The central question addressed in this article is how (moral) values discussions in university courses can be integrated in a systematic way. Discussion of (moral) values is fundamental to the Dublin descriptor about judgement formation in use in European universities. To integrate this descriptor and its (moral) values aspects in university courses, we developed a tool for evaluating academic judgement learning: the Dilemma-Oriented Learning Model. We introduce this model and discuss the way it has been implemented and evaluated in some (...) university courses. We aim for students to develop critical, balanced and responsible judgements. The learning outcomes are used as the basis for the improvement of teaching. We found that our approach can be helpful in integrating the descriptor. However, the (moral) values dimension requires more attention. We intend to go on developing and implementing our approach as a means of integrating reflection on moral values into disciplinary courses. (shrink)
Drawing on Aristotle’s notion of “ultimate responsibility,” Robert Kane argues that to be exercising a free will an agent must have taken some character forming decisions for which there were no sufficient conditions or decisive reasons.1 That is, an agent whose will is free not only had the ability to develop other dispositions, but could have exercised that ability without being irrational. To say it again, a person has a free will just in case her character is the product (...) of decisions that she could have rationally avoided making. That one’s character is the product of such decisions entails ultimate responsibility for its manifestations, engendering a free will. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that Robert Kane’s defense of event-causal libertarianism, as presented in Responsibility, Luck, and Chance: Reflections on Free Will and Indeterminism, fails because his event-causal reconstruction is incoherent. I focus on the notions of efforts and self-forming actions essential to his defense.
For the last several decades, philosophers have wrestled with the proper place of religion in liberal societies. Usually, the debates among these philosophers have started with the articulation of various conceptions of liberalism and then proceeded to locate religion in the context of these conceptions. In the process, however, too little attention has been paid to the way religion is conceived. Drawing on the work of Robert Audi and Nicholas Wolterstorff, two scholars who are often read as holding opposing (...) views on these issues, I argue that, for the purposes of their argument about liberalism, both have implicitly accepted a concept of religion that has come under severe attack in recent work on the subject. Namely, they have accepted a concept of religion that identifies religion primarily with belief, ritual practice, and ecclesial institutions. Following recent scholarship, I suggest that religion is better conceived as a kind of culture. To conclude the essay, I gesture toward what the beginnings of a re-visioned debate about religion and liberal society might look like if one started from this revised conception of religion. (shrink)
Robert Adams’s Finite and Infinite Goods is one of the most important and innovative contributions to theistic ethics in recent memory. This article identifies two major flaws at the heart of Adams’s theory: his notion of intrinsic value and his claim that ‘excellence’ or finite goodness is constituted by resemblance to God. I first elucidate Adams’s complex, frequently misunderstood claims concerning intrinsic value and Godlikeness. I then contend that Adams’s notion of intrinsic value cannot explain what it could mean (...) for countless finite goods to be intrinsically valuable. Next, I articulate a criticism of his Godlikeness thesis altogether unlike those he has previously addressed: I show that, on Adams’s own account of Godlikeness, a diverse myriad of excellences could not possibly count as resembling God. His theory thus fails to account for a whole world of finite goods. I defend my two criticisms against objections and briefly sketch a more Aristotelian and Christian way forward. (shrink)
Hegel’s aesthetic ideal is the perfect integration of form and content within a work of art. This ideal is incompatible with the predominant 20th-century principle of formalist criticism, that form is the sole important factor in a work of art. Although the formalist dichotomy between form and content has been criticized on philosophical grounds, that does not suffice to justify Hegel’s ideal. Justifying Hegel’s ideal requires detailed art criticism that shows how form and content are, and why they should be, (...) integrated in good works of art. This essay provides some of this criticism. By focusing on the work of the contemporary artist, Robert Turner, this criticism further suggests that Hegel’s aesthetic ideal is still relevant. Moreover, the nature of Turner’s work suggests that art is still relevant in our day in ways Hegel did not expect. (shrink)
Kane's ambitious and bold book presents a sustained argument for an ethical theory that gives an account of right action and the good life. The general structure of the main argument is presented and specific points are critically discussed.
This Article is a short response to Anders Tolland's "Iterated Non-Refutation: Robert Lockie on Relativism", International Journal of Philosophical Studies Vol. 14, no. 2, 245-254, 2006. Tolland's article was itself a response to Lockie, R (2003) "Relativism and Reflexivity", International Journal of Philosophical Studies Vol. 11, no. 3, 319-339.
Robert Owen was one of the most extraordinary Englishmen who ever lived and a great man. In a way his history is the history of the establishment of modern industrial Britain, reflected in the mind and activities of a very intelligent, capable and responsible industrialist, alive to the best social thought of his time. The organisation of industrial labour, factory legislation, education, trade unionism, co-operation, rationalism: he was passionately and ably engaged in all of them. His community at New (...) Lanark was the nearest thing to an industrial heaven in the Britain of dark satanic mills; he tried to found a rational co-operative community in the USA. In everything he contemplated, he saw education as a key. This selection of his writings on education illustrates his rationalist concept of the formation of character and its implications for education and society; also his growing utopian concern with social reorganisation; and third, his impact on social movements. Silver's introduction shows Owen's relationship to particular educational traditions and activities and his long-term influence on attitudes to education. (shrink)
This book collects essays considering the full range of Robert Sokolowski's philosophical works: his vew of philosophy; his phenomenology of language and his account of the relation between language and being; his phenomenology of moral action; and his phenomenological theology of disclosure.
