This paper is an exploration and interpretation of Kierkegaard's account of Christian belief. I argue that Kierkegaard believed that the Christian metaphysical tradition was exhausted and hence that there could be no defence of belief in God in purely rational terms. I defend this interpretation against objections, going on to argue that Kierkegaard thought it possible to defend a post-metaphysical conception of religious belief. I argue that Kierkegaard thought that such a defence was available if we understand correctly what it (...) is to speak with ethico-religious authority. I argue that, when interpreted in the way I outline, Kierkegaard's notion of ethico-religious authority shows his conception of religious belief to have great plausibility. However, Kierkegaard goes on to argue that an individual's true relationship with God is constituted through the cultivation of guilt and the sense of himself as a sinner, and I give reasons for rejecting this claim, arguing that such cultivation is a form of asceticism. (shrink)
A part of the “return to religion” now evident in European philosophy, this book represents the culmination of the career of a leading phenomenological thinker whose earlier works trace a trajectory from Marx through a genealogy of psychoanalysis that interprets Descartes’s “I think, I am” as “I feel myself thinking, I am.” In this book, Henry does not ask whether Christianity is “true” or “false.” Rather, what is in question here is what Christianity considers as truth, what kind (...) of truth it offers to people, what it endeavors to communicate to them, not as a theoretical and indifferent truth, but as the essential truth that by some mysterious affinity is suitable for them, to the point that it alone is capable of ensuring them salvation. In the process, Henry inevitably argues against the concept of truth that dominates modern thought and determines, in its multiple implications, the world in which we live. Henry argues that Christ undoes “the truth of the world,” that He is an access to the infinity of self-love, to a radical subjectivity that admits no outside, to the immanence of affective life found beyond the despair fatally attached to all objectifying thought. The Kingdom of God accomplishes itself in the here and now through the love of Christ in what Henry calls “the auto-affection of Life.” In this condition, he argues, all problems of lack, ambivalence, and false projection are resolved. (shrink)
This article tries to highlight the explicit political aim and the importance for our present of the thought of the «late» Michel Foucault. Through the analysis of the role that truth plays in the pagan and Christian techniques of the self, it opposes a truth that we have to discover in ourselves in order to refuse it (Christianity) or to adhere to it (ethics of authenticity) to a truth conceived as a force of transformation of logos into ethos , (...) of the discourse into a way of life. (shrink)
Many have urged that the biggest obstacles to a physicalistic understanding of consciousness are the problems raised in connection with the subjectivity of consciousness. These problems are most acutely expressed in consideration of the knowledge argument against physicalism. I develop a novel account of the subjectivity of consciousness by explicating the ways in which mental representations may be perspectival. Crucial features of my account involve analogies between the representations involved in sensory experience and the ways in which pictorial (...) representations exhibit perspectives or points of view. I argue that the resultant account of subjectivity provides a basis for the strongest response physicalists can give to the knowledge argument. (shrink)
This new, completely revised and re-written edition of Aesthetics and subjectivity brings up to date the original book's account of the path of German philosophy from Kant, via Fichte and Holderlin, the early Romantis, Schelling, Hegel, Schleimacher, to Nietzsche, in view of recent historical research and contemporary arguments in philosophy and theory in the humanities.
This paper argues that it is possible for suffering to occur in the absence of phenomenal consciousness – in the absence of a certain sort of experiential subjectivity, that is. (Phenomenal consciousness is the property that some mental states possess, when it is like something to undergo them, or when they have subjective feels, or possess qualia.) So even if theories of phenomenal consciousness that would withhold such consciousness from most species of non-human animal are correct, this neednt mean (...) that those animals dont suffer, and arent appropriate objects of sympathy and concern. (shrink)
The phenomena of human consciousness and subjectivity are explored from the perspective of affect-logic, a comprehensive meta-theory of the interactions between emotion and cognition based mainly on cognitive and social psychology, psychopathology, neurobiology Piaget?s genetic epistemology, psychoanalysis, and evolutionary science. According to this theory, overt or covert affective-cognitive interactions are obligatorily present in all mental activity, seemingly ?neutral? thinking included. Emotions continually exert numerous so-called operator-effects, both linear and nonlinear, on attention, on memory and on comprehensive thought, or logic (...) in a broad sense. They deeply ?affect? also consciousness and subjectivity, as showed by the analysis of four crucially involved phenomena, namely (1) attention, (2) abstraction, (3) language, and (4) the prevailing affective state. The conclusion is that neither consciousness nor subjectiovity can be adequately understood without fully considering their emotional aspects. (shrink)
This is a brief and accessible English summary of the "Self-model Theory of Subjectivity" (SMT), which is only available as German book in this archive. It introduces two new theoretical entities, the "phenomenal self-model" (PSM) and the "phenomenal model of the intentionality-relation" PMIR. A representationalist analysis of the phenomenal first-person persepctive is offered. This is a revised version, including two pictures.
