Phantasmagoria explores ideas of spirit and soul since the Enlightenment; it traces metaphors that have traditionally conveyed the presence of immaterial forces, and reveals how such pagan and Christian imagery about ethereal beings are embedded in a logic of the imagination, clothing spirits in the languages of air, clouds, light and shadow, glass, and ether itself. Moving from Wax to Film, the book also discusses key questions of imagination and cognition, and probes the perceived distinctions between fantasy and deception; it (...) uncovers a host of spirit forms--angels, ghosts, fairies, revenants, and zombies--that are still actively present in contemporary culture. It reveals how their transformations over time illuminate changing ideas about the self. Phantasmagoria also tells the accompanying story about the means used to communicate such ideas, and relates how the new technologies of the Victorian era were applied to figuring the invisible and the impalpable, and how magic lanterns (the phantasmagoria shows themselves), radio, photography and then moving pictures spread ideas about spirit forces. As the story unfolds, the book features the many eminent men and women--scientists and philosophers--who in the Society of Psychical Research applied their considerable energies to the question of other worlds and other states of mind: they staged trance seances in which mediums produced spirit phenomena, including ectoplasm. The book shows how this often embarrassing story connects with some of the important scientific discoveries of a fertile age, in psychology and physics. Over a sequence of twenty-eight chapters, with over thirty illustrations in color and black and white, Phantasmagoria thus tells an unexpected and often uncomfortable story about shifts in thought about consciousness and the individual person, from the first public waxworks portraits at the end of the eighteenth century to stories of hauntings, possession, and loss of self as in the case of the zombie, a popular figure of soulessness, in modern times. (shrink)
José Antonio Marina –reincidiendo en su condición de detective cultural– se enfrenta en este libro a un nuevo caso. Durante milenios, la humanidad ha desconfiado de la fuerza del deseo. La sociedad opulenta en que vivimos altera esa tradición. Tiene que estimular constantemente los deseos para sobrevivir. Antes, la economía estaba dirigida por la demanda. Producía lo que era necesario. Ahora se rige por la oferta: crea en el público la necesidad de lo producido. Padecemos así un ansia inacabable, (...) porque siempre nos convencerán de que nos falta algo. Nuestro detective descubre que carecemos de una «teoría del deseo». ¿Qué es, de dónde procede, cuáles son sus determinismos, cómo se manipulan o se educan? A lo lejos resuena Spinoza: «La esencia del hombre es el deseo.» Éstas son palabras mayores. Todo se puede desear. Los placeres elevan arquitecturas arborescentes. Al fragmentarse sus deseos, también la esencia humana se fragmenta, y necesita una operación de bricolaje que la unifique. Al final, aparece un nuevo personaje: el espíritu. (shrink)
Often referred to as the father of modern theology, F.D.E. Schleiermacher occasioned a revolution in theology having a decisive impact on all subsequent theology. In this original study, Jacqueline Mariña argues that Schleiermachers philosophical ethics constitutes a completely original project, and is arguably his most important achievement. -/- Mariña examines Schleiermachers claim that the self relates to the whence of all that is through the ground of self-consciousness, and shows how this understanding allowed him to develop a philosophical system integrally (...) linking religion and ethics. Because this whence relates to self-consciousness in the way of a formal cause, the most important criteria for what constitutes genuine religion are the ethical fruits expressive of a proper relation to the divine. -/- In Christian Faith Schleiermacher argues that insofar as the personal self-consciousness has been transformed through openness to this whence, the actions that arise from it, too, will be different from those of the former self. This book is an analysis of how Schleiermacher conceived of this transformation, the conditions of its possibility, and the nature of its effects. This is accomplished through an examination of his metaphysics of the self, especially Schleiermachers understanding of the immediate self-consciousness and its relation to the divine causality, the nature of self-consciousness and personal identity, the nature of agency, and the relation between self and society. This book demonstrates that Schleiermachers achievement offers a compelling, live option for contemporary debates concerning the relation of religion and morality. (shrink)
Warner here puts forward a much broader discussion of rationality than that which underlies today's polarization between analytic and continental philosophy. Through a series of case-studies the author explores ancient conceptions of dialectic and rhetoric in relation to the positive role given to sentiment or "the heart" by Pascal, Hume, and Nietzsche. These studies point to an understanding of philosophy which undercuts fashionable disputes and which helps to reaffirm a range of ideas long marginalized by the dominance of the (...) geometric model of philosophical argument. (shrink)
This paper explores the charge by Bruce Aune and Allen Wood that a gap exists in Kant's derivation of the Categorical Imperative. I show that properly understood, no such gap exists, and that the deduction of the Categorical Imperative is successful as it stands.
