and clearer route to the points which are dealt with by the aforenamed [individuals]. NICHOLAS: In our respective directions we are busy with deep mysteries. And it seems to me that no one can speak of these matters more briefly and clearly than those whom we are reading. Nonetheless, I have sometimes thought that we have neglected a [point] which would lead us closer to what is sought. PETER: We ask that this [point] be made known [to us]. (shrink)
During this sexcentenary of the birth of Nicholas of Cusa, there is an almost ineluctable temptation to super-accentuate Cusa’s modernity—to recall approvingly, for example, that the Neokantian Ernst Cassirer not only designated Cusa “the first Modern thinker”1 but also went on to interpret his epistemology as anticipating Kant’s.2 In this respect Cassirer was following his German predecessor Richard Falckenberg, who wrote: “It remains a pleasure to see, on the threshold of the Modern Age, the doctrine already advanced by Plotinus and (...) Scotus Eriugena, received [by Cusanus] so forcefully that time, numbers, spatial figures, and all categories ... are brought forth out of the creative power of the mind.”3 Others have proclaimed Nicholas to be a forerunner of Spinoza,4 of Leibniz,5 of Hegel,6 and, indeed, of German Idealism generally. (shrink)
Nicholas of Cusa’s Coniectura de Ultimis Diebus contains Nicholas’s attempt to specify a time-frame within which the world will come to an end. His inferences are speculative and are based largely on passages from the Bible. In assessing Nicholas’s proposal, one needs to keep in mind nine key considerations.
http://www.cla.umn.edu/jhopkins/ Taken together, twenty-four of these works constitute Nicholas of Cusa’s complete philosophical and theological treatises. They must be supplemented by studying his richly conceptual sermons, along with his ecclesiological and exegetical writings such as De Concordantia Catholica and Coniectura de Ultimis Diebus. His mathematical writings are also of interest, even though they are not of lasting importance, as Gottfried Leibniz rightly recognized.
A. Historical Context. The ancient philosophers regarded wisdom (sofiva) as an excellence (ajrethv). Plato devoted much of the Pro- tagoras to a “proof” that holiness (oJsiovth"), courage (ajndreiva), justice (dikaiosuvnh), and self-control (swfrosuvvnh) are but variants of wisdom, which he there also sometimes referred to as knowledge (ejpisthvmh). In not distinguishing explicitly between either various notions of wisdom or various notions of knowledge, Plato—or, at least, the Platonic Socrates—found himself troubled as to whether moral excellence, i.e., moral virtue, could be (...) taught. Is it really teachable, really knowledge, or is it, instead, a special gift of the gods to some men but not to others?, he asked in the Meno. As we witness from the Laws, but also from the Republic, Plato came to favor the view that moral virtue is indeed teachable and is indeed a kind of knowledge. In general, he depicted the philosopher—the lover of wisdom—as desirous, foremostly, of knowing the Good. This pursuit of Goodness was thought to have both a contemplative1 and a noncontemplative dimension to it, so that the philosopher was characterized both as someone given to reflecting upon the eternal Form of the Good and as someone knowing how to behave well. Although in the Phaedrus the gods alone are said to be wise (278D), with the philosopher being described as striving to become ever more godlike as he draws intellectually nearer to wisdom, none of the other Platonic dialogues insist upon this exclusivistic use of the epithet “wise”. (shrink)
Like any important philosophical work, De Docta Ignorantia cannot be understood by merely being read: it must be studied. For its main themes are so profoundly innovative that their author's exposition of them could not have anticipated, and therefore taken measures to prevent, all the serious misunderstandings which were likely to arise. Moreover, the themes are so extensively interlinked that a misunderstanding of any one of them will serve to obscure all the others as well. In such case, the mental (...) effort required of the reader-who-interprets must approximate the effort expended by the author-who- instructs. No words are more self-condemning than are those of John Wenck, at the conclusion of whose critique of De Docta Ignorantia we read: “Et sic est finis scriptis cursorie Heydelberg”: “And this is the end to what was written cursorily at Heidelberg.”1 Nicholas has not made his reader's task easy. For in spite of his claim to have explained matters “as clearly as I could” and to have avoided “all roughness of style,” many of his points escape even the diligent reader, since the explanation for them is either too condensed, or else too barbarously expressed, to be