The aim of this article is to reconstruct Bocheński’s method of philosophicalanalysis as well as to clarify the purpose of that method and its basic elements. In the second part of the paper I will compare Bocheński’s method with the methods of modern applied ontology.
Readers who are introduced to philosophicalanalysis by reading the early Platonic dialogues may be puzzled to find that Plato, in his middle and late periods, largely abandons the style of analysis characteristic of early Plato, namely, the 'Socratic elenchus'. This paper undertakes to solve the puzzle. In contrast to what is popularly called 'the Socratic method', the elenchus requires that Socrates, the lead investigator, not have a satisfactory answer to his 'What is F-ness?' question. Here is (...) the bind. Part of what motivates the elenctic inquiry is the natural assumption that one cannot identify F-things unless one has a satisfactory analysis of what it is to be F. But to test the adequacy of suggested analyses of F-ness one needs to be able to identify counterexamples. Together these two points present us with a 'catch-22', which is something the 'paradox of inquiry' in the Meno brings out. In the Theaetetus Plato makes clear that, although the elenchus, including Socratic ignorance, can refute philosophical theses arrived at by other means, it cannot, by itself, give birth to viable philosophical theses. Its legitimate role is therefore only propaedeutic. (shrink)
[Sally Haslanger] In debates over the existence and nature of social kinds such as 'race' and 'gender', philosophers often rely heavily on our intuitions about the nature of the kind. Following this strategy, philosophers often reject social constructionist analyses, suggesting that they change rather than capture the meaning of the kind terms. However, given that social constructionists are often trying to debunk our ordinary (and ideology-ridden?) understandings of social kinds, it is not surprising that their analyses are counterintuitive. This article (...) argues that externalist insights from the critique of the analytic/synthetic distinction can be extended to justify social constructionist analyses. /// [Jennifer Saul] Sally Haslanger's 'What Good Are Our Intuitions? PhilosophicalAnalysis and Social Kinds' is, among other things, a part of the theoretical underpinning for analyses of race and gender concepts that she discusses far more fully elsewhere. My reply focuses on these analyses of race and gender concepts, exploring the ways in which the theoretical work done in this paper and others can or cannot be used to defend these analyses against certain objections. I argue that the problems faced by Haslanger's analyses are in some ways less serious, and in some ways more serious, than they may at first appear. Along the way, I suggest that ordinary speakers may not in fact have race and gender concepts and I explore the ramifications of this claim. (shrink)
This paper uses tools of philosophicalanalysis critically to examine accounts of the nature of racism that have recently been offered by writers including existentialist philosopher Lewis Gordon, conservative theorist Dinesh D'Souza, and sociologists Michael Omi and Howard Winant. These approaches, which conceive of racism either as a bad-faith choice to believe, a doctrine, or as a type of 'social formation', are found wanting for a variety of reasons, especially that they cannot comprehend some forms of racism. (...) I propose an account that conceives racism chiefly as a motivational/volitional matter, in short, as a form of moral viciousness. I show how this approach offers a unified account that comprises inter alia individual and institutional racism, expressed and unexpressed racism. I point out advantages that my view has over Thomas Schmid's somewhat similar suggestion, and use the account to examine a number of claims made about racism by H. L. Gates, Jr, Elizabeth Young-Bruehl, Gertrude Ezorsky, and others. Finally, I defend this approach from the general criticism that Benjamin DeMott has levelled against any effort so to understand racism. Key Words: Benjamin DeMott Dinesh D'Souza existentialism Lewis Gordon moral concepts Michael Omi racism social formation Howard Winant. (shrink)
It is common for philosophers to offer philosophical accounts or analyses, as they are sometimes called, of knowledge, autonomy, representation, (moral) goodness, reference, and even modesty. These philosophical analyses raise deep questions.What is it that is being analyzed (i.e. what sorts of things are the objects of analysis)? What sort of thing is the analysis itself (a proposition? sentence?)? Under what conditions is an analysis correct? How can a correct analysis be informative? How, if (...) at all, does the production of philosophical analyses differ from what scientists do? The purpose of the present paper is to provide answers to these questions. (shrink)
