The essays in this volume were written to celebrate the sixtieth birthday of G. E. L. Owen, who by his essays and seminars on ancient Greek philosophy has made a contribution to its study that is second to none. The authors, from both sides of the Atlantic, include not only scholars whose main research interests lie in Greek philosophy, but others best known for their work in general philosophy. All are pupils or younger colleagues of Professor Owen who (...) are indebted to his practice of philosophical scholarship as a first-order philosophical activity. At the heart of G. E. L. Owen’s work has been a preoccupation with the role of philosophical reflection on language in the metaphysics and epistemology of Plato, Aristotle and other ancient Greek thinkers. This is accordingly the general topic of the present volume, which includes five papers on Plato’s critical dialogues and seven on Aristotle, prefaced by two on Heraclitus and followed by a study of the debate in Hellenistic philosophy on the sorites. This is a book for specialists in Greek philosophy and philosophers of language which will also be of interest to some linguists. (shrink)
Robert Owen was one of the most extraordinary Englishmen who ever lived and a great man. In a way his history is the history of the establishment of modern industrial Britain, reflected in the mind and activities of a very intelligent, capable and responsible industrialist, alive to the best social thought of his time. The organisation of industrial labour, factory legislation, education, trade unionism, co-operation, rationalism: he was passionately and ably engaged in all of them. His community at New (...) Lanark was the nearest thing to an industrial heaven in the Britain of dark satanic mills; he tried to found a rational co-operative community in the USA. In everything he contemplated, he saw education as a key. This selection of his writings on education illustrates his rationalist concept of the formation of character and its implications for education and society; also his growing utopian concern with social reorganisation; and third, his impact on social movements. Silver's introduction shows Owen's relationship to particular educational traditions and activities and his long-term influence on attitudes to education. (shrink)
This edited collection, based on the 2001 Oxford Amnesty Lectures, focuses on human rights abuses and the way in which these are interpreted. The contributors are Tzvetan Todorov, Michael Ignatieff, Gayatri Spivak, Peter Singer, Gitta Sereny, Geoffrey Bindman, Susan Sontag, and Eva Hoffman, with commentaries on their essays from Niall Fergusson, Timothy Garton Ash, Hermione Lee, and others. The issues explored in the talks include the right of the international community to military intervention in human rights abuses, the ethical and (...) legal difficulties in bringing rights abusers to justice, the human tendency towards racist attitudes, the impact of postcolonialism, and the way in which human evil is represented in photography. A main theme throughout explores the implications of constructing crude dichotomies of heroes and villains, whose motivations are often left unexplored. The aim is to do justice to the moral complexity of the situations into which those caught up in violent or destabilizing events are placed, while retaining a commitment to action as well as understanding in support of human rights. (shrink)
This book explores Hume's account of reason and its role in human understanding, seen in the context of other notable accounts by philosophers of the early modern period. David Owen offers new interpretations of many of Hume's most famous arguments about induction, belief, scepticism, the passions, and moral distinctions.
Maturity and Modernity examines Nietzsche, Weber and Foucault as a distinct trajectory of critical thinking within modern thought which traces the emergence and development of genealogy in the form of imminent critique. David Owen clarifies the relationship between these thinkers and responds to Habermas' (and Dews') charge that these thinkers are nihilists and that their approach is philosophically incoherent and practically irresponsible by showing how genealogy as a practical activity is directed toward the achievements of human autonomy. The scope (...) of the book covers the critical methodologies developed by these thinkers with respect to the analysis of how we have become what we are and the implication which they draw for the possibility of human autonomy in the present. It proceeds by detailed analysis of each thinker in turn showing the structure of their approach, their historical account of the emergence of modernity, and the politics of their attempts to facilitate the achievement of human autonomy. (shrink)
The Symposia Aristotelica were inaugurated at Oxford in 1957. They are conferences of select groups of Aristotelian scholars from the UK, USA and Europe, and are held every three years. In 1975 the meeting was held in Cambridge and was devoted to Aristotle's psychological treatises, the De anima and the Parva uaturalia. The members of the conference discussed some of the much debated problems of Aristotle's psychology and broached important new topics such as his ideas on imagination. Dr Lloyd and (...) Professor Owen have collected and edited the papers presented to the Symposium and provided an analytical index. (shrink)
A formal and idealised understanding of intentionality as a mental process is a central topic within the classical Husserlian phenomenological analysis of consciousness. This paper does not define Husserl’s stance, because that has been achieved elsewhere (Kern, 1977, 1986, 1988; Kern & Marbach, 2001; Marbach, 1988, 1993, 2005; Owen, 2006; Zahavi, 2003). This paper shows how intentionality informs therapy theory and practice. Husserl’s ideas are taken to the psychotherapy relationship in order to explain what it means for consciousness to (...) have intentionality in various ways. The role of intentionality in psychopathology and its treatment within cognitive behavioural therapy is explained as a way of showing how understanding intentionality creates a medum for the delivery of care. Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology , Volume 7, Edition 1 May 2007. (shrink)
: This project draws on scholarship of feminist and womanist scholars, and on results of interviews with scientists currently involved in molecular genetics. With reference to Margaret Urban Walker's "practices of moral responsibility," the social practices of molecular geneticists are explored, and strategies identified through which scientists negotiate their moral responsibilities. The implications of this work for scientists and for feminists are discussed.