Here I review Robert Trivers' 2011 book _The Folly of Fools_, in which he advocates the evolutionary theory of deceit and self-deception that he pioneered in his famous preface to Richard Dawkins' _Selfish Gene_. Although the book contains a wealth of interesting discussion on topics ranging from warfare to immunology, I find it lacking on two major fronts. First, it fails to give a proper argument for its central thesis--namely, that self-deception evolved to facilitate deception of others. Second, the (...) book lacks conceptual clarity with respect to the focal term "self-deception.". (shrink)
Robert Audi’s The Good in the Right undertakes the magisterial work of reviving the intuitionism of W.D. Ross, rescuing Ross from the overlapping shadows of Henry Sidgwick, G. E. Moore, and, to a lesser extent, H. A. Prichard, marrying Ross to Kant, and so working to produce "a full-scale moral philosophy providing both an account of moral principles and judgments—a metaethical account—and a set of basic moral standards" that might be employed in moral reasoning. The book is magnificent in (...) ambition and impressive in detail. (shrink)
Robert Rupert is well-known as an vigorous opponent of the hypothesis of extended cognition (HEC). His Cognitive Systems and the Extended Mind is a first-rate development of his “systems-based” approach to demarcating the mind. The results are impressive. Rupert’s account brings much-needed clarity to the often-frustrating debate over HEC: much more than just an attack on HEC, he gives a compelling picture of why the debate matters.
Critical notice of Robert Audi's The Good in the Right in which doubts are raised about the epistemological and ethical doctrines it defends. It doubts that an appeal to Kant is a profitable way to defend Rossian normative intuitionism.
Insieme a John McDowell, Robert Brandom è uno dei filosofi emergenti della reazione al naturalismo filosofico; seguace Wilfrid Sellars, è l'autore americano che più si avvicina al dialogo con la filosofia continentale e propone una rivalutazione di Kant e Hegel nella filosofia analitica. Già allievo di Richard Rorty, Brandom è diventuo famoso con la pubblicazione di Making it Explicit. Questo ponderoso volume di 900 pagine non ha avuto però ancora una sufficiente attenzione nel dibattito filosofico italiano (a parte alcuni (...) inteventi pubblicati su Iride). Forse questo dipende in parte dalla peculiarità e difficoltà del suo approccio, in parte dalla mole stessa del citato volume. Anche per questo motivo Brandom ha presentato una serie di lezioni2 ove riprende i temi del libro maggiore e ne approfondisce alcune parti. In quanto segue si presentano i temi fondamentale di Making it Explicit, arricchiti con elementi presi dal nuovo approfondimento. (shrink)
The two main challenges of the theory of conceptual content presented by Robert Brandom in Making It Explicit are to account for a referential dimension of conceptual content and to account for the objectivity of conceptual norms. Brandom tries to meet both these challenges in chapter 8 of his book. I argue that the accounts presented there can only be understood if seen against the background of Brandom's theory of communication developed in chapter 7. This theory is motivated by (...) the well-known problem that semantic holism threatens the possibility of communication because it has the consequence that words mean different things in different mouths. Brandom offers a solution to this problem in terms of what he calls recurrence commitments. I show that chapter 8 of Making It Explicit should be understood as arguing that a practice that includes acknowledging interpersonal recurrence commitments institutes both conceptual contents with a referential dimension and objective conceptual norms. I close by raising the objection that Brandom's argument can only show that conceptual norms are communally shared and not that they are objective. I propose an emendation of this argument, having recourse to a practice Brandom refers to as rational rectification in his new book Between Saying and Doing. (shrink)
This article discusses the theories of perception of Robert Kilwardby and Peter of John Olivi. Our aim is to show how in challenging certain assumptions of medieval Aristotelian theories of perception they drew on Augustine and argued for the active nature of the soul in sense perception. For both Kilwardby and Olivi, the soul is not passive with respect to perceived objects; rather, it causes its own cognitive acts with respect to external objects and thus allows the subject to (...) perceive them. We also show that Kilwardby and Olivi differ substantially regarding where the activity of the soul is directed to and the role of the sensible species in the process, and we demonstrate that there are similarities between their ideas of intentionality and the attention of the soul towards the corporeal world. (shrink)
In a recent study of astrophysical “fine-tunings” (or “coincidences”), Robert Klee critically assesses the support that such astrophysical evidence might be thought to lend to the design argument (i.e., the argument that our universe has been designed by some deity). Klee argues that a proper assessment indicates that the universe is not as “fine-tuned” as advertised by proponents of the design arguments. We argue (i) that Klee’s assessment of the data is, to a certain extent, problematic; and (ii) even (...) if Klee’s assessment of the data is correct, it provides a necessary but not a sufficient response to the design argument. However, an adequate skeptical rejoinder to the design argument can be made by appealing to the anthropic principle. (shrink)
Robert Cummins has recently used the program of Clark Hull to illustrate the effects of logical positivist epistemology upon psychological theory. On Cummins's account, Hull's theory is best understood as a functional analysis, rather than a nomological subsumption. Hull's commitment to the logical positivist view of explanation is said to have blinded him to this aspect of this theory, and thus restricted its scope. We will argue that this interpretation of Hull's epistemology, though common, is mistaken. Hull's epistemological views (...) were developed independently of, and in considerable contrast to, the principles of logical positivism. (shrink)
Various early modern philosophers affirm the traditional distinction between ‘things above reason’ and ‘things contrary to reason.’ However, it is Robert Boyle who goes furthest to rework and defend the division, and to explore its ramifications in detail. My aim here is to examine the logical structure of Boyle’s version of the distinction, and his concomitant account of the sphere of truths beyond human understanding. I also weigh the philosophical merits of the account and clarify the relationship between Boyle’s (...) characterization of things above reason and his alleged dialethism. (shrink)
Formal axiology is based on the logical nature of meaning, namely intension, and on the structure of intension as a set of predicates. It applies set theory to this set of predicates. Set theory is a certain kind of mathematics that deals with subsets in general, and of finite and infinite sets in particular. Since mathematics is objective and a priori, formal axiology is an objective and a priori science; and a test based on it is an objective test based (...) on an objective standard.1. (shrink)
Eleven distinguished philosophers have contributed specially written essays on a set of topics much debated in recent years, including physicalism, qualia, semantic competence, conditionals, presuppositions, two-dimensional semantics, and the relation between logic and metaphysics. All these topics are prominent in the work of Robert Stalnaker, a major presence in contemporary philosophy, in honor of whom the volume is published. It also contains a substantial new essay in which Stalnaker replies to his critics, and sets out his current views on (...) the topics discussed. (shrink)
Robert Russell's theological work has been a helpful stimulus to the task of understanding the meaning of divine action and providence in the age of science. He relates God's direct action "fundamentally" to the hidden domain of quantum events, and his theology of nature deserves careful attention. It is questionable, however, whether the term fundamental as applied to quantum events by physical science may be taken over by theology without more careful qualification than Russell offers.
