In his landmark monograph, "The Politics of Jesus", John Howard Yoder challenged mainstream Christian social ethics by arguing that the New Testament account of Jesus's founding of a messianic community entails a normative politics, not only for early Christianity but for the contemporary church. This challenge is further elaborated in several important posthumous publications, especially "Preface to Theology", in which Yoder examines the development of early Christology with attention to its political and ethical implications, and "The Jewish-Christian Schism Revisited", (...) Yoder's proposal for a renewed Jewish-Christian dialogue around the moral meaning of messianism. This article interprets these writings with reference to a range of critical scholarship on and about Yoder, Yoder and Augustine, and Jewish and Christian messianism, paying particular attention to questions of political ethics. (shrink)
In a characteristic passage John McDowell says: [T]his is one of those set-ups that are familiar in philosophy, in which a supposedly exhaustive choice confers a spurious plausibility on a philosophical position. The apparent plausibility is not intrinsic to the position, but reflects an assumed framework; when one looks at the position on its own, the plausibility crumbles away ... In such a situation, the thing to do is to query the assumption that seems to force the choice.
It is widely assumed that there may be a tension in Nietzsche’s views concerning freedom. In particular, Nietzsche seems to deny certain views of free will (GM I:13) and warns against “the hundred-times-refuted theory of ‘free will’” (BGE 18). Nevertheless, he also appears to admire the sovereign individual––“the man who has his own independent, protracted will,” “this master of a free will” (GM II:2)––as well as those who have forged a “free spirit” (GS 347). John Mandalios’s Nietzsche and the (...) Necessity of Freedom is a contribution to a growing secondary literature that seeks to render these ostensibly contradictory claims coherent. Mandalios seeks to establish two claims. First, he argues that the problem of .. (shrink)
The recent publication of Dewey's seminar lectures on Hegel's philosophy of spirit, which he delivered in Chicago in 1897, contributes significantly to the ongoing task of more accurately appreciating the confluence of historical influences that shaped the trajectory of classical American philosophy. Dewey's 1897 Hegel lectures are situated within their philosophical context by two seminal essays describing the relevance of recent scholarship to the philosophical or historical question of Dewey's ambivalent indebtedness to Hegel. In their essays, Shook and Good emphasize (...) the positive roles that certain Hegelian themes played in Dewey's mature thought—that is, in texts produced many years after Dewey's alleged .. (shrink)
Pragmatists have maintained, at least since William James and John Dewey, that philosophy should be relevant to life. Yet pragmatists themselves have often been stuck in debating matters whose practical relevance is limited, including the question who has a right to be called “a pragmatist”. John Lachs, for decades an original voice in American philosophy, has repeatedly argued that philosophy ought to be reconnected with life, and in his new book he forcefully continues this line of argument. The (...) volume seems to be somewhat hastily woven together out of originally separate writings not always closely related to each other, and the lack of an index is a handicap in any scholarly monograph, but even with these .. (shrink)
Upshot: According to its introduction, the aim of Enaction is to “present the paradigm of enaction as a framework for a far-reaching renewal of cognitive science as a whole.” While many of the chapters make progress towards this aim, the book as a whole does not present enactivism as a coherent framework, and it could be argued that enactivism’s embrace of phenomenology means it is no longer a theory of cognition.
This book has two basic aims: to provide a clear and comprehensive account of the most prominent moral philosophies of ancient Greece and Rome, and to explain how for their adherents, these philosophies both motivated and constituted distinctive ways of life. Cooper succeeds admirably in achieving the first aim: he gives clear and concise accounts of the moral philosophies of Socrates, Aristotle, the Stoics, the Epicureans, the Pyrrhonists, and the Platonists. Each chapter explores not only the basic theories of the (...) school in question, but also some lingering questions readers may have about those theories’ implications. Cooper aims for his book to be both accessible to readers with little formal .. (shrink)
The Monstrosity of Christ provides an exchange between the Slovenian theorist Slavoj Žižek and the British theologian John Milbank. Both authors argue that Christianity is the religion of ‘absolute truth,’ but provide very different accounts of this. Milbank argues that Christianity is true insofar as only the incarnation of Christ mediates the paradoxical metaphysical participation of the finite within the infinite. Žižek argues that the crucifixion of Christ constitutes the death of God, demonstrating that there is no providential or (...) transcendent reality supervening on human history. This realization constitutes the universal truth of Christianity. (shrink)
In the past twenty years, scholarly interest in John Dewey's later writings has surged. While later works such as Art as Experience (1934), Logic: The Theory of Inquiry (1938), and Freedom and Culture (1939) have received considerable attention, Knowing and the Known (1949), Dewey's late-in-life collaboration with Arthur F. Bentley, has been largely neglected. A common bias among Dewey scholars is that this work, instead of developing Dewey's Logic, departs from its spirit, reflects the overbearing influence of Bentley on (...) Dewey (who was at the time an octogenarian), and, therefore, merits little serious scholarly consideration. However, Dewey and Bentley engaged in an extended correspondence, collected in John .. (shrink)
