Different types of Religious Experience: One experiences a nonreligious object as a religious one, e.g. a dove as an angel, one experiences an object that is a "public object” (one there for everyone to experience/observe), an experience of a supernatural entity that others cannot experience/observe, experiences that resist being captured by words, an awareness of an entity, though there is no sensation.
Disjunctivism about perceptual appearances, as I conceive of it, is a theory which seeks to preserve a naïve realist conception of veridical perception in the light of the challenge from the argument from hallucination. The naïve realist claims that some sensory experiences are relations to mind-independent objects. That is to say, taking experiences to be episodes or events, the naïve realist supposes that some such episodes have as constituents mind-independent objects. In turn, the disjunctivist claims that in a case of (...) veridical perception like this very kind of experience that you now have, the experiential episode you enjoy is of a kind which could not be occurring were you having an hallucination. The common strategy of arguments from hallucination set out to show that certain things are true of hallucinations, and hence must be true of perceptions. For example, it is argued that hallucinations must have non-physical objects of awareness, or that such states are not relations to anything at all, but are at best seeming relations to objects. In insisting that veridical perceptual experience is of a distinct kind from hallucination, the disjunctivist denies that any of these conceptions of hallucination challenges our conception of veridical perceptions as relations to mind-independent objects. More specifically, I assume that the disjunctivist advocates naïve realism because they think that this position best articulates how sensory experience seems to us to be just through reflection. If the disjunctivist is correct in this contention, then anyone who accepts the conclusion of the argument from hallucination must also accept that the nature of sensory experience is other than it seems to us to be. In turn, one may complain that any such error theory is liable to lead to sceptical consequences. A Humean scepticism about the senses launches a challenge about our knowledge of the world through questioning the conception we have of what sense experience is, and how it can provide knowledge of the world.. (shrink)
Sociologists tend to eschew biological explanations of human social behavior. Accordingly, when evolutionary biologists began to apply neo-Darwinian theory to the study of human social behavior, the reactions of sociologists typically ranged from indifference to overt hostility. Since the mid-1960s, however, neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory has stimulated a "second Darwinian revolution" in traditional social scientific conceptions of human nature and social behavior, even while most sociologists remain largely uninformed about neo-Darwinian theory and research. This article traces sociology's long-standing isolation from the (...) life sciences, especially evolutionary biology, to divergence in the metatheoretical assumptions that typify conventional sociological thought versus contemporary evolutionary biology. We conclude with a discussion of the recent emergence of a nascent "evolutionary sociology" that integrates sociobiological reasoning with contemporary sociological thought. (shrink)
The disjunctive theory of perception claims that we should understand statements about how things appear to a perceiver to be equivalent to statements of a disjunction that either one is perceiving such and such or one is suffering an illusion (or hallucination); and that such statements are not to be viewed as introducing a report of a distinctive mental event or state common to these various disjoint situations. When Michael Hinton ﬁrst introduced the idea, he suggested that the burden of (...) proof or disproof lay with his opponent, that what was needed was to show that our talk of how things look or appear to one.. (shrink)
The UK launch of the Science Enterprise Challenge in 1999 has stimulated interest in the evolutions of science-based firms and this paper argues that Poppers seminal diverse contributions to philosophy are directly relevant to them. It begins by commenting on the applications of both Kuhns and Poppers concepts to technological (as against) scientific evolutions. It then suggests how Poppers approaches are applicable to the development and assessment of new technology within the framework of Freemans stakeholders approach. Monsanto s development of (...) GMOs is used as an illustrative case. (shrink)
I argue that Gale’s brilliant critique of theistic arguments is a major contribution to the philosophy of religion that can instruct atheologians and theologians for decades to come. However, his unargued appeal to faith, his reliance on the vague properties of being eminently worthy of worship and being supremely great, his failure to come to grips with the atheological implications of maintaining that God cannot know what He will decide, and the incompleteness of his critique of atheological arguments seriously weaken (...) his tacit case against rational atheism and his acceptance of fideism. I see his use of informal polls regarding modal intuitionsas a first important step to a more rigorous approach. (shrink)