assuredly followed. And yet, from out of the vagueness, the ambiguity, the amphiboly, the enthymematic movement of thought, there emerges—for a reader patient enough to solliciter doucement les textes—an internally coherent pattern of reasoning. The present translation of this reasoning aims above all at accuracy.2 To this end the rendering is literal, though with no deliberate sacrifice of literate English expression. Only a literal translation (but not word for word) permits the subtle twists and turns of Nicholas's arguments to shine forth.3 The earlier, radically inaccurate rendering by Germain Heron (1954) distorts Nicholas's arguments— and thus belies history by making the author of De Docta Ignorantia appear as someone mindlessly unable to develop even the semblance of a systematic line of thought.. (shrink)
Gaunilo, monk of Marmoutier, is known almost exclusively for his attempted refutation of Anselm’s ontological argument around 1079. Indeed, both his counter-example about the alleged island which is more excellent than all others and Anselm’s rebuttal thereof have nowadays become standard items for courses in medieval philosophy. Over the past decade or so, which has witnessed a revival of interest in the ontological argument, Gaunilo has been either lauded for his brilliancy or disparaged for his mediocrity. Thus, R. W. Southern (...) judges that, “in words which are as trenchant as, and in some details strikingly similar to, those of Kant,” Gaunilo pointed out the main difficulty in accepting Anselm’s argument.1 By contrast, the most Charles Hartshorne can say on Gaunilo’s behalf is that he is “a clever, but essentially commonplace mind.”2 Those who praise Gaunilo tend to do so because he “wisely” discerned the illegitimacy of inferring a factual statement from an a priori description. Those who speak derogatorily of his achievement tend to side with Anselm’s two criticisms: (1) that he misunderstood the phrase “aliquid quo nihil maius cogitari potest”—replacing it by “maius omnibus”—and (2) that his definition of “understanding” is inconsistent with his having maintained that what is unreal can be understood.3 Now, if Gaunilo did commit himself to two blatantly inconsistent statements within a few lines of each other, as the second criticism maintains, then to call him a clever mind would itself be an overstatement. (shrink)
Anselm (b. 1033; d. 1109) flourished during the period of the Norman Conquest of England (1066), the call by Pope Urban II to the First Crusade (1095), and the strident Investiture Controversy. This latter dispute pitted Popes Gregory VII, Urban II, and Paschal II against the monarchs of Europe in regard to just who had the right—whether kings or bishops—to invest bishops and archbishops with their ecclesiastical offices. It is not surprising that R. W. Southern, Anselm’s present-day biographer, speaks of (...) Anselm’s life as covering “one of the most momentous periods of change in European history, comparable to the centuries of the Reformation or the Industrial Revolution” (1990, p. 4). Yet it is ironic that Anselm, who began as a simple monk shunning all desire for fame, should nonetheless today have become one of the most famous intellectual figures of the Middle Ages. And it is even more ironic that this judgment holds true in spite of the fact that he wrote only eleven treatises or dialogues (not to mention his three meditations, nineteen prayers, and 374 letters). (shrink)
To the venerable and devout man, Lord John of Gelnhausen,2 formerly abbot in Maulbronn, intercessor for one of his own. Most lovable Father, I was recently presented with Learned Ig- norance, which consists of three books (each incomplete in itself) and which is written in a sufficiently elegant style. It begins with the words “Admirabitur, et recte, maximum tuum et iam probatissimum ingeni- um” and ends “Eo aeternaliter fruituri qui est in saecula benedictus. Amen.” Having looked over [this work], I (...) feel called upon to write Un- known Learning. Here—by means of [a view] opposed to the points which the aforementioned Learned Ignorance deals with (in my judgment, harmfully) in regard to God, the universe, and Jesus Christ— an entrance opens unto the powers of the Lord so that we may be mindful of His justice.3 Those who lack the knowledge of this justice have disobediently established their own, as the apostle says in Romans 10.4 The promise of eternal life will perhaps lighten the burden of this work which I have undertaken. [ This promise] concerns the repayment of supererogation (Luke 10)5 and was made by God to the clarifiers of truth—[made] in what is written in Ecclesiasticus 24: “Those who explain me shall have eternal life.”6 From an innate desire for health the minds of my readers will be vigilant with regard even to this Unknown Learning. With spiritual weapons, however, I am going to rebut certain statements from Learned Ignorance-—[rebut them] as being incompatible with our faith, offensive to devout minds, and vainly leading away from obedience to God. At the head of what must be said comes the [command] in Psalms 45 (“Be still and see that I am God”)7 as being the legitimate enlistment of all our mental activity. For if I behold the mind of the prophet: after the elimination of malevolent wars. which are repugnant to our God, and, moreover, after the weapons of treachery have been broken8 and knowledge is to be had of Christ, our peacemaker and defender, then comes the command “Be still and see that.... (shrink)
