The paper argues that there are effectively only two tenable theories of the mind?brain relationship: ?epiphenomenalism? and ?radical dualism? (interactionism). So long as account is taken only of the conventional sciences, the odds are heavily stacked in favour of epiphenomenalism. However, once the findings of parapsychology are admitted to consideration, a very different situation obtains. It is here argued that parapsychology only makes sense within a dualist metaphysic.
The article begins with a discussion about what might constitute consciousness in entities other than oneself and the implications of the mind-brain debate for the possibility of a conscious machine. While referring to several other facets of the philosophy of mind, the author focuses on epiphenomenalism and interactionism and presents a critique of the former in terms of biological evolution. The interactionist argument supports the relevance of parapsychology to the problem of consciousness and the statistical technique of meta-analysis is cited (...) in support of this position. (shrink)
Two questions are examined (a) the differences between creative and uncreative individuals and (b) the differences between artists and scientists. It is concluded that while divergent thinking is a necessary feature of the creative process alike in art and in science the scientific intellect exemplifies more the convergent type. Contrary to what most authorities have said it is here argued that creativity depends more upon the presence of a certain inborn flair than upon personality dynamics.
_Two positions on the mind-body problem are here_ _compared:__Materialism__, which is here taken to mean the thesis_ _that mind plays no part in the determination of behaviour so that,_ _for all the good it does us, we might just as well have evolved as_ _insentient automata, and_ _Ineractionism_ _which is here taken as its_ _contradictory._.
Abstract An attempt is made to examine the main principles that underlay the ?Rhinean? school of parapsychology. Five such principles are discussed: (1) that psi can best be assessed using quantitative measures and forced?choice tests; (2) that psi is a function of the unconscious with the implication that objective performance alone is important, not the state of mind of the subject; (3) that psi ability is, to some degree, present in everyone; (4) that only those problems deserve attention for which (...) an unambiguous answer is attainable, with the implication that survival research should be shelved indefinitely and (5) that psi is non?physical. These five principles are then reviewed from our present vantage point and all are found to require qualification to a greater or lesser extent. Some critics, however, want to go further and allege that Rhine led psychical research into a blind alley and that the time has come to revert to the earlier investigative tradition. This, we contend, is defeatist, the more especially since the advent of computers has greatly extended the scope and power of the experimental approach. Despite its inherent difficulties, it remains the indispensable mainstay of our continuing efforts to make sense of the paranormal. (shrink)
In the very first issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies, dualist JohnBeloff discusses the problem of how interactions may occur between the supposedly different realms of mind and matter. It is indeed the case that meta-analyses covering many years of research give very strong support to the reality of psi phenomena . Historical analysis has shown, however, that the results of some of the stronger paradigms are subject to a decline effect after an initial successful period (...) of ten to twenty years. And even if the reality of the phenomena stand up against time, a proper use of the available data -- as opposed to Beloff's selective use of it -- would at least complicate the naive interactionist picture and in fact argue against the dualist perspective. (shrink)
John Clarke of Hull, one of the eighteenth century's staunchest proponents of psychological egoism, defended that theory in his Foundation of Morality in Theory and Practice. He did so mainly by opposing the objections to egoism in the first two editions of Francis Hutcheson's Inquiry into Virtue. But Clarke also produced a challenging, direct argument for egoism which, regrettably, has received virtually no scholarly attention. In this paper I give it some of the attention it merits. In addition to (...) reconstructing it and addressing interpretive issues about it, I show that it withstands a tempting objection. I also show that although Clarke's argument ultimately fails, to study it is instructive. It illuminates, for example, Hutcheson's likely intentions in a passage relevant to egoism. (shrink)
Among the most animating debates in eighteenth-century British ethics was the debate over psychological egoism, the view that our most basic desires are self-interested. An important episode in that debate, less well known than it should be, was the exchange between Francis Hutcheson and John Clarke of Hull. In the early editions of his Inquiry into Virtue, Hutcheson argued ingeniously against psychological egoism; in his Foundation of Morality, Clarke argued ingeniously against Hutcheson’s arguments. Later, Hutcheson attempted new arguments against (...) psychological egoism, designed to overcome Clarke’s objections. This article examines the exchange between these philosophers. Its conclusion, influenced partly by Clarke, is that psychological egoism withstands Hutcheson’s arguments. This is not to belittle those arguments—indeed, they are among the most resourceful and plausible of their kind. The fact that egoism withstands them is thus not a mere negative result, but a stimulus to consider carefully the ways in which progress in this area may be possible. (shrink)
