This book demonstrates the originality and coherence of Jonathan Edwards' philosophicaltheology using his dynamic reconception of reality as the interpretive key. The author argues that what underlies Edwards' writings is a radical shift from the traditional Western metaphysics of substance and form to a new conception of the world as a network of dispositions: active and abiding principles that possess reality apart from their manifestations in actions and events. Edwards' dispositional ontology enables him to restate the Augustinian-Calvinist (...) tradition in theology in a strikingly modern philosophical framework. A prime example of Edwards' innovative reconstruction in philosophicaltheology is his conception of God as both eternal actuality and a disposition to repeat that actuality within God and also through creation. This view is a compelling alternative to the traditional Western doctrine of God as changeless actuality, on the one hand, and the recent process theologians' excessive stress on God's involvement in change, on the other. Edwards' achievement was that he saw dynamic movement as essential to God's own life without compromising the traditional Christian tenets of God's prior actuality and transcendence. The author of this volume also explicates the way in which Edwards' dynamic reconception of reality informs his theories of imagination, aesthetic perception, the knowledge of God, and the meaning of history. This expanded edition includes a new preface and a new appendix titled "Jonathan Edwards on Nature.". (shrink)
Christian PhilosophicalTheology constitutes a Christian philosopher's look at various crucial topics in Christian theology, including belief in God, the nature of God, the Trinity, christology, the resurrection of Jesus, the general resurrection, redemption, and theological method. The book is tightly argued, and amounts to a coherent explanation of and case for the Christian world view. Although written from a broadly Reformed Protestant perspective, and although the author does not avoid controversial topics, his aim is to present (...) a `merely Christian' world view (to adapt slightly C. S. Lewis's famous term). That is, he attempts to write as much as possible from the perspective of the broad centre of Christian understanding. (shrink)
Robert Merrihew Adams has been a leader in renewing philosophical respect for the idea that moral obligation may be founded on the commands of God. This collection of Adams' essays, two of which are previously unpublished, draws from his extensive writings on philosophicaltheology that discuss metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical issues surrounding the concept of God--whether God exists or not, what God is or would be like, and how we ought to relate ourselves to such a being. (...) Adams studies the relation between religion and ethics, delving into an analysis of moral arguments for theistic belief. In several essays, he applies contemporary studies in the metaphysics of individuality, possibility and necessity, and counterfactual conditionals to issues surrounding the existence of God and problems of evil. (shrink)
This short work shows how systematic theology is itself a philosophical enterprise. After analyzing the nature of philosophical enquiry and its relation to systematic theology, and after explaining how theology requires that we talk about God, Vincent BrU;mmer illustrates how philosophical analysis can help in dealing with various conceptual problems involved in the fundamental Christian claim that God is a personal being with whom we may live in a personal relationship.
Which Trinity? : the doctrine of the Trinity -- In contemporary philosophicaltheology -- Whose monotheism? : Jesus and his Abba -- Doctrine and analysis -- "Whoever raised Jesus from the dead" : Robert Jenson on the identity of the Triune God -- Moltmann's perichoresis : either too much or not enough -- "Eternal functional subordination" : considering a recent evangelical proposal -- Holy love and divine aseity in the theology of John Zizioulas -- Moving forward : (...) theses on the future of Trinitarian theology. (shrink)
This collection of essays, written between 1975 and 1987, covers topics including the doctrine of analogy, the Trinity, theological realism, the problims of evil and suffering, ecclesiology, and the so-called theistic proofs. The earlier writings relect the author's training as a philosopher in the Anglo-Aamerican analytic tradition. Later essays have a more explicitly theological focus, and they attempt to deal with and move beyond the tradition through hermeneutics, and literary and social theory. This collection thus addresses a wider list of (...) topics than is usual in works of philsophical theology, and is unique in its use of interdisciplinary methods and approaches. (shrink)
The sixteen chapters, commissioned specially for this volume, are written by an internationally recognized team of scholars and examine topics such as the Trinity, God's necessary existence, simplicity, omnipotence, omniscience, ...
