The authors argue that the 'war on terror' marks the ultimate convergence of war with politics, and the virtual collapse of any meaningful distinction between them. Not only does it signify the breakdown of international relations norms but also the militarization of internal life and political discourse. They explore the 'genealogy' of this situation firstly through the notion of the 'state of exception'—in which sovereign violence becomes indistinct from the law that is supposed to curtail it—and secondly through Foucault's idea (...) that politics is essentially a form of warfare. They suggest that these two ways of approaching the question of violence can only be understood through a racist dimension, which forms the hidden underside of the 'war on terrorism'. In other words, our contemporary situation is characterized by the mobilization not only of fundamentalist and conservative ideologies, but, increasingly, racial antagonisms and prejudices directed towards the Muslim other. (shrink)
This paper explores the grounds upon which moral judgment of a person's beliefs is properly made. The beliefs in question are non-moral beliefs and the objects of moral judgment are individual instances of believing. We argue that instances of believing may be morally wrong on any of three distinct grounds: (i) by constituting a moral hazard, (ii) by being the result of immoral inquiry, or (iii) by arising from vicious inner processes of belief formation. On this way of articulating the (...) basis of moral judgment of belief it becomes clear that rational and epistemic norms do not exhaust the kinds of normative judgment properly made of a person's state of believing. We argue that there are instances of believing that are both rational and true and yet morally wrong. (shrink)
Michael P. Levine, Tamas Pataki. the case of racism. If one understands racism to be rooted in some underlying psychological structure, then while what is ordinarily called racist behavior may well be indicative of such an underlying structure, ...
Those who claim the concept of enlightenment (nibānna) has not evolved must rest their claim on a strong distinction between changing and variant interpretations of the concept on the one hand, and what the term really means or refers to on the other. This paper examines whether all evolution of the concept of enlightenment is best seen as interpretive variation rather than as embodying real notional change - a change in the reference of the term. It is implausible to suppose (...) that the enlightenment has not evolved, and also implausible to suppose that the notion of enlightenment is the same across various sects of Buddhism. Zen enlightenment is not the same as Theravada enlightenment. Two points of controversy about nibnna are discussed and Christian attitudes toward scripture are compared with those in Buddhism. (shrink)
This paper begins with an examination of Amelie Rorty’s claim that although “emotions cannot be rational in the narrow sense of being logically derived from accepted premises, they can be deemed rational . . . as ‘appropriately formed to serve our thriving.’” This is the background against which (i) I develop a notion of ‘emotional holism’ based on the aetiology of emotion in infantile phantasy; and (ii) introduce a dark corollary about the likelihood that our emotions do not, on the (...) whole, match the myths we use to describe them to ourselves. The paper has five sections: (1) The Rationality of Kinds of Emotion and the Argument Against the Rationality of Particular Emotions; (2) Alternative Views of the Rationality of Emotions; (3) Is EmotionaI Behavior RationaI?; (4) Do Particular Emotions Generally Serve Our Thriving?; and (5) Are There Emotions Not Worth Having?: EmotionaI Holism and Manipulating One’s Emotional Repertoire. (shrink)
The Analytic Freud is an important and stimulating corrective to this overlooked but highly significant area. Moving away from the longstanding debate over the scientific status of Freudian theory, The Analytic Freud discusses the implications of Freud for philosophy in four clear sections: Philosophy of Mind Ethics Sexuality Civilization The essays discuss both the problems Freudian theory poses for contemporary philosophy and what philosophy can ask of Freudian theory. An international team of contributors explore the tensions and dialogue (...) between psychoanalysis and philosophical theories on emotion, will, self-deception, sexuality, love, humor, morality and social interaction, demonstrating how productive and mutually enhancing the relationship between philosophy and Freudian theory can be. Essential reading for all who are interested in philosophy and psychoanalysis, The Analytic Freud presents and enriching and timely discussion of Freud and contemporary philosophy. (shrink)
The shift from the logical to the empirical argument from evil against the existence of God has been seen as a victory by analytic philosophers of religion who now seek to establish that the existence of evil fails to make the existence of God improbable. I examine several arguments in an effort to establish the following: (i) Their victory is pyrrhic. They distort the historical, philosophical and religious nature of the problem of evil. (ii) In attempting to refute the empirical (...) argument they rely on disguised but well-worn strategies. (iii) A refusal to let evil count in any way against the probability of the existence of God indicates that their rejection is ideological and contrary to traditional theism. (iv) Aspects of their arguments are morally repugnant. (v) Their arguments are indicative of a lack of vitality, relevance and “seriousness” in Christian analytic philosophy of religion. (shrink)
