According to naïve realist (or primitivist) theories of colour, colours are sui generis mind-independent properties. The question that I consider in this paper is the relationship of naïve realism to what Mark Johnston calls Revelation, the thesis that the essential nature of colour is fully revealed in a standard visual experience. In the first part of the paper, I argue that if naïve realism is true, then Revelation is false. In the second part of the paper, I defend (...) naïve realism against a number of objections. (shrink)
This book gives an introduction to the various theological perspectives regarding revelation. It includes a survey of the views of liberal, evangelical, Calvinist, and Charismatic theologians. The author presents his succinct view in the last chapter.
This paper explores the significance of authority for Kant’s understanding of the relationship between reason and revelation. Beginning with the separation of the faculties of Theology and Philosophy in Conflict, it will be shown that Kant sees a clear distinction between the authority of reason and that of revelation. However, when one turns to Religion, it is also clear that Kant sees an important, perhaps necessary, relationship between the two. Drawing on a variety of texts, in particular those (...) concerning the public and private use of reason, this paper then explores the relationship between the authority of reason and that of revelation. From this discussion, several conclusions will be drawn regarding Kant’s understanding of the relationship between reason and revelation, namely that while distinct, the two are not necessarily in conflict and that, ultimately, the proper functioning of public reason must include some reference to revelation. (shrink)
There is a strong claim that the world’s createdness, if true, cannot be known but through revelation. In this paper we try to dismiss this claim by arguing that creation cannot be merely a revealed truth (revelabile tantum), since it is on the contrary the very preamble to any genuine revelation. Ontologically, no revelation can happen in a self-existent world. No creation, no revelation. Epistemically, no revelation is to be admitted but on the assumption that (...) the world depends, for its existence and operation, on a supernatural agent. No admittance of creative power, no justified identification of any revelatory activity. (shrink)
Revelation and the God of Israel explores the concept of revelation as it emerges from the Hebrew Scriptures and is interpreted in Jewish philosophy and theology. The first part is a study in intellectual history that attempts to answer the question, what is the best possible understanding of revelation. The second part is a study in constructive theology and attempts to answer the question, is it reasonable to affirm belief in revelation. Here Norbert M. Samuelson focuses (...) on the challenges given from a variety of contemporary academic disciplines, including evolutionary psychology, political ethics, analytic philosophy of religion, and source critical studies of the Bible. This important book offers a unique approach to theological questions and fresh solutions to them and will appeal to those interested in the history of philosophy, religious thought, and Judaism. (shrink)
Swinburne gives reasons for a religious enquirer to disregard the Islamic revelation and to accept the exclusive superiority of the Christian revelation. This essay attempts to explain Swinburne’s reasoning. An attempt is also made to explain what the Islamic revelation is. I argue that on Swinburne’s own account, the Islamic revelation should not be sidelined in favour of the Christian revelation.
In Crossing the Threshold of Divine Revelation,1 William Abraham offers a rich, subtle defense of an epistemology of divine revelation. While I believe there is much about Abraham’s work that is commendable, my remarks in this paper will be primarily critical. But the fact that Abraham’s work is worthy of critical comment should be evidence enough of the importance of Abraham’s book. My focus here will be on a cluster of metaepistemological claims made by Abraham. Specifically, I will (...) argue that Abraham’s remarks about epistemic fit and the epistemic standards we bring to bear in making evaluations of divine revelation claims commit him to a species of epistemic relativism. This may not be a problem. I am not interested in offering an argument against epistemic relativism.2 I suspect, however, that Abraham does not think of himself as an epistemic relativist.3 If this is the case, then I believe Abraham needs to rethink his metaepistemological commitments that imply epistemic relativism. (shrink)
This address to a philosophical conference on truth and faith in ethics engages in an extended critique of the account of truth in Bernard Williams, Truth and Truthfulness: an essay in genealogy (Princeton University Press, 2002). For any jurisprudential, moral or political theory that affirms natural law needs to respond first to sceptical denials that reason can discover any truths about what ends all human individuals or groups ought to pursue. But any such theory also needs to make clear how (...) it differs from, even when it coincides in moral judgment with, bodies of moral teaching self-identified as part of a divine revelation addressed to everyone. It also needs to show how truths of natural law provide grounds for rejecting, as well as for accepting, particular human claims to be the bearer of such a universal revelation. Parts I to III below address these issues through a critical examination of some contemporary philosophizing which, while acknowledging the warranted universality of the predicate “is true,” withhold that predicate from the principles of practical reason. Parts IV and V address another aspect of universality and particularity about which natural law theory needs to get clear: how the moral norms of natural law, properly as universal as human nature and the community of all people and peoples, nonetheless warrant strong loyalty to specific communities, above all one’s country and one’s marital family. The paper is now published in an edited version in The American Journal of Jurisprudence 53 (2008) 23-48. (shrink)