This review presents the principal themes of Robert Spaemann's Persons: The Difference between ‘Someone’ and ‘Something.’ To be a person is not to be identical with one's teleological nature, but rather, to have that nature. Personal consciousness is necessarily temporal consciousness. Persons have a range of distinctively personal acts, such as recognizing and respecting one another, understanding their lives as wholes, making judgments of conscience, promising, and forgiving. All members of the human species, whatever their stage of development or (...) limitations, are persons. The present review also briefly considers certain objections that have been raised against Spaemann's position. (shrink)
Throughout his philosophical career at Michigan, UCLA, Yale, and Oxford, Robert Merrihew Adams's wide-ranging contributions have deeply shaped the structure of debates in metaphysics, philosophy of religion, history of philosophy, and ethics. Metaphysics and the Good: Themes from the Philosophy of Robert Merrihew Adams provides, for the first time, a collection of original essays by leading philosophers dedicated to exploring many of the facets of Adams's thought, a philosophical outlook that combines Christian theism, neo-Platonism, moral realism, metaphysical idealism, (...) and a commitment to both historical sensitivity and rigorous analytic engagement. Tied together by their aim of exploring, expanding, and experimenting with Adams's views, these eleven essays are coupled with an intellectual autobiography by Adams himself that was commissioned especially for this volume. As the introduction to the volume explains, the purpose of Metaphysics and the Good is to explore Adams's work in the very manner that he prescribes for understanding the ideas of others. By experimenting with Adams's conclusions, "pulling a string here to see what moves over there, so to speak," as Adams puts it, our authors throw into greater relief what makes Adams such an original and stimulating philosopher. In doing so, these essays contribute not only to the exploration of Adams's continuing interests, but they also advance original and important philosophical insights of their own. (shrink)
You might think a simple “No” would suffice as an answer. But there are features of Kant’s ethics that appear to be strikingly similar to virtue oriented views, so striking that some Kantians themselves have argued that Kant’s ethics in fact shares these features with virtue ethics. In what follows, I will argue against this view, though along the way I will acknowledge the features of Kant’s view that make it appear more like a kind of virtue ethics than it (...) really is. (shrink)
Part of Robert Kane’s response to the contemporary cultural condition of pluralism is to attempt to ground morality in the _search_ for wisdom about how to live. With regard to the right, Kane argues, roughly, that a new principle capturing what all morally permissible actions have in common warrants belief on the part of all inquirers, even in the face of reasonable uncertainty, because it is justified as an essential means to ascertaining wisdom. Upon embarking for wisdom, one quickly (...) discovers an important chunk of it about right action, namely, that wisdom will not be found unless one treats others in a particular kind of way. Although, as I discuss, this rationale has some similarities with transcendental arguments to be found in the literature, it is novel and merits careful attention from meta-ethicists. In this critical notice, I focus largely on Kane’s interesting justification of a principle of right action, paying somewhat less attention to the content of this principle, which is akin to Kant’s Formula of Humanity, and the not-merely-mental account of the good that Kane also advances; however, these elements of Kane’s intricate worldview about how to live should also be of interest to normative ethicists. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that Robert Kane’s defense of event-causal libertarianism, as presented in Responsibility, Luck, and Chance: Reflections on Free Will and Indeterminism, fails because his event-causal reconstruction is incoherent. I focus on the notions of efforts and self-forming actions essential to his defense.