Machine generated contents note: Introduction Rick Anthony Furtak; 1. The 'Socratic secret': the postscript to the Philosophical Crumbs M. Jamie Ferreira; 2. Kierkegaard's Socratic pseudonym: a profile of Johannes Climacus Paul Muench; 3. Johannes Climacus' revocation Alastair Hannay; 4. From the garden of the dead: Johannes Climacus on religious and irreligious inwardness Edward F. Mooney; 5. The Kierkegaardian ideal of 'essential knowing' and the scandal of modern philosophy Rick Anthony Furtak; 6. Lessing and Socrates in Kierkegaard's Postscript Jacob Howland; 7. (...) Climacus on subjectivity and the system Merold Westphal; 8. Humor and irony in the Postscript John Lippitt; 9. Climacus on the task of becoming a Christian Clare Carlisle; 10. The epistemology of the Postscript M. G. Piety; 11. Faith and reason in Kierkegaard's Concluding Unscientific Postscript C. Stephen Evans; 12. Making Christianity difficult: the 'existentialist theology' of Kierkegaard's Postscript David R. Law; Bibliography; Index. (shrink)
Some theorists approach the Gordian knot of consciousness by proclaiming its inherent tangle and mystery. Others draw out the sword of reduction and cut the knot to pieces. Philosopher Thomas Metzinger, in his important new book, Being No One: The Self-Model Theory of Subjectivity,1 instead attempts to disentangle the knot one careful strand at a time. The result is an extensive and complex work containing almost 700 pages of philosophical analysis, phenomenological reflection, and scientific data. The text offers a (...) sweeping and comprehensive tour through the entire landscape of consciousness studies, and it lays out Metzinger's rich and stimulating theory of the subjective mind. Metzinger's skilled integration of philosophy and neuroscience provides a valuable framework for interdisciplinary research on consciousness. Metzinger's overall goal in Being No One is to defend a representational theory of subjectivity, one that reduces subjective mental processes to representational mental processes. Subjective experiences take place whe n there is a conscious perspective, an active first-person point of view. It occurs in. (shrink)
This is the first book in English to elucidate the central issues in the work of Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814), a figure crucial to the movement of philosophy from Kant to German idealism. The book explains Fichte's notion of subjectivity and how his particular view developed out of Kant's accounts of theoretical and practical reason. Fichte argued that the subject has a self-positing structure which distinguishes it from a thing or an object. Thus, the subject must be understood as (...) an activity rather than a thing and is self-constituting in a way that an object is not. In the final chapter, Professor Neuhouser considers how this doctrine of the self-positing subject enables us to understand the possibility of the self's autonomy, or self-determination. (shrink)
In Intimations of Christianity Among the Ancient Greeks , Simone Weil discusses precursors to Christian religious ideas which can be found in ancient Greek mythology, literature and philosophy. She looks at evidence of "Christian" feelings in Greek literature, notably in Electra, Orestes, and Antigone , and in the Iliad , going on to examine God in Plato, and divine love in creation, as seen by the ancient Greeks.
A hypothetical evolutionary scenario is offered meant to account for the emergence of mental selves. According to the scenario, mental selves are constructed to solve a source-attribution problem. They emerge when internally generated mental contents (e.g., thoughts and goals) are treated like messages arising from external personal sources. As a result, mental contents becomes attributed to the self as an internal personal source. According to this view, subjectivity is construed outward-in, that is, one's own mental self is derived from, (...) and is secondary to, the mental selves perceived in others. The social construction of subjectivity and selfhood relies on, and is maintained in, various discourses on subjectivity. (shrink)
Christians and Marxists have co-operated in various forms of political work in recent decades, and, after earlier years of antagonism, thinkers on both sides have come to take the other seriously. The aim of this book is to get Christianity and Marxism to meet on terrain on which they might seem most opposed: their philosophical positions; and to do so without watering either down, but taking then full strength.