During Leibniz's lifetime, interest in the interpretation of the Bible and biblical prophecy became central to the theological and political concerns of Protestant Europe. Leibniz's treatment of this phenomenon will be examined in the light of his views on the nature of revelation and its role in his defence of Christianity. It will be argued that Leibniz's defence of the miracle of revelation (and its vehicle, biblical prophecy) – unlike his arguments on behalf of the core Christian mysteries (...) of the Trinity and Incarnation – is demonstrable by purely natural and scientific means, especially the verification of history. (shrink)
This paper defends the view that philosophical propositions are merely relatively true, i.e. true relative to a doxastic perspective defined at least in part by a non-inferential belief-acquiring method. Here is the strategy: first, the primary way that contemporary philosophers defend their views is through the use of rational intuition, and this method delivers non-inferential, basic beliefs which are then systematized and brought into reflective equilibrium. Second, Christian theologians use exactly the same methodology, only replacing intuition with revelation. Third, (...) intuition and revelation yield frequently inconsistent output beliefs. Fourth, there is no defensible reason to prefer the dictates of intuition to those of Christian revelation. Fifth, the resulting dilemma means that there are true philosophical propositions, but we can't know them (scepticism), or there are no philosophical propositions and the naturalists are right (nihilism), or relativism is true. I suggest that relativism is the most palatable of these alternatives. (shrink)
Revelation is the thesis that having an experience that instantiates some phenomenal property puts us in a position to know the nature or essence of that property. It is widely held that although Revelation is prima facie plausible, it is inconsistent with physicalism, and, in particular, with the claim that phenomenal properties are physical properties. I outline the standard argument for the incompatibility of Revelation and physicalism and compare it with the Knowledge Argument. By doing so, I (...) hope to show that on various plausible interpretations of Revelation it is in fact consistent with physicalism. Moreover, there is a robust reading of Revelation that a posteriori physicalists can, and should, accept. (shrink)
Nancy Levene reinterprets a major early-modern philosopher, Benedict de Spinoza - a Jew who was rejected by the Jewish community of his day but whose thought contains, and critiques, both Jewish and Christian ideas. It foregrounds the connection of religion, democracy, and reason, showing that Spinoza's theories of the Bible, the theologico-political, and the philosophical all involve the concepts of equality and sovereignty. Professor Levene argues that Spinoza's concept of revelation is the key to this connection, and above all (...) to Spinoza's view of human power. This is to shift the emphasis in Spinoza's thought from the language of amor Dei (love of God) to the language of libertas humana (human freedom) without losing either the dialectic of his most striking claim - that man is God to man - or the Jewish and Christian elements in his thought. Original and thoughtfully argued, this book offers new insights into Spinoza's thought. (shrink)
Russell (1912) and others have argued that the real nature of colour is transparentto us in colour vision. It's nature is fully revealed to us and no further knowledgeis theoretically possible. This is the doctrine of revelation. Two-dimensionalFourier analyses of coloured checkerboards have shown that apparently simple,monadic, colours can be based on quite different physical mechanisms. Experimentswith the McCollough effect on different types of checkerboards have shown thatidentical colours can have energy at the quite different orientations of Fourierharmonic components (...) but no energy at the edges of the checkerboards, thusrefuting revelation. It is concluded that this effect is not explained by a superveniencedispositional account of colour as proposed by McGinn (1996). It was argued that theMcCollough effect in checkerboards was an example of a local mind/body reduction(Kim 1993), by which the different characteristics of identical colours falsifies revelation. This reduction being based on both physical and neurological mechanisms led to a clear explanation of the perceive phenomenal effects and thus laid a small bridge over the explanatory gap. (shrink)
In response to Peter Byrne’s critical notice of my book "Revelation", I argue that if God is to put us in a position freely to choose to seek Him, we need some propositional revelation (about what he is like and how to worship him), but also some scope for sorting out the implications of that revelation. Both of these aims are satisfied if the Christian Bible with the normal tradition of how to interpret it are the vehicle (...) of revelation. (shrink)
Revelation, the thesis that the full intrinsic nature of colors is revealed to us by color experiences, is false in Byrne & Hilbert's (B&H's) view, but in an interesting and nonobvious way. I show what would make Revelation true, given B&H's account of colors, and then show why that situation fails to obtain, and why that is interesting.