For the last several decades, philosophers have wrestled with the proper place of religion in liberal societies. Usually, the debates among these philosophers have started with the articulation of various conceptions of liberalism and then proceeded to locate religion in the context of these conceptions. In the process, however, too little attention has been paid to the way religion is conceived. Drawing on the work of Robert Audi and Nicholas Wolterstorff, two scholars who are often read as holding opposing (...) views on these issues, I argue that, for the purposes of their argument about liberalism, both have implicitly accepted a concept of religion that has come under severe attack in recent work on the subject. Namely, they have accepted a concept of religion that identifies religion primarily with belief, ritual practice, and ecclesial institutions. Following recent scholarship, I suggest that religion is better conceived as a kind of culture. To conclude the essay, I gesture toward what the beginnings of a re-visioned debate about religion and liberal society might look like if one started from this revised conception of religion. (shrink)
Section 1 of this essay distinguishes between four interpretations of Socratic intellectualism, which are, very roughly: (1) a version in which on any given occasion desire, and then action, is determined by what we think will turn out best for us, that being what we all, always, really desire; (2) a version in which on any given occasion action is determined by what we think will best satisfy our permanent desire for what is really best for us; (3) a version (...) formed by the assimilation of (2) to (1), labelled the ‘standard’ version’ by Thomas C. Brickhouse and Nicholas D. Smith, and treated by them as a single alternative to their own interpretation; and (4) Brickhouse and Smith’s own version. Section 2 considers, in particular, Brickhouse and Smith’s handling of the ‘appetites and passions’, which is the most distinctive feature of interpretation (4). Section 3 discusses Brickhouse and Smith’s defence of ‘Socratic studies’ in its historical context, and assesses the contribution made by their distinctive interpretation of ‘the philosophy of Socrates’. One question raised in this section, and one that is clearly fundamental to the existence of ‘Socratic studies’, is how different Brickhouse and Smith’s Socrates turns out to be from Plato himself, i.e., the Plato of the post-‘Socratic’ dialogues; to which the answer offered is that on Brickhouse and Smith’s interpretation Socratic moral psychology becomes rather less distinguishable from its ‘Platonic’ counterpart—as that is currently understood—than it is on the interpretation(s) they oppose. (shrink)
In response to the fall of Constantinople in 1453, Nicholas of Cusa wrote De pace fidei defending a commitment to religious tolerance on the basis of the notion that all diverse rites are but manifestations of one true religion. Drawing on a discussion of why Nicholas of Cusa is unable to square the two objectives of arguing for pluralistic tolerance and explaining the contents of the one true faith, we outline why theological pluralism is compromised by its own (...) meta-exclusivism. (shrink)
Richard Owen has been condemned by Darwinians as an anti-evolutionist and an essentialist. In recent years he has been the object of a revisionist analysis intended to uncover evolutionary elements in his scientific enterprise. In this paper I will examine Owen's evolutionary hypothesis and its connections with von Baer's idea of divergent development. To give appropriate importance to Owen's evolutionism is the first condition to develop an up-to-date understanding of his scientific enterprise, that is to disentagle (...) class='Hi'>Owen's contribution to the modernization of typology and morphology. I will argue that Owen's Platonic essentialism is rhetorical and incongruous. On the contrary, an interpretation of the archetype based on Aristotle's biological works makes possible a new conception of type, based on a homeostatic mechanism of stability. The renewal of morphology hinges on homological correspondences and a homeostatic process is also the origin of serial and special homology. I will argue that special homology shows an evolutionary orientation insofar as it is a typically inter-specific character while serial homology is determined through an elementary usage of the categories of developmental morphology. (shrink)
In this paper we discuss the meaning of Owen's coalitional extension of the Banzhaf index in the context of voting situations. It is discussed the possibility of accommodating this index within the following model: in order to evaluate the likelihood of a voter to be crucial in making a decision by means of a voting rule a second input (apart from the rule itself) is necessary: an estimate of the probability of different vote configurations. It is shown how (...) class='Hi'>Owen's coalitional extension can be seen as three different normative variations of this model. (shrink)
This paper presents an axiomatic characterization of the Owen set of transportation games. In the characterization we use six properties including consistency (CONS2) and splitting and merging (SM) which are firstly proposed and defined for this setup in the present paper.