Against those who dismiss Kant's project in the "Religion" because it provides a Pelagian understanding of salvation, this paper offers an analysis of the deep structure of Kant's views on divine justice and grace showing them not to conflict with an authentically Christian understanding of these concepts. The first part of the paper argues that Kant's analysis of these concepts helps us to understand the necessary conditions of the Christian understanding of grace: unfolding them uncovers intrinsic relations holding between God's (...) justice and grace. Parts two and three provide an analysis of two concepts of grace used by Kant. Getting clear on their differences is the key to understanding why Kant's account is not Pelagian. (shrink)
This paper explores Kant's concept of the highest good and the postulate of the existence of God arising from it. Kant has two concepts of the highest good standing in tension with one another, an immanent and a transcendent one. I provide a systematic exposition of the constituents of both variants and show how Kant’s arguments are prone to confusion through a conflation of both concepts. I argue that once these confusions are sorted out Kant’s claim regarding the need to (...) postulate God’s existence from a moral point of view makes much more sense. (shrink)
Both in the Speeches and in The Christian Faith Schleiermacher offers a comprehensive theory of the nature of religion, grounding it in experience. In the Speeches Schleiermacher grounds religion in an original unity of consciousness that precedes the subject–object dichotomy; in The Christian Faith the feeling of absolute dependence is grounded in the immediate self-consciousness. I argue that Schleiermacher's theory offers a generally coherent account of how it is possible that differing religious traditions are all based on the same experience (...) of the Absolute. I show how Schleiermacher's programme can respond successfully to three related contemporary objections to religious pluralism: (1) different religions make competing truth-claims about the nature of reality and they cannot all be right; (2) differing traditions cannot all be based on a similar religious experience because all experience is interpreted; and (3) the pluralist needs to have criteria in place distinguishing real and illusory religious experience, but such criteria are elusive. (Published Online April 21 2004). (shrink)
Two names often grouped together in the study of religion are Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1884) and Rudolf Otto (1869–1937). Central to their understanding of religion is the idea that religious experience, characterized in terms of feeling, lies at the heart of all genuine religion. In his book On Religion, Schleiermacher speaks of religion as a “sense and taste for the Infinite.” In The Christian Faith, Schleiermacher grounds religion in the immediate self-consciousness and the “feeling of absolute dependence.” Influenced by Schleiermacher, Otto (...) also grounds religion in an original experience of what he calls “the numinous,” which can only be grasped through states of feeling. This article discusses the views of Otto and Schleiermacher on religion as feeling. It examines how both men conceived of feeling, the reasons they believed religion had to be understood in its terms, and the common threads linking their perspectives. It also considers Schleiermacher's interpretation of religious feeling as transcendental experience. (shrink)
This chapter traces how theism was developed by leading 19th and 20th century figures (Schleiermacher, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Rahner, and Tillich) responding to Kant’s Copernican revolution in philosophy. Part one deals with the ontological nature of subjectivity itself and what it reveals about the conditions of the possibility of a subject’s relation to the Absolute. Part two explores the role of subjectivity and interiority in the individual’s relation to God, and part three takes a look at the theme of the (...) “unhappy consciousness,” how its development led to important attacks on theism, and the resources available to theology in countering these attacks. (shrink)
One of the principle aims of the B version of Kant’s transcendental deduction is to show how it is possible that the same “I think” can accompany all of my representations, which is a transcendental condition of the possibility of judgment. Contra interpreters such as A. Brook, I show that this “I think” is an a priori (reflected) self-consciousness; contra P. Keller, I show that this a priori self-consciousness is first and foremost a consciousness of one’s personal identity from a (...) first person point of view. (shrink)