This essay begins where Alasdair MacIntyre's After Virtue begins: facing a moral world in ruin. MacIntyre argues that this predicament leaves us with a choice: we can follow the path of Friedrich Nietzsche, accepting this moral destruction and attempting to create lives in a rootless, uncertain world, or the path of Aristotle, working to reclaim a world in which close-knit communities sustain human practices that make it possible for us to flourish. Jeff Frank rejects MacIntyre's framework and in this essay (...) attempts to create an alternative path, one of moral repair. Through a close reading of several poems from Robert Frost's North of Boston, Frank develops the notion of moral repair and describes its ethical and educational implications. (shrink)
Robert C. Solomon saw spirituality and emotion as interpenetrating themes. I will summarize his views on spirituality and then introduce the articles in the special issue in his honor. Relating emotional integrity to spirituality, Bob argues that it is precisely through engagement - throwing ourselves into relationships and endeavors - that we come to recognize ourselves as part of something much larger than ourselves. Spirituality is an on-going adventure according to Bob, and it recommends itself in the way that (...) all adventures do. It is exciting and fun, a matter of an overflowing passionate life. (shrink)
This is an introductory volume to Robert Nozick, one of the dominant philosophical thinkers of the current age. It is part of a new series, Contemporary Philosophy in Focus. Each volume in the series will consist of newly commissioned essays that will cover all the major contributions of a preeminent philosopher in a systematic and accessible manner. Robert Nozick is one of the most creative and individual philosophical voices of the last 25 years. His most famous book, Anarchy, (...) State and Utopia (1974), presents the classic defense of the libertarian view that only a minimal state is just. Nozick has also made significant contributions in later publications to such areas as rational choice theory, ethics, epistemology and philosophy of mind. Outside philosophy the book will be of particular interest to professionals and students in political science, law, economics, sociology and psychology. (shrink)
Austrian economics - the school of thought associated with Carl Menger, Frederick von Weiser, Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk, and in this century, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Murray N. Rothbard, and Israel Kirzner - is based on a framework of methodological principles and assumptions much at variance with those of traditional or 'orthodox' economists. Robert Nozick, in his 'On Austrian Methodology', focuses attention on the most fundamental features of this framework, and subjects them to a thoroughgoing and scathing analysis. Singled (...) out for detailed and critical review are: (1) the praxeological concepts of methodological individualism; (2) the claim that economics is an a priori science of human action; (3) the nature of preference and its relation to choice and action; and (4) the assumptions of time-preference theory. Although Nozick does not consider Austrian views on business cycles, market process analysis, the coordinative and informational effects of the price system, competition, and several other fundamental aspects of praxeology, his criticism strikes at the very root of the praxeological school. This paper attempts to refute each criticism made of the praxeological school by Nozick on a point-by-point basis. It thus follows the same pattern as the original paper, and scrutinizes in detail the arguments made by its author. (shrink)
This essay compares Robert John Russell's work in his recent book Cosmology from Alpha to Omega: The Creative Mutual Interaction of Theology and Science (2008) to that of the authors known collectively as "the new atheists." I treat the latter as recent contributors to the modern tradition of scientific naturalism. This tradition makes claims to legitimacy on the basis of its close relations to the natural sciences. The purpose of this essay is to show up the poverty of the (...) naturalist tradition's scientific credentials by contrasting it with Russell's careful account of positive relations between science and Christian theology. (shrink)
This article explores fundamental differences between Robert Audi’s position on self-deception and mine. Although we both depart from a model of self-deception that is straightforwardly based on stereotypical interpersonal deception, we differ in how we do that. An important difference between us might be partly explained by a difference in how we understand the kind of deceiving that is most relevant to self-deception.
Roger Sansom and Robert N. Brandon (eds.): Integrating Evolution and Development: From Theory to Practice Content Type Journal Article Pages 81-86 DOI 10.1007/s10441-010-9121-x Authors Thomas A. C. Reydon, Institute of Philosophy & Center for Philosophy and Ethics of Science (ZEWW), Leibniz Universität Hannover, Im Moore 21, 30167 Hannover, Germany Journal Acta Biotheoretica Online ISSN 1572-8358 Print ISSN 0001-5342 Journal Volume Volume 59 Journal Issue Volume 59, Number 1.
In a message posted to one of the cognitive science discussion groups the author asked, to paraphrase roughly, what should be read to get an up-to-date account of research into color naming? My advice is (and was) to consider the two books under review here: C. L. Hardin and Luisa Maffis excellent collection of essays on color language research; Robert MacLaurys magnum opus on color naming and cognition.
