In this article I reply to Jon Robson's objections to my argument that God does not contain any possible worlds. I had argued that ugly possible worlds clearly compromise God's beauty. Robson argues that I failed to show that possible worlds can be subject to aesthetic evaluation, and that even if they were it could be the case that ugliness might contribute to God's overall beauty. In reply I try to show that possible worlds are aesthetically evaluable by (...) arguing that possible worlds are maximally rich representations of possible events. I further argue that nothing in God's being can be aesthetically non-evaluable since God must be maximal beauty – a beauteous maximality which needs no ugliness. Finally I show in what sense Christ's heavenly scars can be beautiful. (shrink)
In a recent article Mark Ian Thomas Robson argues that there is a clear contradiction between the view that possible worlds are a part of God's nature and the theologically pivotal, but philosophically neglected, claim that God is perfectly beautiful. In this article I show that Robson's argument depends on several key assumptions that he fails to justify and as such that there is reason to doubt the soundness of his argument. I also demonstrate that if Robson's (...) argument were sound then this would be a problem for all classical theists and not just those who hold the possible worlds view. (shrink)
: Focusing on the legal cases that have been litigated in the United States, and making references to popular culture, this article considers whether marriages in which one of the partners is transgendered necessarily challenge or necessarily reinforce heterosexual hegemony.
The legal category "mother" operates restrictively and punitively to "domesticate" lesbian existence. Our domestication is the reason that we have difficulty thinking beyond the category "mother." I explore how "mother" is used by both lesbians and nonlesbians within the legal system. In order to ensure lesbian survival on lesbian terms, we must strategize theories that do not preserve the dominant legal paradigm that codifies "mother," even if that category is expanded to include "lesbian mother.".
In this paper, we argue that time travel is problematic for the endurantist. For it appears to be possible, given time travel, to construct a wall out of a single time travelling brick. This commits the endurantist to one of the following: (a) the wall is composed of the time travelling brick many times over; (b) the wall does not in fact exist at all; (c) the wall is identical to the brick. We argue that each of these options is (...) unsatisfactory. (shrink)
My concern is to overturn the Leibnizean model of God's creation of the world which proposes that God selected a possible world out of a whole host of other alternative ones. This is the familiar possible worlds model of creation. I argue that this understanding of creation does not take seriously the idea of ex nihilo and that, rather than considering determinate possible worlds, we should understand possibility as indeterminate. I then develop this argument and explores how it impacts on (...) the idea of providence, and the problem of evil. I then explore the notion of creativity. Only a God who can make something utterly novel is a God who is making something different from Himself and which consequently has no divine precedent. A God who uses possible worlds makes nothing new. (shrink)
In this paper I explore the relationship between the idea of possible worlds and the notion of the beauty of God. I argue that there is a clear contradiction between the idea that God is utterly and completely beautiful on the one hand and the notion that He contains within himself all possible worlds on the other. Since some of the possible worlds residing in the mind of the deity are ugly, their presence seems to compromise God's complete and utter (...) beauty. (shrink)
Humans hunt and kill many different species of animals, but whales are our biggest prey. In the North Atlantic, a male long-ﬁ nned pilot whale (Globiceph- ala melaena), a large relative of the dolphins, can grow as large as 6.5 meters and weigh as much as 2.5 tons. As whales go, these are not particularly large, but there are more than 750,000 pilot whales in the North Atlantic, traveling in groups, “pods,” that range from just a few individuals to a (...) thousand or more. Each pod is led by an individual known as the “pilot,” who appears to set the course of travel for the rest of the group. This pilot is both an asset and a weakness to the pod. The average pilot whale will yield about a half ton of meat and blubber, and North Atlantic societies including Ireland, Iceland, and the Shetlands used to manipulate the pilot to drive the entire pod ashore. In the Faroe Islands, a group of 18 grassy rocks due north of Scotland, pilot whale hunts have continued for the last 1200 years, at least. The permanent residents of these islands, the Faroese, previously killed an average of 900 whales each year, yielding about 500 tons of meat and fat that was consumed by local residents. Hunts have declined in recent years. From 2001 to 2005, about 3400 whales were killed, yielding about 890 metric tons of blubber and 990 metric tons of meat. The whale kill, or grindadráp in the Faroese language, begins when a ﬁ shing boat spots a pod close enough to a suitable shore, on a suitably clear day. A single boat, or even a small group of ﬁ shermen, is not sufﬁ cient to trap a.. (shrink)
What is the relationship between acquaintance and aesthetic judgement? Wollheim’s acquaintance principle (AP) is one answer. Amir Konigsberg—the most recent critic of AP—has produced a number of examples which he claims will require us to restrict AP even further than has previously been suggested. I argue that Konigsberg is mistaken and that his examples do not necessitate any further restrictions on AP. This failure, however, is not the result of some specific flaw in Konigsberg’s argument; rather it is an artefact (...) of a deeper problem at the heart of the current debate over AP (and its successors). I conclude by arguing that this problem—the absence of any satisfactory reformulation of AP itself—has far-reaching consequences for our theorizing in aesthetics. (shrink)
Unusability pessimism has recently emerged as an appealing new option for pessimists about aesthetic testimony—those who deny the legitimacy of forming aesthetic beliefs on the basis of testimony. Unusability pessimists argue that we should reject the traditional pessimistic stance that knowledge of aesthetic matters is unavailable via testimony in favour of the view that while such knowledge is available to us, it is unusable. This unusability stems from the fact that accepting such testimony would violate an important non-epistemic norm of (...) belief formation. In this article I present an objection to unusability pessimism and argue that Robert Hopkins, the view's most prominent defender, fails to motivate adequately the claim that there are such non-epistemic belief norms. The cases which putatively legitimize usability norms can be explained by appeal to more familiar norm types: epistemic norms of belief formation, and non-epistemic norms which govern action other than belief formation. The intent of this article is not primarily negative, however, and I will also argue that understanding why the unusability position fails helps us to identify a promising new direction for the pessimist's opponents who wish to defend the legitimacy of forming aesthetic beliefs on the basis of testimony. (shrink)
Of all my recollections connected with the H of C that of my having had the honour of being the first to make the claim of women to the suffrage a parliamentary question, is the most gratifying as I believe it to have been the most important public service that circumstances made it in my power to render. This is now a thing accomplished.….
This article investigates the experience of individual learners who have been allocated learning support in the further education system in England. The particular focus is on interviewees' constructions of their emotional and psychic experiences. Through the adoption of a psycho-social perspective, learners' tendency to 'idealise' their learning support workers is understood as a strategy for coping with the anxiety generated by a range of previous experiences. The implications for policy-makers are discussed.
This paper offers a brief consideration of how narrative, in the form of people’s own stories, potentially figures in health and social care provision as part of the impulse towards patient-centred care. The rise of the epistemological legitimacy of patients’ stories is sketched here. The paper draws upon relevant literature and original writing to consider the ways in which stories can mislead as well as illuminate the process of making individual treatment care plans.
This paper explores the notion that economic preferences were shaped by the joint action of genetic and cultural evolution. We review the evidence that preferences are partly innate, the output of genetic forces, and partly plastic, the output of cultural forces. A model of how genes and culture might jointly shape preferences is sketched.
This paper reflects on the complex methodological and ethical issues encountered in an exploratory research study on young carers in Zimbabwe. Several interviews were distressing for the young people interviewed and for the social worker conducting the interviews. The dilemmas raised by interview distress and subsequent withdrawal of co-operation are explored in reflections on the methodology and ethics of researching young people who care.