This article examines the ethical and theological universe of the Homeric epics, and shows that the patterns of human and divine justice which they deploy are also to be found throughout the wider corpus of early Greek hexameter poetry. Although most scholars continue to stress the differences between the Iliad and Odyssey with regard to divine justice, these come not (as is often alleged) from any change in the gods themselves but from the Odyssey's peculiar narrative structure, with its focus (...) on one hero and his main divine patron and foe. Indeed, the action of the Iliad embodies a system of norms and punishments that is no different from that of the Odyssey. Values such as justice are shown to be socially constituted in each epic on both the divine and human planes, and each level, it is argued, displays not only a hierarchy of power (and the resulting tensions), but also a structure of authority. In addition, the presentation of the gods in the wider hexameter corpus of Hesiod, the Epic Cycle and the Homeric Hymns is analysed, revealing a remarkably coherent tradition in which the possibility of divine conflict is combined with an underlying cosmic order. Finally, consideration of Near Eastern myths relating cosmic order to justice brings out the distinctiveness of the Greek system as a whole and, in particular, of the way it uses the divine society under Zeus's authority as a comprehensive explanatory model of the world. (shrink)
In this thorough compendium, nineteen accomplished scholars explore, in some manner the values they find inherent in the world, their nature, and revelence through the thought of Frederick FerrZ. These essays, informed by the insights of FerrZ and coming from manifold perspectives—ethics, philosophy, theology, and environmental studies, advance an ambitious challenge to current intellectual and scholarly fashions.
By analysing how the audience interpreted the many voices of tragic performance, this chapter suggests a new model for understanding tragedy’s relationship to the world of the watching community. Although the idea that the poet expresses his personal opinions through the chorus or his characters is now rightly seen as old-fashioned and naïve, it is still legitimate to ask how the poet uses his heroic characters and their voices to speak to his contemporary audience—using ‘speak to’ in the broadest sense, (...) that is, how the poet engages, provokes, and entertains his diverse and demanding audience, with the ultimate aim of winning the prize for the best production in the tragic competition. This chapter argues that tragedy’s status as a popular art-form—where the multiple voices of tragic performance offer something for everyone in the audience—has important implications for the genre’s place in fifth-century Athenian culture, and that a realization of tragedy’s broad appeal opens up the issue of its relationship to civic discourse in new and revealing ways. (shrink)
In this thorough compendium, nineteen accomplished scholars explore, in some manner the values they find inherent in the world, their nature, and revelence through the thought of Frederick Ferré. These essays, informed by the insights of Ferré and coming from manifold perspectives—ethics, philosophy, theology, and environmental studies, advance an ambitious challenge to current intellectual and scholarly fashions.
This paper approaches the question of awareness outside of attention through a broader psychological examination of human consciousness. Questions regarding the boundaries of conscious awareness, as well as the possibility of 'subconscious' or 'unconscious' mental processes, were widely discussed 100 years and more ago when they played a central role in the thinking of turn-of-thecentury theorists such as William James, F.W.H. Myers, Jean-Martin Charcot, and Pierre Janet, all of whom were interested in dissociative phenomena suggestive of consciousness, or awareness, (...) beyond the margins of attention. Such phenomena included hypnosis, hysteria, trance states, and motor automatisms, and for many scholars also sleep related conditions such as dreaming and hypnogogic states. (shrink)
One measure of the validity of [Joseph] Frank's insight is the extent to which other versions of his ideas appear in other contexts: for if "spatial form" refers to something real, it cannot have escaped notice by other readers. One thinks, for example, of Northrop Frye's description of the critic viewing all the elements of the poem as a simultaneous array before him; or of Gaston Bachelard's evocative descriptions of The Poetics of Space. Or Pound's interest in ideographic script; or (...) the frequent critical association of modern literature with impressionist painting. Or Eliot's poet synthesizing Spinoza, the sound of the typewriter, and the smell of cookery into a unified whole. Or—at the root of it all, perhaps—Poe's insistence on the unified effect of the story or poem.1 All of these instances reflect a more or less casual assumption of the basic premise of Frank's essay. More recently another critic, Frank Kermode, has offered an alternative description of this general problem. In The Romantic Image2 he assesses symbolist poetic