Nicholas Wolterstorff has recently defended the acceptability of the belief that God speaks and examined various implications of such a belief. This paper examines several of his major hermeneutical and epistemological thesis. Among the issues discused are the following (i) I examine Wolterstorff's claim to 'honour' the results of biblical criticism, and argue that excavative biblical scholarship challenges the plausibility of various crucial assumptions necessary for believing authorial-dicourse interpretation of the Bible to be possible. (ii) I dispute his peculiar view (...) that God's speech should not be included under the rubric of divine revelation. (iii) Contrary to Wolterstorff I claim that miracles would have to play an essential role in divine discourse. (iv) I critically examine and reject his claim that -- in the case he describes -- 'we are entitled' to believe God is speaking. (shrink)
In this paper I dispute Eliot Deutsch's claim [See Deutsch, Eliot (1996) Self-deception: a comparative study, in: Roger T. Ames and Wimal Dissanayake (Eds) Self and Deception: a cross-cultural enquiry (Albany, State University of New York Press), pp. 315-326] that examining self-deception from the perspective of non-Western traditions (i.e. how it is understood in those cultures) can help us to better understand the nature of the phenomenon in one's own culture. Although the claim appears to be uncontrover-sial and perhaps even (...) self-evident, I shall argue that it is fundamentally mistaken. What is important about both the claim and my critical assessment of it is not what it tells us about self-deception. I shall show that it tells us little about self-deception; that Deutsch confuses ignorance with self-deception; and that he straightforwardly equivocates on the concept. Instead, what is interesting is what Deutsch's treatment of self-deception in comparative perspective can tell us about comparative philosophy. The significance of what follows in this paper is less about self-deception than it is about comparative philosophy. (shrink)
Bayesian analyses are prominent among recent and allegedly novel interpretations of Hume’s argument against the justified belief in miracles. However, since there is no consensus on just what Hume’s argument is any Bayesian analysis will beg crucial issues of interpretation. Apart from independent philosophical arguments—arguments that would undermine the relevance of a Bayesian analysis to the question of the credibility of reports of the miraculous—no such analysis can, in principle, prove that no testimony can (or cannot) establish the credibility of (...) a miracle. Bayesian analyses of Hume’s argument are not analyses of Hume’s argument at all—but superfluous representations of it. (shrink)
An account of the relation between belief and practice is inseparable from a general theory of religion and religious discourse. Rejection of the one time popular, but now more or less defunct, nonrealist position of people such as D. Z. Phillips, Don Cupitt, and indeed Wittgenstein leaves contemporary theo rists in anthropology and the "history of religions" with basically the vastly different "literalist" and "symbolist" analyses of religion (i.e., its ritual and discourse, belief and practice) from which to choose. (...) This article critically appraises John Skorupksi's influential defense of intellectualism. I argue that his dismissal of symbolist approaches is more theoretically radical than he recog nizes. It rejects outright some of the very foundations and staples of contempo rary anthropology in, for example, Durkheim. His argument for the rejection of the symbolist approach is examined. Skorupski's defense of intellectualism is set in the context of a problematically naive understanding of the nature and function of religion. (shrink)
Abstract Betty claims that Sahkara's philosophy [and non?dualism generally] fails definitively at the point where he leaves the human experience??sin and suffering??unaccounted for?. It is because Sahkara sees sin and suffering as ultimately illusory that Betty claims he leaves sin and suffering unaccounted for. However, Betty misconstrues Sahkara's view in the worst way possible. It is precisely because Sahkara seeks to account for sin and suffering, to take it seriously and as significant?a genuine problem for life?that Sahkara constructs the particular (...) metaphysical account of reality that he does; an account he sees as consonant with scripture. In part one of this paper I examine Betty's argument. In part two, I explain why philosophical systems (Eastern and Western) that employ pervasive appearance/reality distinctions?like Sahkara's?cannot be dismissed out of hand in the way Betty has done. (shrink)
Pantheism is a metaphysical and religious position. Broadly defined it is the view that (1) "God is everything and everything is God ... the world is either identical with God or in some way a self-expression of his nature" (H.P. Owen). Similarly, it is the view that (2) everything that exists constitutes a 'unity' and this all-inclusive unity is in some sense divine (A. MacIntyre). I begin with an account of what the pantheist's ethical position is formally likely to be (...) (e.g. objectivist etc.). I then discuss the relationship between pantheism and ecology in the context of the search for the metaphysical and ethical foundations for an ecological ethic. It is claimed that it is no accident that pantheism is often looked to for such foundations. (shrink)
‘Epistemics: an enterprise linking traditional epistemology, first with cognitive science and, second, with social scientific and humanistic disciplines that explore the interpersonal and cultural processes impinging on knowledge and belief’ (Epistemology and Cognition, p. vii).