Scott Soames’s two volume work PhilosophicalAnalysis in the Twentieth Century1 won the American 2003 Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Philosophy. It has been said to be ‘a marvellous introduction to analytic philosophy’, to deliver much ‘solid information on this dense and difficult subject’, and it has been predicted to become the standard history of twentieth-century analytic philosophy.2 Professor Soames writes clearly and candidly. At the beginning of each volume he delineates his objectives and leitmotivs. He is (...) concerned with the development of analytic philosophy from 1900 to 1975. He aims ‘to explain what the most important analytic philosophers thought and why they thought it’ (I, xi). His method is ‘to provide clear, focused and intense critical examinations of some of the most important and representative works of each major philosopher discussed. ... to provide enough detail to allow one to understand and properly evaluate the main philosophical developments of the period’ (I, xvii). A book with such laudable objectives, which holds out such high promises, and which is predicted to become the standard history of modern analytic philosophy merits careful study and considered judgement. The questions that I shall pose are dictated by the author’s aims and methods. (i) Does Soames provide an illuminating overview of analytic philosophy from 1900 to 1975? (ii) Does he correctly explain what the most important analytic philosophers thought and why they thought it? (iii) Does he select ‘some of the most important and representative works of each major philosopher discussed’? (iv) Does he properly evaluate the main developments of the period? II The broad picture Soames paints is as follows. Analytic philosophy commenced with Moore’s defence of common sense, and was continued by Russell, whose theory of descriptions, conception of analysis, logicism and logical atomism are recounted. He was followed by Wittgenstein, who argued in the Tractatus that philosophical problems arise solely from misunderstandings of language and defended the view that all necessary truths are a priori, analytic, and hence true in virtue of the meanings of words.. (shrink)
In this essay I attempt a philosophicalanalysis of the Chinese Buddhist thought of linguistic reference to shed light on how the Buddhist understands the way language refers to an ineffable reality. For this purpose, the essay proceeds in two directions: an enquiry into the linguistic thoughts of Sengzhao (374-414 CE) and Jizang (549-623 CE), two leading Chinese Madhyamika thinkers, and an analysis of the Buddhist simile of a moon-pointing finger. The two approaches respectively constitute the horizontal (...) and vertical axes of this essay. The simile of a moon-pointing finger originated in Indian Buddhism and later received much attention in Chinese Buddhism. In light of the Chinese Buddhist interpretations of the simile, I set forth six theses to make explicit the philosophic implications there involved. They are: (1) words in no way correspond with the ineffable Real and cannot say or properly express the Real; (2) words can point toward the Real by means of the forms meant or properly expressed by them; (3) the forms are plainly different from the Real and so are to be negated; (4) one who takes the forms for the Real not only misunderstands the Real but is also ignorant of the function of language; (5) the forgetting of words and their forms can dissolve the entanglement of language and thought and even lead to the intuition of the Real; (6) the intuition of the Real depends upon extra-linguistic factors as well as language. In elaborating the theses, I resort to passages in Sengzhao’s and Jizang’s works to disclose their linguistic thoughts in relation to the theses. A main concern here is to show how one can speak the unspeakable, how one can refer to an ineffable reality without committing self-contradiction. This is done in relation to their views, the theses as well as a free interpretive analysis. I construe the notion of indication as involving the imposition-cum-negation method and argue that one can use words to indicate the ineffable without at the same time describing it. The ineffable is indescribable, but it can be intimated through indication. Meanwhile, I also discuss Zhuangzi’s notion of word-forgetting as it plays a role in the simile and in Jizang’s philosophy of language. One of the purposes of this essay is to show that while valuing the therapeutic and evocative functions of religious language, Chinese Buddhist thinkers also understand the language indicatively. Without taking note of the indicative function of religious language, one cannot form an adequate picture of the Chinese Buddhist -- especially, the Chinese Madhyamaka -- philosophy of language. (shrink)