Almost a hundred years ago, John Dewey clarified the relationship between democracy and education. However, the enactment of a 'deeply democratic' educational practice has proven elusive throughout the ensuing century, overridden by managerial approaches to schooling young people and to the standardized, technical preparation and professional development of teachers and educational leaders. A powerful counter-narrative to this 'standardized management paradigm' exists in the field of curriculum studies, but is largely ignored by mainstream approaches to the professional development of educators. (...) This paper argues for a reconceptualized, differentiated, and 'disciplined' approach to the professional development of educators in democratic societies that builds capacity for curriculum leadership. In support of this proposal, we amplify the tenets of Dewey's pragmatic social and educational philosophy, which have long been at the heart of democratic educational thought, with Badiou's more contemporary thinking about the important relationships between truth as inspirational awakening, subjectification as existential commitment, and ethical fidelity as 'for all' action. (shrink)
Paul Pietroski, McGill University The general topic of_ Mind and World_, the written version of John McDowell's 1991 John Locke Lectures, is how `concepts mediate the relation between minds and the world'. And one of the main aims is `to suggest that Kant should still have a central place in our discussion of the way thought bears on reality' (1).1 In particular, McDowell urges us to adopt a thesis that he finds in Kant, or perhaps in Strawson's Kant: (...) the content of experience is conceptualized; _what_ we experience is always the kind of thing that we could also believe. When an agent has a veridical experience, she `takes in, for instance sees, _that things are thus and so_' (9). McDowell's argument for this thesis is indirect, but potentially powerful. He discusses a tension concerning the roles of experience and conceptual capacities in thought, and he claims that the only adequate resolution involves granting that experiences have conceptualized content. The tension, elaborated below, can be expressed roughly as follows: judgments must be somehow constrained by features of the external environment, else judgments would be utterly divorced from the world they purport to be about; yet our judgments must be somehow free of external control, else we could give no sense to the idea that we are responsible for our judgments. (shrink)
Paul Pietroski, McGill University The general topic of Mind and World, the written version of John McDowell's 1991 John Locke Lectures, is how `concepts mediate the relation between minds and the world'. And one of the main aims is `to suggest that Kant should still have a central place in our discussion of the way thought bears on reality' (1).1 In particular, McDowell urges us to adopt a thesis that he finds in Kant, or perhaps in (...) Strawson's Kant: the content of experience is conceptualized; what we experience is always the kind of thing that we could also believe. When an agent has a veridical experience, she `takes in, for instance sees, that things are thus and so' (9). McDowell's argument for this thesis is indirect, but potentially powerful. He discusses a tension concerning the roles of experience and conceptual capacities in thought, and he claims that the only adequate resolution involves granting that experiences have conceptualized content. The tension, elaborated below, can be expressed roughly as follows: judgments must be somehow constrained by features of the external environment, else judgments would be utterly divorced from the world they purport to be about; yet our judgments must be somehow free of external control, else we could give no sense to the idea that we are responsible for our judgments. (shrink)
The title of The Rediscovery of the Mind suggests the question "When was the mind lost?" Since most people may not be aware that it ever was lost, we must also then ask "Who lost it?" It was lost, of course, only by philosophers, by certain philosophers. This passed unnoticed by society at large. The "rediscovery" is also likely to pass unnoticed. But has the mind been rediscovered by the same philosophers who "lost" it? Probably not. John Searle is (...) an analytic philosopher, with some of the same notions as the positivists and behaviorists who rejected consciousness and "lost" the mind in the first place, but he also does not sound like the kind of reductionist who would have joined that crowd. His views, indeed, are sensible enough, and some of his insights so important, that it is a shame to find his thought profoundly limited by some of the same mistakes and prejudices that ruined philosophy, and not just philosophy of mind, under the influence of those positivists and behaviorists. There is enough of genuine value in his treatment, that it can easily be taken up and, with relatively slight modification, added to what is of permanent value in the history of philosophy. (shrink)
Advance directives are useful ways to express one's wishes about end of life care, but even now most people have not completed one of the documents. David Doukas and William Reichel strongly encourage planning for end of life care. Although Planning for Uncertainty is at times fairly abstract for the general reader, it does provide useful background and practical steps.
David Graham , email: firstname.lastname@example.org>; url: http://reductioblog.com>, is an independent scholar living in Sacramento, California. He graduated summa cum laude from California State University, Sacramento, with degrees in English and philosophy. His writing, which focuses on libertarianism and animal rights, has been published on iFeminists.com and Strike-the-Root.com.