theory; here the verbal image , autonomous and autotelic, presumably unites meaning and feeling without intervening reflection or discourse: the "image" so hypostatized seems very close to a "spatial" form, and certainly the suppression of discourse, of reflection generally, follows from the disruption of syntax and narrative that results from the impulse toward "spatial" effects. Provisionally, we might say that Joseph Frank's essay is grounded in an essentially formalist conception of the literary work as artifact, and that the striking features of his argument result from an attempt to assimilate extended works to a theory basically lyric in its orientation: as corollary, we must assume that the modern writers he cites had themselves operationally defined the concept in the course of their writing. · 1. Northrop Frye, "Literary Criticism," in The Aims and Methods of Scholarship in Modern Languages and Literature, ed. James Thorpe , p.65. See also Fables of Identity: Studies in Poetic Mythology , p. 21. Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, trans. Maria Jolas . Ernest Fenollosa, The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry, ed. Ezra Pound . T.S. Eliot, "The Metaphysical Poets," Selected Essays , p. 247. Edgar Allan Poe, review of Twice-Told Tales, in Works, 17 vols., ed. James A. Harrison 11: 104-13.· 2. Frank Kermode, The Romantic Image . William Holtz, professor of English at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is currently preparing an edition of an unpublished juvenile manuscript by Charlotte Brontë. (shrink)
The relationship between William James and Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) has recently been the subject of intense scholarly research. We know for instance that the later Wittgenstein's reflections on the philosophy of psychology found in James a major source of inspiration. Not surprisingly therefore, the pragmatist nature of the philosophy of the later Wittgenstein is increasingly acknowledged, in spite of Wittgenstein’s adamant refusal of being labeled a “pragmatist”. In this brief paper I merely want to piece together some of the (...) available evidence of Wittgenstein’s high regard for William James, not only for his thoughts, but even more so for his character. (shrink)
In this short paper I try to present William James’s connection with the Argentinian writer Macedonio Fernández (1874-1952), who was in some sense a mentor of Borges and might be considered the missing link between Borges and James.
Critics and defenders of William James both acknowledge serious tensions in his thought, tensions perhaps nowhere more vexing to readers than in regard to his claim about an individual’s intellectual right to their “faith ventures.” Focusing especially on “Pragmatism and Religion,” the final lecture in Pragmatism, this chapter will explore certain problems James’ pragmatic pluralism. Some of these problems are theoretical, but others concern the real-world upshot of adopting James permissive ethics of belief. Although Jamesian permissivism is qualified in (...) certain ways in this paper, I largely defend James in showing how permissivism has philosophical advantages over the non-permissivist position associated with evidentialism. These advantages include not having to treat disagreement as a sign of error or irrationality, and mutual support relations between permissivism and what John Rawls calls the "reasonable pluralism" at the heart of political liberalism. (shrink)
The year of the centennial of the Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges is probably the right time to exhume one of the links that this universal writer had with William James. In 1945, Emece, a publisher from Buenos Aires, printed a Spanish translation of William James’s book Pragmatism, with a foreword by Jorge Luis Borges.
This new edition of William James’s 1909 classic, A Pluralistic Universe reproduces the original text, only modernizing the spelling. The books has been annotated throughout to clarify James’s points of reference and discussion. There is a new, fuller index, a brief chronology of James’s life, and a new bibliography—chiefly based on James’s own references. The editor, H.G. Callaway, has included a new Introduction which elucidates the legacy of Jamesian pluralism to survey some related questions of contemporary American society. -/- (...) A Pluralistic Universe was the last major book James published during his life time. It is a substantial philosophical work, devoted to a thorough-going criticism of Hegelian monism and Absolutism—and the exploration of philosophical and social-theological alternatives. Our world of some one hundred years on is much the better for James’s contributions; and understanding James’s pluralism deeply contributes even now to America’s self-understanding. At present, we are more certain that American is, and is best, a pluralistic society, than we are of what particular forms our pluralism should take. Keeping an eye out for social interpretations of Jamesian pluralism, this new philosophical reading casts light on our twenty-first century alternatives by reference to prior American experience and developments. -/- . (shrink)