During the past few decades a growing interest in what is often called the ‘Kyoto School’ of philosophy has evidenced itself here and there in the West, especially in discussions of comparative religious thought and in the pages of journals which are sensitive, in the post-colonial world, to the value of giving attention to contemporary thought that originates outside the Anglo-American and continental contexts. What has made the so-called Kyoto School especially interesting is the fact that those thinkers identified with (...) it obviously possess a wide acquaintance with Western thought but also have a programme of clarifying points at which they, as Japanese philosophers, find Western philosophy either in sum or in its parts inadequate or objectionable. Moreover, inasmuch as the philosophers of the Kyoto School have deliberately reached back into the Mahayana Buddhist component in Japanese civilization in order to find terms, perspectives, and even foundations for their own analyses and constructions, Western students of comparative religion and comparative thought have in the study of this school a unique aperture for observing how a group of thinkers, while sharing modernity and its problems with us, reates both of these to a religious tradition which is in many ways strikingly different from that of the West. (shrink)
Why would a country strongly influenced by Buddhism's reverence for life allow legalized, widely used abortion? Equally puzzling to many Westerners is the Japanese practice of mizuko rites, in which the parents of aborted fetuses pray for the well-being of these rejected "lives." In this provocative investigation, WilliamLaFleur examines abortion as a window on the culture and ethics of Japan. At the same time he contributes to the Western debate on abortion, exploring how the Japanese resolve their (...) conflicting emotions privately and avoid the pro-life/pro-choice politics that sharply divide Americans on the issue. (shrink)
This essay argues that Japan's resistance to the practice of transplanting organs from persons deemed “brain dead” may not be the result, as some claim, of that society's religions being not yet sufficiently expressive of love and altruism. The violence to the body necessary for the excision of transplantable organs seems to have been made acceptable to American Christians at a unique historical “window of opportunity” for acceptance of that new form of medical technology. Traditional reserve about corpse mutilation had (...) weakened and, especially as presented by the theologian Joseph Fletcher, organ donation was touted as both expressive of agape and a way of “updating” Christianity via the ethics of Utilitarianism. Many Japanese, largely Buddhist and Confucian in their orientation, view these changed valorizations as neither necessary nor patently more ethical than those of their own traditions. (shrink)
Japan's Buddhists view bodily enhancement neither negatively in terms of sin nor positively as repairing the world. They prefer prudence, however, due to the fact that human desires will be enflamed by proffered new biotechnologies and ironically increase psychosocial dissatisfaction. In spite of great pressures for bodily enhancements within in East Asian societies, bioethicists issue strong cautions.
A reassessment of Watsuji Tetsurō is undertaken by bringing his changing view of the importance of Francis Bacon to bear on his understanding of the role of "rationality" in Japanese life. This reflection will enable an exploration of the relevance of the modernity / postmodernity distinction for modern Japanese philosophy.
James is being rediscovered. And we have needed a volume that presents the multifaceted thought of one of America's most original and vital thinkers. McDermott has done an exceedingly skillful and sensitive job in presenting sections that reveal the man, the educator, the psychologist, the cultural critic, and the philosopher. The entire edition of the Essays in Radical Empiricism and A Pluralistic Universe is included as well as the 1907 edition of Pragmatism. There are also selected letters and chapters and (...) essays from the Principles of Psychology, The Will to Believe, and The Varieties of Religious Experience. The editor's introduction vividly conveys a feeling for James, his cultural setting, and the major themes of his philosophy. A corrected version of Perry's Annotated Bibliography of the Writings of William James is included. For those who are ignorant of the richness and variety of James's thought, or for those who want to take another look at James, I can think of no better way than by reading this intelligently edited and reasonably priced volume.--R. J. B. (shrink)
This book was originally written for the French series, Philosophes de tous les temps. It follows the format of this series with an introductory essay and series of brief selections from James. Although Reck states that he "sought to see James as the French see him," he does not limit himself to a single perspective but presents a judicious, balanced interpretation of James. There is little exploitation of the recent "discovery" of James by phenomenologically oriented philosophers. In his introductory essay, (...) Reck has attempted to be comprehensive. The essay succeeds admirably in presenting a fine introduction to James.—R. J. B. (shrink)
This useful anthology contains selections from classical as well as contemporary authors on the subject of meaning. Although these are not arranged chronologically, the reader is made aware of the difference of purpose and approach between those philosophers trying to bolster and empiricism by a theory of meaning and those philosophers and linguists who find an intrinsic interest in the subject. Of particular interest is the juxtaposition of an essay by William Alston in which the shortcomings of the referential, (...) ideational and behavioral meaning theories are discussed with selections from representative philosophers of each view. Two papers from proponents of the speech-act model of language give a clear introduction to the basics of what is considered by many to be a major breakthrough in the philosophy of language. The last two entries constitute a dialogue of the utility of the analysis of semantic components. Essays on the relation of meaning to philosophy and linguistics by the editors are also included.--R. P. M. (shrink)
We frequently think of American pragmatism as consisting of the philosophies of Peirce, James, and Dewey. But this picture of pragmatism distorts the actual historical development of this loosely associated movement. As Rucker notes and convincingly shows, it was at the University of Chicago that a truly co-operative movement among pragmatically inclined thinkers evolved. It is the story of this movement that he tells in this book. It is a movement very much involved in the history of the University of (...) Chicago, especially during the period when it was lead William Rainey Harper. Rucker describes for us how the various individuals that make up the Chicago School--including Dewey, Mead, Tufts, Angell--came to Chicago, what were their distinctive contributions, and how they exerted an enormous intellectual influence both on their students and their colleagues, especially those in the social sciences. Rucker not only presents us with a fine intellectual history of the Chicago School from 1895 until 1930, but portrays the school as a paradigm of the spirit of cooperative inquiry which was so central to the deepest convictions of the pragmatists.--R. J. B. (shrink)