Introduction : points of departure -- A genealogy of the Christian colonial mindset : ex nihilo from disputed beginnings to orthodox origins -- Ex nihilo and the origin of an empire -- Ex nihilo, erasure and discovery? -- The cogito, ex nihilo, and the legacy of John Locke -- The creation ex nihilo of terra nullius lands : omnipotent nations and the logic of global-colonization -- From epistemologies of domination to grounded thinking -- Opening words about God onto creatio continua (...) -- Creatio continua "all the way down": a post-colonial, planetary understanding of continuing creation -- Conclusion : a brief thought after. (shrink)
This book is the fullest study in English for many years on the role of God in Spinoza's philosophy. Spinoza has been called both a 'God-intoxicated man' and an atheist, both a pioneer of secular Judaism and a bitter critic of religion. He was born a Jew but chose to live outside any religious community. He was deeply engaged both in traditional Hebrew learning and in contemporary physical science. He identified God with nature or substance: a theme which runs through (...) his work, enabling him to naturalise religion but - equally important - to divinise nature. He emerges not as a rationalist precursor of the Enlightenment but as a thinker of the highest importance in his own right, both in philosophy and in religion. (shrink)
In this study of Robert Boyle's epistemology, Jan W. Wojcik reveals the theological context within which Boyle developed his views on reason's limits. After arguing that a correct interpretation of his views on 'things above reason' depends upon reading his works in the context of theological controversies in seventeenth-century England, Professor Wojcik details exactly how Boyle's three specific categories of things which transcend reason - the incomprehensible, the inexplicable, and the unsociable - affected his conception of what a natural philosopher (...) could hope to know. Also covered in detail is Boyle's belief that God had deliberately limited the human intellect in order to reserve a full knowledge of both theology and natural philosophy for the afterlife. (shrink)
Although metaphysics as a discipline can hardly be separated from Aristotle and his works, the questions it raises were certainly known to authors even before the reception of Aristotle in the thirteenth century. Even without the explicit use of this term the twelfth century manifested a strong interest in metaphysical questions under the guise of «natural philosophy» or «divine science», leading M.-D. Chenu to coin the expression of a twelfth century «éveil métaphysique». In their commentaries on Boethius and under the (...) influence of Neoplatonism, twelfth century authors not only anticipate essential elements of thirteenth century metaphysics, they also make an original contribution to the history of metaphysics by attempting to integrate the theory of first principles, philosophicaltheology and ontology. This volume presents and examines the contributions of the twelfth century to metaphysics made by selected Jewish, Christian and Muslim authors of the Iberian Peninsula and Francia. -/- Contributors include Matthias Lutz-Bachmann (Frankfurt am Main), Andreas Speer (Würzburg), Charles Burnett (London), Alexander Fidora (Frankfurt am Main), Thomas Ricklin (Neuchâtel), Yossef Schwartz (Jerusalem), Josep Udina (Barcelona), Jack C. Marler (St. Louis/USA), Gillian R. Evans (Cambridge), Andreas Niederberger (Frankfurt am Main) and Françoise Hudry (Paris). (shrink)
What, at this historical moment "after Auschwitz," still remains of the questions traditionally asked by theology? What now is theology's minimal degree? This magisterial study, the first extended comparison of the writings of Theodor W. Adorno and Emmanuel Levinas, explores remnants and echoes of religious forms in these thinkers' critiques of secular reason, finding in the work of both a "theology in pianissimo" constituted by the trace of a transcendent other. The author analyzes, systematizes, and formalizes this (...) idea of an other of reason. In addition, he frames these thinkers' innovative projects within the arguments of such intellectual heirs as Jürgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida, defending their work against later accusations of "performative contradiction" (by Habermas) or "empiricism" (by Derrida) and in the process casting important new light on those later writers as well. Attentive to rhetorical and rational features of Adorno's and Levinas's texts, his investigations of the concepts of history, subjectivity, and language in their writings provide a radical interpretation of their paradoxical modes of thought and reveal remarkable and hitherto unsuspected parallels between their philosophical methods, parallels that amount to a plausible way of overcoming certain impasses in contemporary philosophical thinking. In Adorno, this takes the form of a dialectical critique of dialectics in Levinas, that of a phenomenological critique of phenomenology, each of which sheds new light on ancient and modern questions of metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics. For the English-language publication, the author has extensively revised and updated the prize-winning German version. (shrink)