After World War II, Japanese intellectuals believed that world history was moving inexorably toward bourgeois democracy and then socialism. But who would be the agents--the active "subjects"--of that revolution in Japan? Intensely debated at the time, this question of active subjectivity influenced popular ideas about nationalism and social change that still affect Japanese political culture today. In a major contribution to modern Japanese intellectual history, J. Victor Koschmann analyzes the debate over subjectivity. He traces the arguments of intellectuals (...) from various disciplines and political viewpoints, and finds that despite their stress on individual autonomy, they all came to define subjectivity in terms of deterministic historical structures, thus ultimately deferring the possibility of radical change in Japan. Establishing a basis for historical dialogue about democratic revolution, this book will interest anyone concerned with issues of nationalism, postcolonialism, and the formation of identities. (shrink)
Subjection and Subjectivity offers an account of moral subjectivity and moral reflection designed to meet the needs of feminism, as well as other emancipatory movements. Diana Tietjens Meyers argues that impartial reason--the appraoch to moral reflection which has dominated 20th century Anglo-American philosophy and judicial reasoning--is inadequate for addressing real world injustices. Dealing with the problems of group-based social exclusion requires empathy with others. But empathy often becomes distorted by prejudicial attitudes which may be publicly condemned but continue (...) to be transmitted through cultural figurations. Meyers uses Julia Kristeva's work on xenophobia and aesthetic practices as a starting point for developing a feminist politics of dissident speech, one that aims to dislodge prejudice. With the goal of offering an empathy-friendly account of moral reflection and judgment, she shows how moral reflection embodies the value of mutual recognition--a value enunciated in the work of Nancy Chodorow and Jessica Benjamin. Meyers argues that it is a mistake to view the moral subject as independent, transparent and rational. Instead, she presents a picture of a heterogeneous and pluralistic subject, one that is defined by ties to other people, liable to misunderstand its own motives and aims, and in need of a repertory of strategies for purposes of moral reflection. (shrink)
The subjectivity of the mental consists in the idea that there are features of our mental states that are perspectival in that they are accessible only from the first-person point of view. This is held to be a problem for materialist theories of mind, since such theories contend that there is nothing about the mind that cannot be fully described from a third-person (objective) point of view. Lycan suggests a notion of “phenomenal information” that is held to be perspectival (...) in the relevant sense but also perfectly objective, since it is explicated in terms of the computational roles of higher-order mental representations. I argue that his project fails because phenomenal information is accessible to observers, and hence it fails to be perspectival in the required sense. That sense demands that there be aspects of our conscious experiences that cannot be intersubjectively compared. (shrink)
A RECENT BIOGRAPHY of Marcus Loane, evangelical Anglican Archbishop of Sydney in the 1960s, records that as a student at Moore Theological College he would read during lectures to avoid having to listen to the liberal Principal. When you are committed to a closed system of thought, you can't be too careful when it comes to letting ideas in from the outside. But what about the ideas already inside? How does the Sydney Anglican interpretation of Christianity compare to what (...) Jesus said? (shrink)
The Persistence of Subjectivity examines several approaches to, and critiques of, the core notion in the self-understanding and legitimation of the modern, 'bourgeois' form of life: the free, reflective, self-determining subject. Since it is a relatively recent historical development that human beings think of themselves as individual centers of agency, and that one's entitlement to such a self-determining life is absolutely valuable, the issue at stake also involves the question of the historical location of philosophy. What might it mean (...) to take seriously Hegel's claim that philosophical reflection is always reflection on the historical 'actuality' of its own age? Discussing Heidegger, Gadamer, Adorno, Leo Strauss, Manfred Frank, and John McDowell, Robert Pippin attempts to understand how subjectivity arises in contemporary institutional practices such as medicine, as well as in other contexts such as modernism in the visual arts and in the novels of Marcel Proust. (shrink)
The subjectivity of consciousness is widely regarded as a major stumbling block for materialist theories of mind. In this paper I show how Kripkean arguments against identity theories (Kripke, 1972), and in particular a Kripkean argument against qualia-material property identity developed by Frank Jackson (1980) are a way of highlighting this problem. (And such arguments are not the quasi-historical curiosities they are sometimes pictured as being, because problems confronting functionalism have led to a modest revival of identity theory.) As (...) such, Kripkean arguments are akin to recent discussions of subjectivity by Thomas Nagel (1965, 1974, 1979) and Frank Jackson (1982). I then consider some recent attempts to refute Kripkean arguments or otherwise show that subjectivity is not an insurmountable problem for identity theory. The most promising attempt is one that I myself develop, based on some ideas by Keith Gunderson (1970). But I contend that even it, let alone any of the others, is not without problems. Thus, tentatively, Kripkean arguments against property identity succeed. (shrink)
Through an exchange that is both intimate and enlightening, Vattimo and Girard share their unparalleled insight into the relationships among religion, modernity, and the role of Christianity, especially as it exists in our multicultural ...