In the notes to the translations the numbering of the Psalms accords with the Douay version and, in parentheses, with the King James (Authorized) version. A reference such as “S II, 264:18” indicates “F. S. Schmitt’s edition of the Latin texts, Vol. II, p. 264, line 18.”.
The title of this present volume tends to be misleading. For it suggests that Nicholas’s didactic sermons are to be distinguished from his non-didactic ones—ones that are, say, more inspirational and less philosophical, or more devotional and less theological, or more situationally oriented and less Scripturally focused. Yet, in truth, all 293 of Nicholas’s sermons are highly didactic, highly pedagogical, highly exegetical.1 To be sure, there are inspirational and devotional elements; but they are subordinate to the primary purpose of teaching. (...) Likewise, only occasionally2 do the sermons show signs of addressing local circumstances that are idiosyncratic to the respective churches in Koblenz, Trier, Mainz, Augsburg, Frankfurt, Brixen, and Rome. Rather, their Scriptural focus more often than not yields up interpretations that are allegorical—or otherwise figurative—in a general way that allows Nicholas to draw inferences about the relationship between the intellect and the senses, about the unity of the virtues, the two natures in Christ, human freedom of will, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the inter-relationship of faith and reason, the triune nature of God, the role of conscience, the precepts of the natural law, time as the image of eternity, the four stages of a knowledge of God, Christ as Wisdom Incarnate, God as Beauty, the Holy Spirit as Love, … and so on. Each of the sermons contains more than one major theme, so that no sermon dwells at length upon a single topic so as to sound pedantic and inappropriately academic. On the contrary: in a limited measure Nicholas’s sermons tend to entice through their extensive display of original metaphor, of striking imagery, of fresh vocabulary, and of erudite knowledge of earlier writers such as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Anselm, Albertus Magnus, and Meister Eckhart. (shrink)
Is there any such thing as the Cusan view of the relationship between faith and reason? That is, does Nicholas present us with clear concepts of fides and ratio and with a unique and consistent doctrine regarding their interconnection? If he does not, then the task before us is surely an impossible one: viz., the task of finding, describing, and setting in perspective a doctrine that never at all existed. For even with spectacles made of beryl stone or through the (...) looking glass of Lewis Carroll, we could not descry the totally nonexistent. Four lines of argument purport to show that the task before us is fundamentally impossible. 1. First of all, it may be argued (a) that Nicholas of Cusa can have a coherent doctrine of faith and reason only if he has a generally coherent theory of knowledge and (b) that since his theory of knowledge is generally incoherent, so too must be the aforesaid doctrine, which is an intrinsic part of the theory of knowledge. Let us grant—for the sake of the argument—the disputable logic of this reasoning, and let us focus on the question of whether Nicholas does or does not have a viable general theory of knowledge. Many philosophers judge the theory to be unviable. For example, the philosopher Hans Blumenberg writes: “I will not make what I believe would have to be a futile attempt at a unitary interpretation of the Cusan theory of knowledge. Here in particular the inner consistency of his philosophical accomplishment is doubtful. The reason for this can be specified: it lies, again, in the inability to deal with or successfully to evade the consequences of nominalism.”2 Other philosophers are quick to agree that Cusa’s epistemology consists of a host of glaring contradictions: Cusa’s theory of representative perception is said to be incompatible with his doctrine of homo mensura—i.e., with his doctrine that man is the measure of the reality that is perceived and conceived by him. Cusa’s notion that empirical concepts are abstracted from perceptual and imaginative images is asserted to be contradicted by his further claim that all concepts are derived a pri- ori from the mind itself.. (shrink)