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-81), thinker, dramatist and controversialist of many-sided interests, is the most representative figure of the German Enlightenment. His defence of Spinoza, who had traditionally been condemned as an atheist, provoked a major controversy in philosophy, and his publication of H. S. Reimarus' radical assault on Christianity led to fundamental changes in Protestant theology. This volume presents the most comprehensive collection to date in English of Lessing's philosophical and theological writings, several of which are here translated (...) for the first time. They are edited and translated by H. B. Nisbet, who also provides an introduction that sets them in their historical and philosophical contexts. (shrink)
This paper explores the Rousseauian background to Kant’s critique of metaphysics and philosophicaltheology. The core idea is that the rejection of metaphysics and philosophicaltheology is part of a turn from theoretical to practical reason influential on European philosophy of religion, a turn we associate with Kant but that is prefigured by Rousseau. Rousseau is not, however, a thinker normally associated with the notion of metaphysical criticism, nor the notion of the primacy of practical reason. (...) The paper draws out this dimension of Rousseau’s thinking and its importance for Kantian thought. It will proceed by discussing the Kant-Rousseau connection; demonstrate the importance of practical philosophy for Kant and the critical project generally; overview Kant’s critique of metaphysics; and turn to a consideration of Rousseau, particularly from the text Émile . Given the indisputable influence of Rousseau on Kant, the purpose of this paper is to explore the ways that Rousseau’s own rejection of philosophicaltheology might be suggestive to those interested in Kant and the way in which it throws new light on Kant’s philosophy of religion. As well as drawing out the Kant-Rousseau connection, it also, implicitly, defends the general orientation of these philosophers as one that is important, perhaps vital, to philosophy of religion. (shrink)
The paper examines three themes from the recent philosophical literature on place: the status of places as “concrete universals”; the narratively mediated agency of places; and the various ways in which human identity proves to be relative to place. I argue that these themes throw into new relief a set of correlative issues in philosophicaltheology concerning, respectively, God’s supra-individuality, God’s status as a final cause, and the divine grounding of human identity. On this basis, the paper (...) proposes that knowledge of place is analogous to, and partly constitutive of, knowledge of God. (shrink)
This study examines an important part of Richard Swinburne’s case for the plausibility of Christianity, namely his Atonement theory. My examination begins by presenting Swinburne’s theory before alluding to the many criticisms it has attracted. I conclude with some lessons which can be learnt about philosophicaltheology and its use in interreligious dialogue. My main contention is that if philosophicaltheology is going to be used for inter-religious dialogue, then it should not be used with the (...) expectation that disagreements will be overcome. (shrink)
INTRODUCTION: Philosophy is the unique science which considers all other sciences in systematically unity (Kant). The classical anthropology (Platon, Aristoteles, Descartes, Hume, Kant, etc.) considers the human and his "spheres" (biological, psychological, logical, philosophical, theological) and his interdependence with nature and society. A philosophicaltheology investigates spiritual phenomena, described by religions and parapsychology in context of ethics, epistemology (incl. metaphysics), aesthetics. A theological anthropology should consider these phenomena multidimensional in context of a holisticscience, i.e. physico- (Kant), bio- (...) (Lüke), psycho-, logico-, philosophicaltheology, etc. [Lit.: Neu, Michailov: Integralanthropology. In: Proc. 21st World Congr. Philos. Istanbul. Press FISP 280‐281, 2003; Theol. Anthrop. In: Book: New Pathways for Eur. Bioethics. Ed.: Eur. Ass. Med. Ethics, Leuven, p. 53/60, 2006; Med. Ethics, 21st Ann. Conf. EACME (Ed.) Zürich, p. 53, 2007]. CONCEPTION: Regrettably philosophicaltheology is reduced to nearly philosophical and theological ethics: Both ethics in the future should realize a common scientific integrated ethics based on philosophy, theology, and psychology incl. of great cultures - Brahmanism, Buddhism, Christianism-Mosaism, Confucianism, and Mohammedanism. The present moral philosophy is very pluralistic: Many views concerningnormative and metaethics (deontology, axiology), also relativism, absolutism (incl. utilitarism), noncognitivism are present. A similar situation exists in moral theology: Not only in context of philosophy (consequentialism, justice, protectionism), but more - of theology are existent contradictionary differences concerning