After more than a century of its development, philosophers working in the analytic tradition have recently begun to consider its history as an object of philosophical investigation.1 This development, particularly significant in the context of a tradition of inquiry that has often conceived of its own problems as ahistorical, is salutary in that it offers to show what, within the tradition, remains rich and vital for philosophy today, as well as to extract the significant theoretical and doctrinal results that (...) can be considered to have been achieved in its itinerary so far. The appearance of a comprehensive, two-volume consideration of the history of analytic philosophy in the twentieth century, written by one of the tradition’s leading contemporary practitioners, is therefore cause for excitement. And Scott Soames’ two-volume PhilosophicalAnalysis in the Twentieth Century is, by any measure, an impressive work. Running to almost 900 pages, it assembles careful, meticulous and detailed expositions and analyses of the arguments and positions of a wide variety of thinkers within the analytic tradition, evaluating the extent of their insight and suggesting implications for philosophical thought today. The analysis is uniformly lucid and clearly written, offering the student of the analytic tradition an indispensable source of arguments she may want to consider in her own work, as well as, in its own argumentation, a suggestive model of at least one way of doing analytic philosophy. Over the course of his reconstructive and evaluative analysis, Soames considers the views and arguments of early analytic philosophers like Russell and Moore, logical positivists like Ayer and.. (shrink)
For quite some time there has been a collective perception of a moral crisis in post- Mao China. This perception is informed by standards held by members of Chinese society rather than by standards outside of it. In this article, the author attempts to lay the groundwork for a philosophicalanalysis of this moral crisis. He first explains why it is appropriate to speak of a moral crisis and then examines the structure of the crisis. This examination is (...) partly conceptual and partly causal. The conceptual section of the article discusses terms frequently used in connection with the crisis and introduces some terms and distinctions of the author’s own for further clarity. The causal section traces the moral crisis to a crisis of identification with moral authority or exemplars, the latter crisis in turn containing important clues to the structure of self and agency in Chinese moral culture. (shrink)
This paper provides a philosophicalanalysis of the ongoing controversy surrounding R.A. Fisher's famous fundamental theorem of natural selection. The difference between the traditional and modern interpretations of the theorem is explained. I argue that proponents of the modern interpretation have captured Fisher's intended meaning correctly and shown that the theorem is mathematically correct, pace the traditional consensus. However, whether the theorem has any real biological significance remains an unresolved issue. I argue that the answer depends on whether (...) we accept Fisher's non-standard notion of environmental change, on which the theorem rests; arguments for and against this notion are explored. I suggest that there is a close link between Fisher's fundamental theorem and the modern gene's eye view of evolution. Introduction What Does the Fundamental Theorem Say? Key Concepts Explained Alleged Significance of the FTNS Traditional versus Modern Interpretations of the FTNS The Modern Interpretation Illustrated Fisher's Concept of Environmental Change Causality and the Modern Interpretation The Significance of the FTNS Re-considered Appendix CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
. This papers examines formal properties of logical squares and their generalizations in the form of hexagons and octagons. Then, several applications of these constructions in philosophicalanalysis are elaborated. They concern contingency (accidentality), possibility, permission, axiological concepts (bonum and malum), the generalized Hume thesis (deontic and epistemic modalities), determinism, truth and consistency (in various senses. It is shown that relations between notions used in various branches of philosophy fall into the same formal scheme.