This essay seeks to ascertain the philosophical status of revelation in Kant's critical philosophy so as to come to a better understanding of the use of Scripture in his religious writings, especially Religion within the Boundaries of Reason Alone . In doing so it remains faithful to Kant's hermeneutic strictures according to which the bible must be expounded according to morality, in the sense of the categorical imperative, and its attendant pure practical postulates. Taking as clues Kant's repeated insistence (...) in several critical works that revelation must function symbolically, and the Religion 's most detailed discussions of the nature of biblical language, I argue for the account of the philosophical status of Scripture's narrative content being supplied in the 3 rd Critique's discussion of analogical schematism, and that Kant thus regards Scripture as possessing an aesthetic content. I follow Henry E. Allison's work in interpreting Kant's cryptic account of analogy in terms of his theory of aesthetic ideas, and show how such a connection amply illuminates Kant's use of Scripture. Finally, I ask how understanding revelation in terms of aesthetic ideas complies with Kant's demands for the philosophical irreducibility of rational morality, and demonstrate how Kant remains strictly consistent on this score whilst also guaranteeing Scripture a properly aesthetic content. (shrink)
True Bergsonianism : beginnings of a philosopher -- The controversy over intersubjectivity -- Nazism and crisis : the interruption of a trajectory -- Totaliter aliter : revelation in interwar thought -- Levinas's discovery of the other in the making of French existentialism -- The ethical turn : philosophy and Judaism in the Cold War.
Leo Strauss and Emmanuel Levinas, two twentieth-century Jewish philosophers and two extremely provocative thinkers whose reputations have grown considerably over the last twenty years, are rarely studied together. This is due to the disparate interests of many of their intellectual heirs. Strauss has influenced political theorists and policy makers on the right while Levinas has been championed in the humanities by different cadres associated with postmodernist thought. In Leo Strauss and Emmanuel Levinas: Philosophy and the Politics of Revelation, Leora (...) Batnitzky brings together these two seemingly incongruous contemporaries, demonstrating that they often had the same philosophical sources and their projects had many formal parallels. While such a comparison is valuable in itself for better understanding each figure, it also raises profound questions in the current debate on the definitions of 'religion', suggesting new ways that religion makes claims on both philosophy and politics. (shrink)
This study investigates the impact of fraud/lawsuit revelation on U.S. top executive turnover and compensation. It also examines potential explanatory variables affecting the executive turnover and compensation among U.S. fraud/lawsuit firms. Four important findings are documented. First, there was significantly higher executive turnover among U.S. firms with fraud/lawsuit revelation in the Wall Street Journal than matched firms without such revelation. Second, although on average, U.S. top executives received an increase in cash compensation after fraud/lawsuit revelation, this (...) increase is smaller than that of matched non-fraud/lawsuit firms. Third, fraud/lawsuit firms were more likely to change top executive when chief executive officer (CEO) was not the board chairman and CEO had been on the board for a short time. Fourth, fraud/lawsuit firms were more likely to reduce their executive cash compensation when profitability was low, firms were involved in fraud, the compensation committee size was small, and the board met more often. These findings indicate that although, in general, U.S. fraud/lawsuits firms did not reduce their executive cash compensation, those involved in fraud were more likely to reduce their executive cash compensation than to change their top executives. The finding, that ethical standards is not a significant factor for U.S. executive turnover nor compensation reduction, suggests that ethics appears to play no part in the board’s decisions, and that U.S. firms may have ethical standards in writing but they do not implement nor enforce the standards. (shrink)
The paper considers the criticisms that Eleonore Stump has made of Richard Swinburne's account of Christian's revelation, as set out in his book "Revelation: From Metaphor to Analogy." It argues that Stump's criticisms of Swinburne's theory of biblical interpretation are misguided, but that her criticism of his deistic picture of revelation contains a crucial insight. Direct theories of revelation, which see God as communicating propositions directly to believers, are superior to deistic ones, which see God as (...) communicating propositions only to an original group who then hand on the propositions to everyone else. Stump's suggested alternative to a deistic picture is flawed. A better theory would result from incorporating Swinburne's account of the Church into a direct theory, and holding that God communicates propositions directly to believers in the teaching of the Church. This position combines the insights to be found in Stump and Swinburne, while avoiding their mistakes. (shrink)