In order to clarify the relationship between morality and law, it is necessary to define both concepts precisely. Cultural realities refer to concepts which are more specifically defined if we focus towards the genealogy of those realities, that is to say, their motivation, function and aim. Should we start from legal anthropology, comparative law and history of law, law arises as a social technique which coactively imposes ways of solving conflicts, protecting fundamental values for a society's co-existence. Values subject to (...) being protected are proposed by morality, the latter making subordination of law to morality inevitable. This explains that a great number of modern constitutions include a reference to fundamental moral values, that is to say, they have explicitly positivised moral contents. Legal reasoning, at all levels and expressions, needs to appeal to the aforementioned values. Constitutional reasoning, international law, legislative activity and judicial practice are studied to verify the latter. This subordination of law to morality sets out a serious problem: moralities are cultural realities which are only valid for a specific society. In order for law not to fall in a not very rational legal relativism, law should not be subordinated to morality, but to ethics, the latter understood as cross-cultural morality. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was a step forward in this sense. (shrink)
Debate about the nature of time has been dominated by discussion of two issues: the reality of absolute time and the reality of A-series. We argue that Aristotle adopts a form of the A-theory entailing a denial of the reality of absolute time. Furthermore, Aristotle's denial of absolute time is linked to a denial of the reality of pure temporal becoming, namely, the idea that the now moves through a fixed continuum along which events are arranged in chronological order. We (...) show that the puzzles discussed by Aristotle in IV:10 of the Physics are generated by this view of time and that Aristotle's own theory of time, according to which changes are used to measure one another, avoids these problems. (shrink)
In my chapter "Christology and Anthropology in Friedrich Schleiermacher,” I discuss Schleiermacher's understanding of both the person and work of Christ. Schleiermacher's dialogue with the orthodox Christological tradition preceding him, as well as his understanding of the work of Christ, is founded on a critical analysis of the fundamental person-forming experience of being in relation to Christ and the community founded by him. I provide an analysis of Schleiermacher's discussion of the difficulties surrounding the use of the word "nature" in (...) relation to Jesus' humanity and divinity, and then move to discuss how Schleiermacher understands both the humanity and divinity of Jesus, as well as how the two stand in relation to one another. In the original divine decree Jesus Christ is ordained as the person through which the whole human race is to be completed and perfected, and the essence of perfect human nature just is to express divine. This is the essence of Schleiermacher's solution to the Christological problem, that is, of how the divine and the human can converge in one person. I then move to discuss Schleiermacher's understanding of the work of Christ as involving two interrelated moments. The first is the awakening of the God-consciousness. The second involves the self-expression of this God-consciousness in the form of Christian love in the community of believers. As such, the principle work of Christ is the founding of the kingdom of God. (shrink)
Plato's rhetorical gesture invoking a 'quarrel' between philosophy and poetry points to a deep problem in our conception of rational discourse, often obscured or displaced in the history of philosophy's relations with imaginative literature, especially with respect to analytic philosophy in the first half of the twentieth century. Recent developments have helped focus attention on the overlap between philosophy and literature, which the contemporary retreat from philosophy's 'narrative turn' does little to undermine. Further work in the philosophy of language, the (...) logic of the imagination, and the relations between dialectic and rhetoric promise to throw light on that ancient problem. (shrink)
This paper explores two themes—Schleiermacher’s realism and his perspectivalism—and their significance for a theory of religion. I show that Schleiermacher's theory offers an account of human subjectivity and epistemological modesty that at the same time allows us to affirm the reality of the Absolute.