The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the epistemic position of psychiatry between the science of general laws in relation to frequently encountered generality and the science of specific events which is directed towards the particular. In this respect the development of the dichotomy of nomothetic and idiographic methodology from its generally forgotten neo-Kantian origins (Windelband, Rickert, Natorp, Bauch, MÃ¼nch, Hessen, MÃ¼nsterberg) is delineated within the context of a historical-philosophicalanalysis and then its incorporation into psychology and (...) psychopathology (Stern, Binswanger, Kronfeld, Jaspers) is reconstructed. In the course of this analysis and also in the discussion of the currently accepted theories of analytical philosophy (StegmÃ¼ller) and critical rationalism (Popper) it becomes clear that, in spite of widespread current opinions to the contrary, individualizing concept formation is an indispensable element in the methodological inventory of psychiatric science. (shrink)
There has been a great deal of philosophicalanalysis supporting the position that race is semantically empty, ontologically bankrupt and scientifically meaningless. The conclusion often reached is that race is a social construction. While this position is certainly accepted by the majority of philosophers working within the area of critical race theory, the existentially lived and socially embodied impact of `race' is often left either unexplored or under-theorized. In this article, I provide a philosophicalanalysis of (...) how `race' operates at the level of the embodied within the context of the quotidian, and how the recognition of instances of racism is grounded within an epistemological community. I demonstrate that race as lived is a powerful experience that emerges within an interstitial space of enduring myths and habituated bodily postures. My elevator example demonstrates that, as a lived reality, race is insidious and negatively impacts the integrity of, in this example, the black body and the white body. The black body is shown to undergo a process of `confiscation' through the phenomenon of the white gaze, which is a form of learned embodied seeing, while the white body elides any responsibility for holding the black body captive. The white gaze is theorized as a cultural achievement, which is productive of a form of ignorance. Instances of anti-racism, then, are not restricted to mere cognitive shifts in one's perspective, but must involve performing the body's racialized interactions with the world differently. (shrink)
For Sengzhao 僧肇 (374−414 CE), a leading Sanlun 三論 philosopher of Chinese Buddhism, things in the world are ontologically indeterminate in that they are devoid of any determinate form or nature. In his view, we should understand and use words provisionally, so that they are not taken to connote the determinacy of their referents. To echo the notion of ontic indeterminacy and indicate the provisionality of language, his main work, the Zhaolun 肇論, abounds in paradoxical expressions. In this essay, I (...) offer a philosophicalanalysis and rational reconstruction of Sengzhao’s linguistic thought, with a view to exploring the rationale for and purpose of his use of paradoxical language. (shrink)
In his article entitled “Moore and PhilosophicalAnalysis”, Professor Morris Lazerowitz selects Hume's analysis of causality as an example of the way in which philosophers have in the past misleadingly stated what they were trying to do. Professor Lazerowitz asserts at least three things of Hume's analysis. (1)Since Hume insisted that there was no impression of necessary connection, it follows that Hume could not have been examining sequences of events. (2)Therefore, Hume must have been doing something (...) else; namely, misleadingly calling attention to the fact that it always makes literal sense to say of any two supposedly causal events that they are only accidentally connected. Hume, in other words, deprived causal verbs of their use “by linguistic fiat” so that he could more pointedly illustrate the likeness between causal and accidental-occurrence statements. (shrink)
The present work attempts to explicate the philosophical method of Wittgenstein, which he formulated in the Tractatus in order to determine the meanings of our linguistic expressions by analyzing the basic structure of the language. Wittgenstein attempts to show that traditional philosophical problems can be avoided entirely by application of an appropriate methodology. The analysis of language is one important tool of solving problems. The role of language as a central concerned of Analytic philosophers is the dimension (...) most involved in disputes about the methodology employed. My understanding about Wittgenstein’sconcept of language in his two philosophies is founded on the methods that he adopts. There are two different methods in Wittgenstein’s philosophy. On these methods, Wittgenstein developed his theories of meaning, i.e., picture and use theories and consequently resulted two philosophies. I intend here to study about the theory of meaning that Wittgenstein developed in his Tractatus. (shrink)
In this analysis of Yalom’s account of philosophical counseling I show that his perception of it is largely informed by his own ideas about existential psychotherapy and group therapy. Additionally I find that When Nietzsche Wept, and The Schopenhauer Cure comply with Yalom’s personal development and struggles in psychotherapy with philosophy, religion, and boundary violations. Conflicting ideas and attitudes concerning the formerly mentioned are traced also in other works by Yalom.