I discuss Dante’s understanding that human existence is “ordered by two final goals” and how, for Dante, this understanding defines philosophy’s and revelation’s respective scopes of authority in guiding human conduct. Specifically, I show that, although Dante subordinates our earthly beatitude to spiritual beatitude in a way that seems to suggest the subordination of the authority of philosophy to that of revelation, he in fact limits philosophy’s scope to an arena in which its authority is not only legitimate (...) but also crucial to the cultivation of the higher, spiritual beatitude of human activity. (shrink)
Abstract Among the world's religions, Islam has one of the most fully developed understandings of the notion of revelation. It views the whole of the created order as a revelation and, accordingly, considers religious revelation in the form of Scripture as an integral feature of the human condition. It is within this context that Muhammad's own revelatory experiences must be considered. These are well?attested in the Hadith literature. Islam recognises three distinct grades of revelation. Muhammad's was (...) the highest of these which, as the ahadith make clear, is a ?passing into the deep sleep state in full consciousness ...?. The explicit nature of these traditional accounts of prophecy in action, as well as Islam's universalism, sheds light upon revelation in all religious traditions. (shrink)
Many of those who come to a belief in the God of classical theism do so solely as a result of having had an experience which they believe it is reasonable for them to interpret as a revelation of His existence directly and graciously given to them by God Himself. I shall argue that – at least in the first instance – such people should probably not think of themselves as knowing that there is a God if they are (...) also traditional libertarians and believe in Robert Nozick's theory of knowledge. (shrink)
In his recent book on revelation, Jorge Gracia rejects the authorial intention view of textual interpretation, arguing that the only interpretation that makes sense for texts regarded as divinely revealed is theological interpretation. Both his position and the authorial view face the problem of the Hermeneutical Circle. I contend that the arguments he provides in his own defense do not successfully avoid the circularity present in his own view. His thesis about expected behavior might provide resources for a solution, (...) but this thesis in turn can be used to respond to his own objections against the authorial intention view of interpreting divinely revealed texts. (shrink)
The reality of revelation was one of the fundamental questions that\noccupied George Tyrrell as a writer until he died on 15 July 1909. The\ncentenary of his death is an opportune time to engage this English\nModernist in a dialogue with Karl Rahner on the subject of revelation.\nTyrrell insists on the primacy of the interior experience of revelation.\nAn exaggerated emphasis on inner religious experience, however, led him\ninevitably to a separation of the interior dimension of revelation from\nits verbal expressions (...) and doctrinal formulations.\nRahner also affirms the primacy of the originating inner experience of\nGod but stresses at the same time the intrinsic unity between this\ntranscendental revelation and its categorical, historical dimension.\nRevelation corresponds to the symbolic nature of the addressee. The\nMystery of the Incarnation is the point of reference for understanding\nGod's self-communication. The fullness of revelation has been realized\nin the indissoluble and irreversible unity of the Divine Logos with the\nMan Jesus. (shrink)
This essay introduces central features of classical Hindu reflection on the existence and nature of God by examining arguments presented in the Nyāyamañjarī of Jayanta Bhatta (9th century CE), and the Nyāyasiddhāñjana of Vedānta Deśika (14th century CE). Jayanta represents the Nyāya school of Hindu logic and philosophical theology, which argued that God’s existence could be known by a form of the cosmological argument. Vedānta Deśika represents the Vedånta theological tradition, which denied that God’s existencecould be known by reason, gave (...) primacy to the revelatory texts known as the Upanisads, and firmly subordinated theological reasoning to the acceptance of revelation. Jayanta and Deśika are respected representatives of their traditions whose clear, systematic positions illumine traditional Hindu understandings of “God” and the traditional Hindu debates about God’s existence and nature. Attention to their positions highlights striking common features shared by Hindu and Christian theologies, and offers a substantial basis for comparative reflection on the Christian understanding of God’s existence and nature, and the roles of reason and revelation in knowledge of God. (shrink)
Jesus said to Peter, “Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven,” This looks like a noetic miracle which happened in (or to) Peter. Must all Christians have a comparable miracle in themselves, or does the Bible enable us to apprehend, in some “natural” way, the revelations made to prophets and apostles long ago?I suggest that we need not have a single answer to this question, and that the “mix” of revelation (...) and reason, natural and supernatural noetic elements, may be different in various believers. (shrink)
In this article, a sequel to “Prophetic Experience as Revelation,” I argue that history is the symbolic agency through which revelation occurs. Four issues are central to this claim: the action of God in history, the notion of universal history as revelation, the concept of Christian history as revelation, and the function of history as a symbol in the process of revelation itself.