Although modern societies have come to recognize diversity in human sexuality as simply part of nature, many Christian communities and thinkers still have considerable difficulties with related developments in politics, legislation, and science. In fact, homosexuality is a recurrent topic in the transdisciplinary encounter between Christianity and the sciences, an encounter that is otherwise rather “asexual.” I propose that the recent emergence of “Christianity and Science” as an academic field in its own right is an important part of (...) the larger context of the difficulties related to attempts to reconcile Christianity and a recognition of diversity in human sexuality as a norm. Through a critical discussion of arguments which are upheld most disturbingly on a global scale by the Roman Catholic Church and supported with much sophistry by important stakeholders of an influential stream in analytic philosophy of religion, this paper aims to contextualize and defend the legitimacy of the question why God would create homosexuals as such if it is true that every homosexual act is prohibited by God. While recently advanced nonheterosexist scientific models of sexuality in nature inform the discussion, I reject the simplistic view that religions suppress and the sciences liberate in matters sexual. (shrink)
Over 700,000 copies of the original hardcover and paperback editions of this stunningly popular book have been sold. Karen Armstrong's superbly readable exploration of how the three dominant monotheistic religions of the world—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—have shaped and altered the conception of God is a tour de force. One of Britain's foremost commentators on religious affairs, Armstrong traces the history of how men and women have perceived and experienced God, from the time of Abraham to the present. From classical (...) philosophy and medieval mysticism to the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the modern age of skepticism, Armstrong performs the near miracle of distilling the intellectual history of monotheism into one compelling volume. (shrink)
Introduction -- Time and matter: temporality, embodied subjectivity and film phenomenology -- Knowing and nothing: Chris Marker, subjective temporalities and vocalic bodies in the future tense -- Agnès Varda's Trinket box: subjective relationality, affect and temporalised space -- Burlesque gestures and bodily attention: phenomenologies of the ephemeral in Chantal Akerman -- Threatened corporealities: thinking with the films of Philippe Grandrieux -- Conclusion: rethinking cinematic subjectivity and beyond.
Introduction: contemporary conditions and diagrammatic trajectory -- From joy to the gap: the accessing of the infinite by the finite (Spinoza, Nietzsche, Bergson) -- The care of the self versus the ethics of desire: two diagrams of the production of subjectivity (and of the subject's relation to truth) (Foucault versus Lacan) -- The aesthetic paradigm: from the folding of the finite-infinite relation to schizoanalytic metamodelisation (to biopolitics) (Guattari) -- The strange temporality of the subject: life in-between the infinite and (...) the finite (Deleuze contra Badiou) -- Desiring-machines, chaoids, probeheads: towards a speculative production of subjectivity (Deleuze and Guattari) -- Conclusion: composite diagram and relations of adjacency. (shrink)
Investigating Subjectivity examines the importance of a phenomenological account of the subject for the nature and the status of phenomenology, for different themes from practical philosophy and in relation to issues from the philosophy of ...
