Søren Kierkegaard is an important thinker, especially important for those who wish to understand Christian faith. His elusive style, however, and certain distancing techniques make him particularly difficult to understand. The recent history of writings on Kierkegaard reveals a strong tendency to fall into one of two erroneous modes of interpretation. This essay is an attempt to rescue Kierkegaard both from muggings by ‘rigorous’ philosophers and from the morganatic embraces of Post-Modernists. It reviews the classical sources of each of these (...) sorts of reading of Kierkegaard, exposes their mistakes, and suggests several appropriate principles of interpretation. (shrink)
This paper describes a strategy for defending some of the core claims of Christianity from evidentialist critics. The strategy is neither epistemological nor based on considerations of ‘proper basicality’. Indeed, this strategy, if successful, shows Christian faith to be notmerely permissible but ethically obligatory. It does so by taking seriously the claim that faith is a virtue (in the classical sense) and that a reflecting conscience will discover this. The paper also hopes to contribute to Kierkegaard scholarship by offering a (...) new interpretation both of Sickness Unto Death and, by implication, of Kierkegaard’s general significance for philosophy of religion. (shrink)
Shriver and Allen (this volume, this journal; hereafter S&A) make three unconnected criticisms of my views concerning phenomenal consciousness and the question of animal consciousness. First, they claim that my dispositional higher-order thought theory of consciousness has much greater significance for ethics than I recognize. Second, they claim that, in the course of attempting to motivate that theory, I have presented inadequate criticisms of first-order theories (according to which phenomenal consciousness may well be rampant in the animal world). And (...) third, they claim that my argument that the question of animal consciousness might not matter a great deal for comparative psychology may prove too much, showing that such consciousness is genuinely epiphenomenal in ourselves, and undermining some of my own evolutionary arguments in support of higher-order theories. I shall focus mostly on the second and third criticisms. But I begin with a few remarks about the first. (shrink)
Early medieval Irish literature presents several types of voyages into the afterworld: echtrai (various adventures into Mag Mell), immrama (sea travels to the enchanted islands of the Ocean), fisi (ecstatic revelations of Christian eschatology), journeys into Saint Patrick’s Purgatory. In this paper, we seek to contrast the fisi and the descents into the cave of Saint Patrick. From a morphological point of view, both have a great deal of topoï in common, which describe the structure of the Christian (...) other world: the waste land of pains, the infernal pit, the ordeal bridge, the land of the blessed, the celestial Kingdom of God, etc. However, between the two genres appear some major differences, such as the order in which these places are visited. The main distinction lies in the fact that the fisi are mainly ecstatic voyages (i.e. psychanodias ), implying a “ raptus animae ”, while the voyages into Saint Patrick’s Purgatory are physical expeditions (i.e. somanodias ), during the actual life of the adventurers. Although many of the common themes of the two genres derive from the medieval Christian tradition (especially the apocryphal apocalypses and visiones ), we argue that the differences may be due to the input of local Irish Celtic heritage. (shrink)
[Allen W. Wood] Kant's moral philosophy is grounded on the dignity of humanity as its sole fundamental value, and involves the claim that human beings are to be regarded as the ultimate end of nature. It might be thought that a theory of this kind would be incapable of grounding any conception of our relation to other living things or to the natural world which would value nonhuman creatures or respect humanity's natural environment. This paper criticizes Kant's argumentative strategy (...) for dealing with our duties in regard to animals, but defends both his theory and most of his conclusions on these topics. /// [Onora O'Neill] Kant's ethics, like others, has unavoidable anthropocentric starting points: only humans, or other 'rational natures', can hold obligations. Seemingly this should not make speciesist conclusions unavoidable: might not rational natures have obligations to the non-rational? However, Kant's argument for the unconditional value of rational natures cannot readily be extended to show that all non-human animals have unconditional value, or rights. Nevertheless Kant's speciesism is not thoroughgoing. He does not view non-rational animals as mere items for use. He allows for indirect duties 'with regard to' them which afford welfare but not rights, and can allow for indirect duties 'with regard to' abstract and dispersed aspects of nature, such as biodiversity, species and habitats. (shrink)