In this paper I explore how Kant’s development of the idea of the disposition in the Religion copes with problems implied by Kant’s idea of transcendental freedom. Since transcendental freedom implies the power of absolutely beginning a state, and therefore of absolutely beginning a series of the consequences of that state, a transcendentally free act is divorced from the preceding state of an agent, and would thus seem to be divorced from the agent’s character as well. The paper is divided (...) into two parts. First I analyze Kant’s understanding of the disposition and discuss the ways in which it allows us to understand a person’s transcendentally free actions in terms of that person’s character. I then discuss Kant’s resources for understanding the Socratic injunction to care for the soul in light of his concept of the disposition. (shrink)
H.P. Grice is known principally for his influential contributions to the philosophy of language, but his work also includes treatises on the philosophy of mind, ethics, and metaphysics--much of which is unpublished to date. This collection of original essays by such philosophers as Nancy Cartwright, Donald Davidson, Gilbert Harman, and P.F. Strawson demonstrates the unified and powerful character of Grice's thoughts on being, mind, meaning, and morals. An introductory essay by the editors provides the first overview of Grice's work.
Kant’s aim in the Refutation of Idealism is to show that the temporal determination of inner experience presupposes outer experience. Commentators have rightly noted the extraordinarily compressed character of Kant's argument, and numerous gaps in the argument have been pointed out. In this paper I focus on two of these gaps and provide a reconstruction of Kant's argument that closes them.
This essay analyzes the category of “the holy” as developed by Rudolf Otto, examining his division of the holy into rational and non-rational elements. While rational elements of the holy are closely tied to ethics, another aspect of the holy can only be apprehended through sui generis feelings irreducible to other mental states. But how do non-rational elements relate to rational, ethical categories? I trace the distinction between rational and non-rational elements in Otto’s analysis to Kant’s two faculty psychology: the (...) holy is apprehended in one way through feeling, in another way through thought, but a single ultimate reality is experienced. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that an in-depth investigation into Kant’s categorical imperative reveals profound and surprising insights into the nature of persons and what specifically about them equips them for religious life. I examine the CI both in the context of the relation to God and to others and in so doing assess the implications of Kantian moral theory on theology’s understanding of the first and second great commandments. The first part of the paper explores what Kantian moral requirements (...) reveal about the structure of human rationality and its implications, in particular with regard to self-transcendence. The second part of the paper connects this understanding of self-transcendence with the Christian notion of agape and investigates what it reveals about the first and second great commandments. (shrink)
This article explores the early Schleiermacher's attempts to deal with difficult philosophical problems arising from Kant's ethics, specifically Kant's notion of transcendental freedom. How do we connect a transcendentally free act with the nature of the subject? Insofar as the act is transcendentally free, it cannot be understood in terms of causes, and this means that it cannot be connected with the previous state of the individual before he or she engaged in the act. I work through Schleiermacher's grappling with (...) this problem by taking a thorough look at some of Schleiermacher's early essays and reviews. My main focus will be Schleiermacher's early essay On Freedom, written between 1790-92. I will, however, also be taking a look at Schleiermacher's notes on Kant's second Critique (1789), the third of his Dialogues on Freedom(1789), and his critical review of Kant's Anthropology from a PragmaticPointof View (1799). (shrink)
Analytic philosophy's characteristic downgrading of literature's putative concern with truth, and envisaging of its interest to philosophy merely in terms of material for logical analysis, was prefigured by Frege. The initial plausibility of this approach was in part a function of certain preferred models of philosophy as analysis which were themselves deeply flawed. An exploration of their weaknesses in the light of more adequate theories of language, truth and logic enables us to give proper weight both to rhetorical and imaginative (...) aspects of philosophical discourse, and to the capacity of works of literature to bear on issues of truth—and thereby contribute to philosophical understanding. (shrink)