The Passive Eye is a revolutionary and historically rich account of Berkeley’s theory of vision. In this formidable work, the author considers the theory of the embodied subject and its passions in light of a highly dynamic conception of infinity. Arsic shows the profound affinities between Berkeley and Spinoza, and offers a highly textual reading of Berkeley on the concept of an “exhausted subjectivity.” The author begins by following the Renaissance universe of vision, particularly the paradoxical elusive nature of (...) mirrors, then shows how this conception of vision was translated into the optical devices and in what way the various ways of deception could be conceived. Reading Berkeley against the backdrop of competing theories, in relation to Leibniz, Spinoza, Newton, Malebranche, Hume, Locke, Molyneux and others, this book gives a meticulous historic reconstruction of Berkeley’s theory. This excellent scholarly work presents Berkeley’s theory in a new and radical light. The book, presented in three parts, begins by presenting the conceptions of vision prior to Berkeley’s intervention. In the second part, the author moves through a careful study of Descartes’ theory of vision to arrive at Berkeley. The third part addresses the author’s version of Berkeley in which the eye and the image become inseparable due to the collapse of the universe of representation. The problem of vision becomes not that of representation, but of presentation. Through an erudite historic reading of Berkeley’s theory and astute comparative assessments, the author uncovers Berkeley’s place as a contemporary theoretician, corresponding with such thinkers as Deleuze, Lacan, Foucault, and Derrida. (shrink)
If the tragic interpretation of experience is still so current, despite its disastrous ethical consequences, it is because it shapes our subjectivity. Instead of contradicting the ideals of autonomy and freedom, a modern subjectivity based on self-victimization in effect enables them. By embracing subjection to an alienating other (the Law, Power) the autonomous subject protects its sameness from the disruption of real people. Seductions of Fate stages a dialogue between this tragic agent of political emancipation and the unconditional (...) ethical demands it seeks to evade. (shrink)
Although Wittgenstein is often held co-responsible for the so-called death of man as it was pronounced in the course of the previous century, no detailed description of his alternative to the traditional or Cartesian account of human being has so far been available. By consulting several parts of Wittgenstein's later oeuvre, Subjectivity after Wittgenstein aims to fill this gap. However, it also contributes to the debate about the Cartesian subject and its demise by discussing the criticism that the rethinking (...) of subjectivity received, for it has been argued that the anti-Cartesian turn in continental philosophy has lead to a loss of a centre for both ethics and politics. By further exploring the implications of the Wittgensteinian account of human being, this book makes it clear that a non-Cartesian view on the subject is not necessarily ethically and politically inert. Moreover, it argues that ethical and political arguments should not automatically take precedence in a debate about the nature of man. (shrink)
Being a subject and being conscious of being one are different realities. According to Hegel, the difference is not only conceptual, but also influences people's experience of the world and of one another. This book aims to explain some basic aspects of Hegel's conception of subjectivity with particular regard to the difference he saw in ancient and modern ways of thinking about and acting as individuals, persons and moral subjects.
This unusually accessible account of recent Anglo-American philosophy focuses on how that philosophy has challenged deeply held notions of subjectivity, mind, and language. The book is designed on a broad canvas in which recent arguments are placed in a historical context (in particular they are related to medieval philosophy and German idealism). The author then explores such topics as mental content, moral realism, realism and antirealism, and the character of subjectivity. Much of the book is devoted to an (...) investigation of Donald Davidson's philosophy, and there is also a sustained critique of the position of Richard Rorty. A final chapter defends the realist position against objections from postmodern thought. As a rigorous and historically sensitive account of recent philosophy, this book should enjoy a wide readership among philosophers of many different persuasions, literary theorists, and social scientists who have been influenced by postmodern thought. (shrink)
Lectures on evolution -- On the physical basis of life -- Naturalism and supernaturalism -- The value of witness to the miraculous -- Agnosticism -- The Christian tradition in relation to Judaic Christianity -- Agnosticism and Christianity.
Kierkegaard struck out against all forms of established order–including the established church–that work to make men complacent with themselves and thereby obscure their personal responsibility to encounter God. He considered Training in Christianity his most important book. It represented his effort to replace what he believed had become "an amiable, sentimental paganism" with authentic Christianity. Kierkegaard's challenge to live out the implications of Christianity in the most personal decisions of life will greatly appeal to readers today who (...) are trying to develop their personal integrity in accordance with the truths of revealed religion. (shrink)
Religion and intelligence.--The philosophic theory of knowledge.--The absolute object of intelligence.--The Biblical theory of knowledge.--Biblical ontology: the absolute.--Biblical ontology: the world.--Biblical ontology: man.--Comparative philosophic content of Christianity.