This volume, honoring the renowned historian of science, Allen G Debus, explores ideas of science - `experiences of nature' - from within a historiographical tradition that Debus has done much to define. As his work shows, the sciences do not develop exclusively as a result of a progressive and inexorable logic of discovery. A wide variety of extra-scientific factors, deriving from changing intellectual contexts and differing social millieus, play crucial roles in the overall development of scientific thought. These essays (...) represent case studies in a broad range of scientific settings - from sixteenth-century astronomy and medicine, through nineteenth-century biology and mathematics, to the social sciences in the twentieth-century - that show the impact of both social settings and the cross-fertilization of ideas on the formation of science. Aimed at a general audience interested in the history of science, this book closes with Debus's personal perspective on the development of the field. Audience: This book will appeal especially to historians of science, of chemistry, and of medicine. (shrink)
As J. Baird Callicott has argued, Adam Smith’s moral theory is a philosophical ancestor of recent work in environmental ethics. However, Smith’s “all important emotion of sympathy” (Callicott 2001: 209) seems incapable of extension to entities that lack emotions with which one can sympathize. Drawing on the distinctive account of sympathy developed in Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments , as well as his account of anthropomorphizing nature in “History of Astronomy and Physics,” I show that sympathy with non-sentient nature is (...) possible within a Smithian ethics. This provides the possibility of extending sympathy, and thereby benevolence and justice, to nature. (shrink)
Patrick Toner has recently criticized accounts of substance provided by Kit Fine, E. J. Lowe, and the author, accounts which say (to a first approximation) that substances cannot depend on things other than their own parts. On Toner’s analysis, the inclusion of this parts exception results in a disjunctive definition of substance rather than a unified account. In this paper (speaking only for myself, but in a way that would, I believe, support the other authors that Toner discusses), I (...) first make clear what Toner’s criticism is, and then I respond to it. Including the parts exception is not the adding of a second condition but instead the creation of a new single condition. Since it is not the adding of a condition, the result is not disjunctive. Therefore, the objection fails. (shrink)
In this book review, I assess the merits of the book as a whole (it's good!) while focusing in particular on chapters by Claudia Card, Patrick Frierson, Robert Louden, Pablo Muchnik, Jeanine Grenberg, and Allen Wood.
Allhoff, Fritz, Patrick Lin, and Daniel Moore. 2010. What is nanotechnology and why does it matter? From science to ethics Content Type Journal Article Pages 209-211 DOI 10.1007/s11673-011-9289-z Authors Jennifer Kuzma, University of Minnesota, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, 301 19th Ave So, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529 Journal Volume Volume 8 Journal Issue Volume 8, Number 2.
Allen Carlson and Sheila Lintott (eds): Nature, Aesthetics, and Environmentalism: From Beauty to Duty Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10806-010-9258-2 Authors Nathaniel Barrett, Institute for the Biocultural Study of Religion 1711 Massachusetts Ave NW #308 Washington DC 20036 USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
In my Responses, I take up the various definitional and justificatory challenges that Anita Allen, Anthony Appiah and Bill Lawson raise to my defense of affirmative action and I try to build bridges and remove the apparent disagreements between our views. In the process, I have found a way to replace race-based affirmative action with a non-race-based program which retains all the benefits that a race-based program can provide and secures additional benefits as well.
Evaluation of the contribution that Allen Carlson’s environmental aesthetics can make to environmental protection shows that Carlson’s positive aesthetics, his focus on the functionality of human environments for their proper aesthetic appreciation, and his integration of ethical concern with aesthetic appreciation all provide fruitful, though not unproblematic, avenues for an aesthetic defense of theenvironment.
Francis Allen, The Borderland of Criminal Justice: Essays in Law and Criminology Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1964 Francis Allen, The Crimes of Politics: Political Dimensions of Criminal Justice Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1974 Francis Allen, Law, Intellect, and Education Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1979 Francis Allen, The Decline of the Rehabilitative Ideal: Penal Policy and Social Purpose New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981.
This commentary provides a critical examination of a recent article by Allen and Knight in which the authors claim to provide the long-sought explanation for the Madelung, or n + ℓ, n rule for the order of orbital filling in many-electron atoms. It is concluded that the explanation is inadequate for several reasons.