ethics in the great religions (related to God, Spirit/Soul, reincarnation, etc.). A future philosophicaltheology needs a renewal of its scientific theoretical andexperimental fundamentals (controlled observations: criterion for intersubjectivity) concerning theological anthropology incl. not only occidental epistemology (metaphysics, scientific theory, etc.), but also oriental - esp. Brahmanistic and Buddhist (self realization by Yoga, Tibetan, Zen Buddhism) and scientific evaluation of spiritual phenomena by biophysics, physiology, psychology and formal (Aristoteles, Gautama), real, transcendental (Kant), metaphysical (Hegel) normal logic. Areconsideration of application of philosophy of arts, esp. aesthetics in philosophicaltheology is also necessary (incl. inspirations in music/Bach, Beethoven, Händel, painting/Leonardo da Vinci, sculpture/Michelangelo). CONCLUSION: Scientific and political support for a renovation of theological anthropology and philosophicaltheology could help essentially for a realization of UNO-Agenda 21 for better total (incl. spiritual) health and peaceful world. (shrink)
With the aim of guiding readers along, in Hegel’s words, “the long process of education towards genuine philosophy,” this introduction emphasizes the importance of striking up a conversation with the past. Only by looking to past masters and their works, it holds, can old memories and prior thought be brought fully to bear on the present. This living past invigorates contemporary practice, enriching today’s study and discoveries. In this book, groundbreaking philosopher and author Donald Verene addresses two themes: why should (...) one study the historically “great” texts and, if such a study is necessary, how can one undertake it? Acting out against the rejection of the idea that there is a philosophical canon, he centers his argument on the “tetralogy” of Plato, Aristotle, Kant, and Hegel. From his opening look at the rhetorical tradition, he brings those core ideals forward to classical Roman and medieval philosophers and then on into Renaissance and modern philosophy, including contemporary thinkers such as Derrida and Foucault. This vital chronological outline is supplemented by Verene’s contextualizing commentary. In ensuing sections, he offers guidance on reading philosophical works with “intellectual empathy,” suggests 100 essential works to establish a canon, illustrates the role of philosophers in history and society, and examines the nature of history itself. Ultimately, Verene concludes that history may be essential to philosophy, but philosophy is more than just its history. (shrink)
This book addresses the question of how and why history begins with the work of Thucydides. The History of the Peloponnesian War is distinctive in that it is a prose narrative, meant to be read rather than performed. It focuses on the unfolding of contemporary great power politics to the exclusion of almost all other elements of human life, including the divine. Western history has been largely an extension of Thucydides' narrative in that it repeats the unique (...) methodological assumptions and concerns that first appear in his text. The power of Thucydides' text has never been attributed either to the charm of its language or to the entertainment value of its narrative, or to some personal attribute of the author. In this study, Darien Shanske analyzes the difficult language and structure of Thucydides' History and argues that the text has drawn in so many readers into its distinctive world view precisely because of its kinship to the contemporary language and structure of Classical Tragedy. This kinship is not merely a maTter of shared vocabulary or even aesthetic sensibility. Rather, it is grounded in a shared philosophical position, in particular on the polemical metaphysics of Heraclitus. (shrink)
This book offers the first full-length study of philosophical dialogue during the English Enlightenment. It explains why important philosophers - Shaftesbury, Mandeville, Berkeley and Hume - and innumerable minor translators, imitators and critics wrote in and about dialogue during the eighteenth century; and why, after Hume, philosophical dialogue either falls out of use or undergoes radical transformation. Philosophical Dialogue in the British Enlightenment describes the extended, heavily coded, and often belligerent debate about the nature and proper management (...) of dialogue; and it shows how the writing of philosophical fictions relates to the rise of the novel and the emergence of philosophical aesthetics. Novelists such as Fielding, Sterne, Johnson and Austen are placed in a philosophical context, and philosophers of the empiricist tradition in the context of English literary history. (shrink)
God and Morality evaluates the ethical theories of four principle philosophers, Aristotle, Duns Scotus, Kant, and R.M. Hare. Uses their thinking as the basis for telling the story of the history and development of ethical thought more broadly Focuses specifically on their writings on virtue, will, duty, and consequence Concentrates on the theistic beliefs to highlight continuity of philosophical thought.
