In philosophy of religion, when, if ever, is it better to philosophically engage one another as advocates of competing religions (or secular naturalism) as opposed to conducting a more detached philosophical investigation of each other’s actual religious convictions? We offer a narrative overview of a philosophy of religion seminar we participated in, highlighting questions about the possibility of even understanding persons of different religions and considering when, if ever, one’s own religious convictions should be put on exhibit in teaching philosophy (...) of religion. We defend a “middle path,” advocating the permissibility of some disclosure of religious convictions, but with an openness to role play and a passionate commitment to impartiality in class discussion and grading. This middle path lies in between advocacy models (such as Peter Moser’s, Eleonore Stump’s, and Merold Westphal’s) and more strict neutrality models (such as Michael Rea’s). (shrink)
Discussions of modes of analysis, as well as the received wisdom about which categories to place scholars in, often obscure the breadth and nature of inquiry a particular figure engaged in. This examination of Reinhard Bendix's various uses of comparison suggests that, beyond the sociohistorical comparison he was known for, one should also consider his reflexive works, his work on the role of social science and claims for knowledge, and his reflections on the history of ideas, the need for (...) conceptual clarification of terms, and the search for regularities and universals. (shrink)
Reinhard Bendix made a major contribution to the early reception and interpretation of Max Weber's work. His classic study, Max Weber: An Intellectual Portrait (1960), developed a remarkably consistent interpretation of Weber as a comparative historical sociologist. Bendix also emulated and subtly reinterpreted in his own work key aspects of Weber's comparative method and research strategies. By searching for a middle course between `Scylla and Charybdis', between the abstractions of theoretical concepts and the richness of empirical evidence, Bendix sought (...) to reinterpret and renew the vital centre of Weber's comparative enterprise as a study of western uniqueness. In so doing, he decisively challenged Talcott Parsons's alternative methodological reading of Weber's work. Yet, curiously Bendix's status as a Weber interpreter and comparative historian profoundly influenced by Weber's legacy has often been neglected or misinterpreted. This article re-examines Bendix's classic reading of Weber's corpus, and the way in which he sought to keep alive in his substantive work the promise and spirit of Weber's comparative historical sociology. (shrink)
Vernacular language use in England throughout the later Middle Ages was a complex negotiation between English and French; that is, between the languages of English and French and the political identities of two peoples engaged in a long war. Clifford Geertz's famous analysis of “blurred genres” is used to think through the fuzzy properties of this period's bilingualism and to argue that to understand the boundaries between English and French as blurred is revealing of the linguistic and social tensions that (...) were the product of conflict between two closely intertwined cultures. This article is the first of a three-part contribution to the Common Knowledge symposium on “blur,” each part corresponding broadly to Geertz's trifold instances of blur as involving “face-to-face interaction” (“life as game”), “collective intensities” (“life as stage”), and “imaginative forms” (“life as text”). This first part takes as its main example a duel described by Jean Froissart in his Chroniques, in which a French knight is punished by his own king, Charles V, for fighting and injuring an English knight on the outskirts of Calais in 1383. (shrink)
Most moral psychologists have come to accept two types of moral reasoning: Kohlberg's justice and Gilligan's care, but there still seem to be some unresolved issues. By analysing and comparing Kohlberg's statement on some theoretical issues with some of Gilligan's statements in an interview in April 2003, I will look at some key issues in the so?called ?Kohlberg?Gilligan conflict?. Some of the questions raised in this paper are: (1) Does Gilligan reject the idea of developmental morality? (2) Does Gilligan support (...) Kohlberg's stage theory and his claim of universality? (3) Did Kohlberg reject Gilligan's proposal to expand his understanding of moral reasoning? (4) Was Gilligan's theory a critique of or an expansion to Kohlberg's theory? The findings of this analysis suggest that the first question be answered negatively, the second positively, the third negatively and the fourth that Gilligan's theory is an expansion rather than a critique. (shrink)
New Haven - What people think about many of the big issues that will be discussed in the next two months - like gay marriage, stem-cell research and the role of religion in public life - is intimately related to their views on human nature. And while there may be differences between Republicans and Democrats, one fundamental assumption is accepted by almost everyone. This would be reassuring - if science didn't tell us that this assumption is mistaken.
The article examines a series of trials involving the November 1938 destruction of the synagogue in Lörrach, Germany, held between 1947 and 1949. The alleged ringleader of the pogrom was acquitted, as were some of his codefendants. These acquittals, together with the probationary terms offered to several of the defendants, suggest that the South Baden authorities had found they could censure Nazi violence toward Jews through criminal indictment and conviction, while simultaneously reintegrating compromised individuals – some of them now burdened (...) with a criminal record for crimes of violence against Jews – into the new West German polity. The article examines the case in light of Émil Durkheim’s normative-integrative theory of criminal law/criminal deviance, suggesting that the history of the trials requires qualification of Durkheim’s theory as applied to human rights abuses by agents of the nation-state. (shrink)