For over thirty years, Robert Audi has produced important work in ethics, epistemology, and the theory of action. This volume features thirteen new critical essays on Audi by a distinguished group of authors: Fred Adams, William Alston, Laurence BonJour, Roger Crisp, Elizabeth Fricker, Bernard Gert, Thomas Hurka, Hugh McCann, Al Mele, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Raimo Tuomela, Candace Vogler, and Timothy Williamson. Audi's introductory essay provides a thematic overview interconnecting his views in ethics, epistemology, and philosophy of action. The volume concludes (...) with his comprehensive response essay that yields an illuminating dialog with all his critics and often extends his previous work. (shrink)
Robert MacArthur's mathematical ecology is often regarded as ahistorical and has been criticized by historically oriented ecologists and philosophers for ignoring the importance of history. I clarify and defend his approach, especially his use of simple mathematical models to explain patterns in data and to generate predictions that stimulate empirical research. First I argue that it is misleading to call his approach ahistorical because it is not against historical explanation. Next I distinguish three kinds of criticism of his approach (...) and argue that his approach is compatible with the first two of them. Finally, I argue that the third kind of criticism, advanced by Kim Sterelny and Paul Griffiths, is largely irrelevant to MacArthur's approach. ‡I am especially grateful to Thomas Nickles for encouragement and helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper. Thanks also to Guy Hoelzer, Stephen Jenkins, and Jay Odenbaugh for comments on an earlier draft, Kim Sterelny for clarifications of the Tasmania example, Gregory Mikkelson for references, and the audience at PSA 2006 for discussions. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, 1017 Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, PA 15260; e-mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
In Hitchcock as Philosopher, Robert Yanal argues that not only can we find illustrations of philosophical ideas in Hitchcock's films, but that Hitchcock does philosophy through his movies. This is a bold claim. It would be ambitious to merely assert that there are elements in Hitchcock's movies that can support rich philosophical interpretations. This sets the bar high and forces the interpreter to prove the point by supplying productive readings of the films. But Yanal accepts an even more ambitious (...) challenge -- to present Hitchcock as a philosopher in his own right, doing philosophy through his films. Unfortunately, Yanal fails to realize his project, but his book is nevertheless valuable, albeit for mostly non-philosophical reasons. (shrink)
In Hegel’s Idealism, Robert Pippin contends that Hegel develops a more adequate version of Fichte’s idealism, where the key to idealism lies in the general thesis that there are conditions presupposed by self-conscious judgments about objects. Focusing on this thesis led post-Kantian German idealists to dismiss Kant’s doctrine that space and time are a priori forms of intuition and to develop views of the autonomy of human reason in terms of thought’s self-determination. While Pippin and I agree on some (...) fundamentals, we disagree diametrically about the nature of Hegel’s idealism. Four of my main objections are these. (1) The thesis that there are conditions for self-conscious judgments about objects only entails idealism given certain kinds of conditions (such as Kant’s doctrines about space and time). (2) Hegel expressly denies that ‘the autonomy of thought’ primarily concerns the autonomy of human thinking. (3) Pippin’s interpretation of Hegel’s chapter on ‘Force and Understanding’, which is decisive for his interpretation of Hegel’s idealism, is not borne out by the examples Hegel uses to illustrate and defend his view. (4) Hegel’s frequent use in his Logics of categories that plainly derive from contingent features of our world is not, as Pippin would have it, an ironic concession that marks the reductio ad absurdum of Hegel’s view. On the contrary, such categories and their empirical basis is central to Hegel’s idealism, which is deeply naturalistic and expressly based in the empirical sciences. (1,000 word abstract in: Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 65.6 (1992):64–65.). (shrink)
In "Moral Arguments for Theistic Belief" Robert Merrihew Adams defends a theistic argument from the nature of morality according to which the existence of God is entailed by the divine-command theory, which Adams believes is our best account of morality. In reply I examine the four arguments for the modified divine-command theory that Adams develops in this and later papers, and I show that three of the arguments are much too weak to enable him to make a case for (...) theism in this way and that the fourth itself depends on the assumption that there is a God and so would render that case circular. (shrink)
The German philosopher Robert Spaemann provides an important contribution to a number of contemporary debates in philosophy and theology, opening up possibilities for conversation between these disciplines. He engages in a dialogue with classical and contemporary positions and often formulates important and original insights which lie beyond common alternatives. In this study Holger Zaborowski provides an analysis of the most important features of Spaemann's philosophy and shows the unity of his thought. The question 'Who is a person?' is of (...) increasing significance: Are all human beings persons? Are there animals that can be considered persons? What does it mean to speak of personal identity and of the dignity of the person? Spaemann provides an answer to these questions: Every human being, he argues, is a person and, therefore, 'has' his nature in freedom. In order to understand the person, Spaemann explains, we have to think about the relation between nature and freedom and avoid the reductive accounts of this relation prevalent in important strands of modern thought. Spaemann develops a challenging critique of modernity, incorporating analysis of modern anti-modernisms and showing that these are also subject to a dialectical development, perpetuating the problematic shortcomings of many features of modern reasoning. If we do not want to abolish ourselves as persons, Spaemann reasons, we need to find a way of understanding ourselves that evades the dialectic of modernity. Thus, he reminds his readers of 'self-evident' knowledge: insights that we have once already known, but tend to forget. (shrink)
I. Introduction This paper aims to explain Nietzsche’s understanding of tragedy, and in particular his self-characterization as the “tragic philosopher.” What I shall claim is that, according to Nietzsche, to recognize the self-determining or self-creating character of our agency is to reveal it as tragic. Tragedy accordingly illuminates the most fundamental issue in Nietzsche’s mature philosophy: the possibility of affirmation.
In this paper, I will discuss and characterize transcendental and salvational aspects of two naturalistic philosophical projects, those of Robert Corrington, a contemporary American Naturalist and George Santayana, the first identifiable American Naturalist. I am considering here soteriological pathways available for transformation or transfiguration of the self toward a state of spiritual optimization in an imminent natural cosmos where all but limited gains seem to be out of human hands. The individual, imbedded in Nature, is caught up in an (...) unteleological stream of Nature's own formation. In my consideration of this subject in relation to Robert Corrington's work, I have found a helpful and insightful .. (shrink)
This is a review of the book Cultivating Original Enlightenment: Wŏnhyo's Exposition of the Vajrasamādhi-Sūtra , by Robert E. Buswell, Jr., published by the Univeristy of Hawaii Press (2008). This volume, the first to be published in the Collected Works of Wŏnhyo series, contains the translation of a single text by Wŏnhyo, the Kŭmgang Sammaegyŏng Non.
A companion volume to In the Realm of Organization, this book explores in detail the intricate relationships that exist between technology, representation and organization from a diversity of perspectives, relocating the study of organization in wider social theory.