Most American historians of medicine today would be very hesitant about any claim that medical history humanises doctors, medical students or the larger health care enterprise. Yet, the idea that history can and ought to serve modern medicine as a humanising force has been a persistent refrain in American medicine. This essay explores the emergence of this idea from the end of the 19th century, precisely the moment when modern biomedicine became ascendant. At the same institutions where the new version (...) of scientific medicine was most energetically embraced, some professional leaders warned that the allegiance to science driving the profession's technical and cultural success was endangering humanistic values fundamental to professionalism and the art of medicine. They saw in history a means for rehumanising modern medicine and countering the risk of cultural crisis. While some iteration of this vision of history was remarkably durable, the meanings attached to ‘humanism’ were both multiple and changing, and the role envisioned for history in a humanistic intervention was transformed. Starting in the 1960s as part of a larger cultural critique of the putative ‘dehumanisation’ of the medical establishment, some advocates promoted medical history as a tool to help fashion a new kind of humanist physician and to confront social inequities in the health care system. What has persisted across time is the way that the idea of history as a humanising force has almost always functioned as a discourse of deficiency—a response to perceived shortcomings of biomedicine, medical institutions and medical professionalism. (shrink)
A number of factors must be considered in facility location decisions. Recent research on job design suggests that the effects jobs may have on quality of work life and quality of life in general should be considered in facility location decisions in addition to other normal factors. The present study was designed to examine quality of work life and quality of life factors of residents in a low income and low education area. The intent was to determine what types of (...) jobs might have the most positive effect on people in this type of region. Data were collected from 409 households in a low income/education region. The results showed that people from this region were as satisfied with their quality of work life and quality of life as people in other regions with better jobs, higher incomes, and better general life situations. Results are discussed in light of facility location decisions and types of jobs having the most positive impact. (shrink)
The effects of research ethics training on medical students' attitudes about clinical research are examined. A preliminary randomized controlled trial evaluated 2 didactic approaches to ethics training compared to a no-intervention control. The participant-oriented intervention emphasized subjective experiences of research participants (empathy focused). The criteria-oriented intervention emphasized specific ethical criteria for analyzing protocols (analytic focused). Compared to controls, those in the participant-oriented intervention group exhibited greater attunement to research participants' attitudes related to altruism, trust, quality of relationships with researchers, desire (...) for information, hopes about participation and possible therapeutic misconception, importance of consent forms, and deciding quickly about participation. The participant-oriented group also agreed more strongly that seriously ill people are capable of making their own research participation decisions. The criteria-oriented intervention did not affect learners' attitudes about clinical research, ethical duties of investigators, or research participants' decision making. An empathy-focused approach affected medical students' attunement to research volunteer perspectives, preferences, and attributes, but an analytically oriented approach had no influence. These findings underscore the need to further examine the differential effects of empathy-versus analytic-focused approaches to the teaching of ethics. (shrink)
Patents for genetic material in theindustrialized North have expandedsignificantly over the past twenty years,playing a crucial role in the currentconfiguration of the agricultural biotechnologyindustries, and raising significant ethicalissues. Patents have been claimed for genes,gene sequences, engineered crop species, andthe technical processes to engineer them. Mostcritics have addressed the human and ecosystemhealth implications of genetically engineeredcrops, but these broad patents raise economicissues as well. The Catholic social teachingtradition offers guidelines for critiquing theeconomic implications of this new patentregime. The Catholic principle of (...) the universaldestination of goods implies that genes, genesequences, and engineered crop varieties areineligible for patent protection, although theprocesses to engineer these should be eligible.Religious leaders are likely to make a moresubstantive contribution to debates aboutagricultural biotechnology by addressing theselife patents than by speculating that geneticengineering is ``playing God.''''. (shrink)