This introduction sets the stage for four papers on Nicholas Wolterstorff's Justice: Rights and Wrongs , written by Harold Attridge, Oliver O'Donovan, Richard Bernstein, and myself. In his book, Wolterstorff defends an account of human rights. The first section of this introduction distinguishes Wolterstorff's account of rights from the alternative account of rights against which he contends. The alternative account draws much of its power from a historical narrative according to which theory and politics supplanted earlier ways of thinking (...) about justice. The second section sketches that narrative and Wolterstorff's counter-narrative. The third section draws together the main points of Wolterstorff's own account. (shrink)
Nicholas Wolterstorff: Practices of belief: selected essays, volume 2 (Terence Cuneo, ed.) Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 255-258 DOI 10.1007/s11153-011-9287-4 Authors Scott A. Davison, Philosophy Program, Morehead State University, 150 University Blvd., 354A Rader Hall, Morehead, KY 40351, USA Journal International Journal for Philosophy of Religion Online ISSN 1572-8684 Print ISSN 0020-7047 Journal Volume Volume 70 Journal Issue Volume 70, Number 3.
This paper is a reaction to the book “Science and the Pursuit of Wisdom”, whose central concern is the philosophy of Nicholas Maxwell. I distinguish and discuss three concerns in Maxwell’s philosophy. The first is his critique of standard empiricism (SE) in the philosophy of science, the second his defense of aim-oriented rationality (AOR), and the third his philosophy of mind. I point at some problematic aspects of Maxwell’s rebuttal of SE and of his philosophy of mind and argue (...) in favor of AOR. (shrink)
This article reviews the recent reissuing of Richard Owen’s On the Nature of Limbs and its three novel, introductory essays. These essays make Owen’s 1849 text very accessible by discussing the historical context of his work and explaining how Owen’s ideas relate to his larger intellectual framework. In addition to the ways in which the essays point to Owen’s relevance for contemporary biology, I discuss how Owen’s unity of type theory and his homology claims about (...) fins and limbs compare with modern views. While the phenomena studied by Owen are nowadays of major interest to evolutionary developmental biology, research in evo-devo has largely shifted from homology (which was Owen’s concern) towards evolutionary novelty, e.g., accounting for fins as a novelty. Still, I argue that questions about homology are important and raise challenges even for explanations of novelty. (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..
We are in a state of impending crisis. And the fault lies in part with academia. For two centuries or so, academia has been devoted to the pursuit of knowledge and technological know-how. This has enormously increased our power to act which has, in turn, brought us both all the great benefits of the modern world and the crises we now face. Modern science and technology have made possible modern industry and agriculture, the explosive growth of the world’s population, global (...) warming, modern armaments and the lethal character of modern warfare, destruction of natural habitats and rapid extinction of species, immense inequalities of wealth and power across the globe, pollution of earth, sea and air, even the aids epidemic (aids being spread by modern travel). All these global problems have arisen because some of us have acquired unprecedented powers to act, via science and technology, without also acquiring the capacity to act wisely. (shrink)
The issue of faith and reason arises from the claim that there are two kinds of truths: some truths are discoverable to human understanding and some are not. This paper argues that the epistemology of the prominent orthodox protestant theologian John Owen (1616–1683) does not fit the labels of evidentialism and fideism. According to evidentialism, every cognitive act (including faith) must depend on evidence available to reason. According to fideism, there is no relation between faith and reason so that (...) nothing of reason can be counted for or against faith. But Owen is a fideist in the sense that faith is not based on rational evidence, and an evidentialist in the sense that Christian faith ought to have some rational or cognitive support. Philosophical arguments count in favour of faith and are not the ground of faith. The paper suggests that this nuanced view is a viable alternative and option. (shrink)
Nicholas Maxwell takes on the ambitious project of explaining, both epistemologically and metaphysically, the physical universe and human existence within it. His vision is appealing; he unites the physical and the personal by means of the concepts of aim and value, which he sees as the keys to explaining traditional physical puzzles. Given the current popularity of theories of goal-oriented dynamical systems in biology and cognitive science, this approach is timely. But a large vision requires firm and nuanced arguments (...) to support it. Here Maxwell's work is weakest; his arguments for contingent mind-body identity and for free will, on which his larger theory depends, are inadequate. The book is valuable both for its comprehensive view of the human condition and its mysteries, and for its demonstration of the difficulties in making such a view coherent. (shrink)