The present essay takes up matters discussed by Robert Pasnau in his response (published in the same issue of Philosophy) to our previous criticism of his account of Aquinas's view of when a foetus acquires a human soul. We are mainly concerned with metaphysical and biological issues and argue that the kind of organization required for ensoulment is that sufficient for the full development of a human being, and that this is present from conception. We contend that in his (...) criticisms of our account Pasnau fails clearly to distinguish first, between a passive potentiality and an active capacity; second, between having a power intrinsically and being an instrumental agent of that which has it intrinsically; third, between per accidens and per se causal series; and fourth, between sense cognition and conceptual thought. We conclude that philosophy and embryology support the position that human beings exist from the point of conception. (shrink)
An individual is in the lowest phase of moral development if he thinks only of his own personal interest and has only his own selfish agenda in his mind as he encounters other humans. This lowest phase corresponds well with sixteenth century British moral egoism which reflects the rise of the new economic order. Adam Smith (1723–1790) wanted to defend this new economic order which is based on economic exchange between egoistic individuals. Nevertheless, he surely did not want to support (...) the moral theory of British egoism. His book The Wealth of Nations suits well into the world view of British moral egoism, but in the book The Theory of Moral Sentiments, he presents a moral theory which is the total opposite of moral egoism. Contemporary German intellectuals saw contradiction in Adam Smith’s moral (social) philosophy which they called as Das Adam - Smith - Problem . Smith himself didn’t think that there is any contradiction in a situation where in economic sphere (civil society) individual act egoistically and in ethical sphere (encounter with the imagined Other) he feels humanity and compassion toward his fellow men. Hegel was a passionate reader of Adam Smith and he acknowledged Das Adam - Smith - Problem . He set the task of his social philosophy to overcome this paradox. He wanted to create a theory of a social totality where economic egoism and feelings of humanity are not in contradiction. In the same time Hegel wanted to create a theory on Bildung process where human spirit develops from moral un-freedom (heteronomy) to moral freedom and maturity (autonomy) taking care both aspect of love and reason. In certain Hegel’s texts notion of recognition plays crucial role. That is why modern Hegelians Ludwig Siep, Axel Honneth and Robert Williams consider the notion of recognition to be elementary in Hegel’s threefold theory of developing human spirit from family via civil society to sittliche state . For Hegel family is a sphere where people love their “concrete other” and where feeling surpasses reason. Civil Society is a sphere of private contracts and economic exchanges where cold egoistic and calculative reason surpasses feelings. In the sphere of State the contradiction between family and Civil Society ( Das Adam - Smith - Problem ) is solved by “rational feeling”. According to Hegel State should protect citizens from alienating effect of egoistic reason of Civil Society and cultivate “family-feelings” to rational feelings which integrate citizen into “sittliche community” through reciprocal process of recognition. In this article I want to consider Hegelians Honneth’s and Williams’s relevance to the theory of moral development. (shrink)
Robert Merrihew Adams argues that it is permissible for a perfectly good moral agent to create a world less good than the best one she could create. He argues that God would exhibit the important virtue of grace in creating less than the best and that this virtue is incompatible with the merit considerations required by the standard of creating the best. In this paper I give three arguments for the compatibility of merit consideration and graciousness of God toward (...) creation. I conclude that grace would not release a perfect agent from responsibility to create the best. (shrink)
The eleven original essays in this collection competently cover a wide range of Robert Stalnaker’s philosophical work, and Stalnaker’s replies to them are clear, well-thought out, and informative. Anyone interested in Stalnaker’s philosophy or the areas covered in this volume is well advised to read it.
The main title of Robert J. Russell's Cosmology from Alpha to Omega: The Creative Mutual Interaction of Theology and Science catches the substance of the essays; the subtitle his methodological vision. The mutualis modest as far as the influence from theology on science goes; in no way is Russell curtailing the pursuit of science. Driven by intellectual honesty, he holds that in the end religious convictions will have to stand the test of compatibility with scientific knowledge. And as a (...) Christian he believes core beliefs of Christianity, reformulated as needed, will be able to stand this test. The essays address the origin and contingency of our universe in relation to belief in creation, and his proposal for noninterventionist objective divine action. For him a stumbling block is natural evil; the evolutionary intelligibility of evil falls short of what would be desirable theologically. As steps toward an adequate eschatology Russell seeks to develop a more complex understanding of temporality, and proposes to understand the resurrection of Jesus as the First Instantiation of a New Law of the New Creation. This area is more in tension with current science, but that could be expected when one moves from creation to redemption. Within his self-imposed boundaries, these essays are well informed and well argued, and together they provide a sincere and sustained research program. (shrink)
The metaphysics of miracles put forward in my article, "Miracles: Metaphysics, Physics and Physicalism," above (125-147) are, argues Robert Larmer, both unnecessary and unworkable. Here, I try more clearly to explain that my goal of saving important physicalist intuitions that are incompatible with both the ’open-systems’ and ’exemption’ approaches’ use of powerful ’ceteris paribus’ clauses. I also defend the two mechanisms proposed in the paper from Larmer’s criticisms.