As we now know, most, if not all, philosophers in the High Middle Ages agreed that what we immediately perceive are external objects and that the immediate object of perception must not be some image present to the mind. Yet most — but not all — philosophers in the High Middle Ages also held, following Aristotle, that perception is a process wherein the percipient takes on the likeness of the external object. This likeness — called a species — is a (...) representation (of some sort) by means of which we immediately perceive external objects. But how can perception be at once direct — or immediate — and at the same time by way of representations? The usual answer here was that the species represents the external object to some percipient even though the species itself is not at all perceived: the species is that by which I perceive and not that which I perceive. John Buridan defends this traditional view — call it direct realism with representations. However, just a couple of decades before Buridan, one of the more important philosophers at Paris, Durand of St.-Pourçain, had already rejected direct realism with representation. Durand defends what I will call direct realism without representations. On his view, a species is not at all necessary during overtly direct forms of perception, neither as cause nor as representation. This paper has two parts. In the first part, I will discuss some of the more interesting arguments that Durand makes against direct realism with representations. In the second part, I will look at Buridan's defense of the view. -/- . (shrink)
In this article I address a puzzle about one of Francis Hutcheson’s objections to psychological egoism. The puzzle concerns his premise that God receives no benefit from rewarding the virtuous. Why, in the early editions of his Inquiry Concerning Virtue, does Hutcheson leave this premise undefended? And why, in the later editions, does he continue to do so, knowing that in 1726 John Clarke of Hull had subjected the premise to plausible criticism, geared to the very audience for whom (...) Hutcheson’s objection to egoism was written? This puzzle is not negligible. Some might claim that Hutcheson ruins his objection by ignoring Clarke’s criticism. To answer the puzzle we must consider not only Hutcheson’s philosophy but also some theological assumptions of Hutcheson’s time. (shrink)
This study provides a comprehensive reinterpretation of the meaning of Locke's political thought. John Dunn restores Locke's ideas to their exact context, and so stresses the historical question of what Locke in the Two Treatises of Government was intending to claim. By adopting this approach, he reveals the predominantly theological character of all Locke's thinking about politics and provides a convincing analysis of the development of Locke's thought. In a polemical concluding section, John Dunn argues that liberal and (...) Marxist interpretations of Locke's politics have failed to grasp his meaning. Locke emerges as not merely a contributor to the development of English constitutional thought, or as a reflector of socio-economic change in seventeenth-century England, but as essentially a Calvinist natural theologian. (shrink)
John Dewey’s pragmatism and naturalism are grounded on metaphysical tenets describing how mind’s intelligence is thoroughly natural in its activity and productivity. His worldview is best classified as Organic Realism, since it descended from the German organicism and Naturphilosophie of Herder, Schelling, and Hegel which shaped the major influences on his early thought. Never departing from its tenets, his later philosophy starting with Experience and Nature elaborated a philosophical organon about science, culture, and ethics to fulfill his particular version (...) of Organic Realism. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that the requirement for the qualitative is theory-dependent, determined by the fundamental assumptions built into the ontology. John Heil’s qualitative, in its role as individuator of objects and powers, is required only by a theory that posits a world of distinct objects or powers. Does Heil’s ‘deep’ view of the world, such that there is only one powerful object require the qualitative as individuator of objects and powers? The answer depends on whether it is (...) possible to account for the manifest objects and the ostensible spatial primacy of our perceived world without recourse to the qualitative. In this paper I outline just such an account with the intention of extending Heil’s efforts to incorporate fundamental power in the world while providing a coherent explanation for our strong intuition of spatial, as against relational, priority. (shrink)
The apparent tension between the moral codes of the Old and New Testaments constitutes a perennial problem for Christian ethics. Scholars who have taken this problem seriously have often done so in ways that presume sharp discontinuity between the Testaments. They then proceed to devise a system for identifying what is or is not relevant today, or what pertains to this or that particular social sphere. John Howard Yoder brings fresh perspectives to this perennial problem by refuting the presumption (...) of intratestamental discontinuity. Throughout multiple scattered works on the Old Testament, Yoder offers a coherent and provocative narration that culminates in the way of Christ and establishes the ethical continuity of the entire biblical canon. This essay presents the basic parameters of Yoder's Old Testament narration, suggests points where revision is needed, and highlights several implications for social ethics. (shrink)
The Reasonableness of Christianity is a major work by one of the greatest modern philosophers. Published anonymously in 1695, it entered a world upset by fierce theological conflict and immediately became a subject of controversy. At issue were the author’s intentions. John Edwards labelled it a Socinian work and charged that it was subversive not only of Christianity but of religion itself others praised it as a sure preservative of both. Few understood Locke’s intentions, and perhaps no one fully. (...) This new collection describes the background to Locke’s book and documents the disputes that followed its publication. Providing an invaluable insight into the context of its conception and reception, it includes contributions by Samuel Bold, John Edwards, Charles Blount, and Daniel Waterland, bringing the discussion up to the eighteenth century. Also included is a review of the Reasonableness found among Locke’s unpublished papers and published here for the first time. The volume will be of interest to philosophers of religion and theologians as well as historians. (shrink)