There is a kinship between Owen Flanagan's The Really Hard Problem and William James's The Varieties of Religious Experience that not only can help us to understand Flanagan's book but also can help scholars, particularly scholars of religion, to be attentive to an important development in the realm of the "spiritual but not religious." Specifically, Flanagan's book continues a tradition in philosophy, exemplified by James, that addresses questions of religious or spiritual meaning in terms accessible to a broad audience (...) outside the context of organized religions. Both James and Flanagan are concerned to refute the popular perception that the sciences of the mind pose a threat to meaning and particularly to meaningful processes of human growth and transformation. Where James used the subconscious to bridge between science and religion and persuade his readers of the reality of the More, Flanagan uses a scientifically grounded understanding of transcendence to enchant his readers into believing in Less. Although I think that Flanagan's attempt to link the psychological and sociocultural levels of analysis via the concept of transcendence is scientifically premature, his attempt at a naturalistic spirituality raises questions of definition that scholars of religion need to take seriously. (shrink)
I argue that Nicholas of Cusa agrees with Thomas Aquinas on the metaphysics of analogy in God, but differs on epistemology, taking a Platonic position against Aquinas’ Aristotelianism. As a result Cusa has to rethink Thomas’ solution to the problem of discourse about God. In De docta ignorantia he uses the mathematics of the infinite as a clue to the relations between a thing and its Measure and this allows him, he thinks, to adapt Aquinas’ approach to the problem (...) of his own epistemology. The resulting approach, I maintain, is coherent and reasonable if the metaphysical views behind it are. (shrink)
Owen Flanagan's arguments concerning qualia constitute an intermediate position between Dennett's “disqualification” of qualia and the thesis that qualia represent an insurmountable obstacle to constructive naturalism. This middle ground is potentially attractive, but it is shown to have serious problems. This is brought out via consideration of several classic areas of dispute connected with qualia, including the inverted spectrum, Frank Jackson's thought experiment, Hindsight, and epiphenomenalism. An attempt is made to formulate the basis for a less vulnerable variant on (...) the “middle ground”. (shrink)
This article reviews the recent reissuing of Richard Owen’s On the Nature of Limbs and its three novel, introductory essays. These essays make Owen’s 1849 text very accessible by discussing the historical context of his work and explaining how Owen’s ideas relate to his larger intellectual framework. In addition to the ways in which the essays point to Owen’s relevance for contemporary biology, I discuss how Owen’s unity of type theory and his homology claims about (...) ﬁns and limbs compare with modern views. While the phenomena studied by Owen are nowadays of major interest to evolutionary developmental biology, research in evo-devo has largely shifted from homology (which was Owen’s concern) towards evolutionary novelty, e.g., accounting for ﬁns as a novelty. Still, I argue that questions about homology are important and raise challenges even for explanations of novelty. (shrink)
Three problems are raised for Nicholas Georgalis’s recent work: (1) a problem with regard to the supposed noninferential knowledge of minimal content, (2) a problem with the “necessary condition” Georgalis stipulates for the legitimate application of a first-person methodology to a science of the mind, and (3) a problem with regard to denying phenomenal content to intentional acts.
This volume not only provides the first critical edition with an English translation of the famous correspondence of Nicholas of Autrecourt (c. 1300-1369), but also an assessment of his views and the views of those to whom the letters were ...
On October 11, 2003, the Talk Reason website posted an article by Nicholas Matzke titled "Evolution in (Brownian) Space: A Model for the Origin of the Bacterial Flagellum" (http://www.talkreason.org/articles/flagellum.cfm). Talk Reason advertises itself as a website that presents a collection of articles which aim to defend genuine science from numerous attempts by the new crop of creationists to replace it with theistic pseudo-science under various disguises and names." The most obvious target here is intelligent design. Indeed, Matzke's article attempts (...) to rebut one of the main challenges that intelligent design has raised against Darwinian evolution, namely, how to explain the emergence of irreducibly complex biochemical machines like the bacterial flagellum. (shrink)