The problem of consciousness seems to arise from experience itself. As we shall consider in more detail below, we are strongly disposed to contrast conscious experience with the physical states or events by which we take it to be realized. This contrast gives rise to dualism and other problems of mind and body. In this chapter I argue that these problems can usefully be considered in the perspective of evolution.
Within Judeo-Christian theism many of the initially-sounding paradoxical and counter-intuitive expressions—such as Martin Luther’s description of the Christian believer as simul peccator et iustus—seem oftentimes contradictory, or at least pointless, to the unbeliever. Yet, these expressions play an important role within the theistic context of faith. The present essay promotes the view that such expressions should not be eliminatively reduced to “equivalent” restatements of them in non-paradoxical language. For the paradoxical formulations are themselves instinct with a rhetorical force that makes (...) their putative religious truth seem all the more penetrating and prepossessing. (shrink)
With the English translation of the two Latin works contained in this present book, which is a sequel to Nicholas of Cusa: Metaphysical Speculations: [Volume One],1 I have now translated all2 of the major treatises and dialogues of Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464), except for De Concordantia Catholica.3 My plans call for collecting, in the near future, these translations into a two-volume paperback edition—i.e., into a Reader—that will serve, more generally, students of the history of philosophy and theology. Reasons of economy (...) dictate that footnotes and introductory analyses be left aside, so that the prospective Reader cannot be thought of as a replacement for the more scholarly previously published volumes. (shrink)
By permission of The Gale Group, this article is reprinted (here on-line) from “Nicholas of Cusa,” pp. 122-125, Volume 9 of the Dictionary of the Middle Ages, edited by Joseph R. Strayer (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1987 ). The short bibliography at the end of the original article has been omitted; and the page numbers of the article are here changed.
Not many years ago Carl Jung levelled the charge of “ crackpot psychology” against the philosophical writings of Hegel.1 There is, of course, an element of truth in Jung’s stricture; for one has only to read again the Phenomenology of Spirit in order to realize anew that the conceptual matrix of this work is an account of the self’s psycho-social development. Thus, both Hegel’s notion that the Other is a necessary condition of my selfidentity and his account of the master-slave (...) relationship draw upon psychological insights which become transformed into metaphysical utterances in the doctrine that the Logical Idea must pass over into Nature—that Nature, as other than Idea, is estranged Idea. Though Jung’s criticism is intended negatively, it serves positively to point up the interrelationship that has often (though not always) existed between philosophy and psychology—the former paying house calls (not sick calls) to the latter. In recent years psychology has returned the visit. A growing group of psychologists have turned to philosophy in order to borrow categories for interpreting various patterns of neurosis and psychosis. And here and there isolated voices have accused them of “ crackpot philosophy.” I am referring, of course, to the school of existential psychotherapy, which has by and large adopted Heidegger’s categories of being-in-the-world, facticity, thrownness, care, temporality, lived-space, authenticity, everydayness, project, freedom, anxiety, utensility, and being-unto-death as ready-made schemes for focusing neurotic and psychotic syndromes. Such reliance upon Heidegger’s existential analysis of human reality has tended to minimize the use of Sartre’s philosophy. (shrink)
Although the dimness of my intelligence is already known to Your Paternity,1 nonetheless by careful scrutiny you have endeavored to find in my intelligence a light. For when during the gathering of herbs there came to mind the apostolic text in which James indicates that every best gift and every perfect gift is from above, from the Father of lights,2 you entreated me to write down my conjecture about the interpretation of this text. I know, Father, that you have a (...) firm grasp of that which has been written by the most learned theologians but that I have read very little of their writings. Thus, I would rightly be ashamed were I to be unaware of the soundness of your mind. Read, then, with a suitable interpretation what my view is. (shrink)