Did Plato really write those Socratic Dialogues – or was it Socrates after all? Why is it doubtful that Descartes ever really uttered, “I think, therefore I am”? And what did Sartre ever have against waiters, anyway? The history of philosophy is filled with great tales – many of them fictions, misrepresentations, falsehoods, lies and fibs. Or are they just misstatements, prevarications, and narratives not entirely based on fact? In the true spirit of a broad philosophical debate, (...) class='Hi'>Philosophical Tales dips a toe into the great sea of philosophy to collect, deconstruct, and relate many of history’s great – and not so great – philosophical tales. Enlightening and entertaining, Philosophical Tales examines a few of the fascinating biographical details of history’s greatest philosophers (alas, mostly men) and highlights their contributions to the field. By applying the true philosophical approach to philosophy itself, the text provides us with a refreshing “alternative history” of philosophy. But why should someone want to know that Kant rolled himself three times in his sheets each night before sleeping, that Schopenhauer pushed a poor old lady down the stairs, or Marx spent as much time on beer and women as he did in the British Library? By examining the seeming trivialities of philosophers’ lives – and skewering a few cherished myths along the way – Philosophical Tales provides us with illuminating insights that will encourage a more active, critical way of thinking. Blaise Pascal may have put it best when he said, “To make light of philosophy is to be a true philosopher.”. (shrink)
The paper presents some basic tenets of the works by the Franciscan Friar Alfonso Briceño (1587–1668), as well as of his metaphysical thought. After offering the basic structure and purpose of his monumental Controversiae, we focus on a more specific way of seeing his philosophical and theological approach, namely Controversy 5 on the infinity of God. This will allow us to see the structure of his argumentation in philosophy and theology: after putting the formulation of controversial points between (...) the Scotist and the Thomist school, he analyzes arguments against the Thomist position both in the Medieval and Baroque traditions, trying then to defend Duns Scotus’s account by a careful and articulated interpretation of his texts. (shrink)
Considering the enormous outpouring of scholarly work on Schmitt over the last two decades, the absence of an adequate treatment in English of Schmitt's concept of history and the problem of secularization is quite surprising. After all, it is Schmitt himself who claims that “all human beings who plan and attempt to unite the masses behind their plans engage in some form of philosophy of history,” such that the attempt to make sense of Schmitt's program remains incomplete without (...) a serious treatment of his philosophy of history. This article is an attempt to address this problem by means of his exchange with Hans Blumenberg who, more than any other critic of Schmitt, was privy to the political intentions behind Schmitt's metaphorical use of theology. While their discussion is extensive and wide-ranging, I focus here on their diverging philosophies of history, precisely that aspect that is most relevant to gaining a more expansive understanding of Schmitt's arguments, and indeed the relationship between political thought and historical thought. (shrink)
Contemporary caution against anachronism in intellectual history, and the currently momentous theoretical emphasis on subjectivity in the philosophy of mind, are two prevailing conditions that set puzzling constraints for studies in the history of philosophical psychology. The former urges against assuming ideas, motives, and concepts that are alien to the historical intellectual setting under study, and combined with the latter suggests caution in relying on our intuitions regarding subjectivity due to the historically contingent characterizations it has attained (...) in contemporary philosophy of mind. In the face of these conditions, our paper raises a question of what we call non-textual (as opposed to contextual) standards of interpretation of historical texts, and proceeds to explore subjectivity as such a standard. Non-textual standards are defined as (heuristic) postulations of features of the world or our experience of it that we must suppose to be immune to historical variation in order to understand a historical text. Although the postulation of such standards is often so obvious that the fact of our doing so is not noticed at all, we argue that the problems in certain special cases, such as that of subjectivity, force us to pay attention to the methodological questions involved. Taking into account both recent methodological discussion and the problems inherent in two de facto denials of the relevance of subjectivity for historical theories, we argue that there are good grounds for the adoption of subjectivity as a non-textual standard for historical work in philosophical psychology. (shrink)
: Two recent articles described two ways of writing the history of philosophy, one analytic, the other historical, as if the history of philosophy cannot be both analytically sharp and contextually informed at the same time. I recommend the practice of "PhilosophicalHistory of Philosophy," which combines the advantages of the analytic and historical methods.