HUME’S ARGUMENT AGAINST JUSTIFIED BELIEF IN MIRACLES CANNOT BE PROPERLY UNDERSTOOD APART FROM HIS ANALYSIS OF CAUSATION. IT IS ARGUED THAT HUME’S POSITION HAS NEVER BEEN CORRECTLY INTERPRETED BECAUSE ITS CONNECTION WITH HIS MORE GENERAL METAPHYSICS HAS NEVER BEEN ADEQUATELY EXAMINED. TO UNDERSTAND HUME’S VIEW ON MIRACLES THE FOLLOWING QUESTION MUST BE ANSWERED: WHY DID HUME THINK THAT ONE COULD JUSTIFIABLY BELIEVE THAT AN "EXTRAORDINARY" EVENT HAD OCCURRED, BUT THAT ONE COULD "NEVER" JUSTIFIABLY BELIEVE A "MIRACLE" HAD OCCURRED? THIS BOOK (...) OFFERS A SUSTAINED TREATMENT OF THAT QUESTION. IT IS ALSO ARGUED THAT IT MAKES NO SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE WHETHER HUME’S CENTRAL ARGUMENT IS INTERPRETED AS AN "A PRIORI" OR AN "A POSTERIORI" ARGUMENT; AND THAT HIS ARGUMENT IS APPLICABLE BOTH TO BELIEF BASED ON TESTIMONY AND DIRECT EXPERIENCE OF A MIRACLE. IN PART II THE CENTRAL QUESTION ADDRESSED IS WHETHER OR NOT ANYONE CAN JUSTIFIABLY BELIEVE A MIRACLE TO HAVE OCCURRED GIVEN A CONTEMPORARY EPISTEMOL. (shrink)
HUME THOUGHT THAT WE CANNOT BE JUSTIFIED IN BELIEVING AN EVENT E TO HAVE OCCURRED GIVEN E’S CHARACTERIZATION OF A VIOLATION OF A LAW OF NATURE. HE CLAIMS THAT HE IS USING AN ARGUMENT SIMILAR TO JOHN TILLOTSON’S AGAINST TRANSUBSTANTIATION. A COMPARISON OF HUME’S ARGUMENT WITH TILLOTSON’S CAN HELP IN ANSWERING THE QUESTION OF WHETHER ONE CAN BE JUSTIFIED IN BELIEVING IN A MIRACLE. THE EVIDENTIAL VALUE OF BOTH TESTIMONY FOR, AND FIRSTHAND EXPERIENCE OF, AN ALLEGED MIRACLE IS CONSIDERED. I (...) EXAMINE THE ARGUMENT AGAINST TRANSUBSTANTIATION HUME PRESENTS AS TILLOTSON’S AND THEN CONSIDER HOW HUME’S ARGUMENT MAY BE "OF A LIKE NATURE" TO THE ARGUMENT HE ATTRIBUTES TO TILLOTSON. TILLOTSON’S ACTUAL ARGUMENT IS VERY DIFFERENT FROM THE ONE HUME PRESENTS IN HIS NAME. (shrink)