This article provides a historical, philosophical, and psychological analysis of the recent discovery that reoviruses are oncolytic, capable of infecting and destroying many kinds of cancer cells. After describing Patrick Lee's very indirect path to this discovery, I discuss the implications of this case for understanding the nature of scientific discovery, including the economy of research, anomaly recognition, hypothesis formation, and the role of emotion in scientific thinking. Lee's discoveries involved a combination of serendipity, abductive and deductive inference, and (...) emotional cognition. (shrink)
Allen Orr wrote an extended critical review (over 6000 words) of my book No Free Lunch for the Boston Review this summer (http://bostonreview.mit.edu/BR27.3/orr.html). The Boston Review subsequently contacted me and asked for a 1000 word response. I wrote a response of that length focusing on what I took to be the fundamental flaw in Orr's review (and indeed in Darwinian thinking generally, namely, conflating the realistically possible with the merely conceivable). What I didn't know (though I should have expected (...) it) is that Orr would have the last word and that the Boston Review would give him 1000 words to reply to my response (see the exchange in the current issue at http://bostonreview.mit.edu/BR27.5/exchange.html). (shrink)
Patrick J. Carr and Maria J. Kafalas, Hollowing Out the Middle: The Rural Brain Drain and What It Means for America Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10806-010-9266-2 Authors Doug Seale, 21 Turner Ridge Road Marlborough MA 01752 USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
Allen Orr reviewed my book No Free Lunch in the Summer 2002 issue of the Boston Review . Orr's review is available at http://bostonreview.mit.edu/BR27.3/orr.html. The response below is at the request of the Boston Review and will be appearing in a subsequent issue.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, sociology was becoming established as a discipline in the United States and Great Britain. This article looks closely at the lives and work of two prominent sociologists at this time, Patrick Geddes and Lester F. Ward. As sociology was becoming established in academic departments, neither Ward’s nor Geddes’ thought managed to survive intact. A number of factors played into this process, especially the overall broadness of their perspectives, as well as the (...) incompatibility of several of their key concerns, including gender, religion, race and education, with the eventual trajectory of the sociology and the scholars who were involved in consolidating the discipline as such. (shrink)
I am grateful to Richard Allen, Angela Curran and Trevor Ponech for their interesting objections to and questions about the claims defended in my book. I first discuss Ponech, who raises the most general issue, concerning my account of what cinema is; next, respond to Curran, who examines my basic claim about the importance of medium-specific considerations; and then reply to Allen, who addresses the more specific question of the role of identification in eliciting emotions in cinema.
Critics’ praise of Woody Allen as an artist is increasing. No other comedian includes within his humour so many references to God. Philosophers interested in contemporary culture should take Allen’s comedy seriously. Accepting Albert Camus’s vision of reality, Allen has been artistically handling the absurdity of reality by use of humour. Through comedies, Allen’s films deal with important questions. His finest film may contain an argument for God.
The October 1987 issue of CONVIVIUM (No. 25, pp. 48 54) contains an article by R.T. Allen entitled "Polanyi and Truth" (hereafter "PT"), in which the author claims to "take up the challenge posed by Mr. S. Palmquist's 'A Kantian Critique of Polanyi's "Post Critical Philosophy"' (CONVIVIUM No. 24, March 1987 [pp. 1 11])." In that article (hereafter "KCP") I intended to "use Kant's philosophy as a sounding board to help pinpoint some unfortunate misunderstandings contained in PK" ("KCP" 2). (...) I presupposed, for the purpose of that rather modest task, an interpretation of Kant's philosophy which I had developed in full elsewhere. In deference to any readers who questioned or failed to understand this interpretation as summarized in "KCP", I referred in the footnotes to seven of the articles I have written in its defense (see "KCP" 10 11). (shrink)
Developing a British perspective on the abortion debate, I take up some ideas from Patrick Lee's fine paper, and pursue, in particular, the idea of individual humans as goods in themselves. I argue that this notion helps us to avoid the familiar mistake of making moral value impersonal. It also shows us the way out of consequentialism. Since the most philosophically viable notion of the person, the individual human, is (as Lee argues) a notion of an individual substance that (...) is there from conception, the move has a third effect, which is to rule out abortion. (shrink)
Patrick Hopkins has claimed that SM is compatible with feminist principles. I argue that his account relies on both mistaken analogies and an untenable account of the allegedly changed meaning of SM scenes.
This review essay covers the lesbian writing of philosopher Jeffner Allen, contrasting her fiercely separatist earlier work with her more recent experimental writing. A quest for a separate ontic space-defining difference qua Lesbian and consistently characterized by Allen as "the open"-links her earlier work with her more recent atonalities richly coded with ritual, myth, memory, and play.
Patrick ffrench 'Potential Not To Be: Bersani and Dutoit's _Forms of Being_' _Film-Philosophy_, vol. 9 no. 3, January 2005 Peter Caws 'Theory as Criticism: Bersani and Dutoitπs _Forms of Being_' _Film-Philosophy_, vol. 9 no. 4, January 2005.
I reply to three criticisms of my "Propositional Relevance" offered by Derek Allen, First, Professor Allen points out an inconsistency between my theory of relevance and my reply to an objection, I admit the error but add that it is remediable. Second, he argues that my theory of relevance is counterintuitive. I argue that it is not. And finally, he says that where I use phrases like 'p makes q certain,' I should instead use phrases like 'p, if (...) true, makes q certain.' I argue against this. (shrink)
Patrick Lancaster Gardiner is best known and most widely esteemed for his work on the nature of historical explanation. By addressing the problem of the limits of objectivity in relation to a variety of philosophical issues, he presciently identified the source of a number of philosophical disputes well before they had properly developed. This was certainly the case in Gardiner's treatment of historical explanation, and it is true also of his later treatment of the claims of the personal versus (...) the impersonal in ethical life. (shrink)