Nihilism is the logic of nothing as something, which claims that Nothing Is. Its unmaking of things, and its forming of formless things, strain the fundamental terms of existence: what it is to be, to know, to be known. But nihilism, the antithesis of God, is also like theology. Where nihilism creates nothingness, condenses it to substance, God also makes nothingness creative. Negotiating the borders of spirit and substance, theology can ask the questions of nihilism that other disciplines (...) do not ask: Where is it? What is it made of? Why is it so destructive? How can it be made holy, or overcome? Genealogy of Nihilism rereads Western history in the light of nihilistic logic, which pervades two millennia of Western thought and is coming to fruition in our present age in a virulently dangerous manner. From Parmenides to Alain Badiou, via Plotinus, Avicenna, Duns Scotus, Ockham, Descartes, Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, Heidegger, Sartre, Lacan, Deleuze and Derrida, a genealogy of nothingness can be witnessed in development, with devastating consequences for the way we live. Conor Cunningham's elaborate and sophisticated theology, spanning the disciplines of philosophy, science and popular culture, permits us to see not simply how modernity has formulated its philosophies of nothing, but how these philosophies might be transfigures by the crucial difference theology makes, and so be reconcilable with life and the living - with the very gift which being is. (shrink)
Truth in the Making represents a sophisticated effort to map the complex relations between human knowledge and creative power, as reflected across more than half a millennium of philosophical enquiry. Showing the intimacy of this problematic to the work of Nicholas of Cusa, Bacon, Galileo, Descartes, Hobbes, Leibniz, Vico and David Lachterman, the book reveals how questions about creation apparently diluted by secularism in fact retain much of their potency today. If science could counterfeit or synthesize nature precisely from (...) its smallest nuts and bolts, as Descartes and Hobbes implied and as modern science increasingly suggests, would it create an identical world to that we live in now Robert C. Miner offers a precise genealogy of modern thought on truth and creation: from medieval theology's identification of human creativity with divine initiative to the radical Leibnizian contention that human ideas are 'not little copies of God's', and may at once exceed mimesis and produce things new, unpredictable and unseen. He considers how the theological importance given to creation interacts historically with the secularisation and instrumentalisation of modes of discovery and method, and asks how knowledge is understood between different disciplines, from the allegorical discipline of poetry to the constructible field of mathematics. The book is an eloquent reminder of the ways in which theology continues to fling a wild card at philosophical understandings of reality, countering theories of metaphysical equivalence of the 'real' and 'artificial' with theologies in which human making is always fallible, and strives only for approximate participation in divine truth. As a strenuous and informative breakdown of leading theories of knowledge, Truth in the Making shows the continuing influence of theological questions upon philosophical, scientific and aesthetic disciplines, whilst raising topical questions about the ultimate nature of our reality and our freedom to modify and define it. (shrink)
Hermeneutic theory and the study of Jewish theology : toward a new model of Jewish theological language -- Jewish theology as a religious and doxastic practice -- Forms of theological language in Mekhilta of Rabbi Ishmael -- Forms of theological language in Franz Rosenzweig's The star of redemption.
This book cuts new ground in bringing together traditional Christian theological perspectives on truth and reality with a contemporary philosophical view of the place of language in both divine and wordly reality. Patterson seeks to reconcile the requirements that Christian theology should both take account of postmodern insights concerning the inextricability of language and world as well as taking God's truth to be absolute for all reality. Yet it is not simply about theological language and truth as such. (...) Instead Patterson asks: where does language fit in divine and human reality? Patterson's discussion straddles realist, liberal-revisionist and postliberal theological schools, and critiques their various positions before going on to utilise selectively their insights to develop and apply a theological model of 'language-ridden' reality. This model affirms that worldly reality has a radical dependence on God. Finally, the book explores the theological and ethical implications of the model it proposes. (shrink)
The content of Boscovich’s Theoria philosophiae naturalis was well-known to his contemporaries, but both scientists and philosophers chiefly discussed it during the 19th century. The observations that Boscovich presented in this text, and that he himself defined as “philosophicas metitationes”, soon showed their being a good programme for the forthcoming atomic physics, and contributed to get rid of the mechanistic paradigm in science. In this paper I’ll go back to some meaningful moments of the history of Boscovich’s reception in (...) the era of contemporary philosophy, by referring to what authors such as Popper, Cassirer, Nietzsche and Fechner wrote about him. These thinkers, indeed, particularly stressed the importance of the Theoria in the history of Western thought, and showed that it can easily be evaluated beyond the plane of a pure scientific investigation. (shrink)
This paper presents the history of the Frankfurt School’s inclusion of normative concerns in social science research programs during the period 1930-1955. After examining the relevant methodology, I present a model of how such a program could look today. I argue that such an approach is both valuable to contemporary social science programs and overlooked by current philosophers and social scientists.