Part I: Consciousness and the metaphysics of experience. Orientations. What I believe. The privacy of experience. Final causes. The importance of subjectivity : an inaugural lecture. Is consciousness mysterious? Consciousness. The distinctiveness of American philosophy. The world of description and the world of acquaintance -- Part II: The metaphysics of time and the absolute. The unreality of time. Ideal immortality. Russell and Bradley on relations. The self and its world in Bradley and Husserl. Absolute idealism. Pantheism -- Part III: (...) Ethics, animal rights, and the environment. The greatest happiness principle. Is the esse of intrinsic value percipi? Pleasure, pain and value. Metaphysics, physicalism, and animal rights. Vivisection, morals, medicine : commentary from an antivivisectionist philosopher. Non-human rights : an idealist perspective. Are there intrinsic values in nature? An idealist's prayer for the world. (shrink)
Foucault’s later writings continue his analyses of subject-formation but now with a view to foregrounding an active subject capable of self-transformation via ascetical and other self-imposed disciplinary practices. In my essay, I engage Foucault’s studies of ancient Greco-Roman and Christian technologies of the self with a two-fold purpose in view. First, I bring to the fore additional continuities either downplayed or overlooked by Foucault’s analysis between Greco-Roman transformative practices including self-writing, correspondence, and the hupomnēmata and Christian ascetical and epistolary practices. (...) Second, I add exegetical support to recent arguments denying Foucault’s advocacy for the death of the subject per se. In fact, my analyses show that Foucault’s ethico-aesthetic turn and its corresponding concern with self-transformation and self-(re)constitution via ascetical practices presupposes a subject with rational and volitional capacities. Without these capacities, the art of living Foucault describes is not possible. (shrink)
Thomas Nagel argues that the subjective character of mind inevitably eludes philosophical efforts to incorporate the mental into a single, complete, physically objective view of the world. Nagel sees contemporary philosophy as caught on the horns of a dilemma.
The enactive approach offers a distinctive view of how mental life relates to bodily activity at three levels: bodily self-regulation, sensorimotor coupling, and intersubjective in- teraction. This paper concentrates on the second level of sensorimotor coupling. An account is given of how the subjectively lived body and the living body of the organism are related (the body-body problem) via dynamic sensorimotor activity, and it is shown how this account helps to bridge the explanatory gap between consciousness and the brain. Arguments (...) by O'Regan, No¨e, and Myin that seek to account for the phenomenal character of perceptual consciousness in terms of 'bodiliness' and 'grabbiness' are considered. It is suggested that their account does not pay sufﬁcient attention to two other key aspects of perceptual phenomenality: the autonomous nature of the experiencing self or agent, and the pre-reﬂective nature of bodily self-consciousness. (shrink)
The world of our experience consists at all times of two parts, an objective and a subjective part . . . The objective part is the sum total of whatsoever at any given time we may be thinking of, the subjective part is the inner 'state' in which the thinking comes to pass.
Moral and legal judgments sometimes depend on personal traits in this sense: the subject offers good reasons for her judgment, but if she had a different social or ideological background, her judgment would be different. If you would judge the constitutionality of restrictions on abortion differently if you were not a secular liberal, is your judgment really based on the arguments you find convincing, or do you find them so only because you are a secular liberal? I argue that a (...) judgment can be based on the considerations the subject claims as justification even when it depends on personal traits. (shrink)
The function and method of philosophy.--The nature of religious experience.--Religion and philosophy: naturalism.--Religion and philosophical idealism.--The structure of the universe and the objectivity of values.--The christian conception of god.--The doctrine of the person of christ.--The doctrine of the trinity.
Christian Lotz shows in this book that Husserl's Phenomenology and its key concept--subjectivity--is based on a concrete anthropological structure, such as self-affection and the bodily experience of the other. The analysis of the sensual sphere and the lived Body forces Husserl to an ongoing correction of his strong methodological assumptions. Subjectivity turns out to be an ambivalent phenomenon, as the subject is unable to fully present itself to itself, and therefore is forced to allow for a fundamental non-transparency (...) in itself. (shrink)
The words quoted above distill the common secular conception of death. If we decline the traditional religious reassurances of an afterlife, or their fuzzy new age equivalents, and instead take the hard-boiled and thoroughly modern materialist view of death, then we likely end up with Gonzalez-Cruzzi. Rejecting visions of reunions with loved ones or of crossing over into the light, we anticipate the opposite: darkness, silence, an engulfing emptiness. But we would be wrong.