Despite the familiarity of hope in human experience, it is a phenomenon infrequently considered from a philosophical point of view. This book charts the centrality of hope in thought and action from first, second and third person perspectives. From everyday situations to extreme circumstances of trail and endings in life, the contours of hope are given a phenomenological description and subjected to conceptual analysis. This consistently secular account of hope sheds a different light on questions of agency and (...) meaning. (shrink)
A discussion of how making a decision about religious belief places this kind of belief in a category which distinguishes it from 'belief in other minds' or 'belief in an external world'. This has important consequences for a philosophical approach to religious belief.
What should philosophers of science accomplish when they analyze scientific concepts and interpret scientific knowledge? What is concept analysis if it is not a description of the way scientists actually think? I investigate these questions by using Hans Reichenbach's account of the descriptive, critical, and advisory tasks of philosophy of science to examine Karola Stotz and Paul Griffiths' idea that poll-based methodologies can test philosophical analyses of scientific concepts. Using Reichenbach's account as a point of departure, I argue (...) that philosophy of science should identify and clarify epistemic virtues and describe scientific knowledge in relation to these virtues. The role of concept analysis is to articulate scientific concepts in ways that help reveal epistemic virtues and limitations of particular sciences. This means an analysis of the gene concept(s) should help clarify the explanatory power and limitations of gene-based explanations, and should help account for the investigative utility and biases of gene-centered sciences. I argue that a philosophicalanalysis of gene concept(s) that helps achieve these critical aims should not be rejected on the basis of poll-based studies even if such studies could show that professional biologists don't actually use gene terminology in precise ways corresponding to the philosophicalanalysis. (shrink)
This paper introduces the 2011 number of the Journal on Clinical Ethics. Philosophical critical appraisal is essential for the success of philosophicalanalysis and argument in clinical ethics. To clear away conceptual underbrush, papers in this Clinical Ethics number of the Journal address genetic engineering, conscience-based objections to forms of health care, placebos, and preventing exploitation of patients to be recruited to become research subjects.
Linguae orandi analysis philosophica ac theologicaIn hac tractatione analysis philosophica ac theologica linguae orationis Christianae proponitur. Pro inquisitione accuratiore in orationiem Christianam consideratio theologica philosophiae certe multum prodesse videtur. Si enim praecise sunt determinanda extrema inter quos relatio orandi intercedit, necessitas apparet fontium theologicarum adhibendarum, quae de ss. Trinitatis, necnon b. Mariae virginis ceterorumque sanctorum et angelorum parte in oratione loquuntur. Per analysin philosophicam orationis ad definitionem eius pervenitur, quae orationem ut relationem dialogicam determinat, in qua orans homo, (...) tres divinae personae, virgo Maria, ceteri sancti, angeli, et collectio assertionum significativarum, quae continentiam orationis constituunt, participant. Praeterea de fide accipimus, Deum omnem orationem praecedere appropinquando hominem; cuius appropinquationis descriptionem a Bocheńskii recepimus. Translatio: Lukáš NovákPhilosophical and Theological Analysis of the Language of PrayerIn this paper, we examine the issue of the language of the Christian prayer from philosophical and theological point of view. We come to the conclusion that for the closer enquiry of the Christian prayer philosophy can be inspired by theology. For if we want to determine exactly between whom the relation of prayer lies, we might need to draw on the inspiration from the theological sources concerning the Holy Trinity as well as the involvement of all the saints, especially of Virgin Mary, and angels in the prayers. Within the framework of the philosophicalanalysis of the prayer we determine it as a participatory dialogical relation between the praying human being, the three divine persons, Virgin Mary, other saints, the angels, and the group of meaningful assertions that form the content of a prayer. Beside this on the basis of our faith we accept that every prayer is preceded by God, and the structure of this approaching of man by God we adopted from Bocheński. (shrink)
John Hospers. By means of our senses, or so we ordinarily believe, we come to know of the existence of physical objects such as tables and trees, rocks and hills , stars and human bodies. But are our senses infalliable? How do we know that ...