The argument from the claim to correctness has been put forward by Robert Alexy to defend the view that normative utterances admit of objective answers. My purpose in this paper is to preserve this initial aspiration even at the cost of diverting from some of the original ideas in support of the argument. I begin by spelling out a full-blooded version of normative cognitivism, against which I propose to reconstruct the argument from the claim to correctness. I argue that (...) the context of uttering normative propositions points to the possibility of normative cognition, but does not constitute it. What constitutes the possibility of cognition is, as of necessity, the propositional structure of norms. I conclude that the argument from the claim to correctness ought to safeguard a distinction between the context of uttering a normative sentence and the proposition that individuates the content of the utterance. (shrink)
This paper is an extended discussion of Robert Ulanowicz’s critique of mechanistic and reductionistic metaphysics of science. He proposes “process ecology” as an alternative. In this paper I discuss four sets of question coming out of Ulanowicz’s proposal. First, I argue that universality remains one of the hallmarks of the scientific enterprise even with his new process metaphysics. I then discuss the Second Law of Thermodynamics in the interpretation of the history of the universe. I question Ulanowicz’s use of (...) the terms “random” and “chance” in his definition of process. Finally, I discuss what difference a relational and process metaphysics might make in addressing the political and practical problems in the twenty-first century. (shrink)
In his Questions I, qq. 35-36 Sent. Robert Kilwardby asks whether divine understanding (intelligere) is the same as the divine speaking (dicere), as Anselm says in Monologion, ch. 63, just as for us mental speaking (mentis locutio) is the same as the thinker's examination (inspectio cogitantis) or mental seeing (videre in mente). His answer is that neither for us nor for God is the equation correct, because understanding lacks an essential characteristic of speech, i.e. referentiality, and because speaking is (...) active and understanding passive, which is reflected in the meanings (impositiones) and grammatical functions (modi significandi) of the corresponding expressions. Kilwardby does concede in his discussion of the speech of angels in II Sent. q. 56 that when inner speech does occur, and remains internal, it amounts to thought, though with the additional element of referentiality. I suggest that Kilwardby is unwilling accept Augustine's theory that thought is inner speech, as Anselm does, because it would require him to reject Aristotelian-style philosophical psychology. (shrink)
We commonly identify something seriously defective in a human life that is lived in ignorance of important but unpalatable truths. At the same time, some degree of misapprehension of reality may be necessary for individual health and success. Morally speaking, it is unclear just how insistent we should be about seeking the truth. Robert Sparrow has considered such issues in discussing the manufacture and marketing of robot ‘pets’, such as Sony’s doglike ‘AIBO’ toy and whatever more advanced devices may (...) supersede it. Though it is not his only concern, Sparrow particularly criticizes such robot pets for their illusory appearance of being living things. He fears that some individuals will subconsciously buy into the illusion, and come to sentimentalize interactions that fail to constitute genuine relationships. In replying to Sparrow, I emphasize that this would be continuous with much of the minor sentimentality that we already indulge in from day to day. Although a disposition to seek the truth is morally virtuous, the virtue concerned must allow for at least some categories of exceptions. Despite Sparrow’s concerns about robot pets (and robotics more generally), we should be lenient about familiar, relatively benign, kinds of self-indulgence in forming beliefs about reality. Sentimentality about robot pets seems to fall within these categories. Such limited self-indulgence can co-exist with ordinary honesty and commitment to truth. (shrink)
The excavation of old battlefields can yield some surprises. The old muskets or catapults turn out to be, for the age, surprisingly lethal devices, and the issues which separated the contestants, as well as the alliances which joined some of them, are often found to differ from those described to us in the official histories, written by the victors. So it is too with intellectual history. Robert Schwartz has provided a delightful example of the joys of excavation in this (...) book on Berkeleian themes in theories of vision. Some of the current battle cries will never again sound quite the same. (shrink)
This article examines Robert Alexy's account of legal validity. It concludes that Alexy's account of legal validity lacks sufficient support given the author's methodological commitments. To reach that conclusion, it assesses the plausibility of simultaneously maintaining that the participant's perspective has conceptual privilege in the explanation of the nature of law, that legal discourse is a special case of general practical discourse, and that unjust considerations can be legally valid norms.