The problems of perception feature centrally in work within what we now think of as different traditions of philosophy in the early part of the twentieth century, most notably in the sense-datum theories of early analytic philosophy together with the vigorous responses to them over the next forty years, but equally in the discussions of pre-reﬂective consciousness of the world characteristic of German and French phenomenologists. In the English-speaking world one might mark the beginning of the period with Russell’s The (...) Problems of Philosophy (Russell 1912) and its nemesis in Austin’s Sense and Sensibilia (Austin 1962 – published posthumously, but given originally as lectures at the end of our period in 1947). On the continent, a corresponding route takes us from Husserl’s Logical Investigations (Husserl 1900/1) to Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception.. (shrink)
Divided into four parts, this treatise begins with well-known criticisms of nonreligious ethics and then develops an atheistic metaethics. In Part 2, Martin criticizes the Christian foundation of ethics, specifically the ’divine command theory’ and the idea of imitating the life of Jesus as the basis of Christian morality. Part 3 demonstrates that life can be meaningful in the absence of religious belief. Part 4 criticizes the theistic point of view in general terms as well as the specific Christian doctrines (...) of the atonement, salvation, and the resurrection. (publisher, edited). (shrink)
Book description: Much contemporary philosophical debate centres on the topics of logic, thought and language, and on the connections between these topics. This collection of articles is based on the Royal Institute of Philosophy’s annual lecture series for 2000–2001. Its contributors include a number of those working at the forefront of the field, and in their papers they reflect their own current pre-occupations. As such, the volume will be of interest to all philosophers, whether their own work is within the (...) areas of language and thought or not. (shrink)
A common objection to sense-datum theories of perception is that they cannot give an adequate account of the fact that introspection indicates that our sensory experiences are directed on, or are about, the mind-independent entities in the world around us, that our sense experience is transparent to the world. In this paper I point out that the main force of this claim is to point out an explanatory challenge to sense-datum theories.
Book description: The capacity to represent and think about time is one of the most fundamental and least understood aspects of human cognition and consciousness. This book throws new light on central issues in the study of the mind by uniting, for the first time, psychological and philosophical approaches dealing with the connection between temporal representation and memory. Fifteen specially written essays by leading psychologists and philosophers investigate the way in which time is represented in memory, and the role memory (...) plays in our ability to reason about time. They offer insights into current theories of memory processes and of the mechanisms and cognitive abilities underlying temporal judgements, and draw out fundamental issues concerning the phenomenology and epistemology of memory and our understanding of time. The chapters are arranged into four sections, each focused on one area of current research: Keeping Track of Time, and Temporal Representation; Memory, Awareness and the Past; Memory and Experience; Knowledge and the Past: The Epistemology and Metaphysics of Time. A general introduction gives an overview of the topics discussed and makes explicit central themes which unify the different philosophical and psychological approaches. (shrink)
In my “Reply to Davis” (Philo vol. 2, no. 1) I defended two theses: First, even for Christians the initial probability of the Resurrection is very low. Second, the historical evidence for the Resurrection is not strong enough to overcome this initial improbability. Consequently, I maintained that belief in the Resurrection is not rational even for Christians. In his latest reply, “The Rationality of Resurrection for Christians: A Rejoinder” (present issue), Stephen T. Davis emphasizes that he is only defending the (...) rationality of belief in the Resurrection for Christians, not for non-Christian supernaturalists. Presumably this point is emphasized by Davis because he supposes that I have at best shown that belief in the Resurrection is not rational for non-Christian supernaturalists. However, this is not so. In this reply I will defend the two theses stated above. (shrink)
A strong case can be made that the initial probability of the Resurrection is very low even if one accepts the existence of a theistic God. Even sophisticated theists who maintain that God performs miracles believe that these are rare initially improbable events. Consequently, strong evidence is needed to overcome this initial improbability. In the case of the Resurrection there is no plausible theory why this event should have occurred; moreover, even if there is, it is unlikely that it would (...) have happened at the particular time and place it did. (shrink)
Listening to someone from some distance in a crowded room you may experience the following phenomenon: when looking at them speak, you may both hear and see where the source of the sounds is; but when your eyes are turned elsewhere, you may no longer be able to detect exactly where the voice must be coming from. With your eyes again fixed on the speaker, and the movement of her lips a clear sense of the source of the sound will (...) return. This ‘ventriloquist’ effect reflects the ways in which visual cognition can dominate auditory perception. And this phenomenological observation is one that you can verify or disconfirm in your own case just by the slightest reflection on what it is like for you to listen to someone with or without visual contact with them. (shrink)