Philosophical discussion of the general methodology of qualitative research, such as that used in some health research, has been inductivist or relativist to date, ignoring critical rationalism as a philosophical approach with which to discuss the general methodology of qualitative research. This paper presents a discussion of the general methodology of qualitative research from a critical rationalist perspective (inspired by Popper), using as an example mental health research. The widespread endorsement of induction in qualitative research is positivist and (...) is suspect, if not false, particularly in relation to the context of justification (or rather theory testing) as compared to the context of discovery (or rather theory generation). Relativism is riddled with philosophical weaknesses and hence it is suspect if not false too. Theory testing is compatible with qualitative research, contrary to much writing about and in qualitative research, as theory testing involves learning from trial and error, which is part of qualitative research, and which may be the form of learning most conducive to generalization. Generalization involves comparison, which is a fundamental methodological requirement of any type of research (qualitative or other); hence the traditional grounding of quantitative and experimental research in generalization. Comparison—rather than generalization—is necessary for, and hence compatible with, qualitative research; hence, the common opposition to generalization in qualitative research is misdirected, disregarding whether this opposition’s claims are true or false. In conclusion, qualitative research, similar to quantitative and experimental research, assumes comparison as a general methodological requirement, which is necessary for health research. (shrink)
Philosophical practice and logotherapy have much in common. Philosophical counselors and logotherapists are working with similar methods on the noetic dimension of man. Furthermore, the problems of their clients are the same, namely noetic. A challenging noetic problem of modern times is the existential frustration, which is not an illness but a ?healthy pain?. No wonder that the neuropsychiatrist and philosopher Viktor E. Frankl, the founder of logotherapy and existential analysis and a pioneer of philosophical practice, (...) explicitly called on philosophers to help existentially frustrated people. Significantly, Lou Marinoff mentioned Frankl's logotherapy and diagnosis of the existential frustration and identified the noetic dimension, which can be found in Frankl's dimensional ontology, as the province of philosophy. Nevertheless there is more to discover. In principle, the spiritual exercises by the ancient philosophers are nothing more than the methods of logotherapy: Socratic dialogue, modification of attitudes, paradoxical intention, dereflexion, existential analysis of dreams, and mystagogy. (shrink)
Of all the attitudes and theories associated with or identified as "pacifism," only the doctrine that everyone ought not to resist violence with force is of philosophical interest, And it is logically incoherent. Pacifism's popularity rests on confusions about what the doctrine really is. If we have rights, We have the right to prevent infringements upon them. We have the right to use force to protect our rights, And in the degree necessary to accomplish that end. (staff).
This article goes behind stereotypes of Muslim veiling to ask after the representational structure underlying these images. I examine the public debate leading to the 2004 French law banning conspicuous religious signs in schools and French colonial attitudes to veiling in Algeria, in conjunction with discourses on the veil that have arisen in other western contexts. My argument is that western perceptions and representations of veiled Muslim women are not simply about Muslim women themselves. Rather than representing Muslim women, these (...) images fulfill a different function: they provide the negative mirror in which western constructions of identity and gender can be positively reflected. It is by means of the projection of gender oppression onto Islam, and its naturalization to the bodies of veiled women, that such mirroring takes place. This constitutes, I argue, a form of racialization. Drawing on the work of Fanon, Merleau-Ponty and Alcoff, I offer a phenomenological analysis of this racializing vision. What is at stake is a form of cultural racism that functions in the guise of anti-sexist and feminist liberatory discourse, at once posing a dilemma to feminists and concealing its racializing logic. (shrink)