In their respective commentaries to my article “Postphenomenology and the Politics of Sustainable Technology” both Robert Scharff and Michel Puech take issue with my postphenomenological inroad into the politics of technology. In a first step I try to accommodate the suggestions and objections raised by Scharff by making my account of the political more explicit. Consequently, I argue how an antagonistic relational conceptualisation of the political allows me to address head on Puech’s plea to leave politics behind and move (...) towards an ethically informed, post-political approach to sustainability. “But perhaps the question philosophy is confronted with—through the question of the political—might be whether not all reasoning, including a purely theoretical reasoning, can truly only be a political reasoning, resulting in an inevitable, indeed necessary circular structure” (Boehm 2002; author’s translation). In a footnote to my original article ‘Postphenomenology and the Politics of Sustainable Technology’, I wrote that “for the purpose of this paper, it suffices to say that I use the adjective ‘political’ to indicate all aspects of human and non-human agency that are related to ‘shaping the good life’ (Goeminne 2011a).” With hindsight, brought about by the commentaries of Scharff (2011) and Puech (2011), I now see that I could not have been more optimistic. Or should I say naïve? Indeed, although coming from different angles and resulting in very different suggestions, both commentaries precisely target my postphenomenological inroad into the ‘politics’ of technology. In challenging my grounding of the politics of technology in a postphenomenological perspective, Scharff in particular invites me to make my notion of the political more explicit. In what follows, I will therefore first elaborate my take on the political dimension of technology in dialogue with Scharff’s comments and suggestions. Armed with this deepened concept of the political, I will then address Puech’s plea to leave politics behind and move towards an ethically informed, post-political approach to sustainability. Evidently, within the limits of this piece, I can only indicate the broader direction my conceptualisation of the political takes. It suffices perhaps to say that, partly induced by the commentaries of Scharff and Puech, the question of the political has meanwhile taken a much more prominent place in my research as can be seen from a few recent publications [e.g. Goeminne (2012) and Goeminne (forthcoming)]. In saying this, I am also expressing my indebtedness to the commentators for nudging me in this political direction. (shrink)
In A Third Window Robert Ulanowicz exposes the explanatory weaknesses of both classical and statistical methods in scientific inquiry. His book, however, does much more than that. While being completely grounded in empirical science, it also outlines a worldview, or a metaphysics, that renders intelligible the fact of chance and emergent novelty. Ulanowicz establishes his position by comparing his third window onto nature with two others conventional scientific approaches. The purpose of this essay is to point out the value (...) of Ulanowicz’s approach for improving the quality of conversation between science and theology. (shrink)
Abstract In Understanding Moral Obligation: Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Robert Stern argues that Hegel has a social command view of obligation. On this view, there is an element of social command or social sanction that must be added to a judgment of the good in order to bring about an obligation. I argue to the contrary that Hegel's conception of conscience, and thus the individual's role in obligation, is more central to his account than the social dimension. While agreeing with (...) Stern that Hegel's conception of Sittlichkeit does preserve a role for obligation, and that the social plays an important part in that account, I argue that there is no extra social component that converts the morally good into obligation. Rather, Hegel's conception of Sittlichkeit as the ?living good? means that judgments of the moral facts are simultaneously judgments of obligation. (shrink)
Resistance to paying war taxes that stems from a principled pacifism is not the same as tax-dodging and should be accommodated in the law by broadening the scope of Conscientious Objector (CO) status and by legislating a nonmilitary alternative fund so COs may redirect their tax money to peaceful uses. Using the religious example of the Society of Friends (Quakers) and various secular examples of pacifism I show that resisters’ conscientious opposition to paying for war is of a kind with (...) their conscientious refusal to carry arms. Their refusal to cooperate with military taxation is not disdain of the rule of law, but is a respectful form of civil disobedience. It is in the interest of justice for a liberal democracy to provide an option for conscientious objectors so they may satisfy their moral scruples without having to break the law. (shrink)
Abstract Two distinguishing marks of voluntaristic conceptions of human action can be found already in the 12th century, not only in the work of Bonaventura's successors: 1. the will is free to act against reasons's dictates; 2. moral responsibility depends on this conception of the will's freedom. A number of theologians from the 1130s to the 1170s accepted those claims, which have been originally formulated by Bernard of Clairvaux. Robert of Melun elaborated them in a systematical way and coined (...) the terminological distinctions which were controversely discussed in the following centuries. The paper edits and interprets some of his texts about voluntary action. Furthermore, it shows that Bernard's and Robert's ideas have been transported by their intellectualist critics in the 13th century. (shrink)
On the publication of Robert Lowell’s Life Studies in 1959, some critics were shocked by the poet’s use of seemingly frank autobiographical material, in particular the portrayal of his hospitalizations for bipolar disorder. During the late fifties and throughout the sixties, a rich vein, influenced by Lowell , developed in American poetry. Also during this time, the nascent science of psychopharmacology competed with and complemented the more established somatic treatments, such as psychosurgery, shock treatments, and psychoanalytical therapies. The development (...) of Thorazine was a remarkable breakthrough allowing patients previously thought incurable to leave hospital. In 1955, the release of Miltown, the first ‘minor’ tranquilizer, was heralded with a media fanfare promising a new dawn of psychological cure-all. These two events blurred the boundary between ‘normality’ and madness by making treatment in the community more widely possible and by medicalizing more commonplace distress. Lowell’s early depictions of madness situate it as emblematic of the cultural malaise of ‘the tranquilized fifties. ’ By his final collection, Day by Day (1977), mental illness had lost its symbolic power. These late poems explore the power of art as a way of representing and remedying suffering in a culture where psychopharmacology has normalized madness. (shrink)
In the same year, 1961, Peter D. Mitchell and Robert R.J.P. Williams both put forward hypotheses for the mechanism of oxidative phosphorylation in mitochondria and photophosphorylation in chloroplasts. Mitchell's proposal was ultimately adopted and became known as the chemiosmotic theory. Both hypotheses were based on protons and differed markedly from the then prevailing chemical theory originally proposed by E.C. (Bill) Slater in 1953, which by 1961 was failing to account for a number of experimental observations. Immediately following the (...) publication of Williams's hypothesis and before his own was published, Mitchell initiated a correspondence. Examination of the letters shows the development of a dispute based on the validity of the proposals, who should have priority and particularly whether Mitchell had drawn on Williams's work without acknowledgement. We have concluded that Mitchell's proposals were original (a view still questioned by Williams) although it is evident that prior to the correspondence Williams had considered and rejected a proposition similar to Mitchell's theory. However, a major cause of the dispute was the difference in disciplinary backgrounds of Mitchell, a microbial biochemist and Williams, a chemist. (shrink)
During his first decade on the national political stage (1935-1944), Robert A. Taft (R-Ohio) contributed to a lively “Old Right” conservative critique of the New Deal’s efforts to achieve economic recovery, promote sustainable growth, and convert to a postwar peacetime economy. This paper examines the senator’s market rhetoric—the ideas [...].