John J. McDermott, who has already distinguished himself by publishing the best available selection of William James' writings, has now performed the same task for Josiah Royce. Although Josiah Royce is normally classified as one of the American "classical" philosophers, he is probably the least read of these philosophers. These skillfully edited volumes may go a long way to making Royce's comprehensive and complex thought available. There is a brief introduction in which McDermott nicely conveys a "feel" for the (...) man and his thought, especially as it manifests the spirit of American philosophy. The selections are grouped under a number of headings, each preceded with a short commentary. McDermott has deliberately aimed at comprehensiveness, and I suspect even those familiar with some of Royce's work may be surprised by the variety of his investigations. There is a sixty-page annoted bibliography prepared by Ignas K. Skrupsklelis which is the most complete bibliography of Royce's writings available. Although there are no selections from The Problem of Christianity, the University of Chicago Press has recently published this book with a new introduction by John E. Smith. The Letters of Josiah Royce is also being published by Chicago. Painstaking, intelligent editing of philosophic texts is all too rare in our time. McDermott is to be congratulated on a superb job, and the University of Chicago Press is to be praised for undertaking this extensive publication of Royce's work.--R. J. B. (shrink)
This book, first published in 1940, accomplishes three tasks: 1) it gives a lucidly fascinating account of the theology underlying St. Bernard's diagnosis of man's condition and the cure proposed by him--monastic asceticism leading to mystical union; 2) it rectifies misinterpretations of St. Bernard's doctrine of carnal love as the first step to pure love; and 3) it uncovers the major sources of this system of theology: Cicero, Augustine, the Epistle of St. John, Dionysius and the Rule of St. Benedict. (...) The interest of the work is enhanced by appendices on Abelard, on the relation of Cistercian Mysticism to courtly love and on William of Saint-Thierry.--R. G. S. (shrink)
This anthology collects readings from important nineteenth and early twentieth century figures who contributed to the philosophy of science before that discipline emerged in the last 40 years as an area of study in its own right. It begins with a seldom-read selection by Kant ) and ends with a selection from Bridgman's The Logic of Modern Physics. Each selection is preceded by a three-page biography of the author together with a bibliography of his major writings and some writings on (...) his work. Many familiar names appear, e.g., Mill, Mach, Pearson, Hertz, Poincare, Peirce, Duhem, Russell, Whitehead, and Campbell. But there are others represented whose actual writings are not so familiar to many students of the philosophy of science, e.g., J. F. W. Herschel, William Whewell, Hermann Von Helmholtz, J. B. Stallo, Emile Boutroux and William Ostwald. With the exception of Stallo, the writings of these figures have been long out of print. In one case, a selection from Ludwig Boltzmann on the nature of mechanics, the editor has translated the selected passage into English expressly for this volume. A wide range of topics are considered in the readings: physical laws, theories, induction, observation, space, time, and others; but, as the nature of the case requires, the focus of attention is on classical science. For this reason most existing courses in the philosophy of science could use this collection only as a supplementary text. But it would function well in such a role. Moreover, specialized courses in the history of philosophical thinking about science will find it very useful.--R. H. K. (shrink)
In this Festschrift some of Paul Weiss's friends, colleagues, and students have produced a splendid collection of original philosophical essays. Contributions by Charles Hendel, Charles Hartshorne, Robert Brumbaugh, Nathan Rotenstreich, A. Boyce Gibson, John Wild, and fourteen others are included. Outstanding are Father Johann's introduction of a contemporary view of experience into Neo-Thomism, William Earle's phenomenological analysis of love, and Father Clarke's discussion of causality. While the doctrines urged are not uniform, the standard of excellence is. I. C. Lieb, (...) whose editorial skill is evident throughout, has produced a distinguished volume which honors Paul Weiss by its contribution to contemporary philosophical inquiry. --R. C. N. (shrink)
Descartes' place in history, by L. J. Lafleur.--A central ambiguity in Descartes, by S. Rosen.--Doubt, common sense and affirmation in Descartes and Hume, by H. J. Allen.--Some remarks on logic and the cogito, by R. N. Beck.--The cogito, an ambiguous performance, by J. B. Wilbur.--The modalities of Descartes' proofs for the existence of God, by B. Magnus.--Descartes and the phenomenological problem of the embodiment of consciousness, by J. M. Edie.--The person and his body: critique of existentialist responses to Descartes, (...) by P. A. Bertocci. (shrink)
The relation between mind and brain is one of the big scientific questions that has attracted scientists’ attention for centuries but also eluded their understanding. In this book, William Uttal provides a critical review of cognitive neuroscience, focusing on a specific question: What do the brain-imaging techniques developed in the last two decades or so—mostly functional magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography —tell us about the brain-mind problem? His unambiguous and abrasive answer is: nothing.The book is organized in (...) nine chapters. The introductory chapter provides historical, methodological, and philosophical background. Importantly, it highlights a shift in the way neuroscientists think about modularity and localization. Traditionally, researchers using brain imaging have tended to subscribe to a strong view of modularity and localization, where distinct cognitive modules are assumed to be localized in well-defined regions of the brain. In the l .. (shrink)
I discuss John Henry Newman's correspondence with William Froude, F.R.S., (1810–79) and his family. Froude remained an unbeliever, and I argue that Newman's disputes with him about the ethics of belief and the relationship between religion and science not only reveal important aspects of his thought, but also anticipate modern discussions on foundationalism, the ethics of beliefs and scientism.