regions of Constantinople, was inflamed with zeal for God as a result of those deeds that were reported to have been perpetrated at Constantinople most recently and most cruelly by the King of the Turks.2 Consequently, with many groanings he beseeched the Creator of all, because of His kindness, to restrain the persecution that was raging more fiercely than usual on account of the difference of rite between the [two] religions. It came to pass that after a number of days—perhaps (...) because of his prolonged, incessant meditation—a vision was shown to this same zealous man. Therefrom he educed the following: the few wise men who are rich in the experiential knowledge of all such differences as are observed throughout the world in the [different] religions can find a single, readily-available harmony; and through this harmony there can be constituted, by a suitable and true means, perpetual peace within [the domain of ] religion. Hence, in order that this vision might one day become known to those who have a say in these especially important matters, he wrote down plainly, in what follows, as much of it as he recalled. For he had been caught up to an intellectual height where, as it.. (shrink)
In an intrepid article entitled “Why Anselm's Proof in the Proslogion Is Not an Ontological Argument,”45 G.E.M. Anscombe takes issue with the traditional reading of Anselm's text. According to this reading Anselm's proof in Proslogion 2 depends upon the premise that existence is a perfection; and as a result of this dependency it has been given the label “ontological argument.” I In challenging the traditional reading, Anscombe proposes a corrected version of Anselm’s proof—a version which eliminates the premise that existence (...) is a perfection and which thereby undermines the rationale for considering the proof to be an “ontological argument.” Her corrected version runs as follows: 26 Anscombe on Anselm.. (shrink)
There is no more prominent atheist today than Jean-Paul Sartre. Yet serious students of Sartre’s philosophy are struck by his unabashed use of theological idiom. This use is so extensive that Professor Hazel Barnes in her translator’s introduction to Being and Nothingness comments: Many people who consider themselves religious could quite comfortably accept Sartre’s philosophy if he did not embarrass them by making his pronouncement, “ There is no God,” quite so specific.1 The present chapter will explore the theological idiom (...) of Sartre’s philosophy of man and pose the question whether—once the “embarrassing atheistic pronouncement” is removed—Sartre’s philosophical anthropology has any systematic value for the theologian. The chapter proceeds along six lines: (1) to investigate Sartre’s conception of human nature; (2-4) to illustrate his employment of theological language in describing man as desiring to be God, guilty of original sin, and incarnate in love; (5) to appraise his arguments for atheism; and (6) to assess particular aspects of his description of human reality. (shrink)
This is a longer version of the paper published as 'Wittgenstein, Davidson, and Radical Interpretation. In everyday life we understand one another's utterances and actions, and hence interpret one another's linguistic and non-linguistic behaviour, with remarkable certainty, precision, and accuracy; and understanding of this kind seems basic to much else. Our interactions with others are mediated by interpretation of their actions, including speech; and much of what we regard ourselves as knowing is registered in language, or understood through our use (...) of it. In taking ourselves to understand a scientific theory, for example, we also take ourselves to understand, and so to be able to interpret, the linguistic behaviour of those who propound it; and again in describing our thoughts and feelings, we assume that we understand the terms in which we do so, and in such a way as to be answerable to others' interpretation of them. In this epistemic perspective the reach of intepretive understanding seems to approach that of language itself; and there seems nothing we understand better than our own language, and in that sense ourselves. (shrink)
Cross-cultural scholarship in ritual studies on women's laments provides us with a fresh vantage point from which to consider the function of women and women's complaining voices in the epic poems of William Blake. In this essay, I interpret Thel, Oothoon, and Enitharmon as strong voices of experience that unleash some of Blake's most profound meditations on social, sexual, individual, and institutional forms of violence and injustice, offering what might aptly be called an ethics of witness. Tracing the performative function (...) of Enion, Jerusalem, Vala, and Erin in Blake's later epics, The Four Zoas and Jerusalem , I argue for the close connection between the female laments and the possibility of redemption, though in Blake such "redemption" comes at the cost of the very voices of witness themselves. (shrink)