Knowledge and Faith in Thomas Aquinas. John I. Jenkins. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1997. pp. 267. 35.00 hb. ISBN 0-521-58126-5. The Cambridge Companion to Aquinas. Norman Kretzmann and Eleonore Stump. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1993. pp. 302. 12.95 pb. ISBN 0-521-43769-5. The Metaphysics of Theism: Aquinas's Natural Theology in the Summa Contra Gentiles I. Norman Kretzmann. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1997. pp. 302. 35.00 hb. ISBN 0-19-823660-3. Thomas Aquinas: God and Explanations. C. F. J. Martin. Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, (...) 1997. pp. 212. 40.00 hb. ISBN 0-7486-0901-6. Theories of Cognition in the Later Middle Ages. Robert Pasnau. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1997. pp. 330. 37.00 hb. ISBN 0-521-58368-3. (shrink)
Nasir Khusraw was a leading Ismaili poet and theologian-philosopher of the Fatimid period whose writings have had a major formative influence on the Ismaili communities of Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia. The bulk of his surviving work was produced in exile in a remote mountainous region of Badakhshan where he sought refuge from persecution in his native district of Balkh. This is the first of his doctrinal treatises to be translated into English. Consisting of a series of 30 questions and (...) answers, it addresses some of the central theological and philosophical issues of his time from an Ismaili perspective, ranging from the creation of the world and the nature of the soul to the questions of human free will and accountability in the afterlife. (shrink)
The papers in this number of the Journal originated in a session sponsored by the American Philosophical Association's Committee on Philosophy and Medicine in 1999. The four papers and two commentaries identify and address philosophical challenges of how we should understand and teach bioethics in the liberal arts and health professions settings. In the course of introducing the six papers, this article explores themes these papers raise, especially the relationship among professional medical ethics, the "long history" of (...) medical ethics, and bioethics. The tendency of bioethics to deprofessionalize medical ethics is rejected, in favor of an historically informed professional medical ethics. It is suggested that bioethics should be critically reconsidered from the perspective of medical ethics as professional ethics. (shrink)
Philosophy may relate to interdisciplinarity in two distinct ways On the one hand, philosophy may play an auxiliary role in the process of interdisciplinarity, typically through conceptual analysis, in the understanding that the disciplines themselves are the main epistemic players. This version of the relationship I characterise as ‘normal’ because it captures the more common pattern of the relationship, which in turn reflects an acceptance of the division of organized inquiry into disciplines. On the other hand, philosophy may be itself (...) the site for the production of interdisciplinary knowledge, understood as a kind of second-order understanding of reality that transcends the sort of knowledge that the disciplines provide, left to their own devices. This is my own position, which I dub ‘deviant’ and to which most of this article is devoted. I begin by relating the two types of interdisciplinarity to the organization of inquiry, especially their respective attitudes to the history of science. Underlying the two types are contrasting notions of what constitutes the ‘efficient’ pursuit of knowledge. This difference is further explored in terms of the organization of the university. The normal/deviant distinction was already marked in the institution’s medieval origins in terms of the difference between Doctors and Masters, respectively, an artefact of which remains in the postgraduate/undergraduate degree distinction. In the context of the history of the university, the prospects for deviant interdisciplinarity were greatest from the early sixteenth to the early nineteenth century—the period called ‘early modern’ in the philosophy curriculum. Towards the end of that period, due to Kant and the generation of idealists who followed him, philosophy was briefly the privileged site for deviant interdisciplinarity. After Hegel’s death, the mantle of deviant interdisciplinarity increasingly passed to some version of ‘biology’. I explore the ‘Natur-’ and ‘Geisteswissenschaft’ versions of that post-philosophical vision, which continue to co-exist within today’s biological science. I then briefly examine the chequered reputation of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, someone who exemplified the promise and perils of deviant interdisciplinarity over the past 200 years. I conclude with an Epilogue that considers contemporary efforts to engage philosophy in interdisciplinary work, invoking William James as an exemplar. (shrink)