German Romanticism is commonly associated with nationalism rather than cosmopolitanism. Against this standard picture, I argue that the early German romantic author, Novalis (Georg Philipp Friedrich von Hardenberg, 1772–1801) holds a decidedly cosmopolitan view. Novalis’s essay “Christianity or Europe” has been the subject of much dispute and puzzlement ever since he presented it to the Jena romantic circle in the fall of 1799. On the basis of an account of the philosophical background of Novalis’s romanticism, I show that the (...) image of the Middle Ages sketched in “Christianity or Europe” plays a symbolic role and should not be taken as a literal description of the historical past or as a blueprint for the future. Rather, the romantic picture of medieval Europe serves to evoke poetically the ideal of a cosmopolitan re-unification of humanity. (shrink)
This paper shows that even if the mental states of non-human animals lack phenomenological properties, as some accounts of mental-state consciousness imply, this need not prevent those states from being appropriate objects of sympathy and moral concern. The paper argues that the most basic form of mental (as opposed to biological) harm lies in the existence of thwarted agency, or thwarted desire, rather than in anything phenomenological.
...the problem of...how cognition...is possible at all...can never be answered on the basis of a prior knowledge of the transcendent [i.e. the external, spatio-temporal, empirical]...no matter whence the knowledge or the judgments are borrowed, not even if they are taken from the exact sciences.... It will not do to draw conclusions from existences of which one knows but which one cannot "see". "Seeing" does not lend itself to demonstration or deduction. [Husserl 1964a, pp. 2-3].
Despite the central role that the concept of God played in Kitarō Nishida's philosophy—and more broadly, within the Kyoto School which formed around Nishida—Anglophone studies of the religious philosophy of modern Japan have not seriously considered the nature and role of God in Nishida's thought. Indeed, relevant Anglophone studies even strongly suggest that where the concept of God does appear in Nishida's writings, such a concept is to be dismissed as a 'subjective fiction', a 'penultimate designation', or a peripheral Western (...) intrusion with no genuine relationship to the core of Nishida's thought. However, a careful study of Nishida's own writings reveals that for Nishida, in his own words, God is 'that which is indispensable and decisive'. For the first time in English, this present study reveals Nishida's view of God, especially examining Nishida's debt to the theologian Karl Barth and Christianity. (shrink)
Approaching modern psychology -- Science and faith: learning from the past -- Neuropsychology: linking mind and brain -- Neuropsychology and spiritual experience -- Linking the brain and behavior -- Human nature: biblical and psychological portraits -- Human nature and animal nature: are they different? -- Personology and psychotherapy: confronting the challenges -- Human needs: psychological and theological perspectives -- Consciousness now: a contemporary issue -- Explaining consciousness now: a contemporary issue -- Determinism, freedom, and responsibility -- The future of science (...) and faith: beyond perspectivalism? (shrink)
The disciplined investigation of consciousness is of three main types: eidetic, anthropological (and historical), and psychophysical. The first concerns the essence of consciousness in general and of its main modes. Its method involves introspection, empathy, and insight into necessities present in what these reveal. As the study of the essence of that which is the locus of all value it is of unique importance, and it is also essential as a foundation of the other inquiries. Such inquiry has been the (...) main task set for itself by phenomenology as a philosophical school, but engagement in it need not imply acceptance of distinctive doctrines of this school. English language?philosophy has developed in ways which discourage the eidetic investigation of consciousness, especially through insistence that modes of consciousness, conceived as a private possession, cannot be the referent of socially shared meanings. Its great mistake has been to expect ?consciousness? to refer to some elusive phenomenon to be looked for in the world and able to be studied as a distinctive reality only if conceptually isolable from what it reveals. Study of consciousness, however, is not primarily study of a phenomenon to be found within the world, but of the variety of ways in which the world can be present to us. (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)