Discussion of J. Kevin O’Regan’s “Why Red Doesn’t Sound Like a Bell: Understanding the Feel of Consciousness” Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-20 DOI 10.1007/s13164-012-0090-7 Authors J. Kevin O’Regan, Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception, CNRS - Université Paris Descartes, Centre Biomédical des Saints Pères, 45 rue des Sts Pères, 75270 Paris cedex 06, France Ned Block, Departments of Philosophy, Psychology and Center for Neural Science, New York University, 5 Washington Place, New York, NY 10003, USA Journal Review of (...) Philosophy and Psychology Online ISSN 1878-5166 Print ISSN 1878-5158. (shrink)
The Perky experiments are taken to demonstrate the phenomenal similarity between perception and visualization. Robert Hopkins argues that this interpretation should be resisted because it ignores an important feature of the experiments, namely, that they involve picture perception, rather than ordinary seeing. My aim is to point out that the force of this argument depends on one’s views on picture perception. On what I take to be the most mainstream account of picture perception, Hopkins’s argument does not work. (...) But even if we accept Hopkins’s own account, we have good reasons to believe that his conclusion does not follow. (shrink)
This book is presumably a collection of essays delivered at a conference, though it's hard to say. There is no cover description and the editors' introduction, where this information might have been found, is missing from the volume (at least from my copy) in spite of being listed in the table of contents. A curious editorial slip. In fact, from an editorial perspective this book is a disaster. Not only is the format reminiscent of those camera ready volumes that jammed (...) our libraries in the late Eighties, when word processors began to spread and people started using them to produce entire books without knowing how to handle line spacing and hyphenation -- not to mention orphans and widows, footnotes, tabs, apostrophes, etc. There are also lots of typos, English infelicities, punctuation disorders. Obviously nobody checked the page proofs. There are even formulas that were not properly converted from the original files and have been printed with the infamous boxes in place of the logical symbols. Publishing academic books in analytic philosophy is becoming increasingly difficult and not every publisher can afford serious copy editing. But charging 74 euros for such a poorly manufactured item is appalling. (shrink)
My aim is to show that the accounts of depiction offered by Christopher Peacocke and Robert Hopkins assume rather than explain one of the central features of depiction. This feature is pictorial realism. It is a constraint upon any adequate theory of depiction that it be able to explain pictorial realism; however, Peacocke and Hopkins seek to meet this constraint by employing the notion of resemblance. I raise three problems with Peacocke's account and point out an error in (...)Hopkins's use of solid angles (upon which his notion of resemblance rests). It is suggested that while these theories must be rejected, there are various non-resemblance theories, including that proposed by Gombrich, which might prove adequate. (shrink)
Reviewed: The Philosophy of Husserl, by Burt C. Hopkins. Mc-Gill-Queen’s University Press, 2010. 290 pp., pb. $22.95, ISBN-13: 9780773538238; hb. $95, ISBN-13: 978-0773538221. Burt Hopkins’s The Philosophy of Husserl presents a challenging and thoughtful elucidation of Husserl’s phenomenology that pays special attention to important methodological aspects of Husserl’s philosophy, and, thereby, to Husserl’s characterization of phenomenology as a pure and transcendental philosophy. Unlike other texts that attempt to elucidate Husserl’s philosophy, Hopkins carries out his project in an (...) unusual fashion, by beginning with a consideration of the conflict between Plato and Aristotle regarding the meaning and status of the eide, and ending with a systematic critique of two of Husserl’s most fierce opponents, Heidegger and Derrida. This review essay gives an overview of Hopkins’s book and offers some critical remarks. (shrink)
Philosophical logicians proposing theories of rational belief revision have had little to say about whether their proposals assist or impede the agent's ability to reliably arrive at the truth as his beliefs change through time. On the other hand, reliability is the central concern of formal learning theory. In this paper we investigate the belief revision theory of Alchourron, Gardenfors and Makinson from a learning theoretic point of view.