To attempt in two short articles to provide an adequate review of present-day reflection about divine revelation to humans is folly; in addition to suggest and justify a particular understanding of revelation borders on the impossible. What I propose to do is something much more limited: within the content of contemporary discussion about revelation to examine only two critical and, I hope, illumining instances - namely, the revelation of the divine that occurs in prophetic experience (which (...) I will deal with here) and (in the sequel) human history as the symbolic agency through which revelation occurs. (shrink)
Kierkegaard's fundamental view of life was negative and Gnostic. It was through his interpretation of life that his vision of the nothingness of existence became positive. What formed the material of Kierkegaard's interpretation was the common experience of existence, what ?all? men know. His concept of existence has a threefold content : immediacy, subjectivity, and the Christian Revelation. Immediate reality that is not made content of subjectivity becomes empty changeableness, and subjectivity that does not appropriate immediacy deprives itself of (...) the concrete (as with the mystic). Immediacy's ?text? first acquires a qualitative transcendent content through the ?repetition? of subjective choice. Kierkegaard takes this appropriation of the immediate to be also the self?development of subjectivity. Consciousness of guilt is an expression of a God?relationship. Implicated with this consciousness is the consciousness of the nothingness of everything ? echoed in man as dread. Yet even when subjectivity is conscious of guilt the truth remains immanent in subjectivity. In the Christian Revelation truth is outside man: subjectivity is untruth (sin). (shrink)
Divine revelation as a subject matter cannot be properly considered in the framework of theology, as theology already presupposes revelation. In order to conceive revelation in a non-theological way, we need a philosophical approach. Thus we can recognize the need for a renewed understanding of revelation as God’s self-revelation. In this paper I argue for the understanding of God’s self-revelation as radical revelation, which is opposed to partial understandings ofrevelation, such as the propositional (...) one. A given notion of divine revelation goes together with a given notion of human persons; and as soon as it becomes clear that divine revelation is properly understood as radical revelation, the need of a radical understanding of human persons can be recognized too. Human persons can be determined in terms of their ad se or ad aliud dimensions, but it is the former that leads to a proper understanding of human persons as being basically related to the radically self-revealing God. (shrink)
Science has been dazzlingly successful in explaining nature. Scientific advances also have led to certain undesirable, though unintended, side effects, one of which is alienation from the spiritual. Revelation comes from the Divine. But what is the status of authenticity of a particular piece claimed to be revelation? What is its historical validity and current state of preservation? This essay proposes to develop a list of rational criteria, in consultation with all stakeholders, for addressing the subject. The aim (...) is to bring objectivity into this discourse by placing it more on the turf of reason rather than basing it on considerations of faith and prior allegiance. (shrink)
M. Merleau-Ponty and F. H. Jacobi’s Revelation against Kantian IntellectualismThe goal of this article is to shed light on the neglected connection between Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi (1743-1819) and Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961). It will be shown through certain themes –I) being in the world, II) description, III) reflexion, IV) revelation and the V) primacy of perception – how Merleau-Ponty echoes Jacobi’s criticism of German Idealism during the Pantheist Quarrel, particularly towards Immanuel Kant’s intellectualist stance, two centuries prior to the (...) Phénoménologie de la perception. Through a historical and philological lens, this article aims to specifically demonstrate how Merleau-Ponty and Jacobi share a common ontology against Kantian intellectualism.La rivelazione di M. Merleau-Ponty e F. H. Jacobi contro l’intellettualismo kantianoL’obiettivo di questo articolo è chiarire la trascurata relazione tra Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi (1743-1819) e Maurice Merlau-Ponty (1908-1961). Attraverso l’analisi di alcune tematiche – l’essere nel mondo, la descrizione, la riflessione, la rivelazione –, mostreremo come nella filosofia di Merleau-Ponty riecheggi la critica all’idealismo tedesco formulata da Jacobi all’epoca della disputa sul panteismo e diretta, in particolar modo e con due secoli di anticipo rispetto alla Fenomenologia della Percezione, alle posizioni intellettualiste di Kant. Grazie ad una lettura storica e filologica, questo articolo tenta di dimostrare come Merleau-Ponty e Jacobi condividano un’ontologia comune in opposizione all’intellettualismo kantiano. (shrink)
Immanuel Kant’s position on special revelation is a matter of debate. Here I discuss Kant’s position in detail and compare it to that of Richard Swinburne. I examine both philosophers’ views on the assertability of special revelation, its contingency, whether it is necessary, the possibility of error, and appropriate methods of interpretation. I argue that, like Swinburne, Kant finds belief in special revelation to be acceptable, even beneficial, under certain circumstances.