This essay selectively reviews, from an historical and philosophical perspective, the dopamine (DA) hypothesis of schizophrenia (DHS; Table 1 lists the abbreviations used in this essay). Our goal is not to adjudicate the validity of the theory—although we arrive at a generally skeptical conclusion—but to focus on the process whereby the DHS has evolved over time and been evaluated. Since its inception, the DHS has been the most prominent etiologic theory in psychiatry and is still referred to widely in (...) current textbooks (e.g., Buchanan and Carpenter, Jr. 2005, 1336; Cohen 2003, 225; Gazzaniga 2004, 1257;Kandel et al. 2000, 1200). Understanding its origins and evolution should help to clarify the nature of modern .. (shrink)
Cost–benefit analysis (CBA) is much more philosophically interesting than has in general been recognized. Since it is the only well-developed form of applied consequentialism, it is a testing-ground for consequentialism and for the counterfactual analysis that it requires. Ten classes of philosophical problems that affect the practical performance of cost–benefit analysis are investigated: topic selection, dependence on the decision perspective, dangers of super synopticism and undue centralization, prediction problems, the indeterminateness of our control over future decisions, (...) the need to exclude certain consequences for moral reasons, bias in the delimitation of consequences, incommensurability of consequences, difficulties in defending the essential requirement of transferability across contexts, and the normatively questionable but equally essential assumption of interpersonal compensability. (Published Online July 31 2007). (shrink)
Three proponents of the Canberra Plan, namely Jackson, Pettit, and Smith, have developed a collective functionalist program—Canberra Functionalism—spanning from philosophical psychology to ethics. They argue that conceptual analysis is an indispensible tool for research on cognitive processes since it reveals that there are some folk concepts, like belief and desire, whose functional roles must be preserved rather than eliminated by future scientific explanations. Some naturalists have recently challenged this indispensability argument, though the point of that challenge has been (...) blunted by a mutual conflation of metaphysical and methodological strands of naturalism. I argue that the naturalist’s challenge to the indispensability argument, like naturalism itself, ought to be reformulated as a strictly methodological thesis. So understood, the challenge succeeds by showing (1) that we cannot know a priori on the basis of conceptual analysis of folk platitudes that something must occupy the functional roles specified for beliefs and desires, and (2) that proponents of Canberra Functionalism sometimes tacitly concede this point by treating substantive psychological theories as the deliverances of a priori platitudes analysis. (shrink)
The proposition that Jesus was ‘Bad, Mad or God’ is central to C.S. Lewis's popular apologetics. It is fêted by American Evangelicals, cautiously endorsed by Roman Catholics and Protestants, but often scorned by philosophers of religion. Most, mistakenly, regard Lewis's trilemma as unique. This paper examines the roots of this proposition in a two thousand year old theological and philosophical tradition (that is, aut Deus aut malus homo), grounded in the Johannine trilemma (‘unbalanced liar’, or ‘demonically possessed’, or ‘the (...) God of Israel come amongst his people’). Jesus can only be understood in the context of the Jewish religious categories he was born into; therefore, for Lewis, Jesus is who he reveals himself to be. Jesus' self-understanding reflects his identity, his triune salvific role; this is for Lewis, the transposed reality of divine Sonship. Reason and logic are paramount here, reflected in the structure of Lewis's argument. Lewis's trilemma is not so much a proof of God's existence, but a question, a dilemma, where each and every person must come to a decision. For all its perceived faults, its simplistic language, Lewis's trilemma still is a very successful piece of Christian apologetic, grounded in a serious philosophical and theological tradition. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to suggest how philosophy might play a key, if precisely delineated, role in the shaping of policy that leads educational development. The argument begins with a reflection on the nature of confidence in the relationship between philosophy and policy. We note the widespread resistance to abstract theorising in the policy community, disguising the enormous potential of a philosophical approach. Defending a philosophically equipped approach to policy, which is inevitably theoretically laden, we argue that (...)philosophical investigation should be construed not as an initial step anterior to the task of research, but as a way of standing in relation to evidence and policy making throughout the process of investigation and adjudication. To illustrate the distinctive contribution philosophy can make, we propose five interrelated stages where philosophical thinking plays a constitutive role in the full process of policy development, critique and instantiation. (shrink)