Russell claims in his Autobiography and elsewhere that he discovered his 1905 theory of descriptions while attempting to solve the logical and semantic paradoxes plaguing his work on the foundations of mathematics. In this paper, I hope to make the connection between his work on the paradoxes and the theory of descriptions and his theory of incomplete symbols generally clearer. In particular, I argue that the theory of descriptions arose from the realization that not only can a class not be (...) thought of as a single thing, neither can the meaning/intension of any expression capable of singling out one collection (class) of things as opposed to another. If this is right, it shows that Russell’s method of solving the logical paradoxes is wholly incompatible with anything like a Fregean dualism between sense and reference or meaning and denotation. I also discuss how this realization lead to modifications in his understanding of propositions and propositional functions, and suggest that Russell’s confrontation with these issues may be instructive for ongoing research. (shrink)
In a recent issue of this journal, Kevin Corcoran has argued that the metaphysical theory one holds to about the nature of human persons is irrelevant to the sort of ethical questions that occupy bioethicists as well as the general public. Specifically, he argues that whether one holds a constitution view of human persons, an animalist view, or a substance dualist view, the real work in one’s ethical reasoning is done by certain moral principles rather than by metaphysical ones. (...) I raise objections to his analysis and propose that it is a combination of ethical principles and metaphysical principles that does the work in our judgements about the morality of abortion and other actions. (shrink)
Hopkins' Idealism provides a thorough re-examination of the nineteenth-century poet Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889), whose early writings on philosophy have to date received little critical attention. It is the first full-length study of Hopkins' largely unpublished Oxford undergraduate essays and notes on philosophy and mechanics. The volume also offers radical new readings of some of Hopkins' best-known poems.
The social responsibility field in the organizations has become recently a subject scholars have debated. Despite of the huge discussion regarding to this concept, there is no consensus. Still, there is a confusion related to “social actions,” this way reducing the social responsibility scope as a philanthropic activity. This reductionism is inadequate, distorting the essence of what is supposed to be a socially responsible conduct. The present proposal intends to evaluate enterprises in the Corporate Social Responsibility – CSR. This research (...) will investigate confessional universities in Brazil, which are organizations in higher education that have a relationship with a specific church(s) or religion and are ordinarily dependent upon that religion, through sponsorship and/or board oversight. These universities are skilled in financial reporting, but they have no good process for evaluating and reporting on the programs, activities, and outcomes that relate more directly to their educational and service missions. This paper shows the Brazilian universities scenario on CSR, describes the Hopkins and Wood’s framework followed by an evaluation of a small group of universities through a survey. From the outcomes, the framework may be reformulated, finally displaying the elements to future research and its implications. (shrink)
We argue that uncomputability and classical scepticism are both re ections of inductive underdetermination, so that Church's thesis and Hume's problem ought to receive equal emphasis in a balanced approach to the philosophy of induction. As an illustration of such an approach, we investigate how uncomputable the predictions of a hypothesis can be if the hypothesis is to be reliably investigated by a computable scienti c method.